Posted by: Dr Churchill | March 23, 2018

Decent leadership — progress or not…

We tend to self congratulate ourselves too much these days… without consulting the collected reason of the ages past, and certainly without realizing how close we are to destruction and collapse.

A new book full of graphs that all point to a Dream World, and a Globe that appears as if things are getting great each and every day — is what came out of Pinker’s desk recently, and the whole thing smells of too much self congratulatory talk.
“Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” by Steven Pinker, surely is a cheerleading bon-bon of a book, stating clearly that if you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.
Pinker ask us a couple of blatantly misleading and awfully simplistic questions:
1) Do we think that the world is really falling apart?
2) Is the ideal of progress obsolete?

And then he goes on to explain how his elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases, and instead, follow the data details to see progress. His 75 data graphs show how life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are all on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

No disagreement there.

Indeed, far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, as we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature, against tribalism, against authoritarianism, against demonization, and even against magical thinking.
All of which the many demagogues are all too willing to exploit at every instance.

Still many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against the Enlightenment, and the result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of capitalism, western style liberal democracy, and rules based international competition and also agreements based cooperation.

The book Enlightenment Now, makes the case for reason, science, and humanism, as being the pivotal ideals that we need in order to confront our problems and safeguard our victories as we continue on the road towards progress.

I like it, and so do people like Bill Gates, and the mass of TED watching bonobos, and conference going honchos, who seem to like it a lot too.

Hell, what do I have in common with these people — I don’t know, besides the fact that we seem to like this book and te cultivation of the mind by reading thousands of others people’s books besides my own that they seem to like well enough too.

My books are always polemic and interesting but you already know that since you
ve read the “Brain Software” here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/dr-pano-churchill/brain-software/ebook/product-23558548.html

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Still all the leftist socialist world is up in arms vilifying it, and screaming bloody murder.

Wonder why?

Maybe they hate it because it says that perhaps its time to stop seeing Progress … as a stream of unlimited blessings, and to start viewing it rather as a gift from on high, set down for an extremely intricate trial of our free will.

And then we have the Conservatives who don’t like it much more either, maybe because they wrongly think that it says, that we should not strive anymore.

They read it somewhat like this: “We’ve arrived, so why bother?”

Yet it seems to me that both perspectives are jaded and probably wrong on their basic premises….

So we now call for “a politics of limits” and a revival of the distinction between optimism and hope, so that we remember that not all criticisms of Progress need be born of despair or fatalism.

Quite the contrary. Inclusion, is a decision to which we should always defer. There is limited sentimentality about this. It is a simple act of decent leadership that I espouse always and forever in all walks of life, love, and even war…

Contrary to that, the Leftist progressives of the last fifty years, have carried an anti-inclusion policy. A policy that firmly separates people through race, dogma, religion, and a hundred other kinds of sexual, genetic, morphological and even mental or ideological division — as long as it serves the Democratic party.

“Divide & Conquer” is the name of the game that the Dems are playing, but they are selling it to you as “Hope and Change” as their banners from the last couple of elections, say above all else.

As a matter of fact, they kept they kept these banners so high, that they managed to block the very sun, and when it all came crashing down from the silver tongue of duplicitous Obama’s fake HOPE and fake CHANGE message — instead of abandoning these old banners at the roadside, their words became part of the Left’s structural DNA, where they are careful to appropriate the words but not their meaning.

At the same time, Christian Conservatives, were horrified with this felonious appropriation. Especially during the past decade or so, because they have seen that the trajectory of the country was better captured by true progressive ideas of compassionate conservatism, than old fashioned steady-same moderation, or crazy AF leftist progressive ideology of turning the trannies into chicks with dicks visiting freely children’s bathrooms, and getting away with pedophilia and worse…

Still, both brands of political philosophy, gave credence to the idea of strong progress, although with rather different valences.

Actual history, however, has complicated its validity. In times like these, critics of progress gain in relevance and interest, and perhaps they’re on to something…

These critics need not be limited to today, since the idea of progress has been around at least since the early Greek philosophers and it has certainly intensified since the time of the Scottish Reformation, the Scottish Enlightenment, and of the English Enlightenment that followed…

Scotland’s turbulent history, from William Wallace to the Presbyterian Lords of the Covenant, laid the foundations for the “Scottish miracle” because within one hundred years, the nation that began the eighteenth century dominated by the harsh and repressive Scottish church, had evolved into Europe’s most literate society, producing an idea of modernity that has shaped much of civilisation as we know it to this day. Thinkers such as Adam Smith and David Hume, writers such as Burns and Boswell, as well as architects, technicians and inventors, blessed our world with wit, erudition and clarity, and formed the basis of liberal capitalist democratic institutions of governance which are the touchstones of western civilization, and for which we are still fighting ideological wars and suffer through bloody battles to this day…

And it’s all about personal liberty.

Because the real task of life is intensely individual, involving personal moral development, as the necessity of tending one’s own garden, instead of being concerned with what happens in other peoples walled gardens. This would be a lesson learned through Christianity.

Today, a conjunction of technology, necessity, and humanity radically different from that envisaged by True Progress is the example of Artificial Intelligence killing people, like the Google car in Arizona killed a woman riding her bicycle that came onto the path of this evil driverless machine….

To the reader who might detect a contradiction between individual fatalism, as exemplified by the bicyclist’s death at the hands of the driverless “machine” and our call for spiritual, moral, ethical progress, or perfectability, is written in the soul of each man, and is transferred to history only through error. As long as it remains personal, this law is fruitful. Given the strength of fatalistic forces, individual and social, opting out of wider society and adopting the practices of individualism, do seem to be both consequent and de rigueur.

At issue is America itself, its character, its course, and its destiny. America’s decline and degradation, foreshadows the impending dissolution of there Civil War, and that of today’s divisions between the false progressives of the left, and the true progressives of the Conservative variety.

The fuller trajectory of American history will be better informed and seen clearer by scientific-minded progressives who recognize that modern science includes physics as well as biology, and under that prism, it is entropy, rather than evolution, that is the final word of Science on the adventures of being an American, at this time and age.

One can thus see a rather understandable intellectual and moral mixture, the spiritual physiognomy of a nation whose beginning was Christian and Philosophical morality and ETHICS, and yet had recently lost both the religious and political faith, that had inaugurated the great American experiment in self-government.

Modern science has apparently replaced both, and as it evolved, so did the need for new forms of understanding politics and history.

Alexis De Tocqueville explained humanity’s failure to general greed, and material causes. However as we can easily see, this precocious scion of American political royalty was destined for disappointment.

The twentieth century, the century of hyperbolic wars and ideological tyrannies, and considers an eclectic pessimistic view of history, that sees mankind’s fated efforts to rise, only to fall, to engage in noble but ultimately meaningless struggles, and to die off by the hundreds of millions on bloody ruinous confrontations of silly ideologies and wars of hubris and conquest. But this lack of progress in terms of history’s cyclical patterns, best be focused upon distinct cultures, and in terms of organic metaphors, like various genus or species subject to recurring cycles of growth and decline, of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Religious and aesthetic endeavor characterized the first phases, to be replaced by activities that produced an organic power.

That organically grown power is the power of Western Civilization, and nothing that we’ve ever seen in history even comes close to it.

And indeed, even if we are nearing the end of our Great Cycle — the final phase of this cycle of our civilization can be forestalled, or even prolonged. To that end what I counsel is, that we best go looking for strong leaders who could lead cultures, that can become even more civilized, through the primordial battle of good and evil as we are engaged with the other ascending or descending powers around the Globe.

There is a war for your conscience going on as we speak, and it involves a great moral-political judgment that has to be learned here.

One could not say much good about the west today, because of western moral decadence and, especially because of modern anthropocentricism, connected with the idea of Progress that robs us of the necessary context to be able to gauge the real value of historical progress that is truly beneficial and not just a faddish interpretation of data points that seem to point to our favor…

Because with respect to the Western civilization, we have some rather uncomfortable truths to utter, but must do so, so that our western friends would not suffer anything like the fate of other countries, or like what the small ancient nations of Europe that are now slaves to the Germanic hordes once again — suffer, as the weak always do.

These truths are of a topical, or contemporary sort, and of a longer historical, cultural, or progressively modern anthropocentrism, that miscasts the “Bureaucratic-man” in the role of God, while the Enlightenment notion of Liberty & Progress was too narrowly focused upon technological progress and material advancement, to provide any succor to the Free Human Being.

As such, modernity left out the spiritual realm and its essential contributions to our humanity and our human development: conscience; humility; self-restraint; wells of empathy and compassion. In short, what religion, especially Judaism and Christianity, teach and provide.

In so doing, however, he perhaps insufficiently appreciates the natural categories through which thinks the world”s advocacy of a measured patriotism, other important moral categories such as magnanimity are absent, as well as a complex view of a culture with its own native resources, but also artistically and philosophically open to the world beyond.

Sadly today, nobody appreciates political liberty anymore in these United States where everybody is a partisan of one of the two virulently divisive political parties. In brief, the spiritual, the natural, and the political liberty is far more complex, more intellectually interesting, and far more fulfilling for humanity, than the two political parties are able to offer.

However, demanding of appreciation liberty might be — it is also the keenest advocate of democracy for humanity’s sake. This is the aspect of government by the people, for the people, and from the people that is too often ignored.

Christians, for moral and spiritual reasons, as well as out of fundamental disdain of modern Progress, with the latter including capitalism, technology, the administrative nanny state, and progressive secular education — are fundamentally suspicious of it all.

So, the True and Only Heaven, is Christian Faith’s Progress, because heaven is not to be found on this earth, least of all by human efforts.

What is needed is a return to the awareness of human limitations and imperfections that have characterized all the earlier Christian communities of America.

All the above not-withstanding, a new appreciation of populism, together with the religious traditions that embody and convey these much needed lessons, is called for.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

Regardless of their differences, both progressive wings of the Christian Conservatives and the True Republicans, are quite worried about environmental degradation, and looming ecological catastrophe, because the two premises of Progress inexorably lead to destruction of the Commons, but also because Christ himself has directed people to be good guardians of God’s green earth.

Contrast that command to the Democrats sexploitation of nature, and the ecosystems, same as the Socialists, the Communists, and the Soviets before them had always done raping and ravaging the land, sea and air without regard to the consequences.

Look at China’s or North Korea’s environmental record, and recall the Soviet Union’s blighted basket cases of Soviet ecosystems everywhere, and not just Chernobyl or the very many industrial areas like that vast swath of Ukraine, are so polluted that have to remain uninhabited for ever.

And why?

All due to that sick ideology’s premise that promotes unbalanced exploitation towards the constant and unfettered human fulfillment, as they attempt to cover-up for their inefficiency to bake enough bread and to distribute it widely in order to feed their people. And it is a vicious cycle because their inability to meet the most basic needs and desires of the people leads to more and more sexploitation of the ecosystems, and of the natural resources of this earth, that clearly leads to social debasement, as it invariably entropies, towards total collapse.

Sadly this Soviet style progress, inspired by socialism, always leads to catastrophe and collapse because simply, the finite earth cannot yield infinite goods. And when we have no interest in the business of management science and adequately pricing the natural assets and using proper natural accounting — we are screwed.

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And here we have the dilemma, where on one hand moral madness, and on the other hand a demonstrably false ideology of exploitation persist. In both examples we perceive short term or long term collapse due to resource constraints.

So, there can only be one true Progress. And that is the sum total of the spiritual progresses of individuals; the degree of self-perfection in the course of their lives, and the faith they exercise throughout all of life’s trials and tribulations…


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