Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The Third Chapter: The Reich President and Reich Government

The Reich President or the German head of the state under the Weimar Constitution was elected through a popular vote by the German people who qualified to vote.  In order to be eligible to vote, one had to be 20 years of age, and to qualify as a Reich presidential candidate, one has to be 35 years or older.  The Weimar Constitution gave the Reich president semi power; the president had to share power with the cabinet (ministers) and the parliament (Reichstag). 

The Reich president was responsible for appointing and dismissing the Chancellor and the ministers; the Reichstag did not vote to confirm the ministers or the Chancellor; the Reichstag, however, had the power to pass a vote of no confidence on any minister and on the Chancellor, and if the vote of no confidence is passed, the Chancellor or the minister involved had to resign from his or her position immediately.  The Reich president was also subjected for removal from office through a referendum to be determined by the Reichstag.  According Article 43 of the Weimar constitution, the Reichstag had the power to dispose a sitting Reich president through a majority vote that required a third members of the Reichstag to vote for the disposition.  According to the Reich constitution, if the disposition of the Reich president is passed, the Reich president ceases to be the president; the failure by the Reichstag to pass the disposition of the president signified a re-election of the president, and an immediate dissolution of the Reichstag itself.

The Reich president was required to consult the Reichstag on major issues; the president, however, had the executive power on many important issues without necessarily the obligation to consult with the Reichstag.  One example of that executive power was the power of the president to bring in the arm forces on any state of the Reich government that was not fulfilling its obligations laid upon it by the Reich constitution.  Now, even though the Reich president had executive power on several issues, the Reichstag had the power to reverse most of the president’s executive decisions.  The Reichstag also had the right to accused, to the Supreme Court, the president, the ministers, and the chancellor, of violating the Reich constitution.

Strengths of the Reich President Position:

The Reich president ensures that there is sharing of power; power was not concentrated in the hands on one man, one group, or in the hand of a few elites.  The president also ensures that the Reich government continues to function in orderly manner, and since he represented the German people the international communities; he was entitled to create alliances with foreign governments.

The Weaknesses of the Reich President Position:

The Reich president is somehow what the French called a poseur; he was in a position of power, but had no power at all.  He had the right to appoint his ministers and chancellor, but these people were subjected to a vote of no confidence by the Reichstag any time; the Reich constitution did not protect them from being removed from office.  The president’s fate itself was in the hands of the Reichstag who had the power to dispose him from office.    If the Reichstag decided to dispose a sitting president, they were required to obtain a third majority vote for the disposition to be effective.  If on the other hand they failed to obtain the third majority, they were required to dissolve immediately; their failure to dispose the president also signified a re-election for the Reich president.  Now let’s get real here, if the Reichstag had a chance to actually vote on disposing the president, and knowing that their failure to dispose him meant the end of their political careers (at least for some), what are the probabilities that they were going to fail to dispose the president?  I don’t think the Reichstag were going to take a chance to vote in a way that would lead to their dissolution, that’s just human nature.


Reflection Paper on Rosa Luxemburg

The world is full of greedy people who think of nothing, but ways of hanging on to power through domination; this has been going on for centuries, and it’s unfortunate for the world.  Yet even at its waste time, the world has always has great thinkers who care less about their own fate, but the wellbeing of mankind.  Rosa Luxemburg is an example of those selfish souls who came to the world to seek the betterment of mankind.

Unlike popular leaders like Lenin and many other authoritarians, Rosa Luxemburg believed in the power of the masses; she believed that the people, and not the few elites, had the right and the power to control their own fate and destination.  While leaders like Lenin and his kind believed in the power of the elites to control the masses, Rosa Luxemburg, believed in learning process, she believed that through learning system the masses can build their own functional social democratic system, and that only the masses can decide how they should be governed and by who. 

Rosa Luxemburg also believed that, contrary to the authoritarians’ belief of dominance, the power of the few elites to dominate the majority had no place in society.  She believed that when power is in the hands of a few elites, it had potentials of being subjected to abuse. 

In a way, Rosa Luxemburg was thinking just like Nietzsche because like Nietzsche, Rosa Luxemburg also believed in the power of individuals as rulers of their own domain.  Rosa Luxemburg believed that each individual was responsible to reshape his/her own destination, hence the right of the masses to decide on how to be governed.

It is unfortunate that the world has fewer people that think like Rosa Luxemburg.  A lot of evils have happened in the world because of selfish leaders who try to impose their will on the masses.