Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Inevitable March Of Progress

Foward Thinking

In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

I have some bad news for political, economic and social conservatives, whether you are in Canada, the United States or Europe; your best days of influence are soon coming to an end. I know that in America you are now savoring your victory on gun control; but enjoy it for now. Like the ancient dinosaurs, you face extinction: your views and influence are waning. You are entering a period where your views—once hailed as robust, true and morally necessary—will no longer be counted as such. You have done your damage, selfishly might I add.  You have, for the most part, used your money and thus your influence, to ensure that any political, social or economic changes only benefit the status quo.

You've had a good run, since the late 1970s, but it’s time to accept defeat. Your views are so out-of-touch with the majority that it’s incumbent to accept the inevitable march of progress. Yes, a word that conservatives of all stripes detest, or at least fear. And rightly so, since it does not benefit you in the singular way that you have come to accept as your inherited right (Selfish genes and all that scientific stuff that you don’t understand but nevertheless support, since as you understand it in your limited way, it means more “goodies” for you.)

Now, here are the facts to support my assertions:

Economics: Capitalism as a system is still good, but not the way it is practiced today. It has been hijacked and manipulated by selfish interests. The result is that market-forces capitalism, in its current form and practice, is no longer tenable or sustainable.  It will require reform, and it will take place soon. Unless it does, it will collapse under the weight of its inequalities and inefficiencies—as all mismanaged economic systems invariably do.

Politics: For at least the last 30 years, we have been witnessing a swing right-ward in many western nations. The policies these radical agents of change have implemented have all but dismantled both the Social Contract and the Just Society. There is little left to destroy, other than social security and government pension funds. Such radical politicians have been unclothed and seen for who and what they are, and their days as leaders are soon coming to an end. The good news is that once they lose their seats of power, such conservative forces will have a hard time rebuilding their “brand.”

Social Concerns. The controversial and divisive issues of gay marriage, women’s reproductive health, accessibility to birth control, and gun control, not only in the United States, but  other western democracies, is a barometer of the public mood. Here are the poll results (see here, here, here and here).

Social Media: This might be the most powerful argument against the influence of traditional modes of expression. The Internet and social media, with its various forms of expression, dissemination of information, and publication of ideas, is a boon for democracy and free expression; it dramatically changes the traditional power structure, placing it in the hands of the masses. Such is an idea put forth by Nicco Mele, an adjunct lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, in his book, The End Of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath (2013). Such explains why authoritarian regimes, in particular yet not exclusively, want to control what it cannot. There is no longer a top-down authority, who decides what people ought to think and believe. There are multiple modes of thought; such is both beneficial and necessary for a free-thinking and -acting society.

Of course, you can deny the facts, but in this case it will do you little good. Radical conservatives hate humanity and an open society; liberals embrace it. Such aptly describes both views; only one view will survive in the long-term and radicalism always has its limits. The sum total of this thinking is that society is moving forward toward a Just Society. The majority want to take back what is rightfully theirs. For conservatives, traditionalists and other such like-minded radical thinkers, you have a chance to change and adapt to the new normal. Again, using a well-stated and -accepted evolutionary argument, “change or die out.”