By Robert Raven
Washington- After the Opening Ceremony of the new Parliament of the American People, built at the base of Capitol Hill facing the Mall, the assembled Members of Parliament cheered and shook hands all around. Then they convened as the third house of Congress.
The old Congress was controlled by wealthy campaign donors and by corporate lobbyists. Congress was corrupted by big money, and did not truly represent the Will of the American People.
Money helped to elect business-friendly politicians, who then passed tax breaks and voted for contracts that benefited the donors financially, often at the expense of their actual constituents. Both major parties were drowning in money. It was rare for third parties or independents to win an election. That was not a fair Democracy.
America has always been dominated by elites, a nation of, by and for the wealthy, from Washington to Bush. Money influenced all elections, from city council to presidential. Big bucks won wins.
Some of today’s wealthy inherited money from ancestors who owned slaves, or seized land from Native Americans, or ravaged our natural resources, or paid their workers poverty wages. Others had been smugglers, mobsters and embezzlers who laundered their take through greedy banks and into various legal investments that grew.
Much of that dirty money went to buy politicians, which then bought the protection of the police and the muscle of the military. Violence, racism, sexism and discrimination of recent immigrants are all shameful parts of American history, sadly up to today.
Middle class and poor men, then women and minorities, demanded their Constitutional rights and a Democracy where they share political power as true Citizens. They petitioned their leaders who eventually passed Amendments and laws that made America’s Democracy more inclusive and progressive than it had been.
Andrew Jackson expanded the electorate to poor white men, Frederick Douglass helped expand it to black men, Susan B. Anthony and others expanded it to women. M. L. King Jr. uplifted civil rights, and Cesar Chavez brought rights to farm workers, while Harvey Milk urged gays and lesbians to step out of the closet and into politics.
They all led radical movements in their day, but today they are celebrated in America with statues and holidays. There were thousands of lesser-known activists, as well as millions of citizens who for over two centuries have bravely stood up for their rights.
According to John Locke, there is a Social Contract between the People and their Government. When our Government fails to protect our Life, Liberty or Property, we may create a new Social Contract. Thomas Jefferson added the Pursuit of Happiness to our Social Contract, perhaps because he liked to enjoy life’s pleasures.
But America’s decades long “War on Drugs” criminalized the Pursuit of Happiness. Ironically, this led to more and worse drugs, teenagers shot each other on our city streets, thousands died, the justice system was unjust and racist, and millions were imprisoned.
The unfair foreclosures of properties by banks were aided and abetted by laws, judges and sheriffs. Cops could kill with impunity. Citizens were jailed for petty crimes, but the wealthy rarely went to prison for their much larger crimes. Americans lost their lives in distant wars begun by government lies, just so corporations could make billions off our taxes. These all broke our Social Contract. America’s Social Contract needed to be updated for a new century.
The Declaration of Independence was a rebellion against King George III because he had violated our Rights. Our new government was based on the “Consent of the Governed,” which has expanded over the centuries to include all adult Citizens. We can “alter or … abolish” our government if it no longer truly represents the People.
The Constitution has been amended many times. Most of the Amendments had a long but non-violent political struggle, like for women’s suffrage. It took a bloody Civil War to end slavery and to pass the 14th Amendment requiring “equal protection of the laws.”
The recent Great Recession hurt many Americans, who lost their jobs, savings, homes, and hope. But the rich got even richer. The old political system favored the rich. It did not protect equally. Our laws are supposed to equally protect all Americans.
Americans across the political spectrum wanted to liberate our Democracy from the powerful banks, big businesses and billionaires. Liberals, independents, libertarians and conservatives came together in the True Democracy movement, and united to take back America.
A True Democracy is a government by, of and for the People- alive and breathing Humans of all races, rich and poor alike. Only adult Citizens can participate in politics. Businesses are excluded.
After decades of corporate control, the People rose up and took back our Democracy. True Democracy formed a majority and out-voted the wealthy and their allies. They seized political power from the bottom up. True Democracy candidates defeated the well- financed politicians, winning local, state, and national elections.
Concerned activists ran for public office, and they won with grass roots campaigns, a lot of volunteers, social media, word of mouth, and Citizens who voted in record numbers. They did it in spite of corporate money, disinformation and voter suppression.
Businesses were split over True Democracy. Most corporations were opposed because they wanted to maintain their control of our political and economic systems. Large political contributions every election bribed legislators to vote for what their big donors wanted. Heartless corporations spent millions on every election, which often corrupted politicians and our laws, taxes, and even foreign policy.
Many business owners were tired of politicians squeezing them harder every year for more and more money, with no end in sight. They had to pay to play, and gave to both sides to hedge their bets. Most owners just wanted to make a profit in a fair and free market, without special tax breaks and contracts helped by “contributions.”
Corporate power was often at the expense of small businesses, which were being driven out of business by the big corporations. Small businesses fought back by supporting True Democracy, so the People shopped more often at small businesses. Main Street needs happy customers, therefore empowering the People politically and economically was good for local businesses and their owners.
The Old Order pushed back in an attempt to hold onto their political power and wealth. Since most media was owned by huge corporations and by billionaires, they used their media empires to defend the status quo and to attack supporters of True Democracy.
The media’s corporate profits depended on advertising by the biggest businesses, such as GM and GE, which influenced how the news was reported. The media did not cover some stories, or they did not tell the whole story, to avoid offending their rich owners and their large advertisers.
Instead of informing the People, media distracted them with nonstop sports, sitcoms, soaps, movies and infotainment. Real news was reduced to headlines scrolling at the bottom of the TV screen, repeated repeatedly.
Conflict had been hyped from Troy to Benghazi. The news motto was: if it bleeds, it leads. Violence anywhere was everywhere. The corporate media had for over a century been complicit in starting wars with uncritical reporting of pro-war propaganda.
Lies and misinformation were reported to the People as truth, too many times. The media fell for political spin, again and again. They swallowed and regurgitated the government’s press releases. The real truth was often ignored, or buried so deep few would see it.
The Press should be free to report government abuses of trust. A few brave reporters dared confront those in power, but not most. The corporate media exposed sex lives for political motives, such as attacking a populist leader, or they revealed minor scandals just to patch up the media’s thin veneer of integrity.
People became fed up with media bias and lies. An expanding boycott of the corporate media hurt their sales, ads and bottom line. Lawsuits led courts to order the enforcement of our antitrust laws. Telecom empires and local newspaper monopolies were broken up, which led co-ops and independent media to sprout up in every city.
Our government was spying on us without a warrant, which infuriated the People. The ensuing Truth and Reconciliation process uncovered many details of once-secret NSA, CIA and FBI activities, from the Cold War to today. This also exposed our government’s long history of close ties with powerful business interests.
Eye opening revelations woke up the American People.
The People paid taxes, yet they were not truly represented. Some huge corporations paid no taxes but controlled our politicians. People joined True Democracy, and they took back our government from Wall Street, Banks, Big Oil and the military industrial complex.
The People peacefully assembled to demand a redress of their grievances, as guaranteed in our Constitution. They demanded an updated Social Contract with their Government to protect all People equally, based on the 14th Amendment, and to exclude businesses.
Corporations refused to yield their power. They ordered their political puppets to send police forces to attack True Democracy, as they had done against the Occupy camps, and many other times.
But the police are all union members, and they were unhappy over job cuts while the rich got tax cuts. Most cops refused to beat up protesting teachers, nurses, moms and kids. Instead, the police served, protected and joined their neighbors, friends and families.
The military came largely from the poor and middle classes, and they were struggling financially, and felt used and abandoned. They had taken an oath to defend the Constitution, and they knew that the corporate control of our government was unconstitutional. Most military families also joined the True Democracy movement, which helped to ensure a peaceful upgrade of our political system.
Activists were the first to demand change. Soon, a majority of the People united under True Democracy, registered and then voted in record numbers. They used People Power to take back control of our government. In a few years, True Democracy candidates won most local, state and national offices.
Our Democracy is now by, of and for all The People!
The newly elected Representatives and Senators passed the 28th Amendment, which forbids any corporate or union funding of candidates, elections or political parties. Businesses cannot spend money to influence politicians. PACs and other groups are banned. There is a separation of Corporation and State. Companies make honest profits, in markets free from unfair political advantages.
Only adult Citizens can participate in our Democracy. Citizens may donate money to their own district’s campaigns, or to political parties, but with strict and low financial limits. Every contribution and expenditure is reported and audited, while those over $1,000 are released on the Internet within a week.
The 29th Amendment made all election officials non-partisan civil servants. The voting process and computer software are open to public scrutiny. Voters receive a printout of their ballot to check and put into a sealed box for any recounts. Election Day Tuesday is a half-day national holiday to encourage people to vote. Over 90% of eligible Americans voted in the last election.
The 30th Amendment created the American Parliament as the third house of Congress. All three houses have to agree on a bill for it to become a law, plus it has to get the President’s signature. This added another check against wasteful spending, while the third leg made Congress stronger. The Senate represents 50 states, and the House local districts, but the Parliament speaks for all the People.
Adult Citizens vote for their favorite political party, with 1% needed to win a seat in the Parliament, and gaining seats with each percentage of the vote total. There are a dozen liberal, centrist and conservative parties in Parliament, thus voting for a smaller party is
no longer a “wasted vote.” Parliament must compromise and form a majority coalition to pass needed legislation to govern America.
With the 31st Amendment, the American People joined the North American Parliament and its trade area, which stretches from Alaska to Panama to Tobago. This Parliament is based on districts of a million adults each, the same ones as for the World Parliament.
Having a forum to discus common issues was important, and they made agreements on the environment, immigration and trade. But a near consensus 90% is needed to pass a binding treaty. U.S., Mexican and Canadian national and state legislatures may have joint committees as needed, while border towns can be free trade zones.
The 32nd Amendment made the United States a member of the World Parliament and its treaties. Americans joined with the People of the Earth as partners in peace, survival and sustainability. Twenty percent of all our taxes go to the U.N. and World Parliament, to supervise elections, pay for Peacekeepers, fight diseases, save critical ecosystems, and reduce global warming and pollution.
True Democracy Changes the World
N.Y.- Throughout history, all political systems have taxed the People in order to protect and enrich their elites. Taxes built large palaces, funded armies to defend the leaders, and paid police to repress the rest of society. Taxes taken from the People were used to rule them.
Laws were written by those in power to benefit themselves, at the expense of everyone else. It was good being the king or a noble, but not so good being a peasant. The opulent lifestyles of the elites were made possible by the impoverishment of the lower classes.
The more enlightened rulers saw that providing their People with bread and circus, or recently with fast food and 500 channels, kept most of them docile. It was wiser than starving or oppressing them, because taking away the People’s Life, Liberty, Property or Pursuit of Happiness could lead to a revolution!
The Great Recession harmed the People’s lives, freedom, home ownership, and it made us unhappy. The rich got richer, while the middle class and poor got poorer. The People rose up against their unfair political and economic systems, starting with Occupy Wall St. and the Arab Spring, and then in a few years spreading worldwide.
The True Democracy movement became a political wave that swept around the planet and changed every nation by empowering their People. Dictators fell hard, all countries updated constitutions, the World Parliament was founded, and the World Peace Treaty was signed and ratified.
In a True Democracy, all adult Citizens share political power from the bottom up. They vote on issues and for representatives. They decide what brings them the greatest Happiness at the lowest cost. Governments only did what individuals and businesses could not do by themselves, such as providing a free quality education, universal health care, or rebuilding our common infrastructure.
A True Democracy has many layers of decision-making, from the local to the global, as needed. Social, environmental, economic and political decisions are made by those who are most affected, or by their elected representatives. Issues are voted on democratically in free and fair multi-party elections, giving legitimacy to results.
Non-partisan civil servants run all elections, so that the Will of the People is accurately tallied. Registration at 18 is now automatic. Ballot receipts are printed out (like at stores), checked by the voter, and placed into a sealed box to verify the computer tally. Ranked choice voting and other reforms encourage more Citizens to vote.
The tax system was simplified to make it easier to file and to audit. Everyone pays a flat tax of 25% of their incomes, split evenly by local, county, state, federal and world governments. Most tax deductions and loopholes ended because they distorted economic decisions, and they did not protect taxpayers equally, as required by the 14th Amendment.
Even the poor give a quarter of each dollar they earn back to their communities. Contributing to society empowers all Citizens to get more involved and to vote. The poor can earn money and pride by helping others who need assistance, or by improving their street.
Businesses pay a 5% tax on their incomes, plus a 25% tax on their profits, split evenly from local to global. Business deductions and loopholes mostly ended. Yearly audits and truthful disclosure are required, while tax dodgers get fines and jail time.
True Democracy bans businesses from any involvement in our political system. Owners and employees can contribute their own money to fund campaigns, but within limits for electoral fairness.
States passed new charters requiring that businesses stay out of local politics, to no longer maximize profits, but also to be good
stewards of their communities and environment. Government laws and policies that favored corporations and the wealthy were voided. Every person is now equally protected, as per the 14th Amendment.
Media empires and news monopolies were broken up, which allowed diverse voices to be heard by the People. Ownership was limited to only one media outlet in each market to encourage more competition. Independent co-ops and teen media are very popular.
True Democracy also came to workplaces, from IBM to IHOP. Workers are now sweat equity partners in sharing corporate profits, with a say in working conditions. Owners can make good money, but no longer make millions while their workers live in poverty.
Teachers run their schools along with administrators, students and parents, and they all have representatives on the school boards. Together they decide on school rules and policies, and they hire the principal and other staff. All stakeholders are valued and respected.
High school students choose the classes that they take, ranging from college prep to career prep to GED prep classes. A student could take AP history, easier High School history, or GED history. This has increased attendance and graduation rates, while record numbers are enrolled in the free public colleges and universities.
Celebration of World Parliament’s 3rd Birthday
Malta- With a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea, Delegates gathered in the Great Hall to celebrate the third anniversary of the World Parliament. The Parliament opened with the formal roll call of Delegates, who represent every adult on Earth.
A long line of Delegates snaked up to the podium for their five-minute speech in front of an international audience of millions. They talked about the place that they represent, and also spoke passionately about their principal issues and ideal solutions.
The Delegates are elected from local districts of one million adults each, as of the 2010 census to prevent a birth race. Turnout in this election was 76% (it was 52% three years ago) and it was over 90% in many countries, a goal of the True Democracy movement.
The translation computers enable each language spoken in the Parliament to be translated instantly into every other language. The “World Parliament Channel” is very popular because viewers hear
all speeches in their own language. Delegates and the People they represent can post their comments on the lively World Forum.
The Delegates represent urban, suburban and rural districts to ensure cultural diversity. Urban districts are more liberal, and rural districts are conservative, while suburban districts tend to be more moderate. Urban districts often have more in common with those in other nations than they do with rural districts in their own nation.
Since Delegates come from across the political spectrum, they have heated debates about most issues. But they must compromise and build a majority coalition just to pass a non-binding Resolution. They need 67% to pass a People’s Agreement, and they have to get a near consensus vote of 90% to pass a binding Planetary Treaty.
Elections to Parliament are won by having popular ideas and a good campaign, and not by having the most money, another goal of the True Democracy movement. Businesses cannot fund Delegates, give them gifts or offer them future jobs. Citizens can spend their own money, but within strict limits to avoid corruption.
Malta was chosen for its location between three continents. The World Parliament has transformed Malta and grown the local economy. High-speed ferries come and go, while the airport was expanded and modernized. The International City is also famous for its fusion cuisine, with ingredients from everywhere.
The World Peace Treaty Turns Two
Malta- The second anniversary of the World Peace Treaty joyfully reminded the People of Earth how far we have come in a short time. Last century witnessed both World Wars and dozens of other wars, while the past millennium saw countless conflicts.
Warfare and militarism rose with the first civilizations, as they defended their city’s walls or stormed a rival’s walls. Nomadic clans also fought fiercely, while murder is as old as Cain and Abel. The World Peace Treaty is a bold attempt to transform Human history.
The turning point was the war between Iran and Saudi Arabia that blocked oil from the Persian Gulf for a year, which doubled fuel and food prices and sent the world economy into both inflation and recession. A series of clashes between China and Taiwan disrupted trade with East Asia, putting a lot of people out of work worldwide, and into the streets.
The last straw was when Pakistan and India fought yet again. But this time, it escalated to exchanging a dozen nuclear explosions. Millions of human beings were horribly killed, and more were hurt. Both countries were crippled, and then they disintegrated. The big cloud of radiation swept around the planet, and into our bodies.
A small war could damage distant economies, while a major war might devastate nations and regions. A nuclear World War III would destroy our advanced civilization, and threaten Homo sapiens with extinction.
The risks were too high, and the benefits if any were too small. Thus all warfare had to be quickly abolished. The People of Earth demanded Peace, and joined True Democracy. They voted for new leaders who created the World Parliament and World Peace Treaty.
Peace! Power is to the People!
In a True Democracy, political power is no longer in the hands of those who benefit financially from war and government contracts.
The elite attempted to divide and repress society, as per usual. But this time it was the rich who divided, because a war could hurt them too. Wealthy families joined and also funded True Democracy.
Saber rattling throughout history had been used to start wars. Today, most People reject militarism, nationalism and racism. With the growth of the Internet, travel and trade, borders are not worth dying over. This was seen in the European Union and now globally.
Reducing military spending has made us richer. The People got tax rebates, which helped to revive local economies. Our taxes are now being used to retrain ex-soldiers and retool assembly lines, to repair roads and schools, and to repay the national debt.
Military spending, personnel and weapons worldwide will be cut 90%, down by 10% per year for a decade. This disarmament is monitored by satellites and video feeds posted for all to see online. Compliance is verified by U.N. Inspectors assigned to every country, so far with only a few minor issues that were quickly resolved.
Older missiles, warplanes, warships and tanks are being taken out of service and stripped of their useful materials. Then they will be cut up into pieces and smelted. Newer weapons can be stored in reserve for five years until destroyed. Arms sales were forbidden, which soon dried up the fuel for conflicts.
America’s military came home from their bases in over 100 countries, and significantly from Germany and Japan a half-century after World War II. Keeping soldiers overseas was expensive, made
more enemies, and did little to protect the homeland. The American People did not want to pay for, or die in, yet another foreign war.
America’s superpower domination of the planet was over.
The global British Empire also eventually ended, as did the French, Nazi, Soviet, Ottoman and Roman empires. Today England, France, Germany, Russia, Turkey and Italy are all modern nations that are doing quite well without their old empires.
America will likewise survive the loss of its global super power. It will still be one of the biggest, richest and most powerful nations, but now will have to share power with the world. The United States will be able to defend itself, but it will be harder to attack others, as we have done repeatedly since 1775. Rivals are also slashing their militaries by 90%, reducing threats to the U.S. and to our allies.
In ten years, the Navy will have only two carrier battle groups, based in San Diego and Norfolk, with two others in reserve. Fleets are coming home, and sailors are retraining to strip the older ships. The Air Force will be a tenth of its former size, with fewer bases and flying mostly transports and drones. New planes were cancelled.
The Army will have just five combat brigades- one armored, one mechanized, one air assault, one special forces, and a combined brigade in Alaska, plus a Marine brigade in Hawaii. There will also be six reserve brigades, along with National Guard and police forces. Small units are rotated overseas as U. N. Peacekeepers.
Former military bases are being converted to civilian housing and industrial uses, or preserved as open space. National security now includes protecting the nation from storms and rescuing those in danger. The Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA are very busy.
The U.N. Atomic Weapons Abolition Treaty was signed this year in a final effort to put the nuclear genie back into the bottle. Nuclear weapons were too deadly if used. Terrorists almost bought a device, so the nuclear threat had to be eliminated immediately.
Warheads are being removed from their delivery systems and within a decade dismantled. The tons of stored nuclear material are being turned into inert glass and kept in cement casks and caverns until better technology arrives. Nuclear reactors and research labs are being shut down around the world and their materials secured.