By Roger Copple
August 28, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – Imperialism, racism, capitalism, nationalism, materialism, patriarchalism, ecological suicide, speciesism (species-ism), and the discrimination against the LGBTQ community are the Nine Social Sins that need to be eliminated so that the citizens of our nation and the people of the world can be happy.
Speciesism (species-ism) is probably less understood. It is the assumption of human superiority which leads to the exploitation of animals. Without a doubt, our planet would be in much better shape if everyone desired to become a vegan.
Socialism is the alternative to capitalism that we need. Not just ecological socialism or democratic socialism, but spiritual socialism–socialism with a spiritual focus. To bring more people into our fold, we leftists can learn from subjects like yoga, Buddhism, the Bhagavad Gita, mindfulness meditation, the study of nondual reality, the study of consciousness, the increasing literature about Near Death Experiences, and from Progressive Christianity.
According to Christian tradition the seven deadly sins and their antidotes are 1) pride–Humility 2) greed–Generosity 3) lust–Purity 4) envy–Compassion 5) gluttony–Moderation 6) wrath–Forgiveness, and 7) sloth–Diligence.
An Anglican priest named Frederick Lewis Donaldson created what originally were called the Seven Deadly Social Sins in 1925: “1) Politics without principle 2) Wealth without work 3) Pleasure without conscience 4) Knowledge without character 5) Commerce without morality 6) Science without humanity, and 7) Worship without sacrifice.” Gandhi, a Hindu, liked this list and published it in his weekly newsletter Young India. He also wrote the list on a piece of paper and gave it to his grandson on their final day together shortly before his assassination.
The Nine Social Sins are an updated, more specific description as to why the world is so “screwed-up.” The people on the left must agree to a core set of values that clearly delineates what they are for and against. Then we can unite as one. No doubt other sins can be added.
Support for participatory, grassroots democracy and the nonviolent Peace Movement should always be what we stand for. The term “Radical Left” is insufficient without the word “Democratic,” and the term “Democratic Left” is insufficient because it does not have the word “Radical” in it. “Radical Democratic Left” is the best term to use to identify our movement. Radical means getting to the very root, to the very grassroots of everything.
Let’s make the whole world happy for the first time. Let’s start all over–new country, new diet, new everything. It is conceivable. We could create a largely stress-free world, if we did all the necessary things that are needed. What is the truth that makes everything fall into place? We are all spiritually connected, as the parts of the body are physically connected. We are all one and we should live in that oneness.
We have so many amazing technological gadgets, but our human progress is nothing to write home about. The Human Progress Report Card grade is F. Who is responsible for this? We all are, but some corporations and individuals and countries are more at fault. We have all been brainwashed in so many ways, and we have to start looking at things anew.
American History and World History must be taught in new ways. Let’s start telling the truth, the whole truth about things, about what has really happened, and about what is happening right now–all over the world, and inside our own bodies and minds–right now.
Mindfulness meditation can reduce the vast individual suffering. Democratic socialism can reduce the vast social suffering. Veganism can be advocated for environmental, ethical, and health reasons. And not just political democracy, but workplace democracy, is what we need to create democratic social progress.
Moreover, Marijuana-Cannabis-Hemp–the most versatile plant on earth for industrial, medical, and agricultural purposes–is also much safer as a recreational drug than alcohol; however, as a recreational herb, it is most appreciated after periods of abstinence–in other words, when not used too often.
Ideally what is needed is a new constitution that equally empowers the seven largest national political parties–even giving a voice to any national political party that captures at least one percent of the national vote.
Proportional Representation with a unicameral federal legislature could be implemented. The Electoral College System for electing a president should be abolished forever.
In the past I have written about the need for passing a new Twenty-Eighth Amendment that totally rewrites Article V of our current constitution. A New Article V would make it easier to pass all future amendments, and it would make it legally possible to have a Constitutional Convention to create a new constitution in a highly fair, safe, and democratic way, without any shedding of blood. My own version of a new constitution is called the “ Third Constitution of the United States” after the Articles of Confederation and our current Constitution.
Many people on the far left, far right, and in-between are opposed to the idea of a new constitution: the right does not trust the left; the left does not trust the right. If we equally empower the seven largest national political parties, there may emerge some new parties that we don’t like, and maybe some parties that we really like, but it would certainly be a better, more democratic system than what we now have. What valid argument can be used to oppose the advocacy of a system that is completely fair?
As the state of the world and the planet move into an even greater crisis-mode, let’s hope that more people will realize that the system is not working, and that something has to be done about it right now. The people will become more receptive to the idea of a new constitution if everyone starts talking about it. It would be in the interest of all third parties to promote this idea. In fact, all third parties need to present to the nation-at-large a new and more democratic constitution. Many activists have given up on electoral politics, but with a new constitution things could be much better.
Cut-throat, competitive nationalism was never a good idea, and it never will be. We should examine international organizations such as the Earth Federation, the Earth Constitution, and the Democratic World Federalists that are now working to achieve world peace and happiness. Maybe the three organizations can find common ground and unite together.
For a greater understanding of capitalism and imperialism, I would recommend to non-leftists and leftists alike all the YouTube video lectures of Michael Parenti, Richard D. Wolff, and Noam Chomsky. William Blum’s website and books–about all the countries that the U.S. Empire has interfered with since World War II with its military interventions and its CIA covert operations–will really wake up the people. For the best understanding of racism, I would recommend the website www.BlackAgendaReport.com . If we had a more matriarchal influence in society, things would become more balanced with gender equality.
My favorite websites are InformationClearingHouse.info, GlobalResearch.ca, Truthdig.com, and OpEdNews.com, which has published 68 of my articles. I especially like the writers Paul Street and Chris Hedges from TruthDig. I also really like the comedian Jimmy Dore and Abby Martin.
The fact that the United States has about 6 percent of the world’s population but consumes something like 30 percent of the world’s resources is certainly proof that materialism and conspicuous consumption is dangerous to the carrying capacity of the planet. Conspicuous consumption is the opposite of voluntary simplicity. We have to live simply, so others can simply live. Unfortunately, many of the world’s poor think that if they could just have the lifestyle of the average American, they would be happy. But it has been said that we would need four earths for everyone in the world to have the lifestyle of the average American. This is a highly unsustainable way to live. This is insane, and that’s an understatement. It’s also stupid.
We on the left need a pastor’s heart to reach all the misguided souls in the world. Studying the New Testament from a scholarly scientific approach will help more people rightfully question the virgin birth, the trinity, and the so-called Second Coming. What pastors learn in liberal seminaries, they do not share with their parishioners because the parishioners would all leave with their pocket books if they heard something contrary to what they learned as a child. In conservative churches, people literally believe in the Old Testament Tower of Babel story, and that does not help the cause for Democratic World Federalism.
Many individuals who are into yoga and meditation have given up on trying to save the world and the planet and have instead focused on just their own personal spiritual growth and enlightenment. We are not being spiritual, if we are not also focused on seeing and relieving the actual suffering of the millions of people in the world right now, or if we are not focused on doing something about the deplorable conditions caused by the pollution of our air, land, and seas and by global warming. Until the Nine Social Sins are eradicated, we cannot make democratic social progress.
Many of us are rightfully fearful of the emerging New World Order that is being forced upon us by the combination of the wealthiest one percent, the Deep State, and the Shadow Government. But having a democratic world government that We the People of the World actually choose is totally different from having a world government that is forced upon us, the people. The CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, and other related government agencies are not our friends. They do not represent us.
Kevin Shipp , an ex CIA member, makes an amazing distinction between the Deep State and the Shadow Government in some of his youtube videos. Kevin Shipp is an evangelical Christian who totally exposes how the CIA works at all levels. Though he thinks the CIA should be totally transformed or abolished, he does have great faith in the U.S. military.
My favorite passage in the Bible is the one about turning our weapons into ploughshares. When the whole world becomes enlightened, we can dismantle all nuclear weapons and all nations, especially the United States, can dramatically reduce the size of their militaries. What is needed is a democratic world government built from the bottom up that has a military more powerful than all the nations that comprise it. If a nation has a military almost as powerful as all the other nations put together, it is really more an Empire than a nation. Living under a democratic world government would be far better than living under an Empire.
In my Third Constitution of the United States in Article XVII, I discuss building government from the bottom-up:
ARTICLE XVII: Bottom-up Organization of the 50 State Governments: State governments will be encouraged to rewrite their state constitutions so that they are organized from the bottom-up, not the top-down: from the neighborhood block club to the voting precinct level to the township up to the city council or county up to the state level. Each level of legislative government could make, not just legislative decisions, but it could also make executive and judicial branch appointments. Elected legislators at each level would vote among themselves to send a legislator to the next level above it. This method is better than the previous system [this previous system is still the system that we have now] in which state and local citizens voted a straight ticket for many officers from just two parties for candidates whom they knew nothing about.
Each state and nation should rewrite its constitution more often to reflect the ever-changing times, especially since it can be done in a fully-participatory, democratic way. Thomas Jefferson thought we should have a new constitution about every 17 years, with each new generation.
At the national level, we need a system of proportional representation with a unicameral federal legislature. The legislative branch must always be more powerful than the executive and judicial branches of our federal government. The legislative branch of government represents the people the most. Moreover, we need at least seven equally empowered national political parties instead of the current two.
As a retired public school teacher, I propose that we radically decentralize public elementary schools, something that has never been tried before (possibly middle and high schools later) by allowing the adult residents who live within the boundary of a particular elementary school to choose their own school board members who would then implement an educational philosophy and school curriculum that reflects the views of the neighborhood, using public funds. This can promote a long, lost sense of neighborhood togetherness, local self-determination, and independent thinking about the things that really matter–the education of our children.
In today’s world, resident neighbors and parents could get many innovative ideas from the Internet. We don’t have to live in a monoculture. There can be more diversity at local levels on several issues. Many of the problems such as teacher burnout, parent unhappiness, and poor schools caused by the top-down hierarchical system of control from the state level to the township level could be avoided if we empower the people who live in a particular school district. Ideally these school districts could even become like intentional communities or tribes with a global ecological focus. Now that would be radical.
We live in an insane world, and that’s an understatement. Instead of production for private profit, we need production for the people and the planet. The only way to create an open, fair, democratic, and happy world is to give power to the people, for the first time.
Some Buddhists are into what is called Engaged Buddhism. In other words, they value personal enlightenment and world betterment equally at the same time. Also, in a similar way, a Bodhisattva is someone who forgoes their own final liberation in order to help other individuals find individual enlightenment.
Many Western Buddhists identifying with the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold path have doubts about supernatural beliefs such as reincarnation or rebirth and about the existence of various deities, taking instead a more naturalistic approach. (By the way, most Asian Buddhists believe in many deities, and they do not meditate, according to Robert Wright, the author of Why Buddhism is True) But if reincarnation were true, it seems like working on personal enlightenment and world betterment at the same time would be a higher mission or calling. Can we have a spiritual and political revolution at the same time? That would be radical.
Living in a truly democratic society could be invigorating, as we individually find our true self or true nature and the peace that passes all understanding.
The Radical Democratic Left from all the various socialist and communist parties and including all the leftists who are not affiliated with a particular political party must become like Engaged Buddhists who work on their own individual enlightenment, as they simultaneously work to achieve world betterment with ecological wisdom.
Leftists must also give electoral politics a chance in the United States by continuing this discussion about the need for a new national constitution that equally empowers the seven largest national political parties, even giving a voice to any national political party that captures at least one percent of the national vote. Without a new constitution that dramatically increases democracy, there is not much hope in electoral politics otherwise, and using any violent means will lead to violent ends.
In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson said that the people have a right to abolish the government. However, Article V of our Constitution says we can pass new amendments in two different ways, but it says nothing about how to have a Constitutional Convention to create a new constitution. So to lawfully create a new constitution is simply not allowed, which is why Article V must be totally changed in order to pass future amendments in an easier, more democratic way and to properly allow for a Constitutional Convention to create a new constitution when the people demand it.
Currently to pass a constitutional amendment, it takes a ⅔ majority of both Houses of the federal congress and ¾ of the state legislatures–something that is very difficult to achieve. But then if push comes to shove and there is mass rioting in the streets, if we have a democratic model for having a Constitutional Convention already written and available that is fair to everyone–may I suggest the procedural guidelines in my “The New Article V For This Generation” that are also incorporated into my “Third Constitution of the United States”?–the federal Congress and the state legislatures may approve it, or something similar, very quickly to avoid utter chaos and a violent revolution.
The top one percent who have most of the wealth currently control the government and the mainstream media, and as a result, they control and brainwash the minds of unawakened Americans. In the struggle between the people and the oligarchy or the workers and the capitalists–the people and workers must prevail or everyone loses when the capitalist system implodes. If we leftists become individually enlightened with a commonly shared social vision, we can lead the way to making the whole world happy.
Roger Copple is 68 years old. He retired in 2010 from teaching general elementary, mostly 3rd grade, and also middle and high school special education in Indianapolis. He is especially interested in political theory, world history, and U.S. foreign policy. After being preoccupied with Christianity, the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga, and Buddhist meditation almost all of his life–Roger now believes that stopping U.S. imperialism is the most spiritual and ethical thing he can do. He is a vegan for environmental, ethical, and health reasons.
Roger grew up in the subculture of the United Pentecostal Church and remembers going to church four times a week and fearing that he might go to Hell because the Rapture of the Church was imminent, and he was not “saved” with the necessary evidence of “speaking in tongues.” His parents have always voted Republican. Roger’s biological father passed away in 1986, and Roger remembers how his father believed that if JFK had become President, he would compel everyone to become a Roman Catholic. Roger currently lives in the Tampa Bay area, and his fiance is from Ukraine. Recently he started a meetup.com group that originally was called World Peace, Inner Peace, but now it is called Vegan Buddhist Socialism. Roger is very glad that he began questioning all religious and political authority when he started college. Roger’s website: www.NowSaveTheWorld.com