[EM] Public elections are the ones that matter
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Nov 15 07:23:06 PST 2005
At 12:24 AM 11/15/2005, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:
>[quoting] I reply:
> Although governments may be politically omnipotent in
> theory, in practice
>corporations, schools, unions, religious groups, and nonprofits
>collectively wield an easily comparable amount of power.
>Mike Ossipoff replies:
>Then please ask your local neighborhood school, or your union, to order the
>troops home from Iraq.
The key is "collectively." If there is a way for these organizations
to act collectively, they would have the power to do exactly that.
Consider how much it costs to buy a U.S. presidential election. I
think it is under a billion dollars, a bargain at twice the price.
How many people belong to unions? How much would each member have to
contribute to raise the billion dollars?
If it were important to them, if the organization coordinating the
funding were trustworthy, *they could afford it.*
However, all these organizations only, typically, wield power in the
service of relatively narrow interests. Exercise them enough, they
will act collectively. But it's rare. There are no mechanisms for
developing the necessary consensus, for all these organizations are
structured traditionally: they are either oligarchies or they are
electoral democracies, both of which are quite limited in the power
to find and express consensus.
If all those who wanted to stop the war in Iraq, before the U.S.
invaded, had pooled the resources that they expended in
demonstrations, it would also have collected enough to buy the next
presidential election. Instead, those resources were squandered, I'd
suggest, on a gesture of powerlessness. When you have the power, you
don't demonstrate, you act.
I imagine a representative of the Stop the War Free Association
making an appointment with President Bush, prior to the invasion.
"Mr. Bush, I have here a check for one billion dollars, which our
members have decided to donate to Anybody But Bush in 2004, according
to our own process, should you decide to invade Iraq. Don't invade
Iraq, I'll tear up the check. Naturally, you will, I am sure, make
the best decision...." Would it have gotten his attention?
I don't know. But I do know that the people have the power to stop
the war. If they care to, and if they come to believe that it is
possible. Both are necessary; many *would* care, but cynicism and
despair about the possibility of being able to make a difference is
FA/DP democracy could start today and it could, by its nature, once
established, grow like wildfire....
Lift a finger, change the world. But most people won't lift a finger.
leading to the new slogan,
Change the world in one easy step. Go to sleep. We will change it for you.
Sinister? Yes. If you don't like it, Wake Up! You have choices that
you can make. Today.
http://beyondpolitics.org/wiki : Register!
BeyondPolitics is not about stopping the war, that's a political
position. Rather, it is about creating mechanisms where people can
quickly and efficiently make trustworthy decisions and act on them.
If that stops the war, fine with me, it is certainly what I
personally desire. But I'm focused on a generic solution, the current
war is only one problem among many, many indeed.
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