The thing the ruling class needs to control power is keep it out of the peoples hands while still giving the impression that democracy exists. Now if democracy did exist in the full sense of the word, would we have a tiny minority of people deciding everything and owning all of the wealth?
The powerful need to make it look as if we are participating so we are allowed to vote for them. Voting does not create power for ordinary people, it allocates our power to the few to do what they want. If we are unhappy with their choices we are allowed to vote for another. This process serves as political reality for many people.
We still have a lot of freedom to do things and it is only through using this freedom in useful ways that we can challenge and demand the right to participate properly in the democratic process. The powerful have many tools in place that attempt to stop us doing this. The challenge for ordinary people is to learn these things and to understand where the power lies. We then have to create a vision of how it could be used, then go and get it.
Unless there is a movement built in civil society that can exert some power outside the arenas of the oil industries, the arms industries, and the global corporations, where the power lies we are stuck in the cycle of voting our power away.
Understanding power comes with the ability to make connections between ideas, intentions and outcomes. While some of this can be relatively straight forward and understandable, the problem is we need to wade through mountains of distracting verbiage, and propaganda, designed to veer us of our path. The quickest way to learn thing is to do things. Participation is the quickest way to understand how power works
We can’t create power by just protesting. There are no easy answers and one of them isn’t, repeating the same thing over and over expecting something different to happen. We start by trying small things and if they don’t work try something else. Small achievable aims are the seeds of power.
‘If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito’. African proverb.