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Quoting Joe <[log in to unmask]>:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Andreas Johansson" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 12:23 PM
> Subject: Re: CHAT: cultural interpretation [was Re: THEORY: language and the
> brain]
>
>
> > Quoting Joe <[log in to unmask]>:
> >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Mark J. Reed" <[log in to unmask]>
> > > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 1:25 AM
> > > Subject: Re: CHAT: cultural interpretation [was Re: THEORY: language and
> the
> > > brain]
> > >
> > >
> > > > On Fri, Jul 04, 2003 at 11:18:48AM +0100, michael poxon wrote:
> > > > > Sorry, but this notion of the US being the acme of freedom is
> complete
> > > tosh.
> > > >
> > > > I didn't say "acme", I said "prototype".  First, not necessarily best.
> > > > And the US was, in fact, the first modern nation to have rule by the
> > > > people's representatives rather than by a monarch who either inherited
> the
> > > > job or was chosen by some other less inclusive means.
> > >
> > > Switzerland?
> >
> > How democratic was the pre-1798 system? Some swift browsing suggests it
> left
> > effective power in the hand of aristocrats and merchant elites, with
> little
> > influence for peasants and poor city-dwellers.
>
> And largely the US power at that time rested in the hands of white males.
> Neither can claim to be prototypical for democracy without having equal
> voting rights for all over a certain(low-ish) age.

I strongly tempted to argue that the prototype for democracy is Classical
Athens, wherefore keeping women and slaves out of the electorate strengthens
the early USA's claim to be a democracy.

More relevantly, going by how the word have actually been applied in the last
quarter millennium or so, excluding women from the electorate does not prevent
a state from being democratic, excluding the lower classes does.

                                                 Andreas