Friday, November 04, 2011

Vote in 2012 against The Fool's Game

In his essay “There are Realistic Alternatives,” Gene Sharp, the renowned scholar/thinker on the use of nonviolence, outlines the “elements of strategic planning” necessary for effective nonviolent struggle.

The elements are worth reviewing in the context of the “Occupy” movement. Unless those in the movement are purposely hiding their planning, I’m seeing very little evidence of it.

What we get are shards, fragments and chucks of vital issues, but there is no evidence of systematic strategic planning.

Rather than go into the requirements as Sharp lays them out, I urge you to download the pamphlet from the Albert Einstein Institute web site. The essay and several others by Sharp are available free on-line.

Here is just one example of a fundamental missing element in the “Occupy” movement: “Develop a grand strategy for the overall conflict. Identify the objective of the struggle in clear, specific terms.”

Unless I’m missing something, we are still waiting to learn the “objective of the struggle in clear, specific terms.”

So here’s one attempt to define an objective and describe a strategy to achieve it:

We, fellow citizens, are playing a fool’s game called “Democracy American Style.” It is literally rigged for and by the rich and has produced a plutocracy/kleptocracy.

Here’s just one way it works: our system can’t represent or understand the will of the people because the major means of communication is paid for and controlled by wealthy vested corporate interests. The U.S. Constitution legalizes media domination and distortion by a wealthy elite.

Democracy requires an informed, thoughtful public making rational — not emotional — decisions. Our capitalist, controlled system of communication is not providing that information or that opportunity for full discussion and reflection.

I also believe that the size of our government makes it so diffuse, impenetrable and powerful that it cannot be responsive to the people it governs. We should be a nation of small regional or local governments. At most the “national” government should be an alliance of these small, responsive, local governments. The United States cannot be both “a major power” and a major force for good. The two have been proven to be incompatible.

The over-arching objective of the nonviolent movement should be to put an end to this Fool’s Game and to create a truly representative, fair, responsive and compassionate system of governance based on local representation and involvement.

At the end of his essay, Sharp lists 198 methods of nonviolent action. The sheer number boggles the mind. The diversity is likewise staggering, everything from strikes (he lists 21 varieties) to various kinds of boycotts, to rent refusal, to mock funerals, to marches and pilgrimages, to prayer and worship. The list goes on and on.

But one, number 124, intrigued me in light of the above objective. It reads, “Boycott Elections.”

What if we boycotted the elections of 2012? What if we “voted” by submitting blank ballots. The tally of unmarked ballots submitted would wildly exceed the number of votes cast for candidates. The tally of blank ballots would constitute the vote against “The Fool’s Game.”

What would the consequences be? Exactly what we’d get if we did cast ballots for candidates — more of the same. A continuation of the Fool’s Game.

But by voting against the system, we would have proclaimed that we, the majority, are no longer party to it — that, in fact, the resulting government does not represent the people or their “will.” These “minority unelected” representatives are hence illegitimate.

The only way to restore legitimacy is to establish a new constitution creating a truly representative government (or governments) that can address this society’s needs. A true “government of, for and by the People.”

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