One of my primary political interests is in analyzing power structures. I am interested in observing who has power and how they use that power to influence the societal structure and the governmental system. I want to talk about where power is concentrated. It’s like a clog in the drain; power congests things and keeps society from flowing freely and moving efficiently.
Critiquing all concentrations of power tends to put me outside the two major political parties in the U.S. Technically, I would be considered a “libertarian socialist” or a “classical anarchist.” My ideal is a society free from both a strong central government and free of extreme class differences. I believe in the Enlightenment ideal of equality and self-rule. But I wonder: Can such a society be given to people by the powerful? Or does it need to be taken by the people? I love to read history, and I am especially intrigued by nonviolent means of changing the power structure to create greater equality.
In order for us to create a world of greater equality, however, I think we need to reach a certain level of spiritual and psychological health and development. As such, I see a good deal of overlap between spiritual development and politics, between psychological well-being and a sustainable revolution of our violent world.
One measure of our national (and international) spirit is our political discourse. Most political discourse is concerned with conquering others. For example, we talk about “winning the war of ideas.” I am interested in exploring an alternative, a nonviolent way of dialog, discussions that seek to open up differences and respect differences as such.
I do not necessarily believe in compromise, nor do I believe that if we have a civil discussion that we will all end up at the same place and agree with one another. Some ideas, values, and ways of life are simply not compatible. However, I am optimistic that a respectful, nonviolent discourse will be more likely to result in solutions that allow us to live together peacefully, even with our differences. Such a peaceful discourse, however, requires a high level of spiritual and psychological development for us as people, as a nation, and as individuals.
As I discuss political issues with others, and as I interact in the virtual reality of the world wide web, I find myself continually questioning not just the content of the dialog but the nature of the discourse itself. As a libertarian concerned with concentrations of power, I try to be sensitive to the ways in which discussions themselves re attempts to gain a power advantage. Through my blogging, I want to explore the possibility of an empathetic collective, a group of informed and passionate individuals committed to listening to the concerns of others as though they were their own.