For almost two decades, American trust in government has been at record lows.
I’m excited because government hardly ever works in the favor of we the people. Since the document that began with “We The People”, government, which at the time were “landed gentry” served “”landed gentry”. The same holds true today.
More on that in a moment.
It’s not because of Trump
According to Pew, 2020 sees American trust in government still at the bottom of the barrel. Depending on where one stands politically, and probably racially, the numbers are lower still.
What’s interesting is, these appalling numbers have little to do with Trump, as low trust rankings began then continued through George Bush and Barack Obama’s presidencies. Trump, for Democrats depressed trust even further since his election win, with democratic trust levels plummeting to just 12 percent, compared to 30 percent during Obama’s peak.
Equally interesting, though not surprising, during the Obama Administration, the numbers were identical…only in reverse. Twelve percent of Republicans trusted government and only 30 percent of Democrats did.
We can do better
What’s really cool is a majority, albeit a small one, of Americans think we can solve problems plaguing our nation. I know we can. But we’d be better off without a government.
The founding fathers didn’t think average Americans had it in them to govern themselves. That’s why America is a representative democracy, not a direct one. Indeed, James Madison is quoted as fearing that if America were a direct democracy, the poor would take the wealth of the rich:
The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, — when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.James Madison, 1787, debates on the Constitution.
Many years before, Aristotle came to similar conclusions, but his solutions were different from Madison’s.
Noam Chomsky describes these differences in his book Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire
James Madison made the same point (as Aristotle), but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, then the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. And that’s unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce inequality so the poor wouldn’t take property from the rich. And he actually proposed a vision for a city that would put in pace what we today call welfare-state programs, common meals, other support systems. That would reduce inequality, and with it the problem of the poor taking property from the rich. Madison’s decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won’t be able to get together to do this.
Today we have Madison’s reality. Sure, there’s a little of Aristotle’s and that’s a recent change. But as you see, it’s no where near enough when the nation’s wealth is so inequitably distributed. Why else do we see protests in American cities?
We are doing better
So we have the world primarily designed by Madison and his founding henchmen, many of whom owned slaves and none of whom believed enough in women to add them to the idea that everyone was created equal.
The cool thing is, you can’t halt progress.
Aristotle’s ideas ring loudly in the design of Copiosis, only we take them even farther. Rather than enacting welfare programs and systems driven by government, Copiosis’ fundamental design allows (without any government) every human all their basic needs without that costing anyone.
It also removes the rich’s ability to leverage their wealth in ways disadvantageous to the not-rich without taking any of their wealth. So Madison would be happy with Copiosis too.
In doing all this, Copiosis offers equal opportunity for all while enriching everyone according to their ability to benefit others and the world, thus producing unequal, individualized outcomes.
And it does these things while at the same time putting an end to the system responsible for creating these “externalities” (capitalism) while also ending its competitors, socialism and communism.
People want real freedom
It’s unlikely government trust will rise back to the days of the 50s and early 60s, when “white” men ruled and gay people, women, and brown people faced massive and pretty total oppression.
No matter how much grievance this old hegemony brings to the table, the table can’t hold it because it is toppled: The browning of America is done and that’s a good thing. Even for “white” people.
But more so, with Copiosis, everyone can enjoy a level of freedom impossible with government, capitalist markets and money in the picture. This freedom we talk about a lot in Copiosis because it’s so unique to it and impossible in any other global economic model. We describe it this way:
With this kind of freedom, we can solve our problems including doing things we currently believe government should do. These include keeping us safe from terrorism, responding to natural disasters, ensuring safe food and medicine, helping people get out of poverty, and ensuring access to health care. All this while offering so many ways for people to become wealthy, it makes capitalism seem like a silly game.
Many say government should play these roles. But we the people can do these things ourselves. In Copiosis we can do them better, cheaper and with far less corruption too.
It’s good news so few trust government. It harbingers a sea-change that will sweep up capitalism along with it. Given what we’ve seen this year, I think more people agree it must go too.
Seeing it go would be something to praise too. Why?
Because fundamental change is coming and we need to make room.
Read the entire Pew Research report here.