Posts Tagged ‘democracy’

Revolution Everywhere

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Mass upheavals have been toppling corrupt rulers all over the world, proving that we the people still have the ultimate power. Unfortunately, whenever the glorious revolution does occur, all too often one evil tyrant will fall only to make way for the next.

What we’ve been missing is a key piece to the puzzle: how do we roll out a functioning democracy over top of an old, broken establishment. Lucky for us, this key to unlocking lasting democracy around the world is in the process of being made right now.

This tool, still embryonic, will be an open-source, upgradable system of people, mechanisms, technology and software that will constantly glean consensus from entire populations to develop better policies and rules of governance. so that we can hold our elected officials to the utmost accountability.

How exactly will this work? That is yet to come, but it will work with the instantaneousness of twitter, the self-governance of forums like reddit, the connectivity of Facebook, while being imbued with selflessness like Wikipedia. Politicians will know what their electorates want, and the people will be involved, knowing their voices are being heard, and watching their leaders respond accordingly.

This democracy-in-a-box will be something that can be implemented anywhere, for any size population – so that when the people rise up against injustice, instead of repeating the old cycle of inevitable hypocrisy, they have this system which can be put into effect and live forever free of tyranny.

It will take a group effort to make this happen, as it will really be a monumental accomplishment to create something of this magnitude. But it’s entirely possible and in many ways has already begun.

Epidemic of Silence

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Why does it seem like people in positions of power are too scared to speak their minds? Is it the same reason the vast majority of us don’t always stand up for what is right? There are these tremendous tasks ready to be accomplished, yet no one seizes the reigns. Reigns which are just waiting there idle, well within anyone and everyone’s willing grasp.

I speak to these blights on our world which, if we had our shit together as a species, would have been eradicated decades ago. Extreme poverty. Mass starvation. A behemoth industry that profits off the very war it creates. This faux-democracy perpetuated by businesses and their puppets within the political system.

We cannot afford to wait.

Especially when millions of lives are hanging in the balance daily, and the only ingredient missing is enough people willing to take action. We have the resources. We have the know how. But we don’t yet have the get-off-our-assedness enough to breach the threshold.

Take modern warfare, as an example. It is completely unnecessary  It serves no purpose, other than charging entire nations billions of dollars to kill a high percentage of our fellow global citizens. We don’t need it in our world to survive. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of what our world needs. Yet war, as so often is the case, remains absent from mind and mouths of the mainstream media, politicians, and most importantly – we the people. We know it’s wrong but we haven’t risen to the occasion and stopped it.

And speaking of war, the war on drugs is a proven failure which – thanks to conservative governance – we continue to pursue with greater ferocity than ever. What the hell, people? It’s like in the movies where a boulder or car is barrelling down from behind, and our only inclination is to run faster in the same direction when a step to either side would see our problems end.

The evidence is overwhelming. Making drugs illegal has done nothing to stem the harm they can cause society. If, on the other hand, drug prohibition is a means to institutionalize racism, reinforce poverty, and bolster a militarized domestic police force, then the war on drugs has been a resounding success.

But I digress. My point is that all of these institutionalized mistakes can be readily fixed, if only enough of us were to speak our minds. Just look at Women’s rights and minority rights. It works for them. And right now LGBT rights are at the crux of their struggle for same rights on Facebook and elsewhere. Plus, marijuana legalization is making some great headway.  All this happens because a big enough collective  of people found ways to share their voice.

It’s not that these injustices went unnoticed for generations. It’s that we regular people have been too scared to campaign against them with enough determination to make change. Only now, when for years just a handful of brave souls would dare to make noise, does the majority hop on board and then make what’s right become integrated into society as a whole.

Still, we have yet to reign in the banks, gain way more accountability over global corporations, clean up the collusion and corruption in the news media, end the war on drugs and then dismantle the whole war machine for good. And… oh yea, I’m gonna need us to go ahead and end world hunger while offering every human, at the very least, the most basic necessities for life. That’d be great.

These goals are quite clear. The sooner we get them done, the better. So what the hell are we waiting for?

Democracy is Working… in China!

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Democracy is more than just voting for one figurehead or another every couple of years. It’s more than simply slapping some bumper sticker on your car or sticking some sign in your lawn. There’s more to democracy than what happens on election day and at the ballot box.

Real democracy is about taking issue with what’s most important to you. It’s about starting or joining a movement. It’s about getting people involved, out in the streets and on the interwebs, in big enough numbers to force change on to the political system itself.

The Arab Spring. The Occupy Movement. Even the Tea Party. All of these are fine examples of democracy in action where hundreds of thousands – even millions – of engaged individuals worked diligently towards a shared goal. And the best part is that they’ve all made a lasting impact on the world’s political system.

Now this very essence of democracy – this coordinated will to power by the masses – has sprouted up on the streets of China. Outraged at the prospect of a giant sewer running through their backyards, angry citizens clashed with police and rioted in the streets, offering a rare glimpse into China’s ripening revolution.

But here’s the kicker – the protests worked! Officials have scrapped their plans for a waste pipeline. Wow! If only the Quebec government was that quick to fold under pressure, student’s would have free tuition by now.

Here’s hoping for more protests in the days and years to come. Not just in China, but everywhere on earth as our world’s people comes together and rises up against the forces of injustice and inequality that have persisted for far too long.

Democracy for Hong Kong

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

When free markets and democracy get skewed by the power and influence of large business, we get the bastardized version of capitalism called corporatism. And when corporatism is allowed to run amok, the top 1% of 1% of the people consistently get richer and more powerful while everyone else systematically grows poorer.

Case and point, Hong Kong. Touted as one of the world’s freest markets, it is producing a record number of new millionaires. The formation of these newly rich comes at a heavy toll: the bulk of the Hong Kong people facing a 30 year high for income inequality.

Given that the corporate stranglehold over their government is set to tighten, they have little hope to reform their state using existing political channels. Any politician that rises to power will already be part of the corrupt game, and any real revolutionary figure would be weeded out well before taking a seat in office.

This leaves few options. One thing the people of Hong Kong could do is unite. By taking the streets, coordinating and mobilizing online, they could forge an entirely new democratic mechanism and channel the warranted angst from the vast majority of the people into tangible political clout. Only then will their voice be heard, and only then will they get the reform they desire.

What the Hong Kong people are going through serves as a microcosm for what the bulk of humanity is experiencing. Right now, powerful forces are subtley yet steadily stripping power away from the entire human race in order to widen their already mind-numbingly fat coffers.

For years now, every single one of us has been under threat of an impending corporatist plutocracy. Only with unity and solidarity will we have any hope to overthrow our billionaire overlords and their minions.

Fortunately, this is already happening. The world’s people are waking up. Slowly but surely, our global eyes are opening, allowing us to see ourselves for the first time. And one thing we will quickly learn is just how powerful we can be when we work together. After that, it’s just a matter of steering our species towards a more just civilization for all.

This Far, No Further!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Montreal’s Ethan Cox posted a passionate polemic pleading for Canadians to join in the people’s movement, to stand up against a broken government, and to help reclaim our declining democracy.

“Wherever you are, whatever you do, join us in the street,” writes Cox, “If we lose this struggle, if we allow ourselves to be bowed and beaten yet again, I promise you it will not end here. This is our moment, our line in the sand, our primal scream ‘This far, no further!‘”

But the engaged writer doesn’t stop there.

“This movement has awakened our communities,” he says, “We are together, we are strong, and we’re done being pushed around. We’re done being called crackpots and communists for questioning our governments’ slavish obedience to big business. We’re done being arrested, beaten and threatened for excercising our democratic rights. We’re done with greed, with austerity and with unbridled and unhinged capitalism.”

Awesome, inspiring stuff! These words aren’t just for Quebeckers or Canadians alone. The message is for oppressed humans everywhere on earth. Don’t settle for corrupt government. Don’t accept the gross injustices of the system. Rise up alongside your fellow global citizens, and together we will co-create a brighter future for all.

Global Voting System Drawing Closer

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

A few years ago I put forth a proposal for a Global Voting System, which is a tool for democracy that runs on all internet enabled devices, giving anyone a way to put forth ballots (either local, national, or international) and then let everyone else vote on the issue.

Of the few responses I received, only a few were positive. Most people didn’t see the potential, or worse, they saw the idea as pointless, irrelevant or impossible.

Now, it seems, a Computing Science Professor, Jeremy Hansen of Vermont, has seen the light and has announced his run for VT State Senate on a platform of digital polling and direct democracy. Hansen:

Having read pretty heavily on the topic, weighed the pros and cons, I wondered why an elected representative couldn’t use online and in-person polling of constituents to decide the way he or she votes. Though we are living in the ‘information age’ and have rich communications media and opportunities for deep and accessible deliberation, we are getting by (poorly) with horse-and-buggy-era representation. In the spirit of science and because I think it’s legitimately a better way of doing things, I recently announced my candidacy for Vermont’s State Senate in Washington County.

Amazing! Could it be that I’m not crazy after all? Maybe I’m just ahead of the curve. At least that’s what I like to tell myself when it comes to my bold predictions of world peace by 2020.

A Fight Turned Ugly

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

One person, one voice can make all the difference. If you see wrongdoings, injustice or atrocities, don’t hesitate to speak out. As soon as you do, chances are others will rally behind your cause.

So Long Privacy, Hello Transparency

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Patsy politicians pandering to plutocratic priorities threaten to pilfer our precious privacy. Lousy legislation like ACTA, SOPA and now CISPA have come to the forefront of this fight, and these bills will all be, hopefully, crushed without mercy beneath  the feet of millions of vigilant citizens.

Still, as disheartening as it may be to hear, these exercises could ultimately prove pointless because privacy is fast going extinct. (more…)

Corporations Against Corporatism

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a massive right-wing lobbyist group which fosters the collusion between global corporations and state politicians to vote behind closed doors, rewriting state laws that govern all Americans. (more…)

Massive Marches in Montreal

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Wow! Did you see the footage coming out of Montreal this week? Hundreds of thousands of protesters came out against proposed tuition hikes, flooding the streets and bringing the city to a standstill.

Amazing. Apparently Canadians can be mobilized to march. All it takes is the right catalyst, like a tax hike or a Tim Hortons coffee shortage.

I’m truly inspired to know that a whole new generation are experiencing firsthand how to exercise their political voice, and just how incredible it feels to do so.

Democracy in action. Well done, Quebecers!