posted on Oct, 16 2019 @ 09:21 PM
The concept of democracy especially as it pertains to our republic is on life support, but not for any of the reasons your favorite propaganda
channels are warning you of.
Our Congress (state or Federal; it really doesn't matter) is incapable of doing its job -- creating, renewing or reviewing legislation and providing
over site for critical functions of government . It exists today only to provide grist for a propaganda campaign designed to keep you in control. It
is no longer possible for Congress to do anything more than that. Allow me to explain.
The notion of democratically elected representatives meeting to decide matters of state on behalf of the people of that state has existed for
millennia with easily recognizable antecedents as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. Those bodies drew inspiration from older sources from around
the seventh century B.C. Over time, basic rules of parliamentary procedure were modified and evolved into the truly medieval form, with the revisions
of the 13th century A.D. shaping the system we use today. Some might argue that our legislative ideals are a product of the enlightenment and that it
isn't fair to call them medieval, but that debate is beyond the scope of this particular mud pit post. Feel free to flame on about Robert's rules
and so on, but they were not widely adopted en toto until the later 19th / early 20th century and are themselves a codification of long used forms of
parliamentary law transposed to other forms of congress and rule-making.
Parliamentary procedure for legislative bodies as we know it today in the U.S. is a primarily medieval concept underpinning a largely late-medieval
institution. Anyone familiar with Robert's Rules of Order; the motions, amendments, abstentions and extensions, and all they imply understands the
speed at which legislators invoke their cant to create, modify or destroy legislation. As a man who has been alive for nearly 50 years, I put that
speed at about 15 months. Generally speaking, anything done more quickly is done for show, though some exceptions remain. Our U.S. Congress coming
together in formal declaration of war vs. Japan after Pearl Harbor, for example.
For the majority of the last 1000 years, 15 months was generally fast enough for most matters. Communication over long distances was slow and
generally by letter. Travel between major states or capitals was an undertaking measured in weeks or even months, etc. Fifteen month's was about as
fast as any democratically elected group could come together to represent a fairly homogeneous society or group and make meaningful decisions on their
behalf. This was all well and good as it more closely aligned with the way our brains function, retain, learn and understand new information. All was
well in Christendom.
That is no longer the case. Our technology has significantly shortened the distance between states and capitals. Travel abroad is a matter of hours,
not weeks. Communication is instantaneous between individuals throughout much of the developed world, 24/7, 365-days per year. Homogeneity has been
largely replaced by diversity of background, idea and opinion. Meanwhile, the technological underpinning driving the need for legislation, over site
and yes -- regulation (shivers) -- has 'evolved by leaps and bounds. Where Congress operates on a 15 month time-frame, high tech operates in
intervals of 15 days or less. By the time Congress can create meaningful (non-"for show") legislation regarding Facebook or social media, for
example, the underlying technology has iterated and transformed itself dozens or even hundreds of times. This is what the idiot talking heads in your
face-box mean when they speak of "disruption" in industry: the ability to iterate around legislative obstacles before that legislation can catch,
contain or "regulate" them.
That gap is only going to grow wider as technology continues to improve and the government remains, "heroically," tethered to the middle ages. For
the most part, this has little immediate or obvious effect on our lives. There will be gas stations tomorrow paying gas taxes, for example.
Cracks are beginning to form, however. Social media as we know it has existed for 10-15 years and has gone from something akin to decorating one's PG
Folder in High School to a system of complex, data-driven behavioral modeling and prediction. What has become clear (for example, the incredibly
harmful effect of social media on developing pre-teen and teen minds, particularly girls) is more than a dozen years behind the move. Our legislators
are ill-equipped to understand the technological sophistication behind data sorcery -- even at a conversational level -- let alone at a level required
to regulate it or create meaningful legislation to contain it. Wall Street's dramatic shift to high-speed trading and increasingly complicated
financial models are another example. At best, our legislators can only act under the guidance of those who manage the industries they wish to
legislate, and where those industries obfuscate and omit to retain power, Congress cannot say. It is simply too far outside their purview.
Will they impeach or not? Will McConnell call a vote in the Senate to answer a House bill? These are questions for a bygone age. They are next to or
nearly meaningless in the context of anything that actually matters, medium or long-term. But they provide an excellent backdrop to a sport that can
be used to both manipulate and bleed money from regular people who imagine themselves on one side or the other.
They don't want you to know this, of course. A great portion of our strength as a nation (or civilization) has always relied on the people -- the
"hands" and "hearts" of a society -- to continue to do the right thing no matter how difficult this becomes or how little guidance they receive
from their government. Corporations like Facebook have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders first. Their responsibility to congress can be
avoided almost indefinitely.
It is not going to get "better" if we throw out all the D's and replace them with R's. It is not going to get better if we string up the R's and
replace them with D's. As humans operating on human or medieval time frames, the best they can provide at this point is a good show. An
old-fashioned, knockdown, drag-out wrasslin' match for the masses.
Our tools have evolved faster than our cerebral cortex. For better or worse, they are in control now. We don't need "general artificial intelligence
to completely "disrupt" ourselves. I'd love to be wrong, but I suspect we could replace our "leaders" tomorrow with Excel spreadsheets and
achieve similar or better results immediately.
Of course, that would completely tank the economy which is built on us arguing with each other over trivium and trying to outspend the other to prove
a point through our elected representatives. I mean, we can, and likely will, but it doesn't mean they are capable of leading us through the fire.
--A random thought to comfort you as you get ready for bed. Happy Wednesday, ATS peeps!