Making Government Work for Us

If we are going to create a system of government that will work for us, then we need to be able to form it for ourselves. But how do we form a government for ourselves? Well how do we provide ourselves with any services that we personally need? We hire someone to do it for us.

If we want a house built for us, we hire an architect to provide us with the house that we want. The architect would then hire the general contractor to actually provide the construction functions. The general contractor would then hire the plumbing, electrical and other contractors who would provide the particular specialties required for the completion of the house. This allows us to determine the kind of house that we get.

Now imagine our doing the same thing in providing ourselves with a government. We would hire a political contractor to provide us with the government services that we want and they would then hire those service providers that we need to provide them to us. This political marketplace would allow each of us to hire the government service providers that we need to provide us with the kind of government services that we personally need and want for ourselves.

Determining the Nature of our Governments

We must determine the nature of our governments instead of our governments determining our natures. Therefore, we must begin to reorganize ourselves according to our common needs and wants. The problems that we have in common must determine the kinds of governments and services that we get. Governments must reflect our common concerns and interests.   In order to be able to determine the course that our governments will have to take, we need to be able to organize it according to our own needs. 

We live within Political Monopolies

All of our current democratic governments are in total control of their countries until they are elected out of office. During the time that an elected government is in power, they are able to more or less do as they please. This creates a political monopoly in which the government in power is the only one allowed to direct the nation in the direction that the government wants.

 

This structural permanence given to elected government has allowed them to direct the energy of the state to their own interests. Governments are the ones that have historically directed the institutions of society that determined the possibilities of the people that had to use them because they had no other options.  We have been held captive by those governments that were political monopolies capable of directing our national course of action. And until political monopolies are removed, we will continue to be at the mercy of our governments.

Democracy is Size Determined

The questions of government that I have been wrestling with have brought me to the conclusion that not only is democracy as we know it impractical in today’s world, but the concept of electoral democracy is a flawed concept. Democracy is a size-determined system in which the smaller the amount of people that make a democratic decision, the more democratic it is.

This is because within small groups those that are taking part in the democratic process have more of a voice and are, therefore, better able to know the issues that they are voting on.

This also suggests that the larger a democratic process becomes, the less democratic it actually is or even can be. In a world in which people need to be more empowered instead of less, this is a fundamental flaw within democracy which must be addressed.

Democracy, through a system of political representation, has developed into political parties that think that government is really about them and their survival. What we need to show them is that government is really about us the people and that they only exist to serve us. 

Democracy as an Informed Electorate

Democracy, as Thomas Jefferson once stated, can only be achieved with an informed electorate.  An informed electorate is one in which the people are capable of intelligently choosing those that are to govern them. This requires that a true democracy be informatively based which also requires that the information provided to the public be as truthful as possible.

In today’s democracy the truth is more often cancelled than revealed. Within today’s democracy, political representation is based not on what the politician can actually do for their people but instead on how they can convince the people that they are doing it on their behalf.

Democracy as Hero Worship

For democracy to work, it must be based on an informed electorate.  Politics is difficult for most people to understand, therefore, democracy results in creating a system of politics that emphasizes style over substance that leads to a form of hero worship. This allows people to relinquish their personal responsibility toward their own political participation and allows them to interpret their lack of political participation as actual participation. 

A Better Understanding of Democracy

In a time when the need for a new way of organizing ourselves is becoming increasingly apparent, we need to take a better look at the system of democracy that got us here. While democracy has been seen as the best means of enfranchising most of the people, it has fallen short of expectations.

One of the inherent problems with democracy has made itself very clear during each election.  Getting people to vote on issues that they don’t understand leads to a system of government where the people are led instead of served. So in an age that is becoming more complicated and the need to understand it more imperative, is democracy really the answer for tomorrow? 

Class Democracy

The economic problems that we are suffering from are a direct result of the type of governments that allowed them to happen. These problems are a result of not only the way that governments work but also how they are structured. Most of the governments of the world are a form of democracy.

But democracy, like all other forms of government, is class based and, therefore, produces a political class with its own class interests. Democracy is actually a class-based democracy whose members ultimately work in their own interests.  In fact all of today’s democracies are class democracies, which is what makes them so difficult to change.

Democracy is more wishful thinking than fact.  It is something that we believe exists, but we really know doesn’t.  Class democracies work in the interest of those that get them in power and always will.  It was once said by Winston Churchill that, “Democracy was the worst system ever devised, except for all of the others.”   We need to keep this in mind.

Demand-Siding the Economy

Traditional economic thought is supply-side based with the funding of the suppliers of society. But in a situation where the supply-siders are not supplying, what I believe that we now need is a demand-side approach. A demand-side approach is needed to stimulate the market by funding the consumer who would then give the producer a reason to produce. It would also make the funding process much more reliable by allowing us to fund those individuals of society that actually need it.

A demand-side approach would restore confidence in the market by making our needed market relationships acceptable to one another. Both the consumers of products as well as their producers need to be given market exchanges that they can count on. A demand side approach would do just that by making our economic exchanges predictable.

The way to add predictability to market exchanges would be to require that each transaction be given its own manager to administer the type of market exchanges desired by the participants. 

New and Old Ideas of the Market

Our current economic problems are a direct result of our misuse of the market.

The old idea of the market was about making profit from ones own efforts, which in and of itself is good. This has also led to the market being misused, which has led directly to the creation of a culture of greed resulting in the misallocation of our precious resources.

We must decide whether the purpose of investment is to make a profit or to provide liquidity for the goods and service needed by society.

The new idea of the market must be about providing the best product to the consumers of society.

The primary purpose of investment is to provide a product not a profit. Profits must always be the result of providing for a good product not an end in itself.

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