“The struggle is real and finding that activism-work-life balance is a juggling act to be sure. When the alternative is however to accept things as they are, I can’t help but manage to muster the time and energy.”
– Ryan Sullivan
I’m running to represent our community as a delegate in the Maryland legislature because I look out and I see a world on fire . . . a world plagued with exploitation, predation, waste, greed, ecological instability, and a complete lack of political will to do anything. I see an unwillingness to seriously get at the root causes of the oppressions and abuses so many are expected to tolerate daily on the part of the media and our representatives. Like the late Stephen Hawking, I’m skeptical about humanity’s odds of surviving this century without putting an end to capitalism and its impossible contradictions.
I’m running because I want my 6 year old son to have air to breathe, grass to run through, and stable ecological commons when he’s raising his kids; and I’m skeptical that our representatives are serious about making that happen.
I’m running because the egregiously bigoted politics of district 7’s sitting delegates demand both electoral and community based condemnation.
Finally, I’m running because I optimistically believe that we can create a world where peace, cooperation, and enlightenment are the norm, not the exception; and where labor and production can radically improve our lives rather than imprison us.
— Ryan Sullivan
Ryan Sullivan is a lifelong Maryland resident and sole guardian of an elementary school student who attends a Baltimore County public school. He is an UMBC Philosophy Alum, former Vice President of UMBC’s Philosophy Council of Majors, and Evelyn Barker Excellence in Philosophy prize recipient. While at University of Maryland Baltimore County, Ryan presented weekly moral theory lectures as a teaching assistant, and constructed comparative analyses between Marxist and Fichtian primary and secondary sources as a philosophy research assistant. He discovered an environment wherein rejection of authority and critical thought were essential for success.
The most significant philosophical influence in Ryan’s academic career was studying Hegel, through which he learned to form holistically objective analysis. His independent and thesis based coursework focused on transhumanist and comparative ethics, bioethics, phenomenology, and the metaphysics of personal identity, which in turn he developed an ethos of future-focused human extinction risk mitigation and the demands thereof. Through additional coursework, Ryan developed an aptitude in philosophy of law, legal positivism, social contract theory, and political philosophy.
Despite flourishing academically, capitalist reality and the demands of parenting alone in this system hit Ryan hard after graduation from UMBC. Turns out this society isn’t ethical, it doesn’t want critical thinkers, and it’s not interested in analysis that objectively determines dominant forms of authority to be failed and illegitimate. For these reasons and to meet childcare responsibilities, Ryan currently works as a food service worker for $3.56 an hour plus tips, just as he did through most of his twenties. As a result of these experiences, Ryan gained an understanding of practical struggle in a capitalist society that cannot be learned in a book. He learned firsthand – as so many others have – and through observation how workers are exploited and oppressed by the demands of a capitalist system.
These firsthand experiences and observations made the books Ryan consumed exceedingly more real and provided him with further understanding of why the struggle against capitalism is long overdue. The revolutionary, legal, ethical, and metaphysical theory which Ryan developed in his coursework and honors thesis slowly developed from mere subjective recognition of the collective nature of well-being to an obsessive commitment to purpose his abilities and knowledge toward something greater than himself. Ryan uses his knowledge of historical progress and existential risk prevention as understood in socialist analysis to help oppressed persons and communities fight against the system, and create fundamental social and material transformation.
Ryan is a delegate to the Maryland Green Party, an officer of the Baltimore County Green Party, and the Maryland Green Party liaison to the Maryland Cannabis Coalition. He sought political leadership responsibilities in the Green Party because of the inherent potential of the party’s mission to promote radically left candidates and chapters, and to elevate marginalized voices. Ryan believes that his lived and political experiences; willingness to do the hard things; unwavering appeal to ethics; his capacity to utilize theory, praxis, and analysis to objectively challenge the legitimacy of existing authority; and nuanced insight into the instigation of positive historical and social change represent unique qualifications for negotiating our collective interests. As an organizer, Ryan has focused most of his work on harm reduction initiatives and opposing anti-immigrant legislation. As a candidate and delegate, Ryan intends to create conditions in which all tolerant and oppressed persons will begin to work in tandem, struggling for collective rather than divided ends. He cannot do this alone. We must all become the change we want to see in the world. #ABetterWorldIsPossible