The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thoughts on Liberty: Youth Saving Democracy From Crisis

Thoughts on Liberty: Youth Saving Democracy From Crisis By Tim Krenz March 26, 2013 Copyright 2013 (c) The Cepia Club LLC [Author's Note: Although titled as to direct the young to political awareness and activism, I mean, first, to direct this missive to the older generations, specifically, those who can mentor, influence, or lead younger people into assuming the responsibilities of citizenship and enterprise. TJK]. In the 1970s, well-financed researchers and institutions declared a coming crisis in democracy and capitalism. Specific in areas of the resource limits and population growth, the “doomsayers” believed that humanity would hit a breaking point between desires and availability, with disastrous consequences. According to the mostly partial disclosure of the various reports, the breaking point would mean stagnant economic growth per capita. It eventually ends in declining living standards of those living the “Western model” of politics and economics (i.e. Political-Economy). These 30- to 40-year-old forecasts of the future—a future at which we might now have arrived—implied that in the end of the era of unrestricted economic satisfaction, Western leaders could not satisfy everyone's desires for unlimited consumption; that the developing world would demand or keep an increasing amount of their economic wealth, as their due right for modernization; and result in the decline of the Western model of liberal markets under liberal government, a process of social and cultural disintegration that will only accelerate in this zero-sum trade-off. The inferred message of the limited growth/high population problem settles into condemning people as individuals and the Western system of democratic self-government by those same individuals. The theories of “democracy in crisis” and the “limits to growth,” assert that governing systems based on constitutions, equality before the law, voter choice, and the personal consent to live under any government, cannot adequately form leadership among themselves to create policies that lessen the threats of resource limits and population changes. And, furthermore, that individual choices and creativity possess neither the inspiration or hard-work to overcome, solve, or surpass those challenges of leadership and development that now begin to surface as world-wide concerns. In short, world political and business leaders in the 1970s thought that average, normal people were too stupid to understand the consequences of their decisions, and too incompetent to make choices to change their habits and expectations. We can have no surprise at the general mess, and the crises now upon us, brought by the arrogance and errors of the political and business leadership since the 1970s. On the other hand, average, normal working people and their history of a lack of political-economic awareness and personal action, ultimately holds the fault in the crisis of stagnation and disaster looming upon us—all the problems of debt, war, economic waste and cultural pollution (by “pollution” I mean the substitution of the moral virtues of civilization by the vices of materialism). Thus, since normal people more or less caused the various crises in a rather indirect way, the people-at-large inevitably must own the recovery of what slowly slips from the grasp of time: The survival of democracy and representative republics with the people's consent, and the economic benefits of investments through the market of free choice. Only a direct action by voters will accomplish the goal of saving democracy from crisis. All the action must have the common ends, vastly important to the continuation of democracy: First, The survival of constitutions that bestow the concept of sovereignty, or rather the ownership, of the government upon those who consent freely to live under the rules they set up as peers. Second, the equality of all before and under the law, with no privileges of distinction other than common citizenship in a government of their choice. Third, the shared burdens of the costs and the benefits of government between all citizens without regard to wealth (or lack of it), gender, race, beliefs, any contrived prejudice, or other “special” advantages conferred by fraud, theft, force, or coercion. Fourth, the balance of interests between all factions, to ensure that any so-called or declared minority remains vested in a peaceful society, and remains at all times loyal to the spirit of a constitution even in opposition to the policies of majorities. To transcend from the crisis predictions of forty years ago, and toward more functional, balanced, viable, and equitable politics and business forty years into the future, America, and every state within it, must overcome the greatest challenge we face within the larger problems, that of challenging young people, between 16 and 33 years old, to learn and participate effectively and vigorously in the political-economy. They can lead in the fields of current and future politics and business by taking opportunities for education and improvement, and by voting with opinions based on facts, facts measured by learning from mistakes. In the present, America's democracy by consent and the markets of free choice find themselves in a grinding lock with a government bought by those who can afford it, and a business corporate culture that has little problem stealing by fraud or force the privileges and resources that it accumulates. What does this mean? It might mean that with better education available to those who can pay for it, combined with rather suspicious concentrations of capital, those with intellect and wealth may not suffer in their standards of consumption from a resource/population dilemma. This “upper wealth”class could even end up owning governments that retain only a mere pretension to democracy. Put another way, the majority, the normal working people, get fewer of the benefits and assume most of the risk, all for the benefit of the “self-defined” superior class. We can expect this result with as much inevitability of the sunrise or the cycles of the moon. History witnesses many examples of this crisis and the risks just described. Yet democracy and markets with much existing openness does insulate normal working people in the United States from suffering too many of the the conflict's ill effects of the trend. It has done so since declaring independence in 1776. Now, though, the crisis of limited growth per capita and democracy's challenges to pay bills and support itself puts the age of time back to a place where society, modern civilization itself, cannot go if it hopes to maintain the limited standards of personal political consent and individual market choices. Lose this battle to keep democracy, and humanity might never get back the liberty individuals have claimed and for which it has fought for thousands of years to achieve. Politics has mostly become the hobby of the rich or the idle, or some combination. The rich can afford to play the game, and the idle grew older and wiser to realize its importance to the future of their children and succeeding generations. Or, as stated, some of the interest and activism in politics combines both motivations. Other than a significant presidential election, how often do young, poor, or busy individuals participate at levels of elections that can undermine the edifice of governments that can use force or fraud to deprive them of their chief interest in Liberty. For by the concept of Liberty, we mean their consent for a government over them and the fully-informed consumption choices they can make on their own. To repeat, to lose this looming crisis in democracy, then humanity may lose self-government for centuries or forever. So, if not self-evident, why do the young with a sound education and the ability to cast informed votes prove critical in turning this trend around? How can they save all Liberty, and save democracy from crisis? Youth will always do as youth witnesses others doing, especially role models. The ages have as many cliches attached to young, and as many euphemism, as the number of generations on record. Yet, the older generations, the wiser ones involved by their inner need to improve things before they pass, cannot deliver any future to the young. The young really—absolutely—must earn and own their future for themselves. They have to live it, but first they must create their future by what they learn now and by exercising the missing and latent power that youth throughout recorded time has let slip or shed from their hands. Again, the major problems we face with limited resources on the planet and the crest of a population bubble of growth require thought and action to overcome, and humanity can do it successfully. As the challenge to the young, the educated and employed, or simply the disconnected or working poor, must create the solutions, lead the industries, build the solutions, and lead their families into, first, smart choices about their investments and consumption. Second, the young must battle within and without themselves for the hard-won consent for all manner of policies to implement the changes that will define the future. In creativity and citizenship, we can save democracy and do the right things to preserve the peaceful distribution of resources by market choices. The young, particularly now in the ages 16 to 33, must both become providers and responsible stewards, for them as individuals and for their communities of interests. Since this only starts the conversation(s), the specifics and details—too large to list—will all derive from society's appeal to young people, i.e. their political-economic awareness and their activism. At that point, democracy in the future can stay a reality and blessing for everyone. As for the challenge to the older generations, mentor your charges and your proteges to do whatever they can to seek some form of improving education and to exceed any shortness in their expectations. Don't let up on it or on them, for the old will only suffer disillusionment if the crisis cannot get solved, and the youth can then rightly say that their elders lied and then betrayed them. For a first step, on April 2, 2013, the state of Wisconsin has non-partisan spring elections. Use that as the introduction to the awareness and leadership of the young. Explain, guide and then encourage the eligible voters to overcome the nuances of democracy: how to register, where to go, how to evaluate candidates, the differences in the offices open for election, and how the system of political districts and responsibilities of offices works. DON'T rely on schools or other people to have provided guidance already, for that assumption has already perhaps misguided or deluded the young. Elders!!! Do this for your children and your grandchildren. Voting in a presidential election has flashes of a fashionable thing to do. The participation in the “off-beat” elections, even municipal elections, etc., can set a standard for changing or saving democracy where it really counts: Next door to your home. The crusade to mentor and enthuse the young about citizenship and leadership can never end. To any young people possibly reading this essay, seize the day, and conquer your future!!