Original Meaning of Democracy: Occupy Capacities

Categories: Open Mic

The fundamental problem with our democracy is not that it is polluted or corrupted by ‘money’ and ‘corporate’ interest. From concept to the concrete realities that have subordinated the well-fare of the majority (99%) to the bottom line of corporations, our democracy has been functioning according to its original design.

Our democracy was designed to promote, protect and preserve the interest of private property, especially as this multifaceted task pertains to 1% appropriating the social production of wealth. The point here is that there is no ‘fix’ to our current democracy. What needs fixing is the participation of the 99% in the production, distribution and reproduction in our society and of social wealth.

Some currents of political science refer to our democracy as a ‘technocracy’. This vantage point has emerged over the years because politicians from across the political spectrum have fine tuned their function as ‘technical experts’ for corporate interest. This means that ‘elected’ technical experts have mastered the craft of state and decision making by privileging private property. They have engineered a loophole in the social validity afforded democracy as a concept based on ‘majority rule’ by giving corporations ‘person’ status. (Amendment XIV 1965).

Through the legislative and judicial process (1907-2010) these extremely wealthy corporate ‘persons’ and their ‘captains of industry’ (e.g.Koch Brothers) have been sanctioned to join forces with the ‘technical experts’ that we elect for them. With the ‘Citizen United’ ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the concept of ‘majority rule’ of its last pretense. Since this was a pretense to begin with, the only thing that has changed is the degree to which “We the people” -the 99% – are coming to terms or not with the bareknuckle assertion of public power by the private interest of the 1%.

This post is an overall response to several points that have been raised in reply to the “We The People Initiative” that I have begun in discussion forums on several Occupy.org sites, blogs and bulletin boards across the country. You can find the proposal on this site by searching either my username ‘mocracy’ or the subject heading of the original post “We The People Initiative”. The main point or take-away is that viewed (or read) from the vantage point above, the ‘We the People Initiative’ is NOT an attempt to reform or even to transform our government, the current political process or the constitution of the United States of America.

The “We the People Initiative’ whatever its short-comings is my hope and desire to transform and to reform the 99% of the people who are marching, occupying and protesting in and with commodities produced by the mode and means of production our government, the current political process and the constitution was designed to promote, protect and preserve. What I advocate as best I can is the presumption of the original meaning of ‘democracy’ – the capacity to do things, not majority rule. I understand the Occupy movement across the world but especially in the United States as the ripening of 99%’s capacity to do big things. Maybe the “We The People Initiative” is not big enough but any effort or movement that attempts or achieves less is too little.

Princeton professor Josiah Ober authored a paper titled “The original meaning of “democracy”:
Capacity to do things, not majority rule.”


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