On Facebook, there was a different sort of discussion. In it, I saw that we so easily slip back into the win/lose/fight paradigm.
DW said (paraphrasing):
Rand, the Left has some hard work to do to figure out what it wants. For instance, PW said:
“The Left no longer has Marxism or any other coherent intellectual structure… no rigorous foundation to rely on, no ideology to give it organization and shape…”
If that’s true, the question for many people will not be “How do we get there?” It will be.”What vision should we be aspiring to?”
PW then said something like:
Yes, that’s right. The issue isn’t one of “how”, but of “what”. Some good narratives have been poisoned by the right.
DW, replied at length, including:
My response- You need a new role
IF you could vote on issues (in a well-expressed, well-organized way that made a difference), you’d feel some responsibility for guiding our government. You’d have a new and different experience of what’s possible for our future.
It STARTS with everyone who cares communicating coherently about what we want. The next step is for us all to be in efficient “dialogue” with our politicians and each other. (I quoted dialogue because it’s structured communication, so it stays adult, avoiding childish name-calling and other power plays.)
Without a new role, we’re trapped in the win/lose/fight paradigm
PeopleCount will put everyone in the position of holding Congress accountable. Currently, as people with little real roles in politics, we can merely take a philosophical position, demonize the other side(s) and feel frustrated. Frustration leads to name-calling, raising the emotional bar with either anger or searching for stories that’ll frighten people, and other childish antics.
We seem immature. But immaturity is appropriate in a system that treats us like children, giving us no decent way to participate in adult decision-making. Many people are decently mature in the rest of their lives.
It’s not about “narrative”
Many on the left say it’s about “narrative.” It’s true in a sense, but in another, it’s bullshit. The highly-motivating narratives evoke fear and anger. Yes, inspiration and reward are powerful too, but less so. Plus, inventing our own narrative and pitting it against theirs is just another version of the win/lose/fight paradigm. It’s more politics-as-usual.
Having the “left” come up with a solution is just wrong. On every different issue, people would naturally form different groups. Thinking that one group could reliably generate a compelling platform is naive, and is opposed by history. As we’ve seen, it’s easy both to soil the narrative as well as splinter off many small groups. We need to each have a say about our future in every area of life, not align in groups. That’s something else that PeopleCount offers.
Currently, politics is about fighting for power. But if we rearrange the playing field, it could be about communicating together about what we want. It’d be a way to act politically outside the whole party/fighting paradigm.
Escaping the win/lose/fight paradigm. An analogy
Right now, we’re like 250 million marbles on a flat surface, bouncing off of others, moving mostly at random, politically. Groups of marbles, some with millions of members, are trying to get us to agree with them, but we’re still mainly bouncing around.
Imagine dividing the surface into 4 regions, and raising the far corners a tiny bit. We’d naturally all tend to drift toward the center.
A small change in the environment can lead to a huge change in behaviors.
PeopleCount is designed to
- Add accountability to our political system
- Enable us to reap the advantages it makes possible
- Then to compound them.
Lots more is possible in politics
Few people see that our political behavior is extremely scripted. Very little that is culturally appropriate is new.
Yet few people look for or see our limits. Human being behave in a very large range of different ways in different cultures. With the right rewards, we could easily develop some extremely effective and rewarding habits. I’m not doing “social engineering.” I’m opening the door to a much happier future.
Please step through the door with me. Please, support us.