How Gateway-TCR Feels the Bern.
Stories, film and television can help people bridge the gap between what is now and what is possible. Gateway: the City’s Reason envisions a future with mostly positive outcomes — where good old American optimism touches everyone. That’s the stage upon which Gateway-TCR stories take place. The Gateway franchise envisions a sustainable and equitable future that will be the fruition of the change sparked by the Sanders political revolution, and is built upon centuries of previous American activism. Imagine if these positive outcomes were experienced by millions of citizens through stories and entertainment. How might their attitudes change? How might “hope” return to American culture?
The Gateway franchise envisions a sustainable and equitable future that will be the fruition of the change sparked by the Sanders political revolution
Usually, science fiction has its own mythology that takes you into a completely different, new and exciting world. That’s sort of the case with Gateway: the City’ Reason. But it’s not a totally different world. It’s set in the heartland of America 50 years from now. It’s a world that’s built on American mythology and the realities of today. There was no apocalypse to wipe the slate clean and make it easy to create a new “stage.” We’ve built a “sustainable stage” for a series of stories by using the raw materials that exist today plus the projected events of the near future. We are building the stage based on our -50 | 0 | +50 “careful futurism,” which includes the Sanders political revolution.
Yes, our TV series has a “point of view,” and it parallels the Sanders Political Revolution. That is, that systemic change in our economic and political systems are necessary if we are to survive the clear and present dangers of our times — global warming, climate change and biosphere destruction; the new gilded age, and the massive inequality of wealth and opportunity it imposes; corporate capitalism and the oligarchy/plutocracy it has created; all the injustice baked into our systems (and into our human nature); and the destruction of our delicate representative democracy.
Envisioning the future that Bernie’s political revolution is fighting for.
We call Gateway-TCR “poli-sci-fi,” because it is based on what is and what might really happen depending (mostly) on what our political future brings. One pivot point of our story arc is the Sanders Political Revolution of 2016. At this writing, we do not know the outcomes of 2016 primaries and elections, but in order to get to Gateway-TCR’s “sustainable stage,” we extrapolate that the movement will be successful in some sort of way. Or at least the three foundations of the Sanders political revolution were successful: the people took back their political & economic power and saved the planet.
This “correction in direction” of policy in America came when citizens made it clear that they understand the power that they have “together,” and they made it clear that if the people’s needs are not met, the reason for them to peacefully congregate and cooperate will be gone. These successes led to the sustainable and Fair Game society where the people’s needs (not corporate needs) are the priority. Those needs can be illustrated using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
The road to Gateway: truth stranger than fiction.
The 67% Solution… revolution
So, what’s the story? How did we (do we) get there? As the story goes, it started with an understanding of the people’s power to make change. Though the U,S, Constitution is a living document with obvious flaws to overcome, it is also a great gift that allows citizens to dissent and even to change laws without great fear of the loss of life & limb. The 67% Solution is simply the amount of support needed to amend our Constitution and for Congress to pass laws that withstand Executive Branch veto.
The Constitution allows us to play the game, in order to save the game, for the good of the game, using the rules of the game.
It makes it possible to build a “real-life” sustainable stage like the one imagined in Gateway-TCR. In our story arc, the Bernie Sanders political revolution was the tipping point for the 67% Solution. A critical mass of citizens made the necessary changes using the mechanisms of the Constitution and existing law. When resistance became strong, citizens made it clear that if the people’s needs ARE NOT MET, it removes the reason for us to peacefully congregate and cooperate with each other. As our story arc will show, there were “bumps in the road” that brought some drama to the process, but the results were a better world (at least for a while).
Step #1: Saving democracy and the true competition of ideas
With the 67% Solution as a touchstone, the people made their move starting with saving (and expanding) their representative democracy and creating a fair and true competition of ideas. With fair and unsuppressed representative democracy the people were able to create the stage for a sustainable and equitable future.
Short Run – Starting in 2016 the 67% Solution movement worked to place “Fair Game” (Berniecrat) progressive representatives in the the courts, Congress, state legislatures and governorships, as well as within all areas of local government. They also financed think tanks and massive media outreach just as the corporations and the wealthy started to do in the 1970s.
Sanders Political Revolution (from his 2016 Presidential Campaign web site): Getting Big Money Out of Politics and Restoring Democracy (overturning Citizen’s United)
Medium & Long Run – Other policies that were adopted to protect & expand of our representative democracy and gave the citizens of Gateway-TCR more of a voice in their government:
- All private money out of politics except small donations from individuals
- Total public financing and time limits for campaigns
- No money allowed in lobbying; the industry is limited to public lobbying only; and no member of government can work as lobbyist for a decade after public service.
- Eliminate voter suppression laws
- End Gerrymandering
- Increase election fraud security
- Introduce some sort of proportional representation, creating and sustaining better representation than the current two-party system offers
- Eliminate the Electoral College
- Voting day holidays and other innovations that make voting easier instead of harder.
- Mandatory voting
Two ideas that WIN the competition of ideas are 1) saving the planet and 2) correcting injustice and inequality in all its forms.
There could be no compromise here or any wasting of time. The people began to realize that the Earth is our lifeboat and there was no rescue ship coming to save us. Our attitudes became much like the attitudes and rules of a lifeboat lost at sea.
Short Run – Laws that battle climate change were put on the front burner.
Sanders Political Revolution (from his 2016 Presidential Campaign web site): Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet
Medium Run and Long Run – There could be only one ultimate goal = stopping the destruction of the planet by human activities (most the result of capitalism). In support of that the objectives were: 1) zero pollution 2) zero extinction caused by human activity 3) a massive clean up 4) a massive “give back” of land and habitat to other species 5) an economic boom in finding the replacements for planet-destroying products & services.
In order to save the Earth, serious controls were put on capitalism and our “economies” where there was only one basic rule:
the True Cost of doing business will be paid or no business will be done. (In other words: no more negative externalities.)
But worry not temporarily embarrassed billionaires! At Gateway-TCR capitalism still exists. If citizens want to spend their time and effort becoming “rich” by accumulating capital, they still can! They just have to do it within the rules of the game which will be more strict and more forcibly enforced in order to save the planet and its citizens from abuse. The game can still be played, but in the future it will be a fair game and a true meritocracy.
If there’s one thing that Americans can agree on, it’s a fair game. For good or worse, we as a culture are obsessed with sports, and to most of us, fairness and a level playing field are sacred. Americans love to compete. We play to win. And although we may root for different teams, most of us hate cheating and unfair advantages. We won’t stand for a rigged game. We hate unfair competition:
- we ban athletes who use steroids to break baseball records,
- players or teams or referees “on the take,” swaying the game unfairly for profit are banned and even arrested,
- big market teams that don’t have to share revenue and use that advantage to sign all the best players are disliked by the rest of the league,
- college sporting “championships” that don’t involve a playoff system are suspect.
Rightly or wrongly our culture seems to view life as “a competition.” Perhaps nature, the only true job creator, has made it that way. Unfortunately, the system we’re “playing” within is not set up as a fair game. It’s rigged in favor of big money and big business and a supporting “ruling class.” Of course, those with the resources and “head start” in the race will tell you that it is a fair game, but it’s not. The world isn’t flat and the game isn’t fair. And what’s most dangerous is that neither big money or big business answer to – or show loyalty to – any community, region or nation. And they don’t seem to care about the health of the game that brings them their wealth and power.
So, if Americans demand a fair game and level playing field for athletic events, why have we accepted an unfair game when it comes to our economic, political, social and cultural systems? The real game of life? A fair game is very American and patriotic. It should be something that we can all rally around.
Most of Bernie Sanders Political Revolution policies revolve around fairness and addressing injustice (from his 2016 Presidential Campaign web site):: Income and Wealth Inequality, Free College Tuition, Create Decent Paying Jobs, A Living Wage, A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy, Racial Justice, Affordable Housing, Women’s Rights, Creating an AIDS and HIV-Free Generation, LGBT Equality, Empowering Tribal Nations, Caring for Our Veterans, Medicare For All, Strengthen and Expand Social Security, Lower Prescription Drug Prices, Disability Rights, Ending the Race to the Bottom, Rights of Native Hawaiians, Improving the Rural Economy, Fighting for Nurses, Reforming Wall Street, Real Family Values, War and Peace, War Should Be the Last Option: Why I Support the Iran Deal, Making the Wealthy, Wall Street and Large Corporations Pay Their Fair Share.
The list of fairness and inequality issues is endless and will not all be solved in our imagined poli-sci-fi future. This allows script writers some maneuverability within the story arc for narrative exploration. However, here are some traits of the Gateway-TCR sustainable stage that will exist 50 years from now:
Fair Starts – We’re all born owning a piece of the rock. We’re all guaranteed living income in a fair trade for our labor. Inequality baked into the system (and into our human nature) are continuously compensated for.
Fair Competition – Capitalism still exists with new and strict rules. If citizens want to spend their time and effort becoming “rich” by accumulating capital, they still can! They just have to do it within the rules of the game which will be more strict in order to save the planet and its citizens from abuse. A True Cost capitalism is created (no business can be done without paying for the True Cost of that business, or in other words, no negative externalities are allowed. Totally open value streams are required. No more head starts for corporation or individuals. The rich and corporations pay their fair share in taxes. Global Law & Order leave the rich and corporations no place to hide — there are no tax havens, no escaping environmental protection responsibility, or escaping the responsibility of treating workers fairly and keeping them safe. People’s Corporations are created to meet basic needs of citizens. A true meritocracy is created.
Fair Finishes – Inheritance is extremely limit for individuals in order to avoid the creation of a ruling or upper class – this is key to a true meritocracy. Corporations life spans are limited and their sizes are limited. Trust busting is common place.
Over the decades, those who opposed these new policies and laws were usually defeated because it was shown that they were fearful of a fair game and a true meritocracy.
Future Technology Breakthroughs and Story Arc Wildcards
Since fossil fuels and petrochemicals were obviously the planet’s biggest problem, some technological.breakthroughs in clean energy were necessary to create Gateway-TCR’s sustainable stage. Because population will increase dramatically, non-petrochemical, non-industrial agricultural breakthroughs and calorie waste management programs were developed, as well as the many other breakthroughs and discoveries that are likely to happen in a 50-year time span.
In our story arc, Bernie Sanders movement, the subsequent 67% Solution Revolution, the Fair Game Society and True Cost Capitalism brought about a lot of peaceful change.
They were able to change the current game (our current economic and political systems) – for the good of the game – using the rules of the game (and maybe a little more) – to create the next phases of human opportunity and freedom.
In our story arc, there is also a group of heroes who became reluctant warriors for the new covenants. At times they may have gone beyond the law to move the movement and their actions in the early part of the 21st century become a part of the present day life in Gateway-TCR stories taking place 50 years from now.
There is mystery and there is wonder — and there is a price. There is always a price.
Just think, it all started in 2016 with the Sanders Political Revolution and subsequent movements & elections.