Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Open Letter to Jill and Cheri re the Necessary Miracle

All right, folks, the SAP campaign begins in earnest today, ironically by offering our best chops to Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the real world Green POTUS candidates. Have just sent the Open Letter below to their campaign and will keep ye posted on their response. Meantime, please review the ideas offered for yourself and imagine the possibilities they present. I sure as hell don't see any other way out of the corporate duopoly trap or our lethal global predicament.

Open Letter to Jill and Cheri re the Necessary Miracle
- Big magic & shadow cabinetry for a Green 2012 win and a post-corporate renaissance
"4 more years of tech-accelerated corporatist business as usual will irreparably cripple our democracy, eviscerate our freedoms and critically wound the biosphere."
Fierce ladies,

I approach you both with great respect and a wild sense of urgency to suggest some new memes that could help you prevail this year - not just in the noble quixotic sense, but as honest-to-god victors in ways that really count. Specifically, we propose a unifying Big viral message, America's first shadow cabinet, and an evolutionary death knell for all monstrous orgs on Earth.

Premises: Known knowns
Despite all thy genial hustings cheer, you are obviously in one agonizing dilemma. You're aware all your work thus far, and in the months to come, is neither likely to dislodge the corporate duopoly nor even usefully impact its lavish Punch & Judy show. Yet you are also fully conscious of tipping points, our velocity of decline, and the fact that megacorps are killing the world so fast we just don't have any more time. So failure not being an option, let us visualize a win.

Admittedly, your odds do seem pretty dim at the moment given the media blackout, the duopoly lockout and the exorbitant firepower the corporate parties wield. As things stand you, Gary Johnson and Roseanne Barr will collectively pick up less than 1% of national political funds, 0% of presidential debate time and 3~5% of the November vote.

This is both clearly realistic and totally unacceptable since 4 more years of tech-accelerated corporatist business as usual will irreparably cripple our democracy, eviscerate our freedoms and critically wound the biosphere.

Besides the Herculean opposition noted above, you face two more tough but soluble problems:

1)      the absence of a contagiously revolutionary insight/vision/message to crystallize the angst and outrage of the 99%; and

2)       the public’s inability to imagine an outsider surviving let alone governing in the duopoly shark pool of DC.

Holistic Message Massage: Targeting the Big cause
The insight/vision/message shortfall, I will argue, can be remedied quite deftly by appealing to our species’ instinctive fear and loathing of big orgs – huge corporations, bloated governments, oversize hierarchies of any kind. Generations of research and common sense show it is the inhuman scale and cancer-like growth of our "great" organizations – commercial, military, financial, etc. - that cause most eco-social ailments the world suffers from today.

It has in bloody fact been so throughout history. The death tolls from war, exploitation and environmental savagery have always been directly proportional to the bulk and altitude of the hierarchic bodies involved. Though many predatory systems have overreached and collapsed across the centuries, their gigantic tech-augmented descendents continue to plague us, growing vaster and evolving faster than ever before.

Since these bodies' prime concern is simply unchecked expansion, they are malignant by definition and a mortal threat to other creatures in a finite world. It thus becomes pretty obvious that reducing them all to harmless size and democratic control is the first step to healing the Earth.

Big Medicine Redux
As a physician, Jill knows how long ago and why the practice of medicine moved from treating individual symptoms (fevers, pustules, diarrheas, etc.) to targeting the background cause. And you both may also recognize that a medical approach to the ills of the body politic might now be rational, revelatory and long overdue.  It might suggest, for example, that single-issue activism (e.g., vs. GMOs, sweatshops, tar sand pipelines, financial fraud, drone warfare, etc.) is today’s symptomatic medicine – sincere, well intentioned and fine for first responders, but not terribly effective for ending a planet-wide scourge. To truly cure our corporate pestilence, activists have to think like immunocytes and focus on its cause.

And the biggest cause of our affliction is not some hazy clichĂ© like greed or profit or any economic ism. It is simply and quite concretely monstrous organizational scale – i.e., the emergence of huge hierarchical living systems that parasitize their occupants, paralyze democracies, and despoil the living world.

Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse. – Sophocles

This is obviously not a new intuition or an easy problem to resolve. The Fortune 500 fraternity now dominating America is so deeply embedded in our life maintenance systems that they cannot be excised overnight. We thus must treat them like inoperable tumors at first and methodically shrink them back to controllable innocuous size. And like an immune system our activist legions could marshal an incredible array of arms and skills to win that battle once its central importance is recognized.

So there is your essential message: “Belittle Big Bodies!”, “Big is Baneful!”, “Down with Big Everything!” or however you choose to frame it. It echoes the deepest intuitions of the human animal, and signals you recognize we're facing a global evolutionary crisis and not just another tragic US political farce.

(As messages go, your “Green New Deal” is a catchy tactical prescription for America’s eco-toxicity and economic anemia, but it doesn’t address the other Big ills of our nation or the world. Even with a “Green New Deal” in place, Big Bodies will continue to drive wars, inequality, authoritarian rule and the triumphal rape & pillage of every resource they can find. We can't just foil bits and pieces of this ecocidal aggression, we have to depose and disable them all around the world. Gandhi told the Brits to "Quit India!" It's now time to tell the Big Bods to "Quit Earth!")

Rallying the people against the emergence, abuses and dominion of the Big can appeal to almost every demographic, except perhaps the sociopathic 1%.  After all, how many humans really feel at home or fulfilled in huge hierarchies anywhere? Libertarians detest Big Gov; the Left abhors Big Biz; and now that they have effectively merged, millions on both sides are feeling endangered and betrayed.

Think of the amazing coalition potential. Downsizing and democratizing all monstrous bodies would simultaneously empower all factions of the peace, social justice and environmental movements and catalyze unprecedented synergy.  Add in all the other beneficiaries of corporate miniaturization – small biz folks, toxin-leery parents, climate warriors, advocates of Transition Towns, alt energy and Constitutional rights – and you’re looking at serious numbers of serious people (and just an activated 10% can turn an entire culture around).

Big Body Revulsion: It didn't start here
Belittling the Big is even true to our earliest history and intuitions as a nation. Having just fought and bled for freedom from Britain’s predatory megacorps (East India Company, Hudson Bay Company, etc.), America’s founders kept our own homegrown corporate bodies on a very short leash. Our state legislatures, which still control corporate DNA, once mandated that corporations remain time-limited, transparent and clearly subservient to the public good. Early corporations could not own other companies, interfere in politics, claim Constitutional rights or indiscriminately diversify simply to grow. Just reviving these ancient and rational constraints would radically diminish corporate harms and heal countless ills.

Imagine, for example, a world where laws, mores and public opinion demand that all companies divide like bee swarms when they exceed a certain size (say, 500 members max and/or $5 billion in revenue) and all larger bodies must shrink to that scale within the next 10 years.

(“Goretex” founder Wilbert Gore could happily imagine that world and he went on to mitotically spawn scores of little egalitarian “lattice organization” firms that generated hundreds of patents and “Best Workplace” awards as well as hundreds of millions in earnings. So here is one shining model for the post-megacorp economy – prototyped, field-tested and ready to go.)

And while we're envisaging other possible worlds, imagine how much we could shrink overblown regulatory agencies if all largish corporations seeking limited liability had to include empowered stakeholders on their boards.

Megacorps commit their worst crimes and barbarities partially because of their malignant growth agenda and partially because of their disconnectedness from the living surround.

Since we the people and our Secretaries of State can and do limit corporations' liability for the consequences of their acts, we also can reciprocally demand their boards internalize reps of all potential victim groups, including workers, customers, suppliers, neighbors and Nature as well. Putting all stakeholders at the decision-making table would be simple, sensible and a far more cost-effective form of harm reduction than trust in government "oversight". Besides since our corps are ostensibly chartered to serve the public interest, the more public voices on their boards the easier it should be.

Shadow Cabinetry: From candidate visibility to executive credibility
So, say you try some version of this Big Bane message and it actually works. It strikes a chord, resonates, goes viral – all those sweet verbs for contagious appreciation. Then what?

Everyone finally looks at you and says, “OK, that’s brilliant enough, but what can you or we really do about it? Even duopoly power brokers can’t manage timid reforms, how can a total outsider ever get anything done? Dem/Rep legislators would not cooperate with you on anything let alone systematically dismantling the big orgs that pay them off and prop them up.”

Most Americans, god bless them (as cynical politicians always do), cannot really be expected to envision any alternative to the corporate matrix and duopoly power because they have never experienced anything else. Thus Nader, Cobb, Badnarik and other voices in the Third Party wilderness got lots of nods for noble intentions but few actual votes. It is in fact hard to visualize an effective anti-megacorps administration or what it would look like or how it could work.

This credibility challenge actually offers you a golden opportunity to introduce America to its first vision of populist governance and what DC might look like if the megacorps were ousted and we reclaimed our right to rule.

The key factor is taking the people’s sovereignty seriously despite the corporate usurpation we currently endure.  If we believe ourselves sovereign and responsible, we obviously require and deserve the best recon, strategy suggestions and policy briefings to base our actions on. In short, to be a sovereign force we the people need our own intelligence services, defense capabilities and cabinet.

Two Out of Three and Counting
Thanks to proliferating whistleblowers, Wikileaks and indie media, we are starting to evolve a formidable intel capacity and the ability to stream truthful recon everywhere.

For expelling usurpers and self-defense, we have inspiring know-how arising on many fronts. From the direct resistance of the 2nd Maine Militia and Occupy camps to guerrilla manuals from POCLAD and Gene Sharp, we have a wealth of anti-megacorps action scenarios to erode their power and rescue our land. (Sharp’s global classic “From Dictatorship to Democracy”, which helped depose despots in a dozen nations, only has to be adapted slightly for local use. Just search and replace every mention of “dictatorship” in the text with “corporatist tyranny” and voilĂ , we have a first class tactical guide for a US countercoup.)

So all we really lack now is a cabinet – a group of savvy, rousing advisors whose combined insights offer a vision of and path to a green, free and peaceful post-corporate world.

That is what your campaign can and must offer: a list of your own cabinet appointments to illustrate the policies, processes and personalities you would invite into play. And don’t just name them. Ask your appointees to convene immediately and start briefing the sovereign populace on the Internet right away.

Their mandate would be to a) inform us where the biggest harms lurk and our attention is most needed; and b) offer us viable tactics to diminish megacorps might and start the healing on our own.

Ending Megacorp Dominion with a Grassroots Countercoup
Successful governments in exile, where your cabinet may well end up, can’t depend on captured agencies or corrupted legislatures to restore people’s power and turn democracy back on. They must show the people how to reclaim their potency and autonomy for themselves.

Your cabinet should begin that process long before the election and start holding online policy/action briefings from each department twice a month.
Naming and launching a serious shadow cabinet would accomplish five crucial things for the country and your campaign.

  1. Demonstrate a coherent populist alternative to duopoly governance and megacorp rule;
  2. Offer a new open source leadership paradigm that resolves Big crises with activist synergy;
  3. Present a vast menu of convergent DIY actions to quell corporate crimes, scale and power;
  4. Greatly multiply the voices of your "administration" and the public regard it commands;
  5. Attract thousands of your appointees’ admirers to share your vision and back the cause;

Conclusive examples
A shadow cabinet is hardly whimsical and easy enough to imagine. In fact we just designed an exemplary one for a movie project we’re working on; but given the stakes and the lateness of the hour we gladly commend it to you:

You will note our fictional film campaign confronts the same foes as you and offers a pacific but lethal "Contract on Corporate America" to subdue them, which you're welcome to as well.

Between the anti-megacorps messaging and shadow cab pioneering, you really could attract enough attention and poll support to break into the faux debates this fall and shake the nation up.

The Force is really with us in terms of numbers, passion and necessity, and if we learn to think Big, in political fact as well. This all may sound quite odd at first reading, but please do think it through. After 40 years gnashing in the trenches, I truly believe it’s the only chance we've got.
W. David Kubiak is a Project Censored Award-winning journalist and anti-megacorps activist. His political bona fides include publication of Japan's first direct democracy manual, victory in the 2000 New Hampshire Democratic VP Primary, and a noisy 2004 Green Maine State Senate run in the Bush family's backyard. He can be reached at wdk - @ -


  1. This is well thought out, pragmatic and hopeful. All I can add is a mega prayer that those with ears to hear actually embrace this perfectly timed message.

  2. Hello Jill; I really do recommend this, and that you also include Cynthia in your counsel and team, for her ability to speak to and for the disenfranchised. And I would love to play on such a team, despite having limited time these days.


    Mark Roest