noren said . . . ok, so tell us, MOM, what would real change be? . . .
Well, to be honest, that is for Americans to decide. However, I am an advocate of this need for change everywhere, since I see the same systemic problems around the world; they just differ to varying degrees in varying places.
However, so as not to cop out on answering, I will provide an answer. First off, I must say, I don't know what the
solution is, but from analyzing the problems, the solutions tend to point in a particular direction for me.
As i said previous, the problems are systemic. I see them as inherent in the global socio-political-economic order. It is not relegated simply to the United States, however, the United States is the current global hegemon, and as such, is the most important country when it comes to understanding the current nature of the issues.
SOME major systemic issues:
* Imperialism - both economic and political; whether done through the World Bank/IMF or through overt war policies or covert intelligence operations, or for that matter, through NGOs and "aid" agencies.
* Oligopoly capitalism - rule by the few over the many; the global economic system is an oligarchy on an international scale, run by and for the major international banks and corporations
* Poverty - as of 2005, more than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. Poverty is the greatest social, environmental, economic, political and HUMAN problem in the world
Personally, I feel that reform through the established political systems is not going to work. The political systems are designed in such a way as to prevent any true reform and change; national polities are DESIGNED to maintain the status quo and prevailing order, not challenge it. They represent the invested interests, not the people. The "party" system itself is a mockery of democracy.
I am, perhaps, well... admittedly, more radical in my beliefs. I feel that the time has come for all people around the world to resist against their political-economic systems; to create their own parallel institutions and systems, but on a local level. To have a more locally organized and operated political and economic system would give the people of a given locality a direct influence and stake in their own political economy.
Put simply: the people of a given locality, whether that is town, city-state, or what not, should determine the social, political and economic decisions that are made, which effect them and their environment. National governments themselves are too large and centralized to even pretend to represent all the people within: why should someone in Ottawa (or Washington D.C.) make decisions that affect people in Newfoundland, BC, or Quebec when they have never been there or know the situation and lives of those people? The more centralized and the larger governance systems get; the more out-of-touch, distant, oppressive they become towards the people they purportedly represent, and the more they then serve global financial interests.
If the people took back governance, took back the polities, took back the economy, and the social structure; poverty would be a priority, mutual benefit for all would be a priority, true democracy could occur, and diversity would flourish, the environment would be cared for, while war and conflict would erode immensely. While there would still be corruption on a local level, or in any position of authority, the effects of decisions made by someone in a city-state regarding say, agricultural policy, are far less likely to have such devastating effects of agricultural policy as determined by say, the World Bank or World Trade Organization, whose decisions on such a policy area often cause famine and death.
In all honesty, I feel that the nation-state system is lost. Unfortunately, the general trends are that it is being eroded internationally, but in the direction of forming more continental systems and international systems of governance, further removing power from the people.
While I do not yet have a blueprint for how such a thing could come about, there are examples from around the world of how local democracies, local economies, local currencies, local polities and local communities can do so much with so little. I feel that bringing power back to the people is only possible by bringing decision-making abilities to the community; and that, ultimately, the solution is with the people.
There can not be any ONE solution, or one prescription for success. On a local level, I think that both a socialist system or a free-market system could conceivably work as intended; but on a national or international level, both would fail in the stated goals, and only serve the interests of national or international elites.
So, put simply. The answer, the solution... is the people.