The End of Politics as Usual: Raising the Value of Life

It is politics as usual that has gotten us to the space we are in today, a space where life is horrifyingly undervalued. When you are examining the situation in the United States from the perspective of its most oppressed and consistently harmed people, you will find a political system that is drastically anti-life. From the consistent murder of black and brown bodies by police, to the “justice” system that so quickly ruins lives and communities by turning human beings into prisoners, to the relentless wars and drone bombings that casually kill innocent people and children around the world. It is becoming strikingly clear that our political system’s primary goal is not the well being of all, but the well being of a few. If people truly want safety, peace, and harmony across all groups of people and individuals, we must remake the central imperative that guides us as a nation and as individuals into something that preserves and supports the lives of all human beings. Really, we must firmly enhance and establish human rights as the new guiding light that will redesign America away from the vice-grip of relentless profit seeking. We need to raise the value of human life and create a new and stronger form of human rights so that it becomes the law that is enforced and held above all laws. Similarly, if we wish to maintain a lasting peace, we must each, as individuals, introspectively examine ourselves so that we may let go of our old fears.

If you objectively examine the politics of the last half-century – the back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, you will see that they both largely focus their efforts on supporting corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Overall, the collective policies of Democrats and Republicans are shockingly anti-life with a general trajectory that upholds the primacy of profit, no matter the damage profit may cause towards human life or the Earth and its climate. During the last 50 years we have seen the rise of neoliberalism – the increasing privatization of all realms of public life, the decimation of the black power movement and movements of other oppressed nations without any form of systemic change to alleviate the historical oppression that gave rise to these movements, the rise of mass incarceration to continue the social control of the Jim Crow era, the lack of spatial justice for communities who have been decimated by gentrification, the government so eagerly bailing out the largest banks without ever making a serious effort to bail out the people suffering through the mortgage crisis, soaring interest rates, and an endless sea of debt.

We, as people of this earth, need to remember the primacy of life and change the systems we uphold so that they reflect just how precious life really is. Our system of governance is readily available to support the flow of profit into the hands of the already wealthiest people on Earth, but will not seriously take action to protect the lives of black and brown people against police brutalization, provide universal free healthcare to all of its people (like other Western nations), or actually take steps towards ending poverty, ending homelessness, ending systemic racism and patriarchy, ending fossil fuel emissions so that we may refocus our energy into something sustainable, or alleviate the rampant joblessness in our nation. These are all clear signs that to continue politics as usual is to continue harming ourselves and others.

Though it may seem difficult, we always have the opportunity to remake our world by remaking ourselves. The current external reality has its origins in history’s past, but is held together and maintained by those alive today. The current external reality is highly directed by fear, if we are to live in a peaceful world the fear of each must decrease so that there is space for love to blossom; fear and love exist in contradiction to one another, they are mutually exclusive and always maintain an inverse relationship. It is vital to remember that as each one of us changes within, so too will the world change. As our love grows, our tolerance of hate and harm will decrease. Love is the strongest foundation for peace.

The only real way to live in a “safe” environment is to examine and let go of the fear that insidiously coerces your mind; fear and peace cannot coexist because fear has a destabilizing effect on internal and external peace - a fearful people cannot maintain a peaceful external environment that seeks to do harm to none. To build a lasting peace on our Earth, the fear within each individual must dramatically decrease so that there is space to build peace within and for love to flow. Groups of people cause harm to other groups of people because of the maddening fear the eclipses the sanity of the heart. Fear creates the one who does harm; Fear is the mother of hate and greed. The aggressor can only become the aggressor if they are first riddled with fear. Wars happen because people are afraid. We will never develop a long lasting peace through the violence of war, no missile can make our lives permanently peaceful, acting through fear will always be self-defeating because to harm another is to harm yourself.

For us to create more humane and harmonious systems and communities we must start living through the higher emotions of love, compassion, and goodwill. We must learn to expand the love that emanates from within each one of us so that it envelops the lives of all living breathing human beings. As the love of each grows, there will be less and less tolerance of the anti-life systems that harm so many people today; as the love of each grows, so too will the value of every human life. As the love of each grows, let us no longer tolerate the primacy of profit and instead let us install and demand a reinvigorated primacy of life through an enhanced and empowered law of human rights that trumps all other laws. As we move into the future, may love and a new law of the people support the fulfillment and freedom of all human beings.