Military fiat

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Military fiat is a process whereby a decision is made and enforced by military means without the participation of other political elements. The Latin term fiat, translated as "let it be," suggests the autocratic attitude ascribed to such a process. For example, many coups involve the imposition of a new government by military fiat.[1]


Origin of government

Historically, military fiat had no relation to particular theories of economics or how to use the power of the state ("political science"). It was simply seized by the powerful with some support from empowered citizens - typically resulting in a monarchy where power was passed on to heirs with no public consultation. Over time, this evolved into consultative systems, e.g. of other nobles holding fiefdoms, e.g. of public in parliaments.[citation needed]

In democracies, however, the political parties who run for office to represent the public will, must agree to certain guarantees to use power for public good - the relation between military and police powers is clearer but not obvious. In all countries, some fundamental decisions are made by the administration "without the participation of other political elements", and in general the administration of money has been one of those functions. Public recourse is limited if the state relies on any other nation for major military support, e.g. then-communist Poland's and East Germany's reliance on the Soviet Union. So "a decision is made and enforced by military means" could be anything done by the administration or bureaucracy as a normal part of its foreign policy.[citation needed]

Definition of participation

Theories vary on how to measure "participation of other political elements."

In economics, fiat is one of three ways to guarantee the value of money, credit money and commodity money being alternatives - but both relying to some degree on the fiat. True fiat money has no trust or product value of its own, but is backed only by trust in the issuing government and its ability to collect taxes or require conversion of some other resource into currency.[citation needed]

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