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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Freedom and Power

All around the world, and throughout the span of human history, governments have always grown into oppressive bureaucracies, transforming first into oligarchies until they finally become aristocracies, meandering one way or another through meritocracy, autocracy and plutocracy along the way.

This is the natural entrenchment of political power, a pattern so prevalent it feel like it is encoded in our collective DNA.

Governments adopt standards and conventions, they pass laws that pretend to organize civic power in ways that appear to be impersonal, indifferent and without expressed favoritism for parties, or persons. All the while allowing real power to moves in hidden channels, to flow between select individuals and secret societies that are only concerned with the progress of their agenda, the accumulation and concentration of wealth and power, access to markets, the distribution of food and clean water.

Power builds in this way until such a time comes that the powerful feel secure enough in their position to wield their power nakedly, without concern for the repercussions they might face from the people.

Fear and suspicion, violence and alienation are the tools by which these governments oppress, suppress, depress and repress the masses.

A healthy society cannot be maintained in systems such as these, a healthy society cannot be maintained in systems that are hostile and antagonistic to the common people.

Nevertheless, sick and unhealthy societies can endure for generations, centuries, even millennia, becoming so normalized that the masses will even worship the unjust structures of power with religious zeal, casting alternate ideologies and efforts to liberate them as poisonous and destructive.

A government of the people by the people and for the people, cannot live up to its aspirations if the courts continue to treat corporations like people, when it comes to such matters as the right to free speech, but will not hold corporations and their boards of governance accountable for the crimes that the same corporations commit.

Our government purports to be a government of the people, committed to the proposition that everyone is created equal, endowed with rights that are inalienable, the foremost among them being; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our government cannot live up to these aspirations if the courts continue to treat the dollars given (in the form of campaign donations) to politicians and political parties, as constitutionally protected, and on the same level as the individual right to free speech.

Our government cannot live up to those aspirations if the courts continue to hold that the individual’s freedom of speech does not guarantee the right of the speaker to be heard, or that the right to vote does not guarantee that your vote will be counted.

Our government cannot live up to those aspirations so long as we continue to uphold un-democratic norms.

In order to live up to those aspirations we require a truly representative democracy, and the full enfranchisement of all citizens.

We are not free if our votes are disproportionately weighted, and if our representation in congress is not equally apportioned according to the population of those states.

We require a commitment from the people and its government that any person within the aegis of our power be protected by the rule of law whether they are a citizen or not, whether they are within our national boundaries or not.

Wherever our power is present, a commitment to our rule of law, our best ideals must be extended also.

The people, if they are to be free, must not merely be allowed to, but must be empowered to challenge the legal and economic structures that are operative in the social order.  

The citizenry will not be free unless it is educated well enough so that the average person understands the language and structure of the law, the forms and codes of its legal and political organizations.

This cannot be the province of specialists alone, it must be accessible by every citizen.

The citizenry will not be free unless it is free to associate, to form collectives, and to have they contribution they make to the fabric of society, to manufacturing and industry recognized and protected by the law.

Owners and workers must be equally represented before the bar of justice in regard to the rights they possess concerning the product of their labor.

Everyone who benefits from the public trust must contribute to it. Those who benefit from our roads and bridges, our ports and shipping centers, our educated workforce and the protection of our courts must pay for it.

We all benefit from it, those who benefit most, must pay the most, progressively.

If our society truly aspires to greatness the people must eliminate the secret, hallowed channels of power, and take their destiny into their own hands.

The people must be educated, empowered with access to information, and with the critical analytical skills to employ it to their advantage.

Equality and justice, our ability to apprehend truth itself depend on it.

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