Both the economic and political system as we have known them are on a trajectory of steep decline. This state of affairs is exemplified by the pending expansion of automation in America’s workplace, such as with the introduction of self-driving vehicles threatening an impact deeper and broader than the effects of globalization on employment in manufacturing in the 1970s and 80s. Moreover, this same technology, together with associated advances in manufacturing technology and materials science, also promise to introduce a new epoch of post-scarcity undercutting the principle of valuation in the free market. So it should be clear the world as we have known it is fast disappearing; soon to be gone altogether. How we face the challenge as a society has everything to do with whether the path we take is a positive or negative one.
A “Social evolutionary” is one who takes purposeful positive actions mindful of long term as well as short term consequences for society and himself.
The justification and advocation for social evolution is at the core of the Transitionalist worldview. This agenda has two centers of focus; the Nexus, representing the Transitionalist community, and the Social Evolutionary Movement. The Nexus is composed of those who adhere to and practice Transitionalist principles and values; whereas, those who are involved in the Movement for Social Evolution organize around a core set of values to advance a common agenda without having to accept Transitionalist principles.
Whole Person, Whole Community
This common agenda is represented by the Whole Person, Whole Community program, which means conventional social divisions based on class, ideology, demographic and so on don’t apply. Whether we rise or fall we will do so together. The core values making up the program refer to ‘Whole Person’ where the focus is on the promotion of individual well-being. It brings attention to key parts of our lives which, if attended to, can have profound positive impacts on our quality of life physically and psychologically, as well as having a similar impact on the lives of others around us and that of the communities we live in.
Specifics of the ‘Whole Person’ (“Be the Change”) portion of the program include:
- Taking personal responsibility – Since the youth revolution of the 1960’s there has been a focus on individual freedom. Unfortunately, in the call for more freedom there was lost (or ignored) the simple truth that as we gain more freedom so we acquire more responsibly. This has had a devastatingly corrosive effect in how people view and live their own lives, as well as on their relationship with others.
- Overall health – This is basic since without a good diet, sufficient sleep, exercise, emotional and psychological health, anything else we do to try living a quality life is made that much more difficult.
- Being mindful – Almost no society has been interested in individuals developing a richer inner life, but is instead focused on its own set of priorities to maintain and perpetuate itself. As a consequence, people are often unprepared to adequately grasp the connection between actions driven by basic impulses and their consequences, particularly reflected in the quality of the political dialogue in this country.
- Having a sense of purpose – With attention to mindfulness one is better able to gain an understanding of who one is and why one is motivated to participate in the quest for social change even if it is to feel being part of something greater than one’s self.
In the ‘Whole Community’ (“For anyone to succeed, everyone needs to succeed”) part of the program includes:
- People look out for one another – We are social beings who fundamentally depend on one another. What we perceive to divide us is superficial relative to what binds us.
- Promote mutual respect and civic responsibility – This is the application of the principle of people looking out for one another. The differences between us are in objective terms superficial. Still, we need to always remain vigilant and mindful of the emotional impulse to see division when no real divisions exist, and our own perspective as the only right one.
Three-Stage Transition Strategy
We can assure that we take a positive approach to meeting the challenges we are facing through a Three-Stage Transition Strategy that preserve what is positive, build on gains/address shortfalls, and build on positive trajectory.
Preserve what is Positive – The first step is a crucial one because it establishes and reinforces the tone and expectations for future developments. It is initially crucial to reject the self-destructive elements of the new federal government’s agenda by galvanizing allies around a strategy of resistance. It is crucial to point out that this strategy needs to include the ability to listen and accept the opposition’s point of view where common ground can be found, but also be willing to marginalize those elements that reject or sabotage attempts at dialogue. Actions to take could include participating in public demonstrations, non-violent acts of resistance, as well as supporting legal challenges just to name a few.
Build on Gains/Address Shortfalls – The goal of this stage is to provide dependability and consistency to the many community programs already in place, as well as identifying and rectifying instances when people in need are slipping through the cracks. This requires serious organization and management of people and resources. There are already many organizations doing good work, yet their efforts are not nearly as effective as they could be because of a general unwillingness to work with other groups. Organizing in a cooperative manner would not only lead to greater success, better outcomes would encourage additional commitments of money, resources, and volunteers because contributors would see their donations and efforts making a real difference. A center piece of this portion of the program is working with and reforming the Democratic Party in order to reestablish itself as a political force in preparation for the election cycles in 2018 and 2020, which also includes work to redraw district maps and election reform.
Build on the Positive Trajectory – Having secured a cooperative organizational base, attention and resources can be devoted to expanding efforts to help individuals and communities with a longer time horizon in mind. The center piece in this stage is advocation for a Guaranteed Income program to meet current and future needs of individuals and families as they relate to poverty and technological unemployment. This would include attention to the broader issue of social inequity.
Uppermost on the agenda would be the campaign to legally redesignate corporations as “non-persons”, reversing the Citizen’s United decision, in addition to the repeal of the 12th Amendment and abandoning the Electoral College in order to elect the president by popular vote. Also included would be significant attention to further building on efforts to create a sustainable relationship with the environment.
A fundamental change to the world as we have known it means the end of ideologies. This applies as much to liberals and progressives as it does to conservatives. This means if we are going to make this whole thing work we need to think and act focused on what everyone wants most; a safe, healthy, and satisfying life.