A Response to WhatIfAltHist’s Manifesto. Part 2: the Foundation

Continuing on the discussion on WhatIfAltHist’s manifesto, let’s explore more complex, nuanced perspectives that do not villainize the left or the right on what society is facing. Honour, freedom and truth are good foundations for a civilization arriving on a relatively empty area, but not for a crowded (some may say overcrowded) busy and messy society we live in today. The world is changing quicker than ever, and rolling the clock back only buys time, not solves the problem.

The main aspect that WhatIfAltHist missed is that society by definition is a social agreement to give up some freedom for the benefits of safety and prosperity by working together, no matter how small of an improvement this is. The first farmers gained a slightly more stable food source for the cost of more work, but they deemed it worth it, thus worldwide we are farmers. The cooperation that is required in today’s time is insane, as even for a loaf of bread, you need to have the bread maker, which requires flour, water, salt and yeast. Flour needs to be ground from grains, grains need to be grown, which may require irrigation but definitely requires a tractor, relying on a tractor maker, repairer, which needs parts, which need making, which needs metal, which needs to be processed, etc. This level of cooperation is unprecedented in human history, and is one of the reasons space exploration is even remotely possible. No one person could do it.

The main aspect that WhatIfAltHist’s view pulls is that this cooperation is a waste and it’s the individual that should have the ultimate freedom, relying on nothing but their honour to guide. Honour means to hold a set of values firmly as what is right, it does not define those values. Honour in other cultures could be by acting the same as everyone else, not just being the wild west wandering cowboy of the movies. This very loose definition breaks the social agreement by having everyone define their own set of values, rather than a collective one.

Instead of romanticizing the abstract concept of the past, or advocating for rampant individualism, we must embrace cooperative responsibility and individual autonomy. Currently the individual levels of both are extremely low, as he mentions, due to society just turning out blank slates or gears to fit factory work. However, this is not a left vs right issue, but an issue of power and autonomy. Power currently is not tied to responsibility, as seen by the rich idiots that run mega corporations. They are not responsible for the continued success of the company, but by being the founder, are not easy to fire or replace leaving no repercussions for their behaviour. By having money, you influence others, thus you have power. Having insane levels of money makes them have insane levels of power, but does not require any of the wisdom to wield it properly.

At one point, schools were set up to have rich people trained differently than poor, so they could actually do something with their money and the wisdom to make it work, but nowadays, being an idiot is the biggest way of showing wealth, as you can just pay your way out.

In order to address this issue, education must instil the moral values of said society, not just the quest for power, but the understanding of the desire of autonomy and wedding the two together. The power of people is greater than any individual, but the indivual may triumph by making everyone as dumb as they are to allow their agenda to go through unencumbered. A system has to be in place, one of checks and balances to ensure this is achieved, and it must be written in the hearts of the people so they can see it as well. We celebrate sociopaths currently, rather than shunning them as the insane hoarders they are.

For example, fundamental truths need to be decided upon that are the foundation of the society: collaboration is good, knowing and asking why is not a weakness, and that sharing knowledge is a strength and improves all for example. Without core truths, there is no core to society, and these have to be relational truths. Peace, order and good governance is Canada’s version of Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This core difference is the core split between the two nations. Canada is based upon relations with others which are stronger than the individualistic goals the USA has.

In conclusion, any manifesto for what should come next should include how relational truths set this group of people as unique and different than others. It should also include a redefinition of success that contains the goals of the nation, and this should include the moral integrity and social responsibility within. For example, this could be stated as harmony, justice and shared prosperity.

Being rich in a land of poor does not make you richer, but makes it so that you physically cannot spend it as your values are so far outside the norm they are alien.

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