OPINION: Purple Strategy and How to Safeguard the Republic From Tyranny and Special Interests Using Purple State Politics
There are two types of people, 1. people who support Western Liberal Democracy and Republicanism, and 2. those who do not.
Governments who hold ideologies like Communist, Autocratic, and Fascist more consistently than they hold free elections don’t always support Western Liberal Democracy and Republicanism (its American or European form).
It would be comforting to think that this could be explained by genetics, that people in a different region just aren’t like us, and thus we can just say “federalism” or “war” and call it a day.
However, this is no more true nation-to-nation as it is state-to-state, county-to-county, or neighborhood-to-neighborhood in the United States.
Instead of making enemies with the varied interests of the left and right, we should be seeking unity from an enlightened, moral, ethical, and well-reasoned position that respects different cultures and tastes.
There are three ways to combat political disharmony (where with each we consider it a strategy applicable to the economic, political, or social sphere);
- The left-wing Strategy (which we color as “blue” in America): By using neoliberal and progressive methods to ensure progress, modernization, equity, and a more globalized and egalitarian world that mirrors the big cities of the world. This includes a classically liberal-minded strategy and a socially liberal equality-minded strategy.
- The right-wing Strategy (which we color as “red” in America): By using neocon and socially conservative protectionist and nationalist methods that seek to protect nations and retain order, social hierarchy, and tradition. Seeking to protect X nation first, and then globalization and progress second. This includes a classically conservative authority minded-strategy and a socially conservative strategy to push-back against social liberalism.
- The left-right Purple Strategy (a mix of red and blue strategy; or a “red, white, and blue” strategy if you will; the “purple mean“): A strategy that realizes that Americanism, Westernism, Western Liberal Democracy, and Republicanism are beyond the city vs. rural divide, beyond the federalists vs. anti-federalist divide, and beyond a left-right divide. It knows that using reason we can find a prefect mix for a given Republic and a perfect balance between Republics. It knows that the reason Plato agrees with Montesquieu isn’t just because Montesquieu read the Greeks, but because any well-reasoned seeker of wisdom will always happen upon the same truths (as although we can’t know all truths, everything is either true or it isn’t, and some things are fundamentally true to the human experience). It realizes that this holds true for why Aristotle and Mill agree, for why Machiavelli and Buchanan agree, and even for why Hume and Kant disagree and why they find common ground. So it goes for all the great lovers-of-wisdom who stood upon each others shoulders and sought healthy debate over the ages. It realizes that not everyone progresses at the same time, and not everyone needs to be held to the same standards (it respects true federalism). It doesn’t just mash together the wants of all sides in a sort of compromised position, it considers the means and ends and finds the policy best in-line with the General Will (of regions, states, nations, international unions, and global unions). It doesn’t ignore the considerations of those with opposing views, it embraces diversity and unity of sparse interests as an almost first principle (upon which only a few principles come before it). It is the sort of classically American strategy that gave us the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The Sentiment of Purple Strategy
The sentiment of the purple strategy is rooted in a few principles:
- Liberalism and Conservatism
- Democracy and Monarchy
- Left and Right
- City and Rural
- Reason and Emotion
- The Empirical and Rationalism
- Faith and Skepticism
- Theism and Atheism
- Liberty and Authority
- Sense and Sensibility
- Nationalism and Internationalism
- Free Trade and Protectionism
- FREE ENTERPRISE AND PROGRESSIVISM
- Equality and Nationalism
- Business and Education, Science, and the Arts.
- The Feminine and the Masculine
- The Meak and the Strong
In purple strategy, cooperation is healthy cooperation and competition is healthy competition.
In purple strategy, absolutes are generally rejected and complexity embraced, as the world was never black and white or simple in the first place.
In purple strategy, we reject absolutes, so we reject tyranny and despotism. We reject feudalism, and we reject oppression… but we do not reject capitalism, or rank, or minor inequality.
We embrace individualism and collectivism, knowing the two aren’t polar opposites.
We are Republican, so we favor true and just laws.
We are Democrats, so we love equality and liberty (which are mutually dependent).
We want classes with class mobility that hardly feel like classes at all.
We want nations with borders and identity, so people can live where it suits them, not to keep “lessers out”.
There is no lesser, just different types of humans. Lesser isn’t something one is born with, generally speaking, it is a status that can only be obtained through acting as if. The same goes for greater.
We are Capitalist Republicans, so we love moderate inequality (knowing that some degree of a pyramid class system is naturally arising and comes from the need to delegate power and to ensure economic opportunity and incentive).
We are fair mixed-market Capitalists, because we know that pure systems don’t work, but we also know that bartering and trading are naturally arising and liberal systems.
We appreciate regulation, but reject cronyism and gangsterism.
We know liberty and equality are messy, so we don’t suck the air out of the room to kill a fire that burns naturally. We aren’t tyrants. We don’t cut the fruit from the vine when we are hungry, we plant seeds, because we aren’t despots.
We are socially liberal, so we want a second bill of rights. Any reasoned thinker will see the Social Contract demands it, our barrier is economic.
We are fiscally conservative, so we want to make sure that second bill of rights doesn’t enslave us to debt. Healthcare and education are rights, but the extent to which they can be provided is an issue of the physical and economic (it isn’t purely a moral issue).
We are classically conservative aristocrats and established elites, we respect aristocracy and order.
We are timocrats, we respect military, executive offices, and the merit system.
We are oligarchs, we respect the idea that a person can lift themselves up for their lifetime and steer their own ship within the bounds of a fair system. We don’t see shame in being an employee or an employer, we call that team work (although we of course reject all forms of slaver, chattel or wage).
We support an income tax, but we don’t support government overreach.
We support opting in and opting out, we always seek to maximize qualities like collective equality and individual liberty. That too is obvious from the social contract.
We are all peasants and princes, we don’t attach the idea of dignity to the size of one’s pocketbook or the width of one’s social circle. Whether a person farms their own land, or works in finance and trades capital for groceries, we respect every person in that chain of supply and demand.
We are conservative and progressive, there is a time for advance and a time for retreat. The nature of truth is one of moderation and balance.
We don’t feel one sphere of human existence above another, but we can use our reason to understand the proper order of restraints. A chariot driver doesn’t control his horses, but he must steer them. The ability to steer the ship is a human quality, the ability to do so with moral and ethical wisdom is the property of the sage.
We are all sages at different points in our journey.
We are lone wolves, and we are collectives who are stronger than the sum of our parts.
We are citizens and we check the government.
We are spiritual, and we realize that our bodies are physical. Some see this as theists, some as atheists, but we all have a moral compass and civil religion.
We reject violence and aggression, but like a proper warrior we will defend what is just (but like a sagely warrior with reverence and a heavy heart).
We are the government and we check the branches. We are the branches and we check each other.
We elect our leaders, and then trust them to rule wisely.
We use propaganda, but the only message is one of the highest virtues. So we never slander or hate, and we never sow fear, we always spread messages of love, hope, change, and unity.
We use military, but for defense of values, not for aggressive action.
We use spirituality, but never force a specific religion upon a person.
We dislike corruption, because we love fairness and justice… but we aren’t foolish enough to think that we should try to limit all corruption.
We know liberty is to faction what air is to fire, and that government should be treated in the same way that one cooks a small fish.
We are of different races and religion, but that comes second, we are bound by globe and nation first. We all share the contract for a common property, earth. That contract was not given by man and can’t be taken by him.
We know that the ideal version of American liberalism as written in the Constitution and Bill of Rights is speaking to a greater ideal than can be written in words, and that enlightened ideal is what we support.
We support ends, not means. We want healthcare, how we get it is purple.
We want education, how we get it is purple.
We want the wealth of nations, how we ensure the fair free-market is purple.
We want our citizens to have dignity, how we get it is purple.
We know that Communism and Fascism arose to the social, political, and economic inequality of the liberal state. We know that other nations see this and scoff and think they have found a better way in the old ways of conservatism. But it is our duty to show that the Enlightened Philosophers were not wrong, that true greatness is found in a just mix.
We know all people desire the positive virtues, and we know that focusing the message on these (like liberty, equality, common understanding, justice, etc) not only brings people to our message, but propagandizes the ultimate gospel (be it expressed by John Locke, or Andrew Carnegie, or Thomas Hobbes, or Martin Luther King).
We want culture and laws that allow for maximum freedom of individuals, but reinforce all the above values.
We shouldn’t need physical force, because these concepts have their own metaphysical force which pleases the moral sentiments of both the pauper and the pope. This is simply the formation of an invisible popular government which helps guide the invisible hand. So then yes, we will learn from Chomsky’s Propaganda Model and learn the techniques of the Russians (and the Germans, and the Italians, and the Spanish, and the Chinese, etc) as where we wouldn’t use a low brow strategy, we can at least be quick to call out those who do and to unindoctrinate and reeducate their targets. We have no ends that aren’t the natural ends, our ends are only that of the enlightenment, this is why we are Democrats and Republicans.
To ensure purple sentiment is the common sentiment, and thereby to ensure Liberal Western Democracy and Republicanism (which are forms of government that demand sparse interests work together in a democratic fashion bound by the rule of law), especially in a capitalist society which breeds inequality when it falls out of balance, and thus to ensure against tyranny and despotism of the state or soul (collective or individual), we must employ a strategy that allows us to have our cake and eat it too. One that combats the tools of tyrants from an enlightened and reasoned perspective. Thus:
- All action should be checked against first principles. These include a perfect version of the “Greatest Happiness Principle”, justice, and the General Will. If the ends aren’t positive, and the means aren’t positive, then one is probably missing the point.
- Everything said should always be fact-checkable and true.
- We should always boil any political stance down to its core so it can be analyzed.
- We should always employee skepticism and well-reasoned arguments rooted on common grounds (principles common to those who we seek debate with).
- We should always employ empathy (to see things from the “others” frame of reference).
- We should always promote enlightened values and fairness (the Highest Good and Highest virtues).
- We should always seek cooperation.
- We should always seek to be respected by our merit, not seek to take others down a peg.
- We should always suggest ideas, not just take down the ideas of others.
- We should be well organized, but we should organize around a strategy and message (more than specific planks).
- We should always seek to relate everything back to past greats and commonly revered theories. Let us quote Lincoln and Locke, and do so liberally.
We should seek to work with moderates of both the left and right, and the fringes of left and right who are willing to work toward any shared goal (even when many other shared goals don’t align).
When discussing issues, we should debate ends first, and then the mean right before the ends, and then work backwards so we can see where we disagree and agree.
For example, when debating healthcare, we should start with basics like “do we agree that we want people to have healthcare?” We should then separate arguments to be had based on facts and those based on emotion and ideology so we can know what sort of debate we are having.
Ultimately, the goal will not to be find a perfect center, but to find some reasonable sphere of middles somewhere near the center (in a space that differs issue-per-issue).
The force that drives this Democratic and Republican spirit is a love of the highest virtues, and this is the spirit that must be reflected in the letter of the laws.
It might not output the best healthcare law, but ah well if the house is built a little crooked if it built teams spirit and we did it together. This bests a government based on the principles of fear and hate any day. It isn’t a destination, the sage’s journey is a journey.
When we can’t find middle ground, we can turn to federalism and cherish our ongoing arguments.
Here we must be wise enough to know that not all issues can be treated the same way, and that liberties and rights can be a little messy, we can’t confuse false equality and true equality, nor can we treat each sphere the same”: the physical (empirical, what is) is not the logical (reason, logic-and-ethics in-thought), is not the ethical (morals-and-ethics in-action), is not the metaphysical (pure metaphysic morals, or pure philosophy, what should be).
As this strategy involves empathy, cooperation, and enlightenment, the first order of business should be ensuring education. Since the biggest obstacle to that is political (where the rural voter and pro-business politician is keeping their folk undereducated for political gain; see the Sixth Party Strategy). The first order is addressing this, in America (in other cases a basic hierarchy of needs is needed first).
Although I’ll come back and add to this shell of an idea, we can otherwise note that we will look to enlightened thinkers of any era, drawing from Bernays, Madison, Rousseau, Tony Robbins, Tolkien, and even Marx, Mussolini, or Mises.
After all, some of the best fruit grows from dirt and manure if it gets a little sunshine and love.
It isn’t that we think the ends justify the means, that seems overly simple, it is that there is nothing mean about picking through anyone’s work if we can pick out bits that work with our philosophy or better understand those who we are trying to sway.
In other words, liberty, equality, and fraternity.
We are stronger together, when we engage in healthy cooperation AND healthy competition, and that means we are best when we are both liberals and conservatives, not two warring Tents who seek domination.
If we can make that model work with 50 states, each with different needs, cultures, and tastes… it stands to reason that it would work on a larger scale.
This isn’t said perfectly, but it is pointing at a true civil religion. The idea that a true civil religion would be either/or fully misses the point of history and its classic texts, and it misses the point of what we can see around us empirically.