By Foster Gamble
People are often asking us at Thrive, “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 blog is a partial list of the many sources that we continually review.
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?
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, we have people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Fox News on the right. On the left we have CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Rachel Maddow, Amy Goodman, Thom Hartman, Jon Stewart, 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 very serious 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…), 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 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 nonviolation 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.
On April 18th, 2015, in our ThriveTogether event, we will take a look at some of the compelling mouthpieces from the left and right that I believe keep the masses so enthralled and deluded. We will unpack the philosophy and strategies of figures like Russell Brand, Amy Goodman, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Chris Hedges, Ron and Rand Paul, Bill Maher and others to help highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each, and ultimately shine light on the path to individual sovereignty and the process of wading through news sources that can help us get there.
As requested, here is a partial list of resources that we read and watch regularly. Please remember we are neither saying any of these sources are absolutely reliable nor that we agree fully with any particular person or organization. We believe they are all useful to gaining a full picture and strategy from which to forge the new future we believe is possible.
Feel free to recommend other sources and tell us why you find them to be of value. Thank you!
Sources for News and Perspectives — In America
In addition to this list, we are grateful to have well-informed and courageous contacts who share important news and trends with us confidentially, before they become mainstream news. For reasons of privacy and security, we will not be sharing their names.
- Stefan Molyneux
- Larken Rose
- Mises Institute
- Lew Rockwell
- The Daily Bell
- Kaiser Report — Max Kaiser
- Unfiltered News — G. Edward Griffin
- The Dollar Vigilante — Jeff Berwick
- Trends Research — Gerald Celente
- Corbett Report — James Corbett
- The Stossel Report — John Stossel
- Adam vs The Man — Adam Kokesh
- Josie the Outlaw
GLOBAL DOMINATION AGENDA
- David Icke
- Infowars — Alex Jones
- Project Camelot — Kerry Cassidy
- No More Fake News — Jon Rappoport
- Fred Burks
- The Intercept
- Project Censored
- Natural News — Mike Adams
- Naturals Solutions Foundation — Dr. Rima Laibow
- Brasscheck TV
- Global Research
- GeoEngineering Watch — Dane Wigington
- Institute for Responsible Technology — Jeffrey Smith
- Freedom’s Phoenix — Ernest Hancock
- Protect Your Family from EMF Pollution — Jeromy Johnson
- Veterans Today
- The Guardian
- Democracy Now
- The Nation
- The Center for Media and Democracy
- The Center for Public Integrity
- Common Dreams
- Yes! Magazine
- Peter Schiff Radio
- Solari Report — Catherine Austin Fitts
- Jim Willie
- JC Collins
- Zero Hedge
- David Morgan
- Ellen Brown
- Casey Research
- Arthur M. Young
- Buckminster Fuller
- Walter Russell
- Resonance Project — Nassim Haramein
- Cosmometry — Marshall Lefferts
- Global BEM
- Future Energy News — Tom Valone
- Infinite Energy Magazine
- Revolution-Green — Mark Dansie
- Peswiki — Sterling Allen
- Spirit Science
- Forbidden Knowledge TV
- Next World TV
- Crop Circle Connector
- Scientific American
- Discover Magazine
- The Thunderbolts Project
- The Electric Universe
- Science to Sage
- Connection Magazine
- Institute of Noetic Sciences
- Gaiam TV
- Shift Network
- Conscious Life News — Ross Pittman
- David Wilcock (also covers finance, science, ancient and extra-terrestrial cultures as well as current events)
- RT (pro-Russia bias, but good source of candid international news)
- CNN (Left)
- Fox (Right)
- MSNBC (Left)
- ABC (Left)
- NBC (Left)
- CBS (Left)
- New York Times (Left)
- Wall Street Journal (Right)
- Washington Post (Bi-partisan but not transpartisan as we define it)
- Bill Moyers
- Zen Gardener
- Waking Times
- Activist Post
- Int’l Tribunal into Crimes of Church & State
- Peak Prosperity
- The Daily Show
- John Oliver
- On Point Radio
- 350 (Bill McKibben Worldwide Climate Movement)
- Ole Dammegard
- George Kavassilas/Super Woo Radio
- Bix Weir (finance)
- Chris Hedges
- Mike Maloney/Hidden Secrets of Money (finance)
- Jim Stone
- Benjamin Fulford
- Shift Frequency
- Earth Protector
- Hollow Earth Network