How to Change the World – Second Response

Second Response: Political Change in the System (optimistic phase)

If making money couldn’t solve the problem, what could? Well, systemic change – political change. I embarked on a new journey of discovery. I steered my major away from Business and changed to Political Science.

I devoured endless books and honed my degree to focus on political change, mass movements, and revolutions. At first I thought a really committed person could change the system from within. You know the drill, get elected Senator, Cabinet Minister, Prime Minister or President and change stuff up.

So what’s the problem? Well, first you have to get there. In order to do that, you need to make friends with all the right people, people with power. You get involved with your local political party of your choice (’cause good luck to independents), and start trying to work your way up. If they support you to get elected, then you’re in. But why would they support you? Well they would if you represent their interests. What are their interests? The current system in most cases.

Let’s be honest. Most politicians are lawyers and wealthy businessmen, or are very linked to those fields in some respect. Why? Because these are people with a very vested interest in the current system and how things work. Sure there might be the benevolent few, but some just want to help themselves and their buddies or get their name in a newspaper.

What do politicians do in most cases? In Canada they mostly are managers of the system. I can’t really remember the last time things changed a lot in Canadian politics. The parties are pretty similar in their stances, nothing really dramatic in difference. You learn that their dividing line is just whether to tax and spend more, or tax less and spend less. Or maybe on issues that have nothing to do with politics – like religion, gay marriage, and abortion. Why? Because they need to show they’re different somehow. Politicians are managers of the status-quo, keeping things smooth and similar. Too much change is scary and dangerous. Nobody wants to taint their name.

But what about you, noble change-seeker? Maybe you get your way in there, don’t get co-opted, don’t feel a connection to these people who’ve become your friends, and you try to change things. Well, then the system becomes your hindrance.

The system itself doesn’t allow big change. Look at Obama. “CHANGE!” was his slogan. Now I don’t blame him for not being able to change things. The system doesn’t allow it. You need to get Congress and Senators on board for anything. Do they want change? No, as I just discussed. So even if you somehow got into power as a rogue figure, you’d be stuck. The system is molasses. 8 years are up and you’re out. Sorry, try again. What other answers are there?

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