The political system is changing. With the influx of resources and information available to American citizens, individuals are digging deeper to learn the truth about those currently in power. Many members of Congress are feeling increased pressure from their constituents via phone calls or impromptu protests. In fact, this pressure is largely thanks to the Republicans’ recent legislative losses. However, this force is also reforming the major political parties. The American public is no longer willing to tolerate representatives or senators bought by lobbyists, and so-called “establishment” candidates are quickly losing support.
So what’s the future? Many individuals outside of politics are beginning to run for public offices, wanting to fix the issues they feel have been ignored for years. Instead of waiting for Congress to stand up, many “average” citizens are putting their name in the hat and running for office. Additionally, many Americans are thirsty for an alternative to the big two parties when going to the voting booth. Just looking at the last few presidential elections, the number of third-party votes has more than doubled, from 1.7 million in 2008 to 2.2 million in 2012 and finally reaching 7.8 million in 2016.
One candidate hoping to benefit from America’s dissatisfaction with the status quo is Zoltan Istvan, a Libertarian candidate for California Governor. However, Zoltan is not your typical Libertarian in that he is also a self-proclaimed Transhumanist or someone who believes we can improve the human condition using technology and science. In fact, he “sees immortality becoming totally common” and believes “In about 20 years, we’re all going to look back and wonder how it was that billions of people accepted dying as normal in the 20th and early 21st Centuries.”
The question now is can California’s progressives get behind Transhumanism or Libertarianism?
Unlike many conservative politicians and even some Libertarians, Zoltan doesn’t attack progressive ideals. According to Zoltan, the prominence of progressive ideals in the tech field “has to do with education. Tech people are broadly highly educated, and education breeds empathy, success, and often riches. So tech people want to help their neighbors with progressive policies since they are the more fortunate. Unfortunately, while do-gooders may have their heart in the right places, history shows us that competition and independence are generally the best way to take care of society.”
So how would Libertarianism work in today’s global society? Well according to Zoltan our current global community might not survive into the next century. And with the current state of affairs in the world, he may be right…
“I’m doubtful that nations like America and China will survive longer than 50 years more because smaller states and communities will probably be preferable. Given this, it will be easier to have libertarian societies since societies will be smaller and more manageable. The key to future societies may rest in blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. I imagine a world without borders and without too much concern for nationality. I’d prefer more emphasis on who somebody is and what they’ve done with their life, than where they come from.”
Zoltan also shares many Americans’ concerns when it comes to trusting the government. “Privacy is going to go the way of the dinosaurs. But this is not necessarily a bad thing - at least when it concerns and actions. An open society is often a very free society. I want to know what my government is doing. As long as everyone gives up privacy, it’s going to be a society where we know all things, including the good and bad. This will make us freer. The key is making sure the government also is totally transparent.”
Whether or not you are willing to jump on the Libertarian or Transhumanist bandwagon, Zoltan’s view on social issues and humanity, in general, are refreshing. He is just one of the many recent candidates moving away from extremism and tribal politics to instead focus on finding solutions.
In an effort to find the silver lining of our current situation, perhaps this is the dawn of a new political system which better represents the American public and a more informed and involved public willing to fight for their rights.