Anyone paying even the slightest attention to the 2016 Presidential Election can see that this election cycle has been marred and corrupted up on a variety of fronts. On one hand, you have Hillary Clinton, a notorious insider and lifelong crook that is currently under criminal investigation by the FBI, and on the other hand you have Donald Trump, a reality TV character that says whatever’s on his mind, making it hard to pinpoint any real fundamentals to his policies, as well as creating polarizing political theatre for the public to eat up. These are the choices we’re given; you really can’t make this stuff up.
For those who have been awake for years, the ridiculousness of this year’s election is not all that shocking, as it has been on display for decades for those who cared to look behind the scenes. However, for a large majority of the population, this year’s election seems to be a major catalyst in waking them up to the obvious illusion that the United States of America is still a free and democratic society, the two supposed cornerstones of the “greatest country in the world.”
Whether it’s Bernie Sanders supporters (Progressives) coming out in droves or Trump supporters (Libertarian’s/Tea Partier’s) echoing the same sentiment on what they both perceive to be outsider candidates, the rise of an anti-establishment ideology is growing rapidly in society, especially amongst the nation’s youth. Not only do we have these two anti-establishment movements blossoming, but the Libertarian Party is amassing steam and poised to finish with possibly the highest 3rd party voter turnout in recent history, as well as a vastly expanding and diverse anarchist movement based upon the principals of voluntary organization, decentralization of power, and freedom through the non-aggression principal and self-ownership.
While we could sit here all day and pick apart the varying differences in ideology amongst the groups, the underlying theme that everyone needs to take away from this trend is that all these movements recognize the massive elephant in the room: the current socioeconomic and governance system propagated within society is broken, corrupt, and ultimately unsustainable.
The Common Bond:
This mutual understanding that all these movements share has the potential to be extremely powerful and disruptive to the established system, but only if we recognize and accept those with which we share common ground, despite some ideological differences. Essentially, it has the ability to link together those who have finally evolved enough to come to terms with the most fundamental element of change, admitting there is a problem and that the solution is not going to come from the same system that created it: the establishment.
If we have any chance of changing the world and escaping this distorted paradigm, we must do it with numbers, and those numbers can only come when multiple groups of different backgrounds huddle together over foundational principles. Disconnected and alone, we will sit idly and run in place, going nowhere fast, while bitching about it the whole way through. However, united, we have the ability to truly change the world for the better, which is inevitably what we all want.
What’s really exciting too is that Progressives, Libertarians/Tea Partier’s, and Anarchists have a lot more in common then just understanding that the system is corrupt. They are actually united on a variety of policies that need to be addressed. Some of those issues include the centralization of power in society, the revolving door between banks/government/big business/lobbying, the end of the military industrial complex/imperialist wars of aggression, the lunacy of accepting any of the proposed International “Free Trade” deals, the destruction of the environment, the loss of civil liberties and build-up of the police/surveillance state, the end of the drug war, the injustices of law and money in society, the acceptance of personal choice and different ways of life, the complete misrepresentation of the mainstream media, and the many pitfalls of common core education among others.
What is starting to become clear is that these different groups have far more in common then they know or are led to believe. In fact, they have far more in common then they do in differences. I would argue that the establishment understands this and therefore, is hell-bent on highlighting differences and keeping people divided, knowing that if they were to unite, it would make conquering the people and maintaining control far more complicated and intensive. However, the only thing that can truly keep us divided is ourselves, so people are actually serious about bringing some type of tangible change to this world, they will inevitably have to come to terms with this reality and understand that we must compromise for the greater good of us all.
The Great Compromise:
If we are going to have any success in coming together, we are going to have to compromise on some ideological issues. While this may seem like a long shot to skeptics, I would argue that compromising is actually much easier then we think, as long as we recognize the importance of the overall objective of building a united front. It’s pretty safe to say that freedom, justice, and peace are at the heart of what all these movements are trying to achieve in society. The only area in which large disagreements exist, is solutions to the problem.
Progressives tend to hold the idea that government can be used as a tool for positive change in society. In their belief, government is a necessary function in society and that by having this strong public entity it can help in structuring society so that people’s lives are easier and everyone is taken care of. In this regard, they intend to use the government to take care of people’s basic needs as well as maintain law and order in society. It’s more of a collective hands-on approach to society using progressive taxation to maintain a highly functional society.
Libertarians/Tea Partiers tend to adopt a more hands-off approach and advocate for a small and limited federal government with little taxes. In this regard, individuals are responsible for their own destiny/society and free to interact with each other however they would like. Government is only there to serve the most basic of functions like judicial systems and public function such as policemen, firefighters, and waste disposal.
Finally there are anarchists, who are somewhat of an offset of Libertarianism, but take it further by advocating for total freedom of the individual and voluntary organization of society, as long as it doesn’t go against the non-aggression principal, which prohibits the wrongful initiation of force against other people. This a complete hands-off approach with no taxes and all based upon the principal of personal responsibility for oneself, yet not limited by external rulers.
Despite the clear differences in social proposals, specifically when it comes to the role of government, there is one tangible compromise that has the potential to link all these movements together into one unifying system that is accommodating for all sides.
The Great Compromise – Each state/city/town, depending on the will of the people who occupy these areas, should be able to determine the economic and political structure that they think is best fit for their own community’s needs and desires.
It really shouldn’t be that hard of a concept for people to comprehend or agree to. Essentially, all it says is that people/communities control their own destinies. This comes in stark opposition to the established paradigm having one central system of universal standards, which are developed and implemented by bureaucratic planners and which the whole country must follow. What this allows society to do is decentralize power into whatever forms the people deem necessary, which naturally brings about diversity, justice, and freedom for everyone, since it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. I would highly speculate that this approach has the best chance of bringing us towards peace and voluntary cooperation with one another, since people have direct control over their own lives, as opposed to forced conformity that often times go against our own interests.
For example, in this type of system, those who want to use government as a tool for the betterment of the community, can all congregate in a certain area and design a system that does just that; while those that want limited to no government can congregate in another area and set up their own system. Why do we all have to conform to one system, especially when we know that everyone is unique and has different ideas on how society should function? If someone is unhappy in one spot, then they can simply find some place they do connect with. It’s really not that complicated.
In order for this to work, progressives are going to have to compromise when it comes to having a large national government. In this system, there will be no central system/big federal government to run everything and make a standard set of operating principles for the entire country. On the other hand, Libertarians and anarchists are also going to have to concede that some states/cities will want to operate with some type of proactive public institutions for the benefit of everyone. Some people think this can work and don’t mind a little sacrifice if it means getting basic needs taken care of for everyone. What’s wrong with letting different systems running their course and seeing what happens? In theory, people should naturally flock to the systems that best suit them.
The Way Forward:
Now let’s make it clear, there is not going to be some perfect solution nor will there be some simple, linear progression towards change. It will have its ups and downs and the establishment is going to do everything in its power to make sure we never succeed. However, a paradigm shift in consciousness is happening right now before our very eyes, as the rigged game is becoming way to obvious to far too many people thanks in large part to the Internet.
Make no mistake; the powers that be will attempt to herd us into a new system that is marketed as different and representing change. And if we sit around divided and inactive, they have a good shot of bringing this about successfully. But, if we come together, we will become the major voice in society and inevitably we will take over.
It’s time we stop the political labels that divide us and start focusing on ideas and movements that unite us, while still respecting the freedom of diversity within the whole. With built-in respectability towards differing opinions within the movement, we can attract an even bigger base of people who are just waiting to get involved in society, aka the no-voters/non political patrons. Many of these people also realize the system is corrupt at some conscious or subconscious level, but instead of trying to change it, they simply stop participating or pretend it’s not there. If we can spark this base and bring them on board, well then there really is no stopping us at that point.
I don’t have all the answers, nor do I have some master prediction on how it will all go down, but what I do know is that we as people have so much more in common then we do in differences. So many people have pent-up desires to get out of their comfort zones and change the world, but just don’t know how. Society is so ripe for this to manifest and the solution is right here: “We must let people decide their own fates, as long as they abide by the non aggression principal.”
The only question now is whether we come together and take advantage of this potential power source or sit back and remain divided and conquered. In the end it’s up to us; will we build bridges or will we build walls?