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May 24, 2013

Banish the Antisocial-ists.

"Bus Stop in the First World",  by Tim Holmes
In thinking over many months about a new democratic ideal in the face of rising inequalities, I got a great idea from conservative thinkers, (who often are not the most creative people in the room): how about building a new society by ostracizing those who are most anti-social? After all this is what immigration control is about; isolating and disempowering those who would cheat the system. The Native Americans had the best idea I've ever heard of for dealing with community members who display anti-social behavior: banish them until they prove they can actually get along well with others. Although I don't generally think of negatives as positive social vitamins I believe this is a powerful idea with some real potential. So I propose we socially ostracize the 1%!

The fact is that they have always prefer this lifestyle- everywhere they go keeping themselves separated from the masses, who they consider beneath them. I say go ahead and give them that choice, but then take it to its logical conclusion: if you isolate yourself, you are no longer a part of the community and therefor do not get to enjoy the benefits that the rest of us share. The great masses who do the heavy lifting in our society– who carry the water and chop the wood– are the ones who deserve common social benefits, not the few parasites who have figured out how to game the system to enlarge their own private hoard. If the 1% are going to isolate themselves from the social costs we all bare then they should be also isolated from the benefits as well; our other shared spaces, civic, social, cultural, religious, etc. After all, you can't have both the best anti-tax lawyers and still expect to enjoy the best tax-supported social benefits. Those who have made themselves independent– who no longer depend on their community and naturally isolate themselves from it– should not be allowed to suck on the social teat whenever it suits them to not provide for themselves. Choose one or the other!

However, when they've had enough time-out to realize that they would prefer to contribute their share to the community, then they should be welcomed back with no hard feelings. It only seems right. No one is a lost cause forever!

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.