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Forum Post: Tipping Point Democracy

Posted 5 years ago on June 27, 2012, 4:17 p.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Tipping point: when a seemingly insignificant shift in one variable causes a structural, irrevocable transformation in the system. Whether it’s the onset of a hurricane, a stock exchange crash, a star implosion, an influenza epidemic, or a nasty temper tantrum, the dynamics of the tipping point remain the same: shit hits the fan before you knew there was a fan.

In politics the tipping point has an especially dramatic implication: a seemingly insignificant change in one legislation can lead to a drastic change in the system of governance.

In 1933 a seemingly innocuous new piece of legislation known as the Enabling Act empowered a relatively unpopular leader with a toothbrush moustache to become a dictator. Within a decade he would be responsible for more than 60 million violent deaths.

Very few noticed or heard about the Enabling Act before it was cited in history books. Fewer predicted its consequences. The reason is simple: predicting a tipping point is like predicting weather.

A special class of individuals is required to sniff out tipping points. Think of them as ultra-smart watchdogs. They have a freakishly sensitive nose for historical patterns. They don’t care about being barked at. They are pariahs at the edge of Hyde Park, or on the edge of society.They are not without fear. They have simply realized that hiding from their truth is more destructive than any other alternative.

In rare historical instances, watchdogs are able get their message across to a critical mass of listeners and affect real change. That’s when they’re suddenly called revolutionaries.

Jump cut to America in 2012, where 21% of children live in poverty while military spending outstrips the rest of the world’s, corporations control the electoral system, and Eisenhower’s nightmare about a military industrial takeover is in full gear. It’s a land in dire need of watchdogs.

Unfortunately, watchdogs are not politically inclined and therefore they cannot and will not change the system from the inside. It’s not in their DNA. To be a successful politician you have to be a lapdog to the masses. Watchdogs and lapdogs don’t mix.

Yet watchdogs know how the political system works. How politics and money entangle. How legislation is cooked. Hence they are a threat to the lapdogs and the corporate system. They are shunned by the media. Flagged by the national security institutions.

On March 29, 2012, I stumbled across four of them in New York, as they entered the United States District Court to bring a lawsuit against Barack Obama and the United States government.

At issue was a piece of legislation known as Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which gives the US military the right to detain American citizens indefinitely without charge or trial. To qualify, all you need is to “substantially support” groups that the President determines to be “associated forces” of anyone “engaged in hostilities” against the U.S. or its “coalition partners.” The language is so obtuse that it can be used against anyone, including journalists or dissidents in touch with, well, someone the President doesn’t like.

As usual, the media paid no attention, either to the implementation of the law, or to the individuals who were suing the government for it.

The case bore all the hallmarks of a fully loaded tipping point for the future of American democracy.

Six weeks after the testimonies were handed out, an Obama-appointed judge delivered a judgment that surprised both the watchdogs and the lapdogs: Section 1021 of the NDAA violates both the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.

It was a round 1 victory for the plaintiffs. Now it’s up to Obama’s team to figure out which way they want to tip the point. And it’s up to the rest of us to watch out for the watchdogs.They need all the help they can get.

Watch the 15min video at the link. http://janwellmann.com/tipping-point-democracy/#.T-tfFnhuHzL



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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22876) 5 years ago

Great post. If Americans don't awake from their slumber they will become active participants in their beloved nation's demise.

[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Well I just got back from hearing Chris Hedges speak tonight and he gave a pretty good talk about his new book.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 5 years ago

Excellent post,. wisdom from the folks in the video is must watch!

[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago
[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 5 years ago

Great article. Hope people get the importance of this tactic.

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Did you check out that video? Its pretty inspiring. I know that some of the people that write the news for this site don't like Chris Hedges but I think he is on our side.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 5 years ago

I can't speak to who likes who, but I see no reason to doubt him being on our side.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 5 years ago

Very good 'forum-post' and link, including the 'Chris Hedges' article linked to above.

Perhaps pedantically, I would add that only is it that "Occupy Will Be Back", it has 'Not Gone Away' and in 'raising conciousness', it'll seed progressive social movements for many, many years to come.

per aspera ad astra et dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 5 years ago

Agreed. I'm going to see Chris Hedges tonight at a book signing in SF.