US backup government
This page is for discussing the idea of a backup government for the United States. (This is closely related to the idea of citizen government; probably the backup government pages should be renamed, as I think c.g. is a better name. -W..)
The current government is hopelessly corrupt and failing to do its job; furthermore, the governmental system has become so hopelessly mired in bureaucracy over the past few decades (possibly longer) that there seems no realistic way to fix it without some kind of radical change in methodology.
It seems to me, then, that we need to think of ourselves as being in a country which has been taken over at the highest levels by semi-hostiles who nonetheless believe themselves to be the legitimately elected government, or at least believe that we believe this (or, more to the point, are aware that many of the officials below them believe this, so they are not yet free to act openly). It can therefore be assumed that they will, for the moment, act in some accordance with existing law, even as they work (through means of varying legitimacy and visibility) to transform it into a regime more suited to their own ends.
I have arrived at the concept of a backup government as the only solution likely to actually be able to do anything about this, as well as the only solution to be likely to survive in the event that the "invaders" are able to seize sufficient power to act openly and begin overtly and obviously violating the Constitution (they have already violated it in ways that are subtle and hence not obvious).
I think the best basic structure would be some kind of distributed network – working sort of analogously to the way torrents work (as opposed to traditional top-down government, which is more like a direct download). Another analogy would be to compare it to the internet itself, which is designed to be able to continue operating reliably despite many "nodes" being knocked out of commission.
And of course we can't wait for help from above to make this happen; we have to form it ourselves.
If we presume the continued existence of the internet and other present information technology as the "norm", with fall-back plans for communication in the event that free (as in speech) communication over the internet is disrupted, I think we have the capability to build such a thing quite cheaply and effectively; the hard part is the design work, and getting people interested, involved, and committed to it.
Fighting the existing government should not be the goal; the goal should be to work through the current system, but shifting the balance of power by organizing people in ways that give us more leverage (like, collecting groups of people who agree on actual important issues, rather than phony wedge-issues which have been used to manipulate us) – or something like that. In any case, the point is that conflict is not the goal and is to be avoided; the goal is to regain some kind of sane control of how things are run, and to push things (firmly) in the right direction.
On the surface, this sounds a lot like yet another godawful "political action committee" (or PAC), i.e. a lobbying group. The difference is that a PAC is formed around a specific viewpoint (e.g. a particular industry which wants legislation to make itself more profitable); we need to go back to the basics and figure out what it is that "We, the People" want from our government – and then work towards effecting those goals.
Much like a government, we will need a set of basic principles – perhaps the Constitution rendered into more modern language, and taking into account lessons learned over the past two and a half centuries (e.g. not just "all men", not just white men...). These basic principles will not be intended to replace the US Constitution but rather to clarify what we think we mean by defending it. (This does raise some issues, though, which I don't have time to get into at the moment...)