First Commandment: THOU SHALT TAKE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS
in politics. Zero! First, people should stand up and declare
unequivocally they will not vote for anyone who takes ANY money from
corporations, lobbyists and PACs. Then, down the road, by having
elections 100% financed out of public funds, we can build a democracy
where our legislators might actually have some time to legislate. It is
common knowledge, most federal office holders spend enormous amounts of
time raising funds and worrying about winning the next election, instead
of doing the job we voted them in office to do. Let's end this right
Second Commandment: THOU SHALT HONOR CHOICE AT THE POLLS
It's time to institute instant run-off voting. This will allow minor party candidates to run at all levels of government without the understandable fear that a voter is throwing away her or his vote. Our current system has, as Ralph Nader has been saying all along, turned into a choice between Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum. Without real choice, meaning a range that covers the entire spectrum of political opinion, democracy becomes a sham, and purely an exercise in futility.
Third Commandment: THOU SHALT RESPECT THE COMMONS
Right off, we need to re-establish a commons. So much of what constitutes the foundation for a functioning society has been privatized -- prisons, education, utilities, mail, roads, bridges. And it hasn't worked out well, has it? The nation's infrastructure is a shambles. There are some basic things we should all be able to have free and open access to, facilities and services which should not be at the mercy of the so-called free market: education, clean air and water, energy, health care, retirement security, the INTERNET, police, fire and ambulance services, nutrition and mental health counseling. This is not socialism. It's having a country that works.
Fourth Commandment: THOU SHALT PUT MONEY CREATION AND THE CONTROL OF THE NATION'S CURRENCY BACK INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
The control and issuance of currency must be returned to the federal government. The Federal Reserve is no more "federal" than Federal Express, and as a result America is now hostage to private banks and we rapidly becoming their serf-slaves. Either nationalize or abolish the Federal Reserve and return creation of our fiat currency to the people of America, regulated by a legitimate, functioning system of representative government.
Fifth Commandment: THOU SHALT LIVE BY RULE OF LAW
We have a two-tiered legal system, a gentle one for the privileged, a brutal one for the rest of us. The oligarchs do what they want unfettered by pesky laws. Sometimes the same laws are used to restrain and incarcerate the rest of us. Same thing on an international level. Two tiers. The U.S. bullies the world, ignoring treaty obligations and international law, treating other countries as vassal states. But it uses the same legal instruments as a bludgeon, holding every other nation's feet to the fire with sanctions, UN resolutions, trade agreements -- whatever -- when it serves our interests, or more accurately, the interests of the corporations who are really setting the agenda. This gross hypocrisy is creating enemies everywhere. We are long overdue to again respect the law, apply it equally and fairly across the board, both at home and around the world.
Sixth Commandment: THOU SHALT REIN IN CAPITALISM
A nice breeze on a clear spring day -- good! ... A level-5 hurricane that destroys vast swaths of dwellings and kills countless people -- bad! ... Surfer and swimmer-friendly waves lapping up on a sandy beach -- good! ... A tsunami crushing whole towns with a 100-foot wall of terrifying force -- bad! ... Sunlight from hydrogen fusion nurturing our planet with gentle rays of light and warmth -- good! ... An inferno of hydrogen fusion raining down on cities across the world as mammoth nuclear bombs, destroying the entire human race -- bad! We mostly tend to agree that capitalism provides a powerful engine to drive development and progress. But too much of it and societies are crushed, democracies destroyed, vast numbers of people are relegated to serf status. Other countries have strict regulation and state control to check the ravaging effects of unfettered capitalism. Now it's America's turn. Either we rein it in or we can kiss good-bye our once-great country as it descends into the dustbin of history.
Seventh Commandment: THOU SHALT MAKE CORPORATIONS SERVANTS OF THE GREATER GOOD
It will be
tough but the whole bogus concept of corporate personhood must be
expunged. Totally voided. It was put in place by devious methods and now
must be rooted out. In general, it's way past time to drastically
restrict the charters of corporations, such that the interests of people
are balanced with the pursuit of profit. This is the way it used to be
in the early days of our nation. Back then, corporations were set up for
specific and usually public-spirited projects, assigned a very narrowly
defined charter and a fixed duration. When whatever was supposed to get
done got done, the corporation was dissolved. Maybe we don't have to
return to such a limited implementation in our modern world, but we do
have to require that corporations serve the common good. It is
entirely legal to dictate that corporations act responsibly and take
into account the needs of the community they serve, especially the
communities where they reside. We have to elect individuals who are not
in the pockets of the corporations and have them re-write the laws for
doing the business of America. If the multinational behemoths don't like
it, let them set up in China, Vietnam or Bangladesh. That's where they
already have their factories anyway. Ultimately this will not harm the
economy, it will create a society which is healthy and prosperous for everyone.