Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Objective is to change the world through responsibility

We are responsible for our own government. Just ask them, they'll tell you we are. More Representatives say we have the government we chose than we say it.

The point is, we haven't chosen the government. The laws defining how we must act and how we must spend or money are the guide for the Exeutive. The Legislature is the Government. And we do't make any laws and certainly don't vote on any laws. Jefferson frequently complained that each generation was burdened by the laws and attitudes of the previous generation. The only way the laws can be kept abreast of the advances of the society is if the people vote for those laws and do not vote for Representatives to continue to make our laws for us. The only way we will be responsible for our own government is when we are our own government, our own legislature.

All the complaints, all the sit-downs and occupyings; all the great causes that we are espousing: equal financial opportunities, equal protection before the law, security from information seizure and freedom to speak the truth - the embarrassing truth - about the corruption, ignorance, and indifference with which the governments treats the people; all of this is fruitless.  It is fruitless because we have no real plan and no real intent to change our Representtive Government, our elected Aristocracy.  We are simply whining to them, thretening to replace them with lesss repressive Representatives. We haven't faced fully seen or accepted the truth: it is our responsibility to be make the laws, to NOT be represented, but to on the responsibility ourselves, for ourselves - and all the future citizens.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Russell on Philosopher Kings

From Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy, p 106:

      Two general questions arise in confronting Plato with modern ideas. The first is: Is there such a thing as "wisdom" ? The second is : Granted that there is such a thing, can any constitution be devised that will give it political power?
     "Wisdom," in the sense supposed, would not be any kind of specialized skill, such as is possessed by the shoemaker or the physician or the military tactician. It must be something more generalized than this, since its possession is supposed to make a man  capable of governing wisely. I think Plato would have said that it consists in knowledge of the good, and would have supplemented this definition with the Socratic doctrine that no man sins wittingly, from which it follows that whoever knows what is good does what is right. To us, such a view seems remote from reality. We should more naturally say that there are divergent interests, and that the statesman should arrive at the best possible compromise.The members of a class or a nation may have a common interest, but it will usually conflict with the interests of other classes or nations. There are, no doubt, some interests of mankind as a whole, but they do not suffice to determine political action. Perhaps they will do so at some future date, but certainly not so long as there are many sovereign States. And even then the most difficult part of the pursuit of the general interest would consist in arriving at compromises among mutually hostile special interests.
    But even if we suppose that there is such a thing as "wisdom," is there any form of constitution which will give the government to the wise? It is clear that majorities, like general councils, may err, and in fact have erred. Aristocracies are not always wise; kings are often foolish; Popes, in spite of infallibility, have committed grievous errors. Would anyone advocate entrusting the government to university graduates, or even doctors of divinity? Or to men who, having been born poor, have made great fortunes? It is clear that no legally definable selection of citizens is likely to be wiser, in practice, than the whole body.
    It might be suggested that men could be given political wisdom by a suitable training. But the question would arise: what is a suitable training? And this would turn out to be a party question.
   The problem of finding a collection of the "wise" men and leaving the government to them is thus an insoluble one. That is the ultimate reason for democracy.

   So the Representatives are not superior governors than any other set of citizens would be.  We could, and should, all 200 million voting age citizens, do at least as good a job as any set of lawmakers would. And, that is the ultimate reason for Actual Democracy: we vote on the laws. Our power as citizens remains "our power as citizens". Nothing complicated. No way to get crossed up. Just responsible people doing their civic duty and carrying out their legislative responsibilities.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Attitude Change for America

The country needs an "Attitude Change", that's what they told us when were kids, we needed an "Attitude Change".  The whole Country needs one now.

First off we need to change our attitude about who is responsible for the condition of the country.  The law makers, our Representatives, are not responsible for this mess. They have cause it. But we're responsible. We are the Government.  And by this mess I mean America the violator of its Constitution, of it's basic moral philosophy, of the current economic and political inequalities, our educational inequalities, and the lack of equal employment opportunities, etc. etc. etc..

We are responsible for the mess we've become, for violating the trust the previous generations put in our hands.  And we have violated them.  Ms. Maddow lists many in her book: 'Drift'. For example, five wars that the U.S. fought without Congress declaring war, as the Constitution requires. Torture.  the army published documents proving, or admitting, we have tortured many people at Gitmo - Guantanamo Bay.  And remember, the Constitution explicitly, in the Bill of rights, says no man can be compelled to testify against himself ( 5th Amendment); and there is to be no cruel and unusual punishment (8th Amendment).  Torture is simply not a debatable issue: it is legally, morally, and humanly bankrupt. It is outlawed by the United Nations and they have found us guilty of  having committed it. As a nation, we are out of control: the Constitution doesn't matter to our representatives: they don't even debate their completely ignoring it anymore: "it's old news". It's not Patriotic to want to be Free from Government intrusion! We're living in 1984 30 years later than Orwell predicted. Nixon had a 40 person enemies list; Obama has put us all on it.

The population is as disgruntled as its ever been. A change is being called for but no one is offering a viable change. "Occupy WallStreet" is fine, but futile. Chomsky has advised them to pull things together with many of the other 'activist groups' in the nation, like the labor activists did in the early 1900s: many small unions pulled together to form the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations [sic]), and the A.F. of  L: American Federation of Labor.  But the Labor groups knew what they were fighting for: bargaining rights for the group, equal representation of the men, and equal footing for them at the bargaining table with the owners.

Nobody has offered a solution to the lack of respect for the Constitution, lack of respect for the people, for no equality of opportunity an no access to the powerful. Everyone is trying to coerce the representatives to go back to believing in freedom, equality, and justice before the law.  The representatives have no incentive to do so. They have taken over making laws completely disregarding their constituents and they have been taken over by money religion, party, ideology, self-aggrandizement,  as their prime objectives.  And they have no need to change, no incentive to.

What needs to change is our attitude toward them. We simply must go beyond them. It's not just that the political parties have corrupted themselves with the power grabs they've boldly taken and implemented, its that we have settled for impotence. We scream and holler and know it is useless and ineffective. We engage in accurate criticism and take no action, believing there is none to take. We have accepted impotence as a political fact.   It isn't!   

We simply have to be responsible again: responsible for our own laws, without depending on elected officials. We are the Government. We have failed. Not the representatives. We have failed to take control of our own fate because its simply been easy to let them rule us - while they did it with some belief in the principles of inalienable rights and equality things weren't too bad. But now, now we can vote directly on the laws. No representative are needed. Technology enables it. It is easy. But it takes the courage to give up the dependence we have accepted for all these years: the dependence that follows the belief that we need to be represented.  We Don't.  

If we change our attitude we'll change our future and finally accept our full responsibilities as citizens in an Actual Democracy: make and vote for the laws ourselves. How are they going to bribe, scare, hoodwink, manipulate and coerce 200,000,000 million voting lawmakers?  Doesn't look easy to me.