Yup. That's the Number One objection.
-"too far out there"
...pie in the sky...
...you get the picture.
Here's a recent question from a reader:
"I've been reading a bunch of stuff on here, and WHOA... this is SO far out... I mean, don't get me wrong, I LIKE these ideas, they're GOOD, in fact they're, like, PERFECT, in the sense that, if we could *actually* figure out a way to implement this vision, it would be the best possible world conceivable.
But... that's exactly why I'm afraid that it WON'T work - it's TOO utopian. It's so far out of the mainstream of what the current public currently accepts. We're having quite enough trouble as it is, getting the public on board with really moderate progressive ideas, and you're talking about transforming into a totally enlightened society, like, almost overnight?
How will you get the public to go along with something this brazenly utopian, when they're already resisting even the small, incremental changes?
I mean I get that we definitely could use a little *dose* of utopianism right about now, I'm not gonna deny that. We need progress. We need some new thinking. We need evolution - major evolution. But this stuff is just SO utopian, SO out there, SO perfect... it's like, completely zero-ly possible. Utopia doesn't win elections."
Thanks for the very honest question.
Yes, we get it. You were a starry-eyed idealist once. You believed in utopia. You had faith in humanity's potential.
But then you saw the world, and you saw defeat, and disappointment. You got belittled for being an "idealist." You lost elections, and you needed an explanation for why. And everyone was all too happy to provide you with one: You were too idealistic. You asked for too much.
We get it.
But they were lying to you.
You didn't lose because you were too idealistic. You lost because you weren't idealistic enough.
You weren't audacious enough.
You held back.
Yes, that seems counter-intuitive. It goes against everything we're taught in "conventional politics."
Conventional politics tells us that electability is inverse to idealism. In other words, the more idealistic something is, the less electable.
Since we were old enough to start understanding politics, we were bombarded with that message: "idealness and electability are inverse variables."
Represented visually, it looks like this:
This is considered to be "common knowledge" - a basic fact about how politics works.
The pundits acted like this was some kind of immutable property of physics, derived from the fabric of reality itself.
But we believed it, because it was hammered into our minds, so relentlessly. "Repeat a lie often enough... and it becomes truth..."
Whenever we won a victory, the public dialogue attributed it to us having compromised, and having been "moderate".
And whenever we suffered a defeat, the blame was placed on us for having been "too idealistic."
They've really done a number on us, when you think about it. They've gotten us thinking that the very goodness of something is inherently the reason why it's unattainable... and that this is some kind of metaphysical law of the universe - that the more good and ideal something is, the less practicable.
The healthier and saner a world is, the less likely it is to come about.
Purely because of its healthiness and saneness.
What a mindfuck.
So, we learned to hold back - to hold our tongues, to conceal the fullness of what we believe. We may have a vision - a beautiful vision of the way the world could be - and one that's entirely practicable (if other people would just agree to it) - but we hold back from sharing it.
We think it's "too much" to share "all at once." At most, we can share only a tiny sliver. We only give people one small glimpse at a time.
All dreamers, idealists, utopians... all progress-minded people... are in a near-constant condition of "holding back."
Haven't you noticed that?
And aren't you getting tired of it?
Aren't you tired of always refraining from speaking the fullness of what you know to be true? Tired of being afraid?
Aren't you tired of the game?
You know, the game that most of us have been playing, all our lives. The one where we try to find a "balancing point" between "progress" and "electability." Not too much of one or the other. We want to persuade others to embrace progress, to make the world better - but if we say "too much" of it, then we'll alienate the audience. So we try to find this "sweet spot", to fit the most progress into our message without going over the line at which the audience would shut down from incredulity.
It's like Blackjack. You try to get as close to 21 as you can, but not over.
Or like those games at the amusement park, like Roller Bowler, where you push a ball down a ramp and then up a hill, and try to get it in that little valley without going over the hill again. You try to exert just enough force to get it over the hill the first time, but not so much that it goes over it the second time. Sorta like that.
All progress-minded people have been playing this game, to one degree or another. We've been watering down our messages, to avoid going over 21, or over the hump that second time.
Aren't you getting tired of this?
Don't you realize that we don't have time for this nonsense anymore?
The planet can't afford this anymore!
We, as a planet, don't have time for incrementalism. We're facing a planetary ecological emergency, and every day we wait pushes us closer to the brink.
And it's not like the game even WORKS. It has a terrible record, and some of us have begun to notice this. We try going "moderate" - we try watering down our message. We shrink it down to a level where it "couldn't possibly be too much" for anyone. We just ask for a little teeny tiny trickle of progress. Surely no one will object! Surely such weak incrementalism will be so non-threatening, people will certainly be nice and acquiesce to it!
And we still end up losing.
Even with a huge compromise. Even with a watered-down message. It's still not popular enough to win.
And then, we ask "why."
And what does the "conventional wisdom" tell us?
"You were too idealistic. You asked for too much."
And the prescription is, of course, (like always), to be even less confident in our vision - to water the message down even more.
But this gives off a stench of weakness. It comes across as spineless, and uninspiring. Which leads to even more defeats.
Which we might take to mean that we were still too idealistic and so we have to water it down even more than that!
It's a self-reinforcing cycle.
A feedback loop.
Losing elections leads to loss of confidence, which leads to philosophical compromise, which leads to looking weak and uninspiring, which leads to losing elections... which leads to loss of confidence... and so on.
And falling into it for decades is how we wound up with today's modern neoliberalism - an ideology whose own loyal proponents can't even tell you what it stands for.
And that's where the contemporary Left is at this current point in time.
Now you might be thinking:
"I understand the "cycle." You have a point, for sure.
But what's the solution? It would seem to be... that we should go in the other direction. Get more ideal. More progressive. Start being bolder. Asking for more.
But what about the graph? The curved green line thingy with the downward slope. Doesn't more progress mean less electability? Or... is the graph wrong?"
It's not "wrong" - but it is only half-true.
Because they're only showing you half of the graph!
The first part of the graph is the same one from before... but if you go all the to the end of it, the downward trend reverses, and there's a whole other curve that takes shape, going upwards!
In other words, if you present a more ideal vision, it will be less electable. But if you go really, really ideal - past that bottoming-out point - you start becoming more electable.
They'll never ever tell you this on the corporate news shows.
It seems to be the biggest secret in politics.
"OK. I understand the concept. It's interesting. But... do you have any evidence for it? How does this actually... "work"? In what concrete ways should it be applied?"
There are two concepts you need to understand before we proceed. We call these the "Pillars of Winning."
These are the phenomena that create victory in political movements, and ultimately, elections.
The first pillar is called the Overton Window.
This is the idea that the "center" of any debate is formed by the location of the two opposing poles. And it implies that, if you want to gain ground, you have to move your own pole, to be more extreme, in order to move the center in your direction.
When you fail to understand the Overton Window, this is what happens:
When you keep moving your proposals towards the "center", you're actually shifting to Overton Window away from your ideals - towards the rightwing.
Every time you compromise, you're redefining the poles of the debate, further to the Right.
The rightwingers understand this. The corporate media understands this. And that's why they tell you to keep compromising - because your compromising shifts the window. In their direction.
"But what would it look like if we started using the Overton Window to our advantage? How can we put this knowledge to work?"
For a quick example, let's say you think there's too much inequality, and 1% of the population shouldn't have 50% of the wealth. And you want to put a 25% tax on all wealth over a billion dollars.
Your opponents, the rightwingers, are going to come at you with a position of not taxing billionaires at all, and allowing the entire corporate class to run roughshod over the working class and the planet. (They pick such an extreme position because they understand the Overton Window).
So, the center of such a debate would be a 12.5% tax - halfway between 0% and 25%.
That's the Overton Window. It's a window covering the range of debate, between the two poles. And on the issue of this billionaire-tax, the Overton Window would cover tax proposals from 0% to 25%, because those are the two positions you've defined as the poles. Anything between 0% and 25% would be considered "mainstream", and anything outside of that range would be seen as "radical."
And the "center" - that magical sweet sugary spot that every party and politician wants to seem like they're firmly anchored in - is 12.5%.
So what this means is, if you actually want 25%, you should really be demanding 50%. Because then the "center" would be the 25% you originally wanted.
Even if you don't really want 50% - even if you think 50% is too high - you should still demand it, as your initial position, because doing so will "shift the Overton Window" further in your direction, so that it covers the 25% you actually want, and features it in its Center.
And if you want 50%, then you should demand 100%. Just demand a cap on all wealth over a billion dollars, and confiscate all excess!
And if you want THAT, you should demand a cap on all wealth over 500 million.
And if you want THAT, you should demand a cap on all wealth over 100 million.
And if you want THAT, then you should start at a position of demanding that all billionaires be placed into custody and held in psychiatric facilities until doctors determine the cause of their sociopathic behavior - why they hoarded so much for themselves, while others had so little - and have them prosecuted in criminal court for their ecocide.
And if you want THAT...
...then you should start with a position of demanding that all billionaires be physically subjugated by tax-funded Dominatrixes wearing vegan faux-leather, with cameras broadcasting their humiliation before the world.
Like, you don't "actually" want that - but stating the dominatrix idea as your initial position "moves the Overton Window" to cover the previous solution (i.e. psychiatric evaluation of all billionaires) as the Center of Debate.
Now let's move on to the second Pillar:
The Emotional Power of Audacity.
A leader is someone who does something audacious.
Someone who governs without audacity is a manager - not a leader. And the Left, in recent decades, has embraced an identity of "manager", rather than "leader."
A manager asks what the public wants, and then tries to do that.
A leader asks what's necessary, and then makes the public want it.
A manager responds to the desire of the public.
A leader SETS those desires.
A manager lets the public tell them what to do.
A leader TELLS the public what they ought to be telling the managers to do!
When a manager sees a person who OPPOSES him, he backs away, and asks for LESS, in an effort to gain his opponent's good will, and extract a trickle of concessions out of them. "Better a little bit, than nothing."
But when a leader sees opposition, he states his own truth even more emphatically than before, to win over the people who aren't yet decided - to win them over to his side, and overwhelm his ideological opponent with the power of numbers.
If a manager doesn't have enough support, she asks for something closer to where the support is.
If a leader doesn't have enough support, she CREATES IT.
The key difference is audacity. The leader, by definition, is someone demanding something that *does not yet have public support.* The fact that she creates that support, implies that the support *didn't yet exist* when she came along. She is, by definition, asking for something un-popular.
And if you're not asking for anything un-popular...
...then you're not a leader. You're not using the power of audacity - not tapping into the emotional power of leadership.
And as you probably know all too well, politics largely hinges on feelings. People are drawn to the power of leadership, emotionally.
Leadership is brave. And human beings feel an emotional pull towards bravery. It inspires us. It makes us FEEL something.
And when we see a person being brave - being a leader - it makes us want to agree with whatever they're saying.
Most belief bubbles are impossible to puncture with logic. They require emotion. Emotion is the only way to have an effect. beliefs....
The only way to overcome a belief system, is through a stronger display of a belief system. A stronger emotion.
A leader doesn't ask what's electable. A leader asks what's necessary, and then speaks that, and MAKES it electable.
You don't just take whatever the public believes, and just resign yourself to it. You're supposed to decide what the public believes.
Don't change your beliefs to match the public's. Change the public's beliefs to match yours.
That's a leader.
Rightwingers understand this. They use it all the time. That's why the Orange Man got elected.
You know... the Cheeto. Mango Mussolini. Twitler.
He catapulted to the front of the field, because of his audacity. It's the reason why he even caught any traction in the first place. It's what made him originally stand out of the Republican primary field, what made him different from all the other candidates running for the party's nomination. His audacity put him on the map, and lodged him into the public consciousness.
He said things that were unthinkable. Things that should have tanked his campaign immediately. Should have. By all conventional wisdom. Should have, but obviously didn't.
The power of audacity itself was so great, that he, with its help, was able to overshadow the indescribably egregious badness of his ideas, and get elected despite his horrible agenda. Walls and bullying and cruelty and ignorance of all kinds, and the total disregard for the value of planetary ecology.
He used the Power of Audacity, and the Overton Window.
His supporters knew about it, too. By name. They talked about the Overton Window on 4chan. And about "alpha male dominance" (another way of saying the Power of Audacity). Every one of his core supporter knew these terms, and talked about these terms with their friends, and sought to utilize the power behind them.
When people take a stand - a ballsy one - one that reflects what millions think but few are brave enough to say aloud - no matter what it's for - whatever it's in service of - whether love or fear, good or evil, or anything in between - others look up to them, and follow them, and leaders are born.
And leaders shape the thinking of the people they lead.
So here's the good news. If a person with terrible ideas can win with audacity alone, then surely a person with GOOD ideas is at least as capable of winning, if they're able to muster the same level of audacity.
But a little tiny pinch of audacity is not enough. It's got to match the audacity of that which it's fighting. Evil audacity can only be overcome by an equal or greater amount of good audacity.
The way you win is not by conceding what you want, to be more in line with what others are willing to accept - it's by changing their minds to want what you want.
And the way you change their minds is by changing their hearts.
And the way you changing their hearts is by saying something beyond what you expect them to accept.
By saying something not yet popular.
And newness means progress.
But the Left hasn't been asking for progress. Not in a long time.
What the Left - the mainstream Left, at least - is asking for is no longer audacious. It's not audacious because it's not forward. It merely asks to return, backwards, to a more palatable time in the past. It's asking for things we've already done. It pines for the "golden days" of 90's neoliberal capitalism. The Clinton Era. Or perhaps the Obama Era, for those more socially-liberal. But either way, it's seeking a time "in the past."
And that is quite simply not audacious. It's wimpy. Who's inspired by the 90's? Who's inspired by Obama, at this point? The president who expanded the imperial wars, increased the bombings from 2 countries to 7, spread fracking all around the country and the world, and expanded fossil fuel infrastructure more than any president before him - and continues to brag about it, even to this day? What about that is inspiring, or audacious, or brave?
So when the Left pines for these two bygone and deeply flawed periods, they're going backwards...
But we still must ask ourselves yet another question: Why hasn't the Left been using these concepts? Where these concepts lead us is to a general direction of more boldness, but why haven't we been being bold and audacious thus far?Why do we hold back so much?At one point, we did. The Left didn't always used to lose elections. The Left has won big victories in the past. Why did it stop?
This is not just a way to win, it's the only way to win. Becuse the new system is necessary, we've already run out of room fo rprogress in the old system. As long as you stay within the old systme, there' sno more room fo rprogress. If you stay within the old sytm, the mos tyou]re gonna be askin gor now at this point, is a return to some past time that you thin kwas the golden age. Maybe yout hink it was the obama years, maybe that's when eveythin gwas fine an dpeacy and if we could just go back to that everything owul dbe fin.e or maybe you think it was a bit futher back than that, maybe the clinton years. maybe the 70s or sometihng. But the point is, the Left, the establishment Left, like controlled by the Dem party, is not asking for progress anymore. And when the Left doesn't ask for progrss, it hs no point in existing, it's just anothe form of the Right. If you wanna go backwards, to obama or clinton, then you're not progressive, and if you're not progressiv,e you're not really the left, so no wonder the lfet isn't winning with this strategy, it's not even being itself. What's the diff between a rep and a dem? 1 wants to go back ot the 50s and the othe rwants to go back to the 90s. but hey both wanna go backwards. Of course the people who are nominally supposed to be about progress areant winning, if they'r enot even standing up for progress ,embracing calling for, endorsing.... no wonder they're not winning, there's no raison detre or entire part of the spectrum to exist, if not seeking progres.. and it's uninspriing, weak, doswn' tinspire people to follow, it's not having any potency to win hearts an dminds, not winning debates, not winnin gover people. For the left to start winning peopl eover again, it has to come back to its roots, its true treason for easiting, which is progress. moving forward. maing the world better.
You have to go further. You have to cross that trough (low point) in the middle.
You have to go really, really progressive, to make this work.
"Like... HOW progressive?"
"You mean like universal healthcare? Like high taxes on rich people? Like ending the wars?"
These are good ideas, but we've been saying them for years. Decades. And they haven't caught on. Have you noticed that?
"Yes, I have."
Liberalism - progress - has run up against a wall. There is nowhere further for it to go, without completely upending the social system. And its advocates are too scared to make that argument. So the entire Left has stagnated, beside this wall.
But I just can't envision that winning. Like... have you SEEN this country lately? It's ENGULFED in barbarism. You think these people are going to embrace airy-fairy utopia stuff? You've gotta be kidding."
You're correct, insofar as you only advocate a degree of progress slightly greater than what you're currently advocating.
After all, the graph - that downward slope - does exist, and it's true that the more progressive your ideas are, the less electable.
Stop holding back!What progress-minded people need to do at this juncture in history, is go All In. And be completely unapologetic. Share the entire truth, the full picture on the puzzle box. Don't be afraid anymore, don't back down anymore, don't water down your message anymore. Speak the Totality of the Truth, and don't apologize to anyone for it. Speak it in every possible venue and scene. Do not stop until everyone knows it. Shout it from the rooftops, as they say.It's time to shine. It's time to find the star, the sun inside of ourselves, and let that energy radiate forth in the form of unabashed truthspeaking.
Break through the wall. When you do, you discover that there is a vast expanse of terrain beyond it.
Labels: pieces, full puzzle picture
Current system new system
Only Utopia goes far enough.
It's Utopia or bust, folks.
Now you might be thinking:
"Yes, progressive ideas are popular, when we stand up for them. But... that's different from UTOPIA. This website is advocating for truly... "fairies and unicorns" kinds of stuff. We can win with... what I guess you might call "moderate progressive" ideas... but not with utopia. It's too much."
We're going to let you in on a little secret.
A secret about utopia. And utopian ideas.
The secret is, they're not tweaks or adjustments to the existing social system.
They're components of an entirely different system.
And hence, they don't appear to make sense when you look at them within the wider context of the current system.
When they're evaluated in the context of the current system, they appear wacky. It's about context.
No nation states?
No private land ownership?
If you offer these things as standalone ideas - when you insert them, one at a time, into the current system - they appear completely out of place. "Wacky." That's a word you probably hear a lot from right-wing people, in response to anything even remotely idealistic, isn't it?
And that's because progressive ideas are wacky. In the context of the current system. (And that's why they fail to gain acceptance).
They do, however, make sense in the context of a different system. Far more sense than anything in the current system. (The current one is turning the planet into a barren toxic garbage heap. Any system makes more sense than that system.)
The different system is necessary for our survival.
We don't want to call it a "new" system, because it's not, in fact, "new." It's ancient. It's what humanity grew up with, for many thousands of years, before the current system supplanted it.
Yet, since it's been so long, and most of us have so thoroughly forgotten it, it appears new - and mysterious, unknown, and alien.
But some of us remember. And we try to bring it back. To spread the message.
The problem is - and this is very important:
We usually only bring that message in fragments. We bring each idea as a standalone concept, without bringing along the full picture of the new system that the idea is a component of.
And so, when our audience evaluates the idea, they do so in the context of the current system by default, since they have no other system in which to evaluate it. And it looks out of place.
But what if we told you that this entire "conventional wisdom" is wrong?
Well guess what: it is.
Because it's only half of the curve. There's another half!
The graph/curve is actually twice as wide as they're letting on!
It really looks like this:
It's like a jigsaw puzzle. Look at a just a single piece, and it looks wacky, doesn't it? If all you did was look at just one piece, without seeing the cover (or without even knowing that there is such thing as a cover), it would seem to be one of those nonsensical "modern art" works, where a person just scribbles and splashes paint randomly. Since the audience doesn't have the full PICTURE from the cover yet, they can't fit your piece into any larger context.
So, they'll do the only thing they have available to them: Try to fit it into the existing system, that they know. Which is a completely different picture. And since your piece - your idea - is now being evaluated in the context of a picture it's not even supposed to be part of, it looks... wacky.
And you know whose ideas do make sense, in that picture? Theirs. The rightwingers'.
As long as you're using their picture - presenting your ideas within the context of the current system - it's just not gonna work.
You have to show them a new picture - the cover of the puzzle box.
With the whole picture in view, the specific piece has an actual context to go in - and it finally makes sense.
Perhaps an example is needed.
Let's talk about borders and immigration.
Right now, we're all using a governing system. It's called the "nation-state system." You're familiar with it. It involves the carving up of the planet into chunks, with each chunk being a self-governing unit, which can do basically anything it wants within its borders, including decide who, from a different chunk, may come in, and for how long, and under what conditions.
If we're going to use that system - and have these things called "borders" - then it makes sense to have a secure border. The right-wingers are correct about that. Like, come on! Why even have a border, if you're not going to secure it?
And, furthermore, what do you do if you're having trouble securing it?
Well, it would require more resources.
But what if no amount of human vigilance - i.e. guards and patrols - is able to fully secure it?
Well, then it you'd need to build some kind of... physical barrier.
They're right about that too.
If we're operating within the current system - the nation-state system - then such ideas make sense.
And it's like this with just about every issue. On every issue, the conservatives, the right-wingers, their ideas do make more sense - in the context of the current system.
And progressives have to acknowledge this.
We have to acknowledge, that as long as we're advocating for our ideas from within the context of the current system, they're not going to make sense, and the right-wingers will continue looking like the "sane, reasonable" ones, in the eyes of the majority of the population.
Which means that they're going to keep winning (for as long as we keep advocating in the context of the current System).
"So what do we do?"
If you want to stop them from winning, then there's only one way to do that: by shifting to a completely different System entirely - a system in which their backwards ideas don't make sense, because the new System makes more sense.
On the issues of borders and immigration, this means evolving beyond the system of nation-states, and recognizing that we are all one planet, and adjusting our society's shape and organization to reflect this truth.
We have to go all the way.
All the way to utopia.
But even that idea - what we call planetary consciousness - is itself just a component of an even larger solution - a jigsaw piece of a still larger puzzle picture.
That picture - the big, big picture - is the Mature Civilization.
The truth is, humanity is on the verge of a major leap in evolution, not through technology, but in Consciousness. The global ecological crisis - the omnicide - is forcing a mass awakening, as everyone starts to realize that changing the System is imperative for our very survival.
And when we graduate in consciousness, a new System will take shape. We will be essentially starting over, in terms of coming up with a way of organizing ourselves, and "running stuff." We'll basically need to go back to the drawing board, and come up with an entirely new model of civilization.
Thankfully, this process started a long time ago. It's been going on for decades. Centuries. Millennia, actually. Many of the ancient myths, prophecies, and holy texts, East, West, and everywhere else, contain hints at this fact, and brief visions of what the new system looks like.
And in the past few generations, it's really picked up pace. Visionaries, futurists, and, yes, utopians, have been showcasing various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. In fact, it's the Earth Party's position that all the major pieces have been expounded by now. They're all here. And all we have to do is arrange them into the picture they're all part of.
And that's what the Earth Party has done.
The pieces are arranged here, into a coherent vision of what the future is supposed to look like, in a Mature Civilization.
In this picture, the pieces of the worldview which progressives, idealists, and utopians have been trying to bring about, for all this time, actually make sense.
Why does this matter?
Because, by bringing this picture into your advocacy, when you talk to "non-progressives" to try to get them onboard with progressive ideas - you'll finally have the context into which to place the ideas. They'll no longer seem wacky, because they'll no longer be out of place. In fact, the pieces won't even be noticed anymore - because when you look at the completed puzzle, all you see is the beautiful artwork. What once appeared wacky, becomes part of a greater Beauty, when viewed in the context of its totality.
And this is the only way to win. It's not just "a" way - it's the way. The only way. It's what History is now calling us to do.
It's time to present the full picture. Time to speak the Totality of the Truth. Time to stop holding back.
Here's how we fix this. Through idealism.
First, we imagine/design the world we want. The system in which our economy and way of life are sustainable, and the rights of all beings (human and non) are respected. The world as it's supposed to be.
And we don't cut corners - we design the perfect world, where EVERY problem is solved. We already know what it looks like. Those of us who pay attention to these things, who study ecology, permaculture, and so forth - we already know what the world needs - but we've just been either too small-minded to put all the pieces together, or we've put them together but are too timid to ask for them - to demand them.
Recognize that? All establishment newsmedia, of the past 50 years (or longer) has been shoving this idea on us consistently.
And if we want to go into further detail, we can look at where the various political blocs fall on this graph:
At high levels of idealism, we have the "pie-in-the-sky far left hippy utopians", whose electability drops of precipitously.
On the opposite side, at very low levels of idealism, we have the far right. They're SO un-idealistic, they turn people off.
The main electability is the range between mainstream "conservatives" and "liberals."
The "conservatives" are usually perceived as the most electable, with "liberals" slightly less so, but still within striking distance. And the way liberals typically win is by either having a more effective organizing machine, or by exploiting public anger at an incumbent conservative candidate or government.
But there's a problem with these graphs.
The problem is, they are only showing you half of the curve. There is a whole other half that's not being shown!
What most people don't realize is, after that trough on the far end, it starts rising again.
If you cross a certain threshold of idealness, it starts to get more feasible and possible, because it's approaching what the world is actually supposed to be - and when people see the vision as it's truly supposed to be, it inspires them to pay attention, to get up off the couch, and to rally.
For decades, our ruling elites have given us an option between:
A) On the one hand, a horrible, regressive world in which the wealthy and powerful brazenly run roughshod over everyone else and ravenously consume the biosphere, without even the slightest checks or balances...
B) On the other hand, a mediocre world in which some things are kinda sorta OK, and other things are still quite regressive, and we make slow, incremental progress of solving perhaps 1% of each problem, each year.
In America, these two visions are represented by the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively.
And it's been difficult enough just getting politicians elected who espouse the kinda-sorta-somewhat-less-regressive world. Even though they're not demanding much (and if you look at it a certain way, they're hardly demanding anything at all), it's still difficult for them to beat the outright regressives who brazenly pine for maximum oppression and unchecked ecological destruction.
But the reason why the half-ideal, mediocre vision doesn't work is not because it's too ideal, but because it's not ideal enough. It's the wrong vision of the world. Well, it's half wrong. Half right, but half wrong, and the wrongness is the reason why it fails to inspire pepole and doesn't gain any traction - not the rightness!
How crazy is it that most people assume the half-ideal vision fails to gain traction because it's too right - rather than recognizing that the gaping wrongness of it might be the reason for its lack of traction!
Nobody pays attention to the half-ideal visions, because they're mediocre, and there are tons of them - each with a different combination of rightness and wrongness. Some are right on this but wrong on that - while others are right on that but wrong on this. And since there are so many of them, their myriad number divides people. People don't know which to join. Everybody picks a different one. And hence, none stands out as THE one, and there's no unity. But we need unity.
And THE IDEAL vision makes that possible. When we put forward the true ideal - and don't shy away from parts of it because we're afraid of looking "too idealistic", but fully put it forth without reservation - then it inspires people, unites people, and gives everyone a central banner to rally around.
So think of the world, as it's supposed to be, truly. The most ideal world you can think of, where all problems are solved, in a compassionate and sustainable way.
Then, we come up with a step-by-step plan to get to it.
Vision first, plan second. That's important, because if we let the plan affect the vision, then we're altering the vision based on what we think is "expedient", which puts us on a course back to the mediocre half-wrong vision that's been preventing our evolution for these many decades in the first place!
A comprehensive vision of how we want the world to be.
"This whole thing is too idealistic. I'm sorry, but I like to live in the real world. This plan is a pie-in-the-sky, rainbows-and-unicorns, fairy-godmother fairy-duster utopian pipe dream."
You want to know what's idealistic?
Thinking we can keep doing what we're doing, forever, without any consequences.
Thinking that we can keep cutting down trees, torturing animals, throwing innocent people into cages, poisoning the oceans, drilling oil, fracking, strip mining, burning, and pillaging this planet into oblivion, and our society will be just fine, and never collapse.
That's a pipe-dream.
Thinking we can have infinite economic expansion on a finite planet.
Thinking we can keep using the same economic system and political system that got us into this mess, to get out of the mess.
That's fairy dust.
The Master Plan for the New Civilization is the very definition of realism. It recognizes the true laws of social dynamics and morality, and acknowledges the real limits that exist on a biological planet. There is nothing more realistic than demanding that our civilization live within its means, and nothing more idealistic than wanting to continue eating away at our own foundations and expecting continued social stability.
This plan is realism. The status quo is idealism.
"What about incrementalism? Maybe a world that recognizes the Law of the Earth is achievable, in the long run, but not all at once. We can adopt a little bit at a time, by passing piecemeal bits of legislation, one small improvement at a time."
We just don't have enough time for it. The forests are falling, asphalt is choking the land, the permafrost is melting, billions of our furry brothers and sisters are being tormented in the most heartbreakingly gruesome ways imaginable, and more and more nations are getting pulled into war. CERN could blow up the planet at any moment. Donald Trump could blow up the planet at any moment.
Our species has tortured itself into suffering so unbearable that it longs for collective suicide, and we've assembled all the machines necessary to go through with it.
And in this climate, you want to deliberately postpone correcting the bulk of the wrongness, because correctness isn't "realistic"?
Finally Getting It Right.
Humans have a reputation of never getting things right. And for a portion of history, this became a trope, a cliche, a stereotype about us - that no matter what we do, we're a bunch of screwups, and our social systems have to be dysfunctional just like we are.
To even suggest the idea of a functioning, well-run society - one that's stable and sustainable, in which everyone is healthy and sane, and humanity lives in harmony with Nature - is to invite the dreaded term, "utopia."
"An ideal world is impossible - because that would be utopia."
And why is utopia impossible? "Because it's ideal."
And ideal is impossible, of course, because it would be utopia.
See the circular logic there?
But this type of thinking has to end now, because it's threatening our very existence. The current model of civilization has grown so dysfunctional that it's putting the foundational systems of Life on this planet into jeopardy. If left to its own devices, it will cannibalize the entire world, and eventually, itself.
We can no longer afford to be cynical. Continued cynicism will prevent our evolution to the new systems we need in order to survive as a species.
It used to be that enlightenment was a luxury, reserved for the lucky few. It used to be that a world of peace and wisdom was nothing more than a thought-experiment to lift our spirits - a dream, always residing in the future, existing solely to make us feel good in the midst of the mess around us.
But it's no longer optional. It's not a choice anymore between sanity and pain. It's a choice between sanity and death. We either evolve into what most people are calling "utopia", or we vanish.
With such a stark ultimatum, change finally is possible. The human mind will do anything to hold onto its delusions. But it will also do anything to survive. Including letting go of its delusions!
All over the world, people are "snapping out of it", refusing the keep buying into the alleged inevitability of dysfunction. People are realizing that it's a ruse - that our natural state is harmony, not dissonance, and that "utopia" is not only possible, but easier than what we've got now.
And so, this plan has come forward.
Humanity may be slow to change in most scenarios, but not when survival depends on it. When the choice is "A good life" vs. "a crappy life", many people will choose a crappy life.
But when the choice is "A good life" vs. "death", then people get off their butts and act.
The threat of death is the one thing that motivates human societies to do difficult, inconvenient things. And death is what our world is facing if we don't change our ways. The biosphere is already heading towards collapse.
We all know the system is screwed up, but too many of us tend to meet the wrongness of it with resignation. We say things like, "Oh well, that's life, the world ain't perfect, we humans are flawed, the world is f***ed up, and that's just the way it is."
And thus we explain away the wrongness of the system.
But all that wrongness doesn't just exist in a vacuum. It affects things.
Over time, it accumulates, and builds on itself, compounding upon itself.
We've had so much wrongness in our social systems for so long, that the system is approaching the point of wrongness-saturation, a point at which the system cannot absorb any more wrongness without collapsing.
The fact that Donald Trump was able to get elected should show you how close the system is to that point. We simply cannot allow ourselves to shrug off the wrongness anymore, pretending that it doesn't matter. We have to address it, and we have to stop it. We have to start doing what is CORRECT.
All those ideas you know are good and know are correct, but think are "too utopian to speak about" - it's time to start speaking them.
You know we need to evolve beyond borders.
You know we need to evolve beyond an economy dictated entirely by money.
You know we need planetary consciousness, economic democracy.
You know we need to produce our food locally again.
You know we need to get a grip on our technology before our technology destroys us and the entire living world.
You know we need these things. If you're anywhere "left of center", you figured out long ago that these are components of a Mature Civilization. You've most certainly advocated them at some point in your life - like when you were young and starry-eyed and full of hope. Before you got bullied and condescended for being "an idealist."
So advocate for them again.
Perhaps today you'll still pay lip-service to them. When someone else mentions them, you'll acknowledge that they're nice good ideas, but deny any possibility of achieving them.
So pay more than lip service.
STAND for something.
"Yes", you'll say, "but it's not politically practical. We don't have the votes." It's "electoral suicide", you'll say. "The public isn't ready yet."
So MAKE it ready.
Stop cowering. This is the moment. We face an imminent planetwide ecological emergency. We don't have any more time to waste. Why are you waiting, to speak the truths you know have to be spoken?
What are you doing?
Biding your time?
Waiting for just the right moment?
The forests are burning to the ground. Right now.
What time do you even have to bide?
You're waiting for when it's "more palatable to the masses" When it's "safe"?
When will that be?
How long are you willing to wait?
How much more destruction are you willing to watch, before you decide you're done waiting?
How much more of the world are you willing to see burn, before you stop cowering in fear that others won't take you seriously if you speak "too much" of the truth?
If the public doesn't embrace the truth, KEEP SPEAKING IT, until they DO.
This is how LEADERSHIP works.
If a wannabe leader hides their beliefs, in order to get elected, and thinks
Michael X. James And that's exactly the logic of a non-leader. That's exactly why he won't win. Leadership requires courage to speak the truth - not just "even if" it's unpopular, but specifically BECAUSE it's unpopular. That's how leaders emerge. They don't kowtow to public sentiment - they go AGAINST public sentiment, and CHANGE the sentiment. If you do it ballsily enough (or ovariesily enough), you get attention and you inspire a movement.
The only way to stop them is to embrace the TOTALITY OF THE TRUTH.
When you only embrace part of the truth, it looks weak, uninspiring, and it doesn't win. But when you embrace the totality of the truth, then the power of audacity kicks in, and it draws people to your side. And the totality of the truth, on this issue (borders and immigration) is that we need to evolve beyond the nation-state to a new governing model.
When you have bold ideas - especially GOOD bold ideas - and they end up failing, it's not because they were too bold - it's because they weren't bold enough. This is difficult for a lot of people to accept. We've all had so much training in mediocrity and fear. But it's the truth.
And that's why so-called "liberals" and "progressives" have such a struggle making even modest gains. Because they're not *really* progressive. They're promoting small, disjointed portions of the truth, but not the TOTALITY of the truth. They think doing so would be far to audacious.
And when they lose, they chalk it up to being too audacious.
But the answer isn't to be less audacious - it's to be MORE so.
The phenomenon of the Late 2010's Rightward Lurch will only be defeated by another phenomenon... of equal or greater audacity.
And the Earth Party is definitely up to that task. No one anywhere is putting forth an agenda as audacious as this one. Not the dems, not the greens, nobody.