Right now, people in the USA are essentially getting picked off one or two at a time by social trends, like lack of good health care and lack of good jobs or a basic income leading to stress and various consequences including death (like possibly the recent tragedy down the road from us involving a murder/suicide and which is otherwise just seen as an isolated incident of domestic violance).
All together, that kind of stuff is adding up to millions of US citizens harmed (hundreds of thousands killed from heart disease alone). It even led to the loss of an entire US city (New Orleans during Katrina). And that harm ignores the greater the havoc the USA has caused abroad recently (millions of displaced people in Iraq, etc.) or costs being incurred to pass on to future generations (like Fukushima). Where is our trillion dollar a year defense industry ond defending us from all that? There seems very little most people think they can do about it. It is just ascribed to moral failings of the people involved (like you have no job or no health coverage or a bad marriage purely because you’re a bad person), or some economic “wrath of God” (ironically for the USA supposedly being too compassionate perhaps with individual welfare-to-work?), or some weird notion of acceptable Congressional “gridlock”, or something like that.
If “communists” or “space aliens” were doing this to millions of US citizens, denying them access to doctors, ensuring they had no money, destroying their homes and cities, interfering with effective decision making by Congress, what would people in the USA be doing, considering we launched various trillion dollar wars based on 9/11 (where only thousands of people were killed)?
But we just let it happen to millions in the USA because it is due to supposedly one of:
* the will of the market gods, or
* the will of the insurance industry, or
* the will of the dairy council, or
* the will of heart surgeons, or whatever.
As an, alternative consider this essay by Tim O’Reilly, which relates to the Twirlip Open Governance draft I sent before: 🙂 “Government As a Platform”
“Government 2.0, then, is the use of technology—especially the collaborative technologies at the heart of Web 2.0—to better solve collective problems at a city, state, national, and international level. The hope is that Internet technologies will allow us to rebuild the kind of participatory government envisioned by our nation’s founders, in which, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Joseph Cabell, “every man…feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day.””