Most of us who live in modern, Western democracies, take it for granted that 'we the people' are in power. But democracy may degenerate to the point where this is no longer the case—even without us noticing. Here is how.
Imagine a world where complex social mechanisms determine how the money flows, i.e. who's going to be rich or poor, and who will have a job and who won't. Imagine that in that world most people are largely unaware of the subtleties of those systems, and utterly unable to ask question about their fairness or legitimacy. And even if we would spend our time understanding such questions—what's the use? So imagine that we, by default, simply rely on our systems, in a manner in which children simply trust that Mom an Pap know what they're doing, and that they are acting in the children's best interest.
In such a world, would not exactly subtly fixing the rules, i.e. the way those mechanisms function, be the best and safest way to legally acquire unwarranted power—even without most of the people noticing?
So imagine that there are mechanisms that sap money out of everyone's pocket and send it to some pockets. Imagine that there are mechanisms that 'externalize' the costs of production by large corporations.
This story will be in several parts. We begin by describing issues that are familiar, perhaps obvious. Gradually, we develop views that are unorthodox, and end with those that point at a radical paradigm shift.
The idea is to discuss each specifically (in corresponding nodes, and by adding discussion nodes to them); and then all of them summarily, by updating this summary.
To a reader familiar with the problems of modern democracy, the first two will be familiar. They will project a picture of an endangered or even a degenerated democracy, where 'we the people' are on the losing side and a powerful elite is the winner, by discussing trends in development of the oldest modern democracy, the United States of America.
The last will present a vision of a new paradigm, i.e. of a completely new way of understanding the political issue. Seen from this new point of view, it is understood that even those who seem to be the winners (in the context of the present paradigm) are really losers; and where politics—a very different politics than what we have now, where we are co-creating systems that truly work for everyone's benefits—is a way to benefit everyone, the 100% o us, incomparably more than what presently is the case.