RWER Blog: Cultural Evolution and The New Paradigm

Me:  Paradigm changes are penultimate cultural events, and long over due paradigm changes like the monetary and economic paradigm of Debt Only which has been in force for at least the 5000 year old course of human civilization have the potential for effecting multi-disciplinary leaps of human cultural evolution including that of consciousness studies.

KZ:  Craig, before we go listing the “penultimate” cultural changes in human history, perhaps we need to look closely for what some of these might be. For example, Sapiens invention of religion, of government, of economics. Are these penultimate? Or what about the invention of monotheistic religions. Or maybe the invention of atomic energy? Some ideas about distinguishing penultimate from everyday would be useful.

Me:  Cultures are patterns…and so are paradigm changes. That’s evident by definition. I’m referring to the known classical paradigm changes like from Hunting and Gathering/Nomadism to Agriculture-Homesteading, Hand written communication to mechanical with the invention of the Guttenberg Press, the Copernican Cosmological paradigm change from terra-centrism to helio-centrism which was in many ways responsible for the rise of the scientific viewpoint, the change from analogue to digital/cybernetic.

I probably misused the word penultimate as it refers to second to last, although the paradigm change from Debt Only to Monetary Gifting being such an integrated part of human existence and so long overdue may actually be penultimate in that it could possibly lift the so called curse of Adam (only by the sweat of thy brow shalt ye eat your bread) and enable the ushering in of an age of leisure (self chosen constructive activities) and enable the first technologically advanced contemplative society which in turn could eventually enable what I would consider an ultimate paradigm change from religiosity/dogmatism to spirituality (focus on the self actualization of the beneficial experiences behind such dogmas).

RL:  True, Craig, but how do we assess the pertinence of leadersship to success as opposed to group coordination and cooperation. If one lives in the United States, which is besotted with leadership, CEOs, military elites, etc, it is almost impossible to get people to appreciate the superiority of the group, leadership that is group rooted, which is considered to be far superior to US leadership concepts, of MBA, military academy training. Each side argues relative strengths or weaknesses, the superiority of strategic theory and instrumental implementation in the US system, the superiority of the German, on the operational level.

KZ:  Robert, excellent comment. I concur in full. Craig, you present some interesting notions. But aside from Robert’s arguments, you should keep in mind that most cultural changes are not planned and certainly not planned in the detail you describe. But more importantly cultural changes develop via group consensus. Achieving such consensus is difficult. Wars have been fought over consensus.

Me: Robert, yes that is a good point. I would say that cultures take on the character of their paradigms, and since the nature and the way that the policies of the new paradigm of Monetary Gifting would be best integrated into our culture is the utterly integrated/integrative/decentralized tool of double entry bookkeeping that would help influence the mindset of the group toward the wisdom of enlightened leisurely anarchy which I would define as the individual freed into what he/she thought was their own ideal scene/utopia combined with and guided by a hierarchy of human needs like Maslow’s pyramid including his final level that he added after the first pyramid was introduced…self transcendence.

It’s just another example of Wisdom’s process of the integration of opposites.

Ken, IMO lack of conscious planning is part of the problem. However, having the leisure time, the relative guaranteed security of great technological productivity provided by the new paradigm of Monetary Gifting and the valid psychological guidance of a Maslow or any of the world’s wisdom traditions thoughtfully acculturated is undoubtedly the direction to move.

Wisdom is integration/integrating.

And finally, there is no end to history and not everyone has to be or can be wise (as part of wisdom is the positive and constructive integration of one’s experiences youth will inevitably be lacking it to one degree or another), but if the dominant ethic of a culture is wisdom rather than by definition any other lesser (and less inclusive) consideration…I trust we’ll be progressing.

KZ:  Craig, Sapiens history shows it to be a pernicious and creative species. The changes you suggest would need to not just blunt but eliminate for all time both these aspects of Sapiens. That seems impossible, not to mention futile. As to “conscious” planning I’m not certain I know what that is. Neither does anyone else I know of.

Me:  Well, as you might have noticed I’m not into counsels of despair. Wisdom isn’t just airy-fairy nonsense it’s the positive integration of the practical and the ideal. I would only say that one of the cures for cynicism is getting a new hobby that breaks up one’s intellectual fallow ground and hopefully brings them into closer contact with the glories of present time that they may not have experienced since they were a child.



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