They don't need the same form of delegated, proxy politician today, they need more access to the decision-making process itself. We now have the technology to restore an element of the community camp-fire to politics. And if that technology can put the first black man in the White House, it can surely help restore the balance in favour of those deserving community interests hitherto out-priced and out-lobbied from power by vast commercial conglomerates.
America has so far pogo'd its way through history on a single political spring. From the outside, the differences between Republican and Democrat are almost academic. But because of widespread disillusionment with the politics of profit, it is going to face a deep ideological choice quite soon between the strategies of the last 200 years, and those which can sustain the next 200 years. Whatever they might be, if we're lucky enough to agree on them, there will be a degree of conflict. The trick will be to be seen to be explaining the impracticality of continuing the past, rather than accusing its frightened disciples of sabotaging the human race. That survival will require more co-operation than competition, but that there will still be room for the expression of enough self-interest and for enough heroic sacrifice to satisfy most political instincts, however primeval. In fact, there will be more reward from the discomfort of creation than from the comfort we now enjoy. As Orwell puts it.
'I suggest that the real objective of Socialism is not happiness. Happiness hitherto has been a by-product, and for all we know it may always remain so. The real objective of Socialism is human brotherhood. This is widely felt to be the case, though it is not usually said, or not said loudly enough. Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another. And they want that world as a first step. Where they go from there is not so certain, and the attempt to foresee it in detail merely confuses the issue.'Those who still prefer to live alone in the woods with their arsenals would be welcome to do so.