Monday, May 14, 2012

Beyond Plutocracy and Its Two-Plutocratic-Party System:
A Three-Phase Strategy

In my blog-posts here "Beyond Plutocracy and Its Two-Plutocratic-Party System" and "Beyond Plutocracy and Its Two-Plutocratic-Party System: A Populist Amendment" and a related post on "A Two-Phase Strategy for Reform", I call for a two-phase strategy to roll back the savage plutocratic gains made in this country (and our world) over the last thirty years: first, the adoption of a "Populist Amendment" to take law and justice out of the hands of the wealthy and the corporations and the plutocratic politicians, the "two" plutocratic "parties", and the legal profession which so devotedly and so relentlessly serve them, and put them back into the hands of the people; and, second, leverage that empowerment of the people to pass a specifically "Antiplutocratic Amendment" to make up for our Constitution's total lack of explicit protections against plutocracy (as compared for example with those against aristocracy and theocracy).

But what would undoubtedly be the most popular section of any such "Antiplutocratic Amendment", the anti-"corporate-personhood", anti-Citizens-United "People's Rights Amendment", has already been introduced into the US Congress, if not indeed already safely (the "two" main plutocratic "parties" no doubt hope) buried in committee there.

And the "Populist Amendment" I have proposed, dealing as it must with varieties of plutocratic subversions and antiplutocratic protections, is considerable of a chunk to digest (nine sections at present, with others referred to in parenthetic note), let alone recommend to the people, even though still unfinished, and embodies several novel concepts (eg, its reform of the courts, making juries the finders of all cause, fact, law and appeal, and its implementation of public, randomly-selected ethics committees to watch over the ethics of all corporate bodies, including legislatures, professions, corporations and unions), which might better be studied, formulated, recommended and adopted on their own (maybe it would all be better written up as "the Ohio River Valley Resolutions", except that sounds like something you would recommend to a Constitutional Convention and I'm too frightened of what a present-day Convention would be like, dominated and gamed as it undoubtedly would be by the plutocracy).

I conclude in any case that a three-phase strategy (at least) is in fact in order: First, the adoption of the "People's Rights Amendment" referred to above, along with another Amendment embodying what is really the most fundamentally-popularly-empowering section of the "Populist Amendment" referred to above, its section 9, which allows the adult citizens of the States to amend the Federal Constitution without any participation by President or Congress, breaking the stranglehold thereof over further populist Constitutional reform; second, using those new popular powers to adopt whatever other "Populist Amendment(s)" are deemed necessary; and, third, adoption of whatever "Antiplutocratic Amendment(s)" are deemed necessary.

Why is such "State Amendment" Amendment so necessary and so empowering?

Madison and Hamilton in writing The Federalist believed (or at least intimated that they believed) that corruption would most likely and heavily flow from the States to the Federal government.

But is it easier to corrupt one Federal Congress or fifty State legislatures?

The question answers itself.

As does the history of "inside the DC 'Boughtway' " over the last thirty years.

Section 9 of the present version of the "Populist Amendment" referred to above reads, "This Constitution may be amended by vote of a majority of adult citizens in each of three-quarters of the States or a majority vote of three-quarters of the adult citizens of the United States."

Note the bimodality of passage, which addresses the perennial problem of big states versus small states, the more populous States contributing more taxes and soldiers in time of war and therefore naturally wanting more say in national affairs, the less populous States having no reason to join any Union in which they would be dominated by the big States, which conflict almost wrecked the original Constitutional Convention and led to the "Great Compromise" in which the States are equally represented in the Senate and proportionally to population in the House.

But the three-quarters majorities of States or citizens required is too high a threshhold for passage of Amendments, and the language proposed doesn't seem to quite sufficiently address the bimodality of passage desired.

I therefore suggest the following language for such Amendment:

"This Constitution may be amended by vote of a majority of adult citizens in each of at least two-thirds of the States representing cumulatively a majority of the adult citizens of the United States, or by vote of at least two-thirds of the adult citizens of the United States with majorities in a majority of the States."

These two Amendments, the "People's Rights" Amendment and the "State Amendment" Amendment, when coupled with campaigns demanding candidates for the US Congress support those Amendments as well as public debates and recorded votes on them in Congress, seem to me to represent the most promising, best-controlled and safest first steps forward out of the present plutocratic abyss in our country and world.

[See "Center Forward: Two Amendments and a Pledge" at]


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