Politics Magazine

The Initiative Process and the Perversion of Direct Democracy

Posted on the 29 July 2016 by Calvinthedog

Direct Democracy is supposed to be the fairest type of grassroots democracy. Yet I feel that absent extensive education of the masses, Direct Democracy is often a polished turd.

The US initiative process is a good example of Direct Democracy perverted. The initiative process in the US is Direct Democracy, but the results are as often pro-ruling class as against, which is not how you would expect the masses to vote. One problem is that the initiative process was hijacked in recent years by large corporations and the rich.

The initiative process was initiated in the early 1900’s as a way of fighting such malign institutions as Standard Oil and the Southern Pacific Railroad. These corporations had such a deadly grip on the US political process and media that they nearly ruled the country. Nothing could be done about them. The only way to challenge this Dictatorship of the Monopoly Corporations was via direct vote by the citizenry. The initiative process hence was began as a progressive process of taking issues directly to the people to challenge corporate and ruling class power when the other branches of government were too controlled by Class Power to limit it in any way. The initiative process was a reform process.

Perversely, this progressive reform via Direct Democracy was by the end of the century largely taken over by the ruling class and especially the large corporations, the very things that the process was put in to fight against.


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