I care for humankind, whole and parts. All should be given the opportunity to nourish and flourish, and no discrimination between people is ever sensible.
I believe in reason and in science. I believe that when rational argument from public evidence suffices to decide a question, it must be considered to be so decided; when it does not, the community must encourage a diverse range of viewpoints and hypotheses consistent with a good-faith attempt to develop convincing public evidence.
I would like to keep our planet in some semblance of a working order.
I take the free market as a starting point that is too complex (and interesting) to be pigeonholed into either the greatest evil that must be thoroughly planned ahead by government or the solution to all problems that can only shine if entirely unfettered. I want to understand it better.
I could go on, it would be a long list, but I think you know where I am headed. Independently of any bubble one might live in, I know that many share this bedrock of values. They seem neither surprising nor far-fetched.
Yet, as things stand today, I know of no politician and certainly of no movement or party that comes even close to representing me on these matters. At best we stand fragmented and bickering. Many of us give in to anger and apathy. Meanwhile those who would gladly destroy all that we hold dear are strong, organised, and gaining fast.
There is much that we could blame. It could be the media or the system, the manner in which elections are conducted or cheated, corruption and bribery, education or poverty, history or habit. But these things have been the topic of blame for every single political crisis or problem for as long as I can remember and show no signs of abating.
These issues haven’t changed because we haven’t.
The problem is us.
Where do we go from that thought? The first reflex could be to start a movement. A lot of interesting dynamics have emerged in the movement-first approach, from Occupy through Podemos to Nuits Debout. But they all seem to hit walls, to eventually return to the same ideas we have long heard, to fail to define the new politics we need.
We feel our thoughts and ideas are close but altogether too often they are vague, fuzzy, and half-baked; when good they are often scattered and insufficiently shared. Lacking a clear and coherent intellectual backbone all we are left to is to tweet snark and outrage until we are blue in the fingertips.
We can do better.
What I am proposing is not some sort of high-brow magnum opus of political philosophy. I want to produce a clear and useful guide to the rough political union of progressives today. I want it to address pragmatic issues both of policy and of political practice, including at the very personal level.
I want to rethink our politics and how we share them, for all the polities that we collectively belong to.
If I have to, I will write it alone (very slowly). If you wish to help, however, you are more than welcome to contribute. The only required qualification is that you should care. No issue is too big or too small — just pick something that is dear to you. It’s okay not to be an expert and just to outline that you see a problem (possibly for someone else to fix) by filing an issue. If you have some text to contribute, just go ahead (and if you don’t know how that works, we’ll figure something out).
We can fix this, and we will.