Almost 7 billion of us humans on this rock. Every single one of us a unique and singular creation, beautiful and deserving of being loved and loving others. Each wholly responsible for their own health and welfare, safety and happiness but not every one of us capable of that responsibility so societies and governments are spawned…to provide a safety net for those that need it.
Different forms of political movements, aligned to history, to time and place, have arisen to try to meet those protective needs but they all fail, in one way or other, and tend to perpetuate the lesser good at the expense of the greater good. The greater good being the humans on the planet who drive positive change, who push progress forward…who have vision (and ultimately reach) in order to make our lives better. The lesser good being the simple act of being alive, of continuity of the species…the great unwashed masses. You may argue which is lesser or greater but this exploitation of the greater good happens because of the imbalance that is inherent in humans.
The imbalance of the few versus the many.
It was (and is) a few brilliant individuals who, singularly or in small groups, change the world. That is not up for debate…it is just fact. This elitism exists whether we want it to or not and is actually the engine that has driven humans forward…out of the stone age, through the iron and industrial ages and into the reality that we live inside of now. The billions of others on the planet who did not have the wherewithal or opportunity did not materially help this progress because that is just the way life is. Whether by the luck off the draw—where and to whom they were born—or by their own massive need to succeed where others have failed, these few people made the entire world better for the rest of us. In some cases they’ve enabled the world to be able to support us.
And then there are politics. The biggest difference between the different political flavors—liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, etc.—is how this elite cadre of individuals are directed and (in some cases) “allowed” to practice their brilliance.
On one end of the spectrum, they are encouraged to strive and succeed or fail on their own via the free market of ideas and capital. This type of politics has led to things as great as the integrated circuit and as silly as the pet rock but in most cases has been the engine that has powered progress. It has been the force behind the discovery of the world both vast and miniscule and has lifted billions out of poverty by the electrification of homes, the efficient distribution of food so that people can live where they want versus where they have to…but has also been deemed socially ambivalent inasmuch that the safety net is loosened and in some cases simply falls away…
…and on the other end of the spectrum these elite are consigned and are directed as to where their energies should be focused purely based on the idea of the “greater good” and the protection of the less fortunate. Market forces are tamed such that central planning holds forth with the idea that the individual does not have access to an acceptable level of information therefore cannot make informed decisions. Not about life, education, work, etc. and thus the great majority, whom do not consider themselves in any way a part of the elite, will always vote for systems and governments that protect their short term interests at the detriment of their long term ones. And politicians know this and count on it and is where even good intentioned governments tend to head toward.
What hasn’t happened…yet…is the rise of a political middle ground that replaces the patronizing paternalism of Liberalism as well as the materialistic cronyism and ignorance of the less advantaged of Conservatism such that both ends of the spectrum are protected such that…
…the poor and disadvantaged and up to the middle class are taken care of by an intelligent social and healthcare system by a Federal small government that has limited responsibility and only does that as well as provide national protection via a defensive force, acts as liaison between other countries as well as the arbiter between state’s disputes.
…the striving and driven are allowed full reign to let their creativity and inherent need to succeed produce amazing new machines, new art, new inventions of all sorts and to be rewarded commensurate with the appeal and value the buying market assigns them.
…and is called libertarianism.