Your Sunday read

Or Monday morning read, as the case may be. It is a piece by the inestimable Dr. North, entitled 'Of democrats and autocrats '.

It is a piece arguing very cogently that elections do not a democracy make. True 'power to the people' is in controlling those that seek to rule us. Something which eludes us, common folks, at the moment.

Representative democracy, as practised in the Netherlands is all well and good, until we encounter the situation where 63% of the population reject a European 'Constitution' that is supported by 85% of our elected MPs. When only 85 Bundestag members, out of a 611, vote according to the wishes of at least 70% of the German people, there is a problem with 'representative' democracy in this, the second decade of the 21st century.

As Dr. North notes, the line which once marked the division between left and right has now rotated ninety degrees. We are no longer left or right, but above the line or below it. Most of us are below it and those above are trying very hard to shut us out of the decision loop. It is time to resist being side-lined. It is time to retake our responsibilities as citizens of our homes.

With Dr. North, I am convinced that there is to be far greater trust in the sense of the people than there is in the good faith of the ruling élites.
My fundamental premise is that, in a society where people truly have power, they will grow into their responsibilities and use their power wisely. Even if they do not always do so, they can do no worse than our élites, who periodically "guide" us to war, famine and disaster, all in the name of peace and stability.

Democracy, therefore, is the destination. We seek democracy, in its true sense, not the pastiche that masquerades as such.
As long as we partake in the elections we're served, given the choice between variations of the exact same colour and creed, we will not have gained anything. We will still be ruled, we will not be truly free.

Free people do not have rulers. Their governments are servants.

If you still have that idealistic streak about you, even after all these years, this is the fundamental thought to get behind, to strife for: Give us the power to control our rulers, give us the power over the purse strings.

It is a longish piece, but well worth the read. The principles laid out apply beyond the borders of the British Isles. It is, I think, well worth something to keep in mind as we head into the storm

4 reacties:

DP111 zei

Direct
democracy of the Swiss variety gives all the power to Swiss citizens. All
policies, big or small, can be subject to a referendum. The decision to hold
one also rests with the Swiss.


One of the interesting
fallouts of Direct democracy is that the Swiss vote heavily in referenda, but
hardly bother to turn out when electing parties for parliament. This has been
shown in poll after poll. When one thinks about it, it is obvious why. All
policies are in the hands of the people. Politicians are public servants, they
do what they have been told to do by their masters - the people.

Another interesting aspect of Switzerland is that the vast majority of politicians have normal jobs ie they volunteer for public service.  Politics is a means to be of service to the people. They get paid a nominal sum for expenses. No career politicians means no big pay, big budget, and no patronage.

 

DP111 zei

KV
I have a question for you and your readers.

1. Does anyone think that this financial crisis is a put-up job?

2. Is the crisis real, or is it a virtual crisis?

I ask, for it seems to me, all the real wealth producing industries are functioning. Agriculture, food production, and industry are fine. It seems to me that this crisis is a paper crisis,all to do with paper money, and nor real wealth.

Bear in mind that the EU and the US transferred large tracts of land from agriculture to bio-fuel, resulting in a real food crisis in the ME. The results in the ME are evident.

Also we are at war, and the crisis is harming our enemies far far more then anything that has happened to us so far.

Klein Verzet zei

Well my answers to your questions:

1) No, I don't think so. I think this is a classic case of the wrath of the Kondriatev wave. We (the West) borrowed too much, paid forward too much, and now the rent is due, but the purse is empty. But the day before yesterday I read this and now I am not 100% sure it isn't an exceptionally malign put-up job.

2) That's a complicated question. What is real and what is virtual? Most of our monetary exchanges are electronic anyways. No real money changes hands. It's just bits and bytes flying hither and yon. And besides, 'real' money isn't, because we have a 'paper standard'. Our money is not pegged to a large cache of gold able to redeem the notes we have in our wallet. We use the money nonetheless, because we trust it, because we trust the system. 'Economy is built on trust', as the cliche goes. We trust that the numbers on our account statements reflect a certain value.

I'm curious where you are going with this.

DP111 zei

KV

I get suspicious when all the media tells us that we are going to die because of AIDS, swine flu, salmonella, CJD, etc etc 

1. I get a bit suspicious when all the media starts forecasting financial doom.

2. I get suspicious when all the media start forecasting climactic doom.

What are the last two based on? We know that the second is based on a model. Is the financial crisis (hedge funding, leverages etc) caused by a faulty algorithm that starts selling or buying, or whatever,  when a certain set of conditions are met? What conditions? Are they real or just an informed guess?

Lets us look at the credit crisis of 2007/08. The forecasts were of impending doom. Stock up canned goods and get weapons etc. Nothing much happened in the UK or Europe. Prices went up- but they go up anyway. 

Now we are told that the mother of bustups is coming our way. Sell up, buy this or offload that. Buy canned good and weapons to defend you and yours.  

So governments have spent more, much more then prudence would have advised. Is that such a big catastrophe? Will agriculture and food deliveries stop? Will industry stop, and thus goods and medicines?
 
I just get suspicious when everyone, particularly the media that I distrust says that everything is going to belly up.

Thanks for the link. It seems others think too that this may be put-up job. But if they have, and if the forecasts of large scale unrest takes place, then it would be of no interest to anyone. 

PS: I never heard of the Kondratiev wave. Its an interesting  hypothesis.  

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