The article below offers a worldview, starting with an abstract philosophical foundation, upon which increasingly pragmatic structures can be built. The framework presented here is deliberately compatible with the political philosophy known as Social Futurism, although it is not part of Social Futurism, per se.
1. IDEALISM, & A VISION FOR HUMANITY
I believe that there is an ultimate “Good”, just as Plato did1. I believe that this Ideal Good is approached – but can never be truly reached – via non-attachment and selfless love. These ideas are the closest I come to religious Faith in the modern sense2, and they are most definitely views that would have been familiar to the ancient Greeks.
It is important to note that just because I believe in an Ideal Good, that does not mean I believe people to be naturally or intrinsically good, or that good things can be achieved without hard work, disciplined adherence to principles, and simply doing what one must, no matter how hard or complicated it may be. Good is an ideal – The Ideal in Plato’s framework – and as such it can only be imperfectly realized by human beings.
2. BALANCE, REALITY, & TRUTH
In the everyday world of pragmatic concerns, I believe in balance. I believe that imbalance is a sign of irrationality and sickness. We are all imbalanced in many ways, at many times in our lives, but the critical virtue is the desire to understand one’s own situation and work toward a higher balance of some sort. I am tolerant, to the extent that anyone at least attempts to attain balance, but utterly intolerant of all that lays beyond that minimal expectation. Those who betray the very basis of intelligent toleration cannot themselves be tolerated.
I also believe we must acknowledge that Truth and Reality exist, even if they are imperfectly accessible to humans. Wilful ignorance is the ultimate embrace of imbalance and the dysfunction it engenders. Distorting reality (and disregarding all principle) to suit one’s own desires is vandalism, parasitism, and anti-social behaviour of the worst sort. Commitment to an Ideal Good requires commitment to Truth. That said, we must be aware that even complete fictions can (and often do) have very real consequences. When they are used for good, that can arguably be a justified, acceptable, or even necessary thing. When they are not used for good, then they represent a threat to civilization itself.
3. SPECTACLE/DIALECTIC VS. RADICAL CENTRISM
I believe that our society is governed by Spectacle; which is to say the modern equivalent of “bread and circuses”, designed as an array of deliberately false choices between options that don’t matter, and which only really distract from important issues. Coke versus Pepsi. America versus Russia. Sports Team A versus Sports Team B. Conservative/Republican versus Labour/Liberal/Democrat. Left-wing versus Right-wing.
Within the realms of politics and economics, I refuse to align myself wholly with Left- or Right-wing “camps” in any all-encompassing manner that forces me to abandon my personal commitment to principle. Such tribal affiliation, chosen without regard to (and often in direct contradiction of) evidence on an issue-by-issue basis, is intrinsically unbalanced, and thus effectively a disease of the individual mind and of society. Instead, I believe in having consistent principles, respecting the importance of evidence, and remaining committed to helping others where possible. Where that may suggest a Right- or Left-wing view on my part, then so be it.
For example, I believe that where individuals, groups, or indeed entire nations desire self-determination and are not harming others, then we should respect that desire. I am committed to that idea, as a matter of principle. It just so happens that it can variously be considered a Left- or Right-wing idea depending not only on who is judging, but also on which self-determination-desiring people are being discussed at any given moment. Similarly, although I do not believe in Marxist concepts such as “Class Struggle”, I do believe very firmly in the importance of proper respect and remuneration for the working class, and am aware that any number of views might be taken of where this places me on the political spectrum. I am not concerned with such labels, but am wholly committed to principle, and thus consider myself a Radical Centrist.
4. WHO YOU ARE IS WHAT YOU DO
It is a strange irony of our time, that just as technology draws us together into an ever-smaller “Global Village“, we humans seem determined to separate ourselves from each other. As the failures of Liberal Democracy become more and more apparent, both the Left and Right increasingly focus on divisive notions of “Identity Politics“, which is to say political thinking organized around the idea that your politics must inevitably and irrevocably be decided by your background, whether that background be characterized in terms of sexuality, economic class, age, physiology, language, ethnicity, culture, or any other factor.
I am a Transhumanist. As such, I seek to transcend the limitations of all such characteristics, through technology. Taken in combination with my commitment to Idealism (specifically to the Idea of the Good, and to a transcendent human civilization), this logic draws toward an inevitable conclusion: That true peace and unity can only be achieved if we fix our vision on a uniting future goal-ideal, rather than on the increasingly irrelevant divisions of the past.
But what is this “future goal-ideal”? If we are to transcend contemporary Identity Politics, then we must work toward a category of existence which transcends all of the current categorizations. In other words, we must become a new class of being: One defined not by the circumstances or constraints of its past, but by the future-vision it is committed to. I envisage a future humanity which spans an entire continuum of Personhood, from leadership in the form of godlike Posthuman, post-biological beings, to a citizenry of genetically engineered biological Transhumans, and beyond to a wider realm of guaranteed wellbeing for sentient beings achieved via Abolitionist technologies.
The future I want is one which achieves both unity and diversity… one in which all citizens may optimize themselves to best fulfill their chosen societal roles, and in doing so help bring society together. The unity of a civilization is defined by its ability to act as a single, coordinated unit in its growth and development as a living thing. In contrast to the many “inherited” political identities we know today, I foresee a kind of uniting, aspirational identity I call the “Ajati” (an ancient Sanskrit term suggesting someone not-born, or made, rather than born).
The essence of this idea is that people do not need to be defined by factors beyond their control, but can instead grow into a new identity based upon their commitment to helping the community. In other words, your actions determine your identity. Who You Are Is What You Do.
5. SERIOUS GAMES
Taking these points together, the logical conclusion is my strident advocacy of Social Futurism. When we combine that with the views expressed here and here, the natural next step is to establish a foundation for my own path, moving forward. I would encourage everyone who feels some affinity with Social Futurism to create their own personal network of like-minded allies, so that we may all work together efficiently to forge solutions for a better future.
For more information about my personal approach to these matters, see the ZS Array webpage.
1For my views on Western symbolism re: this ideal, with a particular focus on the “Black Sun” or “Black Star” symbol: https://sites.google.com/view/zero-state/glossary/b/black-sun
2Actually I am something of a Neo-Pagan, but I don’t tend to mention that in mixed company simply because people tend to leap to unwarranted conclusions and attack positions that I would never defend. For now, let’s just say that – as a matter of principle – I most emphatically do not believe anything that is contrary to reliable evidence (AKA Science). If you don’t know how I can be true to that stance and be a (Neo-)Pagan, then I’m afraid that you simply haven’t thought about it hard enough or done your homework, and are not ready for that conversation. I will not do your homework for you. On a similar note, I am interested in the Western esoteric traditions of alchemy and ritual magic, but approach such things in a rigorously rational, empirical, and scientific manner.