Admittedly, I’ve been very critical of Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Both have been the subjects of numerous posts, videos, and articles. I’ve called them out on what I consider “fraud humanitarian efforts.” I’ve said that Bernie Sanders embodies everything that is annoying about white liberals. I’ve expressed disbelief in his promises to scale back on war efforts, after considering his voting record. I’ve not been impressed by the slogans of ending the war on drugs and criminal justice reform. I’ve been most critical of their knowledge of economics, or lack thereof.
And I don’t regret nor seek to retract any of those points. Everything still stands.
But with the recent primary results, it is fairly obvious that Sanders won’t win the Democratic nomination. Though it is very easy to say that the DNC treated him unfairly, Sanders didn’t win majority of the pledged delegates nor the popular vote. So, what’s next?
To be fair, no one should be surprised if he decides to fully endorse Hillary Clinton once he inevitably drops out; this should actually be expected. But what does this mean for his supporters? I have no desire to tell you what politician you should now support. In fact, I’d highly advise that you stop expecting politicians to save your lives. However, I recognize that this campaign didn’t end the way that you wanted.
So I do have one suggestion: Voluntaryism
Voluntaryism is simply the idea that all exchanges, transactions, and interactions between individuals should be consensual and voluntary. This idea may seemingly contradict the core of Bernie’s campaign, but it doesn’t mean that your desires can’t be accomplished. You’ve seen that politics are rough and the elites don’t play fair. You got it wrong by assuming that you just needed to get the right person in office, thinking that Bernie would use the monopoly on use of force and violence to do good. So you ran an entire campaign propping up the system, while simultaneously thinking you were fighting the elites. Campaigning to expand the same system that has been used by the elites to benefit the elites. Your campaign has been diametrically opposed to your end-game. So why not cripple those 1%, oligarch elites that you despise so much by advocating voluntaryism?
Sure, it’s going to be more difficult to get results based on your views without having a monopoly on the use of force. But at least you’d be a little more principled. A voluntary society does not mean that you can’t set up a community in which you all chip in to pay for healthcare and college. It only means that you cannot legitimately force everybody to subscribe to this community or be a part of it. It also means that you do not have to fund the efforts that you claim to be against, such as perpetual war and corporate welfare.
Government is just a monopoly on the use of force and violence that is seen as legitimate within a particular region. The go-to default fear is the uncertainty of a human affair without government. But historically, governments have caused more mass human atrocities than that of private entities. Government does not guarantee freedom or security. Mao Zedong completely ignored his countries constitution and ended up using government to murder millions of his own people. Advocating voluntaryism doesn’t meant there won’t be instances of oppression, immorality, and injustice. It just means that YOU don’t have to be the one advocating or funding it.
I don’t exactly support the idea that Bernie Sanders “gets it right” from the libertarian perspective on social issues. If one owns themselves, then they own what they’ve obtained through voluntary exchange or through their own labor. So I do not think there is an absolute difference between social and economic freedom — they are quite intertwined.
So why not advocate a philosophy that allows you to freely build a community with other like-minded individuals? If you did, you wouldn’t feel so let down by the political realm. Do you feel as if your ideology is so weak that it absolutely has to be forced upon the other individuals that may or may not agree? Do you not participate in many different voluntary exchanges throughout the day? Why not simply remain consistent in that idea?
No matter who it is or what they choose to call themselves, voluntaryism is more than likely the better alternative. The trick seems to be getting people to realize that they can still support some of the things they highlight, while still being a voluntaryist. You can be a leftist when it comes to economics and be a voluntaryist, so as long as you aren’t trying to force people to subscribe to it. You can build a community full of voluntary Democratic Socialists (though, I wouldn’t advise it).
Some Bernie Sanders Supporters may be at a crossroads on what to do next. Instead of looking to the next politician, they should start realizing that they own themselves and not other people.