Introducing progressive conservatism as the grand narrative for the post-industrial society, the basis for democracy beyond party politics and towards a people-first economy

Answering the questions Why we are here?, How we got here? and
How to move forward to the next stage of societal evolution?

"Technology presents an opportunity to reshape the world not through revolution, conquest or subjugation as in the past, but rather through a grand narrative that unites rather than divides, inspires rather than depresses, frees rather oppresses and charts a pathway to a collective future of inclusion and sharing that our ancestors could only dream about."

ABSTRACT

In 2018, humanity stands on the brink of one of the most profound and far-reaching advances – the transition to a post-industrial society driven by technology that is redefining everything, including the role of humans in a society increasingly impacted by the rise of artificial intelligence and a robotic workforce. While there is much discussion on aspects, impacts and potential solutions, a grand narrative is yet to emerge.

This post outlines a strategy to complete the transition to a post-industrial society starting with developing a grand narrative that can unite people behind a common vision with shared values, give purpose and direction and, importantly, galvanize action towards realizing the next historical leap in human societal evolution with impacts that exceed by orders of magnitude anything that has occurred in the past including both the Agricultural and Industrial revolutions combined.

The proposed grand narrative (the final version to be arrived at democratically), is designed to be more than a collection of motherhood statements and statements of aspiration but a practical pathway to:

  • Peaceful co-existence: By recognizing that all global conflicts are ultimately about economic power and the best way to end this conflict is by democratizing economic power on a global basis.
  • Prosperity: By providing a more equitable way to share in the fruits of cooperative effort through a people-first economy that expands the definition of the common good beyond just delivering profits to shareholders to include social capital in all its forms. This is a simpler, better and fairer way to deal with the challenge of artificial intelligence and a robotic workforce than the idea of Universal Basic Income.
  • Political empowerment: The current political system is based on the assumption that there is no choice other than to unite around the vision of some political party. Technology offers the alternative of uniting around a universal grand narrative instead of political parties. This will  empower people to have a greater say in and greater control over their collective destiny much like a board of directors controls a business through strong and clear vision and mission statements. This provides the mechanism not only to tackle global issues like climate change without the need for some sort of supra-government but also the means to avoid global conflicts while ending the short-termism of modern politics. It represents a new democracy beyond party politics.
  • Social justice: By empowering people to live meaningful lives in peace and prosperity through a healthy socialization process that expands awareness beyond the needs of the self and self-gratification to include others and the environment based on a sense of shared values towards a common goal.

Importantly, this grand narrative provides a defense of Western civilization because none of this would have been possible without the toil, suffering and sacrifice that produced the values, ideals, institutions and philosophies embedded in Western civilization and that not only underpin modern society but also provide the only basis upon which to move forward to the next level of societal evolution.

INTRODUCTION

In 1989, in an article entitled “The End of History?” Francis Fukuyama argued that if humanity is evolving to some collective goal of the greater good then liberalism had won the debate about how to get there. He based his argument on the then impending collapse of the Soviet Union, the earlier destruction of Hitler’s fascism and the economic and political reforms occurring in communist China that appeared to signal a shift towards liberalism.

In 2018, Fukuyama postponed the end of history citing that the desire of identity groups for recognition has now emerged as the biggest threat to liberalism. But this threat is much more serious than just bickering identity groups; it is nothing less than a civil war within liberalism that strikes at the very core of the philosophy.

So, to use a famous sporting phrase, how did liberalism manage to snap defeat out of the jaws of victory? The answer is actually quite simple – it forgot the most important lesson of history.

All social change, all revolutions, in fact, all history is driven by grand narratives. These narratives explain why things are the way they are, how they can be and ought to be, and what we need to do to get there both as a society as well as individuals within that society.

Jeff Kennett, a former Australian politician and Victorian state premier, commenting on the reason behind Australia’s ongoing political instability said it was because “we are country without a vision and without direction.” The same criticism can be applied to any country in the world.

In a recent series of debates/discussions between Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson the most telling point in relation to the question of why modern society seems to be in such a mess emerged in Dublin with the following exchange.

Douglas Murray, the moderator, asked “What are we doing here? To be the first people in history to have absolutely no explanation for what we are doing, at all, is a big moment.”

Sam Harris replied: “That sharpens up my concern perfectly because to shrink back from that moment and resort to one of the pseudo-stories of the past I consider to be a failure of nerve both intellectually and morally.”

This is a big moment, probably the biggest moment in history with modern society now on the threshold of the next stage of societal evolution with the transition to a post-industrial society, perhaps even to a new post-industrial civilization as some futurists like Alvin Toffler have predicted.

Instead of liberalism consolidating the gains with a grand narrative that can take us into this new future we have a vacuum with competing interests pulling society in all sorts of directions. Almost every social, economic and political ill can be traced back to this lack of a unifying vision that establishes purpose and guides action.

The lack of grand narrative:

  • Has fragmented society into tribes of “isms” that increasingly serve no other purpose than to define the tribe in the context of all outsiders as enemies to be vanquished; civility, debate and free speech be damned.
  • Is undermining democracy with bizarre voting patterns placing power in the hands of populists and authoritarians and making even the most advanced liberal democracies almost ungovernable.
  • Is disempowering people by replacing personal maturity, responsibility and accountability with a mishmash of rules, regulations and political correctness often enforced by petty and unctuous bureaucrats
  • Is undermining the hard-won freedoms as governments resort to ever-increasing and ever-pervasive surveillance in order to quell the disharmony of a global society without a common vision, purpose or direction.
  • Is creating a society of confused, lonely, depressed and increasingly angry individuals.

Meanwhile, in the streets and in the suburbs, those that can least afford it are bearing the brunt of the relentless pace of social and economic upheaval driven by technology that is redefining everything, including the role of humans in a society increasingly impacted by the rise of artificial intelligence and a robotic workforce.

Remarkably, the growing sense of dislocation and disorientation and the nihilistic loss of faith in the future was actually predicted nearly a century ago, not as some sort of end-of-times scenario but as a point of the greatest human triumph.

In 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes, in his essay entitled: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, foresaw this point in human history as the point at which humans solve the “economic problem” – the constant struggle for survival – the need to work for a living. Keynes predicted that instead of rejoicing, humanity would stand confused, shocked and dumbstruck at the prospect.

The evidence is mounting that proves Keynes was right and that we are the generation he was referring to and, as predicted, we stand confused, dumbstruck and shocked and this explains why the call of the socialists and the populists that beckon us back into the factories is resonating so well all around the world.

Like at other great turning points, the future is not back in some sort of idealized past but rather lies in taking a leap into the future armed with a grand narrative that explains how we got here, reaffirms where we are going and maps out a strategy to get there.

What makes this leap so different is that for the first time in human history we have the technology to arrive at a grand narrative, democratically, inclusively, interactively and on a global basis.

Technology presents an opportunity to reshape the world not through revolution, conquest or subjugation as in the past, but rather through a grand narrative that unites rather than divides, inspires rather than depresses, frees rather oppresses and charts a pathway to a collective future of inclusion and sharing that our ancestors could only dream about.

The process will also bring to end the charade of the left/right political divide that characterizes and drives modern-day politics. While elections may bring in fresh faces and new personalities making all sorts of promises, the reality is that nothing much changes because there is no transfer of power only the illusion of the transfer of power while real power continues to reside outside the democratic process.

This is the reason behind the idea of reviving and redefining the term Progressive Conservatism because it not only encapsulates the proposed narrative but also signals the combining of the two main strands of political discourse into one coherent grand narrative.

The following preamble provides the framework within which to create this new grand narrative that is more than just a collection of motherhood statements and statements of aspiration but one that is practical, responsible and universally implementable as a people-first economy.

Skip preamble and go to Progressive Conservatism - the grand narrative for the post-industrial society.

PREAMBLE

The evolution of human society is driven by grand narratives that enable humans to pool their collective efforts to achieve the individual and collective goals as expressed in a particular narrative at that time.

One of the most famous narratives is the US Declaration of Independence, which gave birth to one of the greatest nations on earth and its most well-known statement: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness is the defacto narrative of the free world (at least in sentiment if not complete agreement with the actual wording).

In 1917, the revolutionary narrative of the Communist Manifesto enabled a small group of activists to overthrow the czarist regime, leading not to some sort of socialist utopia but rather to one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century with impacts and outcomes that reverberate to this very day.

Earlier still, the infamous and unsightly bickering between the various factions of the nascent Christian faith forced Emperor Constantine to convene the council of Nicaea to hammer out the Christian doctrine that led to the creation of one of the greatest religions on earth.

There are, of course, many other examples that affirm that all social change, all revolutions, in fact, all history is driven by grand narratives, implicit and explicit, that explain why things are the way they are, how they can be and ought to be, and what we need to do to get there both as a society as well as individuals within that society.

Some grand narratives like the deity-centered narratives of the major religions have, in the main, contributed positively to building civil and just societies igniting and maintaining hope in the future, alleviating suffering through charitable works and by providing comfort and direction at both the personal and collective levels.

The deity-centered narratives have, however, been waning for some time with the waning of belief not so much in the existence of a deity but in the belief that this deity has elected special representatives to interpret and implement some grand plan for humanity. For an increasing number of people organized religion plays a limited role in their lives and the deity-centered narrative is of little relevance.

The capitalist grand narrative of market fundamentalism has also contributed positively, lifting millions of people out of poverty but it is also failing because it is based on a flawed and limited vision of human society as a collection of individuals who will always act rationally in the pursuit of their self-interest. This is patently wrong and contributing to a growing sense of injustice as wealth and power is consolidated and concentrated in the top 1% of the global population.

Other grand narratives like the Marxist oppressor/oppressed as implemented by the Soviets and the Maoists in China and still being implemented in North Korea, Adolf Hitler’s narrative of racial purity and racial superiority and, more recently, the narrative of the radical and violent Islamists have led to and continue to lead to unimaginable suffering laced with such cruelty that the only response from any sane person can only be abject horror.

Difficult as it may be to believe there is a far more sinister and insidious development that has been brewing for some time in the form of the grand narrative of the postmodernists that posits that there can be no grand narrative because everything – culture, values, history and even the notion of truth - are all relative social constructs and rather than explaining some objective reality or truth, serve only to buttress existing power structures.

While postmodernism has provided some thought-provoking criticisms and insights into the human condition, it is proving to be a futile exercise in “promoting madness as liberation from the tyranny of reason”  because elements of the political left have decided that it is their path to political power through the concept of identity politics. If there is no grand narrative and all narratives are relative then let’s promote mini-narratives to different groups in a divide-and-conquer strategy.

This has given license to a new breed of activists, third-wave feminists and radical academics to undermine and tear down Western civilization attacking the key institutions, traditions and beliefs that have underpinned human progress from the earliest of times. The “madness” becomes evident when you ask the question to what end? Since there is no grand narrative and no grand narrative is possible then there is no end other than the destruction of Western civilization: A nihilistic destruction for the sake of destruction that threatens the very philosophy of liberalism so carefully developed, cultivated and transmitted from one generation to the next over a millennia of civilization

If ever there was a time to end this "madness" and to unite behind a grand narrative it is now as we transition to a post-industrial society which brings with it not only the danger of social dislocation on a historically unprecedented scale, but also the greatest opportunity for peace and prosperity by democratizing economic power to enable more people to share more equitably in the fruits of cooperative effort and to live meaningful lives in peace.

THE TRANSITION TO A POST-INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY

For over fifty years, modern society has been transitioning to a post-industrial economy which, according to futurists like Alvin Toffler, was supposed usher in a bright new civilization with new ways of working, sharing and cooperating, igniting hope that our common dream of peace, prosperity and social justice for all might finally be within reach.

Given the state of world affairs, it is difficult to imagine that this common dream is actually within reach. It is even more difficult to believe that all that is required is one small final step to trigger a cascade of change that can make that common dream a reality.

But as difficult as it may be to imagine and believe, the reality is that all this is now possible and achievable.

We now have the concept and the technology to make it happen with nothing more than the expansion of the responsibility of corporations beyond just returning profits to shareholders to include social responsibility in a practical and tangible way in three steps simple steps:

  1. Tapping directly into the global capital flows through a universal reputation management service based on a subscription fee which includes a social responsibility component for business and groups (0.5% of annual revenue).
  2. Using market forces to encourage the business community to subscribe.
  3. Distributing the proceeds to areas of greatest need and social value based on community feedback through the same service.

For the business community this is a small price to pay for:

  • Reduced government regulation and interference in the free market.
  • Lower business taxation rates, removing the attraction of tax havens.
  • Enrusing that every business, large and small, contributes fairly to the social fabric of society.

The result will be to democratize economic power and make possible a people-first economy that actually works for the common good, not by tearing down the key institutions of Western civilization and their underpinning structures values and beliefs but by building on their firm foundation and by unleashing the efficiency of the capitalist model through free trade.

This development needs to be the centre-piece of the grand narrative because ultimately it is all about power, economic power to be more specific, and a good place to start is to blow away the smoke of confusion that often surrounds the role of power in society. It is not something that is bad or grubby or to be avoided. Rather than being the root of all evil, economic power is the root of all human progress because it is both the expression and the physical manifestation of cooperative effort in the real world.

WHAT IS ECONOMIC POWER?

Simply put, economic power is the power of people working together for the common good. Individually we would struggle to build a mud hut. Working together we can build skyscrapers and even reach for the stars.

All human progress can be correlated directly with our ability to cooperate based on trust. This began with molecular process cooperating over a millionth of a meter, extended to 12 million meters to cover the globe, reached 380 million meters with the moon landings and is now poised to exceed 50 billion meters with a Mars landing.

Our unmatched ability to cooperate is the defining feature of humanity. It provides for us materially, guides our values and our actions, expands our thinking and stimulates our imagination. And, most importantly, it nourishes our very existence by expanding our awareness beyond the self to include others through love and compassion.

Our ability to cooperate finds expression in the flow of financial capital as economic power in the free market economy. While financial capital is less than a perfect mechanism in the way it allows economic power to be attained by nefarious and outright criminal activity, it is the only tool we have. No doubt this will eventually change but for now financial capital is all we have to work with.

And here is the challenge of the ages - who decides the common good and how do we achieve it?

In short, the challenge of the ages is the question of who controls economic power.

WHO CONTROLS ECONOMIC POWER?

In the past, kings and queens have claimed economic power as a divine right. Dictators have grabbed and continue to grab economic power through revolution, terror, murder, subjugation and by hi-jacking and bastardizing democratic processes.

In the free world we hand economic power to politicians who we trust will act in the common interest. The politicians are increasingly failing to deliver for one simple reason – national governments are powerless in the face of the forces that are shaping the global economy.

The solution, however, is not some sort of world government, which, if history and the United Nations is any guide, will quickly degenerate into a corrupt, bureaucratic and unaccountable nightmare of Orwellian proportions.

Instead, the solution is to use technology to democratize economic power so it actually works in the common interest to achieve our collective dream of peace, prosperity and justice for all.

Democratizing economic power will enable us tackle poverty and inequality by providing a better way to share in global prosperity, particularly as job automation expands beyond the factory floor to all other sectors of employment.

It will provide the means to tackle climate change by accelerating the transition to renewable energy, on a global basis.

It will provide the only tangible, long term solution to the refugee crisis by empowering people to solve their own problems at home and not be enticed to flee by the superficially attractive idea of "open borders" which does little more than enrich people smugglers, create social division and commodify human beings.

And, most importantly, it will provide the solution to the problem of the ages as expressed in the truism - power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

But before all this can happen it is important to address and deal with the fallacy of postmodernism that has seeped into modern thinking undermining civil society and creating a generation of selfish, miserable, lonely and angry people.

THE RISE OF POLITICAL POSTMODERNISM

While the origins of postmodernism lie in the idea of healthy skepticism and questioning dating back to Plato’s concept of the “examined life”, its embracing by the political left as a political tool has made it toxic and socially subversive.

Postmodernism as a political tool came into prominence with the failure of state socialism (modernist/classical Marxism) in delivering the promised benefits of social justice and the dream of the liberation of all people.

Instead of giving up on the idea, activists started to promote the idea that since real change cannot be imposed from the top it must come from within by challenging all social narratives, relationships and the power structures that underpin Western civilization and that they believe hinder the realization of their socialist utopia. This led the left to abandon reason and objectivity and to embrace subjectivity and relativity as the new path forward (postmodernism/neo-Marxism).

Thus began the “the long march through the institutions” and the so-called culture wars with the Marxist theme of the “oppressed and the oppressor” dressed up and packaged as attacks on misogyny, patriarchy, white privilege, cultural misappropriation and the rest for the hashtag generation.

The result is the current war of the mini-narratives that pits rich against the poor, skin colour against skin colour, males against females, young against old, culture against culture, natives against immigrants and so on, creating so much confusion that people are giving away power willingly to anyone who promises to sort out the mess, to restore order and to drain the swamp.

And all this so depressingly sad because it undermines the enormous progress made over decades of effort  in breaking down the all barriers - race, skin color, gender, age, sexual orientation and nationality - that historically divided people often for nothing more than political gain.

EXPOSING THE POISON OF POLITICAL POSTMODERNISM

The gist of postmodernism is the idea that there is no right or wrong and that everything – values, beliefs, customs and traditions, even truth, are all relative social constructs and are more about buttressing existing power structures than describing some universal or absolute truth.

The fallacy of postmodernism, at least as a political tool, becomes clear when we consider and accept that the cause of all human progress is our ability to work together through cooperation based on trust.

Over millennia of civilization we learned that certain behaviours build trust while others destroy trust. These behaviours we refined, codified into value systems and even built into our religions labeling them as virtues and vices, respectively.

That is why we value and encourage love, humility, honesty, generosity, compassion, kindness and self-sacrifice while rejecting and discouraging their opposites – hate, vanity, dishonesty, greed, callousness and selfishness. The former build trust, while the latter destroy trust and hence undermine our ability to cooperate for the common good.

There is nothing relative about how these behaviours impact on our ability to cooperate based on trust. They are immutable as the law of gravity but political postmodernism regards this as just another social construct that buttresses Western civilization and should be undermined with rest of the social constructs thus poisoning the well that waters civil society based on trust.

But the poison of political postmodernism extends beyond undermining civil society by destroying trust; it is actually stunting the socialization process of positive behaviour and is creating a generation of selfish, miserable, lonely and angry people – a generation of sociopaths and narcissists.

THE GENERATION OF SOCIOPATHS AND NARCISSISTS

Every civil society has a process by which it socializes positive behaviour not just to encourage and promote cooperation based on trust, but also to increase personal happiness and social harmony by improving individual decision-making.

The goal of any socialization process is to expand our awareness beyond our personal wants and needs to include others and our environment. This awareness is a learned process that starts with parenting, continues through schooling and then reinforced through personal experience in adulthood.

Once the lessons are learned and internalized they open the path to an empathic life – the ability to make better decisions and better life choices by expanding our awareness beyond the needs of the self and self-gratification.

The empathic life is the pathway to true, lasting happiness and to a sense of peace at the deepest levels of the human psyche we call the soul.

The “anything goes/anti-hierarchical” philosophy of political postmodernism in concert with the hippie-inspired hyper-individualism of the 1960s and Ayn Rand's celebration of selfishness has accelerated the break down of the socialization process giving rise to a generation of sociopaths and narcissists that now occupy positions of influence and power that extend to the very pinnacles of modern society.

One of the most oft-quoted complaints from school teachers having to deal with disruptive students in class is how they now have to be both parents and teachers because parents, under the influence of political postmodernism, are neglecting their vitally important role in socializing positive behaviour by refusing to set boundaries for their children or, even, leading by example because of their own lack of social maturity.

In an article entitled: The collapse of parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up, Cathi Gulli wrote: "To Sax, a Pennsylvania family physician and psychologist famous for writing about children’s development, the situation epitomized something much worse: the recent collapse of parenting, which he says is at least partly to blame for kids becoming overweight, overmedicated, anxious and disrespectful of themselves and those around them."

If Dr Sax is right then this is a modern-day, largely hidden tragedy that borders on child neglect if not outright child abuse. It robs children of their future happiness by confining them to living shallow lives within the prison of the self and self-gratification and reliant on drugs to make sense of the world.

But it is not only the sociopaths and narcissists in high office and the irresponsible parents that are wreaking so much damage, it also the activists - examples of the progeny of irresponsible parenting - infesting the universities who shamelessly bully, harass, intimidate and behave at the psychosocial development level of four-year-olds with little or no regard for others and often egged on by activist professors and educators, as Dr Jordan Peterson explains in the video below.

(Footage at the beginning of the video courtesy of Cassie Jaye's eye-opening documentary entitled The Red Pill. While the original feminist movement, like the earlier the civil rights movement, exposed and corrected legitimate injustices in the beliefs underpinning the socialization process, the current confused mishmash of postmodernism, feminism and neo-Marxism is not just undermining the gains but is also destroying the family unit as the crucible of civilization.)

The irony is that all the injustices the political left, or more aptly named the regressive left, rail against have been exacerbated by their active promotion of the poison of political postmodernism and the nonsense of political correctness which, together, neuter the only practical solution which is to improve individual decision-making by socializing positive behaviour.

Emile Durkheim described this type of development as anomie and defined it as "a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals". It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.

Activists often compare themselves to the civil rights movement of the 1960s but there is really no comparison. The civil rights movement ultimately succeeded because it tapped into the socialization process of positive behaviour with a new narrative that awoke others to their plight. Rather than tearing down the socialization process they enhanced and built on it to make a better world for themselves and for others.

What modern-day activists fail to realize is that their strategy has been tried and failed with tragic consequences in Stalinist Russia. The Soviets believed that one of the biggest impediments to their socialist utopia was the Orthodox Church in the way, they believed, it underpinned the existing power structure. So they set out to destroy the Orthodox Church and in a classic throwing the baby out with the bath water completely undermined the socialization process of positive behaviour which was deeply intertwined with the rites, rituals and practices of the Orthodox church replacing it with, you guessed it, political correctness, re-education camps, political commissars, virtue-signalling and, ultimately, the tragedy of the gulags.

This was a catastrophic failure of the Left and one that the modern-day activists seem hellbent on repeating as Stephen Fry warned in a recent Munk debate entitled: Political correctness a force for good? and characterized political correctness as something that "would have delighted George Orwell's inventors of Newspeak". (This debate is worthwhile watching because it demonstrates everything that is wrong with the modern Left - the well-meaning naivete, ignorance of history, the look-at-poor-me professional victimhood and, remarkably, even an attempt by Dr Michael Dyson to delegitimise the opinions of Dr Jordan Peterson labeling him as "a mean mad white man" with undisguised spite and contempt. Unfortunately this is not an isolated case but standard practice of the regressive left - attack, demonize and twist what people actually say.)

But the damage of the regressive left goes much deeper in the way it feeds and promotes consumerism while loudly and rightly condemning the practice as ecologically unsustainable and socially corrosive.

THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE OF POLITICAL POSTMODERNISM & NEO-MARXISM

One of the most profound by-products of cooperating for mutual benefit based on trust is the discovery that personal happiness lies, almost counter-intuitively, in expanding our awareness beyond the needs of the self and self-gratification to include others and our environment through love and compassion, called the empathic life.

The empathic life, as mentioned earlier, is the pathway to true, lasting happiness and to a sense of peace at the deepest levels of the human psyche we call the soul.

This does not happen automatically but requires effort through a socialization process that political postmodernists reject through their “anything goes” philosophy.

The result is not just the rise of sociopaths, narcissists and student activists behaving at the psychosocial level of four-year-olds, but also a general regression to the belief that happiness lies in the empty pursuit of self-gratification.

This has been manna from heaven for the advertisers who use all sorts of psychological techniques to feed and grow this regression, including promoting vacuous celebrities as role models in order to sell more goods, creating, in the process, the monster called Consumerism.

If buying more stuff was the only sin it would be tolerable but the damage goes much deeper by driving people literally crazy as they try to find happiness in a spiral of narcissistic self-gratification and discovering only emptiness plunge into all sorts of excesses.

The rise in substance abuse, porn addiction, sexual deviancy, youth suicide, depression, loneliness, bullying and harassment and other sociopathic and psychopathic anti-social behaviour can be laid squarely at the feet of this unholy alliance of political postmodernism and neo-marxism, blindly driven by the unthinking activists of the regressive left in the pursuit of their collectivist agenda.

The label of regressive left is apt when you consider the enormous damage, pain, suffering and disillusionment this movement has wrought in its short life span and demonstrates the truth of Bertrand Russell's observation: "Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power."

Russell's observation becomes even sharper when you consider the solution on offer, when you boil it down, is nothing less than another detour into totalitarianism, blatantly and willfully ignoring the misery, suffering and the mountains of bones such past detours delivered.

Totalitarianism, no matter how it is dressed up, fails and will always fail because “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” leading to the breakdown of trust and requiring greater and greater force to maintain civil society until tyranny emerges and society collapses.

Technology now affirms that the future is not totalitarianism nor is it big taxing, big spending and big footprint government but the exact opposite.

The future is not petty bureaucrats controlling and regulating how we think, what we write or what we say but a self-regulating society guided by feedback mechanisms and global reputation management that can be trusted.

The future is not governments taxing and redistributing wealth but a self-managing society where people help themselves and help others directly through an economic model that puts people first.

And thankfully we now have a way to hollow out this poisonous philosophy of postmodernism with not just a practical solution to the question of economic and social justice but also through the restoration of the socialization process of positive behaviour that has been our bulwark against chaos and disorder and the hallmark of all human progress.

In short we now have a way to reclaim and restore civil society united by a grand vision for the post-industrial society as the basis of peace, prosperity and justice for all, and also as a way of finally addressing the catastrophic failure of the political right.

THE CATASTROPHIC FAILURE OF THE POLITICAL RIGHT

If you ask those on the political right why the regressive left has been so successful in garnering support, they will often say it because of an irrational appeal to emotion, while dismissing all  leftists as "kumbaya socialists".

This is a catastrophic failure of the political right because it dismisses one of the most deeply human, evolved and powerful motivators- the sense of justice and injustice - that can drive people to fly planes into towers, blow themselves up in a public place or vote for failed economic systems.

While capitalism has delivered enormous benefits it is also failing because it is proving to be unjust as demonstrated by the growing chasm between the rich and the poor. For an increasing number of people this is simply unacceptable and unsustainable, but thankfully it is also easily correctable by expanding the definition of the common good beyond returning profits to include social capital.

CONCLUSION AND CALL TO ACTION

In the history of human social evolution we now stand on the brink of achieving that for that for which so much has been sacrificed in effort, toil and blood – the answer to the question: How to live in a way that results in peace, prosperity and justice for all.

From the earliest of times we realized the efficacy of cooperating for mutual benefit based on trust, which quickly extended beyond the family unit and the clan to include villages of people, expanded to encompass cities and nations and now spans the whole world through a global economic system.

Along the way we recognized that certain behaviours build trust while others destroy trust and these behaviours we refined, codified as values and even built into our religions labeling them as virtues and vices.

We discovered that living these values did more than just promote cooperative effort based on trust; it actually opened the window to a way of living beyond the needs of the self and self-gratification to include others and our environment through love, compassion and empathy. So profound was this experience that we concluded its origins must not be earthly but other-worldly; something linked to the eternal and unchanging – the concept of God.

While there have been many setbacks in the human journey (some resulting in such misery and suffering that would make the angels weep) the most insidious setback is the current unholy alliance of political postmodernism and neo-marxism driven by the loud and unthinking activists of the regressive left in pursuit of their collectivist agenda and united in their hatred of Western civilization.

This alliance is insidious because it fosters a nihilistic loss of faith in the future, resulting in chaos, disorder and erratic voting patterns that are handing power to the populists, narcissists, megalomaniacs, authoritarians and totalitarians. This is a recipe for another descent into global conflict except this time around it will be armed with nuclear weapons and with leaders shortsighted, crazy or desperate enough to use them.

However, there is good news and it is that technology offers a way forward by uniting behind a grand narrative for the post-industrial society as a basis for realizing our common dream of peace, prosperity and justice for all through a people-first economy.

PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATISM

The first draft of Progressive Conservatism - the grand narrative for the post-industrial society - can be found here.

We invite feedback and discussion so we can arrive, for the first time in human history, at a new grand narrative democratically, inclusively and interactively on a global basis.

Yes, you have to be member to participate and yes there is a small subscription fee to both cover costs and to also provide greater validity to the result by eliminating the nonsense vote. In the scheme of things, it is a small price to pay for potentially triggering a cascade of change that will usher in a post-industrial civilization.

In terms of discussion, you can add comments directly on this site at the link above or you can participate in the various discussions on Reddit.com to finally arrive at a broad consensus.

How will we know? The Trruster feedback results will be in the green zone and confirmed by the feedback analysis.

One final reason why we hope you will accept our invitation to participate is as follows.

The exercise in developing a new grand narrative democratically, inclusively and interactively will serve as the template for guiding our political leaders in making decisions on our behalf, particularly those that have global implications. This will not only lead to better-informed decision-making but also thwart the influence of the powerful lobby groups that infest the corridors of power.

If there is a simple take away message it is this: The post-industrial society is ultimately about a powershift from the elites - politicians, corporations, econocrats, bureaucrats, mediacrats and technocrats - to the people united by a grand narrative called progressive conservatism.

It is important to understand that progressive conservatism is not intended to be the basis for just another political party but rather it can be likened to a board of directors regaining control over a wayward business with firm vision and mission statements that guide the executive division. Elections can then be likened to hiring a CEO with the best credentials to achieve the vision and fulfill the mission. This, in effect, is the mechanism by which power transfers to the people in a post-industrial society and not just to another political party and a way by which people can unite to solve global problems without the need of some sort of supra-government or global organisation. It is the new democracy beyond party politics.

If liberalism has failed to end history then let’s make sure progressive conservatism does because the alternatives threaten a return to another round of global conflict, this time around armed with nuclear weapons and with political leaders shortsighted, crazy or desperate enough to use them.

As a generation we have a window of opportunity not just to prevent another spiral into global conflict but also to fulfill our obligation to future generations to build upon and pass on the rich inheritance that was passed on to us by those that came before.

If you believe it is time to end the craziness then join us by declaring your support for the Universal Declaration of Independence from our industrial past.

Progressive Conservatism - as the grand narrative for the post-industrial society, the basis for democracy beyond party politics and towards a people-first economy

See our founding essay entitled: Democratizing Economic Power for a People-first Economy, for more details.