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Biderman On The Constitution And 'Special Interest' Democracy

Tyler Durden's picture




 

As politicians have become more and addicted to the campaign contributions of 'special interest' groups, or as Charles Biderman of TrimTabs analogizes: "The pusher owns the user", so the representatives-of-the-people are no longer. The only solution Charles sees is to change our representative form of government as we "no longer have a government of the people, for the people, by the people". In a July-4th-week inspired rant, Biderman extends from the Gettysburg address to constitutional expectations (and representative law-driven rule as opposed to military force) concluding what many know and yet are afraid to lean against: our government is "of the special interest groups, for the special interest groups, and by the special interest groups".


 

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Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:07 | 2591685 Tom Green Swedish
Tom Green Swedish's picture

Buy Gold with your Fiat. At only $460 an ounce to mine, $1600 an ounce is a bargain.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:18 | 2591722 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

 "of the special interest groups, for the special interest groups, and by the special interest groups"

I think it was always this way -- but when they wrote "of the people," only the wealthy, land-owning, white men were considered "people."  Who government serves has not changed.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:28 | 2591754 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

And if only it remaind like that! Landowning white male voters are the only people you can trust with serious decision making(I guess I would include their wives too if I was pushed)

But your arguments is exactly RIGHT, the form of government did NOT change the voters did.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:45 | 2591823 Fukushima Sam
Fukushima Sam's picture

Corporatism and imperialism are like bread and butter.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:52 | 2591848 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

Corporatism and imperialism are like bread and butter.

Eventually, they fall on the floor, and somehow always land in a way that makes the biggest mess?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:02 | 2591890 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

Yup. And if you combine them, the bread will always land butter side down.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:21 | 2591983 veyron
veyron's picture

Biderman how's your FB call?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:33 | 2592038 Stackers
Stackers's picture

It's easy Chuck, 12 year term limits for any combination of Federal office.

2 terms as Senator and you are done. 6 terms as Congressman, or 3 terms as Congressman and 1 as a Senator.

Presidential terms are included in this maximum as well. The problem is the corruption inherent in a "career politician"

It's time to outlaw that particular life long career. You get 12 years and you're out.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:17 | 2592219 redpill
redpill's picture

I don't see how term limits will fix corruption, if anything it will prompt some to be more corrupt so that they get as many favors done for their buddies before they are termed out and then collect the reward in other ways. Even when career politicians get voted out of office and can't collect their reward in the form of campaign contributions, they still get it in the form of a cushy position at a law or lobbying firm.

I think what Biderman is suggesting here is something closer to direct democracy, but the problem with that is the electorate tends to be stupid, ignorant, and apathetic. California has a solid history of terrible ballot measures passing with the direct proposition system. Wrap something up in a proposition that purports to "help our children" or "save the environment" and the dumbfucks will vote for it no matter how poorly written or fiscally disastrous it is. Still I do think having some direct democracy potential on the federal level would be a good thing. But Congress would never agree to that because it cuts them out of their profit loop, and it would take an amendment to the Constitution to make it happen. So while the whole conversation might be an interesting intellectual exercise, the reality is that we're stuck with what we have because the people in power don't want to change it.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 14:35 | 2592789 CH1
CH1's picture

I don't see how term limits will fix corruption

Quite right. It's a cosmetic change to one corner of a monstrous beast.

The only effective thing to do is to get away from the beast.

"Going Galt," "dropping out," agorism," or whatever you wish to call it... stop feeding the beast is the only serious choice.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:13 | 2592920 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

Thanks Captain 'Biderman' Obvious, dont you have a city to saver?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:54 | 2593107 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Been trying to get "Tyler" to post this clip of Max Keiser at some "post collapse" Euro SPIEF 2012 semminar, but to no avail.  For you that enjoy Max, this is a classic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KpfEXMWWJA

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:28 | 2592266 indygo55
indygo55's picture

I thought he answered that question last week. It's up.

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:02 | 2592403 veyron
veyron's picture

His cost basis is 42 ...

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 17:47 | 2593299 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

"But your arguments is exactly RIGHT, the form of government did NOT change the voters did."

Respectfully, the form of government DID change but it wasn't "we the people" that changed. 99 years ago, the Congress assigned what it is obligated to do under the Constitution (issuance and control of our money) to a private international cartel. This was an unconstitutional act. The Federal Reserve, fraudulent in name, does not issue money, they issue debt based currency, the opposite of money. The passage of the 16th and 17th amendments, the 16th to collect the interest for the FRN's, the 17th to remove control of federal government spending by the states, was a coup d'etat of the United States.

There is salvation here, but it is not widely recognized: neither the 16th nor the 17th amendments were constitutionally ratified. The states should declare them null, void and of no effect. The state legislators would once again APPOINT their United States Senators to go to D.C. to represent the interest of the states. This action would de-fang, kill and bury all lobbyists foreign and domestic as they would have to "work over" each state capitol. A Presidential Decision Directive followed by an Executive Order to declare the Federal Reserve and the 16th amendment unconstitutional, a cancellation of ALL interest owed to the Federal Reserve and the immediate conversion of all FRN's to US Notes (interest free real money) would return the U.S. to our Representative Republic.

All it would take to do this is brains and balls.

Oh well, I can dream can't I?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 20:55 | 2593806 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

you're hilarious!

Landowning white male voters are the only people you can trust with serious decision making(I guess I would include their wives too if I was pushed)

"landowning white males" are pretty much the Wall Street demographic, the majority in .gov, the majority in "police enforcement," the majority in the mercenary corps, the majority in the banking class. . .

and they very often use their wives in order to set up tax haven loopholes to hide their ill-gotten payouts.

dude, find an open mike comedy club - you'll slay!

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:24 | 2591997 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

Who government serves has not changed.

Not true. The biggest special interest is women, and unlike all the other special interests, women comprise a solid majority of the electorate. They judge all laws, programs and policy according to whether it helps or hurts women. Add up the numbers, and it will be clear who government now serves - women.


Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:15 | 2592211 monad
monad's picture

The biggest special interest is the US MIC, of which thanks to GHB & Darth Cheney, the City of London is the majority shareholder. #2 is the banskter special interest. Blame women for this mess? Wow.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 21:01 | 2593819 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

some days the bitter runs hard and thick here. . .

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:06 | 2591837 Monedas
Monedas's picture

A can of Coke cost $ .10 to make, the promotion and distribution cost $ .30 and the multiple layers of tax and government interference cost $ .50 ! The profit is $ .10 !                 So, the manipulators are keeping gold over priced  ....  or the manipulators with a social conscience are trying to dissuade the innocent from throwing their fiat away on a scam by price discovery of Gold's high price ?  Have it your way !       Monedas      1929        Comedy Jihad Joke Discovery Mechanism

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:33 | 2592040 aerojet
aerojet's picture

How does buying up gold solve the problem of special interests capturing government?

Everyone is hiring lobbyists now.  They don't bother to compete or worry about competition, it's all about what they can get out of government.  The US is a way down the road to collectivism, really--there's no major industry you can go into and find a real market, it is all somehow either subsidized or does business with Uncle Sam.  You would think maybe Wal-Mart, but no--Wal Mart is making a killing because of welfare and unemployment monies.  Grocery?  EBT.  Farming?  Major outright subsidies there.  All healthcare, insurance, and education industries.  Everything.  We have created a gigantic monster with a single point of failure that is now massively misallocating capital.  It is the USSR all over again.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:08 | 2591689 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

 

"The pusher owns the user"

Holy cow that's an astute observation. Who could've seen that coming?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:22 | 2591710 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

Time to get long pitchforks, torches, tar, and feathers. Probably would need to be long lead plus high speed delivery devices. The time has come for all good men to come to the aid of their country...as it once was and needs to be once again.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 21:05 | 2593829 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

never gonna happen, been reading the same words, here, for years now.

as long as people still use the TBTF banks, still pay taxes, still conduct "business as  usual" while simultaneously bitching about "the sheeple" or the "dirty hippies" that are actually protesting,

then the illusion of nationstate continues, and those who pull the strings do so in comfort.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:11 | 2591691 midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

As some famous money-loving joo once opined: There is nothing new under the sun...

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:26 | 2591749 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Your anti-semetic shit is getting tiresome. You need to diversify your hate. Loser.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:27 | 2591755 midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

Schmuck.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:11 | 2591874 Monedas
Monedas's picture

If a Joo makes a nickle selling you a candy bar .... he's greedy !       If a welfare recipient gets a $1 it's social justice ? The cheapest tithers for charity are "Welfare Niggers" (of all races) and wealthy Afro-Americans who've made it big with Capitalism and liberals like John Kerry (who served in Viet Nam and was awarded a Purple Heart for a wound in his ass caused by a grain of rice assuming the role of shrapnel) and Algore !       Monedas      1929         Unofficial Spokeshole For All Joodom And Children Of Abraham

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:10 | 2591696 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

I like this guy.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:12 | 2591706 Tom Green Swedish
Tom Green Swedish's picture

He's a communist.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:18 | 2591723 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

stop using words you dont understand.  Go back to listening to your college dropout, friendless, know nothing drug addict radio host and feed on some more stupidity.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:36 | 2591789 Tom Green Swedish
Tom Green Swedish's picture

I'm 50 times smarter than you or this Biderman clown.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:57 | 2591870 narapoiddyslexia
narapoiddyslexia's picture

50? Why only 50?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:25 | 2592004 pods
pods's picture

Leverage limits.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:20 | 2591712 i-dog
i-dog's picture

What fucking nonsense ... from equating the European Union with the Articles of Confederation (nothing could be further from the truth!) ... to quoting Lincoln as an example of pursuing the wishes of the people! Sheeeeesh!!!

And his teleprompter reading is becoming more painful to listen to than Obomber's....

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:16 | 2591715 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

Perfect examples

 

Countrywide used VIP program to sway Congress: report

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/06/us-usa-housing-countrywide-idUSBRE86503920120706

 

Wall Street still giving to Obama

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57465854-503544/wall-street-still-giving-to-obama/

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:21 | 2591733 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

While I am not familiar with the works of Ambrose Bierce, I do think his statement of, "An election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods" fits pretty well into this TrimTabs video.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:27 | 2591752 i-dog
i-dog's picture

His observation that corruption is rife is something that even 5-year olds understand right now. But his solution? ... ummm ... let's get rid of representative government and .... ummmm .... errrrrr .... let's errrr .... come up with something else .... errrr, like .....

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd theorise that this is a propaganda piece to get the sheep baaahhhing appreciatively when the election gets cancelled!!

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:32 | 2591766 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Tis possible, but there are many people still believing this party or that party and things will be so much better.  The first step in solving any problem is to identify it. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:45 | 2591822 GernB
GernB's picture

The idea that people need protection from the unchecked power of democracy is not new. It dates back to the origin of the country. Too many people confuse democracy with the freedom, they are opposites. The majority, invested with unlimited power, is far more dangerous than the average individual invested with the same power, because the majority has a strong tendency to justify what benefits them the most as being what is right, fair and just, even when it harms or even kills others.

We don't need to do away with democracy, we need to begin to respect the individual and restore protection for them from a majority that will sell it's children into debt slavery so it can continue to spend on things it has conned itself into believing it is entitled to.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:35 | 2592051 aerojet
aerojet's picture

What is going on is NOT un-checked democracy!  Far from it.  It is the purchase of access.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:51 | 2591838 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

Actually, it was Mencken who said that. Here's the full quote:

 

"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting 'A' to satisfy 'B'. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods."
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:55 | 2591860 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Much thanks.  Looks like I am heading to the book store for some Mencken.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:29 | 2592026 pods
pods's picture

Mencken is great.  Shoots straight!

No need to head to the book store though Doc:

http://www.prismnet.com/gibbonsb/mencken/

pods

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:36 | 2592059 aerojet
aerojet's picture

And that's exactly why I don't bother to vote.  I already know I'm one of the sheep led to slaughter.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:24 | 2591742 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

WallSt broke it's historical pattern, and gave to Obama, more than the GOP, in 2008.  Chalk that up to a really disastrous Bush administration.

This time around, however, WallSt has reverted to it's historical pattern, and back to donating 5X as much to the GOP.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:51 | 2591843 GernB
GernB's picture

People forget that Obama broke the pattern of volentary participation in compaign finance reform. McCan could not do the same because the campaign reform bill had his name on it. Obama's punishment for choosing to avoid the restraints was being elected. His legacy is that no future candidate will choose to limit their contributions because the public has proven that when push comes to shove they don't care about campaign reform.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:24 | 2591917 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

More GOP half-truths.  McCain was "limiting contributions" in name only.  He was gaming the system, endrunning it (by a factor of 10) with PAC money.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/us/politics/20obamacnd.html

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:17 | 2591716 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Absolutely.  Some real special interests: Goldman-Sachs, JPM, Exxon, the AMA, CitiGroup, HCA Healthcare, BP, etc..

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:17 | 2591719 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

No shit sherlock, about 50 years too late.  

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:19 | 2591725 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Uh Uh I know I know Ask me my hand is raised ask me.

Open Source Referendum backed by an Open Source Closed Monetary System.

Further I recommend all like minds move to a state, say California, (one with lots of nukes and natural resources) and then we secede. Fuck them.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:33 | 2591768 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

California?  What's that budget shortfall again?  What kind of wages does a person need to have in order to support a family?  How much gold does the state of California have (not in the ground, but in their possession)? How much fresh water will Califonia have once Colorado and Utah shut down the flow from the Colorado river?  I'd think more along the lines of Texas or Alaska.

California will consume itself.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:52 | 2592356 msjimmied
msjimmied's picture

Location, location, location. California got the vineyards in Napa, pot in Humboldt, happy cows, Cheese! fruits, veggies, everyday is sunny and mild. Beaches! The economy we can fix. They are not going to cut off the water. Texas sucks, and it's too damn hot. Alaska is too damn cold. California gets my vote. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:25 | 2591727 Zola
Zola's picture

Easy: ZH seastead model. All policy decisions presented or submitted by members & or staff (equivalent to elected officials) to online forum . Debate happens in virtual forum and policies get votes up or down. Most sensible proposal with highest number of votes get considered for implementation by staff (elected officials). Some checks and balances need to be added but i think this would go a long way to fixing many problems. And by the way , this could a way in which Facebook could make a lot of $$$ , by allowing direct representative democracy through verified profiles (a la twitter)- or maybe the state itself has the function of creating these forums for discussion of policies where anyone with internet access can go and contribute . It is already the case that FB and social networks are significantly used for political activism. Transforming that into action should maybe be the focus of a ZH project: Open Law. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:26 | 2591748 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

http://youtu.be/DioQooFIcgE

 

We need only term limits to stop the abuses, I would make the holding of public office as pleasurable as jury duty and just as compulsory...  

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:36 | 2591785 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

They have term limits in California and look how that's working out. Whoever promises the most gets elected.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:32 | 2591769 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Sounds like a plan for screwing the 49% of the populace that has stuff worth screwing them for. Government by Facebook, good grief.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:22 | 2591736 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

I wonder if we will meet up in the gulags?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:48 | 2591829 Mercury
Mercury's picture

You just don't see Bartholomew Roberts' drink with death in today's ubiquitous or high-end pirate fashion...

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:54 | 2591853 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Could happen sooner than you think...

Georgia's new Secure ID document requirements and FAQs to get a drivers license or renew an existing one:

http://www.dds.ga.gov/secureid/accepteddocs.aspx

http://www.dds.ga.gov/SecureID/Faqdocs.aspx

Having a Secure ID will be required to board a commerciai flight and to enter any federal building.

The Nazis required everyone to present their birth certificates (as does Secure ID) and have an identification card issued. I got totally creeped out when I read under the FAQs that the new ID has a gold star. (5 pointed, not 6, but still not good.)

On a lighter note, I guess the PrezO won't be driving himself anywhere, flying commercially, or entering a federal building after the Secure ID rules,  as required by Homeland Security,  go into effect next January.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 21:12 | 2593849 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

other states have that up 'n' running. . . "smart ID"

 

(pssst, I hear 30sec in the microwave makes 'em even smarter. . .)

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:23 | 2591740 Richard R
Richard R's picture

A very original and interesting analysis that's probably true. The only problem is that a full out revolution would be needed to make these changes. And how do you do that when the "interests" control all of the methods of communication and action except face to face contact. And with a recording device and camera in everyone's pocket, who would have the guts to seriously propose these kind of changes. Would you buy your guillotine from Amazon?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:36 | 2591787 semperfi
semperfi's picture

The revolution is coming, just not for a long time - things have to get much worse first - and they will. Just not in our lifetimes. Rome did not fall in a day.  And it will be a soft revolution, like Egypt's.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:27 | 2591746 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

I'm just shocked. Biderman must be on vacation. If someone would have asked me I could have told them that years ago. I'm smarter than I thought I was.

I guess I should, "stop living in the the past."

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:26 | 2591751 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Liberty and freedom don't have a special interest group because they're in everyone's interest. Therefore you can't have a group of people that is going to protect your liberty. They can only be corrupted to work in the interests of the people that benefit them (those that keep them in power). It's why the limited government folks can't win. You give in to this fatal conceit that the government is somehow necessary.

I'd rather have a monarchy. At least you know who to kill when the train of abuses gets too long. Plus a monarch cares about the country more than just for the current election cycle. A representative democracy is just dilution of accountability. It's "no one's fault" or "society's fault". Obfuscation through process.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:28 | 2591758 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Another idiot who has never studied the American Revolution, read Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention, and hasn't read a lick of George Washington or his letters.    What does he propose replacing our Congress with?   How does he propose it is operated?   You say you want a revolution?   Well, you know we'd like to see the plan.    There is a plan, and it is in place.  It is called the United States Constitution.   Key to it is that the Congress control its powers as laid down in Article I, Sec 8 & 9.   And as Washington found to his chagrin, all these powers (which become duties when performed fiduciarily for the constitutent), must be performed religiously only and exclusively within the Public Forum.   The mechanism this serves with the performance of government is to create the transparency the people require in order to render the Consent of the Governed (specified and required in our Declaration of Independence), which gives a government its justification to rule.  

This is how the people rule over their government instead of being ruled.   This is the definition of Liberty and by its truth, also defines tyranny, which is that which Liberty is not.   It may seem complicated, but only because it has become so foreign to us, but it is simple, and its restoration into the mechanism of government is the catalyst that will reverberate through out the nation and restore America to its former greatness.   www.nar2012.com  

Serfs Up America!

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:59 | 2591876 Richard R
Richard R's picture

Hey, calling someone who doesn't agree with all your ravings an idiot is a great way to gain support. So let me ask you, Genius, how are you going to accomplish all your goals if all the money in the world is against you? Is your argument so compelling that the nation will just give up in agreement? It's probably nice in your dream world.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:15 | 2591954 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

It is called Liberty, and you apparently are not familiar with it, hence your over-riding ignorance.   It is not about money, it is about people who vote, and if they can be organzied they trump money each and everytime.   But you seem to have given up before even trying to fight for your Liberty, and therefore, you abdicated it.   Hopefully, more Americans have much more courage than you, and do not see themselves as pawns in life.   You want to know what I am going to do?   I have all ready done it.   I started a Super Pac, Elect A New Congress, and my website www.electanewcongress.com will be up and running soon.   And on that website will be the means to organize every American voter to take back the Congress on November 6th.    So lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way looser.   I mean to foster a Revolution based in Liberty.   www.nar2012.com

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:30 | 2592030 Richard R
Richard R's picture

I clicked on your link but there's nothing there. Maybe I'm a looser but you're a loser. If you would direct your energy against freedom's real enemies, I'd support you.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:52 | 2592357 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Richard, note that I said it will be up soon, my web designer is finishing it up.   But you can get the general theme by going to www.nar2012.com.    I do hope you go back to www.electanewcongress.com next week and I do hope you do lend your support, because this isn't cheap to do which is why I created a Super Pac.    Please also note that I did not attack you personally, but Biderman, who deserved the attack.  Also, thank you for calling me a Genius, but I must regress, because I am just a regular kind of guy who puts his pants on two legs at a time.

Serfs Up America!!!

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:36 | 2592061 pods
pods's picture

How is it in defense of liberty that you would try to be a part of a system that is anathema to it?

Serious question.

pods

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:45 | 2592097 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I applaud your efforts, but what you are going to find out is that the Matrix cannot be fixed from within the Matrix. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:29 | 2591761 Zen Bernanke
Zen Bernanke's picture

i usually think biederman is on point, and in this rant he is also, except his conclusion the scrap representative gov't for some unknown media based form of gov't is just plain silly.    What we really need is a strong president who is not beholden to special interests and can introduce and get passed legislation that will change campaign finance laws and get the special interests out of politics.   Representative gov't is still the best form of gov't and that's been proven historically. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:33 | 2591775 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Social media voting on all bills/laws/etc on the local level, while scrapping the federal and state level.  Bring back our tribes bitchez.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:17 | 2591972 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Forget the Presidency, we have no choice there.   And a strong President is not the answer.  In fact, a strong Presidental power is unconstitutional and only means that powers have been stolen from Congress and given unconstitutionally to the President.   No, our aim should be to take back Congress.   And that means will soon be online at www.electanewcongress.com.  

Serfs Up America!

www.nar2012.com

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:32 | 2591770 semperfi
semperfi's picture

The problem is 'we the people' sit around on the couch on our fat asses and watch football, baseball, american idol, general hospital, or hit the bar, or partake in some other form of mindless entertainment, etc, and expect and trust our officials to do the right thing without keeping an eye on them, and without even knowing who they are and what they do.  That's a big part of the problem right there - not the system. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:34 | 2591777 dcj98gst
dcj98gst's picture

Nope its the system. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:41 | 2591806 semperfi
semperfi's picture

Another problem is that 'the good guys' side is leaderless and cowardly.  There are no strong leaders fighting the corruption.  Currently 'the bad guys' have a monopoly on strong leaders.  The last strong leader the good guys had was Reagan.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:27 | 2592012 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

More like a monopoly on psychopaths.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:32 | 2591772 dcj98gst
dcj98gst's picture

The problem is not the lobbyist or special interest trying to gain favors from washington.  Its the fact that Washington "has the power" to GIVE out the favors is the problem!  They should not have this power and all is solved.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:35 | 2591782 Yellowhoard
Yellowhoard's picture

First! Repeal the 17th amendment. When US senators were selected by state representatives, the chosen senators were sent to DC to protect the power of the states. Since the passing of the 17th amendment, the US senate has become a one stop shop for special interest to buy influence on a national level.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:45 | 2591820 dcj98gst
dcj98gst's picture

Yes very true.  Most people do not understand how bad this was.

http://mises.org/daily/533

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:36 | 2591786 BrigstockBoy
BrigstockBoy's picture

Friedrich Hayek addressed this with students at Stanford in the 1970s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BQ-RN28bkY&feature=plcp

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:36 | 2591788 Monedas
Monedas's picture

On a long enough time line .... Socialism will still fail !       The special interests are those interested in something for nothing ....  government entitlees, government workers and their unions and all who lust for the unearned  !            Monedas         1929         Comedy Jihad All Others Have to Pay To Play

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:41 | 2591807 Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner's picture

Forgot to mention the biggest recipient of US gov't largesse... the banks who are hooked to the tit sucking trillions in ZIRP... and the corporations who are paying ZERO tax

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?pagewanted...

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:43 | 2592087 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Taxes and governmental regulation are such a drag on the economy .... they have to prime the pump and force feed the stalled system to keep it from crashing .... that's not largesse .... it's advanced Keynesian socialist fiat addiction !       It's like force feeding geese to fatten their diseased livers .... it's not a self sustaining circle jerk !         Monedas       1929          Comedy Jihad Late In Socialism's Death Cycle They Decide To Blame Capitalism

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:54 | 2592133 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I prefer the analogy of giving someone stabbed 100+ times blood transfusions while not bothering to try and close all the wounds.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:43 | 2591808 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

Whats that arrow blocking his nose ? Am i supposed to click it? Im confused

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:13 | 2591944 semperfi
semperfi's picture

Things would be so different if we just followed the part of the Constitution that said money shall be gold & silver.  There would be far less corruption.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:21 | 2591984 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

The only way to remove the ability of "special interests" from our government is to make government so small that there is nothing to influence.

 

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:55 | 2592140 aerojet
aerojet's picture

And then you have another problem--no enforcement power over anything.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:15 | 2592204 pods
pods's picture

Suits at common law.  The whole "we need a powerful government to protect us from the moneyed class" is the reason we are here today.

The moneyed class buys the enforcement so their tyranny is now state-sanctioned.

I guess it is same as it ever was?

pods

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:55 | 2592138 ONO47
ONO47's picture

With our current technology, there is no reason our congressman and senators have go to and/or live in Washington, D.C..

They should live in the districts and States they supposedly represent. That way, their constituants can come to their office or  better yet have weekly townhall meetings where they will have to constantly face the people in their district and/or State.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:56 | 2592144 aerojet
aerojet's picture

No, you don't get it--they have to be able to setup separate apartments in DC so they can carouse and cheat on their wives/husbands and live like movie stars.  Also, they like to jet-set around on someone else's dime.  They're a leech class, America's royals...

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:27 | 2592983 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

We no long need "representatives".

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:59 | 2592156 Taxpayer-On-Strike
Taxpayer-On-Strike's picture

Well, Biderman is right. And there is not much an ordinary citizen can do about effecting change in Washington or in State government. Its pretty much vote for Asshole #1 or Asshole #2.  Either the Parasite Party rep or the Parasite-Lite Party rep. My solution, to maintain my sanity, was to retire early and earn one third of what I used to earn. In effect, I went on strike. I used to pay about $50K a year in state and fed taxes. That is now about $300 a year, unless I take IRA withdrawals or have some capital gains. And I live well. See, now I'm just a "poor boy" with Soc Security and passive income from rental properties, thus the low tax rate. I get great satisfaction from starving the Federal Government, because its the most effective thing I can do.  I turn down work, even though I enjoy working. While I know most citizens can't do this, I suspect more and more successful small business owners and high earners who have invested well will opt for this approach to deal with an out of control government.

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:02 | 2592169 Taxpayer-On-Strike
Taxpayer-On-Strike's picture

Well, Biderman is right. And there is not much an ordinary citizen can do about effecting change in Washington or in State government. Its pretty much vote for Asshole #1 or Asshole #2.  Either the Parasite Party rep or the Parasite-Lite Party rep. My solution, to maintain my sanity, was to retire early and earn one third of what I used to earn. In effect, I went on strike. I used to pay about $50K a year in state and fed taxes. That is now about $300 a year, unless I take IRA withdrawals or have some capital gains. And I live well. See, now I'm just a "poor boy" with Soc Security and passive income from rental properties, thus the low tax rate. I get great satisfaction from starving the Federal Government, because its the most effective thing I can do.  I turn down work, even though I enjoy working. While I know most citizens can't do this, I suspect more and more successful small business owners and high earners who have invested well will opt for this approach to deal with an out of control government.

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 14:01 | 2592670 Bobportlandor
Bobportlandor's picture

I've been thinking about this and it must start with each state recalling their 535 people starving the system and replacing them all with new people with a mandate to limit the federal government size and intrusion.

Then as Mt B says allowing the people to vote on issues of whether or not Obamas health care is needed or not. Instead of 9 Supream morons.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:14 | 2592201 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

..our government is "of the special interest groups, for the special interest groups, and by the special interest groups".

This is news??????????

The most in-your-face openly corrupt political/democratic process in the world requiring vast sumes of $$$$money to sponsor (by vested interests) politicians election campaigns

..it's been this way for DECADES in the US and the penny has just dropped!!!

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:25 | 2592252 monad
monad's picture

The Constitution is the 2nd legal instrument of the United States. The Declaration of Independence is the first legal instrument. This is what Thomas Jefferson was talking about when he proposed each generation might want to write their own Constitution. The Constitution is merely a device to fulfill the rights claimed in the Declaration of Independence. If its not working, and it has not worked at all since Woodrow Wilson sold us out to the old world villains, we have the right and the authority to fix it. As we have a lot of vicious enemies including their stupid minions and leaches we have been saddled with for decades, it won't be easy but we can work this out. Since the system is demonstrably broken, in order to do this first we must restore the core of the original system.

We have the inalienable right to defend our lives, liberty and all interests, by whatever means available.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:48 | 2592339 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Yes, wonderfully stated.

The Constitution must be restored to protect the unalienable rights as it used to be when the United States of America was started.

And I will do it.

Done.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:55 | 2592370 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Dude, I hope you do, and the course of action is given at www.nar2012.com, and will become a more formal movement by next week sometime on www.electanewcongress.com.    Hope you are still a Liberty driven revolutionary by then.  

Serfs Up America!

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:45 | 2592330 janus
janus's picture

Holla, B!

normally, after digesting thoughts that accord so well to my own, an enthusiastic AMEN! erupts from a spot within.  but, since there's a whole mess-o amber waves, fruited plains, purple-mountain-majesty & assorted spectacularity seperating our addresses, i reckon you probably couldn't make it out...so i'll let my pal mozart do it for me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyHs4mizBXc&feature=related

though i'm sure you're aware, Plato had a few thoughts with respect to the decay and depracatory trajectory all democracies assume in their latter stages...and janus thinks we're full into the final death throes.  (and for all you who've devoted your spare time to video games and other such things, the book is called The Republic -- no need to read it now, janus has done the work for you...you're welcome). 

i said something the other day, and i'd like to now withdraw it: "america is not an idea"...yup, janus said that; and in the conventional sense, he meant it.  nevertheless, i've done a bit of thinking since then, and it seems i've got to amend my original position.

so, now i say america is a group of awesome people bound by a common idea.

'what, pray tell, is the idea, janus'?  

before i lay into that, i'd like to preface my thoughts by stating that, under normal circumstances, i would never employ profanity.  it is rare indeed for ole janus to drop the F-bomb; or any other such vulgarity.  yup, janus's writin is as pure as the driven snow...nothing to offend the most milquetoastian among men -- a true paragon of virtuous prose.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToFKho5oEi0&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLB98236418456D74F

so, that being said, i'll proceed with 'the idea that binds'.  let me also say that this idea is the animating force imbuing the evolution of goverment itself.  in fact, the declaration of independence (if jefferson had nuts the size of janus's) could've contained these two words only:

FUCK YOU! (not you, B)

let these words inspire you as you ponder the new world.  

america was the first place on earth where you could confidently say (and, if you so chose, in the most florid and eloquent way) FUCK YOU to anyone and at any time.  GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! (or, rather, an america that was).  

FUCK YOU is the american ethos condensed into two tiny words and one explosive thought.  

FUCK YOU is mankind's awakening...it is the birth of the spirit and fire within...it is the Plain Truth abiding that says a man knows himself better than any other -- and especially those who would make themselves master over him.

now we have allowed the very instrument of our liberty (law and its attendant government) to assert itself over and against that truth...we have invited it to suffocate our barbaric yawp -- our fierce and fiery FUCK YOU! we have been charmed; our better nature has been bewitched; we have been led astray.  democracy is indeed an amalgum of unstable, wasteful, parasitic, incompetent, dependent and above all LAZY 'special interests'...truly, a confederacy of weakness that has strategically insulated itself from its natural fate by manipulating the broader culture's fears and feelings of altruism.  

and it is in that spirit that i roll out the great campaign slogan for 2012: FUCK YOU.

want my vote, politican-man?  FUCK YOU.

oh, uncle sam wants me?  FUCK HIM & FUCK YOU, TOO.

i was arrested in this great land for saying FUCK YOU (but in much tamer language)...had my life ruined for it, too.

know what i have to say about all that...FUCK IT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU

ain't that some shit/

...i pity the fool,

janus

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:46 | 2592333 Yellowhoard
Yellowhoard's picture

1

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:50 | 2592346 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

In US citizenism, the US citizen middle class is the biggest special interest of all.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:24 | 2592476 msjimmied
msjimmied's picture

I think Biderman's idea has great merit. Since the republicans are so against the government, lets take the most voracious feeders off the government tit, the parasites we send to the hill every four years, and then promptly put themselves up for auction. Great cost cutting right there. There is no reason to have a single representative that can be bought. We have the information infrastructure to give every concerned citizen direct access in real time to vote on issues. 

The idea is not completely fleshed out, it's thrown out there for input, as it should be. The power structure that exists now will not let this happen. Yesterday there was quite a bit of give and take about various isms, none of them has worked well has it? Maybe it's time for a new paradigm, think outside the box. Once the scorched earth monetary fiasco plays out, we may get our chance to fix things. It's only when we have a dissolution of the old, that new worlds can come into being. What would it look like? I don't want to use the ancient roadmaps, the ones that have us lurching like a drunk between two paths, both leading towards ruin. 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 14:18 | 2592736 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

biderman is NOT a political historian, he should be staying away from this nonsense. he sounds DUMB. if he wants to pontificate, go get a job teaching 8th grade american history

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 14:22 | 2592746 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

As Charles points out, technology has evolved to the point that individuals can vote directly. Representatives are only needed when an online quorum is not met.

In other words, Congress should only be used as a backup on issues that do not generate enough online voting interest, probably 50-60% in most cases.

Charles glossed over the middle part of the transition toward corporatism and the loss of individual representation. In order to make D.C. a one-stop lobbying center, states first had to get squeezed out of the process. That took lobbying strategy away from 50 entities and consolidated the effort toward a single voting body. 

Federal block grants, some Supreme Court rulings, and other trends of the past thirty years, took power from the states, and with that change the individual voter has become less of a factor.

The only need for individual citizens in the current system is to generate enough tax revenue to maintain a plausible colateral stream to support continued digital fiat printing and debt creation.   

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 16:47 | 2593247 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

dude are you kidding me?

 

direct online voting 

1) fraudulent tallying of online votes. 

2) people are morons and will vote for more benefits 200% of the time while voting down taxes i.e. people whether rich or poor will vote to loot the system. this cannot be allowed to happen because the system is not democratic in the nature of its productivity. you ADD to the economy by producing NOT by consuming contrary to the visa/mastercard bankster model of overlending and predatory financing. 

if you let a system be directly controlled by the masses of consumers and freeloaders-----you will get a system where producers are looted by consumers. and this is ALREADY what we have without 'direct voting' . what you need is responsible adults in charge to cut the fat and start encouraging responsible producvitiy while discouraging anti-competitive corporatism and corporate welfare resulting from a corporate/public union sponsored government. the institutions have looted society at the individual producers expense. cottage industry , mom and pop, and small businesses have been carpet bombed by the current economic mess. 

 

i dont' trust the masses----who do you think shows them what to think? cnn/msnbc/FOX. yea, between thise 3 sources of consolidated corporate owned media to sheeple brain fibreoptics you have 60 out of the 120 million people that vote.  no thanks . 

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 17:10 | 2593290 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Speculation on your part, and it COULD BE TESTED very easily.

Put the Federal budget online as a survey with a line-item veto.  See what the people decide they want to spend their tax dollars on.

The problem isn't that "the people demand too much" at all--that's a flat-out lie.  The problem is that the people have very little knowledge of where all the money goes because the budget is designed to be incomprehensible, and if you made it clear to them where the spending is, they'd have no difficulty discerning the difference between important functions of government and massive payouts to big-business interests.

That said: if you really hate your countrymen, and you certainly sound like you do, you may as well start coming to terms with the fact that that's not a political problem at all.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 17:10 | 2593289 snblitz
snblitz's picture

Which form of government did Aristotle call the worst form of government instituted among men during his study of 100+ city/states?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 17:12 | 2593294 snblitz
snblitz's picture

California (a supposed republic) has direct democracy via the proposition system.

Certainly California is a beacon of liberty and freedom for all.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 21:24 | 2593883 Jena
Jena's picture

Turnout is very low in California, too.  (I don't know if it is similarly thus elsewhere.)  I hate to say it but maybe if we made it exquisitely easy we might see a difference in turnout.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 21:50 | 2593938 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Why would anyone want to make it easier to vote?  The current representives have all won elections using the current system.

That's why no one seems to care about fixing a completely fucked electoral process, even after 3 fucked-up elections in a row.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 21:51 | 2593943 Jena
Jena's picture

Oh.  So that's why I couldn't edit.  Yeah, consider that a post of a poorly thought-out idea.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:24 | 2592967 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

I'm with Biderman.  "Representative" Democracy is so 19th century and the need for it has long past any effectiveness.  Why elect representatives when we now have the ability to communicate directly in an instant.  We could eliminate most of the Federal & state bureaucracies with direct voting.  Want to submit a bill?  Set up a petition-style system such as the WH's (except give it actual purpose) and the bills which get the most votes go up for a national vote.  Of course the infrastructure would need to be closely monitored by a panel of non-elitist, non-financially connected referees (no Dibold), but it could be done, and it should be done.

Eliminating the "middleman" should be a major goal of the people going forward, IMHO.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:37 | 2593031 New Greek Tragedy
New Greek Tragedy's picture

grid-b-gone is correct: direct democracy is possible now. In fact, it's already been tried.

Unfortunately, the establishment made sure it didn't flourish.

At this point though it doesn't matter: it is, as we say in the Navy, OBE (Overcome By Events). Europe has given us a four-year bye but instead of reducing our budget deficit and debt accumulation we've accelerated it by an order of magnitude and beyond all hope of repayment. If the dollar doesn't collapse before the EUR, investors will look at the U.S. and realize our situation is far worse that Europe's and then it's 'game's over.'

I launched e-votingbooth.com in March 2008. This public trust welcomed every American to vote on any bill or resolution introduced into Congress.

Not only could you vote, but you could provide comment on how you would perfect the respective bill/resolution. I founded e-VotingBooth.com and believed it would change the system: eventually engage all Americans to directly and routinely participate in the legislative process—and ultimately take ownership in our country. In other words, convert Americans from apathy to engaged ownership.

The site operated independently of both the government and political parties, allowing Americans to switch the primary focus FROM the individuals we elect TO the legislation itself (and our values), as well as hold our public servants accountable.

Hold public servants 'accountable'?

Yes. We were building our Voting Scorecard. This tool was effectively a quantitative report card and with the click of one button would list all votes, along with the votes of each citizen's representative, senators, VP and President, where applicable. The bottom line number for each public servant would be a percentage indicating how each voted with or against the individual. For example, 80% means the public servant, or potential public servant, voted with the individual 80% of the voter's total votes. This is powerful information every American should have and use when making future election decisions.

We were ready to provide anonymous demographics (same data provided in the 2000 census) to Congressmen, political parties, media and interested individuals. The goal was to provide a feedback loop to tell Congressmen (and everyone else) how their respective constituents wanted them to vote before legislation (like ObamaCare) was enacted.

For voters, feedback of their actual participation in the legislative process of America was instantaneous: bottom line (Yea and Nay) percentages of voting to-date were provided instantly. Americans could vote at any time on any bill (once introduced). They could also track voting and even vote bills already enacted (for the Voting Scorecard).

e-VotingBooth.com and our Voting Scorecard provided the mechanism to very strongly encourage Congress to heed Americans' legislative desires instead of the whispers from special interests and donors.

Sadly, I shut the site down after realizing I couldn't achieve breakthrough without investment. Unfortunately, the investment environment in 08-09 conspired against us.

e-VotingBooth.com was a non-partisan, private and veteran-owned company assuming a fiduciary responsibility to provide a public trust as the only tool for Americans to participate in the legislative process. Yet it was just a simple, transparent voting and accountability tool sitting outside of government and political party control.

We believed the direct legislative participation we provided was exactly the kind of change American needed. It was also the ultimate way to defend the values we hold dear.

Steve Thompson

Founder

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 16:21 | 2593194 janus
janus's picture

Dear "steve" (if that is your real name),

i mean no offense by the following:

but, it's like this, i've been thinkin a lot about ole monty python today; and so then i see your idea for direct democracy...and it could probably work on a micro-level -- like a neighborhood watch or something.  but, really, it's totally impractical for any large government...and ever-so-utterly-impractical for one in such desperate need of radical change.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOOTKA0aGI0

 

i'll take the farcical aquatic ceremony over this tripe...democracy, bah!

 

what knight lives in yon castle there,

janus (king of the who?)

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 17:17 | 2593305 New Greek Tragedy
New Greek Tragedy's picture

Janus, communism/socialism, et al. has been disproved numerous times worldwide over the last 200 years. Of course so has representative democracy.

While direct democracy has never been attempted, technology now facilitates it.

I believe it will work large scale, conventional 'wisdom' to the contrary: James Surowiecki noted in his book The Wisdom of Crowds "if you can assemble a diverse group of people who possess varying degrees of knowledge and insight, you're better off entrusting it with major decisions rather than leaving them in the hands of one or two (or 535) people (experts), no matter how smart those people are."

And, needless to say, Rep. Nancy Pelosi's comment about passing ObamaCare 'so everyone can find out what's in it' shows the experts aren't so expert!

In the fall of 1906, British scientist Francis Galton scientifically verified the wisdom of crowds by analyzing 787 entries in an ox weight-judging competition to learn the combined estimate of the crowd was 1 pound off the actual weight (1,197 pounds vs. 1,198). "Many non-experts competed," Galton wrote later in the scientific journal Nature, "like those clerks and others who have no expert knowledge of horses, but who bet on races, guided by newspapers, friends and their own fancies."

"The analogy to a democracy," said Surowiecki, "in which people of radically different abilities and interests each get one vote, had suggested itself to Galton immediately. 'The average competitor was probably as well fitted for making a just estimate of the dressed weight of the ox, as an average voter is of judging the merits of most political issues on which he votes,' he wrote."

Galton and Surowiecki note the larger the group the wiser the decisions it makes. That means 200 million plus Americans are capable of making far more intelligent decisions than 535 politicians (plus the special interest and large donors driving them). More importantly, in fact of paramount importance, the 200 million plus Americans will be making decisions for the good of the country, not the good of the politician's career or power base.

James Madison, in Federalist 51, wrote explicitly there were two requirements for good government: "first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be attained." According to Surowiecki, "his fear of 'factions,' meanwhile, was predicated on the idea they made it harder for government to see the 'public good.' The problem, though, is that we have no standard that allows us to judge a political decision to be 'right' or 'wrong.' This is in stark contrast to the workings of markets, where we will be able to evaluate (someday in the future) whether a company's stock price reflects its true present value.

"The reason this question matters is if we could say certain policies were against the common good in an objective sense," Surowiecki continued, "then it's likely democracy's reliance on some version of the collective wisdom--as refracted through votes--would make it (e-VotingBooth.com) an excellent decision-making system, and would make any democracy's chances of adopting good policies high.

Now consider the possibilities. Specifically, if e-VotingBooth.com were running smoothly in the U.S. and I were to announce on a morning show we were launching e-VotingBooth.com/UK. Yes, there would be a large commotion as subjects of the Kingdom learned about the system, but they would most likely embrace the system because of the power it places in the hands of the citizens.

But what if I were to announce e-VotingBooth.com/Iran, or .../NorthKorea or .../China? The announcement alone would surely prompt saber-rattling from the applicable country's leadership, if not a pre-emptive attack on U.S. interests.

Take this concept to the worldwide strategic conclusion: if e-VotingBooth.com were operating in a majority of the first-, second- and third-world countries you would have far more, more stable and larger markets to make investments.

Until you change the culture of apathy and put the power, at least informally, into all citizen's hands, you will have concentration of power with special interests in every government. Our founding fathers explicitly stated that in order for our democracy to work most Americans must be actively engaged in the governmental process on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately today, the opposite is reality.

To wit, your statement.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 20:49 | 2593781 janus
janus's picture

Steve,

that was a mighty-thoughtful reply; and i can tell you are in earnest.  still, permit me to answer in the style that has become my mileu...this should be fun:

first of all, conventional 'wisdom' is anything but.  ever probed the proletariat for poignancy?  well, let me save you some trouble: you'll probably come away empty-handed and definitely disappointed.  if, on the other hand, your aim is to acquire some obscure factiod regarding some equally-obscure NASCAR driver, you will be richly rewarded...VERY RICHLY REWARDED.  your head will be stuffed over with less than valuable statistics.  oh, and heavan help you if you bring up pro wrasslin...just trust me on this.

the example you cite is telling; what it tells us is another matter altogether.  so, the mob can accurately assess the weight of an ox to within one pound?  brilliant!  it would be more helpful if they, among the whole lot of them, possessed one grain of wisdom.  furthermore, i don't know if the office of ox-weight-expert has ever been offically sanctioned, but i'll take your and the good-professah's word for it...democratically endowed buracracies have a way of producing every sort of can't-do-without necessity -- and i reckon ox-weight-experts are no exception.

and again, i would suspect that even you, as egalitarian as you seem to be, would recoil at the prospect of allowing this surly mob of ox-girth-guessers to either individually or collectively prescribe your way-of-being.

i have no doubt that if, right now, we were to conduct a poll, the vast majority of americans would vote to ban tobacco outright.  and on its surface, this may seem wise...but then, from beneath the surface, janus and all his nicotine-starved sociopaths would there emerge -- guns blazin, and righteous fury bein dispensed on the benevolent mob -- and with extreme prejudice.

it doesn't stop there: hell no!  the mob, at the behest of well-meaning and congenitally-fretful old women, would stop at nothing to ensure that you and i were not up to anything they disapproved of.  you know, for our own good.  it's endemic of the mob -- crushing and then conforming all difference to their most holy and objective standards.  enjoy a few cocktails on friday night?  oh no you don't!  again, it's the wisdom of the mob at work -- must'nt question such things...as it's been scientifically proven.

the larger the group, the wiser the decision? really?  okay, so america now has vastly superior presidents and elected officials than it did in its infancy -- insofar as america has an exponentially larger population.  

federalist papers...i won't even go here.  do you fail to grasp the fact that your premise (direct democracy) is the absolute antithesis of the federalist's assertions?  do you understand what federalism is?  or, for that matter, a republic?  i can assure you that they structured and codified with the sole intent of subverting mob-rule....mob rule is anathema to good governance and liberty.

moving along...

the beginning of your forth-to-the-last paragraph begins thusly: "consider the possiblities".  well, newgreektragedy, i have duly considered the possiblities...they strike me as the most horrific and moribund concotions of pettiness, averice, murder and reactionary-thugishness that can be imagined.  everyone from Moses to Heroditus to cicero to jefferson to locke to what-have-you have warned us explicitly about this fraud of feel-good sentimentality.  

in other words, it just won't do.

again, i support this method when it comes to PTA meetings and bake-sales -- the province of congenitally fretful old women (and professahs)...but, really, when it comes to matters of state, best leave the great unwashed to their dirty laundry.

i guess that'll do for now.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olgQnSSXwlc

we all shine on (in our own way),

janus

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:49 | 2593084 nick howdy
nick howdy's picture

I know it's impossible at this time, but here would have been nice about ten years ago...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/72299569/A-Vision-for-a-New-Democracy

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 19:52 | 2593650 Zola
Zola's picture

@New greek, i strongly believe this system should start being implemented at a towhall level and gradually work its way up. There would be many town, many different implementations, and we could judge what works best. Most importantly, it transforms citizens into real stakeholders and obviously those that want to become more active can. The role of the elected officials (if there are still some) is to be executives.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 23:45 | 2594137 A Cruel Accountant
A Cruel Accountant's picture

Citizens should vote directly for laws bypassing politicians

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