This is my attack on the idea of the current legislature. Before I dive into the substance of this post, let me share my political and economical evolution.
It is frustrating that our public education system, at-least in my experience, does not teach politics, economics, and philosophy. I signed up for an AP class in Comparative Politics in high-school. Up until that point I was a republican and very libertarian in view, before I looked into the author of Atlas Shrugged I would say it was a very influential book on my world view at the time (damn that scholarship opportunity). Early in my college career I took most of my electives choosing survey and introductory courses in the three aforementioned subjects. It was awakening, I dropped Ayn Rand for Aristotle, and learned from various philosophers and their ideas. The S-word (socialism) was very much still seen as an evil word, and up until the financial crisis of 2008 I believed that capitalism was the greatest invention since sliced bread, but I know now I was wrong. The crisis drove me to read Carl Marx‘s Capital and various texts on the history of Anarchism as well as Proudhon, Rosa Luxemberg, and others. I believe that socialism is the only system that we may subjugate ourselves to and still be able to call ourselves human and that society will slowly evolve into socialism, followed by the C-word, which I still have an unnatural reflex to. If I must label myself, then I would call myself a libertarian socialist!
I have no interest in seeing Social Democratic reforms that only serve to let capitalism limp along by placating the proletariat, if societal evolution is to occur, the first branch that needs to be trimmed is the legislative.
For the duration of the history of the United States as well as other nation-states the representative institution of the people has been administered by a small group of, for the most part, elected officials. Our economic system is capitalistic and allows for individuals to amass wealth. Not a bad thing, if you are able to get to the trough first! Alas, most of us are not and this is where the cyclical nature of capitalism comes in. Boom and bust. If you have the capital you can ride the waves , until the tsunami comes and the government has to step in/on the backs of the poor and middle class. Capitalists cause these game-ending events by buying politicians to change laws in their favor. How do they do this? Well, our politicians are human, and corruptible. The fact that there are so few makes buying them a very profitable enterprise. I make no assumptions on human greed other than that we all can succumb to its promises. How do you defeat a capitalists in their unbounded desire, you make whatever they are aiming for unprofitable. This results in the following and by no means unique idea.
Allow representatives to propose legislation, and be forced to propose legislation that a majority of their constituency agrees upon. Allow representatives to become a filler-vote, they vote, but their vote is recorded as the vote for those constituents that do not vote. The voting citizens then decide to tip the scale in favor of the representative vote or over rule it. Replace the vote of a few with the vote of even half the population, and suddenly corporations are unable to infect this branch of government. If they try, they will surely bankrupt themselves, and I say good riddance.
Finally, tie the other two branches to this new form of legislature and perhaps our tree will grow whether than wither away. We all know that the SCOTUS is not holding to its virtue, and the office of the president can swing either way but is often chained by the other branches when it tries to correct wrongs.
The back bone of this new system of mixed direct and representative democracy would be the internet. One person I have talked to argued that the internet is not secure enough, which is nonsense. It is used for business every single day, if it is secure enough for the financial markets, then its must be secure enough to send a single boolean for a bill. I would appreciate hearing what the PlanetPOV community thinks.
- “The Gospel of Selfishness: Libertarians of the right and left” and related posts (reidreport.com)
- States consider legislator layoffs to trim budgets (seattletimes.nwsource.com)