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A National Cooperative Commonwealth

Current society is premised on the adversary concept, extolled as the “Open Market,” a competitive free-for-all.  It has resulted in economic savagery with the predatory exploiting the majority’s hard work, wresting from them their property, and contending that the ability to do so was fair play.

The underlying concept of a restructured society must be one that is premised on cooperation, in which “one for all, and all for one” is the motivating and guiding force throughout all human relationships.  It allows for nature’s synergetic force to come into play.  It is the concept that makes for structural integrity so that every segment of the society reinforces every other segment.

And what should be the socio-economic-political framework within which these concepts are dynamic in providing for the total needs of the total citizenry?  The ironical, and uncanny, fact is that the principal of incorporation, which the few have used to gain concentrated and invalid control of this nation, is the same principle that can be used to liberate the people and restore peace and justice to their lives.

In short, why not incorporate the entire economy into a National Cooperative Commonwealth in which every solitary citizen is both a common stockholder and a preferred stockholder?   Thus, every citizen would not only have a voice in shaping his economic life but also at the same time every citizen would be dividend-receiving stockholder giving each a perpetual claim against the full productive capability of the nation

In marked contrast to Socialist programs, where the State is dominant, a “National Cooperative Commonwealth” is people’s ownership of the nation’s productive capability with every individual having equity.  It is the people who have a constant voice in coordinating the nation’s resources and technological know-how for the maximum well being of the total citizenry.

In the minds of the average citizen who reads the foregoing paragraphs, will immediately arise the question, “the Commonwealth Idea” sounds very reasonable and inviting, but pray how are the people going to retrieve the wealth that has been taken from them?  How can the people challenge the multi-billion-dollar giants?

Retrieving the people’s stolen wealth

The first consideration is to recognize that the current “1%” ownership of the nation’s wealth and work capability is not a valid ownership and control.   It is against this backdrop that there are positive, legal steps that can be taken to return to the people that which is rightfully theirs.  Uppermost in our minds should be both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution that state clearly “no one shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due-process of law.”  

First, there is the taxing power of government.  This power, implemented with price-control and the closing of loopholes, could force the multi-billion dollar corporate oligarchies to return to the entire citizenry the hundreds of billion dollars, the trillions of dollars, in assets that were primarily made possible by the nation’s workers, consumers and taxpayers.  

The poetic justice would lay in the fact that the whole gamut of “price-fixing” engaged in by monopolies of industry and services, including the interest-bearing debt of the private banks, has been the “usurpation” of the taxing power, a right that belongs solely to government.

Secondly, there is the whole area of judicial determination, sought by the government or the people themselves.  In the past, and present, giant monopolies have been found guilty of fraud and conspiracy in depriving people of their property.  Certainly there are legal approaches before courts of equity so that full restitution of stolen assets must be made to the people.

Thirdly, there is the power of eminent domain. This constitutional power exercised by the Commonwealth could directly return the stolen assets back to the people.  It need not be confiscation since the sovereign people could create its own credit, based on the future productive potential of the whole nation, and buy outright the nation’s entire productive machinery, technology and natural resources.

If the nation can recruit, or conscript, the finest young citizens in the nation to insure, purportedly, the outside security of our nation, how much more compelling is it that the nation could “conscript” the property of the nation to insure its inner security!

Finally, let’s give thought to the fact that the real assets that the people have a right to are not the tangible property that now exists in factories, buildings, millions of produced cars, appliances, warehouses bulging with products, houses, or even the infra-structure of the nation.  True wealth is the knowledge and technological potential to duplicate the foregoing a thousand fold.

It would be realistic to say to the corporate conglomerates, “Keep your ill-gotten gains but do no try and stop the sovereign people from employing the nation’s unused productive capability, exceeding many times current employed capability, in order to provide a decent, wholesome, equitable and nonviolent life for every solitary human being in this nation

The cornerstones of the Commonwealth

First, every human being is equally important and has as much inherent right as any other human being to be on this planet.   To quote from the prose poem Desirada “you are a child of the Universe, and like the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.” This underscores that each human being, irrespective of color, race, religion, sex, nationality or sex orientation has the same equal rights as all other persons.  

The right to be here implicitly guarantees the right of each to enjoy the resources of this planet and an inherent right to explore this planet and develop to the fullest all innate personal potentials.

Second, it is the quality of life of every human being that is of paramount importance. Only as all institutions, and government structures, underscore quality do they have relevance and command abeyance. Humans were not meant for things.  Things were meant for humans.

And third, the sovereign people must have absolute power over their lives and their destiny.   The most knowledgeable should be elected to governmental office to research and recommend legislation and policy.  The electorate should render the final decision.  Only complete dispersal of power can create a society in which the corrupting influence of power can be eliminated.

Full implementation of human rights

Under a National Cooperative Commonwealth, there would be an end to all forms of discrimination.  It would recognize that every human being, irrespective of race, religion, color, gender, nationality or sex orientation came into life with equal human rights.  No longer would there be African-American rights, Native American rights, Hispanic rights, Gay-Lesbian rights or women’s rights.  There would only be Human Rights.

Let us consider the five basic human rights that would be guaranteed every person as a citizen of the Commonwealth.  Bear in mind that these are inherent human rights that cannot be legislated away.  They are only subject to implementation.  They are human rights that belatedly will become amendments to the Constitution.

Equal right to life itself

The Commonwealth’s first priority would be to protect and preserve life, particularly in regard to the nation’s children.  To this end every individual would permanently receive a basic annual dividend in twelve monthly allotments in sufficient amount to supply him or her with the elementary necessities of life, forever removing poverty and hunger duress from their daily existence.

“The enlightened recognize with fearless eyes and unintimidated reasonings that there is no essential difference between cracking a man’s skull with a club in defiance of the policeman on the corner, and putting him in his grave by the slower and less dramatic procedure of denying him goods to sustain and carry on the physical processes of his mortal body.

“The enlightened recognize that a society constructed on the duress of hunger is a slave society, quite as malevolent in its effects on the slave-directing element as upon the slaves themselves.”  (No More Hunger by Pelley)

It doesn’t take much imagination to realize the humanitarian aspect of this economic floor under the lives of every man, woman and child in this nation.   It would mean the end to all forms of welfarism, charity and the dependence on relatives and friends for sustaining life. 

The total cost of underwriting a nation-wide minimum subsistence program would be but a fraction of the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) with the Commonwealth unleashing its full productive capability.

Equal right to universal health care

Under the Commonwealth every person, as a birthright would be entitled to a lifetime of health care.  Such care would encompass much more than simply medical care in terms of hospitals and doctors.  It would entail a holistic approach that would relate to body, mind and spirit.  All are interdependent and reinforce each other when each is properly nourished.

Health care would no longer be dealt with as a product subject to all the current abuses of price fixing, exploitation and fraud of the market place.  Integrity would be restored to the whole medical profession.

A healthy society makes healthy people.  So, also do a healthy people make a healthy society!

Equal right to education

Each person in life, from infancy up to adulthood, would have equal opportunity to develop his or her innate talents in relation to all other members of the society.  Equal education is an inherent right that the Commonwealth would fulfill and implement for every person. 

Self esteem and ballast in life comes from a constant pursuit of knowledge, increasing one’s self-reliance and making one an equal participant in any chosen field of endeavor.

Under the Commonwealth, education would be fun and challenging with much emphasis on travel both nationally and internationally.  Instead of being educated, or trained, to be “successful” in an aberrated society, each would seek knowledge in the particular field that was of most interest, one that enhanced personal character and one that refined one’s rapport with all of life.

Equal and full education for every newborn child, continuing throughout all future years, would insure that oncoming generations would enjoy a society that was optimal in achievement and that was non-violent!

Equal right to work

All wealth is some form of taking natural resources and combining them with human skill and human knowledge.  To deny a person work is denying the person an inherent right to partnership with Nature itself.  The basic flaw in “open market” economics is that inevitably monopolistic entities arise that build fences around God’s storehouse and deny the public their rightful access to such bounty.

The uniqueness of a National Cooperative Commonwealth is that it could accommodate the fullest employment of the nation’s most laborsaving technology and at the same time provide for 100% worker employment.  To the exact degree that machines took over production and services, the nation’s total workers, including those in government, would simply have more time to pursue individual interests.

In contrast to “water tank” economics there would be no layoffs, Constantly, inviolately, every solitary person in the Commonwealth would have earned claim against the nation’s total ability to provide everything to abundance.

Bedrock thinking recognizes that all natural resources are here as a cosmic legacy, as an endowment of an impartial Creator.  No system or arbitrary control can deny a single person the right to work in fashioning those resources into finished products in direct ratio to his or her willingness to expend human effort.

Equal right to voice

Economic sovereignty is the forerunner of political sovereignty.  Both are interdependent.  Under a Cooperative Commonwealth, the people would not be beholden to the whims or pressures of corporate entities or their lobbyists who have abnormal influence in writing the laws of the land.

These are the primary political changes that would take place:

Elimination of political parties.

All candidates would be nominated by petition and direct primaries would determine the final candidates.  All candidates, both in the primary and general elections would be given equal opportunity on public panels, publicly underwritten, to present themselves and debate rivaling positions.

Automatic recall.

The power to elect must carry with it the power to recall any officeholder who breaks his contract with those who elected him.  While under the Commonwealth only the most conscientious candidates would seek office, the right of recall, nevertheless, should be an intrinsic part of the people’s political structure.

Final decisions by the sovereign people.

This provision would be the most vital in eliminating abusive power.  The wisest and most knowledgeable would be elected for the purpose of recommending to the people all major legislation and policy of government, particularly the question of war.  The final decisions would be made by the sovereign citizens.  This would preclude political chicanery in all high office.

Modern electronic technology, TV and Internet, would make for instant communication by the citizens with those campaigning for office, or those already occupying roles in government.

Department of Economic Coordination

This would be the most important department in the Commonwealth, along with its sub-departments, the Agency of Work Capability and the Agency of Consumer Enlightenment, in the dealing with the nation’s total economic and service needs.   It would be within the province of this important Department that representatives from every field of endeavor, including government, would negotiate a gradient scale of individual worth determining how each would exercise purchasing power against all goods and services.

Most importantly, it would be within the scope of this Department, with national representation, that the Commonwealth’s total needs would be predetermined so that there could be coordinating and budgeting of all work effort.  

It is here that the Agency of Work Capability would play a most vital role.  This Agency would have a constant inventory of the workers in every field, the work-hours necessary to produce and make available all goods and services, and an updated record of the Commonwealth’s total resources, production plants, and current research and technology.

The Holland House Congressional Committee held hearings on the impact of automation during the 1960s and came up with the conclusion that if the nation employed its best, blueprinted technology, it would be necessary only to employ 10% of the labor force to produce all basic products and services.   The 90% labor force would be assigned to all areas of public service such as universal health care and universal education. 

What a joy would be experienced by the workers of the nation when they had free time for creative pursuits and travel!    And, of course, there would be the enjoyment in the whole gamut of recreation and sports.

The sub-department, the Agency of Consumer Enlightenment, would replace the entire, seductive, multi-billion-dollar annual role of commercial advertising.  The singular goal of this Agency would be to enlighten and educate the consumers periodically as to new products and services perfected by science and technology, and take surveys to democratically determine their needs and desires and give them a positive voice in the economic functioning of the Commonwealth.

Department of the Treasury

Operating in conjunction with the “Department of Economic Coordination,” the Department of the Treasury would be central to the functioning of the whole economy, supplanting radically the entire debt-monetary system.  At the beginning of each year the Department of the Treasury in conjunction with its regional and branch offices, would establish for every person in the Commonwealth a credit account to be exercised against the Commonwealth’s total goods and services.

The total credit accounts of all persons would be equal to the total value of all goods and services that are available for purchase.  We say, “available for purchase” since in an abundant society with the potential to employ the most efficient technology, many basic products and basic services would be without cost to every citizen.

At the end of each year all unused credits would be cancelled and at the beginning of the next year a new annual credit would be placed to the account of every member of the Commonwealth.   The most important document of every citizen would be his her ID card, imprinted with his or her personal identification, picture and fingerprints, making the card inviolate to the individual.

Here is the most significant point to understand:  The total credit the Treasury Department establishes upon its books each year is not something that is borrowed into existence.  Such total annual credit is simply monetizing or measuring the total production of the Commonwealth in both goods and services and setting up individual credit accounts to be exercised against the established national credit.  

A cashless society would become a reality, marking an end to robbery of all kinds, and too often subsequent murder.  Such an Accounting System of Banking would mean an end to all the economic injustices of interest, liens, mortgages and foreclosures.  It would put an end to the whole bureaucratic maze of taxation, which extorts a third of the taxpayer’s earnings annually.

In my books I have covered the functioning of the other important departments such as State, Justice, Agriculture, Interior, Commerce.   I am leaving it to you to acquaint yourselves of their importance and functioning in the Commonwealth.