The general climate of thought online, and in society right now, appears to have shifted from one of denial that anything is wrong, to a general acceptance that almost everything is wrong, endless squabbling over what exactly is wrong… coupled with a helplessness and void of ideas as to what should be done about it. I call it The Michael Moore Syndrome.
I love watching Michael Moore’s films, they are often very good at showing things that are wrong. My trouble always comes with the solution portion of the message he delivers in both film and print. It is invariably some sort of ‘Well if we’d all just vote Democrat then everything would be okay.’
No… no it won’t. No… no it isn’t.
A comment I get a lot of the time on my writing is “Well, fine! So what?! What do you propose we DO about it?”
And I agree, I often suffer from Michael Moore Syndrome, and spend too much time complaining about what shouldn’t be done, and not enough time focusing on what should.
So that’s what I’d like to do today. I’d like you to join in the discussion in the comments section. I’d like us to put aside our endless squabbling about the way things shouldn’t be, and toss around some positive, possible, actual… solutions.
Idealistic? Absolutely. What exactly is wrong with ideals and the pursuit of them? That, should be our constant and only goal as a society. Finding and identifying problems, and then working to solve them. It’s this ‘well that’s the way things are’ attitude that is cancerous. We spend so much time bickering over the classification and identification of details of the problem, and so little time solving anything as they all get much much worse.
SOLUTION THE FIRST: We need a new, modern, political ideology. Right now, members on all sides of the ‘spectrum’ are screaming and pointing fingers at the other side, but the reality is, they are all wrong and their outdated philosophies are crumbling.
Does Communism work!? No. It’s too oppressive, gives too much power to the state, and strips the individual of vital freedoms. Just ask China, North Korea and the former U.S.S.R. It doesn’t work.
Does Capitalism work!? No. It puts the pursuit of personal wealth above anything and anyone else. It allows corporations and wealthy interests to control and dictate as they please, with disastrous results. Humanity, morality, civility, are all cast aside under the pretense of ‘well, we’re just making money.’ Just making money… isn’t a good enough excuse for pure, unadulterated evil. Just ask our friends, the good ol’ US of A. It doesn’t work.
Does Socialism work!? No. It tries to mash the two extremes together and you end up with citizens overly taxed, corruption, waste and an unsustainable economic model. Just ask Greece, the UK and the EU. It doesn’t work.
All of these criticisms are valid.
So… do we keep sliding around on the same spectrum hoping for different results or do we realize that there are limitless possibilities outside of the spectrum! How about that? Forget left, forget right, forget the middle. Let’s put an entire generation to work, inventing a new spectrum. This can only be accomplished with an acknowledgement that the existing one is broken, which at this rate, seems to be an unavoidable certainty.
My first solution is broad, but highly necessary. We need to get talking about fresh, innovative, models of governance and living. Maybe these talks could occur on the subway and bus instead of staring at the floor and pretending to read the same advertisements over and over again. Maybe they could happen in schools, actually engaging students in real problem solving. In the lunchrooms where you work. At all?
SOLUTION THE SECOND: The role of the politician, the lawmaker, the ruling class, has to change. Democratic elections are only democratic when the choices on the ballot represent the best interests of the people. Let’s not kid ourselves, that time is long gone, if it was ever there to begin with. The modern politician is a pacifist, a distractor, a performer, not a leader. Democrat or Republican. Conservative or Liberal. Labour or Tory. (See Solution The First). We don’t need our leaders running in a non stop popularity contest. This isn’t a beauty pageant. We also don’t need the other end of the spectrum, a dictatorial iron fist of fascism that doesn’t care what the people think and does as it pleases.
We need a group of the most intelligent, qualified individuals assessing our issues, and proposing and implementing intelligent solutions. We need to apply scientific principles to our governance. We need scientific leaders. They might be awkward. They might be silly looking. They might not have such nice smiles and well delivered zingers. They might also actually dedicate themselves to the constant improvement of society, instead of ‘building an image’. A staggering majority of the worlds’ most intelligent human beings are currently using their knowledge and understanding working on designing ways of making money. Solving problems for the marketplace.
Unleash these minds on tackling poverty, oppression, homelessness, ending wars, raising standards of living. Rather than developing algorithms for squeezing currency out of people, how about they follow their natural, intuitive, scientific inclinations… identifying problems, and solving them. Ask anyone working in science what they could accomplish if not held back by the constraints of currency and politics. Then watch their eyes light up.
Look at what just one of these minds can envision and design – Imagine all of them, working together, with all of us, supporting them, benefitting from the non-stop progress. We wouldn’t have time to bicker about race, religion, or American Idol. There’d be too many positive things to accomplish.
SOLUTION THE THIRD: The individual must refuse to participate in the oppression and systematic destruction of their fellow man. “I’m just doing my job” isn’t a valid excuse any more than “I’m just making money” is. It’s a weak, cop-out, and a refusal to think for yourself, burying your morals and conscience. You cease to be a human the second you knowingly and willingly partake in this kind of behavior.
Comedian Patrice O’Neal expresses this brilliantly in his recent guest spot on Infowars.com. Rather than preach the same boring, tired, conspiracy theories we’ve all heard a million times, Patrice instead tackles an issue we can all do something about, every day… no small powerful group of people has any power, without the average person willing to blindly carry out their orders.
We can’t continue to tolerate indifferent and callous behavior. In my short lifetime I have seen such a drastic shift in the amount of nonsense people will not only put up with, but engage in. There’s a very good reason that zombie movies are so popular right now. The conditioning has reached such a point, that the initial response to telling someone that you have been wronged, is for them to not only disbelieve you, and downplay your grief, but to suggest that it is your fault and you brought it on yourself.
The individual has the ability to make choices. To assess and examine individual circumstances. The individual ceases to be an individual, the second they suppress or deny that ability.
(I could probably keep this going forever, but it’s just a blog, so I’m going to cut it short and allow you to weigh in with your own solutions in the comments. Let’s get innovative and try to come up with some new and unique ideas!)