An open space for global conversation
Just off the cuff here...a few comments. I am remembering how the right took this country over, beginning in the 50's. It's taken them 60 years to basically dominate our politics. Through ideologically driven issues like the right to own a gun, abortion, gay marriage, terrorism, deregulation, freedom and liberty, immigration and debt ceilings, they have played on the emotions of Americans and manipulated the debate. It's always about patriotism and God.
My point is that what we have today is the result of a very intentional plan. The 1% are firmly in control, while the other 99% are sedated by the still faint glimmer of the American Dream, weekend football, QVC, and the propaganda in our media. Our elections have been numbed down to the point of irrelevance. Policy-making goes on behind closed doors and Corporations are the only "persons" being represented in Congress.
Anyway, most Americans I know are really still feeling hopeless. They can't own their own futures anymore and they certainly cannot own the courage to defeat the Military Industrial Complex, they are either too busy or too distracted. If it's not Fox News, it's Burning Man, the later which I happen to think is really cool. But is it more important than standing up to the corruption of power? Is it more important than ending a war or a planetary meltdown?
Not too many of us can devote more than a few hours a week to political action, there is hardly enough time for us all to keep up with the errands, friendships, and other responsibilities living brings us. I get it. Many of my good progressive educated, caring and informed friends can't so much as think about coming out to an Occupy. Life is just that complicated for them, or they are just too comfortable. Their faith in political action is either nonexistent or very badly broken. Not many people believe things can change, even though they all agree things must.
Have they become disenfranchised because all those online petitions they signed never went anywhere? Are they lacking motivation because they have demonstrated against all the wars a dozen times now and we are still not able to end the senseless killing? How can we get the vast majority of people to stand up and actually demand to own their future, actually demand to have a government Of the People? Do we have to wait until climate disruptions and economic disparity become the norm rather than a temporary set back, or until things get even worse? I really hope not.
Look. The ONLY thing that power respects is power. The only way we can demonstrate OUR power is by coming together. It's not by acting out our various little cheer leading sessions. Those are important, but without an endgame, what's really the point? Most of what we have done is basic theater. Dressing up like wind turbines may make a few headlines, but to those really in power it's not much more than a little 2-bit circus. They'll take the small hits, even if it's an 8 million-dollar loss from the Port of Oakland because we shut it down for a day or two. As long as we never organize into one giant movement, they have nothing to fear, and the odds of that are "almost priceless".
What we need is not more educating on the woes of our society or the conditions, which are threatening our future. We need to build partners, we need to be focused on a way to channel all the energy into a singular and unbeatable movement. An endgame is what it's all about, and I believe that should be about forming a truly representational democracy in America. After all, it's what we are supposed to have, and I think most people are unhappy that we do not have one. Perhaps if we did, We the People could have an honest discussion about our true differences, and our vastly more important similarities. Perhaps if we did that, our media would be actually informing us and enriching our lives with great stuff. Maybe if We the People ruled, our elections would begin to mean something and Policy would be made in the open.
Many People ask me, how can a People's Congress get anything done? With no legal authority how can it be helpful to simply "hold" a People's Congress? This is usually where I recognize that this person has lost his or her ability to imagine and dream. It takes a willingness to embrace the possibility of actually changing the way our lives are being governed. We must first believe that we can and WILL own our futures. That is what we all should be working to improve and strengthen our belief in ourselves. It's been under attack for decades, so it's nothing to be ashamed of. We simply have to remember that our belief in the power to change things has been robbed from us, deliberately and with malice. It's time to take that back and use it.
The People's Congress is a way to "demonstrate" our collective ability to govern, to legislate clear and effective law, to by representational, and to be worthy of a truly representational democracy. Until we have that, all bets are off. We need to own the reigns of government, and we will need all hands on deck to make that possible. It's all about setting goals, developing a process, and embracing togetherness. Once we demonstrate that we have the capability of self-determination, We the People can begin the process of taking back the power from corporations and delivering it into the hands of the People. We can do this because the Constitution does give "We the People" the authority to rule. With the guidance of several well-informed Constitutional Scholars and experts from around the world, the People of America can make this happen. All it takes is for us to be willing to focus on a singular event which is large enough to become the focus of media attention for at least a few weeks. Peaceful, celebratory, focused, positive, and deliberate. A well-choreographed display of the American People at work, engaged in direct democracy.
The power of any action is in its core value and belief. When we gather on the Mall to hold our own People's Congress we are sending exactly the right message to the country and world. We need a comprehensive set of solutions now, not simply the reversal of Citizens United. We the People need to regain control of our own government. In the end, that is what we are all trying to accomplish! So, let's stop beating around the bush. Let's figure out an endgame and make some plans before the next election has come and gone without us.