A More Altruistic World, Consensual Majoritarianism, and Our Post-Ideological Polity

This nation has had our knowledge of our own unanimity buried far too deep, for far too long; mostly by those who would profit from obstruction and destruction. 

My early phase of Higher education and speculation in Political Science, with an overview of the history and terminology of Liberal Arts and the Sciences, the 15 years I could not further my formal education, spent in service and blue collar work, my more recent capping of my bachelor's degree with the study of Information Resources, and my work throughout, organizing for peace, social justice, and sustainability, have taught me one thing above all else; it's all about what the people feel right now, and nothing else matters much. When there is a real need for more people power, we take it, just as soon as we can see the way clear. When we don't collectively see a way, there is no collective way.

It is good to have a backgrounding in many things, and to know the best sources and how to judge a good source. It is very much imperative to know not to repeat history, and to stand up for what you believe in. But, no one can stand up and shout a demand or exultation, and suddenly have something the people do not understand, nor believe, happen for us all.
In the last ten years I have spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to use Information Technology to help organize our opinions and preferences, in consensus based structures, for finding agreement upon, and planning, a more altruistic world. Nonetheless, if the people want to organize on Facebook and Twitter, than that's where you go if you want to help. If the people don't think they can organize, prepare yourself for helping to change that, when it begins to change organically for everyone. 

If lots of people are calling for referenda, or direct democracy initiatives like recalls, then that is what you help them organize. This is how the people poll themselves to find their own voices and common ground.

I am fond of saying that we live in a post-ideological world. 

I say that not only because endless discussion of ideology obstructs finding and planning consensus based concrete acts towards our goals, but also for many other reasons. The study of ideology is not so bad, it's an important part of 20th Century History! It's plenty alright for discussion over a few beers, but I do not have time to read any more about it, and we do not have time for it in our planning meetings and main events. 
I think the culture of the recent occupation of the Capital has shown that praxis is much more important than ideology today. When ideology is useless, we see more widespread use of the word progressive. This is a good marker for the rise of the popular will, but no guaruntee of it. Like the also populist word "Fascism", the main fault of the word "Progressive" is that it has no real historical self-definition, and thus, ideologically, has no meaning. There are two sides to viewing progress, and all too often the corporate side has ruled our majority perceptions.

A good ideological debate requires an agreement upon terminology, but a good agreement on terminology requires an ideological debate. By the time we're ready to start, we're already kind of done, and yet no actual agreements or plans have yet been made. Ideology is about models, and in a democracy we each are struggling to build our own models; between finding our own best model, and finding where most of our models agree, we don't really currently have the luxury anymore of working out yet another, more consensual, model. This can wait until we have consensus on immedite actionable priorities, and how and why to discuss longer term models. 
The technology that our culture fosters has much more cultural impact than ideology, especially when we use technology to organize, communicate, and learn. We must re-learn to want to build a world that fits babies and other living things, rather than the world that fits our social machinery well.

In practice, I'm a firm believer in Majoritarianism and Consensus Seeking. I do not see them as in opposition. I see them as in a dynamic tension. Both should be sought, without letting the perfection of either be the enemy of robust participation and effective action. Minority viewpoints must be heard and organized, but I do not believe they should ultimately be able to suppress a majority sentiment. This is called Integrative Majoritarianism.

I feel similar about religions as about ideologies. Most of them agree on most of the most important things! They are all chock full of good stuff; legends of wisdom and such. If we just discuss the great volume of what we all already agree on, then we can get a lot done right now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: