Parts of the Matchism Manifesto are going to be tough sledding for most people. They require operating out in the rarified air of Stage 6 of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, something that is not easy for anyone, and beyond the capability of many. Matchism doesn’t just challenge your assumptions, it exposes the defects in the very framework of your moral codes. Reading it might make someone uncomfortable, it might scream “crackpot” or “danger”, it might just seem boring or nonsensical. One does not become a convert to Matchism overnight unless their moral code is somewhat unhinged to start with.
But upon further reflection, if they can be persuaded to make an effort to see beyond their conditioning or are challenged by others to do so, they’ll hopefully begin to see how it all hangs together. Some of the proposals that at first seem radical or just unworkable will come to seem merely difficult to implement, and yet may actually be necessary if we are to survive as a species and advance as a civilization. Fortunately most people won’t need to review all the underlying research and accept the most challenging of the conclusions in Matchism because they’ll be able to use the fruits of it, including the upcoming Internet-based decision-making system, with minimal investment in time and mental effort because others (maybe you?) will do the harder work of validating the underlying research for them.
If you’ve managed to read this far and have even the slightest inclination to think that Matchism may in fact be a better design than anything we’ve got now and that it stands even a small chance of succeeding, it would seem that you are now morally obligated to support it. Even if it is a no-cost, low-effort expression of qualified support, it is still necessary to make some public statement (e.g., “I think Matchism could work”). If a more robust faith is generated, here are some Talking Points to help you spread the word. But keep in mind that to do nothing is to repeat the mistakes of Neurotypicals throughout history: Standing by silently while the SDAPs commit acts of brutality against our fellow human beings in the name of protecting us.
- The human weaknesses SDAPs can use to manipulate each other and the Neurotypicals, including tribalism, docility, and ability to compartmentalize, are largely instinctive and therefore very difficult to overcome. But in the long run they are no match for rationality, education, and persistence. The sheer numbers of Neurotypicals, who have a greater ability to choose one set over the other, is also an insurmountable advantage.
- You will never win an argument with an Authoritarian on an issue of morality: Their minds are already made up and are sometimes pathologically resistant to change. So the primary goal of any debate with them must only be to ensure that other Neurotypicals in the room do not uncritically accept their arguments. A secondary goal is to instill doubt in their minds that their positions are mainstream: The instinctive docility of Authoritarians, which is even greater than in Neurotypicals, makes them more susceptible to peer pressure than they are to logic. This being the case, it is therefore worth the time and effort to challenge their facts and their reasoning, and point out that their positions are in the minority. Your individual effort counts: The more people who do this, the stronger the effect will be. Even if you don’t win the argument, you’ll make it less likely any of the rest of us will have to have it again with that individual in the future.
- Matchism, being a complete system designed to be implemented all at once, is possible to implement. This distinguishes it from most (all?) other direct democracy proposals which assume some sort of incremental adoption path. Most of the latter are not implementable because it is the sworn duty of existing representatives to uphold their existing constitutions which of course prohibit or dramatically constrain direct democracy. Many of them would refuse to share this power even if they were legally allowed to: Remember, it is the defining characteristic of SDAPs that they believe that it is their duty to protect their tribe from threats, whether they be external or internal, and any attempt to relieve them of this duty will meet with fierce resistance. Instead, the entire system must be replaced in one act by popular vote or the existing systems will continue to operate largely unaffected by the Will of The People. Although much effort and years of elapsed time will be required to solidify popular opinion on some of the issues that have not yet achieved a majority mindshare (such as the positions on inheritance, national defense, the rights of children, and religion), these are inevitable cultural evolutionary steps that Matchism will be positioned to take advantage of when they come.
- Always refer people to Matchism documents: If they don’t read them, they are not the target audience and so not worth expending too much effort on. Reading the cited works is also strongly encouraged, and any posts of the form “I haven’t read the relevant papers, but I nevertheless have an opinion that I’d like to share” be ignored (and especially not cited) such that they don’t waste any more of people’s precious time than is necessary to identify them as being non-helpful. The System will help people like this find proxies that share their opinions but also have the skills and the knowledge to back up these opinions, but of course only if such potential proxies exist. If they don’t, individuals will be free to vote using their gut instincts and we will have to rely on the probability that theirs will be a minority position and so will not affect the outcome of the vote.
- If at all possible, respond to questions about or criticism of Matchism in writing and only after calm reflection. Rapid-fire emotional arguments play to the strengths of Authoritarians. Calm rational thought drives them nuts and therefore is most likely to expose their weaknesses.
- Matchism is a design for a leaderless organization. Therefore anyone who wants to speak with a representative or spokesman for the cause is missing the point: There is no representative or spokesperson and that is by design. If a great orator is required to convince the masses that Matchism is the way forward, we’ve adopted the design for the Nazi party as described in Mein Kampf, the end result being that the great orator becomes our Fuhrer.
- If you hear a good question or expression of skepticism, put it into The System: Matchism gets better every time someone does this. In the meantime, however, don’t speculate: There is a very fine line between revolutionary and wing nut, and a few quotes taken out of context may set the movement back months or years.
- Always keep in mind that political change proceeds at a glacial pace. Even the smallest local changes take years to achieve. Although it may seem like revolutions occur overnight, it was over 60 years between the publication of the Marx’s Communist Manifesto and the Bolshevik Revolution. The American colonies all existed for 40 years (the longest for 170 years) under often contentious British rule prior to declaring independence. Slavery was first outlawed in Sweden and France in the 1300s but it took 500 more years before the US abolished slavery and this policy was enforced throughout the French empire. If we can have a the Globality and Localities established by 2030 that must considered rapid progress, and will be a credit especially to middle-aged and older individuals. But the longer it takes, the greater the responsibility of the young for the delay: Anyone over 60 years old, especially if they live in a developed country, is unlikely to see much direct benefit from implementation of Matchism. On the other hand, the very survival of people younger than that is at stake.
- On the other hand, nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come: The entire world could easily be living under Matchism in 30 years. No heroic acts or acts of genocide will be required this time: All it will take is continuous pressure to ensure success, so the Matchish must not give up.
- A good, albeit very sophisticated, argument against Matchism is that it will lead us to an unjust or unstable society via a series of small steps that individually seem safe and promise improvement. Refuting this requires a fairly advanced understanding of search spaces, neural networks being the most appropriate analogous technology. The short answer is that it can’t happen, or at least that Matchism can’t cause something that wouldn’t happen anyway. A more complete analysis would reveal that there is one bad thing that this approach could result in: A local maximum that it becomes impossible to get out of. This is not an argument against Matchism, but rather in favor of defining an a priori utopia instead, which would not be subject to this mode of “failure”. But unless true conservatives (including technological conservatism, which probably doesn’t even exist in humans) somehow gain control over society, we’re taking this random walk whether we want to or not. Matchism only greatly speeds the process, and it’s worth the tradeoff of maybe getting to a local maximum sooner rather than maybe not at all (as a result of the existential threat that SDAPs pose) or of trying to avoid them via a cataclysmic revolution (as anarcho-primitivists frequently recommend). This argument is related to that made by Sam Harris in The Moral Landscape with two major differences. The first is that Matchism provides something his proposal does not: A way to determine “which way is up” (i.e., survey the neurotypicals). Secondly, Matchism proposes that the landscape itself is actually dynamic: It changes with the level of technology available. The rest of the argument is the same, though: There are peaks and valleys in the moral landscape and we need to do what we can to scout them out so that we can choose the proper path.
- Matchism is not a call to purge SDAPs from our society nor even to try to identify them so that we can attempt to “fix” them or at least distance ourselves from them. Some of your best friends are probably Authoritarians! Besides the unsolvable problem of making a 100% accurate identification of individuals who will display authoritarian tendencies in a critical situation, a Final Solution that involves rounding up SDAPs and gassing them, besides being inhumane, would also be ineffective: Because all humans carry the genes for these tendencies, these “roundups” would have to occur every few years as each new generation comes of age. Better we just design and implement a system that removes the opportunities for them to assume leadership positions and includes built-in corrections for their antisocial tendencies.
- Although identifying and attacking SDAPs will not be acceptable when we’re living under Matchism, it is an essential component in the process of getting there. It is fair play when applied to anyone running for or serving in public office because they have implicitly consented to this treatment by doing so. Maybe set up a website to “out” them, like www.spottheauthoritarian.org.
- As for the issue of whether or not SDAPs should be classified as mentally ill, this should probably remain an open question for a long time. As is the case with mild form of autism (e.g., Asperger’s syndrome) it will be difficult to clearly show that these characteristics have a significant negative impact on the individual’s ability to function in society. As such, they do not meet the criteria of “illness” and so should not be forcibly treated the way one might endorse forcibly treating schizophrenia or bipolar disease, for example. That is, we cannot deprive individuals of their freedom by forcibly treating those who are potentially harmful to The People as a whole but do not put themselves or other particular individuals in any direct danger. Instead, we must change society to accommodate them by designing systems that allow them to be themselves while also protecting the rest of us from their antisocial tendencies.
- Matchism spreads the workload of winnowing ideas among a large pool of Neurotypicals. It also eliminates the threat of unfair criticism and other characteristics of a hostile work environment that they would face if they volunteered to serve in a standard representative government. It therefore allows these Neurotypicals to participate on an as-time-is-available basis which is the only way most of them will be willing to contribute.
- Matchism will take many years to implement: Any objections to Matchism based on security vulnerabilities, lack of working software, or lack of access to or familiarity with the required underlying technologies are therefore invalid. To say that The System can’t work because of limitations in current technology is fundamentally making the claim that these problems cannot be solved by technology at all, which is a very weak argument. For best efficiency, we need to design Matchism and technology in parallel so that we’ll be able to implement Matchism when both are ready.
- Matchism is for a leaderless political system. Strong leadership will still be required within Corporations, the Military, and in managing the local and global governments. Therefore Social Dominators will still have many places where their worldview may be useful instead of just harmful. But at the highest level in all of these domains, true power must be held by the Neurotypicals. In business, it will be the shareholders who have the power to choose executives (and specify their compensation), and for the military and government management it will be The People.
- We can’t predict when the next era of scarce resources will come, nor even the cause. We can, however, predict with great accuracy what will happen when the era arrives (i.e., the rise of the Bolsheviks, Hitler, and Mao all occurred during an era of resource scarcity for the people who allowed them to come to power). Although the likelihood of any one of the following is small, over a long period of time one or more of them is virtually inevitable. Always remember that these events wouldn’t even have to affect any of us directly, they merely have to affect some group of people that is a major supplier or is in competition for resources. These events also don’t have to kill many people directly or even be existential threats at all: It is the perception of resource scarcity that is the trigger for the rise of authoritarian behavior and authoritarian leaders:
- Disease: Pathogens spread with uncontrollable speed due to modern mobility. Always remember that direct exposure to the pathogen is really our least worry, it’s the supply chain that supports us that is most at risk.
- Food shortages: There are a wide variety of threats to this most fundamental of resources, including plant and livestock diseases, genetic engineering gone bad (direct or indirect via application of herbicides and other selective environmental conditions), climate change, war or social unrest, and competition from wealthier/more powerful/more aggressive groups.
- Water shortages: We currently extract groundwater at higher rates than it is being replenished. What happens when that runs out? Climate change and competition are also significant risks here.
- Natural disasters: Climate change, particularly drought and rising sea levels, tops the list here. But we must also include earth based events, such as large earthquakes/tsunamis and increased volcanic activity. And of course events outside the earth including coronal mass ejections and other lethal emissions from our sun and other stars, or impacts from asteroids or comets.
- Depletion of natural resources: Fossil fuels tops the list here, but our standard of living is highly dependent on materials, particularly minerals, produced in other countries, many of which will want to utilize what remains of these resources themselves in the future. Eventually these resources will run out or be cut off for political reasons.
- Economic instability: Just as the Great Depression was a cause of WWII, any major disruption in the economy leads to perception of scarcity.
- War: It’s on this list several times, because it operates at so many levels! War, and preparations for war, are themselves a cause of resource scarcity and so a primary cause of more war.
- On the issue of balancing freedom, security, and privacy/anonymity, Matchism clearly ranks their relative value in that order. Since SDAPs will not be in power to make and enforce laws that restrict the former, the latter two would become less of an issue. That is, there is no risk of the secret police coming into people’s houses in the middle of the night and “disappearing” them because The People will not authorize a secret police force, nor indeed fund any large scale organizations like the US CIA or NSA, the problem with those not being not their penchant for violating an individual’s right to privacy, but simply that they are a waste of resources due to their ineffectiveness at providing security. They are also a great source of injustice and conflict (retaliation) because the only thing they reliably provide are the commission of immoral acts in the name of protecting their band. And even if these types of organizations existed in Matchism there wouldn’t be any laws on the books to support any action they would be inclined to take (i.e., there could be no laws against sedition or other dissent). And if they (or their paramilitary proxies) acted anyway, the complete freedom of the press and transparency of government actions Matchism requires would mean The People would immediately become aware of such an event occurring and would take action to right the wrong and prevent it from occurring again. To be sure, this requires placing a great faith in rationality and to a lesser extent the built-in moral code and moral reasoning ability of Neurotypicals, but there is already plenty of scientific evidence that is primarily the more porous moral codes of SDAPs that we need to worry about. The rest of us can trust ourselves to do the right things as long as our social systems are engineered to prevent SDAPs from doing the wrong things.
- Should Matchism have a flag, a logo, an anthem, or a pledge? Initially, the Globality will consist of a small group of people that could be conceived of as a “nation” and so should have these things. They would also prove useful in converting authoritarians to Matchism, or at least encouraging them to tolerate it, because they are inordinately fond of these types of ingroup/outgroup symbols. But of course at its core Matchism must reject these things as instantiations of tribalism and therefore as being against the key tenets of the philosophy. If they are used as transitional tools, it must be understood that they will only be needed temporarily. Matchism will have failed if the Global Manager works in a great building with flags of all the Localities in a plaza leading up to it.
- Matchism is a revolution, but unlike any previous revolution it is designed so that nobody has to die in the process. Unfortunately people may die, most commonly at the hands of their SDAP brethren who will resist the conversion. There is a good chance that the devoutly religious will also introduce their own mayhem, as they frequently have via terrorist attacks in the name of their god, once it becomes clear that they are being marginalized. The potential for bloodshed of course is not a reason for failing to implement Matchism, as the death toll will be vastly higher over the years, perhaps even including the possibility of our entire species becoming extinct, if we simply do nothing.
- Matchism also provides something sorely lacking in today’s civilization: Common Goals. The appeal of nationalism has greatly waned over the last generation, and for good reason. Whereas we used to have “the commies” (or “the imperialists”) to beat, whether it be in the areas of technology (the space race being the best example of this) or economics, our main goal and competitive arena now seems to be “keeping up with the Jones'”. Rather than organizing to sign petitions or stage “occupations” that our leaders mostly just ignore, Matchism is a project and a competition that The People can use to actually get something done. Activity in The System will directly result in policy changes directly rather than merely being a weak influence on leaders who use protests primarily to gauge the level of personal risk they face.
- It is no longer necessary or even desirable to support or be affiliated with a particular political party. It is now clear that in the inherently-corrupt representative form of democracy the only significant difference is between SDAPs and Neurotypicals: Although there is a high correlation between authoritarianism and (in the US) the Republican party, an authoritarian Democrat is far more likely to go along with a proposal that will lead to global Armageddon than a true conservative Republican, let alone a Neurotypical Libertarian. Therefore the primary short-term goal must be to ensure that SDAPs are identified and their danger to The People made known to prevent them from getting elected. If they get elected anyway, no problem, just apply the same analysis to their activities in office to restrict their power as much as possible. We’ll never get most of the positive effects Matchism will provide from any representative government, but we should at least try to prevent as many major disasters as we can until we’re ready for the conversion.
- Contributing financially to petition or lobbying-oriented organizations is generally not a good habit, nor is promoting them to others via social media or in-person discussions. There is a fine line here between the need to prevent small injustices and the need to avoid “feeding the beast” which will only make it stronger. Contributing to lobbying organizations in particular is the moral equivalent of paying ransom to hostage takers or protection money to organized crime. Sure it might get you what you want in the short term, but the corrupting influence of that money is taking us down the road to ruin. Signing and/or forwarding petition might seem a harmless thing, but it has two serious negative effects. First, it gives people the illegitimate feeling that they are making a difference, when in fact their contribution is so minuscule as to be negligible: Any real change is going to require real sacrifice (like spending hours trying to read and understand the Matchism Manifesto, and then explain it to someone else who won’t bother to read it). Secondly what it does is legitimize the existing power structure because turning in a petition is at its core an act of deference. We need to realize that we don’t have to defer to these leaders, if we don’t agree with what they do, we must replace them, not just beg them for this one little favor. And in most cases this means we must replace the whole system that enabled them to create the problematic situation in the first place so that it won’t just keep happening over and over again in the future. In summary, organizations like Change.org/Care2.com/MoveOn.org/Avaaz.org are the political equivalent of putting a band-aide on a cancerous mole. Sure, what they do may make the immediate problem appear to have gone away, but what they’re really doing is making the situation worse because it doesn’t treat the actual cause of the problem, only the most visible of the symptoms. And by providing us this cosmetic alternative they are actually preventing the correct diagnosis and treatment of the underlying problem and so enabling it to grow and spread. Matchism is more like surgery to remove the cancer. Sure, it’s going to be more invasive, more costly, and more painful than applying a petition or lobbying-based band-aide, but which would you choose if it was your life that was at stake? And wouldn’t you rather treat it now than waiting until we need to follow the surgery with the rounds of chemo or radiation therapy that another war or violent revolution would represent?
- Stay active in politics. Always vote, especially if there are referendums on the ballot as some of that stuff will come along with us as Locality laws. And remember that it is far more important to elect a non-SDAP to any representative position than a candidate who agrees with all of your political views. If you can’t identify a non-SDAP candidate, or have any doubt that a representative’s positions is subject to purchase or coercion by lobbyists, you should vote “None of the Above” or write in “Matchism”. Part of the conversion to Matchism involves delegitimizing our existing systems. Not voting at all does that, but explicitly voting against everyone you’re not absolutely comfortable with does it better.
- Never forget George W Bush or his partner-in-war-crime Dick Cheney or hesitate to discuss their legacy: An immoral (and pointless or even counterproductive) war in Iraq based on fabricated evidence, the financial crisis and recession of 2008, turning the budget surplus they inherited into a massive deficit, and intentionally instilling fear in the population to legitimize authoritarian acts including organizing and legitimizing torture and unprecedented spying on American citizens. Both men are Double Highs in Altemeyer’s classification, and although they did a good job of avoiding public displays of their prejudices you can be sure that they didn’t lose much sleep over the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians who died as a direct result of their actions. They are the perfect examples of why we can’t have SDAPs in office, or even tolerate a system where people like them may be elected to serve in the future by SDAPs who support their agenda (e.g., see McFarland 2005). Ironically, they may have ultimately saved the human race from extinction by setting off the chain of events that will lead to the elimination of all representative democracies and the permanent removal of power from the hands of SDAPs.
- And pay attention! People get the government they deserve. If you think we deserve better, you’re going to have to work for it over the long haul, most of that effort being reading about and attempting to understand our options, not standing around waving signs.
Next: Implementation Schedule