From Democracy to Omniocracy


Clint Eastwood recently plunged into the murky political pond with his statement, "Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right, you meet the same idiots coming around from the left."

Is it easy to be an extremist, and is the political scale truly circular, so that the "far right" clasps hands with the "far left"? Does the left-right continuum serve as a constructive paradigm upon which society can be structured?

Today's "extremists" are in good company: Jesus, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Baruch Spinoza all bore this label at one time. Jan De Witt and his brother Cornelius-17th Century Dutch politicians-were hacked to death by the populace, largely due to their "radical" and "unsavory" political perspective. Their crime? They were proponents of democracy. Their body parts were displayed in storefronts all over town.

Who shall we call extreme? The vigilantes who did the lynching? The shopkeepers who showcased the body parts? Or the De Witts with their pro-democracy stance?

Do "extreme" beliefs emanate from a mechanical thought process, as Eastwood suggests, rather than an intense philosophical journey? It arguably requires reflection and hypercritical analysis to defend ones theories against the cloned, echoed and mass produced opinion of the common folk; it requires conviction to risk social ostracism and other forms of retaliation.

The "approved" or popular view is more likely to be perfunctory. Why think when one can plagiarize? Why go out on a limb when one can cling onto the tree or never climb in the first place?

Eastwood may view those on the "far right" and "far left" as moralistically shrill, as manifesting a tone level of fear and anger. Perhaps this is how the "right" and "left" overlap or come full circle in his mind. But this is a gross generalization, since the "extremes" are subjective and the political continuum fallacious.

Suppose we accept the commonly accepted paradigm of a left to right political continuum, as Eastwood offers. If we define the "left" as the group that protects the voiceless, the powerless, and the forgotten, then the natural progression would be to protect the truly voiceless - animals and nature.

Nonhumans are excluded from our political system, without representation. They have no standing in court; yet corporations do. In fact, nonhumans are virtually omitted from the conversation in our anthropocentric and speciesist society.

A move "left" arguably means to move away from Democracy--which is really just a rule by the elite (humans)--to an Omniocracy (which I describe as a government of, by and for all living beings). The European Union has added nonhumans to their Constitution, as have Switzerland and Germany. New Zealand, India and Reggio Emilio, Italy have outlawed using animals in ways we normally think acceptable in the U.S. (boiling lobsters alive, keeping fish in small bowls, vivisection, etc.).

We are trailing behind other nations, but it would be difficult to sell a Constitutional amendment to our "What's the Matter With Kansas?" country at this time. It would be easier to convince certain states. You may be thinking what would stuffing a few extra words in a state Constitution really do. Well, words are a powerful tool and an important start.

Lastly, does this move to the left spit us out on right? Probably. One could argue that traditional "right" politics prompts a gap between the rich and poor, thus culminates in the rule by a few, such as corporations. To implement policies that foster the idea that nonhuman species have value "in and of themselves," a "top down" government or rule by a few (although not corporations) again seems required.

People are self-interested (as are all species) thus cannot be expected to vote against their desires. Legislators, however, are different (or should be) because they attain self-worth from helping others, being fair and inclusive, and consulting the "big picture." There will naturally be conflicts of interest between species and individuals; but government's job-in an omniocracy as in our current system-- will be to mediate and arbitrate these "disputes."

We are taught democracy is the most inclusive, just and beneficent political system in the world. It is time to re-evaluate. Successful ideas advance through three stages: first ridicule, then discussion, finally adoption. I say we begin the discussion to which Eastwood's words have provided a starting point.

The Clint Eastwood quote is posted on Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's blog and is taken from Feb 28, 2005 issue of Time Magazine. Charlotte Laws explores this topic in greater depth on the blog.

Charlotte Laws, Ph.D. is a member of the Greater Valley Glen Council and the President of the League for Earth and Animal Protection (LEAP). Her website is http://www.CharlotteLaws.org





Latest News:




Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (syntax error at line 1, column 0) in /home2/jsteiner/public_html/scholarlyarticles.org/politics/magpierss/rss_fetch.inc on line 238
Site:

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home2/jsteiner/public_html/scholarlyarticles.org/politics/inc/ads-body.inc on line 34


Site: news - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news Trump transition lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe - Fox News

Fox News

Trump transition lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe
Fox News
In a letter obtained by Fox News and sent to House and Senate committees on Saturday, the transition team's attorney alleges ?unlawful conduct? by the career staff at the General Services Administration in handing over transition documents to the ...
White House Lawyer Denies 'Rumor on the Hill' of Trump Plan to Fire MuellerKQED
Scoop: Mueller obtains "tens of thousands? of Trump transition emailsAxios

all 54 news articles »
Sydney man charged with being 'economic agent' for North Korea - BBC News

BBC News

Sydney man charged with being 'economic agent' for North Korea
BBC News
A man has been arrested in Sydney for allegedly acting as an economic agent for North Korea, Australian Federal Police (AFP) have said. Chan Han Choi, 59, has been charged with brokering illegal exports from the country and discussing the supply of ...
Sydney man charged with brokering North Korea missile salesNBCNews.com

all 43 news articles »
Pentagon ran secret multi-million dollar UFO programme - BBC News

Pentagon ran secret multi-million dollar UFO programme
BBC News
The Pentagon has been running a secret multi-million dollar programme to investigate Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), US media report. Only a small number of officials were aware of the programme, which began in 2007 and was reportedly closed in ...

and more »
1st grader asks for food, blanket in heartbreaking letter to Santa - ABC News

1st grader asks for food, blanket in heartbreaking letter to Santa
ABC News
When school was dismissed for the day, Espiricueta began reading the letters and was taken aback in particular by one student's note. The 7-year-old girl wrote to Santa, ?I have [been] good this day. This Christmas I would like a ball and a food. I ...

and more »
Hunter Harrison: CSX railway boss dies - BBC News

BBC News

Hunter Harrison: CSX railway boss dies
BBC News
Hunter Harrison, the CEO of the US transportation company CSX, has died just days after going on medical leave. Mr Harrison, 73, died in Florida due to "unexpectedly severe complications from a recent illness", the company said. The company's shares ...

and more »
ANC: Zuma pleads for unity as party picks new leader - BBC News

BBC News

ANC: Zuma pleads for unity as party picks new leader
BBC News
Lebo Diseko, Johannesburg, BBC News. Jacob Zuma came out fighting in his speech, hitting out at his critics both inside and outside the party. It seemed like no one was spared - from ANC members who voted with the opposition to try and remove him ...

and more »
Residents flee as California wildfire nears Santa Barbara, Montecito - Fox News

Fox News

Residents flee as California wildfire nears Santa Barbara, Montecito
Fox News
"When the sundowners surface in that area and the fire starts running down slopes, you are not going to stop it," Mark Brown, of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told a news conference. "And we are not going to stand in front ...
Santa Barbara evacuated as Thomas flares up againBBC News
New evacuations ordered as California Thomas wildfire ragesThe Guardian

all 519 news articles »
5 injured in Pennsylvania ski lift mishap - ABC News

ABC News

5 injured in Pennsylvania ski lift mishap
ABC News
Company 5 and Centre Hall Volunteer Fire Company were dispatched to assist Boalsburg Fire Company with a high-angle rescue at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Pennsylvania, Dec. 16, 2017.more +. 0 Shares. Email. Five people were injured at a Pennsylvania ...
5 injured after ski lift malfunctions at Pennsylvania resortFox News

all 49 news articles »
HHS disputes report that it has banned CDC from using words like 'diversity' and 'fetus' - ABC News

NBCNews.com

HHS disputes report that it has banned CDC from using words like 'diversity' and 'fetus'
ABC News
In response to ABC News' request for comment from the CDC, an HHS spokesperson responded in a statement. "The assertion that HHS has 'banned words' is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process," the HHS ...
CDC reportedly given list of seven banned words and phrasesNBCNews.com
CDC banned words include 'diversity', 'transgender' and 'fetus' ? reportThe Guardian
CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversityWashington Post

all 185 news articles »
White House Lawyer Denies 'Rumor on the Hill' of Trump Plan to Fire Mueller - KQED

KQED

White House Lawyer Denies 'Rumor on the Hill' of Trump Plan to Fire Mueller
KQED
You are being lied to by state run media (fox news). You are a peasant pawn who they are using to remain in power after usurping said power. Mueller has hundreds of indictments lined up. This is MASSIVE, it will reach people in media, in business, in ...

and more »

MORE RESOURCES:

Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (syntax error at line 1, column 0) in /home2/jsteiner/public_html/scholarlyarticles.org/politics/magpierss/rss_fetch.inc on line 238
Site:

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home2/jsteiner/public_html/scholarlyarticles.org/politics/inc/rss.php on line 9
Site: politics - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news The week in politics - CNN

CNN

The week in politics
CNN
(CNN) Take a look at the week in politics from December 9 to 16. Nicole Craine/Bloomberg via Getty Images. Doug Jones and his wife, Louise Jones, wave to an audience on election night in Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday. Jones became the first Democrat ...
After Alabama loss, Trump has ambitious plans to campaign in 2018 midtermsWashington Post
Politics has veered from one side to the other, but Doug Jones' win in Alabama suggests the need to hew to the centerLos Angeles Times
Alabama reaffirms that character still counts in politicsChicago Tribune
The Hill -ABC News -New York Times
all 7,956 news articles »
Stop covering politics as a game - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Stop covering politics as a game
Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
If there is one truth about political journalism, it is that the game frame dominates. Politics is covered as a competition between left versus right, Democrat versus Republican; a battle of individuals and political factions, rather than a debate over ...

Don't Be a Grinch About 'Money in Politics' - RealClearPolitics

Don't Be a Grinch About 'Money in Politics'
RealClearPolitics
But if Christmas toy commercials and snow-filled movie trailers were replaced with political ads, then gleeful carolers would be replaced by shrill outrage. Anti-speech liberals would lament the rise of ?money in politics,? turning to the government ...

and more »
How to talk politics at your family Christmas gathering - Fox News

Fox News

How to talk politics at your family Christmas gathering
Fox News
In holiday political conversations, we shouldn't expect too much. Chances are that we will not win people to our point of view in between forkfuls of Cousin Catherine's congealed salad. But if you want to get your foot in the door, consider telling a ...

Sweden and the Politics of Denial - National Review

National Review

Sweden and the Politics of Denial
National Review
When neo-Nazis planned a march that would go past the Goteborg synagogue on Yom Kippur this September, for example, it stirred up outrage across the political spectrum. A court ruled that the demonstrators had to change their route. There is, however ...

and more »
Palmetto Politics: Bobby Harrell running for Statehouse, would-be opponent says - Charleston Post Courier

Charleston Post Courier

Palmetto Politics: Bobby Harrell running for Statehouse, would-be opponent says
Charleston Post Courier
Only a court or the Legislature can do that. One thing Templeton's statement did not have was an opinion whether Lord ought to stay as chair of the embattled state-run power provider. So Palmetto Politics asked ? twice. Her first response was how ...

Fake Facebook profile behind newest Tea Party tangle in Tarrant County politics - Fort Worth Star Telegram (blog)

Fort Worth Star Telegram (blog)

Fake Facebook profile behind newest Tea Party tangle in Tarrant County politics
Fort Worth Star Telegram (blog)
A county constable says deputies' 2016 investigation into an accusatory fake online profile of now-Sheriff Bill Waybourn led to an unexpected suspect: defeated Texas House candidate Bo French. ?I was very surprised,? said Constable David Woodruff, an ...

Trump transition lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe - Fox News

Fox News

Trump transition lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe
Fox News
Langhofer requests in the letter that Congress ?act immediately to protect future presidential transitions from having their private records misappropriated by government agencies, particularly in the context of sensitive investigations intersecting ...

and more »
DI Politics Chat: Is Trump the Worst President of All Time? - New York Magazine

New York Magazine

DI Politics Chat: Is Trump the Worst President of All Time?
New York Magazine
Ed: Andy Johnson certainly helped the radical Republicans get into the saddle. Jon: My historical version of this take is that history would have been better if Gerald Ford won in 1976. Eric: Absolutely. Olivia: Maybe. I don't know, I know a lot of ...

and more »
Today in politics: Live updates - CNN

CNN

Today in politics: Live updates
CNN
Trump's FBI visit: The President spoke at the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony. This came after he said the FBI's reputation was "in tatters." Tax reform: House and Senate Republicans released their final tax bill and plan to vote on it next ...

and more »
Home | Site Map | Resource Links