We live in a time of multiple crises, some of which particularly the economic crisis will exacerbate a lot very soon. All of them are based on one or the other strand of mass madness. And like all mental disorders their discussion and analysis is a crucial part of the healing process. Unfortunately, our problems are entrenched in so many societal structures right now that we also have to reflect our goals. The following ten proposals are not a comprehensive agenda. They are just some bottleneck issues that must be addressed.
1 Open communication channels!
1.1. Break-up legacy media
Public broadcasters should be disbanded. All of their assets should be sold off or rented out (including frequencies and licenses). The public hand should neither cross finance any corporate media outlets. Government agencies must not advertise in any publication. They have websites and social media at their disposal. If government has any role in mainstream media at all, it is to enforce anti-trust provisions and the dissolution of speech monopolies.
1.2. Only users can block and filter other users on social media
Social media platforms above a certain threshold of users must provide an interface that allows post-response notifications across platforms. The US Congress must pass a law to force platforms of a given size to accommodate notifications of and links to post replies written on other platforms above a certain threshold of users. This is the only way a fair social-media market place can be established in which providers compete on the merits of technology, service and flavor. Users only can set filters and ban users to reduce spamming. Platforms can delete accounts and provide intelligent filter services for their users, but they cannot exclude individuals from online communication altogether. They can delete accounts to counter bots, but they cannot delete all accounts across platforms and take away people’s ability to speak.
1.3. Americanize speech laws
Speech finds its limits in
– privacy violations (including disregard for military and corporate secrets)
– indecent imagery (such as pornography)
People have a right to judge, like and dislike whatever they want and they have an unfettered right make their own conclusions about publicly available information. There should be no viewpoint discrimination.
2 Defund interest groups!
A good many of so-called Non-Government Organizations are government-funded. Through foreign aid, intransparent “projects” and state-run slush funds like ‘Demokratie leben’, ‘All-Russian People’s Front’ or ‘Belaya Rus’ the money circles from “charity” to “charity.” Government funding must go into transparent action only. The state should not act through third parties. Organizations that raise donations should be banned from giving money to other organizations that live from donations.
3 Whittle down the deep state-run!
As the Afghanistan war showed a substantial portion of military and intelligence agencies are dysfunctional. They were not only incapable of teaching Afghan forces how to fight and what to fight for, but also unwilling to report back to decision makers and the wider public, the sovereign, that the war does nothing but fill the pockets of NGOs. While Westerners believe “nation building” failed, something was built, but unfortunately it is best represented by the George Floyd mural, the Kabul university gender studies program and the bank accounts of the so-called “charities.”
Meanwhile military and intelligence services are replacing meritocracy with affirmative action and ideology in their own ranks. Those forces who seek to upend our security and disrupt our defense must be purged before they purge us. And they are in the process of removing citizens from access to arms and from positions inside the forces, with Q-Anon allegations or vaccine mandates. Everybody who is a citizen and not just a subject is treated like a potential risk that must be eliminated. We need forces and a secret services who are single-minded on actual defense.
A clear focus is of paramount importance at inland secret services. They are not supposed to spy on their own citizens (who are not active on behalf of foreign powers). The actual task of secret services are:
– foil attacks
– gather information on hostile powers
– detect and end espionage from hostile powers
Any other activity should be stopped. If more heterodox activities follow, a parliamentary disciplinary committee has to investigate the matter and punish the officials who solicited them.
4 Formation of a citizenship and a minimal social contract
The right of the citizen not to be surveilled and controlled is essential to avoid a totalitarian dictatorship. While secret services must look into the actions of people who seek to set bombs or steal vital military information, the citizen must be protected. There must be a clear distinction between the rights of a citizen and the rights of a guest (who might act on behalf of a foreign power). Likewise our entire legal system serves the purpose of forfeiting arbitrary rule. It is designed as a shield of the citizen against the powerful. It is not supposed to be DDOSed by floods of wannabe immigrants. Neither is its purpose to rework laws from the court benches.
The citizenry has to reassure what we must share. We must share a minimal consensus on how we govern ourselves. Our rights and institutions serve the purpose of protecting us from repercussions while we as individuals can organize majorities in our interests. This is the bottleneck. Whatever else is important to you, you may organize a majority for it, but first make sure that you and others remain able to organize majorities.
5 Delimit the boundary of the government!
Unlike private citizens state entities are bound to limitations in order for them not to accumulate tyrannical power. But what if the king just rents the torture chamber or merely buys torturing services? American law provides that any entity paid by the government must be limited by the same constitutional restrictions as the government itself. This should be the norm across all the Western world. Moreover, the state should act as little as possible through third parties and thus remain accountable and transparent. Merely calling some group ‘independent’ does not make it so.
The state should not act as an arbiter who decides what interest groups get advanced and which ones are set back, who are the “good” activists and who are the “bad” lobbyists. Therefore we must remove tax-exempted status or tax-privileges for groups with a certain number of employees or with an income above a certain threshold. The playing field must be leveled.
6 Make government accountable!
Elections are a human resources procedure. The sovereign chooses representatives who are going to work for them for a term. Like a business owner the voter does not have a real interest in a candidate’s affiliations and group memberships. He needs a skillful person capable of carrying out certain tasks in his job assignment. Most of the talk in the media is not to enlighten the public, but to obfuscate this basic reality. Irrelevant quotes, sightings with an “unperson” and group memberships are talking points that allow powerful circles to exclude competition. Candidates are supposed to be shunned on those grounds. This is possible because power elites rely on the uninformed voters. And there are a lot of tricks to usher exactly that electorate to the voting booths: multiple language ballots for people who don’t even know what the candidates said, party names and initials on the ballots to ensure that people don’t have to remember the names of the people they hire, lowering voting age, expanding election days to long periods to “harvest” the senile elderly and the utterly disinterested, printing images of the candidates on the ballots (Russia) for voters who remember neither names nor party names … So my rabble rousing proposal would be: Nothing but public offices and the names of the candidates on the ballots. Every position is voted independently from other election choices. Not taking part in the human resource procedure for this or that decision should not be seen as a shame. Voting should be left to the people who care about the results and being voted by 25 people who care grants more legitimacy than being voted by 25,000 who don’t care. We must learn humility.
Public offices are seats in the parliament or local mayors, of course, but it is worthwhile to rethink what powerful position in your community in your country could become an electable office: police district chiefs, leading judges, leading attorneys (attorney general) and others. Some of the most important positions that are not yet directly electable are the ministers. Maybe we can grant parliament the right to form and disband ministries, but reserve the right to elect their leaders directly.
Constitutional judges (supreme courts) are bound to interpret whether some government actions violates the letter of the constitution. They are not supposed to read ambitions in writings the writers of which most certainly did not mean to write (abortion, gay marriage, public broadcasting funding, climate targets …).
The hierarchies of government, from local to national, must be separated. In order to stop the upstream transfer of power all levels need to finance their ambitions and tax their residence on their own. The national tax collection office holds in confidentiality the relevant data on individual and corporate income and (maybe) their property (balance sheets), but communities, counties, states and nations should each be able to decide what taxes they want to raise on what basis. The tax collection office should carry out the taxation as a service and invoices the parliaments in question.
7 Term limits
Power is networking and absolute power corrupts absolutely. For a system to corrupt it needs little more than people knowing each other, become chummy over time and eventually trade favors. This can only be helped when positions are held for short periods of time only. For a leadership position in the executive branch two terms should suffice. Each parliamentarian should not remain longer than three terms in one parliament. A term should not exceed five years.
8 Government should not finance political parties!
While the left complains about ‘campaign finances’ and how expensive elections are and how money talks, they usually mean to say that they want the German system. Election campaigns in Germany are largely message-free portrait photo posters and a few TV commercials in between. And the reason is the learned helplessness. How to collect money from supporters, how to organize money raising events, how to organize PACs to support promising candidates, those are all skill that have not been learned. Finding no organizational structures and cultural support outsiders have a hard time to make it into parliament. That is because those who are already in power hand taxpayer-money to each other based on the number of seats established parties had won in previous elections. An entire system of party offices have emerged and the height of democratic intuition in Germany is to demand a ‘separation of party office and public office’ (German: Trennung von Amt und Mandat) because having both is just too much power at once. The English speakers among you will probably scratch their heads right now: ‘What the heck are party offices? What are they doing?’ And the answer is: ‘Receive tax-payer money. That’s what they are doing.’
Politicians must be required to raise funds on their own. Their salaries should also be linked to the income average of the residents in their constituency. There should be no extra payments except for the most essential expenses an MP can be expected to have to serve his duties.
9 Subsidies should be limited to military purposes only!
Subsidies are a distortion of the market, one company gets funds that a competitor does not get, one product is privileged over another. The reason why the government tweaks and twists the market in the fashion from time to time is because it must protect the most strategic, bottleneck resources and facilities like energy, ports and weaponry. Everything else is economic planning by incompetent bureaucrats and destined for failure. We must watch all the stated ambitions with more scrutiny.
10 Supranational government bodies must be cut back!
As a rule of thumb power must be controlled the most the more people an institution governs. Unfortunately, we see the opposite. NATO, European Union, Council of Europe and the various bodies of the United Nations have amassed unprecedented powers. They should shed responsibilities while opening some of their positions to elections. The European Union is a special case because the corruption as reached a level that led to a complete debasement of the ruling bureaucrats. Its narrative is that if you do not support everything they do and every of their organizational arrangements, you risk war. It makes every citizen a potential threat of life as such. The narrative also includes that before the European Union, its nations were fighting each other. The EU was founded in 1992, but don’t let that get into the way of a dangerous end-times cult. Before us there was darkness, with us there is light.
Unlike the other organizations who can be reformed, the European Union has reached a level of derangement that can only be helped with its disbandment and its replacement with a more light-weight form of cooperation.