Shawn Vulliez: Let’s set our sights on another world

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      Everything is fucked.

      We’re facing a climate dystopia, the risk of catastrophic economic collapse, we live on a geographic fault line, and we’re overdue for an earthquake. We live within the blast radius of the supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park. Our electoral-campaign process has been corrupted by gerrymandering and there is no political will for effectively holding powers accountable. We’re too busy for politics, most of us are overworked, and not getting enough sleep. Institutional racism and sexism are everywhere. We’re under America’s thumb. We have no privacy and our phone calls and text messages are being intercepted. ISIS exists. Faith in democracy and government is faltering. The metaphorical dishes are piling up in the sink and our metaphorical roommates are being dicks about it. There’s a terrifying amount of problems. The world is conspiring to kill us all.

      I’m running with the Pirate Party of Canada because I believe that we need to make sure everyone has access to all information to collaborate for a non-dystopian future. We should not let our political process be dominated by protection from nightmares. I want to encourage you to envision another better world. It’s either utopia or oblivion.

      We need to get afraid, then we need to change our soiled diapers, and then we need to get real and start to deal with this shit.

      There’s a lot we can do right now to make the world better. Guaranteed basic income. A six-hour work day with the same pay. Citizens assemblies. Digital direct democracy. Ending the disastrous expensive ineffective and racist drug war. Abolishing prisons. Regulating the production of meat products to prevent me having to see any more of those terrible torture videos. Legalizing online libraries. Raising taxes on the ultra-rich and on multinational corporations. Using tax incentives to shape behavior. Expropriate empty condos and move homeless people into them. Incentivize participatory democracy in workplaces. Require a greater deal of transparency from government and corporations. Protect the privacy of individuals.

      We need strategies to mitigate the disastrous possibilities of the near-future. I have my own ideas including decommodified urban food towers, local currencies, and preparations for unprecedented climate migrations. But I can’t do it alone. These problems are bigger than any one person can solve, and the sooner we begin collaboratively working through them in public, with optimism, the sooner we can present our solutions to the public.

      The optimist can find dozens of possible solutions to a situation the pessimist regards as hopeless. Let’s be optimistic. Let’s set our sights on another world. A better world. But let’s also admit that we live in this world, and begin to work in reality.

      What’s impossible now is inevitable tomorrow. Because of the Internet, common sense is evolving. 

      Last election in 2011 no one believed me when I told them the government was spying on us. Edward Snowden stepped forward and now everyone knows. Was I a prophet? No. The information was available online already for years. People just hadn’t accessed it yet. The cognitive landscape can change overnight.

      David Graeber said “The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.” Do you agree? If so, reach out to me. That’s my real name. Use Google.

      Let’s start working on a platform that represents the voices of experts, academics, activists, and those who are most hurt by this system. Let’s talk about the utopia we hope to build and how to get there.