Government is broken. The only thing at stake tomorrow is how much more it breaks.
Do we choose the lesser of two evils?
The consensus is yes.
But I often wonder whether the world would be better in the long run if the broken system brakes completely sooner rather than later.
If we turn to history, we will see that broken systems almost never fix themselves. This is true for human systems and natural systems alike.Nature has a tool for dealing with this situation.It is called death.Creative destruction.Out with the old. In the with the new.So, no:I AM NOT VOTING.Yes there are important measures on the ballot besides the Presidential Election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but I refuse to put any more energy into a broken system.
Civic Responsibilities be damned.
I am conserving my energy for building new systems suited the realities of our time.
I will not support anachronisms, except by facilitating their removal.
When a viable long term solution for Governance in the 21st century is feasible I will whole-heartedly participate.
A government that doesn’t let the financial sector rape our economy and then foot the American Public with the bankruptcy bill and the psychiatry bill. A government that isn’t so full of industrial complexes (Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex, Government Industrial Complex) it makes the world’s most obese nation look like it is has only anorexic supermodels. A government where all elected officials believe in evolution and the scientific method.
A government that doesn’t continue to bailout the past and strangle the future. A government that runs towards the future, not away from it. A government not built on a constitution designed to change slowly when the world is changing faster than ever.
A government that is efficient. That doesn’t take months to make a decision. A government whose representatives are both trustworthy and intelligent. A government whose leaders don’t feel like “average joes” but are the brightest our society has to offer. A government that understands the kind of education we needed in the 20th century is not the kind we need in the 21st. A government that allows us to control our own bodies and mind. Whether it’s an abortion or a puff of marijuana. A government that understands that our era will be driven by systems that are organic, network driven and decentralized, not top-down bureaucratic, command and control hierarchies.
A government that understands technology. That knows “The Internets aren’t just a bunch of tubes”. A government where voting is as seamlessly as updating a Twitter Status. A government whose tax code is legible by an ordinary humans and painless to complete.
A government that is a platform. That has an AppStore just like Apple and Facebook. Where creative entrepreneurs can use government data to create hundreds, if not thousands of useful applications. A government that knows what infrastructure to build and what not to build. A government that invests in the information highway instead of the concrete highway.
A government that experiments with it’s own form of governance. Testing out alternative methods like Dynamic Democracy, Distributed Democracy and Deliberative Democracy. And if they work better, actually adopting those methods.
A government that gives more autonomy to creative, entrepreneurial cities where the real 21st century economy is being forged. A government that embraces the globalized world we now live in, and welcomes highly skilled immigrants as the saviors of our economy rather than as enemies.
A government built to thrive in a world of accelerating change.
Until then, beyond being voyeuristically fascinated by the misguided passions of others…
I. Don’t. Care.
Both sides, Democrats and Republicans, let me know how much you think things break tomorrow….
I received a lot of backlash on the first draft of this post, so I thought I would update some of the reasoning behind its incendiary nature:
Most of the backlash revolved around how not participating in the election means harming the expansion of human rights for Women, the LGBT community and other civil liberties.
While technically, I believe we should make as much progress as we can with the broken system we have expanding human rights and other similar noble measures. There is the very real dilemma that spending all our energy on slow, incremental, inefficient improvements of the broken systems sucks all of our energy away from creating a new better system, that will bring the freedom and openness we all want, at a much faster pace.
I’m being incendiary here, because I think most people are spending zero energy thinking about and working on what a new system would look like, and all their energy fighting this inefficient, broken system, which ultimately will work against their aims, even if they don’t realize it.
Now to clarify my own position, I said I will be disengaged from “this” broken system. I didn’t say I would be disengaged from all politics or political systems forever.
Personal energy is finite. I will not spend my energy on broken systems when I can spend my energy on creating new systems that can thrive over the long term and bring the freedom and openness we all know and want, but won’t achieve and maintain, unless we change strategy.
And as I said, “When a viable long term solution for Governance in the 21st century is feasible I will whole-heartedly participate.”
Right now though, I don’t see a movement for a real 21st century government having sufficient momentum, nor do I have the time to work on creating this alternative system right now. But I will at some point. And when I do hopefully there are an increasing number of people who have begun working on this new system for 21st century governance because of calls to action like these, which show that there is actual demand for real, revolutionary change.
Furthermore, I don’t think people realize that broken systems eventually collapse. And when they do both the economy and the culture of civil liberties they support, go bankrupt.
So ultimately while many are nobly fighting for one more human rights victory, we could lose most of the ones we’ve already gained, if we don’t also focus on creating a new system of governance designed for the 21st century.
Such is this world, where our actions often betray out intentions.
As mentioned in the comments, our government is nowhere near as broken as Russia, China or Nigeria, but America could end up that way if we don’t make major change.
The reasoning is complicated and nuanced and I don’t have time right now to do the full story justice but here’s the short of it:
Basically, culture and economics are inextricably intertwined, and our progress on human rights will matter little if the economy collapses. Freedom of expression or marriage is something you only think about if your basic needs of food, water and shelter are taken of. Otherwise you’re concerned about survival. This is the case in most communist countries where their biggest problem was ultimately that their policies caused economic growth to stall. When economic growth stalls so does growth in culture and human rights. That is a complicated dynamic but it is basically what happens.
The US economy for the last 45 years has been declining, but has hidden this fact through cost cutting and the illusory growth of debt — this fueled the financial crises, the housing bubble and much more. The economic strategies that worked last century dont won’t work anymore. We’ve reached the end of the line. Most businesses in the US knew how to create wealth the industrial era but really have no idea how to create wealth in the information age. Government is holding back this transition to the information age with bad policies and corruption from the ruling elite, also known as the 1%. If this economic transition isn’t properly made the economy collapses and so do our human rights.
Thus not transitioning to a new system of governance designed for the 21st century could very well strangle our economic potential, sending us into a downward spiral and sending much of our human rights progress down the abyss.
So, friends, that is why I’m being incendiary. We want the same things, we just have very different views of how we will get there. And I would like to see that we do.