History provides many examples of political deception and dishonesty, carried out by nefarious players seeking personal gain and control, by attaining public office. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of citizens to demand governmental restraint, but for the most part they are hobbled from navigating that bureaucracy – the very system they are forced to pay for. Frustrated and left wanting, it is no wonder many taxpayers become politically apathetic.
Enter in the “charade of political spectacle”, that all-encompassing string of political photo-ops, contrived set-ups, ribbon-cutting, parades, motorcades, grand entrances, and general drama, designed to reassure the populace that all is well. But all is not well in this top-down system.
Then there is the other end of the spectrum, where organized infiltration and intent to take control comes from the pedestrian level, taking advantage of peoples’ trusting nature and inherent goodness. Unfortunately, the taxpayer is caught midway between the two forces. For an example of this bottom-up approach consider the following quotes by Rob Hopkins of the Transition Network, along with Peter MacFadyen, and Andrew Gage, that each exemplify a furtive strategy to gain control over populations and governance:
“As I have already mentioned, it helps if you have a sympathetic entry point into local government to increase your influence. One of the most direct ways is to put yourself forward as a councilor – either at parish, town, city, or the county council. Better still, you may consider following Frome’s example of taking over the council altogether! The Mayor of Frome, Peter MacFadyen, has written a highly inspiring book “Flatpack Democracy – A DIY Guide” (1)
“So what we need is Transition Towns to be running parallel systems which effectively come up and swamp the so-called democracy and make it irrelevant.” (2)
“It’s important that lawyers play a role that is appropriate to the movement. I worry that if lawyers are not involved the Transition Town movement may result in infrastructure and systems that will not survive both the passage of time and clashes with mainstream culture.” (3)
So, as it appears; one group can be kept in public office by the processes in place, while the other can surreptitiously gain entry through a back door. It is needless to say, but many would agree that both scenarios mock democracy.
(1) Rob Hopkins, 2014, The “Transition Network” in transitioning neighbourhood plans
(2) Peter MacFadyen, 2014, “Flatpack Democracy – A DIY Guide” on how to gain control
(3) Andrew Gage, 2010, WCEL.