by Joseph de Rivera
What is good for individuals is not necessarily good for the whole, and what is good for the whole is not necessarily good for particular individuals. Managing conflict with a government that attempts to achieve peace and justice by using a rule of law that relies on a minimum of force requires at least six different sets of tools. There are tools to encourage democratic participation, tools to manage a democratic political economy, tools to insure a system of justice that can defend rights yet control violence and crime, tools to promote a police force that can itself be policed, and tools to control power so the rule of law does not become rule by law.
Democratic participation A fully democratic government should be constructed and ruled by people who based their governance on the rule of law. Hence, there needs to be substantial direct participation in choosing leaders who are not insulated or isolated from those whom they served. This requires periodic elections and the recognition of the rights of all groups within the society to compete and make their voice heard. People need voting rights and the right to compete for political office, as well as the right to express dissenting views, to contest election results and recall corrupt officials, and most importantly, the right to be protected from the unlawful will of popularly-elected lawmakers, executives, political elites or other influential civilians. Since the citizens of most democracies have an understanding of many of these tools for democracy, we discuss only five less known tools:
- Lobbying is not simply for the rich and powerful. Legislation can be influenced by individuals or small groups who visit their congressional representatives or contact administrative bodies such the Federal Communications Agency. Citizen influence is magnified when people support Nongovernmental organizations that lobby for the promotion of human rights (ACLU), hunger relief (Bread for the World), good government (Common Cause) and other causes. One of the most affective lobby groups is the Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL) whose staff and supporters inform congressional offices about the human welfare consequences of legislation that affects peace and justice in the United States and abroad. (See http:// FCNL.org/ ).
The above rights can only be secured when there is an independent judicial system that is protected from the power of those who have been elected to make or enact laws. This requires procedures for the fair selection of judges, as well as norms and protection that prevents judges from being bribed or assassinated. Protection from abuse of power may also be aided by provisions for trial by jurors. Few citizens realize that the primary function of the independent juror is to protect citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government. By law, jurors can freely exercise their conscience and refuse to enforce unjust laws; they cannot be punished for their verdicts, and can refuse to convict even though they believe the defendant to be guilty of the charges. This “jury nullification” is a peaceful way to protect human rights against corrupt politicians and government tyranny (See Fully Informed Jury Association http://fija.org/ ).
In practice, by controlling who participates, economic and political elites can determine how laws are formed and public policies implemented. Participation is about poweri and electoral systems are the set of procedures that determine how people are elected to office. Those procedures include how the ballot is structured, how people cast their votes, how those votes are counted, and how the winners are decided. Many different electoral systems exist and it is possible to increase participation and satisfaction by using different systems of voting. A system in which the “winner takes all” has two problems. 1. When there are more than two candidates a candidate may win an election without majority support and even when that candidate may be the least favored by the majority of voters. 2. There is little reason for those from minority groups to run for office, alternatives are discouraged from being candidates, and there is little reason for many to vote in an election where they do not feel represented. An alternative system that is used in a number of both municipal and national elections is preferential or “instant runoff” voting where candidates are ranked preferentially. If no candidate initially receives a majority of first votes, the candidate with the least number is eliminated and the second choices of those who voted for him or her are assigned to others with the process continuing until a candidate who has received a majority of the votes cast for the “number one” position is declared the winner. Studies show that voters’ level of satisfaction with elected officials and with the institution of democracy is substantially higher with such a system.
Although we usually think of voting for candidates or referendum, participation can also be encouraged by asking citizens to vote on budgets. A complete way of doing this was developed in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989 when thousands of its 1.5 million citizens participated in allocating $200 million dollars for construction and services. After meetings giving instruction and information, large plenary assemblies elected delegates from different neighborhoods who met to review expenses and needs. At a second regional meeting plenary the delegates prioritized the districts needs and elected councilors to serve on a municipal budget council who reconciled the demands of each district with the available resources and decided on the city’s budget. The process proved highly successful and is now being adapted by hundreds of cities.
Much of the difficulty in governance occurs when group size prevents face to face negotiation among all those affected by and requires positions and interests to be represented by someone from the affected groups. The success of negotiations may depend on the communication of needs that cannot be publically expressed and compromises that would be publically resisted. Since it would be unwise for democratic governance to demand open communication during negotiations it is extremely important for all interests to be adequately represented during the negotiations.
A democratic political economy
Besides these ways of checking the abuse of power other tools are needed. Current capitalistic practices have led to large corporate enterprises that maximize profits by influencing government policies and expenditures at the expense of environmental degradation, a diminished sense of community, and increased economic discrepancy. In a democracy one expects public opinion to influence governmental policy. However, a recent study in the United States has shown that economic elites and organized business interests influence policy when mass-based interest groups and average citizens do not.ii The political economy of democracies can be improved by using tools that work on either the political or the economic dimension. In regards to the political dimension in the United States, one reason only 50% of eligible voters bother going to the polls is that the selection of candidates is dominated by wealthy interests that both limit the agenda and the capacity to disseminate an alternative one in the public arena. However, the public could : iii
Use public financing for electioneering and reducing the costs of publicizing issues. This would broaden the choices and change the quality of political engagement
Address inequality with an economic environmentalism designed to transform opportunities. Rather than attempting to reduce inequality by transferring wealth with welfare payments, unemployment benefits, or a negative income tax, funds could be invested in ways that equalize social environments. Policies could provide equal educational experiences, reduce neighborhoods risk factors that affect teenage social development, offer universal health care, and equalize retraining opportunities.
Favor the meeting of objective, communally assessed, needs rather than the subjective wants created and sustained by the industrial-advertising complex. Needs could be assessed by engineers, medical professionals, scientists and public servants and presented in educational and public space with the attention given to daily weather forecasters.
Evaluate wellbeing with social indicators for maternal care, infant mortality, health, literacy and education levels of achievement, etc. rather than growth in per capita gross national product.
Lobby for an executive order requiring government contracts to disclose political spending.
Assert power over corporations by charter reform (See http://www.poclad.org ) Corporations are governed by charters that could require the separation of CEO’s from boards of directors, the disclosure of executive compensation, and representation for the interests of more than stock holders on the board of directors. Charter reform can be advanced by electing representatives willing to regulate corporation, share-holder action, and the lobbying of investment firms.
Amend the constitution so that it is clear that corporations should not treated as though they were persons, Two major coalition efforts, with different approaches, seek to address the ramifications of the Supreme Court decision and can be found at MovetoAmend.org, and FreeSpeechForPeople.org.
The economic dimension could be addressed by:
The teaching of distributism as an economic alternative to either capitalism or socialism. Distributist economics, like capitalism, is based on the idea of private ownership and individual initiative. However, rather than encouraging the accumulation of capital (the means of production) it distributes capital by favoring worker-run business, credit unions, and guilds.iv These ideas are the foundation for the Mondragon federation of over a hundred cooperative businesses in Spain (see www.mondragon.org)
The developing of public banks. In most capitalistic economies money is created by private banks issuing loans at varying rates of interest. In the United States this is controlled by a system of Federal Reserve banks which exercises some public control in managing the billions of dollars of debt that is involved. Markets require money and the creation of money by banks may be viewed as a public utility responsible to local interests. Publically owned banks (such as the Bank of North Dakota) can support local enterprise and take less risks than private banks searching for profits (and prevented from failure by national government). v
Building community-sustaining economies. Gar Alperovitzvi provides dozens of examples of communities, rather than private corporations, successfully building and managing housing developments, shopping centers, telecommunication systems, and encouraging worker owned businesses that meet community needs.
Encouraging B (Benefit) Corporations ( see http://www.bcorporation.net/) that are structured so that directors can attend to social benefits and not legally required to simply pursue profits.
Justice system and violence controlvii
One of the most important functions of state governance is to control violence and the reason why so many accept support the states’ use of force is the fear that laws will not be observed if they are not enforced. However, it is easy for this force to be misused and it is important to distinguish the need for different sorts of force tools because there are different sorts of violence and crime. Hence, we must distinguish between the control of organized and conventional crime, the control of violent and nonviolent crime, the control of ethnic violence, and the control of protests.
Controlling organized crime is one of the most important functions of government. Unlike conventional crime, it is more susceptible to state intervention and closely related to state corruption. Since it can be combatted with relatively little money it may be the best place to invest funds for development. The groups involved in organized crime are often involved in assassinations, blackmailing, kidnapping, loansharking, prostitution, stolen cars, terrorism, and trafficking in persons, arms and drugs. They victimize businesses through the use of extortion, fraud, and theft, and defraud governments by rigging the bids on public projects, counterfeiting money, smuggling, etc. This crime nets large amounts of illegal “dirty” money that must be disguised so it cannot be traced or taxed. Laundering hides the money’s illegal origin and converts proceeds of crime into usable assets. Hence, an important control strategy involves the international cooperation and specialized units needed to follow money trails, and organized criminals attempt to bribe and corrupt local and national judges and public officials in executive and law enforcement roles so they can avoid investigation and prosecution.
Since organized crime flourishes when it is overlooked, it is closely related to the extent of governmental corruption and its growth encourages that corruption. Studies show that the most important limit on its extent is the independence and integrity of the judiciary needed to enable prosecution and prevent bribery. The willingness of political parties to allow independent judges appears to be greater when there is a balance of power among competing political forces so that those in control are aware that power may change and the ability to bias the judicial system might eventually be harmful to their interests. Case studies show that is possible to improve the judicial independence of courts and prosecutors by establishing transparent and consistent rules for the assignment of cases, clarifying career paths, clarifying independent roles for judicial, prosecutorial and police personnel, and enhancing of the capacity of the judiciary to review the consistency of its own decisions by having appellate-based reviews and allowing for the monitoring of civil society by NGO’s such as Court Watch. The second most important factor is the effectiveness of the police force. viii High levels of corruption are associated with the abuse of discretion in the granting of state subsidies to the private sector, the amount of red tape involved in getting approvals, and the extent to which media is owned by the State. However, quite independent of the judiciary and police functions of the state, organized crime is more prevalent in less affluent countries where it is difficult to pay public officials decent salaries and political instability encourages crime. Hence, it is important to also attend to the business environment in which organized crime operates. This suggests market interventions such as decriminalizing the goods and services involved in illegal markets. State lotteries and legalized gambling have provided taxes instead of a market for gangsters, and it should be possible to legalize and control the profitable market for illicit drugs. Controlling conventional crime and local violence requires local governance and a different set of distinctions. The extent of ordinary crime clearly depends on neighborhood norms and may be controlled by improving neighborhood factors.ix Further, there is a difference between many ordinary crimes, such as theft, embezzlement, slander, defacing property, and possessing illicit drugs, and crimes that involve violence or the threat of violence. The former may often be handled by a system of restorative justice that uses negotiation to restore property and security (See tools of negotiation) or with the mechanisms of civil rather than criminal law. Yet, in recent years there has been an enormous increase in the number of people imprisoned in the United Sates for nonviolent crimes, and the increased privatization of prisons is leading to abusive practices such as the increased use of stun belts and solitary confinement. There is every indication that prisons are failing to rehabilitate a majority of those who are incarcerated, no evidence that imprisonment serves to decrease crime, and since it is influenced by neighborhood factors differential rates of imprisonment are unjust. The pain that is created by imprisoning people for nonviolent crime seems to outweigh the gain and suggest that using imprisonment is often an unwise strategy. When imprisonment is used there is clear evidence that providing educational programs decrease the chance that a person will again be criminally involved.x However, neither governmental officials nor the American public seems willing to spend money on what is often seen as “coddling” prisoners. We need to change attitudes that favors punishment over rehabilitation, help people understand what helps different types of prisoners, and increase compassion for those who find themselves in prison.
In the case of violent crime, imprisonment clearly prevents an offender from immediately threatening those outside the prison. However, it is important to distinguish different types of violence and violent offenders. Violence is frightening and many want to simply avoid it by locking up those prone to violence and throwing away the key. Thus, it is helpful to break the phenomena into manageable parts. When we consider how we should deal with violent persons, it seems very important to distinguish between different types and processes and to construct specific treatment methods for the types we distinguish.xi
For example, some men (and women) who are involved in marital violence only become violent within the family as a result of an inability to manage conflict escalation, others have difficulty with trust issues, become overly dependent on their wives and resort to violence when their needs are not met, and still others tend to be violent in all their relationships.
Although some everyday violence is simply a means to an end, there are sometimes intrinsic appeals and it is important to distinguish the sadism involved in the pleasure of inflicting suffering or terror from both violent thrill seeking and threatened egoism. It is possible that sadism involves an addictive process, while thrill seeking simply involves boredom, high sensation seeking and the low impulse control more likely to occur under the influence of alcohol. Threatened egoism is more complex in that it may involve either a real lack of self-worth or the injured self-esteem of a bully with a narcissistic, grandiose, view of the self.
Violence often occurs in an interpersonal context, as in murder or bullying. Those who are particularly prone to violence are often men. Some learn aggressive scripts that are much more prevalent in sub-cultures where they witness, receive, and are coached in violence until they enjoy the skills and thrills involved in its use. These may be amplified by the reactions of others so that greater problems develop or become less aggressive as they age. When repeated offenders are interviewed different sorts motivational processes: are revealed. Many are involved in the promotion or defense of a self-image which seems to be constructed as a compensation for the fact that the person was not convinced of his own worth. However, others are involved in defending a reputation that is more experienced as an assigned role rather than an internal need. Yet other types involve the removal of pressure by men feeling helpless panic or rage, the self- defense of those convinced others are out to kill them, and “norm-enforcers” who use violence as a matter of principle. All of these types need to be contrasted with those who evidence a complete lack of empathy with others who are simply seen as objects and may exploit violence to overcome resistance, take pleasure in using terror, simply feel that the world ought to let them do whatever they want, or rather arbitrarily attacked to relieve frustration, depression or boredom. Once someone has been involved in violence they may develop a habit of using violence. Violence creates its own needs, reinforces source insecurities and egocentricity and may lead to self-definition that makes violence more probable in the future. Fortunately, violence itself is not necessarily perpetuating. For example, during Apartheid in South Africa, children were frequently subjected to criminal, domestic, and vigilante violence yet the majority of children do not appear to have become violent or even to seek retaliation. In fact, many evidence an increased empathy. Moral behavior is learned in a sociocultural context. People construct their identities and reputations as members of groups and learn moral conduct in settings that assign responsibility to the roles that people chose to play. Hence, children may learn that violence is called for in one situation but immoral in another. Although a culture may arise and lead some to assume violent roles, such violence is not automatically produced by being exposed to violence but is subject to the rhetoric and morality developed by a group in a situation.xii
Controlling sexual aggression poses a particular set of problems. Although evidence suggests that there is a propensity to rape in only about 6% of males, it seems clear that larger percentages are influenced by the sub-cultural norms of some gangs, military units, sports teams, and fraternities. Hence, the control of rape depends on making it clear that rape is criminal rather merely normal masculine action. The opposite occurs when rape is institutionalized and brutally used to achieve political objectives as when militarized rape is used impersonally as an instrument of war. In a related vein, bullying usually involves a relatively small number of perpetrators and is best addressed by training teachers, students and parents in ways to intervene. Training, involving the entire community, has proven effective in Europe, where programs have reduced bullying by 50%, and various methods are proving effective in n the United Statesxiii
Controlling ethnic violence between groups appears to depend on three important factors:
1. Clear statements from those with overall authority that violence will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be punished.
2. Integrated police forces and representative government.xiv
3. Cross racial and ethnic membership and participation in groups such as business associations, professional organizations, film and sports clubs, NGOs, and trade unions. Such routine engagement between members of different communities decreases the chance that politicians may exploit differences and permits people to form peace committees in times of tension. These peace committees, consisting of members of both communities, can police neighborhoods, scotch rumors, provide information to the local administration and facilitate communication between communities during crises.xv
Controlling protests is problematic, especially when armed forces are used. Although there are times when armed forces may be required to assert the rule of law (e.g. to prevent mob attacks or local injustices) they are often used to promote a rule by law, as when power to becomes corrupted and slips into power over. To protect against such an abuse of power it is necessary to separate the peacekeeping duties of local police forces from national military forces. The police are designed to defend local community and, ideally, trained in the skills required to de-escalate violent tensions. The military is oriented and trained to use power against enemy forces. Democracies separate police forces from national military forces. The United States has a legal tradition (the principle of Posse Comitatus) that restricts using the military in civilian law enforcement. This separation is eroded when National Guard forces are deployed to quell a disturbance, when military equipment is given to domestic police, and when police are given the military training that is reliant on weaponry. It seems clear that laws must prohibit the use of military troops on national soil and police use of war-fighting equipment. Rather, federal funds should help establish community police programs with adequate police training and civilian oversight.
Policing and police control
Ideally, a democratic government has an authority that commands respect and functions without the use of force. In practice, preserving authority often requires a police force that can control domestic violence. The threat of violence and a fear of state control may lead people to use weapons to defend themselves, but accidents, rage, and the desire for revenge often lead to the very violence and state control they seek to avoid. Hence, police force is needed, but it is essential that this force remains under the civilian control of elected officials, and be as local as possible.xvi One of the best descriptions of how a police should ideally function was given in Sir Rober Peel’s, 1829, Principles of law enforcement: xvii
alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of
The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect
The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance
of the law to be able to secure and maintain public respect.
The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes, proportionately, to the necessity for the use of physical force and compulsion in achieving police objectives.
The police seek and preserve public favor, not by catering to public opinion, but by
constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law, in complete
independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance
of individual laws; by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all
members of society without regard to their race or social standing, by ready exercise
of courtesy and friendly good humor; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in
protecting and preserving life.
The police should use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of
the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to achieve police objectives; and police should use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.
The police should always direct their actions toward their functions and never appear
to usurp the powers of the judiciary by avenging individuals or the state, or authoritatively judging guilt or punishing the guilty.
The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
Many of these points are exemplified in a community policing that encourages a focus on working with a community to maintain a pleasant and orderly environment rather than arresting of criminals. When neighborhoods have a sense of social order and nonviolent norms people are not afraid to intervene to maintain that order and it is often possible to have a relatively unarmed police force where an officer’s uniform and club command sufficient authority. Community policing can help a community prevent violence by maintaining civilized norms and it would be quite feasible to develop an unarmed peace officers corps trained and organized by local colleges, who would work with children and young adults.xviii It is not usually essential to immediately arrest someone who is committing a crime or causing a disturbance and police may call on armed reinforcement when needed. Family preservation services and help reduce domestic violence and it is feasible to regulate handguns by requiring licensing, liability insurance for gun manufactures, dealers, and possessors, and ammunition identification The major challenges for community policing are presented by the difficulty of measuring its effectiveness and insuring enough status and the absence of any appearance of laziness or corruption.
Although public security in urban settings depends on adequate police protection, recruiting, training, and maintaining a good police force require adequate funding, constant supervision, and adequate civilian control. The need to use power and the difficulties of the job make it difficult to get adequate peer accountability and are apt to lead to a code of silence that requires independent review boards to maintain oversight. One way to achieve control over unacceptable police violence is to have peer review panels which review all arrest reports, tally deployed violence and work with those officers who exceed a predefined number of incidents. Oversight may encourage the police to police themselves and different ways in which this may be done are discussed in E.I. Diaz Police Oversight.
Ways of controlling power
Those operating within a power to model are subject to a number of corrupting influences that may lead them to slip into a power over usage. The most obvious is that it is easy to confuse self-interest with common good and those who acquire power may use power to further their own self-interests at the expense of the common good. However, there are more subtle reasons why “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”xix The exercise of will always involves a focusing of attention which results in a certain blindness to other perspectives. This blindness is enhanced by the reduction of dissonance involved in decision-making so that those with power do not particularly want to consider those in opposition. Rather, they tend to become concerned with how to keep power. Further, those who acquire power are apt to have a degree of egotism and this sense of rightness is compounded by the fact that they usually surround themselves with supporters. Finally, even when a person in power would like to know the truth, subordinates are much more apt to tell superiors what they think they want to hear rather than the problems occasioned by their policies.
There are a number of different ways to control power. Federal systems of government attempt to minimize abuses by separating local, intermediate, and central systems of authority. However, abuses in local governance, economic interrelationships, and the usurpation of power by central government may make it difficult to maintain the separation.
Constitutional democracies use documents to specify how power is obtained, how long it may be maintained, and the limited extent to which it may be used. Power may be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches (as in the U.S. presidential system) or compromises may be required by requiring the executive to have the confidence of the legislature (as in the British parliamentary systems).xx However, these ways of checking power only functions when there is an independently elected legislature and an independent judicial system. The latter may use an adversarial system of the sort that provides for contesting arguments and offers trials by juries of peers, or an inquisitional system that uses fact-finding teams in the service of judges. Both have benefits and problems; both are dependent on the honesty of judges and their freedom from assassination and threats.
Governmental systems are subjected to competing forces. On the one hand, those with authority need enough power to accomplish what is needed for the welfare of most people. On the other hand, what is good for a majority may be detrimental to minorities or to local interest and power must be limited and controlled. Systems may function well until circumstances change and they are subjected to new social forces. Those who desire power may care for the welfare of others or only for themselves, and often have mixed motivations. The struggle for a just system of governance is a continual challenge and ultimately depends on the degree to which people care for one another and value justice.
Of course, the most evident means of controlling power is by the free and fair periodic election of leaders. Contemporary Western society associates this with competition, and particularly with the competition between political parties, but there are other ways to select leaders. Within any group, community, organization, or society, disagreements may be settled by reason and conflicts may be resolved by the adjustments required to achieve a consensus, or by a simple vote. The mere fact of conflict does not necessarily result in a struggle for power. In fact, the Federalist founders of the United States imagined a single party system. Although power was controlled by checks and balances, the government they created was to be based on reason and compromise. Disliking partisanship, they viewed political factions with distaste and managed to govern the new country for a number of years on the basis of compromises and votes within a unitary government. It was not until Jefferson and Madison were unable to resolve the conflict between their vision for the country and the vision projected by Hamilton’s policies that Jefferson began to establish a separate political party and the system of government would evolve into one with an inherent struggle for power between political parties.
Modern constitutional democracies are characterized by the ability to organize competing political parties that allow the electorate to express opinions on policies and choose leaders. A system that features more than one political party has the advantage of establishing ground rules that minimize the abuses and the violence that may occur in the competition for power in a single party system. Further, the public competition may be used to check corruption.xxi However, partisanship may prevent rational compromises and hinder the taking of actions that might address obvious problems. A single party system may be able to achieve more harmonious solutions and act more rapidly for common goals. However, there is less check on the abuse of power, more conformity, and less attention to the needs of minority groups. The abuses that can occur under single party rule is well illustrated by the governments of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao. Ideally, a system of governance would integrate the advantages of competition with the encouragement of cooperation for shared goals, and a fostering of mutual caring.
It should be noted that although China’s national government is under one party rule, its villagers appear to have evolved a considerable amount of local democracy. Since 1998, this has been recognized by the national government to the extent that it may be said that China is experimenting with village-level democratic participation. Currently more than 80% of Chinese villages have committees of villagers, and although the extent to which those committees were established through fair and competitive means is not known, surveys of villagers suggest there are some free and fair elections and that villages at least are assembling a system for addressing grievances and representing their interests. xxii
Quite apart from the formal selection of leaders, a large amount of power rests in the hands of relatively permanent systems of public administration. These bureaucracies rely on specialists who may be selected by examination or appointed by the executive. Departments responsible for specific programs, each with its own hierarchical bureaucracy, procedures and records, have their own interests and compete for resources. On the one hand, the relative isolation of administrative power from political power provides an additional check on political power. On the other hand, bureaucracy has a momentum of its own that tends to increase expenditures and is not always in the public interest. In theory, the separation of administrative, legislative and judicial power helps control the bureaucracy that government generates. In practice, this may not be true, particularly in the case of national security policy. Michael Glennon convincingly argues that the United States now has a double government such that security policy is being made by a few hundred national security officials who are operating outside of the traditional checks on power.xxiii The incentive structure within this small national security network encourages the exaggeration of threats and focuses on the military and intelligence aspects of security to the detriment of its political and diplomatic aspects. Although the network derives legitimacy from the ostensible authority of the public constitutional branches of the government, this appearance is largely illusory and Glennon details how in the United States this network controls policy, influences the media, and manages to avoid presidential, court, and congressional checks. Such a center of power can only be controlled by increasing public awareness and participation. This degree of civic awareness is difficult to achieve and would seem to require the organizational tools discussed in the last section of the paper on Human Rights and the Transition from Power-over to Power-to.
i Michael Kisielewski and Timothy F. LeDoux. Democratic participation. In de Rivera, J. (Ed.) (2009). Handbook on building cultures of peace (pp. 153-166). NY: Springer
ii Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page (2014). Testing theories of American politics: Elites, interest groups, and average citizens. Perspectives on Politics, 12 (3), 564-581.
iii Ray Franklin, Political economy of peace. In de Rivera, J. (Ed.) (2009). Handbook on building cultures of peace (pp. 27-41). NY: Springer
iv John Medaille (2010), Toward a Truly Free Market. Willmington, DE. ISI Books.
vii Detailed descriptions and reference about different sorts of violence and treatment may be found in de Rivera, J.H. (2003) Aggression, violence, evil, and peace. In T. Miller & M.J. Lerner (Eds.) Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology vol. Five: Personality and Social Psychology (pages 569-598).
viii There is a very strong level of association between different indices of levels of organized crime (ranging from citizen reports of requests for bribes to indices of high-level public sector corruption and governmental data on organized crime in a wide sample of countries. These connections are detailed in Edgardo Buscaglia and Jan van Dijk (2003) Controlling organized crime and corruption in the public sector Forum on Crime and Society, vol. 3, Nos. 1 and 2. NY: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
ix In his examination of drug use and delinquency in 1400 different neighborhoods of New York City, Chein was able to predict the amount of delinquency in a neighborhood with a multiple correlation of +.86 by using indices of socioeconomic squalor, youth density, industrial proximity, and number of broken families. Chein argued, and to some extent was able to prove, that drug use and delinquency was due to the inability of a community to enforce functional norms, that high crime neighborhoods had a state of anomie in Durkheim’s classic sense of the term (See de Rivera, 1986). This also seems true of Hill’s second risk factor, the structure of schools that fail to engage and monitor students. It should be noted that Hill’s other factors involve family characteristics, individual personality, and the choice of friends; and there are somewhat different risk factors in rural areas (Evans, Fitzgerald, Weigel, Chvilicek, 1999).
x Beck and Shipley (1997) report that an estimated 62.5% of the prisoners released from 11 state prisons were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of their release and 41.4% were returned to prison or jail. There are managerial approaches that reduce violence (Reisig, 1998), vocational programs that offer structure and reduce assault rates (McCorkle, Miethe, & Drass, 1995) and educational programs that reduce violence and recidivism (Matthews & Pitts, 1998).
xi For a more complete description of types of violence, statistics, and references see de Rivera, J.H. (2003) Aggression, violence, evil, and peace, In J. Weiner (Ed.). Handbook of Psychology, Vol. 5 Editors: Th. Millon & M.J. Lerner) ( pp. 569-598). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
xii Dawes, A. (1994). The emotional impact of political violence. In A. Dawes & D. Donald (Eds.), Childhood and adversity. Capetown, South Africa: David Philip.
xiii (Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school. England: Blackwell; and see the American Psychologist Special Issues on School Bullying and Victimization 70, number 4, May-June 2015.
xiv Lieberson and Silverman (1965) U.S. cities with fewer racial riots have more racially integrated police forces and more representative forms of local government (district rather than city wide elections of city council and school board members).
xv Indian cities with fewer Hindu- Muslim riots have more associational forms of engagement Ashutosh Varshney “States or Cities? Communal Violence in India”, in Rob Jenkins, ed, Regional Reflections: State-Level Factors in 6 Indian Politics, Oxford University Press, 2004.
xvi Contrast with what happened in Nazi Germany when unauthorized Brownshirts took over the operation of the local police and took the law in their own hands, or when, in the Soviet Union, national security police operated to suppress any deviation from party policy.
xvii Another excellent description was delivered by Alexander Hamilton to the first group of officers of the Revenue Marine (later the US Coast Guard). The quotation below was in at the very front of the 1961 Coast Guardsman’s Manual. In an edition issued a few years later it was replaced by the Star Spangled Banner.
“While I recommend in the strongest terms to the respective officers, activity, vigilance and firmness, I feel no less solicitude that their deportment may be marked with prudence, moderation and good temper. . . They will bear in mind that their countrymen are freemen, and as such are impatient of everything that bears the least mark of domineering spirit. They will, therefore refrain, with the most guarded circumspection, from whatever has the semblance of hautiness, rudeness or insult. If obstacles occur, they will remember that they are under the particular protection of the laws and they can meet with nothing disagreeable in the execution of their duty which these will not severely reprehend. . . This reflection, and regard to the good of the service, will prevent at all times a spirit of irritation or resentment. They will endeavor to overcome difficulties, if any are experienced, by a cool and temperate perseverance in their duty — by address and moderation rather than by vehemence and violence.”
xviii Geoffrey Canada (1995). Fist stick knife gun: A personal history of violence in America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
xix Lord Action based this observation on his historical study of power in many different settings.
xx Heslop (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/467746/political-system) notes that these usually include a regularized system of periodic elections with a free choice of candidates, the opportunity to organize competing political parties, adult suffrage, decisions by majority vote with protection of minority rights, an independent judiciary, constitutional safeguards for basic civil liberties, and the opportunity to change any aspect of the governmental system through agreed procedures. There are fixed limitations on the exercise of power. These provisions usually include three major elements: an assignment of certain specified state functions to different state organs or offices, the delimitation of the powers of each organ or office, and the establishment of arrangements for their cooperative interaction; a list of individual rights or liberties. Indeed, the principle of shared rather than separated powers is the true essence of constitutionalism. In the constitutional state, power is controlled because it is shared or distributed among the divisions of government in such a way that they are each subjected to reciprocal checks and forced to cooperate in the exercise of political power. He notes that France’s constitutional democracy has a directly elected president with executive power who appoints a prime minister who must retain majority support in the legislature. If the president’s party fails to control a legislative majority the president can appoint the leader of the legislative majority to be prime minister.
xxi In Zimbabwe, Mugabe began as the leader of a viable nation and initially allowed an independent judiciary, but never allowed a free press or a political opposition. When corruption intensified and the economy declined there was no open press to criticize what was happening and oppression and violations to human rights prevented a viable opposition.
xxii Li, L. (2003). The empowering effect of village elections in China. Asian Survey, 43(4), 648-662.
xxiii Michael J. Glennon (1915). National security and double government. Harvard National Security Journal, number 5, 1-114.
Tools for Peace:
Tools for Personal Transformation
Tools of Negotiation, Mediation, and Dialogue
Tools for Nonviolent Struggle
Tools for Strength: Power and Peaceful Governance
Power-within and Community
Human Rights and the Transition from Power-over to Power-to
Tools for Civil Political Discourse