I have just begun reading "Haunting Legacies: Violent histories and transgenerational trauma." by Gabriele Schwab who grew up in post WWII Germany. I will share excerpts as I go along. It is my belief that we have become too comfortable in this world with our sickness and we have made too many accommodations with violence, horror and the prison of denial. Quite apart from the discoveries which authors like Gabriele share, they also give me hope because their work implies that despite the mind-blowing apathy and dumbing down that is evident everywhere, Yeats' "the best lack all conviction" comes to mind, there are hearts and minds where honesty and courage do persist.
Peace today to the Venezuelan people in their parliamentary elections. External interference and internal weaknesses and the sometimes cruel passions that they can inflame have been their constant companions. These are facts that have been documented and have had to be continuously controlled to retain some sort of stability. But if the majority of the people are not united and committed and courageous and sturdy enough to walk a rough path into smoothness, then they are the ones who will continue to invite destabilisation. In the end it is the weakest link that breaks the chain, not so much the force that is being applied by any hostile factor pretending to offer deliverance. Within an imperfect system of representation, a decision will be made. The people will choose what is coming to them.
Talking about imperfect representation, I recommend Muammar Gaddafi's "Green Book" to those who have been questioning the systems of government which they have inherited and which are proving to be increasingly problematic, if not persistent obstacles in the way of achieving truly participatory democracy.
Narrated by Harold Hudson Channer | Uploaded by ArthurLoveForLife
Excerpt from "The Green Book" by Muammar Al Gaddafi.
"PART ONE - THE INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT
The instrument of government is the prime political problem confronting human communities (The problem of the instrument of government entails questions of the following kind. What form should the exercise of authority assume? How ought societies to organize themselves politically in the modern world?)
Even conflict within the family is often the result of the failure to resolve this problem of authority. It has clearly become more serious with the emergence of modern societies.
People today face this persistent question in new and pressing ways. Communities are exposed to the risks of uncertainty, and suffer the grave consequences of wrong answers.Yet none has succeeded in answering it conclusively and democratically. THE GREEN BOOK presents the ultimate solution to the problem of the proper instrument of government.
All political systems in the world today are a product of the struggle for power between alternative instruments of government. This struggle may be peaceful or armed, as is evidenced among classes, sects, tribes, parties or individuals. The outcome is always the victory of a particular governing structure - be it that of an individual, group, party or class - and the defeat of the people; the defeat of genuine democracy.
Political struggle that results in the victory of a candidate with, for example, 51 per cent of the votes leads to a dictatorial governing body in the guise of a false democracy, since 49 per cent of the electorate is ruled by an instrument of government they did not vote for, but which has been imposed upon them. Such is dictatorship. Besides, this political conflict may produce a governing body that represents only a minority. For when votes are distributed among several candidates, though one polls more than any other, the sum of the votes received by those who received fewer votes might well constitute an overwhelming majority. However, the candidate with fewer votes wins and his success is regarded as legitimate and democratic! In actual fact, dictatorship is established under the
cover of false democracy. This is the reality of the political systems prevailing in the world today. They are dictatorial systems and it is evident that they falsify genuine democracy.
Parliaments are the backbone of that conventional democracy prevailing in the world today. Parliament is a misrepresentation of the people, and parliamentary systems are a false solution to the problem of democracy. A parliament is originally founded to represent the people, but this in itself is undemocratic as democracy means the authority of the people and not an authority acting on their behalf. The mere existence of a parliament means the absence of the people. True democracy exists only through the direct participation of the people, and not through the activity of their representatives. Parliaments have been a legal barrier between the people and the exercise of authority, excluding the masses from meaningful politics and monopolizing sovereignty in their place. People are left with only a facade of democracy, manifested in long queues to cast their election ballots.
To lay bare the character of parliaments, one has to examine their origin. They are either elected from constituencies, a party, or a coalition of parties, or are appointed. But all of these procedures are undemocratic, for dividing the population into constituencies means that one member of parliament represents thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of people, depending on the size of the population. It also means that a member keeps few popular organizational links with the electors since he, like other members, is considered a representative of the whole people. This is what the prevailing traditional democracy requires. The masses are completely isolated from the representative and he, in turn, is totally removed from them. Immediately after winning the electors' votes the representative takes over the people's sovereignty and acts on their behalf. The prevailing traditional democracy endows the member of parliament with a sacredness and immunity which are denied to the rest of the people. Parliaments, therefore, have become a means of plundering and usurping the authority of the people. It has thus become the right of the people to struggle, through popular revolution, to destroy such instruments - the so-called parliamentary assemblies which usurp democracy and sovereignty, and which stifle the will of the people. The masses have the right to proclaim reverberantly the new principle: no representation in lieu of the people.
If parliament is formed from one party as a result of its winning an election, it becomes a parliament of the winning party and not of the people. It represents the party and not the people, and the executive power of the parliament becomes that of the victorious party and not of the people. The same is true of the parliament of proportional representation in which each party holds a number of seats proportional to their success in the popular vote. The members of the parliament represent their respective parties and not the people, and the power established by such a coalition is the power of the combined parties and not that of the people. Under such systems, the people are the victims whose votes are vied for by exploitative competing factions who dupe the people into political circuses that are outwardly noisy and frantic, but inwardly powerless and irrelevant. Alternatively, the people are seduced into standing in long, apathetic, silent queues to cast their ballots in the same way that they throw waste paper into dustbins. This is the traditional democracy prevalent in the whole world, whether it is represented by a one-party, two-party, multiparty or non-party system. Thus it is clear that representation is a fraud.
Moreover, since the system of elected parliaments is based on propaganda to win votes, it is a demagogic system in the real sense of the word. Votes can be bought and falsified. Poor people are unable to compete in the election campaigns, and the result is that only the rich get elected. Assemblies constituted by appointment or hereditary succession do not fall under any form of democracy.
Philosophers, thinkers, and writers advocated the theory of representative parliaments at a time when peoples were unconsciously herded like sheep by kings, sultans and conquerors. The ultimate aspiration of the people of those times was to have someone to represent them before such rulers. When even this aspiration was rejected, people waged bitter and protracted struggle to attain this goal.
After the successful establishment of the age of the republics and the beginning of the era of the masses, it is unthinkable that democracy should mean the electing of only a few representatives to act on behalf of great masses. This is an obsolete structure. Authority must be in the hands of all of the people.
The most tyrannical dictatorships the world has known have existed under the aegis of parliaments.
The party is a contemporary form of dictatorship. It is the modern instrument of dictatorial government. The party is the rule of a part over the whole. As a party is not an individual, it creates a superficial democracy by establishing assemblies, committees, and propaganda through its members. The party is not a democratic instrument because it is composed only of those people who have common interests, a common perception or a shared culture; or those who belong to the same region or share the same belief. They form a party to achieve their ends, impose their will, or extend the dominion of their beliefs, values, and interests to the society as a whole. A party's aim is to achieve power under the pretext of carrying out its program. Democratically, none of these parties should govern a whole people who constitute a diversity of interests, ideas, temperaments, regions and beliefs. The party is a dictatorial instrument of government that enables those with common outlooks or interests to rule the people as a whole. Within the community, the party represents a minority.
The purpose of forming a party is to create an instrument to rule the people, i.e., to rule over non-members of the party. The party is, fundamentally, based on an arbitrary authoritarian concept - the domination of the members of the party over the rest of the people. The party presupposes that its accession to power is the way to attain its ends, and assumes that its objectives are also those of the people. This is the theory justifying party dictatorship, and is the basis of any dictatorship. No matter how many parties exist, the theory remains valid.
The existence of many parties intensifies the struggle for power, and this results in the neglect of any achievements for the people and of any socially beneficial plans. Such actions are presented as a justification to undermine the position of the ruling party so that an opposing party can replace it. The parties very seldom resort to arms in their struggle but, rather, denounce and denigrate the actions of each other. This is a battle which is inevitably waged at the expense of the higher, vital interests of the society. Some, if not all, of those higher interests will fall prey to the struggle for power between instruments of government, for the destruction of those interests supports the opposition in their argument against the ruling party or parties. In order to rule, the opposition party has to defeat the existing instrument of government.
To do so, the opposition must minimize the government's achievements and cast doubt on its plans, even though those plans may be beneficial to the society. Consequently, the interests and programs of the society become the victims of the parties' struggle for power. Such struggle is, therefore, politically, socially, and economically destructive to the society, despite the fact that it creates political activity.
Thus, the struggle results in the victory of another instrument of government; the fall of one party, and the rise of another. It is, in fact, a defeat for the people, i.e., a defeat for democracy. Furthermore, parties can be bribed and corrupted either from inside or outside.
Originally, the party is formed ostensibly to represent the people. Subsequently, the party leadership becomes representative of the membership, and the leader represents the party elite. It becomes clear that this partisan game is a deceitful farce based on a false form of democracy. It has a selfish authoritarian character based on maneuvres, intrigues and political games. This confirms the fact that the party system is a modern instrument of dictatorship. The party system is an outright, unconvincing dictatorship, one which the world has not yet surpassed. It is, in fact, the dictatorship of the modern age.
The parliament of the winning party is indeed a parliament of the party, for the executive power formed by this parliament is the power of the party over the people. Party power, which is supposedly for the good of the whole people, is actually the arch-enemy of a fraction of the people, namely, the opposition party or parties and their supporters. The opposition is, therefore, not a popular check on the ruling party but, rather, is itself opportunistically seeking to replace the ruling party. According to modern democracy, the legitimate check on the ruling party is the parliament, the majority of whose members are from that ruling party. That is to say, control is in the hands of the ruling party, and power is in the hands of the controlling party. Thus the deception, falseness and invalidity of the political theories dominant in the world today become obvious. From these emerge contemporary conventional democracy.
"The party represents a segment of the people, but the sovereignty of the people is indivisible."
"The party allegedly governs on behalf of the people, but in reality the true principle of democracy is based upon the notion that there can be no representation in lieu of the people."
The party system is the modern equivalent of the tribal or sectarian system. A society governed by one party is similar to one which is governed by one tribe or one sect. The party, as shown, represents the perception of a certain group of people, or the interests of one group in society, or one belief, or one region. Such a party is a minority compared with the whole people, just as the tribe and the sect are. The minority has narrow, common sectarian interests and beliefs, from which a common outlook is formed. Only the blood relationship distinguishes a tribe from a party, and, indeed, a tribe might also be the basis for the foundation of a party. There is no difference between party struggle and tribal or sectarian struggles for power. Just as tribal and sectarian rule is politically unacceptable and inappropriate, likewise the rule under a party system. Both follow the same path and lead to the same end. The negative and destructive effects of the tribal or sectarian struggle on society is identical to the negative and destructive effects of the party struggle.
The political class system is the same as a party, tribal, or sectarian system since a class dominates society in the same way that a party, tribe or sect would. Classes, like parties, sects or tribes, are groups of people within society who share common interests. Common interests arise from the existence of a group of people bound together by blood relationship, belief, culture, locality or standard of living. Classes, parties, sects and tribes emerge because blood-relationship, social rank, economic interest, standard of living,
belief, culture and locality create a common outlook to achieve a common end. Thus, social structures, in the form of classes, parties, tribes or sects, emerge. These eventually develop into political entities directed toward the realization of the goals of that group. In all cases, the people are neither the class, the party, the tribe, nor the sect, for these are no more than a segment of the people and constitute a minority. If a class, a party, a tribe, or a sect dominates a society, then the dominant system becomes a dictatorship. However, a class or a tribal coalition is preferable to a party coalition since societies originally consisted of tribal communities. One seldom finds a group of people who do not belong to a tribe, and all people belong to a specific class. But no party or parties embrace all of the people, and therefore the party or party coalition represents a minority compared to the masses outside their membership. Under genuine democracy, there can be no justification for any one class to subdue other classes for its interests. Similarly, no party, tribe or sect can crush others for their own interests.
To allow such actions abandons the logic of democracy and justifies resort to the use of force. Such policies of suppression are dictatorial because they are not in the interest of the whole society, which consists of more than one class, tribe or sect, or the members of one party. There is no justification for such actions, though the dictatorial argument is that society actually consists of numerous segments, one of which must undertake the liquidation of others in order to remain solely in power. This exercise is not, accordingly, in the interests of the whole society but, rather, in the interests of a specific class, tribe, sect, party, or those who claim to speak for the society. Such an act is basically aimed at the member of the society who does not belong to the party, class, tribe or sect which carries out the liquidation.
A society torn apart by party feud is similar to one which is torn apart by tribal or sectarian conflicts.
A party that is formed in the name of a class inevitably becomes a substitute for that class and continues in the process of spontaneous transformation until it becomes hostile to the class that it replaces.
Any class which inherits a society also inherits its characteristics. If the working class, for example, subdues all other classes of a particular society, it then becomes its only heir and forms its material and social base. The heir acquires the traits of those from whom it inherits, though this may not be evident all at once. With the passage of time, characteristics of the other eliminated classes will emerge within the ranks of the working class itself. The members of the new society will assume the attitudes and perspectives appropriate to their newly evolved characteristics. Thus, the working class will develop a separate society possessing all of the contradictions of the old society. In the first stage, the material standard and importance of the members become unequal. Thereafter, groups emerge which automatically become classes that are the same as the classes that were eliminated. Thus, the struggle for domination of the society begins again. Each group of people, each faction, and each new class will all vie to become the instrument of government.
Being social in nature, the material base of any society is changeable. The instrument of government of this material base may be sustained for some time, but it will eventual become obsolete as new material and social standards evolve to form a new material base. Any society which undergoes a class conflict may at one time have been a one-class society but, through evolution, inevitably becomes a multi-class society.
The class that expropriates and acquires the possession of others to maintain power for itself will soon find that, through evolution, it will be itself subject to change as though it were the society as a whole.
In summary, all attempts at unifying the material base of a society in order to solve the problem of government, or at putting an end to the struggle in favour of a party, class, sector tribe have failed. All endeavours aimed at appeasing the masses through the election of representatives or through parliaments have equally failed. To continue such practices would be a waste of time and a mockery of the people.
Plebiscites are a fraud against democracy. Those who vote "yes" or "no" do not, in fact, express their free will but, rather, are silenced by the modern conception of democracy as they are not allowed to say more than "yes" or "no". Such a system is oppressive and tyrannical. Those who vote "no" should express their reasons and why they did not say"yes", and those who say "yes" should verify such agreement and why they did not vote"no". Both should state their wishes and be able to justify their "yes" or "no" vote.
What then, is the path to be taken by humanity in order to conclusively rid itself of the elements of dictatorship and tyranny?
The intricate problem in the case of democracy is reflected in the nature of the instrument of government, which is demonstrated by conflicts of classes, parties and individuals. The elections and plebiscites were invented to cover the failure of these unsuccessful experiments to solve this problem. The solution lies in finding an instrument of government other than those which are subject to conflict and which represent only one faction of society; that is to say, an instrument of government which is not a party class, sect or a tribe, but an instrument of government which is the people as a whole. In other words, we seek an instrument of government which neither represents the people nor speaks in their name.
There can be no representation in lieu of the people and representation is fraud. If such an instrument can be found, then the problem is solved and true popular democracy is realized. Thus, humankind would have terminated the eras of tyranny and dictatorships,and replaced them with the authority of the people.
THE GREEN BOOK presents the ultimate solution to the problem of the instrument of government, and indicates for the masses the path upon which they can advance from the age of dictatorship to that of genuine democracy.
This new theory is based on the authority of the people, without representation or deputation. It achieves direct democracy in an orderly and effective form. It is superior to the older attempts at direct democracy which were impractical because they lacked popular organizations at base levels.
POPULAR CONFERENCES AND PEOPLE'S COMMITTEES
Popular Conferences are the only means to achieve popular democracy. Any system of government contrary to this method, the method of Popular Conferences, is undemocratic. All the prevailing systems of government in the world today will remain undemocratic, unless they adopt this method. Popular Conferences are the end of the journey of the masses in quest of democracy. Popular Conferences and People's Committees are the fruition of the people's struggle for democracy. Popular Conferences and People's Committees are not creations of the
imagination; they are the product of thought which has absorbed all human experiments to achieve democracy.
Direct democracy, if put into practice, is indisputably the ideal method of government.Because it is impossible to gather all people, however small the population, in one place so that they can discuss, discern and decide policies, nations departed from direct democracy, which became an utopian idea detached from reality. It was replaced by various theories of government, such as representative councils, party-coalitions and plebiscites, all of which isolated the masses and prevented them from managing their political affairs.
These instruments of government - the individual, the class, the sect, the tribe, the parliament and the party struggling to achieve power have plundered the sovereignty of the masses and monopolized politics and authority for themselves.
THE GREEN BOOK guides the masses to an unprecedented practical system of direct democracy. No two intelligent people can dispute the fact that direct democracy is the ideal, but until now no practical method for its implementation has been devised. The Third Universal Theory, however, now provides us with a practical approach to direct democracy. The problem of democracy in the world will finally be solved. All that is left before the masses now is the struggle to eliminate all prevailing forms of dictatorial governments, be they parliament, sect, tribe, class, one-party system, two-party system or multi-party system, which falsely call themselves democracies.
True democracy has but one method and one theory. The dissimilarity and diversity of the systems claiming to be democratic do, in fact, provide evidence that they are not so.Authority of the people has but one face which can only be realized through Popular Conferences and People's Committees. There can be no democracy without Popular Conferences and Committees everywhere.
First, the people are divided into Basic Popular Conferences. Each Basic Popular Conference chooses its secretariat. The secretariats of all Popular Conferences together form Non-Basic Popular Conferences. Subsequently, the masses of the Basic Popular Conferences select administrative People's Committees to replace government administration. All public institutions are run by People's Committees which will be accountable to the Basic Popular Conferences which dictate the policy and supervise its execution. Thus, both the administration and the supervision become the people's and the outdated definition of democracy - democracy is the supervision of the government by the people - becomes obsolete. It will be replaced by the true definition: Democracy is the supervision of the people by the people.
All citizens who are members of these Popular Conferences belong, vocationally and functionally, to various sectors and have, therefore, to form themselves into their own professional Popular Conferences in addition to being, by virtue of citizenship, members of the Basic Popular Conferences or People's Committees. Subjects dealt with by the Popular Conferences and People's Committees will eventually take their final shape in the General People's Congress, which brings together the Secretariats of the Popular Conferences and People's Committees. Resolutions of the General People's Congress,which meets annually or periodically, are passed on to the Popular Conferences and People's Committees, which undertake the execution of those resolutions through the responsible committees, which are, in turn, accountable to the Basic Popular Conferences.
The General People's Congress is not a gathering of persons or members such as those of parliaments but, rather, a gathering of the Popular Conferences and People's Committees.
Thus, the problem of the instrument of government is naturally solved, and all dictatorial instruments disappear. The people become the instrument of government, and the dilemma of democracy in the world is conclusively solved."
To read more of The Green Book by Muammar al Gaddafi.
Yes, I know that you have been instructed by your betters to dismiss Muammar Gaddafi and to erase his life and legacy from the planet, but some souls and their ideas are like crab grass. They will appear to be vanquished but sooner or later they will resurface, through cracks in the strangest of environments and ready to green every concrete pavement. If Libyans could have predicted the situation today, would they have done more to protect their country from some of their own countrymen? I have no idea but I am seeing that there are Libyans who, against all odds, are still fighting for their country. Certainly, there are those inside and outside of Libya who are benefiting from the mayhem and continuing plunder but for the majority, what exists now is hell, made worse I imagine by the memory of what they have lost. If you doubt me, bypass the mainstream and question the wreckage today of the dream that was Libya.
The people will choose what is coming to them.
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.
Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.
Mweh ka allay!