TDG Banner

Dave Volek is a Shmuck

For the past two years, this Dave Volek fellow has been pattering around the political forums of Medium, trying to flog his tiered democratic governance (TDG) idea. He has 164 articles and 4200 comments, most with a TDG perspective. Several Medium contributors have slapped his fingers for getting a little too spammy. Good thing. This man is a shmuck.


Dave is only interested in making money.

He is obviously trying to cash in on the American democracy going into decline. He is trying to sell snake oil to desperate people. That is how he earns a Medium paycheck.

Except this Dave has not signed onto the Medium Partner Program. Officially he will tell you that his TDG is more important than him making a quick buck, and he doesn’t want to tarnish his altruistic image. Unofficially, he will say there isn’t much sense in giving an internet entity his banking information to earn $10 a month.

He is obviously trying to sell his book.

Yes, there it is. On Amazon and Kobe for about $7. That’s where all his clickbait eventually leads!

True, but the entire book is available for a free read from his website. That way, everyone has access to his book. No need for credit cards or technology to read about his ideas. And his book reads well on a mobile device.

The royalties from book sales will be a signal for him to move into promoting the TDG more seriously. Until then, Dave has to keep his day job.


He has been at this TDG project for 24 years.

No one is interested. Isn’t that a sign of someone who is mentally deranged?

Depends on the angle one is looking from. Many people spend a lot more time and money on the golf course or sitting in pubs than Dave does on his TDG. How about watching sports and entertainment on television? How are those activities going to make a better world?


Dave has failed as a Medium writer.

True. With 164 Medium articles, he has had only one article go beyond 200 reads. That one took a lot of clickbait by Dave to reach that number. Average is about 10 reads. Medium has not been kind to Dave. Or maybe his articles just suck, and the Medium algorithms are doing a proper job of not putting them on feeds.

No one wants his ideas. He is such a shmuck.


Political forums are not his audience.

The nature of his alternative democracy is such that it requires effort from its early builders. In November 2018, Dave came to the conclusion that people who spend time on internet political forums are not the people who are going to put in the effort to make the TDG work.

Dave joined Medium in April 2019.

So why did this shmuck join Medium when he could predict his own failure?

Well, there was hope. Dave did see a higher level of thinking and writing on Medium than on the other internet forums he has participated in. But by June 2019, he realized Medium political contributors were just as status quo as the people they criticized for being status quo. Most Medium political contributors are just not that interested in new ideas about democracy. The more enlightened do not believe the TDG can work. 

Medium has been fun for Dave. Quality articles and good reads, especially in history and science. He has learned some new things. And Medium has been good practice to fine-tune his ideas. Dave likes it when his few critics ask good questions. So far, no one has been able to stump him with his new democracy: he has a good answer for each question that comes up. And not having many trolls on Medium is good for the psyche of its readers.

And Medium is a good place to park his work other than his website. Sometimes two-year-old articles show up on Dave’s feed. The right person with the right connections might some day find Dave’s work on Medium and recognize its value as a new social movement.


If Dave can’t get any media gigs for his idea, he must be a shmuck.

Dave has a disability and a busy family life. His lower-middle-class income is not conducive to attending conferences to reach the true movers and shakers of communities.

But online conferences are becoming more popular. That is where he should put his time. But that darn family life and that job thing keeps getting in the way of these conferences. Some day, more time will open up!


Why should anyone read a book written by a shmuck?

There are all sorts of books on democracy written by politicians, journalists, and academics with great credentials. Dave is only a disgruntled worker in a political party. And that was 30 years ago! 

Dave says, “There’s a sick man in the hospital. The town’s doctors are around his bed and discussing the best way to treat him. But they do not have the right diagnosis. So, they will not find the right remedy. I am a doctor who comes from a different kind of school. The other doctors don’t want a shmuck in the room.”

This story is a metaphor. The sick man is western society. The illness is all the political parties. The town doctors are today’s political experts. They cannot see the political parties as being an illness.

Dave says, “When I first thought of these ideas in 1992, I thought I would never be in a position to influence for them. So I kept them to myself—and for a while I was content with that role. But as I was listening to and reading the acknowledged experts in the following years, I came to the conclusion these experts really have no idea what is wrong. Because no one else is calling for a removal of all political parties, it seems I have been given the mission to teach the world about governance without political parties. So, I started putting my ideas together in 1997. Twenty-four years later, the experts are still lost.”

Dave continues, “If someone else more acknowledged and credible than I am is promoting a similar improvement to democracy, I would be happy to lay my project down.”

Political systems need to develop slowly and incrementally. This shmuck wants us to change things at the snap of a finger.

Dave says, “The TDG will need a 10- to 20-year time frame to build. Its early builders will need to perfect its new ways of democracy. The TDG will grow and evolve as western democracy bumbles along. At some point, it will be natural to replace western democracy with the TDG.”

So there is no easy, quick solution here—despite whatever the TDG’s critics say about what Dave says.

Dave adds, “Yes, the TDG will have its naysayers. But the new English parliament had its naysayers in 1688. The US Constitution had its naysayers in 1789. And the European countries designing new parliaments after WW2 had their naysayers. But the advocates of these new systems just worked to make them work. The TDG will be the same. All the people who naysay the TDG would have naysayed all those other historical events.”


This shmuck has been critical of the great political writers on Medium.

Well, that is true. Unless their Medium paycheck comes out to $25 per hour for their efforts, Dave believes the political writers on Medium are more-or-less wasting their time. And they are not really making a better world because the more responsible mainstream media outlets are already talking about similar topics as the Medium writers. The mainstream media has some reach beyond echo chambers; Medium political writers do not. At best, Medium political writers are only the loudest fans in the football stadium. They have so little influence in the final score of the game. And they fail to understand this.

If only Dave could convince a few of them to start putting their energy toward the TDG.

But he is such a shmuck.

This shmuck wants us to build that new democracy.

This is also true. Most people have been inculcated into believing that democracy is about watching/reading the news, voting every few years, and protesting for some causes a few times a year. Maybe attending a political rally and sending a little money to the party or candidate. That’s full democratic participation, right? If we are really gung-ho, we can write and post articles and memes on the internet. That’s working out really well, isn’t it?


But Dave says an unconventional effort is required. He gives us these tasks:

1. Stop assuming those overly ambitious people who promise to fix things can fix things.

2. Spending about 10 hours a month as a volunteer in the TDG.

3. Working with neighbors, who we may not know or like.

4. Writing a local TDG constitution.

5. Developing skills for this new democracy.

6. Increasing our volunteer time to 20 hours a month if our neighbors elect us.

7. Being patient with this new way. Results will not be instantaneous.


Dave has interacted with more than 1,000 people on the internet about the TDG. Most of them were concerned about the state of democracy today. With this large sample size of political people on internet forums and with none of them having committed anything to the TDG, we should conclude that the 10 hours a month is too much for Dave to be asking from the people.

What a shmuck!

Published on Medium 2021

Political Junkies! You have been brainwashed.

Yesterday, I Touched a Breast