A Sort of Mission Statement
Hold on — let me explain.
No. You should have written this first. You’re busy talking about terraforming other planets and meta-this-and-that.
I just prefer to hit the ground running. It seems self-indulgent to write about myself.
Maybe you don’t know what you’re doing, so you’re putting up walls of text as a defense.
That’s not very charitable. I mentioned the principle of charity in another one of my posts. Did you read it?
Obviously. I’m you.
Anyway, I decided to write this current post exactly because I want to keep talking about other things, and recognize that this adds some much-needed context.
I’m writing because I believe the world is about to change forever. This will not be like the changing of the seasons, or even longer historical cycles. I think it is not going too far to say that we are living through a new stage of evolution. I promise I’ll write more about this — I know it’s a rather large and vague claim on its own. But we need to shape this exciting and dangerous future, or it will certainly shape us.
So my plan is to develop a theory of change as a writer, and put it into practice politically. My writing will be free to all as creative commons. And I plan to run an open-source political campaign in New York. That’s how I see my work transcending itself — as a metapolitical toolkit for global change. I care about my home in New York’s Hudson Valley Region, and want to make a local impact. But I see the scope of our metacrisis, and I see that we are running out of time to make some fundamental changes to our world. So I’m trying to balance the local with the global.
I’m writing about things in my book which I think can’t be ignored any longer. It’s the kind of book I wish I had been able to read when I was 16 and just beginning to form an understanding of the world. I think the book would have confused me a great deal at that age — in a good way. It would have been unlike what any politicians were saying, and it would have opened up many important lines of inquiry.
The thing is, we still aren’t talking about these things. The world is falling apart in some palpable ways, and it pains me to see people I care about consumed by fear, anger, or grief. If you find yourself among those who see life as increasingly meaningless, commodified, distorted, destructive — in short, you can’t even with this burnout society and its Moloch-appeasing race to the bottom — I am writing to you with a sincere alternative to surrender.
Or you may count yourself among those who are not letting waves of crises just wash over them. You are part of a revolution. But you are finding yourself discouraged because buckets of paint are being spilled faster than you can clean up. My writing is for you, too. I believe the metarevolutionary approach I’m putting forward can turn the tide for you (and all of us), even if you don’t end up agreeing with me on other things.
How is your small-time campaign in some corner of New York supposed to be an adequate response to things like exponential technology, a broken information ecosystem, or disastrous effects from climate change?
Things are grim, but not insurmountable. My sole campaign promise, at this moment, is that I will immediately take steps to make myself obsolete. And I will go so far as to claim that people running for office without this intention are either acting ignorantly or selfishly. What I mean is, I don’t believe we can go forward with the same political and economic systems in place and hope to cheat death very much longer. But I recognize that, troubled as government is, ceding seats of power to the most talented sociopaths can only make things worse.
I sympathize with those who think our systems are too broken to fix, and requires bloody revolution. I don’t agree at all, but I know that this urge comes from the eruption of absorbed pain. If this describes you, the metarevolution needs you — but you must come armed only with love. My theory of change is guided by agape and ahimsa — so I take it as a given that you will not use my words to attempt to justify any violence.
“‘Agape’ means recognition of the fact that all life is interrelated. All humanity is involved in a single process, and all men are brothers. To the degree that I harm my brother, no matter what he is doing to me, to that extent I am harming myself.” - Martin Luther King, Jr
“Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we cannot practice it in full, we must try to understand its spirit and refrain as far as is humanly possible from violence.” - Mahatma Gandhi
With that in mind, my hope is that you will understand why I want to be a “liquid” politician. I want to offer people in New York a more inclusive, effective, and decentralized local government, and also inspire a tsunami of other liquid politicians. Imagine, on one hand, the traditional “representative”, and the “liquid representative” on the other. If I had to sloganize the two, respectively, I would think it fitting to say “My seat, my voice” and “My seat, your voice” — as much as the former pretends to be the latter.
“If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” - Shirley Chisholm
I believe there will be tremendous pressure to adopt this new style. Representative Democracy, as it exists in the US today, will be seen as unnecessarily centralized, and even authoritarian-leaning, in a world with Liquid Democracy. Which is not, itself, the final stage of change as I see it. But it is one of the few ways to put ourselves on the metarevolutionary trajectory without succumbing to scapegoating or pitchforking. It’s an achievable victory which forms a bridge to something even better. I hope the full meaning of this will become clear with the release of my book and future work.
Well, I’m not totally convinced you’re not crazy. But for some reason you seem to earnestly think you can change the world, and that’s at least interesting. You know, in an Icarus kind of way. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Thank you, other Evan. Your slight suspension of disbelief is damn-near vivifying. And if I’ve enticed you to keep reading, I hope others feel the same.
I guess we’ll see. You better stop talking to yourself and get back to work.
That’s the plan!