Friday, April 1, 2016

I am Done with Being Made to Feel Like a Social Reject (Part Three): Power is There, the People Just Have to Reach Out and Take Hold of It

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." - Preamble to The Constitution of the United States of America

         I take this statement very seriously for, of all the protections that the Constitution provides us, for all the liberties that it grants us, and for all of its efforts to check the abuse of power, it does one other thing that is extremely important. It places the ultimate power to decide the future of this country in the hands of the People, our hands. It clearly states, We the People of the United States. It does not say, We the Rich People of the United States, or We the White People of the United States; it simply says, We the People of the United States. The present reality is, unfortunately, that this statement does necessarily hold water. Abandoning the naive assumptions that the quote is universal and that it was meant to be so from the beginning, in exchange for the reality of the present political situation in the United States, one must accept that the statements We Rich People and We the White People, tend to be more accurate, and they always have been. This does not mean that they have to remain so, however. The People of this country have the chance to make the statement literal and universal in its application. All we have to do is wield the power that a simple understanding of history, and a plain text reading of the Constitution, grants us. This is the final piece in this series, and I am going to focus on just on issue, Human Governance. Let us take a journey together through the veins of history. When we are done, you will know where I stand.

The Theory of Human Governance: According to Sun Tzu, the main purpose of the state is self-defense, in both the defensive and offensive aspects of the term. He emphasized the importance of positioning in military strategy, and that the decision to position an army must be based on both objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective beliefs of other, competitive actors in that environment. He thought that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment, but in a changing environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations.

        According to Plato, in his treatise, The Republic, one of the primary purposes of government is to serve justice. Although large parts of the Republic are devoted to the description of an ideal state ruled by philosophers and its subsequent decline, the chief theme of the dialogue is justice. It is fairly clear that Plato does not introduce his fantastical political innovation, which Socrates describes as a city in speech, a model in heaven, for the purpose of practical implementation. The vision of the ideal state is used rather to illustrate the main thesis of the dialogue that justice, understood traditionally as virtue and related to goodness, is the foundation of a good political order, and as such is in everyone’s interest. Justice, if rightly understood, Plato argues, is not to the exclusive advantage of any of the city’s factions, but is concerned with the common good of the whole political community, and is to the advantage of everyone. It provides the city with a sense of unity, and thus, is a basic condition for its health. “Injustice causes civil war, hatred, and fighting, while justice brings friendship and a sense of common purpose." The people of a republic voluntarily give up certain rights to ensure justice for all.

        Niccolo Machiavelli asserted, in The Prince, that good rulers sometimes have to learn "not to be good," they have to be willing to set aside ethical concerns of justice, honesty, and kindness in order to maintain the stability of the state. The idea was shocking to contemporaries, who had inherited medieval ideas about divine kingship, in which the king was appointed by God for the express purpose of serving as a sort of celestial deputy on earth, upholding law and justice. In popular medieval belief, the king was thought to be a "primate," an avatar of human virtue with innate authority over lesser beings in the cosmological hierarchy. In contrast, Machiavelli argued that the most successful kings were not the ones who acted according to dictates of law, or justice, or conscience, but those willing to do whatever was necessary to preserve their own power--and thus indirectly preserve the order of the state.

         According to Hobbes, in The Leviathan, to avoid the the constant threat of death that people are exposed to in a world without leaders, people come together to form a commonwealth. Hobbes begins his treatise on politics with an account of human nature. He presents an image of man as matter in motion, attempting to show through example how everything about humanity can be explained materialistically, that is, without recourse to an incorporeal, immaterial soul or a faculty for understanding ideas that are external to the human mind. Hobbes proceeds by defining terms clearly, and in an unsentimental way. Good and evil are nothing more than terms used to denote an individual's appetites and desires, while these appetites and desires are nothing more than the tendency to move toward or away from an object. Hope is nothing more than an appetite for a thing combined with opinion that it can be had. Hobbes argues that men invent their various conceptions of the world to ease the trouble and suffering encountered when existing outside a political community. To make this process more simple, the people agree to surrender power to a sovereign, whose job it then is to protect them and to provide for the common good.

        In Sir Thomas More's Utopia, there is no private property, with goods being stored in warehouses and people requesting what they need. There are also no locks on the doors of the houses, which are rotated between the citizens every ten years. Agriculture is the most important job on the island. Every person is taught it and must live in the countryside, farming for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Parallel to this, every citizen must learn at least one of the other essential trades: weaving,mainly done by the women, carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry. There is deliberate simplicity about these trades; for instance, all people wear the same types of simple clothes and there are no dressmakers making fine apparel. All able-bodied citizens must work; thus unemployment is eradicated, and the length of the working day can be minimized: the people only have to work six hours a day, although many willingly work for longer. More does allow scholars in his society to become the ruling officials or priests, people picked during their primary education for their ability to learn. All other citizens are however encouraged to apply themselves to learning in their leisure time. Slavery is a feature of Utopian life and it is reported that every household has two slaves. The slaves are either from other countries or are the Utopian criminals. Leadership in this society is elected by family groups and must be rotated over a cycle of years.

        Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that the political aspects of a society should be divided into two parts. First, there must be a sovereign consisting of the whole population, women included, that represents the general will and is the legislative power within the state. The second division is that of the government, being distinct from the sovereign. This division is necessary because the sovereign cannot deal with particular matters like applications of the law. Doing so would undermine its generality, and therefore damage its legitimacy. Thus, government must remain a separate institution from the sovereign body. When the government exceeds the boundaries set in place by the people, it is the mission of the people to abolish such government, and begin anew. It is from Rousseau, of course that Thomas Jefferson and the remainder the Founders of the United States took their inspiration when, in the Declaration of Independence, they said, "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 security."

         Adam Smith, the author of Wealth of Nations, and the father of Capitalism, believed that the sovereign, or commonwealth, had three duties. The first duty of the sovereign, that of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies, can be performed only by means of a military force. But the expense both of preparing this military force in time of peace, and of employing it in time of war, is very different in the different states of society, in the different periods of improvement. The second duty of the sovereign, that of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice, requires two very different degrees of expense in the different periods of society. The third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth, is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature, that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual, or small number of individuals; and which it, therefore, cannot be expected that any individual, or small number of individuals, should erect or maintain. The performance of this duty requires, too, very different degrees of expense in the different periods of society. Otherwise, it was the duty of the government stay out of the way of the free flow of capital and goods. The market was to be driven by chain of supply and demand not the government.

        Karl Marx was not without his own opinions on the matter. In the case of the nations which grew out of the Middle Ages, tribal property evolved through various stages - feudal landed property, corporative movable property, capital invested in manufacture - to modern capital, determined by big industry and universal competition, i.e. pure private property, which has cast off all semblance of a communal institution and has shut out the State from any influence on the development of property. To this modern private property corresponds the modern State, which, purchased gradually by the owners of property by means of taxation, has fallen entirely into their hands through the national debt, and its existence has become wholly dependent on the commercial credit which the owners of property, the bourgeois, extend to it, as reflected in the rise and fall of State funds on the stock exchange. By the mere fact that it is a class and no longer an estate, the bourgeoisie is forced to organize itself no longer locally, but nationally, and to give a general form to its mean average interest. Through the emancipation of private property from the community, the State has become a separate entity, beside and outside civil society; but it is nothing more than the form of organisation which the bourgeois necessarily adopt both for internal and external purposes, for the mutual guarantee of their property and interests. The independence of the State is only found nowadays in those countries where the estates have not yet completely developed into classes, where the estates, done away with in more advanced countries, still have a part to play, and where there exists a mixture; countries, that is to say, in which no one section of the population can achieve dominance over the others. This is the case particularly in Germany. The most perfect example of the modern State is North America. The modern French, English and American writers all express the opinion that the State exists only for the sake of private property, so that this fact has penetrated into the consciousness of the normal man.

       Robert Griffin and Robert Paxton offer differing opinions on Fascism. Griffin describes fascism as a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultranationalism. He further describes the ideology as having three core components: first, the rebirth myth, second, populist ultra-nationalism, and third, the myth of decadence. He labels fascism is a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism built on a complex range of theoretical and cultural influences. He distinguishes an inter-war period in which it manifested itself in elite-led but populist armed party politics opposing socialism and liberalism and promising radical politics to rescue the nation from decadence. Paxton says that fascism is a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

    Noam Chomsky has a position on government also. Here is his assessment of the United States. He maintains that a nation is only democratic to the degree that government policy reflects informed public opinion. He notes that the US does have formal democratic structures, but they are dysfunctional. He argues that presidential elections are funded by concentrations of private power and orchestrated by the public relations industry, focusing discussion primarily on the qualities and the image of a candidate rather than on issues. Chomsky makes reference to several studies of public opinion by pollsters such as Gallup and Zogby and by academic sources such as the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. Quoting polls taken near the 2004 election, Chomsky points out that only a small minority of voters said they voted because of the candidate's agendas, ideas, platforms, or goals. Furthermore, studies show that the majority of Americans have a stance on domestic issues such as guaranteed health care that is not represented by either major party. Chomsky has contrasted US elections with elections in countries such as Spain, Bolivia, and Brazil, where he claims people are far better informed on important issues. For an ideal state, Chomsky argues that instead of a capitalist system in which people are wage slaves or an authoritarian system in which decisions are made by a centralized committee, a society could function with no paid labor. He argues that a nation's populace should be free to pursue jobs of their choosing. People will be free to do as they like, and the work they voluntarily choose will be both rewarding in itself and socially useful. Society would be run under a system of peaceful anarchism, with no state or other authoritarian institutions. Work that was fundamentally distasteful to all, if any existed, would be distributed equally among everyone.

The State of Human Governance: The state of human governance is deplorable. We are in a constant state of war, and we cannot seem to figure out how to get along. The situation in the United States is not favorable, but the same goes for the rest of the world. I thought I might offer a listing of articles that speak on the issue as clear as a bright summer's day. These do not come in any particular order.

US Attacked: Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers and Hit Pentagon in Day of Terror

NBC Nightly News Oct 7, 2001 - America Strikes Back

"Shock and Awe" The Beginning of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq (CNN Live Coverage)

Trayvon Martin Shooter Told Cops Teenager Went For His Gun

What we know about Michael Brown's shooting

9 Dead in South Carolina Church Shooting - The Hunt is On for the White Gunman

WPK (North Korea) lays out scathing new approach in relations with China

Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic

Boko Haram attack in Niger kills six soldiers

Police narrow in on two suspects in Boston Marathon bombings

Hunt is on for Brussels bombings suspect; Islamic State warns of more, worse attacks

Horror at the beach: 22 dead in terrorist attack on Ivory Coast resorts

7 July 2005 London bombings: What happened that day?

Israel bombs northern Gaza Strip after rocket attack

Rocket Attacks on Israel From Gaza

Saudi Arabia: beheadings reach highest level in two decades

2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks Fast Facts

Mainland officials confirm Xinjiang terrorist attack that reportedly killed up to 50 people

ISIS Beheading 4 Kurdish-Peshmerga Soldiers - Graphic Video

ISIS urges German jihadists to turn country into battleground with Brussels-like attacks

Now That Russia Has Invaded Ukraine Again, Let's Stop Pretending a Ceasefire Ever Existed

Russia CRUSHES hundreds of ISIS targets in just THREE DAYS and unleashes 2,000 bombs

Syria chemical attack: What we know

6 Things Going On In Mexico’s Drug War That Matter More Than El Chapo

Mexico Under Siege

Darfur conflict: Sudan's bloody stalemate

Child migration from Central America to the U.S.

The Arab Spring's Violent Turn

Libya Attack Brings Challenges for U.S.

Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

Needless to say, I could make this list a mile long. However, the fact that I can make such a list is unacceptable. If there is anyone watching this world from afar, I shutter to think how they would assess the progress of the human species. I have no doubt in my mind that they might very well write us all off as a lost cause, and they would not be unjustified. This world's political system is tearing itself apart at the seams. Luckily, for us, I do not believe that all is lost. We are still here, and while we are still here, there is still a chance that we might save ourselves. I just hope that we are able to pull off the seemingly impossible before it is too late. If we do not, and I say this with prophetic purpose, I fear the consequences.

The Future of Human Governance: So, what do we have here? We have a set of theories and a set of events that fail to present a viable solution to the survival of the human species for future posterity. We have a global political situation that if left unchecked, is likely to spell doom for all of humanity, leaving everything that our civilization has ever striven, struggled, and fought for, over countless milliennia, to ruin. Our species is at one of those defining moments in history where we are presented with only two options, rise to the occasion and move on to the next stage of our story, or fall and be lost to the ravages of time. I, for one, am not willing to allow the latter to happen. As a single person, I have way to much blood, sweat, and time invested in the well being of humanity to watch it go down the proverbial tube. As a member of a much larger community of individuals, I find that it is my moral obligation, and frankly, my duty as a member of the species, to give everything that I posses to insure that the cause that is our survival, carries on. We have to evolve beyond this point where we find ourselves stuck in rut, if you will. We have been trying, for centuries now, to find a way to coexist in a peaceful way. So far, all of our attempts have ended in failure. I believe that that failure is based on the approach that we have taken towards solving the problem not in any particular flaw in our character.

        For Sun Tzu, the solution to all of our problems lies in the hands of a single leader who can maximize the use of strategy to achieve the greatest victory for his kingdom. For Plato, the service of justice relies upon an enlightened set of philosopher rulers, who are to be entrusted with the power of the state. For Machiavelli, the survival of the state depends upon a ruler who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve victory, even if it means violating everything that he stands for, which includes hurting his own people. For Hobbes, stability depends on a contract between the ruler and the ruled that, once entered into, cannot be broken, for at that point, it has the backing of god and the ruler's power is absolute. Sir Thomas More's solution is a society absent even the most basic rights to privacy. Everything is open to everyone, and elected leaders have absolute rule over the land. Rousseau, even though he believed in the Social Contract, did not believe that the blessings of such an arrangement were necessarily appropriate for all peoples. He, as a member bourgeois, had his doubts about the abilities of the poor working classes. His ideal society is one ruled by an enlightened elite. For Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the United States' Founding Fathers, We the People, at the time of the founding, only meant rich land owning white people. Their vision is a society ruled by the landed elite. For Adam Smith, the Invisible Hand of the market is the true authority. In his world, it is government's role to not interfere the market and to only step in on those projects where profit is not the prime motivation. The Vanguard of the working class is the solution for Marx. A small group of enlightened leaders that will lead society towards to the abolition of the class system is the only hope for mankind in his eyes. Fascist ideology, essentially, relies on the cult of personality and the ability of one person, imbued with total control of the state, to hold the loyalty of the people and lead them to freedom Chomsky's ideal state is a semi-anarchic state, where work is based on need and choice and all resources are to be somehow magically distributed equally.

        As can be envisioned by the long list of violent actions that I have have produced here and the many more that are daily being committed with little threat of reprisal, these approaches have not been successful in restoring order and establishing equality for the whole of the human race. Now, unless we wish to be identified as certifiably insane, as insanity can be defined as performing the same action repeatedly expecting a different outcome each time, and unless we want to completely annihilate ourselves, we must come up with a different type of solution. Further, we must do so with some relative haste because time is running out. As it appears to me, the central problem with our situation is the direction from which the decisions for our future have been coming. For the entirety of our history, and this includes the present era of 'democratic' regimes, the decisions for the future of the human species have been made by a very select few at the top our society. I discussed this in the context of the United States in my last blog piece, Progressive Party 2020: Or Do We Hit the Reset Button?, and I believe simply that this same method can be applied to the entire world. In that piece, I argue that it is time for the people of the United States so simply just hit the reset button on its present government. They need to start over and establish a government that is more responsive to the times in which they live. The same could be done on a global scale. Simply, hit the reset button in nations around the world. The people meet, establish a new government that best suits their needs, and they begin the struggle against the government that they have rejected, with the end game being the same.

        What would be even better is if this happened all at once, with the entire world throwing off the oppression of rule by the few in a single action. The scene would most definitely be chaotic; at first, but after the dust settled, the opportunity would exist to do something far greater than to just establish people oriented governments in nations around the world. While such a prospect is a beautiful thing, there is something that could be done that could potentially dramatically alter the future of humanity. Such an occurrence would create the possibility of the establishment a single world government. Such a government, if formed under such conditions, would exist, based not on the principles of the free market, neocolonialism, and the rule of the few over the many, but on the single principle that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. If this, or something like it, does not happen soon, we face one of two consequences. We either suffer the oppression of a world ruled by an oligarchic economic elite, or we sit back an watch as everything humanity has striven for melts away before our very eyes. I cannot speak for anyone else, but that prospect alone is the most depressing, and neither option is acceptable. We have come way to far, and accomplished far too many amazing things to just let it all go to waste. If our leaders will not answer our pleas, then we muster answer them ourselves. In my post, I am Done with Being Made to Feel Like a Social Reject (Part One): Galileo, I Feel Your Pain!, in the section, On Race and Equality, I contend that we are all the same people, a single species and thus, a single entity. I further contend now that that makes us a single government entity. If we are, then, a single government entity, we must come to the realization that we cannot survive into the future if we remain divided over petty differences. We have the technology, we have the will, and we still have the time. Rise up, my friends, and claim what you have known your whole lives is yours, a world that is ruled by a government of the people, for the people, and by the people!

The End.

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