Why Direct Democracy Now?
There is danger ahead for us,
with new forms of weapons and warfare,
and surveillance on steroids.
There are also big decisions to make as well,
with jobs going to automation,
scientists alarmed about climate,
and society on the verge of transformation.
And then there are troubling issues,
like a $22 trillion national debt.
Here’s what’s below…
- Science and Technology
- Surveillance and Profiling
- Climate Change
- Media Control
- Compromised government
- Chaotic Job Market
- Genetic Engineering
- National Debt
---- Science and Technology ----
The pace of change in our world is quickening.
In our historical moment, we have great grandparents
who used horses for transportation.
And now, our cars are about to drive themselves,
and the plan to inhabit Mars starts in the next decade.
Innovations in science and technology
exponentially increase with each new discovery.
Robots, trans-humans, clones, new species, space travel,
nano-technology, and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
are just the beginning.
Hold on to your hat… because it’s all really coming!
Does it matter who is in control of our world?
---- Weaponry ----
Weaponry as we know it has changed.
A human is no longer needed for a military.
You don’t raise an army… you build a drone or a robot.
Picture hundreds, thousands, or millions of armed drones.
It only takes money.
Drones can be small, even tiny, and
they can recognize faces and locations,
plus they can use AI to make decisions to attack.
Drones can be armed with poisons or viruses or explosives.
We don’t have defenses against them.
They can come from a country, a group, or a person.
Our own scientific discoveries make us more vulnerable.
We have enhanced our ability
to create new biological and chemical weapons.
Nerve agents and biological weapons like anthrax,
have been around for a while.
Now we can genetically create insects to deploy them.
Our electronics are vulnerable
to a simple Electro Magnetic Pulse in the atmosphere,
that even a small rogue nation, a terrorist group,
or a wealthy person might initiate.
Will we be manipulated amidst that crisis?
When the world gets chaotic,
the likelihood of a dangerous power shift increases.
---- Surveillance & Profiling ----
We are being watched, tracked, and analyzed to an astounding degree.
I know - who cares;
- I’m not doing anything wrong;
- It helps catch lawbreakers.
But keep in mind that if a different scenario arises in society,
we could become incredibly controlled by our government.
If you want an uneasy feeling, read this side article called,
“You are being tracked!”
See also: You are being tracked
Just imagine a scenario where our government becomes corrupt.
It’s far more feasible that we might think.
It would be amidst confusion over who is good and who is bad.
The economy would likely plummet.
There could be wars and global conflict.
Our civil rights would be temporarily suspended.
Elections could be postponed.
The Internet would be censored.
What’s going on? Who’s in charge?
It’s a movie plot, right?
It must be fiction.
It couldn’t really happen.
Except all of the implausible parts of a movie,
that make it obviously fictitious,
are not there this time.
And now because of the ubiquitous surveillance,
the people are vulnerable.
We cannot even move without the government knowing it.
The people and freedom are in jeopardy.
See also: Scenario of a corrupt US government
---- Climate Change ----
The world is getting warmer.
It doesn’t matter whether you believe that it’s a natural cycle,
or caused primarily by humans.
It doesn’t matter whether someone is whipping up hysteria,
or rather resisting change for profit motives.
The projections indicate some critical consequences.
Don’t we want to be in charge so as to manage this situation,
now and proactively?
---- Media control ----
Everyone should be aware that our primary sources of media
are owned by six corporations.
TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and Internet news feeds.
Our sources of information are not neutral and objective.
There is an obvious profit motive in viewership,
and we are susceptible to other motives as well.
Consider how easily we can be manipulated
by whatever information we are fed,
and through sophisticated psychological tricks.
This is currently and potentially a major problem for us.
See also: Who owns media?
---- Our political system is already compromised. ----
There are probably some things that we can agree upon.
- Even the best intentioned politicians are under heavy pressure
from their political parties (Democrats & Republicans)
to follow an agenda that the individual politician
may not be fully on board with.
The larger political party has a power, usually money and support,
which we did not intend in our US Constitution.
So we have a mechanism that is seriously problematic.
- Money is critical for a politician to get elected and then re-elected.
An unfortunate motive is then pressed upon the politician
and assuredly causes a conflict of interest for them.
- Money in our society (e.g. corporations and the wealthy)
has found that it can influence our politicians
with campaign dollars and future jobs.
- We don’t have much trust in our politicians and government,
when it comes to truthfulness.
We could likely add more to that list of problems,
but let’s stay simple to keep us all on the same page.
The point is that we as a people
lack control of our governmental processes.
We can vote back and forth from Democrat to Republican,
but the truth is that the lack of trust persists,
because we sense that much of politics is out of our control.
It has been like this for some time.
So what the hell.
Most of us are well fed.
Let’s just carry on.
But here’s the thing, the world is not staying the same.
We all know that.
And there are radical changes coming in society,
that might be dangerous if we (the people)
are not in control of our world.
We need control now, not later, when it may be too late.
---- The Job Market is going to be chaotic! ----
There are so many available trainable workers on this planet.
Most will work for very little compared to us Americans.
Slowly they are getting educated and more useful to companies.
Companies know this and will pursue those labor markets.
And nothing can stop this trend,
not even competitive tax rates for corporations.
Robotics has been here for a while in factories.
Soon, robots will be mobile and have dexterity.
Plus, they will think and learn.
We call it AI or Artificial Intelligence.
They will make decisions and learn and be accurate,
and never get tired or complain.
We won’t even have to pay them.
Your value at work is based on your experience.
Robots will be programmed with experience.
You use your logic skills on the job.
Robots will out-think you.
They will process information quicker and have a much better memory.
But you have good personable customer service skills.
Business no longer seems to value that fact.
A robot cannot walk in and replace you.
No, it will take a bit of time and programming.
But to save your $75,000 per year… it will be done.
Computers have already taken away many jobs.
Now with Artificial Intelligence,
it is computerization on steroids.
The computer will analyze the company, create reports,
detect trends, talk to clients, provide customer service,
make sales calls, keep schedules, monitor the equipment,
program new software, and on and on.
Think about your job and imagine
the robot or the computer that might do the work.
Virtually every problem you throw at the robot,
will be solved by a new way of doing things,
with different materials, new techniques,
and a wave of coming innovations.
Soon there will no one left,
who is averse to using online interactions.
Workers now employed to assist older customers,
Data entry is shrinking.
Customers do it themselves online.
Driverless cars will replace the taxi, bus, and Uberish drivers.
Drones and driverless vehicles will replace delivery personnel.
When science designs nanotechnology to clean everything,
employers won’t have to hire another janitor.
Good for us in one way,
but sorry about the loss of jobs.
So how does that apply to Direct Democracy?
A radical change is coming.
As it is, plenty of people sit around with not much to do.
Some are unemployed, underemployed,
or don’t have much to do at work.
What if that number rises significantly?
How will those people live?
How will that affect society?
Business has the goal of continuing to produce goods,
but they need customers.
As jobs decline, so do customers.
So business has a crisis coming too.
Maybe they solve it with overseas customers.
But where does that leave you here in America.
Won’t the unemployed get restless and angry?
So what’s their answer?
UBI – Universal Basic Income?
It is like a welfare check, but better.
Enough to live on and just enough to quell the discontent.
It’s an improvement for sure.
Many of us might like the extra time as long as we can survive.
But project your thoughts down the road and look at society.
It will be a deeply divided class society.
The very rich, the dwindling middle and working class, and the UBIers.
And if we continue on this path of a government in bed with business,
we won’t have any say-so about how it plays out.
Hopefully you have heard about the 1% of people
that possess so much of the nation’s wealth.
For instance, 1% own more than the bottom 90% of the US population.
There is a systemic mechanism in our economic system,
that will continue to funnel money to the top.
Once you accumulate some wealth (often by hard work),
investments, the stock market, and lending
start producing more and more money (not by work).
Wealth starts looking like a snowball rolling downhill.
The economic class system keeps widening.
And with a government influenced by the wealthy,
dependent on their money,
consisting of wealthy representatives,
with the 1%’s monopoly on media to manipulate our thinking,
we the people are somebody’s puppet.
See also: The Media Monopoly
---- Genetic Engineering ----
Moving on… let’s look at the innovations in health sciences.
Soon, we will edit the genes of your unborn child,
to prevent problems or enhance capabilities.
Why conceive a baby, just clone yourself.
Why clone, let’s just create super human beings with selected genes?
If you have a health problem…
then we can replace organs grown from your own stem cells;
we can replace body parts with super bionic ones;
we can swap out problem genes with new ones (gene therapy);
we can grow new brain cells for repair or to make us smarter;
we can bioengineer tissue and cartilage and bone.
Could we even implement some sort of immortality
by backing up your brain?
But here’s the thing…
Who is making all of this progress in health science?
Some public universities do research,
but the innovations always gets passed or sold to corporations.
Corporations own it all.
And they sell it.
Will only the rich be able to have this high level of health care?
Will the wealthy Americans be the smarter beautiful bionic people?
Will we be the obvious slower lower class?
Shouldn’t we be willing to take steps
to offer this innovation for the good of all?
We can not only genetically modify plants,
we can create new species.
And not just plants, but insects and animals.
What about dangerous micro-organisms like viruses?
Do we have a real voice in this matter?
When we merge technology with biology,
we get a trans-human.
So what is that?
Is it like the cyborgs in sci-fi movies?
It could be robots with artificial intelligence,
engineered with real human tissue.
Maybe your personality and memories can be added
to create a trans-human version of you.
It might start with a human that is augmented with technology,
to provide encyclopedic memory, augmented vision, and strength.
It sounds like sci-fi, but it will be real before too long.
And who will have access to it?
Or is it reserved for a special class of people?
---- Space ----
The USA sent a man to the moon!
But it’s not the USA going out to colonize planets.
It’s someone, or some company, or some group of people.
NASA is just a side note, because…
America doesn’t own other planets.
We can make a law that restricts who launches space vehicles.
But a company can move to another country and launch.
“We” don’t control this.
---- Water ----
Fresh water supplies are dwindling across the globe,
and it will get worse if global warming continues.
Desalination is a possibility.
But our system of water rights is a market commodity.
This allows private enterprise to enter into the equation,
and quite possibly could give a basic life-support product
to be controlled by corporations.
Corporations already control most of the food supply,
and now they seek control of water.
How will this play out in the future?
Should we just wait and see?
---- National Debt ----
We have a national debt of over $22 trillion dollars.
What does that mean?
For the most part, it basically means
that we already spent that $22 trillion
from past years with a budget deficit.
See also: usdebtclock.org
A lot of it is comparable to consumer debt,
like when you borrow for a TV or a vacation.
It wasn’t an investment like your house mortgage,
where you still own the asset.
It was for stuff like employee salaries, social security,
medicare, safety net benefits, global conflicts,
debt interest, education, subsidies,
and gifts to other countries.
It’s basically gone.
We bought some capital goods that last a while,
such as buildings, roads, satellites, research,
and other infrastructure items.
And we do have tons of cool expensive military equipment.
Don’t forget that our annual deficit,
(tax revenue minus how much we spend),
adds close to a trillion dollars
to the national debt every year.
See also: 2019 deficit
So far, our country’s income from taxes,
which is based on our national economy,
can keep up with paying the interest on this debt.
But looking to the future as a country,
when we think of things that we want to purchase,
we need to remember how much debt we already have.
Maybe we can’t borrow any more.
Maybe we can’t start a space program,
or have universal health care,
or provide a Universal Basic Income (UBI),
or unburden young people from student debt,
or make college free,
or clean up the ocean,
or repair our roads,
or cure cancer,
or help in disasters,
or respond to global warming,
or continue paying Social Security.
Maybe we shouldn’t even
bail out any more financial institutions,
or engage in any more global military conflicts
(two costs that already pushed us heavily into debt).
And then there are the unexpected situations,
that can cost a great deal and push the debt even further.
Consider economic recessions when tax revenues drop,
and money is given to citizens to stimulate the economy.
Wars and conflicts cost a phenomenal amount of money.
The 2003 Iraq war cost from $1-2 trillion dollars,
with the total war on terror costing about $6 trillion.
See also: Cost of War on Terror
Finally, we have to wonder,
that as jobs disappear to automation and overseas labor,
will we be able to help our unemployment situation,
with a Universal Basic Income (UBI)?
Here’s the bottom line.
We personally got ourselves into this situation
of a spiraling debt.
Meaning we and our elected representatives.
We created this country,
we wrote our constitution,
we elected these officials,
we spent this money,
and so, we are personally responsible.
It doesn’t feel good, does it?
Let’s do something about it!
Let’s take control!