KUDOS to Hedgeless Horseman
Today, Hedgeless Horseman of ZeroHedge.com posted an encouraging article (“hedgeless_horseman’s Revolutionary Call to Arms“) with a list of things one can do to advance us all toward solving problems. While I applaud the ideas, I think I can add some clarity and adjust the way people think about it in the interests of causing meaningful change.
You should read the article, but briefly, Mr. Horseman suggests reading some very good books (most of which I’ve read) and doing some things that pressure the system in which we find ourselves disgusted. These are good things to do.
Contrary to its title, the article isn’t really a call to arms per se. He’s not asking us to actually do anything that would change the system much – only things that would increase the public acuity and put pressure on the system. The things he’s asking will make it slightly more difficult for those in power to continue their corruption quite as successfully, but it doesn’t address the fundamental structural problems in the system. For example, it doesn’t address any way to prevent corruption in governmental systems.
Mr. Horseman said we should “Hold three fallacious posters accountable on www.zerohedge.com by citing their fallacy.” OK – I’ll bite.
Mr. Horseman, here is my response.
This article describes ways for individuals to prepare to cause change. It is true that well educated and active individuals are better at causing meaningful change. The missing piece is consensus on what change to cause.
We agree we are at Point A. We agree we need to get to some Point B. It is pretty clear what Point A is: it is the Hell we now inhabit. There are plenty of analysts who have nailed most of what’s wrong at this point. What is Point B? There is no consensus. Some of the common ideas I’ve seen advocated online are outright absurd and I fear for the future of humanity if some of these ideas are actually pursued. We currently run the very real risk of going back to the dark ages if some arrogant idiot pushes the wrong red button or drops the wrong flask of biological vermin. (Bodily fluids and pure, non-flouridated water anyone? This is a Dr. Strangelove reference for those who didn’t get it.)
Don’t get me wrong. I applaud Hedgeless Horseman for his article and I think everyone should do most if not all of the things he suggests. I only clarify here because the stated purpose of the article is not therein contained. Perhaps Mr. Horseman’s article should have been called “hedgeless_horseman’s Revolutionary Call to Prepare for Change” instead.
As you may have guessed, my standpoint is this: Before you should try to cause change, you have to have a plan that starts with what your are trying to accomplish. This is a complex problem that involves a lot more than just identifying what is wrong or how to educate yourself about it. Most people think that if you take each category of problem and come up with your favorite solution, you’ve solved the world’s problems. This common mistake will fail because the sum total of all of these easy-sounding fixes won’t work well together for many complex reasons. For example, you can’t just lower taxes and cut the size of government. There are social consequences to it. Any system with hundreds of millions of people in it is going to need to be thought about a lot more carefully than that.
If you really understand what’s going on, you should try to specify a unified vision of the total system you are trying to create with each solution to each problem existing in a final ecosystem; all cooperating in tandem or appropriately fighting each other as may be necessary for checks and balances. This is exactly what the founding fathers of the United States of America did by designing the United States government and writing the constitution. They didn’t just say “do this and that thing differently,” they came up with an actual WAY TO DO IT in its entirety. This system was the United States constitutional government and it was a clear improvement on all prior governmental systems.
I have devised a new pseudo-democratic system called Sapiocracy. I’ll assume the reader is adept enough to figure out how to click links here to read more. I suggest starting here. For other articles, rummage through the archives. Most people first see Sapiocracy and assume it will never happen for various reasons. This is naive. I have some good ideas about how to make it happen. Everything is impossible until it isn’t and then it is possible. The trick is figuring out how to make it happen. My ideas may not work; they may not be perfect, but at least I’m thinking about Point B in its entirety and devising ways to make it happen. I invite others to join or demonstrate why my ideas won’t work. (Join the forum if you want to participate.)
In closing, I’d like to repeat that everyone should take Hedgeless Horseman’s advice. Educate yourself and do things that help remove yourself from oppression. BUT, that’s only the starting point – his list will not change the system because it doesn’t specify Point B. Once you get away from the indoctrination of television (as I have been in excess of 20 years), the media, nationalistic propaganda, AND thoroughly educate yourself, then you will be ready to start thinking about what Point B should be. At that point, such wise people need to get together and gain consensus to define Point B and finally, design a system that actually makes it happen.
It isn’t education that matters. What matters is what you do with it. Keep going until you’re doing something to make Point B happen.