by Dylan Charles
February 22, 2012
From grade school on we are taught to
appreciate the American government and its civic processes as the
cornerstone of freedom in the world, the ‘shining beacon on the
We are taught how to pledge allegiance
to and revere a flag. We are told that goodness will prevail if we
all just participate heartily and enthusiastically, playing by the
We grow up believing that a basic responsibility of being born a
human on planet earth is to participate in all of this political
activity, and likewise, we are taught that non-participation is
irresponsible, lazy, deplorable even. And so as good citizens do,
many of us participate.
So, perhaps you’ve donated money to a political campaign or ran for
Maybe you’ve staffed for a political party or
organized at the grass roots level. Maybe you’ve even joined the
electoral process as a delegate, gone to your County or State
convention, or just showed up with signs at the polls. Perhaps
you’ve written your Congressman once or twice.
But is all this frenzy of well-intentioned activity doing our
society any good or providing hope for a better future for our
Is it possible that our electoral system is cleverly designed to
exhaust our positive, community-minded energies and to pacify our
violent human will to live the prosperous and peaceful lives we
Could it be that the resources and energy we have applied to this
social mechanism have been squandered in one of the greatest
opportunity costs of all time?
Actually, when looking at politics as a drain on society, it becomes
rather easy to conclude that we may be indeed wasting our greatest
potential for societal progress in this endless game of ego
satiation and public parade.
Furthermore, it appears that the hidden
costs of our political efforts have been quite vast, and have had
many detrimental effects to our collective psyche and identity.
Politics devours time, energy
and resources that could be spent elsewhere.
Politics creates widespread
division amongst the populace by providing us with few
choices and then positioning those choices as mutually
Politics nullifies the value of
society’s potentially most effective members by forcing
passionate, community-oriented individuals into a rigid
arena that demands conformity and ultimately defers to
entrenched power cliques.
Politics falsely empowers the
thoughtless by providing an arena for people to believe they
are positively impacting the world by simply pressing a
button or checking a box when told to do so.
Politics erodes our natural
idealism by fragmenting our grandest ideas for our future
into single-issue chunks that make little sense when taken
out of context. Then by ranking and marginalizing them in
accordance with various political agendas, then, again, by
prioritizing them against conflicting entrenched interests.
Politics gives us false
impressions about what it means to be civilized. For
example, it is not civilized to allow yourself to be raped
by even the most polite of rapists, yet the success of
politics relies on violated people being kind and patient
with those who would selfishly saddle our futures with
unbearable debts, endless wars and unacceptable restrictions
to our personal liberty.
Politics prohibits us from ever
reaching our highest societal potential. Because politics
never concludes it is always dramatic and we learn to adjust
our lives according to its highs and lows, thus our
psychological development is trapped by the imposition of
these never-ending patterns.
Politics protects society’s most
heinous criminals by providing them the infrastructure,
security apparatus, public platform, time and resources to
obfuscate truth and protect themselves from meaningful
prosecution. Election cycles, hearings, recalls,
investigative committees and impeachments are an insult to
justice when the accused are part of the government.
Politics demands that we become
dishonest in order to gain advantage.
Politics consumes an absurd
amount of financial and material resources.
Politics creates and exacerbates
massive public cognitive dissonance between the prosperous
and peaceful world we know we should have and the world that
a corrupt political class can actually create for us. By
repeatedly failing to deliver on its promises, the political
system becomes so unbelievable that we have no choice but to
Politics severely limits
society’s possibilities for meaningful and timely solutions
to our most pressing problems by subjecting every
opportunity for progress to the scrutiny, whim, and
interests of largely corrupted and under-informed political
Politics insults our
intelligence with its embarrassing pomp, flashiness, hubris,
blatant rigging, hokey formatting, omissions, dumbing down
and oversimplification of important complex issues.
Politics selfishly frames issues
in terms of their impact upon people and fiat economics,
largely disregarding our unmistakable dependence on the
natural world for the gift we call life.
Politics exhausts our spiritual
energy by claiming the authoritative role in our lives and
diminishing our intuitive capacities and will to search for
In the pursuit of a brighter future for
ourselves, families, communities, and this Earth, we must be
conscious of how we expend our personal energies, so as not to
misallocate it or feed them to something that does us harm.
Politics is presently the status quo forum for setting the course
for society’s future, but, as humankind evolves we must be ready,
willing and able to leave behind designs of the past that have
ceased being of any value to our future.
Our continued participation in this circus performance we call
politics continues to feed the illusion of its legitimacy.
By withdrawing our consent and
participation in politics we may be freeing up considerable
resources to apply toward the creation of a better world, while
simultaneously helping to snuff out this energetic vampire that
feeds heartily on our collective good will and positive energy.