A Commonwealth Movement to Replace Capitalism and Plutocracy

  Author 

Prerequisite Essays

  Supplanting Capitalism

Current Economic Depression

  Cannibalistic Capitalism



   Given that predatory capitalism and criminal plutocracy have totally collapsed, in terms of providing a rational basis for our nation's economic and political life, we must begin immediately to build a commonwealth movementt for the benefit of all people worldwide.

    The time is critical because global plutocratic capitalism has turned cannibalistic and is now annihilating people worldwide without limit--as is evidenced by the slaughter of "coalition" military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan and domestically in murderous schemes such as the sub prime mortgage scam and rampant lay-offs and unemployment.

   The building of a commonwealth movement will take some time, so we must start now to comprehend the economic and political principles, sentiments, capabilities, and actions required--and get to work immediately. We've gained some of the requisite understanding through previous essays on related topics:

  1. The cognoscenti must displace capitalism

  2. The nature of predatory capitalism

  3. The cannibalistic tactics of capitalism

  4. The nature of vulture capitalism

  5. The current economic depression

  6. The ongoing class warfare

  7. Realizing A New Commonwealth

  8. Realizing a New World

  9. Creating a New America


      Not only has predatory capitalism collapsed, but our supposed democratic systems--based in America on an originally flawed Constitution--have been totally shattered by the demonic cabal that seized control of the United States in the early decades of the twentieth century. So we must completely reconstitute our political as well as our economic structures to build new commonwealths throughout the world.

Commonwealth

    The original phrase "common wealth" or "the common weal" is a calque 1 translation of the Latin term res publica ("public matters"), from which the word republic comes, which was itself used as a synonym for the Greek politeia, meaning commonwealth, as well as for the republican (i.e. non-monarchical) Roman constitution.

    The English noun Commonwealth dates originally from the fifteenth century. The meaning of this term we're concerned with in this essay is: A political unit founded in law by agreement of the people for the common good


      The global commonwealth movement will create new political and economic structures in each nation, relative to the conditions of that country. As circumstances differ by nation, so efforts to create a commonwealth in each country will differ as well. For example, some nations have suffered less diminishing of human rights than have workers in America.

An American Commonwealth Movement

      Building an American commonwealth system to provide new political as well as economic structures will involve a complete re-ordering of our society. The present political and economic organizational principles have been so vitiated by criminal activities and cannibalistic annihilation of American workers that entirely new designs must be instituted.

      Unlike the creation of our American nation through armed revolution against British tyranny in 1776, we must reconstitute our present society through entirely peaceful methods. Not only is this necessary because our means of recreating our nation must be based on non-violent principles consistent with our goals, but because the reality is that the criminal cabal controlling our country possesses a dominating force in military, police, and propaganda weapons. It would be suicidal to attempt armed insurrection against such barbaric power.

      One of the few instances of partial success in armed insurrection by a workers' group was the Paris Commune of 1871.

"On March 18, 1871, the revolutionary workers of Paris established the Commune. It was the first attempt at a proletarian dictatorship. Again and again the story has been told: how Napoleon III (the Little) attempted to bolster up the decaying regime of the Second Empire by declaring war on Prussia in July, 1871; how he met his debacle at Sedan and exposed Paris to the Prussian troops; how a bourgeois republic was proclaimed in September and a so-called Government of National Defense organized; how this Government betrayed the besieged city and how the Parisian masses rose and armed themselves for its defense; how they proclaimed the Commune on March 18, when the Government attempted to disarm their National Guard, and how they took the government of the city into their own hands; how the traitorous Thiers Government withdrew to Versailles and there plotted with the Prussians the overthrow of the Commune; and how the Parisian workers held the Commune for seventy-two days, defending it to the last drop of blood when the Versailles troops had entered the city and slaughtered tens of thousands of the men and women who dared to seize the government of the capital and run it for the benefit of the exploited and disinherited."

Alexander Tracutenberg, "The Lessons of the Paris Commune," 1934


      Since the criminal cabal controls all U.S. political as well as economic systems, we won't be able to bring about reconstitution of America through the political process. This is made abundantly clear by the nature of the 2008 election campaign. Since all presidential candidates have been selected by the cabal, whichever party's candidate "wins" the presidency, we will still be under the present fascist 2 dictatorship.

         The only two recent US presidents who demonstrated some independence from this criminal cabal were Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. FDR essentially saved American capitalism from its own robber-baron excesses. FDR was able to implement some progressive initiatives because conditions during the Great Depression were so ruinous that remedy required extreme measures.

          Kennedy was planning to overthrow the cabal's entire political and financial stranglehold by, for example, doing away with their wholly-owned "Federal" Reserve System and beginning to print US currency independently. Kennedy's plan to end the Vietnamese war and change the entire structure of the federal government was the reason the cabal had him assassinated by CIA and Mafia operatives in 1963. Kennedy's murder demonstrates that reconstitution of America cannot possibly come about through the current political system.

          Unlike the 1930s when activist workers organized labor unions and demanded better conditions, today's labor leaders and organizations are merely shills for right-wing big business, not only leaving millions of working people disenfranchised but facilitating an historically unprecedented undermining of the social position of the working class. The gap between the rich and poor has never been as great, yet the working class has at present no means of countering the political monopoly enjoyed by big business.

         


"The political conceptions that accompanied these [2003] protests--that war could be prevented through the force of public opinion, either by dissuading Washington or by rallying the European powers and the United Nations to curb the excesses of US imperialism--have been thoroughly refuted by the course of events."

"For an international mobilization of workers and youth against the war in Iraq," Statement of the World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International, 22 January 2007

       We can't hope to create a commonwealth by focusing exclusively on one or two issues such as opposition to war or health care reform or using a futile tactic such as protesting. To truly work for all the interests of the disenfranchised masses, our efforts must present solutions to all the economic and political problems confronting working people--from militarism and war to economic inequity, the lack of housing for the poor, and the assault on Constitutional rights. And we must use a number of strategies on a number of fronts at the same time. Our unified non-violent revolution must stand on fundamental principles that constitute the basis for a genuinely populist program. The vanguard of our uprising must be the unified international working class.

     The ravages of predatory capitalism are becoming clear for all workers to see and feel. We either overthrow this form of economic slavery or we'll end up actual chattel slaves to a new capitalist class of criminal thugs. To regain our Constitutional freedoms in America, we must establish a commonwealth based on equitable economic principles. Creating our commonwealth will involve the realization of the Second Bill of Rights as presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his State of the Union Address in January, 1944.

     In his State of the Union Address, Roosevelt declared that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second bill of rights. Roosevelt did not argue for any change to the United States Constitution; he believed that the second bill of rights should be implemented politically, not by federal judges. Roosevelt's stated justification was that the "political rights" granted by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness." Roosevelt's remedy was to create an "economic bill of rights" which would guarantee:

  • "The right to a useful and remunerative job"
  • "The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation"
  • "The right of every family to a decent home"
  • "The right to adequate medical care and opportunity to enjoy and achieve good health"
  • "The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment"
  • "The right to a good education"

     Roosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security, and that America's place in the world depended upon how far these and similar rights were carried into practice.

      If you stop for a moment to reflect on what life would be like in America if this second Bill of Rights were realized, you get a clear picture of how debased and inhuman our present political and economic systems really are.

     Our economic situation at present--a very few obscenely rich people owning companies and corporations and having illegally seized state and federal political power--is one which we can and must change. Our current economic and political circumstances are not written in stone; humans have lived under very different political and economic conditions throughout our history.

According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research, the top 1 percent of the world's adult population (about 37 million people) owns 40 percent of the world's wealth. The top 2 percent owns over half and the top 10 percent owns 85 percent.

      In the first one hundred and fifty years of our history as a nation, the vast majority of American people lived in a community-oriented culture, on farms or in small towns or cities working as artisans and laborers. Our national identity was associated with interdependence and cooperation--in most cases, for the common good. Women worked with men, families traded labor and animals.

      In this culture of mutual concern and mutual obligation, working class people took care of one another. They shared common values and interests, completely different from the values of a market-driven approach to life. According to this common welfare approach to life, merchants and financiers would be restricted to what the community decided about how resources are used. The working class had put its cooperative, interdependent ideals into their state constitutions and in town and city charters when possible.


"To distinguish a man's superiority, there is but a single sign: a practical and not an alleged-contempt for riches. However great may be a man's active virtues or the radiant power of his intelligence, if they are accompanied by the love of money that most eminent men possess, it is certain that they are tainted with baseness. What they create under the hypocritical pretext of good will bear within it the seeds of decay. Unselfishness and innocence alone is creative, and it alone can help to raise man."

Source


Making Clear Distinctions

      In creating a commonwealth movement, we must take special care to appeal to people by using the appropriate vocabulary and referencing important historic personalities in a suitable manner. For example, it's essential to distinguish clearly between a commonwealth movement and communism and socialism. And we must help people understand the contribution of important historic persons in the ongoing struggle for social structure of and for the people.

Essential Distinguishing Points
New Commonwealth Movement Communism Socialism
A new non-violent movement to create national political-economic systems founded in law by agreement of the people for the common good to replace plutocracy (disguised as democracy) and state-corporate capitalism (fascism) A system of social organization in which real property and the means of production are held in common;
in modern terms, Communism (written with a capital C) refers to the historical movement that aims to overthrow the capitalist order by revolutionary means and to establish a classless society in which real property and the means of production will be publicly owned
The historical movement that aims to overthrow the capitalist order by evolution rather than revolution to establish a classless society in which real property and the means of production will be publicly owned


Stalinist dictatorship

      This chart makes it
clear that a commonwealth movement is to be identified with neither communism nor socialism. Not only is "communism" a term
fraught with negative connotations--as in "the fall of communism in 1991," but its dogma of violent revolution is completely opposite to a commonwealth movement's non-violent methods.

      Socialism as a historic movement also contains a great deal of negative baggage, such as the fact that many early American and European socialists continued to embrace Russian communism when it had devolved into a totalitarian dictatorship under Stalin.

      The only partially useful socialist grouping at present is the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), which is in political solidarity with the International Committee of the Fourth International. Two debilitating flaws incapacitate this party:

  1. Like all socialist or communist organizations, the Socialist Equality Party does obeisance to such iconic figures as Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky as almost infallible "prophets" and "teachers."

  2. SEP suffers from the defect of doctrinaire materialism, the inability to recognize the reality of the metaphysical and spiritual domains.

      Rejecting the negative connotations and practices of such movements as communism and socialism, we must, nonetheless, unite with whatever essentially positive, non-violent elements of groups and persons who have and are working for commonwealth principles, no matter what other controversial features they might possess.

    Engels and Marx       For example, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Leon Trotsky fostered and approved of violent means of overthrowing predatory capitalism. However, much of their analysis of capitalism and plutocracy is useful in our ongoing efforts to establish a commonwealth movement. A group such as the International Committee of the Fourth International continues to identify itself

with the historical socialist movement, but it provides outstanding analysis of current events and movements through their World Socialist Web Site.

"The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC [End Poverty in California]. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them."

A letter from Upton Sinclair to Norman Thomas, 25th September, 1951

      The World Socialist Web Site, in spite of its defects outlined above, provides clear insight into what kind of system should replace fascistic capitalism.

"The key industrial, financial, technological and natural resources must be taken out of the sphere of the capitalist market and private ownership, transferred to society and placed under the democratic supervision and control of the working class. The organization of economic life, on the basis of the capitalist law of value, must be replaced with its socialist [commonwealth] reorganization on the basis of democratic economic planning, whose purpose is the fulfillment of social needs.

"New forms and structures of genuine participatory democracy--arising in the course of revolutionary mass struggles and representative of the working class majority of the population--must be developed as the foundations of a workers' government; that is, a government of the workers, for the workers, and by the workers. The policy of such a government, as it introduces those measures essential for the socialist [commonwealth] transformation of economic life, would be to encourage and actively promote a vast expansion of the democratic working class' participation in, and control over, decision-making processes." 3


Historical Harbingers of a Commonwealth Movement

      The most useful historical examples of nationally coordinated efforts to restructure American society toward a partial commonwealth pattern occurred during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Part of the reason Roosevelt was able to move the nation more toward a commonwealth was that conditions under the Great Depression, which had begun in the late 1920s, were so extreme that both capitalists and workers alike agreed that something drastic must be done. As Walter Lippmann indicated at the time:

"At the beginning of March [1933], the country was in such a state of confused desperation that it would have followed almost any leader anywhere he chose to go."

      The people who helped institute Roosevelt's New Deal used as their pattern the prior experience of national coordination that had been effected during World War I. During wartime, the nation had established governmental regimentation of economic and political activities--all to passable effect. FDR The New Deal was in essence a movement of the nation's political and economic structures somewhat away from total control by the Robber Barons to increased concern for the plight of the working class.

      While conditions for workers improved under New Deal progressivism, Roosevelt unfortunately retained the underlying bankrupt capitalist derangement, so that it soon reared its demonic head and began to seize control once more. The country slowly returned to the earlier system of predatory capitalism, so that full recovery occurred only when the economy was harnessed to arms production in preparation for a new plundering of world markets in the imperialistic bloodbath of World War II. In other words, even the "miracle" of FDR's recovery was possible only when unemployed workers had been transformed into cannon fodder for a new world conflagration.

      Though America moved closer to a commonwealth system under FDR, he failed to replace capitalist, plutocratic structures with a government of and for the people, resulting in the present scourge of a plutocratic police state.

"'I think back to the events of March 4, 1933,' Senator Bronson Cutting of New Mexico later wrote, 'with a sick heart. For then . . . the nationalization of banks by President Roosevelt could have been accomplished without a word of protest. It was President Roosevelt's great mistake.' Capitalist parasitesOn the night before Congress convened, Senators Robert M. La Follette, Jr., of Wisconsin and Edward P. Costigan of Colorado, two leading progressives, called at the White House to urge Roosevelt to establish a truly national banking system. But they found Roosevelt's mind made up. 'That isn't necessary at all,' La Follette later recalled Roosevelt saying, 'I've just had every assurance of cooperation from the bankers.' The very moneychangers, whose flight from their high seats in the temple the President had so grandiloquently proclaimed in his inaugural address, were now swarming through the corridors of the Treasury." 4

      There have been a number of historical political "experiments" that provide some insight into the essential features of a commonwealth: fifth century Athens, the Roman Empire, the Venetian republic, the British empire, and the United States. But all these are merely distant approximations of the Form of Commonwealth, which we must understand if we're to create a commonwealth movement.

      We gain effective comprehension of the Commonwealth Form through Dialectical Interchange and through participation in small, experimental groups where we can clearly determine which structures and methods are effective and beneficial. How these groups train in Dialectical Interchange and group decision-making and then fecundate the larger society with their knowledge has previously been explored in these two essays and novella:

  1. Enlightening Groups

  2. Transformative Groups

  3. Building Commonwealth







Discovering the Platonic Form: Commonwealth


     Those readers not familiar with Forms and Dialectic will need to study this material.

          Through understanding Plato's book The Commonwealth, we gain the necessary comprehension
    of the nature of Forms in general
    and the Form Commonwealth in particular, making it possible to
    create a commonwealth movement.

          In Plato's quest for the Form Commonwealth he was seeking more than a mere accumulation of
    haphazard historical facts about man's political and social life. He was questing after the supersensible Form Commonwealth through which to comprehend disparate historical facts and bring them to a systematic unity, which would make a more perfect terrestrial embodiment of the Form possible.

      Plato was convinced that without gaining a full understanding of the Form Commonwealth, all practical attempts at realizing a commonwealth are doomed to failure. The Form Plato is looking for is far beyond the empirical and historical world.

"No historical phenomenon is adequate to the ideal pattern of the state; for, as he says in his Phaedo, the phenomena 'aim at being' but fall short and are unable to be like their archetypes. Not for a moment could Plato think of putting on the same level a given empirical fact and his Idea of the Legal State--the state of justice.

"All this becomes understandable if we bear in mind that Plato had to solve a problem very different from that of any other political reformer. He could not simply replace one political system or form of government by another and better one. He had to introduce a new method and a new postulate into political thought." 5

Realizing A New Commonwealth

"Our aim in founding the State was not the disproportionate happiness of any one class, but the greatest happiness of the whole; we thought that in a State which is ordered with a view to the good of the whole we should be most likely to find Justice. . ."
Plato, Commonwealth III

          Though a complete embodiment of the Form Commonwealth does not yet exist in the terrestrial domain, the Form Commonwealth does have being in the sovereignty of the higher realm for those persons who seek to behold and understand it through Dialectical Interchange. Such Perennialist seekers 6 make themselves citizens of this Commonwealth by discerning, exploring, and treasuring it as a reality and an ideal. As evolving manifestations of the Form Commonwealth are realized in the terrestrial realm, the watchword remains:
"Thy Empyreal Fellowship 7 come.

Thy will be done.

On earth as it is in the Higher Realm."





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1 In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal word-for-word translation.

2 As I am writing this essay on January 12, 2008, we learn that Congress has allowed telecommunication companies to avoid being held liable for their cooperation with the White House in their criminal domestic spying campaign. The essence of fascism is the collusion of the state and corporations in perpetrating crimes.

3 Documents of the SEP Founding Congress: Statement of Principles--

Part 1, 25 September 2008, WSWS.org

4 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Coming of the New Deal, p. 5

5 Ernst Cassirer, The Myth of the State

6 At the end of The Commonwealth, Socrates tells Glaucon that the commonwealth moral principles of virtue and order, applying to both the soul and the society, are already realized in a higher realm of supersensual communion. Only seekers of wisdom (philosophers) gain awareness of and participation in this supersensual commonwealth, because only they possess the spiritual qualities which make this possible. The supersensual community has been created by the lives and teachings of the varied Perennialist teachers.

See the author's book The Perennial Tradition

7 The Perennialist savant Jesus of Nazareth taught about an Empyreal Fellowship which he said is not visible because its essence is "within us." The Greek words referring to this Empyreal Fellowship in the New Testament have been mistranslated "Kingdom of heaven" or "Kingdom of God:"