alithinker wrote:I don't think you understood what I was suggesting. Refer to my reply above to "redcarpet" for a better clarification of what I meant.
I rather think it is you who has misunderstood the concept of a democracy. Fascism arises from the concept of a state that is superior in its rights than its citizens. Democracies demand that there is no state as such separate from its people. In a real sense, a democratic nation does not confer rights, but the citizenry confers rights on itself. In democracy, citizens are bound to one another in agreements, but not to the state. Rather it is agreements between equals. That's the entire philosophy of the Constitution. It's not a law, but a covenant. The government is not an organ of state, but an instrument of the citizenry.
In a democratic context, the state does not possess any rights, and has only obligations pressed upon it by its constituents. It must executive the tasks normally expected of a government, but unlike fascism, if the citizenry were to vanish, so would the state. Under fascism, the state exists even if the citizenry ceases to exist.
Under this definition, one who does not "contribute" (whatever that may mean) may be guilty of freeloading, but nothing more. There are both legal and moral repercussions to freeloading, but freeloading is a risk that a democracy takes that a fascist state does not. In a democracy, one may choose not to participate in the community at all, barring the simplest contributions of paying taxes and obeying the law. One may even choose, if one is wealthy enough, to disengage further and not work at any sort of productive labor, but merely free ride on the labor of others and pay a pittance in taxes while enjoying the full fruits of citizenship.
Consequently, as a citizen of a democratic nation, the "state" does not determine my status; the covenant under which I live determines that.
This makes immigration a difficulty, of course, as is birthright citizenship. By covenant, being merely within the boundaries of territory controlled by the US government makes one a citizen by default. This is not a surprising outcome considering that our Founding Fathers were heavily influenced by universalist thinkers like Thomas Paine, whose writings were called "The Rights of Man", and not "The Rights of Nations". One of the drawbacks of a democracy is that the populace can take aim at trivial or imaginary dangers and force public policy that harms vast numbers. Once the US solicited immigration to populate its huge open spaces, but soon after the "ladder syndrome" took hold and those already here wanted to pull up the immigration ladder behind them.
Then there is the distinction between socialist and competitive economies, but that's another conversation.