If you are a young voter in America, or if you care for one, or if you're concerned at all about America's future, or if you just like flat-out-tilting-at-windmills idealism, then you will certainly appreciate P. J. Cultor's just released ebook, Get Your Future Back! How America's Young People Can Reclaim Their Destiny, Heal the Nation, and Probably Save the World.
The Don Quijote-like character of this book is the same aspect that makes it extremely time-sensitive: a simple, step-by-step, three-day strategy for destroying the gridlock in Washington and turning the country toward creating a dynamic future for the next generation.
In releasing the ebook just two months before the next election without any sort of advance publicity, the author is running the risk that the book won't be noticed at all. He's staking everything on the demonstrated power of young people, with their effortless mastery of electronic communications, to crank up massive interest almost instantly in any project that they deem worthy.
Cultor believes that if just one young reader will commit to his strategy and get ten friends to commit, who will get ten more friends, and so on, there will be millions more young people voting in 2012 then ever before. And they will swamp the one to three million voters who have decided the vote in previous presidential elections.
Professionals will think that this is a simple-minded strategy. But it could work just because it is so simple. Fast and unstoppable, wired-up young people could undercut all the insane amounts of money their parents spend on elections. And in return for their three-day investment, they would get an entirely new America that would be working to make their future brilliant, instead of a constipated and sickly America that is just eking out one last decade or so.
But what, exactly, is Cultor proposing?
To understand that, you need to know that the book is divided into two parts. In the first, the author lays out seven dead-wrong beliefs held by the older generation. He calls them the "Major Myths." These mistaken beliefs about scarcity, self-interest, competition, independence, religion, tradition, and capitalism are rooted in unnecessary fears. They create a fear-based view of the world in which it is nearly impossible to be creative. It is this pervasive, fearful lack of creativity that has produced the current logjam in all the waterways of social interaction.
We can't go into all the Myths here. But to give you a sense of Cultor's unorthodox criticism, let's just take a quick look at the Myth of Capitalism.
Instead of the usual back-and-forth about capitalism that you hear from conservatives and liberals, Cultor goes right to the central, undeniable fact about capitalism, the point where the worker and the capitalist meet in the so-called "labor market." From their very first meeting, there is a power differential between capitalist and worker: the capitalist has extra money to live on, so he can outlast the worker in any negotiation. All he has to do is wait until the worker cannot hold out any longer, and then he can exact any terms he likes. The social structure of capitalism is thus based on force--the force of necessity leveraged against the worker. "Labor market" is a self-serving euphemism that capitalist economists have foisted on the world in order to create the impression of a level playing field between workers and capitalists. In fact, the place where workers try to sell their labor is more like a torture chamber for them.
Since no bargain struck under coercion is ethical, neither is capitalism. The truth about capitalism is that it is essentially immoral. Now this basic immorality can be mitigated in various ways by well-intentioned capitalists and workers. But it cannot be eliminated. No one who fails to grasp this has a realistic understanding of capitalism.
After applying similarly fundamental critiques to the other six Myths, Cultor goes on in the second part of the book to draw practical conclusions for the young generation about how they should orient their lives in order to break free from the Myths, which are cramping their initiative and limiting their prospects. There are chapters on how young people can develop their creative powers, how they can find work that will be fulfilling, and how they can band together to support one another while they take on the task of changing the nation's mindset.
But the crucially time-sensitive element in found in the chapter entitled "Vote Your Future Back!" Here, Cultor lays out an easy, almost paint-by-the-numbers plan for unshackling America in the next two months.
He approaches his plan with an analysis of the current political situation in America. The younger generation's parents are bitterly divided into to large political camps, generally speaking--conservatives and liberals. The two camps have fought each other to a standstill. This impasse is what creates the impression that "Washington is broken."
Instead of taking sides in this standoff, Cultor points out that both sides believe the Major Myths. The only difference between them, he thinks, is that one side holds the Myths to be bedrock truths that should never be tampered with, whereas the other side holds them to be good in themselves, but subject to misuse if not regulated strictly. So it is that conservatives, represented mostly by the Republican party, favor policies that will lift any restrictions touching on the Myths, while liberals, represented mainly by the Democrats, favor policies that will keep the negative consequences of the Myths in check.
But since both groups believe that the Myths are true, neither group has a realistic understanding of the problems that face the nation. Hence all the policies put forth by both parties are unrealistic, and trying to decide between them on the basis of their policies is like trying to decide whether to ask a lifeguard or a welder for the best way to write a novel.
Young people should decide between them, Cultor advises, on their attitudes toward the Myths rather than on their policies. Since Republicans believe implicitly in the Myths, they are highly unlikely to support the efforts of young people to eliminate the Myths from American life. Democrats, on the other hand, because they have doubts about the Myths and their consequences, will at least be open to persuasion when the young generation begins to create a Myth-free society. The inescapable conclusion: Democrats can be helpful in creating the New Vision; Republicans will certainly be obstructions.