Democracy in Crisis

Roland Stahl
July, 2022

     An NPR/Ipsos poll released in January revealed that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that U.S. democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.”

     America’s problem is a very old and classic problem.  It is similar to the dilemma of a person who is married or otherwise united to or with someone who is unsuitable for one’s present needs.  One has to decide whether to stick with the one you’ve got or plunge headlong into the mysterious and unknown waters of the Open Sea in search of another, and hopefully more suitable, partner.  Sometimes there is another choice nearby, clutching at one’s elbow, and sometimes one is alone and living life as a solitary fish in the sea.  

     The partner with whom we have been married here in America is that article of Holy Writ, the Constitution.  It is getting old by now, and needs a bath, and seems to be carrying on in some confusion, quite unlike the confidence of youth.  Congress has been experiencing its senior moment for decades now.  But do we love her, after all, or do we send her off down the road, and change her in for a younger model ?  Boy, do I play a hard game for the Devil’s Advocate !  There is that image of the shameless old man who tosses the woman out into the street who’s been living with him for so long, to trade her in for a younger woman.  You want to say, “No, no ~ you don’t want to throw her out !  Keep the old girl you know; you never know what you might end up with if you take on someone new.”

     And yet here I am advocating that it is time to lay that document, reverently, to rest.  On the whole, that constituting document was a brilliant achievement.  It served as the backbone of the country from its inception, and, for all of its increasingly glaring faults, it actually provided a matrix out of which this country has been able to survive and prosper.  But now it is just breaking down.  Now that Democracy is not the only problem, dwarfed, as it is, by the more serious problems of the nuclear annihilation of all life on earth, the escalating climate catastrophe, exploding pandemics, jungle warfare, capitalist aggression, the death of the oceans, and the loss of the Trees, there is just no time left to tolerate the follies and squabbles of the capitalist class as they plunder the earth in her final moments going down.   Let’s face it ~ the Constitution is the founding document of a corporation for the profit of its members.  Its members, mind you, not the Corporation itself.  “The Corporation” is just the legal entity they dreamed up to hold the losses achieved in favor of the wealthy few.  That twenty odd trillion dollars of the National Debt represents the pillaging of the wealthy class who have pocketed that amount, leaving the Nation to hold the losses.  All of the power in the country is represented by Money (“One Dollar, One Vote”).  

     While that policy works very well in the marketplace, it fails utterly when forced to serve as the final authority for regulating the affairs of our planet.  The final authority for anything that happens on this planet goes to the person who pays the most money.  Who pays the piper, calls the tune.  

     So that’s all wrong, then.  Our poor Constitution is just not up to dealing with the problems of the present day ! The survival of ~ not only human life, but all life on the planet ~ depends upon some planetary evolution away from Money and Power ruling the world, in favor of some system established for the survival of the host planet.  Money and Power are destroying this planet as fast as anyone is trying desperately to save it.  The egregious carnage going on in Ukraine is so dumbfoundingly stupid as to beggar belief.  The last thing we need is all of those bombs reducing everything to rubble while everyone ramps up the extraction of fossil fuels, accelerating the downward whirlpool of life dying out.  

     I have already explained the causes of inflation ~ it is really the whole question of prosperity or poverty (vide: Two Economic Fallacies).  As long as money is spent with a high Return Factor Probability, then it is a good investment and will increase the overall prosperity.  And when money is spent with low Return Factor Probability (like, in the high negative numbers) then you are on your way to losing Grandma’s farm.  The obvious example of Negative Return Factor Probability is war, as Putin is learning to his cost.  Both sides lose during warfare.  All the amount of capital value that is vaporized into annihilation during warfare goes toward the impoverishment of the people (and the wealth of the few).  

     So it is not spending money that is causing inflation; it is the waste of money and resources in non-productive directions, such as war.  All of that loss is being felt as inflation, high gas prices, and, in general, increasing overall poverty, all the way around.  In order to cancel out the negative effects of negative expenditures, double that amount of high positive return factor expenditures needs to be made to balance it out.  When the positive expenditures outbalance the negative expenditures, the entity moves in the direction of increasing prosperity.  When the negative expenditures outbalance positive expenditures, then that entity slides down into poverty, usually experienced as an increasing polarization between the haves and the have nots.  

     So for every trillion dollars spent on war and the military, two trillion dollars needs to be spent on planting trees, building schools and hospitals, and services to the people.  When people say, “Oh, we are spending so much money on war and the military that we really can’t afford to spend money on anything else,” that means they want the whole of the spending to be on negative projects, and nothing for making the world a better place.  That’s the recipe for continuing to plunge into that downward whirlpool into annihilation that I have been describing.  

     So, to escape the bad effects of all of this negative spending, the solution is to spend a whole lot more in the positive direction, otherwise there just isn’t any hope.  And as long as it is the people with the most wealth in the world determining how the money should be spent (the Masters of Mankind, according to Adam Smith), it is a certainty that the end is near.  

     I have been saying this for thirty years or more.  It is all there in my collected writings, (One Planet Makeover).  The essence of the idea is to create an institution to hold the final authority to replace the plutocrats and oligarchs who have been pillaging the earth up until now.  In other words, the idea is to effect the transition from the Jungle to the Garden, overseen by the Gardener.  The Gardener would be chosen by The Seminary of the Church of the Living Tree, or some other World Institute of World Studies, whose mandate were to take care of the Earth in Trust.  

     I’ve used this picture before, but I like it.

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