Thursday, January 26, 2012

Voting vs. Direct Democracy and Consensus

Thanks Dave!

Something he mentions in the second video which I paid close attention to was the idea that our consciousnesses and perspectives don't really change when we go out and support or vote for political candidates to make the rules for us. It's that same dependency relationship; we're put in an environment where we think all we can do is follow some candidate down a certain path, promoting that politician's stance on every issue without having a discussion on the real issues which affect us and finding ways to take on these problems ourselves. We don't learn anything. No wonder critics of anarchism/libertarian-socialism claim that human beings are so bad at self-management: we rarely ever get to practice it.

I remember, the night before I went to occupy the primary debate I was taken to a Ron Paul campaign party at Jillian's in Manchester by a few friends. It was mostly a spectacle, as is always the case, but I learned some things from chatting with a few people in attendance. There was one woman in particular who told me she had moved to NH with the FSP back in 2010. When I asked her how her life changed since she moved she told me that she was very active with the Libertarian Party and did all sorts of campaigning for Ron Paul in 2008 when she was living in Michigan. Now that she's living in NH she rarely attends political events (she didn't even know a formal Libertarian Party existed in NH), and had only returned to campaigning for political candidates full-time in the past few weeks. When I asked her why that is, she told me that she doesn't feel she needs to be active in top-down politics now that she's living in a state which is much more libertarian. Although she admitted that when she does go back to Michigan to visit friends and family she goes to every Libertarian Party and Ron Paul meet-up in that area. When I asked her why, she told me she didn't exactly know, but insisted that it had something to do with the fact that libertarians are much more a minority in Michigan to the point where an alliance with others who share your political/economic/social views isn't just about getting certain legislation passed; it's about identity and the need to reiterate that identity somehow. I told her - though I had been drinking quite a bit and said some pretty blunt things - that I thought it was kind of sad that people would identify so closely with masters (politicians). She asked me what else we could do to achieve (her definition of) freedom other than support Ron Paul. I told her there's lots of things we could do. We have to build an entirely new system and we have to do it now. Something tells me she never heard that before.

I would recommend watching the videos Dave (buddhagem) mentions in the second video.

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