A call to a civil society. What needs to change, how we should act (Part One)

Most of us are aware that we don't play a significant role in the current political system of our respective states, or to put it this way- that our government doesn't represent our interests and doesn't work for our benefit. Some of  those who are aware of that fact keep hoping that someone would appear and by some miracle solve all their problems. 
If only that election time would come they would show the governing party just what they think of it...

They would vote for just anyone, as long as it means ousting "those thieves" from the government. As it happens, they regularly get duped by some new face, a new party, a movement that promises to address all or at least most of their needs, to end up being just as versed in disappointing and manipulating  them as its predecessors. Some of us are aware that the problem is in the political system itself, which is designed in a way to constrict our role to that of someone subjected to the authority, rather than the one who authorizes the instruments of the government to act for our benefit.

 So we are convinced that our only power and responsibility in the making and implementing policies is that of a vote, and we rarely attempt to expand our responsibilities beyond that. It is much easier to always have someone to place the blame upon and point fingers.

 Not that our policy makers don't deserve that, their faults are more or less obvious. It is our own responsibility and our power that remain hidden, and even if we are willing to be more pro-active and take things into our own hands, we are either rightfully afraid of being manipulated again, or we just don't know how to go about it. 

We tend to say to people who complain: "OK, so what do you propose we do? Where do we start?" There are a lot of propositions, just as there are a lot of agendas, so it's not easy to chose one and commit to it. Here is one of  them, translated from Greek. I am not suggesting it's a perfect solution that can be applied to our situation, it's just some thinking material...

By George Kontogiorgis [1]

Let us not delude ourselves. Demonstrations and protests in the streets and squares are deadlocked because they do not remove the cause of the problem, which is the monopoly and the total concentration of political power in the hands of those who govern the state. When the civil society, after being defused or exhausted, returns to its houses, politicians will continue to converse and to take decisions together with their internal and external supporting mechanisms ( the donors, power, money, communication, etc.) that holds them hostages on the political surface.

It is urgent to realize that a fundamental cause of the current problem is that the political system of modernity is neither democratic nor representative. The political staff holds in an indivisible manner both the roles of an assignor and an assignee , while civil society is encased in the private sphere. With such political system as a vehicle and its inevitable degeneration to a dynastic party politics, the forces that determine the global order have managed to control the state and impose their political domination over the civil society.

Under these circumstances, the civil society is called to:

a) to take the state into its hands, to authorize the suspension of those constitution articles which undermine the representative authority of the state, which remove its status of the assignor. To process law proposals that would abolish the occupied character of the state and dynastic party politicsthat would condition the political personnel FROM the civil society, that would abolish their "immunity" and report them directly to court for their political achievementsthat would give the citizen the right to a legitimate interest in the damage that might be caused by the bodies of administration and political personnel. Finally, tdraw up the political guidelines within which the political power would be obliged to govern.

(b) to encircle peacefully, but massively the parliament (preferably at time of session) and the Maximus st. (when the monarch Prime Minister and his colleagues meet) and to demand a vote in favor of the legislative proposals. If necessary not to let them leave if they do not vote for it or require their arrival for this. To continue thus with determination until ensured that the will of civil society will be formulated institutionally and considered mandatory in political decisions. To remind them clearly that it (the society) is the raison d'être of both the state and the political personnel and economy. That the civil society, and not the State, embodies and interprets the nation. That the benefit of the civil society should be the only "end" of their political function. That it is society, and not them, the politicians, that is responsible to format the policies that are consistent with the public interest. That the position of society is within the state, not on the squares. And that the time of carte blanche authorization conferred on them by the system to interpret its will and to determine its interest, has long gone. It's time for the civil society to seek a change of political system so that its vote acquire a representative (and not merely legitimizing) content. Rather than waxing about ethics, pressing the power to act for the common good, it should take upon itself the responsibility of co-decision. To recover the right of control and responsibility for its policies, the status of assignor instead of accepting its restriction to the private sphere, leaving them to roam and to subdivide the state together with their various interweaving acquiescence-eaters.

On the day that civil society it will become aware of the causes of the problem and will proclaim the end of the "social contract" that was imposed on it unilaterally by the government , when it will explicitly formulate its claim to become an institutional factor of the state and not the subject of the state, when it will realize that it is the primary source of all authority , and indeed of their very existenceit will determine the effectiveness of its powerOn that day the political staff will be asked to choose between the path of denial and, consequentlyof regression, which would expose it irreparably as authoritarian, and the change into to a convert handmaid of the civil society and a simple representative its interests.

In any casethe political class has no legitimacy to refuse to civil society the right to withdraw, if they so wish, their trust in the political system that excludes them from participation in decision-making process.

Read the Part Two here: http://serbiasos.blogspot.com/2012/03/george-kontogiorgis-issue-of-syntagma.html

Note about the author: Kontogiorgis George was born in 1947 in Nidri, Levkada. He studied Law at Athens University and Political Science in Paris, where he became a doctor. (Doctorat d 'Etat). In 1980 he became lecturer at the University of Thessaloniki , while since 1976 teaching at the Panteion University. He was a founding member and first Secretary of the Greek Political Science Society (1975-1981), Rector of Panteion University (1984-1990), member of Supreme Council and the Research Council of the European University Institute in Florence (1985-1994), General Manager (1985 ) and President - Managing Consultant (1989) of ERT, the Caretaker Deputy Minister of Press (1993) etc.

[1] Original article in Greek http://www.antifono.gr/portal/Πρόσωπα/Κοντογιώργης/Αρθρογραφία/2875-Κάλεσμα-στην-κοινωνία-των-πολιτών-Τι-πρέπει-να-αλλάξει2c-πως-πρέπει-να-δράσουμε.html

Translation from Greek to English: @MoonPurpose

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