Call me a reformer if you like. Or you can just call me Benedict Arnold if it makes you feel better. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the ancient dichotomy of world views between materialism and moralism sounds a lot like what I’ve said before about McDonald’s and Burger King, Democrat and Republican, etc. So, was there a point to where I was going with that? Well, yes. When we paint this motif in terms of materalism and moralism it takes the conversation to a more fundamental level. To advance this conversation as I’ve suggested I’ll need to be consistent. I’ve said that morals are public myth. By extension, so too must materialism be a myth. I think it is. Let me explain.
Admittedly, most people I know walk the materalist path. But what does that mean, exactly? Well, if you believe in stem cell research becasue it benefits humanity, particularly on the individual level, you might be materialistic. On the other hand, if you object to it on the grounds of morals, you might be a moralist. But the water muddies up a bit when we take these examples to extremes, and that is where I think reform is needed. What if we advanced a social contract in which everyone agreed that we would allow individual liberty without qualification save for the one condition that whatever we do it cannot manifestly harm another? Then I believe we are talking about a kind of enlightened justice. For to say that we can all pursue power, money, sex and whatever else without placing any restrctions on the manifest harm it might cause others then we are taking materialism to an extreme. And a society like this in the Information Age where everyone knows about, accepts and thus practices unbound materlalism cannot last long. And most detractors of it seem to always assume that’s what a materialist is (the extermist mythos) and these “materialists” are called “evil”. By the same token, when someone argues that we should agree that everyone’s life must comport in detail to the Holy Quran and all the “official” hadiths that support it, we are going to the other extreme. And most detractors of moralism assume this extreme when they criticize it (the other side of that extreme mythos). And a society in the Information Age will not tolerate a system like this for long, will be inherently unstable and the new organic power structures of society are now becoming the masses in totalum, not oligarchy.
It’s time to grow up and put the crack pipe down. The gig is up.
I would suggest that both extremes are mythical (inasmuch as neither is sustainable) and used by others to divide, conquer and outright confuse the public. As I stated before with the McDonald’s/Burger King and Democrat/Republican mythos people use this because human beings are easier to control when handed simple, binary choices. The minute you give them something inbetween, or more than just two choices, dissonance and rebellion ensues. It’s almost as if people need a guiding hand to “channel” them in a constructive, controlled and predictable direction to afford the management of society generally. However, I have a novel idea. I think times have changed drastically since this adage applied. I think that changes in the technological infrastructure of our world have made this old adage not entirely applicable. In this day and age deception, lies, and mass “control” are beginning to slip as a viable program for the organization of human society. Due mostly to the Information Age, this kind of scheme is rapidly breaking down and new ideas are needed.
So, my novel idea is this. Honesty. Why not part with these mythos and just admit and promote the reality that a healthy society works best when we are “materialist” to the extent that liberty without exception is the rule of law and “morality” checks us only when we manifestly harm each other? I say manifestly because if I don’t then we get caught up in a circular rabbit hole: if we allow “morality” to define harm we just end up with an extreme of “morality”. We have to draw a line somehow and say that unless it is objectively clear that harm has occurred we cannot make this claim as some kind of loophole to oppress.
For each of the fables and myths which you will know by the name assigned to them, “truth”, and for each opposing fable or myth the other half of your cousins of this good Earth believe, there is minted one counterfeit coin whereupon each side “truth” is delicately engraved.
It’s time to wake up and demand meaningful justice for everyone … everywhere
It’s time to bring meaningful rule of law to everyone … everywhere
The world needs economic dignity for everyone … everywhere
And the Earth cries for a righteous equality for everyone … everywhere
I think this dichotomous extreme of material and moral views has been promoted and pushed for centuries to confuse and weaken the public and its time for the light of illumination to shine on the world and free the human spirit.