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The Steady-State Initiative

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Where is the democracy?

2009 Oct 04

Where is the democracy? We would like to believe that we live in a democratic country. We exercise our democratic franchise when election time comes around and then we leave it up to the elected politicians to get on with the job. Is this democracy? True democracy is something we practice daily, like demonstrating acts of love and friendship daily and not just once a year on February 14th.

We need to become aware of the powerful forces that have usurped our democracy. What we call democracy is an illusion taken over by those in control of the money supply, the banks, corporations and advertisement. We have been made powerless by large corporations and their insidious advertising campaigns that compel us to consume. We have been brainwashed and molded from rational thinking citizens to subservient workers and docile consumers. Our only role in society is to fuel economic growth to the benefit of the bankers and corporations. We are slaves of the modern market economy.

The single most important democratic act we can exercise as individuals and as a society is the way we vote with our wallets, the way we live and lead our lifestyles.

Don't listen to what governments, corporations and advertisers are telling you. They want you to shop because this feeds their self interests. To counter this and protect the planet and society, we must adopt voluntary simplicity.

Here are simple and straight forward steps that we as individuals can take to regain our true democratic rights.

1. Stop shopping for useless things. Identify your needs over your wants.
2. Exchange through a moneyless system. Exchange your goods and services through barter or alternative currency.
3. Buy local and support local endeavors that are mindful and respectful of the earth and of others.
4. Build and support co-operatives that focus on the sharing of goods and services that work for the common good and not for the corporation.
5. Build resilience in the community by working with neighbours and learning how to share and exchange.

We need to build a "New Economy, the "Elm Street Economy" from the ground up, from the grassroots, from the simple act of learning how to exchange and share, and helping those in need.

When disaster strikes, it will not be those with money who will survive. It will be those who are able to share and help each other, those who have built up resilience to shock.

We begin today by practicing voluntary simplicity.


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