>> Sunday, March 09, 2008
We are not a democracy, nor have we ever been. We are currently more nearly a corporate oligarchy. Corporate money elects our presidents and selects our congressmen, our cabinet members, and our judges. Corporate money has bought the country.
Plato argued in his Republic that our representatives should be selected at random from the whole population, that from a fund of all qualified voters we simply draft up our representatives. Those whose names come up in the selection process would be required, by law, to serve. More poor and middle-class representatives would be chosen than those who are economically privileged. We would have proportionately as many members of minorities as exist in the whole population.
These representatives would sreve one term - perhaps four year During their term, they would receive an adequate salary and the jobs they leave would be protected by law. Such leaders would have values consistent with those of the people themselves; that people, not money, that justice, not profit, are the first considerations. They would understand that progress is realized when we feed and house and educate our citizens, that progress is realized when we preserve the earth.
Some observe that such a method of selecting our representatives bears with it the danger that some will not be qualified to represent us. But we have survived in a system for over two hundred years where most who represent us re either not qualified or are committed to interests antithetical to our own. It is easier to trust the schoolteacher or bulldozer operator over the professional politicians we have now.