A CALL TO ACTIVIST’S BRAINS

ATTENTION all activists, this is a critical message. We all need to re-tune our brains to shift our comprehension of reality and our collective behavior, to survive/thrive.

This is but an unsubstantiated claim at this time, in this document. Full substantiation is possible, but it will take time and your full attention. Here I ask only for you to consider the implications and consequences if this claim is correct. Then, I request that you investigate further, given the significance and Magnitude/Scope/Complexity of our challenges.

In the following I am not assigning blame on anyone. We are much more determined than we want to believe; and our real agency is not a free gift, but must be developed and attended to. Until very recently, we lacked the knowledge to gain optimum agency, but NOW it is available and now we ARE RESPONSIBLE.

CLAIM:  Throughout human history, activists for a “better humankind” didn’t adequately comprehend “human nature” so as to succeed in achieving their objectives. Although many major and significant gains were made, those humans whose worldview called for them to dominate others continued to be “on top”. History tells this story.

 

Better Humankind“: Because each human experiences a world of their own, every human works their best for success in their world. Hitler tried to succeed in his world, Gandhi in his world. Everyone seeks a “better” world, according to what they comprehend as “better”. I use MY “better world” here with attributes many would agree with: sustainability, compassion, love, peace, creativity, etc., and without the attributes of violence, war, oppression, poverty, inequality, etc.  Be noted that those whose behavior leads to these negatives believe they are necessary because of what they believe to be the objective character of their worlds – Good vs Evil – which requires war and inequality as temporary conditions. When, in your REAL world there are REAL others who block your advance and are immoral relative to your values, you must oppose them, and if necessary defeat or even eliminate them.

Human Nature”: Everything scientifically knowable to describe all individual humans and all human cultural, social, and societal systems from families to global corporations, and how they change. I claim that our contemporary knowledge of “Human Nature” is incomplete, much in error, and that there is no consensus even among scientific experts in the human sciences. In addition, most major decision-makers don’t even use the best available knowledge of “Human Nature” This includes activists for “positive” change.

 

Strange as it may seem, the elites of civilization, although not fully comprehending Human Nature, did/do comprehend well enough those aspects that permitted them to control and oppress others, and to perpetuate their efforts of conquest for power – which continues today in different forms by every society. During this long history, some among the oppressed learned and organized for liberation and freedom and for a “better humankind”: that they envisioned. They were seldom successful (to fully achieve their visions) because their comprehension of “human nature” was sufficiently incomplete and inaccurate to block their efforts to educate and organize, and to defeat or liberate themselves from their oppressors. When they occasionally over-threw their oppressors, they lacked sufficient knowledge of “human nature” to create a stable society. There WERE MANY GAINS over the centuries, but these emerged collectively rather than were “caused”. Without requisite knowledge of “human nature”, the default society is a “civilization” characterized by a wealthy/powerful elite, a technological bureaucracy, and the suppressed rest (masses).

On reading the above I realize that I seem to have ignored MANY GAINS made, the liberation of slaves, women, minorities, gays, etc. – civil rights gains. Even “democracy” (as weak as they have been). I write from the context of the awesome gap between what WE HAVE ACHIEVED and OUR UN-ACTUALIZED POTENTIAL, and the very real threats to our very existence.

And we have not failed. All that we have accomplished, WE DID IT!  Humankind is still embryonic, very very young. HUMANITY has yet to be “born” (or “metamorphose”).  Yet, a “still birth” is possible, even likely if we don’t act as needed. That requires we do more than transform, but emerge.

“Oppression” doesn’t have to be conscious and explicit. It can occur by simply withholding essential resources for “advancement” from some populations. There is not space here to argue that ALL nations oppress; but some do more openly than others. No contemporary national governmental or economic system could exist with an adequately learned and organized general population. Civilizations have always limited the learning and organizing of their general population. The constitution of the USA is structured to keep power among the elites, even as the voter franchise has expanded to include women and minorities.  The very electoral process insures elite control, making it “periodic batch processing” (voting) vs continuous influence (lobbying) by the wealthy and influential. {I credit The Tofflers for this distinction.}

CLAIM: Contemporary activists appear “hypnotized” into believing that what they are doing, and what other activists are doing, will eventually succeed. Every activist wants more people to do as they recommend; yet, none examine the effectiveness of their recommended processes. Little, to no, calls are made for exploration of other projects needed that are currently missing. There is a total absence of any long-term, global strategizing, and no indication of awareness of the need. It is as if such strategies are in our collective blindspot. Douglas Rushkoff calls our age “Presentism”, Present Shock, with a virtual absence of significant futures thinking.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

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