One of my favorite authors has noted that the Left in general and the even wider category of those who are simply compassionately motivated are lacking in certain fundamental ways that keep them powerless, or nearly so. While the Right has the high organization of hidden power behind them and their own natural ruthlessness that makes them the engine of our recent history, the Left is at times large but dispersed, something like solar energy, with most of its megawatts dribbled away on grasslands and ocean waves.
Those on the Left are too often content to expend what little organizational leverage they can muster on predictable and ineffectual activities — ranging from peaceful demonstrations and the Occupy movement to such minuscule niceties as the “locavore” movement or driving a hybrid car — and pretty much content themselves with that. Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously characterized these efforts as matters of personal moral choice, but he was too generous. In my estimation, they are more like acts of self-indulgence in the absence of something more.
And what would that something more be?
A serious, precisely engineered and organized and — this is vital — disciplined effort at gaining power, something that can match the forces arrayed against us on the Right. To accomplish this, we need a few broadly drawn but inspiring ideas, simply expressed, that articulate a central principle around which we can rally ourselves and others.
I like the idea of representative democracy. We have nothing of the sort in any so-called democracy that I’m aware of, but it is nearly inarguable that we should. What would this mean in practical terms? Here are some preliminary suggestions.
In the United States, I see four key targets for control in which people need a daily voice and full transparency to achieve representative democracy:
2) The Federal Communications Commission
3) Corporate charters
4) The currency, or the Federal Reserve and Treasury
Congress comes first because it is the key to achieving practical control over the others. In any event, these should be enough to launch a discussion, and I’ll be offering more thoughts as time goes by.
Here are the rules. I accept comments but publish only those I deem worthy. In the beginning, I will be checking in once a week, on Saturdays, so this will be rather a slowly paced blog. That’s about it.
Any thoughts out there so far?