When fighting a war, it is useful to know what your victory conditions are. What is the war trying to achieve? If you do not know this, then you should not go to war.
Yet, war has come to us. The war is a spiritual war. The Powers of this dark world have become suffused with the four toxins. Oppression and inequality are growing, the billionaire class is getting richer, and people are going hungry. Suffering. Dying. This is unacceptable.
These writings are meant to be a front in this war — a voice of support, a call to common cause, and a means by which I may articulate my stake in this conflict to those who are willing to listen. This is a war of words, of ideas, not of violence, but make no mistake: the outcome of this war will shape the world for decades, if not centuries, to come. I have chosen to fight against the Powers in this war, and I will not stop fighting the war until it is won. Here are my terms:
Strong Environmental Protections
This is the most important part of my platform, because it is here that the stakes are highest. The science unequivocally indicates that human activity is profoundly altering the biosphere of our home, potentially in ways that will make our home unlivable for humans within the next hundred years. While this is a worst-case scenario, even the best cases are bleak: mass extinction, sea levels rising, and shifts in weather patterns leading to widespread droughts and food and water shortages. We cannot afford to ignore this any longer.
Thus, I demand:
- An immediate, drastic reduction in the usage of fossil fuels
- Heavy investment in clean, renewable sources of energy
- Massive upgrades to our infrastructure
- Strong protections for our national parks, forests, rivers, and oceans
- A commitment to preserving clean air and water for all Americans
It may be too late to undo the worst of the damage, but we have to start treating this world as something to be protected rather than exploited. Only single-celled organisms consume and pollute their environment until they can no longer survive.
A Just, Representative, Transparent Democracy
The American electoral system needs to be reformed. As it currently stands, those with money have disproportionate say in the process over those who do not. Congress ignores the voice of the people in almost every case, preferring to pander to their donors. Likewise, the mechanics of the election process are flawed — states have disproportionate representation in Congress, the Electoral College can pick an unpopular president, and voters are still not guaranteed enfranchisement in many places. All of this must change.
While the most expedient method of solving these problems would be to re-draft the US Constitution, this is not my primary objective. On these points, my “win conditions” are these:
- Full, automatic enfranchisement of all adult citizens, regardless of past criminal history
- Election Day made into a national holiday
- Mandatory voting
- An algorithmic, replicable Congressional re-districting process
- A re-allocation of Congressional districts to ensure each Representative represents roughly the same number of citizens
- Abolition of the Electoral College
- A move from First Past the Post voting to ranked, preferential voting
- A “none of the above” option for all national offices
- Public funding of the campaign process, and the abolition of Citizens United and Super PACs
These changes will significantly improve the enfranchisement of the average citizen, resulting in a shift of power back to where it should be — in the hands of the people. These changes don’t solve all the problems, but are the minimum needed in order to re-legitimatize the American government.
Equity, Equality, and a Compassionate Society
There is an unacceptable degree of wealth inequality in the United States. This is simply a fact. Likewise, though America likes to think of itself as “post-racial,” it is anything but. These problems are related. It is past time for us to continue expanding the New Deal and the Great Society, so that every American has equal opportunity and equal freedom.
- A Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing equal, impartial treatment under the law for all citizens
- A Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing an American’s right to privacy
- A living minimum wage, automatically adjusted for inflation every five years
- Single-payer, guaranteed health care
- Criminal justice reform, with an eye towards minimizing incarceration
- The immediate and complete de-militarization of police forces around the country
- The abolition of for-profit prisons
- Legalization of marijuana and hallucinogens
- A shift in attitude towards drug use and addiction from being a criminal issue to being a public health issue
- An increase in funding for mental health services
- A repeal of all “Free Trade Agreements” and an end to fast-tracking authority
- A massive increase on the tax rate of the highest earners
- A small transaction tax on all stock trades
- A reinstatement of Glass-Steagall protections
- The end of corporate personhood
Again, these steps will not solve all the problems, but they will serve to significantly level the playing field between the various strata of our society. Every citizen deserves to enjoy the fruits of the massive wealth of America, for we are all of us part of the system that creates and maintains that wealth. Every citizen deserves to live a dignified life, free from the oppressions of the government and of their peers. These changes will help to guarantee that.
An Investment in Science and Education
There was a time when America was the world leader in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our place in the world has slipped, however, as education budgets have been slashed and college tuition has soared. We must revive our STEM community with massive cash infusions, and recommit ourselves to giving our children the best reason-based education possible.
- Free tuition and books at all public post-secondary schools for academically-qualified individuals
- More money for trade/vocational programs
- Mandatory logic and critical thinking training starting in primary school
- Higher teacher salaries across the board
- A commitment to net neutrality, to ensure the free and open exchange of ideas
- Greater funding for government-backed STEM programs, such as NASA and the NOAA
Investment in STEM has the potential to improve the lives of everyone on this planet, and to bring humanity towards the techno-utopia that is its birthright. While we must not forget the humanities and the arts, which celebrate all that is noble and beautiful about the Cosmos, only through technology will we advance as a species. We owe it to ourselves and to our posterity to invest in that advancement.
A Way other than War
This mission statement was composed in the early days of Atomu 71, the 71st year since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States has in its arsenal thousands of nuclear weapons, enough to glass an entire country. Russia, the UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and so on, all have nuclear weapons, and many more nations are still trying to build them. We modern humans have the capacity to catastrophically end life on this planet, and yet we’re still making war with each other.
I know that humanity isn’t ready to abandon war, and may never be. But we need to pull ourselves back from the brink. In a world in which war can end all life, we have to find other ways of interacting with each other. Thus, the following conditions:
- A commitment by the United States to reducing our nuclear arsenal by half over the next decade
- A redirection of ten percent of our military budget to social and humanitarian programs
- A comprehensive series of treaties forbidding the development of autonomous weapons
- The elimination of armed drones
- Further treaties against the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons
- A renewed role for the UN in international justice
- Prosecution of war criminals regardless of nationality
- A commitment by the United States to never pursue a war of aggression
We may not be ready to do away with war, but we must take strong steps to reduce its horror.
This platform is a beginning. It is about getting our own house in order as much as possible before attempting to address the serious social, political, economic, and environmental issues that plague the world as a whole. Until every human enjoys equality and equity, the war cannot be said to be over, but these issues are where I choose to make my stand. These issues are what I am fighting for. These issues are what I’m blogging for.