Only a fool would deny that America has a long list of troubles. We’re not doing so good in a lot of areas.
The biggest and most obvious problem is the economy. There are those hosts and guests on financial television shows that will try to tell you that things are looking up for the economy. If you believe that please go back and read the first sentence.
The list of problems goes on and on.
- Wars in the Middle East and Africa
- Violations of constitutional rights and ever shrinking individual liberty
- Tight knit relationships between government and corporations being passed off as capitalism
- A failing education system that is failing our children and leaves them in a mess of an economy with few job prospects and loads of debt.
- More and more behavior is being prohibited, mandated or criminalized reducing freedoms
- A loss of privacy in every facet of people’s lives
It’s no joke. America has really just become America in name only.
The politicians talk and talk on endlessly about it. There has been 180 years of Democrat and GOP government, yet things steadily get worse, not better.
People cling to labels and institutions, and they bicker futilely with people of other labels and institutions.
Round and round we go, where we stop… a mountain of woes.
Maybe it’s time people break this foolish cycle. It’s time for a paradigm shift in thinking and how we approach challenges. It’s time to stop framing the conversation in accordance to the language and context of the mainstream political establishment who benefits from maintaining control of the language and information.
It is time to move the conversation from the political to philosophical.
Let’s be real. Political solutions just haven’t worked. Why delve endlessly into why it hasn’t worked? There is a never-ending stream of this type of talk from water coolers to radio shows to political debates. Nowhere else would people devote so much time and energy on trying to debate the cause of all the failings of our political solutions. Why? As long as people continue to do this, the longer they are devoting their time to futile efforts. It’s a wild goose chase.
Politics deals in legislation, laws and regulation. This is where 535 people who are highly influenced by lobbyists write rule after rule. Again, they prohibit this. They mandate that. They decide how much of your earnings they will take. They tell you what you have to do or what you can’t do.
Despite all of this, the problems worsen. Their codes and rules that say do as you’re told or be fined, caged or put to death have not and will not fix any of the problems above. When legislation is not just a favor handed out to well connected political cronies, it is mostly just whims, wishes and deluded demands that don’t address root issues.
If one takes time to honestly analyze many of our laws and so-called political solutions you will usually find them to be juvenile policies. Some may think this sounds harsh. However, as someone who has spent a lot of time reading and researching on these matters, I challenge you to do the same.
Political solutions tend to address an issue with a view of people as herds. People are grouped, categorized and labeled. You see it all the time. This law applies to this herd. That regulation applies to that herd. It’s nonsense and you should find it insulting. In a free society, the focus should be on individual liberty and the responsibilities that come with it. When the conversation moves to individual rights and responsibilities, you eliminate labels and categories from an honest discussion.
The Simple Reason The Conversation Needs to Go From Political to Philosophical
First, lets take a look at the words themselves:
Politics (from Greek, “of, for, or relating to citizens”) is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the corporate, academic, and religious segments of society. It consists of “social relations involving authority or power” and refers to the regulation of public affairs within a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy. – from wikipedia.com
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. – from wikipedia
There is a big difference between these 2 words. Politics about groups making collective decisions (despite of the individual). Philosophy is the “love of wisdom” and the study of problems through systematic thought and rational argument (which can be applied on an individual basis or on a collaborative basis).
Now that we have looked at the words themselves and established a frame of reference, let’s continue to explore political versus philosophical.
Politicians make laws. Laws don’t make good societies, good people do. Good individuals make good families, companies, villages, states and countries. It has little to do with mandates and law enforcement.
It’s about good people.
Good people make good choices. Good people embrace peace and live by the golden rule. Good people plan for rainy days so they won’t burden their neighbors. Good people strive to be self reliant. Good people recognize that nothing is perfect and lend a hand to people in need (this is only possible when people do good things with their time, labor and money). Good people try to do no harm to any person or property. Good people appreciate their lives and take ownership of them. Good people are not lazy. Good people are industrious. Good people value liberty. Good people embrace their responsibilities that come with liberty, because they know by neglecting their responsibilities they will suffer consequences (and they will own these errors, as well). A collection of good individuals will result in a good society.
If you think about it honestly, laws are force. Do X or we will do Y to you. Force will not cultivate a good society. In fact, this use of force often disregards the individual and treats all as a homogenous collective. Furthermore, force reduces liberty.
This doesn’t mean that we should have a society with no laws. If people harm another person or his/her property, that person should be held accountable. Law is nothing more than a tool of order. When law goes beyond this, it only does harm. When the law tries to improve people by use of mandate or prohibition, society does not improve…it only results in people who feel infringed upon and more people forced to live in prison cells.
In contrast, if the conversation moved from political to philosophical, the solutions would go from external to internal. It would go from they to we. When people talk about political solutions, they speak of the things congress or the president will do. That is like believing in a magic pill.
It is putting hope that society, and in turn, your life will improve by something “they” will do or make others do. However, when you begin thinking or discussing life and it’s various conditions and challenges through a philosophical lens, the solutions tend to include the individual. The ideas can be applied to the lives of individuals by individuals. This empowers individuals. It allows them to graduate to a higher level of maturity and apply the philosophy to one’s life in a practical manner.
Imagine if people began to address the challenges and make improvements in their own lives without waiting for an outside force like government to rescue them. Now imagine two like minded individuals collaborating to remove the graffiti from park benches in their neighborhood. Now imagine a group of individuals who care about local kids pooling money to erect a new basketball court or teach them money management skills.
The practical application of philosophy by individuals is viable. Most people’s lives – personal, financial, career / business – needs addressing. We need to fix our own lives first. Imagine the possibilities. What’s stopping people from doing this?
- Laws do not make good societies…good people do.
- Laws and politics cannot create good people.
- Only an individual who improves his thinking can make real steps toward living a good life.
Therefore, it is wise to move the focus from the political to philosophical.