Our language as used in the media and other public domains has failed us totally. There are so many phoney "debates" out there and so much new speak and double speak that communicate ceased a long time ago. This Orwellian pun sums it up in part:
1984 was meant as a warning not a guidebookI don't know about you but for me it gets harder and harder to read our diaries here without either wanting to scream or cry. So very many play right into this misuse and abuse of language and the resultant distorted picture of reality.
While researching for the follow up to my book with Jim Coffman I ran across this: A Growing "Social Psychosis" Clashes With Serving The Common Good
Much of the ongoing debate in political, business and social/cultural arenas is rooted in an underlying disagreement about what best serves national interests and individual lives -- is it promoting the common good, or serving self-interest?I find it useful not because it answers the question but rather because it addresses it. Read on below and I will explain what I mean.
Interdependence and interconnection on this planet is becoming ever-more apparent. It's bringing new challenges and new realities for personal life, the role of government and the conduct of business leadership. Along with these new realities, attitudes and behavior are shifting towards ways to serve the larger common good; now necessary for successful, flexible and psychologically resilient functioning.
However, these shifts clash with a long-prevailing ideology, that the primary pursuit of self-interest best serves the public interest and personal success. That ideology has also prevailed in our views of adult psychological health and maturity. In essence, this ideology makes the pursuit of greed, self-centeredness and materialism the holy trinity of public and private conduct. And it's generating a growing "social psychosis."
First of all let me review our findings in our book: Global Insanity: How Homo sapiens Lost Touch with Reality while Transforming the World
The Global Economy that sustains the civilized world is destroying the biosphere. As a result, civilization, like the Titanic, is on a collision course with disaster. But changing course via the body politic appears to be well nigh impossible, given that much of the populace lives in denial. Why is that? And how did we get into such a fix? In this essay, biologists James Coffman and Donald Mikulecky argue that the reductionist model of the world developed by Western civilization misrepresents life, undermining our ability to regulate and adapt to the accelerating anthropogenic transformation of the world entrained by that very model. An alternative worldview is presented that better accounts for both the relational nature of living systems and the developmental phenomenology that constrains their evolution. Development of any complex system reinforces specific dependencies while eliminating alternatives, reducing the diversity that affords adaptive degrees of freedom: the more developed a system is, the less potential it has to change its way of being. Hence, in the evolution of life most species become extinct. This perspective reveals the limits that complexity places on knowledge and technology, bringing to light our hubristically dysfunctional relationship with the natural world and increasingly tenuous connection to reality. The inescapable conclusion is that, barring a cultural metamorphosis that breaks free of deeply entrenched mental frames that made us what we are, continued development of the Global Economy will lead inexorably to the collapse of civilization.The meaning of what we are saying can easily be lost in the very process about human thinking we are describing. The work of George Lakoff explains it in part and does it very well.
The link above to Psychology Today illustrates the dillema we face very well. Who among us would disagree with this:
The delusion here is that a society can progress - or even hold it's own - by embracing an anti-science position and glorifying ignorance. The delusion consists of the belief that denying scientific evidence or knowledge of facts in general is a good basis for making decisions that affect the public. Whether in the halls of Congress, in the media or on Boards of Education, the delusion of the anti-science/pro-ignorance crowd have increasing influence and impact, as polls indicate. It includes denial of evolution, rejection of the evidence for human-created rise of carbon emissions that creates ongoing climate change, and a general embrace of ignorance as a virtue; that it trumps the usefulness of empirical facts.Look closely at this quote and that from our book and you will see the problem. It is not science that we need but a science that does not divorce us from reality and nature.
Today's science has been carefully groomed to feed our addiction. It leads to the technology that fuels the growing capitalist monster. It rejects or ignores any challenge to its myopic and limited utilitarian focus.
We escape this reality by having "the other side" to make us feel superior. What is there to feel superior about if we are contributing just about as much to the problem the world is now facing?
We chose the title "Global Insanity" for a reason. We see our species on a path of self destruction that would continue if every Republican were to vanish instantaneously. We have a mass psychosis and its misidentification is part of that psychosis. Psychotics seldom can identify their illness and we are no exception.