Signes de vie d'une Europe des citoyens - novembre 2012 - Blog du plan C, pour une Constitution Citoyenne, écrite par et pour les citoyens

Blog du plan C, pour une Constitution Citoyenne, écrite par et pour les citoyens


C'est notre Constitution qui est notre seule arme (et c'est aussi la meilleure) pour contrôler les pouvoirs. À nous d'en parler, entre simples citoyens, pour devenir des millions à l'avoir compris : ce n'est pas aux hommes au pouvoir d'écrire les règles du pouvoir.

Bienvenue :o)


Étienne Chouard
Je cherche ici à mettre en débat ouvert ce dont on ne parle nulle part : les plus grands principes institutionnels dont tous les citoyens (gauche, centre, droite) ont besoin pour se protéger des abus de pouvoir.

Je vous propose d'aller voir le FORUM et de suivre le SOMMAIRE, point par point (un principe par jour pour une digestion facile ?), et de réfléchir à votre propre position : Pour ? Contre ? Partagé ?

Et si personne (ni moi, ni d'autres ici) n'a encore défendu les arguments qui vous semblent importants, formulez-les vous-même : nous progressons ensemble en combinant nos réflexions, démocratiquement et positivement :o)

Suggestion :
pour parler nombreux
sur de nombreux sujets :
. soyons brefs,
. dans le sujet,
. et patients :-)

Une fois les principes bien débattus sur le FORUM, vous pouvez, dans la partie WIKI, écrire vous-mêmes les articles qui vous semblent importants dans une Constitution, aussi bien nationale qu'européenne.

Sur cette partie BLOG, je vous propose de nous parler plutôt des problèmes qui ne sont pas spécifiquement institutionnels (économie, histoire, philosophie, sociologie, société, actualité, technique, littérature, etc.), mais qui tournent quand même autour des sujets évoqués sur le forum : on cherche à imaginer ensemble un outil intellectuel, robuste et durable, contre les abus de pouvoir.

J'ai hâte de vous lire :o)

Étienne Chouard


Retour à la page centrale :
Le site d'origine s'appelle AEC : "Arc-en-Ciel" (après la pluie le beau temps) :o)


Présentation du PLAN C :


Rouages fondateurs d'une vraie démocratie :


Citoyens Européens Contre le Régime Illégitime :


Malformation congénitale de l'Union européenne :


Liberté d'expression :


Vote blanc = protestation légitime:


Henri Guillemin


Jean-Jacques ROUSSEAU


Cornélius Castoriadis


Gentils virus






Commentaires récents (de la partie blog ; voir aussi le forum et le wiki) :

Articles récents :




mercredi 28 novembre 2012

Les partis sont des machines de guerre politique condamnées à la discorde (86)

Les partis sont des machines de guerre politique
condamnées à la discorde

Une ITV pour TerraEco.net :

http://www.terraeco.net/elections-PS-UMP-partis-democratie,47130.html


Étienne Chouard est enseignant en économie et en droit. Blogueur, il s’est fait connaître en 2005 en menant une campagne contre [l'anti-]Constitution européenne

----

Terra eco : Au regard de la guerre interne à l’UMP, la confiance s’érode. Et vous, pensez-vous que les partis sont toujours utiles ?

Étienne Chouard : La discussion sur les partis politiques est secondaire. Avant, il faut tomber d’accord sur ce qu’on appelle la démocratie. Si l’on accepte — ce qui est pour moi une erreur centrale et majeure — d’appeler démocratie un faux "suffrage universel" qui [se limite] à désigner des maîtres qui décideront de tout à notre place et qui resteront en place même s’ils nous trahissent au cours de leur mandat, on ne peut pas se plaindre d’avoir des partis (qui naissent précisément des élections). Des structures qui sont de véritables machines de guerre.

Les élections n’ont rien à voir avec la démocratie. Certes, on peut avoir des élections dans une démocratie mais à condition qu’elles servent à élire des gens à des fonctions qui nécessitent une compétence. Pas pour exercer le pouvoir politique. Il ne peut pas y avoir de démocratie, du grec dêmos (peuple) et kratos (pouvoir) sans tirage au sort. C’est la seule procédure dans une démocratie digne de ce nom. Cela a été très bien connu pendant longtemps, d’Aristote jusqu’à Montesquieu. Et puis, il y a eu la Révolution française et l’avènement de l’école républicaine au XIXe siècle. On a alors oublié ce qu’était une vraie démocratie. Quand on nous rabâche dans les journaux, dans les livres, à la télé que démocratie = élections, on le croit. C’est un outil de formatage dont il est difficile de s’extraire ensuite. Pourtant, il suffit de travailler un peu, de revoir l’histoire de la pensée politique : Machiavel, Montesquieu, Rousseau… pour voir qu’une élection est aristocratique et non pas démocratique. Elle consiste à choisir le meilleur, aristos en grec. Ce n’est même pas objet de polémique. Il suffit de mettre les mots à l’endroit. Mais ça ne veut pas dire que ce n’est pas bien. Je suis capable d’imaginer une aristocratie désirable. Si c’est bien les meilleurs qu’on élit, qu’on les contrôle tous les jours et qu’ils peuvent être virés à tout moment, ça peut être mieux qu’une démocratie. Je ne dis pas que c’est mal, je dis simplement que nous ne sommes pas en démocratie.


Une aristocratie désirable, vraiment ?

Le problème, c’est que cette aristocratie est devenue une ploutocratie parce qu’il n’y a pas de primaires et parce que les plus riches la financent. Dans une ploutocratie élective, c’est naturel que les partis soient condamnés à la discorde, à la guerre politique. Aujourd’hui, il y a six, sept partis à gauche, si on exclut le PS. Ils nous empêchent de fraterniser parce qu’ils ont des intérêts divergents à ceux de leurs membres, un peu comme une entreprise a un mobile de profit différent de ses salariés. Les gens du Parti communiste et du Front national auraient intérêt à fraterniser pour défendre le système de retraite par répartition mais leurs partis leur interdisent de faire combat commun.


Vous dites qu’il n’y a pas de primaires, il y en a pourtant désormais…

Des primaires qui sont faites entre des candidats désignés à l’avance... Ce sont des élections qui ne satisfont pas beaucoup d’entre nous. À Cuba, il n’y a qu’un seul parti, mais ce n’est pas le parti qui désigne les candidats. Ce sont les gens eux-mêmes. Ils peuvent désigner le boulanger par exemple. Résultats : ils n’ont pas les mêmes gens que nous au pouvoir.


Mais ne faut-il pas une certaine expertise pour gouverner un pays ?

Certains postes peuvent être désignés au détour d’élections : les Athéniens élisaient leurs militaires par exemple et les comptables publics. Vous savez, le capitaine du navire, il faut qu’il sache naviguer alors on peut l’élire. Mais l’armateur, ce n’est pas la peine. L’expertise de l’élu ne vient pas du fait qu’il soit élu. Vous prenez n’importe quel jeune député médecin, c’est un bleu au départ. C’est son boulot qui le rend compétent. Ce serait la même chose s’il était tiré au sort.


Par quoi faut-il commencer selon vous, par supprimer les partis ?

Non, il faut d’abord écrire une constitution. [Nous n'avons pas] de constitution (au sens d’un texte qui nous protège). Aujourd’hui notre constitution est une prison, qui nous laisse juste choisir nos maîtres... C’est le contraire d’une garantie contre les abus de pouvoir.
Partout dans le monde, c’est la même chose.
Nous laissons les gens au pouvoir écrire les règles qu’ils devraient craindre.
Il faut écrire la constitution nous-mêmes. C’est indispensable.
Alors au moins, même si on doit continuer d’élire nos dirigeants, on gardera le contrôle sur eux.
Alors, les partis politiques deviendront secondaires ou disparaîtront. Ils prendront la place que nous leur laisserons.
Je ne dis pas qu’il faut interdire les partis politiques. Je suis pour la liberté de réunion et la constitution de courants de pensée.
Mais si on procède par tirage au sort et qu’on écrit notre constitution, les partis changeront de sens d’eux-mêmes.
Quand on aura compris qu’il faut mettre tout ça en place, qu’on portera notre constitution dans notre poche comme notre meilleur gardien, les partis perdront leurs travers corrupteurs et guerroyant.


Source : http://www.terraeco.net/elections-PS-UMP-partis-democratie,47130.html

dimanche 25 novembre 2012

Rendez-vous à GRENOBLE le 7 décembre, pour écrire nous-mêmes quelques articles de constitution (9)

Rendez-vous à GRENOBLE
le 7 décembre 2012,
avec les "Indignés" et ATTAC Grenoble,
pour écrire nous-mêmes
quelques articles de constitution :

• L'annonce blog : http://www.causetoujours.fr/agenda.php?date=2012-12-07

• L'annonce Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/events/288441757933602/

Adresse :
Maison des Associations:
6 Rue Berthe de Boissieux
38000 Grenoble


Les expériences épatantes des ateliers de La Réunion (avec le Repaire de Là-bas si j'y suis et le Parti Pirate, le 7 novembre) et de Toulon (avec les "Indignés", le 24 novembre) me portent à penser que ces ateliers devraient se multiplier : on en sort avec un sentiment particulièrement fort (et durable ?) que l'on peut faire (enfin) quelque chose (de radical), et même qu'on a commencé ! — et qu'il faut continuer, surtout SANS le père Chouard :)

Au (vif) plaisir de vous y retrouver.

Étienne.

PS : je vais demander au père Bachaud s'il peut nous rejoindre : sur le RIC, c'est LE meilleur !

vendredi 2 novembre 2012

VANDONCOURT, un village auto-géré depuis 1971 (21)

VANDONCOURT,
un village auto-géré depuis 1971 :

démocratie participative-délibérative & contrôle populaire



Créons 1000 Vandoncourt !


http://matricien.org/politique/anarchisme/vandoncourt/

Banqueroutes frauduleuses, crise du climat, chômage, pollutions, exclusions… S’il est un sentiment largement partagé par la population dans son ensemble, c’est bien celui de l’impuissance généralisée du citoyen face aux grands problèmes de notre temps. La démocratie représentative a réussi ce tour de force de détourner le pouvoir de l’individu au profit d’assemblées et d’états sans pouvoirs et sans scrupules face aux diktats économiques de la pensée unique. Le comble du cynisme, ou du ridicule, est atteint, en plus, lorsqu’on le considère comme responsable de tous les maux, et qu’on lui enjoint de changer d’attitude pour sauver la planète : veillez à bien fermer le robinet d’eau quand vous vous lavez les dents ! Pour les retraites, désolé, mais il n’y a pas d’autre solution ! Que faire, sinon baisser les bras dans ce désert politique ? Et pourtant…


VANDONCOURT, LE VILLAGE QUI ÉLÈVE LA VOIX

Le Jura, c’est comme le nord de la chanson, c’est d’abord un gros cœur, depuis longtemps. Ce haut lieu d’expérimentation sociale, qui a vu naître le théoricien anarchiste Proudhon et les coopératives ouvrières, a gardé, au fond de son âme, le goût de l’initiative et de l’innovation sociale. Souvenons nous de la lutte héroïque des LIP et des tentatives autogestionnaires. Pas très loin de Peugeot/Sochaux, niché à quelques centaines de mètres d’altitude, un village sans doute très peu différent de beaucoup de villages français, avec son église et sa mairie, Vandoncourt. Ce petit village du Doubs, pourtant, expérimente le pouvoir réel aux citoyens, la démocratie directe, depuis quarante ans, et ça marche ! Là se joue sans doute, à l’insu des protagonistes peut-être, une des plus formidables expérimentations d’avenir : la reprise en main du pouvoir global par la population, en un mot, la vraie démocratie. Petit cours d’utopie pratique.


Inspiré d’un système communautaire traditionnel

En 1970, « 68 » n’est pas très loin, et il va laisser un parfum libertaire qui va se répandre entre des habitants du cru, lassés de la somnolence municipale, et deux personnes, de retour de Madagascar, et tombées amoureuses là-bas des célèbres « conseils des sages » sous les arbres à palabres. La rencontre entre une effusion qui va bouleverser la France pour longtemps et une pratique authentique millénaire va être détonante. En moins de temps qu’il n’en faut pour le dire, dans un village aseptisé par manque de projets, un sondage est organisé, un programme élaboré, une liste déposée, un slogan diffusé : on est plus intelligents à plusieurs que seul ! La liste l’emporte. Elle se donne en plus une contrainte majeure : on fonctionne au consensus, pas à la majorité, comme à « Mada » ! Dame, les pauvres auraient-ils quelque chose à nous apprendre ?


Démocratie directe, autogestion et contrôle populaire

Une fois en place, la nouvelle équipe met en pratique les principes qui l’ont fait élire : information libre et transparente, aucun sujet tabou, commissions extra-municipales en place sur divers sujets (enfance, bâtiments, budget…) ouvertes à tous, réunions publiques mensuelles informant ceux qui ne peuvent se rendre aux réunions préparatoires, conseil des jeunes, des anciens, des associations ! Les structures démocratiques se multiplient, et provoquent une libération de l’expression. Le village devient un village sans maire, sans hiérarchie, autonome. Démocratie directe va de pair avec autogestion et contrôle populaire…On essaie de donner à cette démocratie que l’on réinvente toute sa dimension émancipatrice.


Exemples de questions traitées par les conseils populaires

Ainsi, Vandoncourt est la seule commune de France où les électeurs, français et étrangers, peuvent participer dès l’âge de 15 ans. Ensuite, le projet final chiffré est présenté au conseil municipal qui valide les décisions prises par les diverses commissions, le tout dans les formes légales imposées par la loi. Quelques exemples parmi d’autres : la commission du budget pose la problématique suivante, après avoir affiché tous les postes de dépenses : faut-il reporter certains travaux, ou augmenter les impôts ? Solution mitigée, on fait un peu des deux, après débat général. D’autres fois, des solutions sortent du cadre strictement marchand : pour la décoration du village, la mairie achète des fleurs, mais ce sont les habitants qui s’en occupent toute l’année. Les fontaines du village sont en mauvais état : on organise un chantier participatif avec les associations locales, voire internationales. Pour le POS, création de collèges d’élus, d’agriculteurs, de propriétaires résidents… Des représentants sont désignés pour discuter avec les autres partenaires (DDE, services techniques de l’Etat…). Plus les avis divergent, plus le débat est riche. Un parmi les sujets qui ont le plus fâché : le remembrement ! Et une des solutions originales trouvées : s’échanger l’usage plutôt que la propriété.


ÉCOLOGIE SOCIALE

Vandoncourt n’est pas en reste en ce qui concerne l’un des problèmes majeurs de notre temps, l’écologie. C’est là que fut créé le premier tri sélectif des déchets il y a trente ans, c’est là que l’on commença à s’opposer à l’enrésinement, c’est là que l’on prit position très tôt dans les grandes luttes nationales (Larzac, canal Rhin-Rhône, fusées pluton, nucléaire…). Localement, un chauffage collectif des bâtiments communaux à base de bois déchiqueté a été installé, bois provenant de la forêt communale de 300 ha qui appartient au village, exemple typique de développement de circuits courts. Mairie, école, foyer, salles communales, distillerie de cidre, pompiers, bibliothèque, 5 logements collectifs et un atelier communal bénéficient ainsi de la chaufferie, et économisent non seulement les finances, mais aussi les énergies fossiles. Les tailles des arbres fruitiers resservent sur place sous forme de BRF, un verger pédagogique, un projet pour relier à pied ou en vélo plusieurs villages alentour, développement d’habitat léger… Il y a autant de projets que d’habitants. On peut recenser 20% des habitants qui participent ainsi activement à cet essai réussi de démocratie générale, et la moitié de la population qui fait partie des 28 associations qui préparent la vie communale. Qui dit mieux ? L’avancée régulière des travaux est inscrite dans la « Damassine », publication trimestrielle, et relayée dans les deux publications locale et régionale. L’école participe activement à la mise en place des actions des commissions, offrant ainsi aux enfants, dès le primaire, les moyens de s’impliquer dans la vie démocratique de la commune ainsi qu’aux actions des associations…Nul doute, si l’on se projette dans le futur, que des citoyens ayant pratiqué une telle démocratie dès le plus jeune âge, dans des projets de développement locaux, ne puisse construire, dans la même logique, une société plus à même de répondre aux gigantesques défis qui nous attendent. Peut-être est ce là même la seule issue.


La loi est l’expression de la volonté du peuple

Dès lors qu’il y a débat et contrôle populaire, alors le circuit des décisions est neuf : on pèse, on argumente, on teste, mais on se laisse pas imposer les solutions d’ailleurs. La gestion populaire remet forcément en cause les paradigmes de la croissance et de la représentation obligée servis à longueur d’antenne par un questionnement permanent : est-il normal que l’eau de la piscine soit au même prix que celle de la cuisine ? Entre la gratuité des parkings ou celle de la cantine, que choisir ? Les structures de démocratie directe, par le fait même qu’elles prennent du temps, aident à construire une société différente où la décision n’est pas subie mais construite, en même temps qu’elles instaurent entre les participants l’attention, le respect, le dépassement du conflit. La Loi n’est-elle pas l’expression de la volonté générale, comme le stipule la déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen (art VI), et ceux-ci n’ont-ils pas le droit de concourir personnellement, ou par leurs Représentants, à sa formation ?


PERSPECTIVE JOYEUSE : vers une économie et une finance alternatives ?

Il existe en France plusieurs collectivités qui ont mis la démocratie directe à leur programme (Eourres (05), Grigny (69)…). De par le monde, on connait depuis longtemps aussi le budget participatif de Porto Alègre au Brésil. La commune de Marinaleda, en Espagne, est allée plus loin encore, en intervenant directement dans l’économie, installant une conserverie de légumes après avoir redistribué les 1 200 hectares d’un grand propriétaire terrien.

Alors, posons les vraies questions :

• La démocratie communale, qui permet réellement aux citoyens d’exercer leur pouvoir, n’est-elle pas le meilleur moyen de dépasser l’impuissance caractérisée de nos sociétés ?

• Ne pourrions nous imaginer, en France, 15 000 communes de 4 000 habitants, taille qui permet des assemblées générales (soit environ mille personnes, de quoi remplir un cinéma) de toute une population ?

• Ne pourrions nous imaginer la fin des régions, communautés, départements, et un unique échelon territorial, la commune, disposant de tous les pouvoirs et financements (éducation, formation, routes, etc.) des divers échelons actuels ?

• Ne pourrions nous imaginer la possibilité d’intervention des dites communes dans l’économie, dans la satisfaction des besoins exprimés par la population dans des assemblées générales régulières ?

• Ne pourrions nous imaginer des banques municipales, où les habitants d’une même commune mettrait leur argent, qui pourrait servir directement sur le territoire de la commune, dotées ou pas de monnaies nouvelles et permettant une relocalisation de la production ?

• Ne pourrions nous imaginer des coopératives communales pour sortir de la concurrence débile et mortifère ?


Utopisons plus loin encore : et si, pour les prochaines élections municipales, nous décidions, dans un premier temps, de créer 1 000 Vandoncourt, c’est à dire 1 000 communes autonomes fonctionnant en démocratie directe? Que chacun, ici et maintenant, chez lui, se dise :

• oui, c’est possible,

• oui, nous n’allons pas nous laisser imposer un enième supermarché,

• oui, nous devons protéger nos terres agricoles,

• oui nous devons lutter à notre niveau contre l’uniformatisation du monde,

• oui nous devons régénérer la démocratie,

• oui nous devons, nous pouvons reprendre le pouvoir, notre pouvoir, pas dans les stériles agitations médiatiques et politiques des partis, mais dans de vrais débats au sein de vraies assemblées, contradictoires, conflictuelles, mais qui toutes auraient comme fin l’amélioration immédiate du quotidien, le pouvoir de le faire, et l’anticipation de l’avenir.

Un tel saut démocratique ne porte t-il pas en germe, appliqué de partout, la véritable solution aux problèmes majeurs de notre temps, puisque, par définition, le peuple ne peut agir contre lui même ? Car Vandoncourt nous oblige à nous poser cette autre question : pourquoi donner son pouvoir à des partis par essence ultra-minoritaires, plutôt que de s’en servir soi-même ? Alors, chiche, on renverse la vapeur ?

Joël Feydel



Un village sans maire – Retour au bons vieux temps – Une tribu à la Française ?

La démocratie participative est une forme de partage et d’exercice du pouvoir, fondée sur le renforcement de la participation des citoyens à la prise de décision politique. On parle également de « démocratie délibérative » pour mettre l’accent sur les différents processus permettant la participation du public à l’élaboration des décisions, pendant la phase de délibération.

Vandoncourt est une commune française située dans le département du Doubs et la région Franche-Comté. Ses habitants sont appelés les Damas. En 1971 le village est passé en démocratie participative. Le fonctionnement est de type autogestion.

La vie démocratique s’organise grâce à :

• Un conseil de treize membres élus ;

• Un conseil des jeunes ;

• Un conseil des anciens ;

• Un conseil des associations.

Les conseils se réunissent, au moins chaque mois, ce sont là soixante citoyens rassemblés.

Sept commissions sont mises en place (scolaire, budget, technique, développement économique, sociale, fêtes et cérémonies, environnement). Ce sont elles qui s’informent des besoins, qui élaborent les solutions pratiques et qui contrôlent les réalisations. Elles sont sous le contrôle des conseils. Ainsi la commission des finances est composée d’élus et de non-élus.


La révolution au village ou la démocratie participative au quotidien

Il était une fois un petit village bâti sur le flanc de la montagne jurassienne, entre quatre cents et six cents mètres d’altitude, à douze kilomètres seulement de Sochaux. Un vieux village de quelques six cents âmes, d’où les hommes partent pour travailler. D’où les hommes partent ailleurs… définitivement. Avec de moins en moins de jeunes. Ils quittent le village-dortoir, mais aussi le village-maison de retraite.


Le maire gérait en père de famille et tranche en autocrate

Comme des milliers d’autres villages de France, Vandoncourt somnole. L’imagination, c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire, n’est pas au pouvoir à Vandoncourt. Il y a un Conseil Municipal à Vandoncourt, comme dans toutes les communes de France. Les électeurs en entendent parler régulièrement, tous les six ans. Ils l’élisent même. Il défend, paraît-il, les intérêts communaux. C’est ce que les candidats proclament, dans leur profession de foi, la seule information qu’ils adressent à leur concitoyens… Tous les six ans. Le maire gère en père de famille et tranche en autocrate. Si conflit il y a, c’est lui qui décide ; le Conseil entérines tous les trimestres. Il sait déterminer seul, ou presque, ce qui est bon pour la population… et c’est qui ne l’est pas.


Un village au bord de l’extinction

A Vandoncourt, y a plus de dimanche, y a plus de bon pain, y a plus de village. Les villages de villageois, l’exode rural les a presque tous tués. L’école aussi se meurt. Les instituteurs ne veulent pas rester.


Créer une association pour ressusciter le village

C’est de là que part la révolte, en 1969. In extremis, les parents créent une association, veulent faire participer les élus à la rénovation du village. En commençant par l’école, que l’on voudrait sans mur, sans piège. Une vraie école du peuple. Une équipe d’animation apparaît, sous l’impulsion de quelques uns, de retour au pays, après des années passées en Afrique. Aide aux Tiers-Monde, Noël des enfants déshérités, soirées dédiées aux anciens, soirées des nations où les étrangers du village, Suisses, Arabes, Italiens et Espagnols présentent des danses et des histoires du pays. Des fêtes à la fois folkloriques, gastronomiques et antiracistes. Le village grouille tout à coup de vie, d’activité.


Et la municipalité, elle continuait à gérer, comme si rien ne se passait ? Qui plus est, cette renaissance irrite.

Puisqu’il en est ainsi, l’équipe d’animation décide de se présenter aux élections municipales de 1971. Un questionnaire est lancé. Destiné à une centaine de personnes choisies dans le village en fonction de leur appartenance à différentes communautés (hommes, femmes, jeunes, vieux, professions libérales, ouvriers, paysans…), il porte sur la vie du village, l’animation culturelle, la participation de la jeunesse à la prise de responsabilité, les liens des associations entre elles, l’administration du village et « notre avis sur l’avenir du village ». Sur Cent questionnaires distribués, il y a soixante-douze réponses. Celles-ci sont anonymes et la synthèse réalisée constitue un programme cohérent qui reste encore aujourd’hui la base de l’action municipale à Vandoncourt. Avec un nouveau slogan pour la campagne électorale: « Voter pour nos candidats, c’est voter pour vous ».


C’est ainsi qu’une équipe toute neuve entre à la Mairie, rapidement renforcée par les jeunes et par ceux qui animent les associations.


Un village sans maire

Démocratie, contrôle populaire, autogestion c’est désormais de cela qu’il s’agit à Vandoncourt. Pour l’équipe de départ, de vingt ans en moyenne plus jeune que la précédente, il s’agit bien de donner à la démocratie toute sa dimension. En associant les forces vives à la gestion. En développant la démocratie au quotidien. En multipliant les structures de concertation. En informant complètement et régulièrement. En limitant la délégation de pouvoir par une pratique permanente de la démocratie directe.


Pour retrouver l’identité d’une commune vivante et décentraliser les initiatives

Treize élus pour administrer, où plutôt pour animer la commune, c’est trop peu ! C’est même dérisoire, injuste et scandaleux. Le village a besoin de tous pour se régénérer, pour retenir et accueillir. Tous ? Impossible sans doute. Mais le plus grand nombre :

• Pour donner au village sa propre vie.

• Pour faire émerger les besoins.

• Pour retrouver l’identité d’une commune vivante.

• Pour décentraliser les initiatives.

• Pour créer des canaux qui permettent à chacun de s’exprimer.

• Pour informer. Pour imaginer…


Le conseil des conseils, sans vote, ni contrainte

Imaginer, imaginer. Les projets ne manquent pas à Vandoncourt. On ne parle plus de réunion du conseil municipal, mais de réunion des conseils. Un conseil de treize membres, bien sûr. Comme dans toute commune de cette taille. Mais il ne se réunit pas sans les trois autres conseils : Celui des jeunes, celui des anciens, celui des associations, un véritable petit parlement où sont représentés tous les groupes et clubs. Les conseils se réunissent, au moins chaque mois, ce sont là soixante citoyens rassemblés. Parfois, il se transforme en réunion publique, la mairie en forum. Sans vote, ni contrainte. Il s’agit de libérer au maximum l’expression. Pas de maire, pas de chef à Vandoncourt.


La commission des finances, pour des comptes transparents

Sept commissions sont mises en place (scolaire, budget, technique, développement économique, sociale, fêtes et cérémonies, environnement). Ce sont elles qui s’informent des besoins, qui élaborent les solutions pratiques, qui contrôlent les réalisations. Elles sont sous le contrôle des conseils. Ainsi la commission des finances, elle est composée d’élus et de non-élus. Elle publie dans le bulletin du village le budget et le compte administratif en expliquant et en commentant les chiffres. Au mois de novembre, la mairie organise des journées de discussion sur le budget. Tous les postes sont retranscrits sur des grandes feuilles accrochées au mur, dans différents points du village et dans le préau de l’école. On peut ainsi voir l’évolution des dépenses et des recettes, année par année. Les conseils, la commission des finances et la population peuvent ainsi confronter leurs idées.


Votes des mineurs et des étrangers, référendum et propositions de projets

Les électeurs, français et étrangers (que la loi française exclut de tout scrutin), peuvent voter dès l’âge de 15 ans pour élire les membres des conseils, pour s’exprimer sur telle affaire importante. Vandoncourt à ses référendums pour briser le cercle toujours trop étroit de la participation populaire. N’importe quel groupe, individu, association (il y en a une vingtaine) peut proposer un projet. Les conseils en apprécient l’urgence, les commissions – ouvertes – en étudient la mise en pratique. Pour définir ce fonctionnement local, aux antipodes des règlements préfectoraux et des structures légales, « un règlement intérieur » a été mis aux points les premiers temps, puis modifié à plusieurs reprises.


Toutes les sources documentaires sont libres d’accès, sauf cas sociaux et judiciaires

La démocratie directe s’est rapidement mise en place dans les structures. On délivre encore des fiches d’état-civil, on y reçoit toujours des demandes de renseignement, mais la marie est avant tout le centre de l’effervescence démocratique, le laboratoire des propositions et des analyses populaires. Un « café du commerce » parfois.

On entre dans la mairie, on accède librement à toutes les sources documentaires, on se sert comme chez soi. Sauf cas social ou judiciaire, le courrier est à la disposition de tous. Le matériel municipal n’a d’autre vocation que de servir la vie locale. Pas besoin de quérir une autorisation pour utiliser photocopieuse, téléphone locaux, panneaux municipaux. Il y a parfois encombrement, pléthore d’informations, télescopage de convocations. C’est la rançon d’un système qui pousse très loin la liberté d’expression. A Vandoncourt au moins, le vocable de maison commune n’est pas usurpé.


Tu as envie, tu veux… fais-le ! Le village t’aidera !

Ainsi naissent et se développent de multiples activités au village. A défaut de moyens financiers -le village n’est pas riche -On ne manque pas de compétences locales qui puissent répondre aux besoins. Encouragement à l’initiative, utilisation des compétences, bénévolat: C’est sur ce triptyque que s’appuie l’animation permanente du village. « L’animation c’est la politique! ». La politique ce n’est pas ce passage successif sur les tréteaux ou les écrans d’un certain nombre de professionnels patentés et homologués -par qui ? -mais la prise en charge de la vie quotidienne du plus grand nombre; vingt- cinq siècle après une définition de Périclès: la politique, gestion de la cité. Par tous, c’est à dire à l’inverse de ceux qui détiennent habituellement le monopole du gouvernement et de l’information, dévoyant ainsi la démocratie politique. « Gouverner, c’est faire croire », disait Machiavel. Mais au contraire, ANIMER c’est rendre, c’est redonner, c’est permettre, c’est critiquer, c’est devenir libre.


Un village pionnier des grandes luttes nationales

La majorité de la population de Vandoncourt pratique l’autogestion – ou plutôt un contrôle populaire sur la vie quotidienne – sans le savoir. Peut-être certains préféreraient-ils parler de démocratie, de fraternité, d’honnêteté ou de participation. Ou encore de liberté !

• C’est à Vandoncourt que fut créé le premier tri sélectif des déchets. Il y a 30 ans !

• C’est à Vandoncourt que l’on s’opposa à l’enrésinement. La population empêcha l’office national des forêts de planter dix hectares d’épicéas qui auraient détruit une partie de la flore.

• C’est à Vandoncourt que l’on pris très tôt position dans les grandes luttes nationales (Larzac, canal Rhin-Rhône, fusées Pluton, nucléaire civil et militaire,…).


La fin est contenue dans les moyens, comme l’arbre dans la semence

Contre le pouvoir centralisateur, paperassier, contrôleur de toutes les initiatives, gérant de la bonne norme contre toutes les déviances, la population de Vandoncourt répond à la manière de Gandhi: « La fin est contenue dans les moyens, comme l’arbre dans la semence » . On y souligne volontiers la nécessaire concordance entre les exigences de demain et le comportement d’aujourd’hui.


Ne rien changer : La position confortable des élus

Ailleurs, les élus dénoncent vaillamment un pouvoir qui les empêche de réaliser cette démocratie locale, cet apprentissage de l’autogestion qu’ils réclament dans les motions, les conseils, assemblées, assises, séminaires, forums, carrefours, meetings… Mais le pouvoir et la loi deviennent vite pour eux l’alibi qui autorise à ne rien changer, la diversion qui permet d’interdire aux groupes concernés de réfléchir collectivement à leur devenir.


Autonomie individuelle et collective pour reconstruire

À Vandoncourt, rarement la démocratie directe a été portée aussi loin. Mais à la différence de l’autre démocratie – formelle et déléguée -celle-ci est une lutte permanente contre l’autorité ; et plus encore contre le conditionnement de l’individu.

Des années après, beaucoup sont encore surpris du chemin parcouru, surpris de l’autonomie individuelle ou collective acquise, surpris de cette capacité à reconstruire parfois le quotidien.

Vandoncourt cherche, se cherche, existe… Avec la volonté de créer un devenir qui ne soit pas un simple prolongement ou une vague adaptation du présent, mais une rupture, un dépassement.


Gestion populaire et identité communautaire

Les prémices apparaissent d’une information, d’une gestion populaire, d’une identité et d’une communauté retrouvée, qui remettent en cause le modèle de croissance dominant, qui contestent, par le bas, les mécanismes de pouvoir et d’aliénation.

Les structures de démocratie directe, participative ne sont pas seulement le remède aux maladies de carences, aux esclavages nouveaux engendrés par notre société, mais l’un des moyens pour un autre type de société.


La réalisation concrète de nouvelles formes d’existence

En France, les structures de démocratie participative ont encore du mal, ne serait-ce que parce qu’elles progressent dans un environnement hostile (état centralisateur, notables, presse locale, mentalités d’assistés). La population de Vandoncourt essaient de conjuguer ce que notre société libérale ignore si profondément : La réalisation concrète de nouvelles formes d’existence avec ce que cela suppose de fureur de vivre, d’aptitude à un bien être qui ne soit pas seulement matériel et, par ailleurs, la possibilité de se réunir pour forger des outils, la capacité de prendre en charge son propre développement, de maîtriser sa propre évolution.

Lorsqu’on cherche les moyens d’un développement, on oublie trop souvent, même quand on affirme le contraire, que les masses populaires sont le seul moyen vraisemblable d’une évolution. Mais il faut alors admettre qu’elles doivent aussi être les seules bénéficiaires. Comment pourrait-on les mobiliser en vue de « leur » développement, si on hésite à leur donner des pouvoirs à la mesure de leurs responsabilités ?


La démocratie déléguée : l’état sans contrôle populaire

A la « démocratie déléguée », qui ôte toute initiative au peuple et n’assure en aucune façon un contrôle de celui-ci sur l’état, succéderait une démocratie directe, les populations exerçant eux-mêmes tous les pouvoirs qui le sont aujourd’hui – au demeurant fort mal – par un certain nombre d’institutions et de ministères.

Le socialisme pourrait dès lors cesser d’être un but à atteindre dans un cadre plus ou moins socialisé, c’est à dire un idéal indéfiniment repoussé, un vœu pieux. Il pourrait être ce qu’il doit être : une méthode de gouvernement. C’est à cette condition qu’il permettrait la mise en forme d’un nouveau modèle de développement, le départ d’une nouvelle civilisation.

À son échelle, Vandoncourt et ses pareils, dans des villes et villages du Brésil, de l’Inde, d’Espagne et d’ailleurs, sont de petits laboratoires. Ils sont un espoir pour des lendemains qui chanteraient.

Jean Louis BATO.


Sources: – « A Vandoncourt, c’est tous les jours dimanche » de Christophe Wargny (1980) – Enquêtes à Vandoncourt ( 1979)

- L’Écho de notre village (association pour l’information des habitants de Vandoncourt)

jeudi 1 novembre 2012

No Democracy without Sortition => the cause of the causes of our powerlessness is that we let the political professionals draw up and modify the Constitution (1)

No Democracy without Sortition :
the cause of the causes of our powerlessness
is that we let the political professionals draw up
and modify the Constitution


First, here is the text (complete) of the 15 minutes synthesis
that I had prepared for the TEDx conference (on March 22nd, 2012 in Paris) :

pdf file:
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_No-democracy-without-Sortition.pdf

PowerPoint ppt file:
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_No-democracy-without-Sortition.ppt

Mp3 file:
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_No-democracy-without-Sortition.mp3

L'homme qui parle anglais ci-dessus s'appelle Michael. Il habite non loin de chez moi. Il m'aide énormément à m'exprimer en anglais, à l'écrit et à l'oral, ici et ailleurs (et donc à semer nos graines d'idées plus loin, à travers le monde). Je dois lui dire ma profonde reconnaissance. Quand il parle anglais, c'est de la musique. Il est le plus gentil des hommes. Merci Michael.



I also prepared my contribution for the Sortition Workshop in Trinity College of Dublin (Ireland, 12 October 2012):

Bilingual pdf file:
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/20121011_No_democracy_without_sortition-Workshop_at_Dublin-Etienne_Chouard.pdf


Étienne Chouard
Marseille, France
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/



Lottery workshop at Trinity College of Dublin
11-12 October 2012
http://www.tcd.ie/policy-institute/events/Lottery_workshop_Oct12.php

.


This workshop, which was about Sortition as a democratic Institution, was based on an initial text by Peter stone, Gil Delannoi and Oliver Dowlen: http://www.tcd.ie/policy-institute/events/Lottery_workshop_Oct12.php

In order to be able to make an oral commentary on the initial text, I had to prepare the following written document. I hope that you find it useful.

Thank you for your kind invitation and for your attention.

Étienne Chouard,
31 October 2012,
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe

PS: I don’t know if you wanted this translated but it is something I had already corrected.




Comments on Peter Stone’s report (Dublin)


On Part 1
(benefits of drawing by lots in politics)

I have, myself, drawn up a list which recaps on the vices of elections and the virtues of sortition (Cf. Annexes). I have found most of these virtues in your report, and I shall therefore not insist on our numerous points of agreement.

I should nevertheless like to highlight some important, but frequently neglected points:

1. The equalizing virtue of sortition (the rulers of today are the ruled over of tomorrow) must be defended not only for itself but for its main consequence i.e. rulers (producers of the law) who know that they will soon become ruled over (subject to the laws in question) will naturally and mechanically take decisions that are in accordance with the public interest (because they know that they will be personally impacted), whereas elections, on the contrary, incite elected representatives to draw up laws that are all the more severe and contrary to the public interest since they know that they themselves will be sheltered from them (this always happens when they are the people who draw up the constitution).

2. This same virtue works the other way around (the ruled over of today will be the rulers of tomorrow) and has another important and pedagogical knock-on effect that is well expressed by de Tocqueville:

« The jury is above all a political institution.

[...]

By the jury I mean a certain number of citizens drawn by lot, and invested with a temporary right of judging.

[...]

The jury, and more especially the jury in civil cases, serves to communicate the spirit of the judges to the minds of all the citizens; and this spirit, with the habits which attend it, is the soundest preparation for a free people.

It imbues all classes with a respect for the thing judged, and with the notion of right. If these two elements be removed, the love of independence is reduced to a mere destructive passion.

It teaches men to practice equity, every man learns to judge his neighbor as he would himself be judged.

[...]

The jury teaches every man not to recoil before the responsibility of his own actions, and impresses him with that manly confidence without which political virtue cannot exist.

It invests each citizen with a kind of magistracy, it makes them all feel the duties which they are bound to discharge towards society, and the part which they take in the Government. By obliging men to turn their attention to affairs which are not exclusively their own, it rubs off that individual egotism which is the rust of society.

The jury contributes most powerfully to form the judgment and to increase the natural intelligence of a people, and this is, in my opinion, its greatest advantage. It may be regarded as a gratuitous public school ever open, in which every juror learns to exercise his rights, enters into daily communication with the most learned and enlightened members of the upper classes, and becomes practically acquainted with the laws of his country, which are brought within the reach of his capacity by the efforts of the bar, the advice of the judge, and even by the passions of the parties.

[...]

I do not know whether the jury is useful to those who are in litigation; but I am certain it is highly beneficial to those who decide the litigation; and I look upon it as one of the most efficacious means for the education of the people which society can employ.

What I have hitherto said applies to all nations »

(Source: Tocqueville.)

3. The second virtue that we should highlight:

Sortition (just like real democracy) is based on a healthy and constructive MISTRUST of any power: it does NOT assume the virtue of the people who are designated (unlike election), and this powerful feature of REALISM explains the multitude of finicky and permanent CONTROLS that necessarily go with sortition.

This makes the drawing by lots a much safer procedure for those who are being governed, and by definition, a real (sustainable) guarantee against the abuse of power.

It should also be noted that this fact makes sortition (with its permanent controls) a much better procedure for assigning positions in large political communities.

4. If I only had 5 minutes to talk about the political benefits of sortition, I would particularly insist on a very striking (and totally misunderstood) feature, if compared to elections:

In Athens, during the 200 years of sortition, the RICH people NEVER conducted the affairs (rich people were never numerous enough to take decisions at the Assembly), while, during the 200 years of elections, the rich have ALWAYS been the ones who govern (rich people can easily help their servants to capture the political power by financing their electoral campaigns; and this plutocratic regime was kindly called "capitalism"), as if the election always gave power to the rich.

Please, note this.

I believe this systemic delinking (uncoupling) of economic power and political power (by putting political power out of reach of the rich) is the most important effect of the drawing by lots and the inseparable characteristic of a democracy worthy of the name.


On part 2
(HOW to integrate drawing by lot in the institutions)

I see several ways of using sortition in politics, and it is important to distinguish these different uses to avoid confusion, because the arguments differ from one case to another:

1. Full direct democracy, like the Athenian one: representatives chosen by drawing by lots are weakened, so that representatives remain servants and can never become masters. Sortition is then used by the people to protect their own power at the assembly against their representatives.


2. Representative government improved by integrating citizens in the exercise of power:

• In addition to the House of Parties, composed of professional representatives like today, a second Legislative Chamber could be chosen at random: it would be called the "House of Citizens' => composed of amateurs, it would reflect the nation.

• All established bodies could be placed under the daily supervision of several Control Chambers, all drawn by lot.

• A "House of Referendum", chosen at random, could examine all suggestions, even the individual ones, to choose those to be submitted to (the very essential) popular initiative referendum.

3. But (by far) the most important use of drawing by lot is that of the Constituent Assembly: indeed, whatever the modality chosen to integrate sortition in our institutions (drawing by lot all officials so that all citizens can be legislators, drawing by lot of one of the two legislative chambers, drawing by lot of the different Control Chambers...), NONE of these reforms, absolutely none, will ever be implemented by an elected Constituent Assembly. EVER!

Any Constituent Assembly elected among professional politicians will always - by definition and inevitably be poisoned by the most serious conflicts of interest.

Elected officials will never be able to institute (against themselves) the controls that we all need.

It is therefore of the utmost importance (and the motivation of my trip here is to come and talk about it), it is completely strategic, to place the drawing by lots of the Constituent Assembly at the forefront of our priorities.

If not, we are condemned to sterile chatter of a people rendered powerless by a false constitution, because we do not attack the problem at its root, because we gesticulate about consequences without identifying the cause of causes, while politicians continue to establish the finest workings of the plutocracy which guarantees their antisocial privilege.

Thank you for your kind invitation and for your attention.

Étienne Chouard

http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe




Annexes

The election is THE CAUSE which allows merchants to colonize the City

Many of us complain about the colonization of our imagination by merchants (that is to say, ultimately, by the bankers, that are always becoming the richest merchants): gradually, merchants succeed in making us believe that yarn that "everything that has a price has a value and that everything that has no price has no value" while, on the contrary, all that really matters (love, quietude, happiness, peace, passion, fulfillment, joy, honour ...) does not have a price, and what has a price often has little or no real value.

But the nuclear heart of this colonization of our imagination (and of our institutions) by merchants, is the election because it is the election that allows the rich merchants to help the elected to be elected in order to make the elected DEPENDENT on the rich, INDEBTED so to speak.

Somehow, ELECTION enables the generalization in the political arena SERVITUDE BY DEBT, developed by the money merchants to force all people to work for them.

Through the political mechanism of the election, the merchants place their merchant priests throughout the social body in a position to influence public choices to their advantage.

THE WEAK LINK of this colonization of politics by economics, IS THE ELECTION!

And this Achilles' heel of the rich is within the reach of the poor, but only if the poor stop being so proud, thinking stupidly (and denial of all the contrary facts that prove their error) that their collective will (though easily deceived) is better than chance (yet incorruptible) in the designation of political servants of the city.

It would be easy and judicious to replace election by chance, the usual gamemaster in nature, and —experience proves— always respectful of equilibrium and the survival of all.

THINGS ARE WELL DONE BY CHANCE, we forget it because of our pretentiousness: chance is a probability that is not subject to our control (itself vulnerable to bullshit, easy to deceive); CHANCE IS INCORRUPTIBLE.

The ELECTION, IDEALISM supposing TRUST (before abandoning the idea of governing)-vs- SORTITION, REALISM supposing MISTRUST (before organizing to govern)

It is important to understand a paradox (or a contradiction): contrary to appearances, the election is based on trust, while the sortition is based on mistrust. The election is based on an ideal (in my opinion perfectly inaccessible and masking a fraud) that an elected official would be righteous by the mere fact of being elected and would remain durably due to the same election (also intended to enable a sanction by non-reelection), the people being supposed to be able to choose their masters... which is extravagant, a true myth, completely unrealistic.

Whereas, on the contrary, the Athenians, very pragmatic, knew themselves well, distrusted each other and built institutions acknowledging the reality of their imperfections and based on distrust, on permanent control of the representatives who were the masters of nobody; institutions relying on the staging of conflicts, on contradictory arguments, during public debates, in which no decision could be taken without all having been forced to listen and publicly refute the arguments of the worst opponents.

The election is a political abdication, renunciation, a gesture of trust before consenting to obey for several years; it is a political organization that only leaves to people the hopeless right to choose their masters.

Whereas sortition is at the heart of a political organization which embodies a desire of all men to keep political power and to appoint only servile executors to represent them.

It must not be forgotten that in a democracy, it is not the people who have been drawn by lot that are in power (they used to be called "magistrates"): it is the Assembly of People in body that exercises full political power. The people drawn by lots only serve to perform the tasks that the Assembly can not perform itself: e.g., the preparation and publication of the agenda, the execution of the decisions of the Assembly, the physical organization of the draw, the accountability, etc.


7 vices of the election and 11 virtues of sortition, let's recap:

7 VICES OF THE ELECTION:

1. The election leads to lying: first to come to power and secondly to keep it, because candidates can not be elected, and re-elected, unless their image is good: it mechanically leads to lying, about the future and the past.

2. Election leads to corruption: “sponsored” politicians must inevitably "return the favor" to their sponsors, those who have financed their election campaign: so, corruption is inevitable, by the very existence of the campaign, the cost of which is inaccessible to the candidate alone. The system of election therefore allows, and even imposes, the corruption of politicians (which probably suits some wealthy economic actors).

Thanks to the principle of ruinous campaigns, our representatives are for sale (and our freedoms along with it).

3. The election encourages the grouping into leagues and submits political action to clans and especially to their leaders, with its procession of turpitudes linked to the logic of hierarchical organizations and the ultra priority (critical) the quest for power.

Political parties impose their candidates, which makes our choices artificial. Because of the participation of political groups in electoral competition (unfair competition), the election deprives the most isolated individuals of any chance to participate in government of the City and this fosters the lack of political interest (or even rejection) by the citizens.

4. The election delegates… and therefore exempts (keep away) citizens from daily political activity and promotes the formation of castes of elected people, political professionals for life, moving away from their constituents to finally no longer represent anyone but themselves, turning the protection promised by the election into a political muzzle.

5. The election only ensures the legitimacy of elected people without any guarantee of distributive justice in the distribution of charges: an Assembly of officials and doctors can not understand the common good as would an Assembly drawn by lot.

An elected Assembly is never representative.

6. Paradoxically, the election stifles resistance against the abuse of power: it reduces our precious freedom of speech to an episodic vote every five years, vote perverted by a fake bipartism offering only false choices. The advice of "useful vote" is a political gag.

7. The election selects by definition those who seem "the best", some citizen deemed to be superior to the voters, and thereby forfeits the principle of equality (yet posted everywhere, falsely): by construction, the election designates more leaders who look for power (dominators) instead of representatives who accept power (mediators, listening and serving the citizens).

The election is deeply aristocratic, not democratic at all. The term "democratic election" is an oxymoron (a blend of contradictory words).

A major disadvantage of this elite, it is this feeling of power that develops in the elected representatives to the point where they finally take any liberties.

IN FACT, for 200 years (since the early 19th century), the election has always given political power to the rich and only to them, never to the others: the election of political representatives enables COUPLING political power and economic power, in a lasting manner, gradually creating irresponsible and unaccountable monsters writing the laws for themselves and appropriating the monopoly of public power for private gain.

11 VIRTUES OF SORTITION:

1. The procedure of the draw is fair and impartial: it ensures distributive justice (logical consequence of the principle of political equality stated as central goal of democracy).

2. The draw prevents corruption (it even deters corrupters: it is impossible and unnecessary to cheat, it avoids intrigues): leaving no room for any will, neither for the one nor the other, it gives no chance to cheating or manipulation of of people’s will.

3. The draw never creates rancour: no vanity to have been chosen, no resentment at not having been chosen: it has virtues to pacify the City, systemically.

4. All participants, representatives and represented are really made equal.

5. Chance, reproducing rarely twice the same choice, naturally leads to the rotation of responsibilities and mechanically prevents the formation of a politician class always tending to pride themselves on their condition and always seeking to enjoy privileges.

The major protective principle is this: the governors are more respectful of the governed when they know with certainty that they will soon return themselves to the ordinary condition of the governed.

6. The draw is easy, fast and economical.

7. Chance and large numbers naturally and mechanically, make for a representative sample. Nothing better than the draw to compose an Assembly that looks exactly like the people who want to be represented. No need for quotas, no risk of intrigues.

8. Knowing that he may be drawn encourages every citizen to learn and to participate in public controversy: it is a pedagogical way of intellectual emancipation.

9. Having been drawn pushes citizens to forget their personal preoccupations and to be concerned about the common world; their designation and the public eyes placed upon them encourage them to learn and to develop skills through their work, just as it does for politicians: it is a pedagogical way towards citizen responsability, all citizens.

10. To prefer the drawing by lots is to refuse giving up power of direct suffrage to the Assembly, and it is to attribute the highest importance to effective controls of all representatives: so, the draw accompanied by drastic controls at all levels, is better suited than the election (which assumes that voters are familiar with elected officials and their daily actions) to large entities. (While we usually hear the opposite.)

11. IN FACT, for 200 years of drawing by lots every day (the fifth and fourth century before JC in Athens), the rich NEVER governed, and the poor always did. (The rich lived very comfortably, do not worry, but they could not just grab without limitation, for want of political control.)

This is essential: mechanically, inevitably, irresistibly, the draw uncouples political and economic power. This is a very clever way to weaken the powers in order to prevent abuse.

It is therefore tempting to think that it is the election of politicians who made "capitalism" possible (we should better say "scumism"), and that the draw would deprive the capitalists of their principal tool of domination.

Étienne Chouard

http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/tirage_au_sort.php

http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/traductions



Tocqueville, « Democracy in America »,
Chapter XVI: Causes Mitigating Tyranny in the United States –
Part II Trial by Jury in the United States Considered as a Political Institution

Since I have been led by my subject to recur to the administration of justice in the United States, I will not pass over this point without adverting to the institution of the jury.

Trial by jury may be considered in two separate points of view, as a judicial and as a political institution.

If it entered into my present purpose to inquire how far trial by jury (more especially in civil cases) contributes to insure the best administration of justice, I admit that its utility might be contested.

As the jury was first introduced at a time when society was in an uncivilized state, and when courts of justice were merely called upon to decide on the evidence of facts, it is not an easy task to adapt it to the wants of a highly civilized community when the mutual relations of men are multiplied to a surprising extent, and have assumed the enlightened and intellectual character of the age.*

[*The investigation of trial by jury as a judicial institution, and the appreciation of its effects in the United States, together with the advantages the Americans have derived from it, would suffice to form a book, and a book upon a very useful and curious subject.
The State of Louisiana would in particular afford the curious phenomenon of a French and English legislation, as well as a French and English population, which are gradually combining with each other. See the “Digeste des Lois de la Louisiane,” in two volumes; and the “Traite sur les Regles des Actions civiles,” printed in French and English at New Orleans in 1830.]

My present object is to consider the jury as a political institution, and any other course would divert me from my subject.

Of trial by jury, considered as a judicial institution, I shall here say but very few words. When the English adopted trial by jury they were a semi-barbarous people; they are become, in course of time, one of the most enlightened nations of the earth; and their attachment to this institution seems to have increased with their increasing cultivation. They soon spread beyond their insular boundaries to every corner of the habitable globe; some have formed colonies, others independent states; the mother-country has maintained its monarchical constitution; many of its offspring have founded powerful republics; but wherever the English have been they have boasted of the privilege of trial by jury.* They have established it, or hastened to re-establish it, in all their settlements.

A judicial institution which obtains the suffrages of a great people for so long a series of ages, which is zealously renewed at every epoch of civilization, in all the climates of the earth and under every form of human government, cannot be contrary to the spirit of justice.**

[*All the English and American jurists are unanimous upon this head. Mr. Story, judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, speaks, in his “Treatise on the Federal Constitution,” of the advantages of trial by jury in civil cases: – “ The inestimable privilege of a trial by jury in civil cases -a privilege scarcely inferior to that in criminal cases, which is counted by all persons to be essential to political and civil liberty… .” (Story, book iii., chap. viii.)

**If it were our province to point out the utility of the jury as a judicial institution in this place, much might be said, and the following arguments might be brought forward amongst others: –

By introducing the jury into the business of the courts you are enabled to diminish the number of judges, which is a very great advantage. When judges are very numerous, death is perpetually thinning the ranks of the judicial functionaries, and laying places vacant for newcomers. The ambition of the magistrates is therefore continually excited, and they are naturally made dependent upon the will of the majority, or the individual who fills up the vacant appointments; the officers of the court then rise like the officers of an army.

This state of things is entirely contrary to the sound administration of justice, and to the intentions of the legislator. The office of a judge is made inalienable in order that he may remain independent: but of what advantage is it that his independence should be protected if he be tempted to sacrifice it of his own accord? When judges are very numerous many of them must necessarily be incapable of performing their important duties, for a great magistrate is a man of no common powers; and I am inclined to believe that a halfenlightened tribunal is the worst of all instruments for attaining those objects which it is the purpose of courts of justice to accomplish.

For my own part, I had rather submit the decision of a case to ignorant jurors directed by a skilful judge than to judges a majority of whom are imperfectly acquainted with jurisprudence and with the laws.]

I turn, however, from this part of the subject. To look upon the jury as a mere judicial institution is to confine our attention to a very narrow view of it; for however great its influence may be upon the decisions of the law courts, that influence is very subordinate to the powerful effects which it produces on the destinies of the community at large.

The jury is above all a political institution, and it must be regarded in this light in order to be duly appreciated.

By the jury I mean a certain number of citizens drawn by lot, and invested with a temporary right of judging.

Trial by jury, as applied to the repression of crime, appears to me to introduce an eminently republican element into the government upon the following grounds:-

The institution of the jury may be aristocratic or democratic, according to the class of society from which the jurors are selected; but it always preserves its republican character, inasmuch as it places the real direction of society in the hands of the governed, or of a portion of the governed, instead of leaving it under the authority of the Government.

Force is never more than a transient element of success; and after force comes the notion of right. A government which should only be able to crush its enemies upon a field of battle would very soon be destroyed. The true sanction of political laws is to be found in penal legislation, and if that sanction be wanting the law will sooner or later lose its cogency. He who punishes infractions of the law is therefore the real master of society. Now the institution of the jury raises the people itself, or at least a class of citizens, to the bench of judicial authority. The institution of the jury consequently invests the people, or that class of citizens, with the direction of society.*

[*An important remark must, however, be made. Trial by jury does unquestionably invest the people with a general control over the actions of citizens, but it does not furnish means of exercising this control in all cases, or with an absolute authority. When an absolute monarch has the right of trying offences by his representatives, the fate of the prisoner is, as it were, decided beforehand. But even if the people were predisposed to convict, the composition and the non-responsibility of the jury would still afford some chances favorable to the protection of innocence.]

In England the jury is returned from the aristocratic portion of the nation;** the aristocracy makes the laws, applies the laws, and punishes all infractions of the laws; everything is established upon a consistent footing, and England may with truth be said to constitute an aristocratic republic.

[**This may be true to some extent of special juries, but not of common juries. The author seems not to have been aware that the qualifications of jurors in England vary exceedingly.]

In the United States the same system is applied to the whole people. Every American citizen is qualified to be an elector, a juror, and is eligible to office.* The system of the jury, as it is understood in America, appears to me to be as direct and as extreme a consequence of the sovereignty of the people as universal suffrage. These institutions are two instruments of equal power, which contribute to the supremacy of the majority.

All the sovereigns who have chosen to govern by their own authority, and to direct society instead of obeying its directions, have destroyed or enfeebled the institution of the jury. The monarchs of the House of Tudor sent to prison jurors who refused to convict, and Napoleon caused them to be returned by his agents.

However clear most of these truths may seem to be, they do not command universal assent, and in France, at least, the institution of trial by jury is still very imperfectly understood. If the question arises as to the proper qualification of jurors, it is confined to a discussion of the intelligence and knowledge of the citizens who may be returned, as if the jury was merely a judicial institution. This appears to me to be the least part of the subject. The jury is pre-eminently a political institution; it must be regarded as one form of the sovereignty of the people; when that sovereignty is repudiated, it must be rejected, or it must be adapted to the laws by which that sovereignty is established. The jury is that portion of the nation to which the execution of the laws is entrusted, as the Houses of Parliament constitute that part of the nation which makes the laws; and in order that society may be governed with consistency and uniformity, the list of citizens qualified to serve on juries must increase and diminish with the list of electors. This I hold to be the point of view most worthy of the attention of the legislator, and all that remains is merely accessory.

I am so entirely convinced that the jury is pre-eminently a political institution that I still consider it in this light when it is applied in civil causes.

Laws are always unstable unless they are founded upon the manners of a nation; manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people.

When the jury is reserved for criminal offences, the people only witnesses its occasional action in certain particular cases; the ordinary course of life goes on without its interference, and it is considered as an instrument, but not as the only instrument, of obtaining justice.

This is true a fortiori when the jury is only applied to certain criminal causes.

When, on the contrary, the influence of the jury is extended to civil causes, its application is constantly palpable; it affects all the interests of the community; everyone cooperates in its work: it thus penetrates into all the usages of life, it fashions the human mind to its peculiar forms, and is gradually associated with the idea of justice itself.

The institution of the jury, if confined to criminal causes, is always in danger, but when once it is introduced into civil proceedings it defies the aggressions of time and of man. If it had been as easy to remove the jury from the manners as from the laws of England, it would have perished under Henry VIII, and Elizabeth, and the civil jury did in reality, at that period, save the liberties of the country.

In whatever manner the jury be applied, it cannot fail to exercise a powerful influence upon the national character; but this influence is prodigiously increased when it is introduced into civil causes.

The jury, and more especially the jury in civil cases, serves to communicate the spirit of the judges to the minds of all the citizens; and this spirit, with the habits which attend it, is the soundest preparation for a free people.

It imbues all classes with a respect for the thing judged, and with the notion of right. If these two elements be removed, the love of independence is reduced to a mere destructive passion.

It teaches men to practice equity, every man learns to judge his neighbor as he would himself be judged; and this is especially true of the jury in civil causes, for, whilst the number of persons who have reason to apprehend a criminal prosecution is small, every one is liable to have a civil action brought against him.

The jury teaches every man not to recoil before the responsibility of his own actions, and impresses him with that manly confidence without which political virtue cannot exist.

It invests each citizen with a kind of magistracy, it makes them all feel the duties which they are bound to discharge towards society, and the part which they take in the Government. By obliging men to turn their attention to affairs which are not exclusively their own, it rubs off that individual egotism which is the rust of society.

The jury contributes most powerfully to form the judgment and to increase the natural intelligence of a people, and this is, in my opinion, its greatest advantage. It may be regarded as a gratuitous public school ever open, in which every juror learns to exercise his rights, enters into daily communication with the most learned and enlightened members of the upper classes, and becomes practically acquainted with the laws of his country, which are brought within the reach of his capacity by the efforts of the bar, the advice of the judge, and even by the passions of the parties. I think that the practical intelligence and political good sense of the Americans are mainly attributable to the long use which they have made of the jury in civil causes.

I do not know whether the jury is useful to those who are in litigation; but I am certain it is highly beneficial to those who decide the litigation; and I look upon it as one of the most efficacious means for the education of the people which society can employ.

What I have hitherto said applies to all nations, but the remark I am now about to make is peculiar to the Americans and to democratic peoples.

I have already observed that in democracies the members of the legal profession and the magistrates constitute the only aristocratic body which can check the irregularities of the people. This aristocracy is invested with no physical power, but it exercises its conservative influence upon the minds of men, and the most abundant source of its authority is the institution of the civil jury.

In criminal causes, when society is armed against a single individual, the jury is apt to look upon the judge as the passive instrument of social power, and to mistrust his advice. Moreover, criminal causes are entirely founded upon the evidence of facts which common sense can readily appreciate; upon this ground the judge and the jury are equal.

Such, however, is not the case in civil causes; then the judge appears as a disinterested arbiter between the conflicting passions of the parties. The jurors look up to him with confidence and listen to him with respect, for in this instance their intelligence is completely under the control of his learning.

It is the judge who sums up the various arguments with which their memory has been wearied out, and who guides them through the devious course of the proceedings; he points their attention to the exact question of fact which they are called upon to solve, and he puts the answer to the question of law into their mouths. His influence upon their verdict is almost unlimited.

If I am called upon to explain why I am but little moved by the arguments derived from the ignorance of jurors in civil causes.

I reply, that in these proceedings, whenever the question to be solved is not a mere question of fact, the jury has only the semblance of a judicial body.

The jury sanctions the decision of the judge, they by the authority of society which they represent, and he by that of reason and of law.*

In England and in America the judges exercise an influence upon criminal trials which the French judges have never possessed. The reason of this difference may easily be discovered; the English and American magistrates establish their authority in civil causes, and only transfer it afterwards to tribunals of another kind, where that authority was not acquired.

In some cases (and they are frequently the most important ones) the American judges have the right of deciding causes alone.** Upon these occasions they are accidentally placed in the position which the French judges habitually occupy, but they are invested with far more power than the latter; they are still surrounded by the reminiscence of the jury, and their judgment has almost as much authority as the voice of the community at large, represented by that institution.

Their influence extends beyond the limits of the courts; in the recreations of private life as well as in the turmoil of public business, abroad and in the legislative assemblies, the American judge is constantly surrounded by men who are accustomed to regard his intelligence as superior to their own, and after having exercised his power in the decision of causes, he continues to influence the habits of thought and the characters of the individuals who took a part in his judgment.

The jury, then, which seems to restrict the rights of magistracy, does in reality consolidate its power, and in no country are the judges so powerful as there, where the people partakes their privileges.

It is more especially by means of the jury in civil causes that the American magistrates imbue all classes of society with the spirit of their profession.

Thus the jury, which is the most energetic means of making the people rule, is also the most efficacious means of teaching it to rule well.


Source : http://seas3.elte.hu/coursematerial/LojkoMiklos/Alexis-de-Tocqueville-Democracy-in-America.pdf p 310 s.

* * * * *

http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/tirage_au_sort.php




No Democracy without Sortition:
the cause of the causes of our powerlessness
is that we let the political professionals draw up
and modify the Constitution

http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_No-democracy-without-Sortition.pdf

Hello :o)

I have come to talk to you about DEMOCRACY, REAL democracy: the one that is INEXISTANT and the one we NEED today.

In 2005, during a public debate in France, I wrote a ten-page paper about what revolted me in the so-called « constitution » that was being proposed in the referendum, and I sent this document to my close acquaintances and I posted it on my personal website. And then, everything was turned upside down for me. This succinct argument in favour of the NO vote met an expectation and corrected a deficiency. And ordinary people sent this message to their contacts, everywhere in France and even in the world because they translated it into 5 or 6 languages…and thanks to Internet it has become a big event. On returning home from secondary school, after my courses, I opened my mailbox and there, a flood of e-mails began, every minute dozens of e-mails, all evening, all night. And in the following months, I tried to reply to all these people, either people who COUNTED for me or people who were saying BAD THINGS about me; I tried to be « EQUAL to the SITUATION ».

All the newspapers, radio stations, and television channels came by my house in order to understand this phenomenon, the meter on my website was going like a fan, up to 40,000 visits PER DAY(one hell of a review for a reading panel, I can tell you…), 12, 000 mails in 2 months ! Intense mails, warm mails, demanding ones too… And all of this emotion stretched a BOW within me (and continues to do so today).

I HAVE BEEN PROFOUNDLY CHANGED BY THE WAY OTHERS SEE ME: the grateful looks and the suspicious ones. My work has been nourished by THE IMPORTANCE THAT I ATTACH TO THE WAY PEOPLE LOOK AT ME. And I discovered recently that men have known for many years that it is important for the public interest : it’s called VERGOGNE it encourages virtue and it gives courage. For the Athenians, it was the foundation of the life of the City. Plato even considered that we should put to death the citizen who was « shameless » extremely dangerous for the City. And I believe that this is an essential concept even today.


So, after the referendum, I continued and I have been working like a madman for the past six years:

And here, in a few words, is the reason why I have taken so much trouble:

1) I am trying to understand the MAIN CAUSE OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE,

2) I have discovered the genial ideas upon which ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY was founded,

3) I have given back to certain important words their REAL MEANING,

4) And I am reflecting about the GOOD INSTITUTIONS that would durably protect us, ALL OF US, against the abuse of power.

AND I SHARE THAT with all of those who wish that we should PROGRESS TOGETHER in CONSTANT controversy. I am sometimes SLANDERED or RECUPERATED OBVIOUSLY but that’s not so important. In any case, I NEED MY OPPONENTS IN ORDER TO PROGRESS Consequently, I AM DOING MY BEST, I’m moving forward, I AM LOOKING.

And my method for searching is the Hippocratic method, perhaps the best idea in the world.)

This doctor used to say: LOOK FOR THE CAUSE OF THE CAUSES!

In other words, to treat an illness, to solve a problem, it is useless to attack the consequences, of course, but also useless to attack the various causes, given that everything has multiple causes:

THERE IS ALWAYS A DECISIVE CAUSE (not the only one but the one that determines all of the others). THIS IS THE ONE WE WANT.


So, of course I share the combat of my resistant friends (I have made a diagram to represent the tree of injustices and specialized areas of combat) but I have observed that the militants ARE ALL FIGHTING AGAINST THE CONSEQUENCES: I have observed that NONE IS CONSIDERING THE ROOT CAUSE. : for me, the question to be asked is « what makes all of these horrors POSSIBLE? (Environmental, economic, social…).

It is precisely this that we need to understand.


And I believe that what makes social injustice possible, IS THE POLITICAL POWERLESSNESS OF GOOD, NORMAL PEOPLE: IF THE PEOPLE HAD THE POWER TO RESIST, THEY WOULD DO SO VICTORIOUSLY..

But then one asks, where does this powerlessness of the people come from? (I am constantly looking for the cause of the cause).

It has not just fallen out of the sky, our powerlessness: it is PROGRAMMED, in a higher text …

An ESSENTIAL TEXT about which nobody could give a toss! And it is called the CONSTITUTION.

(Nobody could give a hoot, except the multinationals and the banks, take good note…)

It is in the constitution that elected members ARE NOT accountable,

It is in the constitution that they CANNOT BE dismissed,

It is in the constitution that we CANNOT freely choose our candidates,

It is in the constitution that the powers ARE NOT separated,

It is in the constitution that the people-initiated referendum is NOT provided for,

It is in the constitution that the money is NOT public,

Etc. etc.

But this cause itself (this bad constitution), has a PRIMARY cause: Who wrote this text???

How is it that everywhere in the world, at all times, ALL the constitutions program the powerlessness of the people? It is certainly not a conspiracy: not everywhere, not always, it’s not possible… No, this universal process has a primary and universal cause:

(pay attention) The way I see it is, all of the human beings of the world by laziness, by fear or by ignorance, GIVE UP ON WRITING THEIR CONSTITUTION THEMSELVES and EVERYONE ACCEPTS THAT IT IS THE political PROFESSIONALS (members of parliament, judges, ministers, party members …) WHO DRAW UP AND MODIFY THE CONSTITUTION !


But one must understand WHAT A CONSTITUTION IS, WHAT ITS PURPOSE IS, every citizen should know that:

We, « the people », need representatives, above us, having the power to produce and apply written law, which pacifies our society, by preventing the arbitrary domination of the strongest.

From the very beginning, we have known that this power is not only USEFUL but it is also DANGEROUS, ALL TYPES of power tend towards ABUSE, ALWAYS. (Montesquieu), it is like an implacable, physical law and the brilliant tool to PROTECT US from abuses of power, is the CONSTITUTION.

The Constitution is a text which serves to WEAKEN the powers that be. In order to do its job of protecting, it must WORRY the powers that be. CONSEQUENTLY THEY MUST FEAR IT!

But if that is the case, IF THE POWERS THAT BE SHOULD FEAR THE CONSTITUTION THEY MUST OBVIOUSLY NOT BE THE ONES TO DRAW IT UP!!!

And yet it is easy to understand and to predict that the political professionals when drawing up, themselves, the rules supposed to frighten them later, such people are in a situation of CONFLICT of INTEREST, they are at one and the same time judge and jury=> in this specific case, they are UNABLE to be impartial: they are obviously going to program THEIR power and OUR powerlessness.

And we cannot really blame them: NOBODY is strong enough to commit political hara-kiri, it’s normal, anybody would do the same thing=> IT IS UP TO US, AND US ONLY TO FORBID THEM FROM WRITING, because they will not give it up of their own accord! NEVER: the solution will not come from them but from us.

Here it is then, the mother of causes (upon which we should UNITE so as to become STRONG): it is not the role of men in power to write the rules of power we must put an end to our resignation on this point.


Well, the first decisive battle is to give back to IMPORTANT words, their REAL MEANING:

Today, before anything else, I AM NOT A « CITIZEN » (a citizen is AUTONOMOUS, he votes his own laws), I AM ONLY AN « ELECTOR », that’s to say a political infant, I AM "HETERONOMOUS": i.e. I am subject to the laws passed by others than myself.

My "parents" in politics, the elected members, do not want me to emancipate myself from them, they do not want me to grow up and to become autonomous: they refuse to let me vote myself for or against the laws to which I am submitted.

Let me remind you of the coup d’État of 4 February 2008, during which our so-called « representatives » imposed upon us, via parliamentary vote the anticonstitutional treaty that we had just expressly refused by referendum ! This political rape is extremely serious and yet we have absolutely NO WAY of resisting, even that.

They say that we are "incompetent"! They treat us like children!

BUT THAT IS WELL AND TRULY OUR FAULT, perhaps we are children to a certain extent (children believe in « Father Christmas », electors believe in « universal suffrage ») : WE ACCEPT to call « democracy » (demos cratos, the power to the people ) ITS ABSOLUTE OPPOSITE : the so-called modern « democracy » what is it? Well, it’s the only the right to 1) designate our MASTERS, 2) from among people we have NOT CHOSEN, 3) and without having any means of resisting a possible betrayal between two elections. 4) With, as well the RIGHT OF EXPRESSION —BUT WITHOUT ANY CONSTRAINING FORCE.—, 5) and that’s all.

The real name of this anti-democratic regime is « REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT» (at least allegedly representative)

In fact, we agree to call « Constitution » a text which is not one.. We need TO KNOW WHAT WE WANT: THE SIMPLE WORD constitution OR THE REAL PROTECTION that it should provide for?

So; to resist well, we must begin by a STRIKE AGAINST LYING WORDS such as "democracy", « universal suffrage", "citizen" et "constitution", which HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OPPOSITE MEANING by the POWER THIEVES.


And this ANTIDEMOCRATIC project was MADE ON PURPOSE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!

SIEYÈS (one of the most influential thinkers of the French Revolution), said in 1789:

« Citizens who designate representatives abandon and must abandon making the laws themselves; they have no particular will to impose. If they dictated their will, France would no longer be that representative State ; it would be a democratic State. The people, I repeat, in a country that is not a democracy , (and France cannot be one), the people can only speak, can only act via their representatives». Abbé SIEYÈS, speech of 7 September 1789.

Well, I think that that is clear, isn’t it?

And this other quotation, even more explicit from VOLTAIRE:

« A well organized society is one in which a small number of people make a greater number of people work, is fed by them and governs them ». Voltaire a democrat? Pull the other one… Oligarch!

HISTORY has shown us in detail the SHAM and the PERMANENT RIGGING of REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT for over 200 years => I warmly recommend you to watch the videos of Henri Guillemin on the net.

And those people knew very well what they were doing, they knew very well that what they wanted was « election » not drawing lots:

ALL OF THE THINKERS OF THE WORLD BEFORE 1789, from Plato-Aristotle to Montesquieu-Rousseau, KNEW and wrote that

1) ELECTION IS ARISTOCRATIC BY NATURE, THUS OLIGARCHIC and that 2) THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC PROCEDURE IS THE DRAWING OF LOTS, accompanied by THOUSANDS OF CHECKS of the people that the luck of the draw has designated.

Read these two quotations, 2,000 years apart:

Aristotle: «Elections are aristocratic and not democratic: they introduce an element of deliberate choice of the selection of the best citizens, the aristoi, instead of government by the people as a whole».

Montesquieu: «Suffrage via lots is the nature of democracy; suffrage by choice is the nature of aristocracy.»

OK, this is not a hare-brained idea of old man Chouard… It is a question of DEFINITIONS, to be respected SO THAT WORDS MAY HAVE A MEANING, SO THAT THEY SHOULD KEEP THEIR « TRUE MEANING ». And it is like that THE WHOLE WORLD OVER.


I should like to refer to history and to facts. : WE HAVE TWO, QUITE LONG, HISTORICAL EXPERIENCES : democracy and thus the drawing of lots, Athens for over 200 years, 2,500 years ago, and representative government and thus the election, for over 200 years too, since 1789 => look at the RESULTS :

1) I draw your attention, Ladies and Gentlemen to the FACT that, for over 200 years, the drawing of lots ALWAYS gave power to the poorest, « the 99% » (look at the two centuries of democracy in Athens, there are no exceptions).

2) WHEREAS experience shows us that an ELECTION ALWAYS GIVES POWER TO THE RICHEST 1% (look at the last 200 years, there are no exceptions).

=> So my central question is: «HOW MUCH LONGER ARE THE POOR (the 99%) GOING TO PREFER ELECTION to DRAWING OF LOTS???» (against their most obvious interests).

Our preference for elections is incomprehensible. There are only MYTHS to explain it: the drawing of lots hasn’t been taught for 200 years at the school called « republican ». (everyday they drum it into us that « elections=democracy, democracy=elections…), which explains the intellectual difficulty we have in taking this procedure on board , the procedure that we need so badly (all over the world) to get out of the mess we are in: it takes TIME TO BE DISINTOXICATED.

The drawing of lots frightens you? To reassure you, I must warn you against a frequent MISUNDERSTANDING:

In a democracy, it is not the people who are chosen by lots who decide! Drawing lots serves PRECISELY to WEAKEN THE REPRESENTATIVES (broadly speaking, they are the people who prepare the laws and those who apply it : civil servants, police, judges…) => with the drawing of lots, we weaken these representatives SO THAT THEY REMAIN OUR SERVANTS AND NEVER BECOME OUR MASTERS => DRAWING LOTS IS THE GUARANTEE THAT THE PEOPLE WILL REMAIN SOVEREIGN.

I haven’t got time to develop this, but don’t dismiss too quickly the drawing of lots in politics: there are LOTS OF EXPERIMENTS ON EARTH WHICH ARE WORKING PERFECTLY: A case in point is BRITISH COLOMBIA (near Vancouver) which had its whole electoral code rewritten (complex and sizeable) by an assembly composed of people who had been designated by the drawing of lots, and the story they told the journalists, these simple citizens alarmed at first but reassured afterwards becoming competent through their work, and finally with tears in their eyes at the moment they submitted their text, proud as can be for having succeeded and obtaining 57% of the referendum. … All of the experiences of citizen juries chosen by drawing lots have revealed an undeniable competence of the ordinary citizen.


But let’s be careful: to defend this idea of drawing lots (for the Constituent assembly at least, and possibly representatives afterwards), we can only count on ourselves, normal people, at the base, those who DON’T WANT power.

At this point, I would like to share with you this wonderful thought by Alain (the great philosopher), who used to say:

« THE MOST VISIBLE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE JUST MAN IS NOT TO WANT AT ALL TO GOVERN OTHERS, BUT TO GOVERN ONLY HIMSELF. THAT DECIDES EVERYTHING. YOU MIGHT AS WELL SAY THAT THE WORST WILL GOVERN ».

In an electoral regime, which gives power to those who want it, Alain is right; the worst will govern.

But on the contrary, the drawing of lots can get us out of this trap by proposing power to all of those who don’t want it. (and who are often the best amongst us).

=> We must spread the word, amongst us, amongst « normal » people and we must all become « trainers of trainers » so that we can QUICKLY become billions of « white cells » (or « well-meaning viruses ») disseminating a simple and powerful idea, an idea which aims precisely (with all of our united forces) at the Achilles’ heel of the oligarchy: WE DEMAND THE HONESTY OF THE CONSTITUENT PROCESS BY REPLACING ELECTION BY A DRAWING OF LOTS AND THE FORMING OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY BY THIS MEANS


15 minutes, it’s too short, I haven’t been able to show you the link (essential !) between MONEY and the constitution (indissociable).

I don’t have time here to say more: you must go and look for the rest on the web and in books WORK. Have a look at le-message.org for example.

Come and join us on the net: we are currently DEMONSTRATING THAT WE NEED, AND THAT WE ARE CAPABLE, THAT WE WANT TO WRITE OUR OWN CONSTITUTION OURSELVES, OUR SOCIAL CONTRACT.

This idea that I am building with you, IT WILL WORK FOR EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

And if there are REALLY LOTS OF US, it will be sufficient to WANT IT for that to arrive WITHOUT VIOLENCE.

Thank you.

Étienne Chouard.


http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_No-democracy-without-Sortition.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN5tdMSXWV8

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF810C7CF34155740

http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/tirage_au_sort.php

http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/traductions




What a job!

Étienne.

Pas de démocratie sans tirage au sort : la cause des causes de notre impuissance politique, c'est que nous laissons les professionnels de la politique écrire et modifier la Constitution (16)

Pas de démocratie sans tirage au sort :
la cause des causes de notre impuissance politique,
c'est que nous laissons les professionnels de la politique
écrire et modifier la Constitution


Voici d'abord le texte (complet => plus riche que ce que j'ai pu dire en direct) de la synthèse en 15 minutes
que j'avais préparée pour la conférence TEDx (du 22 mars 2012 à Paris) :

• Le fichier de présentation PowerPoint :
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_Pas-de-democratie-sans-tirage-au-sort.ppt

• Le fichier correspondant au format pdf :
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_Pas-de-democratie-sans-tirage-au-sort.pdf

• Le fichier correspondant au format doc :
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_Pas-de-democratie-sans-tirage-au-sort.doc

• Le fichier correspondant LU au format mp3 :
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/Etienne_Chouard_2012_Pas-de-democratie-sans-tirage-au-sort.mp3




J'ai aussi préparé un argumentaire pour ma participation au colloque sur le tirage au sort à Dublin (Trinity College, en Irlande, 11 octobre 2012) :

Document bilingue au format pdf :
http://etienne.chouard.free.fr/Europe/20121011_No_democracy_without_sortition-Workshop_at_Dublin-Etienne_Chouard.pdf




Quel boulot !

Étienne.


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