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Where the Power of the People Lies: Between What Is and What Could Be

Updated on December 15, 2018

What Is

Contemporary representative political policy has historically been positioned as the replacement for feudalism. But, replacing the monarch of kings and queens who rule over the people of a land through assumption and succession, with voting for politicians who rule over the people of a land through assumption and appointment instead, is a lateral move. The onset of politics practiced under capitalism engenders the professionalization of politics. It is this professionalization of politics that shapes the way in which we practice politics as well as the society that they dictate. It is considered to be the paragon of progress in the way we experience politics and society. Yet, replacing the rule of man with the rule of law is still rooted in the same principle as feudalism. It is built on the presumption of a necessary hierarchy. The idea that some people need to be ruled over is the guiding principle of both feudalism as well as the current representative political processes practiced in the western hemisphere. However, the power that lies in the hands of the state to make decisions for the people is exactly the power that belongs in the hands of the people.

What Could Be

The freedom of people lies in the power of decision on issues affecting society. Not in the freedom to choose someone else to determine how those issues should be resolved. The authority that is assumed by politicians upon election is precisely where the power of the people lies. There is power in the freedom of choice. This freedom of choice is what gives us control over our own lives. Self determination is achieved through making our own choices. Self determination is the apotheosis of freedom; the ability to determine our own lives. By voting for politicians to make decisions for us, we the people effectively vote away our own power. Under the auspices of having the power to choose a representative to make our choices for us, we buy into the illusion that we have the power of choice. However, there is a difference between voting for someone to represent your decisions and voting for someone to make your decisions for you. By controlling and limiting the choices that are available to the people, the system of politics that is practiced by modern society is able to control the lives and destiny of the people it governs. If the people were truly free from tyranny, then the power that politicians have to vote on issues would, in fact, be possessed by the people they represent. The campaigns launched by politicians to win votes would be irrelevant. The promises they make would be gratuitous. The currents standards under which they're allowed to operate would not be able to sustain themselves. They would not be bolstered by an erroneous understanding of what constitutes loyalty. They would not jeopardize their integrity for money because the will of the people would be objectively more valuable than money (in fact, without demand, money would become obsolete). They would not be able to change sides or fence ride. Their positions would be fully recallable. If they failed to accurately represent the will of the people, they would instantly lose their position. Hence, their actions would be conducted according to the will of the people rather than attempting to mold the will of the people to their actions. If a person is imprisoned, and the people demand release, the person must then be released. If the state wishes to impose a law, the law must only take effect by the final will of the people and not the person elected to represent them. If the state wishes to go to war, the war must only ensue if it is the final verdict of the people. The people are not represented by professional politicians. Politics would not be an occupation in and of itself. Engaging in politics is an endeavor that would appeal to the people because the framework by which their quality of life and standard of living is determined would be directly and immediately influenced by their participation. Nevertheless, it must be understood that capitalism is a very complex and durable expediency. It is as dynamic as it is malevolent. Attacking the arrangement of state political structure is a tactic, not a solution. Therefore, it must also be understood that the power of the people has been chopped up, scattered and hidden in multiple places. Capitalism must be attacked on multiple fronts if we are ever to escape the rapacious clutches of lazy lords and idle bosses.


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    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      17 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      I appreciate your Intent here.

      "If a person is imprisoned, and the people demand release, the person must then be released." - You gave a few examples, this not being the only one, about how the will of the people can be expressed in decisions regarding laws and social matters. This in my opinion, is very important but the question arises: would people be involved? For democracy to work, people need to be involved but look at the turn-out for voting. How many people show up to vote? 60%? We need more people to be involved, otherwise from the 60% that go out and vote, say 40% win the vote then, that's 40%, out of 60% of the people make decisions for the whole 100%. That's what 's happening nowadays, more or less.

      "By voting for politicians to make decisions for us, we the people effectively vote away our own power." - There are some people who believe that a country just needs a "strong leader" who can make all the "tough decisions" and such people are not very fond of democracy.

      In the perspective that most people are uneducated, ill-informed, or misguided, democracy is seen as being detrimental. I do not feel that democracy is detrimental but I cannot ignore the people who think so. There are many and I have talked to some, on different occasions. They are not all rich snobs either. Some are country folks who are not very well informed and know that. Thus, they would like a "benevolent despot".

      Alrighty, thank You for sharing your thoughts. All the best!


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