The Fourth People’s Power
The autonomous power instrument of the 99%
More than two hundred years ago the count of Montesquieu, member of the French elite, introduced the Trias Politica to solve conflicts within the elite. He separated the judicature, the executive and the legislature. All three powers are controlled by the 1%. Most people in the Trias Politica are nominated by peers, only some in the legislative power are elected. The influence of common citizens is minimal, they lack power and money to use or change laws. The Trias Politica violates the same status paradigm.
The Trias Politica can only be used by people with money. Good lawyers are too expensive. The 99% cannot use the Trias in the same way as their opponents. The money paradigm cares for it that juridical possibilities hardly can be used by the 99%. The Fourth People’s Power is based on the same status paradigm, an independent power instrument, not open for people belonging to the highest layers of society.
While citizens have to pay lawyers and legal fees from their own pockets, the 1% use public and private money. They influence the decision-making process by misusing their money and power to change decisions in their favour. Sometimes by corruption and bribery but also by using lobbyists who use a lot of public and private money to please decision-takers. Common citizens do not have this possibility, one more reason for a Fourth People’s Power.
Montesquieu separated the three powers that control each other. The count belonged to the elite and disregarded the existence of the 99%. He did not propose any possibility for the 99% to control the Trias Politica. In a Humane Society the 99% control with the independent Fourth People’s Power any leader who takes decisions that benefit the own group by controlling, vetoing and punishing faulty leaders who violate the freedom, privacy and well-being of common citizens.
The Fourth People’s Power is independent from the elitist powers. It grows by activities of the 99%. After the revolution it consists of groups of individual 99% who have learned during the revolution how to use independent Autonomous Clubs against people who form a new 1%.
In past revolutions beautiful words inspired the 99%: Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood! All Power to The People! All Power to the Soviets! But after the successful revolutions nobody knew what to do with these slogans. Soon they were forgotten and a new 1% took power.
All Power to the People was only a slogan. After all revolutions directors still could sack workers while workers could not sack directors. How can one worker in a factory with ten thousand workers exert as much power as one director? Not with strikes and demonstrations. These actions often lead to conflicts with security forces. A director has another status and does not need to strike or demonstrate to force workers to behave as he demands.
The Fourth People’s Power is not an organisation with leaders and possessions. Then it gets the same pyramidal power structure as the rest of society. From the beginning the People’s Power must comply with the idea that all people have the same status. Members must control their own life and the activities of their Autonomous Club. They must decide how, when, where, against whom and with whom actions take place. Many small actions of many small temporary Autonomous Clubs form together the Fourth People’s Power.
The peasants in guerrilla wars in China or Vietnam were mostly busy growing food to survive. Sometimes they fought their oppressors. Common citizens also live their own life and only sometimes when they are sufficiently inspired by the bad situation they live in they become active with a few friends. Then they must know who violates their freedom and well-being and what they can do against it. They learn that during revolutionary times.
All independent organisations of citizens that fought in revolutions have been dissolved after the revolution. Independent groups were incorporated in the army or the secret services, centralised organisations in which independent actions of citizens were impossible. All independence the 99% had gotten during the revolution disappeared after the revolution and the 99% were again left without an own power. Even during revolutions individual resistance was mostly dependent on demands of centralised organisations. Citizens were used as pawns in a game played by people who could hardly be found in the front lines of the struggle. From the beginning the Fourth People’s Power has to remain a loose coalition of small temporary Autonomous Clubs that are active against high-placed people. It starts with a few Clubs that show that something else is possible.
The Fourth People’s Power is an idea how individual people can have the same power as organisers. Nobody can control this Power because it are many small independent groups of citizens tied together by the same idea, controlling and punishing faulty leaders. The Power does not have possessions as buildings, saving accounts, presidents or employees, does not obey the Iron Law of Oligarchy that paralyses the activity of big workers organisations. People who use the idea do not negotiate or govern, they only control, veto and punish faulty leaders who violate their freedom and well-being.
How can the Fourth People’s Power come into existence? It begins with some actions of some activists who oppose the present society. That can be leftist as well as rightist people. They are tied together by a common goal, dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the 1% and lower leaders who violate the well-being of the 99%. This common goal avoids that leftist and rightist groups clash with each other. Existing differences between left and right are put on ice and solved when the 1% is dethroned. Now the undisturbed 1% emphasize the right-left differences to hide their own often criminal behaviour. Actions should emphasize the important role of the 1% and other not-elected leaders in connection to the wide-spread misery and the growing control over citizens. Elected political lackeys are less important than non-elected directors and owners in the private and public sector who hardly feel any pressure from activists.
Two hundred years after the French Revolution the influence of the 99% over their own life is still negligible and even decreases because of the new electronic surveillance possibilities. Jean-Paul Marat advanced ideas to prevent that the old leading class together with new greedy people regain power, he advanced ideas how to control and punish the egoistic behaviour at the top of society. By using Autonomous Clubs the 99% secure their freedom and well-being.
Based on the idea that all people have the same status we can develop the Fourth People’s Power in the fight against the 1%.
Joost van Steenis