Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Voting strategies are ineffective

At 10:13 AM 6/1/2007, o'Kelly McCluskey wrote, at vfp92@lists.riseup.net:
GREAT Message, Tom

Yes I agree-- it's a great analysis. Tom's prescription (boycott the major parties - [at bottom]) is also worth considering. However, IMO it is not likely to gain enough voters, soon enough to take hold and deliver results, in order to keep from fading away.

The reason "politics" seems dysfunctional to the observer, is that we are applying an incomplete model. For example, if you want to predict the orbits of planet, first of all you need to know its speed, its direction, and its distance from the sun. None of the orbits are perfect circles, they are elliptical.

Some people's ideas about politics leave out factors that are necessary to understand politics.

Some people's analysis of the facts is wrong. We are like ptolemy, trying to predict the planets with the wrong math. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernican_heliocentrism One can only imagine the mental suffering of the astronomers, with their Ptolemaic math.

So I would suggest discarding the word "political system" and at least, call it "the political economy". Better, we might call it "humanity". Because, what we are talking about is the entire domain of human behavior.

Surely I don't have to explain that the companies and wealthy individuals control lawmaking, the judiciary, and the regulatory bureaucracies, etc. What you may be missing however, is the layer that goes deeper, the layer on which corporations and the money system operate. The operation of the money economy is principally composed of people--- Including liberals as well as conservatives, engaged in the exchange of goods and services. So, the analytical model -- the predictive model-- for the political economy is WHAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO, not what they say they're doing, or even what they believe they are doing.

I have long complained the people in the peace movement think themselves different from Republicans and the neocons and fundamentalists, while behaving in exactly the same way 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Working in the same jobs, right alongside apocalyptic fundamentalists, sports fans, and madmen. And not even arguing with them-- but coexisting. This is corruption This is pragmatism. abandonment of principle, for material gain. It is materialism, collaboration within a vast machine that kills millions of people outside of itself.

The political economy, of course is composed mostly of companies where we are the employees, where obedience is absolute, and guided by our perverse system of notation called accounting. The number balances are absolutely not to be questioned. When was the last time you questioned the numbers in your bank account? Well you should because they are all lies. Humanity, hanging from a cross of numbers (not the cross of gold, of William Jennings Bryan) A totalitarian system, as deterministic as bees in a hive, or ants in an anthill. And we are pretty much doing it to ourselves thru our inattention and neglect. We aren't even maintaining the anthill. It is insanity. This planet is an insane asylum. Following rote procedure, as lemmings.

So, bottom line, I neither agree nor disagree with Tom's recommendation. I just think it is pathetic, insufficient. The only ethical as well as effective action of citizens today is to boycott the elements of the economy involved in the war, involved in corruption of the political system, and in the corruption of our institutions of mass culture (the moneyed interest' influence over the pulpit, the school systems, and of course the media. ) See my articl in Washington Free Press this month; in libraries and free newstands (in a couple weeks it will be at http://www.wafreepress.org ) Even our writing and educating and debating, ultimately, is useless unless millions of people actually *QUIT* the jobs they're doing now, and get up every morning and do different sorts of activities which don't contribute to the wars- and such activities are few and far between, today. Do you understand, there is no "political" behavior that is going to change the system? No gimmick, no caucus, no letters to editors-- because the governmental apparatus including elections is a department of a corporation, it is a department of the economy which is far larger. The government is not a free-standing thing.

self hating veteran, lazy deadweight mf etc.

----- Original Message ----- From:
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:51 PM
Subject: [VFP92] America's Dysfunctional Political System

I was saddened to read recently that the only son of Andrew Bacevich, an officer in the US Army stationed in Iraq, became one of the many casualties there recently.

Usually I don't pay too much heed to who from America dies in Iraq, but I am kind of a fan of Bacevich's. He is a former career officer in the US Army, a Vietnam vet, now a professor of international relations at Boston University, a strong critic of US foreign and military policy, and definitely a critic of Bush's war in Iraq and the neo-con gang who helped bring it to us.

He recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, which examines his responsibility for his son's death. The article is titled, "I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty":

For me the article is remarkable because it fires a shot at America's political system and the way it has failed the people of America.

I am convinced that the nature of this dysfunctional, sick system is much to blame for the deploreable state of American foreign and military policy. This system has the following characteristics:

1. The politicians are chiefly concerned with maintaining their positions and the power of their parties. If the party is in control, then maintaining control is paramount. If the party is out of control, then regaining control is paramount. Other considerations, such as principle and formulating good policy are only secondary considerations.

One example of this is the number of Democrats who were only too anxious to provide Bush in 2002 with the congressional OK to invade Iraq. Clearly they were motivated strongly by the need to look tough on defense policy. There was little interest in examining this policy critically.

2. The parties demand that all hew to the party line and the two parties are nearly indistinguishable when it comes to foreign and military policy. That means that there is little diversity in thought in these areas. Therefore, nearly all politicians support a strong and dominating American military policy and nearly all politicians support Israel without question. This is true even though it is very apparent the current policies in these areas are detrimental to the interests of Americans.

3. Because of the group think process on Capitol Hill and the serious lack of consideration of alternative options, information, and opinions, the political process takes people who are good people as incoming legislators and turns them into group think automatons who must toe the party line. In many instances these people are even less informed about issues than the people they are representing. They become incredibly closed minded. Only when they are presented with a catastrophe, which is the direct result of their stupidity, (for example, the quagmire in Iraq) do they start wondering, "Well, maybe we were wrong. It's the administration's fault. They misled us."

4. Large sums of money are very important to the political process. People with a lot of money count very much. Those without, such as you or I, don't matter at all. The excessive time needed for campaigning exacerbates the corrupting influence of money. With presidential campaigning starting two years before the election, ridiculous amounts of money are spent to maintain the campaigns for this time period.

The biggest problem is the lack of diversity. There simply is little choice in American elections. You either vote Democrat or Republican and when it comes to foreign policy that is no choice at all. They are vitually the same.

I am struck by another recent op-ed written by Pat Buchanan in which he maintains the Democratic Party could support more funding for the war because the anti-war left had no other place to go. The anti-war grassroots of the Democratic Party may be unhappy with the sellout, but it is not going to vote Republican.

Maybe it is time for people to change this sick political system by refusing to vote for or support in any way any politician associated with either party. I think it is time that people BOYCOTT THE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PARTIES. Simply refuse to vote for any member of these parties. Vote Green, vote Libertarian, vote Socialist, vote Independent, but do not vote Democrat or Republican at any level.

This is the philosophy I have adopted for myself. After what I have seen over the last few years, I will be damned if I ever vote again for another Democrat. I don't care what they say and what they stand for. Simply being a member of that party will disqualify them for my vote. Of course, the same applies to the Republican party, though there never was a great danger of me voting for a Republican.

The Iraq war should make it clear to all that this country needs a diverse political system where the choices are not limited to a duopoly. We either need independent politicians with diverse views or many parties with diverse views. Clearly, what we have now does not work.

Tom Krebsbach

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