The elections have now come and gone. Our news feeds are now back to normal, broadcasting the latest in marriage proposal news, Instagram dinner pics, and all else in between. I assume that never before has the US public been inundated with the incredible volume of media (both mass media and user generated) related to US politics, as we have during this year’s election. But how much was signal, how much was noise? The answer to this question depends on the overall efficacy of our political, corporate, and media institutions, which manage the messaging and therefore heavily influence our ability as people of the country to effectively fulfill our democratic duties. I would argue that most of what was “messaged” created a noisy mess.
However, it goes beyond that noisy mess and the ephemeral nature of elections. It goes beyond asking yourself: “am I better today then I was four years ago?” We must start deconstructing the political system, and questioning if it works. It’s a system that I believe is not only failing it own people, but infringing on the liberty of populations across the globe. Maybe it’s less about the system and more about the policies of the system; but then again, faulty systems often support the development of bad policy. We have learned that unlike nature, the system is not self-correcting. The system is compounding, adding layers of power, money, and complexity.
Some may call this political cynicism by someone that doesn’t understand the system, nor wants to. In many respects that’s true for this small sample size of one as I fail to understand many of the nuances of our political system. What is far easier to comprehend is the effects politics have on our world. Issues like: the failures of the Fed and Fiat money, modern day imperialism, the lack of a public and private divide, the refutation of scientific data when it comes to climate change, the military industrial complex, a two party system that is about self service and affiliation and does not promote self reliance — are all easy to understand.
For all the people that sees these truths, the question is: how do we make things better?
Making things better may mean being more responsible with the way things are now. It might mean embracing the system as it is and taking ownership of our civic duty even in a democracy, which may be lacking certain democratic features.
It may mean fixing the current system in place. Optimizing it to work more effectively and efficiently. Going back to the true roots of democracy (or maybe it’s better to start at the meaning) and putting the interest of the people before the interest of the few and powerful.
Or the answer might be complete transformation, or as entrepreneur Max Marmer put it, creative destruction. Throwing out the obsolete and creating a new system, or possibility a new framework for society. Solutions have been designed that have little relation to the current systems we are governed under now.
First option we typically commit to (especially in November every four years) but fail to see through.
The second option is being pursued by activist groups across the globe like the Occupy Movement, Pussy Riot protests, The BDS Movement and others. Many of which create massive movements spotlighting injustice, promoting accountability and often, system changes. This requires a high level of boldness, guts, and belief. It requires collective leadership.
The last option seems unimaginable. Particularly, because it is unimagined. Enter the realm of infinity and you enter the realm of fear and the unknown. You also enter a new realm of possibility uninhibited by prior failures.
What exists today is all most of us have known. What exists today only truly works for a select few. What exists today will not exist forever. I’m inclined to feel that transformation is needed. That we must create a system that promotes our inalienable rights as humans, preserves and replenishes the earth’s resources, and sustains and flourishes over time.
I guess it’s time for us all to start thinking…
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