There are two books I hold particular dear to my reflections on what it means to be human, a term I confound — unlike most — with also being virtuous. They are The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant, and Truth: Philosophy in Transit by James Caputo. They both boil down to the insight that the highest form of morality is to appreciate the truth at any cost, as it lowers all others costs — it eradicates corruption and waste and makes possible infinite wealth for all.
I totally agree with Robert James Beckett of the United Kingdom, who concluded some years ago that we are leaving the information age and entering the age of virtue. The information age has been about scientific reductionism, political abuse — including the colonial creation of 44 dictators, 42 of whom are our best pals according to Ambassador Mark Palmer’s enumeration in Breaking the Real Axis of Evil — and financial fraud.
In the age of virtue, both Matt Taibbi and Chris Hedges will be happy. We will move beyond Griftopia and the Empire of Illusion that is accompanied by the end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle. The public, empowered by new forms of blockchain and distributed communications, computing, and decision-support that none of the existing information technology or social media companies comprehend, respect, or will provide, will overcome The Big Disconnect descriped by Micah Sifry so ably, and begin thinking as a collective.
It is the indigenous native tradition of collective intelligence with deliberative dialog and full access to both the visible facts and the intuitive grasp of cosmic truths including the sanctity of human and natural capital, that will enable us to achieve virtue and infinite wealth — to actually rise to the potential of the concept of “homo sapiens” rather than “homo stultus.”
In this moment, as we contemplate the reality that Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State are both the creatures of the federal government of the United States of America, acting on its own, against the US public interest, it is helpful to ask ourselves: might virtue be restored within the United States of America (USA), and thence, with the cessation of elective militarism, virtual colonialism, and predatory capitalism, to the rest of the world?
In my view, 2016 is a turning point year in the history of the world in part because it is the first year in modern history when a majority of the US public has turned against the out-of-control federal government and the two-party tyranny that enables the total corruption of that federal government, the constant betrayal of the public trust by that federal government.
There is no moral difference between Saudi Arabia and ISIS. None. Nor is there any difference between the criminally irresponsible policies of the federal government of the United STATES of America and the many dictators and two-party tyrannies it supports. The chasm now is between people with ethics and knowledge, and people with power. It is a chasm well worth some contemplation.
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