The Need For A New System Of Political Organization

The global protests against the corporatization of the world shows that a new system of organizing ourselves is not only needed but is inevitable. This new system must empower the people and make servicing them as the reason for the institutions of society. We need a new system that we can superimpose upon our existing systems of government. To meet these problems I propose the establishment of a new kind of system that I call entrusted government, one that would build its institutions from the bottom-up by their own members.

The Times Are A Changing

The union demonstrations in Wisconsin and the Arab and Iranian peoples movements throughout the Middle East are calling for a greater voice in managing their own affairs. The call for greater democracy and the means to see it to realization through social networking has changed the political dynamics of global politics. We are learning new ways to politically interact and apply ourselves which is throwing our existing political systems off balance and making it hard for them to react in the traditional ways.

The internet has been able to provide the necessary voluntary infrastructure that has allowed people movements to organize themselves into active components capable of applying themselves to meeting their concerns. Within the hands of the public are now the means to actually determine the kinds of institutions that will be allowed to service our needs.

The internet will allow us to reorganize ourselves according to our needs and wants. It will give us the means to give us a collective voice on things of concern to us and it will also allow us to build the necessary infrastructures that would permit us to institutionalize our common needs and wants in a collective way.

The Illusion of Democracy

Elected democracy is only democratic in concept because it is based on the strange idea of forming a conscience from different points of view, which is admirable but unrealistic at best and politically unattainable at worse. The fact that democracy is an admirable idea gives us the unrealistic feeling that we are all transcending our personal and social differences and politically becoming one. In reality democracy is the domination of one group over one or more other groups. Elected democracy is a winner-take-all system and like all winner-take-all systems, it centralizes political power in the hands of the few that represent the majority, it does not distribute it to the minority.

Our current elected democratic government structures that were supposedly designed to assist the people have now come to dominate the people instead. Within our liberal democratic societies we the people are only politically allowed to choose from the alternatives that have been provided to us by those in power. The people have allowed their government institutions to dictate to them just what their political agenda should be instead of them carrying out the agenda of the people, which has resulted in the governmental tail wagging the public dog.

With the way our current democratic political infrastructures are designed, the people have no way of directly determining what will be politically made or done in their name which limits popular participation to only what the system allows.  Shouldn’t democracy be the result of direct political participation, so that the people request particular types of public goods and services and the institutions of society are supposed to respond to their requests? Instead the only way the people are allowed to participate within a democratic society are as it’s consumers both politically and otherwise.

Democracy is really an indirect participation process where the people are only allowed to ratify what has been provided to them by politicians who believe that they know better than the people themselves what their needs are.  This holds true for all political, social and economic institutions within democracy. Democracy like Capitalism allows us to select from a menu of prefabricated political candidates that presuppose they know what we the people should have which is always limited to what they make available to us.

Liberal democracy is an ideological illusion that creates a fundamentally false impression based on the notion that political representation could realistically act as a real voice that could politically empower all of the people. Representational democracy is fundamentally a lie, and that lie is that elected political representation is based on political inclusion when in reality it actually leads to political marginalization. Therefore, the failure of the democratic process is an indictment of the hypocrisy of democratic inclusion, when in reality all it is is an act designed for politically disempowering the voters instead of politically empowering them. (Within my system of Cosmopoly this would not be the case. Click on Cosmopoly and find out more.)

The Limits of Democracy

By turning people into political factions, democracy forces people to agree with the rule of the majority even if it is against their own interests. This forces a collective compliance upon people without any form of compensation. This disempowers a whole group of people and essentially makes them democratic losers instead of democratic co-participants.

This collective compliance is also used to disempower the individual person by submerging him or her within larger identities that they would be made members of. This is done by forcing each person to define themselves as a member of the particular group that they have been identified with. These identity based groups would be politically represented by the elected representatives that represented them.

These democratic governments then collectively speak for all those that have been identified as their own, whether they wish it or not. This marginalizes the individual within a representative group’s political identity, which is one of the functions of democracy. This form of forced political sub-division has historically been the basis of all forms of human hierarchical organization. It has always resulted in developing disempowered societies that have misused the people’s good intentions and personal sacrifices.

Elected representative democracy is questionable at best.   True democracy is not simply the act of voting, it is the act of voting conducted between political equals. It is about coming to an acceptable conclusion that is agreed upon by all parties.

A democracy among people that are unequal is a contradiction in terms. Political inequality can never come to a natural consciousness because a conscience between unequal members is always an imposed conscience determined by the most influential of the group upon the others. For the less influential members of the group, elected representative democracy is only another way of disempowering them by forcing their compliance through the political process that makes them conform to the rules set by the more influential and powerful. This is because elected democracy does not work for the powerless, it really only works for the powerful.

Elected democracy actually limits the power of the minority by not allowing them to effectively participate in the decision-making process that ultimately affects their lives. So instead of empowering the individual, elected democracy actually disempowers any independent opinions and prevents them from developing. The elected democratic process politically marginalizes the individual person within a forest of collective decision making that submerges a person’s concerns in a sea of collective political marginalization.

This elected democratic disempowerment structure actually gives the average person the feeling that there is no reason to actively participate within the democratic process because it always turns out the same, which is in the interests of those in power and against the interests of those who are not. Within elected democracy, the interests of the political minority are only pursued when they are no longer minority interests and become majority interests instead.

Within elected democracy, the minority interest must become the interest of the majority before they are effectively dealt with.  Therefore, within elected democracy the individual will always be trumped by the will of the group they are associated with.  When elected democracy becomes the means that the majority uses to dictate its condition to the minority, it becomes tyranny. This is especially the case when it is directed towards the individual thinking person within society who is after all the ultimate minority within any society. (Within my system of Cosmopoly this would NOT be the case.  Click on Cosmopoly and find out more.)

The Fallacy of Representative Democracy

Representative democracy makes people politically subject to the decisions made by those political representatives that they have elected to represent them. Because representative democracies are still based on a hierarchical structure, the political results are always the same and they are to disempower the people and to empower those and their friends that politically represent them.

Actually political representatives don’t really represent their constituency’s individual interests, instead they politically centralize their constituencies’ individual political power through themselves as their political representatives. These elected political representatives then become society’s political powerbrokers whose main function becomes to maintain themselves in power even if that is at the expense of the constituency that elected them to power.

Democracy presents itself as a political process that begins with political representation. But political representation’s true function is to filter their constituency’s political power through themselves. Political representation marginalizes people’s political power by adsorbing it within itself. This results in transferring the political power of the people to their political representatives, which results in democratically limiting the peoples’ power.

By filtering their constituency’s personal political power through the political representation process, democracies are able to both disempower their people politically and politically empower their political representatives at the same time. This process allows political representatives to concentrate their constituencies’ collective political power into their own hands with their political approval. This political approval has allowed democratic governments to claim political legitimacy and sovereignty over their people as their political representatives.

Representative democracy is sold as a means for the people to have political representation within government, however, what it actually does is to create a political aristocracy in which political representatives, because they were elected, feel that they have the right to act in the name of the people that elected them whether they like it or not. This they believe gives them the right to dictate the course of action that their people will have to take.

Within the democratic state, the people’s political representative needs no further permission to act in their constituencies’ name. These politically empowered representatives are allowed to make all of their political constituencies’ decisions for them without their direct and personal participation or even prior approval, but for which the people will be held ultimately responsible. This gives political representatives the authority to act with impunity and to do as they please in the people’s name.

To get elected all that these political representatives have to do is to promise their voters whatever they want to hear regardless of whether they can deliver on their promises or not. This not only encourages political dishonesty, but it actually promotes it. The result is that instead of feeling empowered by their democratic political systems, people generally feel themselves politically disenfranchised by them. Democracy is the further disempowerment of the people but this time through democratic means. (Within my system of Cosmopoly this would not be the case.)

The Illusion Of Political Representation

While representational democracy allows for greater defacto political participation than the harsher political systems of the past, it still uses its political power to disempower its people politically, only this time in the name of democracy through the illusion of political representation.

Therefore, democracy as an empowerment concept is tenuous at best if at all.  It is further compromising because it is a size determined system that becomes less democratic the larger the voting population becomes, because the larger the number of voters represented within an election, the more it minimizes the real effect of each person’s individual vote.

Representative democracy’s large scale elections really act as a form of mass disempowerment in which the individual’s ability to personally affect the outcome of political events decreases as a voting group’s size increases.

The greater the amount of people that participate within a given democratic system, the more the people within it will be forced to develop into political factions in which individuality will be submerged within conformity, which is actually an anathema to the whole idea of democracy empowering the individual person.

This allows the system to disempower the individuals within it by submerging them within political identities that define who they are socially and politically. This has permitted each state to structure their own people into political factions that are capable of forcing desired democratic outcomes.

This actually minimizes the individual’s political participation by turning them into collective voting blocks that are much more manageable than individuals are because voting blocks are still based on consensus where everyone must agree on one thing at the expense of all the others.

But is voting as a political action really being democratic?  Or is a real democracy one where each person is asked to participate as an informed individual first and only then as a member of the various social affiliations they claim for themselves.

Or is real democracy really mainly a political ritual that we go through to help us get past our own sense of political alienation and feelings of disempowerment?

Is Representative Democracy A Political Monopoly?

As a hierarchical system, democracy is a political monopoly, only this time of a democratic type, which is a softer and gentler version of political disenfranchisement.  Democracy, while it is said to be the best of all of our historic political systems, is still based on a hierarchical structure that limits the political participation of the people within it.

Through political representation, democracy concedes the political power of the people to their political representatives who then dominate the state in the name of its people. Democracy still results in the few at the top of society existing at the expense of the many on the bottom.

Therefore, while representational democracy is a noble idea, it is really only the latest form of political monopoly designed to funnel the social power of the people to those at the top, only this time democratically. Representative democracy is not inclusive and is, therefore, an exclusive form of democracy.

Because democracy is also a political institution of the nation state, it tries to limit participation within it to only those that it considers acceptable.  My system of Cosmopoly on the other hand would prevent political monopolies from forming.

Elected Political Representation or Political Placation

While the belief in elected political representation sounds noble what it actually is, is a method of politically placating the public, which actually leads to disempowering the public politically instead of empowering them. This political placation is accomplished by having people participate in political rituals, which are exalted as both the reason for the political system as well as the cause of its results.

While the idea of democracy seems inclusive and limitless, in reality it is not only structurally limiting because it is administratively hierarchical, but it is also psychologically hierarchical which allows it to dictate the way that we should and can think of the world and ourselves within it.

Democracy, like all of the political systems before it, is still applied within a hierarchical government structure that defines the nature of the political and social relationships within it. Therefore, even though democracy sounds inclusive, it is never the less, applied in an exclusive manner. This exclusive manner of seeing and organizing ourselves is and has been hierarchical and is, therefore, the only method currently conceivable to us which dictates the nature that the institutions and people that are defined by it have to take. My system of Cosmopoly would change all this.

Our Elected Democracies

Democracy is based on a set of presumptions founded on idealism at best and wishful thinking at worse. Democracy has at least three major flaws, one being that it presumes that everyone that participates within democracy has democratic tendencies and will, therefore, act in a democratic manner.  In actuality people are not only, not democratic minded, but they tend to try to subvert the democratic process in their favor if they believe that they can get away with it. These people see democracy as a means of obtaining political power and not a means of surrendering it. My system of Cosmopoly would change all this.

The second flaw of democracy is that it is incapable of providing a direct form of meaningful political participation for all of the people at the same time. Democracy is a winner-take-all system in which one side wins and the other sides loose.  Therefore, it always has to direct itself towards the political majority that then marginalizes the other political minorities.

The third flaw of democracy is that it presumes itself to be a system that is politically inclusive and empowers its people by being able to provide them with some kind of political representation in which everyone’s interests are actually represented.  It assumes that it is politically incorporating the people into an ever-greater democratic whole in which each person has elected representation at every level of government.  Is this really true?

The Nature of Democracy and its Limitations

Democracy has been characterized as the best form of government of all of the bad forms of government.

Does democracy actually empower people?

Does democracy make those people elected actually more responsible to those that elected them?

Does democracy make people better?

My system of Cosmopoly will deal with these questions.

If democracy does not provide the things that we expect from it, what does it actually do?

What can democracy actually provide to a society?

People in democratic states do not feel satisfied, so can we say that democracy actually works?

These are some of the questions that I will be dealing with in my forthcoming blogs concerning democracy.

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