Saturday, 13 February 2016

Direct Democracy Needed

Our political system is struggling and the problem is big business which has become so powerful it is above the law, and even trying to make the law (TTIP, TPP). Corporations are 'persuading' governments to:

1) invade nations to secure assets (eg: Iraq)
2) sell them publicly-owned assets cheaply (eg: NHS, UK Post Office)
3) bring in labour to undercut expensive/demanding local populations
4) making it illegal for people to complain about 1, 2 and 3.

In the middle ages European governments broke free of the church. Now, we need to break them free of big business. This is difficult since corporations undermine any who try, using the media (I haven't bought a newspaper, or watched the BBC in years). Also, the usual division into left-wing and right-wing is a convenient form of divide and rule, and means that people vote for one or the other and so the whole problem can never be addressed. Labour (who I support on most things, especially now with the honourable Jeremy Corbyn in charge) may get in and address 1 & 2 & 4, but 3 is unresolved. The Tories get in and address 3 (or pretend to, but can't since they are too close to business) but 1, 2 & 4 get far worse. EU rules on the free movement of labour are also a problem. On the other hand, business may want the UK to leave the EU since it would mean they could do away with workers' rights.

The solution is to change the system to reduce the power of business and boost the power of ordinary people. The only way to do that is by direct democracy: frequent referenda, as they have in Switzerland. The public should vote directly on policies. The government would propose: "Can we privatise the Post Office and sell it to the rich cheaply?", then the people vote. Or "What should be the rate of immigation?" and the people vote. "Shall we bomb this country which collapsed because we invaded the neighbouring one?" The people vote. Some might say the people don't know enough to decide, but I disagree. Given the quality of most of our MPs I'd say normal people are likely to be far more sensible. They will make mistakes at first but that will encourage them to be more aware and form a new type of society of more knowledgable and empowered people, informed for example by organisations like wikileaks.

We have to do this, otherwise, our civilisation, like all the others before it, will be beserked and destroyed by a super-rich class who have detached themselves from the common good. A change towards people power will probably mean that business will become less efficient at first. They will have to train indigenous populations, and put up with their demands for decent healthcare and family and environmental policies, but in the long term it will be better for all, and so what about GDP? Whatever the role of people is on this Earth, one thing I'm sure of is that it is not to work for the benefit of a greedy few.