Wake The Fuck Up! USA: A New Alternative Political Party Led by Nobody
Enlightenment is the human being’s emergence from his own self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to make use of one’s own understanding without direction from another. This immaturity is self-incurred when its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! Have the courage to use your own understanding! is thus the motto of Enlightenment.
(Source: I. Kant, “What is Enlightenment?”)
I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!
(Source: Network, dir. S. Lumet, 1976).
I’m nobody from nowhere, born and raised in North America.
So you can call me Mr Nobody, aka Mr Nemo, from Nowhere, NA.
I’m just an angry, unemployed philosopher with a penchant for speaking his own mind and feelings.
And I hate contemporary politics with a passion: I can’t imagine anything worse than running for elected office, as things currently stand.
One of the many things I passionately hate about contemporary politics is its strong tendency to create cults of personality, and demagogues, who systematically deflect our attention towards themselves and their social-media-driven histrionics, and away from constructive political dialogue, participatory decision-making, and harvesting our collective wisdom for complex problems.
As a perfect case in point of this systematic deflection of attention, cults of personality, and demagogues, consider the fact that Donald Trump was elected President of the USA on 8 November 2016.
Appalled by this election result, and by the 2016 Presidential campaign more generally, two weeks later, on 22 November 2016, I created The Wake The Fuck Up! Party, aka The WTFU Party.
Apart from being appalled by the 2016 US Presidential campaign and election, my creation of The WTFU Party also has three other inspirations:
· Immanuel Kant’s “What Is Enlightenment?,” whose basic message, when translated into contemporary colloquial speech, is: wake the fuck up!, and dare to think for yourself!,
· the Howard Beale newscaster character in the bitingly satirical 1976 political film Network, who famously shouted: I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!, and
· the Pirate Party of Iceland
My mother, who’s 85, said that the party’s name might be a bit shocking to people, like her, who don’t use profanity, so she suggested an alternative name, The Wake Up! Party, aka The WU Party.
That’s totally fine with me: please use the name that best fits your personal, cultural, and social sensibility.
Right now (8 November 2017 — yes, one entire year later), the Party has 12 members and 23 fellow-travelers/sympathizers, including 7 cats and dogs — Duke, Betty, Ashi, Sweetpea, Walter Johnson, Captain, and Lukas — and one orphan baby squirrel.
So that’s 35 of us altogether.
Duke, Betty, and Walter Johnson, who are Canadians, were really pulling for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 US Presidential election, so Bernie was officially invited to join The WTFU Party too, although he never replied to my e-mails. Alas.
But in any case, you can see that The WTFU Party, led by Nobody and fully open to all human beings and sympathetic members of other species, from all over North America, Central America, South America, or anywhere else in the world, is far from being a traditional political party.
It’s a cosmopolitan political party in the widest possible sense.
In brief, The WTFU Party is a new alternative political movement for people who —
· are passionately committed to respect for human dignity, intolerance for human oppression, and tolerance for free expression;
· are open-minded, empathetic, and cosmopolitan;
· are mad as hell about contemporary politics, especially in the USA, although by no means exclusively there;
· have a sense of humor; and above all,
· hope that they might really be able to do something by participating in a realistic, altruistic, genuinely progressive and indeed neo-utopian, global ethical and political project.
But more specifically, here is the seven-part platform of The WTFU Party:
1. Universal Respect for Human Dignity (URHD):
· Human dignity is the absolute non-denumerable moral value of every member of humanity, and everyone ought to try wholeheartedly to treat everyone else in a way that is sufficient to meet the demands of respect for human dignity, especially including (i) alleviating or ending human oppression, and (ii) actively engaging in mutual aid and mutual kindness.
2. Universal Basic Income (UBI):
· Anyone 21 years of age or over and living permanently in the USA, who has a personal yearly income of $50,000 USD or less, and who is capable of requesting their UBI, would receive $25,000 USD per year, with no strings attached.
3. A 15-Hour Workweek for Understaffed Non-Bullshit Jobs (FHW-for-UNBJs):
· Anyone 18 years of age or older who is living permanently in the USA, who has completed a high school education, and is mentally and physically capable of doing a job, would be offered an eco-job, paying a yearly wage of $25,000.00 USD, for fifteen hours of work (three 5-hour days) per week.
Thus anyone 21 years of age or older with a high-school degree and who is also mentally and physically capable of working, would have a guaranteed yearly income of at least $50,000 USD if they chose to do an eco-job.
The rationale behind the three-year gap between (i) being offered an eco-job at 18 and (ii) beginning to receive their UBI at 21, is that every young adult who has finished high school will have the option of pursuing three years of part-time or full-time free higher education without credentialing, i.e., for its own sake, after high school, before making longer-term decisions about what I call job-work and life-work.
Here are a few more details about UBI and eco-jobs.
(i) The UBI is to be paid by a monthly stipend check.
(ii) Eco-job income is not taxed.
(iii) For all individual yearly incomes of $50,000.00 USD or under, no tax will be levied; hence for someone receiving their UBI and also doing an eco-job, no income tax will be levied.
(iv) For all individual non-eco-job incomes, for every $1.00 USD earned above the standard UBI of $25,000.00 USD, that recipient’s total UBI is reduced by 50 cents, until the recipient’s total UBI is reduced to zero; hence for those individuals with yearly non-eco-job incomes equal to or under $50,000.00 USD, the maximum UBI + non-eco-job income sum is always $50,000.00 USD.
(v) For all individual yearly incomes over $50,000.00 USD, for every $10,000.00 USD earned, that surplus income is taxed at the rate of 1%, with the highest surplus income tax rate being 50%; hence the maximum surplus 50% tax rate starts at individual yearly incomes of $550,000.00 USD, and applies to all higher surplus incomes.
4. Universal Free Higher Education Without Credentialing (HEWC):
· Everyone would be offered, beyond their high-school education, a free, three-year minimum, optional (but also open-ended beyond those three years, as a further option), part-time or full-time universal public education program in the so-called “liberal arts,” and also in some of the so-called “STEM” fields, including the humanities, the fine arts, the social sciences, mathematics, and the natural sciences.
· For many or even most people, their HEWC would fall between (i) the end of their high school education at age 18 and the corresponding availability of eco-jobs, and (ii) the beginning of their UBI at age 21.
· But HEWC would be open to anyone with a high school degree, no matter how old they are, provided they are mentally and physically capable of doing the program.
5. Universal Free Healthcare (UFH):
· Every human person living permanently in the USA will receive free lifelong healthcare.
6. 2-Phase Universal Open Borders (2P-UOB):
· Phase 1: Starting in 2021, there will be universal open borders with Canada and Mexico, and everyone who moves across those borders and then claims residence in the USA, will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the USA, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents to depend on the current availability of (i) adequate funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the USA, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the USA and elsewhere in the world.
· Phase 2: Also starting in 2021, the USA, Canada, and Mexico will collectively form a Global Refugee Consortium (GRC), with three-way open borders to any political refugee, economic refugee, or asylum seeker from anywhere in the world (aka “global refugees”), who will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA, Canada, or Mexico, and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the three GRC countries, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents, and the precise distribution of new residents among the three members of the GRC, to depend on the current availability of (i) funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the three GRC countries, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the GRC and elsewhere in the world.
7. Universal No-Guns (UNG):
· No one in the USA, including police, internal security forces of all kinds, armies, and intelligence forces of all kinds, has the moral right to possess or use guns of any kind, for any purpose whatsoever, because the primary function of guns is coercion, and coercion is immoral.
· UNG would be implemented by repealing the Second Amendment to the US Constitution in 2021 and then universally banning the possession or use of guns thereafter.
I’m also assuming that Universal Public Education (UPE) — universal free access for all human persons of any age to good public education up to the end of high school — already exists in most countries, and needs no further justification.
Where UPE does not already exist, it would automatically become a necessary part of the seven-part WTFU Party package, thereby making it a eight-part package.
Mr Nemo, Nowhere, NA, 22 November 2016