by Carol Warner Christen
(Swans - July 16, 2007) Philip Greenspan wrote extensively, and I quote some of it:
The two-party system is a sham...The system itself, the US Constitution on which it's based, must be scrapped! Discarded! Eliminated!...those who call the shots -- the power elite -- are delighted with what is being done on their behalf and have no complaints whatsoever. And their alternate political arm, the Democratic Party, loyally responding to the elite's demands, continues to ratify the Bush agenda.
The authors of the Constitution were extremely powerful and wealthy men who disdained and feared the common people and...opposed...democracy. That word, democracy, does not appear in the Constitution,...Bill of Rights, or...the amendments. They explicitly stated...their antipathy to that form of government...But the strength and energy of hard labor was needed to realize those dreams...
In revolting, the common people were not merely seeking freedom from the King but liberation from the oppression of the colonial aristocracy. The Founding Fathers opposed those revolutionary tendencies...
The people wanted political power close to the local level. A distant, centralized government was feared and contravened independence.
...the Framers feared democracy and were resolved to subdue those obstreperous multitudes. Secrecy, deceit, and even violence were necessary to get their document written and ratified. They defied the stipulations and abandoned the authorization to amend the Articles and designed a Constitution that gave them every possible advantage to maintaining their wealth, power, and control through an entirely new centralized national government.
...a Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments that protected the individual from acts of the government, was incorporated into the Constitution. But other promised reforms that would have restricted private power -- the capitalists and their corporations -- were ignored.
...reality has broken through the veil of deception to expose the double F's and their con, the Con-stitution. If they were alive today they would be ecstatic with...Dubya. His actions and tactics are similar to what they accomplished. And he has crushed those unwanted Bill of Rights that they reluctantly accepted in order to get their show on the road. (1)
Layla Anwar echoes Philip Greenspan as she writes:
He is "Free." She is "Free." They are "Free." And you are only a spectator... Free, Freedom, Democracy. I shudder at these words.
I want to burn Plato's Republic and spit on your Constitution, on your Founding Fathers, on your Laws. (2)
The idea that the United States Constitution embodies the right to use an army to turn sovereign countries into democracies for the use of corporate profits is obscene. Nothing in the Constitution says we are to play Henry Kissinger's Great Game with the rest of the world as pawns while we stand by as observers; yet the elites feel it is their right and duty to correct the People without changing the Constitution. They will war with anyone on the planet who has resources for us to exploit. We especially exploit our young and strong soldiers. We no longer use our wits to feed ourselves well and wisely with the bounty we have. We murder in the name of freedom; we maim in the cause of peace; we steal in the name of God. We sold our birthright for a mess of someone else's potage.
The tone of the reporting classes currently is to denigrate the Founding Fathers for the Constitution they wrote because it is not working as it ought while they undermine it. Above, Philip Greenspan articulates the same and it may all be true. The Fourth Estate has been reduced to five major corporate entities with ties to global capitalism, not the People. The flaw that I see in this reasoning is the Founders wrote words worth following regardless of their personal failures in regard to the People. For at least 200 years, the United States was successful adhering to those concepts of the Founders. Modern mass technology, beginning with the Industrial Revolution, gradually became so slick that the People are now beholden to mass technology, rather than the reverse. Mass technologies create masses of money for the owners; those owners spread some around but never all.
Below are several worthy points from various people that address the issues of our Republic and of elitist attitudes to undermine the People and the country, our country.
Samuel Adams said, long ago:
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. (3)
Pearl S. Buck puts human exceptions on the level of immorality:
Theodore Roosevelt, a president himself, said:
To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it's morally treasonable to the American public. (5)
My father believed the president of the United States was sacred. My answer to him was this: the presidency may be sacred but the man elected to the office is still just a man, a human being, as human any one of us.
Clay Barham says:
In the past 100 years, supporters of the Old World have been trying to alter the American society by altering its founding traditions. They are building new traditions based on individual weakness, fear, anger, envy and greed, to assure them of power for years to come, over a nation, which will result in poverty and misery.
Things have changed today. Those who support community interests as most important believe community needs to be managed by elites. They cannot conceive and believe the resulting free actions of individuals living in community manage best. America's successful free market, however, demonstrated that it does. The issue goes even deeper, to a question of whether free individuals are morally and intellectually capable of existing without management by a few well-chosen, compassionate elites.
They believe a few elite must design, build and manage all of society, even if doing so sacrifices liberty for all. The result is no different from that provided by Old World monarchy and dictatorship, the only viable means of sustaining a well-regulated community. (6)
John Adams, the first vice president, tells us:
The favorites of parties, although they have always some virtues, have always many imperfections. Many of the ablest tongues and pens have, in every age, been employed in the foolish, deluded, and pernicious flattery of one set of partisans, and in furious, prostitute invectives against another; but such kinds of oratory never had any charms for me; and if I must do one or the other, I would quarrel with both parties and with every individual of each, before I would subjugate my understanding, or prostitute my tongue or pen to either. (7)
Noam Chomsky said in a speech:
The crises we face are real and imminent, and in each case means are available to overcome them. The first step is understanding, then organization and appropriate action. This is the path that has often been followed in the past, bringing about a much better world and leaving a legacy of comparative freedom and privilege, for some at least, which can be the basis for moving on. Failure to do so is almost certain to lead to grim consequences, even the end of biology's only experiment with higher intelligence. (8)
Mike Whitney quotes a congressman on one source of monetary skew:
Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) summed it up best when he said:From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the burst of the dot.com bubble; every economic downturn suffered by the country over the last 80 years can be traced to Federal Reserve policy. The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a misallocation of resources and artificial boom followed by recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts. (9)
Gary Olson, Ph.D., considers:
...Of course the most vexing problem that remains to be explained is why so little progress has been made in extending empathy to those outside certain in-groups. Given a global society rife with violence, why doesn't our moral intuition produce a more peaceful world?
Here I tend to agree with Iacaboni's suggestion that externally manipulated, massive belief systems, including political ideologies, tend to override the unconscious, pre-reflective, neurobiological traits that should bring us together. For example, the fear-mongering of artificially created global scarcity may attenuate our empathic response. Another is the military's refusal to allow putting a face on U.S. wounded and dead soldiers in Iraq. As Prof. Robert Jensen puts it, "The way we are educated and entertained keep us from knowing about or understanding the pain of others." This all conspires to make it harder to get in touch with our moral faculties and benefit from some valuable insights flowing from the new research on empathy.
First, the insidiously effective scapegoating of human nature that claims we are only motivated by greedy, dog-eat-dog, individual self-interest is now scientifically undermined. This rationalization for predatory behavior is transparently false. Second, recent research indicates that economic inequality is linked to high rates of biodiversity loss. Scientists from McGill University suggest that economic reforms may be the prerequisite to saving the richness of the ecosystem and urge that "If we can learn to share the economic resources with fellow members of our own species, it may help to share ecological resources with our fellow species." It's entirely consistent to draw more attention to the potential for inter-species empathy and indeed, eco-empathy. (10)
The plan below, conceived by Matthew Moseley, has much to recommend it as a starting course of correction for the future:
First, the creation of legislation.
1) Single issue legislation -- all legislation must be submitted without earmarks.
2) No vested interest -- Makes sure that no government officials voting on the legislation has anything personal to gain (money, power, etc) by it. This includes their family members.
3) Accountability -- require mandatory public record of the votes cast for the passage of a bill.
Second, judicial review.
1) Constitution standard -- require all legislation to go through judicial review under the qualification that it does not violate a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Any violation must be returned to the legislature or scrapped.
2) Vested interest -- Since it is the purpose of the judicial branch to protect our rights from the abuses of the other two branches, make the Judges criminally liable for not thoroughly reviewing all legislation.
Third, public review.
1) Individual investment -- require all legislation to go through public review before it is passed into law. This will makes sure we know exactly what is about to impact us, and allow us to stop it before it happens.
2) Higher standards -- consider a requirement of a supermajority to allow for passage of a bill. The fewer people opposed to it, the less likely it will infringe on freedoms. Chances are, if a bill gets this far and the people take the time to care about their rights, bills will most likely pass unanimously or die the same.
Finally, executive signing.
1) Sunset clause -- all laws must have an expiration period. Many laws are passed that have a relevance to a specific period of time. Once that time passes, the law should become null and void.
2) Executive orders -- eliminate them. The Constitution defines the legislature as the branch for making laws and declaring war. The president should be stripped of the right to do this.
Once everyone else has done the job they are hired to do, and we've approved their work, then it can become law. This might sound defeatist, but it ensures that our rights are not violated, that a proper structure of government remains in place, and that the government works for the people. True, fewer pieces of legislation might be turned into law, but don't we have too many already. It's better to pass no laws than to pass even one that violates the constitution.
After all of this is in place, then I & R (Moseley's Initiative and Referendum bill) can serve in the role of making sure we keep the Republic in check. If a law that cut the mustard to get passed turns sour, we can eliminate it. If the legislature refuses to move on an issue, we can supersede them. However, I would add that any initiative put to a public vote must pass judicial review as well. We don't want the government having the right to take our freedoms; why would we want a group of other citizens to have that right either?
This plan allows for The Republic and Democracy to work together. Are you ready to keep it? (11)
All of this can be done with an Article V Constitutional Convention. So far, according to Joel S. Hirschhorn, (12) the Congress has never agreed to what the Constitution says is the right of the People to amend the Constitution with ratification by three-quarters of the states. The People have asked at least 557 times for this and Congress has ignored every call. If the People put any or all of the points above into one amendment or another, the people who feel they must and should call all the shots may be very unhappy with the rest of us. I say do it because we can and let the blame fall where it must. Our government and our media have been corrupted by easy money and corporate schmoozing. Many of them do not care who the People are, only who pays the highest salary. They, most of them, ceased working for us years ago. I call for a housecleaning because the bullshit is piled too high and too deep to do anything but get it all over ourselves.
Unless the People rise and make some very important changes, we will all lose. Populism worked for years as the farmers opened banks, worked their land, and spread the wealth. It all stopped when the elites saw the dangers in populism. The Populist Party puts up worthies, such as Ralph Nader, for election; no one cares; no one listens. We, the People, no longer have any common goals except to exist as we now are. First, we have lost our rights to our country and its direction in favor of empire. Second, we will lose the planet to depredations and poisons and resource depletion on a scale we have never faced as humans before.
As my husband says:
"W" vacations at his ranch as if he were Nero fiddling while Baghdad-Rome-New Orleans/Katrina burn; the circus continues with Reality TV, NFL gladiatorial events and, of course, Nascar chariot races. (13)
Life has become, in general, too cheap to those who live it and the government too corporate to serve the People.
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