There is more than one valid and effective solution to our problems. Unfortunately, the political parties in our strongly divided system are far more concerned with blaming one another than in getting anything done. This is hardly a purely American phenomenon, of course; that’s just a handy example.
The evident solution is NOT to discard parties and then recreate the process from the ground up. Instead, it’s to get good people to sacrifice their personal lives and ambitions for a long long time so they can stand for office themselves. People that dislike the way things are being run always have that option in our system — but instead they prefer to complain about it from the safety of their salary and mortgaged condo.
“The 1%” isn’t the problem, by the way. I firmly blame the greed and selfishness of the so-called ‘middle class’, a group of people who, as a body, would prefer a larger house in a better neighborhood to spending more time with the kids. They work 40+ hours, commute for 10+, sleep too little, drink too much, and watch television or tweet the rest of their lives away. When they vacation it’s for two weeks in an over-commercial hell with plastic everything, and when they finally retire it’s to an overpriced condo on a golf course in Weedkiller Central, Florida, where an amazingly high percentage dies of a heart attack or strokes out six months afterward. We work ourselves to death in order to consume too much (and, incidentally, to enrich and empower the 1%).
Basic health care, food, clothing, housing — these can be provided by a tiny fraction of the work force. Most of us spend our lives performing unnecessary functions for employers who produce nothing of substance and whose existence, if anything, tends to marginally decrease the value of life on this planet. It’s small wonder suicide rates are as high as they are; we’re living in a world of confirmed desperation.
The best solution to the small problems is to change society as a whole — a cultural revolution, if you will; it’s a good phrase despite misuse by politicians. We need to make of our world a place where neighbors care, where governments help, where our work improves the lives of us all. This seems a dishearteningly vast project, doesn’t it?
But we can do it, my friends. We can! We here in the BlogSphere — even, or perhaps especially, the malcontents and rabble-rousers — are among the brightest people I’ve ever seen collected in one place before in my entire life. And all we have to do is improve our own lives and convince a handful of the people around us to do the same.
Volunteer! Once you have become competent at your volunteer task, aspire to leadership and make the organization more effective.
Change jobs! Work for someone that actually feeds, clothes, houses or heals — or a tech company that improves the world — or something, ANYTHING aside from just making a profit at the expense of a credulous populace.
Join a political campaign! Figure out how it really works from the ground up, then try and make a real difference yourself by either running or finding someone worthy and backing him or her.
All of these require sacrifice; all of them require hard work. Do it! You’ll be glad you did.
And this above all: Spend time with smart people, where you can have conversations like this. If you don’t subject yourself to inspiration on a regular basis, if you don’t positively influence your peers, you’ll never be able to move outside of yourselves to improve the world at all.