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Capitalism, the market economy, is our best form of economic
relationship. At its best it promotes freedom of action and interaction,
motivates personal and local decision making, creativity,
improvement, entrepreneurship, and productivity; and it creates much wealth. But
an unbridled capitalism that reigns supreme concentrates excessive power and
wealth into the hands of ruthless, greedy elites within and among nations who
then create, populate, and use self-serving governments to exploit the rest of
the populace and override the common good. Unbridled capitalism often plays
nations and people against one another in a most underhanded way in search of its Holy
Grail: maximum growth and profit and minimum responsibility no matter what the
environmental and human costs. Creating constitutions, governments, laws, rules,
and economic entities that cause the fruit of the labor of millions to be taken
from them and handed to the sly, cunning, manipulative few is economic rape, and
it becomes, at its worst, economic terrorism.
Everywhere today, American elites who exploit our own populace
conduct business with elites of other nations who exploit their populaces. One
method used among others, political and economic elites agitate and manipulate
religious and moral conservatives and others to achieve their self-serving ends.
And the politically and economically excluded and exploited use whatever means
that are available to them, including religion, to fight back or fight for
inclusion. Thus, once or at least potentially peaceful religions become radical,
polarized instruments of political-economic and ultimately physical warfare.
Fanatic religious and other extremist and terrorist groups
spring up like mushrooms and are empowered worldwide because we drive people to
them. Insurrection and revolution within nations and now international terrorism
are the result of fundamental injustice. Hatred and rage come from long
experience of violence done against one in one form or another including
Attempting to harden and protect an unjust state and its
populace against insurrection and terrorism that can come from any direction at
any time is enormously costly, inefficient, and destructive to personal freedom
and the social fabric. When it ultimately fails and a nuclear bomb, poison gas,
or infectious organism is successfully let loose on the nation and it retaliates
by vaporizing… well, you choose your worst escalating nightmare. To think one can take everything from everyone else and take one’s
way in everything and then live in peace with them or militarily hold them at
bay forever is pure folly.
The notion that the West in general and America in particular
are fostering democracy and individual freedom within themselves and around the
world is also pure folly. Not being true democracies themselves but only
plutocracies, the most powerful, wealthy nations are really only attempting to
push a worldwide plutocratic empire unto a reluctant world. They are trying to
create a worldwide plutocracy in which they reign supreme by sufficiently and
permanently politically, economically, and militarily rendering everyone else
everywhere else subservient to them.
Even as they engage in this immorality it must be said,
wealthy nations are not inherently more evil than are others. All current
nations, great and small, are authoritarian plutocracies that practice some good
and much evil, each in its own way and as it sees its own interests. While great
powers are capable of and all too often engage in great evil, some of the
world’s worst atrocities are conducted by some of its poorest nations. And
everywhere religious and other groups immorally attempt to shove their values
and systems down the throats of others by brute force.
The best way to fight terrorism is to not create the
terrorist, the insurrectionist, or the revolutionary in the first place. The
best way to do that is to create inclusive, just, equitable governments,
societies, and relationships within and among nations that do not drive
individuals and nations to anger, rage, desperation, and violence.
Political-economic inclusion, justness, and equity attract people toward the
current state, taking the wind out of the sails of radicals.
There will always be some level of competition and
disagreement among us. That is only natural and even healthy. But we now exist
at an extreme and in an extreme state of illness. We currently function at the
level of three year olds fighting over the toys while our world spins
increasingly out of control. It is time for us to grow up.
Historically, government design has long been improving.
Continuing to improve it should not be considered radical or unwise. We
Americans have now had over two hundred years to see and we must finally admit
that while the founders got much right what they got wrong is terribly wrong. It
is time and over time to improve yet again and improve very fundamentally the
design of our government. This is so for all of the world’s governments.
The government design offered in this book represents the minimal partial redesign of current governments that gets the job
done, that actually moves us beyond plutocracy. Anything less merely rearranges
the furniture, merely reorganizes the plutocracy a bit while keeping it firmly
in place. The design presented here creates a new kind
of relationship within and among nations that takes us well beyond our current
dominance, authoritarianism, and plutocracy. It facilitates peaceful, equitable,
humane relationships among just nations, each possessing a demos practicing
consensus democracy as part of its governing structure. Simply because people
participating within a demos in each nation will not permit such conditions to
exist, it makes possible a worldwide free trade that does not exploit local
conditions of tyranny and misery to unduly fatten the lives of distant others.
Everyone will fairly benefit from the trade.
Notice that no mention is made here of a sovereign world
government, a decidedly dangerous entity. We have merely the association of and
agreements among free, sovereign nations, each possessing a demos and a just,
equitable political-economic system.
This government design takes us into a new national and world
order that is worthy of the word new. Almost miraculously, all of this is
gained simply by including within our current governments a modest measure of
just the right kind of true democracy.
To date, we have not managed to overcome dominance by the few
and our authoritarian, plutocratic forms of government. But someday, if we do
not self-destruct first, we will transcend our current state. Rule by dominance,
oppression, and exploitation is inherently unstable. It carries within itself
the seed of its own destruction. We possess an inborn need to be free and
treated fairly. We never cease trying to overthrow injustice and abuse. We dream
of and work toward a more just, happy, and peaceful way of being in this world.
We do not mouth empty words but truly seek kinder, gentler nations and a
new world order.
Our inability to date to correct the distributions of power
and wealth in America (and elsewhere) may be taken as a measure of the
ignorance, division, and apathy within the many, and, indeed, among all of us.
Those among us who hate and feud with each other—those within various racial
and ethnic groups; the political and religious liberals, conservatives, and
fundamentalists; those of differing genders, orientations, and lifestyles; the
rich and the poor—must loosen their fanatical grips on their cherished
divisions, hatreds, and fears.
To counteract the many forces pulling us apart, we desperately
need a force which brings us together and sets our nation aright. We must come
together at least to an extent sufficient to create and participate effectively
in a true democratic process within a demos. The only way that we may fulfill
our promise and reach and sustain our fullest potential as a people and a nation
is to create within our government at long last the true democracy and the just
balance of power that we now only profess.
A nation divided cannot stand. A momentary, patriotic upsurge
in the face of crisis and war should not be confused with the ongoing love and
pulling together that would come from true democracy and justice and the
political and economic inclusion of everyone. Even as America reaches its
pinnacle of power and wealth, it suffers severe cracks in its foundation and the
beginning of decline. Our very freedom is in decline. We are a nation of the
blind leading the blind, and we have, indeed, fallen into a ditch. We are at
odds both with each other and with the larger world community. Polarization,
hatred, rage, and discord abound. Our nation is being torn asunder. America must
become just, or it will perish.
A world divided cannot stand. Not just an ideal, we must
someday become a community of just nations … or we will die. Meanwhile, we
live in a purgatory of physical and economic warfare and terrorism, and we
remain a crippled caricature of our fullest human potential. We will continue to
suffer our current purgatory or worse so long as we do not achieve justness,
inclusion, and equity within and among nations.
It has the means, and, were it not so blind, America could
become the world’s first truly just nation and a light unto the world. But, as
we are now, we can only show that part of the world which needs and accepts our
guidance the way from hell to purgatory. We cannot show the way to heaven for we
have not yet found our own way. We have mastered the creation and accumulation
of wealth, but we are spiritually bankrupt. Inclusion, justice, and brotherhood
remain but dreams. In truth, in our current state, we merely attempt to impress
plutocracy the American way onto a reluctant world. We cannot serve as a model
of true democracy and just governance for the world. True democracy and just
governance are lights we do not yet possess.
Article V of the Constitution of the United States of America
gives us the means to alter the Constitution, but our right to amend it
and even to tear it up and create a whole new constitution and government comes
from an entirely more fundamental source. That source was beautifully proclaimed
and appealed to in The Declaration of Independence which was signed by some of
the same people who created and signed the Constitution:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That
to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of
Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation
on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will
dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and
transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are
more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves
by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of
abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty,
to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future
Well said, don’t you think? We have unalienable
governments are instituted to secure these rights; governments derive their just
powers from the consent of the governed; and when a government becomes
destructive of these ends it is the right and the duty of the people to
alter or abolish it and institute a new government, laying its foundation on
such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
It is ironic that the very people who embraced such weighty
ideas and lofty ideals created a plutocratic form of government which prevented
most of the people living under it from directly participating in any of the
decisions which determine the conditions under which they must live. It is the
height of duplicity for them to have claimed that their government derived its powers
from the consent of the governed when they deliberately excluded the vast
majority of the population from even participating in the government that they
Given the opportunity that most people living in those times were
denied and most people living in our times are still denied, we would not have
then and certainly should not now give our consent to their self-serving, wealth-serving
government! “We the people” have suffered enough
under their unjust government!
The wrongs that they did in their time we can and should
set right in our time to achieve at
long last a proper balance of real power and a fair and just measure of “life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for everyone. It is time and over time to move beyond
their plutocracy and create a more perfect union.
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Beyond Plutocracy - Direct Democracy for America
© Copyright 2001-2017 Roger D Rothenberger