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.

2 thoughts on “My Politics

  1. Hi Jon,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas about politics. I wondered about your claim to be an “classical anarchist” What is the classical part? I found this definition of ANARCHIST:
    1: a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power
    2: a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy; especially: one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order

    You must have been reasoning from a human, not spiritual standpoint, because it seems to depart from “being still and knowing that I am God”, allowing Him to be the only authority, order and rule of law from which comes the expression of divine power, and also your kind and compassionate nature for non-violence.

    So, from here, I will go to the “My Faith” section, because that is the arena in which I love to reason. See you there.

    Like

    1. Hi Val,

      I say “classical anarchist” because the anarchists of a hundred years or so ago were theorists who held the radical belief that human beings could govern themselves without laws and manage their own affairs without governments. They believed that factories could be owned by the workers and run by the collective. These original, classical anarchists were thinking about a new anti capitalist society where people were free and equal. These anarchists were the original “libertarians.” Unlike libertarians of today, they were socialists who believed that people could not truly be free unless there was something approaching economic equality.

      The vision of these classical anarchists was submerged by Communism. Communists were/are socialists, but they differed from the classical anarchists in that they believed equality could only be achieved by a strong, centralized government who would redistribute wealth and control the markets. The anarchists were repulsed by any centralized power. They believed that society could be structured in such a way that people could be economically equal as well as free, with little or no need for wealth redistribution by a powerful State.

      The Communists won and chased out the anarchists. Anarchism at that point changed and became people who blew things up and created small scale chaotic disruptions to society. It became about disrupting the order by violence, not a matter of ideas. So today, we tend to think of anarchists as those who use violence and disrupt. Having a very non violent temperament, I identify with the ideas of the original, classical anarchists, the idea that society can be both free and equal.

      Thank you for the insightful question.

      Like

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