No! I am the one saying government has now completely become corrupt!
I mean, before I rail at you to buy Republic Lost, how about I use an example he uses.
Look at the election of 1912, the Woodrow Wilson election. Read up on the Gilded Age, the "old guard" Republicans that Teddy Roosevelt fought (and won, and then lost to), the progressive (NOT liberal... progressive) movement.
Either way, if your goal is to ultimately reduce the size of government, you need people in whose incentive it is to reduce the size of government, or who are listening to citizens who want smaller government.
But neither of those are going to get to power, if the path to power is access.
Please, please PLEASE watch that link. Let's discuss it, openly.
It literally boggles my mind that you can sit here and read about corporations misusing and misappropriating government money and nod your head, saying, "Yup. What'd I tell you. Can't trust that government with money." It's like the corporations behind it haven't even entered your mindspace.
When, before I regret asking and turn this into another lolbertarian thread, do corporations take any responsibility at all for the what they do? How does corporations fucking around with lobbyists and money having anything to do with the size of the government? Why are you so full of shit?
Molecule, please, it isn't about Timex or brettmcd or liberals or conservatives or libertarians yelling at each other.
The FIRST step. The absolutely first step to making government respond to the will of the people is to make them stop responding exclusively to the will of the campaign donors.
Please please please watch the link. Please consider buying Republic Lost ($13! On kindle! That's like 4 Starbucks.) There are solutions, no doubt imperfect solutions, but solutions that are agreeable to left and right. Because left and right are both losing.
No, it's called "robotics". Humans will fiddle the books. You can reduce it with proper transparency measures, but the concept that ONLY slashing the services you disprove of can improve things is typical Randroid nonsense.
You're also all in favour of corporate corruption without size limits THERE as well, of course.
It's not "libertarian" in the slightest, it's plain old right wing Corporatist.
Jakub - If the ideas are good and important, then they'll be shouted out and spread widely, not sold as a book.
Which is why I'm spreading them, and shouting them out.
They're not sexy ideas, they're not slogans, they're complex ideas that need a book to flesh them out - and even the author concedes they're not perfect.
But they're SO much better than what is happening now, they're the step in the right direction. They give us a foundation on which to build.
And we need everyone to shout them. Please consider joining Humans Take Congress, or create your own group - just for republicans or libertarians or whoever you associate with. A group that says "hey, Bush had 6 years in which he and his Republican Congress and Republican Supreme Court could repeal Roe v. Wade. They could have repealed subsidies to all sorts of industries like oil and gas and industrial farm that don't need them. But he won't, and neither will Barack, because it is not the will of the campaign donors. So let's take over the primaries, or nominate our own candidates, or take over the state legislatures to force a Convention on the constitution."
He really has 4 different ways to go about this and explains how this affects everyone.
Tea Party and Occupy are just the Right and Left versions of "we're getting fucked by fatcats". They have different views on how to fix things, but they're the same identical feeling.
We are on the verge of something. It needs everyone to buy in and make Congress American. Not corporate.
You know, Molecule, normally I'd be with you. I haven't posted here much recently (though I admit I lurked), and I'm sure I'd normally engage Timex or brettmcd or Dawn Falcon.
But this really isn't about them.
And they do have the right to believe in minimal government. They see the horrible problems government has caused in recent years, and their solution is different from yours.
But neither liberals, conservatives, nor libertarians will see any progress until the stranglehold on campaign finance is fixed.
As good as they are at heart, as well intentioned as they are, Congressmen need to be re-elected, and thus every decision they make, every issue they support, they think of all the donors on either side of that issue. Because they believe they can't get re-elected without money - and recent history proves them right.
But we can co-opt this process. Once we fix campaign finance reform, and reduce or even remove the undue influence of megamoney, then we can argue left, right, libertarian. We can argue whether the solution to our current problems is big government, small government, no government, whether black people are allowed to run for president and whether or not gays can openly serve in the military.
Until then, we are just literally spinning our wheels.
Once politicians are dependent upon re-election from vouchers from individual voters ($50 voucher per person, $100 private donation allowed), then they'll start listening to their voters because that's the way to get re-elected. So if your issue is more regulation, they will listen to the people who want more regulation. If your issue is small government, they will listen to those.
But right now, their issues are Archer Daniels Midland, Exxon, Microsoft, Google, MSNBC, News Corp, GE, GM, Lockheed Martin, the Koch brothers and George Soros.
I'm sorry to add to the preceding wall of text, but here's how it works. Here's a fairly recent example:
Microsoft launches Windows 95. It's huge, has huge advertising, huge publicity. The government has never regulated or stepped into the computer industry. But Windows 95 is BIG and Microsoft has become huge.
Government steps in to start regulating. Not because the industry needs it, but because the reps from the Washington State area know that they will shortly after come into huge sums of cash from lobbyists hired by Microsoft. This helps them ensure re-election.
Same thing happened with Google and other new industries.
Addicts go to rehab. Enablers wise up and give their money to something else.
Which one was government, again?
Snark aside, I do get your point. Local PA government is in the process of allowing fracking companies to do potentially immeasurable harm to our groundwater, much in the same way that the Great Lakes have been repolluted in the last decade. I blame the politicians for being bought and sold - but I blame those who are doing the buying and the selling. At least with government there is a handy individual we can identify taking bribes and can enforce anti-fracking (or at the very least, stringent pollution regulations). Without government, in a government-minimalist world, we'd have to wait until we started seeing health effects before we sued someone. Assuming we had the money to sue someone. And assuming they weren't hiding behind an offshore shell company.
I'd rather have the possibility of being proactive about my health and world.
Yeah, I get you, Jakub. I understand regulation is a messy process and prone to manipulation - but here's the way I see it: That manipulation of the market is going to happen. People lie, cheat, and steal. That government is the easiest avenue to do this suggests two things: That a large organization like our government is very powerful, and that that power can shift in both ways. Just like you are pleading with us to do! I'm all for that!
But pretending that corruption that is currently being leveraged through the government would go away if we dismantled the government is silly. It's blaming the car for the shitty driver. You can dismantle the car, but the driver is just going to crash the next car he gets into.
For what it's worth, Jakub, I pretty much agree with you totally about money in politics. Using the car metaphor, it is pretty much a high-jacking.
Ya, I'm right here in the middle of the natural gas carpet bagger fest in the middle of the state. It's an odd situation, because I can see first hand that it's definitely brought money into the region, but at the same time I generally speak out against it. I point out, "Hey folks... notice how virtually EVERYONE working for the gas companies aren't actually from PA? They're all Texans who fly in to set up the stuff, and then they leave. They don't really give a crap if they turbo screw your water supply."
I think that my reason for focusing on the government is, as you say, it's the part that I can most directly affect. If government were to shrink, then it seems like it'd at least reduce the problem. The corporations would still be doing their damndest to screw stuff up, but at least the government wouldn't be taking my money, and then giving it to the corporations to screw stuff up with.
The idea that we're actually funding their attempts to screw us over is what pisses me off most, I think. I think this was at least part of the Occupy movement's message... Why the hell are we paying our tax dollars to these assholes?
So let's get the undue influence of these assholes out of here.
After that, once they listen to voters and not donors, that's when you'll really be able to gather supporters to your cause. Why? Because they'll believe they can make their Congressman listen, despite not having a spare yacht.
The answer though, is to get rid of the people in Congress.
If someone takes a bunch of money from a corporation... then you don't give them your vote. Problem solved.
The issue seems to be, "Well you need lots of money to fund your campaign and get your message out!" That doesn't NEED to be the case. If we chose to, we could actually cause that to backfire, and say, "Hmm... you sure are running a lot of ads... who's paying for all those?"
Ultimately though it's gonna come down to an educated, or at least semi-conscious, electorate. And I dunno how likely that is.
It's as likely as you make it to be. Educate those around you. Annoy them.
Look at how chet treats me here. Do you think I give a fuck about chet? In the words of George S. Patton, when chet's grandson asks where he was in the Great World War II, he'll say "well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana".
Ignore those who don't believe. Talk to people. Inspire them with your passion. Inspire, above all, those 54% of Americans who don't vote, those 89% of Americans who don't trust Congress, the 70+ % who think money buys results in Congress.
Make your pitch, and go on. Lead. Let them follow or stay behind with the old system. You will find many, many people who believe as you and I and Lawrence Lessig do. I'm up to 4 Americans and 3 Canadians, laugh as chet might want.
Remind them it's not left, right, or libertarian. It's top and bottom, up and down. Read the book.
0.05% of Americans contribute the limit to at least one campaign. 0.26% contribute at least $200 to one campaign. The rest of us are ignored completely. Even those who contribute the max, many are ignored, because congressmen spend 50-70% of their time raising funds and campaigning. How can they have time for anyone who doesn't contribute the max to the Congressman, along with his wife and kids, and maxes out the party donation?
Over 99% of us are in this together. If we could convince even a third, we'd win. If we could convince half, we'd win decisively for the next 40 years.
This is up to you, to me, to anyone who reads this.
I'm Canadian and not (directly) influenced by your laws and stupidities, but I believe in you.
I'm right with you up to this point. But why would a smaller government help? Surely it would make things worse? The government is the part that you can affect. Without government, you would have no power to change the situation at all; someone with money decides to screw you over, you just have to live with it. At present, those people with money are ALSO working to prevent the government from doing its job, but there's a plausible pathway to a better situation; you and the people in your area vote for whoever doesn't accept bribes from these people. With a "smaller" government, you'd be left with direct action or trying to strengthen the government.