By Josh Jones
The Green Party cannot, and will never, be authoritarian. Two of our most basic principles are grassroots democracy and decentralization. But our nation has experienced the creeping infection of authoritarianism, currently with the prime examples of Trump and Putin. Fear, guilt, and panic cannot be our guideposts.
Authoritarianism is the opposite of grassroots democracy; authoritarianism is the opposite of the left. Authoritarians use fear, guilt, distrust, and hopelessness to move their followers. In the past, theocracies have also manipulated these emotions in people for social control.
The root aspect of any well supported, long lasting society - of any vibrant and thriving society - is democracy, trust, patience, diligence, intelligence, productivity, and strength in numbers. This is what the left is truly about. This is what social-ism can achieve. We grow in number when we trust each other and work together. Authoritarianism seeks to halt all of that; to rule by fear with an iron fist over fools.
The Green Party, of which I am a member, is inherently democratic, tolerant, and strives for justice. This is expressly stated in our ten key-values and our bylaws. In no way can we ever support the authoritarian and intolerant attitudes of Trump, nor could we ever support the authoritarian and intolerant attitudes of Putin.
The ten key values of the Green Party in any state are:
- grassroots democracy
- ecological wisdom
- community based economics
- feminism and gender equity
- respect for diversity
- personal responsibility and
- future focus and sustainability.
Of course, an important preservation of justice in society is intolerance of intolerance. This is the antibody of democracy when specifically intolerant people try to become elected. There is no moral contradiction in giving to people that which they themselves believe.
What if Trump and Putin were planning on dividing up the resources of the other countries of the world? What if they planned on the divide and conquer of Venezuela? Could we tolerate that kind of divide and conquer?
Can we tolerate authoritarians dividing friends from each other and sowing distrust to decrease our connections, conversations, and working together? We must trust each other and work together in order to grow. Do not let authoritarians’ fear-mongering, troublemaking, and time-wasting control you. Do not let them dismay you and tear down your friendships.
The principles of the Green Party are those which have always guided any well supported and thriving society - a society based on justice, tolerance, creativity, intelligence, strength in numbers, and democracy.
These are ideas opposite from an authoritarian group using fear, guilt, and hopelessness to rule over a frightened, embattled, and ignorant mob. Authoritarian rule always collapses under the bottleneck of it’s own of incompetence and weight. Authoritarianism has no legacy. Authoritarianism will always crumble.
Josh Jones was the endorsed Green Party candidate for Governor of California in 2018.