Stop politicizing this!
Where the powerless are blamed for reacting to new rules
Sometimes, reporters or commentators will accuse someone of “politicizing an issue.” This accusation is commonly pointed at reactionaries.
Reactionaries are people who oppose political or social change. They might even want to reverse course. Now, you might not agree with their values, but it is illogical and unfair to say, “They’ve politicized this issue, and they should stop.” If you care about social harmony, then please take note…
The reactionaries are not doing the “politicizing.” The reactionaries are simply reacting to the fact that other people have politicized the issue.
The politicization came first, the reaction second — as most reactions do.
Conflict Machine members and their fans (partisan operatives and media propagandists supporting political power) want to pretend that reactionaries started the political fight. They ignore the action that provoked the reaction.
They manage to sell this error with ease because many Americans don’t want to acknowledge the truth about government and politics. Government is a tool of coercion and violence. Politics is about acquiring this tool to achieve a goal.
Chairman Mao was right, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” There’s always an enforcement branch — armed to enforce any and all edicts. Everyone has three choices: Comply, agree to accept punishment, or put yourself in mortal danger by resisting.
In other words, politicization can be deadly.
Consider the case of Eric Garner. He was choked to death by New York City police. His death sentence started with selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. Police initiated that exchange; they were the people with the guns. Eric Garner reacted.
Garner chose the option that placed him in mortal danger. His resistance was to put his hands up but refuse to comply with being cuffed. Police attacked, took him to the ground, and subsequently choked him to death, according to the coroner.
When he was killed, there was a second reaction. People got mad at the cops. But weren’t the cops just doing their job? If so, they’re not the root of the problem. People who were nowhere near the scene authorized and funded the interaction that occurred on that New York City street. These people are called politicians, and they didn’t get their hands dirty.
In truth, Eric Garner’s premature death was a result of politicization followed by reaction. If we had a better social philosophy at the core of our culture, Eric Garner would be alive right now. But what would that look like?
Taxes, mandates, regulations, asset forfeiture, and unnatural laws (a.k.a., victimless crimes) violate a principle called Human Respect. These activities interfere with a person’s pursuit of happiness and cause social friction.
The Principle of Human Respect is that coercion, theft, and violence always diminish human happiness and social harmony.
Remember, citizens have but three choices in the face of a new political act: Comply, agree to accept punishment, or put themselves in mortal danger by resisting.
Now that we know the Principle of Human Respect, we recognize three things.
The people who accept punishment do so only because they’d be less happy if they risked death by resisting the dictate.
Some portion of those who comply are also unhappy doing so.
All of the people who refuse to comply and even accept punishment are quite unhappy.
That’s lots of unhappiness. But all of it is part of a reaction that followed the politicization of an issue.
Do you believe it’s moral to desire or work for the unhappiness of other human beings? If not, then perhaps there’s a moral rule that speaks to this belief.
Defending life or property (yours or others’) also defends happiness. But acts that initiate force violate a fundamental moral principle (a high-priority personal ethic) that we practice in all of our other functioning relationships. It’s called the Zero Aggression Philosophy (ZAP). The ZAP says…
I will never initiate force or use excessive violence to achieve my goals, nor will I authorize others to do it on my behalf. In other words, I won’t empower politicians to force people to do things my way.
We all live by the ZAP with family, friends, and even strangers because that’s what it means to be a good person. But Americans tend to make exceptions when we vote.
Here’s another natural principle: Everyone who wants social change must first engage in persuasion.
The democratic path is to persuade a minority of people to press for political change. This next part may sound weird because most people mistakenly believe that democracy means “majority rules.”
Here’s how the math of democracy actually works; these democrats only have to convince 50%+1 of the voters to agree with them, then they get 100% of the power. Once these democrats, be they Republican or Democrat, get political power on their side, they believe they’re done with persuasion. They can use Chairman Mao’s formula to make the world in their image.
This “democracy” is a shortcut that falls far short of real social change — the kind that reaches the heart. This is the politicization of the issue.
Now that you’ve learned the Principle of Human Respect, you recognize that there are people who didn’t want this political change. They didn’t want the issue to be politicized. They will have to be coerced to comply. Happiness and harmony will both be diminished as a result, and some of them will react.
Those who practice the ZAP will go further than just halfway with peaceful persuasion. They will try to convince a true majority to join them in delivering real social change.
This voluntary path to social change might seem to require much more patience than the politicization model. But no one will be required to sacrifice their happiness. And, instead of a reaction, social harmony will increase.
When the Conflict Machine actors tell you that raising an objection to a democratically imposed policy is “politicization,” point out that this is, instead, reactionary behavior. By definition, reactionaries are responding to the violation of the ZAP because so-called democrats took a shortcut that ignores the gravitational force underlying the Principle of Human Respect.
Jim Babka is the Host of The Exit Network and co-creator of the Zero Aggression Project.
Allow me to thank you for the time, effort, and energy you have put into your articles; I know it takes a village to write a good article. I am writing to tell you how important your words are to so many of us. I work in Human Resources and as such have the opportunity to interact with hundreds of people a year professionally. I am also active at my church and in my community. Over the past 5+ years, I have noticed that is that there is more tribalism, hatred, and distrust of those within our workplace, community and yes, even our church and our families. I have heard on too many occasions, how one family member won’t go to their relative’s house ever again because of who s/he voted for. Every day I was surrounded and exposed to this ugly tribalism of partisan politics breaking apart friendships and families and I didn’t know what to do. That is until I heard about how the conflict machine works from The Exit Network.
I am not a preacher but I have spread the gospel of the Exit Network to friends, family members, and even coworkers. While I am not as skilled as your writers, I have explained the simple, yet powerful, concept of the Conflict Machine and shared how we can leave that machine. Your articles have given your readers a road map on how to save our families and friends, to start the healing process, and to break free of the machine that wants us to hate and distrust each other in the name of partisan politics. Consider that again for a minute…your words about the conflict machine, and how to exit it, have the power to bring families together again. You are teaching people that to survive and thrive we need MUTUAL human RESPECT. I have seen it. I have experienced it.
I haven’t seen much written recently from The Exit Network but I hope that is because you are gearing up for 2022. You may say this is hyperbole but your writing is saving humanity. You are teaching those that they need not turn on each other, or hate another person OVER POLITICS. You are teaching that people are free to exit the conflict machine and leave behind their tribalism. You are bringing us all back together. Please keep writing your articles and I will keep sharing them and teaching those around me. And hopefully, those that learn about the conflict machine from me, as I have from you, will teach one person and so on and so on.