Putting “which people” first?

by Robert Maynard

On Tuesday May 1st, a coalition of left leaning groups held a rally in Montpelier supposedly with the aim of showing “support for creating a world where we put people and the planet first.”   Here is how the event was described: “The march kicked off at 12:30pm, with over 37 groups represented! Represented in the march were groups organizing around climate justice, farmers, nurses, teachers, farmworkers, early educators, students, disability rights organizations, mobile home park residents, Occupy groups from all over Vermont, members of the Put People First campaign, and many more!”

On the surface, the idea of putting people first is a good idea, if that is what the campaign is really about.  The problem is that there have been statements that have come out of the Occupy Wall Street coalition that raise the question of which people they intend to “put first”.  One such statement appeared on OWS’s Burlington Facebook page back in early November of last year.  The statemant was a first draft of a “manifesto” titled “Rebuilding America” and it got 95 “likes”, which was more than any other post I saw. It calls for a constitutional convention, which would take the following action: “All sitting politicians are relieved of office, the system that put them there was not legitimate anyway so they were not duly elected by the population.” How are we to replace our elected officials while the new system gets worked out? “Trained, professional civil servants form interim directorships of agencies under a short term contract.” This brings to mind Lenin’s “Vanguard”. What if the people decide to pursue policies not in line with those favored by the ”trained, professional civil servants”? The assumption here is that such trained professionals would rationally set up the perfect system and the people would simply rubber stamp it via the democratic process. Would those who dissented become “enemies of the people”?

In fact, there is evidence in this manifesto of just how they intend to treat dissenters:

The elections would be overseen by an independent electoral commission which would include international observers and experts. This commission would have the power to nullify and re-call any election, including presidential elections. As in the democracies, the new government would be formed through coalitions of parties if one party did not carry greater than 50% of the vote. Appointees to major posts and those seeking election including state governors, justices, cabinet members and the president and vice president would be subject to normal psychological screening, which even airline pilots are currently subject to. Failing such a screening would disqualify the individual from their appointment or from running. This will prevent imbalanced individuals from creating damage to the nation or public.

In many regimes run in an authoritarian manner, those who dissent from the officially sanctioned ideology are labeled “imbalanced individuals.”  Control of the message is crucial to authoritarian ideologues:

Reassuming control of the messages we say to ourselves: All media outlets whose licenses would have been suspended under the previous laws abandoned in the 1980s which prohibited lying on the air are suspended with the return of these regulations. These outlets could apply for new licenses. Commercial media content and advertising deemed a threat to public health (mental and physical) by independent and corroborated scientific research would be suspended and standards used in other countries would be applied. Media conglomerates that have formed monopolies, which would have been deemed illegal under old laws, are pursued and broken up. Percentage ownership in media outlets by one entity is enforced. New alternative independent community media are given equal access to airwaves. The role of public broadcasting is expanded.

It is not just in the media arena where the control of ideological influences is sought:

Mimetic laws are put into place for a trial period. They will establish liability for clearly demonstrated psychological trauma perpetrated by media, religions, cults or other individuals given access to public venues or airwaves. It would become a prosecutable offence for a religious group or individual to repeatedly and clearly traumatize a child or to radicalize a member or group to violence or other acts. Strict separation of Church and State would be re-asserted in the constitution and in education policies.

Here is what they have in mind for the economic sector:

Prosecution for economic crimes and a return to healthy markets: The US TRC would also be open to the hearing of Economic Crimes Against Humanity (ECAH) by rich elites and others. Forfeiture of gains as well as full disclosure of crimes would prevent prison terms that these individuals would normally be subject to under current US laws and the laws of other countries. Funds donated by supportive wealthy individuals (ie Warren Buffett) plus forfeiture funds from the TRC would be placed into a fund to prosecute other criminal elites and to support public institutions to enforce reinstated laws that previously protected the public interest. Criminal elites and their assets would be pursued on US soil and internationally, regardless of citizenship.

All of this should be eerily familiar to those with a basic understanding of the premises that authoritarian regimes around the world have been founded upon.



2 thoughts on “Putting “which people” first?

  1. Robert, can you share a link to the manifesto that you cite in this article? It might be good for people to see this thing first hand.

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