Democracy is just balance between private and public interest. In the first article in this series we called for a synergetic system to effectively balance authority with participation, leadership with co-operation, spirituality with materiality. The term proposed for this synergetic system is ‘solidarism’, commonly referred to as the ‘Just Third Way’. Now, let it be stated crystal clear from the outset that this ‘solidarism’ is democratic. But it is a deeper kind of democracy, adding an economic element. Without this extra economic element, political democracy, as we know it in the US/Europe/Japan and some other countries, will perish.
It will perish, because the political and economic elite will suffocate it. The strangulation of democracy has been ongoing for quite some time. Democratic rights have been undermined first under the guise of ‘fighting crime’. Of course, crime must be fought, but not at the expense of our liberty and civil rights! But that is exactly what has been happening. Then the ‘war on drugs’ was used as an excuse to undermine our rights even more. Of course, drug-abuse should be brought under control, but not at the expense of democracy! Nevertheless, this is exactly what has been happening.
War on terror
And then, as a Godsend from heaven, the Twin Towers were destroyed. What a bonus for the democracy-stranglers! This was their big chance! And, indeed, the onslaught on our freedoms and rights was undertaken in earnest! And to make sure the whole world would see and know, the corpse was placed on public display at Guantanamo. For a while it appeared that fascism had won, that democracy was dead. Thank God, however, for the strong democratic roots among the American people. Slowly they woke up and saw that democracy was unconscious, but not yet dead. To revive it they voted Obama into office.
Now, Obama wants change. He wants to end torture, to mention just one stab in democracy’s back. But the mass of the American Ship of State is so vast that any change will necessarily take time. Moreover, he has a number of difficult domestic problems to attend to, such as health care, the economic crisis and getting the program for alternative energy off the ground. So the immediate results are not as spectacular as hoped for, but with time - no doubt - democracy will be revived. And our rights will be restored.
Instead of undermining human rights, solidarism proposes to add a new economic right, i.e. the right of every citizen to acquire a privately owned share in the means of production. This right will be made effective
1) by extending credit to every man, woman and child enabling them to buy stocks and shares and
2) by allowing these borrowers to repay their loans with the dividends generated by the acquired stocks and shares.
The Central Bank will extend this credit. Once the loans have been repaid with the dividends generated, the acquired stocks and shares will be the buyers’ own free property. They can be sold, or retained to generate a second income. It is simple. Economic democracy means that all citizens will be enabled to acquire a share in the means of production to guarantee everybody a second income, i.e. an income from capital besides their income from labor. And this is just one financial instrument proposed by the developers of ‘solidarism’, a system designed to empower the poor without taking from the rich.
To avoid war, people need some money in their pockets. If they can’t afford food, for instance, they’ll fight. Is that so hard to get? Besides, how else can one revive an economy, unless the people have money to spend? Solidarism makes simple sense. To study other solidarist instruments and programs, please visit www.cesj.org and www.binaryeconomics.net.
As said, we will introduce solidarism (usually referred to as the ‘Just Third Way’) from a uniquely Caribbean perspective. How can solidarism based on its economic theory known as ‘binary economics’ be introduced in the Caribbean region? Could solidarism as a system be tested in a Caribbean island, say for instance St. Lucia, Curaçao or Aruba, or even in a country like Surinam? These and similar questions will be considered in this series. Please stay tuned.