Do We Need Politicians, Or Can We Cut Out the Middleman?

George Washington's picture
American Politicians Are Bought and Paid For

Virtually all independent economists and financial experts agree that the economy cannot stabilize or recover unless the giant, insolvent banks are broken up (and here and here). And the very size of the big banks is also warping our entire political system.

Politicians are wholly bought and paid for. As famed trend forecaster Gerald Celente writes in the current Trends Journal:

Politics today is little more than legalized prostitution. While a streetwalker gets busted for selling her body to a john, politicians get rewarded with campaign contributions for selling their souls to a corporation or lobbyist. With all of the whoring going on – the money exchanged and the pleasures lavished – the only one actually getting screwed was John Q. Public.

But the chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University (Donald J. Boudreaux) says that calling politicians prostitutes is inaccurate – because it is being too nice. Specifically, Boudreaux says that it is more correct to call politicians “pimps”, since they are pimping out the American people to the financial giants.

So the state of banking and politics in America is grim, indeed. But do we really even need banks or politicians? Or can we cut out the middle man?

This post looks at whether we can use Direct Democracy to cut out the corrupt political middleman. In a separate essay, we look at whether we can use alternative financial arrangements to cut out the big banks as financial middleman.

Do We Need Politicians … Or Can We Cut Out the Corrupt Middleman?

Gerald Celente writes in this month’s Trends Journal:


For some years we’ve been seeing the promising stirrings of a global Renaissance; a “new order” that would reject the gross materialism, excessive consumerism and glorified militarism that has dominated contemporary western societies. But each initiative undertaken to retrofit and change the failing system has had its momentum blocked or sabotaged by the entrenched agents of “no change.”




Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only solution is to take that control from the handful of “them” – the power possessors and power brokers – and put the power into the hands of the people. But how?




I propose … of Direct Democracy – a potentially globe-changing movement that would replace today’s “representative democracy.” Positive change will not and cannot occur until power is taken away from the power obsessed.


While, in 2011, no one would dream of reinstituting the divine right of kings, what is passed off today as  “Democracy” is little more than a structure to clandestinely
support an ersatz nobility that perpetuates that very divine right practice.


The Direct Democracy solution I propose will not only transfer power to the public (for better or for worse!), it will make “we the people” fully responsible for creating the future. The choice is stark. Either we take action to create our destiny, or others will continue to create it for us … and judging by past performance, we’re not
going to like what they create.




Regardless of who is elected – Republican or Democrat – the only solution I can see at this time that could save America (and be applied worldwide) is to take the power out of the hands of politicians and put it into the hands of the people.


In Switzerland, where this is practiced, it is called “Direct Democracy.” The people vote on major issues that affect them locally and globally, and the elected officials (whether they agree or not) perform their duties as “public servants,” carrying out the will of the people.


The US and other nations that call themselves “democratic” have “representative democracy.” In theory, elected officials pledged to carry out (represent) the will of the people. But, in practice, at least in modern memory, most elected officials carry out the will of special interests whose “campaign contributions” (a.k.a. bribes and payoffs) assure their subservience. While most everybody knows this, it’s  both tolerated and accepted as political business as usual.




Given today’s dire socioeconomic and geopolitical conditions and our forecast for them to dramatically deteriorate, I believe that changing from a faux-representative democracy to Direct Democracy would be a giant step in the right direction. If the Swiss can do it successfully, why can’t anyone else?




WHERE TO START Understanding the tremendous power that social networking played in galvanizing the revolutions of the “Arab Spring” and the uprisings and protests raging through Europe, I propose using the same model to bring about a Direct Democracy revolution.




It should never be forgotten that no law is immutable. Laws are made only to be superseded by new laws. No clearer example can be given than the wholesale raping of the Constitution by the Supreme Court and successive presidents. What better time to write a new one? If the Founding Fathers could pull it off with horses, sheer will and quill pens, surely 21st century revolutionaries can make Direct Democracy a reality with the strokes of a keyboard. Not only can the Internet serve as the galvanizing force
to bring about Direct Democracy, it can also be used as the 21st century ballot box.


“Voting online could be subject to hacking and fraud,” the entrenched parties will argue. But casting a vote online is no more susceptible to “irregularities” than casting a vote at the polling place … be it stuffing the ballot boxes or rigging the voting machines.


In fact, voting online, with full transparency, would prove more secure than any polling place run by party operatives. I say, “If you can bank online, buy online, gamble on line, you can vote online!” Going to vote should be easier than going to the ATM. And if you don’t have your own computer, there’s always the polling place.


It is due time Thomas Jefferson’s vision that “… in due time the voice of the people will be heard and their latent wisdom will prevail,” prevails.




Publisher’s Note: “Representative Democracy,” the form of government we adhere to in the West, is no more than a cruel sham, a bone thrown to the proles following the overthrow of the aristocracies of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The restive public was gulled into believing that, by voting for members of political parties pledged to represent their interests, their voices would be heard.


While attractive in principle, in practice, political parties come to represent the same very rich and very powerful interests that have ruled throughout history. Only the names and ranks have changed. No longer called Kings, Queens, Czars, Dukes and Barons, the new aristocracy is called the “too big to fail.”




Thinking people everywhere are recognizing that Direct Democracy can provide a blueprint for revolution in the New Millennium. Non-violent, intellectually and philosophically sound, emotionally empowering, and potentially inexorable … the greatest obstacle to Direct Democracy is to do nothing.

Celente also includes in his latest newsletter an article on direct democracy from Thomas H. Naylor. Naylor is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University. For thirty years, he taught economics, management science, and computer science at Duke. As an international management consultant specializing in strategic management, Dr. Naylor has advised major corporations and governments in over thirty countries.

Naylor writes:


Taking note of the unsustainable, unfixable, gridlock nature of the US government and its inability to fix the American economy, Gerald Celente has proposed that the United States turn to Swiss-style Direct Democracy as an alternative way to resolve such divisive issues as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the magnitude of the government’s budget deficit, how to finance health care, the size of the defense budget, and national immigration policy. He envisions this being carried out on the Internet.




Over the past 700 or so years Switzerland has developed a unique social and political structure, with a strong emphasis on federalism and Direct Democracy….


Switzerland has a coalition government with a rotating presidency, in which the president serves for only one year. Many Swiss do not know who of the seven Federal Councillors in the government is the president at any given time, since he or she is first among equals. In Switzerland a petition signed by 100,000 voters can force a nationwide vote on a proposed constitutional change and the signatures of only 50,000 voters can force a national referendum on any federal law passed by Parliament.


Among the high profile issues that have been resolved by Swiss national  referendums are women’s voting rights, abortion rights, creation of a new canton, abolition of the army, and Swiss membership in the League of Nations, United Nations, World Bank, IMF, and the European Union.




Most political scientists agree that the Swiss have taken the concept of democracy to levels heretofore unattainable any place else in the world. In his excellent book Direct Democracy in Switzerland (Transaction Publishers, 2002), Gregory Fossedal describes Switzerland as “a Direct Democracy, in which, to an extent, the people pass their own laws, judge the constitutionality of statutes, and even have written, in effect, their own constitution.” That’s a lot!


All of this is in stark contrast to the United States in which our government is owned, operated, and controlled by Wall Street, Corporate America, the Pentagon, and domestic and foreign lobbies. Whereas the primary role of Swiss Direct Democracy is to protect the Swiss people from the Swiss government, the US government is more concerned with protecting its powerful clients from the will of the American people. In Switzerland the people own their government. In the
United States the government owns us.


[Given how much larger the U.S. is than Switzerland, and our different politicial system, it would be challenging to institute Direct Democracy in the U.S.]


But the alternative is a nation whose government has lost its moral authority and is tightly controlled by a self-serving military/industrial/congressional complex accountable only to itself – a nation that has become unsustainable economically, militarily, socially, environmentally, and politically. The United States is so large that it may no longer be governable and has possibly become unfixable.


If there is a way out of our nation’s death spiral, Direct Democracy just might be one of our last remaining viable options. We could do a lot worse than emulate the Swiss.

If American politicians have become so corrupt that they are beyond redemption, maybe we should use Direct Democracy to cut out the middleman.

And see this analysis by Yves Smith of how the direct democracy-like process involved in the Wall Street protests is one of its greatest strengths.

Wouldn’t Direct Democracy Lead to Mob Rule?

Some have expressed concern that direct democracy would lead to “mob rule”. In response to such fears, Gerald Celente responds:


Mob Rule? That’s precisely what we have now. The Wall Street Mob Rules. The Republican and Democrats? They’re nothing more than the White Shoe Boyz version of the Gambino’s and Bonnano’s.


Mob rule? “We the People” are too stupid to think for ourselves? What self respecting individual would look up to a House of Weiners to make life and death decisions for them? A Congressional Gang of 535 controlling the lives of 312 million … that’s mob rule!


We’re too stupid? We should bend over and suck up to The Gang of 535 … the DC Drama Queens and the Beltway Circle Jerks that put on a summer long Debt Ceiling Soap Opera … the inept and incompetents whose public spectacle was cited by Standard & Poor’s as a reason for the downgrading of US debt?


Those opposed to “Let the People Vote” are either party operatives, entrenched interests or little minds that can’t think … or are afraid to think … for themselves.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Milton Waddams's picture

The Game changes when people begin to recognize that all economic theory today is based on a model incorporating a monolithic competitor that is a diametric opposite of your position.  Smart people have known this for years; which is why they've got into bed with China.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



Voting would never produce a just society. That fact has been proven over and over again down through history.

Only a strong framework of just laws produces a just society. Assuming those laws are enforced.

That's what we had in America starting out. A strong framework of just laws. But over time enforcement of those laws grew weaker and weaker to the point where they're not enforced at all anymore.

There is no such thing as individual rights. There is only limitations on government. Every "right" people think they have is really just a limitation on government. Or a limitation on other people.

For example the "right to speak one's mind" is really a limitation on government. Government is prohibited from taking action against someone because of something they say, assuming no one else is harmed by it either.

If it were expressed as a limitation on government, it would be pretty much impossible for government to do an end run around it. But expressing it as an individual right gives government all sorts of ways to ignore it, explain it away, etc, because it's not stated in law as a limitation on government.

The second amendment contains a clause saying "shall not infringe". Does that clause prevent government from infringing on said right? No, obviously not.

But if it clearly said government shall not interfere with a citizen's freedom to keep and bear arms, it would be much more difficult for courts to do an end run around it. And it wouldn't matter if the majority voted for some kind of limitation, government couldn't enforce it because the law clearly says government shall not interfere.

We don't need more talk of rights. We need more "government shall not". Politicians will do whatever they want until they run up against "government shall not".

And yes, it has to be spelled out. So it can't be "interpreted" away. Politicians are like children. You have to say "NO" in clear terms for them to get it.

But we're at the point now where government ignores all laws. Politicians do whatever they want.

Voting can't fix that. Vote out one law-ignoring politician and vote in another one. Nothing changes.

When we get to this point where government just flat out ignores the law, the only solution is eliminate that government. Get rid of it completely.

... and that's exactly what the Founders said in the Declaration of Independence.

Once again GW completely misses the mark. The solution to our present day problem was stated clearly in the Declaration of Independence ...which GW apparently knows little or nothing about ...but the real George Washington helped write.

AnAnonymous's picture

That's what we had in America starting out. A strong framework of just laws.


What's preventing you from seeing 'justice' in these days if you see 'justice' in those days?

US citizens and their fabled past. It is heavy.

Cultural indoctrination and a specific genetic make up accomplish wonders.

acttang's picture

"Only a strong framework of just laws produces a just society". Sounds nice, except you didn't speicify who makes these "jest laws", and through what process. A good hearted dictator surrounded by couple of wise guys?

cranky-old-geezer's picture



Sorry, dup post, damn slow server.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



This comment is typical of many here on ZH. People here may some knowledge of finance but little or no knowledge of the legal foundation of the nation they live in, particularly here in America.

The "strong framework of just laws" I spoke of was not made by our government nor the people. It pre-existed the founding of America. It was not created in America. It was copied in America. Its creation traces back to the Magna Carta ...another thing people here know little or nothing about ...including GW.

This is why the DOI and Constitution are so brief. They didn't have to create a legal framework. They merely copy and reference an already established framework.

So we have a peanut gallery here on ZH who love commenting on the sad state of government in America today, suggesting all manner of ways to "fix it", when they have little or no knowledge of law to begin with, certainly no knowledge of the pre-existing legal framework America copied.

And no, Ron Paul wouldn't fix it either. He has the same lack of understanding of law and America's legal framework folks here on ZH do. He wants to end the Fed. So does everybody here. A child can figure that one out.

But what about his plan to eliminate 95% of federal law that clearly exceeds federal government constitutional authority? I haven't heard anything about that. What about his plan to prosecute banker criminals and their government puppets for treason and execute them? I haven't heard anything about that either.

On top of that, Ron Paul is just one man. Against 500+ bought and paid for people in congress, plus thousands of federal bureaucrats deeply committed to the status quo, plus hundreds of thousands of loyal knuckle-dragging mercenary thugs (aka "law enforcement") helping preserve that status quo at gunpoint, plus an entire federal judiciary bought and paid for.

Nobody can reverse that. A hundred Ron Pauls couldn't reverse it. It's just too damn big.

The only solution is get rid of it, completely, and start over. Exactly what the Founders said in the DOI.

Oh yes, they knew way more than we give them credit for.'s picture

Ron Paul has said repeatedly that he would defund unconstitutional programs. He would end some immediately (foreign occupation) and support others (entitlement programs) for a period of time while those who are dependent on them can adjust to a new system.

Ron Paul opposes capital punishment so he won't try to execute bankers or anyone else. But he will end unconstitutional support of banks and other special interests.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



You make it soud like Ron Paul would be some sort of dictator, implementing his desires in spite of total opposition from 535 members of congress who very much like the status quo.

Forget it.  Ron Palul wouldn't be able to do any of the things you mention.  Not one.  He would go through 4 years of POTUS accomplishing ZERO  ...if he could get elected at all ...which is highly doubtful.

AnAnonymous's picture

US citizens are creatures of comfort. This guy stated in his post. A 'just' society is a society he is comfortable with, as the good ole US.

Who cares who produces the 'just' laws as long as US citizens are comfortable with them?

Actually, US citizens hate on Justice. They largely prefer injustice. Do not expect just laws in the US. Only injustice US citizens are comfortable with.

That is the current big issue: more and more US citizens are falling on the wrong side of injustice and by thus are growing more and more uncomfortable with the US laws.

George Washington's picture


Thank you, sir.  That is actually a very interesting and educational point.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



You're welcome GW, and please stop posting nonsense like this. 

ZH is becoming one of the top financial sites on the internet.  Emphasis on financial.  Please respect the venue, culture, and integrity of this site. 

falak pema's picture

Its called 'hegemonical regulatory capture'. Its the salt and pepper of government play since the time of the Catholic church. Be the law maker and then turn the law to your private benefit by acting as neutral 'regulator', ostensibly to ensure that laws are strictly abided to, but in fact to ensure your private agenda. Very Machiavellic, basis of all 'reason of state' like 'reason of church' logic, throughout the ages. 

To come back to the core issue : your personal rights begin where the personal rights of others end... the principle of all good governance of the individual/collective liberty divide. Based on rule of law and its effectively true application without 'political' slant. Justice should always be blind and not know who is powerful and who is weak when it weighs the balance.

That is the KILLER in representative democracy. It is always manipulated in the favor of the strong, is Justice...

Just to highlight this pernicious twist in modern society : In the US even the top bureaucrats are elected. In Europe they are a permanent neutral body, sworn to be apolitic in their status as permanent government servants. By thinning the elected pyramid and reinforcing the government servant base, it could put a brake on the generalised corruption. Those government civil servants don't have political agendas as they are NOT there for four years. But it does have other disadvantages, as they become a huge inertia wheel and when you want to thin out the government sector as technological progress and productivity gains make it possible to have fewer human resources required to do same government ouput, they become a conservative resistance lobby to change. Swings and roundabouts.

jeff montanye's picture

u.s. constitution '88 and following, ron paul '12. 

Paul Bogdanich's picture

"Wouldn't it be nice"

geekgrrl's picture

I know this probably an unpopular opinion, but I think the people would be much better off if we just got rid of the federal government and governed on a state-by-state basis. It seems to me that scale is such a huge factor in politics that any analysis that ignores scale is suspect in my view. Look at the Swiss, a small country, comparable to many states. I remember seeing a PBS show years ago about the progression of social structures. The political organization changed as the number of people increased, from clans, to tribes, to bands, to states, to nation-states, to countries. Generally it went from a state of almost total freedom with few "laws," to the inescapable prison we all live in now, where there are literally so many laws that the claim that 'ignorance of the law is no excuse' is utterly ridiculous, since even specialists like tax attorneys need constant refresher courses to keep up with the insane increases in new laws and regulations. Even the sitting Secretary of the Treasury is unable to properly complete his taxes!

We have reached the apogee of bureaucracy. After that comes chaos.

falak pema's picture

Just one problem with your take : Oligarchical USA was built on the basis of central government, went continental after civil war, went global after WW2, went hegemonic after Reagan. So it'll take a hard landing of this financial meltdown magnitude to shake this construct to its roots. But even then these guys hold all the cards. They'll won't leave except with their boots on....dead or alive.

geekgrrl's picture

Exactly!  That's the problem.

geekgrrl's picture

Exactly, same thing. The Eurozone would also do better if it disappeared and the individual countries went back to being countries.

For me, this ties back to Adam Smith, who pointed out the obvious: competition works best when there are a large number of small actors, none of whom are large enough to affect the rules of the game or move the market.

Both America and the EU (and China for that matter) violate those rules just on size alone. Make all states small, and make them numerous.

dolly madison's picture

You were wrong.  Your idea is not unpopular at all.  I think splitting up into states would be best.

geekgrrl's picture

Yes, I'm surprised but maybe I shouldn't be. Folks here seem to be coming to similar conclusions on their own, which is in itself a very interesting phenomenon.'s picture

That's a step in the right direction. I'm an anarchist but I'm willing to look at anything that moves things in the right direction and your suggestion fills that bill.

They could also give us our full allotment of congress critters. We're constitutionally allowed one for every 30,000 people but now we only have one representative for more than half a million people.

If there were currently 10,000 representatives you'd certainly have more diversity in congress. If you shared a congressman with only 30,000 other people instead of a half a million people you might get better service, too.


geekgrrl's picture

The way I'm seeing it, the devolution will be a reversal of what has already happened. This NWO business is an empty pipe dream that will never happen. It's too late; peak energy has already happened. It's going the other way, towards decentralization. First the states will break away from the union. Then the localities will break away from the state. In a declining energy scenario, I don't see any other alternative.

AnAnonymous's picture

This NWO business is an empty pipe dream that will never happen. It's too late; peak energy has already happened.


A global world order is an empty pipe dream? Waooooo, for US citizens, reality is fantaisy.

There is a current global world order and that is the US world order.

As to localism, they are already people who are confined into localism. Most indicates they are on the wrong side of US world order.

It is funny, comfort matters so much for US citizens. As soon something turns rough to them, it should be stopped at once. No matter that something destroyed millions of life just before. Only when it starts devasting US citizens life, it has to be stopped.

Globalism wont be stopped. Less and less US citizens are going to be on the right side of it.

And for people being stuck into localism in the near future, this will mean quite a lot of pain.'s picture

I think so, too. But I do have faith that, given a chance, somebody somewhere will resolve the energy dilemma. Or more in keeping with your post, a number of peole in various places will resolve such dilemmas locally if given the chance to act intelligently and independently.

Coldfire's picture

At this rate, there will soon be nothing left in America for politicians to steal, even from the future. Cue Kunstler's cornpone Hitler.

High Plains Drifter's picture

yep , God talked to the man called cain and told him to run for the presidency...yep....he is hearing voices now..........yep..........yep........

pods's picture

He woke up one morning and thought "I might just win this fucker?  Fuck that, I am out."


nah's picture

romney says OWS shouldnt ask questions... it hurts minorities peoples feelings



oyeah lol, wheres waldo lol

CapitalistRock's picture

Americans are the 1%. These kids at OWS have no idea how wealthy they are in the world. The rest of the world does know, however. Wake up.

dolly madison's picture

The rest of the world would also like to see us revolt,

Freddie's picture

Check out this incredibly weird OWS meet & greet with John Lewis in GA.  This is very weird.  Are they doing NLP like Hussein uses or is this what Pol Pot did with young people before they were instrcuted on how to suffocate old people and their parents while being cheered on by the crowd.  This is f***king creepy.'s picture

Amazing stuff.  That speaking with one voice thing makes me want to strangle someone. Or maybe everyone.

dolly madison's picture

That speaking with one voice thing was created when the police took away their bullhorns earlier in the protest.'s picture

One uses a bullhorn in order to be better understood in a large venue. That speaking with one voice thing makes it much harder for me to understand the speaker(s) because the natural cadence of speech is broken and listening becomes tedious.

For example:

That speaking with one voice thing -- that speaking with one voice thing -- is rather tedious to listen to -- is rather tedious to listen to -- it doesn't help me understand the speaker -- it doesn't help me understand the speaker  -- and apart from detracting from then message being delivered -- and apart from detracting from the message being delivered -- it's downright creepy -- it's downright creepy.

sasebo's picture

No big deal - elect Ron Paul. No more bernanke, geithner, holder, clinton, napalatano, obama, etc. Nothing but  Austrian economists & lawyers.

blindman's picture
Thursday, October 06, 2011
The Demands of the 99%
The founders knew this. Contrary to what false conservatives say on television, the founders had concerns about the concentration of wealth. James Madison had this to say:

“[T]he day will come when our Republic will be an impossibility. It will be an impossibility because wealth will be concentrated in the hands of few. A Republic cannot stand upon bayonets, and when the day comes...we must rely upon the wisdom of the best elements in the country to readjust the laws of the nation to the changed conditions.”
Wednesday October 5, 2011
Parks and Demonstration

America cannot expect a bunch of disenfranchised park-dwellers to come up with a solution to its economic woes -- they have a political ruling class to do that.

High Plains Drifter's picture

yes , they knew what it really was all about. they came from europe . they saw what was happening there. they understood banking and creating money out of thin air and the creation of wars in order to sink nations into never ending debt in order to control them. oh yes, they knew about this game all too well.......

pods's picture

And some of them loved it, cough-Hamilton- cough, .


byteshredder's picture

George, I'm suprised at you. Didn't you read Federalist Paper No. 10 written by your good friend James Madison - 4th President of the USA. James spelled-out the dangers of direct democracy a long time ago. 

George, I fear you have been studying those Frenchies, Rousseau and Robespierre haven't you? Haven't you!

AnAnonymous's picture

Rousseau is a swiss. But who cares in this US driven world?

dolly madison's picture

Yes, the elite have always talked about the dangers of direct democracy.  Of course they would.

HellFish's picture

This George is a clown and an insult to the original.

High Plains Drifter's picture

look its a hpd, west side............

everything was going pretty good to he started talking about israhole and 911......

well shit??