A Letter to Professor Richard Wolff

A Letter to Professor Richard Wolff

We can make money irrelevant to elections, which permits solutions to critical problems, such as the restoration of representative democracy to corporate governance.


Dear Professor Wolff,

I am chagrined to say that I only recently discovered you on YouTube. Your talk, “The Game is Rigged” was penetrating and insightful, with sufficient humor to partially overcome the despair it would otherwise induce! So it was summarily re-tweeted by me, along with your “Captialism Hits the Fan” talk (DVD, PDF.)

I believe you hit the nail on the head when you suggested “restoring democracy” to corporate governance — or to use the phrase you coined: Democratize the Enterprise.

Democratize the Enterprise

That goal can be achieved fairly simply (albeit somewhat painfully, for the 1%) by phasing in a revision to corporate charters that requires representation from employees and from the local community, as is in France and Germany. (Requirements that were set up by FDR’s advisors after WWII, in fact, after they were unable to get them instituted here.)

As you say, that is a correction to the system that will PRESERVE gains made by the 90% under more progressive polices. HOWEVER, like all such solutions, it runs into the very real obstacle that money already controls our government, posing what is currently an insurmountable obstacle to reform.

But the current situation results from the fact that MONEY CONTROLS THE ELECTION PROCESS — which is true only due to the necessity of advertising to win elections. But, with targeted and filtered social media, WE CAN MAKE MONEY IRRELEVANT TO THE ELECTION PROCESS.

I’ve written extensively about the Voting Advice System we need.

The idea is fairly simple: A Twitter system allows people and organizations to give voting advice. Every race and ballot measure gets a unique tag. People give and receive advice using those tags. (Tweets are stored, however, both for a historical record and for last-minute access by voters.)

The benefit to voters comes from SUBSCRIPTIONS and FILTERING. Subscriptions, like Twitter feeds, mean that you receive advice from people and organizations you TRUST. Filtering means that YOU SEE ONLY RELEVANT ADVICE — advice that pertains to things you will be voting on.

The League of Women Voters in California has a “VoteSmart” site is a wonderful exemplar: You put in your address and zip code, and back comes your upcoming ballot. If you also got a set of filtering tags, then Greenpeace could recommend a dogcatcher in Peoria, launching a political career, and instead of spamming its 5 million members, ONLY PEOPLE IN PEORIA would see it.

So filtering eliminates spam from the system — something that benefits both the givers and receivers of voting advice.

Done right, many other benefits would accrue, including the ability to create multi-party coalitions in cyberspace.

As with the need to create a new progressive movement in the U.S., what is needed is ORGANIZATION, followed by IMPLEMENTATION, and PROPAGATION. I look forward to finding collaborators in this effort.

thanks for your efforts, and thanks for listening.
eric

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