The recent results at the Boston Tea Party national convention were disappointing. But some of this was due to confusion, and some of it was due to some questionable actions by the chair of the party at the time. However, that sort of resistance to change is to be expected.
We ran three candidates who volunteered to give their names and be part of an election to the national committee of this small political party. Mathew Wagner, the chapter administrator for the Ohio chapter of the Zeitgeist Movement, Rion Ametu who some of you might know as Adrean on the voice chat servers for the Zeitgeist Movement, and myself.
So I guess some of you despite my previous radio shows and blog posts on this subject are still wondering exactly what this is all about, so I am going to post all the information here.
The Boston Tea Party is a small political party that is basically a spin off of the Libertarian Party. It was formed in protest of some of the things going on in the Libertarian Party of the United States. The party is based entirely on the internet, but they do run Presidential candidates. They also endorse active politicians who follow their platform. The platform is incredibly small. This is it:
The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.
Yes, that's it. That's all there is to it. I became involved in the Boston Tea Party after my work with Senator Mike Gravel's bid for the Libertarian nomination. I was still a mainstream Libertarian at the time. They asked me to run for the national committee of the party so I did, and I won.
What does a national committee do?
The national committee of a political party votes on resolutions, and makes basic decisions for the party. For example if the party is considering endorsing a certain candidate, or taking a certain stance on one political view or another the committee votes to determine if the party will make a statement about this.
Say a certain politician is running for office and we want to support that politician. The membership can suggest that we endorse them and the committee would then vote on that.
Or say the party membership might like to make a statement about a certain issue like the war in Iraq. (Currently the party calls for immediate withdrawal, as an example.) Then it would fall to the committee to vote on this.
But wait, aren't we "rejecting the political system"?
I went to Jacque and Roxanne about my idea for a caucus I was going to form with interests in the Boston Tea Party and the Green Party of the United States. After I showed them the platform for the caucus they approved it.
What is a caucus?
A caucus is basically a group within a political party that supports a certain set of values and may have a certain agenda for that party. An example of a caucus is the "Republican Liberty Caucus" which is basically the Libertarian wing of the Republican Party. They support bringing Libertarian ideals into the Republican Party's views.
So this is the platform of the Resource Based Economy Caucus of the Boston Tea Party.
This caucus still is in line with the platform of the Boston Tea Party, but suggests a different solution to getting us to the goals presented. The Boston Tea Party platform states:
"The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose."
This caucus would actually propose suggestions about how to remove the need for government entirely through the use of technology as a final goal.
The Resource-Based economy caucus:
The Resource-Based economy caucus is a caucus that seeks to bring about awareness of the advantages of implementing a Resource-Based economy. And to work towards that implementation. The definition of a Resource-Based economy as defined by Jacque Fresco of the Venus Project is as follows:
“A Resource-Based Economy is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.
Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society.
We must emphasize that this approach to global governance has nothing whatever in common with the present aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations at the helm, and the vast majority of the world's population subservient to them. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.
Our proposals would not only add to the well being of people, but they would also provide the necessary information that would enable them to participate in any area of their competence. The measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one's individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power.
At present, we have enough material resources to provide a very high standard of living for all of Earth's inhabitants. Only when population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land do many problems such as greed, crime and violence emerge. By overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today's society would no longer be necessary.
A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems, providing universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.
Many people believe that there is too much technology in the world today, and that technology is the major cause of our environmental pollution. This is not the case. It is the abuse and misuse of technology that should be our major concern. In a more humane civilization, instead of machines displacing people they would shorten the workday, increase the availability of goods and services, and lengthen vacation time. If we utilize new technology to raise the standard of living for all people, then the infusion of machine technology would no longer be a threat.
A resource-based world economy would also involve all-out efforts to develop new, clean, and renewable sources of energy: geothermal; controlled fusion; solar; photovoltaic; wind, wave, and tidal power; and even fuel from the oceans. We would eventually be able to have energy in unlimited quantity that could propel civilization for thousands of years. A resource-based economy must also be committed to the redesign of our cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants, allowing them to be energy efficient, clean, and conveniently serve the needs of all people.
What else would a resource-based economy mean? Technology intelligently and efficiently applied, conserves energy, reduces waste, and provides more leisure time. With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution. Only nutritious and healthy food would be available and planned obsolescence would be unnecessary and non-existent in a resource-based economy.
As we outgrow the need for professions based on the monetary system, for instance lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, marketing and advertising personnel, salespersons, and stockbrokers, a considerable amount of waste will be eliminated. Considerable amounts of energy would also be saved by eliminating the duplication of competitive products such as tools, eating utensils, pots, pans and vacuum cleaners. Choice is good. But instead of hundreds of different manufacturing plants and all the paperwork and personnel required to turn out similar products, only a few of the highest quality would be needed to serve the entire population. Our only shortage is the lack of creative thought and intelligence in ourselves and our elected leaders to solve these problems. The most valuable, untapped resource today is human ingenuity.
With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one's job will no longer be a threat This assurance, combined with education on how to relate to one another in a much more meaningful way, could considerably reduce both mental and physical stress and leave us free to explore and develop our abilities.
If the thought of eliminating money still troubles you, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds and money were stranded on an island that had no resources such as food, clean air and water, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down from a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, in abundance they cannot be sold.
Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.”
Key points of the caucus:
1. We intend to offer alternatives to the current outdated solutions that are simply not working.
2. We will work to expose the dangers of a profit motivated monetary system, and spread awareness of the various ways this system is corrupted.
3. We will work to spread awareness of the technology that could liberate mankind from the monetary system and the profit motive.
4. We will offer dialogue as to the flaws of Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism and why none of these solutions will solve the problems of mankind. And offer the research of the Venus Project as data of an alternative to any of these outdated failed systems.
5. We do not advocate the use of force or coercion, but seek to demonstrate our ideas to bring understanding of why we feel this is the best direction for mankind.
A lot of that platform will look familiar to you. That is because almost all of it is taken directly from Jacque Fresco's writings, with his permission.
So to further answer the question: "But I thought we were rejecting the political system?"
First lets talk a bit about what third party politics (meaning not Republican or Democrat) does. When you run for office as a Libertarian, Socialist, Green etc. You don't really expect to win. However you do you get a lot more attention for your ideas this way then any other way. Yeah we can canvas, yeah we can march. Sure we can have our gatherings and debates on the internet. But when I ran for Congress as a Libertarian I was invited onto mainstream TV, and radio programs that I would never of been invited to if I were not a candidate. So that is how this helps us reach more people in the mainstream political arena with our ideas. At that point winning/losing is not relevant. We are talking about FREE advertising to the people who are actually interested in what is going on in the world. They have of course been duped into believing that politicians have the answers. So they will be listening. And when they do, they will hear our non-political options.
Secondly, we in the Zeitgeist Movement do tend to focus on the "low hanging fruit". The people who are more likely to adopt these ideas already, and who actually care about the world. We are looking for "outside the box" thinkers. And where do you find them? The best place to find the kind of activists we need is in the existing activist structure. And those people can be found in the third parties, such as the Boston Tea Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, etc. These are the people who actually care. This is the point I shared with Peter if you listened to the radio show where he and I discussed this, and he agreed. There is a purpose for the political system. We reject it as a solution in of itself. HOWEVER, we can use it as part of spreading awareness of OUR solutions.
Can real change happen from this? Absolutely! Consider this. Congressman Ron Paul ran for president with very little chance of winning. He fought on regardless. And his campaign opened a lot of eyes. Now the issue of auditing the federal reserve and hopefully abolishing it is on mainstream news almost daily. Before his run for president most of us didn't even know what the federal reserve was or actually did. It was my interest in learning about it that lead people to suggest the first Zeitgeist movie to me. Which lead to me watching Zeitgeist Addendum. And that is the ONLY reason I learned about the Venus Project! As in, if it were not for Ron Paul, you would not have VTV or V-RADIO. And I would not be writing this blog right now.
Consider what Congressman Dennis Kucinich's run for president did to spread awareness of the corruption of George Bush and Dick Cheyney when he moved for impeachment?
My friend Senator Mike Gravel ran for president to spread awareness for his National Initiative for Democracy, or NI4D. A proposal to introduce federal ballot initiatives for the American people. Allowing us to make our own laws when the political system fails to address the will of the people. His run also exposed a great deal of corruption in politicians like Hillary Clinton.
These men ran for office with an agenda to bring about change. The first step of that is telling people that there is even an alternative. That is what they accomplished. And it could not of been done in any other way.
Finally, there is another major factor about third party politics that will help us.
I have a friend in the Socialist Party of the United States. I had him on my radio show a few times. He was the candidate for president for the party in 2008. He pointed out to me that the Socialist party rarely gets anyone elected, but that the majority of the changes in the Democratic party that lean towards socialist ideals came from the Democratic party wanting to get votes from the Socialist party. This allows ideas to reach mainstream politics in a "trickle up" method. We would not even be talking about things like universal health care if it were not for their efforts. And although we all know the mainstream politicians only pay lip service to these ideas initially, eventually over time they become part of their own political platforms. Obama gets called a socialist all the time.
The Green Party's efforts contributed to a new interest in renewable energy, and clean environmental practices.
The Libertarian Party's efforts contributed to the interest in smaller more efficient government.
So to close on the answer to this question, we are rejecting the political system. We do not believe it is the solution. But it IS a means to reach the people who still believe it is. And it is ALSO a means to reach the people who know it is not. We have several members of the Green Party in our local ZM chapter here in Michigan. They have been able to contribute all sorts of good ideas about activism.
So how can you help?
One of the reasons I suggested the Boston Tea Party is because it is free to join, and easy to join on the internet. You do not get spam from this party. They do not ask you for money as the party actually goes out of it's way not to raise any. They do this to avoid corruption.
If you only sort of want to help, all you have to do is be a U.S. citizen. And go to BostonTea.us and click "join" which is a tab on the upper right. It is easier to join this party then it is to set up a new email account.
Then vote on issues presented when they come up. Which is not very often. I will send out alerts via my radio show and blog when we need a vote, and post it on the Zeitgeist forums and my V-RADIO facebook. This will literally take only a few minutes of your life. And it will show support for our ideas.
We just had a convention in the Boston Tea Party, and our candidates in the caucus had what is being framed as a "humiliating" defeat because not enough members of the Zeitgeist Movement got behind the effort. All people had to do to help was join a website that was not going to spam them, did not cost anything, and would of asked for a couple of clicks and we would of won that election by a landslide. This is a tangible means to get attention for our efforts, and it requires no more effort then voting on an online poll.
If you want to help more, you can post in the public blog on the Boston Tea Party website, or participate in the forums there in support of the caucus. But that is up to you.
There is still one vacant slot on the national committee. We lost a run off election to "none of the above" due to lack of participation. Eventually they will open the polls again for this position. Membership to the party is now open again. (They closed it in the middle of the convention apparently according to their rules, it invalidated a lot of our previous votes.) But if you join the party now you can ensure that we win this time. And win every time. The voting populace of the party is actually rather small. It is reasonable that if we wanted to we could take over the entire party. I do not wish to do this at all, but I would like to have a serious presence within the party as that makes our ideas look better too.
And finally, another thing we can do to help as members of this party is vote during the next presidential election on who the Boston Tea Party will nominate as their candidate. Consider how much attention we could get for our ideas if a member of the Zeitgeist Movement ran for president on a platform of our ideas? No he would not get elected, but it would be a major chance to get real attention for our ideas. And all we would need to do was participate in an online poll on the website.
If you are a member of a United States chapter of the Zeitgeist movement, please give me a hand with this. It will not take much of your time. And will help a lot more then posting on our forums, and even handing out fliers.
UPDATE: The national committee of the Boston Tea Party in an effort to block people from our caucus from having a chance to occupy the final committee seat have decided to simply not hold an election for it. They do this in spite of the fact that I have voiced interest in it. And they openly admit that they do this to prevent me from being able to go for the position. As obvious and ironic this political corruption is, it actually bodes well for us. Now more then ever I need the help of members of the United States Zeitgeist Movement to get behind this effort. You can support the petition to overturn this unethical action by the national committee by saying you support it here:
When we have enough support for this petition it will come before a vote of the membership to overturn the committee's decision. Then we will vote again and send a message to the committee.