Electoral Politics and the Illusion of Control

Published on Dissident Voice, by William Hawes, April 25, 2016.

We have all been told a lie. The lie that says democracy can be maintained only through voting, through purely representative, parliamentarian means. When the founding fathers set up the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they were wary of any truly popular, working and middle class control of the United States. Our government was to be run as a republic, designed by elites, for the elites.  

Our three branches of government were not simply invented for checks and balances: another reason was to stymie any massively popular mandates that would go against the interests of the oligarchy … //

… Average citizens have never had any control of the republic since its founding. A complete constitutional overhaul is needed, and forms of direct, consensus, and deliberative democracy must be woven into a hybrid system. Elections should be funded by the public, with no corporate money allowed, shorter election cycles, and no discrimination towards third parties, unlike the current Commission on Presidential Debates. State governments should gain power, and federal programs reigned in and redefined towards streamlined regulation and oversight. Tax subsidies should be stripped from the fossil fuel industries entirely and redirected towards the best scientists and engineers in the field of renewable energy.

What is desperately needed is a shift in worldview to promote government that sees its job as not simply to tax and legislate, but to also support healthy life-world systems. Also, promoting humble and dedicated leaders who are stewards of community and the Earth, who do not insist on blatant exploitation of distant nations and pillaging resources, would go a long way. This cannot be done within the confines of the Democratic and Republican parties, who thrive on domination, coercion, control, and manipulation of public interests.

To break the cycle, we must collectively embrace our frailties and limitations. The deadly, patriarchal energy technologies such as the petrochemical industries and nuclear energy must be shut down. We must learn from the man-made tragedies of Bhopal, Katrina, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, and dismantle dangerous plants and factories, and begin to move humanity away from areas susceptible to natural disasters and coastal flooding. The US, Russia, and the nuclear nations must formally apologize for the atmospheric nuclear testing in the fifties and sixties which will kill millions from cancer, and ban nuclear weapons for good … //

… (full text).

(William Hawesis is a writer specializing in politics and the environment. You can find his e-book of collected essays here. His articles have appeared online at Global Research, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, and Counterpunch. You can email him here.  Read other articles by William).


Ticket to Europe: Refugee Crisis Focus Shifts to North Africa, on Spiegel Online International, by Walter Mayr, April 27, 2016 (Photo Gallery): Hundreds of thousands of Africans are preparing to test their luck on the voyage across the Mediterranean to Europe. As the weather begins improving, the number of arrivals will rise — as will the number of deaths;

Understanding Money and the Economy, on Dissident Voice, by William T. Hathaway, April 27, 2016;

Die Anstalt vom 26. April 2016 ZDF – ganz, 47.41 min, von Politsatire … mit Max Uthoff, Claus von Wagner, Arnulf Ratin, Hazel Brugger und Alfred Dorfer;

Isabelle Attard, la députée qui veut dynamiter le paysage politique français, dans Les InRocks, par Philippe Sprang, le 25 avril 2016;

With Friends Like These, Erdogan’s Assault on Freedom and Democracy – part 1, on Spiegel Online International, by , April 7, 2016 (Photo Gallery): The EU has placed its fate in the hands of Turkish President Erdogan. But the man who is to help solve the refugee crisis has recently shown more clearly than ever that he prefers autocracy to democracy. He is the price Europe must pay for failure;
Part 2: Blackmailed by Turkey;
Part 3: All or Nothing;

uploaded by Quer-denken.tv:
Postskriptum: Der russische Fernsehbeitrag 9-11 in deutscher Fassung, 10.38 min, April 22, 2016;
Mark Bartalmai: Schlachtfeld Donbass – ein Jahr Krieg im Osten, 85.57 min, April 6, 2016;

Geopolitische Agenda der USA für Europa – Dirk Müller, 11.58 min, von Pokey WomanIlor;

… and this:

… und noch dies:

auf YouTube von Holger Strohm:

  • Asyl – Holger Strohm im Interview, 48.21 min;
  • Umwelt oder Dummwelt? – Dirk C. Fleck und Holger Strohm im Gespräch, 70.52 min.

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