Politics is a repository where we dump everything ominous and uncomfortable that we do not prefer to know about, do not prefer to be responsible for, and do not know what to do with. We elevate certain persons to power far greater than we give to ourselves, expecting in return for them to handle what frightens and confuses us. As such politicians are small derivatives of what God once was worldwide. For most of human history what happened was God's will and doing. Politics thus has a lot in common with religion in that it presumes to be in charge of everything, when in reality it's in charge of far less ... mostly the military and spending our money.
Like heaven, politics promises everything while delivering very little, mostly an assurance of better times to come-the pretend-form of hope. We need to put the things that we are able to't handle somewhere so we are able to pretend they are being taken care of, in a lofty-far removed from us-place, managed by special folks who are bigger and wiser than the rest of us. To look at that these elevated folks know nothing more than we do about what's wrong, or what to do about it, or that most of the protection we're expecting to be in place, isn't really happening-is very frightening. These miserable results aren't anybody's fault, though we're fond of blaming specific politicians. Debates over which candidate is good and who is bad fuels our elections with some reason to be involved with what spends most of our resources, and accomplishes very little of real value to each among us.
That is, unless we choose to regard the nation's defense-a powerful military-as saving our skin, when it would not be necessary in the first place if politics did what it promises constantly to be doing-bringing peace and safety. Over time politics has been defined in various ways, as living god-ness, kingly rule, priestly powers, and presently as majority-mob- rule. By definition, politics is designed to assert power, not to bring peace. If it ever succeeded-which it is able to't-it would put itself out of business. And who in power wants, or knows how to do that? And nevertheless we entrust most of our basic requires to this venerable institution. Let's examine where we've deposited the family jewels. The political arm of the public realm is a non-personal place where we hire folks-actors-to stand in as representatives of our most vital requires. Politics decides how a lot personal opportunity and support society encourages and facilitates for each among us in the course of our lives. There is no question that the quality of democratic opportunity has increased over hundreds of years. it is a question of how far it nonetheless have to nonetheless go-which is very far.
Politicians pretend to solve problems by investing money in them, though the problems remain largely intact, revealing how little of what's dear to us can be obtained by spending money. Politicians are actors simply because no one can "represent" additional person except by pretending what they are doing is "for your own good", is the usual manner authority-figures put it. When like the rest of us, they only know how to represent themselves. They do this very effectively behind closed doors and between the lines, skimming off the extras that a public life offers/needs, which is what they, and most of us believe is necessary or we would not so vigorously celebrate the fame of political figures. Our adoration, expressed either as love or hate, gives them special privileges.
Though it is almost never mentioned, politics is based upon the notion that folks can say anything they want as long as they do not do very a lot about it. This is mostly what politics is made of-rhetoric-pretending to solve the world's problems by talking about them. The unwritten, unacknowledged purpose of politics is to prevent anything new from happening. This repressive attitude is known as "patriotism," "loyalty" and "law and order." This view posits that the past is holier than the present. Something new that changes the manner the system works is considered "un-American", and maybe even treasonable. Politics sets up bureaucracy to administer its pseudo-decisions. These superstructures that govern key parts of our lives are designed to be moderately oppressive so we do not notice how ineffective they're in responding to our requires. The strategy is based on the notion that if someone is being annoyed and threatened, they will be too busy defending themselves to notice how a lot we have failed to respond to what they've requested or complained about. We all have had this experience when we've known as a bureaucracy.
They blame us for the problem. Most recently, phone systems have been employed to turn up the volume of our annoyance, making it Herculean to impossible to strive a live person, amplifying our resentment commensurate with the increase in public un-safety, and giving us something small to notice and complain about-telephone tag-rather than straight talk about terrorism and torture ... and why we are not all directly voting on how to spend our community property. Most of us would describe this awful experience as the perfidy of bad folks doing bad things. The simple truth is that politicians are acting like this for our sake. We ought to feel sorry for them. despite how a lot money and opportunity they have access to-if they possess sufficient self-centered opportunism-they are our whipping boys that we regularly abuse. they are in public life to be complained about, so that we do not notice the lousy structure of our government, even in our wonderful-in-a lot of-ways democracy.
Governments are structured to ensure nothing changes. If we keep pointing our fingers at a couple of folks for being bad guys, we will not notice how a lot the whole bloody system requires to be overhauled. Thomas Jefferson strongly suggested that the structure of the government be changed every twenty-five years if need be. Though in reality doing it would be very frightening to us. This was undoubtedly why we originally voted down his theme of a constitutional convention convening every generation (25 years). Instead, we venerate the Constitution as a holy relic, as if tradition was more significant than folks. Even if we admit that politics is too powerful, we nonetheless believe it is just additional king who is now accountable to us. When it is in reality a lot worse than the king was. Power is now centered in not one, but thousands of folks who collaborate with each other far better than they do with us. How do you hold so a lot of folks accountable? Anybody who believes voting or the news media produce accountability is seriously delusional. Not that they do not make excellent contributions. Both voting and the news used to be powerful, but like everything, they became a sham because they haven't changed.
News advertises one point of view. We all know that; which is why so a lot of of us do not read a lot of it, do not vote, and do not watch the news. This only adds to our sense of helplessness and despair. The news ought to present to us all points of view in the same news program, so we would no longer pretend there's only one manner of looking at anything. This would help us make up our own minds about what's happening in the world. It would most likely also frighten us to see regularly that there are no easy answers. it is safe to conclude that politics is where we pretend the most. Specifically, we pretend that folks are inspired and enlightened by their vocation to look after the welfare of us all. But what is this pretence? it is primarily a passionate belief in the personality of the candidate. it is no different than believing a Hollywood actor is someone of note beyond the heroic, villainous or non-descript parts that they play in the movies. They begin to believe what their fans say about them, and act like big shots. Increasingly politics is personality worship. But what does personality must do with the issues and problems besetting us? Personality is our public identity-persona-while character is everything we are, parts of which other people see a lot easier than we do. Public appearance reduces who we are to caricatures exaggerating whatever aspects of us that particular public scene exaggerates. They do not demonstrate who someone is.
We need to be alone with our politicians and challenge them in similar ways to how we test potential love partners, that is, if we test our lovers rather than perpetually trying to arrange the pretense of romance-our current wished-for relationship with politicians. perhaps then we would have some theme of who they're. In the meantime, "the show have to go on" with its dodges and pretense. We all know that politicians and actors are like us, frail, unknowing in a lot of ways, struggling to understand life, and subject to the same temptations of anyone who is confused and frightened. Politicians are vulnerable to the corruption that exists in any false-front society. They pretend to be "in charge" when they do not have any theme of what to do. In desperation, government has turned over the reigns of power to money, making bargains with big business in Machiavellian amoral ways, while spewing moral political rhetoric. Probably 90 percent of income accessible to politicians has been acquired dishonestly if one defines honesty rigorously. Knowing this we feel despairing. But we do not know what else to do.
Representative government liberated us from the King and his nobles, and partially from the Church and its presumptive holy pontifications, when we in conclusion realized that nobody has a direct line to God. But we nonetheless ask ourselves, "Isn't representation what democracy is about? Isn't voting the only manner the average citizen can participate in government?" The answer to both questions is no. But where do we go then when we feel that our political system isn't working? We usually blame the bad guys, as if only some of us created the problems. When we all are responsible for them. Any other assumption is patently undemocratic! In the true nature of democracy, we're all responsible for everything. So why have we been blaming politicians when they do not know anymore than we do about how to fix things? The problem isn't bad folks. it is bad structure. Once again habit comes back to reveal its power. Social structure is just institutional habit. Every good theme eventually becomes a bad one.
it is known as alteration. That's what happened to representative government. It was a profound and liberating solution. it is now become an oppressive and dehumanizing obstacle to the continued progress of democracy. we are not as naïve as we used to be. In fact, in the social realm the talents of the majority are grossly underused, in effect utterly ignored! We're far more capable of forming opinions than any of us imagine -and expressing them-in effect being in charge of our own lives. we are not so easily duped by misinformation, which is what politics has been giving us for centuries. We just never noticed this evolving truth about ourselves. In fact, we believed what we were told. consider old movies and see how folks relate to authority. Thank somebody that we are no longer so naïve. we are able to thank the Internet for giving us relatively free access to all information.
So what's wrong with the system? To begin with, money dominates modern life throughout the system with its amoral anti-philosophy-"it is just doing business"-that makes the world one huge criminal state. As evidence on the news, international crime is increasingly being reported. The anti-moral, anti-spiritual perspective of money has come to dominate the world. it is known as "capitalism" and "modernization." The business of making money has become the underground world government. What's the crisis? it is a crisis of credibility. There is nothing in the world in which we believe passionately except for money, which has no credibility whatsoever, and openly brags about it. Business regards "profit" as superior to credibility, pretending there's something moral about making money at the expense of others. among our biggest pretenses is that profit does not hurt or deprive anyone. There's additional whopper possessing enormous pretend-credibility hanging about-that certain folks need to be very rich to keep the economy going. That's not true.
Projects need huge capital, but that doesn't require individual folks having it. maybe we should look at putting consumers on the board of directors with equal voting power or limiting the wealth that any one person can possess and see how a lot good we are able to accomplish with all the extra resources. Call it "communism" if you like. What difference does it make what we call it? Lots of Karl Marx's ideas were bunk. perhaps this one wasn't. Capitalism has won, so why do not we try to assimilate some of our former opposition's best ideas? Nobody, even our enemy, is all-wrong. Though Marx was wrong about redistributing wealth. The real solution is to eliminate the possibility of great individual wealth. The limitation of wealth would in reality accomplish something else far more significant. It would take gambling-the big kill-out of the mainstream of life, rendering it more of a pastime than the core of our big dream to strike it rich.
On an emotional level, the legitimacy of this craving is the dream of having safe security. Unfortunately it is based on the cynical belief that money can buy anything. it is not that we completely believed this in our conscious mind. But in experience we function as if we did. Once more, we are of two minds, and the truthful one is most easily discarded. We prefer to buy comfort, most of all, and as a lot safety as we are able to. If we allowed everyone in the world the basics of life-food, clothing, a shelter of their own, protected aloneness, and warmth-there would be far less crime than there is and the cost to society would be a lot less than it's. That affluent Western civilization hasn't already done this, at least for its own folks, is an utter disgrace! If we do this, dread will be removed from everyone's life, which derives from never knowing whether we will have enough to survive. The disgraceful term "poverty" defines all of us who aren't upper-middle class, meaning all those who worry about not having enough all their lives. We continue to inflict on ourselves the cruel, demeaning, and frightening belief that comfort and security have to be worked for, have to be earned monetarily, or we do not deserve it except as charity that insults the recipient. The humiliating bullet of that perfidious moral assertion is what we try to dodge by getting rich.
If we got used to the theme money isn't so terribly significant except as a unit of measurement-in fact it is downright boring-we might look at the unthinkable: to relinquish ownership, that primitive relationship we have with parts of nature, and with each other, that spawns so a lot violence and abuse. We might replace ownership with choosing the right lifetime occupation, which is what we need far more. We would no longer say, "I can do what I want" and begin to say, "I am the steward of this place, and of my life, as long as I need to be." The theme horrifies us because we have invested so a lot of our comfort and security in the concept of ownership. Our firm conviction in the necessity of it prevails even though we know how a lot damage this belief has done to the environment and each other, both of which we have owned for thousands of years, most of human history. maybe we do not need to give it up completely. But we ought to reexamine it. In alteration, nothing is sacred. we are able to either join the process of evolution or we are able to continue to fight it and probably lose in the long run.
But what is most paramount to the well-being of humanity is the elimination of violence, which will only happen if we are far more resolute than we are now. It needs preventing any one human from ever being violent more than once. we would like to completely eliminate violence. But we are able to't restrain someone just because we think they might hurt someone, only after they've in reality done it. Like everything else repetitive in human nature, violence is habituated. it's not a matter of personal choice. If someone is violent once, they will be violent again. We have to ensure that does not happen. Though most likely it will take fifty or a hundred years for us to move toward this solution, giving us time to figure out how best to do it, and folks plenty of time to adapt to it before it becomes law. rather than such visionary reaching, what are we doing? In this technological age we are highly over-identified with our machines because they seem so a lot more powerful than we are. We prefer to be a machine! We call these "bionic" wonders "superheroes." We give them magical superpowers-what most movies are about now.
A recent remake of the movie Manchurian Candidate appears to be a story about the evil applies of genetic engineering, when it is most fundamentally a story about bad mothers and fathers. a lot of parents nonetheless perceive their children as instruments of their own power rather than someone entrusted to them to assist them in releasing their (the children's) natural powers as independent agents. The movie also expresses what it is like to be dominated by other people who pretend to be serving us. This exposes the ways in which family, society, and culture control our lives by keeping the vast majority of us anxious, insecure, about not having enough resources and by insisting we fill standardized identities and jobs. In other words, we've always been dominated by the machine we call "royalty," "the church," "society," the "majority," "the economy," or "the marketplace." Only recently have a great a lot of of us begun to venture into "entrepreneurship," creating the shape and form of our own work. And nevertheless, what nonetheless dominates this effort, what we have to do in conformance to society's cultural capitalistic command, is to make money simply to survive. This gross necessity distorts the process of being what and who we are because of money's cynical amorality. The result is that we make money at the expense of other people.
The care of service has become an advertiser's joke. Some would insist that we must cooperate with each other, to which I would agree. But that cooperation is democratic only when individuals arrange to collaborate with other people individuals because they prefer to. it is happening more and more all the time. But that mode of governance has barely begun to take over the human experience. surely we do not know how to collaborate well because we've never seriously tried. These provocative ideas violate a lot of sacred cows of democratic rights in their present form and are thus very unlikely. they are presented herein as illustrations of what we ought to look at and how a lot determination will be required for us to strive our goals. It will require the willing cooperation of the vast majority of folks in the world, which will probably take fifty or a hundred years to achieve. But nothing will ever happen unless we get started in earnest. We believe politics needs politicians. It does not, only administrators of our common will.
It terrifies us to imagine ourselves as individuals taking over the world and being responsible for what happens in it ... maybe by voting on the Internet. Undoubtedly the ideas presented herein are crazy and unworkable. Most certainly that will be the response of a lot of. But they are not meant to be workable solutions. they're challenges that are meant to help us imagine that individuated forms of governance are possible, that is if we have the will and courage to make ourselves ready and accessible to such drastic alteration. By keeping ourselves safe in the status quo, we vote for the belief that everything's fine and force our children to solve the problems we have chosen to ignore. We needed the Internet to imagine such political heresy. We needed a manner of communicating directly with each other that isn't controlled or policed by anyone. Let's look honestly at our nature, the good and bad of it. it is all displayed on the Internet. But please let's stop turning our security over to someone else. That's how tyranny was, and nonetheless is, built.
In its best form, politics is how we set things up in the large picture of human society to do only one thing: facilitate the education and the opportunity of individual folks. Nothing ought to be more significant than that. This includes money, economy, and defense. If we make anything else more significant than the safe passage of individual effort, we will eventually create a tyranny. to achieve these ends we have to define human nature psychologically. We have to come to see ourselves as we really are, with as little pretense as possible. We have to learn to be unafraid of fear, so that we are able to learn how to keep it in bounds without killing or attacking each other.
Only individual humans can agree, and so instantaneously be committed to actualizing their agreement with the ruthlessness with which violence deserves to be treated. It isn't folks toward whom we must become determined in a vigorous manner. it is violence that we have to oppress-suppress, by preventing violent folks from ever being violent again toward those who have successfully committed to nonviolence...whatever that comes to mean. even so, despite the oppression that emanates from political decisions and from public bureaucratic practice, the primary obstacle to alteration in our times exists inside each among us where personal habits and their institutional practices obstruct our capacity to think, feel, and imagine big!
Like the poor farmers of Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, who cringe in terror at the prospect of raising up to face their tormentors, we too have been cowed by our childhood experiences to believe that to be supremely individual, rebellious in thought, word, and deed is a consummately selfish act of treason and a betrayal of the social group, most particularly our family. We were raised to believe such acts deserve the worst kind of punishment-banishment and death.
The family, as its presently structured, is as a lot an instrument of culture and society as it is an instrument of individual growth and development. It will always condemn rebellion-particularly from itself-before it will encourage individual creativity that might threaten the solidarity of family connections and traditions. This is the hardest lesson, maybe, that we will ever learn. The prohibitive fears and inhibitions that family, in its present form traumatizes our habit structure will continue to prevent us from imagining ourselves capable of managing the world. for example, all institutions, including the family don't allow for the arrangement of leadership always to be functional and project driven, which is the only social arrangement that will ever be fully democratic.
Project-leadership emerges spontaneously-the best person for the job-or by vote, but only after the project has been chosen and designed by all of us. Such leadership lasts only as long as the project does, and exists only to focus the efforts of the group of folks who implement it. This won't happen unless we vigorously fathom the depths of our own potentially very powerful psyche-spirit, learn to cope with an ethereal, intangible identity, and free the extraordinary talents that lie almost entirely unfulfilled.
Without such open transformation such alteration will never happen today...or tomorrow. For centuries the human spirit has been in bondage. That's where we put it for safekeeping. Unable to occupy it ourselves, we gave it first to every tiny aspect of nature, and so to the gods, and in conclusion to God. We have to learn to repossess it. it is who we are. What we do with it's our destiny. it is time to bring it out of cold storage from the next world, so that it is able to fully occupy, and educate this one.
My FOURTHEENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey
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