For all who now know that Mark's arguments are silly and strange, PLEASE REFUTE THEM at the above link to OCCUPYCAFE.ORG, where he is being his usually silly self.
An open space for global conversation
NOTE: This discussion was originally classified as "hosted" but has now been moved to the "member initiated" category. In the view of the OC Stewards, what is taking place here is a debate rather than dialogue. In a "hosted" discussion here at OC.org, we request that balanced participation be encouraged and that regular summaries occur recognizing all the views being presented.
While we have no objections to people using the OC forum to engage in debates, as long as they don't cross the line into personal attacks, such discussion is not what we are seeking in the "hosted" category.
We are delighted to have Occupy Cafe member Mark E. Smith offer this hosted discussion on the provocative idea of an "election boycott."
As "host," Mark will strive to keep the conversation orderly, offer regular summaries of the perspectives being presented and encourage balanced participation among all those who are engaged. Here's Mark's initial summary:
An election boycott is the only known way to nonviolently delegitimize a government. It doesn't overthrow the government, it simply denies it the consent of the governed so that the government can no longer claim to have the people's consent. Among the many forms of noncompliance, such as removing money from big banks, boycotting corporate brands, withdrawing from the system and creating alternative systems, learning to live on less so as not to have to pay taxes, etc., refusing to vote can be one of the most crucial and effective tactics.
Thank you, Mark, for volunteering your services as "host!"
I know you mean well, Sobey, but I have to disagree.
I think that the top of the agenda of all Occupy movements should be establishing a direct democracy so that we wouldn't have to petititon a king, a dictator, a tyrant, a president, or a congress, for anything. I believe that was what the founders of this country had in mind and what the framers of the Constitution betrayed when they vested power in the hands of the government instead of in the hands of the people.
Petitioning tyrants is, I guess, what would be called in litigation against the US government, "exhausting the administrative process." That's what the founders did when they petitioned King George, and we all know that their petitions weren't granted. While the administrative process should be exhausted, however exhausting and unfulfilling the process may be, because such petitioning is needed to demonstrate clearly to all the nature of tyranny, it is no substitute for honoring our right and our duty, when a government fails to ensure our wellbeing and happiness, to abolish it and establish in its place a government that will. cf. Declaration of Independence.
All for that Mark. Thing is this is going thru Congress fast and few seem to know about it. Will make it hard to protest anywhere in the world, more than it already is if that's even possible. If there's more to be done than petitioning that's peaceful and intelligent let it be done swiftly.
Yes, there is more that can be done that is both peaceful and intelligent, and it must be done swiftly, because we can't wait decades for piecemeal legislation and unratifiable amendments..
We can ask people if they really want to keep voting to delegate their power to a government that can decide to use its military against them any time, or if they'd prefer that the government not have that power.
Then we can show them the Declaration of Independence, where it states clearly that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Then we can try to explain to them that it is by holding elections that governments demonstrate the consent of the governed, and that their vote, whether it is for a major party candidate, a third party candidate, an independent, a write-in, a blank ballot, or even a deliberately spoiled ballot, is their civic duty to the state, their consent to be governed.
That's a hard one because there are multi-billion dollar campaigns by the 1% to convince people to vote. But there are some people, including quite a few Occupiers, who aren't like the woman in the first article I posted, who claimed an inability to act from reason, and who can make decisions based on common sense instead of simply acting out of habit. A few will agree that they no longer want to consent to grant the government the power to abuse them and will stop voting.
If enough people stop voting, we will no longer have to petition government or fear government, we will only have to do whatever is necessary to oust an illegitimate government that no longer has the consent of the governed. There have been instances where that has happened peacefully and nonviolently, or at least with minimal violence. All oligarchs maintain residences in foreign countries, offshore bank accounts, and keep their bags packed and their private jets on call 24/7, just in case the peasants arrive at their gates with pitchforks. But they also know history and know that in several cases, oligarchs failed to get out in time and ended up with their heads on pikes. So while some will try to stick around to give orders to their troops, others will take one look at an election turnout that shows they only have the support of 10% or 20% or the people, and leave immediately. They are not our servants and they don't have to give us 30 days notice.
With a fractured chain-of-command, there are bound to be mutinies within the troops, as most of them really are part of the 99% and many of them will resent having the people they're supposed to be loyal to, reward that loyalty by bailing out on them. There is no reason that we would have to take part in such violence, but we might not be able to prevent it.
If the oligarchs all choose to stay and to rule by force alone, without even a fig leaf of consent, then the situation would be very different from how it is now. A government with the legitimacy of the consent of the governed, can bring to bear the sole legitimate use of violence that is granted to it by voters, to suppress dissent. Once the fig leaf of consent is removed, a government that uses force is exposed as nothing but a tyranny, and most of us were raised to loathe and detest tyranny. Only the purest of pacifists would submit passively to tyranny, the rest of us would resist. We might not prevail, but as the saying goes, we'd die on our feet instead of living on our knees.
My personal opinion, and I could be all wrong, is that our US oligarchs are much too accustomed to comfort and luxury to risk staying around without the consent of the governed, and that they would leave peacefully and nonviolently. History tells us that they would, of course, continue to attempt to regain their power from exile, but that's difficult to do when most of the population is against you.
I think our List of Grievances are sufficient to establish that our government does not represent us and does not respond to our petitions or demands. There is no need for more petitions and demands, as the list is quite lengthy and almost universally agreed upon, even beyond the Occupy consensus.
The defenders of the status quo are well-funded, well-trained, experienced, and loud, but they are really a tiny minority. They are the 9% who approve of Congress, and no oligarch in their right mind would remain in a country where they had only 9% approval. The problem is that many of those who disapprove of Congress, keep voting for it, so the oligarchs can point to a 40% to 55% voter turnout and assume that they still have popular support. They don't--the problem is that most voters don't realize that their votes are their consent to be governed by people they don't like in ways that they don't want. That's the barrier we have to break and the solution is peaceful, nonviolent education.
Once people understand that the reason that their government is screwing them is because they gave their consent to be screwed by voting, most people become angry and stop voting.
We have almost a year until the 2012 election. If we focus on our List of Grievances and educate people so that they understand that everything that happened to them is due to the fact that they delegated their power to others instead of insisting on self-governance, we'll have real reason to give thanks next November, because everyone who fears the revenge of the 99% will flee, leaving their troops leaderless and without the morale to suppress their own sisters and brothers. We can do it.
Thanks or this Sobey. I posted at my facebook and signed the ACLU petition. Hope everyone here at OWS caught the drift here and its possible use against OWS protestors.
Ben Roberts just posted this in the discussion "Occupy, the "Political Spectrum," and the 2012 Elections" which has apparently been renamed from the original "Occupy and the 2012 Elections."
I would like to suggest that the election boycott conversation has been sufficiently played out within this discussion thread, and to the extent people desire to do so, they continue it on Mark's "When the Governed Don't Consent" thread instead.
Mark has staked out one clear position: not only should Occupy as a movement stay out of electoral politics-- as individuals we ALL should do so as well. For those who hold to the idea of Occupy staying out of the elections (for whatever reason), I think the next question to explore for this dialogue is around what the movement might do (other than a boycott of elections) to effect systemic change.
Meanwhile, there is the question of how to address the strong progressive tilt that currently exists in a movement.that purports to be "of the 99%," especially to the extent that you might want to take a different approach from Mark and advocate for involvement in the upcoming electoral cycle.
It is always interesting when somebody posts something specifically mentioning me and/or my ideas, and I am precluded from responding to in the same forum where it is posted.
By referring to "the political spectrum," what Ben means is that we can work from both outside the system and within the system to bring about systemic change. That is true. You can be a police officer obeying orders to brutalize and arrest Occupiers, while still secretly supporting what the Occupy Movement stands for and, for example, anonymously donating pizzas to the Occupiers who you haven't managed to land in the hospital or in jail. There's no reason that you can't work both for and against your objectives simultaneously. My point is that you will be more efficient and effective if you stop working against your objectives and only work toward your objectives.
The first official statement from Occupy Wall Street, which includes the List of Grievances and which has been consensed on by most Occupy sites, says, at the end:
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
It does not say to participate in representative "democracy," but to engage in activities that are in the spirit of direct democracy. The reason for this is that representative "democracy" is responsible for every single grievance on that list.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it was elected representatives who allowed banks to have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it was elected representatives who gave bailouts from taxpayers to banks, which the banks then took with impunity, and used to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it was elected representatives who, by failing to enact legislation to protect our rights, have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it was elected representatives who, by failing to enact legislation to protect our food and by giving subsidies to big agra, have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it was elected representatives who allowed universities, corpororations, and the military to profit off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who have allow corporations to continuously seek to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected reprresentatives whose laws have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who passed trade deals which allowed corporations to outsource labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay, and was elected representatives who used taxpayer money to subsidize corporations which did so.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it was elected representatives who appointed the Supreme Court justtices who gave corporations the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who allow corporations to spend millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected reprresentatives who allowed corporations to sell our privacy as a commodity.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who deliberately declined to enact legislation forcing corporations to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
It is elected reprresentatives who have accepted large sums of money from the corporations they are supposed to regulate.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who allow corporations to continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who allowed corporations to cover up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit, and who then turned around and awarded those same corporations new permits and contracts.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who allowed a few big corporations to own and control the mass media and to purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
Although they did it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who gave mercenary corporations private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who ordered the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
Although they do it on behalf of the 1%, it is elected representatives who give corporations contracts to continue to create weapons of mass destruction.
The list is not inclusive, but it is lengthy and serious enough to give pause to those who still believe that we should continue to entrust our future, posterity's future, and the future of the planet, if it still has one, to elected representatives.
Attempting to elect some less evil representatives is not systemic change, it is trying to change the players, not trying to change the system.
It is a form of censorship to attack people and then not allow them to respond in the same forum where you attacked them.
Direct democracy has its place, but alone it is nothing but tyranny of the majority. I have lived in states where, if the mob could rule, I would have been lynched. You ignore everything in history that teaches us why we consistently choose forms of representation. You seem to have a total blank spot in your historical knowledge, not to mention your understanding of current human nature -- have you managed to avoid all awareness of the violent sociopaths and religious fundamentalists who are proliferating in great number? Are you interested in your fate under their ability to rule by the mob? Your proposals would lead to nothing but final, ultimate chaos and social breakdown, with no positive results at all. The answer is not to abandon representative democracy but to understand why it is not serving us, how it is corrupt, and organize to fix it. But that's not easy, is it? Not nearly as easy as taking up everyone's time advocating for a "final solution" that has no real hope of ever happening, and therefore absolves you of having to do anything at all except write long winded diatribes. You appear to be an agent of chaos, and I can only imagine that the very young and naive would fall for your rhetoric. Meanwhile thousands of people are working hard to actually educate themselves as to how they can work together to take the system into their hands so that representatives serve the people and can be held accountable. There is a hopeful awakening happening, and you aren't serving it.
Delighted and honored to see you here, Victoria.
Here's an article by someone who appears to me to be awake and enlightened that might interest you:
Here's his bio:
Randall Amster, J.D., Ph.D., is the Graduate Chair of Humanities at Prescott College. He serves as Executive Director of the Peace & Justice Studies Association and as Contributing Editor for New Clear Vision. Among his recent books are Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB Scholarly, 2008), and the co-edited volume Building Cultures of Peace: Transdisciplinary Voices of Hope and Action (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).
Amster advocates not voting and doesn't seem to think it would lead to chaos or rule by the mob and rabble. Indeed, he seems to think that is the situation we're in already.
However people here should be aware of what was just posted over on BradBlog along with a link to this topic:
For all who now know that Mark's arguments are silly and strange, PLEASE REFUTE THEM at the above link to OCCUPYCAFE.ORG, where he is being his usually silly self.
I guess they think that Randall Amster is also silly and strange. Those are the mildest of the personal attacks I've been subjected to on that forum, but that person usually doesn't engage in personal attacks and apparently had to show what side they're on by joining the mob and rabble and egging them on.
One person here has reposted many of their comments from here to BradBlog, and the people there apparently intend to repost their comments from BradBlog to here. I wonder how they'll manage to edit out the personal attacks. If they follow through on their plan, I will respond by reposting the responses I made to them, so that they won't be able to monopolize this topic through sheer numbers.
Representative is relatively new in global political history. A larger view would make it appear that we consistently choose other forms of tyranny, such as monarchy and dictatorships.
Before he sold out his principles to support a politician running for office, Prof. Robert Jensen not only said that it is the system rather than the players that needs to be changed, but pointed out that it is absurd, in a society that rewards corruption, to say that human nature is corrupt. In a society that did not reward corruption, human nature would probably not be corrupt.
As I said in my comment to Amster's article, all other forms of noncompliance are futile if you continue to delegate to government the authority, power, and consent to treat you like a terrorist for engaging in them.
I'd like to modify Emma Goldman's famous statement about voting and say that if elections could change anything, the 1% wouldn't spend billions of dollars funding them.
I'm sure you recognize the Occupy Wall Street List of Grievances in my comment above. It is strange that you would respond to it by insisting that representative government should not be abandoned, while not disputing that representative government was responsible for each and every time in that List of Grievances.
There is indeed a hopeful awakening happening in parts of the Global Occupy Movement, Victoria, and it is a movement away from representative government and toward the principles of direct democracy upon which the Occupy Movement is based. I'm sorry that you're not serving it and instead are trying to use fearmongering to co-opt people back into politics as usual. If politics as usual hadn't failed, and failed spectacularly and catastrophically, there would be no Occupy Movement.
Mark -- I've read all your long posts, here and other places. I'm not going to engage in debate with you because it's pointless, you're not open to any views other than your own, and I disagree with so many of your positions, false statements and attacks, circular and straw man arguments, that I couldn't begin to address them all one by one, nor would there be a purpose. It's not like I could sway you. I came here to say what I had to say, because I was asked to weigh in by other election activists who are very concerned about your presence in the Occupy movement. I said it, and now I'm going to move on. If anyone else besides yourself appears to support you, there might be more of an issue, but it seems you're a lone wolf here. And btw-- I used to promote boycotting elections, even told an entire audience at the Institute for Policy Studies to do so, when I was the guest speaker there. But my views have evolved as my political understanding has broadened, and it's the same understanding voiced by so many others in online debates with you. You don't listen to them, and you won't listen to me. Anyway, onward.
Oh and btw, it's funny you post about Randall. I attended Prescott College. A lovely place for hippies to gather in the woods and smoke dope and major in their own studies that may or may not have the slightest bearing on reality or their ability to be gainfully employed later on. I had a great time. I'm not surprised that someone from "Preskit" would hold delusional utopian views, if indeed Randall does. I, too, once held them. Then I dropped out of Prescott, went out into the real world and worked, became an organizer, ran a non-profit and a business, traveled in the third world, dealt with an incredible spectrum of activists, and I don't have any magical-thinking illusions anymore. This world is a place of great light, and great darkness, and we have struggled with power among people since our first days here, and we likely always will, and there never was a utopia, and there never will be. Anyone who says differently is selling something. Usually a book.
Yes, Victoria, I'd thought you'd posted here in response to those on BradBlog and/or their friends who plan to invade here. Actually I'm grateful to them, as their topic, despite their best efforts, seems to be dying out with only five of them posting, and this topic hadn't had a comment in weeks.
I don't appreciate baseless and unfounded allegations. While you might not be able to sway me by specifying even one false statement of mine and refuting it, you could certainly sway other readers. If that's not worth your time and effort, why post at all?
It is by refraining from personal attacks and sticking to the issues with rational arguments that I am able to persuade readers, and the more people who attack me irrationally, the more readers see the truth in what I write.
It is indeed utopian to want and work for a better world, but I consider it better than just giving up and sticking with failed politics as usual. As for attempting to discredit Randall Amster as a hippie, that's the same tactic that the Tea Party uses to attempt to discredit the Occupy Movement and it hasn't been very successful.
Yes, there have always been struggles for power, which is what electing representatives is, which is why a direct democracy that decentralizes power, removing it from the hands of government and vesting it in the hands of the people, is a much better idea, in my opinion. But since people might be right-wingers or hippies, that could lead to chaos. An ordered system does not lead to chaos. Fascism is the most ordered system known and is the opposite of chaos, which is why so many people prefer it. I do not.
And I don't see anything wrong with selling a book. I bought and own a copy of Votescam, and I tend to buy and read many books, some of which I donate to my local public library, and some of which I retain for reference. I happen to think that books are good things, and while I prefer that they be available for free downloads online and use a Creative Commons license so that they can be reproduced for noncommercial purposes, I think writing is one of the more honest ways that people can survive within a capitalist system, so I wouldn't dismiss anyone just because they're selling a book, not even spotlight-grabbers like Greg Palast and Michael Moore.
No, I don't find that you listen to rational arguments, at least that's what I saw on a number of other threads, and when people point out the flaws in your own thinking, you never see it yourself. You don't concede anything, at any time, that I have ever noticed. And you never notice when you're making your own unfounded attacks -- like repeatedly accusing me of trying to co-opt people into "business as usual" politics, which is not what I'm doing. But it serves your purpose, apparently, to make anyone who doesn't underwrite your philosophy out to be some kind of servant of fascism.
Mike, direct democracy has its place on a small scale, on a community scale, in town hall meetings, in consensus councils. These necessarily must be small and focused. I am fully in support of them. But I believe they must work in tandem with a representative system on the larger levels, and that system can be controlled and regulated quite easily so that it is not a corrupted tool of the elite. It has not been controlled, up until now, but people hadn't reached the tipping point, which I think has now arrived.
Your views on humanity are like dreams of flying carpets. Mike, people are not just hard right-wingers and hippies -- in other words, on the extreme sides of the spectrum. Millions are also spinny-eyed religious fundamentalists, heavy drug addicts, slow-witted, suffering with mental problems, and/or willfully, painfully, tragically ignorant about the issues, and in absolutely NO WAY capable of making decisions on behalf of the rest of us. Arguing this is like arguing that water is wet and mountains are high. It's reality, brother. And most people know it. They don't want a system where every fool has a direct say in how the rest of our lives are managed. What we need is a society that educates its people and tries to mitigate this problem, tries to create empowered, rational citizens who can participate meaningfully. But we don't have that now -- not even close. Thrusting power into the hands of every person who has spent the past twenty years playing video games, smoking meth, and watching Survivor is the height of communist delusional absurdity -- and you know what? They wouldn't even want it. They don't WANT it, Mike. They can't be bothered. They would laugh in your face.
Representation by decent people, real public servants like Elizabeth Warren, for example, with much expertise in many important areas, who are responsible for their actions, held accountable, NOT purchased by corporate money, and who can be voted out in clean elections by those who care enough to participate in the system, is, to me, a much better, far less insane and dangerous system. That is the system I am fighting to create, and I know many millions will join that fight once we understand there is no other choice.
I don't know whether Randall is a hippy, but anyone who claims (as you say he does) that the destruction of representative democracy would not lead to chaos is, to me, totally delusional.
We do not have chaos now. And that's what is so dangerous about your views -- that you could possibly make the argument that we do have chaos now. You must not know what chaos is. Chaos is what happened in Russia under the communists. People were considered totally equal, they were no longer valued for their education and expertise, and the State directed them to their jobs, so for instance, farmers became doctors, doctors were forced to farm, everything went topsy turvy. The Secretary of Agriculture declared that because the "People" are strong in great numbers (so sayeth the communists), so should be the crops, and therefore they should be planted as close together as possible. And of course, they failed, year after year. Great famine resulted in hundreds of millions dead, and people resorting to cannibalism. Google "Russian cannibals" and you will see one of the most haunting pictures ever taken. Total poverty, social destruction, infrastructure collapse, and cannibalism. That is chaos.
And yes, we are headed for that. We are headed toward corporate fascism that will destroy the fabric of society, collapse the economy, and lead to millions dead.
I have no idea who you are or what your real purpose is. But if you really care about the planet, about people, you will advocate for solutions that have a hope of being implemented, and recognize that there IS no perfect system. There IS no utopia. We have many, many steps to go toward rebuilding our world toward something positive and healthy, and we have to take rational, thoughtful steps to get there, not be driven by magical thinking and idealogical purism.
You say a society that doesn't reward corruption would not have corrupt citizens. That is so naive. Just study history a little bit. People are people. We have had many different kinds of societies since the dawn of time, and none of them have been utopian or led to some kind of perfect citizen. Some find their own balance, like the Amish, who of course are religious and keep their society within strict bounds. How many people do you know who want to live like the Amish? Want to force them?
How we act toward each in other depends on so many cultural and environmental factors, you just can't oversimplify to such an extent, because it warps your vision of reality.
There are decent people who would right now make sane, rational decisions in government if we could get them into office. But we can't really do that en masse until we organize to end the myriad ways the system is a corrupt corporatocracy. Occupy Wall Street will most likely gel around that kind of action in 2012. Occupying Elections could call tremendous attention to how our votes have been stolen via computers. We could begin to rally the troops to demand hand-counted paper ballots, something that has not been possible until now because people were so asleep.
This is the 11th hour, and we need as many people as possible aligned. You are trying to pull people off into your own little cult of "boycott elections" -- and you will no doubt persuade a few, but none of you will ultimately help the cause.
We understand now that they have been able to rig elections in part because of the low voter turn out. And of course, rigged elections make people despondent and they don't turn out the next time. And bought, lying politicians also make them despondent so they don't turn out the next time. So people already don't vote, and they don't care, and all that does it make it easier to rig the elections. If people turned out in landslides and also demanded a hand-count of the ballots, they would no longer have that perfect black-hole of apathy and ignorance in which to rig the system. We would have engaged citizens paying attention, shining a light on the process.
And if you can't rally people to do that, it's even less likely you're going to rally them into your system of direct democracy, where they will have to do a lot more than just vote for someone, they will have get really educated on issues and become policy makers themselves. Most people don't want to do it.
Now, if you can concede even one point that I've made, I will consider this somewhat useful as a dialog.
Here's how I think this should probably go. People like you, Mark, who advocate for a radical change of the system, need to provide a full and detailed plan of development. It's not enough to say "direct democracy" and "power to the people." We need to see exactly how this plays out in reality.
So please, furnish us with these answers, here and now.
Explain how this works on the local, state and Federal levels, nationally and internationally.
* Do we have legislation, and if so, who writes it and who vets it and who votes on it?
* How do they vote? Exactly what systems do we use to cast and count our votes?
* Does government cease to exist? On all levels or just Federal, or just State?
* Do we have a standing army? Who decides that?
* Who makes the rules of commerce? Interstate commerce? International trade?
* How do you avoid all the problems of mob rule? What happens, for instance, if religious fanatics in Kansas who have been home schooling their children begin to outnumber everyone else in about 2050 and vote to institute public burnings of heretics?
* How do we interact with other countries who have representatives? With the U.N.?
* Do we have taxes? If not, how do we pay for public works? If we do, who decides the budget?
* Do we have an energy policy? If so, who decides it?
* Do we have corporations? If so, who regulates them?
I think those are enough questions to start. I truly eagerly await the answers.