Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Here's A Daydream I Recently Had On How You Build A New Political Party

It was prompted, I'm sure, mostly out of disappointment; a grand disappointment I might even say, in what may be the best we're going to get, even from Progressives it seems, in new thinking for a party. That thinking being, unfortunately, simply a once more reformed, Democratic Party; which is to say the party that still thinks it can tame the works of money, and all of the other contradictions of an obsolete economic operating system.

And then I just floated into contemplation about what a real alternative part might be formed of and I started to write down the following;

We'll call the party the TLS, or The Libertarian Socialists. Our motto would be "We work for ourselves, and each other."

And the following would be our platform:

  1. This party cannot be, in any way, shape or form, about money. All of its operations, and all its functionality, must be predicated on using only labor given altruistically, or by barter (of altruistic labor); and any substantive materials that might be provided be given only altruistically, or by barter (of altruistic labor) .
  2. That all candidates running for office as a member of this party must also abide by the same "no money" policy as described in #1 above.
  3. That it be the purpose of the party to work for the calling of a Constitutional Convention.
  4. That it be mandated that this Constitutional Convention be tasked only for, and be exclusively limited to, the definition of, and implementation thereafter, of a new economic operating principle by which the now United States of America would thereupon, and henceforth, operate anew under, with all subservient laws and statutes, amended as required, to comply.
  5. The the Presidential candidate, and all seekers of office below the president, be, as a part of membership in this party, completely dedicated to the accomplishment of all platform goals.
  6. That this new economic operating principle be guided first by the declaration that Capitalism is, in fact, obsolete. That it then be guided by the second declaration that the better alternative would allow people to organize as follows (in broad strokes):
      6-1. That there will be individually decided (as in geographically unique mandates) City States.

      6-2. And that these City States would be given large freedom (as both a Republic, and a Federation) in establishing the details of the following, broader organizational outline:

          6-2-1. Keeping the Bill of Rights (the first ten    
          amendments to our current constitution – but allowing for 
          certain City State dispensations, as can be compromised    
          on collectively), the citizens of each City State will own, 
          collectively, all of the resources, and substantive 
          infrastructure, of which, and with which, they sustain 
          themselves, and for which they will then work to prosper   
          with into the future.

          6-2-2. All decisions will ultimately fall to the vote of the 
          citizens of each City State, where citizenship is defined, 
          primarily, by one's participation in working the tasks that 
          keep that community going.

          6-2-3. And, as a further right of citizenship, all citizens    
          would share the material output of the City State, as well as     the productive capability therein, so that everyone could    
          then make their own end use items, gaining ownership 
          therewith as a matter of construction (with the City State   
          preserving some right to a percentage of any recyclable    

6-2-4. That those whose property is rendered into collective ownership, as described in section 6-2-1, be compensated via new resource allocation bonuses that can be used in the City State in question.

6-2-5. That the judiciary branch of City State government, as well emergency, and law enforcement, be considered just another task item, in the grouped list of tasks, by which a City State maintains itself.

6-2-6. That all citizens be allowed to select, to the greatest degree possible, the mix of tasks they are willing to do to fulfill their obligation of citizenship.

6-2-7. That, taking section 6-2-6 above into consideration, the City State could set its own determination of how many tasks, and from which groups, would be required as the minimum for that City State for a citizen to perform as a part of their citizenship obligation.

6-2-8. That any City State citizen can, with the signatures of ten percent of the total City State population, petition for a matter of regress in the fact of existing law, or matter of establishing new law, a proposition to address stated problem or need, with such matters then made part of the voting agenda of a regularly scheduled, City State wide voting session.

6-2-9. That any City State citizen can, by act of written submission, present a brief for civil action to be brought before City State local courts. Said brief to be heard before said court, by the claimants involved, as a matter of binding arbitration.

6-2-10. That any City State citizen can appeal a binding arbitration decision, to a multiple arbiter review board, by getting never less than 50, nor more than 100, of the signatures of a City State's citizens to support such a review. One further review, after a six month, or one year waiting period may be submitted by the same citizen, for the same decision, after which the matter would then be handled by the provisions in section 6-2-8.

6-2-11. That any City State citizen wishing to proclaim a certain individual unfit for the role of arbiter be able to do so by presenting a brief of exclusion to the same appeal board system in the same manner as outlined in section 6-2-10; excepting that the number of citizen signatures would be increased to a minimum of 200, and a maximum of 500, and where the arbiter in question would not be allowed to sit as a member of the review board making the decision.

6-2-12. That matters of criminal law be decided in open court, presided over by a panel of arbiter judges. Each City State would be free to set specific guidelines for the arbiters to decide on matters of evidence, witness questioning, as well as the rights, and obligations of both the defendant, and the solicitor acting on behalf of the City State. Such guidelines, however, will in no way supplant, or overrule items contained the national constitution.

  1. That the national government be consolidated as follows (in broad strokes):
    7-1. That Congress be reduced to a single new body called the Hall of States.
    7-1-1. That this body be set up for the purpose of member states to bring forth, and discuss matters of interest and concern to the rest of the states, either individually, or in groups.
    7-1-2. That this body be made up of regularly rotated members of each particular state, selected as each state sees fit to do so.
    7-1-3. That this body then be given the right to instigate, by majority vote, an item of consideration to be placed on a regularly scheduled, national voting session, decision list.
    7-1-4. That any matter then so voted nationally (by the voters in each City State), on getting a majority affirmative response, be made a new law of the nation as a whole.

As you can see, when in a daydream, one can tend to be carried off in the details. One can also be quite apt to miss important points, leave inherent contradictions still unseen, or perhaps simply include too much for their level of knowledge, or actual expertise. And if you think I'm kidding on the "far to ready to add more front." just consider how it continues below, in quite arbitrary order.

It all falls back on what you think of course. And I mean to say that for a specific reason. I am an advocate here, a passionate one to be sure, but still, in that advocacy I see my role as being specifically limited to trying to articulate the idea as a first step in getting anywhere with change. That being said, I want to emphasize that I am not trying to sell anyone on the idea because, on the face of it, approaching ideas within that context is abhorrent to me on a personal level. It is also quite counter productive on a practical level.

The thing is. We've been doing this "selling ourselves on ideas" thing for far too long already. The practical problem with that approach is that, even though a good pitch can close the deal, there is a very limited degree of actual, personal investment, a person makes when sold on something. In that context is always the "I was sold a bill of goods" response, and the easy repudiation of whatever was sold.

On the other hand. If you become motivated to look into, and then better understand something; with your motivation being both curiosity, and perhaps even some concerns, as well, you will come to that understanding of your own accord; which certainly maybe negative, as much as affirmative. The point being that, via your own understanding, as the idea comes to make sense to you, your commitment to it is substantially better. And if you do not want to be committed to this than either argue passionately against it, or just leave it alone. You weren't meant to understand it in the first place.

The bottom line is this. It's not up to me whether this becomes a mainstream idea or not. Or even if it is to go any further than that. I probably only have a few decades or so more to go anyway so... Things getting bad may not really get started in my life time (though I do seriously doubt that). If the wrong choices, in one mother load of a list of important ones, aren't made soon, the possibilities of how things could go south is as big as your imagination wants it to be. You are going to be on the hook for that more than I probably will be. My purpose is, as it has always been, to try and articulate something I feel very deeply. And to do it to the best of my ability. 

So it's mainly up to you. It's up to you to stop looking for the charismatic leader and just look to your neighbors for how to work change from the ground up. Start thinking for yourselves. Starting deciding for yourselves. Sorry to say children but this is what really growing up, and taking responsibility for ourselves, looks like. Ignore it at your peril.

Further Platform Additions:

0. Military service would be universal, and mandatory at the age of 18.

0a. Service would be for a period of no less than six years.

0b. Service training would emphasize discipline, fitness, and general systems operations

capability, in addition to conventional military skills.

0c. Actual combat role assumption would be decided by a combination of lottery, with certain

weighted considerations being given to aptitudes demonstrated (where you could become

a little less likely to be placed in a combat role), or the lack thereof .

0d. City States would be given resources credit for every citizen participating in nationsal

service, with additional credits given for those participating in combat roles.

0e. Additional service time could be required if certain educational minimums were not met.

1. A state department of information

1a. Being a part of the state Hall of States delegation

2. That the executive, and the military be combined into a four member department of National Operations.

2a. Fleet
2a-1. All air, sea, and space force operations.
2b. Mobile Infantry.
2b-1. All ground fighting operations.
2c. Emergency operations
2c-1. All operations formerly done by the Army Corps of Engineers, in addition to enhanced
disaster relief capabilities once handled by state national guards, and other ngo's.
2d. Administration
2d-1. A combined panel of senior military officers, and senior civilian citizens who have
already had experience cycling through state administrative tasks, and the tasks of the
state delegation to the Hall of States.
2d-2. This part of national operations would also assume all aspects of the departments of
energy, the Interior, health, education and the environment.

Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders: How To Remake the Democratic Party

The intro video can help to further understand the idea: