Economic inequality is a prime catalyst for societal change. Historians have called the change “revolutions” and all of them have been violent with the ruling aristocracy losing their heads and, eventually, the winning commoners gaining an itty-bitty bit of the “good life”, such as generally improved living conditions; perceived “freedoms” like the right to vote; and, a less oppressive government.
Still, in each case, the cost of improvement for the common people came at a horrific price, with many enduring terrible torture, multitudes losing their lives, and nearly all losing what little they owned.
But, things did improve for the common people.
And, each time the aristocracy, the handmaidens of the .001% ultra-wealthy, returned to wealth and political power, too.
Most of the .001%, the ultra-wealthy never were at risk. They were and are the people who finance both sides of revolutions and wars. Consider World War II as a case in point when ultra-wealthy America bankers shackled the democratic Weimar Republic with impossible debt while funding the nascent Nazi Party and Adolph Hitler.
Today, with no signs that the ruling U.S. aristocracy and the ultra-wealthy .001% are willing to throw a few bones to present day commoners, the next revolution is a given. It’s only the “when” part that is unknown.
As for the how, well, I’m hopeful we will avoid the violence this time.
Perhaps we will manage to convince the aristocracy and the ultra-wealthy .001% to permit a few “clean break reforms”.
One could be changing our election system to be more representative of the common people. For instance, choosing some of our politicos through random selection rather than our current corrupt election process is a solution proposed by Brett Hennig and others.
The key question is, would the people chosen via some form of lottery do to a better job representing the common people than the currently seated politicos?
My first response is: YES! It is universally acknowledged (except for the Republican dominated Supreme Court) that our government is not only corrupted by unlimited corporate money, but also systemically flawed by a duopoly of gerrymandering political parties, neither of which even remotely represents the best interests of “every day people”.
There is no way out under the current election system. After all, does anyone really believe the currently elected politicos will suddenly, magically, begin to represent the common good?
No, some “clean break reform” is the only way to create a representative government.
Here is one idea that might be the catalyst (or shock) that will spark our next, hopefully, nonviolent revolution:
The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy - Brett Hennig (PhD in astrophysics)
Our politics is broken, but it can be fixed. A real democracy is not only possible – it is an urgent necessity.
Provocative, succinct and inspiring, "The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy" combines insights from the history of democracy with a critical understanding of the information revolution to explain how we can fix democracy by eliminating politicians and replacing them with a representative network of everyday citizens.
The wealth of evidence from the many recent citizens’ assemblies shows that groups of randomly selected, ordinary people can and do make balanced, informed and trusted decisions. These assemblies are legitimate, accountable, competent and, above all, convincing demonstrations that we can govern ourselves.