I got into an interesting conversation with a friend that I don't get to speak with often. When we do get to chat, it's like drinking an especially fine wine of intellect, because we both think in similar ways but are drawn to different angles of research, so we can provide each other perspectives and suggested materials to draw on to further our respective areas of research.
Anyway, we got into a conversation about political systems and why people don't seem to care much about the congress. I pointed out that the apathy is actually favorable for the political system that is set up. The lack of interest and occasional grumble from people is perfectly acceptable to any political system, but its when people get interested and active that politicians start to sweat. In the U.S. elections are coming up soon, but I suspect most people are only focused on the presidential race and only know of the Republicans and Democrats. The other parties have presidential and Vice presidential picks but few people know about them. The same applies for anyone running for congress.
When people talk about politics and voting they talk about voting for the lesser of two evils and the desired outcome is that people will vote for a republican or democrat. There are other choices, but to really break into this political system you need to have a lot of money (like Perot did) and even that isn't enough. Some people might argue that the Tea party is an alternate choice to the Republicans, but its mostly been folded into that party. The occupy movement made politicians nervous for a while, but then they cracked down. The other parties make occasional sounds but for the most part don't matter. Now you have CEO's weighing in and warning their employees that they'll be fired if Obama wins another four years. It's a great big system that has ideal outcomes and like any system its focus is on getting people to move to those outcomes. This system also has countermeasures in place which it employs when people try to find an outcome that isn't desired. Once people vote the ideal outcome is that they mostly ignore what occurs in the political system and if they do notice something that they grumble and wait to vote some other person in, in the hopes that something will change.
Any given system is designed to purposely limit people within it to specific outcomes. If you want outcomes that aren't part of the system, you need to leave the system, or break it, or create your own. The choice to explore identity allows you to recognize how you have been limited by the identities imposed on you by a given system. The application of identity is the creation of your own system with outcomes you've developed for yourself. It has its own limitations, but those limitations are more readily changed because you control the system. At the same time your choice to embrace identity provides you a way to leave the system provided to you by others, or to choose to voluntarily participate in such a system but from an informed perspective that may provide insights and exploration in places that system doesn't want you to go.
For example, the choice to embrace identity can allow you to consider whether the assumption of an identity as a republican or democrat or green party or libertarian really serves you and/or your interests or the interests of others. You may still choose to vote, but you might choose to vote more precisely along the lines of what really supports your vision of reality. Or you might choose to get more involved in the system of politics, or walk away or make other choices, some of which are ideal outcomes, and others of which aren't so ideal.
Or you might examine your identity within a corporate system and explore whether or not that system is really one you want to be part of, or one that you can subvert. The same applies to religious and spiritual systems.
Systems are a result of a need to organize and structure human experience along specific paths of inquiry. The challenge a given person faces is determining whether those specific paths of inquiry are ones that /she wants to explore and/or whether such paths are really beneficial to him/her. Even your own identity is a reflection of this in the sense that familial and cultural influences structure your experience and provide proscribed paths, but your choice to consciously examine your identity and work with the issues and influences that have formed it can help you break away from old patterns and create new ones that reveal outcomes and journeys that take you far from what was established for you and provide you the opportunity to discover your own identity, formed as a conscious relationship between yourself, the various systems you interact with and the universe at large.