What is wrong with the current system here in America, you may wonder. Ask the Iraqis, a million of whom are now dead, or ask any of the other people we and Israel have been attacking for the last fifty years. None of these people got to vote in our elections. None got to vote on whether they wanted to be bombed, invaded and "Saved" (or "Democratized" or "Liberated").
But even the Americans who do get to vote on this mad system of war and bankruptcy will now tell you that the system is not "working". Take the recent presidential election. It was supposed to change everything; instead, it has changed nothing. Already our corporate media are talking about the next election (2010) and the one after that -- as if 2008 is already something to be forgotten.
Where is the "Change"? Obama's first act was to bring the Goldman Sachs people into government and put them in charge of handing hundreds of billions of dollars over to Goldman Sachs and its pals. "Highway robbery", "grand larceny" -- What terms do we use to describe thievery on such an astronomical scale? The people who nearly destroyed our economy were put in charge of saving it! Is this a joke? These people should be in prison! -- right next to the war-criminals who lied us into attacking Iraq and the neo-cons who wrote in September 2000 that the U.S. needed "a new Pearl Harbor". There is no accountability!
"Change"? The U.S. is still occupying Iraq, and now Obama wants to increase the occupation forces in Afghanistan by 50%. Here at home, Obama promised to give all Americans access to medical care; instead, what we're getting is care for big insurance companies. Incredibly, House and Senate bills will force Americans to buy useless insurance from private companies. This is what we get when we vote for "Change"? How much more of this can we take, before we become completely disillusioned?
The next phase is not hard to predict: All hope of change crushed, Americans will start to vote for rabid openly fascistic demagogues. We will put our hope in death and destruction on a titanic scale. We see this happening already in the support for Glen Beck and his ilk.
Electoral democracy has led us to this staggering disaster. "Democracy" is supposed to mean "rule by the people". What we got instead is rule by the criminal elements that are best able to manipulate the people -- rule by the big media, rule by corporate and foreign lobbyists, rule by the oligarchs.
Electoral democracy enables two kinds of people rise to the top: naive incompetents and dedicated criminals. To get elected, one needs tons of money. In a system where 95% of the wealth is concentrated at the top of the pyramid, the desperate need for money forces politicians, however idealistic, to become the servants of the gangsters at the top. Meanwhile, the elections keep the people at the bottom of the pyramid at one another's throats, fighting over which team of corrupt politicians to cheer for, the D's or the R's. The elections facilitate "divide and rule" while creating the illusion of choice. We would be better off living in a one-party state: At least, then, we would know who to blame. The two-party system enables the boys at the top to keep a step ahead of the electorate: The people keep voting for the "Lesser Evil", but because the sides keep switching, we end up with greater and greater evil.
If electoral democracy is the problem, then why cling to it? Is there no more effective way to implement "rule by the people"? Actually, there may be. The solution, "aleatory democracy", is part of what I call "automatic government" -- government without politicians. The alternative to government is anarchy and mob violence, so one cannot simply abolish corrupt government. One can, however, simplify government and remove opportunities for corruption.
Take the "Income Tax". The thousands of loopholes created by special interest groups epitomize corruption. The tax is supposed to be "Voluntary", but most who do not pay it go to prison. The system is so complex that it baffles accountants. Millions of hours are wasted each year on paperwork. Worse, the IRS, the agency that enforces the tax, disregards the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Automatic government would abolish this abomination and replace it with something simple and universal -- a universal fixed-rate sales tax, for example. In the human body, we need a heart to circulate the blood; similarly, in a viable economy, we need a simple mechanism to circulate the wealth and prevent all of the wealth from collecting at the top. This mechanism could be a universal fixed-amount rebate. The sales tax with rebate would be progressive, simple, fair and unintrusive. The violation of the Constitution would end, and millions of hours of tedious labor would be saved. The sales tax would encourage productivity and savings. It would have no loopholes or exceptions, and it would eliminate offshore tax shelters and havens; politicians would have nothing left to corrupt. Economic problems solved!
Automatic government can also solve the political problem. In theory, the election gives the common people the ability to influence government. In practice, the election gives the elite huge opportunities to corrupt the process: They decide which candidates to exclude, which candidates get funding, which get favorable or unfavorable "media" coverage, etc., and the candidates that win are then deeply and hopelessly indebted to the "powers that be". Now what if there were an alternative way for ordinary people to have representation in government, a simple way that deprives the elite of opportunities to tilt the playing field? Would that not be an improvement?
There is such a way: aleatory democracy. It adapts the lottery or juror-selection process to the political realm. Where politics are dirty, lotteries tend to be clean -- which may explain why ordinary people hate politics but love lotteries.
Aleatory democracy selects the candidate randomly from a pool of qualified volunteers. Our instinct is to say that this can't possibly work -- and yet it does work, in the juror selection process. Selecting jurors randomly provides a layer of insulation that corruption cannot penetrate: Which ball falls into the socket is not determined by money and power. What if elections were used to select jurors? -- imagine how corrupt juries would be then! Imagine how easy it would be for the rich to buy acquitals! The people who control us want us to fear chance, but chance, with proper safeguards, can be a friend.
One safeguard might be the qualification process. The second could be the possibility of a recall election. The third might be limits placed on the power of the novice. These safeguards would protect us far better than the current system -- the system that gave us George Bush.
Aleatory democracy brings fresh blood into the system. Over time, it yields perfect proportional representation, since pure chance favors all groups equally. The representatives, freed of the need to seek financing for the next election, would have time to actually represent us. They would be able to talk directly and frankly to their constituents, and would no longer have to worry about pleasing censors and editors in the big corporate media.
Electoral democracy gives us the illusion of control, without the reality. That is worse than nothing. We think we know what we are voting for, but as soon as the politician gets into office, the mask comes off and the elites take over.
It would be better to admit, from the start, that we are not wise enough to know everything. We do not know the future, we cannot see into the politician's soul, and we lack the ability to hold the politician to his promises. Why pretend otherwise? It is better to admit our limitations and face them honestly.
Aleatory democracy drops the pretense that we are in control. Representatives would be determined, in the final stage, by god (or by pure chance). But this is actually better than having them determined by the corrupt elite. The current system is fatally biased in favor of that elite. Aleatory democracy removes that bias. Sometimes, it is wise to trust in god. Our founders did, when they declared that our rights are GOD-given: They understood that god, in the end, makes a better master than the Almighty State. When god disappears from the equation, the State fills the void.
Well, have I succeeded? Automatic government may not be perfect, but it is a thousand times cleaner and simpler than what we have now, and it meets the needs of the people far better than the current system of corruption. Aleatory democracy is the simplest possible way to choose our representatives, next to drawing straws. It is cheap, it can be implemented anywhere, in any country, no matter how poor or backwards, it knocks the elite out of the loop, and if juror selection is a guide, the outcomes will be equal to or superior to those produced by electoral democracy.