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[–] Salmoneer 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

I don't honestly believe that I could make a difference. I have no money to throw around, I am not very socially capable, so I would worry about doing more harm than good trying to persuade anyone of my point, and I have not had much luck in the past talking to politicians, even about issues where my position was extremely reasonable and helped everyone.

If you have any ideas about how an average person with a busy schedule and no money can take action on this issue, I'd love to hear them.

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[–] Asstronaut [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I know where you're coming from. I'm not a good debater myself. But you can always write to them and this way you can slowly let your thoughts settle and thus make better/better thought through arguments. And if they reply, you can take your time.

Add links to your Facebook status.

Turn up to rallies.

Try and find like minded people on internet forums.

There are actually many ways to show your sentiments without good conversational skills or money.

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[–] Salmoneer 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

What's the purpose of finding like minded people on internet forums?

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[–] Stanley_Yelnats_IV 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

I advocate a system in which politicians only have minimal power. History shows that we can't stop moneyed interests from influencing government, but we can shrink it to the point that it simply has no power to favor those interests anyway.

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[–] Asstronaut [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Sounds great, but do you consider it realistic? What would be the first steps?

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[–] Stanley_Yelnats_IV 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Well, there are two schools of thought on that. The first, which I support for now, is to use the system we already have and elect people who also support limited government to cut it back down to size, which would mean culling government subsidies and programs, probably instituting congressional term limits, and perhaps a couple of Constitutional amendments to lock in the changes. This can work in theory, at least in the US, because we already have a Constitution built on the idea of a limited state.

The second, and the more skeptical, is a forced coup, much like the one that founded the US in the first place. The reasoning behind this is that realistically no politician is going to give up his own power, and we've screwed ourselves out of the peaceful option by giving up too much power slowly over the decades. As I said above, I don't think we're quite that far gone yet, but I could be proven wrong within the next 10 or 20 years.

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[–] MamaFrankie 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I have written my representatives in the past, when I feel my personal experience can help illuminate a complex problem, but mostly I feel powerless. So I try to be the best version of myself I can be, propelled by the twin engines of compassion and honesty. I want to live in a different system, but I don't want to get there by violence. I work towards an intellectual kind of Velvet Revolution (as a college math lecturer). One day it is my hope that we will take their wealth from them, let them experience true poverty, and then give them the compassion they refused to give us.

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[–] Asstronaut [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Well, that's the dream :) How do you work towards the velvet revolution?

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[–] MamaFrankie 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

As a teacher, I focus not just on the math itself but on the critical thinking skills it develops. I encourage asking questions and consider it part of my mission to help them learn to formulate really thoughtful, meaty questions. I don't sow the seeds of dissent per say, as I think it would be unethical for me to use my position to force my own beliefs on my students. Instead, I guide them through a different way of thinking (rather than telling them what to think), a way that led me to the beliefs I now hold. I figure, if there really is truth to it, I won't be the only one to see it. I just need to remind people that the path exists.

As a human, I try to be an example - not by being better than other people (or even believing that is possible) - but by owning my mistakes, learning from them, asking for help if I need it, and moving on without shame or fear. I make myself vulnerable in this way, show the inner workings. When you admit your errors and move to correct them, people respond to that very strongly. They seem to feel safer admitting their mistakes and when they need help - something I've seen as a teacher as well.

I can only really change myself, my life, my choices. In my heart, the Velvet Revolution has already begun and I know I am not alone. It is a profoundly humbling and joyous feeling, even if we are few.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

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[–] Asstronaut [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I think that would only give the government mandate to tighten the grip and we'd come closer to a police state. If I were you, I'd save my anger for a revolution. If things don't change soon and the new generation don't just sit on their hands (fat asses) like the baby boomers, it might be closer than we think.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

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[–] [deleted] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

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[–] Asstronaut [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Still - you are voicing your opinion. Good on you. And remember to eat your vegetables. They'll help you grow ;)

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[–] RedStormbringer 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I spent 10 years engaged in actively speaking out against, building awareness for, and writing/calling/talking to representatives about laws, internet regulation, and public initiatives that I felt would have negative social, political, economic impacts if they were passed.

In that time, we had what could be considered big wins (and some losses). It took up a lot of my extra time, but we felt like we were doing something worthwhile.

In the end it doesn't mean a damn thing. They took all of those dozens of failed efforts and rolled all of it into a couple trade pacts (TPP, TTIP) that were developed behind closed doors by corporations, key politicians, and banking interests. None of us will ever see what it contains before its passage, besides a couple leaked documents in rough draft form. Even the majority of our politician will never get the opportunity to study it and have their teams of professionals study it.

In the end it feels like all of those efforts were for nothing. Now I focus my efforts on things I feel will have a beneficial impact, although I still try to help with building awareness, sometimes.

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[–] Asstronaut [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

So do you agree with the majority here, that we should either start supporting politicians that want to separate business and government - or do you think it has to get more radical than that, before we see a change?

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[–] RedStormbringer 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I'm not sure that I agree with radicalism. Especially the "toppling of the tyrannical state" by violent civil unrest type of radicalism. Things are just too complicated for that these days. But I do believe that the United States of America is the most politically disengaged country in the developed world, and that this detachment is directly responsible for the rampant human rights abuses, political corruption, and economic disparity that is developing here and abroad. The EU is doing a fine job of catching up with us, though (as are Australia and NZ)--they even surpasses us in some aspects.

At this point, I'm not sure that strictly building political engagement, and voting in a couple of good politicians', would be sufficient to undo the unraveling of our political/legal system that has occurred in recent years (but it can't hurt)--both our politicians' and the public have handed too much of our power and influence over to the world's major international financial empires. A different ruling elite are running the show now and our governments are merely their instruments. Unfortunately, it seems like the politicians' are some of the last to realize this--greed blinds the ignorant and the wicked and uproots the rest.

Violent civil unrest has proven effective, historically, but the game has changed. This is a financial war on people by private interests, one we, ourselves, have a diminishing stake in, and I feel that in order for people to influence the direction of the tides in this war, to foster positive social change, then people are going to have to disengage from the current financial system, and reengage politically. I don't feel like one would do much good without the other. And, honestly, in the short term I don't see people caring enough to disengage from the current system, not until it places the vast majority in a position where they no longer feel that they can thrive (or at least live with relative ease) within the system.

And fostering political awareness is almost pointless in a system as artificially fragmented as our current one. People spend more time bickering over the tiniest of details they, and their self-aligned party, care about, rather than looking at the big picture and cooperating to achieve meaningful things. Or they feel powerless (which isn't entirely untrue, currently). If anything, our current political system needs focus more than it needs majority--and that is not going to happen as long as the big wigs running the show also run the media.

I also feel that the separation of business and government should be as ingrained in our system as the separation of church and state. In the long run I think we will learn from our mistakes and this is going to happen. How long this will take is anyone's guess. But I do hope that it happens. We have to remember that the reason for separation of church and state has deep historical roots, we learned there and hopefully we will learn here, as well.

EDIT: fixed a few mistakes, clarified my message to clear up confusion.

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[–] mondogecko 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I keep my head down because I'm legit paranoid about corps and govts silencing dissent with violence. I don't trust the government's commitment to constitutional rights, and I'm also skeptical of innocent protest groups who are a mix of martyrs and trusting fools who share stories about massacres at kent state, tiananmen square, but don't know or care that it could happen again. It may frusterate the efforts of activists who I often agree with, but I can't stick my neck out, am pussy. Maybe when I'm middle aged, have less life to lose, I'll take the risk. I just am a young guy now, so nobody respects my voice/opinion anyways, plus I'm treated as a threat due to my height, gender. My #1 goal is not to go to jail.

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[–] Asstronaut [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Do you know of anyone being sent to jail because of their dissenting views?

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[–] mondogecko 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

A lot of the occupy protests ended up turning violent. Ferguson turned violent. People were jailed and hurt. If things ever went bad enough that the US declared martial law/felt threatened I don't want to be on the list of people known to organize and participate in protests. America isn't exceptional. The same motivations that Assad uses to justify his civil war are in the US, like a flood held back by a thin levy, and these dissenters are hacking at its foundation. I do boycott and spend very little money on new stuff. I talk a lot about corporate corruption, but I won't make that step toward civil disobedience.

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[–] VillaLopez 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I want to rise up and kill every member of the aristocratic society so we can start fresh.

100% serious.