[fyeg_gen-l] How to affect the Real Politik - in ( Green ) Power Politics ? ... towards more Democracy and No Green Capitalist Speculative Bubble ?

Dante-Gabryell Monson dante.monson at gmail.com
Sun Dec 12 16:14:01 CET 2010


*I will send this to the FYEG gen list.*
*
*
*as the forum is temporarily un-editable ( some fyeg admin person is working
on it, as to free it from automatic spamming )*
*
*
*When the forum will fully function, I will likely add this post to*
*http://fyeg.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=75*
*or some other "influence" Real Politik section on *
http://fyeg.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=8

*---*
*
*
*The following I want to share is Regarding Power Politics , although in
this case, with in addendum an article with a view on Real Politik given by
... a conservative american.*
*
*
*Even though I may not share a number of his moral or ideological views, or
may not share some of his views in the article, I do find the excerpts I add
in addendum of interest regarding what some may perhaps call "Real
Politik<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realpolitik>"
, and how it may be influenced... from a net/grass-roots perspective ( ? )
*
*
*
*But to start with, a few more personal views :
*
*
*
*I have witnessed some of the inside of so called "representative" power
politics for a few years, across europe, and I currently do indeed have the
feeling that such Real Politik is ( unfortunatly ) effective, across much of
the "representative" political spectrum., including the Greens.*
*
*
*I also do believe that because of the inequality of resources, citizen
movements can have a hard time when compared to lobbying efforts of some big
corporations, for example.*
*
*
*Hence my interest in structural, globally networked and locally experienced
solutions, which could enable citizens to have democratic influence on their
autonomously inter-related means of production, property, and governance.*
*
*
*I wish for (Green) Power Politics to support such approach, even in the
case it reduces their own power for top down control.*
*
*
*In some Green Parties in Europe, there seems to be a debate on a
"Capitalist Green New Deal" that a number of them want to support, or at
least, do not seem to be opposed to.*
*
*
*I want to understand, eventually together with some people like you,*
*as I believe there is still a strong criticism and no consensus regarding
Capitalism within Green Movements and Politics, *
*
*
*how we can convince Green Politicians ( but also the whole political
spectrum, beyond the Greens ) into defining a "Green Deal" which supports
distributed, local, non-capitalist yet potentially complementary alternative
hybrid economics.*
*
*
*Instead of investing a lot of money in ( sometimes very big ) corporations
to develop "green jobs and green technologies", instead of expanding the
monetary mass through massive government debts to *sustain capitalism* -
hence adding a few patches with a green look on the tip of the "iceberg", to
sustain an entire socially and ecologically unsustainable capitalist system
-*
*
*
*Lets not support "Lemon Socialism" *
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_socialism ,*
*and lets not support a speculative "Green Bubble" to maintain the survival
of the current forms of Capitalism.*
*See 2008 article in "Time Magazine" - "What is Green and goes Pop" **: *
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1808242,00.html
*
*
*I propose to **push towards support to invest current resources (
eventually also using mainstream central bank money the governments have
access to ) into localized non-capitalist infrastructures, currencies and
economics.  Progressively offering alternatives to the current monopolistic
monetary architecture and economic system,*
*
*
*and building up local population owned, locally controlled , and globally
networked production infrastructures, and commons, which can enable everyone
to benefit from our interdependencies and activities, ( also see several
thousand pages of documentation on : http://p2pfoundation.net ;
http://blog.p2pfoundation.net ) *
*
*
*enabling all of us to still have access to "inter-dependency", without
relying on artificially scarce centrally controlled money systems.*
*
*
*Dante*
*
*
*----
*
*
*
*
http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/the-real-nature-of-politics-and-politicians/
*<http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/the-real-nature-of-politics-and-politicians/>
*
*
* The Real Nature of Politics and
Politicians<http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/the-real-nature-of-politics-and-politicians/>
*
*

or America’s System Works, But Not the Way You Think!
*
*By Mike Rothfeld*
*
*
*Excerpted :*

*Simply put, politics is not about the common good, appealing to men’s
better angels, nor serving our Lord. These may be your motivations. I pray
they are mine. Occasionally, they will be a politician’s motivation.*

*Politics is the adjudication of power. It is the process by which people
everywhere determine who rules whom.*

*In America, through a brilliant system of rewards and punishments, checks
and balances, and diffusion of authority, we have acquired a habit and
history of politics mostly without violence and excessive corruption.*

*The good news for you and me is that the system works.*

*The bad news is it is hard, and sometimes unpleasant work, for us to
succeed in enacting policy.*

*There is absolutely no reason for you to spend your time, talent, and money
in politics except for this: If you do not, laws will be written and
regulations enforced by folks with little or no interest in your well-being.
*

*
*

*Excerpted :*

*...*

**

*Three percent of the populations plus one voter. Here is where politicians
live and die.*

*In some local and state elections where turnout may be only 20 percent of
registered voters, the margin may be far less than three percent plus one.*

*The average politician lives in constant fear of alienating any substantial
portion of this three percent plus one voter he needs in a hotly contested
race to win re-election, or to gain higher office.*

*What is the best way not to alienate these voters? Do nothing to make them
mad, which almost always means … do nothing.*

*This is why even when new politicians are elected, little seems to change.
Inertia — or the status quo — is the most potent force in politics.*

*However, by mobilizing and directing voters rallying around a specific
issue, you can change the political environment for a politician or even a
group of politicians. One relatively small group can make it more costly for
the politician not to act than it is for him or her to act as you want him
to.*



-------------------

Full Article :

http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/the-real-nature-of-politics-and-politicians/
 The Real Nature of Politics and
Politicians<http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/the-real-nature-of-politics-and-politicians/>

or America’s System Works, But Not the Way You Think!

By Mike Rothfeld

*(Editor’s Note: I met Mike at the Campaign For Liberty convention in
Atlanta in January 2010. This guy is a take-no-prisoners guerrilla fighter.
If you see Mike in person giving a speech, you’ll either love him or hate
him. I loved his speech.)*

Few of the lectures I give on political technology and campaigning make
people as agitated as this one.

None is more important.

Simply put, politics is not about the common good, appealing to men’s better
angels, nor serving our Lord. These may be your motivations. I pray they are
mine. Occasionally, they will be a politician’s motivation.

Politics is the adjudication of power. It is the process by which people
everywhere determine who rules whom.

In America, through a brilliant system of rewards and punishments, checks
and balances, and diffusion of authority, we have acquired a habit and
history of politics mostly without violence and excessive corruption.

The good news for you and me is that the system works.

The bad news is it is hard, and sometimes unpleasant work, for us to succeed
in enacting policy.

There is absolutely no reason for you to spend your time, talent, and money
in politics except for this: If you do not, laws will be written and
regulations enforced by folks with little or no interest in your well-being.

The following pages may challenge everything you thought you knew about
politics, and everything you have been told about politics from your high
school civics teacher to the lead editorial writer in your local paper to
the politics “expert” at a respected organization.

But if you read carefully and understand, you will become capable of leading
a successful fight for your values.

*Politicians, Not Education and Not Public Opinion, Make Policy*

The first mistake most folks make when they set out on a good-faith crusade
to do good is to completely misunderstand their targets.

Sometimes, activists make the local newspaper or media the target. The
thinking goes, “If we can just get them to understand the problem, things
will change.” It is fortunate that this is not correct, because the media in
the U.S. is overwhelmingly committed to big government, gun control, and the
supremacy of state-controlled education over parent controlled education.

The fact is newspapers cast no votes. The national evening news controls no
elections. If this were not true, Ronald Reagan would never have been
President.

An even more common mistake is to believe that the key to victory is
education.

The “education is the key to political victory” theory claims that if we
educate people as to the problem and the solution, then the elected
officials will fall in line.

Wrong.

Polls show huge majorities of Americans in favor of parental notification
before a minor has an abortion. Yet the mere mention of the issue drives
most politicians into fits of terror. Similarly, three-quarters of the
American people oppose forced-unionism and favor Right to Work laws;
however, such laws exist in only 22 states.

It is important to understand the two reasons why the education theory of
politics is a mistake.

First, the theory assumes no opposing “education” effort. This is rarely the
case.

Polls showed a majority in California favored education choice, yet the 1992
School Voucher Referendum lost 2-1 on election day. Why? Because the
NEA-teachers’ union bosses and pro-government-school-monopoly forces
out-organized school choice forces, had a more focused message, and spent a
lot more money.

The second, and more important, reason the “education is the key” theory
fails lies in the nature of politics and politicians.

*Policy in the Margins or Why Grass-Roots Politics Works*

What follows is a generalized breakdown of voting in any given election:
PeoplePercentage  for Victory100%, all people

70% eligible to vote (excludes aliens, felons, minors)

40% registered to vote (approximately 60% of eligible)

20% vote on election day (50% of registered voters)

7% almost always vote Republican
7% almost always vote Democrat

6% swing votes
50%, plus 1

35%, plus 1

20%, plus 1

10%, plus 1

3%, plus 1

Three percent of the populations plus one voter. Here is where politicians
live and die.

In some local and state elections where turnout may be only 20 percent of
registered voters, the margin may be far less than three percent plus one.

The average politician lives in constant fear of alienating any substantial
portion of this three percent plus one voter he needs in a hotly contested
race to win re-election, or to gain higher office.

What is the best way not to alienate these voters? Do nothing to make them
mad, which almost always means … do nothing.

This is why even when new politicians are elected, little seems to change.
Inertia — or the status quo — is the most potent force in politics.

However, by mobilizing and directing voters rallying around a specific
issue, you can change the political environment for a politician or even a
group of politicians. One relatively small group can make it more costly for
the politician not to act than it is for him or her to act as you want him
to.

This is what I mean when I say that policy is made at the margins. Over
time, the number and effectiveness of activists determines political success
or failure.

This is also why the homosexual lobby, labor unions, and organized groups so
often get legislation they want. They have groups of voters who can, and
will, vote on their issue alone. And they often have workers and sometimes
money to use against any politician who crosses them.

By becoming a grass-roots leader, you can, too.

That’s where the fun, and the danger, begins.

*How Politicians React to Pressure*

In a better world, you would mobilize, the politicians would immediately
agree to do everything you want, the policy would be changed, and we would
all live happily ever after.

Of course, it rarely happens that way.

When a provision harmful to home-schooling parents was located in the 1994
Education Bill (H.R.6), Mike Farris’ Home School Legal Defense Association
directed some one million calls and letters to Congress in a three-week
period. The amendment to strip out the offending language passed the U.S.
House of Representatives 434-1. Another amendment by Representative Dick
Armey (R-TX) to positively protect home schoolers passed 374-53.

It was a rout.

The rout occurred not just because the home schooling community was so
mobilized (though they were) but because they were mobilized for a very
specific purpose, to which there was virtually no organized opposition.

It was an easy decision for members of the House of Representatives.

This is not the case for most controversial issues. It is certainly not true
for any legislation relating to the right to keep and bear arms or abortion
or right to work.

So how will a politician react to your organized pressure when he knows
there is or is certain to be, organized pressure against your position?

The first thing the politician will do is try to make you go away without
giving you anything of substance. If he gives you anything of substance,
then those organized on the other side will be mad.

So most politicians will try to make you quit by intimidation, explanation,
or buying you off.

Many politicians — especially those used to being treated like royalty
rather than public servants — may try to threaten and intimidate. Statements
such as, “If you ever try something like this again, I’ll vote against you
for sure,” or “I’ll tell the newspaper you’re a trouble-maker” are not
uncommon. A rudely spoken, “I don’t know who you think you are, but that’s
not how we do things here, and no one will work with you again” followed by
a slammed-down phone receiver is another favorite.

Remember, you are not running for office. The politician is. Then remember
the three percent plus one voter margin, and double your efforts to
mobilize.

Before long, even this politician will go to a new tactic.

Most likely, a politician (whether or not intimidation is attempted) will
seek to placate you by “explaining” what he or she calls “the political
reality.” Sometimes the explanation may be made by a surrogate for the
politician; a member of his staff, a lobbyist or even, in many cases, a
well-known advocate for your issue.

The message usually takes the basic form of, “I’ve been doing this for a
long time and believe me, I share your concerns but we just can’t pass that
bill right now,” or “even if we could pass what your people want, the
Governor (or President or a judge) will kill it,” or “It’s the best we could
do,” or simply “We’ll lose.”

First of all, so what? Rome was not built in a day, nor is major policy
passed overnight. Sometimes it may take years. But policy will never change
if politicians never vote on it.

Policy is changed one vote — one politician — at a time.

Second of all, the reason this is often true is that politicians succeed in
ducking difficult votes, thus preventing voters from ever knowing exactly
where they stand.

Your job as a grassroots leader is to convey to the politician your
supporters’ insistence on his or her personal, public and on-the-record
support for your position.

Of course, you do want to pass your legislation (or defeat your opponent’s
legislation), but first and foremost, you want the politician’s complete
public support. As an aside, a commitment in writing is better than a verbal
commitment, and a vote on the most controversial piece of the bill (not
necessarily final passage) is better than a written commitment.

Private promises are worthless.

When you have insisted on the politician’s support for your position, they
will then try to buy you off. Here is where the best grass-roots leaders
fail.

*<b>Power and Access and Selling Out</b>*

Politics can be seductive.

The chance to rub elbows with elected officials, being looked up to by
people in your community as someone in the know, invitations to and
recognition at special events, being quoted in the media, helping to write
“acceptable” compromise language, an appointment to some committee or task
force, or even a paid job in the politician’s office or campaign — all this
could be yours if you become a grassroots leader. These are the trinkets for
which leaders sell out their political agenda.

Of course, most everyone thinks he is strong enough, smart enough, and
committed enough not to sell out. Few people are.

Before long, instead of delivering to the politician the grassroots’ message
to pass or defeat specific legislation, you become the politician’s
representative, telling grass-roots activists what they must settle for.

Right now, today, decide whether you want access or power.

Access is calling a politician and having him take your call. He listens to
what you want, and may or may not do it. It is what most grassroots leaders
end up settling for. This is the way most non-controversial (e.g. business
accounting before Enron) and high-interest versus low-opposition (e.g. farm
subsidies) political business is done.

Power is the ability to tell a politician what you want, and either get it
or deliver substantial pain (maybe even get a new politician) at the next
election. This is the ONLY way ideological, controversial legislation can be
passed or defeated (e.g. abortion, guns or homosexual special rights).

Again, I urge you to remember the three percent plus one voter.

You and your grassroots group may be able to single-handedly bring the
politician down. Or perhaps you will be one of a handful of groups
organizing at the next election.

No matter what, you will make it harder for the politician to win
re-election, costing him extra time and money.

If the politician loses, every other elected official will fear you and your
group.

If the politician wins, he (and other politicians) will remember the extra
pain you caused him. And he will know you may do it again or worse. When you
return to continue fighting for what you believe in, you will find him and
his colleagues more willing … and surprisingly, sometimes more gracious
(though do not count on the latter; personal pleasantness is cheap coin).

As the late Everett Dirksen said, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”

*Winning in the Long Run*

There is a great deal more I could tell you

** How to recruit for your grassroots organization.

** How best to communicate with politicians.

** The differences between offensive and defensive legislative strategies.

** Choosing a leader who is an elected official (Hint: Be very careful)

** When and how to use the media.

** The best ways to raise money for the short-term and the long-term.

But what I would like to close with is the importance of taking a long-term
approach to fighting for your values.

If you remember from the beginning of this article, I said the good news is
that the system works.

I hope by now you see what I mean. Namely, the politicians are still
subservient to the people who elected them … to you and me.

However, most of the time, a fight to really make a difference may take
years. This is especially true the further from local politics you get.

It’s true Mike Farris and the Home School Legal Defense Foundation won the
battle for home schoolers in the U.S. Congress in just a few weeks as
described above. But Mike Farris spent years building his organization of
home schoolers.

More importantly, as I noted, there was little or no opposition to the
mobilized home schooling force.

Since then, in fights to pass any kind of school choice — much more, a full
tax credit — the results have been very different. In fact, President George
W. Bush easily abandoned the conservative opposition to federalized
education and passed the No Child Left Behind Act with overwhelming
Republican support.

The size and effectiveness of the advocates of bigger government schools
dwarfs the those of us who are committed to school choice.

When you first start out, expect not to be taken seriously; especially if
you insist upon principle and refuse to compromise or to be bought off.

The key will be for you and your grassroots activists to aggressively make
politicians pay a price for their failure to pay attention to their
constituents (you and your group). Every year, every session of the
legislature, you must return pushing for your principles. And every
election, you must cause pain to as many politicians as possible; starting
with those who claim to support your cause, but vote and act in opposition.

At the same time, you should be continually recruiting more members, raising
more money, and expanding the areas in which you are active.

By doing this, you can win in the long run.

*Mike Rothfeld is President of Saber Communications, a political consulting
firm in Falmouth, Virginia. Reach him at: (540) 371-7077 or email at: mir -
at - saberinc.net*
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