August 1, 2011

Democracy Condemns the Elites


Although the most important thing is always affirmation, the democracy for which we fight, on the negative side anti-elitism is also a key part of the movement philosophy and mindset. Elitism is a simple, unitary form of evil which encompasses the entire array of kleptocracy’s crimes. Every problem humanity faces, without exception, is either directly caused by these criminals or made far worse by their crimes. Elitism has proven that it’s a totalitarian attitude which can never compromise except as a temporary tactical measure. It will never stop assaulting anyone and everyone for as long as it continues to exist. So its complete eradication, meaning the complete abolition of any political or economic basis for its action, must be a primary movement goal. This is another reason positive democracy is the only tenable option left for humanity, in addition to its affirmative reasons.
An elite is anyone who thinks that anyone is entitled to more than his fair cooperative share of political power and economic wealth. Political sovereignty resides only with the people and can never be legitimately alienated. Therefore, at the most basic philosophical level participatory council democracy, a dedicated space with equal opportunity for full participation by any citizen, with no coercive hierarchy or State apparatus, is the only legitimate form of government.
But political elitism wants a handful of persons to destroy this participatory space, set up a hierarchy, monopolize power and abscond up this illegitimate hierarchy with it, setting up a coercive State to preserve and aggrandize it. This is political tyranny, whether the system be an overt dictatorship or representative pseudo-democracy. The difference between conventional totalitarianism and “inverted totalitarianism” (Wolin) is only formal and quantitative, not a difference in essence. In both cases our sovereign (a synonym for the political manifestation of the human) political right has been usurped. The ancient Greeks already knew this to be the essence of tyranny.
Economic sovereignty is the right of the people who do real work to dispose of land and resources, manage and control production, and decide upon the right distribution. Economic democracy is the social form which enshrines this sovereignty. Worker councils and/or the political citizen councils, with equal opportunity for full participation by all workers, make all the decisions within the parameters that all who work are entitled to a fair share which provides enough for decent material comfort, while those who don’t work are entitled to nothing.
But economic elitism wants a handful of unproductive parasites – “property owners”, “capitalists”, “employers”* – to destroy this just management and distribution, monopolize and hoard the means of production, set up a coercive hierarchy, manage the economy in such a way as to generate artificial scarcity, want, pain, and fear, require the productive people to get “jobs” and scrounge for “money”, do all this in such a way as to accelerate their continued theft of an ever-greater bulk of the production and social wealth, and set up a coercive State to preserve and aggrandize this tyranny of robbery. Again, this is the same tyranny whether its economic form be capitalism/corporatism (the State is the thug of private rentiers) or centralized communism (the State is itself the monopoly capitalist/corporation), and whether the State’s form be overt dictatorship or representative government. In both cases our economic sovereignty, as core a human right as can be conceived (food sovereignty is the ultimate example, but in essence the same as the economic sovereignty which must prevail in all sectors), has been usurped.
[*By employers I’m referring to the big corporations which control and drive the whole employer-employee dynamic. I’m not attacking small businessmen who are forced into this dynamic, and who if they understand their interest would like to see it abolished. Of course, some small employers are petty exploiters who dream of being big time gangsters themselves. They’re just filth.]
An elite is by definition a robber and a parasite, as well as a classical usurping tyrant. For the Greeks the worst part of tyranny wasn’t the actual domination, though that’s a crime as well, but that the tyrant destroyed the political space where citizens had the right to see one another, speak and hear one another speak, to participate and politically strive as peers, where all this had real meaning. The West understood this from early on. It took Western political philosophy longer to develop the same principle for the worker, but by the 19th century it was clear – working people have the human right to commune with their labor, to feel it as an extension of their humanity, and then to fully participate, to see and be seen, to hear and be heard, in deciding upon production and distribution.
Political and economic elites want to wipe all this from the face of the earth. They want to destroy political and economic sovereignty and democracy. Therefore they want to eviscerate humanity itself, to reduce us to the level of hominid slaves without words, without actions, without history, without past or future, without a hope or a chance.
Elites are alien to us. As their contempt for citizenship has proven, they’re not citizens, while their assault on all that makes us human proves that they themselves aren’t human. Their main political move has been a form of secession from the country and from all politics. They want total absolution from all responsibility or accountability to laws or capitalist risk. They want government and market to have zero power over them at all. But they want to maintain the government as nothing but their hired thug and looter and bagman and to make good on any losses they’d ever otherwise sustain, and to maintain the market as their shooting gallery and plunder zone. They want to steal all land and real assets and maintain tyrannical government as security guard over this vile hoard. Politics they want to exist only in a bogus kabuki form, but the essence of politics, citizen participation, is to be wiped out. Civil society is to be destroyed completely. This is the secession of the elites.
While governments will continue to exist as thug and bagman, rule will really be exercised through the dictatorship of corporations, administered by unaccountable, undemocratic globalization cadres. We see the anti-sovereign poison pill in the Constitution – Article 6, the provision that treaties shall be “the law of the land”. Did the framers contemplate the federal government signing away the people’s sovereignty through treaties with stateless international cabals? As an end run around the entire Constitution itself? Given how they conscientiously excluded corporations from the Constitution completely (a few delegates wanted to enshrine them, but this was rejected; so the question was asked), probably not. At any rate, this is fundamentally anti-constitutional, at a level far more elemental than any written constitution. Corporations and globalization are anti-sovereign. The secession of the elites is anti-American (and anti-every country) and anti-human.
(Corporations themselves are explicitly alien to both the community and the country. It’s complete nonsense to use a term like “American corporation”. What does such a term mean? The corporation cares for nothing but profits. It’s legally adjured to care about nothing but profits. So what additional information is conveyed by calling it “American” or any other country? No real information, only political fraud.
The same is true of all elites in all contexts.)
The elites have done all they can to block our pursuit of happiness, to destroy all our dreams, to wipe out our ability to even imagine a future. They’re trying to enclose the entire earth, enclose us within an ever-shrinking prison cell of debt constraints and literal constraints on our ability to see and hear, to move, to eat, to breathe. Will we respond to this vicious and total assault? The elites are history’s worst criminals. Shall their crimes beat us down forever, or shall we conjure an ever-greater determination to fight back and destroy them who would destroy us? The enemy of humanity is clearly defined before us, stark in all its ugliness and brutality. Its crimes are manifest, and we know its goal. We know what our goal must be.


  1. Great. Agreed. The transition=? I like your idea of organizing farmer’s markets, barter networks, and other groups as a way of ‘being there’ to fill the vacuum being left by government, especially at the state & local levels.

    You paint a dire picture, but you also elsewhere think that the coming crash/collapse of the economic system will be the current system’s moment of vulnerability.
    Do you see any concerted, conscious effort by the “system” to prepare for the upcoming chaos, any strategy for preventing the spontaneous (and planned) rise of localism and citizen movements?

    I really feel that mass entertainment, TV, and the Internet is a huge impediment. A small minority use the Internet to organize, for for the majority, it is part of the 100%, 24/7 web of lies, propaganda, and drug-like entertainment. I really hope the network crashes when everything else does.

    Comment by Publius — August 1, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  2. The problem for allegedly “market-based” elites is that the key to market power is PURCHASING power. Consumers can take back their power as citizens by be banding together, and they can do so through non-profit corporations that act like credit unions to accumulate purchasing power that benefits stockholders.

    We’ve discussed this before, and I remain convinced there’s something there. I’ve recently learned that local governments in the SF Bay Area essentially do this to get better rates on insurance, etc.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — August 1, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

    • Ideas like that, whether they be transitional or examples of using the enemy’s weapons against him, seem to me to be similar to what I just wrote about this morning, quasi-democratic transitional frameworks within capitalism like co-production.

      Our idea of using the corporate form (with the citizen, farmer, and/or worker membership as the “stakeholders”) to organize democratic activism is in the same vein, and I agree that in theory it has potential.

      If bank goons can invade people’s property with legal impunity because they’re shielded by the corporate form, then why can’t organized squatters do the same thing? Of course the answer is that it’s not the corporate form in itself which is important, but the political perception of it. We no longer have any rule of law, but only a political shooting gallery.

      (I recall this post


      which was inspired in part by a discussion we had on this subject.)

      But while the corporate form means nothing in itself, maybe using it can help cloud the politics and make it more difficult for the enemy to engage in direct assaults and repressions. The forms of legality, however bogus, are still there for the manipulation.

      Comment by Russ — August 2, 2011 @ 5:17 am

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