The Foundation and necessary components
of a movement to address the current human crises
and make a future civilization
There are three major forms of civilizations that man has known in the last three to four thousand years; early slavery based civilizations which included ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, and even Greek and Roman civilizations, medieval feudal and then the more recent capitalist civilization. The former two were the result of the discovery of agriculture and crafts, and they continued even after the European Renaissance until the nineteenth century. Then they were replaced by the capitalist civilization, which emerged after the discovery of electricity and machines. We progressed a lot in the period of this last civilization which is no more than two and a half centuries old. And even today we are living out our lives, individually and socially, within this civilization.
In present times however, we have entered the period of crisis of this civilization. Almost all improvements it was capable of making in the lives of people have been made, and now the situation is of quantitative minor improvements which are also producing counter-effects. To take an example, look at the lopsided way in which wealth production is taking place in developed countries like the US which is leading to dire consequences on many planes. We find such examples on all planes and dimensions of human existence today which tells us that the capitalist civilization has started stagnating. The price it is paying for progress is that life is becoming more and more difficult and showing clear signs of disintegration at all levels. However, parallel to this, the knowledge growth in this period has increased immensely.
In our view, all the above factors, have produced the basis of a new platform for a next civilization. If we look at the history of civilizations we can see that in each case something new was produced which enabled man to make that civilization; whether it was agriculture, machinery, crafts or technology. Thus today if we are going to come to grips with the above crisis then we will again have to produce something new, which can be the foundation of a better civilization. This time around that new product has to be man himself—a better man, and not just better machinery, agriculture, crafts, or technologies. Man has to be that necessary new product on whose foundation we can build a qualitatively better civilization. That is the transition we have to make, and which is consistent with the pattern or logic of human progression in history
The difference between the existing and the new man has to be like the difference between the bull-driven agriculture and machines. The new man will have to be the product of a deeper understanding of man, just as industry was the product of a much deeper understanding of the materials with which we learned to do craft in the feudal or the slave period. If we keep this scale in mind, then our present understanding of man is at the level of the tools of agriculture and crafts. So we have to raise that understanding to the level of modern machines, which is the function of Evolutionary Mentology (EM).
EM is a tool to raise the understanding of man to the degree where it produces a qualitative change in man, which then serves as the foundation upon which we can build the next civilization. Hitherto crises of human civilization have been essentially a product of man’s unintelligent evolutionary stages. That has been the core logical factor responsible for present human condition. So a qualitative change in this factor will logically produce a crisis free mode of human functioning. Thus an important feature of that civilization will be that it will have safeguards or a protection wall against the kind of crises that man has known in his past and present history. This means we will be able to make further progress without the fear and threat of any social crisis either in the mode of functioning of our lives or in the mode of our understanding, culture, organization of material production and government. Building the foundations of a new man through a better understanding of the existing man undertaken by man himself is the answer to our existing problems and also the route to seeking fulfillment as individuals. This understanding is the basis of our future renaissance and civilization. It will have to combine the best available knowledge about man’s history, evolution, biology, and his mental processes. And then his confidence which will come from the discovery of the practical and real possibility of his ability to build another civilization on this knowledge platform, in all the specifics and details which are necessary. That is, in the various departments of social existence; planning, governance, production, social and political organization and relationships, etc. It will be a renaissance based on the understanding, capability and the confidence that man can practically proceed in that direction. This will eventually become a movement, in which people come together and then collectively think and work. We can call it revolution, evolution or marching forward. But it will inevitably have to be a movement which will produce the energies required to make that revolution and evolution. Without a movement we cannot produce those energies.
Necessary components of a contemporary movement; adding the agenda of man’s evolution to present political thinking
Any contemporary movement to realistically address the contemporary crisis of man and take him towards his future will need two very important components. One, if there is a leadership that is able to make use of the growing scientific knowledge fund to derive an objective understanding of man, his mind and life, and then make a movement out of that. Two, as discussed above this time we need to first target the individual and not society and preexisting social thinking, because the latter are essentially a product of the quality and culture of an individual’s mind.
It is through a focus on these two components that we can pull existing human life out of the deep ditch into which it has gradually landed itself over a long span of time. This is the way to tackle and undo the present condition of man and society.
There is a caveat however, that the above two components will only result in improving existing man and his life, which cannot be a sufficient agenda for contemporary man in the 21st century. Given the current stage of man’s mental development and the colossal changes in life outside of him, if he is to truly feel satisfied with himself and his life then he has to have a bigger agenda than these two points. In the past and even today, social thinking and the political, economic and cultural processes in all countries are pursued on the grounds of offering people a program for achieving a good life primarily in terms of material wellbeing and connected issues of law and order, human rights, individual freedom, etc. The reason why only such a program will not satisfy man today is that he is bound to achieve a good life in material terms if he just discovers his inherent dynamic rationality and intelligence and uses them to become logical vis-à-vis his tangible external life. Another reason is that the potential of his intelligence has become explosive and goes into dimensions beyond his material needs. Hitherto human intelligence has been engaged only in dealing with man’s material needs and related problems of peace, law and order, fairness, justice, etc. This includes the necessary education or learning required to achieve these purposes, which was there even in ancient times when there were no schools or formal education. Today if we try and visualize the huge human potential that could emerge and become available to Man in the 21st century once he is pulled out of the present ditch, then we will find that this potential will not be satisfied with just the agenda of a ‘good’ individual and social life on the current material and nonmaterial scale. We will need to add to it the agenda of Man evolving himself. That alone can challenge man and his emerging intellectual potential. We have to add the agenda of man’s evolution to present political thought, so that it does not remain limited to dealing only with current problems. The dish of man’s further evolution is ready for putting in the cauldron once again. We cannot ignore it. The path leading to further human evolution must be a part of the manifesto for any contemporary movement for social change. It has to be a part of the emerging life of tomorrow in the form of its emotional, intellectual and material applications. Inclusion of this agenda will enrich human life and save man from the consequences of what he has been doing so far. In human history we find that every time he reaches a certain stage of satisfaction he gets up to some form of mischief or perversity. On the other hand, when he is discontented, deprived and suffering, then his agenda is always limited to eliminating these negative factors in his life. Today however, we need not have a ‘negative agenda’, because being deprived and impoverished is unnecessary and irrational given our actual material progress so far and its exponential potential for producing abundance in future. So we can only have deprivation and impoverishment if there are individuals who have been neglected and not assisted and facilitated to grow as human beings by the leaders and institutions of social progress. But this problem is capable of being tackled, provided we can see things more clearly and rationally. So once we are able to tackle it then we need to logically add to it the agenda of man’s further evolution. It needs to become a part of the agenda of solving our existing problems on individual and collective scales. One needs to have this vision for oneself and for other human beings.
In the above context the first issue is to make a shift from looking at and understanding the human problem as a ‘society problem’. It is not essentially a ‘society’ but ‘individual’ problem. If we look at it as a society problem then we are assuming that man is alright, and the problem is with different institutions and sectors of society. In this approach the problem of society in fact translates into the problem of those who are ‘democratically’ elected to positions of executive, legislative and policy-making powers. And consequently the solution to this problem is to elect better people. The issue is that given the current state of society we cannot have a ‘better’ man because man has to respond to the reality of society, and that reality is in front of us. This applies particularly to developing countries where institutions are not deeply imbedded and so it is just the state of society which makes man. In Western societies it is the past culture that has made man along with a strong connection between the individual and society through social institutions and practiced social ethics and norms. However, even in the West, this connection is becoming weaker with each passing day. Because Man is becoming more reactive and less in sync with earlier cultures formed at the time of European Renaissance and the subsequent rise of the Capitalist order. But in developing countries the individual is not reacting to an earlier culture but is manipulated by society and his whole agenda lies in manipulating society. Take the process of elections in these countries. It is about stratified power groups with vested interests controlling the individual and the individual in turn tries to manipulate them. Today ‘democracy’ in developing countries is in reality a transaction between these two facets of society.
In view of the above, we submit that instead of focusing on the ‘society problem’ we should focus on man. What we need is a leadership that will bring about a revolutionary change in terms of making a break from our thinking, theories and assumptions about society that are a product of the decadent bourgeois period, and look at the core reality, which is the individual. But in order to make this change, we have to go through a revolutionary process which produces an effective leadership that has the political power and authority to make the shift from being society-centric to being man-centric. And the main method of doing that will be to reveal the filth and the vicious cycle generated by the societal model. So in the first step, that revolutionary leadership will need to achieve a cleaning up of the present mess of the complex societal formation in our times. And in the second step, it will have to liberate the individual and then enable him to connect to the potential of science and technology. This potential, we must note, is not a finished but an emerging product as there is going to be qualitatively more and unending progress in science and technology. So the task is to link to and use this potential on the basis of a liberated man, who is a product of the revolutionary connection with a new culture of the rebirth of man as an individual, and not as society. The liberated man will then be able to collectively achieve a state of life which is very practical and possible if he can connect to the potential of Science and Technology.
Today, the social institutions of Science and Technology need to be managed and directed by a ‘liberated’ man. The term ‘liberated man’ is being used here in juxtaposition to the ‘present’ man who is in the chains of past societal formations. It is very natural and logical for the ‘liberated’ man, coupled with serious contemporary leadership, to rediscover himself as the one who connects to the potential of science and technology as well as to a rationally developed and matured culture. The third required step is the agenda of the evolution of Man. So on the one hand, we have the scientific and technological potential, and on the other, the evolutionary potential of man which objectively exists for reasons outlined in Evolutionary Mentology. This potential, although at an initial stage of development, is as much real as the potential of science and technology. And a connection with it is in fact a great romance. From the connection with science and technology the ‘liberated’ man will find comfort, peace, safety, security, and a culture of stability. But when he connects to his evolution then that becomes the principle source of not only his emotional satisfaction but also his flowering. This connection will not only give prosperity and stability to man but will add one of the greatest romances to his life by giving it meaning, purpose and substance. That is the civilization that awaits us.
i. The Renaissance began with the discovery of knowledge, but it was not a civilization. It was the lever which opened the doors of a new, capitalist civilization.
ii. We have recently encountered the phenomenon of a disappearing middle class in the US due to a growing disparity in wealth distribution or what we call income inequality. (Retrieved from: https://www.investopedia.com/insights/americas-slowly-disappearing-middle-class/)
iii. In personal and work relationships, governance, laws, education, health, environment, and so on. In all these areas instead of stability and growth we increasingly find deterioration, stagnation and disintegration. Any progress is marred by new kinds of problems and consequently reversal of gains and an overall malaise.
iv. In terms of stability, integration, intellectual and emotional maturity and growth required to cope with and proceed in sync with his time.
v. To the increasingly deteriorating state and consequences of the erosion of past cultures in the face of unceasing rapid change of the external environment in the present post-science and technology period.
vi. The social, political, economic structures, and relationships.