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Forum Post: Letting Go - representative government, broken by design?

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 25, 2012, 9 a.m. EST by jph (2652)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I have been commenting on the posts of some folks here that we must cling to the representative government systems we have been handed by past generations. They seem so fearful of progress, afraid to make a change, and try something else that might work much better, even in the obvious knowledge that the current system is not working at all. It reminded me of a short parable I had once read;

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all -- young and old, rich and poor, good and evil -- the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."

The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!"

And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

But they cried the more, "Savior!" all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a savior.

-- from Illusions by Richard Bach

Some edited responses to the Eeyors;

The situation globally is not desperate, it is made that way by those now in control. The current 'economic crisis' is completely manufactured, as is the resource scarcity from region to region. We already have more than enough resources, and creativity to create an amazing plant for all. We only need to tame the actions of a greedy few, and work on building a culture of sharing and mutual aid. There is no need for this instability you envision in any change of human organizing principles. In fact we are experience exactly what you fear now, under this broken system, I just see the problems as systemic, as rising from the very idea of representative government, where our only participation is to hand our life decisions over to another. Any reforming of that system will inevitably lead us right back to the current problems. It comes from people giving away their participation in the group's decision-making, this will always lead to apathy and to corruption of the 'representatives'.

Sure, if you must vote Democrat (as the rethugs are fully insane), and try to get your representative to make changes to the system, however this seem futile to me. If you do choose this course, just do not stop working outside that one-off involvement, keep working on other ways to change the system and much more important, build alternatives to it! Democracy once every four years is sad joke.

The way consensus works is by the group being committed to the way we make our decisions, as much as the decisions themselves. This fact is what makes this system different, it requires a shift in culture, not just a shift in the faces of those in power.

I don't have a system, 'anarchy' is a simple concept, not a object. When the nation-state dies, it will do so on a world wide scale. People will co-exist in various affinity groups, cooperating as the needs arise. Many groups will be world wide, and only have a few members in various locations, some will be largely localized with many members in one place, yet still some more far flung. People are not members of any one group, but of all groups that they share affinity with. There are no membership cards, or lists. Anyone who feels the affinity of that group will work with it, or not. This is already happening by the way, the nation-states are like an elephant shot through the hart yet still standing, loosing power, as the blood that once gave it life slowly drains away. It it the ebb and flow, to quote that great fool/poet "the tide goes in, the tide goes out".

Life is a process, not a vote.

5 Comments

5 Comments


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[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I have a hard time thinking of a better system than than representative government. I would work if people actually participated however we have about a 23% turnout at non presidential elections.

There are many system that appear to work well in a theoretical/ideal scenario however they all seem to fall apart in the real world.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Representative government does not work, look around. Giving your will to another is not a way to empower yourself, quite the opposite.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Our system is broken for exactly two reasons The 1% have taken or stolen or bribed their way to the top The 99% [ like me ] let them do it


Our representative must NOT BE FOR SALE
OWS needs to support getting money out of politics -
it can be done
ask Teddy Roosevelt
Capitalism CAN WORK if it is properly regulated & socially motivated
[ yeah you Rs - sounds like Europe ]
it has worked in America for many decades
Beyond getting the money out, add just three changes-
Medicare for all
Heavy cuts in military spending
Infrastructue jobs ( FDR's WPA )

[-] 0 points by owsleader2016 (12) 2 years ago

TDR was a war-monger, blue blood and asshole.

It's funny that you have to use this asshole, a guy that personally started the CUBA WAR because he wanted to go hunting for humans and kill them legally. To TDR the entire CUBA war was a joke he engineered "Rough Riders" Read his book.

Captialism worked for TDR, but in his day he made Dick Cheney look like Bambi. For gawds sakes people learn your fucking history.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

And you can name a political leader with no flaws?