We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Progressive Libertarian Coalition

Can cats and dogs get along in an alliance of convenience? Extreme economic national emergency calls for a unifying common platform. Here's a 9 point platform that can unite them.

The bipartisan removal of incumbent dinosaurs in congressional primaries and the sheer energy involved now provides hope for an alliance of convenience between all major nationalist factions in United States. By nationalist, I mean those producerist conservatives and progressives who believe in making America stronger by protectionist build up of domestic industry/infrastructure and by diminishing the power of the financial transnational oligarchy. In other words, to go back to the better days of FDR style attempts to preserve and enhance the physical non-paper shuffling capitalist core of American economy.

Citizens across the political spectrum are in total agreement on the need to completely clean congress of everybody presently in it. The hope is that newcomers in November are not as bought off as current congressmen and that it'll take time for corporations to buy them out (thus giving a few months where the new politicians may act relatively autonomously due to weak connections to the oligarchy). However the extreme economic national emergency calls for a unifying common platform to multiply the power of newcomers and to pressure the congressional senior citizens with easy to understand concepts.

How would a common political platform look like? The platform has to be balanced by things people are for and things people are against to give it depth and traction. Lets begin:

1) Protectionism. This means higher tariffs on imports as a source of national income and a way to reduce unemployment in the blue collar sector. Historically, protectionism not only works splendidly for every major society that engages in it but is also backed by the blue collar muscle of the rural and urban discontents. Majority of the factions within the tea party will be for this through proper use of the China card. The less numerous younger libertarian faction may object on ideological grounds but is unlikely to split over this (side with transnational corps exploiting Chinese labor over the interests of their fellow blue collar T partiers). Libertarians have a lot of severe cultural disagreements with other (formerly GOP) T party factions but still remain. After all, Ron Paul's people pretty much started T Party in the first place.

2) Glass-Steagall separation between commercial and investment banking. The passing of Glass-Steagall will deal a mortal blow to parasites on Wall Street and its effectiveness has been verified ever since G-S was originally passed in 1933. The bipartisan McCain-Cantwell amendment already brought this issue into national discourse. Reintroduction of Glass-Steagall is also the most effective filtering tool for congressional candidates in November since those who support it stand against the speculators. Quest for and achievement of G-S would additionally satisfy the psychological craving for justice among activists across the political spectrum as its implementation destroys the Wall Street oligarchy in its current too big to fail casino manifestation. Since the importance of G-S also makes it a danger to Obama's oligarchic backers, the issue must be approached carefully yet forcefully. Swaths of T party movement who have not been co-opted by corporations should jump on the proposal. This will ultimately allow the infrastructure thrust of the rest of the platform listed bellow

3) Nuclear Energy. The job creating and environmental benefits make fission and fusion energy an obvious political rallying point. Younger progressives may need to drag their older brethren along on this one. They can point out that fission allowed for the socioeconomic optimism in 1960s, is ridiculously clean/safe, and will make advanced green transport infrastructure possible. The more intense nationalists in the T party will love the idea of switching focus from oil to nuclear (after all it still makes some older democrats uneasy), achieving energy independence, and peacefully competing with Russia in the fission reactor industry.

4) Constitutional Convention. The purpose of a ConCon is elaborated upon in depth here. The primary reasons for demanding a historic convention are: a) create unity and excitement among both T party and progressive activists b) create dialogue that leads to settlement of the culture wars through agreement to disagree until the ConCon occurs c) send a powerful message to the political class that even cleaning house is not enough and that the structural blocks on people's will are to be resolved d) rechannel the energy from potential social unrest towards pursuit of a constitutionally legal restructuring of the country's governance

5) Thorough audit and demasking of the Federal Reserve's finances, history, and functioning. This will uncover more dirt than most people can imagine and most likely either end or severely transform the fed's functioning. This will be the ultimate muckraking and like G-S, satisfy the popular sense that some justice is being done. Now that the Goldman Sachs investigation triggered similar investigations into other casino giants, people's appetite to discover who stole hundreds of billions of tax payers dollars is greater than ever. Since the Fed is the parasitic heart behind our imperial socioeconomic system, it will be the hardest nut to crack. The difficulty of the full scale audit (that Ron Paul and many progressive economists desire) demonstrates why the T Party/Progressive alliance of convenience is essential. The impudence of the federal reserve also provides an overarching point of focus for the anti-bankster activists.

6) Proportional Representation on the state level and ultimately on the federal level (either through an amendment or Constitutional Convention). PR is another politically neutral concept of agreement that goes an incredibly long way towards giving people better representation and thus reduces corporate influence. It puts the first nail in the coffin of the hated two party oligarchic duopoly. Replacing all incumbents in Congress does not resolve the fundamental and glaring structural inadequacy when it comes to electing state and national representatives. It will take a bit of education to spread the concept but its elegance and widespread use throughout the world (even Brits are discussing it) should provide an exciting new structural alternative in the process of streamlining the American democracy. Just like direct election of senators, it is a prudent evolutionary step (that can begin to be implemented on a state by state basis through decentralized activism).

7) Congressional term limits. This fits perfectly with the anti-incumbency strides of recent months and proportional representation reform. Instead of allowing society to deteriorate to the point of collapse for congressional dinosaurs to be sent packing, term limits do it automatically. There will always be gusts of fresh air with such limitation. Considering that entrenched and totally out of touch 80 year olds in power were one of the main reasons why Soviet Union began to stagnate, this is a matter of outmost importance. American gerontocracy has to be ended since people that old, secure, and corrupt are dramatically less mentally flexible and capable compared to when they first got into office decades ago. More on the problem of congress being a senior citizens home here.

8) Rebuilding the nation's water infrastructure. The quality of the "drinkable" water in most regions in US is horrendous. The outdated and overstressed water systems are also a source of danger in terms of insufficient supply for the agricultural sector. Besides age and lack of funds, climate change puts new unforeseen stresses on water infrastructure in almost every state. Lets not wait for another Dust Bowl event to compliment the current depression. Although it may seem odd to have it on the list, this is a vital economic issue for rural communities and a public health issue for urban areas outside of the northeast.

9) Isolationism. Another obvious way to stop dumping resources into a hole in the ground. This has to be marketed to T partiers and progressives in different ways. Conservatives are always fine with idea of not helping the "ungrateful world solve its own problems anymore" due to refocus on domestic rebuilding. Libertarians are ideologically predisposed to isolationism while progressives are of course sick of imperial adventures. Isolationism also allows the alliance of convenience to expand to some former reform party paleoconservatives. Obviously the empire and the influence of the most powerful lobby (the military) cannot be ended rapidly (one of the key reasons being the sheer number of high tech blue collar jobs that military corporations provide inside the US). Isolationism serves as a way to refocus conversation towards domestic nation building and reemphasizing the pro-infrastructure focus of the T Party/Progressive alliance.

That is it for now. There are many more unifying points of contact but these 9 are the most important and self reinforcing. Glass-Steagall, Constitutional Convention, Term Limits, Protectionism, Nuclear Power, Proportional Representation, Federal Reserve Audit, Isolationism, and Water Infrastructure Development. If one allows the sheer transformative nature of these unifying goals to sink in, then differences such as over gay marriage seem petty and insignificant. I was tempted to add high speed rail and transport infrastructure to the list but am content with nuclear energy and water development for now. That is because nuclear energy has to come first in order to power real jumps in train technology (like transcontinental MagLev trains) and discussion over trains in a predominantly car centric society can lead to major disagreements instead of unity. Meanwhile, water development is as important to country and city alike and non-controversial. However, high speed train development can be integrated into the platform depending on the state by state basis. There are definitely many conservatives who fully support and understand the issue of building up next generation logistics with all the job creation that it'll bring.

The end result is something that looks like a Main Street Party (emphasis on real economy, job creation, anti-wall street, etc) without culture war nonsense to distract from the mission of reforming this socioeconomic system in a major way.

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1 comment:

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