Saturday, January 29, 2005

The New Paradigm

The old paradigm based on the illusion of competition and economic Social Darwinism is about to meet the ignominious end it so richly deserves. These were perpetrated by selfish, greedy people who manipulated the minds of ordinary folks to believe a lie.

The new paradigm as it truly is in nature is cooperation, open learning, and consensual decision making.

To call these old and new paradigms is really a misnomer. These two paradigms have been around since the days of Egypt and Mesopotamia. They reflect two different mindsets that are still at work in the world between Eastern and Western civilization.

Of the two paradigms, the more enduring is the cooperative, mainly because that is what works best for survival in nature and especially so for human beings for the simple reason that humans are irreducibly communal.

The psychosis of American society is the result of increasing and unending insolation in a world where community no longer genuinely exists.

While community has come to have many meanings, the most important is a sense of belonging within a population in a physical environment. This means that individuals are accepted as they are the same way that children in a family all have a place within it. None are excluded. And just as in any family there are certain norms of behavior that all must live by, a community will have norms to maintain social order and harmony.

The problem of modern society is the lack of norms in the name of pluralistic relativism. The failure of the parochial communities of old is the imposing of inhumanly strict norms that deny the wide range of human expression based on some foolish notion that has nothing to do with reality or reason. Neither of these extremes are appropriate for full human development.

The great disruption to come when the age of cheap oil ends will necessitate the re-establishing of truly local communities. But these communities will need to reconstitute themselves using a new paradigm if it hopes to have any chance of long term viability.

The Western model is an abject failure and has been a failure since the days of the Sumerians and the Greeks based as they were on atomistic individualism. The most enduring model of civilizational sustainability can be seen in the ancient Egyptians, and in the continuing existence of China and India which are based on social communalism. It would be a sign of wisdom to learn what they have to teach about living as human beings in community so that we may all have a place on this earth.