3.13. Power to the People

In many countries around the world, the people are supposed to have the power. But it doesn’t work that way in practice.

There are two goals above all others that people everywhere ought to devote themselves to.

I’m not just saying this as my opinion. I’m saying this as the culmination of ten years of studying our problems, wracking my brain, trying to figure out how the hell we can get out of this mess we’re in.

One of these goals is political. The other is economic.

One of these goals happens within countries. The other has to happen internationally, among countries.

But they’re very much intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. They have to reinforce each other.

The first big goal? We need a big transfer of power to the people.

In many countries around the world, the people are supposed to have the power. But it doesn’t work that way in practice.

The political parties have the power. Corporations have the power.

Here in the United States, we’re stuck in an increasingly bitter, fifty-fifty stalemate.

The two parties make us think we’re standing up for our ideals and values. But what’s really happening is they’re pitting us against each other to negate the power that we the people are supposed to have.

They get to keep fanning the flames, winning easy reelections in gerrymandered districts.

They get to keep buying the policies they want with their superior resources.

Meanwhile…nearly all the work that we the people throw into politics is cancelled out by the other side!

All the formidable power we the people are supposed to have in this democracy we love goes to waste.

We can’t solve our problems as long as the people power we’re supposed to have is squandered like this.

We can’t solve our problems as long as our political discourse automatically sorts every issue into two competing camps.

The monopoly of Republicans and Democrats over our politics has got to go.

There’s a lot that people agree on—especially our desire to rein in the excesses of our politicians and corporations.

But we’re blocked from dealing with that, because we aren’t united in a people’s party.

We’re blocked from dealing with that, because Republicans and Democrats have taken the issues we do disagree on, magnified them a million times, and built our two-party system around them.

We can still have our disagreements. But we need to work on those within a united party that truly puts the interests of the people first.

It doesn’t matter what you believe, or how strongly you believe it. It’s not in your best interest to use these disagreements to keep us divided.

Because this two-party system, by the very way it’s set up, will keep splitting us in half, keep negating our power, keep us from dealing with our problems.

The U.S. is just an example. Similar things are happening in democratic countries all over the world.

In every country, the people need to be able to act in our best interests.

In every country, the people need to be able to hold our institutions accountable.

In every country, the people need to be a strong, unified political force.

Because even though we have plenty of disagreements…it just isn’t worth throwing away the power we’re supposed to have by dividing ourselves.

 

This is the 57th in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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