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Virtual Senate

by on January 13, 2014

“Society must set the rules for the financial system and not vice versa. Banks should serve the people. (…) Sensible forms of investment should lead to a flow of money towards the real economy. States may not go into debt for this.” (Petition)

Question: that’s all very fair and well, but HOW TO ACCOMPLISH THAT?

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My reply: don’t kill markets – learn from them!

Learn from the Virtual Senate!

The Virtual Senate is the result of many traders around the world, making intelligent decisions about where there’s money to be made. Whenever a politician shows any sign of actually implementing some of the policies he had to promise his voters in order to get elected, the Virtual Senate can show thumbs-down, by shifting money around. Speculating against currencies, selling off government debt, basically: capital flight. This is highly effective at discouraging social policies.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a similar system for us mere mortals? In fact, there is: giving our vote to a politician or party is basically just a way of investing in them. We “lend” them our vote, get it?

Now: imagine we had a kind of Virtual Senate with which to punish policies we disapprove by “vote” flight (“un-voting”?) We have the technology! Ever look at computer games recently? On X-Box, wii and what have you, our pimply teenagers are conducting medieval battles as MMOs – massive multiplayer online games. Let’s cross the moat and invade the castle by applying that to politics, shall we? We already use secure online payment systems, why not use that to vote, too!

It would bring us closer to fern-shaped Democracy.

“President Barack Hussein Obama”
would no longer be an anagram of
“Monarchs abuse a peskier bandit”
and “minister” would once again mean “servant” (of the people!)

As stated in the Banks need Boundaries! petitionstep one is to separate money entirely from investments. This shifts our system from too-big-to-fail to ‘too big-to-blackmail’: less debt, less threat!

Step two: We must get proper information on what our money is doing. Our savings accounts (someone still has such a thing, I know you’re out there!) and the money in our retirement funds. We need to know what we’re funding, what we’re involved in. If only for the simple reason that, as we speak, some retired people are being forced into hard choices such as the one between food and heating. “Shall I starve? Or shall I rather freeze to death?” – What if that same person’s retirement fund was currently being “protected” by speculation on high food prices, and rising fuel costs. Wouldn’t that be something worth knowing? He might start making some interesting choices – new ways in which to pass wealth on to further generations: investments to protect the environment, for example. Maybe even one where the grandkids’s nest egg isn’t quite so spectacular, but instead they have a world in which to enjoy it! Wealthy people with investment portfolios make such choices all the time, why can’t the rest of us? Too complicated? “Cost-prohibitive?” Isn’t it funny how the “consumer is king” when it comes to choosing between flavours of rice-a-roni, but when you travel up the food chain that privilege slowly but surely peters out? (tx, George Carlin)
==> Make account investments and retirement funds transparent to the owners!

Step three: Instead of sitting back after election day, after voting for “who one could most stomach to watch on TV for the next 4 years” (Jello Biafra), the people would remain involved. And when it turns out once again that the candidate was marketed like “toothpaste or detergent” (Chomsky), namely with manipulation, deceit and outright lies, log on to your computer, go to fire-a-minister.com and send the fellow home!
And it doesn’t stop there. Look no further than all the effort spent polling registered voters before election day. It’s not as extensive as the data being gathered by stores and browsers, but compared to the simple choice to make on election day, it’s huge! Imagine that were used for actually governing! Someone already said this: “…and by the people!”
We could even do what some dead dude once said and democratise schools, the workplace, everything!

P.S. On transaction tax. Many people sense the power of the Virtual Senate, or they just do the math based on the huge explosion of speculative capital versus the real economy. Some of them arrive at the conclusion that a transaction tax would fix things. It’s quite possible that it could help return capital flow to sane levels, but it has no bearing whatsoever on capital flight.
See also Message via change.org.
And in case you didn’t know: as a rule, corporations pay such expenses with pre-tax dollars. That’s right: they pay taxes that save taxes. Nice trick if you can do it! All such taxes are at their very best a tool for fixing certain symptoms, and leave the causes untouched.

p.p.s. We didn’t even mention over-the-counter trading, which may or may not be a loophole-in-the-making. Fact is it’s already rampant. People are working day and night around the globe to strengthen finance… …by weakening it.

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“We need a movement with a quickness”
– Take the power back! (RatM)

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irvingisd-net

irvingisd-net

This author first expressed the idea of un-voting on December 23, 2012 in the German-language facebook group DasLiebeGeld (“dear money”).

First heard the term “Virtual Senate” from Chomsky, who says it came from a book on Latin-American development, and was quoted in the business press (FT).
Later, the term was co-opted for snazzy computer animations for reporting on elections.

Jello Biafra feels elections are reported on similarly to wrestling.

This post as PDF (January 14, 2014)

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  1. Too big to blackmail | Banks need Boundaries

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