Democracy by representation can work in a factory, school or a homeowner association: those communities are small enough, and have reduced opportunity of choice. Their leaders’ decisions will not destroy the planet.
We need a concept: let’s introduce the DEMOCRATIC INDEX. It has a simple definition: DI is the quotient of the number of representatives, R, over the total population, P. So: Democratic Index: DI = R/P.
In a Direct Democracy (such as Ancient Athens), DI is one, because each citizen represents herself, or himself.
In modern so-called “representative democracies”, the Democratic Index is basically zero. Athenian Direct Democracy has been replaced by a celebrity circus where oligarchy is presented as the one and only show of greatest interest.
In giant countries, government by (“elected“) representatives certainly does not work, and not just because it vests enormous powers in a handful of individuals. The Obama circus of continual fund-raising and frolicking with plutocrats whose business is only possible through government, has made plenty clear that those who took part in an election were the plutocrats, and only them, not “We The People”. (Plutocrats also elected, again and again, Putin to ever more authoritative positions… Until they discovered to their dismay, that he had elected himself to plutocrat in chief.)
At the scale of a country, government by representatives is the power of a few. In Greek: few-rule: oligo-arkhein: oligarchy. Thus:
Theorem: All and any nation claiming to be a representative democracy is, actually, an oligarchy.
That does not mean it’s a plutocracy. For an oligarchy to be a plutocracy, great wealth, and, or great diabolicity, needs to rule.
How does one hide all this nastiness? One hides it as a kabuki theater, a dictatorship of celebrities.
The New York Times just gave a striking example of this. It wrote a long article relating what Obama views as one of the main functions of his presidency. Times is the “newspaper of report”: it’s striking it presents a movie star as part of Obama’s 2am braintrust.
“President Obama… is privately mapping out a postpresidential infrastructure that could cost as much as $1 billion.
One is obviously very far from the mentality of president Harry Truman. After holding office, as Senator, VP, and President, Truman lived in modest circumstances. When he was asked why he did not cash on his aura, Truman replied that it would demean the office of the presidency. Now things have changed: the presidency is apparently viewed by the beholder as all about money:
WASHINGTON — The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed.
“Feel free to kick us out,” Mr. Hoffman recalled telling the president.
But Mr. Obama was just getting started. “I’ll kick you out when it’s time,” he replied.
“Good manners in present higher American society, is all about who kicks whom, and timing is everything. If they spend their time kicking each other, and laughing about it, imagine what they really do the average losers, such as you and me. The vulgarity was just getting started, though:
“[President Obama] then lingered with his wife, Michelle, and their 13 guests — among them the novelist Toni Morrison, the hedge fund manager Marc Lasry and the Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr — well past 2 a.m.
Mr. Obama “seemed incredibly relaxed,” said another guest, the writer Malcolm Gladwell. He recalled how the group, which also included the actress Eva Longoria and Vinod Khosla, a founder of Sun Microsystems, tossed out ideas about what Mr. Obama should do after he leaves the White House.”
Khosla is the self-proclaimed ecologist who bought for himself part of the undeveloped Californian Coast, and then barred nature lovers to hike and swim there, just because he owned it. He fought in court for years to block access to the public (who, in theory, has the right to walk California’s beaches).
Whatever Obama’s future is, it’s something Internet billionaires, part NSA, part vulgar, and hedge fund conspirators, venture plotters, and actresses can profitably manage.
“So far, Mr. Obama has raised just over $5.4 million from 12 donors, with gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Michael J. Sacks, a Chicago businessman, gave $666,666. Fred Eychaner, the founder of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp., which owns community newspapers and radio stations, donated $1 million. Mark T. Gallogly, a private equity executive, and James H. Simons, a technology entrepreneur, each contributed $340,000 to a foundation set up to oversee development of the library.”
“666” is the “Mark of the Beast”:, some robber barons have an undeniable sense of humor. Lucky is a country where the wealthiest can make enormous gifts to the Great Leader. At least, so they say in North Korea. And the New York Times goes on:
“The heart of the postpresidential planning is Mr. Obama’s own outreach to eclectic, often extraordinarily rich groups of people. Several aides close to Mr. Obama said his extended conversations over the lengthy dinners — guests say his drink of choice at the gatherings is an extra-dry Grey Goose martini — reminded them of the private consultations Mr. Obama had with donors and business leaders as he sought to build a winning campaign.
The process started as early as the week after Mr. Obama’s re-election in 2012, when the director Steven Spielberg and the actor Daniel Day-Lewis went to a White House screening of the movie “Lincoln.” Mr. Spielberg held the president spellbound, guests said, when he spoke about the use of technology to tell stories. Mr. Obama has continued those conversations, most recently with Mr. Spielberg and the studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg over dinner at a Beverly Hills hotel in California in June, according to some of Mr. Obama’s close advisers.
The advisers said Mr. Spielberg was focused on helping to develop a “narrative” for Mr. Obama in the years after he leaves office.”
Katzenberg, in case you would be so naïve that you would need to ask, is a billionaire, and his jobs is selling dreams (not really different from Putin, just much more modest). It’s all about ‘narrative”
“In response to a question from Mr. Doerr at the February White House dinner, the president told the group that he wanted to focus on civic engagement and opportunities for youths, pushing guests for ideas about how to make government work better, Mr. Hoffman recalled in an interview. The president asked if social networks could improve the way society confronted problems.”
Well, let me tell, you, Mr. President, how the Internet could improve the way society confronts problems: by doing away with you, your actresses, moguls, hedge fund conspirators, bankers, Silicon plotters, and various oligarchs and plutocrats. How? We don’t need you, and your fellow 2 am brains.
We can just vote on the issues, instead of having you and your lapdogs decided everything. Say all propositions gathering more than a million signatures, as long as they don’t violate the Constitution, would be submitted to a national plebiscite.
What would happen?
American Lawyer, the most respected law magazine, just pointed out that for banks:”Fined. But business as usual.”
Banks are mandated by so-called representative democracies to create money (by extending credit). Thus they should be under fierce democratic control. However, they don’t even have to respect the law, they can just bribe their way out of it. And they have no limit: official accusations against the huge world bank HSBC were, after the usual tax evasion, money laundering and drug trafficking that it financed terrorist networks. So what? HSBC distributed some cash around, as suggested.
A plebiscite proposing that, when a banker steals, say, a billion dollar, he goes to jail, would certainly pass. After all, California had passed “Three Strikes You Are Out”, a law imposing a mandatory life sentence on the third condemnation, even if it were about stealing a pizza slice (a plebiscite, Prop 36, modified the “3 strikes” law in California in 2012, to impose drastic punishment only if the third strike was violent).
We are governed by oligarchs and plutocrats. That they look amusing and distracting is part of their oppression. Dire oppression with a comic face. We need to elevate ourselves, and find immoral, to be thrilled by the politicians’ ridiculous antics.
It is illegal for politicians to accept significant gifts. So what are politicians doing at 2am, with those who can give the most significant gifts? And are given the most significant gifts, such as evading the law on a plutocratic scale? Why is that legal?