Moderns should view ourselves as facing a dragon: the tendency of human groups to self-destruct through individualism weaponized into defense of the bad against the needs of the good. There are two wolves, good and bad; whichever you feed takes over, and in the name of “equality” we feed the bad too much.
Humans live by projection. We think about the future and choose the outcome we want, then use our desire for it to justify it to ourselves, and then pretend that the world has a moral obligation to deliver it to us in direct proportion to how unrealistic it is.
This means that humans most commonly talk about what they lack. That is, looking at the past, they conjecture what would have made the situation better, and demand it for the future. This makes them self-destructive because they never orient toward the realistic future.
When Barack 0bama ran for president, his posters telegraphed “Hope” as a theme. What this said, in practical terms, was that his voters felt they had no hope and wanted to group together with others who felt the same way, irrespective of whether their votes would produce a hopeful situation.
Wherever humans go, groups form based around negativity. These people do not see a benevolent universe where they can find a good life, but instead choose to visualize the world as a predatory place where they will never have anything and therefore must identify as victims.
We live now in the age of projection based in science, middle class ethics, and moralism centered on equality. These are partial beliefs, and backward beliefs; they look toward problems of the past and idealized solutions.
Moving to an age of forward thinking, we will look at what is missing in those: hard realism. That is, what matters is the challenges we face in the future, and reliving the past stands in our way. Common sense requires that we design for something, not against past errors.
With that however comes a simple idea: if the world is not fully a mystery, then we can organize ourselves in such a way that we thrive instead of poking along in misery like we have been doing since the wars.
The root of religion, after all, is the belief that life is benevolent and with choice (“free will”) we can make our future better instead of worse. This idea was once common in humankind, but now has been repressed behind a need for conformity and trend-chasing.
In an age of forward thinking, we stop reacting to the past and ask simply what we must do in order to thrive. This gets us past the positive appearance of certain methods that have not resulted in positive outcomes. We can let go of the mistakes of the past that in theory address other mistakes.
For us to have this positive thinking, we need something first that we might call lifetrust, or a belief in at least the possibility of positive outcomes. This is an opposite to fatalism and gives us agency over our choices again.
Almost no one believes that anything can be done, which is a handy excuse for giving up on everything but personal bourgeois concerns like our salaries, shopping, and friend group. People see themselves as passengers on a train steered by others.
Perhaps our first step toward sanity is realizing that we crew this train and if the drivers are bad, we can replace them. To do that, we first need to know where it should head instead; this means in part identifying failure and ceasing to do the activities that lead there, but also, finding a positive goal.
We can start with the simplest idea: a society where little of our time is wasted on the unrealistic concerns of others. A place where we do what is necessary and no more. In this place, we aspire to do great things in our free time instead of laboring for a dying system.
Currently very few believe this is possible, but when the ranks of those who have lifetrust and believe in the future swell, the lack of belief in the current way of doing things will quickly doom it. We need to reach that tipping point, and rapidly.