Tag Archives: politics

Day 421: A House Divided Cannot Stand

A house divided cannot stand.

And unfortunately – humanity is a house divided. We are divided because we become too attached to our own personal lives – too involved in the belief that our life is what matters the most – and far removed from the notion that humanity is one race – living on one planet – all breathing the same air – all exposed to the same conditions – all made of flesh and blood. We are all from earth – though from the moment we are born – our devolution into personality begins. And this is why we as of yet are unable to manifest lasting and effective change for all people on earth to have the best life possible – we are too separated from one another.

Imagine if all of us would feel the pain of everyone else. The moment one starve, everyone would experience the deep pain, the slow decomposition and deterioration of muscles and fat and the increasing fear of death. How different our world would be. In such a world – there would be no wars – the pain of such an event would be excruciating – far too extreme to outweigh any form of reward. In such a world there would be enormous investments made to empower and better the lives of the poor, sick and elderly – as everyone would experience the consequences. Actions that further the empowerment of humanity as a whole would be rewarded and seen as distinguished acts – because these would lessen the pain and increase the sense of well-being for everyone.

Imagine such a world – a world where our nervous system would be connected to everyone else’s – no separation – no hiding. In our real world, there is no such thing – here we must rely on our empathy and our ethereal connection to earth/life/the physical – and this has been a complete failure. We are in most cases unable to stand together, to feel one another, and to care for one another. Our political opinions are proof of that – because how are we able to have different opinions of what would be best if we would not be divided and each of us have our own agenda and idea of what is best.

Living oneness and equality practically is not easy. The challenge is to remain stable and considerate when survival triggers comes into play, such as hunger, deprivation of sleep, cold or excessive heat. And I would say that for most people that is impossible – we are deeply programmed on a physical level to preserve ourselves and our survival. However – when our survival is granted – interesting things happen.

I recently watched a documentary called the boat. It was about a sociological experiment on conflicts. The researcher had the idea that only in a pressured state would the true nature of human beings come forth. Therefore he constructed a small boat with a sail, designed to keep 12 people in very close proximity. The boat was inhabited with a mixture of people from different ethnicities, cultures, religions and colors of skin – with the idea that this would be potential causes of conflict. The state of fear was supposed to be induced by the fact that these people would sail in the boat over the Atlantic, drifting with the currents and also using the sail – a difficult and potentially life-threatening journey.

What happened was interesting. Instead of conflict – what occurred was that the people started to working together, form a tightly knitted team, to effectively deal with the external dangerous that they were exposed to. Instead of becoming divided, they becoming united, solidified, and strong as one group. The researcher became increasingly frustrated – because he expected conflict – and even though the conditions seemed to be perfect – nothing happened. And thus he attempted to provoke conflicts between the members of the group, without result.

In the end the researcher viewed the experiment as a failure – because he had not learned anything about conflicts. However – what I see is that the experiment does show some very important points when it comes to conflict and fighting between people. Firstly – fighting and conflicts are very much a result of how we have designed our current system – where all are pushed into a state of survival and are pitted against one another in a capitalistic race. If we compare to the boat, there each participant were dependent on the other members of the group – and there was no systematic competition – instead the group competed against external elements to empower itself and its members.

Secondly – in the boat scenario – there were no shortages of food, water or accommodation – and the resources on the ship were to my knowledge distributed equally between the members of the group. This is a point that is in stark contrast the normal society were resources are distributed arbitrarily to the people that happen to have the most money – and there is no regard for any innate value in human beings – as each are only valued according to the amount of money that they have.

What is interesting thus is that this researcher actually created circumstances on his boat that allowed for peace and mutual cooperation to come through – even though he thought that he was creating an environment that would induce massive amounts of conflict.

Thus – to get back to the initial point. If we want to be able to create a new world, a new way, where everyone gets to have a life of dignity – a life of love and enjoyment – we need to start working together – start encouraging our strides forward no matter how small they might be – and stop dividing. We do not need more opinions – we need more understanding. And we do not need more leaders – we need more groups that stand and work together as one towards creating a better life for everyone.


 

Day 418: Observations on Politics

Last week I visited a political festival that is arranged each year. It was very, very intense, and it showcased the problems with how democracy works currently. In essence, the reason why we are not able to change problems fast and effectively is because we are divided. For example, I visited a lecture that concerned basic income. There were two lecturers, and both had their own individual idea about how basic income should be implemented. And thus – the entire discussion came to be about the conflict between the perspectives, instead of looking at how to actually implement the idea in reality.

It seems like the problem is that we all want to have our own opinion, our own version, our own voice to matter, to be important, recognized, esteemed and followed – and because of that – we fight everyone else. It is fascinating and unfortunate – because the end result tends to be that absolutely nothing but talking and arguing happens. We argue about what way to go, how to go there, when to go there, what to do when we get there, instead of deciding together and then simply going there. I am not in any way surprised that no alternative solution to economics, diplomacy, school, or society in general has been implemented as of yet – we are simply no there – first – we have to learn how to work together.

This is also why corporations tends to overwhelm and defeat non-profit start-ups. The corporation is a dictatorship and has a clear guideline – which is profit. The non-profit has no clear hierarchy and mission – and furthermore tends to compete with other non-profits about presenting the ‘best’ solution to a problem. The result is usually that the non-profit organization lose movement and die out – while the corporation marches on. It is no wonder that things are the way they are today – how can we except anything different when we ourselves has not changed?

If we want to be able to bring through new ideas, alternative solutions, alternative ways of living, we have to learn to work together – and agree on common approaches. It is not possible to move forward if all of us want it our own way. It is not possible to do it ‘our way’ and expect any great results. Impactful movements have in common that many people have agreed on one direction and followed that. It is similar to water. One drop of water has no force – a flood of it however can tear down damns. And maybe this is why so far – great societal projects have been more keen to appear in dictatorial regimes rather than democracies – because in such regimes there is no space for division. And I am not in any way suggesting dictatorship as sound means of statecraft – what I want to show is that because we accept and allow so much division between ourselves – and because we tend to mostly think about ourselves – we have not yet been able to harness the power of democracy effectively.

Consider the fact that democracy is based on the starting point that majority rules. Though – without a majority – it is not possible to achieve a breakthrough. And that is where we are at currently – learning that together  we stand and divided we fall. Individually, we are easily controlled by minorities – yet together – we are able to change the basic foundations of society. And what are we all able to stand with? We want what is BEST for ourselves and everyone else – because what is best for everyone – is by implication best for us. Politics should not be about left or right, it should be about finding out what is best and doing that together. Right now politics is about competing viewpoints and opinions – and then everyone tries to convince one another that their opinion is the best one – instead of simply investigating what is the best option and doing that.

Another thing that makes democracy difficult is that it is without values or principles. The basic foundation of democracy is that everyone is allowed to have their own opinion and voice their ideas – even if their opinions and ideas are destructive. And unfortunately – people tend to use democracy to further their own agendas instead of looking at the best of the collective.

Thus – my take on this is that democracy, politics, and structural system implementations will not be able to reach its full potential until us humans develop ourselves to be able to stand by a higher purpose – where giving stability and support to everyone takes precedence over one’s own life goals. We need to grow as people before our external reality is able to grow.


Day 407: Corrupt Politics

I find politics pretty interesting. The thing I have such a difficulty wrapping my head around is how there can be several opinions on the best way to run society – and how the different parties are able to debate on these matters. From my point of view there should not be any conflict. We should be able to see and mathematically prove the best way of organizing society. We are able to do this with medicine, in physics and engineering, how come society should be so difficult? How come we have accepted the notion that when it comes to humanities, all types of opinions and ideas are in a way valid?

The only reason I can find as to why politics is so corrupted with opinions and so lacking in mathematics is because we, the voters, are possessed with our self-interest. We vote on the party and the view that best suits our fears and desires – and because what matters to us is our self-interest – all facts can be challenged and debated – shifted, turned and shredded – in order to fit the vision we have for our own life. It is pretty astounding that we are able to deceive ourselves to this extent – to believe that our politics are actually real, that they matter, and that they are based on rational ideologies – when it is in-fact just a mishmash of self-interest.

If the voters would be steered by common sense, there would not be conflicting parties and ideologies. There would be ONE party – the party that is dedicated to realizing practical politics that is best for all. And this ONE party would investigate each policy change by applying mathematics. It is not harder than that. It only becomes hard, difficult and complex when you a myriad of individualists only caring for their own self-interest. My hope is that we as humanity in the future will come together and define our life on the basis of this notion – what is best for all. I cringe when I hear people saying that the current lottery of life is simply ‘the way it is’ and when I see it in their eyes that they have accepted the current world setup as is. It is fascinating – that we believe everything must be the way that it is now – just because it has been so in the past. My take on it is that we could change our world pretty fast into a heaven – however that would need us to drop our self-interest, our excuses, our justifications, and give to support everyone, and not just ourselves.

The one realization that I have had, in terms of how society works, is that our society cannot be better than the worst of us. If we have people that have become abused, battered, left in poverty and misery – then this is going to create many serious consequences – also for those that manage to create somewhat of a good and comfortable life. So many things could be sorted out if we would decide to share the resources on earth equally between everyone and stop justifying why we should not. There is no right of ownership in reality – it is made up – and it is a abstract theory that has caused a lot of suffering – because people are being withheld the things they need to survive. And still – we all accept it – and most of us are terrified that ownership will disappear. And that is we communism is fought so fervently – it represents communal ownership and putting the commune before the individual.

Though I would say that the solution is neither in capitalism or in communism – the solution resides within each of us. If we all begin to care for one another and treat one another as we would like to be treated – we are going to build the foundation for a awesome world. And it will not be possible to wait for anyone else to do it first. We must be the front-runners. Those of us that are able to see that the our care and love must be lived in thought, word and deed – we must be the first to change and create our living according to the ideals we know are the best for everyone.

Thus – politics – it is a load of bullshit – unless it is mathematically tested and proven to create the best outcome for everyone. Ideologies is a load of crap, unless it is about mathematics. We can talk all day about liberalism and democracy – though unless we realize love for one another in the physical – it will be worth nothing. Hence – that is how I am going to work with politics in my life – it is will be my contribution to create a world that is best for everyone.


Day 395: Politics and News

To keep up with what is happening in the world I have begun reading the news regularly. At the moment – the big news in Sweden is that we have difficulties creating a government. The political parties cannot come together – they are too far apart in their political views – and instead squabble, argue and debate. I find this interesting in many respects.

One point that fascinates me is the very notion of democracy and different political views. The popular consensus in Sweden is that democracy, freedom of thought and pluralism are good things that allow us to have a functional society. My one question is – how are we even able to have different opinions about how to make decisions for our country? If everyone wanted what is best for everyone – which in my world is the natural position to take – would we even have different political parties? Would there be a need for such a thing if we came together to create what is best for everyone?

No – and that is why political parties is an externalization of our separation from what is best for all. It is a reflection of our inner division where we have defined ourselves as an individual, separate from the whole, apparently entitled to our own opinions. And oh my god, there are so many opinions. The newspaper is literally invaded with opinions. Each of us wants our opinion to be the best opinion – and get attention for our opinion. We become tied to and define ourselves according to our opinions – and then look for a political party that aligns with our opinions. However – what if we did not have opinions? And instead – we had a will to understand, forgive and formulate the best possible ways to live for everyone? Democracy would not be needed in such a world.

We have accepted a dwarfish way of life and our parties reflect this back to us. No party offers any particularly new or revolutionary ways to deal with the real problems that exists in this world. It is just the same old shit over and over again. Monetary growth, more jobs and less expenses – individual survival trumping the will to make life good for all of us. It is as if we are so settled into the current way of life that we believe it is the only way of life. However – it would be pretty easy to change a lot of bad things in society – if we would come together and make an effort. Unfortunately we are divided, split into opinions, groups, subgroups, cultures and subcultures – all of us with our own individual life, individual desires, wants and needs, and goals we want to reach – and all of this serves to keep us dwarfed.

This is why I easily become bored and frustrated when I read about politics. It is just – for a lack of a better word – meaningless. There is no substance it – no understanding – no drive to make the BEST out of life – there is only that weak and diluted voice of survival – opinions about things without any purpose. And a recurring aspect in newspapers is the investigation of problems – there are so many problems discussed – and once and a while – there might be a solution. And when a solution is discussed – usually it will be criticized in some form of debate article or chronicle. Newspapers function the same way as our minds – a lot of words, reactions, games, experiences, tons of movement – however no substance. It feels as if there is a lot going on – but on a deeper level – most articles are empty and the majority of news is only put out there in the search of selling more newspapers.

However – looking beyond all the negative aspects with newspapers – what I appreciate about them is that I am able to follow along in movements of the world and learn more about society and the country that I live in. And to end of with a solution – if we overlook the gossipy, propagandist, fear-mongering aspects of news and politics – and look at the structures – the information that in there somewhere – usually there are some cool things to learn.


 

 

Day 450: Changing The Cultures At Work

Recently I quit my job and moved unto a new employer, with new office, new colleagues, new routines, and a new culture. It has been very interesting, primarily, because I have been able to observe the difference in culture.

At my first job, there was a pressure and stress to the atmosphere. There was a lot of animosity under the surface, irritation because of changes in the organization, or just general dissatisfaction with the amount of work that was pressuring the employers. There was also this interesting tendency to reward/look positively at putting in long hours at the office. It was seen as good to work more, and I found myself, on a couple of occasions, competing with my colleagues about who was working the most. When I look back at it now, I find it fascinating, because there is absolutely no value in merely working – the focus – should be on the RESULT. If the result is dependent upon working more hours, then it might make sense – however if the result is instead dependent on the QUALITY of work put in – and not the quantity – then it does not make sense to put in more hours than what is needed.

Another point that was quite noticeable at my old work was the hierarchical structure and the competition existent between some of the co-workers. And mostly, the competition had to do about achieving a higher standing in the eyes of those higher up in the hierarchy. Many times this created a tense atmosphere, which led to mistakes being suppressed and withheld, rather than being opened up and discussed. Consequently, information sometimes got lost, and the organization as a whole lost strength.

Though, the most compromising point existent at my old office must have been gossip. It is a very destructive habit. It creates separation between individuals, it separate groups, creates many misunderstandings, and assumptions. Gossip, while it might sound as if a problem is being discussed and opened up, it is only a way of immersing oneself in emotions while attempting to destroy another and get backing from others to feel justified about it. Gossiping is cowardly and should not be allowed in any office. For a organization, gossip is like a illness. I would imagine, that the same organization, free from gossip, would be able to perform with 100 % more efficiency. However it is very difficult to do, because gossip easily becomes like an addiction. Then we become addicted to our problems as well, because they offer us opportunity to bring up our gossip and have others join in.

Hence, the big differences thus far that I have noticed, is not so much in the description of the work, but more in the culture existing at the office – and it is fascinating the impact that this culture can have on how the work is experienced. And culture is not something that is easily changed. In-fact, there are organizational experts and motivational speakers specialized in only changing the culture/the general approach of the employees of a workplace – and in most of the cases without much success. The reason for that, as I see it, is simple. It has not yet been effectively understood how the culture, the accepted and allowed set of behavior in a office, is created – and that employers must put in A LOT more resources into working with/directing the underlying problems that the employers have that come through as for example gossip.

One practical correction that I have applied at work in order to support myself to be more effective has been to push myself to be professional – to keep my relationships and myself directed and targeted at and towards fulfilling the goals/responsibilities of the organization. To do that, I have pushed myself to keep in my mind a overview – to see not only my own personal life – but to as well see how my position, and the actions I take in my position, influence and effect others. Doing that, I have also come to see the value in what I am doing. And due to this personal relationships has become less important, in favor of prioritizing fulfilling the responsibilities I have.

On a final note, I want to add that, when it comes to office politics and work environments, even though it might feel like we cannot change them, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of us taking back the initiative and ACTING. We cannot wait for others to change – if we want a different atmosphere – we have to create it – and that always begins with ourselves. If we want less gossip, first we must make sure that WE do not gossip. If we want less stress and more structure – then we must first make sure that WE live and create that for ourselves – that we stand as an example. And I have experienced this at my past work place – things do change when I change. As such, blame is NEVER valid – we always have the power and capacity to do something about our situation.

 


 

Day 415: Redefining Debate

When facts become about winning, that is when discussions will loose meaning, decisions will be made that makes no sense, and people will disagree with each-other just because, even though they might not disagree with one another on a factual level. In the western world, we call this phenomenon ‘debating’ – taking the-bait – and trying to overturn the opponent to ones own world view.

It is really interesting to look at the nature of debating, because what is really the point with it? If we enter a discussion with the mindset that we are going to convince the other person that we are right, while at the same time being convinced that we ourselves are right and the other is wrong, then how much space is there for us to actually learn something and reconsider our own points of view? Not that much I would say.

I have noticed with myself that I will, especially with my siblings, enter a debate mode. I will enter into the discussion with a certain point of view, this view will be challenged by my siblings, and then I will defend my view. The reason as to why I defend my view is because I fear losing, fear losing in the sense that my siblings will not agree with my perspective and the way I see things. Obviously, it is completely irrational, because my perspective will not disappear or become diminished only because someone else disagrees with it – if I see what I see – and I see that it is in-fact so – then why am I so fearful about what others say about it? On a physical level, there is nothing for me to lose.

In-fact, it is in reverse. When I approach a discussion from a starting point of wanting to convince another, I am closing myself off from hearing their perspective, hence, closing myself off from expanding and learning from another, thus actually creating loss within myself and my reality.

Hence, what is really going on here? Why is it that I feel a need to protect myself, my views, my perspectives, and to make sure that others agree with them? The way I see it, it is about insecurity, and because I build my self-image through others, and then, when others respect and agree with my views, apparently my self-image is strengthened, and when the opposite happens, it is weakened. If I however, would trust myself, and have a stable, constant self-image, not based upon the stimuli/response of others, then I would not be in fear of changing my point of view, and not in fear of allowing the perspective of another into me, for me to consider it unconditionally.

Hence, the solution that I see is to dare to step beyond ‘my information’ and ‘your information’ and see, realize and understand that it is simply different perspectives, different kinds of information, and that it does not matter who or what is the bearer of the information. What is important is the perspective in itself, the words in themselves, and whether they are supportive or not – and to be able to establish that – I must dare to be open and unconditional – and thus I will practice approaching discussions from this starting point. Hence this is how I will redefine ‘debating’; ‘A discussion with another to establish what information/perspective/direction is BEST and to support mutual growth and expansion for all participants’.

Additionally, a supportive principle to live by with regards to this point is to ‘investigate all things and hold unto that which is good‘.


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Day 36: Liberalism – Freedom vs. Principled Freedom

liberals_585In this blog I am going to take a closer look at liberalism – and answer the questions – what is liberalism? And what is the problem with liberalism, and how can this be changed into a solution, and what will be the rewards for walking such a solution?

Firstly – what is liberalism?

This is taken from Wikipedia:

Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property.

According to my research on this subject – which involves primarily the opinions, and ideas of Chris Hedges, and Noam Chomsky – what I am able to see is that Liberalism is a very complex, and wide array of beliefs that intermingle – shape shift – and ultimately comes out very differently depending upon whom it is that is explains the point of liberalism. Thus I will here give the point liberalism a very simple definition that I am going to work with – and that is that liberalism is the drive towards equality between human beings, without a authoritarian state – where human-beings are allowed to express themselves according to their free will, and compete on the marketplaces of the world without stifling regulations – in essence be free so to speak.

Problem

According to my understanding – the idea of liberalism is primarily based upon the desire that each human being is to be free to decide his own life without anyone telling him, or her what to do – thus the epitome of free choice – each human being completely free to decide who, and what they are going to be in this world.

The problem I see with this approach is that allowing everyone to be completely free – also means the one accepts and allow abuse to take part in this world. I mean – that is the definition of free – EVERYTHING is allowed and there are no boundaries, no rules, no principles, and no guidelines – if you want to become super-rich – go for it! Or, if you want to get children, and raise them to become your slaves to take care of you when you’re old – then go for it! Or, if you want and desire become a pedophile and satisfy your innermost hidden desires – then go for it!

The obvious problem with this is that such a notion of freedom can’t exist without harm, and suffering – in-fact – the world we see today is the results of freedom given to individuals to determine themselves, and their lives without any practical principles being decided upon as limits for the freedom one is allowed to exercise – because obviously there must be such a principle for a society to exist wherein all participants have a fulfilling, and dignified life.

Thus – the problem with unrestricted freedom is that it does not have an outcome that is best for all – it has an outcome of simply allowing people to do what they want no matter the consequences of their actions – and for our world to be safe, secure, and without unpredictable events – such a unrestrained freedom can’t be allowed to exist – thus freedom must be restrained through principles – there must be boundaries that make free will, and free choice be not completely free – but free to the extent where it does not cause anyone harm.

Let’s take a practical example – imagine a country where there is no laws – and no principles – there is complete, and total freedom; here on individual decides to become drunk, and then take his car and go driving. While driving this individual due this drunken state by mistake hit’s a child that become paralyzed for the rest of his life; this is not an outcome that is acceptable for a effective, and honorable society – because this is a freedom that comes at the expense of beings sacrificing their lives and well-being for another human-being to be free to make harmful, and destructive decisions.

If we look at how the current financial system functions – we’re able to see how the freedom given to people to make money by any means necessary is having tremendously harmful effects for certain other people – wherein through the stock-markets of the world – prices of resources, and the economies of countries are being used as pawns in a giant casino gamble – where from one day to another – an entire country can collapse and fall into ruins due to a wealthy person placing his money in such a way as to manipulate the pricing of particular resources. This type of freedom is not acceptable – as it’s a freedom that cause HARM – and cause people to live lives of uncertainty, and fear – instead of a life that is best for them.

As such – what can be concluded is that – the problem with liberalism is that unrestrained freedom have consequences that are not acceptable – and can’t be accepted and allowed in this world.

Solution

What is the solution? How can liberalism be aligned so that it isn’t harmful? As I see it the point that must change for liberalism to be effective is that freedom must change so that it’s instead of free-freedom – instead principled freedom. Which means that instead of one being able, and allowed to do exactly everything that one want to do – one is only allowed, and able to do that which one want to do but that isn’t harmful, or destructive for anyone else. So – freedom to the extent where it’s not harmful.

If one on the one hand take a look at this principled freedom – it’s actually more free than normal free-for-all freedom – because in the normal free-for-all freedom there must always be a winner, and a looser – the winner get’s to experience his freedom – yet at the expense of another that loose his freedom – and that can’t be called real freedom – it should instead be called bullying, or abuse – because that is in essence what it is.

Principled freedom on the other hand does not have any side-effects as harm – an example of living out principled freedom would be that one decide to go and take a bath one afternoon – and obviously taking a bath doesn’t harm anyone – and thus it’s a principled decision that one is free to make and it doesn’t infer on anyone else’s freedom – because one do not require a slave to go and take a bath.

In relation to trade, and economics – free-trade must change into principled free-trade – which means that we’re not anymore allowed to manipulate prices on false values of supply and demand – because this many times places the producer of the product into a state of poverty – because when the price is able to be deflated, or inflated upon the basis of rumors on the market – then that is obviously a point of freedom that is abusive, and harmful – when it means that the one selling his product can’t place food on the table for his family that night – because he wasn’t paid anything for the crops he sold.

Rewards

The rewards for changing the liberalism and it’s primary component of freedom – from free-for-all freedom – to principled freedom – is that we can now as a humanity begin to trust one another – because not anymore will we have to be afraid that suddenly someone is going to stab a knife in our back as they decide to “live out their freedom” – because now there won’t exist any personalized idea of freedom that is harmful for the whole – freedom will be aligned to what is best for all – as principled freedom.

And as for trade – here we will have the reward that trade will not anymore be a gamble – and as a producer you won’t fear being scammed, and receive absolutely crap pay for what you’ve created – because the freedom to utilize various means to manipulate prices – will not be allowed anymore – as such a freedom do have consequences that are harmful for the greater whole.

With principled freedom becoming the landmark for humanity – we will have a world that is safe for our children to grow up in because harm will not be allowed to take place in the name of freedom, and free choice.

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