Representation is Trickle-Down politics


We all know the lie of trickle down economics, where the rich getting richer is supposed to lead to wealth for everyone. It’s so obviously a lie that even the neloiberals use it sparingly these days. In times of little economic growth where standards of living are falling it’s a huge risk to talk so much bollocks.

It’s time we nailed representation. We have a ‘democratic’ system in which we are told that power rests ultimately with the people because we decide who our representatives are. Well most of us don’t actually due to the first past the post system but even in proportional systems it’s absurd to imagine an individual capable of representing the interests of thousands of people. The vast majority of us have trouble representing ourselves on a daily basis.

In terms of the actual power we have in a representative system it’s much like the wealth we have in capitalism. We’re suffering trickle down politics. The power we get from representation is limited and out of our ultimate control. Politics though is different to economics. If you have little money then there’s very little you can do to change your economic situation; you need resources and a winning entrepreneurial idea for success to come your way and the money flooding in.

With politics you can do things for yourselves. You can ditch the notion of being represented. Hell, you can ditch the notion of being representable. You can ditch the notion of being governable. Direct action can get the goods from the workplace to the housing estate and beyond. It can force the representatives to listen and do what you want them to. In my trickle down analogy this is a bit like bank robbery but don’t let that put you off. You gain power from below.

Representatives limit our power; they take it for themselves and use it for their own interests. We don’t want power from above through representatives who hog it all. What we want and need is power from below in our communities and on our streets. Forceful power from real people. People like you.

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