In the beginning…
There are many organizations that have decided to put their energy and resources into passing an amendment to the US Constitution that somehow limits corporate power in influencing the democracy. Some strategies have a plan to organize locally and then at the state level to call for a Constitutional Convention of 38 required states.
There are also many in the nonprofit world who have chosen legislative paths to, at least, temporarily limit the impact of money in politics, aside from the underlying Supreme Court doctrine of “corporate personhood” and its accompanying rights.
At National Intervention, we hope to assist both the idea that ours can be a society free from the corrupting influence of money in politics and also free from the underlying premise that corporations are no longer only property controlled by people, but are “people” with rights in a constitution that never mentions the word “corporation” once.
Before It’s Too Late
Studies suggest that power, as a substance, can be as addictive in the human brain as cocaine, if not more. Called into Congress after architecting and executing the financial collapse, financial industry leaders testified that the government cannot expect them to stop themselves, adding that the government must act to intervene in order to stop them. Yet, may of the reforms since do far too little to stop those addicted to wealth and power from mass destruction in pursuit of the next fix.
We invite elected officials to prove, by taking our Official Sobriety Test, that they are not controlled by an addiction to corporate power and money in politics. We recognize that it is unlikely to happen in time to use a sober democracy for urgent legislation on the economy and the environment before it’s too late. Nonetheless, we want to give those who may be addicted in elected office a chance to quit on their own.
Today, we are able to activate over 2/3 of any congressional district’s nonvoters if just one sober candidate appears on the ballot. Half the country doesn’t vote, but, while candidates who try to inspire nonvoters back to the polls gain only 2%-5% of them, National Intervention volunteers inspire over 65% when a sober candidate is an option. So many vital organizations work toward some aspect of amendment remedies. We use the amendment language that proves cleanly and clearly that one is both willing and able to end the dependency our system has on corporate power and money in politics. We do simultaneously support those in the federal government whose sobriety leads to the federal ratification of the amendment language. In the meantime, the strategic and moral focus at National Intervention is to continue the broad and deep organizing of our congressional districts and society around the tangible and quantifiable proof that we and our representatives are not controlled by the need for the next fix at any cost. Recovery from our a truly abusive relationship to those who have used and abused our wealth and power against us is the only way We, the People will replace greed as a higher power in a democratic society.
Once an elected official takes office, National Intervention invites her or him to adopt the proposal to ratify the amendment at the federal level. If they choose to “kick the habit” when it comes to their addiction to corporate power and money in politics, then we will have somehow succeeded in winning them back from the brink of the disease and establishing a level playing field. If they, like many long-term addicts or enablers, cannot stop themselves without a serious intervention, the National Intervention chapters will continue to draw strong boundaries in the political and economic aspects of our relationship to those controlled by the addiction system.
National Intervention Coordinating Committees (NICCs) and Student National Intervention Coordinating Committees (SNICCs) are the drivers in their precincts and congressional districts. These committees run the remarkable Sobriety Test program to identify the candidates and elected officials who prove to be too “under the influence” to be safely behind the wheel of our democracy. Moreover, they also notify the eligible voters in their congressional districts of any candidates who have passed the Sobriety Test.
Economic intervention differs from the work of political democratization, in that it focuses on the ingredient in the substance of power that comes not from the vote and the compromised voter who produce it, but from labor and consumption, and the compromised workers and consumers who manufacture it: wealth. Regulating the ingredients of power seems critical in a society ruled by greed and political parties run by grift. Yet, while we are the manufacturers of one ingredient to the substance of power, our votes, it’s equally important to remember that, as those who manaufacture all wealth, consumers and workers must also combine as interventionists in order to establish the boundaries necessary to intervene in or overcome the addiction system.