Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 29, 2011, 4:02 p.m. EST by Nanook
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
This Forum post introduces a new component of Direct Democracy called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). This new system is discussed in more detail at http://A3society.org under the Government tab. An index of discussion topics can be found at http://A3society.org/OccupyTheConstitution-Index . All the topics posted and being discussed can be found by doing a Google search using the search term: site:occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution .
The first goal of the effort is to capture the current beliefs, feelings and history related to the FUNDAMENTAL concepts introduced by the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution ( http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html ). This is being done to prepare the 99% to rewrite the U.S. Constitution.
Why does the U.S. Constitution need to be rewritten? Here are few major reasons: 1. The world in which the Constitution was created is gone. Almost every aspect of human life has DRASTICALLY changed since the Constitution was created; 2. The fundamental terms used to express concepts in the Constitution were used in a very superficial way, often with meanings very different from current usage; 3. issues were included and approached in the Constitution based on the social needs and beliefs of the time. Most of those needs and beliefs have radically changed; 4. Many new issues have arisen that the Constitution didn’t anticipate; and 5. The Constitution did not provide sufficient provisions to prevent a COUP of the government by industry and the banks.
_1. DRASTIC CHANGE
The Constitution is in crisis because it was created for an obsolete society. ALL the fundamentals of society have drastically changed. But people are either in DENIAL about the changes or unable to understand them. Consider a few examples. In 1787, distance communication was done using paper and HORSES. Discussing a single point could take weeks for a letter to go from Maine to Virginia and a reply to return. Representatives were therefore needed to efficiently discuss issues. Today, we can hold live face to face discussions with colleagues around the world at low cost. In 1787, canals and bridges were built using HORSES for power ( just like in ancient Rome). Today, one person with a power shovel can move 300,000 pounds of rock in one scoop! In 1787, people believed luxury travel meant coaches moving 9 miles per hour pulled by HORSES. Aristocrats could even go by sailing ship across the ocean in mere months! Today, AVERAGE people can travel at almost the speed of sound to ANY point on the globe. In 1787, bowls, candles, chairs, cloth – everything – was made by hand. Today, automated productions lines can produce entire automobiles in 16 hours, with a labor requirement of 2.7 workers per vehicle per day (Toyota). Automation has replaced human labor.
1787 is used as a date for this comparison because that was the date of the Constitution. The point is, it was the environment of 1787 upon which the organizational foundations of the Constitution are based. The advances listed happened after that over “just” the last 100 years. But “modern” economic theory is still based on Adam Smith time scales and 1787 images of human labor for its idealized notion of the “GUIDING HAND” of capitalism.
Human population has now exceeded 7B. The sustainable carrying capacity of the earth, by current estimates, is about 2 to 3 B MAXIMUM. But we have already used up the easy resources. Warning statements are no longer about projections of shortages for a hundred years from now. We have now reached the time when the shortages were forecast to start. They are visible everywhere: drinkable water, aquifers for irrigation, many minerals, wood ( even China is out of wood ), soils, ocean fish, oil production, etc. In the process, we have polluted the earth, oceans and sky. Atmospheric pollution is warming the earth, which is moving the weather bands and causing severe draughts. The ice caps are melting. Insect pests are moving into new areas, and they are already resistant to every known insecticide. Medical supplies are showing shortages across the globe while severe plague diseases once thought eradicated are coming back resistant to every known form of antibiotic.
_2. SUPERFICIAL WORDS
The constitution starts off with what appears to be some clear and profound goals: “establish Justice... promote the GENERAL WELFARE... secure the BLESSINGS of Liberty...” These goals are presumed to address some basic assumptions which were listed in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are CREATED EQUAL, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, that among these are LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”. The problem is, these goals are either disregarded by the constitution, or the principles they address are not LOGICALLY sound to begin with. The result is that our government has failed to deliver on these promises.
For example, the principles we call “life” and “liberty are said to be UNALIENABLE. To drive home their “sanctity”, they are said to be “endowed by their Creator”. Yet the government absolves itself from upholding them all the time, and both jails citizens and executes them, while simultaneously claiming to hold the highest religious convictions. The Constitution states a primary goal of government is to “promote the general welfare”. Yet laws have been passed which allow banks and heads of industry to loot major industrial pension plans to enrich the wealth of bank and industry officials. Government leaders have been the worst enemy of worker safety, environmental protection and citizen rights, requiring grassroots citizen action like labor unions, “green” organizations and the ACLU to defend the public. The principles used to guide our union must be reinterpreted for the current world.
_3. INAPPROPRIATE ISSUES
The second amendment addresses the need for a well regulated MILITIA. Because there were people hostile to the early colonies able to attack without warning, militias were needed. Because of the technology and lack of formal armies at the time, this meant allowing citizens to keep firearms in their homes to form ad hoc militias. Related to this, the third amendment addresses quartering of soldiers in private homes during peacetime. These concepts are no longer relevant. So, when we try to interpret the words in current society, we get very confusing and adverse results.
_4. MISSING ISSUES
When the Constitution was written, there already were global corporations. They were involved in commodities trading like tea and furs. But each represented a very small impact on any citizen. The impact of the population and business on the environment was also small. This is not the case today. Large corporations like WalMart, McDonalds and Microsoft control availability and pricing of large portions of the goods people use across the country. The major banks control the financial interactions of large portions of the economy. There is a totally different dynamic, due to modern advertising, in the ability of corporations to influence elections. The immanent disaster of environmental collapse and resource depletion requires using sophisticated tools and methods the founders couldn’t even envision. The Constitution is therefore missing major provisions to define how modern business works and directions to protect the environment for the “general welfare”.
_5. THE INDUSTRIAL / FINANCIAL COUP OF THE GOVERNMENT
Western society is overflowing with STUFF! The new Global Aristocrats have filled their houses with great treasures. They have gathered to themselves more than 80% of the world’s wealth. YET, at their doorsteps are BILLIONS living in poverty and starvation. The same practices of greed that led to the French Revolution have occurred all over again.
Ironically, our founding founders were quite aware of this possibility. They spent a lot of effort discussing it, and put a clever 3 division separation of power structure in place to try to prevent it. What they couldn’t foresee was the technological changes which would occur, the rate that population would grow and cover the world, the power of an overwhelming money controlled media to polarize society, and the rapid consolidation of global power that would result.
In the U.S., the Constitution completely failed to prevent the coup of the U.S. Government by industry and banking executives which we are now subject to. These new aristocrats do not know how to feed or employ our people, nor do they feel they have any responsibility to do so. Unfortunately, our culture as a whole doesn’t either. Why? Because the complexity of modern society is no longer solvable using simple models from the past. It can no longer be done by humans giving political speeches, and then voting based on “common sense” or “intuition”. A RADICAL NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT is needed. Hopefully, the National Opinion Collection System will gather the wisdom to allow this new form of government to be created.
The initial information gathering effort will be the OccupyWallSt.org/Forum . Specifically, look for a long series of original posts which start with the words: /OccupyTheConstitution. For example: OccupyWallst.org/forum/OccupyTheConstitution-DEMOCRACY. An index of sorts will be maintained at http://A3society.org/OccupyTheConstitution-Index To participate in this effort, just join in the discussion like you would for any other topic. To help make this new tool a great success, substantial input from the academic community is requested. Please support this effort. Add comments at http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-national-opinion-collection-/ or contact me directly. My contact info can be found on http://A3society.org