Executive Summary: Extremes are in active conflict today within the USA, with Transpartisan Upwising being one extreme and the No Labels “Non-Party” being another extreme. They join the dysfunctional extremists of the two-party tyranny/bi-opoly. Not yet emergent is a co-creative function that brings together public money, public knowledge, and a public process to create a new form of hybrid self-governance that strips the power of the purse and the power to declare war from visibly unfit politicians and their banking masters, and restores all sovereign powers to We the People. 2012 is a year of convergence. What will emerge is not yet known. Below are a few thoughts on this.
WORK IN PROGRESS Last updated 1900 1 Dec 10
Within the USA, it has been known since the 1970’s that there are Limits to Growth, and that government has generally not been responsible about addressing those limits. In the 1980’s we learned enough about Wall Street irresponsibility, what one insider called Liar’s Poker, to know that Wall Street is not acting in the public interest. In the 1990’s it became clear that the two political parties were dysfunctional, corrupt, and acting in ways that should have aroused public anger–the disenfranchisement of the League of Women Voters as sponsor and manager of the Presidential debates is one significant indicator of the end of democracy and the total take-over of the public purse by the two-party bi-opoly.
In the 21st Century, we have seen Al Gore roll over and play dead in Florida despite three month’s notice by Greg Palast of the crimes of Jeb Bush and his henchwomen, we have seen John Kerry play the patsy perfectly, accepting the second theft of a Presidential election, this time in Ohio, and we have seen Dick Cheney schedule a nation-wide counter-terrorism exercise three months prior to 9-11, so that on “the day” he could ensure that the part he did not plan was allowed to happen, and the part that he did plan went as it should. We have seen a “Patriot Act” that is anything but patriotic passed by Congress without reading; and we have seen the deregulation of the financial industry, again with 200 pages of legislation written by lobbyists and inserted five minutes before the vote, also passed without reading.
At an intellectual and intelligence level, we have seen the fragmentation of knowledge and the triumph of lies and spectacle. America was taken to war against Iraq on the basis of 935 documented lies, lies that succeeded because the mainstream media refused to accept information advertisements against the war, and because flag officers forgot their Oath to the Constitution, replacing it with blind loyalty to a succession of civilian chains of command that have been arguably impeachable for high crimes and misdemeanors since 1981.
Where does this leave us? Completely apart from the global pain and suffering that we have inflicted, and the crimes against the humanity of our own veterans whose disabilities, multiple amputations, suicides, and other family and personal traumas are too great for any nation to bear without losing its soul, what we have today a massive convergence on 2012 of forces we barely understand, but forces we can clearly perceive as being so great as to possibly “change the game.”
Politicians are no longer in control, and neither is Wall Street, despite the best efforts of Goldman Sachs to continue “controlling” the US Treasury and US laws in its favor and against the public interest. No one is in control, in part because complexity has over-whelmed the bureaucratic stove-pipes of the past, it is no longer possible in the Internet age to “rule by secrecy,” and the public, a power no government can repress, is stirring in what one author calls Blessed Unrest.
As Joseph McCormick anticipated in his article, Alternative to Bipolar Bipartisan Biopoly, faux alternatives are quick to emerge when the status quo powers see they have lost legitimacy. The apparatchicks who failed with Unity ’08 in 2008 are back with No Labels, a “Non-Party” that is clearly equivalent to “four more years” for Wall Street skating and Goldman Sachs stealing.
Meanwhile, the bottom-up movements that have been gestating, notably the National Council for Dialog & Deliberation (NCDD), MoveOn.org, and the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP), among many others, have settled into routines but made no headway on substance.
Really promising initiatives, including the now mature Open Space Technology invented by Harrison Owen, the Co-Intelligence and Evolutionary Activism concepts proffered by Tom Atlee, and the Citizen Wisdom Councils nurtured by Jim Rough, have made great gains at the local level, but not made the leap to national-level issues or multi-issue participatory budgeting.
At an intellectual level, a flood of books have been published to critical acclaim (outside of Wall Street and Washington), covering a variety of related but as yet unintegrated topics from collective intelligence and the wealth of nations to the hidden wealth of nations and the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Books on non-zero solutions, on goodness, on compassion, on integral consciousness are all in the mix.
Of the 65 parties in existence in America today, two comprise the two-party tyranny, three others have a 5% or less presence (Greens, Reforms, and Libertarians), and as many as 45% of the eligible voters consider themselves to be Independent, but the latter is neither a movement nor a party, just a loose aggregation of confused citizens. Third party politics is much discussed, and from Jesse Ventura to others “spoiling for a fight,” there is mood for revolution, but as yet no precipitant sufficient to galvanize the general public into demanding the obvious: Electoral Reform, a Coalition Cabinet, and an end to the primacy of Wall Street and Corporations in how the Commonwealth is governed.
What has not come to fore as yet is a structured process for integrating minds, facts, costs, and desired outcomes. Although a strategic analytic model exists, it is not in use by anyone and certainly not anyone with pretensions to be President one day. Although there are a plethora of facts to be had, no one has developed a capability to sort, evaluate, and integrate those facts in the form of decision-support for the public. Although a process for establishing the “true cost” of every product and service is known–and known to be arduous–this is not being done except in isolation. Finally, while Facebook and selected other sites have done a wonderful job of bringing people together, no site anywhere has provided a policy-budget engagement process that allows for both public understanding of the true cost of each proposed program element across all twelve core policy areas; or of the trade-offs that must be made if progress is to be made in the context of a balanced, honest budget.