Political Parties & RBE Transition
Forming a political party that exemplifies the Zeitgeist Movement's ideals has been a hotly debated topic for as long as the Movement has been around. However, given the apolitical and leaderless nature of the Movement, the global requirements of the Resource Based Economic Model (RBEM), and all of the hurdles and distractions that come along with forming a political party from scratch, it simply doesn't make much strategic sense.
However, there is something we as individuals can do to help smooth the transition toward an RBEM -- support third parties!
Please allow me to explain...
Sure, the elections are rigged by corporate interests. The difference between the two final candidates is always marginal, and even those differences rarely translate over the course of a presidency. It is arguable that an intractable Congress would nullify any president's attempts at implementing real change anyway. And of course, third-party candidates have virtually no shot whatsoever to even come close to winning. But winning isn't always necessary!
You can thank third parties for:
- Women's Right to Vote
- Child Labor Laws
- Reduced Work Hours
- and even Ending Slavery
These successes did not come from winning elections. By running for the presidency, the third party platforms put considerable pressure on the main parties. When particular platform issues became popular enough, the main parties were forced to adopt them. If a third party candidate, or two, was able to manage even 10-15 percent of the popular vote, it would be truly revolutionary, and likely alter the political landscape for years to come!
Having said that, the next question is, "So who is the best match?"
From a political perspective, that would be in the eye of the beholder, given that the RBEM has virtually no political relation. Ron Paul is no doubt the Internet favorite (though it is not clear that he will or can run third-party). Although, Paul's "true" free market economics could definitely be said to be antithetical to many understandings of TZM. On the other hand, the Green Party's Jill Stein could be more to your liking.
Some of her positions:
- Anti-War (advocates full withdrawal from not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but all 140 countries the U.S. military is currently occupying as well)
- Repeal Patriot Act and "Kidnapping Provisions" of NDAA
- Slash Military Budget by 50 percent (The U.S. currently spends almost as much on military "defense" as the rest of the world combined!)
- Nationalize the Federal Reserve
- Repeal NAFTA (and other pro-globalization legislation)
- Tax Transactions on Wall Street
- Break Up "Too Big to Fail" Banks
- 90 percent Tax on Bailout Bonuses
- End For-Profit Prisons
- Supports Wikileaks: Would Pardon Bradley Manning
- Rely on "Closed-loop Cycles" that Eliminate Waste and Pollution
- Invest in Sustainable Organic Agriculture and Permaculture (Vertical farms?)
- Invest in Public Transit Over Automobiles (ET3?)
- Invest in Alternative, Sustainable Sources of Energy
Other less TZM-related, but somewhat relevant positions include universal healthcare, tuition-free education and legalization of marijuana. Tuition-free education would absolutely benefit a future transition to an RBE and legalization of marijuana would allow for research on hemp as a biodegradable plastic (among many, many other uses), which would significantly help alleviate our dependence on petroleum.
Much of the Green Party's platform (last updated in 2010) also largely overlaps many of TZM's understandings and tenets. Of particular benefit is the advocacy of open-source software and the position on patent restrictions. The Green Party also accepts no corporate donations and has branches in other countries. This could be a sympathetic organization you might consider supporting and working with in this election year and others to follow.
But, if the system is just going to collapse on its own anyway: Why the hell should we care who is running the show until then?
Mismanagement of the environment and a continued reliance on rampant consumerism and economic imperialism could potentially spell disaster for any transition toward an RBE. The Patriot Act, NDAA and other "counter-terrorism" legislation could in the near future target peaceful movements and organizations such as this one as threats to the state.
Ideally, a smooth transition would require previous progressive policies and societal values to prevent a crash-and-burn capitalistic scenario, perhaps even followed up with a police state at this rate. Even without a police state, a collapse that retains a majority of capitalistic and consumer values can still be problematic in transition; especially if the environment is ravaged beyond repair in its wake.
Zeitgeist: Addendum, the film that started it all for most of us, called for us to reject the political system. Of course, given the nature of the Movement, no member need feel obligated to comply with this suggestion. However, in a way, voting third party is every bit a rejection of the modern political system as inaction, and I would argue far more productive, in fact.
Onward, to a smooth transition!