Thursday, January 14, 2010

Out of the Cage

Out of the Cage

by Burt and Marjorie Liebert

Out of the Cage is a creative story of modern pioneers who set out to build a new society called Civitas, dedicated to establishing a more viable political, economic, and social system. Their goals are to eliminate global warming, relegate war to “a curious footnote in the history books,” and establish a new concept of human fellowship.

Through narrative, Out of the Cage suggests a pathway for you and me to build a more cooperative, ecologically sustainable world. Following is a short excerpt, pages 209-210. An elder statesman of Civitas is discussing political campaigns with a group of Americans:

“There’s one big difference between your system and ours.”

“And what is that?”

“We can demand that our leaders work for the benefit of the people. You can’t. In Civitas, all leaders, from the President of the country to local boards of directors, are elected by popular vote, and can be unelected the same way.”

“That’s also true in the United States.”

“But yours is a system of government by bribery. The government does the bidding of the biggest bribers. Oh, you don’t call it bribery. You call it campaign contributions. These are for the purpose of gaining influence.”

. . . Someone wanted to know, “So how do you eliminate influence?”

“Here, if you want to run for office you take out a petition and post your resume, along with a statement of your position on major issues, on the Internet and in all public libraries. You send copies to the press. The Electoral Committee checks your statements for accuracy and writes an accompanying report. If you gather enough petition signatures you qualify for public campaign financing. And that’s all you can spend, not even your own money. Extra contributions are considered illegal bribery and can disqualify the candidate and bring a stiff fine to the briber.”

“Isn’t it a drain on the treasury, all those candidates getting public funds to run campaigns?”

“The major corporations found out long ago that money contributed to politicians is the best investment they can make. The same is true for taxpayers. . . . Can you think of a better investment than getting private money out of politics?”

The authors are available for group discussions, classes, and book reviews.

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