Obviously, our current two party system, and the two parties that occupy it, aren’t getting the job done. Neither can unify the country. In fact, neither is even fighting for this country.
Republicans. Democrats. Either way, they’re in it for themselves, while the country burns. Both exist to enrich themselves at the expense of Middle Americans who make this country work.
It’s time for a new party. The Luddite Party.
In the last month, parts of America were halted by a simple cyber attack. Someone. Somewhere. Some underground tech professional. Perhaps just a kid who knows how to hack into systems. Our ability to access gas was interrupted, and then our ability to process and distribute meat globally was next. And all it took was one installation of ransomware.
Think about that. So many global companies have moved to automated, computer-dependent, “just-in-time” supply chain management, but with all the sophistication, automation, and data that entails, it only took potentially one guy with the right code to disable the whole thing. One guy.
If those companies were doing business even the way they were 20 years ago, it would not have been possible to take them down. Not at all. Not with a significant event, like blowing up a plant, or some serious equipment failures.
Consider just how dependent we, civilization, are on technology. Our cars rely on computer chips. Our assembly lines. Our manufacturing. Our data. Our air transportation. Our food supplies. Our entertainment. Our communications. Our security. There’s very little that works anymore without the assistance of technology. As a result, we are vulnerable.
All it takes is one successful computer hacker, and they could absolutely cripple not only our country, but the world. One person. That kind of power can only come with technology.
If we lived in an analog world, you would have to appear, on site, break in, and start destroying the equipment that produces our goods and services. You’d have to get under the hood to disable a car. You couldn’t cripple entire industries because you’d have to visit them all… in person.
We are not only vulnerable, but we are destroying our society and our humanity.
With all of the information now literally at our fingertips, many assume we’re smarter. We’re not. We’re dumber. Much dumber. We don’t know anything. We don’t have to.
We’ve become so accustomed to looking up anything we want to know or do, that we no longer learn trades, disciplines, or skills. Many think just using Google to search how to do something replaces the years of school people used to attend to learn to be an expert in that same skill. But if you’ve worked with those people who just learn by YouTube video, you know that all they really know how to do is cobble together a system that even experts don’t understand.
We don’t even know anyone’s phone number anymore.
When it comes to our humanity, there is no single object more responsible for the entire decline of society than the smart phone.
Thanks to the smart phone, we no longer, ironically, know how to talk on the phone. We can’t communicate. We don’t communicate. We’ve taken the humanity right out of personal communication.
Where once we had to have tough, difficult, or awkward conversations with people ranging on what to eat for dinner to asking someone on a date to breaking up with someone to offering a job or firing another, people no longer have the confidence or social skills necessary to do those things in person.
But possibly worse, we’re almost at the point at which there’s no expectation you would do those things in person. The upcoming generation has no problem asking someone out or breaking up with them through text. Or offering someone a job. Or sharing news about a new baby. Or a death in the family. Or firing someone. There’s just no care or need for humanity anymore.
People are cold and emboldened. Because we don’t have to look anyone in the face, we have the false confidence of typing something potentially hurtful, careless, lazy, confrontational, or just mean into our phones and hitting send, with no regard for the receiver.
As a result, we’ve gotten much meaner and heartless. We’re much more willing to say something carelessly hurtful or damaging. And we don’t care. Why would we? We’re never there to see the harmful results of our words and actions. (Unless, of course, we’re texting with someone sitting across from us at a dinner table, which is also happening way too often.)
People today would much rather sit, stare at their phones, and watch other people record their life experiences on Tik Tok than go out on their own, with friends, and have their own life experiences. Interaction with life, the world, nature, or other people is just no longer a draw. It takes too much work. It’s too much effort. You have to leave the house and travel somewhere.
And of course, you can’t travel without looking at your phone. People don’t know how to road trip anymore. Sitting, contemplating, and staring out the window as the country goes by doesn’t even occur to anyone as an option anymore. What a waste of time.
Instead, people will sit in a car and stare at their phones, never seeing all of the splendor and beauty of the United States or any other country through which they may be traveling.
People are losing the ability to think. They’re losing the ability to contemplate. Introspection as at an all time low in this country, and it’s hurting our ability to think critically, have grace for one another, or communicate with people who may have differing opinions from our own.
Everything that feeds us goods and services these days is backed by an algorithm that predicts, based on our behavior, what else we’d want or like. We think this helps us, but it doesn’t. It creates an echo chamber from which we will never escape.
If we allow artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to determine what we’re going to be fed, we will never be exposed to anything other than what we already know and like. We’ll get a steady diet of affirmation and reinforcement, bereft of anything that challenges us or makes us uncomfortable.
The end result is that not only do we no longer know how to respectfully disagree with one another, but we don’t even accurately understand new or opposing points of view, what they are, and how anyone could think those things.
Imagine if we all had landlines. Cars that weren’t dependent on any computer systems. Medical equipment and hospital systems that weren’t connected to any sort of internet network. Industries that were all run by people, with no automation.
Imagine if we all had to know how to do math again. What if we had to learn and know things to do a job. Perhaps if we really had to learn a craft before we decided that after a five minute video, we’d be pros at it.
Consider life without a smart phone. What if we had to call each other and landlines. Imagine the insurmountable frustration having to wait until someone was actually in their home and available before you could talk to them.
On the flip side, imaging leaving your house and no one knowing where you are. There’s nothing tracking your movement. No nameless spying companies can trace you. Your friends can’t find you. And even if people know where you’re going, they couldn’t reach you there. Not unless they got in their car and physically found you.
Imagine being able to simply walk out of the house to be off the grid. Think about if you actually had to make friends to have friends. If it were no longer possible to just click a “connect” button to link to a person you’d never met, you’d have to meet them, talk to them, get to know them, and make an impression on them if you were to truly stay connected. But just how strong that connection would actually be, versus not knowing who half the people in your LinkedIn network are.
Without technology or the internet, we’d have to all learn social skills. We’d have to learn skills and trades. We’d be reliant on each other. We’d be self-sufficient. People would learn the value of a hard day’s work. They’d therefore also have a greater appreciation for earning and appreciating what they have.
Imagine if our children could be alone for hours, finding productive ways to entertain themselves, that may include a craft, reading, drawing, calling a friend, of just sitting alone and thinking… or dreaming.
Unfortunately, we’ve sacrificed our humanity and productivity to stare at a small handheld device for half of our waking hours.
As we continually move toward the digitization of our humanity, we only get that much closer to losing it. We only move that much closer to complete dependence on our cyber security being stronger than all of the hackers who want to break it down. (And here’s a tip for you on that… there’s no such cyber security.)
Most of the problems that face us today can be traced back to the interconnectedness of the internet and the proliferation of personal devices that serve to distract us from the achievements and relationships that truly make life meaningful.
Fortunately, the Luddite Party is here to save us.
With the Luddite Party platform, we will become self-sufficient by making goods and providing services within our own country, the United States. And while we produce and thrive, other countries would have to invade us to stop us. They’d never steal our secrets because a) they wouldn’t want them, as our secrets would be decades old knowledge, and b) they’d have to infiltrate, in person, to do it.
The Luddite Platform will also make us spiritually stronger as we learn to be thoughtful, kind, courteous, conscious, aware, introspective, contemplative, and present. As we interact more and more with each other on a human level, we’ll have more grace and patience with each other. We’ll also be more accepting, and dare I say, more human.
I can understand the lure of technology, and how we all got sucked in. But now we’ve got to see just how destructive it’s been to our humanity and how vulnerable we’ve left ourselves to the whims of just one, sole, individual.
I’m afraid going backward is the only true path to move forward.