Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

A model to consider

As many observers remark, we should do as the Icelanders have done. But of course the media will organize droves of conservatives to oppose the idea: Ironically, although they so often accuse liberals of “elitism,” it is they who believe in elites and think “ordinary” people aren’t qualified to decide anything and must therefore defer to “experts.”

Icelanders draft a constitution

Icelanders draft a constitution.
[ Image Source ]

Not being convinced that the elites and “experts” are actually smarter than you and I, or better suited by character, temperament or background to choose the course of our country, I tend to grow impatient when — as often occurs in political chat — one of these crypto-elitists tells me to remember my “station in life”; in essence, to sit down and shut up.

We “ordinary” folk, of course, do not now have access to all the information available to the elites, but that is not hard to change — nor do I believe that the information they have is necessarily more reliable than ours. And what we lack in formally approved “expertise” is more than compensated by the fact that most of us lack the hidden pecuniary agendas that characterize an elite that became what it is precisely because of its moral vacuity.

Fundamental change is coming to America soon: This becomes more apparent by the second. What is not clear is the direction that change will take. If left to the ruling elite, it is likely to lead to more suppression, more oppression, more fiscal debauchery and less freedom and social mobility. For this reason, I think we must cease to be passive political “consumers” choosing between false alternatives offered by the powerful, and begin aggressive agitation for a society in which everyone has a voice and no corporate cabal can monopolize power or control the direction of our national discussion.

A good practical beginning: Get rid of television as a “news” source, clear our heads of the mental fog churned out by the mass media, force through a constitutional amendment altering the fundamental corporate charter that requires corporations to do whatever it takes to maximize shareholder returns and establishes that corporations as fictional entities do not hold personhood or rights of citizenship, and begin the attrition of corrupt elites by demanding public financing of elections.

Then maybe we can begin to discuss our own constitutional convention.

Originally published as a review of a boston.com article on Iceland’s constitutional overhaul.

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