Philocracy p. 1
Leap 4 Love
This Web address is www.korky.ca (formerly at www.99url.com/korky). Revised 2006 January 20.
Part 4: Philocracy
Articles below on this page:
1. Leap 4 is Philocracy. 2. Spoiler syndrome cured by the ranked ballot (with addenda). 3. Make your state democratic! (U.S.A.) 4. Where Leapism is practised or allowed.
5. What George W. Bush should do about the Middle East.
6. An unbiased view of religion.
7. Ekcheiria! Return peace to the Olympics by 2010!
8. Better presidential debates--use impersonators! (U.S.A.)
9. Socialize more! Being alone is pitiful, dangerous, and unnatural.
10. Democracy and eccentrics. (Formerly "More Philocracy".)
11. The wonderful inefficiency of coalition governments.
12. Debate or Else! --proposed television series. 13. Re-unifying Bharat, Pakistan, and Bangla Desh. 14.+ (See next page, "Part 4 continued". Click in upper left.) Article 1: Leap 4 is Philocracy Revised 2006 January 20. In the Hellenic language, "philos" is loving, "kratia" (cracy) is government. I define a philocracy as a government which rules by love and is loved by the people. That's an even higher standard than "democracy", with which it rhymes. That standard of Philocracy can apply to the governing of your family, company, club, political party, association, community, city, province, nation, and world. Traits of a Philocracy include equally and proportionally shared power, wealth, and other benefits, and equal leadership by females. Devices that would help to achieve Philocracy are proportional representation; ranked voting; binding referenda initiated by petition; quotas for female leadership; mandatory candidate debates; tax rebates for voting; universal voter registration; equal election campaign spending; separately elected cabinet members; and elected court jesters. Trap 4: Selfish Dominance The opposite of Philocracy is the trap of Selfish Dominance. That can include patriarchy, big-money rule, big-media distortion of elections, brain-washing, disproportional representation, plurality voting, duopoly, colonialism, war, forced poverty, slavery, quasi-slavery, serfdom, hierarchical corporations, hierarchical families, over-consumption, destruction of our environment, cut-throat competition, and other traits of dictatorship, authoritarianism, and pseudo-democracy.
Lies against Leap 4 "The USA and its allies are democratic and free." "Religion helps reduce evil." "War is unpleasant but necessary." "Reducing the size of government will help." "The poor are to blame." Neither the "left" or the "right" in today's politics are ideal. The Green Party is better. It says that it is neither left nor right, but forward. Nevertheless, it tries to incorporate the good of both of those (and other) philosophies. The alternative media is essential in informing the public of how they've been lied to for the benefit of those at the top. I consider this book to be part of the alternative media. Looked at objectively, the USA appears like a very sophisticated, slick, more successful version of the earlier Nazi government of Deutschland. An insightful, bold media is necessary to expose the true actions and motives of government.
"Life begins at conception." "Life begins at birth." The movement against abortion is wrong when it tries to force people into parenthood and punish them for sexual expression. Many of those who want to allow abortion are also wrong when they avoid sincere discussions of when life begins. Biologically we now know that a new individual does not "begin" at any particular time, after all. That was a religious fantasy that some "spirit" entered the process at some point. Scientifically, though, life is simply a continuum. "You" were once a fetus. Before that, "you" were a zygote (a newly fertilized egg). Before that, "you" were an egg and a sperm. Yes, "you" could be considered "you" even before you were united into one entity. You are merely chunks of your parents which can form a new person. So therefore, must we save the life of every egg and sperm? No other animal is that silly. We must now recognize the natural desires of the male and female to try to reproduce themselves and their natural, equal rights to refrain from doing so. After all, the main purpose of sex is love, not reproduction (see Lies against Leap 3 above). The true, underlying motives of the anti-abortionists are to deprive women of equality and to punish attempts at love. That's part of the patriarchal system which keeps our world selfish and violent. End of article "Leap 4 is Philocracy".
2. Spoiler syndrome cured by the ranked ballot Revised 2006 January 20. An earlier, much shorter version of this was published as a letter in People's Weekly World (www.pww.org), 2004 April 10, page 12.
This debate arises in many backward countries, such as Canada and the
USA. In the latter, the argument centres around the Nader Effect in 2000.
Ralph Nader is continually accused of "spoiling" the chances of the Democrats to beat Bush in the 2000 USA presidential election. The fear is arising again this year, 2004. Of course, few of those same people complain that Ross Perot "spoiled" the chances of Bush the First in 1992, which was somewhat the reverse circumstance. The independent Perot is accused of "electing" the Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992 by drawing votes from the elder George Bush, the Republican. Perot did so well because he got into the main television debates. He probably would have even won had he not withdrawn from the contest. He was on the upswing. JESSE VENTURA BROKE THE DUOPOLY (temporarily) In Minnesota, the Libertarian Jesse Ventura, he says himself, won the governorship only because he got into the main television debates there. The Democrats and the Republicans usually conspire to prevent any such thing.
Furthermore, in their defences, I believe that even Perot and Nader (www.votenader.org) themselves fail to emphasize the most important point. That point is that where there is a fair electoral system, allegations never arise such as the wasted vote syndrome, the spoiler syndrome, strategic voting, the lesser-of-two-evils dilemma, split vote debacles, marginalized third (sic) parties, etc. In a fair election system, gerrymandering doesn't work, negative ads are counter-productive, the voter turn-out is way up, and women and racial minorities get their fair share of power. RANK YOUR BALLOT "1", "2", "3", etc. A fair ballot for president would be a direct vote (no Electoral College) by ranked ballot. Each voter may number their choices: first, second, third, etc. On such a ranked ballot, a voter could mark, for instance, Nader as their first choice and anyone else as their second choice, etc. One way of counting that type of ballot is preferential voting, nick-named "instant run-off voting" or IRV. In an "instant run-off", after the count of the first choices, if no candidate receives a majority of them, the poll officials transfer some votes and count again. The first votes transferred are those with the last-place candidate as their first choice. If no one then has a majority, the next-to-last candidate's votes are transferred, and so on, until someone gets a majority. Another way of counting a ranked ballot is called Condorcet, after the French mathematician (www.electionmethods.org). The purpose of any ranked ballot method is to allow a voter to vote for someone like Nader, if they want, knowing that their vote will help elect their second choice if, considering all the vote results, Nader cannot win. Then the voter is confident that their vote was in no way "wasted". NADER COULD HAVE WON Even without a ranked ballot, I am convinced that Nader would have had (and might now have) a chance of actually winning the presidency if so many millions of voters hadn't been spooked by the spoiler syndrome and convinced by the media and by the Democrats that Nader didn't have a chance to win. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Jesse Ventura proved that a candidate in the main television debates can amass more than a third of the votes and beat the duopoly. Nader can do that, too, if he gets enough momentum to overcome the barriers the Democrats and Republicans have erected around the 2-party system. So-called progressives voting every 4 years for the traitorous Democrats does nothing to change the electoral system. Nader, if elected, would. So would a Libertarian or a Socialist, I think. A WINNING SCENARIO FOR NADER If you're not convinced that Nader was cheated in 2000, consider that under a fair system, he would have been considered a major candidate. He is extremely popular. The spoiler accusation is almost the ONLY bad thing any progressive ever says about him. Because Nader is so well liked and respected, the private pre-election polls would have shown a much higher support for Nader (because there would have been no spoiler syndrome).
Then Dubya and Gore would have had no excuse to exclude Nader from the television debates. They excluded him (with collusion from the media, including PBS and NPR, etc.) because they knew Nader would have beat them both in the minds of a great many viewers, especially the huge numbers of all-important "undecideds" and "independents". If you've ever heard Nader speak to a live crowd for more than a few minutes, you'll know what I mean. He is impressive, and would have won a lot more votes as a result of the debates, just as Perot did in 1992, even though Perot was seen as comparatively flaky. GORE "STOLE" MANY MORE VOTES FROM NADER THAN VICE VERSA Therefore, I think that it's just as true to say that Gore "stole" Nader's votes and "ruined" Nader's chance of winning, as much as the other way around. If there had been a debate with Gore and Nader and then a private poll asking, "If Gore and Nader were the only 2 candidates, who would you vote for?", Nader would have won, I think. In a fair system, Bush could not win with a minority of the votes merely because the anti-Bush vote was "split". That's because with a ranked ballot (as above), the mass of anti-Bush votes is no longer split. It becomes unified under one candidate as the votes are tabulated. That candidate can then defeat the initial plurality winner (even if Bush had gotten more votes than Gore, which of course he didn't). No candidate got a majority of the votes in either 1992 or 2000. Yet they are still allowed to "win". That's quite common with our undemocratic system. Not even if they had counted the uncounted votes would anyone have received a majority. Yet a minority-supported candidate still wins under our innumerate USA Constitution. Bush is not the first to "win" with fewer votes than another candidate. DEMOCRATS POINTING FINGERS Furthermore, there is another reason that neither Bush the First in 1992, nor Al Gore in 2000, nor their supporters, have a right to complain of losing. It's that is was their own fault. That's because none of them made any significant efforts to make the voting system fair. Before those elections, Bush Sr. (as Vice President and President) and Gore (as Vice President) could have commanded considerable support to try to amend the USA Constitution, or at least to make some progress on the state level. They tried not. Therefore, Bush Sr. and Gore were "hoist on their own petards" (Shakespeare, Hamlet, III iv).
Each of them, when they held those influential offices, should have tried to abolish the Electoral College and enact a ranked ballot. KUCINICH THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC DEMOCRAT Of those in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries, only Dennis Kucinich announced his support for such electoral reforms: www.kucinich.us/issues/campaignreform-irv.php, etc. I couldn't find any mention on John Kerry's Web publication, www.johnkerry.com or Al Sharpton's, http://sharpton2004.org. Kerry has not answered my 2004 April query. Neither Congress nor the states have ever significantly improved the process of electing the president, other than allowing more people to vote. Both the Republicans and the Democrats ignore electoral fairness. They just sit on their hands and gripe how they were "cheated" (or might be "cheated" next election). They're content to make Nader the villain because they cannot bear to give up their duopoly. Thus, they are content for this election and all future elections to be unfair and undemocratic. A REALLY PROGRESSIVE STRATEGY If John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, is smart, he'll negotiate with many anti-Bush factions outside his party to unite behind him this time--on one condition. That one condition would be that, once in office, his top priority shall be constitutional amendments for fair elections. That means championing ranked ballots, proportional representation, direct democracy, no Electoral College, open debates, campaign spending limits, universal registration, a constitutional convention, etc. They should include in that grand coalition many centrists, McCainites, Libertarians, theocrats, socialists, anarchists, independents, etc., as well as us Greens. With fair elections, small political parties like the Socialists and Christian theocratic parties, etc., will have a chance to nominate candidates and to grow--without having to bear the wrath of well-meaning but malstrategic duopolists accusing them of disunity. THEY FALL FOR IT EVERY TIME? Naive people in the USA have been whining for over a hundred years, "But this election is different! It is too crucial! This is an emergency! We can't bear the next 4 years if so-and-so wins! There really is a difference between the Republican and the Democrat this time! We'll worry about details like electoral reform later! You must vote for the lesser of 2 evils just this one more time!" I myself have been hearing that pathetic short-sighted refrain since the 1960s. No, this election is no different than any other in the last 50 years when the Bomb has put the continuance of our species in doubt. It's no more "crucial" this year! How long do they think we'll fall for that? When are we going to insist on electoral reform and to refuse to vote for anyone without their solid commitment for a totally revamped electoral system? WHO DESERVES YOUR VOTE?
The Democratic and Republican nominees, unless they push for enough electoral change, are too stupid and/or corrupt to do a good job as president. Unless they learn better, I'll vote Green (World: www.greens.org; AZ: www.azgp.org; BC: www.greenparty.bc.ca; Vancouver: www.vangreens.org) or for Nader (www.votenader.org).
I also respect people voting Libertarian or Socialist or for any other party or independent, as long as their candidate will, if elected, push hard for electoral reform. Advances in political science were adopted decades ago in numerous, more advanced countries in the world (www.fairvote.org). The USA hasn't had a federal constitutional convention since 1789.
Addendum to Article 1: 2004 October 26
"We're drowning in Lessers of 2 Evils"
I'd vote for (and campaign for) the Democratic Party nominee for president, John Kerry, if he'd back ranked ballots and pro-rep. Can you get him to do so? I can't. I've tried. Others have tried. No go. Unless we can get a commitment from him before the 2004 November 2 election, we will have the same exact problem 4 years from now. Until you hold your breath for a few seconds to remove those lead-weight shoes, you must keep paddling like mad forever to stay afloat. Don't say, "I can't hold my breath. I must keep breathing. So I haven't time to remove the lead-weight shoes this election. Maybe I will 4 years from now." USAmericans have been saying that for a couple of centuries and they're still wearing those shoes, which stand for our unfair electoral system. end of article "Spoiler syndrome cured by the ranked ballot (with addendum)." 2005 April 6 addendum: My Uncle Paul and Aunt Helen Stone told me a while ago how the ranked ballot doesn't completely cure the spoiler problem. That is true, but nevertheless it is a big improvement. End of article "Spoiler syndrome cured by the ranked ballot".
For more debate about the 2-party system, see Duke Cheston's 2010 article and comments:
3. Make your state democratic! (USA)
Most of these changes are for your state constitution: ELECTIONS and REFERENDA 1. Preferential ballot ("instant run-off") for all offices and questions. (Combine this with the other advances.) Thus, the voter may always rank their choices in order of preference. 2. Proportional representation ("pro-rep") for all legislatures, councils, boards, etc. Many forms of pro-rep exist. The more proportional they are, the better. Then the publicly-run primary elections will be unnecessary. 3. Tax rebate to each person for voting: 100 $. The funds would be raised from green taxes. Receive your check at the polls. 4. Conduct combined elections and referenda no more than once a year. No other voting, except in an emergency (as agreed by 3/4 of the political parties or by 3/4 of the state supreme court). (Includes federal, state, county, city voting, etc.) 5. Election day is a holiday. No work or business except for emergencies and for work related to the voting (transport, poll information in the media, etc.). 6. Move election day to the last Tuesday in September, both nationally and in each state. (November weather in cold states reduces the voter turn-out.) 7. No results announced until all polls closed. 8. All voting must be recorded on paper. The count of each ballot box must be supervised by representatives of at least 2 candidates (or their representatives) not of the same party--or of at least 2 parties. 9. For each office or multiple-choice referendum, voters may mark ballot for "None of the above." 10. Eliminate onerous and/or discriminatory procedures for potential or recognized candidates and parties. 11. Allow the "initiative": binding referenda initiated by public petition. INFORMED VOTERS 12. Government-run debate tournaments on live television for all offices and referendum questions. Candidates and referendum campaigners must debate or send substitute(s). Interrupters forfeit the match. Winners of each match voted on by the audience present, for city elections & referenda. For county-wide or state-wide votes, by random jury. Tournament results simply inform the voters, but do not direct them how to vote in the actual election. 13. Re-institute the "equal-time rule" on radio and television, including by cable and Internet. 14. Voter booklets include substantial statements and rebuttals from every candidate, party, and referendum committee. (To save paper, on the Internet for those who prefer.) 15. All information and ballots available in many languages. VOTER REGISTRATION
16. All citizens may vote. 17. Contract with the US Postal Service to register all eligible voters. (The "posties" could conduct the census, too. They know their routes. The public would welcome them.) ELECTED OFFICES
18. Create more state-wide offices, such as Ombuds, Environment Protector, Democracy Improver, Business Advocate, Labour Advocate, Child Advocate, Welfare Advocate, Conciliator-General, Physician-General, Auditor, and Court Jester. 19. Unicameral state legislature (like Nebraska). (That eliminates higher voting power in the state senate for the people who live in sparsely-populated areas.) 20. Recall election initiated by public petition. The official being challenged could be on the ballot to elect a replacement. GENERAL
21. Constitutional convention every 12 years or less. 22. Revision of the state constitution requires approval by 2/3 of the voters. 23. All these principles required at the local level of government, too. 24. Each state must demand that the federal government be made similarly democratic. 25. Each state supports the abolition of the federal Electoral College. Until then, allot the "electors" by "pro-rep" (as some states do already). End of article "Make your state democratic".
For more debate about the 2-party system, see Duke Cheston's 2010 article and comments:
4. Where Leapism is practised or allowed
Revised 2005 April 13.
A Philocratic country will practice all 4 Leaps by law or custom.
People sometimes think that Leapism is totally impossible, impractical, or illegal. Yet aspects of it exist and operate in many places today.
The modern states of the world are rapidly driving almost all aboriginal nations to extinction, using genocide, other war, brutal conversion, and insidious assimilation. Some communities persist, however, in the old traditions, many of which are very Leapist. (Some are not, of course.)
I read about the ancient cultures in National Geographic monthly journal and elsewhere, since I haven't travelled much to meet them.
None of these places listed below are perfectly Leapist---or perfectly practise even one Leap. Nevertheless, their relative achievements are great beacons of hope.
If you want to study more about them or visit them, you might find references to some in my sections "Other books" and "Other Web sites".
Geography in this book is often written Russian-style: from biggest area to smallest. To make that clearer, I thought of using greater-than signs, like this: "Canada> British Columbia> Vancouver> 360 Columbia Street> Room 110> Vancouver Co-operative Radio> Mailbox of Armenian Variety Show> Korky Day". That's similar in concept to Metric dating, which I use, too. Example: "2005 March 28, Monday, 19:15" (which in the old style is "Monday, 28 March, 2005, 7:15 p.m."). List of places for persistent or revived aspects of Leapism:
Places for Breast-right
Bharat> Kerala (a poor state in south-west Bharat=India). Kerala has been designated as the first Baby-friendly jurisdiction (nation, state, or province) by the UN's World Health Organisation. (See also Kerala below in Philocracy.)
The Philippines. Has the first Baby-friendly hospital designated by the World Health Organisation.
Papua-New Guinea. In this country, baby bottles and dummies (pacifiers)are available only with a physician's prescription. Since most people can't afford to see a physician (bad), breastfeeding rates are high (good). The only UN member country with such a law.
The Third World generally has more breastfeeding. However, the trend there is to imitate the First World and bottle-feed.
Racially non-Caucasian countries generally have less of a tradition of drinking the milk of other species.
See also topfree places under "Nude-peace" below.
Places for Joy-earned
Aboriginal communities in northern "Canada". A very few of those communities are "dry". That is, they are trying, by law, to abstain from "White people's poison", also known as firewater or alcoholic beverages.
USA counties (subdivisions of states). A few of them are legally "dry". Generally, people in them, unfortunately, simply go to a neighbouring county for alcohol, which is usually not very far.
USA. Home of large, innovative--but flawed--"self-help" movements, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. (See contact information: click on "Other Web sites", upper left.) However, to begin with, the country has some of the worst dropism in the world and an ineffective "anti-drug" movement. Also home of the "straight-edge" music culture, started by the band "Minor Threat".
Europe. Here they consume less sick food than in the USA. Also, anti-drug programmes are less punitive and better funded, and thus, often more successful.
USA> Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. Here are high proportions of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS", formerly calling themselves "Mormons"). That church prohibits alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and illegal drugs. On the negative side, the church doesn't do much against psychiatric drugs. Also, they strongly oppose Nude-peace and feminism, and they are wishy-washy on supporting Breast-love. Tiny splinter groups still practice polygamy, but never polyandry.
Islamic countries consume less alcohol and limit pornography. But the governments do it by dictatorial control, not by encouraging the better alternatives. Those governments generally are strongly against Nude-peace and Philocracy, and wishy-washy on Breast-right.
The Montreaux Clinic (formerly operating north of Canada> BC> Victoria). To cure eating disorders they successfully included love and compassion instead of heartless clinical therapies. Jealous and embarrassed government authorities closed it. Founder Peggy Claude-Pierre might re-open it somewhere. Read her book: click on "Other books", upper left.
USA> Maryland> Friendship Heights Village, (a suburb of 5 000 people northwest of USA> DC> Washington), banned smoking on public property and at places open to the public, even outdoors! Unfortunately, a judge then blocked enforcement. Other cities have smoke-free parks.
Places for Nude-peace
France> Cap D'Agde. A whole city of nudists on the Riviera.
Deutschland (=Germany). Public nudity is legal in many circumstances. It's common in many public parks.
Brasil, sub-Saharan Africa, Papua-New Guinea, Bharat (=India), Indonesia, The Philippines, etc. A few traditional aboriginal cultures in countries such as these, mostly in the tropics, have survived with their tradition of nudity or near nudity. Even more often, they have persisted with topfree: women as well as men with naked chests. A topfree culture tends to Breast-love more. Both topfree and Breast-love inhibit the culture (especially men) from fetishising women's breasts. Thus the breasts are more available to children. (See Part 1: Breast-right.)
Aboriginal cultures in North America. Nudity persists a little, especially in the sweatlodge and when swimming.
Northern Europe. The people of these old sauna cultures often still use them nude.
Nippon (=Japan) and other Oriental cultures still have some nude public baths, though sometimes sex-segregated.
Bharat (=India) tolerates public nudity sometimes, especially male members of the Jain sp?Digambara religion, and "holy" men of various religions. Many bathe nude or semi-nude in the "holy" Ganges River.
Europe. Especially in the north and in the southern resort areas, nudity and sex education tend to be tolerated more in recent years. Also in some of the "emerging" Eastern Bloc countries. Topfree is gaining solidly, too. (See Brasil, etc., above.)
Nude beaches, parks, and resorts. Mostly in the First World, these tiny pockets are reviving our common heritage. More of them are in northern Europe, Croatia, Hellena (=Greece), California, Florida, Goa (s.w. coast of Bharat), and the Caribbean. Most countries have at least one such place, though it is often little-known. Click in the upper left on the Naturist Society and on AANR in "Other Web sites", Part 3.
Traditional skinny-dipping spots. Outside of the established areas above, there are of course many more traditional, generally secluded "skinny-dipping" areas which are used by the locals but which often do not encourage tourism. See above Web sites.
USA> New York state. Canada> Ontario and British Columbia. Topfree is legal in public, by court rulings, but it is not practised much. In other parts of those countries, the authorities sometimes avoid prosecuting topfree females for fear of losing in court and thus setting a precedent.
USA> national parks and some other federal lands. Nudity can be legal in secluded areas if no one complains. Check first with the Naturist Society (see "Other Web-sites", upper left).
Halkomelem Nation> Musqueam> Ulksen Beach (=Canada> BC> Vancouver> Wreck Beach). This world famous, populous nude beach was designated "clothing optional" by the regional government. Though still technically illegal under Canadian law, there have been no prosecutions since 1970. Canada> Quebec. Some public areas in provincial parks are set asside as nude-optional. France. Religious headscarves, veils, and burkas banned in public schools. See my essay in Part 3: Nude-peace.
Places for Philocracy
Basque> Mondragon. The nation of Basque is claimed by Espana (=Spain). A great complex in this city comprises over 100 co-operative businesses and credit unions. It is an economic powerhouse of Europe.
Italia> Emilia Romagna, a region of northern Italia (includes the city of Bologna). Over 15 000 co-ops, creating 45% of the country's GDP. (Information from Italia> Bologna> University of Bologna> Faculty of Economics> Center for Co-operative Economics.)
Europe, Azania (=South Africa), New Zealand, Australia, some countries in South America, etc. Some of the best proportional systems for electing officials.
Israel. The Knesset (parliament) is elected by one of the most advanced forms of proportional representation ("pro-rep"). The Knesset well represents all the people who live within the borders claimed by the government, except the "occupied territories", where the Jews are allowed to vote, but not the non-Jewish "Palestinians", who are being fenced in and exterminated.
Kuwait and some other wealthy Arab states. Guaranteed annual income to citizens. However, about 80% of the Kuwaiti population is foreigners, such as guest workers, who do not qualify for it.
Canada, Cuba, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, some wealthy Arab states, etc. Some of the best systems of socialized medicine, though some are still too influenced by the big pharmaceutical and agricultural conglomerates. In some of the Arab states, however, much of the work-force is "foreigners", who can't vote and who might not qualify for the health care.
Bhutan. Traditionally matrilineal and tantric; women not inferior in sexual matters; villages share the care of children.
Nepal. Pockets of polyandry in northern villages of ethnic Tibetans.
Bharat> state of Kerala (in south-west Bharat=India). Though one of the poorest states in Bharat, it is one of the most educated and socialistic. A 1988 May article in National Geographic (by Peter Miller, p. 592) says the state is by far the most literate, spending 40% of its budget on schools. They have a birth rate a third lower, infant mortality 2/3 less, and life expectancy 14 years longer than Bharat overall. And they are not afraid to vote in a communist government once in a while. The former caste Nair was matrilineal. (See also Kerala above in Breast-right.)
Helvetia (=Switzerland). The most extensive use of the "ballot initiative": binding public referenda initiated by public petitions. Furthermore, they use town meetings, as in New England (see below). Also, the federal government has only the authority granted to it voluntarily by the canons (local governments). The "power" flows from the "grassroots" upward. Just about everywhere else in the world, the rule is "from the top down". No wars with other countries for hundreds of years.
USA> New England states. Some small towns still retain the "town meeting" system of government. The laws are made by all the citizens assembled. There are no elected representatives making laws for the town.
USA> Massachusetts> Cambridge, and about 6 other USA cities. Cambridge is the largest USA city with a proportional or semi-proportional system for electing civic representatives.
USA> California, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, and other western USA states. They use the "initiative, referendum, and recall" (see Helvetia, above). These are not practised nearly as well as they should be, but it's better than not trying at all.
USA> New York state> New York City school boards are elected with pro-rep.
USA> California> San Francisco elects its city mayor (?and council) with the preferential ballot ("instant run-off"). For the election of the mayor and other single-person offices, the effect is to allow all candidates a fairer chance, even those not well-funded. For a council, the effect can be proportional.
Argentina, Australia, Osterreich (=Austria), Belgium, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica, Republic of the Congo, Republica Dominicana, Ecuador, Misr (=Egypt), Hellena (=Greece), Honduras, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nauru, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, and Uruguay. Mandatory voting. The enforcement varies a lot, though, I guess. [from CIA World Factbook, writes Brendan Buhler of the Los Angeles Times, 2005 1 30, p. M-6.] Australia takes the duties of its citizens seriously: if you don't cast a ballot, you can be fined about 50 $. You may, though, spoil your ballot if you really don't agree with voting. USA> New Jersey> Maddison> Drew University. Literature Prof. Merrill Skaggs requires her students who are eligible to vote in the public elections to go to the polls. www.theeagleonline.com/news/2004/10/07/News/N.j-Professor.Requires.Voting-745283.shtml and www.depts.drew.edu/media/news/article.php?id=296 Bolivia. Has the strongest "penalty for not voting. Can't pick up your paycheque at the bank for 3 months." [--Brendan Buhler, Los Angeles Times, 2005 1 30, p. M-6.] Danmark. The people are proud of having the highest taxes in Europe because they believe in sharing the wealth and they like excellent government services. Similar in nearby countries.
United Kingdom> Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The first 2 are somewhat secessionist areas. All 3 have been placated with more power devolved from the central government: new regional parliaments will be or have been elected with pro-rep. Britain's representatives to the European Union must be elected that way also. However, the country as a whole remains war-like and punitive to its own people, in large part, I theorize, because the main Parliament still hasn't adopted pro-rep.
China. Relatively little influence from religion, though the suppression of religion is too harsh. They have done much more for world population control than any country, though their one-child limit is harsh and causes unhappiness.
Iran. The voting age is 15 years old, the youngest of any country. [--Brendan Buhler, Los Angeles Times, 2005 1 30, p. M-6.]
Nicaragua and other countries. More power to youth by having a lower voting age: 16 years old. Most of the workers at the polls are youths of 14 and 15.
Britain, Canada, and other countries with British-type parliamentary systems. In "question period", cabinet officials must answer questions, in person, directly from all members of parliament, including the opposition. That is every day that parliament meets.
Island (=Iceland) has a women's party elected to their parliament.
France requires each political party to nominate women as half its candidates. Europe, Canada, and Azania (=South Africa). Women's status is relatively high. The sexes are equal in their constitutions, at least.
Azania (=South Africa); Canada; much of Europe. USA> California> San Francisco. Gays, lesbians, etc., are relatively free and equal--in law and/or in practice.
Deutschland and Nippon (=Germany and Japan) had very advanced constitutions imposed on them by the USA after World War 2. Those countries have kept the basic advantages, and have benefited greatly. Ironically, the USA's own older Constitution remains very inferior.
Argentina has a new radical movement of workers who occupy bankrupt workplaces, re-start businesses, and run them as co-ops, democratically, without bosses. See the 2004 documentary film "The Take", by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis. (I haven't seen it yet.) Co-produced by the National Film Board (government of Canada) and First Run Icarus Films. Upcoming showings: http://frif.com/new2004/ake_d.html . Review in People's Weekly World, 2005 April 2, page 16, www.pww.org.
Moldova was the first ex-republic of the USSR to elect a communist government in multi-party elections in 2001. How good it is I don't know. (People's Weekly World, 2005 1 22, p. 7, www.pww.org.)
End of article "Where Leapism is practised or allowed".
5. What George W. Bush should do about the Middle East
Revised 2004 October 7.
George Walker Bush, the squatter in the White House, should announce:
I was wrong. I was a silly fool! My daddy's agents told me what to say or they'd "off" me, so I said it. But now the guilt is overwhelming, so I'm gonna tell the truth:
We attacked Iraq to make me look tough, to get me re-elected, to get cheap oil, to test our troops and weapons, pay our friends with contracts, and to destabilize the whole Middle East so we can keep our puppets in power there and thus continue to control the region for the benefit of a few of the richest people in the world, especially my friends in the West.
The US government helped to put Saddam Hussein into power in Iraq in the first place as a tool of the West. We're guilty. I'm not going to try to make you think it was all his fault any more. Right now I'll head to the UN headquarters in New York. I'll stay there until there's peace in the entire Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Kurdistan, etc. I invite all the leaders, legitimate or not, of those countries to meet me there to talk everything over on live television.
I order our government to allow safe passage there to all of them, including Osama bin Laden, who I was previously afraid to debate publicly. I also refused to debate Saddam Hussein, but now that we have him, I'll take him to the UN with me and we'll settle everything.
All my early life I was known as a fun guy, a likable guy, and now I'm gonna go back to my strengths! In 1945, most people in the world were thoroughly sick of war. They wanted to end war forever, unlike my father and his father, who profited by it greatly. Regular Americans then supported the establishment of the UN to provide a forum for just such talk. Not only will we talk about establishing democracy in the Middle East, but also how to establish it in the USA. We will talk about sharing, about letting women have equal power in all governments, about love, about breastfeeding every child, about getting off all our addictions, such as money, hierarchy, patriarchy, clothing, mindless television shows, spectator sport, economic "growth", consumption, planned obsolescence, commercial sex, classism, etc.
Many of you have kicked the psychoactive drugs, as I have, so we can kick those other evils, too.
I want to admit now that I'm glad I avoided the Viet-Nam War when I was young. I'm proud of all the American war resisters.
And now I don't want any more Americans to die in Iraq. I call a cease fire. I call upon our opposition in Iraq to cease fire, too, and we'll negotiate like intelligent, mutually respectful people who want to share power, not rule like dictators. I'm tired of my kids thinking I'm a party-poopin' old fart, just like my dad. Now we're gonna make the world a fun place. My wife and kids are too important to me. Go ahead and throw a tantrum, Cheney, I don't care. Even if I die tonight, at least my family can finally hold their heads high and say, Our dad had the courage to do right.
End of article "What George W. Bush should do about the Middle East".
6. An unbiased view of religion
2004 October 7
A wise atheist doesn't need to try believing in every religion before concluding that they are all a bunch of hooey. I did try 3 religions, however, in case that raises my credibility with you. At 17, I finally became an atheist. My 3 religions were the Unitarian Church, Judaism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS; former nick-name: Mormonism). I did experience what seemed like religious ecstasy. However, it's all like believing in Santa Claus: somewhat fun at the time, but now I feel I was cheated. An atheist needn't be wise, however, to fit the definition, though it helps. The prefix "a-" means "without" in Hellenic. "Theos" means "god". So an atheist is someone who is "without god", such as every newborn baby, every owl (as far as we can determine), most scientists and mathematicians, and ex-religionists like me. Furthermore, I am not only an atheist, I'm also a physicalist, which I define as someone who doesn't believe in gods or in anything else which is supposedly supernatural or metaphysical. That is, I also reject all spiritualism, karma, reincarnation, magic spells, afterlife, channelling, psychics, souls, etc. All those are claimed to be beyond the normal laws of nature. The LDS, among others, try to reconcile god and science, saying that god might actually be following some laws of nature that we simply haven't discovered yet. I don't buy it, though. Transcendental meditation, too, is a trap, I think. Atheists aren't as rare as you might think. Many Buddhists are atheists, but they aren't as often physicalists. You don't notice many atheists in Western culture simply because many don't enjoy thinking about or talking about religion or metaphysics or atheism. DROPING ATHEISTS Unfortunately, like most otherwise-hip people, most atheists drope (verb form of drope, the noun). So I'm very unusual.
Also unlike most atheists, I make an effort to associate with other proud atheists, go to atheist meetings, etc. Also, I will walk up to Christians who are evangelizing and say things like, "Hi, brother, I'm an atheist. May I share with you my heartfelt experience of being saved from the hell of religion?"
TAKE THE TEST
A great majority of religionists, I find, have never read an atheist book or seriously discussed the topic with a proud, informed atheist.
I challenge you to do so. Are you afraid?
METAPHYSICS, THE SUPERNATURAL, AND PHYSICALISM
As I use the words metaphysics and supernatural, they mean everything which is (as far as I know) impossible because they are based on "beyond physical" and "above nature" existence or reality. Examples are extra-sensory perception, gods, spirits (ghosts), reincarnation, heaven, holy miracles, divine prophecy, and other superstitions. Nevertheless, I do accept many mere concepts about reality as being real, too, such as the laws of nature, numbers, ideas (which exist as ideas, whether they are true or false), dreams (ideas we have while sleeping), etc. Some religions claim that their fantastic gods, reincarnation, heaven, etc. are real, proven, physical, and follow some laws of nature of which we are not yet aware. Since there is no believeable evidence for those allegations, I class them as fiction, too. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) believes in Jesus, in a "God the Father", and in a heaven that are all physical. They believe that the third member of the trinity, the Holy Ghost, is non-physical. I was ordained an LDS priest but have not believed their teachings since around 1965. The definition of physicalism which I coined includes matter, energy, and concepts (as mentioned above), but rejects the metaphysical (as defined above) and the unproven and unlikely physical divinities, etc. (as above).
End of article "An unbiased view of religion".
7. Ekcheiria! RETURN PEACE TO THE OLYMPICS BY 2010! Revised 2005 November 7. Since Vancouver-Whistler (Canada) has been awarded the Winter Olympic Games for early 2010, even opponents of that decision might as well make the best of it. If they try to spoil the games, they will not get very far. They won't impress as many people as if they try to do something more positive to achieve their worthy goals. Many of the positive features of the ancient Olympic Games are now ignored or neglected, such as -- Peace. -- Amateurism (competing just for honour). -- Ethical competition and festivities. -- Prominence of the arts. A similar degradation of the early Olympic ideals contributed greatly to them being abolished after the year 393 C.E. Please join our movement to rescue the modern Olympic Games! PEACE FESTIVAL Let's re-establish the Olympics as a peace festival ! Then all that public expense will be worth it. We beg all levels of government to help, from civic government on up, along with other groups and individuals. Canada, Vancouver, and Halkomelem are already considered by the world to be relatively pro-peace, so let's build on our reputations in order to take the games back to their roots. Furthermore, if we can make the world a little more peaceful, it will be much easier to meet all other human needs, too! PEACEFUL HISTORY The first recorded Olympic Games were in 776 BC in Hellena (Greece). They were the result of a peace agreement between the Hellenic city-states of Elis and Pisa. The festivities continued every four years, probably until 393 AD. That's 1170 years! The games were meant to reduce the warring among Hellenic cities and to increase pan-Hellenic solidarity. At that time, as now, many people could see the horror and futility of war. The Hellenes wisely saw that if they held a peace festival, people from the various cities would gather in safety to alleviate some of the causes of war. On the other hand, during a war, back in their own cities, the able men would have been expected to fight the war. During the truce, though, at the de-militarized site near Mount Olympia, they could learn about each other, become friends, "let off steam" in contests which were usually non-fatal, and have fun. It was also very helpful that a lot of aggressive physical energy and emotions could be diverted into competitive sport. That works for individuals, as well as for nations. Much sport is actually a ritualized substitute for war, one that is safer and friendlier. In the ancient Olympics, competition winners received wreaths of olive branches to crown their heads. Such prizes were intentionally chosen instead of money or valuables. Olive branches have long symbolized peace. On the other hand, medals of gold and silver represent wealth. Wealth--the spoils of war, especially--is the goal of almost all wars, then and now. EKCHEIRIA MEANS SACRED TRUCE In order to be so successful, the games couldn't occur during a war. Therefore, they declared an ekcheiria: Hellenic for "sacred truce". During World War 2, world leaders cancelled the Olympic games instead of calling a truce. Since then, countries have continued wars while sending athletes to the Olympics. All that is wrong and shameful. The ancient truce included a renunciation of arms, a cessation of hostilities, and a moratorium on capital punishment. The Olympic Games worked quite well to renew cultural and blood ties among the Hellenes and, later, throughout the Roman Empire. The truce was extended to three months. The ancient Olympic festival included not only athletics, but theatre, music, dancing, magic, poetry, and speeches. Ceremonies honoured dead heroes, promoted fertility, and worshipped goddesses and gods. The games weren't completely ideal, though. They barred female athletes and trainers. Married women could not even watch. However, Hellenic females had other athletic festivals which were separate from the Olympics. Even though ancient wars continued to occur, the Olympic Games certainly reduced hostility among the participating cities. PROPOSALS TO RE-ESTABLISH THE OLYMPICS AS PEACEFUL
The Olympics officially support the re-institution of the truce, with 180 countries agreeing. Their Web publication for the truce, www.olympictruce.org, unfortunately, politely avoids mentioning which countries oppose it. Is the USA the main blocker?
Below are the details I propose for the truce.
1. Every country applying to attend the Olympics must sign a treaty for the ekcheiria (sacred truce), as was done for the ancient Olympics. 2. The ekcheiria provides that, for at least three months, they cease: a. Making and trading military weapons, recruiting warriors, and otherwise preparing for war. b. Threatening, urging, provoking, and declaring war. c. Acts of war, including killing, fighting, raping, attacking, injuring (including poisoning and spreading disease), torturing, bombing, invading, chasing, capturing, enslaving, and laying seige. That also includes acts for national or military advantage, such as looting, destroying property, and blocking non-military transport. d. Government-ordered civilian killing (such as criminal execution and assassination), threatening death, and sentencing people to death. 3. If a country violates the ekcheiria, all their citizens are barred and expelled from the festivities and from the International Olympic Committee. MONEY OVER PEACE? Some people, of course, might object that financial income from the Olympics would be threatened as a result of expelling a country. However, war itself is far more expensive. A peaceful Olympics would actually be much more popular in the world and would thus make more money. Also, there would be less desire to disrupt the games. Anyway, peace is more important than income from the games. With the whole world trying to make the ekcheiria work and the Olympics successful, national leaders would see that they would have to swallow their egos and obey the truce. Please help save lives with this worthy campaign! Join us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sources:
The Olympics' official truce effort: www.olympictruce.org. www.museum.olympic.org http://minbar.cs.dartmouth.edu/greecom/olympics/
Chris Oxlade and David Ballheimer, book Olympics (Toronto: Stoddart 1999).
World Book Encyclopedia 2002, "Olympic Games".
Brian Martin, "Ten reasons to oppose all Olympic Games". Freedom, Vol. 57, No. 15; 1996 August 3, p. 7, with minor changes and omission of references. An abridged version: Green Left, 1996 May 22, p. 13. A very good, thoughtful article, though I think my suggested reform is better than the reforms or other alternatives suggested. www.anti2004.net/ten_reasons.htm .
End of article "Ekcheiria".
8. Better presidential debates--
use impersonators! (USA)
Bush and Kerry impersonators would have "rocked"! Television entertainment shows urged to stage debates with impersonators.
Revised 2005 March 10. I tried to help the "alternative" presidential debates in the USA (www.opendebates.org), in which Ralph Nader, David Cobb (Green Party), Michael Badnarik (Libertarian), Walt Brown (Socialist), and others were scheduled to debate on television during the election of 2004. If implemented, my ideas would have made them more popular than the duopoly debates. If Bush and Kerry had refused to participate, they would have simply used impersonators!
Those stand-ins could have been satirical professionals, like those on television's Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, MAD TV, etc.
We need fair presidential debates. We also need debates which will be wildly popular and will be watched by more of the public than the rigged duopoly debates. At the same time, we could make them profitable. Here's how: A non-partisan group, such as the Citizens' Debate Commission (CDC) (www.OpenDebates.org.) and/or the Center for Voting and Democracy (CVD) (www.fairvote.org) could host them. I suggest that our debates directly challenge the integrity and dominance of the rigged, restrictive Bush-Kerry televised debates, run by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Debates should be open, not only to Republicans and Democrats, but also to other parties and independents. In 2004, they included David Cobb (Green), Ralph Nader (Reform & independent), Michael Badnarik (Libertarian), Walt Brown (Socialist), and the women candidates. What would make such debates so popular would be mostly that if the Republican and Democrat don't show (and don't even send their vice presidential candidates as substitutes), we would use professional impersonators to debate for them. Will this prevent the debates from being taken seriously? No, the public would enjoy the impersonators and be able to distinguish between them and the real candidates. Besides, I can't think of any other way to get ratings as good as the rigged CPD debates. There are only two choices for truly fair and open debates: A. Dead serious--and little watched. B. With impersonators and watched by huge numbers of voters. Which would be better? The impersonators could be recruited from popular television programs such as Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Late Show with David Letterman. The impersonators could play it in a range from serious to humorous. The 4 main criteria for choosing the stand-ins could be appearance, voice, ability to speak and improvise based on the true positions and personalities of the candidates, and (if desired by the organizers) ability to create satirical humour. If no community-minded group is willing, then commercial television programs which already have impersonators should invite the real candidates onto their shows to debate them. Since men dominate the candidate field, the moderator should be female.
The broadcast rights could be auctioned to the television networks in order to earn the staging expenses and the prize money. In the likely case of the Democrats and Republicans boycotting, the participation of the very entertaining impersonators would ensure high bids from the networks. This is a stunt worthy of Michael Moore. Registered voters in the audience could vote to decide the winners of the debates. The ballots could be paper and be counted by machine. DEBATE WINNERS I suggest the style of ballot be ranked: each voter can rank the candidates in numerical order according to that voter's preference. The results can then be calculated using preferential and Condorcet formulae, etc. The public could also vote on the Internet and donate to the candidates that way. The prize money could be divided among the candidates in proportion to their shares of the first-choice votes from the live audience. Unawarded shares, included those based on the votes for impersonators, could be retained by the host organization. After the live broadcast, the transcript and video of the debate could be posted on the Internet. During a debate, each debater's speeches should be timed, down to the second, so that they speak only their fair, equal share of the time. Applause time should not be counted. Neither the other candidates nor the moderator should be allowed to interrupt or interject during a speaker's allotted time. ANOTHER PLAN: A DEBATE TOURNAMENT If we want to create even bigger events which are even more idealistic, we can invite all 82 presidential candidates (one per party) to a big debate tournament. They could be matched in pairs, as for a singles tennis tournament. They could compete in rounds, all the way to the final round of the two top debaters. I can provide more details and analysis of that format. I found a list of 74 presidential candidates (which seemed to be kept up-to-date until the 2004 election): www.vote-smart.org/election_president_party.php?party_name=All . Of those candidates, 32 are from political parties. The other 42 were independents, write-ins, unknown, etc. WOMEN CANDIDATES I could find only five women candidates (in 2004 after the primaries), three of which were running as nominees of parties. By the way, let's shun the innumerate, insulting, and ghettoizing term "third parties". This plan could change history. Do you like it? Will you help?
This could be used in any country. Even better would be mandatory debates, as in my proposal to the British Columbia government: www.citizensassembly.bc.ca, submission DAY-1390.
See also my article below, # 12, "Debate Or Else!" End of article "Better Presidential Debates--Use Impersonators!".
9. Socialize more! Being alone is pitiful, dangerous, and unnatural.
2004 October 7
Why we don't socialize enough We in Western Culture have been raised so dysfunctionally that we often find it less stressful to be alone than to try to get along with our fellow humans. However, being alone is unnatural and unhealthy for our species. There are hardly any situations when being alone might be preferable. Excreting is the only one that comes to mind. Let's be activists to change ourselves and our culture. Each of us can. Don't wait for new laws or for the culture to change. Lead! In this book, Part 1 -- Breast-right -- discusses how natural parenting enables us after birth to continue to love ourselves and others, as we did before birth. Breast-love, which includes co-family sleeping, especially, is natural and healthy. It keeps children from being alienated. Unfortunately, alienation at all ages is the norm in our violent, hateful, confused, tortuous, patriarchal culture.
We were always taught that the poor in the Third World had to suffer sleeping 6 to a bed. Think, though, of the advantages of safety, reassurance, etc. The only problem is if the bed isn't big enough.
Would a mother bear leave her cubs to sleep in a different cave than she slept in? No, mammals are smart enough to stay with them and protect them as much of the time as possible--except humans.
In this book, Part 2 -- Joy-earned -- discusses how people resort to fake fun instead of creating genuine, effective human inter-action. Some of us turn to pets, instead, who aren't as dysfunctional as we are. More of us turn to television as a simulation of being with real people. You feel less lonely when you're watching. Unfortunately, television does not provide the same benefits as touching or talking with real people. Drope is even worse. In this book, Part 3 -- Nude-peace -- discusses how clothes are a huge, unrecognized barrier to loving human interaction. Clothes even inhibit just plain considerate behaviour. Here in Part 4 -- Philocracy -- is more on socializing.
Our fears of people are based on lifetimes of experience with dysfunctional family members, friends, teachers, bosses, government officials, police, soldiers, etc. We might easily think that socializing and socialism are bad or, anyway, hopeless. No, they are necessary. Socialism, when properly applied, is an essential part of almost every political philosophy, from "left" to "right", especially philocracy. Even the least socialistic party, the Libertarian Party, believes in socialized (public-owned) police departments. We are semi-recluses In Anglo-America, especially, people think it's nothing unusual to live alone. It's thought to be normal and often preferable. Why? Well, it benefits our rulers to have us isolated and therefore less united in challenging them. Also, it profits the rich (compare: our rulers) to have us each buying a separate home, car, refrigerator, clothes washer, dishwasher, television, etc. Living alone makes us somewhat crazy, so then we "need" to buy drope, which also mostly profits the rich. When we study other cultures, past and present, we see that living alone is highly abnormal. Traditionally, the recluse, or hermit, was feared, scorned, or pitied. Today, some of our most feared citizens are urban "loners" and those who live by themselves in the woods. Sometimes they'll descend on us to kidnap or bomb. When we improve our society, fewer people will be driven to such extremes. However, even typical people can benefit immensely by becoming more social. Benefits of socializing more How could avoiding isolation help you be more successful? In every aspect of your life: emotions, career, relationships, school, health, safety, etc. For example, sharing a home with one friend, even without sex, relieves a tremendous amount of loneliness. By learning to get along, you become more attractive to everyone. That can increase your chances of finding a lover. Being less lonely, you'll be less tempted to drope. Of course, you don't want a house-mate who sucks you into droping. Instead, lure them away from droping. If that doesn't work, change house-mates. More examples: If you're with someone and you have a health emergency or accident, they can help. Children sleeping in the same room as their parents are less likely to be taken or harmed by an invader. Police who work in teams have less stress, survive more, and brutalize the public less. Save water--shower with a friend. The "buddy system" is well known for swimming, hiking, etc., but the same principle applies to almost every human activity. How to socialize more To change yourself and our lonely society, first accept that we are a social species. Whenever you're alone or think of doing something alone, ask yourself why and if you could do it with someone. Do our hierarchical social structures and customs inhibit your socializing? Probably. Think of bosses, overbearing parents, and violent spouses. They are not acting as equals. If you treat others as equals and insist on being treated with respect yourself, you are promoting philocracy. That works on the smallest micro level (one-to-one relationships) all the way to the biggest macro level (international relations).
Get used to the sounds of other people. Don't let them frazzle your nerves so you can't work.
More situations to be social 1. Public transit and car pools (better than driving alone). 2. Sleeping. Even if not with a sexual partner, you can benefit from a little cuddling. (In our culture, straight adult males, particularly, irrationally fear touching other adult males.) Two beds in the same room is a better set-up than in different rooms. 3. Making love (better than masturbating). 4. Music and dancing. 5. Studying in the same room as someone else. When helpful, you can consult with or drill each other. 6. If you must play video games or card games, social games are better than solitary ones. 7. Talking in person is better than telephoning. 8. Hugging, or even shaking hands (better than not touching at all). 9. Aerobics classes--better than doing it alone. 10. Walk together. Maybe hold hands.
11. University fraternities and sororities have the potential to be beneficial, though many are alcoholic and sadistic. 12. Political parties generally have advantages over independent candidates. Of course, though, it also depends on who they are. 13. Labour unions certainly can benefit their members more than individual employees can help themselves. 14. Even while reading this you can be with others. Even if you're doing different activities, just having company in the same room is good for you. 15. No job should require working alone. That should be illegal. Sometimes that might save the employer money, but it endangers and stresses the worker. That can lead to danger to the public. Mothers need their babies and young children right on the job or very close. We all need company of some sort at work. 16. Even jobs that require a lot of concentration can be done with someone nearby who isn't distracting. Our isolating, individualist, competitive, exploitive society has trained many of us to be overly bothered by the mere presence of others.
I don't think I've ever seen a book critical of solitude, as I am. Part of the problem is that book authors tend to be loners, so they're biased that way. I'm more social and less prolific at writing. What I finally get down on paper, though, might just be better quality.
End of article "Socialize more!".
10. Democracy and eccentrics
(formerly "More Philocracy") 2004 September 28
"The great postulate of our democracy is confidence in the common sense of the people and in their maturity of judgement, even on great issues--once they know the facts." "There is more to the right to vote than the right to mark a piece of paper. . . . It also includes the right to have the vote counted at full value without dilution or discount." "I do not know of any salvation for society except through eccentrics, misfits, dissenters, people who protest." --William O. Douglas, former supreme court justice, USA (3 separate quotations from Uncle John's Absolutely Absorbing Bathroom Reader: 12th annual, 1-879682-73-7, p. 232.) End of article "Democracy and eccentrics".
11. The wonderful inefficiency of coalition governments
Revised 2005 February 23.
Some people praise disproportional (unfair) elections because they more often result in majority governments. Fairer elections, on the other hand, use proportional representation (pro-rep). The latter are common in Europe. They more often result in coalition governments.
The people against pro-rep often say that with coalition governments, "less gets done".
Yes, less gets done. For instance, less minority rule (dictatorship), less scandal, less poverty, less selfishness, less public debt, less pork-barrelling, less war, etc. What will get done will be only what a greater portion of the public can agree to. There will be fewer self-serving schemes by politicians that just a few in the public agree to, as happens more with majority government.
Government spending could go up, yes, but only if the people want more services, such as health and education. Those paying more taxes will be those former rulers who were ripping us off (and their strata of wealthy people who try to avoid paying taxes altogether). That's who squawk about costs under pro-rep.
The top 5% in wealth deserve to have their 5% of the legislature to represent them and to whine about having to pay taxes. At present, that 5% has the majority of the seats, which they stole by means of the spoiler syndrome and their television ads to trick the voters, etc. But rich people who are unselfish and honest have nothing to fear. In exchange for their taxes, they will have the pleasure of driving around in their luxury electric cars without having the disturbing view of poor people dying in the streets. They won't be bothered by panhandlers. No gunshots hitting passers-by. Someday they might not have to buy expensive security systems to deter break-ins. Overall, taxes might actually go down because there will be less need for police, fire-fighters, and ambulances. Fewer "mental health" costs. Fewer physical health costs. Less for welfare because there will be less unemployment.
However, I wonder how the rich will be able to stand losing their scapegoats! End of article "The wonderful inefficiency of coalition governments".
For more debate about the 2-party system, see Duke Cheston's 2010 article and comments:
12. Debate or Else! -- a proposed television series
Revised 2005 February 24. Each week, the producers of this show will challenge 2 or more people to debate for an hour. Of those accepting, 2 will be chosen for the debate. If an invitee refuses or is prevented from debating, a professional impersonator might be hired to substitute on the air. That's the "or Else" part of the title: you debate or else you might get represented in the debate by an actor. The debaters can be any people in the world in the political realm, including people in the arts who make political art, media people, etc. If they prefer not to debate in English, translation is provided. If they cannot or will not travel to the same venue, then they may debate by remote cameras. Format: The producers shall compose a question for each debate. The show shall consist of equal, timed, alternating speeches, as in a real university debate.
Although interrupting is allowed in the rigged USA presidential debates, that disgusts fair-minded viewers, and shall not be allowed. Interrupting shall be prevented by microphone control and penalties.
Furthermore, the moderator may not comment or ask questions. Invitees would be justified in refusing to debate if those standard rules are not followed. Judging: The winner of each debate is determined by votes from the audience: in the studio, listening via television, radio, computer, etc. A debater who debates someone who substitutes for a refusing invitee is given 10% extra points in the scoring. Debaters: Saddam Hussein, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George W. Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Osama bin Laden, Rep. Barbara Lee, Ralph Nader, Prof. Lani Guinier, Dick Cheney, Condaleeza Rice, P.M. Tony Blair, Carol Moseley-Braun, Al Sharpton, Bangla Desh P.M. Khaleda Zia, former candidate Alan Keyes, Suomi (Finnish) Pres. Tarja Halonen, Noam Chomsky, Indonesian Pres. Megawati Sukarnoputri, Canadian scientist-broadcaster David Suzuki, Irish Pres. Mary McAleese, entertainer Chris Rock, Latvian Pres. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, New Zealand P.M. Helen Clark, broadcaster Art Bell, Sao Tome and Principe P.M. Maria das Neves, Canadian P.M. Paul Martin, Philippine Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former presidential candidate David Cobb, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, former presidential candidate David Badnarik, Dr. Helen Caldicott, the Dalai Lama, Joan Baez, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, La Leche League founder Marian Thompson, P.M. Ariel Sharon, Sen. Barbara Boxer, former V.P. Al Gore, former V.P. candidate Winona LaDuke, Sen. John Kerry, author Gloria Steinem, Sen. John Edwards, Nobel Peace winner Betty Williams, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Nobel Peace winner Mairead Corrigan, activist Robert Kennedy Jr., Nobel Peace winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the Pope, Nobel Peace winner Rigoberta Mench?Tum, filmmaker Michael Moore, Madeleine Allbright, Mexican Pres. Vincente Fox, Mothering publisher Peggy O'Mara, entertainer Jon Stewart, Prof. Angela Davis, comic Bill Maher, midwife Ina May Gaskin, Jesse Jackson Sr., author Betty Friedan, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., comic Bill Cosby, author Phyllis Chesler, tycoon Bill Gates, actor Jane Fonda, Mayor Jerry Brown, other heads of government in the world, etc. Equal numbers of men and women will debate in each season. End of Article 12: "Debate or Else!" 13. Re-unifying Bharat, Pakistan, and Bangla Desh.
(Bharat is the indiginous, non-English name of "India".) Revised 2005 March 10.
Gandhi's independence movement helped oust Britain from Bharat in 1949, which then included what are now Pakistan and Bangla Desh. Soon after, the conflict between the Hindus and Muslims split the country. That might not have occurred, in my opinion, had they not adopted Britain's form of parliament. That plurality district system is very divisive. Bharat and Pakistan have fought over Kashmir and have often threatened each other with nuclear weapons.
Ironically, there are more Muslims remaining in Bharat, as a minority there, than in Pakistan itself, where they are the majority. The best instigation to re-unification now would be for any of the 3 states to update its electoral system to include proportional representation, among other philocratic improvements. Even if the 3 never unify, doing that still would be tremendously helpful to any of them.
End of article "Re-uniting Bharat, Pakistan, and Bangla Desh".
© Copyright 2003 to 2011 by "Korky" Kirk Norman Day in Canada, in the USA, and in all countries.
End of the page called "Philocracy p. 1" of www.korky.ca.
Articles 14+ are on the next page, "Philocracy p. 2".