Towards a world without a 1%
Discrimination, racism, crime, corruption, greed and much more misery will nearly disappear when there is no 1%
The 1% are the basic cause of much of the misery in the world because they have the power and the money to implement the paradigm that money dominates decisions and not the idea that all people have the same status. When the money paradigm gets less influence greed and other money related behaviour as corruption and big crime starts to disappear. The motivation to amass money withers away. Different decisions are taken by putting people in first place. When everyone is considered having the same status, the problem of the ten million kids who die each year before they are five years old is tackled at once. In the present money dominated society these kids are unimportant, they do not contribute anything to the wallets of the super-rich.
The world is dominated by the Happy Few with a surplus of power and money. Despite wars, revolutions, economic and financial crises, natural catastrophes, etc. they rule the world already for ages. They continue to rule when we do not develop action means to end their domination. In a new world decisions are not taken because of the pivotal role of money but because all people have the same status.
When the prominent position of a greedy, selfish and often law-breaking 1% weakens less people copy their behaviour and look up to members of the 1%. That happens when the prime motive in life is not anymore money but people. Small thieves exist mostly because in a hierarchical society they follow what the top does. They see that top people are big thieves amassing money on dubious ways by giving themselves ridiculous incomes, all kinds of perks and dodging taxes not only by having accounts on small islands with tax havens. Corrupt behaviour is not prosecuted when you belong to the top. That there are thieves is one of the consequences of the existence of a pyramid of power and money. When there are no big thieves, the number of small thieves also goes down.
Changing the fundamental paradigm that rules society opens the door to a completely different future. When not money but the idea that all people have the same status dominates decisions the 1% disappears. The new paradigm becomes reality when the power and the money is taken away from the 1% by the 99%.
To protect this Humane World without a 1% the 99% must have power to prevent that nobody can become a 1%, to prevent that nobody can use ridiculous amounts of money for himself while others have hardly enough to live, to prevent that conditions arise that promote the coming into being of a new 1%, a more or less closed privileged group of people who have more power and money than common citizens. During the transition to the new world and also when this new world exists the 99% control if decisions comply with the new paradigm that all people have the same status and punish leaders who take wrong decisions.
The new paradigm becomes only reality when the power and the money is taken away from the 1% by the autonomous power of common citizens, the Fourth People’s Power. In our money infested world controllers and decision-takers are the same kind of people who live far from the world of the masses. Even when it seems that The People sometimes get some benefits, the old saying of Jean-Paul Marat remains valid: “Despite their defeats, the princes do not lose anything”. The position of the 1% is never challenged and despite possible set-backs they always come back at the top of society. A changing paradigm that dominates the minds of the 99% is a prime condition for change, the presence of independent power instruments a second one.
Thomas S. Kuhn emphasized in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” the role of a paradigm shift: “….when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. Even more important, during revolutions scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before.”
His studies concerned the smaller world of science. In the much more complicated big world unsolvable problems can also only be solved by new paradigms. Then we see things we could not see before. Copernicus could not foresee the influence of his new paradigm expressed in the small sentence: “Not the Earth but the Sun is the centre of the Universe”. The future is unknown but we can take the road to that new future by applying a new paradigm, a small sentence that states: “All people have the same status” and use this idea in anything we do and think.
The future is not a gradual evolutionary extrapolation of the present. A revolutionary jump brings new, interesting and unexpected possibilities. A new paradigm gives new ideas. The predecessors of Copernicus explained movements of celestial bodies with new calculations but could not solve many problems by assuming that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. “The failure of the existing rules is the prelude to a search for new ones” (Kuhn). Copernicus wrote in the Preface to the “De Revolutionibus” that “the astronomical tradition had finally created a monster”. Our society based on the money paradigm has also become a monster in which nearly ten million kids die each year before they are five years old. That monster cannot be killed by using old-fashioned action methods.
There is some indignation about a few thousand death citizens by chemical weapons in the civil war in Syria. About the more than hundred thousand people that died by other weapons the indignation is already much less, while the millions of kids that die each year before they are five years old get no attention at all. The indignation is propelled by money not by any thought about the suffering of the 99%. These problems cannot be solved when decisions are ruled by money. By adopting the new paradigm that all people have the right on a decent life this misery becomes a prime problem. Now it is a unimportant one, dying kids are not involved in the money economy. The People have become secondary because money dominates.
It is not possible to change the present world with small improvements. Fifty years ago we could not foresee the present society with the excessive control of common citizens. Ray Bradbury in “Fahrenheit 451”, the temperature to burn books, and George Orwell in his book “1984” extrapolated their society and sketched a horrendous world about controlling the 99%. But the money paradigm still ruled in their world. They had no idea what really could happen and of which we see now the first signs. In the present society nobody can give any solution how the freedom of common citizens can improve. Money demands that the 99% are controlled. They must work for the benefit of the Happy Few and some of the 99% are allowed to have it better than the great masses. To change this monstrous society we need a paradigm shift, a revolution. There are however hardly books about a society without a 1% – of course not, the future cannot be predicted.
The new paradigm is the key that opens the door to a completely different world. Advancing on that road is more important than the new world itself. The far future will be organised by people who live then. The transition period is determined by a paradigm shift, a catastrophe, a revolution. The Catastrophe Theory of the French mathematician René Thom tells us that predictions are impossible. We can only strengthen the factors that lead to a revolution. When the fundamentals start to change, society changes also. A small example of a change because of a new idea occurred during the Chinese Revolution. Before the revolution succeeded in 1948 the idea prevailed that all people should have a decent life. The Communist Party concluded that everyone should have the right on some health care and bare-feet doctors were send to small villages in the country-side where doctors were unknown.
Most political activities take place inside the borders determined by the money paradigm. Tobin tax, Robin Hood tax or higher taxes for millionaires do not undermine the power relations. It are examples of extrapolating the already known to the future. Such ideas deceive the 99% by proposing a change that is not fundamental. Some slight changes in the growing control of the behaviour of the 99% because of activities of among others Assange and Snowden do not alleviate the control over the 99% because controlling the 99% is beneficial for the wallets of the 1%.
The new paradigm should be applied in any action. Then the 99% learns how to prevent that a new 1% can ever rise again to the top of society. The Golden Rule for Actions that damage to the 99% should be minimal and pressure on the 1% ever increasing is also an example of applying the new paradigm. Strikes do not comply with the new paradigm, they are determined by the money idea, we want more money! The idea that directors and workers have the same status gives rise to new demands and new action forms. Trade unions never challenge that directors can sack workers while workers cannot sack directors. Unions do not challenge the ridiculous high and faster rising incomes at the top of corporations while these incomes are the prime reason that CEO’s have a different status than workers. There are also no actions against unnecessary bigger desks, bigger offices, higher allowances for food and transport, better pension regulations or golden handshakes for higher placed employees.
The money paradigm has deeply penetrated in the minds of the 99% and most actions are dominated by the money factor. The building of a palace for a 1% has for the economy the same value as building a hundred houses for the 99%. Some 99% remain homeless because one 1% wants to live extravagantly. I do not see any action against the palaces the 1% build for themselves.
The deeper cause of most misery, the existence of a superior 1% is not challenged. The present problems cannot be solved as long as the 1% keeps its position and power and as long as money rules decisions. The central slogan in all actions should become “take the money and the power away from the 1%”, a simple practical translation of the new paradigm.
The 1% use the money paradigm to rule. Who are these 1% and why do they have so much power? The Theory of the Three F’s (Finance, Function and Family) gives some insight. Members of the 1% have a lot of capital at their disposition, the Finance-factor. They have Functions that give them entrance to the decision-making process. And they have Family-members in comparable positions who can provide valuable information that is not available to common citizens. This is obviously not compatible with the same status paradigm.
Copernicus applied his paradigm in his whole work and advanced on the road towards a new future without knowing where he would arrive. It took about 150 year before the new paradigm was widely accepted and only then most scientists had entered the new astronomical world. A new political paradigm in our time with fast electronic means of communication changes the world faster though even now it will take some time before the minds of most people are changed.
When money is not anymore the guiding element in decisions, power relations change. One of the action targets is the undermining and destruction of the power-pyramid, causing that the 1% gets the same status as the 99%. The new paradigm: ”All people have the same status” leads also to the action slogan “Spending 200.000 euro in one year should be the limit!”
The French Revolution at the end of the 18th century was guided by the new paradigm “Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood”. It activated the masses but during the revolution the paradigm was hardly applied in actions. Soon after the Revolution the paradigm was discarded. Power returned to new leading groups that included parts of the old 1% and the 99% lost their freedom, equality and brotherhood, they lost their same status. Napoleon and others made the paradigm about freedom for individual citizens inferior to the interests of the French state and the 1%. People became subordinated to the idea that France and the 1% rule the world. The introduction of the new paradigm changed France a little but soon it began to resemble the old society with a small group at the top and the masses down under. The new paradigm was not carried through and old paradigms got again the upper hand.
Before the French Revolution the Count de Montesquieu introduced the Trias Politica to solve conflicts within the elite. The top of society had one mutual interest, money. People with money should act united and not be weakened by internal conflicts. He applied the revolutionary paradigm Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood only to the 1%. The Machiavellian way to decide with a lot of deceit and violence was for the 1% replaced by the Trias Politica that separated the Judicature, the Executive and the Legislature. Deceit and violence remained the principal way of treating the 99%. Only the Legislature is partly elected, members of the other two parts are nominated. The 1% control all three power instruments and the money paradigm dominates all decisions of the Trias Politica. The Trias Politica is in violation with the same status paradigm.
When all people have the same status all should have independent power instruments. In the system of Montesquieu the 99% have no power instruments to confront and control top-people. The Trias Politica can only be used by people with money, lawyers are too expensive. The influence of common citizens is minimal, there is no independent Fourth People’s Power and thus not the same status.
Actions should be judged if they contribute to diminishing the power of the Few and increasing the power of the Many. Actions that do not comply with this idea should not be carried out. Petitions, strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, civil disobedience but also the blowing up of a factory do not bring the same status nearer. The insurance pays the damage and the power structure is not challenged.
The revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat pointed two hundred years ago at new instruments to give the 99% power. Autonomous Clubs should independently control, veto and punish leaders who violate the freedom, privacy and well-being of the 99%. The new paradigm emphasizes living people as the most important entities in the world (and not dead money, institutions, corporations, banks or systems). Therefore the Fourth People’s Power should pinpoint persons who do wrong. This new idea can be applied in the present society to undermine the power of the top and in the future society to prevent that leaders build a new powerful group.
Alternating temporarily minorities of common citizens form the basic power instrument of the 99%, the Fourth People’s Power. There is a simple goal that was already expressed by Jean-Paul Marat: ”The only goal is the punishment of the perpetrators of crimes against public and individual freedom……” Marat was soon murdered and his ideas were later hardly used in revolutionary circles. In all revolutionary struggles there has never been even the beginning of the formation of the independent Fourth People’s Power that also after the revolution had great influence.
A world without a 1% demands that the present 1% start to lose their power and that the 99% develop an own power. That happens neither in leftists actions nor in rightist ones. The new paradigm speaks about living people with the same status. Actions should be directed on the private living sphere of leading people and not on dead buildings or corporations used to exert power. Though sometimes power instruments of the 1% may be attacked, most actions against banks or other symbols of power are not in accordance with the new paradigm. In the small Autonomous Clubs people use their own capabilities, characteristics and creativity in actions. Their kind of actions can be applied in the present society but also in the far future.
The concept of Creative Disturbance of the exclusive life of the 1% complies with the idea that all people have the same status which means that nobody has the moral right on an extravagant life at the cost of other humans. Because of the continuous pressure on the 1% their minds will be influenced by the idea that nobody has the right to have a different status and that getting or using too much money will be prevented. Leaders should be guided by the idea that people stand central and not money.
On the way to a new society an increasing number of actions of Autonomous Clubs care for many small successes that strengthen the self-esteem of the 99%. The chaos in leading circles and the tensions in the top build up. Then suddenly a jump occurs, a catastrophe, a revolution, a fundamental change. We enter a new phase in the development of humanity. Therefore emphasis should not be on how we can improve this society because it is built on the wrong ideas. Emphasis should be on how we can get a new society in which all people can exert the same power.
The future is exiting and the new world with autonomous people will be beautiful.
Joost van Steenis