People are often asking us at ThriveOn, “Where do you get your news? And how do you sort out what’s true?” Following is a commentary on political tribalism vs. ethics and critical thinking, and at the end of this article is a partial list of recommended alternative sources for truth-seeking information.
I spend about 40 hours a week researching the current state of the world, both the problems and the solutions. I track the funding of the sources I rely on, as well as their political affiliation. One of my favorite ways to learn and to hone my critical thinking is to expose myself to “expert” sources that disagree with one another. Rarely do I end up agreeing 100% with any source of news or analysis. But agreement is not what I’m after. It’s understanding the patterns that underlie the events, and culling out the principles from which to generate lasting solutions.
When considering any source of news, I ask a few fundamental questions:
- What are they saying?
- What do they want me to believe?
- What is their proposed or implied solution?
- Does it rely on violence and coercion/political power or ethical principles?
- What strategies and tactics are offered to achieve their stated goal?
- Who funds the research or the outlet and what is their agenda?
- Who benefits from their viewpoint?
SHARED VALUES — DIFFERENT FAILED STRATEGIES
Other than the small number of banking elite who seek total global domination, almost everyone I’ve met shares a desire for a world that has thriving people and a robust and healthy environment. The disparity comes in when figuring out how to achieve these shared values.
One thing that most people from both ends of the political spectrum are good at is shining a light on the weaknesses, the contradictions, the corruption and the immorality of “the other side.” And that is one of the main reasons why I listen to so many of them. Another is that listening to corporate and foundation-funded news shows me not so much what is happening, but what the big institutions and the financial elite want me to believe is going on and how they want me to think about it.
At the grand scale of highly visible and highly funded political news, On the right we have the National Review, Fox News, and people like Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Ben Shapiro. On the left we have CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Rachel Maddow, Amy Goodman, Thom Hartman, Trevor Noah, Bill Maher and Jon Oliver. (I know…I haven’t been able to find right wing humor shows either… I think they balance that out with the domination of AM radio by religious fundamentalists.) Then there are some whose commentary and philosophy lifts off the plane of partisan politics, and while they are often unaware of transition strategies or other important distinctions, they get into the realm of rational, universal ethics and their practical application — people like Stefan Molyneux, Lew Rockwell and Larken Rose.
The biggest commercial players, including the nightly news and the Sunday TV talk shows are punctuated by a blitz of commercials from: the pharmaceuticals (Merck, Pfizer, Bayer…), processed food (Cargill, Nestle’s, Coca Cola, the banks (Chase, Citigroup, B of A…) and the military industrial complex (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Halliburton…). So whose drum do you think they are marching to?
I see the headlines in various online newsletters that I receive, as they expose abuses of power by the Fed, FDA, NSA, CIA, Big Pharma, Ag, Media, the military and the government… the schemes, scams, corruption and wars being cited are almost identical. Often a newcomer would not know what political viewpoint was being represented until usually, near the end of the article, when it’s time to say some version of, “And the solution is…vote in our enlightened leaders. They’ll fix it.”
Except that they never have…and when looking logically, I cannot see that they ever will. When the Right is in charge, we get more war, more consolidation of corporate power and more patriarchal restrictions on social freedoms. And, of course, more wealth and power to the bankers and politicians.
When the Left is in charge, we get more taxes, more people rendered dependent on welfare, more inept, disempowering government control of healthcare, education, the media, etc. And, of course, more wealth and power to the bankers and politicians.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In fact, partisan politics has taken us to the brink of nuclear, financial, health and environmental catastrophe. Almost every region on Earth has been broken into “nation states” and those which have moved beyond dictatorship all have “parties” which battle each other through propaganda, bribes and votes (often rigged) to claim the power to rule. For some period of time a collective of individuals with a name, a slogan and an ideology tell us what we have to and cannot do in our lives. After the resulting dissatisfaction, another group eventually gets “voted in” and the rules change a little.
Meanwhile the suffering of people, the depletion of resources, the elimination of species and languages, and the degradation of the environment all grow, and yet most people continue to think that if they could only get their party in charge, things would get better. But it doesn’t. Throughout history it gets worse as the deceptions, the weapons and the tyranny grow.
The bottom line is that adhering to political party dogma undermines critical thinking. It pits individuals against each other — to trap them inside a never-ending game of “I’m right and you’re wrong” so that we don’t see what is really going on and create the true, lasting solutions.
I believe it’s time to step back and take a profound transpartisan look — into and beyond politics itself, if we want to survive and thrive. The word “transpartisan” is not yet in most dictionaries. That’s a telltale sign. It should be. Let’s help launch its widespread use.
The military uses the word “partisan” to describe someone who is “a member of a party of … troops engaged in harassing an enemy.”
The civilian definition is “a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance to a group, party or cause.”
After literally decades of nearly full-time research and analysis, I am convinced that partisan politics is designed to distract us from a fundamental question: How did some people get the power to rule others? I realize that having some group in power is supposed to be a given in our global culture, but so is fiat currency. That doesn’t make it legitimate, or good for people.
THE BIRTH OF OUR CURRENT SYSTEM
How did it happen? Most often people just assume that because we’ve always had parties, this is the best we can do. Certainly democracy is better than the royalty-based tyranny and subsequent dictatorships it has evolved from, but that doesn’t mean it’s the endpoint. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The Norman conquest of England and the key Battle of Hastings in 1066 is what resulted in King George of England having authority over the colonies, which later became the states, which later became the nation. This whole ‘power over’ paradigm stems from the conquering of a people and region by force of arms.
In essence, violence is at the very foundation of government and the partisan politics that support it. As Stefan Molyneux said, “It’s not just the abuse of power that’s the problem, it’s the power to abuse.”
Involuntary power over others has always been achieved by force, and to this day is maintained by the threat of violence. You will be imprisoned if you do not agree to the terms imposed by those who claim power. I believe unequivocally that this can and must change. With the level of weaponry and the dangerous ideology that supports its use, it seems high time to consider solutions that are truly non-violent.
This is where the Non-Aggression Principle comes in, and why we at Thrive are devoting our time and resources to the further discovery and implementation of what Gandhi referred to as Hind Swaraj — self-governance — based on the principle that no one can violate another against their will. This provides a system for accountability, where those who assault, deceive, and steal from others or pollute the resources upon which we all depend are personally liable for the violations they cause. This, rather than more partisan politics, is what we believe can and will bring lasting peace and further our true conscious evolution.
History has proven that results reflect the means of any action. We may achieve temporary control through coercion, but we never achieve lasting peace. And yet Left and Right so-called solutions are equally responsible for coercive strategies that leave individuals fundamentally disempowered. On the Left, it’s by consolidating domination over education, finance, media and everything else related to personal well being into the hands of government at the expense of individual rights. On the Right, they want to control us in the boardroom, the bedroom, and on the battlefield — by supporting unfair advantage with crony corporatism (with its subsidies and bailouts) and war-mongering on behalf of the multinational corporations, as well as religious and social intolerance.
THE DRAW OF THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT
It seems many are drawn to be on the team of Certainty on the right. The dismissive condescension and righteous anger of a Limbaugh, O’Reilly or Hannity is like a safe haven for the uninformed. Be on the Red team and avoid their disdain.
On the Left, Social Acceptability is an especially subtle but mighty club. A good chuckle feels great in the face of on-going disasters, and siding with the biting sarcasm and partisan irony of new comics like Stewart, Maher or Oliver is comforting, as long as you agree with their view that Liberals should rule. Be on the blue team and you’re both in on the joke and obviously superior to the stupidity and evil of the Right.
So what is the advantage of reading and following so many of them? Why do I put myself through the discomfort and ordeal of wading through a ton of propaganda to find the kernels of truth and value? Because in addition to benefitting from their analyses of what is lacking from the other’s perspective, I believe each worldview offers something of great significance in helping us transition to a truly free world.
The Progressive ethic leans toward helping those most in need and bringing more integrity to current systems. Some examples of actions that align with the Liberal agenda AND help move toward personal empowerment are getting rid of corporate personhood, ending the Federal Reserve’s ability to make up money out of nothing and charge taxpayers interest on it, and introducing the Precautionary Principle, where corporations and governments are required to prove the safety of a new development rather than that being the responsibility of those impacted by their policies — GMOs being a good example.
As for traditional Conservatism, (as distinguished from Neocon deception and coercion), they have important ideas about shrinking government to the protection of individual rights and the commons such as water, air and fisheries. They often support a return to sound currencies which would help return real wealth to the people from which it has been stolen, through taxes and inflation.
BEYOND LEFT AND RIGHT
Beyond left and right there is a means, an end, and an insight, called Liberty. This is not about nationalism, patriotism or dominating others through some hallowed State. This is where people care for themselves and each other through voluntary associations that operate with non-violation as the core principle. Complete Liberty, or Voluntaryism, refers to a society of free association. It does not argue for the specific form that voluntary arrangements will take, only that the initiation of force (except in true self-defense) be abandoned so that individuals in society may flourish. In this model of Liberty, the means determine the end; people cannot be coerced into freedom. No institution controls a monopoly on a single currency, so wealth stays in the hands of actual people, which allows them to support the services they choose.
Following is a list of alternative researchers and communicators that we highly respect and recommend:
60 of OUR MOST RELIABLE RESEARCHERS - in no particular order
None are perfect, nor are we. Including them does not mean we agree with all of their conclusions. We value their process and consider them all to be well-informed, well intended and constantly going for truth, excellence and freedom.
Please recommend researchers of similar qualification from your countries...
The Big Picture
- James Corbett
- Jon Rappoport
- David Icke
- William Engdahl
- Michael Chossudovsky
- Sacha Stone
- Joe Martino
- Spiros Skouros
- Alex Jones
- Paul Joseph Watson
- Lauren Southern
- Whitney Webb
- Derrick Broze
- Dan Dicks
- Robert David Steele
- Paul Craig Roberts
- Gary Barnett
- Kevin Barrett
- Michael Snyder
- Brandon Smith
- Sayer Ji
- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
- Joe Mercola
- Andrew Wakefield
- Kelly Brogan
- Del Bigtree
- Jeffrey Smith
- Josh Del Sol
- Jeromy Johnson
- Nassim Haramein
- William Brown
- Robert Grant
- Marshall Lefferts
- Gregg Braden
- Bruce Lipton
- Dean Radin
- Rollin McCraty
- Peter Lindemann
- Tom Bearden