The last few elections have made a simple fact clear: America is on the decline. No, it’s not because a candidate won or lost, or because taxes are too high or low, or because we have hundreds of thousands of abortions and a debt that would shame a drunken sailor.
We are on the decline because we get as passionate about our politics as we do about our sports teams. But unlike in our reactions to sports, we also feel a constant, existential feeling in our souls when “the other team” wins. If we want America to stop declining, we need to reassert that We the People run the country, not a bipartisan politocracy that pulls our strings through politics, policies, and the press.
There are three problems we need to solve—we’ll call them Problem A, Problem B, and Problem C. The bad news is that these problems have their hooks deep in us. The good news is that if we solve Problem C, Problems A and B will diminish rapidly.
Problem A is the systems and structures controlled by the ruling class have too much influence and control over our lives, often via elections and popular private platforms.
You hear people say that de-platforming people from things like PayPal or social media sites is tantamount to banishing them from society. For many, it’s hard to make a living or share one’s true thoughts or communicate outside these platforms. What makes this possible are laws and regulations that favor censorious policies and opaque standards—but it’s also the fact that we’ve become dependent on these platforms. This dependency creates a mentality that the government can and should tilt the scales in your favor.
The same is true for the blizzard of rules, laws, regulations, taxes, and the like that cost us money, that are major inconveniences, and that can actually disrupt or cancel dreams and ambitions. If your side wins, you won’t be so heavily burdened. Or maybe you can gain an advantage by adding burdens to your potential competitors.
These zero-sum mentalities are not the actions and desires of a free people. These are the actions and desires of a Hunger Games world where we are not united by God, our common humanity, and our place of residence—but by Gollum’s “Precioussss!” greed.
Problem B is that a small, powerful group of people created and controls Problem A! If it seems every aspect of life is political now, or controlled by and for some political agenda or group, it also seems very few people actually control politics—instead of a republic, we have an oligarchy. I call this the “corpostate” because it is largely a nonpartisan, non-ideological structure that incorporates the private and public sectors. It blurs the line between government and businesses in an unspoken partnership of power and influence which, much like the revolving door between the White House and Big Business in Washington, is symbiotic for those who run the politocracy.
The corpostate’s control over the politocracy can seem different, depending upon how it wants to manipulate us. Sometimes, the state seems to be making the corporate body dance to its tune; at other times, corporate entities seem to be making the ministers of state into their servants. But the fine details don’t matter; what does matter is that very few people have real power and control over a corpostate politocracy that has an outsized influence over your daily life.
Problem C is that we have not created bonds, connections, or structures between our families, friends, and neighbors independent of what we can broadly call the corpostate structures.
Instead of focusing on changing diapers or improving our relationship with our spouse or coming closer to God, we get anxious and worked up and paranoid about elections which, after Election Day, we can’t control. We violate what Catholics call subsidiarity—the principle of focusing on a micro-scale to make great policies for those closest to us—our homes, neighborhoods, and online communities.
The irony is that if we solve for Problem C, we reduce Problems A and B into surmountable challenges. People dependent upon each other for collaboration, favors, mutuality, and work begin to find what I describe as “gaps for freedom.” These are gaps that are not easily controlled by the politocracy or the corpostate culture, such as finding a babysitter for your children by accident when talking to a neighbor, or seeing someone post that they had a bad day and going to their home with coffee and an open ear.
The amazing thing about solutions to Problem C is that too many exist to name here. That’s the point. Humanity cannot reach its true potential by being limited by Problems A, B, and C. We become puppets instead of free people. We allow our decisions to be controlled and influenced and manipulated instead of seeing the glory of the sum of billions of daily decisions.
The first step to solving this nationwide dilemma is to decide if you even want to solve it. If you gathered a crew of a few family and friends and asked them to help find ways you could help each other solve Problem C—this would begin to change your life and your prospects. Once people internalize and act upon solving Problem C, the changes would grow exponentially.
We do not depend on each other. We do not depend on our God or whatever we believe in. We depend on what we broadly call the “corpostate structures,” therefore they gain more power over us even as these structures are controlled by fewer and fewer people. Changing that isn’t easy and can’t happen all at once. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
But every step you take away from dependency brings you more freedom, brings you closer to your true potential, and takes you away from the “Matrix” mentality that causes us to panic over things that we cannot control. We can and should simply try to solve Problem C and watch, like magic, as Problems A and B shrink both objectively—because we are relying on people we know instead of faceless oligarchs—and subjectively—because we will be happier if we see success with real people.
If people had warm connections and mutuality with others and if they could meet more of their needs in this way, then political elections may become more like championship games and less like life and death struggles for your very survival.
Yes, politics has real consequences, and we must care. But once it’s over, we need to focus on where we can make a real difference—by solving Problem C.