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    How Gold Party might develop

Gold Party is intended to be a network of voters in the United States who organize for the purpose of taking over the government at all levels. It is similar to a political party except that it is organized to facilitate a particular event: a peaceful revolution in which the present plutocracy is replaced by a system that does justice to working people and preserves the natural environment. This party may run candidates of its own in U.S. elections or it may support candidates of other parties who support the Gold Party agenda. In other words, membership in it is not exclusive.

If a majority of Americans supported a particular program and were organized to put this into effect through their elected officials, they could have their way. Depending on how ambitious the program was, society might be transformed. Mao Zedong once said that political power comes from the barrel of a gun. Government’s control of physical force means it will prevail. On the other hand, no large group of people can be ruled by force alone. The ideas of fairness and legitimacy are essential to gaining and maintaining political power.

Gold Party’s plan of action does not depend on violent acts but on a scheme of persuasion that aligns the majority of voters behind its program. Its persuasion includes personal incentives to support the party and its program. In that respect, this party deviates from the equal-vote principle of most political parties. It rewards its members unequally according to the contribution they make to building up the party. When the party gains control of government, the system of unequal voting translates into acquiring unequal shares of the society’s wealth. This situation is similar to capitalism except that personal advancement is achieved through political work rather than through work done within business organizations.

The Gold Party “revolution” would embrace action that goes well beyond what governments in the past have attempted in the United States. At the same time, its changes will take place within the existing legal framework. What is not presently allowed will be authorized through Constitutional amendment. In some respects, Gold Party’s program will resemble a Socialist revolution - a leveling of wealth to achieve a more equal distribution - but its ultimate aim will be to increase human freedom and material well being.

There is, then, a scenario of events by which U.S. society (through the agency of Gold Party) will free itself from the control of plutocrats and be restructured to the benefit of individual citizens. Ron Paul supporters would not be displeased if all goes according to plan.

Phase 1  

 This is where we are now. Gold Party begins with an idea that is communicated to others. The creation of this website is an important step. The point system needs to be perfected.

But then it is necessary to recruit members. The initiators of the party need to talk with their friends and acquaintances about the Gold Party scheme. They need to advertise their intentions and hold public meetings. They need to persuade individuals to become members.

Membership involves filling out an application form, signing it, and paying annual dues. Prospectively, the dues can be as low as $1.00 a year. If a member contributes more, this translate into a larger number of votes. In return, each person who becomes a member of Gold Party acquires a personal stake in the organization which is expressed in terms of a certain number of points to represent voting strength. In that respect, it’s like owning shares of stock in a corporation.

At first, the person or persons who initiate Gold Party would maintain the membership records. The points are calculated individually on a computer spreadsheet. (See point system.) Later, a specialized computer program would automatically calculate membership points from data entered on the application forms. Besides maintaining these records, the headquarters office would issue annual membership cards and communicate with members.

The next step would be to organize local Gold Party groups. They might meet on a monthly basis. Party headquarters would contact members who lived in the same area, proposing a time and place for an introductory meeting. Once the group became established, the meetings would be held in the home of a member who volunteered to host that function and, in return, receive a certain number of points for that service. The chief purpose of these groups would be to increase membership in Gold Party.

Phase 2 

In this phase, Gold Party is organized in a network of local groups. Face-to-face meetings are essential to building a political organization. Each local group, or chapter, would elect its own officers according to a system of weighted voting based on Gold Party points. (See point system.)

At a minimum, there would be a chapter president, a vice president, and a membership secretary. The president would be responsible for conducting the monthly meeting and determining the meeting agenda as well as authorizing special activities of the chapter. He or she would be authorized to award additional points to members involved in those activities. The vice president, who would assist the president, might also serve as chapter treasurer. The membership secretary would be in charge of maintaining membership records and determining the members’ points.

While the main purpose of local chapters would be to build membership in Gold Party, they would also seek to create quality events for the members. The chapter president would bring in knowledgeable speakers on relevant topics or arrange for performances in the creative arts. A prime topic of chapter discussions would be to consider what Gold Party might do if it gained control of government. How might the nation’s wealth be redistributed? What type of society would the members want to create? What would be their vision of a better future?

In the meanwhile, regional organizations would be formed to embrace the local chapters. Such organizations would be focused on building media capability. The regions would each have their own newspapers, their own cable-television shows, their own podcasts, radio programs, etc. as well as personal outreach to the commercial media. They would be authorized to award points to persons who worked on media activities. Gold Party would thus become capable of communicating directly with the public and building up membership to a point that it could win elections.

Ultimately, Gold Party would need party organizations in all fifty states. It would also need a national organization. Members in regions that are highly organized would be rewarded for missionary outreach to other areas.

Phase 3 

Now begins the process of taking over the government. This would happen on all levels of government: townships, cities, counties, state, and federal. However, the main effort would be to pass federal legislation, signed into law by the President, which would implement the Gold Party program. If need be, the broadly organized party could also pass Constitutional amendments.

Gold Party can accomplish its goals either through legislators who are elected as Gold Party candidates or by securing commitments to support its proposed legislation with officials who have been elected under the banner of other political parties. There is always the possibility, of course, that government officials will renege on their promises. In that case, Gold Party might have to wait for the next scheduled election to defeat the official who has broken his promise However, Gold Party would award points to legislators (as well as executives who signed the bills into law) who voted for the desired legislation. Since the points ultimately translate into money, there would be a monetary incentive for elected officials to support the program. (See point system.)

If this incentive looks like bribery, consider that a similar incentive is in effect in the system of government that we have now. Former officeholders sometimes become rich by lobbying their former colleagues or securing lucrative jobs in industries that depend on government favor. It’s important to gain a sense of legitimacy for this process by a process featuring extensive, open discussion. The Gold Party program must be seen as necessary and fair. While appealing to individual selfishness, the party’s point system is needed to motivate members to work for the party so that its undertaking will succeed. How different is this than rewarding people with money who have contributed to the success of a commercial enterprise?

It follows that much research and thought must go into the legislation that will be sought when Gold Party assumes control of the government. The Gold Party program must be completely transparent. Once consciousness of its program has reached a certain level, a legitimate revolution can take place. The people will demand that its plan be put into effect.

Phase 4 

This is meant to be a one-time revolution. The fusion of political power with economic power will be only temporary. During the period of revolutionary change it might resemble a Socialist revolution. However, such revolutions are dangerous due to their totalitarian nature. That is why Gold Party should dissolve after its work is done, leaving a residue of wealth redistribution plus changes in the economic and political order.

One part of the Gold Party program will be that the federal government will restructure the monetary system. What are the possibilities? Having explicit power to coin money under the U.S. Constitution, Congress could simply declare that the dollar is no longer legal tender and extinguish all assets or debts in that currency. State governments could alter the ownership interests in corporations which are artificial entities created by the state. Justice should be the guiding factor in deciding how to redistribute wealth. The financial arrangements within capitalism are so complex that we cannot say at this point what should be done.

A potential problem with this scheme is whether a majority of Americans can be made to agree on any single set of government programs. That’s why it is important to include converting Gold Party points into money. (After this party takes over the government, it would have government give money or monetary assets to Gold Party members in proportion to the points that they had accumulated under the party rules.) It is assumed that all Gold Party members would agree on this part of the program, regardless of their preferences in other areas. The would want to reward themselves for the work done in overthrowing the plutocracy.

But the Gold Party “revolution” needs to go beyond rewarding party members for their work. Certain other reforms are needed to make sure that the plutocracy does not reappear. Each party member may have his or her own agenda. My own proposals might include the following:

(a) shorter work time to redistribute job opportunities and increase leisure time for working Americans,

(b) government representation on corporate boards that decide executive compensation,

(c) abolition of the Federal Reserve Board and its replacement by a government-owned entity and possible nationalization of the banking industry,

(d) radical reform of the health-care industry,

(e) an elected body with the authority to overturn decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court,

(f) a labor and environmentally oriented system of global trade, and

(g) substantial reform of the broadcast industry requiring a better distribution of air time to political candidates during election campaigns.

Each such proposal would have its supporters and detractors. We need to let the political process play out to reach a consensus when the time of transformation is at hand. The Gold Party revolution would concentrate political power for a time. Then its power base would dissipate and the policy consensus would be lost. It is desirable that this should happen. We would not want political and economic power to be fused indefinitely but heed Lord Acton’s warning that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Totalitarian society presents a model for failure.

Therefore, the Gold Party scenario of events should include a process by which government and business power again become separated and new safeguards are developed to prevent the encroachment of one on the other’s domain. The ideal of liberty will then be engrained in society. One might then foresee a “better society” in which people are not paying attention to politics that much but are instead pursuing personal interests.

What's this all about? Some thoughts on building a political organization.

the final push for power


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