Submitted by Terence Blackett
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” ~ Nelson Mandela
On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln, in a speech that would last a mere few minutes, at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – weakened and lightheaded from a looming case of smallpox, he stirred the hope of a divided people with these famous words: “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This was a powerful echo of Protestant revivalism – however these words were not Lincoln’s and in the aftermath, centuries of machinations on the part of the ruling Elites would prove that POWER never rested with the people but was simply a MIRAGE.
Some of Lincoln’s hearers knew that the source of these powerful words came from the Protestant Reformer and theologian John Wycliffe – an English preacher of Righteousness called “the Morning Star of the Reformation.” For these moving words came from the prologue to what was the earliest translation of the Bible into the English language where Wycliffe penned: “This Bible is for the government of the people, for the people and by the people” which first appeared in 1384. And although Lincoln’s sincerity in borrowing from Wycliffe, what was meant to be a theocratic maxim used to justify Christ’s eventual government which will never end: (“Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven”) – he was clearly misguided into thinking that human governance in any political form could prove an ideal, given mankind’s fundamentally flawed nature.
The world witnessed on June 24th 2016, at 04:32 GMT, ITV news called the outcome of the United Kingdom’s #Brexit vote, in what can only be described as a seminal, ground-breaking and seismically unprecedented claxon against establishment politics – rekindling the spirit of the Reformation Renaissance, as 17.4 million Brits chose “sovereignty” over fearmongering – to orchestrate what many are describing will be a very fractious, painful political divorce from the 28 member, parallaxed super-state of the European Union.
On the day after after the night before, social media & Fleetstreet were charging G.K. Chesterton’s poem “The Secret People”, published in 1907, for prophesying an English revolution in which, after centuries of patient acquiescence in their own oppression, the people rose up against their arrogant rulers in these words: “Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget; for we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.”
In the furore and fallout across the world, amidst the shock-horror created within the globally-interconnected socio-political, market-driven world was this mind-numbing intrigue – that the political landscape now appeared rife for tectonic upheaval and uncertainty causing many to ask: if the time was ripe for a paradigm shift in the model of European democratic governance but moreover, if the time had come for a new look at the Westminster parliamentary model of representative democracy.
From developed 1st world countries to developing countries to increasingly lesser developed ones – it had seemed that “the path to 21st century political paradoxical awareness” had somehow got lost in the murky, immoral quagmire of capitalist decadence – a world lost in uber-translation, where its elemental political quintessence within the overarching, archaic, societal infrastructural framework of how people ought to be governed seemed “consigned to the trash heap of history.”
What the “Masters of the Universe” & the European “Elites” did bargain not for and are now being forced to geo-engineer are the notions of how to revamp 19th & 20th century institutional structures in the light of a belligerently-minded, social-media brainwashed & split-down-the-middle, polarised 21st century citizenry – whose focus and attention are either on holistic & well-being governance of the people, by the people and for the people – as well as increased wealth distribution for the bottom 90% of society, whose discontent can no longer be ignored – or the other grouping, whose anarchist, nationalistic penchant model of governance, flies in the face of any form of authoritarianism.
Dr D. Bowling warns those within the political classes that unless they understand that: “Repression of conflict destroys countries, communities, organizations, relationships, and love – unless we learn to use conflict to develop awareness, we will ultimately destroy our world…” The rudiments of such a quagmire gave us two world wars on the continent of Europe which ultimately engulfed the entire world. This time around, we shudder to think what the fallout could possibly be like were a third one to occur!
Therefore a new look at any critical political realism, must be based on a form of morality worth its salt – assuming a strong conception of individual autonomy, and defines it in some way or another as a capacity to give oneself benchmark rules in practical matters (that is, in those cases in which one has to decide what to do & how to behave, etc.) Whether this process takes place in a monological or dialogical form (a main difference between the Rawlsian and the Habermasian models of governance that make reference to the concepts of public reason and of communicative reason) does not alter the necessary reference to a strong conception of individual autonomy at the core of people source democracy.
Many ask – what is people-source democracy? Is it the same concept as open-source democracy? And if not what are the caveats, differences and/or similarities?
The existentialist dilemma raised within political philosophy is how to design a neo-democratic model of governance that will give greater power to the people while removing the threat of the seismic anarchist threat from within – at the same time, counter-balancing the benchmarks of social justice with the unassailable power of the Elites who geo-engineer outcomes in their favour? And by no stretch of the imagination – let us pretend that any of the answers to these questions are easy!
Since the words of Wycliffe were penned – then uttered by Abraham Lincoln; it has been 632 years and 153 years respectively – yet little have really changed, although much seemingly important progress has been made. For in the last six centuries, the pendulum of governance has swung backwards and forwards in the favour of a ruling class Elite creating an intergenerational metamorphosis which has seen perpetual conflict, ceaseless revolution and never-ending change.
In a current piece under construction, entitled: “The 7 Pillars of Evils: How Malthusian Mathematics Pre-modelled Postmodern Society on Racism: Monarchy to Aristocracy; Oligarchy to Democracy; Ochlocracy to Tyranny & Finally Total Anarchy” – the narrative shows how mankind’s rulership of the earth has been an abysmal litany of failures based on human misery, wretchedness, sorrow and woe.
In an excerpt cited – the question today many are still asking: “What absolutely is the best form of government?” The answer remains surreal; as there is only deafening silence – for it is an “unanswerable question as well as indeterminate; or rather, there are as many good answers as there are possible combinations in the absolute and relative situations of all nations. But if it is asked by what sign we may know that a given people is well or ill governed, that is another matter, and the question, being one of fact, admits of an answer.”
The above quote comes from the book ‘Contract Theory’ Ch. 9 – socio-political theory that was birthed out of the French Revolution & the Enlightenment period by men such as Jean Jacques Rousseau et al. His definitive work “The Social Contract” (1762) posits some poignant insights into how the self-interested behaviour of members of ‘ALL GOVERNMENTS’ will inevitably and invariably use their power and position to pursue their own selfish private interests (their ‘particular will’) at the expense of the people (the ‘general will’).
Do not be fooled or get caught out, for Rousseau clearly believed that: “First, when the Prince ceases to administer the State in accordance with the laws, and usurps the Sovereign power. A remarkable change then occurs: not the government, but the State, undergoes contraction; I mean that the great State is dissolved, and another is formed within it, composed solely of the members of the government, which becomes for the rest of the people merely MASTER* and TYRANT*. So that the moment the government usurps the Sovereignty, the social compact is broken, and all private citizens recover by right their natural liberty, and are forced, but not bound, to obey.”
So in essence, what we see from the above citation is that once government take the individual autonomy of its citizen seriously (as in the #BrexitVote), there will be no discussion about undoing the “will” of the majority vote – as an individual’s capacity for discriminating right from wrong in political matters, the law as a social order falls under suspicion, because it seems to rule out individual autonomy. Yet Black UK Parliamentarian David Lammy in concert with other divisive Jesuits within the British government seek to arbitrarily over-turn the ‘will’ of the people.
Now if the law of the land is to perform its task as a functional complement of morality, if it is to do its work at conflict-solving and resolution, as well as, to provide the gambit for social co-ordination & cohesion, it should not only provide us with rules of action, but it should prevent individuals acting on the basis of self-promoting interests given reasons or norms outside the conventional domain. To put this in different and more sophisticated terms, the law must pre-empt action based on general practical reasons, the reasons that might derive from the monological or dialogical exercise of autonomy by legal subjects. If that is so, what is left of our individual autonomy?
We “THE PEOPLE” are not free to decide whether we do or do not want to have action rules in common with others. Once we share a web of common political interests with others, we cannot retreat from the politics of consensus and decision. The choice (as in the case of the #BrexitVote), which is the same as the classic one between the Hobbesian state of nature and the Rousseanean civil state, would only make sense if we could retreat to our own Walden and leave others unaffected (at least, in a relevant way) by our actions. Political bonds are related to the fact that human action tends to have consequences affecting individuals (even if without intention) other than for the actor.
Also, from the Durkheimian functional point of view, mention should be made of the argument that repeated interaction leads to the insight that this is a potentially conflictive situation unless we adopt common action norms. From a normative point of view, what matters is that the adoption of such norms is done in ways that respect the individual autonomy of all those affected.
The sociology is rather simplistic in many ways – yet the Elites continue to “False Flag”, rumour-monger and fear-monger – all in the same breath – sadly, this is being seen across the political landscape today!
For example, many in #PostBrexit Britain believe, they have a civic as well as constitutional right to undo the “will” of the 52% majority who voted to “LEAVE” the European Union. The classic dilemma they face is how to achieve such an anti-democratic coup. The question being asked: “Is the will of people sacrosanct and can Parliament simply over-ride in law the dictum enshrined within the utilitarian consensus and conventions of the greatest happiness for the greatest number given the tenets of Western parliamentary democracy?
For the political anarchist to strike the first match or shoot the first bullet across the starboard bow will depend on whether the “will of the people” has been violently breached resulting in tyranny by the few or whether that “will” is being upheld by the majority.
Thus the idea of people-source democracy in a nutshell is complex and a possible misnomer, although we understand it to be:
Active participation in a deliberative democratic procedure of law-making & law abiding that binds us to act according to the normative outcomes of such a procedure to the extent that it ensures us an equal right to participate in deliberation and decision-making, and that the procedure is structured in such a way as to have an epistemic privilege, or what amounts to the same, to have a propensity to select the right approaches, norms, values and outcomes. Thus the law of consensus must be binding upon all.
The argument is procedural to the extent that what triggers the obligation is only our participation in the procedure, but it is also substantive in the limited sense that it refers to average correctness as a supplementary reason to act according to its outcomes (but this is done without any direct reference to procedure-independent standards of correctness).
As a result, Western democracy though seemingly strong in its architectural framework is now in a fractured state of disrepair because of internal as well as external structural pressures which will ultimately cause implosion.
Biblical prophecy dated as far back as 540 to 530 BC – in the book of Daniel 2:42-45 authenticates that the  toes of the European Union will be “PARTLY STRONG AND PARTLY BROKEN”… this was fulfilled in our lifetime to show that the BIBLE* can be trusted.
The objectives of the European Union as a project were essentially for the development of a normative political theory of Europe but Britain has somehow by an “Act of God” thrown a monkey-wrench into the works causing all kinds of global ramifications – the ends whereof are soon to emerge.
Catholic & Calvinist political theology upon which most of contemporary discourse is built is to some degree an inappropriate basis for principles acceptable to individuals with a broad range of philosophical and religio-political conceptions of the “greatest good for the greatest number” – a Benthamite utilitarian argument still at the base of all democratic thought.
So in a triumph for democracy, again to some degree, is this question of allocation of power that must consider the general centralising tendency of central European institutions, including the European Court of Justice (Mancini 1991 p. 179) whose role has been more or less puppet-master for the Jesuits in the Vatican. It might therefore be wise, to consider whether other bodies are better equipped and placed as guardian of the separation of powers going forward as the #BrexitVote shows that constitutional sovereignty and the jurisdictional rule of law remain sacrosanct like all the other clauses enshrined in Magna Carta.
Perhaps the most fundamental issue of all in this debate, on “the power of the people” is that a proper application of the “Principle of Subsidiarity” requires us to be clear on the legitimate ends of the European Union and those of the member states, respectively. The present uncertainty about the legitimate significance of states and of the powers of the European Commission is due in part to disagreement on this issue. The objectives of the European Union are still hotly contested, and this has an impact for what powers it should enjoy as a growing ‘Federalist Union’.
In the absence of objectives, talk of efficiency becomes meaningless given the double standards of Catholic run institutions around the world – most importantly, as the Vatican is a monolithic institution.
When it is said that the European Union has suffered from a democratic deficit, the term ‘democracy’ is used to lament several separate lacunas. Democracy must be based on legitimacy. Institutions, as all other rules that regulate behaviour, should be legitimate in myriad senses. We are only morally obligated to obey normative, legitimate institutions. That is: they must be justifiable to the ‘demos’, to all affected parties. Normative legitimacy requires a presentation and justification of such principles of legitimacy for the European Union, as well as transparency of its institutions. Only then can the public assess whether principles of legitimacy are satisfied.
At present, we have neither a theory of social justice based on people source democracy, nor the requisite transparency as can be found in many other so-called democracies. These flaws are in part due to the lack of a constitutional dimension to the institutions like the European Union. There is no explicit presentation and systematic defence of the de facto constitutive rules, rules of mechanisms, and purposes of the European Union (Castiglione 1995, 62-63). Insofar as these institutions are deficient in this respect, they lack the requisite moral authority and do not deserve the support of the populations especially the British people. Other Western parliamentary democratic countries could make the same argument.
In conclusion, for the past 2000 years, according to those who had the privilege to write the historical record have fostered the notion, as Hobbes et al purported: “that man was incapable of governing himself in a state of nature that was vile & brutish and nasty and would ultimately lead to death” – leaving them open to every known form of evil rule that has plagued humanity since then.
May we not put our “TRUST” in men or in chariots but let us cease from man in whose nostrils is his breath.