Self-fulfilling prophecies are tangible, especially destructive ones. In this sense, the assignment of evolutionary principles to lifetime or generational human behavior is a common mistake. The teachings of evolution involve million years. Human behavior is a product of short-term political actions involving just fifty-thousand years, of which only the last ten thousand are directly relevant.
In part, George Monbiot refers to this kind of thinking in his most recent book, Out of the Wreckage. He is looking for people that already agree on one type of wreckage or another and willing to build a political movement built on the ground substantial enough to begin repairs.
To begin, the “how did we get here question” examines policies that support extreme competition and individualism. When translated into social and economic strategies, the result is a “toxic ideology” that destroys hope and weakens common purpose. The arguments are self-fulfilling and misrepresent the common ground of humanity. Monbiot outlines well-established findings in psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology that prove human nature is highly altruistic and cooperative. Enabling economic goals that organize social and institutional development from the grassroots up fulfills our natural ambition for a better society and a safer world. Monbiot outlines policies that support active rebellions of the mind based on a ‘politics of belonging.’ Thus, the thrill of living in a free and civil society is possible.
The challenge to organizational efforts such as Indivisible is to invent new ways to re-engage people in political action on environmental collapse, civic breakdown, and discussion regarding the climate of anti-politics. Fighting unfair policies using current political frameworks is only one of those ways. There are many other choices.
- How would you and your organization spend money on the growth of human knowledge in which every person participates?
- How would you and your organization get (or share) these resources?
- How would you and your organization combine your interest fill in the blank ________ (environment, immigration, health, safety, and so on) with other actors in the search for social change?
Of course, the “who” is you and the other three (why, where, and when) become apparent when openly connected to a ‘how’ such as the three listed above.
80 Words on “What Happened”
What Happened presents many ways to unpack what and who may have been responsible for the 77,000 votes in just three states that produced the 2016 electoral majority. However, two behaviors are the most troublesome: FBI Director Comey’s announcement a few weeks before the election and multifaceted forms of Russian interference.
Also, two strategies failed. First, dancing with big money proved far more problematic than being big money, and second, allowing the vigorous reform movement led by Bernie Sanders to wither. That is the book in eighty words.