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X-point structural thingummies [PRE-DRAFT]

[Stickying this because the concrete material benefits in the 12 Planks are comparatively easy. But what kind of political world do we need to build, how do we "do politics," to make those benefits concrete? The 12 Steps get all the glory, but the 12 Traditions are just as important, because they structure the group dynamics that enable group members to take the steps. In the same way, the policies in the planks "have to be paid for," but the sterile tax debate of the political class gets in the way; since MMT teaches (correctly) that taxes don't fund spending (though there are plenty of other reasons to soak the rich, besides fun, I mean) MMT is an importent, er, thingummy. So this part of the 12-Plank architecture needs a lot of help from Correntians, many of whom have thought deeply about these issues, and especiallly governance issues. --lambert]

In draft 2 of the 12-plank platform* I wrote:

I'm also conceiving of the 12-Plank Platform -- it's nearly done, right? -- as one leg of a triad, again modeled on AA's 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and 12 Concepts of Service.** The Platform focuses on policy, but it doesn't cover implementation at all; we need a place for voting systems, MMT to nuke the Austerians, and stuff like land taxes (if that's a good idea), so we'll need the 12 Implementation Thingummies. We also have nothing on values whatever; we need a place for "No more strategic hate management" and "No more bullshit, yes, seriously, we don't have any more time for nonsense!" and "What about the commons?" And so the third leg of the triad would be 12 Things To Help Us Avoid Breaking Bad.

So here we have "X-point structural thingummies," and obviously I'm pleading for little help on the headline, with "thingummies." Also, exactly as I moved "Net Neutrality" here, because it cuts across our ability to get any policy passed, maybe "10. More co-operatives, fewer corporations" should move here, to be replaced with some other policy plank offering more obvious concrete material benefits. Here's what I've been able to come up with, in buckets.

Media

  1. Net neutrality
  2. Fairness doctrine
  3. Informational hygiene

Governance

    Public campaign financing
  1. Paper ballots counted in public
  2. Intentional process
  3. Equality before all governance processes

Economics

  1. MMT

Strategy

  1. Strategic non-violence
  2. Principles not personalities
  3. compromise on which plank don't compromise on any plank

And point by point:

Net neutrality. Because otherwise we'll have no media presence.

Fairness doctrine. No more FOX (or MSObama) but more importantly, strategic hate management becomes harder.

Informational hygiene. "Don't make shit up." But also the enlightenment values of evidence and reasoning, open and fair debate, widest possible distribution of all collateral, support for independent streamers.

Paper ballots counted in public. The gold standard. E-voting has to die, see Bradblog.

Intentional process. Wrong wording, but the idea is from the Corrente Meetup in NY just past. If you want to do the GA, be intentional and open about it, and stick to it. If you want to do Roberts Rules, do that. But whatever you do, have a process.

Equality before all governance processes. Also wrong wording. I have in mind the stack in the GAs that was designed to prevent articulate (and often white) guys from dominating all the discussions (as they have been trained to do). More radically, I have in mind the way symphony orchestras audition candidates behind a screen, to filter the class and cultural markers out of the performance.

MMT. Which, besides getting us out to the Austerian ZOMG!!!! Teh Debt!!!!! trap, and allowing us to fund the 12-point platform, has the great merit of being true.

Strategic non-violence. For obvious reasons, and the less obvious reason of not optimizing for the creation of a new boss, see the Bolsheviks among others.

Principles not personalities. What matters is whether people support the platform. Period. Forget about all the horse race crapola, like electability. Support people who support the platform, regardless of party.

Compromise on which plank don't compromise on any plank. Meaning, don't allow the Democrats to water something down and claim victory. It's better simply to say "You don't support X, so you don't get my vote," than to say "You support 50% of X, so you get my vote." Because maybe there is a plank they can wholeheartedly support, so go for that. The watering down is one thing that keeps the Overton Window from moving left. The watering down is also an entry point for rentier infestations.

So that's it for now. Clumsy and incomplete, I know. Readers????

NOTE * I keep oscillating between "12 Point" and "12 Plank."

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danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

Make this 12 points, or maybe 12 themes, and the other one 12 planks.

Don't try to shoehorn this & values into 4 buckets of 3 items, or even 12 in any configuration. If we only need 7 here, make it 7.

Under "Governance," public financing?

Submitted by lambert on

This is all I could think of! (That's why there's only 1 value...)

Public financing is good. (I wonder it it's sufficiently ruthless. I'd like to see something like a ban on polling say a month before the election. Private polling too. And no TV advertising. Etc. Just nuke the entire permanent political campaign apparatus, all the consultants, everything.)

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Public financing is just another rent stream for networks. Networks should be required to provide air time as part of their license to operate. This is administratively easy for broadcast networks that license public airways. I don't know enough about the legal structure of cable networks, but if they're required to meet decency standards or copyright standards, they should be subject to electoral support standards.

No crackpot idea is complete without an explanation of the workings. So cracking my pot here: Each candidate should receive vouchers for campaign advertising time on TV. Each channel would be required to accept the vouchers for time valued at the current non-electoral advertising rates (none of this doubling rates just for political candidates the week leading up to the election). The candidate can decide how to use the vouchers -- they can run lots of short spots, or use the vouchers for a half-hour explanation of policies, or whatever they deem important. This grants maximum freedom of speech to the campaign. I would be open to a requirement for a minimum for the short spots (90 seconds sounds good to me -- too long for drivebys).

Going channel-by-channel for the vouchers would make an excessive administrative burden, so each channel should simply be assessed a required amount based on their previous year's ad revenue (basically a network income tax devoted to campaigning). After the election, each channel would then submit the vouchers that candidates had used for reimbursement from the assessment fund.

When I still engaged with a legacy party, I got that passed as a resolution year after year, all the way up through state levels, but only after the party started seeing resolutions as nursery rhymes for the disgruntled.

Submitted by lambert on

Maybe not "right" but access or funding?

I like this idea a lot, it's more ruthless. It doens't seem like writing a check for the current crop of political consultants is a good plan; rental streams, as you say.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

Parties, Occupations, Meetings, government, interactions with bureaucrats, ad hoc thingummies... And I want everybody to have an equal chance of being heard in all of them....

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

psychohistorian's picture
Submitted by psychohistorian on

Good on you for putting this out there.

I agree that picking a number (12) in not appropriate. Figure out what needs to be said and develop the "sales" points afterward.

Oregon has vote by mail and it works well. I think the Post Office should grow local utility banking capabilities as well. Public vote counting is great and works in Oregon. YES, get rid of the corrupt eVoting machines, forever!

Media needs to include support for one or more local public access TV channels because local politics is as important as national/world. About that world thing....it is time we go global with this stuff because the plutocrats are global as is their power and control....and it needs to be countered (unless we do as I think and take away their power with returning to the global commons their accumulated "property").

I think your Equality before all governance processes should be reworded to include both equality of input AND a requirement to participate (like australia voting requirement) if not more required participation.

Political Economy instead of Economics, IMO and it is time to make money entirely sovereign and stop this BS quasi private/public nonsense. That means neutering the banking industry which can't come soon enough for me. It is time for that "invisible hand" to become public and not accumulated private capital over centuries.

I think your Strategy points are great and would only add again my belief that all our efforts need to go global because our enemy is global and if we don't they will play us off against each other like religions.

Thanks again for your efforts.

Submitted by lambert on

I agree. A lot of this effort is putting stuff we already know into words. How would you turn that into a point?

"Think globally act locally" is just wrong. Not only must one both think and act in both locales, the world is fractal...

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

psychohistorian's picture
Submitted by psychohistorian on

Your suffix quotes Gandhi who says "they". It is the same they all over the world. It is the 99.9% of us globally that are not the they. It has been called class structure and proletariat/bourgeois. now plutocrats, etc......all I can think of now is that we are not they.....mulling mode...

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

That means neutering the banking industry which can't come soon enough for me. It is time for that "invisible hand" to become public and not accumulated private capital over centuries.

If by "neutering" you mean turn them back into simple loan-making and money depositing utilities, then I agree.

When I'm trying to explain my philosophy of money, I write that it's a great way to simplify getting resources from where they are to where they need to be based on what people need. It makes it possible for an employer to pay me without having to give me a tank of gasoline one day and a loaf of bread and a chicken the next. Taking that thought experiment further, though, how does my hypothetical employer pay me? After all, he may not have the cash on hand. If not, he'll get a loan, which he'll pay back once whatever I'm working on starts selling. Or something like that.

That's a role banks are good at fulfilling, at least if they're regulated properly. Maybe some other institution could do that, too, but I can't think of one.

psychohistorian's picture
Submitted by psychohistorian on

I think it gets more gnarly because the whole idea of value needs to be redefined. I am a believer that us humans are basically motivated to want to make something of our life, given a chance and my deluded self says that there should not be judgment in what people do with some limits of social responsibiliity....and for that we all get basic life support.

What makes it gnarly is that we are not all created the same. Some have more "abilities" and others less...but we are the same species, with quite similar basic needs for survival at basic level. I want a society that is organized to provide that basics for all but still have the flexibility for some to do more and some less with out judgment but with support/reinforcement to challenge each to do their best......a society w/o competition at its core with other human overlords like we have now.
Maybe I am more saying what I don't like than a solid solution to the measuring/value/money thing we have now.....muddle, muddle, muddle.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

What makes it gnarly is that we are not all created the same. Some have more "abilities" and others less...but we are the same species, with quite similar basic needs for survival at basic level. I want a society that is organized to provide that basics for all but still have the flexibility for some to do more and some less with out judgment but with support/reinforcement to challenge each to do their best

I think that's a good one paragraph description of what it is to be a progressive, actually. To my way of thinking, there is some survival-oriented motivation for thinking that way, but I'd probably feel that way even if there weren't.

Maybe I am more saying what I don't like than a solid solution to the measuring/value/money thing we have now.....muddle, muddle, muddle.

You're probably right, but that's a different conversation. More to do with values than money, I think. To me, money is a tool we use to arrange resources. It has no real value if it's not being used that way. When people make up things like CDOs that really aren't anything more than piles of pretend value, and then make money from that, it just seems like a waste.

Submitted by lambert on

... because of AA's programs, but because 12-12-12 is the fertilizer my father used on his garden.

I think 12 is a good upper limit, based on precedent (12 steps, 10 commandments).

But so far the lower limit is one, on values. So I'm really not trying to bulk up the numbers.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi