[W]e we have to understand that there's always been an enormous gap between what those ruling America mean by "democracy", and what that word means to almost anyone else.

I have to get darkly amused sometimes, because this is kinda what is bound to happen when you mostly rip off political systems from other not-so-hierarchical societies, get freaked out at some of the implications (and things like equal involvement regardless of gender), change things to suit your own ideas about how the world should work, and try to prop up the resulting mess with Greek columns.

(Not the only example of this kind of totally voluntary federation, just the most studied and influential here.)

Even more amusing, since viewed from one angle, this kind of federation setup based on consensus and catherding is a participatory, constitutional democracy; from another, very practical anarchism.

The idea of a consensus "Will of the People"--excluding special interest or majority tyranny--is still pretty scary, apparently.

ETA: Typo fixed. My fingers are not cooperating today. These, incidentally, are also some of the reasons that I have lost most patience with some Euro-Anarchists who don't know their history and think they've got the One True Way going. Another story entirely. ;)
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