Demokratia ... has always been a word denoting conflict, a factional term, coined by the higher classes to denote the “excessive power” (kratos) exercised by the non-property-owning classes (demos).Democracy is not an institution, it's a state of affairs. It can't be implemented by law. It is intrinsically the enemy of privilege and wealth – and by the same token, privilege and wealth are intrinsically its enemies. The existence of democracy, in a world where privilege and wealth exist at all, depends upon conflict. In such a world, wherever there is peace – social peace, at any rate -- there will be no justice, and certainly no democracy. The orderly operation of legal institutions, in such a world, works noctes atque dies to one end: to make the privileged and wealthy more so, and, by ineluctable implication, to suppress democracy.
An essential entailment of any degree of democracy, in a world like ours, is fear – fear on the part of the elites that the natives may be getting restless. Peaceful, legal protest, and especially participation in the electoral charade, have the opposite effect. They reassure the elites that the natives are not at all restless – that the natives accept their impotence and, so to speak, prefer watching pornography to engaging in real sex. The pornography I mean is, of course, the contrived theater of “politics” as that term is ordinarily understood. And what would be the political equivalent of real sex?
Real politics doesn't necessarily imply hanging “investment bankers” from lampposts – though that would be fun as well as salutary. It is not, however, essential, at the moment, and perhaps not ever. The elites know they are greatly outnumbered by the rest of us, and they are fundamentally frightened of us. All you have to do is stop traffic.
Stopping traffic is, in fact, the minimum precondition for real politics, and thus of real democracy, just as the touch of skin on skin is the minimum precondition of real sex.
Interestingly, it has never been easier to stop traffic. Those Merry Pranksters in Boston a few weeks ago did it with a handful of blinking LEDs. Self-imposed “War on Terror” hysteria and police frenzy have made the armorbound, overgunned Talus of the enforcement state frightened of its own shadow – or, more accurately, of any point of light, no matter how transient and faint, that isn't its shadow. Anything Caliban sees in the mirror that isn't Caliban will have Caliban on the floor, chewing the carpet.
Buy a cheap knapsack or duffle bag every week. Stuff it with rags or old underwear and leave it in a subway station, or an airport, or just on a sidewalk. Tune in to the evening news and watch the fun.
They hate crowds. Go to Gawker Stalker and report Britney Spears running bare-tit down the street in front of the Israeli Consulate. Be sure to provide the address.
Carry a small can of black spray paint and use it on the lens of every surveillance camera you see. I know, it won't stop traffic, but it'll drive 'em crazy.
Drive really, really slow. In fact, get a couple of co-conspirators to drive really, really slow alongside you. When news radio reports a mysterious slowdown on the Whatever Expressway, take credit in the name of the Asphalt Liberation Front.
Create a dozen or so bogus accounts on some Web site that annoys you – may I suggest Daily Kos? -- and keep the troll-hunters wakeful and strung out. It doesn't stop physical traffic, but it stops, or at least impedes, the ideological traffic in exploded notions.
Don't allow your kids to do homework.
The main thing, though, is to stop being constructive. Don't waste a moment thinking about what “policies” might be better than the ones we have. The fact is that the institutions we have absolutely guarantee insane policies, and unless the balance of power between the elites and the rest of us is changed, then those institutions will continue to manufacture insanity day in and day out.
And there is, needless to say, no institutional way to change the balance of power. The institutions exist to maintain the balance of power – or, more accurately, to tip the balance of power ever more toward the elites. Changing the balance of power requires interfering with the institutions, and impairing or impeding their operation.
In short: stop traffic.