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The Big Answer

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All The Myriad Ways

an article in National Review by John Fonte

(our site's article review)

This article outlines the battle between liberal democracy with more freedoms and cultural democracy (i.e., the political correctness, multiculturalism, diversity movement). He predicts the latter will prevail if current trends continue. He seems unhappy with that. And he’s right to feel that way if the extremists in this movement continue to dominate.

He discusses the Tofflers. Since majority rule can and does oppress minorities, the Tofflers favor a “mosaic democracy” with weighted voting on issues of special importance to ethnic minorities, anticipatory democracy, and modem-connected preference registration.

He looks at the issue of whether social engineering ought to be used to help mankind transform humans to a higher level of maturity. Many say social engineering weakens liberty (the 20th century is a clear testament to this latter point). In exploring this question, certain books are helpful to use as springboards for thought.

Gloria Steinem’s unexpectedly insightful book Revolution from Within, for instance, points to man’s ability to be transformed into nonsexist, healthy people of good character and self-esteem. She prefers “new and nonhierarchical forms of social organization” as a basis for this transformation—here she dovetails with many of our best thinkers. But she’s not above advocating the social engineering/political salvationist techniques which had so defined the 20th century by their miserable failures. Happily, if one skips those sections, her book has many good ideas for individuals to utilize in getting their acts together.

The social engineering question has a surprisingly simple answer: We don’t want it or need it. It’s bad for us. It fails. It leads to abuses, loss of liberty, and even bloodshed.

Social engineering leads to bloodshed
Social engineering leads to bloodshed

But this doesn’t mean that we need to push for the ultimate libertarian-conservative positions in politics. It merely means that we need to push for the policies that give individuals and families the fewest barriers to taking the responsibility for their lives, making their own lifestyle decisions unfettered by political interventions, and choosing to live in ways they find most compatible with the Third Wave civilization we see coalescing and evolving all around us.

(In setting the scene for empowering diversity, and for acting upon the latest knowledge to design lifestyles that work, rather than continuing the error of recreating anachronistic Second Wave lifestyles in the midst of a Third Wave revolution, we expect Tofflerian expanded electronic families and electronic cottages to multiply prodigiously and evolve into MC lifestyles that are simply optimized for Third Wave existence, and contain the seeds of solutions for many of our social problems in this world. See Why Register for an MC?.)

Registering for MC search and match
Registering for MC search and match

The electronic cottage
The electronic cottage

The article brings up in the reader’s mind the question: Is mankind limited, with hardwired immorality and aggressiveness, or is he free to choose and receptive to transformative efforts for growth and maturity, for optimal humanness and compassion, for optimal awareness and wisdom? Is he hardwired with antisocial instincts, social instincts, or both? The growth and achievements of our best thinkers and leaders and innovators and humanitarians over the centuries demonstrate man’s potential for optimal development, so that is simply a de facto truth empirically validated.

Are we sinful little puppets—born evil, and only churches can repair our souls?
Are we sinful little puppets—born evil, and only churches can repair our souls?

The religious belief of man’s being born “sinful” is fine to the degree it refers to primate territoriality and aggression instincts and we-them mindsets which science (Goodall, Sagan, et al.) has demonstrated, but is counterproductive when used in a manner which claims man has a permanently evil nature which only lots of church and collection plate filling and confessions can mitigate—i.e., when it’s used for manipulation of people. Man demonstrates his humanity best when he transcends his lower nature, not when he sadly and guiltily confesses to priests the misdeeds he’s committed because of that nature. Mankind is limited by his upbringing and by his erroneous beliefs and by his genetic heredity, not by his nature, which turns out to be quite malleable.

Religions say man is born with an evil nature
Religions say man is born with an evil nature

But the proper method for man’s transformation is not for well-meaning social engineers to help the poor dumb sheep have good lives by the benevolence of their programs and interventions, nor is it for well-meaning clergy to lead poor dumb sheep into humility, worship, confession and guilt which will lead to soul guidance and hence better worldly actions. The proper transformative methodology is not related to the weak, dependence context of what others do to, and for, the world’s humans, but what humans do for themselves (the main focus of Steinem’s book, above—happily), their friends, their societies and their world, out of independence, autonomy, self-actualization, compassion and Third Wave wisdom.

Is man best improved by having clergy lead the 'poor dumb sheep' into humility, worship, confession and guilt?
Is man best improved by having clergy lead the 'poor dumb sheep' into humility, worship, confession and guilt?

Clergy may well inspire and encourage them on their paths, and politicians may well do the same as long as they keep their noses out of individuals’ lifestyle choices, individual life decisions, and individual responsibilities. People don’t need social engineers of any type messing with their lives for any reason. What they need is the correct Third Wave knowledge to empower and encourage them and their families to nurture human growth and assist human transformation to occur.

This is all about individuals taking responsibility for their lives, neighborhoods, communities and world, as not only our country’s Founders but our world’s best thinkers did or do recommend. What we need in the 21st century is to be given existential space to choose to go in these directions, not programs that insist that people haven’t the smarts to go in good directions without heroic intervention by well-meaning elites.

Bureaucracies send out their experts: heroic intervention by well-meaning elites
Bureaucracies send out their experts: heroic intervention by well-meaning elites

The article discusses the possible substitution of liberal democracy with cultural democracy, because of the new multicultural trend wherein the major actors in civic culture are now groups and not individuals. The author considers the 21st century contest between liberal democracy and cultural democracy to be liberal democracy’s biggest challenge. As tells us, cultural democracy is a deeply radical idea—the ultimate extension of the idea of democracy: that each one of us, each community, each cultural minority has rights that deserve respect, and that each must have a voice in the vital decisions that affect the quality of our lives. Those who command a disproportionate share of power in the world are not happy to hear this idea because it insists that they share this power with those who are locked out by the current order: better to keep us confused and divided, like the corporatocracy is prone to do, covertly. It's not so much a conspiracy as a game plan. But "it's not personal—it's just business."

We consider liberal democracy’s biggest challenge not so much the above Fonte-think-flavored conceptualization but instead finding a way to transform from the functional oligarchy it has become back to the Founders' version of democracy where government really was of and for the people. See Psychological Dysfunction. Therefore, let's get off our butts! (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.)

So let's get off our butts!
So, let's get off our butts!