Updated: Nov 28, 2020
I know, I know, the title to this article most likely produces looks of disbelief or contempt; after all, American politics is full of charlatans trying to portray themselves as anti-politics, when in reality, their actions upon obtaining office show that their intentions all along were to ingratiate themselves with the system. Please hear me out. In no way whatsoever is ingratiation the intent and purpose of this piece. Yes, the NRP is a political organization with the stated purpose of winning elections, but whereas our two ruling parties are only capable of criticizing the system through words only as tags for polemical phrases, we have a philosophy and doctrine capable of effecting real change and abolishing politics once and for all. The philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel posited that anything which exists only exists through its opposite. Hot-Cold, Left-Right, all different yet complementary by the fact that neither could be conceptualized without the other. The purpose of this article is to establish the dichotomy between politics and governance, two terms usually considered synonymous with each other.
Before I proceed, the title of this article is not meant to disparage or downplay the significance of cancer. The argument I’m going to put forward is one of analogy. As in many cases, cancer results from poor lifestyle choices; so does the decay of societies result from poor choices made at the governing level. While this decay may manifest itself differently in the collective and the individual, the results are still the same: death. If the individual recovers from chemotherapy and returns to the same habits which caused the cancer, the obvious is going to reoccur. The same applies to countries. Periods of recovery do happen, but unless the underlying cause is addressed, the cancerous social tumor will begin to grow again. Hence, we have the history of neoliberalism in the West. The question becomes how much longer we have.
For many, one of the obvious questions which come to mind is “if the NRP is intent upon obtaining control of government, then won’t you be engaging in the same type of rhetorical hypocrisy as contemporary politicians?” The answer lies in how we view politics and government. Google gives the following definition of politics:
The activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.
Let’s dissect this statement a little further. There are two parts to look at. The first part states, “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area.” When looking at the American system as it currently operates, the process of creating law is very rarely one that concerns itself with maintaining the general welfare. Instead, due to the American system of elections, which force officeholders to constantly sell themselves to raise enough funds for the next election, politicians are cornered into satisfying their large campaign contributors, who naturally put their own particular interests over the general well-being. This, coupled with the need to please constituents through the appearance of being a proactive legislator, the politician crafts bills not designed to improve the lot of the masses, but to impress, to create the perception of being a competent officeholder, very similar to the process of dating, whereby we aim to impress by making ourselves look more desirable than we actually are. That’s just the inspiration, the rationale behind the political process. Looking deeper into the interactions of the actual participants, we find the particular acts of dealing and image-making achieve universal significance, being engaged in by each member of the House and the Senate. Bills have been called a “process in sausage making” with legislators trying to add to legislation to appease either their constituents or campaign contributors. When it comes to the decision to support legislation or not, the primary concern centers around whether the sponsor of the bill has an R or a D next to their name and the perception of whether that bill will be viewed as a victory for one side or another. This has become a recurrent theme throughout this article; it’s not the public interest that is being considered; it’s perception; it’s the ability to keep the campaign coffers full to win reelection. The process that goes into creating law at the level of government is analogous to the individual with a drug and alcohol problem, both of whom live in a fantasyland nightmare.
Unfortunately, the unseemliness of our politics doesn’t stop at the level of government but exists almost constantly during a non-stop election cycle. This brings us to the second part of our definition. “especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” The ingrained belief we as Americans seem to be born with is that history is progressive, and that whatever happens, happens because it was meant to; that the will of the people will always manifest itself, given the opportunity to do so. These are the myths grafted onto the American psyche. It is no wonder that this vague notion of progress should lead to an autonomic approval to any attempt to expand the right to vote, viewing it as a semi-divine process. As the franchise is extended, however, politics comes to resemble more and more a marketplace. The average person not having the time, knowledge, or will to make an informed choice; the center of gravity shifts from those most qualified to hold office to those least qualified but more apt and skilled at being a competent salesperson. Given the limited tenures of office-holders and the funds needed to run for re-election, not only are the elections we engage in bi-annually a contest between two individuals attempting to sell themselves. Worse, they are a process that never stops; a bi-party system with two sides aligned against each other guarantees that should the incumbent slip up or give the impression of doing so, there will always be someone to expose the supposed weakness, whether justified or not.
Is it any wonder why the social decay, which is reflected in our infrastructure, environment, health care, education, and all the other metrics which go into measuring the success of a society or the lack thereof are so incredibly poor? As the central organizing unit of society, the American government is a reality show on a much larger scale; besides rotting minds, it rots society. In place of statesmen, we have the functional equivalent of a snake oil peddler. Everything is a deal, a show; there’s no authenticity or originality; to express authenticity would mean losing reelection. The trickle-down results of this system are under constant display in our daily lives as people come to look at every interaction, and determine every act through a cost-benefit ratio. In this country, politics is transactional, because the act of governing, of constructing laws for the benefit of the whole, is non-existent or rare at best. Governing doesn’t fit within the definition of politics and needs to be given a separate space at the table as a distinct act.
At its core, governing and politics are jumbled together as interchangeable because the affairs of State are considered distinct from other professions. In no other line of work is the future of a profession or business chosen by the public at large; subject to the whims of an indiscriminate mass of people who may or may not have the foresight and knowledge to make a competent decision. But due to the divinization of our political system, rationality doesn’t have a place within the process. The objection to this would probably be along the lines of people voting with their wallets. If a business doesn’t provide competent service and desirable products, then it will eventually go out of business as people spend their money elsewhere. However, this doesn’t delegitimize the argument for nullifying mass elections but actually strengthens it. In their everyday activities such as buying food for the family, clothes, gyms or barber shops; individuals usually are experts at those particular functions; they see the results not only in their pocketbooks but in the effects put upon themselves as well as family members. Additionally, those domains which are outside of the individual's orbit of common activities are not something that he/she has a vote or choice on. We don’t vote on the design of bridges, for example. But, when it comes to the State, any knowledge is superficial at best, being composed of sound bites and images meant to invoke feelings of resentment and anger. The place for critical thought is largely absent. In contrast to everyday activities, individuals mostly fail to see the effects of public policy as multiple excuses and explanations exist for either successes or failures, each meant either to make one side look good or bad at another’s expense; to promote the agenda of one or more sides attempting to acquire power. The pursuit of truth and the public welfare has little relevance in a system built upon the model of the marketplace and the divinization of democracy. The results are predictable.
If not by public choice, then how are representatives to be chosen? There must be a
certain degree of accountability to those responsible for the construction of laws; lacking accountability would be to commit the same sin as liberalism by imputing a divine aspect into the State. Taking as our basis the Corporatist model, representatives are to be chosen from each of the occupational groups. However, to avoid the same pitfalls of the liberal system of universal elections, these representatives won’t be chosen from amongst the members of the Corporation at large; that would be to introduce politics back into the system. Instead, representatives should be chosen through a collaborative process between the sole legal party allowed to exist, along with leadership of the Corporation. This process provides a dynamic of interests operating within the State, but not identical to each other. The Corporation represents the particular interests of its membership, while the Party represents the interests of the whole. It is within the Corporate State that the particular and the universal are reconciled, thereby avoiding the abuses leading to tyrannical systems and one-person rule.
The problem in a nutshell with the present system as constituted is how it solidifies the particular contra of the Universal; instead of both coming together, it pits the dominance of one over the other. Within every aspect of Corporatism, the merger of the two - particular and universal - is achieved. The Corporation starts at its base with a structure and an idea; then the form of the Corporation is filled with industrial concerns and the individuals composed of them. What was previously an antagonistic relationship between competing interests now comes together within the confines of the Corporation. The two become one. The system would further be structured as the different aspects of particular industries come together to form policy, with the idea of combining the particular and the universal being of the utmost importance. What began as nothing but individuals out for their own self-interest transforms within the Corporate State into individuals learning to work together and realize their particular welfare, achieved through the whole, through the State.
If the last four years have taught us anything, it’s that contemporary society cannot continue to function as it has indefinitely. The American landscape is littered with individuals worse off than their parents, unable to leave their parents' home and start a family of their own. We have an infrastructure and health care system that are falling apart and no longer able to provide essential services. Lashing out in anger, individuals are flocking to extremist movements on both the Left and Right, looking for simple solutions to complex issues. The media, representing one or the other of two dominant political factions operating within society, are more than eager to offer simple, ready-made explanations for national ills. As a result, we’ve become a society split into two camps, both equally delusional with the sole aim of defeating their opponents and living happily ever after. It’s a society built upon hatred towards the other. Part of the problem lies within the American ethos, that individuals are capable of achieving anything they want in life as long as they’re willing to work hard and put their minds to whatever problem they’re confronted with. This is obvious malarkey; other than ignoring empirical evidence to the contrary, it teaches young people to look for meaning outside of themselves and their daily lives; it gives them goals that are unreachable and creates a people disillusioned with collective structures such as the Nation and State, viewing them as outgrowths of the same lies taught to them when they were young. What too often goes unnoticed is the difference individuals make when interacting with others and creating a family, probably the most meaningful act two people can engage in. Meaning isn’t found through politics or giving oneself to some abstract notion of freedom and liberty, but in living life well. Politics is illusions and magic. What matters is within us, and acting through a society without politics, with a State working towards the Universal welfare of its inhabitants, we can find it.