Sunday, June 3, 2012

Two Party Politics and other nonsense

Is there anyone really foolish enough to believe that the world is black and white? I am not alluding to right vs. wrong. I am literally talking color. Black and white.

No red, blue, yellow or purple... No gray even, just black... and white.

In the same vein, is there anyone deluded enough to believe that all people think in one of two ways? does the fact that you don't like hot dogs make you a vegetarian? Yet we do this all the time.

Sunni, Shia, Black, Caucasian, Atheist, Christian, Republican, Democrat... We draw imaginary lines, pick sides, and then often, proceed to beat each other (more) senseless. It's sheer lunacy.

Of course, it's easy to see how it begins.

Say you have six people who form a community. They have decided to vote on a handful of important matters. Three of those people get together and decide to form an alliance. They agree that one particular item is of great importance to them. There are a few other items that are important to one, and of no concern one way or the other to the rest. So a deal is made to all vote the same way on all those items. The other three vote independently, some voting yes, some voting no on the various matters, and the end result is the three who formed an alliance get most of the votes to go the way they want them to.

It is animal nature, largely. Strength in numbers, circle the wagons and all that. So we form gangs. We move in packs. We circle the wagons. We unify. We utilize strength of numbers to "get our way".

Somehow it always happens though; the gang takes on a life of it's own. It becomes the all consuming, driving force. We become so involved in the gang - in the label, that we forget what the fundamental, driving principles were. Reason is lost and madness prevails.

We formed or joined these groups in the beginning to provide protection, to preserve our particular mores, to protect our freedoms. In the end, those groups rob us of even more freedom. We become so entrenched in the dogma of the particular group, that we begin to see every decision in terms of black or white. Option 1) or option 2). All other possibilities become invisible. We lose the ability to seek rational compromise, or to find the 3rd option which satisfies the needs of all.

If you are no longer able to think critically, if you are no longer able to talk rationally, if you are no longer are to listen with empathy, you are no longer free. If you compromise your fundamental beliefs in order to support the cause of some conglomerate, you are no longer free.

And worse, this slavery was not imposed upon you. You willingly submitted to it.

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