June 24 (Saturday)

Home Page Politix 101

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Introduction

Politics Help

Politics – yuck! What could be more disgusting than lying, corrupt politicians wearing stuffy suits? What could be more controversial than politics? No wonder so many people refuse to talk about politics, especially at the dinner table.

You’ve come to the right place if 1) you’re a beginner who needs help figuring out the basics of politics, 2) you’re confused, or 3) you just want to explore another point of view.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”

Then there are the weirdos who think politics is actually interesting but are endlessly frustrated by the difficulty of finding truth in an ocean of propaganda, disinformation and blatant lies.

Are you one of those weirdos? The fact that you’re reading this suggests you may be following a road most people ignore, a road followed by crazy people like Crazy Horse, Spartacus, Helen Keller, George Orwell, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Edward Abbey, Hugo Chavez and Muammar Gaddafi.

If you study politics, you may come to view “normal people” as the weirdos.
Cool Activist

Actually, most of those people were political activists, fighting in an arena you may not have entered yet. But they started out just like you, asking questions either because they were curious or they discovered they were the victims of injustice. Most of them helped other people as well, fighting for a cause bigger than themselves. The irony is that some of history’s biggest heroes are still portrayed as weirdos, losers or even monsters by the mainstream. But more intelligent people think they’re cool.

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

It’s smart to study politics even if you don’t plan on becoming an activist. On a practical level, the quality of the education and health care you receive have a lot to do with politics. Your very survival is political; there are thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Hiroshima who could tell you that if they were still alive.

If you have any sense of curiosity, you have to find conspiracy theory intriguing. Who really killed JFK, what really happened on 9/11, and who is ISIS really working for? Could it possibly be true that “Jewish bankers” are plotting to control the entire world, and why do the world’s most inspirational reformers and firebrands always seem to die young?

Mental Road Blocks

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Unfortunately, politics can seem hopelessly confusing as you try to plow through an ocean of disinformation, propaganda and wacko conspiracy theory. If you can’t trust the Washington Post, New York Times, ABC, CBS or CNN, who can you trust? And it gets even worse, because, unless you’re very special, your brain is probably a mine field of mental blocks.

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Strangely, some of the most famous politicos – people like Ralph Nader, Jesse Ventura, Ron Paul, Jon Stewart, Noam Chomsky and Bernie Sanders – have no advice to offer beginners. They apparently expect everyone who visits their often surprisingly unorganized websites to have a degree in political science and understand everything they read. That may be why you’re here.

Political science is actually surprisingly logical. If you’ve learned how to read and write and perform basic math functions, you should be able to understand politics. However, it does take time and patience to understand politics (similar to reading, writing and math), and you may need a little help getting around those mental blocks mentioned above.

Series Overview

Section I

As a matter of fact, the next article (Political Science Prerequisites) discusses those mental road blocks and offers some advice for dealing with all those lying propagandists and fake leaders. It will help you get your head screwed on straight.

Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

Once you’ve been prepped, we’ll dive into an article that defines and explores the origin of Politics. The next article focuses on People and Organizations, which can be thought of as the atoms and molecules that make up political systems.

Section II

The next six articles will invite you to take a close look at yourself. In fact, the first article in this section is titled “You.” Next, we’ll figure out if you’re a liberal, conservative or something else (Left vs Right). Then we’ll add authoritarianism and libertarianism to create a Political Compass. You can now compare yourself to famous politicos, from Che Guevara to Obama, Gandhi to Adolf Hitler.

Then we’ll venture into the realm of philosophy in search of your moral compass as we explore Morality, which may determine whether you’ll be a social activist, just another corrupt politician or maybe even one of history’s greatest monsters. We’ll take the moral high road as we explore Good and Evil and Accountability.

Section III

In the last section, we’ll see how all these pieces work together, beginning with an article about Government. If you find government a little boring, brace yourself for the nearly two dozen entities that make up Political Systems, from secret societies to controlled opposition to shadow government.

The big picture will come into even sharper focus after you learn about World Orders. The series ends with a look at the mother of all conspiracy theories, the New World Order.

(Spoiler!)

Condensing an introduction to politics into ten articles turned out to be harder than I expected. Instead, Politix 101 mushroomed into fourteen articles, and there are still many fascinating topics to cover. Still, there is a lot of information packed into this series. It offers something old and something new, a lot of stuff you already knew and things that will blow your mind.

I thought it would be fun to make a list of the ten most intriguing, significant or misunderstood people, organizations, events, books and political terms that are mentioned in this series. It was surprisingly hard, and other political buffs might have completely different favorites.

Still, the list below will give you an even better idea of where we’re headed. If you plan on taking the quizzes and test that accompany this series, be warned: Most of the 50 things listed below will be featured on a quiz or the final test. However, the very first quiz has a twist: it focuses on the videos at the bottom of the page.

Some of My Favorite Political Things

People: Milton Friedman, Muammar Gaddafi, Bill Gates, Che Guevara, Adolf Hitler, John F. Kennedy, Vladimir Putin, Rothschild, Carl Sagan, Jacob Schiff

Organizations: CIA, Federal Reserve, Fremasons, ISIS, Mossad, Gates Foundation, Monsanto, NATO, United Nations, Telesur

Events: 9/11, Abe Lincoln Lynching, Balfour Declaration (Israel’s Birthday), Cuban Revolution, Fukushima Earthquake, Gaddafi Assassination, JFK Assassination, Moon landing, Russo-Japanese War, World War III

Books: 1984 (George Orwell), Animal Farm (George Orwell), Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey), Mein Kampf (Adolf Hitler), Motorcycle Diaries (Che Guevara), Open Veins of Latin America (Eduardo Galeano), Protocols of the Elders of Zion (author uncertain), Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut), Sand County Almanac (Aldo Leopold), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Klein)

Terms: accountability, biocontrol, blowback, Demopublican, dictatorship, empathy, global elitists, Jewarchy, socialism, spirituality

And if you’re a budding political activist, you have to love some of the witty and inspirational political quotes that have been handed down from one generation to the next...

10 Unforgettable Political Quotes
“Politics is the art of controlling your environment.” -- Hunter S. Thompson
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” -- Plato
“The first duty of a man is to learn to think for himself.” -- José Martí
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. -- variation of an aphorism by George Santayana
“The Viet Cong never called me nigger.” -- Muhammad Ali
“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country from his government.” -- Edward Abbey
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” -- Edward Abbey
“When a man must be afraid to drink freely from his country’s rivers and streams that country is no longer fit to live in. Time then to move on, to find another country or — in the name of Jefferson — to make another country.” -- Edward Abbey
“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.” -- Carl Sagan
“Please believe in THE POWER OF ONE. . . . Do not limit your vision and do not ever compromise your dreams or ideals.” -- Iris Chang

And just to see if you’re paying attention, here are some tips regarding your first quiz: George Washington was an aristocratic slave owner who commanded the colonial forces during the Revolutionary War before becoming the first U.S. president. Milton Friedman was a powerful U.S. Jewish economist who has been blamed for untold suffering around the world. (Remember how to spell his name, because it will be on the first quiz.) Carl Sagan was a brilliant scientist turned political activist whose nemesis was President Ronald Reagan.

Learning Tips

If you really want to learn about this mysterious beast called politics, get involved.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Benjamin Franklin

Understanding politics requires concentration and reflection. Even then there are things you may never truly understand without experience. Such experience can include attending crappy schools, working for a corrupt corporation, marching in a protest, running for public office, seeing your home blown up by the U.S. military or simply growing up poor.

However, it’s best to do a little homework before you pick up an assault rifle and try to launch a revolution. Everyone has their own learning style, and you can tackle this series however you choose. But here are some suggestions.

If you read one article a day, it will take you two weeks to complete the series. If you’re gung ho and have some free time on your hands, you could probably finish the series in a couple days.

After you’ve finished the series, you’ll probably have a better understanding of politics than 99% of U.S. citizens, especially if you take the quizzes associated with each article and the final test. Actually, you’ll probably have a PQ (political IQ) that ranks you in the top .01%; that’s one out of 10,000. Maybe some day you’ll start a revolution and save the world.

Feel free to read through the entire series a second time. Or you can simply consult particular articles as needed. There are many other resources on this website to explore. Of course, the Internet is a black hole of information, though it’s hard to know which websites are trustworthy. You can also learn by studying the daily propaganda in the media and on Facebook. Attend some local political forums and pay close attention to the proceedings and the people in the audience.

Smile!

And if you live in a big city, try to escape now and then and seek some fresh air and communion with Nature. We humans didn’t evolve in an urban jungle, and you can never be a whole person if you aren’t connected to Mother Earth.

Thank you for waking up. In the words of my favorite park ranger, Edward Abbey, “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.

Paper crane
If you’re exploring the Politix 101 series, please follow the arrows at the bottom of each page.