read, think, evolve
Volume 1 Number 8 June 3, 2000
Another change that I think will be needed is that we are going to have to become much more involved in the process of governing. Many, including myself, are so caught up in just surviving that we don't pay attention to what government does. I don't think we can continue to do that if we want to move forward. We are going to have to show up and participate in the decision making process, to insure that the decisions that need to be made are made.
Part of the problem is that corporations have taken over politics, in the U.S. anyway, and they have gained far greater control over the decision making process than they should have. Part of that can be solved by serious campaign finance reform, but, ultimately, citizens are going to have to wake up and get involved in the process at every level in order to make it responsive to our needs and to steer it in the direction that will lead us into a positive future.
I don't know how we can gain control though. In the U.S. it sounds like Congress would have to change campaign finances and they aren't likely to do anything to shut of the flow of money.
Here in Montana a few years back the citizens passed an initiative that gave them the opportunity to vote on all increases in government fees and taxes. After my years in government I had lost faith in elected officials and I thought that was a good idea, but the vast majority of elected officials and government employees in the state came unglues and immediately assigned dozens of lawyers to the task of stripping the citizens of that right. Once again the citizens lost. (Power corrupts those who possess it and they aren't going to relinquish the power they possess.)
As a pacifist I don't think the solution is violence, but somehow we need to restructure things so that citizens are involved in governing and no one has enough power to become corrupted by it.
The internet holds the potential to deliver tons of information to citizens and it could be used to distribute power across the entire population. It's a lot of work and I suppose a lot of people would prefer to let someone else take care of it, but that hasn't been working. In order to survive we have to shift from short term thinking to long term thinking, and start making decisions that will protect the earth and insure the continuation of the species. Leaving it up to the corporations is leading us to ruin, and we have to find some way to redirect government towards the long term goal of evolution. Maybe that wouldn't work either though. I suppose the corporations would just buy advertising to lull people into voting however they want and it might actually cost them less to control the end result than it does now. Maybe it's foolish to blame the corporations at all? They are just taking advantage of human nature. I suppose the real villain is ourselves. We are lazy and are willing to put up with lousy governing, because we don't want to bother showing up and dealing with it ourselves. We can't blame anyone but ourselves for the problem. And, if we show up and get involved, we can fix it.
Return to Journey archives.