Razing Conservatism to the Ground, One Myth at a Time

by Alfred George (alfred.george@gmx.com)

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  • EMERGENCY HIATUS FOR THIS BLOG

    I'm sorry to inform my readers that this blog will be suspending operations as of today due to an unavoidable emergency. It is unknown when publishing will begin again. I hope that in the meantime, my readers will continue to do everything they can to uproot the conservative Myths and the downright stupid notions that are preventing the nation, and indeed the world, from becoming a decent home for decent human beings.

  • The "Sequester" and Immoral Conservatism

    Today we begin a new series of blogs on the immorality of Conservatism. Each day, we will take up a current intractable problem in American society and show how it is caused and sustained by the Major Myths of Conservatism. As will become clear, the underlying perspective from which all these posts are generated is a decided viewpoint on the nature of so-called Conservatism: Conservatism is not a legitimate world view that can be tolerated by people of good faith; it is a twisted network of idea...

  • A New Series: Immoral Conservatism

    For the past four months, I have been detailing the Major Myths of Conservatism, and showing how they have corrupted society. Rooted in Fear, the Major Myths spread apprehension and strife wherever they reach, and they have reached so far that they now threaten the very survival of the human race. Now, having completed our survey of the Major Myths, we are about to embark on a new series of posts that will focus on pressing current events, in which we will demonstrate how nearly every problem th...

  • The Creativity-Freedom Cycle and Getting Back the Future

    Yesterday, we showed how Creativity releases Freedom, and we ended by pointing out that Creativity and Freedom form two poles, as it were, of a battery. The more Creativity you can express the more Freedom you gain from old restraints (like the Major Myths of Conservatism), and the freer you become, the more creative you can be, which leads to even more Freedom, and so on. Today we will complete our whole study of the Major Myths, the devastation they create, and the need to be released from the...

  • How Creativity Releases Freedom

    Yesterday, we began to see why you must be a creator if you are to make the best use of your life, and we got to the point of showing that you already are free, you just need to realize your innate Freedom by abandoning all the Myths that keep us fearful of using our full potential. Today, we forge the connection between realizing your inner Freedom and becoming a creator. The exercise of Creativity is the key to opening up the natural Freedom that you already possess.

  • Why You Must Become a Creator

    On Friday, we completed our treatment of the GIB tribe (you can find it on Facebook here), and we discussed how you can promote the goals of the tribe while at the same time promoting your own personal goals. Today we will begin a three-day consideration of the most important question of all—How should you spend your life?—and try to show that you must, if you want to get the most out of life, be a creator. Freedom, Creativity, and Life As we have said umpteen times, all the Major Myths are base...

  • Using the GIB Tribe to Create the New Vision

    Yesterday, we posted a short note on how to connect with the Get It Back tribe (you can go to the tribe’s Facebook page here). Today we will discuss briefly how being in touch with the tribe will promote the New Vision needed to remove conservative influences from society. Promoting the goals of the GIB tribe Staying connected to the tribe will be a constant source of inspiration and ideas for spreading the goals of the tribe.

  • Connecting with the GIB Tribe

    Yesterday, we discussed whether the GIB (Get It Back) tribe has any resources. Today, we post just a short note about how to connect with the tribe. Connecting with the GIB Tribe If you want to become a member of the tribe and stay connected to it, the current starting point is The Get It Back Tribe on Facebook.

  • Does the GIB Tribe Have Any Resources?

    Yesterday, we tried to answer the question, How long will the GIB (Get It Back) tribe continue to exist?  Today, we discuss whether the GIB tribe has any resources that its members can use. Does the GIB tribe have any resources? Since the GIB tribe is just beginning, it has no financial resources piled up.

  • How Long Will the GIB Tribe Contine?

    Yesterday, we talked about who belongs to the GIB (Bet It Back) tribe. Today, we try to answer the question, How long will the GIB tribe last? How long will the GIB tribe continue to exist?

  • Who Belongs to the GIB Tribe?

    On Friday, we found that the work of the GIB (Get It Back) tribe will either never be done, or will be done when human beings evolve past the need for it. Today we discuss the sort of person who belongs in the GIB tribe. Who belongs to the GIB tribe?

  • Will "The Work" of the GIB Tribe Ever Be Finished?

    Yesterday we talked about ways in which belonging to the GIB tribe can help you to do the work that is particularly yours. Today we answer the question whether the work of the GIB tribe—namely, bringing and end to the baleful influence of Conservatism—can ever really be finished. Will the work of the GIB tribe ever be done?

  • Doing "The Work" with the GIB Tribe

    Yesterday, we explained how the GIB (Get It Back) tribe is dedicated to promoting the New Vision of society that will extinguish the Major Myths of Conservatism and usher in a creative and cooperative society, a world that will be hospitable rather than hostile to the aspirations of young people. Today we will discuss how the GIB tribe can help you to do the work that represents your special contribution to the world. Being part of the GIB tribe can help you to do the work Being part of the trib...

  • The Get It Back Tribe vs. The Major Myths

    Yesterday, we made a short remark on how belonging to a tribe can assist you in your creative activities. Today, we begin to discuss the specific action of the GIB (Get It Back) Tribe: how it is dedicated to breaking the hold of the Major Myths of Conservatism and set the nation on a course that is aligned with the future, rather than dead set against it. How the GIB tribe will shrink the influence of the Major Myths If you want to see a world that will be welcoming to your dreams and to your ch...

  • The Tribe and Creativity

    Yesterday we discussed how a tribe magnifies your voice, and takes up the work that you choose to do immediately, making your contributions instantly influential. Today we just want to make a tiny remark about the way in which belonging to tribe assists your efforts to become a creator. How a tribe helps you to be a creator Interaction with a tribe provides you with a continuous source of comment and feedback that will generate ideas to consider and possible projects to turn into realities.

  • How a Tribe Magnifies Your Voice

    On Friday we discussed what it means to join a tribe, and described the main benefits of belonging to one—especially the way it keeps the fire at the heart of the tribe’s interest burning brightly. Today we will see how a tribe can make your individual voice exponentially louder. How a tribe magnifies your voice As part of a tribe’s internal conversation, an individual’s ideas and creative output will be taken up by the others and projected outward as the collective voice of the tribe makes itse...

  • Joining a Tribe

    Yesterday we discussed distributed power, and we described the Get It Back (GIB) Tribe, the group of young people dedicated to eradicating the Major Myths of Conservatism and freeing the future from the Fear that darkens the hearts of conservatives. Today we will treat the topic of joining a tribe such as the GIB Tribe. What does it mean to join a tribe?

  • The Get It Back Tribe

    Yesterday we completed our consideration of the work that is your most authentic contribution to the world, and we concluded that doing the work is not some pie-in-the-sky, new-age type of dream, but a very real goal that everyone should try to attain—both for their own satisfaction in life and for the real good it brings into the world. But we also found that society as it is now constituted neither makes it easy for people to find the work that is their own nor makes it pleasant to do the work...

  • Doing "The Work" Is Not a Utopian Dream

    Yesterday, we showed that the work does not have to attract widespread attention, nor operate at the genius level in order to change the world. Many people seem to believe, however, that what we’ve described is some sort of dreaming that can never happen in reality. They think people who talk this way are imagining some sort of non-existent utopia in which everyone achieves all their dreams.

  • "The Work" Need Not Be Genius

    Yesterday, we saw that the work has the potential to change the world. That is why we recommend finding the work that is your special contribution as soon as you can, so you can start changing the world as soon as possible. Today, we discuss a problem that many people have when they first hear about finding the work that is their unique role in life: they wonder how good the work has to be, and often this stops them from even trying to find it, because they are afraid they will not measure up to...

  • Can "the Work" Change the World?

    On Friday, we considered whether the work has a time limit, and we saw that is does not, because it is the activity that you would choose do if nothing else got in your way. Today, we discuss the most important aspect of the work: is it possible for the work to change the world? Can the work transform the world?

  • Why "the Work" Never Ends

    Today we discuss whether the work ever comes to an end. Does the work have a time limit? People often ask, “How long do I have to keep doing the work?” This question arises from a misunderstanding based on the notion that work of any kind is drudgery, and that work stops when a goal is attained.

  • Does "the Work" Have to "Matter"?

    Yesterday, we discussed how you can find the work that is your special contribution to the world. But we also pointed out that some people are too anxious to see specific results from the work, and give it up if the results they imagine don’t come soon enough. Today we will see that the work always produces results that matter—even if they are not what we expect to happen, and therefore appear to us as not mattering.

  • How Do You Find "The Work" For You?

    For the past few days, we’ve been discussing how young Americans can change the culture in the nation, change it so that the Myths of Conservatism will stop holding us back from creating a new world. We have suggested that doing the work (an idea we’ve borrowed from Seth Godin) that is your most satisfying activity in life can change the world. But how do you find the work that is specially yours?

  • How "The Work" Differs from Work

    Yesterday we cleared up the distinction between work and pay, and tried to show that the work for today’s young person quite likely falls outside the range of what is remunerated labor in our society. Today we will try to mark out the characteristics that make the work different from other activities. What distinguishes the work from other activities?

  • Conservative Myths About Work and Pay

    On Friday, we introduced the notion of the work—the idea borrowed from Seth Godin that you have a special activity at this time of your life that endows your moments with supreme satisfaction and joy when you do it. And we said we would be discussing how young progressives can use the work to build a future that is consonant with their ideals and dreams. But today we’re going to discuss a preliminary difficulty before we get to talking about the work proper: a misapprehension about work and remu...

  • Progressives "Doing the Work"

    Yesterday we began to speak of how liberals and progressives can become more creative in all aspects of their lives, and, in doing so, move the whole nation away from the Fear that grips Conservatism in all its manifestations. We also ventured the opinion that it will not be the older generations of Americans who manage to shift the needle far enough into liberal territory to get the country back in progressive gear after nearly half a century of conservative foot-dragging. My generation, the ba...

  • Creativity for Young Progressives

    Since the November election, we have been debunking all the Major Myths of Conservatism, and we have been trying to indicate what liberals and progressives need to do to break free from the culturally ambient influence of the Major Myths. From the beginning of our project, we have seen that the central force holding together all the conservative Myths is Fear. In the past few days we have shown that the force best suited to overcome Fear is Creativity.

  • Creativity and Happiness

    Yesterday we laid out a simple two-step plan for enhance freedom and creativity in your life. Today we will discuss the link between creativity and happiness. The bottom line is: you cannot be fulfilled if you are not creative in some way.

  • How to Become Free and Creative

    Yesterday we saw that becoming freer increases your creative powers, and that becoming more creative makes you more free. Today we are going to describe a two-step practical plan for increasing your creative capacities, because, as we said a few days ago, Creativity is the force that is going to make the future different from the past. Practical plan for becoming free and creative If you are going to align yourself with creativity, the force of the future, you need a plan.

  • Creativity and Freedom Reciprocally Related

    On Friday, we saw that putting fears to rest is the beginning of freedom, and that freedom and creativity go hand in hand. Today, we will pursue the reciprocal relation between freedom and creativity, to see how becoming free enhances creativity and how becoming creative increases freedom. Becoming free increases creativity We have discussed the ways in which confronting fears set you free.

  • Eliminating Primary Fears the Beginning of Freedom

    Yesterday we saw how the Major Myths of Conservatism actually exacerbate the fears that they purport to allay. Today we will show that eliminating from our thinking the primary fears that produce the Major Myths can set us on the path to freedom. Elimination of primary fears the beginning of freedom Truly creative people, the ones who astound us with their apparently effortless and endless production of new, useful, and beautiful creations, all have one important secret.

  • The Fraudulent Promise of the Major Myths

    Yesterday we saw that the Fear underlying all conservative Myths limits our abilities, and makes us uncreative. Today we discuss how the Myths, which purport to be the solutions to the fears that motivate them, actually only intensify the fears. The Myths produce disquiet rather than security The Myths exist because they offer the illusion of escaping from the primary fears.

  • The Drastic Limitations of the Major Myths

    Yesterday we saw what it would take to tear ourselves away from the Fear that underlies the Major Myths: we have to align ourselves with the force of Creativity. Today we will take another look at the Fear beneath all the Myths, and we will see that it causes the Myths to limit our potential, and thus prevents us from aligning with the force of Creativity. Another look at the primary fears underlying conservatism As soon as we began our consideration of the Major myths we learned that there are ...

  • The Force of the Past vs. the Force of the Future

    Yesterday we showed that the root of all conservative thought is Fear, and that this pervasive Fear boxes conservatives in, prevents them from being able to see ways of being and doing things that are not based on Fear. To that extent that conservative, Myth-based thinking has infected the world, we are all more or less paralyzed by Fear. The best we can do is continue to spin our wheels, responding fearfully over and over again, even though it either gets us nowhere or digs us into a deeper hol...

  • From Production to Creation

    Last Friday we tried to show how the baby-boom generation is almost incurably addicted to the perverted view of the world that is modern conservatism. The seven Major Myths of conservative thought have so suffused the world view of my generation that even opposing thought is caught in the web of distortions. We went on to explain that it will have to be the younger generation who will break the hold of the Myths, if they are ever to be broken, because the older generation can’t seem to change th...

  • The New Vision

    For the past two months, ever since the American people made it clear in the last election that they really are starting to turn away from the dead-end morass of conservative stupidity, this blog has been detailing that stupidity. We explained that the conservative world view is dominated by a set of seven Major Myths that are seriously perverted. We considered each Myth in turn, and showed step-by-step how the Myth of Scarcity, the Myth of Self-interest, the Myth of Competition, the Myth of Ind...

  • The Myth of Capitalism 11

    Yesterday we showed how the Myth of Capitalism gives us a distorted picture of the reality of human nature and societal interaction. Today we will complete our treatment of the Myth of Capitalism by considering the possibility that Capitalism may not be the best the only solution to the problems of economics, and by suggesting some possibilities for the creation of a successor to the Capitalist model. Alternatives to capitalism The baby boom generation grew up in the shadow of communism and soci...

  • The Myth of Capitalism 10

    Yesterday we saw how the habit of making profit can eat away at a person’s personal morality. Today we will investigate more broadly how the Myth of Capitalism presents a distorted picture of reality, of our interactions with one another, and of human behavior generally. The Myth of Capitalism provides a faulty portrayal of human behavior Theories of human behavior cannot be acceptable if they do not include some account of the reality of benevolence.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 9

    Yesterday we saw that the profit motive stands in conflict with the Good. Today we will show how the profit motive can erode the moral sense. The profit motive can degrade personal morality Thinking like a profiteer long enough can skew your perception of right and wrong, just as any bad habit can warp your natural responses.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 8

    On Friday we discussed how “job creators” are not necessary for conducting the work of a decent society. Today we will see that Capitalism’s prime directive, the profit motive, is in very great conflict with being decent and virtuous, because profit itself can be more enticing that the Good. The profit motive conflicts with the Good Profit, the highest good of Capitalism, can be pursued morally or immorally.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 7

    Yesterday, we saw that Capitalism, because of its intrinsic injustice, cannot be allowed to run free wherever it wants. On the contrary, it must be controlled by a stronger force if it is not to do harm to workers. Today, we discuss the fact that capitalists, or “job creators” as they are now called, are not at all necessary to live a decent life.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 6

    Yesterday, we discussed why private enterprise is not necessarily more helpful in leading a good life than public services. Today we will consider why Capitalism needs to be reined in. Why capitalism needs to be governed It is often said that Capitalism is the engine of democracy.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 5

    Yesterday we showed that the rights of workers are always superior to the rights of capitalists. Today we will see that private enterprise, a fetish of Capitalism, is not necessarily more helpful to living a decent life than public services. Private goods not necessarily better than public goods Many capitalists and would-be capitalists, powerfully influenced by the Myths, claim that private enterprise is always superior to public services.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 4

    Yesterday we saw that the injustice that is at the heart of Capitalism can be mitigated by decent humanity, but not eliminated. Today we will discuss the conflict created by Capitalism between the worker and the capitalist, and we will show that in that conflict the rights of the worker are superior to the rights of the capitalist. The worker’s rights superior to the capitalist’s Abraham Lincoln, quite possibly our greatest president, foresaw the Myth of Capitalism, recognized clearly the injust...

  • The Myth of Capitalism 3

    On Friday, we saw that Capitalism is founded on an immoral act without which it cannot exist. Consequently, we have to say that Capitalism is intrinsically immoral. Today we will discuss how the immorality built into Capitalism can be softened to some extent by concern for our fellow human beings, even though such steps can never remove the unjust origin of Capitalism.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 2

    Yesterday, we introduced the Myth of Capitalism, the belief that Free-market capitalism is an unquestionably beneficial and moral economic system. And we claimed that this belief could not be more mistaken, because Capitalism is inherently immoral. Today we will show that Capitalism is based on an immoral act that cannot be separated from it, an act of force that make the whole system intrinsically unjust.

  • The Myth of Capitalism 1

    Yesterday we discussed how we can be moral without Religion and Tradition. Having shown earlier that neither Religion nor Tradition can ground the decent behavior required by society, we had to take a detour to answer that question. Today, we resume our main task by taking out the next Major Myth of conservative thought —the Myth of Capitalism.

  • Morality without Religion and Tradition

    After we completed our discussion of the Myth of Tradition yesterday, we noted that a serious question had arisen in the course of the past few weeks. Having shown that neither Religion nor Tradition can guarantee the moral behavior that society needs, it becomes necessary to address the question, “How can we be moral without Religion and Tradition?” Today we answer this question. From Morality to Love We have seen the neither Religion not Tradition are able to engender absolute morality.

  • The Myth of Tradition 8

    Yesterday, we saw that the conservative traditionalist’s claim that “Tradition works” needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and that arguing in favor of something merely because it is a tradition has no force whatsoever, since that says nothing at all about whether the thing being defended is good or bad. Today, we will show why all the difficulties associated with using Tradition as a defense for one’s beliefs make it impossible to grant Tradition any exalted rank among the possible justifica...

  • The Myth of Tradition 7

    On Friday, we saw how much truth is actually in Tradition, and to what extent we should allow Tradition to influence our lives. Today, we will discuss the often-heard claim of traditionalists that “Tradition works.” The notion that “Tradition works” Tradition, according to its advocates, is supposed to “work.” This means, I suppose, that if you follow the principles advocated by Tradition, life will go better for you than if you don’t. Or maybe it means that Tradition lays down wise ground-rules...

  • The Myth of Tradition 6

    Yesterday we discussed what happens when we rely on Tradition too much, and we saw that it is a bad idea to do so, because change is more prevalent than stasis. Today, we will see how much truth there really is in Tradition, and how much we should allow it influence our lives. How much truth there is in Tradition Many people stand by Tradition because it is supposed to contain the wisdom of the ages.

  • The Myth of Tradition 5

    Yesterday we discussed the combination of Religion and Tradition, and showed that society must disregard both Religion and Tradition when they try to maintain old customs that have become harmful through the passage of time and the progress of thought. Today we will examine what happens when we rely on Tradition too much, and we will see that it is a bad idea to do so, because change is more prevalent than stasis. Over-reliance on Tradition Tradition does not easily cede to change.

  • The Myth of Tradition 4

    Yesterday we discussed to what extent Tradition should be respected, and we saw that the limit of respecting Tradition is the line where it is harmful to society. Today we will look at the combination of Religion and Tradition, and show that society must disregard both Religion and Tradition when they try to maintain old customs that have become harmful through the passage of time and the progress of thought. Relation between Religion and Tradition Most religious people are devoted to the tradit...

  • The Myth of Tradition 3

    Yesterday we discussed the fact that Tradition is full of foolishness, injustice, and irrationality, in addition to whatever truth it contains. We saw that this situation makes it impossible to justify any particular belief by a mere appeal to Tradition. Today we will examine the extent to which Tradition can be respected.

  • The Myth of Tradition 2

    On Friday we saw that Tradition cannot possibly be a fundamental value in a democratic society, because people are generally mistaken in assuming that Tradition is the repository of “what works” from all of human history. Today we will see that some aspects of Tradition are foolish, unjust, and irrational. Tradition contains much folly, injustice, and irrationality Anyone who takes an unbiased look as Tradition has to admit that it holds not just wisdom, but also a great deal of foolishness.

  • The Myth of Tradition 1

    We saw yesterday, as we completed our treatment of the Myth of Religion, that those who believe that Religion is the source of morality in society are also likely to place great value on Tradition, since both Religion and Tradition seem to have their roots deep in antiquity. Today we begin to examine the conservative Myth of Tradition, which combines with the other Major Myths to further consolidate a world view that is debilitating, destructive, and selfish in the highest degree. We will start ...

  • The Myth of Religion 7

    Yesterday we saw why political society should not take an inferior place to Religion. Today we will end our consideration of the Myth of Religion by discussing the truly useful and beneficial role Religion can play in society. Religion’s useful role in society All this criticism of Religion that we have covered during the previous week does not imply that it has no useful role at all to play in society.

  • The Myth of Religion 6

    Yesterday we saw that Religion's claims to deliver absolute morality are insubstantial, and that Religion need not try to govern all societal concerns. Today we will discuss why politics ought not to be subservient to Religion. Religion not superior to politics Is religion really a superior power to which society and politics should defer?

  • The Myth of Religion 5

    Yesterday we saw that the last two religious sources of truth—moral sentiments and right reason—are far too unreliable to ground morality in society. Today we will learn (1) that the claim Religion makes to deliver absolute morality is entirely specious, and (2) that Religion does not need to be implicated in every political question, as many fundamentalist religionists believe. Religion’s claim to absolute morality dubious Religion’s claim to deliver absolute morality is controverted both by fa...

  • The Myth of Religion 4

    Last week we began our discussion of the Myth of Religion—the belief that morality and decent behavior in society depend on Religion. On Friday we learned that there are three sources of truth claimed by Religion—revelation, moral sentiments, and right reason—and we saw that revelation is not reliable enough to ground moral behavior in society. Today we will look at the remaining two ways that Religion claims to access truth, and it will become apparent that neither of them is reliable enough fo...

  • The Myth of Religion 3

    Yesterday we discussed why society cannot depend on Religion to guarantee morality, and why Religion cannot establish virtue in society. Today we are going to see that Religion claims three modes of gaining access to truth—revelation, moral sentiment, and right reason—and that the first of them is an unreliable source of morality. Religion’s access to truth: revelation, moral sentiment, and right reason Religion generally recognizes three ways of accessing truth: revelation, moral sentiments, an...

  • The Myth of Religion 2

    Yesterday we began our consideration of the Myth of Religion—the belief that morality and decency depend on Religion—by pointing out that Religion is not a good basis for morality, and that using it to enforce morality generates weak and servile characters. Today we will see why society does not need Religion to enforce morality, and we will show that Religion cannot create virtue in society. Why society does not need religion to police decency As Immanuel Kant pointed out long ago,⁠ there is an...

  • The Myth of Religion 1

    Yesterday we finished our treatment the Myth of Independence with a discussion of how that Myth leads to the corruption of justice in society, and how it violates the fundamental principle of American justice, namely, all men are created equal. We also mentioned that the Mythers, who convince themselves through the Myth of Independence that they need no one else, try to substitute Religion for the ties that hold society together. Because the Myths feed them full of mistaken notions, they misunde...

  • The Myth of Independence 5

    Yesterday we discussed how the Major Myths, and in particular the Myth of Independence, cause Mythers to misunderstand justice. Today we will see that their inability to understand justice cuts to the quick of the American way of life. The Myths infect the heart of society, which is justice In The Federalist, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, writes that the entire purpose of government is justice.

  • The Myth of Independence 4

    On Friday, we saw how the Myth of Independence, combined with the Myth of Self-interest, makes conservatives unjust and ungrateful, and thus unfit to live in society. Today we will discuss a specific aspect of this unsuitability for social life: The Myth of Independence contributes to the corruption of justice in society. Mythers do not understand justice, the central virtue of social life The Myth of Independence—the belief that the strong succeed in life on their own—not only makes people shor...

  • The Myth of Independence 3

    Yesterday, we saw that both religion and science reject the Myth of Independence, and that the very existence of society itself is evidence that humans are not independent, but are interdependent. Today we will discuss how the beliefs of the Mythers, especially the Myth of Independence, make them unjust and ungrateful, and consequently unfit to live in society. Extreme Mythers are unjust and ungrateful Because humans are interdependent, the totally self-interested person—one who accepts an unqua...

  • The Myth of Independence 2

    Yesterday we began to consider the Myth of Independence—that is, the belief that the strong succeed in life on their own— by pointing out the utter falsity of that notion in the face of reality. Today we discuss other evidence that testifies against the Myth of Independence, because, after all, there seem to be many people who don’t have much of an ability to see what is right in front of their faces, and whose contact with reality is tenuous. First we will see what religion and science have to ...

  • The Myth of Independence 1

    Yesterday we completed our consideration of the Myth of Competition with an account of some of the thinkers who are coming to understand that cooperation beats competition, and with some advice on how to promote cooperation in our personal lives and in our social relations. Today we begin a new topic. The first three Major Myths—the Myth of Scarcity, the Myth of Self-interest, and the Myth of Competition—create the impression that living in the world is a struggle—a grand competition against nat...

  • The Myth of Competition 5

    Yesterday we saw that cooperation, and not competition, is the real secret to all social activity, and that by replacing competition with cooperation, we can often achieve superior results. Today I want to discuss the small but growing group of thinkers that is challenging the dominance of the Myth of Competition, the ways we can resist the pressure of society to conform to this Myth, and what we can do to increase the influence of cooperation in society. Competition long known to fail in many a...

  • The Myth of Competition 4

    We begin this week continuing our discussion of the Myth of Competition, the belief that competition is necessary for survival. On Friday we saw how competition brings out vices in people, and how it is not the basic fact of life that many—especially “conservatives”—think it is. Along the way, we learned that competition is a derivative phenomenon that depends on something else in order to exist at all, namely, cooperation.

  • The Myth of Competition 3

    Yesterday, we saw how competition dulls our abilities and makes us operate at a low level. Today I want to discuss how competition is the source of a host of vices, and how it just isn’t the fundamental fact of life that many people think it is. Competition breeds vices Another reason why the Myth of Competition has become so poisonous derives from its being so universally accepted.

  • The Myth of Competition 2

    Yesterday we saw that the Myth of Competition—the notion that competition is necessary for survival—is a deeply ingrained idea that has developed a positive connotation, and that it is, in fact, a weakness. Today I want to discuss how competition dulls our faculties and makes us function at a low level. Focus on competition constricts our abilities Because competitiveness has such a positive penumbra, it may seem counterintuitive to say that it actually constricts our faculties.

  • The Myth of Competition 1

    Now that we have seen that the Myth of Scarcity and the Myth of Self-interest are insidious beliefs that poison the lives of those who believe them and those who interact with those who believe in them, it is time to tackle a new Myth, the Myth of Competition. This Myth rises naturally out of the other two, but is even more pervasive and destructive. Today we will discuss the nature of this Myth, how it has been turned into a principle that seems benign and even beneficial, and why this principl...

  • The Myth of Self-interest 5

    Having already discussed the fact that the Myth of Self-interest cannot possibly be true, and that believing it puts one at war with reality (a situation that always turns out badly), yesterday we saw how belief in the Myth of Self-interest leads to isolation and distance from others. As if these disadvantages were not enough to make this Myth unpalatable, today we will see how it makes friendship impossible, and how it poisons life unnecessarily. The Myth of Self-interest makes friendship impos...

  • The Myth of Self-interest 4

    Last week we began to discuss the Myth of Self-interest, the belief that everyone acts out of self-interest, but the combination of all these self-interested actions results in the best possible outcome. Over several days  I tried to show that Self-interest cannot possibly be at the root of human behavior, that Self-interest is just another name for selfishness, that Self-interest is not compatible with decent morality, that the modern starting-point for the predominance of this Myth was pr...

  • The Myth of Self-interest 3

    Yesterday we saw that Self-interest is not to be confused with “enlightened self-interest,” and that it cannot be the fundamental principle of human action. Today we’re going to look at the question of whether Self-interest can be the fundamental principle of any group activity. Self-interest simply cannot be the first principle of people living or working together.

  • The Myth of Self-interest 2

    Yesterday I tried to show (1) that Self-interest cannot possibly be at the root of human behavior, (2) that Self-interest is just another name for selfishness, and (3) that Self-interest is not compatible with decent morality. Today I will discuss (1) the historical origin of the modern Conservative notion of Self-interest as the fundamental motivator of human beings, (2) the tendency to confuse the principle of Self-interest with “enlightened self-interest,” and (3) the fact that Self-interest ...

  • THe Myth of Self-interest 1

    For the past several days we have tried to show that the fundamental Conservative fear of scarcity is a myth. There is no rational reason to fear shortages of essential commodities, or to fear the reversion of people to savagery in the face of scarcity. Since this fear is an essential support of the Conservative world view, that fact that it is not rooted in reality means that Conservatism is not founded in reality.

  • The Myth of Scarcity 3

    Over the past few days, we have seen that the Myth of Scarcity is mistaken on a number of points. There is no need to fear shortages of food, water, land, energy, or money. These are the main things that people are afraid of losing.

  • The Myth of Scarcity 2

    Last week we began to see that Conservatism rests on several Major Myths. These Myths, because they are fundamental mistakes, make virtually all of conservative thinking fundamentally wrong. And to the extent that we tolerate Conservatism, we tolerate fundamental error, which leads to fundamental mistakes in judgment, to fundamental mistakes in ethics, and ultimately to fundamental mistakes in action.

  • The Myth of Scarcity 1

    Yesterday we introduced the seven Major Myths that beset Conservatism. Today, we begin our study of the first of them, the Myth of Scarcity. The Myth of Scarcity goes something like this: We need to fear running out of resources, and we need to fear other people, who will harm or kill us in order to steal our resources.

  • The Seven Major Myths

    The Myths Conservatives Believe Conservatives believe a host of mistaken opinions, or Myths, that misguide them and cause them to misapprehend the entire world around them. There are a large number of them, and to address them all would be a prodigious undertaking. So I have chosen seven Major Myths that I judge to be the most pernicious.

  • The Beginning

    The American people have just beaten back the latest—and we hope the last—attack on decent democracy by the rabid right.  Now it is time to turn this defeat for Republicans into a complete rout for Conservatism. If America wants to regain its prosperity, recover its birthright, and untarnish its honor, it must repudiate Conservatism once and for all.

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