And by bust I mean anarchism.
Trump, the “anti-establishment”, “anti-GOP-leadership” GOP candidate is now the presumed Republican candidate after his many sweeps, and Bernie, the “anti-establishment” Democratic candidate has won many races and been neck-to-neck with Hillary, but it has become obvious that he is being pushed out mainly by voting fraud and corrupted conventions. And immediately after Cruz dropped out of the GOP race, Libertarian registration doubled and polls earlier this year have shown that people identifying as independent now outnumber Democrats and Republicans. But still, these two, along with Hillary, are authoritarians… trying to be the heroes in a time of deep national crisis.
It is clear now that the resounding attitude of the majority of Americans towards the government has become extremely distrusting and disappointed, and the prevailing sense is that our country is at its breaking point, doomed for sure. The Democrat and Republican parties have completely shown themselves to be corrupt, and will do anything it takes to keep their status quo interests and old guards in place. The country is divided in so many deep ways, and people have been pulled deeper into blaming “the other party”, whilst most people have finally been thoroughly realizing and can at least agree that it’s the establishment and system that is inherently corrupt. People have jumped the Big Party ship in record numbers, and the main third parties are mostly not far left or far right. However, this is not to say they are centrist… we certainly do not want a more statist direction, as much as the major candidates would have many people thinking.
The legalization of marijuana is clearly sweeping the country and is inevitable to be a national success. Both the Democrats and Republicans had made sure for decades that this wasn’t happening. But in recent years- one of Libertarians’ chief causes since the creation of the party in the 1970s- legalizing marijuana, has become the prevailing wind of the country. Now, we see the rise of one of the biggest industries yet, a sort of renaissance combination with a revolution. There sure are kinks to work out, mainly due to the system’s obsession with bureaucratizing and legislating everything, but this is the path to freedom. And the way the wind is blowing in that whole regard is also what libertarians (and many independents/non-partisans/anarchists) have espoused for years- no imprisonment for victimless crimes, and do with your body what thou wilt, as long as you’re not hurting others.
Freedom of marriage and overall freedom of association, and the freedom of businesses to do what they please and the freedom of people to boycott these businesses and not give them their money, are also progressive along the lines of libertarian thought, not strictly “liberal” nor “conservative”. When crony capitalism/monopolies aren’t controlling an industry, and something more akin to a free market and power lying in the hands and pockets of the people moreso than the direction we’ve seen our country go too far in, then we begin to see a brighter future… which is clearly what masses are realizing suddenly, now, when it may… or may not be… too late.
Millennials just surpassed Baby Boomers in population, signifying a time marker for a profound shift in humanity. It clearly is an eventuality that has occurred throughout all known human history, a natural cycle in linear time; nothing to be surprised about, inevitable. However on the same day, something perhaps not connected, but it struck me as I heard both news stories from a comedian doing stand-up on the day this happened (April 26th)- iPhone sales went down for the first time since their creation. I made a bit of a hubbub about this being a turning point, and since then the world has been watching Apple stocks drop and there has been some relative panic. (I wrote this paragraph in early May…)
That’s its own story, but I like to read between the lines, even when most tell me there’s nothing there. Apple is basically the most vivid symbol of innovation for our time, the bridge between the revolution of the 60s and the internet age, and the fearless popular leader into the age of the smart phone. Steve Jobs inspired a generation, or generations, of people exploring the new world wide web and all its possibilities- the most truly freedom-driven movement of the technological revolution. Information shared and spread freely without government intervention (except eventually gradually more when it came to hacking/cybersecurity, fraud, predators, etc.). The internet has become the last bastion of freedom for many- our one hope in this age of diminished liberties.
In recent years the increased attempts to censor and regulate and even block the flow of information has faced massive resistance- the biggest instance that comes to my mind is the “internet blackout” in 2012 figureheaded by Aaron Swartz, deceased CEO of Reddit, in which millions of internet users including the biggest online giants such as Wikipedia and “blacked out” their websites/pages for a day in protest of CISPA, (brief detail). The internet was galvanized and this was seen as a major victory for internet freedoms, Swartz was truly happy and amazed at the result, and a week later he killed himself. Anyway, that’s also a HUGE story of its own. (may I suggest the documentary The Internet’s Own Boy)
The most recent major known example, continuing with this Apple-as-symbol theme, would have to be the Apple-FBI feud that’s surely still fresh in our collective memory. If it’s not, I mean when the FBI told Apple they need to let them break into the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone through the backdoor that Apple had long proudly sworn to protect, and built most of their reputation on. Apple, in the spirit of what our country has now become (at its good moments), refused, despite the federal government turning up the rhetoric and heat with each new press development. Many Apple critics say it was just a stunt, but I believe as long as they were promoting the idea of protecting privacy (I understand they don’t have a clean history of that) and trying to prevent this slippery slope of government intrusion to go the next step, and thus lose the trust of masses of Apple users whose privacy is of utmost importance- then they did exactly the right thing. This was in true libertarian spirit- a wildly successful private company facing off against the grandstanding menacing government, refusing to give up the rights of its customers to the bully. Even candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination John McAfee made an offer to the FBI that he and his team of hackers would break into it in 3 weeks time, so that the government wouldn’t then have the knowledge of how to do it and inevitably do it for increasingly looser reasons and go further down the road of eliminating privacy.
(I also think, after meeting McAfee multiple times and getting to know him and his wife, he is a genuinely good guy, a free spirit that truly represents libertarian principles- but I am not making this article about one candidate or even one party. Just gotta note my feelings on the guy- oh and I believe he is innocent when it comes to the Belize allegations)
However, the feds eventually got their own hackers who figured out how to break in, so now they have the key to unlock iPhones and threw pie in Apple’s face. more: (McAfee: I know who’s helping the FBI hack Apple) I’m not sure if this is related to the stock drops (I know China is partly related- another indicator of how out country has lost prominence fast and we need a reset), but I’d guess it is somewhat- though with all their innovation I’d assume they can come out with a next gen/upgraded iPhone with a new level of impenetrable security asap. However getting to the point- our system has gotten desperate, and the government is overstepping and forcing its will on massive corporations that they worked cooperatively with for years, also acting against the will of the people. And the leading companies- now almost all technological and online- are standing up to big government, because they know which way the wind is blowing.
Certainly, many have a long way to go, and many corporations are obviously playing right into the government’s hands, continuing to lead sheep to slaughter, and going lockstep with whatever the government says. And of course in many behemoth crony corporatist cases, dictating how the government behaves and rules. But clearly, the tide has turned. People are boycotting left and right and pulling out their support for companies that are lacking in ethics or rights protections (though of course, the reasons have gone so many directions and sensitivity has gone through the roof- another sign of our upheaval). The free market (even though we don’t have a true one) is bearing its fruits and many corporations and companies are actually having to compromise and change some ways to make the customers come back to them and continue coming, or face failure. This is also a very libertarian trend, one that hasn’t stopped picking up steam for years, in which the *people* (thus the market) decide what businesses thrive and which ones fail, instead of the government and their abuses of regulations. American society may seem at its most liberal or even socialist-leaning point yet in our lifetimes, but whenever events happen without government intrusion and the people decide where and how they’ll buy, well that’s closer to classical liberalism, aka libertarianism.
Yes, I said now is the time for a third party (or bust), which means maybe it won’t be the libertarians. They’re still a party and every third party is… a Party. Though to me and every libertarian I know of, and even non-libertarians, the libertarian ideology is the one of common sense. Do unto others as you would have done unto you; Non-Aggression Principle, don’t initiate force if not self-defense; The Golden Rule, etc. etc. In principle this is what the Libertarian Party represents. (Personally, I think their feet need to be held to the fire as much as anyone, and I am especially careful now as I am more anarchist-leaning than the past)
However, you may be more inclined to choose a more right-leaning Independent party or a more left-leaning progressive or socialist party… Though you’d definitely be dealing with much higher levels of statism and government control the less libertarian you go. My point here is above all, the two major establishment parties are dying. And people will either go for an alternative group that aligns more with their principles and state of living, or they will drop out of the system and not vote whatsoever, and many will soon be fed up to the point of a true uprising (if they haven’t already reached that point), the likes of which we haven’t seen in this country in many generations.
Sure the Democrats and Republicans are all the media cares about, and make up *less* than half of the country’s voters now. But it has become clearer than ever that the establishment has lots its grip over the masses, especially the younger ones, of both parties. Their desperation is showing clearly now, and they are not even going out of their way to hide that they will do whatever it takes to get who *they* want in, not *we the people*.
No, *I* do not want Trump, Hillary, or Bernie in (mostly the first two). Most people do not want any of them in. But it is clear who the establishments, the RNC and DNC, the mainstream media, the biggest donors, and so on- want in and want squeezed out. And unlike their usual patterns of the past, the people aren’t showing signs that they will roll over and vote against their first choice in order to go with the will of the establishment. We saw that with Trump, the GOP establishment eventually “gave in” after a huge public effort to keep him from becoming the nominee, after his huge “anti-establishment” rants and attitude- but then he toned it down, and most of us who really know what statism and fascism looks like, know what he pushes is very pro-establishment (not quite left or right but “top”). Bernie has been mostly maintaining high numbers, at least competitive and close to Hillary, and has taken a similar anti-establishment tone to Trump but in a far left-leaning direction (still barely masking very statist and authoritarian ideas). But the Dem elites and media keep pushing Hillary as the inevitable crown, Bernie doesn’t seem to be fighting as hard as he could against clear cases of election fraud despite a very angry disillusioned and energized young voter base, and the Republican elites have willingly split their party, first seeming to keep Trump from winning at all costs, to some so-far-unclear political pivot, mobilizing the “Anyone but Trump” Republicans away from their party. Time will tell if large numbers of Bernie supporters do end up rolling over for Hillary, or if the anti-Trump GOPers give in and vote for the boogeyman wearing their label.
Well ultimately, whoever gets into the White House, if it’s a Democrat or Republican, they are still one of the big two that has held the duopoly for so long- the Donkey or the Elephant. Sure, I’ve tried the “infiltration” camp, the Ron Paul Republican/”liberty movement” back in 2008 and biggest in 2012, but we got unsurprisingly disillusioned and backstabbed. Truly no surprises though. I don’t think Ron Paul and Bernie or Ron Paul and Trump compare, but the sentiment and passion of the followings are similar in nature- rapidly growing masses of disaffected voters, sick of the status quo, sick of voting fraud and corruption, and now truly fed up with a group of deciders disconnected from humanity blatantly telling them their votes don’t count if it’s not for who the illusory left or right establishment wants in.
The way this increasingly divisive and narcissistic behavior, this arrogant tossing around of power that reveals the corruption and lack of democracy or representation more than ever, makes me and perhaps you wonder… Do they badly want an uprising? Or are they just seeing how far they can push us and still make us ultimately give in? Why are they so willing to push out potentially half or the majorities of both of their parties? Are they that cocky to believe the third parties will not stand a chance as long as the system is in place? Oh wait, they are in control of the system itself…
Well, as hopeless as it may seem, we’ve seen that their arrogance, greed and thirst for control often blinds them. They start wars without seeing (or so it appears) how badly they will screw themselves/our country, in ways that a kid could see coming before they even start it. They bailout the banks “too big to fail” when the rest of the country’s economy is brought down around their fortresses, then rinse and repeat the cycle, until… China drops the dollar? Takes their money back? They militarize the police with the weapons from their failed wars, manning them with the PTSD-riddled vets or the inexperienced kids, drive a divide deep to make it seem like there’s a war in the U.S., and then they act like they’re being attacked.
Then they finally tell us our votes don’t count, and the last of us realize that it’s been this way for a long time, but it looks worse than ever now. Maybe there is more method to their madness than it would logically seem, maybe they do want us to revolt violently so that they can have their way with us and make the conspiracy theorist’s nightmares come true. Well, they are giving riot training for all officials and *journalists* preparing for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions… Is this because they want it, or because they are desperately holding on and are scared of the will of the people?
My political “awakening” was for years (after snapping out of my Democratic upbringing) paved with fearful concerns filled with dark disturbing imagery of the collapse most roads seemed to be leading to, most likely around this decade. I immersed myself in all kinds of theories and went with my best judgment and intuition of what was true and how to play my part in bringing about the change I want to see in the world. When I molded my thinking more in that direction, towards positive change, and fortunately catalyzed and inspired by the Ron Paul campaign and subsequent movement on the local non-partisan and third party levels, my outlook got brighter. I now am more aligned with my “anarchist” and non-party activist friends more than anyone, so I will get flack for this article, and welcome it, because principle is extremely important and I’m open for new perspectives and debate on third party vs. no-party (no-leaders) feasability.
Having seen the ugliness at or near the core of the machine, seeing how difficult it is to navigate the gears without becoming stuck in them yourself, or grinded up and spit out- I lost a lot of faith in going the party route at all. The system is inherently fucked, so how could we possibly change it by playing their games? One of my biggest dilemmas for years, and my progression since switching to the Libertarian Party in 2012 has been more toward a mix of anarchy, voluntarism, and agorism. I’ve been burnt out by politics and even activism- one of my deepest passions- but no monstrosity can never really undo an activist for good.
And what made those activists… Activists? A care for humanity- whether country or globe or village- a societal concern, a drive for freedom and defending the rights of fellow man… There are so many kinds of activists, though on the most part they have one common opponent- oppressors. And the fire builds, however it is awakened, from seeing how wrong things are; how far we and our fellow humans have been pushed. We may go routes that seem to keep ending in dead ends or co-ops or a whimper. We get disheartened. We remember to focus on ourselves and just do the best we can, or whatever we can.
But then, when we come to this kind of junction- the one we who have been on this road a while, or were on this road long ago, have foreseen the day that would come- when the illusion has fallen apart and the man behind the curtain is exposed… We’re at that precipice. 2016 is the year of the grand revealing, when you either face the truth or willingly remain/return to a deep sleep.
And for this, I think we can prove them wrong, that “they” can’t just make a mockery of humanity this way- they can’t get away with telling us we have no free will, and then imposing their will on us even harder. Because if they get away with this- they know they will get away with anything. They will have their collapse the way they want it. They can easily let us revolt and then clamp down just like the darkest dystopian stories “foretold”, and play into the archetypal fears of our modern civilization. But we have no reason to give them that power.
So, a month or two ago I was going to write something along these lines, focusing more on Bernie and Trump being more independent-leaning than the others, or at least their capitalizing on that shift in the will of the people. Now in the past month, there has been an avalanche of articles saying this is the year for a third party, and presenting the statistics such as Libertarian registration doubling the day after Trump was presumed to be the GOP nominee. Well I know I’m “late” now and this may be lost in that avalanche but I don’t want my words to go to waste and everyone has their own unique perspective… and many are intimidated into silence. That is one matter I must continue to live consistently by and not give in when I see the “authorities” initiating another wave of intimidation of dissenters.
In that original article draft I was going to say the prime year for the meteoric rise of a third party looked like 2020, or even 2018. Or 2024 if we the two-term shitty-president trend continues. That still may be so, and there may not necessarily be an immediate revolution or total collapse, but it WILL be tumultuous. A third party may not be likely to win this year, but it is the year we will see if there is hope in people accepting/allowing a chance for a third way, in a post-two-party system, but still a somewhat recognizable, Constitutional system… or all system-routed hope is lost, and we need to start from scratch… and by 2020, we will decide whether this “new way” works or the old way is evicted once and for all.
Of course a third party win would be met with attacks from above in all directions. That’s why we’d have to make sure it’s a candidate with the balls to say no to all that- but not a candidate that abuses his or her executive power. I really don’t want anybody for president anymore… People given that much power are too easily corrupted. Well, this may seem to be near impossible with the system as it is, and the inequality in class and where the money is, but ideally, in my view, this third party would take as much power out of the government as possible… Definitely removing all who hold positions of power with the old guard, or who are not true representatives of the will of the people, as well as stewards of what is good (not talking food regulations or moral dictates, etc. I mean non-aggression, non-theft, far more voluntary choice) for the people and for the land, the economy, so on… As close to a free society as you can get. Again anarchy may be preferable, but I’d say if you have faith a principled third party that reflects your values will do it, that’s far better than further down the road of captivity. And if that doesn’t work, and they do go crazy with power, full fledged revolution is called for.
No I haven’t yet mapped out my full ideal “perfect” society and no I don’t expect that. But I do know something so many of us have learned over the years, and this goes back to the Apple topic. Anything is possible, and we’re creating our futures from moment to moment. Entrepreneurs and philosophers and creators and doers of all kinds have made astonishing leaps and bounds, and in the past century, the past year, the past day- we have seen the previously thought impossible made possible. The “not gonna do it”, done.
And just as easily as things can be created and propelled to unthinkable heights, they can become undone, and fall just like that. I don’t think Apple is done, but it could happen anytime. A company that is such an ingrained symbol of success in our generation, created by a Baby Boomer, carried into the information age and practically worshipped by Millennials, dives the day Millennials surpass the previously largest generation in history.
A company that to many people had become the megalith that its independent spirit sought out to rebel against- and did take that daringly rebellious act against the federal government, in what could end up being its final stand (but no the gov’t can’t feel they’ve “won” even against Apple!). Anything can happen, worlds change overnight. Who knows who could be the next Apple, the next Steve Jobs or Aaron Swartz or Elon Musk, or Gandhi. Even Jesus. The independent spirit, defiant of oppressors, is what gets things done. And innovators don’t have to be businessmen. They can be you and me (I suck at sales), or the homeless guy on the corner, or your unborn child. Anyone can save, or change, the world.
But no current establishment party asshole can. If Trump or Hillary win, may we have a national moment of peace on election day, for what we knew as our country will be done.
Don’t be the caveman that keeps staring at the shadows on Plato’s inner cave wall… Be the one who turns around and sees the light behind the figure creating those shadows. And go forth into the light, of the outside world you never knew was there.
(And I salute you all who have walked into that outside world, shouting to those behind you in the cave, shining your light inside… or simply journeying quietly on your own, and letting those in the cave discover and explore at their own pace.)
Video credit: Judd Weiss
(This article is not an endorsement nor is it endorsed by any candidate)