Roger Anthony Farinha
Table of Contents:
In this historical moment I present to you a short and simple equation, as simple and as short as E=mc2 yet potentially as profound. For in three essays I hope to shine the nuclear light of testimony to our coming noble age:
This present essay is the first and is aptly titled “First Concept.” Herein, I lay out the general or, as some might term, abstract first principles. The second essay titled “Illustrations” consists of six excerpts from dialogues with my fellow Americans. These interchanges are real-life conversations, conducted during the year 2006 and taken from my book “The Socratic Trucker.” I use them to draw out the practical meaning of our First Concept by showing how the real potential for our new humanity lies nascent in folks of all varieties—and is therefore an eminently possible option for our world. Finally, in my last essay titled “The Movement,” I lay out the practical steps toward our ultimately global-social-renewal via the New American Spring populist-nonprofit-organizational, adult-civic and youth-formations movement.
Altogether, this three-part presentation swings the first hammer stoke in chiseling out the sculpture of our coming, People’s World Order—
On the homepage of New American Spring I spell out the equation for our new world thusly:
The formula for a peaceful and flourishing human race which has eluded mankind from the beginning of recorded history (only now conceivable in our historical context) contains one insight, two principles which follow, and one supporting, political framework. INSIGHT: the practical best we can do to attain to truth or reality is the honest respect and humble embrace of one another. PRINCIPLE 1: therefore the individual’s conscience should take its place as the inviolable building block (or atom) of society. PRINCIPLE 2: as the individual exists in the context of community, his and her conscience should be informed through localized dialogue. 3. POLITICAL FRAMEWORK: And finally, the protection of individual conscience and the fostering of intra-community dialogue should be ensured through a _*democratic republic,_ *such as our American republic of checks and balances, given us by the providential wisdom of our forefathers.
To clarify this central theorem, let me extrapolate the significance of each of its four parts:
If there is any program for a practical and general peace among human beings it rests in this formula. So where do I get the hubris of imagining that such a pivotal turn in our common evolution might come from such an otherwise undistinguished person as me? Simply because I have always been a member of my race who has honestly questioned, who has sincerely placed the spectacle of our shared existential plight before my eyes and pondered it continually, as a matter of personality, in my heart. I am an ordinary man who examines my race plainly and honestly, no more and no less.
Therefore if I now seem audacious in proposing a grand salvific equation, let my inquisitor return to judging that first impulse of any human being who in childlike innocence questions the self-conscious things of his own species. What therefore do I mean by saying that this formula has escaped mankind from the beginning of recorded history?
Throughout our commonly known history our race has been slowly climbing out of the pit of survivalism. The prophesy or judgment of that old book which declared that “by the sweat of his brow shall he win his bread” (or the mere explanation of our human plight, however one chooses to interpret it) has forever been operational in our general human condition. But gradually and inevitably we have been rising to greater and greater comfort and ease of life through science and technology. Today, therefore, while our global or general human culture is still mired in what I would term the survivalist mentality, the assumption that we must continually accumulate material resources on the one hand, competing with one another for life and comfort on the other; we have nonetheless largely won our competition with nature, or God’s decree above, whichever one choses to believe.
While our species however now possesses the general ability to provide a dignified material life for all, as against nature, we are yet so mired in the old survivalist mentality that we are still unable or unwilling to construct a social order wherein material resources are relegated to their only remaining, rational purpose: securing such a dignified material livelihood for all members of our race, collectively. During the industrial revolution when humankind’s inevitable triumph over nature and the sure growth of our common wealth was becoming more and more evident, visionaries such as Karl Marx arose who challenged our very mental shackle of survivalism by proposing a collective human program for resource sharing, resulting in the communist experiment.
Communism was defeated, however, by our stubborn survivalist instinct. On the one hand, those who were in power in the communist system experienced greater material comforts than the rest, and desiring to preserve their “advantage,” they adopted forms of corruption and personal privilege which naturally delegitimized the entire communist ideology in the hearts and minds of the rest. On the other end, the working masses saw no reason to work productively when no greater “advantage” came to them for their diligence. This resulted in a general and widespread depression of material progress under the communist system, securing its final defeat in sight of the more materially productive system of capitalism across the globe.
As the alternative system for human material progress, capitalism “capitalized” on the very survivalist impulse in humanity and thereby ensured its predominance. Because of our lingering survivalist instinct, however, forged in eternal and even primal memories of struggle against nature and fellow man for survival; the very idea and impulse of personal progress is generally identified with material progress in the hearts and minds of most. Wherefore since the only “advantage” a human individual can readily recognize, his or her only sense of “progress,” is wrapped up in his and her perception of “material progress” itself, communism got its wind knocked out of its sails for failing to win the greater material progress for our race. And as there was no other competing ideology of human progressivism which challenged this old and stubborn survivalist impulse directly, the vision for human material transcendence was undermined by the instinctual residue of human survivalist entanglement.
Our survivalist instinct not only holds us back in terms of our economic systems, however, but it also stunts our larger human-cultural potential. For the greatest obstacle to our “honestly respecting” and “humbly embracing” one another as human beings is our forever seeing each other as mortal competitors to our personal “life and progress.” We are deeply and instinctually afraid of innocently and sincerely trusting one another for fear of being taken “advantaged” of. This is why all enemies of the people (adversaries of the body of humanity) transact finally in fear whenever the path of less resistance (deception) fails.
This lack of trust, rooted in our survivalist instinct and having fear as its operational source causes us to retract from one another and ultimately stunts our general human potential for a larger and more exponential progress in our common affairs. We are forever watchful against trusting the ideas, the creativity, and the lifestyle choices of our fellow human beings, because, in our collective unconscious, the greater the difference we allow to grow between the other and us, the more we are uneasy about being able to understand this other, to the ultimate end that we would not be able to predict how the other will affect our own personal freedom, life and progress—our own essential survival. Our survival instinct is therefore the source of that destructive Manicheism which is the great human plague to peace and flourishing.
Yet being human, we are more than our mere material survival or even material flourishing. We are not a Bohemian race at bottom, or simply intelligent animals. We are also spiritual and artistic and even socially colorful beings. To the extent that we experience any suppression of these impulses within ourselves and by others, the hidden culprit is always that fear which we have willingly allowed to dominate ourselves and our society, that fear which is rooted in our anxiety that we might threaten our own survival if we become too childlike or plainly honest in ourselves and trusting of one another. This general paralysis of human trust, moreover, warps reality in that by suppressing our own inner liberty and in not allowing one another to freely be, we are unable to know what our species is truly capable of. Hence my formula’s words “the practical best we can do to attaint to truth or reality is the honest respect and humble embrace of one another.”
The main dilemma of our race if it will be able to make the next leap in social evolution, therefore, will be in fundamentally transforming the idea of human and individual progress itself and unleashing our infinite potential. This brings us to our first principle.
We now need a literal revolution of vision wherein the basic element or building block of society is relegated to the conscience of the individual. For herein shall we finally see our opportunity to express the full spectrum of our humanity in active society, experiencing an exponential release of human creative potential and ushering in a great and noble flowering of our race. When individuals are allowed to be their fully human and creative selves, all the wealth stored up in their unique personalities is finally unleashed toward the ultimate leavening of general human culture.
Not only would there be a human cultural boon, moreover, but our world would also see a greater peace. With the complete dissolution of, or at least a deference of group mentality to the idea of the newly ennobled and empowered individual (which group mentality is essentially caused by the survivalist impulse and which is the operational source of all social conflict) we shall experience an essential neutralization of all political strife in a new, global populist peace movement. For as the individual for the first time is challenged and encouraged to act from the point of raw and autonomous conscience, the profound differences between individuals will render factional political abuses impractical, especially on the local level which is the rightful stage of social expression.
Each individual is constituted of such a variety of identity points (race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religious persuasion, etc.) that when encouraged to act essentially from his and her unique conscience (made up of all these identity points in unison) his and her political trajectory will never totally line up with that of any “group faction” of individuals (on said local level) and will force a common reversion to the democratic process, yet this time, to the purest ideological embrace of democracy. For even today when Americans vote, many times they vote in accordance with some idea of group identity or group interest, never in perfect tune with their own individual interests. Whereby they preserve the strife and competition inherent in such social factions (coagulating from our animalistic, survivalist instinct) and rendering impotent the purely representative and peace producing functions of democracy.
By challenging every individual to take full responsibility for his and her unique social interest we would be treating him and her, perhaps for the first time ever, as a full-pledged, adult human being; and by encouraging him and her to adopt this radical new mentality and to take this bold new action, we would be appealing to him and her to overcome, most profoundly, his and her very survivalist instinct to huddle in groups pitted one against the other and which only preserve human strife in perpetual fashion. Our very technological civilization is at risk otherwise, for human warfare has attained the power to bomb us “back into the stone age” as one famous Manichean once said.
Turning now to our second principle, it is clear that when we entrust such autonomy to the individual we open up our human society to the risks associated with individuals of less developed consciences. This is why we shall need to adopt a new social-political localism. Such a movement must have dialogue at its root, and must be steeped in a radical embrace of all diversity. While the embrace of all diversity would naturally attend our new emphasis on the noble and autonomous individual (since in the individual all social diversity is embodied, including diversity of ideas and perspectives) a more careful examination of the critical importance of dialogue is needed.
If there is any opening in the formula of New American Spring for an infiltration of anti-populist or autocratic influences which have sadly dominated human society since the beginning of recorded history, and which take root out of (in the event of instinctual group formation) or parasite off of (in the event of calculated, special-interest formation) our survivalist instinct, it would come through conditioning or compromising the purity of dialogue. For while power institutions (from religious, to national, to shared ethnic and traditional institutions of all kinds, etc.) coalesce out of the felt necessity of one faction of humanity to group together against others in the interest of physical survival or mere material flourishing, these power structures also necessarily squash the purity of dialogue by being “closed off” to (or encamped against) the perspectives or “interest” of the “other.”
Therefore by emphasizing the strict autonomy of the individual, our new and purified populism will undercut the human limiting factors of the many and various social institutions which intrinsically undermine greater humanity. Patriotism has for the longest while been the greatest human sentiment of solidarity ever since the nation was conceptualized as the largest human institution. Today, however, we are challenged to transcend the patriotic virtue for the final virtue of human solidarity itself. The only way to this new actualization will be through our radical approach to dialogue. Gradually but as surely as a new chemical element is formed out of its reactive ingredients, our globe will witness the transcendence even of the nation-state as the largest survivalist grouping within humankind, a process which will occur through the leavening effect of pioneer populist groups spotted throughout our globe—the new kind of group destined to end all groups in view of its intrinsic dedication to one humanity.
Once again, honest and open dialogue between two ennobled and autonomous individuals is necessarily radically open-minded and transcends the human limiting influence of group mentality. Such dialogue is also the surest path to the development of conscience itself, since only in truly conversing with one another can we expand our own sense of reality. As a student of philosophy, and in the spirit of our great father Socrates, I have personally determined that there exists no methodological approach to absolute truth which is available to human beings; our only hope rests in one another. No institution, no social or political faction can moreover represent any individual more truly and authentically than that individual, him or herself, when given the occasion for real dialectical exchange.
Finally, since individuals would now constitute the basic element of society (as opposed to groups or any other common identity determinates) and since individuals are essentially local, the main interchange (or locus) of human living must also become localized. Our new populism therefore requires a new emphasis on localized government and social exchange, a new social-political localism.
This brings us to our final consideration of where in the world might such a movement begin. Where, in other words, is the philosophical, social, political and national climate most amenable to the beginnings of this new humanity? Here is where the true and providential significance of America shines brightest.
If there is any force of creation or evolution, take your pick, which challenges or guides human development, I say this force spoke loudest (most providentially) on the national level of human affairs when America was envisioned. The various and enlightened steps taken by our founding fathers to ensure the most practicable democracy, in all of human history, was surely guided by a greater hand, as is this final formula I am putting forth today. For my call to a new global populism, as coming out of America, only sets the crown on our American head which testifies to our faithful fulfillment of our national destiny on behalf of all humanity.
A new ennobling of the individual (and in him and her the truest honoring of humankind) setting his and her conscience in its rightful place as the locus of all power and legitimacy—this final and providential act establishes the beating heart of America itself, whereby I call this our New American Spring.
In our social-political localism, finally, I am not proposing a complete dissolution of our structures of government. While we shall renew our emphasis on the local community as an essential space for liberty—as exercised by the sacred individual (including calling for a new autonomy of social expression through the states, counties, cities, and even neighborhoods)—our American revival will by every means continue to operate within the jurisdictional structures of established government. New American Spring aims only to once and for all establish the right and ultimate spirit in our government. By realizing that all the enlightened structures set forth by our founding fathers are tailor fitted for securing the inalienable right of the individual to life and liberty (down to the very pit of his and her conscience) and to defending such sacred rights (even as against our greatest enemy within ourselves, our survivalist instinctual residue) we place the final seal of humanity’s approval on America the Great. And we hereby set the stage, in conclusion, for a new and most legitimate world order, a Peoples’ world order—out of America!
Don't be one of the shameless naysayers or haters. Don't be one of the stumbling blocks of your race's future. Behold the dawning of its First Principle, and BELIEVE!