American Future (What Would George And Tom Do Now?)
a book by William Van Dusen Wishard
(our site's book review)
The award for one of the most intriguing and poignant subtitles ever goes to William Van Dusen Wishard, this book’s author. “What would George and Tom do now?” What indeed!
He confronts us with a litany of what’s right and what’s wrong with this country, and many readers may be surprised at many of the statistics that say America is doing great. On the other hand, William J. Bennett’s The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators shows that impressions of what an elephant is like depend upon what part of the critter the blind men are feeling. In other words, Bennett is expressing the empty part of the half-full glass, while Wishard’s book gives us many good facts that are encouraging (along with some bad ones, of course) and express the filled half of the glass. Together, the books give us a dynamic picture of how we’re doing that’s much grayer than it is black or white. Of course, one major problem here is that if the bad aspects do us in, it won’t matter how good the good aspects are.
Impressions of what an elephant is like depend upon what part of the critter the blind men are feeling
A glass half full—or is it half empty?
The author says that we’re in the most difficult period our country has ever known, and he—like the Tofflers—cites the accelerating pace of change, which makes it difficult to cope with the transition from a Second Wave to a Third Wave civilization, much less keep up. And yet the wonderful potentials of some of these changes are cause for much hope. He warns us that:
- Freedom isn’t automatic, or the new “trend”—each generation must show restraint, wisdom and humanitarianism for it to flourish;
- We need to adopt the new, ecological-holistic paradigm in economics as well as other areas—this dovetails with adopting a Third Wave, knowledge-applying context;
- Our educational system, as the Tofflers have said, is in need of a complete overhaul, not just minor changes like the NEA seems to believe;
The NEA has a choke-hold on American education that only the MC movement could alter
- We must adopt the new, ecological-holistic paradigm in science and balance our reductionistic perspectives—the whole truly is much more than the parts, and systems perspectives are beginning to help us transcend the limits of reductionistic science;
Systems perspectives are beginning to help us transcend the limits of reductionistic science
- Young people, who our media fills up with vacuous and violent cultural attitudes and ideas, are unlikely to become model citizens when they hit adulthood, so we need to create a new culture that draws forth the best potentials of American character (this is the MC movement’s secondary effect, and this new culture happens with absolutely NO big government policies, taxes, social engineering and bureaucracies involved—the MC movement is a holistic reality that evolves as individuals make good life choices, and it proves once again that the whole is more than the part);
- We need to dump the belief that leadership is an authoritarian relationship of power in which the leader gets others to conform to his will, and in which he exercises his control over policies and people to socially engineer events and conditions into alignment with a predetermined outcome fitting the leaders vision of those he leads—instead of this belief, we need to believe that the mission of leadership is to align people with a Third-Wave-knowledge-informed vision of the future in such a way that people are inspired to actualize their potentials to contribute to the vision’s realization;
- Let’s dump the belief that the pursuit of happiness is about materialism, consumption, and accumulation;
Let’s dump the belief that the pursuit of happiness is about materialism
- Our problems aren’t really economic and technological—they’re cultural and they are each individual’s responsibility to solve by acting in ways that are part of the solution, not the problem;
- America needs to ignite a worldwide spirit of purposeful, creative adventure with its ideals, innovations, leadership and abilities to come through in a pinch (as shown in WWII), but it’s not as a superpower that America needs to empower frustrated and oppressed people in other countries going in a better direction, but as an example to emulate. (This is part of the MC plan. See Why Register for an MC?.)
Registering for MC search and match
United States of America flag—we need to be an example to emulate for the world
This book is thoughtful and accurate. This IS what George and Tom would probably do.
“The dominant majority of Americans of all ethnic backgrounds want to be part of something bigger and better—something greater than just themselves.”
He bemoans the fact that many kids are looking for identity interacting with little but violent video games, rather than with other kids, animals, nature, or adults. He sees many kids not getting the love and attention they need to be truly nurtured—so they do not develop inner security. And character is not developing the way it needs to. People are all rights and no responsibilities—democracy cannot survive such a condition. (MCs specifically and purposefully elicit the best character and self-actualization inspiration of any social invention yet envisioned—to see why, read The Forest Through The Trees. On the other hand, the naïve experiment called the isolated, disconnected, steep-gradient-nurtured family was an unhappy accident that never had the issue of character in its consideration—it was catch-as-catch-can and deterministic from the get-go.)