Working toward democracy

In retrospect, the crucial points for me were 9/11, and Shock and Awe - the invasion, devastation, and destruction of Iraq.

I remember, home for lunch in Corpus Christi on 11 September 2001, watching what was clearly the planned demolition of the first of the World Trade Center towers live on television. I just couldn't believe it - so I didn't. I pushed it back to the deepest recesses of my consciousness.

In Thailand, when Bush devastated and occupied Iraq despite the transparency of his false connection of that country to 9/11 - and despite the protests of the millions of Americans who saw right through him - I realized that the criminal, oligarchic government of the United States of America was my/our biggest enemy, worldwide.

Shrugging off the phony story of America came slowly but, in the face of those two very real events, it came.

In the first instance - the obvious demolition of the WTC still in the memory hole - I ascribed 9/11 to what Pat Moynihan once termed 'benign neglect' - with all that implies. The government let it happen, because it viewed the result - the devastation of Iraq and the beginning of the serial wars of devastation and destruction in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe - as a 'good thing'.

But as the systemic abuses became more apparent across the board during Barack the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate slash CIA Manchurian Candidate Obama's ascendancy and subsequent, unbroken string of betrayals along every dimension: the Wall Street 'bailout', the betrayal of our Bill of Rights and Constitution, the serial destruction of Islamic countries, the ongoing drone assassinations, the confrontations with Russia and China - not only did the demolition of the WTC buildings well-up in my memory, but so too did 'the repeal' of Glass-Steagal, Yugoslavia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Vietnam, the assassination of JFK, Ike's farewell address, Korea, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the crash of 1929, the invasion of Russia after WW I, the Spanish-American War ...

It is not 'just' George W. Bush or Barack Obama. Our government has been run by a clique, a mob, since its foundation. It was designed that way or, more 'charitably', the 'zero-day bugs' in our constitution were allowed to remain by our 'Founding Fathers', and cherished by succeeding generations of minority cliques since its foundation.

I remember thinking that 'my country' had grown up with me during Vietnam and so ... 'never again'! Hah!

I remember in the 1980s having the insight that 'all we needed to do' was to outlaw contributions to a campaign for office by anyone other than a constituent of that office in order to curb corporate control of government. ... Hah!

I even wrote my own Campaign Finance Admendment (cfa) codifying my 'insight' and - starting in 1994 - hosting my 'good news!' on the internet for more than 20 years. With no effect at all.

Now I realize that any 'representative' government is doomed to minority capture from day zero.

In 2008 I supported Mike Gravel's campaign for POTUS and became familiar with Mike's National Initiative for Democracy (Ni4d).

Mike's plan has two serious flaws, according to me :

  1. its representational layer between 'the people' and our popular initiatives, and
  2. its reliance on a plurality of votes rather than a majority to enact popular legislation.

Reading the dedication page of Max Blumenthal's Goliath, I became familiar with Akiva Orr and his dedication to direct democracy : Autonarchy.

Aki's plan also has two serious flaws, again according to me :

  1. its naive, pre-Snowden, reliance on technology for its implementation, and
  2. its insistance on direct voting on every instance of legislation within every constituency.

This is twenty-twenty hindsight on my part, looking back over the trail, riding on the shoulders of the giants, Mike and Aki.

I have tried to 'fix' what I see as defects in Mike's Ni4d in a Recall, Referendum, and Initiative Amendment (r2ia) ...

  1. which eliminates Mike's Philadelphia II, 'a non-profit IRS 501c(4) corporation' between the people and their legislation, and
  2. which requires an absolute majority of eligible voters in a constituency to effect an R, R, or I in any given constituency.

Please see 28amen dot org

In the case of Autonarchy I have - post-Snowden -

  1. given up on any hard-wired reliance on our thoroughly debased and subverted communications system, and
  2. accepted a hybrid form of government, with a representative executive, legislature and court system ... with the triad subject to the absolute powers of the peoples' R, R, and I on every issue. Break glass in emergency! ... and constantly and consistently reclaim the powers presently delegated to our 'higher' hierarchic constituencies to our 'lower' constituencies - where our democratic oversight is more easily practiced - day-to-day.

Please see uspvp dot org

Rule by the Right is the state exploiting its own citizens, spying on them, waging wars for the benefit of the few and rule by the Left is the same thing, but with the State aparatchiks claiming their rule is for the benefit of all citizens?

No.

Rule from the right is rule from above, top-down. Rule by the right is fascism with a 'big' or little 'f'. The fascists maintain TINA, There Is No Alternative to fascism.

Rule from the left is rule from right here, and from wherever you are, bottom-up. Rule by the left is small 'd' democracy. We democrats maintain TIAA, There Is An Alternative to fascism.

I have no illusions of our ever 'completing' the transition to democracy. It has been and will continue to be an eternal struggle. There will always be subsets of any given constituency attempting to co-opt the resources and power of the whole group to suit their particular ends. So it will always be the duty of the entire group membership, using the power of directly-administered votes by an absolute majority of the eligible constituents of the whole group, to see to it that that does not happen : direct democracy. Each of us belongs to a nest of concentric constituencies from the family to the national - to the planetary - level and each of us must be active participants as constituents of each.

Every community - constituency - has its own history and so every such group will have a different path to democracy. But democracy - personal, vertical, horizontal democracy - is essential worldwide at this stage. The worldwide financial crisis and the worldwide wars are living examples of the impossilibity of a well-grounded rule by the few ... and the environmental crisis is the clincher.

Underlying my own political obtuseness for most of my life was an unarticulated conviction that our mistakes as a species were bounded ... that we humans, through our greed and other shortcomings, could only make our own lives (more) miserable. It is no longer possible to avoid the truly monstrous proportions of our betrayal of the ultimate reality : of nature herself. We can destroy 'life as we know it' on this planet - and we are doing so.

Democracy is not only 'equitable', and 'just', and 'nice', it is essential. Without all of our active envolvement the interests of an interested, powerful subset of ourselves will prevail ... it'll be “What's good for General Motors is good for the country” - globalized. A subset of the whole is always capable of treating (what it sees as) its own interests as universal, and with our increasing numbers and profligate ways, that will surely spell out our doom.

There is no solution to our problem within our present corrupt system. So we have to stir our stumps and define our own means to effect democracy, locally, within each of the heirarchies we constitute, at the particular historic juncture at which we find ourselves, worldwide.