Paul Encimer: Democracy’s NOT for Export: From a Peace Holiday to a Nonviolent America



Democracy’s NOT for Export
American democracy follows the dollar. Resistance to coerced taxation and unwillingness to obey the rules of Britain’s version of the Global Economy – these are the heart of our American Revolutionary heritage.
Tax Rebels and Smugglers! Our current movement for an American Revolution recaptures democracy when we begin to get control again of our taxed dollars and our spending dollars.
Our perverted commercial version of democracy is purely in the service of making the rich richer in a society where money can buy everything. This is the American Democracy we make in places like the
Haiti and the former Soviet Union, organized to shower wealth upon an elite while impoverishing the people.
The case of
Iraq is a model How-to-do-it-Kit for creating this special kind of American Democracy. The US occupying power seeks to privatize all the social wealth, oil of course included, for the benefit of Global Corporations. Once all social cooperation has been nullified in favor of an untrammeled profit-motive, the US then nurtures political institutions dependent on the money system while our police state puppet operates an interim government. – a dictatorship of the plutocratic. The politicians who result are a “Made in the USA” consumer item.
Argentina is the poster child for a nation state that sought to be an American Democracy by guilelessly submitting to the WTO, the IMF and operations like Monsanto. The resulting Argentinean Revolution – created by a people totally bankrupted and poisoned by the Global Corporate Order – regained some of people’s sovereignty by having neighborhoods and towns seizing a portion of their tax burden, to the tune of 15 to 20%. This money was redistributed through democratically run Assemblies. If we would establish revolutionary democracy at the American grassroots, one way would be to redirect our federal tax money into independent accounts under the democratic control of a Chamber of People.
At the core of such a tax rebellion is the strong moral outrage at unacceptable paths taken by the feds, or “the state” (as in
California State) or the county. The extent of that realization causes us to reshape our governmental tools to our real needs. In a Chamber of People, all are full participants in a democratic assembly that chooses where and to whom to send collected tax money. It strives to regain the “representational power” that the American Revolution strived for. Imagine having millions of dollars to spend directly to benefit our community by “simply” redirecting money normally paid to the feds.
That’s the political revolution. In the economic revolution we don’t spend our money with corporados. We are scrupulous as we scan our sales receipts and start conscientiously refusing to buy obviously toxic products. We go on to boycott corporations which are anti-social and anti-ecological. We stop buying from sweatshop regimes and ones which are criminally abusive of human rights. Shopping independence means rejecting the war economy as too expensive to ourselves and the Earth.
Instituting instead a Peace Economy means ending our violent war on nature and each other. We then support local businesses and coops that understand their “ethical” obligations in providing us with goods and services. The American revolutionaries acted as Gandhi did in their common struggle against the
British Empire, boycotting its goods. John Hancock (our really really first President) walked around in a white hemp suit that meant “buy local not global.” We build local solidarity – perhaps re-establishing a local currency – just in time as the dollar fails and “our” global economic order unravels
That’s the economic revolution. There’s a fundamental social revolution as well. It entails reducing the numbers of overwhelmingly white old rich men in positions of power. It is a demand for social equality, not submitting to the “free enterprise” quota system where an elite has the privileges of wealth, gender, class, age and race all rolled up into an affirmative action system still in full force and represented perfectly in the race of Senator Skull versus President Bones.
That social revolution leads to the civil revolution. In the civil revolution, we disarm. The military “reform” we imposed on
Iraq was one that stripped it of every nation state’s genocidal security blanket – weapons of mass destruction. Without access to these, you can hardly call something a Nation state. What’s left is a very well-armed insurgent militia that has to be the envy of the NRA. We should all be so well-armed and mostly we are: with weapons of self-defense (minus the machinery of aggressive war) in our neighborhoods. If you include a community of conscientious objectors to war, Vanunu-style and Phil Berrigan-style and Dorothy Day-style WMD resisters, then the chances are slimmer that wars of exploitation and conquest will result. This “defensively” armed and conscientiously limited Civilian Self-Defense Force is one where officers and spokes can be democratically chosen.
The culmination of the political, economic, social, & civil revolutions is the establishment of the ecological revolution where all life has a voice. In the sovereign assembly, that voice is listened to with the concentration that the Romans showed when they consulted the flight of birds and the livers of animals. A revolutionary ecology submits to the Earth’s sovereignty expressed at the level of watershed, village, neighborhood, and town. The ecological revolution ca leads us to the deep democracy once practiced by our ancestors from whom we took the land.
In native hands, the land belonged to those who cared for it. The good Father Flotsky once said that “when you buy land you pay for killing Indians.” Unfortunately, with American Democracy only those willing to keep “killing Indians” own the land, supplanting those who would be caretakers and not profiteers. When we can no longer abide the murder and enslavement of people as a means to fun and profit, then our American Democracy will have returned to its revolutionary heritage and will be something fit to export.
Paul Encimer



From a Peace Holiday

to a Nonviolent America


Working on a timescale to match the THOUSAND YEAR REICH envisioned by our Washington Taliban, Peace Holiday celebrants can also consider the following:


Autonomous affinity groupsstick together in workable small groups, do things against the war persistently;


Outreach to the poverty draftees required to fight this corporate war -  support counter-recruitment in schools; special GI events; actions at military centers to reach GIs directly; encourage resistance to enlistment and registration for the draft;


Protest and resist military taxationwars will end when we refuse to pay;


Form Communities of Resistance – maintain solidarity with imprisoned resisters, political prisoners and all victims of the prison-industrial complex;


Initiate Divestment campaign against Israel and its occupation; oppose terrorism:


Alternative economics – cut back our use of the dollar through community currencies and barter in the underground economy; create coops, partnerships and family businesses; offer workers rights hotlines and switchboards tied to counselors trained in the intricacies of OSHA, labor law, medical welfare bureaucracies


Sharing fundsmove our tax money into democratically controlled escrow accounts ; start paying directly to the sustaining of our communities health, education and welfare infrastructure;


Reduce our ecological footprint – create a peace economy which reduces and eliminates our use of products which contain petroleum, sweat, and toxins – boycott products which contain military and police violence – which damages the health of the environment, workers and consumers; substitute products which are harmless and quickly biodegradable, produced as close to home as possible.


Mobilize regularly, targeting the corporate, political and military evils we struggle against; strategize on ongoing series of themed actions in our local & regional communities,  operating our of Convergence Centers housing legal and medical teams and providing a  permanent base for activists and others  -with  housing, communal meals and meeting rooms;  simultaneously carry-on teach-ins at churches, schools, labor temples, offices in opposition to corporate militarism.


If you think this smacks of Revolution, well, revolution is only evolution at high speed and neither our civilization or the ecosystem has much time. On one side are corporate gamblers who have already stolen the Presidency, knowingly solicited or planned mass murder against their own people; and waged an imperial war of aggression with no one’s permission in order to establish a police state. . On the other side are terrorists eager to sacrifice innocent lives to their vision of a tyrannical theocracy. Only the Peace Movement can defend our civil societies and it must mobilize on all fronts. 


Peaceful, Resolute Resistance now!   Paul Encimer