The Falsity of Simulacra Democracy and the Swan Songs of Communism and Fascism

“Revolution requires extensive and widespread destruction, a fecund and renovating destruction, since in this way and only this way are new worlds born.” – Mikhail Bakunin, Statism and Anarchy (1873)

Bakunin was right. The world moves forward violently. It really does. And it takes a lot of willpower to usher change into any system, which is by definition crystallised, dogmatic, and immovable. It also takes an anarchist to budge it down from its unworthy pedestal, where brute force alone has installed it. And this is where Bakunin the Anarchist, the Liberator of mankind, comes in.

He laid down his comfortable and settled life on the altar of the fight for the right of man to be free from oppression, by petitioning the Czar of Russia to emancipate the serfs and enfranchise his people. Sent to Siberia, Bakunin later escaped to Japan, America, reaching western Europe and settling in France and then in Switzerland. He dedicated all his mature life to making sure that Anarchism would have a political future.

Today, we call anarchists libertarians or Tea Party people. That is wrong. We ought to call people who love freedom above all else, those who cherish the sacrosanct nature of the individual, those who truly care about direct democracy, bakuninists.

I am proud to say that I am a bakuninist because I believe that Will alone can change the face of our world. Will and reason, and yes, force. It makes sense. If it takes force to impose a corrupt and despotic system, it also takes force to unravel it. It’s physics. Yeah, it’s Newton’s 3rd Law “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

I agree with Newton. Nota bene: A smart man would do well to agree with his wife. Remember that which works in politics, hardly ever works in family life as well. Sometimes, keeping the peace at home requires the abandonment of one’s principles. Tragic, no doubt. Nonetheless, as husbands everywhere will attest, this is also poignantly true.

And what is grand is that this Newtonian principle applies to political entities and individuals alike. Why do I say this?

Consider this. All people undergo a series of changes throughout their lives. Some more than others, but everyone suffers change. These are akin to the growing pains we all endure in our formative years. Remember the mantra “no pain, no gain”? Well, this is it. These pains are inescapable and universal.

Same thing goes for the upheaval cycles that a political entity goes through. Some may call these revolutions or rebellions. Most would agree that for any political society to change and grow into another, better or worse than the one preceding it, a shock must be applied to that society. The greater the shock, the more meaningful the change. Small shocks can only bring about incremental change.

Case in point.

1848 was a revolutionary year for all of Europe: its repercussions far-reaching and universal. Almost no part of the continent escaped untouched by change. Some parts though experienced Capital change (France), others experienced Epic change (Italian peninsula), Temporary change (Prussia, Austria), or Little or No change at all (Russia, Ottoman Empire, United Kingdom).

Other countries had just undergone major changes the year before, like the Swiss Confederation, which had fought a month-long Civil War in November 1847. These changes were captured and reflected in its modern and democratic Constitution of 1848, which set the foundations of present day Swiss Confederation.

Fact is that Change had come to the Old World and things would not be the same any longer.

The 1848 Revolutions ranged from bloody, with hundreds of thousands of victims and political prisoners all across the continent, to near-bloodless in Switzerland (111 killed, 510 wounded). Incidentally, this marked imbalance between Europe and the Swiss in terms of the cost of liberty goes to show the fundamental difference of the two general political outlooks.

The European Political System and Its Silly Aspirations to emulate the British

The European Political system was mainly Authoritarian even though some countries pretended to practice democracy like the United Kingdom. But even there, and in spite of how progressive Europeans considered it the Holy Grail and wanted to emulate it, the facts were quite divorced from perception. England was dubbed at the time a constitutional monarchy that had been applying the principle of division of power since the Glorious Revolution of 1688/89.

In reality, British monarchs retained a privileged position over politics, making them the de facto arbiters of the political game. The whole of the 18th and most of the 19th centuries were spent by the Tories (landed gentry, conservative and favouring royal decree) and Whigs (merchant and industrialist classes, parliamentarians and favouring a limited form of democracy based on the enfranchisement of the well-off) trying to win the general elections and gaining royal favour. Since the political franchise was based on the decaying system of the infamous rotten boroughs, one can argue that English politicians cared more about buying electoral votes and finding their way into the heart of their monarch, then opening the political franchise to other socio-economic strata.

Rowan Atkinson’s sketch brings comic relief to a deplorable historical reality. England was not always a democracy. In the beginning, it was an enlightened plutocracy, ruled by moneyed classes. For almost 200 years, the issue was less about who would win the general elections, form the government, and be anointed Prime-Minister by the Monarch, and more about which type of “money” will be making decisions while retaining the King / Queen’s pleasure. Sometimes it would be a “land lord”. Other times it would be a staunch merchant.

Going back to the beginnings of the English constitutional democracy, as historians like to call it, it was basically, at that point, that the Kings and Queens of England decided to stomach the lesson of history. It took them 40 long years to digest Cromwell’s Parliament deciding to cut King Charles I Stuart’s head off, and insulate themselves from the excesses of power. That’s how they came up with the nice soundbite “The Monarch reigns but does not rule.” A very astute form of self-protection, which took a bloody civil war, a bloodless glorious revolution, and the formation of the two-party system (Whigs and Tories), to sink in in the minds of royals unwilling and unable to quickly realize that their power comes from the people, and not God.

After all, the moment the executioner’s blade severed the head of King Charles I, that’s when people everywhere realized that monarchs answer first to them, and then to the Almighty. But human nature being what it is, it took roughly five to six millenniums before royals everywhere abandoned their self-conceited delusions of being anointed by God. Alas, such is the force of habit that nothing short of the brutal display of a public execution, for the first time disseminated by the printing press in all corners of the globe, could break the spell under which humanity had been hitherto operating.

Alec Guinness as King Charles I in the movie Cromwell (1970) laying his dignified royal head on the block and praying for God’s absolution from a much too violent world for a man of his stature. Diderot was right to say that “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” The modern world started on that cold last day in January 1649, when the head of the King of England fell at the executioner’s feet. Regrettable from a human condition perspective but much needed from the political standpoint.

Coming back to the English, in 1848, they had been a Constitutional Monarchy, ruled by Parliament for 160 years. Europe on the other hand had this obstinate and hard to eradicate lot to deal with.

Pictured: the European Lot cca. 1648. You gotta love Hugh Laurie. Joking aside, this is what European Powers did and how they did it during the interval of time England was becoming a ‘shining moral and political example’ for Europe. When you compare yourself to moral troglodytes, no wonder you come off as Prince Charming.

So, Europe looked to emulate the English and after 1783, the American Revolution, with France trying very hard and succeeding at doing a one-over her eternal arch-enemy, England, in the interval between 1789 and 1815. For we must remember that the English Revolution of 1688/89 had largely been a domestic affair, with perhaps a bit of philosophical spillover determining the course of the American Revolution of 1775-1783. On the other hand, what started as a local popular Fronde in Paris in 1789, quickly involved the whole country, engulfing the whole of Europe within a decade.

By 1815, France had changed the face of the Continent, and the destiny of the world. The genie was out the bottle, and no amount of John Bull(ying) could put it back in. When the Revolutions started rolling in in 1848, some veterans of the momentous French Revolution of 1789 were still around to stoke the ‘popular fire’.

John Bull holds the head of Napoleon Bonaparte in an 1803 caricature by James Gillray.

It is safe to say that change, any change costs lives. The more abrupt the change, the costlier it is. In the case of European change, that meant the sacrifice of lots and lots of people. However, in the midst of these tumultuous times, there was a European country that had different ideas about effecting change.

The Case of the Swiss Confederation or how to make an omelet with a finite number of eggs

They say that you cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs. This saying usually applies to wars, political revolutions, or any type of momentous change that requires human blood as its basic ingredient. I wonder, I really wonder if this aphorism was ever true. I mean there are cases of peoples throughout recorded history who did not commit mass murder to justify social, political or economic progress.

Case in point.

They say that the Swiss flag is a Big Plus. Genau. Agreed. 😜

Switzerland is one such country. The Swiss are known for their precise time pieces accurate to the second, gold bars, banking secret, cows and Milka chocolate. What not too many people know is that they also have this.

A Swiss soldier from the Cold War era. Notice the very powerful and precise select fire assault weapon at the time: the Sturmgewehr Model 1957 a.k.a. SIG 510.

Between 1945 and 1991, Switzerland could summon within six hours 500,000 soldiers, completely equipped and munitioned. The Swiss militia system relies on citizens willing, trained and able to take to the field within a few hours. The soldiers know where, when, and how to join their units’ rallying points in case of military invasion of the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss are neutral but theirs is an Armed Neutrality.

The Confederation’s bridges, highways, mountain tunnels, railroads, and airports are all rigged to blow. The whole country has a network of modern and fully equipped nuclear bunkers for 110% of its population. They are ready to go at any time and they know that one must be prepared if one is to survive the future. SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM. IF YOU WANT PEACE PREPARE FOR WAR.

The Swiss Air Pilots are trained to take off from the excellent Swiss network of highways, which can handle and replace any air bases that might be compromised by enemy action.

In any case, the Swiss are bad ass. I love the Swiss. Not only do they have a strong military, with their whole adult male citizenry doubling as soldiers, but their economy and politics are based on direct democracy, a carefully designed legal framework, individual responsibility and freedoms. The Swiss also benefit from a robust education system, a powerful work ethic, and the respect for the rule of law that comes from knowing they are the architects of their own laws.

Going back in time to 1515, when the Old Confederation lost the Battle of Marignano against the French, they understood that a serious course correction was necessary to avoid losing more than just a mere battle. The Diet, which was the executive body of the Old Confederation, decided to stop acting as a sovereign military power. They switched gears by entering into capitulations. These capitula derived not from the Latin word caput or treaty. These Capitulations were chapters in the contracts signed by the Swiss mercenaries with various employers, which ordained their behavior, terms of service, remuneration, and legal immunity accorded by the French and other employers.

Retreat from Marignano by Ferdinand Hodler (1897-1898). Defeated but unbroken. Master Hodler executed a number of preparatory works on this theme working in the Zurich Landesmuseum.
Full-scale preparatory study for Retreat of the Swiss from the Battle of Marignano. Hodler does not show the actual retreat of the Swiss, but three uninjured soldiers who guard the train of the wounded in the background. Holding sword and flag defiantly aloft, the grimly determined soldier in the centre makes it quite clear that although the Swiss had lost the battle, their spirit and resistance had not been broken. The defeat at Marignano directly led to Switzerland’s policy of neutrality.

Swiss military reputation

Swiss Foreign Service served as the basis for the accumulation of capital, which led to the country becoming the leader of worldwide banking. Swiss mercenaries were extremely valued first in Europe, and then in the four corners of the globe, between the 14th century and until 1859, when the Confederation banned Swiss soldiers from serving as mercenaries outside the country. The only exception, the Swiss Papal Guard, received a special dispensation under the Swiss Constitution.

The Papal Guard today. This 514-year old institution is the immaculate symbol of the Swiss reputation for loyalty and sacrifice. Before becoming one of the famous leaders of Protestantism, Huldrych Zwingli had this to say about the need for a Swiss Papal Guard: “The Swiss see the sad situation of the Church of God, Mother of Christianity, and realize how grave and dangerous it is that any tyrant, avid for wealth, can assault with impunity, the common Mother of Christianity.” Pope Julius II later granted them the title “Defenders of the Church’s freedom”.

By serving abroad, the Swiss created and built upon one of the most solid reputations for military valor, steadfastness, loyalty and immense courage under fire. By the same token, no European power was ready to invade Switzerland, who after winning the 1499 Swabian War against Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, was recognized as independent from the Holy Roman Empire.

Swiss Reislaufer in combat against their archenemy, the German landsknechte, during the Swabian War of 1499. The Swiss Confederation took less than six months to send the insufficiently ferocious Germans packing back to Kaiser Maximilian I. I know it sounds weird but the Germans are mortally afraid of two peoples: the Russians and the Swiss. In fact, in Southern Germany, mothers who want to put their kids to sleep us the Schweizers as the Boogie Man. The Peace of Basel recognized de jure the de facto state of independence of the Swiss Cantons vis-à-vis the Holy Roman Empire, which had existed from 1291.
Bad War. You have to have gonads of steel to go into battle like the Swiss used to. Just sayin’

The reason for this was that by 1500, the Swiss had eliminated all their natural enemies. Having first dispatched the Habsburgs nine times in the 14th century alone, 1,500 Swiss checked a 40,000-strong French invasion force at the battle of St. Jakob der Birs in 1444. Yes, you read it right. 1,500 Swiss pikemen attacked a French force led by the Dauphin numbering between 30 and 40,000 men. And no, they did not win that day.

The March of the People of Basel Land and Confederates to the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs Mural painting by Otto Plattner (1861-1934).
The Swiss Confederates commemorating 500 years Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs, Basle 1944 (Photo by RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images). Yeah, during WW2. A people who remember their history is able to avoid the traps of the past.
Pictured – French men-at-arms from late 14th century. Imagine how ferocious and how experienced 40,000 Armagnac mercenaries would be half a century later.

Instead they died to the last one taking with them 3,000 to 5,000 French Armagnacs mercenary scum, the infamous écorcheurs et tondeurs, left over from the tail end of the Hundred Years War.

Battle of Grandson against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and would-be King of the West (1476). His deluded dreams of grandeur came to a sudden stop at the end of a Swiss halberd at the Battle of Nancy (1477). His daughter Mary of Burgundy later married the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, whose ambitions were also destroyed by the Swiss. That is why the Swiss were given the ominous title of “king slayers” or more accurate – destroyers of royal dreams (dompteurs des rois).

Basically, Switzerland managed to clearly state to European Powers that her territory was sovereign and sacrosanct and that any trespassers would enrich her soil. A very simple message. Yet it took two to three centuries to sink in in the minds of would-be aggressors. Some people learn the hard way and require multiple discipline before they stop engaging in bad behavior. The Swiss are excellent teachers. They literally hammered the notion of Switzerland’s inviolability into the heads of the recalcitrant.

The Swiss Political System – the Swiss Constitution

The 1848 Swiss Federal Constitution was amended in 1866 and 1874. It would be another 125 years before the Swiss would amend it again via referendum in 1999.

What makes the Swiss Constitution stand apart from the other fundamental laws?

The Swiss Constitution of 1848 was modified a few times in the last 172 years. This goes to show that the Swiss recognize that no fundamental law can weather historical change in its original form, and people must always pay attention and adapt it to their current circumstances. But before we talk specifics, let’s look at the grand picture.

Switzerland is not just a country. Some say it’s not even a nation. They say how can Confoederatio Helvetica (CH) be a nation when they don’t have a common language, cultural heritage, religion, or traditions. Personally, I do not agree with this simplification of what defines a nation. I do believe however that Switzerland is first a Noble Idea, that people can live free from oppression and in liberty, and only afterwards a Nation.

Why do I say this? Switzerland comprises of four different peoples: Swiss– Germans or Alemmanic, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romansch. The Swiss speak four national languages, have two main faiths (Catholic and Protestant), and hail from different cultural and political traditions. Some cantons are urban, others are still rural. As it happens, not all Swiss share the same political convictions. Some hold conservative views while others are more liberal, or green, or radical, in their politics.

A very interesting book. By reading such books, one finds out that in Switzerland for example, one needs to declare one’s religion and be taxed accordingly. Once they state their faith, they pay a tithe tax, which is then transferred to the believer’s denomination. For instance, a self-declared Catholic would contribute to their local Church, while a Muslim would pay into the coffers of their local mosque. Alternately, if one declares oneself Agnostic or Atheist, one doesn’t have to contribute to the tithe. The tithe is proportional to the taxpayer’s revenues, and is extremely low, almost token like.

One thing is for sure. Switzerland is an apparent paradox. It is both a highly organized society where everyone knows their place in the general economy of things, and because they have a say in the matter, accept and thrive in their assigned station. It is also a land of contrasts, where people speak different dialects from one valley to the other, and where its 2,250 communes or municipalities speak with 2,250 different voices. What makes this would-be Babel into the dictionary definition of ORDER, is the culture of COMPROMISE. This guides the federal, cantonal, and municipal authorities in their relations with each other and the citizenry. The Swiss prefer to use compromise to solve their individual differences.

The Swiss Political System is based on sharing responsibility between the federal state, cantons, municipalities, and citizens. Nobody is the ultimate absolute authority in Switzerland. The Citizens retain the checks and balances usually reserved to either Parliament or the court system in other jurisdictions. In Switzerland, the people have the final say in all important and non-important matters of state. They exercise these rights via two major levers: the right of referendum and the right of political initiative.

The last overhaul of the Swiss Constitution occurred in 1999. As it stands, Wikipedia tells us it contains a catalogue of individual and popular rights (including the right to call for popular referenda on federal laws and constitutional amendments), delineates the responsibilities of the cantons and the Confederation and establishes the federal authorities of government.

The right to call for popular referenda on government law and the right to submit constitutional amendments and new laws via popular initiative are Switzerland’s most important contributions to democracy. Democracy is too precious to be left in the hands of legislators, courts, and government officials. Modern direct democracy as exercised in Switzerland is the only practical way known to man that works and has managed so far to avoid the traps of populism, which had made Athenian direct democracy an imperfect system.

Athen’s direct democracy thrived and failed on its own merits and shortcomings. A direct outcome of the eternal fight between haves and have nots, ancient democracy emerged as a reaction against the excesses of tyrannical government. It prospered on the backs of Athenian military imperialism, who subjugated countless city-states into an empire as ruthless in its foreign campaigns as it was egalitarian domestically. Athenian democracy failed because it was based on strong men taking the side of the hoi polloi demos against the side of eupatrides. Whenever, power is in the hands of a strong leader, one cannot talk about democracy.

Democracy, true democracy, is based on one principle alone: power sharing. In Switzerland, the Federal Council is the Executive Branch of government, comprising of seven members, who serve in turn each year as the President of the Swiss Confederation. This system, so unlike the usual Presidential or Prime Ministerial forms of government, is called Primus Inter Pares. Swiss Federal Councilors have equal footing and make decisions together.

The culture of political compromise means that they all work in concert as colleagues, to achieve consensus. Unlike other so-called democracies, the Swiss Federal Councilors do not seek to impose their will on others. They seek only to reach a working consensus, a political compromise, which takes longer but is supported by all political parties, and by extension the vast majority of citizens.

All of them are responsible for their decisions to the people. They all share the burden of political office. They work jointly to cross all the Ts and dot all the Is. They are scrupulous and they provide stability to an extremely well-anchored country, which rewards above all else hard intelligent work, continuity, experience, and expertise.

The Swiss political system is collaborative and investigative. It is not, like most others, antagonistic, divisive, polarizing and based on a winner takes all premise. The Swiss have always avoided Supreme Leaders and Enlightened Monarchs. They divide political power and assign it to as many people, institutions, and checks and balances as practically possible. Because and as a consequence of its intrinsic built-in stability, the Federal Council almost never attempts to oust a member before their office term expires.

To sum it all up, the Swiss Confederation is run with a view to making sure that high political office does not go to anyone’s head. This applies to its rotating President as it also applies to the military. During peace time, Switzerland does not have the rank of General. The highest rank that can be achieved is that of Colonel. When the threat of war arises, the Swiss Parliament chooses by vote the General of the Swiss Armed Forces for the duration of the external conflict or world threat.

The Swiss believe in exercising their democratic rights, frequently (at least four times each year), and in all political respects. The following are just a few of the Constitutional Amendments that were adopted by Swiss voters in the last 127 years.

Constitutional Amendments made by popular initiative under the 1874 Constitution

Constitutional Amendments made by popular initiative under the 1999 Constitution

  • 3 March 2002: Accession to the United Nations
  • 8 February 2004: Indefinite confinement of dangerous sexual offenders
  • 27 November 2005: Restrictions on the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture
  • 30 November 2008: Abolition of the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse
  • 29 November 2009: Prohibition of minarets
  • 28 November 2010: extradition of convicted foreign citizens
  • 11 March 2012: Limitation on building permits for holiday homes
  • 3 March 2013: Provisions for the right of shareholders in Swiss public companies to determine executive pay
  • 9 February 2014: Principle of immigration quotas
  • 8 May 2014: Prohibition of convicted child sex offenders from working with minors
Glarus Landsgemeinde (2006). The Landsgemeinde is the popular assembly of all citizens of the canton. All decisions are submitted to open ballot. The people have the last word. I find it interesting that we have been taught in school that the universal secret ballot was the basis of democracy. This is false. People should be able to know who among their neighbors voted how on what issue. The pro-secret ballot argument that people’s choices should remain clouded in secrecy is the argument of the scoundrel choosing to hide their political choices under the pretense of privacy. By clearly stating one’s political choice, one shows their stance, and they may be called to justify it. When one hides their choices behind privacy, one does a disservice to the polis. The body politic should conduct business in a transparent manner. The political game ought to be open to scrutiny. We must all justify all of our choices all the time.

It can be said that direct democracy is the single most effective implement that people have to resist calls for turning us into wards of the state, or worse into wards of corporations. Another truism has to do with evolutionary biology. To make a long story short, we all heard and probably know the mantra “Use it or lose it!”. What we don’t know is how true it is.

Case in point

I was reading a Wikipedia article the other day dealing with the evolution of snake venom. At the end of a very interesting read, I stumbled upon the clearest demonstration of the adage “Use it or lose it”. In 2005, a study in the marbled sea snake, Aipysurus eydouxii, found evidence for venom atrophication. Meaning that through a gene mutation caused by a change in its diet, the marbled sea snake’s venom lost its potency becoming 50-100 times less toxic than before. The scientists running the study also found a correlation with a change in diet from fish to fish eggs. Since, one need not envenom a fish roe, one need not use venom. Hence, that is how selection pressure allowed the venom genes accumulate deleterious mutations. Since the marbled sea snake is not the only venomous snake who lost its ‘sting’, it is safe to say that if venom is not used by a species, it is rapidly lost.

Q.E.D. In the same sense, if a people don’t exercise their democratic rights, if they believe that giving one person or a group of persons all the power in their land instead of sharing it among the people, then it follows that by not using their democratic power the people will lose it. Hence – Use it or Lose it!

And this is exactly what happened to democracy in most European countries over the last 170 years or so. We have allowed a clique of people, most of us call ‘the elite’, to appropriate democracy and restrict popular rights and responsibilities, bit by bit, step by step, year by year. Today, Western democracy has become more of a plutocratic exercise, whereby the people are called to vote every four or five or six years, and pick from the candidates vetted by Money, by Big Money.

We are no longer entitled to our opinions. The elites have outlawed Revolution, public strife, discontent, and any popular movement that seeks to change the System has become either illegal or worse designated ‘terrorist’. The elites have also taken over the media, and that for a long time now. Control the flow of information, the education, and the political manifestation of the people, and you control their future. They have also put limits on the freedom of speech, which is supposed to be absolute. Now, there is a political consensus among the elites that freedom of speech ought not to be absolute, but restricted.

During my undergraduate studies, I had an American Professor who came to Bucharest to teach on a Fulbright Scholarship. He taught us a lot of interesting things. Chief among them, he told us to always look at the envelope. Meaning that we, as young historians, ought to know who wrote what to whom. This would help us identify the hidden agenda and the context behind the document. This research principle can be applied to interpreting the government’ and elites’ encroaching on the freedom of speech and in general curbing democracy.

The People are becoming quickly irrelevant in Western democracies. They are replaced by Big State, which is a Cover for Big Money. This neo-Corporatism is the single most dangerous threat to democracy of our times. This is how President Macron managed to stay in power in the face of massive popular discontent symbolized by the Yellow Vests Movement, who have been protesting his mismanagement of the economy and poor political leadership since 2018. No amount of social unrest, widespread peaceful protest can uproot a politician vetted by the elites. Democratia is dying. The age of political hierarchies and power dynasties is upon us.

Has anyone noticed how America had a few members of the Bush family holding the Presidency? Did anyone also notice how the Clintons tried the same trick? It would be interesting to research such pernicious trends more closely. I wonder how is it possible for two members of the same family to try their luck at the highest office in the land in a country of 150 million citizens. I wonder.

The Current System is Broken and has been broken for the last 5,000 years

The System is Broken and has been from the very beginning. I realized this the other day when I was reviewing the Prehistory chapters of Paleolithic and Neolithic with my daughter. As we were going over the various concepts pertaining to hominids, bipedalism, nomadic vs. sedentary, tools, climate, new technologies, subsistence activities, agriculture, first cities, the Fertile Crescent, my daughter was explaining to me the relations between them, their causes and consequences.

And one thing leading to another, we ended up discussing the nature of change from the Paleo-nomadic humans organized in a relatively ‘democratic’ or at least ‘non-hyerarchical’ society, where the division of labour was based on gender and private property could not evolve, and the structured, power-based, function-oriented Neolithic villages, where larger groups of people were starting to coalesce into property-based specialized hierarchies.

How can we allow our ignorant ancestors dictate our lives when we now know so much better?

And lo and behold, as I was listening to my daughter recite her understanding of how things stood in both prehistorical instances, it occurred to me that private property is a natural consequence of the specialization of Man (and that includes Woman too BTW). With it comes a whole plethora of repercussions, both good and bad that we have not really managed to internalize sufficiently to come up with a viable political system. Hierarchy is one such outcome deriving from the Neolithic that we have allowed to transgress the boundary between socio-economic life and politics.

You see, it is my understanding that while Neolithic man couldn’t have known better due to lack of experience, we should have known better. We had 5,000 years to analyze the pernicious effects of allowing the hierarchical relations resulting from the division of labor to spill over into our politics.

After all, how can we have a functioning democratic system when we only allow the rich and powerful to hold political office. I mean how many of our politicians are hoi polloi? How many are lawyers, economists, professional politicos, or people who create precious little or nothing? How many engineers, doctors, nurses, teachers, workers, architects, or farmers end up in public office? These people spend their whole lives building our cities, machines and tools. These people put food on our tables, and clothe us. They are the thin blue line separating us from a troglodyte existence like that of our ancestors. They are responsible for our very survival and instrumental for our progress. And yet they are almost inexistent in the great halls of power. And that’s a shame. That is a shame that any Grand Change must rectify.

When you only vote in the rich and powerful, you must realize the contradiction between your intention, which is to ensure a law-based society that places rights and responsibilities on the shoulders of all, and the outcome, which is a society led by the rich for the rich with the rich. And this is exactly the result of our hierarchical societies, which place most power, rights and responsibilities in the hands of the rich few to the detriment of the less affluent many.

Any 13-year old worth their salt could tell you that this is the recipe for disaster. And what worked relatively well for a semi-troglodyte Neolithic society that had to transform nature by brute force, is clearly not working out for our modern, machine-based, service-oriented society. We deserve a society whereby responsibilities and rights are shared by all of us, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, creed, political affiliation, or wealth.

I hereby propose we reform our political system with a view to completely separate money from political office. Such an action should be enshrined in the Constitutions of all national entities. If one wants to make money, they should not be stopped from pursuing their aspiration. They should be encouraged. Wealth creation is the only thing that can drive material progress. And material progress is the foundation of spiritual progress.

When it comes to holding Political Office, Money should be barred from seeking political imperium. For to ally the two would doom humanity to an undemocratic, unjust, and biased existence, with the Less Wealthy seeking the favor, being the clients, and doing the bidding of the Rich and Powerful.

How can we claim we are different from the Ancient Egyptians, whose civilization was predicated and built on Neolithic foundations? Don’t we still have a President, a King, a Boss? Are we really that different from them? How much say do we common people have in how society is run? Do you think that electing Bosses from among the second class residents is much different from hereditary monarchy? Where is our Power, where are we in the Scheme of Things?

It is up to us. What do we want for us and our children? A society where the majority of people grovel and pander to the whims of a Master Class of Rich folk. Or a democratic society where political franchise is hold in condominium or in concert by all people, with the exception of the ones who sought and found Wealth to be a better cushion against the uncertain future than contributing to the life of the Polis.

This historical background should provide ample space for reflection to contemporary social justice warriors, who mistakenly think their actions are only for good. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For as Professor Jordan Peterson noted, it is far easier for social activists to make things worse, by promoting change for the sake of change, than it is to actually make things better. Most political activists are young inexperienced people whose sole acquaintance with life occurs within the confines of the classroom. This is where they receive a Leftist education that ill prepares them for the challenges of a complex society. They lash out at the old world because they feel entitled. They have no plan of action except to destroy a broken political system. They care not about replacing it with something better. They have the political acumen of hungry ignorant people, who barely remember their last meal and only care about their next.

True Democracy is the Only Way Forward

We must avoid the traps of the past. The only way forward is to adopt Direct Democracy. People must educate themselves. They must know their history. And they must choose. Voting should be mandatory under a direct democracy system like it currently is in the Swiss Canton of Schaffhausen. We must all reject the swan songs of Communism and Fascism. We must denounce left- and right-wing extremism in all the forms and forums it rears its ugly bicephalic head. We must make a common front against any extreme point of view. We must protect freedom of speech, civic liberties, and yes the right to bear arms.

We must remain forever vigilant against those who would divide us – the silent majority of people who want nothing else but to work to better themselves, pay taxes, and help one another along the difficult path of life. We all want the same things – peace, understanding, and to be left alone by an ever encroaching state overreaching into our pockets, private lives and trying to dictate every aspect of our lives.

We want to be free. We want to be free to say what we want to say. We want to be free to worship God, Reason, or Nothing at all. We want to be free to pursue our dreams and to give our children the chances that we never had. We want to be free to own a gun, or two, and to hunt our forests and fish our waters. We want to be free to marry whosoever we want. We want to be free against oppression. We want to have a say in all public matters. We want to vote four times a year on the important business of the polis. We want to be the masters of our destinies. We want just and uncomplicated laws that don’t require interpretation by this new class of sacerdotes we call lawyers.

We want direct democracy! And we want it now!

Perhaps one of the most evocative and concise speeches ever given in the most perilous of circumstances was Miguel de Unamuno’s last lecture at the University of Salamanca, on 12 October 1936. The Spanish Civil War had just begun in July, yet the famous Spaniard writer of Basque extraction warned his country about the perfidious traps of left-wing and right-wing extremism.

Miguel de Unamuno – or the face of Basque wisdom. A brave man who was castigated for his courage of his convictions by both sides of the Spanish Civil War. At the beginning of the conflict, Republican President Azana dismissed de Unamuno from his position as Rector of the University of Salamanca. Franco reinstated him only to dismiss de Unamuno again in October 1936. His heart broken by Spain’s tragic destiny, Miguel de Unamuno died two months later, of a heart attack.

Before he embarked on his final journey, the old sage had this to say to a Nationalist audience:

<<I said I didn’t want to speak because I know myself.

But I’ve been provoked and…

Since silence can be taken as consent, I have to do it.

The defense of western Christian civilization was mentioned here today.

I myself created the expression.

I was wrong.

This war is anything but civil, a collective suicide between those who favor fascism and bolshevism, which are nothing but two sides, concave and convex, of the same mental illness.

I just heard insults against Catalans and Basques, calling them a cancer and anti-Spanish, but they could very well say the same about us.

There’s no such thing as the anti-fatherland.

We’re all Spanish and we all have to fight together.

Without each other, Spain would be mutilated. An amputee with one eye like general Millan Astray, an invalid of war.

[General Millan Astray: May I speak?]

And here is his grace the bishop who, like it or not, is Catalan, and who could very well teach some people here a little Christian doctrine, which you apparently don’t know.

Meanwhile, I’m Basque, and I have no problem teaching you Spanish, which you don’t know either.

[General Millan Astray: I want to speak!

Spain!

One!

Spain!

Great!

Spain!

Free!

Long live Millan Astray! Long live death!

Long live death!]

“Long live death.”

That’s like saying “death to life.”

As an expert in paradoxes, I assure you I’ve never understood that one.

[General Millan Astray: Long live death a thousand times. And death to the intellectuals!]

Please, don’t…

[General Millan Astray: Traitors. Death to the intellectual traitors.]

Millan Astray, this is the temple of intelligence!

My temple!

To vanquish is not to convince.

To conquer is not to convert.

You will conquer because you have brute force, but you will never convince because to convince you need to persuade.

You will conquer but you will never convince. I have spoken.>>

Today more than ever before we are at the crossroads. We must choose carefully and we must choose wisely between the common currency of tyrants of fear, and the hard path ahead of self-education and self-improvement. We must not give in to fear. For doing so would surrender our destiny into the avaricious hands of the Rich Elites. We must not let them divide us. For they would conquer us. We must observe democratic principles first and foremost. And we must remember that the Danger is both to the Left and to the Right of the political spectrum.

Regardless of political affiliation, notwithstanding our political stance on all issues (abortion, firearms, EI, social programs, equality, gender or identity politics, state dirigisme, free markets, etc.), we must understand that in the end, we all have to live together with our choices. And that means we shall have to compromise and reach a consensus above the heads of the Elites, and yes in spite of them.

We must do away with the broken hierarchical system, which perpetuates the power of the Elites. And we must replace it with an anarchic non-hierarchical system based not on Money but on a Resource Based Economy. That is how we are going to redeem democracy, destroy the stranglehold of the Elites over us, and move forward as free people, into a Future dominated by science, knowledge, and True Progress.

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