Deconstructing Democracy Co-Creating Eco-Governance
Part 1- Democracy: The Mindset
The Charade of Freedom, Justice and Equality for All
In democracies across the globe, the words “freedom”, “equality” and “justice” have been perverted in the name of power politics and economic growth.
Citizens have been sold privilege in the name of equality, war and corruption in the name of justice, and oppression in the name of freedom. The deceit that has become part of the democratic culture generates the inevitable struggle of citizen’s to claim the rights they are promised by the very system that enables their rights to be methodically taken away.
‘Freedom for All’
Paradoxically, the concept of freedom has meaning only in a system of domination and slavery
True freedom cannot exist where some are oppressed. As long as humans remain in a mindset of domination and believe in their own freedom to steal the freedom of the earth and other species, the same dynamic of oppression will replicate itself in the relationship among humans. True freedom will only exist when we move beyond the human-centred mindset of domination.
It is thus worthy to be wary of any system where the word freedom must exist. In nature, the freedom of each species to manifest its unique potential in replenishing relationship with the environment is a given. Nature organizes itself according to a principle of health, and not according to artificially created rights that are taken away or allocated by those in power.
In a system of domination, the word freedom comes into being as the antithesis of domination, and is then both idealized and abused. When the word “freedom” is attached to words like “speech”, “market” or even “fighter” it seems to magically bestow legitimacy to the accompanying term.
We have become indoctrinated with the bizarre and narcissistic notion that personal freedom can be gained at the expense of the freedom of others. The word freedom has been abused to refer to the freedom of the privileged to deny the freedom of others, including the freedom of other species and the planet itself.
When we separate our self-interest from the collective interest, we separate ourselves from the whole and in doing so damage both ourselves and the entire system. The belief that one group can have freedom at the expense of another group (human or other species) is a concept used to justify privilege and sell exploitation, conflict and war.
In the name of freedom we no longer have the freedom to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, eat healthy food, choose our natural medicines and live on the land in healthy mutual nourishment with our environment as other species know how to do.
We are dealing with the violence and insanity that results from the impact of the ruthless onslaught of "legal" false messaging on entire cultures under the guise of freedom of expression and freedom of choice.
“Free speech” has been perverted to mean the freedom to indoctrinate and manipulate the minds of others for one’s own benefit. It has been perverted to justify the freedom to sell false promises, use legal language to obfuscate the truth, sell deceitful ideologies and say things that can incite damage and destruction to others.
Under the umbrella of the seemingly noble value of free speech, companies are violating the right to freedom of a healthy mind and body and a thriving planet.
We do not have freedom from noise pollution when manipulative agendas are broadcast irrespective of truth or the discomfort it creates for others. We do not have the freedom to cultivate our instincts or intuition in a healthy natural environment.
There is very little freedom of choice when billions of dollars are spent on the psychology of advertising to manipulate the consumer. There can be no real choice or freedom of information when media is owned by those with their own political and economic agendas. Through seductive advertisements, films, video games, cell phone apps and reality TV, we have created a system that incessantly imposes empty addictive behaviours, the idolization of hedonistic lifestyles and physical and social violence on our conscious and subconscious mind. Healthy information is insidiously censored and perverted while toxic ideas and products dominate airtime.
The word “free-market capitalism” sells a seductive illusion of healthy economic competition. However, it is a system designed to enable conglomerates to expand and cannibalize small businesses and local economies.
Multi-national corporations have the power to influence laws that in turn legalize their own privileges ad infinitum. They now monopolize almost all branches of consumerism from basic water to the financial institutions themselves.
The United States, self-declared protector of democracy, goes to war in the name of bringing the gift of “freedom” – yet there are places where its own citizens are denied the freedom to collect rainwater, or grow food on their own front lawns. Individual privacy is increasingly infringed upon and the police force is becoming more and more militarized and responsible for violence especially against minorities.
Freedom has become synonymous with the freedom to abuse one’s own power at the expense of other people, animals and the environment. Examples abound of industries given the license to abuse the basic elements of life - earth, air, water and fire, and of stealing rights of citizens to their basic health and safety.
Genetically modified food industries are systematically poisoning the earth and creating health hazards across the globe. Countries suffer a severe drought while animal agriculture and bottled water industries exploit and drain water resources without limit. Citizens have the freedom to buy firearms but are not free of the resulting atrocities. The military industry profits off selling war across the globe.
In many democracies same sex couples do not have the freedom to get married and women do not have the freedom to make decisions about their own bodies. In some democratic countries where religion and state are not separated, religious laws “democratically” impose restrictions on women and on various minority groups. Laws restrict people from the freedom to use natural and free, accessible healing plants from nature, while dangerous drugs including cigarettes, alcohol and many addictive pharmaceuticals are legalized and marketed widely.
It is absurd to talk about democratic freedom when democracy is used as a pretext to invade and plunder other countries, perpetuate a class based society, enslave and kill other species and destroy the environment.
Today we are witnessing the mass migration of people from countries torn apart by the greed of military and mining industries to the very countries who breed these leeching corporations and peddle in war and conflict. The mass migration is tangible evidence of our fundamental interconnectedness and the impossibility of exporting destruction elsewhere while remaining immune to the repercussions of our actions.
‘Equality for All’
Paradoxically, the concept of equality only has meaning in a system of inequality.
In classic Orwellian style most democracies have embodied the idea that “everybody is equal but some are more equal than others”. From the birth of modern democracy there have always been population groups (women, racial groups and other minorities) denied basic human rights including the right to vote. The concept of equality is entirely human-centred and gives no thought to equal rights for other species or for the earth itself.
It is entirely incoherent yet widespread that democracies founded on the principle of equality allow political parties with clear ideological platforms of inequality to be elected and to create laws that entrench inequality in the system.
The inbuilt inequality is a self-reinforcing spiral that gives the existing elite the power to make decisions that in turn strengthen their own power. There is discrimination on every level from the way police behave towards different races to the ongoing neglect of those with physical challenges. In some countries “democratically elected” extremist religious parties entirely exclude women from political representation and control access to media. In most democracies women still do not get paid the same as men for the same jobs and minorities are discriminated against.
Democracies even allow extremism and fascism to emerge and flourish within them. More and more xenophobic and greed driven parties are taking centre stage in democracies across the globe. Hitler himself rose to power within a democratic political system. The contradictions are blatant and yet remain for the most part unaddressed.
The notion of “equal opportunity” is usually a smokescreen for oppressing diversity. It disguises the inbuilt structural inequality enabling the powerful to maintain power, and the rich to get richer while the poor get poorer.
Equality is undermined when a mould is set by power driven media for what is valued more and what is valued less. Media is flooded with one dimensional pictures of beauty and success that ensure opportunity for those in the mould and exclude those that aren’t. Salary structure is designed to favour certain professions over others. This in turn reinforces the spiralling divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.
The “game” is entirely rigged. The hailed “social mobility” and upgrade in social status available in democratic societies is the exception rather than the rule. The reality is that with the growing divides, the middle class is shrinking and more and more are struggling to make ends meet. And, while the working class must spend their time scraping together money for subsistence, the privileged use their existing privileges of money, networks and education to extend the income gaps. Cultivating dependence of citizens particularly the poorer sectors promotes a deeply unequal dynamic, and is part of the strategy of power. The more citizens are dependent, the more power the government has.
The inconsistencies are blatantly obvious yet conspicuously ignored. Despite the hailed value of equality, socio-economic class distribution among the financial elite, middle class, working class and the poor has become an unquestionable premise of democracy.
The overt debate is about the numbers rather than the premise itself. Discussion about inequality is deflected to a question of numbers. While there is contentious debate about s the minimum wage rate and the amount allocated for government handouts, the idea of a maximum wage is kept out of mainstream debate and consciousness. The premise of socio-economic class based distribution itself is not questioned.
Any society that perpetuates the notion that it is normal and okay to have a distribution of wealth where some hoard ridiculous amount of resources while others live in abject poverty is a deeply unjust, unequal and unhealthy culture.
This democratically sanctioned class distribution is the basis of any unhealthy feudal society and will inevitably cause conflict and disease in the entire system. The fact that it has always been this way, does not mean it has to stay this way.
We have become blinded to the fact that this kind of class based wealth distribution goes against the fundamentals of human morality and against the health and vitality of the entire system. It is a parasitic dynamic that leeches off the vulnerable and off the planet without replenishing that which is taken. To say that it is unsustainable understates the severity of the disease.
"The vast and growing gap between rich and poor has been laid bare in a new Oxfam report showing that the 62 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population." (Larry Elliott Economics editor, The Guardian 18.01.2016)
Democracy boasts values of equality, yet has created a context where a tiny percentage of people own vast amounts of global resources, billions live in poverty and all of this inequality is structured in the system and legal.
According to economist Kate Raworth, In 2010 the top richest 10% of people in the United States captured 93% of increase in national income that year. Two thirds of the world’s population today live in countries that have greater inequality than they had in 1980. Where is the equality in a system that allows a minimum wage to be less than 8 dollars an hour while CEO’s can earn $20 000 an hour? Money creates more money in a manipulated system where a person’s earnings have very little to do with their real work or contribution to society.
Corporate owned media broadcasts the illusion of healthy economic growth by using reductive and deceptive statistical jargon that highlights certain variables while hiding others. General concepts like increased gross domestic product and economic growth hide the fact that most of the growth actually goes into the pockets of a few while middle and lower classes find themselves more and more in debt and the entire system is severely damaged and depeleted.
In this so called system of ‘equality’ or ‘equal opportunity’, the legitimacy of individuals or corporations earning and hoarding exorbitant amounts of money at the expense of people and planet is not up for discussion. Instead, the wealthy are idolized and protected by the self-perpetuating law-making system no matter how ill-gotten their stash may be. Arguments as to the precise minimum wage may take on heated forms, but the possibility of instituting a maximum wage or redistributing the wealth of the multi-billionaires is kept off limits.
According to the “Occupy Democrat” movement since 1978 in the United States:
the cost of college tuition has gone up by 1 120 %
Medical care has increased by 601%
Food has increased by 244%
Meanwhile the pay of:
Average workers rose by just 10%
Minimum-wage workers fell by 5.5%
Average CEO’s increased by 937%
Multi-national corporations create inequalities not only among individuals but among countries. Citizens are sold the idea that their countries need foreign investment in order to bring employment. What they are not told is the price of such employment. Foreign corporations often pay minimum wages, deepen inequality, deplete and pollute the environment and create health problems for the locals.
We are witness to the politics and wars of so called developed and often democratic countries vying with each other to sell weapons and other products to the poorer countries. “Investment” in poorer countries becomes a euphemism for owning and depleting them and amplifying the divides between the haves and have not’s on global scale.
In 2015, the inbuilt financial inequality among countries was played out, with Greece (ironically, the historical birthplace of democracy) having become a victim of the seductive financial system of the European Union. The Greek drama sent waves of unrest and dissent across Europe and the world. It highlighted how the corrupt system inevitably traps individuals and countries in a web of loans and interest. The system is designed to enslave the weakest in lifelong debt. The Greek finance minister called the manipulation of institutions that trade on speculation and bank on the debt no less than financial terrorism.
‘Justice for All’
Paradoxically, the concept of justice has meaning only in a system of injustice
The meaning of justice, another cornerstone of the founding principles of democracy, has also been perverted to sell the vast injustices that characterize our world today. Law-making procedures are often more about wrangling over power than about the essence of the law itself.
The legal system has been hijacked by those in power to create the laws that privilege those in power and enslave people, animals and the planet. The legal system marketed as the ultimate protector of human rights has become the very system through which the abuse is legally carried out.
The arm of democracy is the legal system which is orchestrated by those that have power to legalize injustice. Those with money are the ones that can ensure certain people get into powerful political and influential positions in the judicial system. Only the rich can afford the “best” lawyers, the fines, the patent disputes and the array of sophisticated legal games to entrench their agendas and even to create the laws from which they themselves benefit.
‘Everything I/we did was according to the law" is now a nauseatingly repetitive and sinister mantra. Individuals, companies and governments worldwide, challenged with corruption scandals that impact the lives of many, casually hold up this statement like an impenetrable magic shield.
This cold technical response to challenges regarding legalized abusive behaviour reflects how our so called justice system has lost its moral compass. What does it mean about our democratic system when those accused of corrupt behaviour do not say "everything I/we did was kind, just, or in the best interests of all" - but instead defend themselves by saying their behaviour was strictly “according to the law”?
The law has become a game of engaging the most brilliant legal minds to outwit each other. ‘Justice’ has been reduced to an expensive technical debate over the legality or illegality of a person's behavior according to dubious laws that privilege some over others.
The justice system is bound by a country’s laws. The laws are made according to a majority vote rather than according to the intrinsic value of a law for the benefit of the entire human and environmental system the law supposedly comes to serve.
Of course, those closest to the business of law have also found ways to ensure that their professions are among the most lucrative. They have managed to manoeuvre the legal profession into a situation where people are increasingly dependent on lawyers in almost every aspect of life.
The painful paradox is that the injustices of the justice system now have the law with all its accumulated might on its side. This means that challenging injustice is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous for the individual.
There are many sophisticated methods of deception and manipulation in the name of justice including political appointments, lobbyists, bribery, favour swapping, vote swapping, legal jargon, fine print, exorbitant prices of legal representation, arduous red tape and clogged court rooms. Politicians often vote on laws couched in vague and long carefully crafted manuscripts designed to conceal more than reveal the full consequences of what is at stake.
To engage in basic technology and social services the lay person is forced to lie, on an almost daily basis by signing that he/she has read and understood endless fine print in convoluted legal language.
And as the legal system becomes increasingly owned and manipulated by the wealthy for the wealthy, the security systems put in place to protect people from abuse, become instead the systems used to enforce the abuse, and to quell any information and activity that goes against the political and economic agenda. Alongside the police and military is the legal system that cements this agenda.
The perversion of the justice system can also be seen in results of the privatization of prisons as money making businesses. The United States has the world’s largest incarceration rate in the world, while it represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population; it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners. (Wikipedia)
As the laws that bind countries are increasingly determined by foreign policy and international agreements, justice has less and less to do with citizens’ rights than with the interests of those at the helms pulling the strings. Local citizens have very little say regarding health policy, fracking policy, or any laws that affect the full spectrum of their lives.
If our justice system endorses or at the very least does not protect against the exploitation of people, animals and the planet, then the justice system as it stands cannot be considered a legitimate social structure.
As Chris Hedges says: “We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.” Chris Hedges
The perversion of the cornerstones of democracy freedom, equality and justice is echoed in the Hopi Prophecy regarding the latter days of the Time of Purification.
"We are in the process of resolution of polarities we have caused through our limited comprehension of universal principles. I was told that good would be called bad, right would be considered wrong, that wealth would become poverty, and that men and women would tend to choose living apart. We are obviously in that predicament now. The instructions accompanying this condition are very clear. We are to identify the polarities in our personal lives and to begin mitigation of our issues, those both contrived and inherited, with deep intention, practice, and patience."~ John Kimmey ~ Hopi Elder