Saturday, February 19, 2011

Existential conflict means golden opportunities for those without a dog in the fight

One of the lines I push strongly here is that Demographic Hegemony is an Existential Issue. As usual, those passing by are welcome to appropriate any insights they find useful, even to the extent of implicitly claiming them as their own original thoughts. Hopefully most of my readers agree with that thesis. Today's post though is a bit of outreach.

When a significantly sized group views a concern as being genuinely existential, this creates a golden opportunity for other groups in society that don't feel themselves to have a dog in that particular fight. You see, when something is actually existential to you, you are extremely willing to deal on issues you view as non-existential in return for reliable support on the existential one. Even, or perhaps especially, in cases where you have little love for the group you're dealing with. This is because most of the groups that you actually like are likely to at least tacitly support you eventually.

The ideal groups to make use of this are groups that have significant numbers but a serious deficit of organization and low status in society. Significant numbers is a given---why would I be willing to bend over backwards to get a tiny group like, say, the Discordians to rally to my cause? Deficit of organization means that you're not already bought & paid for and are thus 'in play', and low status in society means you've little to lose by disrupting the status quo. The two groups I see with this opportunity are drug users/supporters of drug legalization and smokers. Plenty of numbers, piss poor to no organization, and most assuredly low status in society. Plus, I don't like you guys, nor do most of the people on my side in this existential conflict. But, as I said before, that fact is in fact a plus. Here's what you need to do:

1. Form an organization---it can be a pretty loose one, hell, even a facebook group or the like. Pledge to each other to bind your votes in all elections to the choice of the group. If you decide you need more of a force multiplier than voting (e.g. boycotts, demonstrations, etc), you're going to need to get some physical organization eventually to augment your virtual organization. Decide firmly that you're willing to trade faithfully AND wholesale with any group not totally antithetical to your aims to accomplish your goals---and, oh yes, decide what victory looks like. Your reputation for being able to deliver your X votes without fail is your greatest asset.

2. Once you've done this, identify other groups which either exist already or have done step 1 in response to seeing your group doing so. Make your alliances. The less overlap between your 2 groups the better. For instance---say the smokers wanted to stop being everyone's bitch in the public square. They want an end to the use of the law to persecute and disproportionately tax them and they want bars to be allowed to be smoking or nonsmoking at the discretion of the individual bar owner. I'm not personally in favor of this agenda, but I could get behind it if you were bringing me tons of votes towards my concern. In fact, I believe that an alliance composed of the following groups would be able to make Congress its plaything:
Smokers, gun rights types, drug legalization advocates/drug users, pro lifers, and demographic hegemony voters.

What say you? You have nothing to lose but your powerlessness.


Hail said...

This seems a backdoor way towards what proportional-representation parliamentary systems do.

As in most European systems, no party takes a majority, there have to be minor-party (often single-issue) kingmakers. They force the would-be government to accept their stance on their issue, in exchange for their votes to form a government. In those nations with less-paranoid politics, even "Demographic Hegemony" parties have had success by this means, notably Denmark.

Unfortunately, the anachronistic American system does not allow for this, and your proposal would count on the ability to keep voting-bloc integrity for tens of millions of people with little or nothing in common.

The notion of agglomerating marginalized and unrelated views to make a cohesive bloc, like squeezing slivers of soap together to make a viable new bar of soap, is interesting in theory but could only work using representatives, not among the mass of faceless millions.

Jehu said...

In Oregon, votes are done by mail. One could demonstrate good faith by simply photographing with a digital camera or cell phone, one's ballot and uploading it to one's organizational page. This would reduce the amount of good faith & trust required