Toward a Second Revolution: Establishing Local Democracy

Background

For the past 40+ years fascist [1] billionaires have implemented a plan designed to enrich themselves using the power of the national government and corporations as their means of achieving it. They have corrupted our government -- the executive, legislative, and judiciary -- so much so that it is no exaggeration to assert that the national government is a 'captured' institution, incapable of reform, serving only the interests of the banking, fossil fuel, military industries, and the other monopoly corporations. While it is imperative that we resist this fascist takeover, it is equally important to rethink our strategy and organize locally to take our country back one city and county at a time.

Meanwhile, life on planet earth is in grave peril. [2] We are in the midst of the largest mass extinction of species since the age of the dinosaurs,[3] some 65 million years ago. Due almost exclusively to human activity, the planet has lost 2/3rds of all animals in the last 50 years. And yet, our captured national government continues the destruction of life with a 'business as usual' attitude, fueling and feeding the very corporations responsible for the unravelling of the matrix of life on this planet.

We the people must get organized, we should come together around our founding principles and several key initiatives built upon these principles.
Think Globally, Act Locally

Our Founding Principles

  1. +The people alone are Sovereign.
    1. As the sovereign, we the people can alter or abolish any form of government not conducive to our health, safety, or happiness.
    2. + From the Declaration of Independence.
      • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
      • That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
      • That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,
      • and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
    3. + From the Colorado Constitution Article II - Bill of Rights.
      "In order to assert our rights, acknowledge our duties, and proclaim the principles upon which our government is founded, we declare:
      • Section 1. Vestment of political power. All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.
      • Section 2. People may alter or abolish form of government. The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, sovereign and independent state; and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, provided, such change be not repugnant to the constitution of the United States."
  2. + That government governs best which is closest to the people.
    1. Through 240+ years of American history, we have painfully witnessed the emergence of a national government that consumes the largest portion of the taxes we pay to all governments, sometimes as high as 80% of all our tax payments. And this bloated national government is using our money to build and maintain a global empire that benefits a small group of corporate rulers in the banking, fossil fuel, military, and other monopoly industries. Common sense tells us that our national government, being the furthest away from the people they should serve, is the most corrupt in large measure because they are not subject to the immediate and powerful presence of the people. From this fact we can derive an ancillary principle:
  3. + That political power should be apportioned inversely to the distance that government resides from the people they serve.
    1. In other words, local government should be empowered more than the county, the county more than the state, and the state more than the national government.
    2. The current system is configured in exactly the opposite manner, the national government possessing the greatest power, then the state, then the county, and least of all the municipality. Common sense should also inform us that the existing 'pyramid of power' is essentially undemocratic as it makes the national government a virtual aristocracy, far removed from the people, and receiving all the benefits of ultimate power with little accountability to the people they govern.
    3. Examples of this can be seen in recent history at the state and local levels here in Colorado. The people of the city of Lafayette voted by 61% for a ban on the dangerous and hazardous practice of hydraulic fracturing, 'fracking', only to have the State of Colorado intervene and deny them their rights to protect their community from harm. The grounds given for this usurpation of local rights was 'state preemption', the ostensible (and unconstitutional) 'right' of the state to displace local laws that are contrary to state law. If the people are the sovereign, then they are sovereign over their land, their water, their health, their well being, and their community. No government has the right to usurp these essential rights and their related powers.
  4. + Money is political power.
    1. Clearly, whoever controls the money supply controls the political system. As Mayer Anselm Rothschild once said, "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws." And he and his ilk have been controlling the money supply of much of the world for generations; it's time for the people to reclaim this public utility for themselves and their posterity.
    2. Money must therefore become a public utility. And Public Banks should be the only depositories of the people's tax payments, not private banks who profit handsomely off your and my labor.
    3. Private banks have a long sordid history of making trouble for entire nations, increasing debt, funding monopolies, market crashes, housing crashes, savings and loan failures, and many more.
    4. Wherever and whenever there is a super-concentration of money in private hands, there is a clear and present danger to democracy.

Initiatives Derived from Our Principles

  1. + Establish a Community Bill of Rights
      By ballot initiative in each city, county, and state establish a Community Bill of Rights declaring the people's rights of self-governance, to protect themselves, their air, water, land, and other resources from the exploits of corporations and external governments that do their bidding. (See Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and Colorado Community Rights Network ). We must include in this Community Bill of Rights certain precepts that ensure the following:
    1. Corporations are not people and are not entitled to human rights. (Move To Amend) They are property. We do not recognize the rights of corporations, only the rights of people and nature.
    2. Money is not free speech which can and must be regulated. (Move To Amend)
    3. Money is a public utility to be used for the common good. (Colordo Public Banking)
    4. The people alone are sovereign and can create any form of government suitable to their happiness and well being, and abolish any government that carelessly destroys human and natural life for private gain. (see The Declaration of Independence and the Colorado Bill of Rights Article II)
    5. Nature and its many life forms have an intrinsic right to exist and flourish. Human communities must accommodate other life forms, adjusting its behavior for the benefit of all life.(CELDF on the Rights of Nature)

  2. + Establish Public Banking in every city and county.
    Signing the Declaration of Independence
    1. Currently, almost without exception, each city, county, and state government are feeding the beast of Wall Street, and thereby undermining local power and democracy.
    2. They do this, often unwittingly, through the agency of the private banks known to us as the 'Federal Reserve': JPMorganChase, Bank of America, Citi Group, Wells Fargo, and a handful of others. (See Public Banking Institute and Rocky Mountain Public Banking Institute)
      Public banking divests from Wall Street while investing in Main Street, chartering a City Public Bank to collect taxpayer money and allocate the proceeds for the local community's health and well being, and for a sustainable future.
  3. + Form an Alliance or Confederation of Cities and Counties that support these rights, committing to mutual protection.
    1. By forming a confederation of free cities we can build the necessary alliance against corporate-captured governments that would usurp our rights of self determination and self governance.
  4. + Restructure and invert the tax code.
    1. Empower cities to be the sole recipient of all our taxes: income, property, sales, etc.
      Have our local city government allocate our taxes accordingly: 60% local, 20% County, 12% State, and receiving the least amount at 8%, the national government.
    2. This is built on the principle that a government governs best that is closest to the people it serves; and governments should be empowered inversely proportional to the distance they reside from those they represent; and that money is political power.

Footnotes:

1. "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism, for it is the merger of the state with corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini (Father of Fascism) [Back]

2. "The global population has [more than] tripled since 1930 to more than [seven] billion and will continue to grow for several decades, and the global economy has increased more than 15-fold since 1950. This progress has had a wide-ranging impact on the environment. Our activities have begun to significantly affect the planet and how it functions. Atmospheric composition, land cover, marine ecosystems, coastal zones, freshwater systems and global biological diversity have all been substantially affected." -- By Margo Wallstrom, Bert Bolin, Paul Crutzen, Will Steffen [Back]

3. " The world is hurtling towards the first mass extinction of animal life since the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago, according to the most comprehensive survey of wildlife ever carried out. By 2020, the populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and other vertebrate species are on course to have fallen by more than two-thirds over a period of just 50 years, the Living Planet report found. " -- By David   [Back]

Community Rights
Community Rights include environmental rights, such as the right to clean air, pure water, and healthy soil; worker rights, such as the right to living wages and equal pay for equal work; rights of nature, such as the right of ecosystems to flourish and evolve; and democratic rights, such as the right of local community self-government, and the right to free and fair elections.
Rights of Nature
Environmental degradation is advancing around the world. The United Nations has warned that we are heading toward “major planetary catastrophe.” There is a growing recognition that we must fundamentally change the relationship between humankind and nature. Making this fundamental shift means recognizing our dependence on nature and respecting our need to live in harmony with the natural world. This means securing the highest legal protection and the highest societal value on nature through the recognition of rights.
Overthrow the Speculators
Money, as Karl Marx lamented, plays the largest part in determining the course of history. Once speculators are able to concentrate wealth into their hands they have, throughout history, emasculated government, turned the press into lap dogs and courtiers, corrupted the courts and hollowed out public institutions, including universities, to justify their looting and greed. Today’s speculators have created grotesque financial mechanisms, from usurious interest rates on loans to legalized accounting fraud, to plunge the masses into crippling forms of debt peonage.