Solving For Democracy: A democracy without politics, removing the problems that limit our government
a book by Tony Bracks
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that "This is a timely and fascinating account of not only what has gone wrong with our political systems – but how to fix them!"—Professor Ron Bewley
Fixing democracy once and for all, by removing every underlying cause of problems.
In spite of its success, the flaws in our democratic decision making have led to tens of millions of unnecessary deaths in the last 50 years alone. Each and every year globally our poor democratic process squanders many trillions of dollars which could otherwise be spent for the benefit of all. This book outlines the many consequences of our current poor democratic process and presents a compelling case for change. The underlying problems within our democratic process are then identified and tried and tested solutions are proposed.
Building on the expertise of scholars, this book critically analyses western democracies to find and address the root causes of problems. The poor implementation choices that lead to those issues are removed and replaced with sensible and effective solutions. At the same time, democracy itself is strengthened through a true separation of powers and the core qualities that have driven democracy’s success are reinforced. A more effective collective decision-making process is created, which better governs our leadership, and better represents the will of the people.
Bracks presents a design for democracy that is more in line with the Founders' original intentions: a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people
The book creates a democracy which removes any potential for either politics, corruption, self-interested politicians or the adverse influence of money. One which gives power back to the people within an effective governance framework to control that power. A democracy reconstructed from tried and tested solutions, which can produce better leadership and better decisions, for a fairer society.
What arises is a democracy designed from the ground up to be, of the people, by the people and for the people.
In Solving For Democracy: A democracy without politics, removing the problems that limit our government, Bracks shows how his newly invented democracy overcomes—or bypasses entirely—the democracy flaws we see around us. It is not that he shows how, in his model, we can overcome corruption. Instead, he shows how, in his model, corruption never becomes even possible; there is nothing to corrupt.
Tony Bracks shows how dangerous it is to have executive attentions distracted by political concerns at critical moments, risking nuclear catastrophe in order to retain power
Tony Bracks shows how dangerous it is to have executive attentions distracted by political concerns at critical moments. It prioritizes the question of whether one specific person wins an election over the safety of the people of the nation, risking nuclear catastrophe in order to retain power. This is terrible democratic structure, begging to be restructured. As Bracks sees it: "The President [Kennedy] had to spend time on an election while dealing with the real potential for global nuclear confrontation."
"Eventually after the successful election, McCone was finally able to convince Kennedy to permit U-2 flights again and Soviet nuclear missile sites were very soon found. However, for a period of time, domestic political concerns had again contributed to a decision to delay action which could have detected the existential military threat of nuclear weapons on America’s doorstep. In a relatively short period of time, on three separate occasions and for two different US Presidents, domestic political concerns had influenced significant US foreign policy efforts. Two important actions had been delayed and at a critical moment, time had been taken out for elections. Domestic political concerns had potentially affected the risks of global conflict."
President John Kennedy
"Unless our democratic decision making is reconstructed to ensure that decisions are made without conflicts of interest and with the right time available for due consideration, there remains ongoing potential for devastating mistakes. A better democratic system would enable the tough political decisions to be made by considering only the relevant information, without any concern for personal consequences and without having to spend valuable time campaigning for personal success. . . . [on the other hand] Principled politicians, whose focus is on the greater good without an ability to gain votes, do not survive."
FDR was a principled politician—a rarity in Washington
They also do not get elected. Obama was a good campaigner and speaker AND LIAR who promised all kinds of things, sounding exactly like a principled politician, but once elected he forgot about the people and catered to special interests. The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech chronicles the rise of [liberals'] intimidation tactics—their genesis, their refinement, and the toll they’ve taken on free speech in America. The history is told through real stories, of real Americans, who faced silencing. . . . Today, Americans are again being targeted on the basis of their political views; they again risk losing their jobs and reputations for speaking out; they again face economic and community reprisal; they again face a government that is leading the charge to strip them of basic rights.
In the age of Obama, the government took the tried-and-true techniques of bureaucratic stonewalling to unprecedented heights. What’s more, it added harassment, intimidation, and outright spying to the mix. First Amendment rights were seriously jeopardized by persistent and unrelenting targeting of anyone who disagreed with the last administration. Obozo would never have had a second term if he hadn't mustered a major smear campaign and intimidation game. The Democratic Party has gone from the discussing, debating, and compromise which is what’s best for our country to destroying all opposition at all costs, and by any means necessary.
Few liberal Americans realized the extent of corruption that existed under Obama, and since he was black, they assumed it would look like racism if they talked about the corruption they were seeing, so they kept silent—and politically correct. And the worst aspect of this is that the mainstream media did the same thing, looking the other way rather than calling out the corruption. Obama counted on this self-induced blindness as he smeared and intimidated to his heart's content, becoming so distracted that he bungled the Mideast situation so badly that Islamics fed up with unprovoked U.S. aggression created ISIS. As all this occurred, Obama doubled the national debt from 10 trillion dollars to 20 trillion dollars.
Obama added stonewalling, smearing, harassment, intimidation, and outright spying to the strategies of government corruption already in place from Dubya; here they are playing at the beach
All this exemplified the dangers of electing people good at campaigning and lying with a straight face rather than doing what is best for the country regardless of political costs, i.e., principled politicians or statesmen or stateswomen. The last one of these we had was FDR! They say scum rises to the top, as well as cream. It has been a very long time since we were led by a cream dweller. Apparently, the scum rises higher than the cream so it always gets skimmed out first when we look for candidates. Bracks makes a really good point that principled politicians are not electable, while prevaricating opportunists are. If we seriously want to have a democracy that works and leaders we can be proud of, we will have to restructure our ailing democracy.
The prevaricating opportunists we invariably elect are self-interested and greedy, lining their pockets at every opportunity
Both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, and now Trump—they say people get the government they deserve and the leaders to go with it. Each of these prevaricating opportunists was good at campaigning but sold us out to special interests once he assumed office. For 2020 there are many female candidates who are operating in the same failed system as the men, and the change to a different gender—although a great relief—will in no way change the fact that the prevaricating opportunist who is best at campaigning, NOT THE PRINCIPLED POLITICIAN WE NEED FOR OUR AILING DEMOCRACY, is the one who will win. As Bracks says, unless we are willing to push for change from the grassroots, the huge mess we are in can only get worse until the oligarchy we've been coping with finally pushed things over the edge. Trump as president of the USA is like a metaphor for how broken the system is—he is a caricature of the principled politician or statesmen or stateswomen our national dilemma requires.
Trump as president of the USA is like a metaphor for how broken the system is—he is a caricature of the principled politician or statesmen or stateswomen our national dilemma requires; in the meantime, he wants us to respect his authoritah!
Bracks makes the case that the politicians (and their minions) are in the political game out of self interest. They line their pockets and feather their nests and then once they leave office, the special interests they've been favoring while in office have lucrative jobs waiting for them—it's the old revolving door scheme which has been around for centuries.
We need to jam the revolving door scheme so people can no longer make political decisions that line their pockets and feather their nests while neglecting the citizens' interests
Dealing with symptoms is merely like running on a hamster wheel—a lot of effort is exerted but no one gets anywhere
This is a really good book for inspiring us to rethink much about politics, government, and democracy. Moreover, we especially like his concept of dealing with root causes rather than symptoms. (Here is another innovative book using the root causes context: The Forest Through The Trees.) Dealing with symptoms is merely like running on a hamster wheel—a lot of effort is exerted but no one gets anywhere. The root causes context for restructuring our ailing democracy is the wisest path if we intend to make a difference and then reverse our nation's current status of circling the drain. If we seriously want to have a democracy that works and leaders we can be proud of, we will have to restructure our ailing democracy. Why?
The root causes context for restructuring our ailing democracy is the wisest path if we intend to make a difference and then reverse our nation's current status of circling the drain
Because the root cause of our country's slide into the crapper is the structuring of our democracy, not the details or the parties or the left or the right. Using the current structure to actually solve anything is like trying to fool a Maine joke that cautions that "ya cain't get theya from heya." Starting with the idea of trying to fix our democracy by use of the democratic processes as they are currently structured gets the cart before the horse.
Starting with the idea of trying to fix our democracy by use of the democratic processes as they are currently structured gets the cart before the horse
As Bracks says, "Skilled politicians have more weapons in their arsenals than an opponent with only evidence and reason. Stoking people’s unjustifiable fears, misrepresenting policy, manipulating evidence and personal attacks are amongst many other tools available to a skilled political campaigner. Savvy media skills can add to a lopsided debate. . . . [also] the winning policy will invariably be the better sales pitch, over the better policy. Politics inevitably trumps policy."
The winning policy will invariably be the better sales pitch, over the better policy, because politics inevitably trumps policy
We can all see that getting the most votes (Gore in 2000, Clinton in 2016) won't necessarily win an election—one has to strategize to get the most votes in key states that are in play, because it is the electoral college tallies that count. We can also see that if the polls are not done by people who really understand the citizens and what drives them, they can grossly mislead candidates (Clinton in 2016). And if a campaign strategy involves fake news, one must keep aware that one must either outdo the opponent with more convincing fake news or have wiser responses to opponent's fake news, or better yet, both. See Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930's Germany.
As Bracks says, "After the Depression, when the Glass Steagal act was first implemented, it was probably inconceivable to consider that at some point the act would be repealed by government, and banks would again be allowed to participate in high risk investments. It was probably assumed that the leaders of our democratic system would not be so foolish to again risk the foundations of the economic system. However, special interest groups were able to convince the government of this century to effectively roll the dice [dump Glass Steagal]."
The crash of 2008 (Great Recession) happened because special interest groups were able to convince the government of the 1990s and 2000s to effectively roll the dice, hoping God would send luck their way
All this screams for the democratic decision making process itself to be altered, since this enormous economic tragedy was preventable and unnecessary but no one took the responsibility to face the issues. And we still haven't. The decisions that were made were for the very few and at the expense of the very many. This is the way the world works (or fails to work) for the past few decades. The best book of the 21st century covers the way corrupt elites deal with the concentration of wealth and power, effectively preventing the nonrich from climbing the ladder of class mobility. See Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power.
The rich have rigged the ladder of class mobility so the nonrich cannot climb it
"The underlying problems within our democratic process are . . . identified, and simple and effective solutions are proposed. This book creates a new democracy, which removes any potential for either politics, corruption, self-interested politicians or the adverse influence of money. One which gives power back to the people within an effective governance framework to control that power. A democracy reconstructed from tried and tested solutions, which can produce better leadership and better decisions, for a fairer society." (Source: Solving for democracy / Tony Bracks, Tony Bracks, Trove)
The root cause of our country's slide into the crapper is the naive structuring of our democracy, which, if not fixed, will eventually result in us fighting like blind rats in a toilet as we flush our future down the crapper