I’ve realized a few things in my many years of participating in Libertarian politics (Michael Badnarik in 2004, Bill Peirce in 2006) to realize when the game is rigged. You see, for a while there I got really caught up in the whirlwind of policy and procedure and all the shit no sane person would do except when it’s time to bow down before a master. Now, it’s not the fault of those working within that party, they are just playing the game they’ve always played: keep-away. Once they got something of value, they found out they can lord it over others and gain some false authority along the way.
Anyways, I’ve realized “The Great Game” is pretty stupid. What matters isn’t parties, because parties never move the world, people do. Sure, parties can get people to move from time to time, but they themselves are not a movement nor do they have their own momentum.
At this point you’re probably wondering what the fuck I’m talking about with parties and movements, and what the fuck it has to do with you. Well dear reader, you probably recognize as well the futility of modern political parties, and perhaps you’ve been drawn to the allure of a certain tea party movement, or the marijuana legalization movement, or the gay marriage legalization movement, or the border security movement. Well, can you guess what they all have in common? None of them will fully embrace a party. Or more correctly, no party ever actually embraces them and makes it their priority. And when they do, you can be sure it’s because the movement is a legitimate threat and needs to be tamed by party procedures and committees.
You see, parties end up being watered down by their collective constituencies to the point that infighting and bickering is inevitable. Couple that with a culture of power and false authority and it’s no surprise that politics is a fetid business. No one accomplishes anything because the status quo is safer than accomplishing goals that alienate a percentage of donors. In contrast, movements have a singular goal, and leadership knows exactly what the mission is at all times.
So I’ve personally come to the conclusion that the party system is dead. Sure they may make a lot of noise at election time and the two-party system has devised layers upon layers of self-protective legislation to ensure their place. But the people who wear the suits and speak in chambers belong to self-promoting movements, not parties. Their self-movements are funded by corporations and elitists who in turn are part of their own movements. It’s all very much a game of accumulating power and wealth, collecting public servants like Pokemon.
So where to we go from here? Well, start by making political parties dead to you too (this means consciously marginalizing them where they belong), and focus instead on movements (either libertarian ideals with tangible goals or people with goals). Partisan labels are distractions that are intended to do just one thing: steer you away from the individual or issue into some turbulent philosophical waters where a lot of flip flops have taken place.
Keep moving forward by following those who carry the torch of liberty and justice for all. The more active you are, the more likely the responsibility will be passed to you to carry the torch for the next generation.