#17 Unpack your politics

Whoever you are, whatever country you grew up in, you were probably brought up to believe your nation’s political system is the best one on offer. Whether you grew up believing in liberal democracy or pancasila, you recited certain oaths and creeds, learned a mythology of your founding fathers (and mothers, if anyone bothered to mention them), and sang songs praising your nation. In the most extreme cases, you might even believe all other political systems than your own are illegitimate.

In fact, if you were to try to explain your nation separate from your political system, you’d probably have trouble doing it.

Wasp resting on poison hemlockAfter the cataclysm, as the economic, social and political order around you crumbles, you’re going to be forced to make decisions without the old familiar governing infrastructure in place. At the same time, you can expect individuals to rise up and try to grab power. Their ideas of what the new political system should look like may be very different from yours.

If up to now your entire engagement with your country’s political system has been that of passive bystander, you’ll be ripe for being hoodwinked into supporting a system that isn’t good for you in the long run. That’s happened often enough in the pre-cataclysm era. You might not even recognize bad ideas for what they are, until it’s too late.

But this also presents an opportunity. What if there are better ideas out there than your current political system? Now’s your chance to identify them and put them in action.

Here’s how you can prepare: Study all the different options out there. Democracy, anarchism, republic, oligarchy, theocracy, socialism, monarchy, dictatorship, feudalism, etc. Learn how each system works, and which seems like the best way to manage the society you live in. When the cataclysm arises, maybe you’ll come up with some unique hybrid that combines the best of a couple of these ideas. At the least, maybe you won’t get fooled again.

Photo of a wasp resting on poison hemlock by Ferran Jorda.


One Response to #17 Unpack your politics

  1. […] I’ve written here before, you’ll need to be on the lookout for sociopaths and other icky people trying to grab power […]

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