How Fear Prevents Positive Political Change
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Something happened the other day that caused me to engage in a little self examination. I was talking on the phone to a woman I care about very much. She was telling me about a billionaire she had seen on CNBC who had come from a socialist country. According to her, the gentleman was talking about how he had come from this country to America because he wanted to make his fortune in our “free markets” and he did. Then he went on to say that he was voting for Mr. Romney because Mr. Obama had an agenda to bring socialism to America, or something like that. Then she told me he said something about how voting for anyone other than Mr. Romney was a waste of a vote. That’s when the red flags went up. That’s where I lost it.
Before I knew it, I was yelling at this woman across the cell phone airwaves. I knew I was wrong, that I shouldn’t be yelling, but I couldn’t help it. I felt as if my consciousness had left my body and was looking at this bratty kid yelling because he didn’t get his way. I tried to stop, but I couldn’t until I got out what I needed to say, getting louder and louder as I let out three of four sentences before I finally gained control of my temper and was able to shut up. By that time it was too late. I had upset the woman and she needed to hang up, despite the fact that I was already apologizing profusely.
When I behave in such a way, I try to look back and examine what factors caused this behavior. It just makes sense to me to do this. I want to understand that I am a flawed human being and then try to figure out what I can do to rid myself of those flaws. Sometimes when I examine myself in such a way I can suddenly recognize that not only are the flaws manifest in myself, but also in society in general. It seems to me that there are certain strings that go through all of society and can sometimes manifest in individuals as we go about our lives.
So, why did I get so angry and lash out when I shouldn’t have? I suppose it has to do with the fact that morality is very important to me. I consider it immoral to lie to someone to get them to change their behavior. I consider it a lie to say that if you don’t vote for this guy or that guy your vote is wasted. Each person has their own reason for voting and either no vote is wasted or all votes are wasted. Even not voting is not wasted and makes its own statement about the electoral process. Hearing that bit of propaganda made my mind shut off and allowed anger to take over. Analyzing this on a deeper level helped me come to the realization that most people likely have a similar reaction when their deeply held political beliefs are challenged.
The first step to getting past this is to understand that political beliefs are just that, beliefs, they are not fact, nor are they truths, they are beliefs. And, in some cases, they are immoral beliefs disguised as good intentions. Morality does not spring from immoral behavior, and political systems worldwide, including the one we engage in, are based mostly on the immoral behavior of stealing.
To be clear, I define theft as the taking of property from someone in an involuntary manner through force or the threat of force, (this is particularly heinous when those who make the threats have the power and have proven they will follow through on those threats) or through lies or gaining trust through promises which one never intends to keep (more commonly known as fraud or cons). Income taxes fall into the previous definitions, in my humble opinion, and if they are voluntary as claimed than anyone aught to be able to opt out anytime and not have to worry about any reprisals from any agency, whether governmental or private. Try to opt out of paying your income taxes and see what happens to you.
Someone asked me on facebook how such things as roads and schools would be paid for without an income tax. I tried to explain to her how these things would get done and she ended up telling me I was dreaming. Maybe I am dreaming to believe that we can live in a world where all interactions between people are moral and voluntary and necessary services are still provided. To be honest, I don’t know how these things would be paid for, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that people should not be forced to pay for services they don’t want to pay for and may not want to use. If things can’t get done through voluntary interactions, perhaps those things simply aren’t worth doing. We shouldn’t be afraid to try something different even if the majority believes that doing something different will result in chaos.
It is fear that rules. The person who told me on facebook that I was a dreamer for believing that humankind can live morally without coercive force fears that certain services will not be available or will be too expensive without government intrusion. The politicians take advantage of this and fan the flames of fear. The Democrats stoke your fear of the Republicans by claiming social programs will end if Republicans are in charge. The Republicans stoke your fear of the Democrats by claiming America will become a socialist nation if Democrats are in charge. I have news for you. Social programs will not end whether or not the federal government funds them because there are people who care. We are already a socialist nation with a great many businesses, industries and services socialized. Both sides are creating fear and meanwhile there are alternatives that offer to respect your freedoms and your decisions that are being ignored.
Yet still voters will go to the polls in large numbers and cast their votes for a Republican or a Democrat. They cast their votes out of fear of what the worst of two evils will do rather than looking to cast a vote for someone who will change the paradigm for the better. There will be no positive change because both major parties are controlled by the same elite corporate interests. These are the same interests that profit from keeping you in a state of fear. These include the military/industrial complex, the prison/industrial complex, the medical/industrial and pharmaceutical complex, the energy industry and the large financial institutions that make money by providing credit and insurance to those other industries, among others. These industries know they wouldn’t stand a chance in a true free market, nor in a free market of ideas, so they’ll do anything to keep their people in power, including creating such an atmosphere of fear that may take us into a very destructive war.
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I understand this is taken from a Hollywood movie, but there is much wisdom in those words, nonetheless. Don’t fear Obama. Don’t hate him. Don’t fear Romney. Don’t hate him. Don’t become so blinded by anger and hatred for one or the other that you can’t see the same flaws you hate in one reflected in the other. Don’t become so blinded by hatred and anger that you start yelling and screaming at those you love because they express an opinion. Don’t become so blinded by anger and hatred that you can no longer see light, only paler shades of darkness.
Don’t fear casting a vote for Gary Johnson. Don’t take the path to the dark side. Choose a path to the light. Don’t choose more economic doldrums and debt, choose a clearer, more vibrant path to prosperity. Don’t choose more war and nation building, choose a path to peace and fair trade with all nations. Don’t choose more rights violating, Bill of Rights shredding laws, choose more freedom. Choose more power to determine your own destiny. Don’t be afraid of voting for Gary Johnson. Don’t be afraid of the light.
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