All anyone’s talking about these days is the dreaded sequester. Since our inept congress failed to come to an agreement in January about budget cuts, raising taxes and so on etc., massive cuts took place starting on March 1st. Now we are in a continual, petty, and in the own president’s words himself “dumb” situation. Draw parallels to Rome. The barbarians invade soon.
Of course, Congress is not affected by the budget cuts. They will continue to do what they do best, which is political jockeying and incessant, vacuous chatter. The fact that the American people still believe these are the people who should run our country is beyond me. If anyone is looking for an argument against the efficiency of government they need only look to our esteemed political leaders over the past couple years. I’m not by any means making the conservative argument for smaller government.—all my family believes me to be on the “liberal” side of things. I am however going to make an argument for an end to both big government and big corporations. For the richest country in the world to spend more time on it’s own poor than bombing the poor of other nations. I would like to say the writing is on the wall for America and the political divide, capitalism, globalization, and so, but I don’t know that I’m that optimistic.
However, combine our current governmental situation with reality T.V. shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras,” and it’s going to be easy for the aliens to understand why we as a society failed.
We don’t have enough Wendell Berry’s in our world today—people who can criticize the bureaucracy of government and the energy corporations in the same sentence. But who are not libertarian because they still believe in community. But are not socialist because they still believe in individual responsibility. In short we need a new political framework or I would even go so far to say, an anti-political framework.
We need people who can rise above the day to day squandering and not be fitted into our structural boxes of who’s right and who’s left and who’s right and who’s wrong. I am not solely proposing anarchism, although maybe a year ago I might have. The word anarchism is a highly misused word and obviously controversial, It is nearly impossible to define because there are so many different forms, ranging form pro-violence to pacifism, from extreme individualism to collectivism. In the Greek it stems from the word anarchos, which means “without rulers.”
Today, more than anything, my subjective opinion would be that anarchism is highly skeptical of government structures but clearly opposed to even bigger forces like globalization, militarism, and oppression. In some cases it calls for a return to a more tribal society or Native American society where individual groups ruled themselves. The word can be synonymous with violence and chaos, but anarchism as a form of rule would be highly organized.
My Christian friends would probably call me an anarchist for my “radical” views, but my secular friends who are anarchists would say I could never be an anarchist because I submit myself to the authority of God and my community.
However, I’m really not interested in defending anarchism or any other type of ideology. I would like to propose a society where, well, I’m not really sure what society I’d like to propose. At the end of the day they’re all going to be flawed. Like my father loves to say, “Democracy is the best of the worst.”
Lest I stray into the bloggish world of “Here’s my opinion about everything in the world and watch me criticize everything!” I would simply like to lament the fact that while congress squanders our money and resources, many people around our country are feeling the effects of a flawed economic and government system.
The U.S. spends more on defense than 12 runner up countries below it combined, and somehow we are arguing that we need more money for military defense? All of our money, weapons, and democracy are accomplishing very little.
I could argue for a return to a more just and loving society, but I don’t know that such a society has ever existed. Besides there is also a recognition that whatever it is wrong about the world “out there” the same greed, bickering, and lust for money, sex, and power exist in here. In the dark recesses of my own self.
I usually try not to write about current affairs and politics because I find them both irrelevant in trying to love my neighbor.
However, for the record, I would like to call for a society where blood is more precious than oil, where pro-life excludes the possibility of war, and for a return to less technological, less concrete society. Where progress is not measured in GDP’s or smart phones. Where people were friends with the earth, and not enemies. Where we spend more time contemplating the beatitudes and less time arguing. Such things may never come to fruition, but there’s no harm in trying.