Unthinking Majority wrote:The West used to be ruled by monarchs. The aristocrats stripped them of their power and took over. The Founding Fathers were not poor peasants, they were not slaves or housewives, they were the powerful white men and the educated elites and made a system that guaranteed equality while not undermining their interests, which wasn't equality at all. The Founding Fathers created a system in 1789 where the only people who could vote were land-owning white males, which at the time was 6% of the population.
A number of points.
Low population density increases prosperity, reduces inequality and encourages rapid technological, social and cultural development. We saw this in the aftermath of the Black Death and we saw it big time in North America. The northern states moved towards universal male suffrage quite rapidly and even the southern states were progressive compared to most of the world in terms of democracy and the expansion of suffrage.
Female suffrage came later, but still the United States was very much a leader in the introduction of female suffrage particularly compared to laggards like France and Switzerland. I'm no Conservative when it comes to women's position within society, in fact I seem to have sprung from the womb as a fully formed radical liberal on the issue, but the plain fact is that women's suffrage was a great non event. It was a secondary effect of changing social values and attitudes not the driver of them. These days women skew liberal and towards the left, but until a few decades ago women tended to skew conservative.
The Founding Fathers did not create a system in 1789, this is part of the founding myth or fantasy of America. The system of States came about not because of some ideological principle of the Founding Fathers, the founding Fathers wouldn't have known a moral principle if it had smashed them in the face, but due to the pre-existing power centres inherited from the Colonial period. The only reason there is a United States at all is because of the war of Independence. If the British had simply let the colonies secede, there would be no USA today and the make up of north and possibly South America would be very different.
Funnily enough I was thinking about this, this morning. The thing about fascism is that is its post democratic. It departs from a context where universal (at least male) adult suffrage is the baseline, has become the status quo so speak. Fascist ideologies are plebeian ideologies, unlike the pre democratic monarchical and aristocratic ideologies, so may be the Jim-Crow South should be thought of as the first fascist regime.