At the time I am writing this the U.S. presidential election is a few days away. Most regular readers are well aware of my take on how the election will play out, but regardless of the ultimate outcome, I think it is important to raise some questions not just on the candidates, but on the election system itself.
Various polls (though nefariously skewed by the people that conduct them), indicate a general distaste by the public for both Clinton and Trump. In fact, the candidates are two of the most unpopular in U.S. history. I am inclined to believe this particular polling outcome for the most part. What I have observed lately in alternative and mainstream feeds is a depressed election atmosphere.
The mainstream media blames the “negative” manner in which the campaigns have been run. I think this is a rather lazy explanation that tries to insinuate that Americans are fragile and need to be handled with kid gloves. The alternative media tends to assert that the outcome is rigged and many in the public sense the futility of the voting process. I agree to a point, though I don’t think the majority of alternative analysts are always right about the direction in which the system is rigged.
Obviously, our current election model does not function as the Founding Fathers originally intended. Democratic voting requires certain prerequisites in order to remain productive rather than destructive. For example, the public has to remain vigilant and informed. Our Constitution, while continuing to be one of the most enlightened sociopolitical documents and government models in history, is still just a document. Without constant defense by the general population against incremental totalitarianism, the constitution can no more protect us that any other piece of paper.
The Constitution represents a greater ideal and greater principles. These things are products of the human will and are inherent within us, but also need a society with a nurturing hand. If we neglect them, they will die out.
Tyranny is an infinite presence. We will never be rid of it entirely. It is just as much a part of our personal psyches as the concept of freedom. As long as human beings exist the battle between liberty and slavery will continue.
Now, that said, there are measures that can be taken to mitigate and disrupt the rise of totalitarians. One such measure would be to stamp out organized elitism. This means first prosecuting and punishing existing elitist groups for their criminal enterprises; and if they control the legal framework, then it means rebelling against them and hanging them all from the tallest lampposts. It also means reversing the centralization of power that elites thrive on and replacing it with decentralized models.
America began as a nation with such intent. The establishment of a government “by the people, of the people, and for the people” was outlandish and revolutionary in an age where monarchy (elitism by heritage) had always ruled. But, again, our republic survives on the vigilance of its citizens.
The problem with our model of “voting” for government “representatives” is that votes can be rigged when we are not vigilant, and an even greater threat; the people that get the chance to run for office are often chosen by the elites themselves. When your list of candidates to choose from all work for the top .01 percent you don’t really have much choice at all. What you have is the illusion of choice, designed to shut you up and keep you inactive in your own political environment.
Set aside the fact that in a bureaucratic structure sociopaths and psychopaths are more likely to seek out positions of authority anyway and realize that through elitist controlled political systems these are in most cases the only people that will make it though the gambit to find a cushy office in Washington D.C.
What the elites fear most is a citizenry that is willing to act outside of the system and without their approval. What the elites fear is a decentralized population that leads itself rather than following whatever puppet is placed in front of them.
When we get to a point where a majority of people take the initiative to lead themselves based on the non-aggression principle, there may be no need for government whatsoever. Until then, I do recognize that social systems, infrastructure and defense need some maintenance by a governing body. The question is, how do we choose a governing body without continuing the corruption so prevalent in our current vulnerable voting methodology?
Well, we may have to rediscover the concept of voluntary society and reexamine what constitutes “democracy.”
As I have written about in the past, voluntary tribalism is a far superior model to globalization in that it prevents allocation of power into the hands of a few and allows people to choose which group best fits their pursuits. No one should be forced to participate in any endeavor if it goes against their principles, nor should they be forced to associate with people that seek to undermine their goals. Unfortunately that’s exactly what our current system does. If you don’t want to be party to a particular war or particular unsavory activities by our existing government, then your only option is to expatriate completely and most likely end up living under yet another government that is just as bad if not worse.
Under global governance your peaceful options go to zero and you will have nowhere to run to avoid being forced to participate in criminal enterprises or totalitarian expansion. Once again, good people can only rebel.
I have heard it argued, of course, that tribalism could just as easily result in tyranny, criminality and overreach of authority. Yes, there is no such thing as a perfect system, but I would rather rebel against a thousand small despots than a global totalitarian regime. That said, is there a way to prevent the rise of “warlords” and thugs within a voluntary tribal system?
As stated above, even in the best governing models, psychopaths are still drawn to positions of authority and voting measures can still be manipulated through fraud or co-option of candidates. In my view, the best option may be to do away with voting altogether and adopt a “government lottery.”
The knee-jerk reaction to the idea of getting rid of voting will cause most people to immediately call me a “fascist,” but consider for a moment why we vote.
One would think that candidates for governance should be the “best” that society has to offer; the brightest, the wisest, the most successful and the most experienced. The problem is, these are subjective criteria. One person might think that a billionaire would make a good candidate because he/she has proven a knack for management and leadership. While I might find a person that has mastered their own emotional inconsistencies and biases a far better “leader,” no matter how rich they are.
Ambition may be a virtue in many areas, but in governance it is poison.
In fact, the best leaders I have ever met in my life were people who wanted nothing to do with leadership. They were teachers who led by example rather than by dictate and had no interest in “power” or adoration. Our current manner of “choosing” leadership is completely antithetical to finding these kinds of people and giving them the opportunity to direct resources and make decisions that affect others.
As it stands today, only the super-rich or those well connected within a major political party can run for office successfully, and in most situations these candidates have been approved by elites in the name of continuing an elitist agenda. Thus voting becomes an exercise in choosing the worst possible people for the most important positions, instead of choosing the “best” people.
I don’t really see how we could do much worse — picking people at random would probably yield far less danger and far less tyranny.
And that is exactly what I am advocating; a voluntary tribal system that sends representatives to a governing body based on lottery rather than candidacy.
It may sound insane to many people now, but consider how insane the idea of a voter driven republic probably sounded in the 1700s.
Some may argue that this model could end up promoting the “dumbest” people possible to vital positions, risking lives. I disagree. I think the idea that anyone could end up in a governing role someday at random would encourage all individuals to become more informed and more capable, because you never know when you might be called to serve. Who wants to be chosen for the honor of a leadership position only to be found incompetent? Who would want to face the embarrassment of being found oblivious? Within a generation you would have an explosion of individual accomplishment and awareness.
In a voluntary system you could not force people into governing roles. Opting out would have to be intrinsic, but imagine a society in which being chosen by a pure roll of the dice to play a greater part in the future, even if only for a couple of years, was treated as sacrosanct.
Some might also argue that such a government, with short term limits and random participants, would never get anything done. I don’t see that necessarily as a bad thing. Government should exist only to preserve — to preserve our freedoms and to preserve our ability to pursue prosperity. When government does actually change something within our society, it should be treated as a rarity.
Today, we have the opposite — a government that seeks to preserve nothing and constantly erode the past to make way for a system that is not in our best interests. Futurists and progressives see government as a weapon to eradicate traditional heritage and values and replace them with their own ideology. We have to blunt government and ensure it can never be used as a weapon again. Change is not always good.
I suggest that the combination of voluntary tribalism and lottery based governments could in fact end the potential for organized tyranny for centuries to come. All that would be left would be individual tyrants with no system to infiltrate and no apparatus to exploit. This, in my view, is the greatest endeavor of man — governance that repels corruption, rather than attracting it. It is a project we have ignored for far too long.
— Brandon Smith
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