A Critique of Pinker and His Optimism

Steven Pinker Thinks the Future Is Looking Bright led me to Steven Pinker’s new book on the Enlightenment is a huge hit. Too bad it gets the Enlightenment wrong. Then I re-read the first piece. It does seem Pinker focuses on rationalism and material measures, and neglect moral issues, such as “Rousseau worried that as civilization progressed according to reason, the cost was moral degradation.”

Global Transformation: A Vision

The transform-the-world movement serves humanity, the environment, and life itself. In each country, movements attend to the interests of their country — and cooperate with movements in other countries to pursue global interests. To protect themselves from powerful, selfish, global financial forces, they support strong nation-states.

In the United States, the movement promotes the general welfare and aims to more fully realize America’s highest ideals — political equality, human rights, and popular rule.

The movement encourages identifying as a member of the human family, affirms other compassionate identities, grows communities whose members help each other become better human beings, nurtures power-sharing partnerships throughout society, appreciates individual accomplishment, and recognizes the need for leadership.

The movement Includes a purple alliance that backs improvements in national policy supported by a majority of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats. The alliance organizes popular support for these proposals, presses local officials and corporations to endorse them, conducts boycotts and nonviolent civil disobedience as needed to gain support, and back candidates who support the alliance.

The focus on winnable demands enables the alliance to build momentum by winning victories, which opens up new possibilities. Hope for deeper reforms increases. To more fully empower individuals and communities, the movement develops new structures and reforms existing structures with measures such as:.

  • Limit the influence of big money on politics with public financing that provides a six dollar match for every individual small donation.
  • Establish voting by mail throughout the country.
  • Require large corporations to get a federal charter that obligates them to: 1) serve the public interest as well as earn a profit, and; 2) allow their employees to elect members to the board of directors.
  • Develop more worker-owned business.
  • Make Medicare available to all.
  • Make affordable, quality child care available to all.
  • Require states to establish independent commissions to draw lines for Congressional districts.
  • Require all Congresspersons and Senators to participate in a monthly two-hour public forum on the second Saturday at 12 Noon for constituents to make comments or ask questions on any topic.
  • Require all police departments to cooperate with civilian review boards that hold the power to impose discipline.
  • Encourage social service agencies to work with client councils that help manage their agency.

To increase individual and community empowerment, the movement includes a network of small teams whose members support each other with their self-development. These teams have two things in common: 1) members endorse the movement’s mission — to serve humanity, the environment, and life itself — and; 2) once a month members briefly report to one another on their self-improvement efforts.

The network of support circles includes previously organized groups — such as book clubs and  committees affiliated with existing organizations — as well as friends, relatives, and individual members of organizations who form teams and join the network.

The personal reports are confidential and each member defines their own goals. The reports may be communicated at the beginning of a previously scheduled meeting or during an informal gathering, such as a meal. Each team may or may not engage in additional activities designed to nurture personal development.

With these methods, the movement advances evolutionary revolution and moves steadily toward transforming the world into a compassionate community dedicated to the common good of all humanity, the environment, and life itself.


Originally posted here.


By Shariff M. Abdullah

Stop Paying Attention to Trump. Start Paying Attention to the People Who Voted for Him

For the longest time, all during the presidential campaign, I kept telling people to STOP paying attention to the Twitter shenanigans of Donald Trump. He is a sociopath, a charlatan, and will be one of our most failed presidents. Not because of his agenda, but because of his lack of one. His role is to further the continued unraveling of this society. Just stop paying attention. I see no need to feed his ego need for notoriety by paying any more attention to him than the sentences I just wrote.

However, there’s a real story here, one that most of the Left and the mainstream media are choosing not to follow. This story is not about Trump. The story is about the people who voted for him, and made him President of the United States….

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