We as citizens of the United States observe politics from afar and the vast majority of us may participate in the political process only to the extent that we go to the polls once a year to vote. We may endeavor to follow the news accounts of our nation's politics as they unfold, and of the consequences those political actions yield, but we have little power to influence our "democratically" elected officials. Perhaps we write an occasional letter to our senator or representative, but we almost inevitably receive a vague and impersonal response explaining why they will vote in our opposition.

Over the decades, our representative democracy has been systematically undermined and has ultimately failed in preserving the well being of the people of this nation. The system that the founding fathers painstakingly devised in order to best serve the interests and the will of the people has been corrupted and the systems of checks and balances on power that they instituted have been stripped away. Most of us accept this reality as being beyond our control and continue to observe, comment, and complain without aspiring to achieving any real change, without any hope of instituting a new system of governance that would instead take directly into account your views, and the views of your neighbors, and would empower you to make real positive change possible in your communities.

This site will attempt to explore in depth the places in the world where people are successfully bringing about that type of change in the face of similar odds, where an alternate form of democracy, which is called participatory or direct democracy, is taking root. Initiative, referendum & recall, community councils, and grassroots organizing are but a few ways in which direct/participatory democracy is achieving great success around the world.

Our system of representative democracy does not admit the voice of the people into congressional halls, the high courts, or the oval office where our rights and our liberties are being sold out from underneath us. Our local leaders and activists in our communities, and even those local elected officials who may have the best of intentions are for the most part powerless to make real positive change happen in our neighborhoods, towns and villages when there is so much corruption from above.

In places like Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, India, and the Phillipines, new experiments in grass roots community based governance are taking place. There is much to be learned from these and other examples of participatory democracy from around the world when we try to examine how this grass-roots based governance could begin to take root here in our own country in order to alter our political system so that it might better serve the American people.

In the hope that one day we can become a nation working together as a united people practicing true democracy as true equals, we open this forum…


Saturday, September 20, 2008

UNITED STATES: Where is the Outrage? Socialism OK for Corporations, but not for People

As a plan is being formulated behind closed doors in Washington D.C. this weekend which will use as much as a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer's money to bail out failed corporations in the financial sector and absorb all of the bad debt that has resulted from corruption and irresponsable business practices motivated solely by corporate greed and excess, this editor feels the need to ask: how much more injustice and corruption will the people swallow before they rise up and demand direct democratic control over their own destiny? This proposal, which will see the average U.S. citizen who is struggling for survival amid rising food prices, vanishing social services and health care pay for the excesses of the very same corporate elite that have enslaved them with 'free market capitalism,' is an absolute outrage. It is nothing more than a modern day fuedal system of corporate overlords and citizen serfs. It is painfully obvious that this so called 'free market capitalist' system is in reality more a form of corporate socialism where the people are the guarantors of corporate welfare, providing for the basic needs and safety net for the corporate elite, while in return the people are denied the basic necessities for their own welfare. Apparently in this 'free market capitalist' system, socialism is quite alright when it comes to corporations, but when it comes to using taxpayer dollars to provide health care, education, infrastructure and other basic social services to every citizen, that would of course be beyond the pale. - Editor

Watch the following video for more information:

1 comment:

Alexandria Soleil said...

All corporate news sources have been saying that the bail-out was totally necessary to "save the economy", but it has become evident that the bail-out is only accepting and legitimizing corporate greed. When the media uses the term "economy" in reports about what concerns voters or why a bail-out is necessary, they are misconstruing what is really important to citizens. Yes, we are effected by the "economy", but we also effect the economy, and the daily reality of US citizens is more firmly determined by how much debt they have. One comment in the clip pointed out that there are millions of American citizens with debt, what makes them less worthy of bail-out?