initially I got very exited reading this book, I read 500 pages in three weeks! But while reading it I became more and more concerned that it wasn’t going to go where I wanted to see it go. My concerns were based around the fact that the book appears to promote Right Wing ideology; denigrates Left Wing ideology & Environmentalism.
What got me exited in the first place is that it goes toward a direction that I have been moving towards myself having read much of Thomas Berry’s work on Teilihard De Chardin.
I was so exited by it that I shared it in several groups, only to report after reading so far, that in my opinion:
“it’s a Right Wing group which offers no answers other than to carry on with the status quo”
15 years ago having joined Friends of the Earth, and subsequently many other groups, I came to the conclusion that Capitalism – and certainly the Neo Liberal Capitalism that we currently have – is THE major cause of humanity’s problems, ranging from climate change to biodiversity loss. In my perhaps simplistic view, it is the Right Wing who support Capitalism – in that they provide the capital which is then used to create wealth by using natural resources and labour within a system which pays no heed to people’s (or nature’s) wellbeing.
I have recently gone back to finish the last chapter and am pleased to see that it does indeed seem to go in the direction I wish to follow. But it is not clear in the book what that direction is. Certainly it is a worthy cause to suggest that people should aspire to be less selfish and adopt a more selfless approach to life. But what will that mean to the individual?
Let me tell you what it means to me:
It means supporting the local food movement, i.e. buying locally produced food or organic, even if that means double the cost of food produced by the existing mainstream food producers.
Shunning the materialist lifestyle promoted by the System.
It means ensuring my money is not used to fund weapons, tobacco, wars, carbon based fuels (amongst other things) by using an ethical bank.
Buying energy from sustainable sources.
Promoting Permaculture and Transition Towns movements.
Growing our own food within a community.
To name a few.
I’d be interested in your thoughts on this.
Ok, I buy it!
I just watched Jeremy’s video on how to become transformed which has helped.
This book hasn’t been too difficult for me to grasp, (apart from the political references) let me explain why. As I mentioned above I’ve followed Thomas Berry’s work which suggests that humanity needs to move away from the old story and move into a new story. Charles Eisenstein wrote an excellent book The Ascent of Humanity, describing in great detail the problems of the old story, (another book made freely available on the internet).
So I have been looking for a New Story to follow. In my opinion part of any new story will have a spriritual component, so I’ve been studying books on Buddhism, I’ve been very impressed with the knowledge buddhists had thousands of years ago with the problems of the mind and ego in particular; but there was something missing that stopped me going too far in that direction. I felt there was something missing, I think this may be it.
I suspect that my politics would not necessarily mesh with some others on here, but that’s fine because we are seeking to educate individuals about the human condition; when there are enough people Transformed, THEY can decide how their world is run.
It seems to me that Jeremy Griffith’s writings are more thoughtprovoking than any other when it comes to penetrate the deep roots of diversified dichotomythinking, such as for instance the “left” versus “right” wing political thinking… however one looks at it, Jeremy has for sure exploited and laid open to anyone with internetaccess the vast middleground between the potential extreme positions inherent in left vs. right dicotomies… read for instance the “explanatory e-mail” nr. 27 where the “left” wing and “right” wing are contrasted with the “kno” wing…. brilliant logic as I see it, which embodies a constructive way out of otherwise entrenched and dogmatized political viewpoints…
Yes I really agree Michael and that’s a great document you refer to, essay 27 (https://www.humancondition.com/wtm-emails/understanding-human-condition-brings-end-to-politics/). The thing I discover the more I absorb Freedom is that this is SUCH a huge paradigm shift in knowledge and initially there is an enormous amount to adjust to. Understanding the human condition really opens your eyes, you can see just how much it has affected all our lives from the individual to the whole of society and thus our whole planet. Politics is an interesting and topical area but I see now that it is just another way that our human condition expressed itself, and amazingly as Jeremy writes in that email 27 above ‘the truth was not as it appeared’. This is the penultimate paragraph, and as Michael says it is brilliant logic, in fact I find it a revolution in logic!, and I think might reconcile your thoughts Allan: “As beautifully summarised in paragraph 1136 of FREEDOM, the final irony of the saga of humanity’s great journey from ignorance to enlightenment is that the ideal world that the left-wing was dogmatically demanding is actually brought about by the right-wing winning its reality-defending, freedom-from-idealism, corrupting-search-for-knowledge battle against the freedom-oppressing pseudo idealistic dogma of the left-wing. Yes, with the freedom-from-dogma right-wing’s search for understanding of the human condition completed, the justification for the egocentric power-fame-fortune-and-glory-seeking way of life espoused by the right-wing ends, replaced by the ideal-behaviour-obeying attitude that the left-wing sought. In this sense, when the right-wing wins we all become left-wing; through the success of the philosophy of the right-wing, we all adopt the philosophy of the left-wing — but, most significantly, this time we are not abandoning an ongoing battle, we are leaving it won.”
And I’m glad you found Jeremy’s Transformation video Allan, I found it very powerful too. I think this other awesome Transformation video is very on-point for you also. It is broken into 2 parts, the first is on the ‘false start’ of humanity’s transformation being the left wing, and the 2nd describes the ‘real start’ where solving of the human conditoin brings about the real transformation of the human race
And that’s the most wonderful thing going on here, the human condition is solved and we can all legitimately move on from it to the most amazingly transformed future together! This is humanity’s REAL ‘new story’ filled with logic and understanding and thus freedom! As De Chardin himself said, ‘The Truth has to only appear once…for it to be impossible for anything ever to prevent it from spreading universally and setting everything ablaze’!! (para 1236).
[WTM Admin: the Essay 27 referred to above is now Freedom Essay 34]
I see communism as a possible future scenario. If we’re altruist as a species, why not share everything? The biggest obstacle to communism is ecological, not economical: the inheritance of our now obsolete “upset behavior” (Jeremy Griffith) will most probably destroy the planet before we might organize society in a neo-communist way.
However, marxian economics is formally and materially inconsistent and creates delusions about the functioning of capitalism among its adherents.
Egmont Kakarot-Handtke about Karl Marx: “The business sector can only get more out of the circulation if the household sector throws more in, that is, if the household sector deficit-spends/dissaves. This is what the most elementary version of the Profit Law says, i.e. Q=−S. The logical minimum condition of deficit spending is a banking system that creates money and lends it to the households.
So, profit does NOT come from exploitation but, in the most elementary case, from the growth of the household sector’s debt. And this, in turn, means that Capitalism does not end with a revolution of the exploited workers but as soon as the growth of private and public debt ends.”
Source: Egmont Kakarot-Handtke: “Dear idiots, Marx got profit and exploitation wrong”; http://axecorg.blogspot.com/2019/02/dear-idiots-marx-got-profit-and.html
Note that Kakraot-Handtke’s methodology (axiomatic-deductive) is opposed to Jeremy Griffith’s inductive approach; however, it seems to me, these two thinkers are politically compatible. I’ve seen Griffith defend austerity measures elsewhere. Reckless deficit-spending, by household’s and states alike must stop, because it is selfish and it CREATES the social INEQUALITY the political left cluelessly complains about.
Kakarot: “The macroeconomic Profit Law entails Public Deficit = Private Profit. Because of this, the one-percenters and their useful academic/journalistic spokespersons should consistently argue FOR deficit spending and the ninety-nine-percenters and their academic/journalistic spokespersons should consistently argue AGAINST it. Curiously, it’s just the reverse.” (Source: http://axecorg.blogspot.com/2019/05/links-on-austerity.html)
P.S: I’ve only talked about the problems of the left, which doesn’t imply the left doesn’t do anything right (no pun intended) – minimum wages, for instance, are a good idea.