Questions

This question is about the possibility of peaceful and significant change after not voting.What I've read so far from this site (and the links upon links) leads me to one inevitable conclusion which I suppose I already knew deep down inside. They will never let us “legally” (as defined by those who create the laws) take away any of their power to wield for ourselves. Would they (not a rhetorical question)?

 

The idea of YOU controlling yourself goes directly against ME controlling you, no matter how peacefully you pitch the idea to me. How can peaceful/non-violent revolution still be achieved under those circumstances? I have seen what they are willing to do for money and violence is pretty much their go-to for altercations and political agendas. Supporters of change will be called terrorists and unpatriotic to say the least. The governments posted Iceland down right next to Al Qaeda and the Taleban and other REAL terrorist organizations for not wanting to pay the private debt of their corrupted banking system. *shakes head* prospects are looking bleak.

From reading this site, I have been introduced to sortition and semi-direct democracys like Sweden has going on and I have learned a lot about the revolution in Iceland (congrats to those people).  I believe these 2 things are essential to any real change. Those stories give me much hope but how the hell can we ever implement something like that here? I am still digging through the details of exactly how they accomplished this. I believe the possibility lay in their old political infrastructure. Plus lots of hard work and dedication by all who participated.

At some point there will come a defining line in any dramatic movement for change where you have to address the opposition. Not voting will definitely shake things up but I am sure they will proceed with the elections as prescribed. Our vote didn't matter anyway, so I assume the Electoral College will still simply put in to power who they’ve always intended to be put in power. They really don't need our cooperation for that and haven't needed. If for nothing else, a huge wakeup/rallying call will have to be acknowledged by all in America. When the rubber does in fact meet the road, after the political posturing, after the media spins, and after many attempts to hijack the movement, there will be a moment where they will not want to give any concessions at all that threaten their livelihood. How do you suppose we go about that problem?

I’ve come up with a few crucial steps but still haven't connected the dots for when the defining moment comes and they flat out say “No we will not change our current system to put more power in your hands. That is the law so suck it and go back to work, you know rent is due on the first”

 

I was wrong about sortition

My apologies, drae.I was thinking of methods of counting the votes to allow for proportional representation. With sortition, people are chosen by lot, so it is much closer to direct democracy as it is the people representing themselves. The only problem that I can see is that it leaves in place whatever hierarchy is there to begin with. The Zapatistas have a system where everyone gets the opportunity to fill every office, but only for a short time. They can be directly and immediately replaced if they act against the will of the people. Zapatista meetings are extremely long, as everyone has to have a chance to be heard. But the principle is that the leaders must obey, not dictate.

I'm going to stick with my 8th day because while there are many websites and groups, we have not yet managed to reach a majority or even critical mass. Of course change is made, as Margaret Mead said, by a small group of committed individuals, but not against overwhelming military force. That takes mass consciousness.

In reality, the way we pick people for jury duty is not sortition. I was called for jury duty a few times but never made it onto a jury. The prospective jurors were a diverse group, reflective of the general population. But juries always ended up homogenous, with few or no liberals or radicals, intellectuals, gays, people of color, etc. Lawyers for both sides have peremptory challenges, and the judge can also remove people. In my experience, juries tend to end up being mostly middle-class conservatives, often with family ties to law enforcement (which they swear won't affect their judgment, but considering the results, obviously does).

Occupy started out trying to establish direct democracy, but the Democrats had a different plan, and they used their unlimited money and their thousands of paid political operatives to turn it into a GOTV (Get Out The Vote) opportunity. Democrats and military psychological warfare specialists quickly took control of strategic positions so that they could set the agenda, and deliberately prevented issues from being resolved.

I agree with you about human values. I believe that the Golden Rule is the solution to everything, as long as there are no exceptions. If something isn't you, it is "other" and should be treated the way that you'd want to be treated. No exceptions.

I also agree that it isn't effective to keep putting out brush fires and not strike at the root of the problem. That speaks to Einstein's method of problem solving. Anecdotally, one of the ways that he himself solved problems was to include women in his circle of friends and ask them for input, despite the fact that he was often unable to ensure that they got the credit they deserved. He tried but wasn't always successful, as was the case with Lise Meitner, the woman who discovered nuclear fission, whom Einstein called "The Mother of the Bomb." I think you can find some stuff about her here on Fubar.

Some of your questions have been asked before, many times. But rethinking them and trying to find better answers and explanations is a learning process for me. There can be no real teaching without learning, and no real learning without teaching. We each have limited perspectives, so when we find others with whom to discuss things, we can broaden our perspectives and get a bigger picture of the elephant.

You might find this interesting:

Ken O’Keefe 2016 “World Citizen Solutions”

https://youtu.be/cKRPqOpKf1I

One thing I find in favor of sortition is that in my opinion, any drunken, drooling, drug-addled, mentally ill homeless person could do as good a job of handling the country's budget as our elected officials have done. Borrowing money they can't pay back? Taking money from hard working people to waste on non-necessities? I don't think that takes any special skills or knowledge. ;)

I raise you 1 day Folkie. we are ready to solve when we solve.

Thanks for having me and thank you for replying so quickly!

 

That was fast. Man oh man I have so much I want to explore here based on the replies. I asked a loaded question and I got some loaded answers in return. So, I see your 8th day and raise you one more day! That’s why I am here. The whole point of reading and posting, for me, is about the 9th day. Late in the evening on the 9th to be specific. This site and the thousands (maybe hundreds? Idk, I pulled that figure from my ass) like it, represent an awareness already erupting around the world and not just America. If I say something you disagree with please let me know. It will make it easier for me to find common grounds and study the problems from different perspectives.  You seem to have a less optimistic outlook than myself. Rightfully so I’m sure. I go back and forth between optimism and a feeling of futility but my overall general feeling is one of an opportune moment in time. In truth, I found this site during a time of very little optimism and now I can’t seem to keep my eyes away. At least not yet.

Can you help me understand how sortition is a way of counting votes? I thought it was more like a lottery of sorts to select representatives. Like the way we pick people for jury duty. One that could combat corruption and better represent the will of the people. I thought about your statement in regards to voting boycotts in South Africa. “However the wealthy elites retained their economic power over the country and for the vast majority of the poor, conditions did not improve. Protesters, like striking miners, were simply massacred“. Sortition and a semi-direct democracy could go a long way to mitigate the corruption in the system that allowed the wealthy elites to stay in power. These are just tools or concepts. I have no clue how to adapt, implement, or sustain either of them. I just feel like they are worth considering in regards to a revolutionary effort because they put more power in the hands of the people. Both may be good tools (once tweaked) in the fight but they only help to better a system which cannot exist free from corruption. At least not yet ;)

So, they are ready for our civil dissent and have a plan of action do they? That’s ok. Getting money out of politics is pretty useless too.  And that’s ok also. It has to be for me, because if I get too bogged down with the symptoms, I can never see or address the underlying problems. Solve those (one at a time if needed) and the symptoms go away no matter how devastating they are. The damage done will need to be addressed still. Many can see the obvious symptoms, I just want to 'see' a little deeper and invite others to do the same if we can. The ‘problem’ is soooo freaking intricate and I mean… my God knowing where one even starts, it’s like a task all itself! So I’ve done a lot of breaking down of concepts. I’ve spent a good amount of time on reducing the ills of the world (because I have an ego) down to smaller chunks that I can better wrap my head around. I’ve been searching for the “root causes” or as fubarandgrill’s  Mickey Z  may prefer to call it “grasping things at the root”. Get Money out of politics? Stop corruption? Quit treating our women so despicable? Racism, Religious fanaticism, all these things are important but relatively meaningless if we don’t address the root causes. I read a lot on Mikey Z’s site and applaud the effort for speaking out against the pink elephant in the room however, I think there is a bigger and pinker elephant in the room. Human Values that is.  One we are even more so, not quite comfortable addressing. At least not yet

I noticed you didn’t answer any of my questions specifically and I appreciate that. It gives me a chance to find even more common grounds and to better understand the problem, from a few perspectives. Kudos to Einstein, he had it right.

"Enlightenment is a destructive process."

Hello and welcome to FUBAR, Drae!

After reading your post, I can tell you are someone who wants to do "something" rather than "nothing" about the political predicament we're in here in the US.  I use the term predicament. even though that sounds like a colossal understatement, because in reality, we're in a real jam -- a complete impasse that we didn't create, but one we're left to sort out (as if that were possible).

State legitimacy is extremely important to the Empire of Death that rules over us, for this is what allows it to act with impunity in the name of the people. This is why elections, no matter how controlled and corrupt they are, are extremely vital, with close to 10 billion dollars being invested in GOTV efforts during national elections in the US. Therefore, it's vitally important for the majority of the American people to remain blind to this legitimation process, to ensure their continued participation in the electoral charade. This is why GOTV marketing techniques, the likes of which would have put Edward Bernays to shame and made Joseph Göbbels drool, are extremely useful, especially reverse psychology, (e.g., voter suppression to infuse false value into an undemocratic, worthless vote). The legitimation of genocide for profit has, for centuries, been the most lucrative business on the face of the earth, but it won't last forever. Neither will we. 

We were puposefully not given any tools to change anything, let alone sort it out, we were just given the illusion of democratic power.  The deMOCKracy we have was intended to be nothing more than a placation tool...a method to keep people entrapped while they blame themselves for their entrapment, and to fully ensure they never get out from under it.

But, maybe we ought to stop trying to change the unchangeable.  Maybe instead, we can repudiate the system entirely, even while we are still entrapped by it.  What do I mean by this?  Well, I think that if we've been forced to endure over two and half centuries of tyranny and we're still here, then we're certainly not weak people, so maybe we can stop expecting to change the checkmate by continuing to play by the house rules.

I think people are starting to get the problems down pat, don't you?  Many already know how we're fully indoctrinated by the system from the moment we take our first breath and how we eventually end up suffering from political stockholm syndrome, but that syndrome continues when we keep using the same useless strategies in our resistance. We keep trying to utilize the system (e.g., voting, and solidarity protest movements). But, of all the things we can do, voting is probably the most apathetic. To invest and reinvest in an evil system for the endless purpose of overhauling it, is like hitting ourselves in the head with a hammer to cure a headache. We can clearly see how that's been working out for us, can't we? Do we have no more wars? No more poverty? Do we have freedom? Are we secure?  What have we really gained that the system hasn't taken back, eroded or neutralized?

Why is it that after over 250 years of US deMOCKracy we still haven't been able to solve even one of our biggest problems? What's the matter with us? Hey, maybe it's not us? Maybe it's the system? Maybe martyrdom is not a great organizing tool? Maybe we need to turn our backs completely on the system and venture into new territory? Maybe we need to start doing things for ourselves instead of voting for reformed capitalism and slightly better slave wages? And, maybe not voting is only the first, most logical place to start -- a way for us to begin to disavow the system that oppresses us and has never had any intention of doing otherwise? Maybe we need to completely repudiate the system's authority over us -- by slowly rejecting all the plans it has for us and start running our own lives right under its nose?  Of course that isn't easy, but people are doing it in small pockets here and there, and I believe they may have the only solution still allowable under this oppressive government. While the empire is playing one game, the non-participants...the repudiators can start playing another.  Slowly, by buying into the system less and less and moving away from and resisting the dominant culture, we can revolt by rejection and without using violence. At any rate, revolutions don't happen without revolutionaries anyway, and revolutionary thinking doesn't come from people who have a stake in the system they claim to oppose, does it? 

Knowing that the world is pretty much against us, is not a great feeling, but we cannot unsee what we've seen.  We can't erase the picture forced into our view... not without going into complete denial.  Sure, there are many people who do just that, but not people who live for the truth. Even if we're not successful in liberating ourselves, at least we're seeking liberation instead of accepting our fate under tyranny.

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier.  Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It's seeing through the façade of pretence. It's the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” -- Adyashanti    

 

we are self-destructive, enlightenment is unavoidable

Do I know you from somewhere? Maybe I am just an open book. I agree on all points. Even on the way to start healing our ills, we should stop using useless systems.

 

So where is the list of these “pockets here and there”?

 

What steps are you and others who are like minded, taking to find common ground and create more awareness?

 

I’ve seen the GOTV movement and the Vote or Die etc. movements but where the hell is the (BVM) “Boycott the Vote Movement”? Where is the (AFM) “Awareness first” movement? (Lol I would never want to be in charge of naming conventions or anything hahaahah). I’m asking out of pure curiosity and not an assumption. I am trying to find out what I can do. Change is coming and I want to speed it up. I selfishly want to see something significant in my life time and it’s happened throughout history before so it can happen again. We have always had these evolutionary leaps in our consciousness. Civil rights, etc.

 

But what can be done and what is being done right now?

 

Again, I ask because I don’t know. disclaimer: If anyone responds to this thread, know that I will have a gajillyandee questions for you. I truly believe that awareness is the single most important thing I can do but I may be wrong. The more aware we are, the more we can challenge, and the more drastic the result can be. If change is to be deliberate, we have to be aware of it. If it's not deliberate then it is coincidense or a by-product of something else. It can be proactive thing though and it should be. I want to give some context to the type of “change” I am talking about. In my life time, I haven’t seen the kind of change I am referring to. So far we have, relatively speaking,  just been poking with a stick and massaging and we have seen our politics, society, and human values respond and be shaped in kind, with small changes from small tweaks. All in the right direction overall of course, and from a bird’s eye view.

I like the idea of boycotting the vote but that’s because I understand how it works. Most people I meet who love love love voting do not understand the process. I want to help them understand. Apparently I don’t even have to be biased or put a spin on it. I can really and literally, just tell them how it actually works. If I do that then they will activate of their own accord and seek truth when presented with BS . I think. I mean, that’s what I did the first time I realized I was majorly wrong about something I knew for sure I was right about. Been doing it ever since. First, when I tell folks how it works, there is the normal rhetoric and stump speech rebuttals. I respond with unbiased reasoning and facts and then their enthusiasm turns to complete denial. They simply cannot believe that all of these years they have been doing this voting thing, All those commercials, All the fuss about voter suppression, hahaha in spite of all they thought, this is how is how it really works. Promptly after, they are asking me questions like I am asking you right now. My experience is once someone shows you that you were grossly WRONG about something it starts a chain reaction. You wonder what else you are totally wrong about and question the logic that lead you to be so wrong in the first place ( I sure hope most people reason like this). That is infectious. My stumbling on to this site is a testament to that fact. Y’all are smart people here. I went to where the smart people congregate to get smart answers.

Re: We are self-destructive, enlightenment is unavoidable

I must admit that I'm not even remotely connected to the "pockets here and there," I referred to in my previous comment, but this was merely a reference to those I've heard about. I'm talking about people who have left the dominant culture (well, as much as that's even possible in our world) to form small egalitarian, secular, consensus-based communities living free of hierarchy and coercion...basically striking out on their own to find a life where they can sustain themselves and stop interacting with the oppressive "civilized" world except whenever they deem it's necessary or it can't be avoided. I'm not saying this is the way to go, but only that there are some folks creating their own little niches under the nose of the Empire, trying to eke out a sustainable existence where they can find some measure of peace and security in small alternative communities.  There are feminists, anarchists, permaculturists, anti-civilizationists, to name a few, and I'm not connected to any of these projects. I haven't made that leap, and probably won't be making it anytime soon, as I have family that are not interested in turning their backs on the dominant culture (and while it seem inviting, I'm not sure I could hack it either).  I mentioned them only because I know they exist and the number of them are growing (I think) and maybe they're becoming more prevalent because the number of people finding it impossible to survive any other way is growing.  I don't really know, and I'm obviously no expert on them, and I'm sure they all have their internal problems to work out as well.  Still, on smaller scales, a democratic form of decision making is quite doable, is my guess, and preferable to the life these folks were enduring before they made the leap.

I'm not ashamed to admit I'm not agressively taking any organized steps to create more awareness.  I'm 63 years old, and I don't mention my age to offer up an excuse for not taking more action, but I bring it up as evidence that the 40 plus years of my adult life that have led me to actively participate as a peace activist, feminist, civil rights advocate, labor unionist and worker organizer, etc., have not changed a thing that isn't still needing to be changed, and in many cases the things I've actively opposed have gotten worse, not better.  I stopped smoking the hopium pipe only a few years ago, and I've been happier ever since -- not because I don't give a shit, but because I now understand how movements are co-opted to ensure that these political struggles are never-ending and they merely morph and take on new shapes but they never, ever, just go away.  My enlightenment came after reading Mark's small, but extremely important book, "Consent to Tyranny:  Voting in the USA."  I began to see how the system has us in a stalemate position, and it's now our job to find a way out without it being our checkmate.  I don't have solutions.  I'm still trying to deprogram myself from decades of indoctrination and wage slavery that kept me blind and obedient for so many years that I had a severe case of politcal Stockholm Syndrome.  I'm not there anymore, but I still have residual pains from it.  I retired from wage slavery a couple of years ago (with a poverty-level pension and social security) both of which could disappear at any given point if the economy collapses), but for now at least, I am eking out an existence and trying to find myself again (if you will).  So, I haven't ventured into the realm of "How do I spread the good news" to any greater exent than my government-surveilled Facebook and Twitter accounts have availed me.  LOL!  I feel like I've survived an on-going holocaust (because I'm white and therefore privileged), but not completely unscathed because, and this seems rare these days, I do have a conscience and I do care about life on earth.

I'm also a doomer...of the Guy McPherson variety, and I doubt we're going to be around long enough to change the world before we shuffle off this mortal coil, but interestingly enough, I don't find that this is a reason to feel immobilized. Guy could be wrong, ;-)  lot's of educated white guys are, so I simply live my life as if there is no tomorrow...and do what I can not to make things worse.  That's not easy, as I'm sure you know.  I still pay taxes (meaning I'm still funding the murder of brown people here and across the globe), because I don't want to spend the remainder of my life in the gulag (if I can help it).

So, Drae, I'm not sure we're ever going to be able to do much more than poke a stick at what ails us, but at least most of the time we can make a choice to wield our sticks against the Empire not for it.  The more we participate in the Empire's death culture (including paying taxes to avoid prison), the more we're wielding our sticks for the Empire.  And, I think we're doing pretty good right now by trying to find each other...discuss where we're coming from...and maybe make some better laid plans for our future.  I have no promises or false hope I intend to peddle to anyone anymore, but I'm not devoid of hope completely. I still have hope that as the world's population begins to come to terms with and accept it's inevitable fate, that more and more folks will begin to pursue lives of lovingly doing as little harm to each other, ourselves, and all life on planet earth before we're all just dust in the wind.  That's where I'm coming from today...who knows where I'll be with all of this tomorrow.

 

 

 

we can do a lot with educated guesses

I

would love to see them try and hijack or co-opt a movement like "Stop Voting Now" hahahaha how would they brand it? What about “Get TF out of here with the BS” I would totally get behind that. I think we are smart enough to predict some of the responses and foresee some pitfalls and affectively avoid them. We’ve seen what they've done in the past to thwart efforts. But boycotting the vote?

How do you spin that message?

We can look at history and what other countries are doing to piece together a resolution or at least a plan of action. Everyone isn't aware but enough people are aware enough to make enough educated guesses. Trial and error can fine tune when needed. Either way, once 2 or more are in agreement the limits become artificial. From a genetic point of view we all have way more in common than we have differences. Funny we pick those differences (lip size, skin color, and hair grade) no matter how biologically insignificant and build all kinds of divisive concepts and institutions. The over whelming majority of our commonalities are staggering and I hope they provoke radically challenging everything we've learned. Let the destruction begin already and can we speed it up for crying out loud. It’s really not rocket science anymore.

Well, I have a different opinion on this

...and it's not a popular opinion either.  I touched on this subject awhile back and it stepped on the toes of some "Election Boycott Advocates" who believe non-participation in the corrupt electoral system ought to be a political movement...."The Party of the Non-Voter," if you will.  Here's the link to what I wrote: http://fubarandgrill.org/node/1611

Humbled - Thank you

I read it. I understood it. I thank you for that perspective. It's important.

I remember that.

There was an organizer who seized on the concept of boycotting elections. She started a website where she reposted a lot of my writing, and brought my ideas to places like Left Forum. She wanted to start a movement. When you disagreed with her and said that such movements could indeed be corrupted, and almost always have been, she became angry with you and with me for agreeing with you.

When an organizer starts a movement, there are immediately two classes of people, the organizers and the organized. The problem with leaders is that they find themselves in positions of power and power corrupts.

We do need to get rid of our corrupt system, but simply replacing it with a slightly less evil system won't help. We need a system that embodies the Zapatista values of dignity, equality, and respect for everyone. In an egalitarian system everyone is a leader. Those who show great abilities must listen to those who lack such talents, because everyone must thrive, and the few must not thrive at the expense of the many.

If an idea benefits everyone but me, I need the right to block that idea. I need the right to speak out and say that the idea may be good for everyone else, but it will harm me and therefore is not a good idea. If I don't have that right, I don't have equality, or dignity, and am not respected.

Ken O'Keefe believes that he can organize a movement of World Citizens, which includes the concept of noncompliance, such as not voting and not paying taxes. He may succeed. He has raised a lot of money and has plans for a celebrity video. I support his efforts. But he is not trying to substitute one type of hierarchy for another.

There are no good leaders. We are all human and therefore all subject to temptation and corruption. We have both good and evil in us, and for us to do good and not do evil, it takes a lot of good grandmothers. Wise elderly women who have seen it all, and who poke their noses into everybody else's business and treat evil politicians the way that they treat naughty children and grandchildren.When Hugo Chavez was alive and was the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, they didn't call him the Father of the Revolution, they called him the Grandmother of the Revolution, because he surrounded himself with wise women elders to ensure that he wouldn't stray from his chosen path.

Even the best of us can become evil if we don't listen to the least among us and treat them the way that we'd want to be treated.

We don't know what freedom is because we've never experienced it. But we know what it isn't. It isn't bureaucracy. It isn't being told what to do by evil people. It isn't inequality and injustice.

If we keep rejecting what we know we don't want, we may end up with what we do want. It might not be like anything that we can imagine now, but we'll recognize it because we'll be happy and so will everyone else.

The United States has never stopped attacking Venezuela in one way or another. Venezuela was rated the third happiest country in the world, while the majority of people in the United States are taking some form of medication or self-medicating to cope with their unhappiness.

One of my teachers once told me that our actions follow the laws of physics. When we want something, we create an equal and opposite energy that keeps us from getting what we want. The eastern concept of not being attached to our desires can break this duality, so that we are not constantly in a struggle and can think clearly.

We are imperfect, but we can learn. We cannot achieve perfection. That same teacher said that nobody in this world is perfect, and that if somebody was, they would disappear in a flash of lightning. I believe it. I know that I'm not perfect, I've never heard of or met anyone who was, and I don't expect to. So we have to work together to find ways to stay on our chosen paths, and this isn't something that can be forced on us.

At one point I too thought that we should organize. But I no longer think that way. When Saint Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, one of his followers asked him what he would do if he knew that he was going to die that night. He said that he would continue hoeing his garden. I want to continue to learn and to share. Often I've said something that everyone disagreed with. But ten years later it would be the popular opinion. So by simply learning and sharing, I believe that I have helped bring about change.

The big social movements that everyone points to, like the Civil Rights movement, haven't accomplished much. There are more Blacks enslaved today than prior to Abolition. Now it is called prison labor instead of slavery, but it is a distinction without a difference. Oh, they did gain the vote, but we know what that's worth--less than nothing, as it gives false hopes where no hope exists.

But there have been changes in consciousness and it seems to be happening more quickly. Just as we need to throw ourselves into the big machine and clog up the works where possible, when we see positive social changes we need to get behind them and push. But we need to always keep in mind that sometimes doing nothing is the best possible thing that we can do.

Sortition and semi-direct democracy.

Hi drae, and welcome to Fubar.

Sortition and semi-direct democracy still refer to electoral politics. Sortition is a way of counting the votes, which is useless in a system where the popular vote doesn't have to be counted. And semi-direct democracy isn't possible in a capitalist system where most legislators spend their time raising money instead of legislating.

A lot of people talk about getting the money out of politics. But in Citizen United, the Supreme Court said that money is speech and free speech means that the rich can put as much money into politics as they wish. Unfortunately, our Constitution gave supreme power to the Supreme Court, so there is no appeal from a Supreme Court edict. The Constitution took great care to ensure that a Constitutional Amendment could be, if not ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, at least be interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean the exact opposite of what was intended. Congress can enact new legislation to clarify their intent, but the Supreme Court could rule that unconstitutional also. And then there's the little matter of enforcement. A law means nothing if it isn't enforced and in a capitalist system laws rarely are enforced against the rich and powerful.

We saw in Haiti what happened when the people refused to vote in a corrupt election where the most popular candidate (Aristede) and his party were taken off the ballot. The US asserted military and economic control.

So what you seem to be asking, is something that many people ask: What happens if we boycott the election, hardly anyone votes, the world can see that we don't support this form of undemocratic government, the government loses its legitimacy, and it refuses to change, installs the candidates the wealthy elites want, and carries on as usual? That happened in South Africa, but there was worldwide opposition to the Apartheid government, so it fell, However the wealthy elites retained their economic power over the country and for the vast majority of the poor, conditions did not improve. Protesters, like striking miners, were simply massacred.

The US government expected this to happen long ago. If there was a general strike and everyone refused to go to work, to pay rent, to pay taxes, etc., the government is prepared to put most of the population in concentration camps. The camps have been built and are standing ready. The police, under Homeland Security, have been militarized. The government is prepared to use US troops on US soil against US citizens. The President retains the right to assassinate US citizens without due process, and, as you note, anyone who opposes the government can be labeled a terrorist.

So would a nonviolent revolution turn violent when the government unleashed violent force against the people? I doubt it. We saw what happened in Occupy, when the police used coordinated violent force nationwide and the people did not fight back. I doubt if it would have done any good if they did, except to result in a huge death toll of civilians.

But one small thing that I noticed was that when a country experiences an election boycott, when the people refuse to vote, the country is considered to be less stable for investors and the international credit rating associations may lower that country's credit rating. If there is sufficient worldwide opposition to that government, other countries will stop lending it money. A country can print its own money, backed with nothing, as the US does, but in that situation it might lead to uncontrollable inflation.

But all this is hypothetical. We don't really know what would happen if there was vast population opposition to government in the US. Right now it isn't there.

The only thing we have any control over is the decisions that they haven't yet taken away from us, such as which brand to buy. There are widespread boycotts of many unpopular brands, but boycotts haven't been very effective here because while the rich are a minority, they have most of the money, so brands just market to a more upscale consumer. People who can't afford expensive things anyway, can't bring about change by boycotting expensive brands.

Personally, I assume that we're fucked. Doomed. That there's no hope for change. But that doesn't lead me to depression. I take comfort in the fact that no matter what happens, I didn't vote for it. I withheld my consent. They can cage me, kill me, whatever they want, but I didn't authorize them to do it. It's a very small thing. Something that the government would never notice. But it gives me comfort that no material things or drugs can give.

Einstein said something to the effect that if he was given ten days to solve a problem, he'd spend the first nine days studying the problem and only spend the tenth day trying to solve it. The most important thing in solving a problem is to understand the nature of the problem. So if he'd died on the ninth day, he wouldn't have even started to solve the problem, but he'd have understood it. That's quite different from what technological civilization does, building nuclear power plants before they know how to safely store nuclear wastes or to prevent accidents. Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic, but I think we might be in the eighth day of studying the problem. Maybe I'm wrong and we're only in the second or third day, relatively speaking, but I have a pretty good lifetime record of being right, so I'm going to stick with my eighth day analysis. The doomers say that we're very likely to be killed on the ninth day (near term extinction) and won't live until the tenth day when we would understand the problem well enough to begin to solve it. They could be right. But that's how some of us choose to spend whatever time remains to us, and we're happy to have you join us.

Welcome aboard!

It's FUBAR, but isn't everything? ;)

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