We First: The grand narrative for the post-industrial society
WHEN YOU STRIP AWAY ALL THAT DIVIDES US - CLASS, RACE, GENDER, ETHNICITY, NATIONALITY, IDEOLOGY AND DOGMA -YOU ARE LEFT WITH THE ESSENCE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN THROUGH OUR SHARED EXPERIENCE
WHEN YOU STRIP AWAY ALL THAT DIVIDES US - CLASS, RACE, GENDER, ETHNICITY, NATIONALITY, IDEOLOGY AND DOGMA - YOU ARE LEFT WITH THE ESSENCE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN THROUGH OUR SHARED EXPERIENCE. AFFIRMING THIS SHARED EXPERIENCE IS THE STARTING POINT FOR THE NEXT MAJOR LEAP IN HUMAN PROGRESS.
- We affirm that all human progress is the result of individuals cooperating freely and voluntarily for mutual benefit based on trust, underpinned by the four essential freedoms including: freedom of belief; freedom of expression; freedom of association and freedom to protest.
- This cooperation cannot be coerced, enforced or directed because this requires the exercise of power. The reason why progressivism, socialism, communism, fascism and other isms where power is concentrated have failed and will always fail is because “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This leads to the breakdown of trust requiring increasing levels of force to maintain civil society until tyranny emerges and society collapses on a mountain of bones.
- Over millennia of civilization we learned that certain behaviors build trust while others destroy trust. We refined the positive behaviors into moral values which we enshrined in our religions labeling them as virtues and their opposites as vices.
- That is why we value and encourage love, loyalty, humility, honesty, generosity, compassion, kindness, decency and selflessness while rejecting and discouraging their opposites – hate, treachery, vanity, dishonesty, greed, callousness, depravity and selfishness. The former build trust, while the latter destroy trust and hence undermine our ability to cooperate for mutual benefit.
- There is nothing relative about how the vices impact on our ability to cooperate based on trust. They are corrosive and socially and personally destructive and this exposes the poison of postmodernism - a disastrous social experiment that posits that since morals are relative, a universal moral standard is impossible, giving birth to the permissive society where vices are often celebrated rather than being avoided.
- We instill the virtues through a process of socialization that starts with parenting, continues through schooling and then reinforced through personal experience in adulthood.
- That is why the family unit should always be considered as sacrosanct with full and unencumbered parental rights. It is the nucleus of civilization and the primary building block of civil society.
- Once the lessons are learned and internalized they open the way to making better decisions and better life choices by expanding our awareness beyond the needs of the self and self-gratification to include others through love, compassion and empathy.
- The experience of living by the virtues while avoiding the vices - the moral life - was so profound that our ancestors concluded its origins must not be earthly but other-worldly; something linked to the eternal and unchanging as expressed by the all-encompasing term God.
- The moral life is the pathway to enlightened freedom, lasting happiness and, ultimately, to a sense of peace at the deepest levels of the human psyche we call the soul.
- Once peace is achieved it opens the door to living beyond the intellectual ideas of right and wrong, guided, instead, by an internal moral compass we call the conscience.
- With peace comes a new consciousness not just beyond the self but beyond time and even space as expressed in the biblical phrase "the kingdom of god is within you."
- The solution to almost every social problem resulting from poor conduct is not bureaucrats dictating and directing behaviour, but rather improving human decision-making at both the personal and collective level through a healthy socialization process underpinned by open, peer-to-peer reputation management.
- The solution to antisocial behaviour is not bureaucrats controlling and regulating how we think, what we write or what we say, but rather a self-regulating society guided by feedback mechanisms and peer-to-peer reputation management that can be trusted.
- The solution to corruption at all levels of society is not just bureacratic oversight, which is too easily thwarted, but bureacratic oversight supplemented by a process which ensures that only socially mature individuals are appointed to positions of influence and power as determined by community feedback.
- The solution to social problems like inequality, injustice, prejudice and racism are not theories that divide society based on group identity that encourage hate and intolerance, but rather fostering empathy and humility based on the understanding that "the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts."
- Our ability to cooperate is represented by economic power which finds expression in the flow of financial capital in the free market economy, working towards the common good.
- The definition of the common good should be extended beyond profit generation to include social capital in all its forms, ensuring that capital flows to areas of greatest social value as well as to areas of greatest financial profit.
- To ensure greater fairness, economic power, rather than residing in the hands of the few, should be democratized to better suit the needs of the post-industrial society.
- We now have the technology to expand and strengthen liberal democracy beyond national borders to help make better decisions in the interest of all people, not just in the interest of nation states.
- The future is not governments redistributing wealth through taxation, but rather a self-managing society where people help themselves and help others directly through an economic model that puts people first.
- The future is not big taxing, big spending and big footprint government but rather the exact opposite. Small footprint government that understands how a technology-empowered, peer-to-peer society in a free market economy can enable more people to live meaningful lives in peace, prosperity and the greatest freedom.
- The future is not about humans competing with robots for jobs. The future is about utilizing robots to end the need to work for a living with new ways of sharing, cooperating and participating in global prosperity.
- The future is not about the elites using their power and influence to shape the world in their own image. The future lies in rejecting the idea that freedom must subordinated to suit the goals and ambitions of the rich and powerful.
- We are not just vehicles for profit-making. We don’t always act rationally in our self-interest. In fact, it is when we forsake our self-interest that we truly become human.
This is only a first draft and will evolve through feedback and discussion.
For background reading please see the essay entitled: Towards a grand narrative for the 21st century.
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