First, we must convince a significant number of people that our response to the climate catastrophe is woefully inadequate. Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations no less, is in agreement on that one. This requires going over yet again, all those terrible calamities that will befall us if we continue on the present path.
Second, we must convince a significant number of people that we cannot take the necessary action to avert these looming calamities under the present regime; neo-liberal, free-market, palliative stage capitalism. It is in our favour that the time is ripe for change, big change!
All over the world people desperately want a change to the present system. It feels like we need it more than ever before in history.
Thirdly, we must make it abundantly clear that we do not wish to abolish democracy, quite the opposite. We want to create democracy!
So we have to make it obvious that the present so-called democracy is not functioning as a democracy at all. It is not fit for purpose. It is not capable of dealing with the enormous task at hand.
It is a façade, a charade. It is in fact a democracy in name only. It is a fake!
There are many, many things hindering our system from being truly democratic. We must list all those things so clearly that it is obvious to everyone that our system is not functioning as a democracy at all.
We can do this using empirical evidence.
We can also prove this by using pure logic.
Democracy is fundamentally dependent on ‘informed consent.’
We cannot make a democratic decision such as voting, for example, without informed consent. At every election we have voted overwhelmingly, time and time again, for a policy that will surely lead to our own destruction, as sure as night follows day. Obviously, if we knew that would be the ultimate outcome of our decision, we would not make that decision, would we?
No we would not.
So our decisions are based on a lack of knowledge of the outcome.
That makes those decisions invalid and undemocratic, and let’s face it, these are very important decisions, effecting all of humanity and everyone else besides.
This can be seen in many aspects of our society, not just the climate crisis. We have so many intractable problems that cannot be solved whilst we are in thrall to this neo-liberal, free-market, palliative stage capitalists juggernaut, but we are prevented from seeing that the root cause of these problems is the system itself. This is because there are immensely powerful people doing whatever they can to keep that knowledge from us, in cahoots with far too many people who just don’t want to know. Therefore our consent is not informed consent. It is invalid.
Most of us are painfully aware of this, but we just want get on with our lives because we feel we are powerless and cannot do anything about it. So our job is to come up with a blueprint for a truly democratic society. Then we must present that viable scenario so convincingly that folks cannot fail to believe it can work, and is therefore worth fighting for, worth giving up the seemingly safe and stable lives we have created for ourselves despite the odds.
Obviously it will be a lot easier to convince those who have not managed to carve out a safe and stable place for themselves in a system stacked against them. There are many others it will be more difficult to convince, those who feel they are wallowing in the benefits of this cruel and heartless ideology. But maybe they too will come to see that they are also suffering, but in a different way. I get the distinct impression that the most privileged members of our society can find themselves isolated from the rest of us, mainly because that is what they set out to do in the first place, blissfully unaware that isolation soon leads to a feeling of alienation, and we all know that alienated from the rest of humanity will crush your spirit. You will become but a shadow of your self, and may even lose the will to live.
Lastly, and this is the hard bit, we must create a vision of another way to do things that is so clearly and obviously better than what we have now, that we are ready and willing to embrace it with open arms. To do this we must make an exhaustive list of all the intractable problems we have created with our adulation of this neo-liberal, free-market economic cult. At the same time, and this will be more fun; We must make a list of all the wonderful things we will come to enjoy in a society rooted in community, where money is no longer the primary means of human interaction.
Then we must present a method of transition between the two which looks plausible, ideally without a period of chaos, catastrophe and fascism in between. A smooth and seamless swap-over based on ‘informed consent.’ I truly believe this is not only possible, it is inevitable.
The snowball is already rolling down the hill, it just has to get to its final resting place before it melts. The snowball is melting very fast, but it is also growing very fast at the same time. The race is on!
Alas and alak I for one, cannot see a transition to a true democracy without suspending, temporarily, the fake democracy we cherish so dearly. I am sure this will make alarm bells ring. Some will quake in their boots, as they should. But I can’t see how we can go forward without this intervention.
Those in control of the system will not voluntarily give up their immense privilege without a fight, and they have all the big guns, don’t forget: Money, lawyers, laws and well…big guns!
So we must fight our battles without resorting to big guns, or any guns at all. Not even sticks, not even smashing windows or rolling cop cars into the river, even though this can be a very good way to let-off-steam. We must be squeaky clean. We must achieve all our aims peacefully, without a shot being fired. This is the way we do things now, this is the way of the future. This is more important than all our other goals. This IS our goal!
This is where N.V.D.A. comes in. This is where Blockade Australia is of vital importance. We cannot convince the powers-that-be to suspend their fake democracy via traditional methods: petitions, marches, voting, etc, etc. They will just ignore us, as they have always done.
We must disrupt their operations to the point where they are no longer able to extract their precious profits from our precious natural world and our endless toil. This may lead to a – hopefully short – period of mayhem, the supermarkets may run out of food for a while, heaven forbid, but we will be ready for that won’t we? This will be the right moment to suggest a viable alternative. It goes like this:
We hold a referendum on changing the constitution so that it is truly democratic. No donations for instance, in fact let’s have a democracy that does not involve money at all. A democracy where everyone chips in to get the job done, without a thought of financial gain, much like we do when a bushfire arrives; we pick up a hose or we make sandwiches for the hose-bearers, we rescue the less nimble in the nick-of-time, we do what we can.
Let’s make a society that doesn’t wait until disaster has struck before we find our compassion.
Ben Boyang 6/8/22
Ancient Japanese cautionary tale