Posted 10 years ago on Jan. 8, 2012, 11:45 p.m. EST by zymergy
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Most political systems do not appreciate chaos. After all, chaos is the ultimate state of uncertainty. During a chaotic period, nobody knows who is in charge, nobody knows how the rules will be enforced, nobody knows if the rules still hold. Fortunately, social systems, like most dynamic systems, can self organize based on fundamental and common forces or biases. Chaotic social systems always resolve to more stable states (the second law of thermodynamics does not apply here) dictated by these fundamental forces or biases. If there are competing forces or biases in a system, rather different resolution states can emerge or self organize from very similar initial chaotic states. These resolution states can become quite stable and hard to change even when the forces continue to struggle or compete within that particular resolution state. In practice, the surest way to change a highly stable resolution state is to induce chaos, and attempt to bias the resolution to a different state.
Wars and violent revolutions are the usual chaotic engenders in social systems, but these are associated with many undesirable side effects. Another method to generate chaos is civil disobedience. Civil disobedience forces the questions of the validity of laws and the validity of the authority that made and enforces those laws. There are costs associated with civil disobedience as well, but since civil disobedience is non-violent, the reactions from those who are attempting to sustain the status quo tend to be less violent, at least in the beginning of the transformation.
There is yet a third method of generating chaos that we have touched upon in this FORUM. That is a method that calls the hand of the current power structure. It involves playing by the rules of the status quo, yet using the rules in unusual ways, like sacrificing a queen in chess. Like chess, our present political system tries to control the game through our party loyalties and susceptibilities to campaign advertising. Inevitably we are forced to choose one or the other of two candidates, neither of whom we particularly want.
Third-party candidates and independents rarely are taken seriously in our elections because the vast majority of Americans (roughly 90%) play the election game obligingly, voting for either a Democrat or a Republican. Psychologically, people hate to be left out, to pick a loser, to be in the minority, so they vote with their local majority, with their party, with their peers. The politically powerful expect this, and support candidates of these two parties. This support provides the politically powerful with the influence that they need to maintain their economic advantages when one or the other candidate wins. This system is very stable, and will be changed only after it fails through disruption of the feedback that maintains it. Our obliging votes are the feedback. Disruption of feedback is a consequence of chaos.
Chaos to the politically powerful, however, is not the emergence of a third political party, for that party will function predictably in the current political system. The principal characteristic of chaos is uncertainty. To generate chaos within the rules of the game, we must prevent predictability. To do this we must interrupt the link between financial support and electability. We must vote independently.
In the beginning of this process, those who attempt this interruption will surely be in the minority. Just count the number of people you know who are OWS supporters, and compare that to the number of people you know who prefer playing the political game the old way. Voting only as a minority block will result in another Peace and Freedom party, or a Libertarian Party, or a Green Party, but not interruption to the two-party monopoly. The most likely way to interrupt the influence of money in politics for a minority vote is to side with the challenger in any and in every election. This will make it difficult for any favored politician to make a career of responding to his or her financial supporters. The greater the frequency of elections, the more successful will this strategy be at generating chaos. It is certainly true that great wealth can afford to support both sides of a two-way election. But, once elected, the politician is less able to represent and respond to that great wealth if his or her re-electability is in question. The link would then be broken for that individual, and the electorate might then have a chance of getting back their representation.
As the numbers of independent voters grow, they can use voting to ensure that no candidate representing the status quo is elected or reelected to office.