Patrice Riemens on Fri, 3 Feb 2017 19:57:03 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> will someone explain

On 2017-02-02 10:02, David Garcia wrote:

> Will one of the American nettimers take a few moments to explain
> something to a constitutional ignoramous such as myself.
> For those of us outside of the long standing narrative put about is
> that the US constitution is so cunningly constructed with -checks and
> balences- so as to ensure that the President can never be a
> dictator/king/emperor.
> And yet it appears (at least froma distance) that he is able through
> this instrument called -executive orders- to do whatever he likes. Can
> someone explain this apparent contradiction. Has he (or Bannon)
> introduced in his campaign (and now in government) the political
> equivalent of Blitzkrieg in which the sheer speed and number of
> initiatives create panic and confusion in his enemies?
> Where, if any, are the lilekly constraints and when, if at all, will
> they be able to actually constrain?

Very short brutish answer: a constitution, or for that matter, 
long-standing political tradition (e.g. parliamentary democracy), does 
not help a bit, if 'everybody' get shit afraid of 'going against the 
will of the people'. Look at Brexit. Look at Erdogan getting 
all-powerful despite the Turkish constitution (well get yrself a new 
one, and have it referendum-legitimized), but maybe more important 
still, against a 'founding text' by the founding father of the Turkish 
Republic, Ataturk, who explicitly asked the youth to start a revolution 
if a current government was betraying his ('kemalist') principles.

Constitutions are like people: the do not govern beyond their grave.

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