13 August 2009

The End Of Politics

photo Todd Heisler/The New York Times

In memory of Evelyn Coke

I've heard a lot of talk recently about the US falling to socialism. First some statistics/ snippets of info that I randomly read last week:

1) More children in South Central LA suffer from PTSD than in Baghdad according to the documentary "Crips and Bloods: Made In America."

2) 2/3 of of incarcerated juveniles have been diagnosed with at least one Mental Health condition.

3) Home care workers are exempt from over-time regulations.

4) Nine of the financial firms that were among the largest recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than $1 million apiece for 2008, according to a report released Thursday by Andrew M Cumo, the New York attorney general.

So regarding socialism, I'm not sure the US is in any position to move towards taking collective responsibility for its vulnerable citizens. Why spend money on providing creative opportunities for ghettoized youth when trillions can be spent on unwinnable wars? Stability should start with ourselves.

Anyway, all this got me to thinking, once again, about genuine solutions to such situations are inhibited by how binary politics are. You're either a liberal or a conservative. Right-winger or lefty. Authoritarian or libertarian. Blah blah.

I'd like to advocate just for the sake of mental exercise (for now) that people get to combine their wildest dreams, deepest desires, and profound revelations to create an (in)sanely impractical politics. The end of politics.

Here's mine (like I said wildly impractical, for now):

1) Everyone needs to be able to gather everything they need to survive within walking distance of where they choose to lay their head.

2) All transport should be human, wind or solar powered. Not just for ecological reasons but to deter excessive travel and encourage people to find 'life' in their immediate surroundings and discourage global monoculture which is vulnerable, unhealthy and boring.

3) 'Communities' should be voluntarily compromised of a rough number of inhabitants, large enough to make sure that everything that needs to get done will get done, but small enough so that everyone still knows everyone personally.

4) Three hours a day of hard labour from those capable, should be enough to sustain a healthy community (according to a 1932 study). Then you are free to meet your own station in life.

5) Art, music, and entertainment should come from within the community and consumed live where at all possible. Aren't we all tired of worshipping rock stars who earn obscene amounts of money who are no more talented than that 'one friend of ours?'

6) Separate communities should feel free to explore federation and trade and so on, as long as it does not jeopardize the autonomy of any community or individual.
6.5) No more internet or cell phones.

All of this is to encourage sustainable living while enhancing bio-regional and cultural vitality and peculiarity.

That's my pie in the sky. What's yours?

Some further reading: