The Death Of Politics

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A1 It has been brewing for a while I think. They are alarmed by what they call hidden pockets of power. They were aware of the issue on the home planet and knew it has been operating on the Earth planet for many sun cycles and perhaps from the beginning. My sense is that the change in policy became more urgent recently. Specifically, trends in the America pod seem to be what brought it to a head.

 

A4 From what I have picked up on the chatter channels, you are very much on target. In sun cycles past, there were factions holding opposing views on most issues. This caused a lot of conflict and controversy; but it was still possible to work through differences in ways that allowed resolution and progress on most all issues. Society in general and government in particular continued to function calmly and relatively smoothly. There were occasional eruptions related to issues like discrimination, excessive police actions, civil rights abuses, and so on; but it was still possible for those in positions of power and authority to come together to work on constructive change and mutually accepted solutions. The pockets of power were there but mostly ready to support the common good.

 

A2 I heard a talk by one of the gurus back home who tried to explain what the Central Council finds so alarming. She reviewed in more detail the kinds of things you mentioned. I thought her conclusion got to the essence of it. She concluded that the critical change has been an increasing unwillingness to even discuss compromise or ways to find the middle ground. She believes that the art of politics has rather suddenly disappeared. Instead of coming together, the politicians and others in power are digging in, refusing to budge on their positions.

 

A5 I’m not sure I grock how alarm about pockets of power and what is probably the death of politics as we know it has to do with the new sunshine rules. What does any of that have to do with requiring that we open all of our discussions up to anyone who happens to want to listen in?

 

A1 Let me at least take a pass at responding to your question. In other Earth pods but in the America pod specifically, there is a long-standing belief that there is a political action process that is available to every America human. If he or she wants the government to do or not do something, it is only necessary to convince a substantial group of America humans to support the idea. They then become an advocacy group, committed to the idea. The group can then lobby politicians and try to work up wider support for their idea. They likely will not get exactly what they want but will move the outcome closer to their view. The political shift gets us back to the power pockets. They are mostly driven by wealth and reach. Only groups with substantial wealth and significant reach are active players in the political arena. The advocacy groups no longer have much potential power to influence the political process. The power pockets have their own, narrow agendas and have no interest in anything outside those interests. They use their wealth and reach to appropriate individual politicians to their agenda and then pursue that agenda at all costs.

 

A6 I grock what you are saying. The idea of representative democracy is fading. The politicians say they are representing their constituents but are actually doing the bidding for the power pockets that have recruited them and now support them. The people no longer have representatives, if they ever did. I grock that. But what does that have to do with the new sunshine rules?

 

A1 The Central Council expects us to be a model for the Earth humans. We are not permitted to meet in executive session or to have private discussions among ourselves relating to our work. Earth politicians should be similarly required to do all public business in public. They should be prevented from having any meetings, correspondence, or conversations even tangentially related to their public duties that are secret or not open to everyone. The thought is that would be the best way to make sure they are working only in the public interest and are not covertly serving as agents of one or more power pockets.

 

A7 I doubt if our working in an open and transparent way will have much affect on the politicians, but I like it for us. We can tell the Earth humans that we have only good intentions, but I doubt if they will believe us. Maybe being open and transparent will help a little with trust, even if it probably won’t be enough to be convincing. I suspect the same is true for the politicians. I doubt if anything will help the America humans in particular to get past their mistrust. I think they are mostly seen as the agents of the wealthy and certainly not as representatives of the majority. Power pocket politics is the new reality in the America pod and there seems to be little interest in changing that. At least there is no interest among the wealthy and powerful who clearly have control.

 

A1 I agree that government in the America pod, especially at the national level, has shifted away from representation to agency. The Congress people appear to be functioning more as agents of the power pockets and much less as representatives of the people. There is accelerating debt, increasing division between the privileged and the have nots, decreasing attention to the environment and national infrastructure, and an increasing range of inattention to those things that actually matter to most people. The larger economy is continuing its upward trend that has been present for ten sun cycles or so but the neglect and inattention to the needs and interests of the under-classes are profound. America is getting greater for some, Great for most, but far from great for those who are being left behind. It may also be less than it could be for those who will live in the America of tomorrow.

 

A2 Perhaps our being open and transparent won’t make much difference, but at least we will be setting an example we can feel good about. Maybe it will prompt a little more openness and transparency among the politicians and others in power. If so, it might at least make it somewhat clearer who they actually represent, whose agents they really are.

 

A1 We have used up our broadcast window so have to close down the transmission. The next time we meet, we do need to formalize our report back to the home planet. Please give some thought to that but take care not to have any private discussions or back-room negotiations. At least we want to be sure everyone knows what our real agenda is and that what we say in public is what is actually happening. We are agents of an alien power. We must take care not to pretend otherwise.