Toward a Holistic Politics

Although a relatively obscure thinker in the English-speaking world, it is to the German theorist Oswald Spengler that we must look to find the influence on much of the political thought of the West. Huntington’s “clash of civilization” thesis is Spenglarian, as is Walter Laquer’s Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent and a host of similar books. Paleoconservatism is to some extent influenced by Spengler – sometimes described as the philosopher of pessimism. And, more recently, at least one neoconservative pundit has taken from the German thinker – even if his thought has been degraded in the process.

According to Spengler, civilizations are essentially organic. They have a root, they grow, and, eventually, they wither and die. Each stage can, accordingly, be discerned. And Spengler examines the civilizations of Persia, China, etc. in his magnum opus The Decline of the West, to propose that we are on the trajectory toward decay and death.

In our time of radical change, and with the Western nation states having lost much of their traditions, culture and identity over the last few centuries, the appeal of this thesis should be self-evident. Discussion of Spengler’s ideas, probing whether they are true, or to what degree they enable us to predict the future – such as we find in Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam by Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) and Marcello Pera – is undoubtedly helpful.

But the problem remains that as a philosopher of pessimism, Spengler does not enable us to see whether new potentialities are emerging, and how we might steer a new course. Rather, like traditional conservatism, it traps us into believing that not only is decline inevitable, but that we wake each day to new defeats. The mind that sees culture ravaged but cannot see where it is being reborn and reinterpreted, and, moreover, that finds fault with everything and feels affronted by it ideologically, becomes the hypnotic voice lulling us to inaction.

Wishing only to conserve the status quo (whatever it may be), conservatives are suspicious of, and even hostile to, ideologies. Conservative thinkers do not like to be described as “intellectuals,” since they claim – in some respects not unlike Marxists – to be speaking for the common man, and for common sense, etc. – it’s all rather boring. This hostility, though, is not reserved for ideology alone, however. While conservatism does not generally acknowledge it, it is, or becomes, hostile to the culture it claims to defend, selecting merely one or two elements, institutions, or moments in history to champion. To a certain extent, the different types of conservatism can be identified by what period in recent history they mimic or seem to be stuck: palesconservatives in the 1920s, especially With G. K. Chesterton, and neoconservatives as a fossilized form of the Sixties’ Left before 1968. Conservatism is, to a greater or lesser extent, the world of “invented tradition.”

On the other side of the political divide, there are the “progressives” (often described as “liberals” or “Leftists”). Although the name might suggest otherwise, “progressivism” also seems gripped, albeit absolutely unconsciously, by Spenglarianism. Progressive intellectuals do not wish to build upward from the foundation of culture, or of those aspects of culture that provide a foundation for ascendance. Rather, they wish to stamp down the majority of culture, which they denounce, usually, as “racist” or as in some other way “oppressive.” For progressives, Western culture is utterly irredeemable, and must be replaced by a different type of culture based on, and resulting in, “equality.” Non-Western cultures are also expected to one day fall into line.

Beginning at the End

Though also little known, Jean Gebser, another German intellectual sort to answer Spengler, and proposed that cultures unfolded into ever higher consciousnesses. Geber has had an impact on contemporary politics through the work of Ken Wilber, an American spiritual thinker. Wilber’s work was read by President Bill Clinton and had some influence on shaping his, and even Prime Minister Tony Blair’s, political “Third Way” (i.e., neither Left or Right) policies while in power.

Wilber has adopted Gebser’s map of consciousness, which tells us that man has ascended from the primitive (magical”) stage of consciousness, through a mythic stage, to our rational stage, from a clan orientated-stage to, in some cases, a world-orientated stage. But he advocates not only creating a framework that not only allows people and cultures at different stages of development to coexist, but also taking aspects of the Left and Right to create an “integral” politics.

This is not our aim. We do not wish to combine elements of Left and Right, but, rather, we wish to sweep aside Left and Right. We want to envision a holistic politics that will enable an entirely new way of being, politically, educationally, and so on, that will enable the ascendance of the individual and the culture. To get there we will need to see both the Spenglarian decline of some aspects of culture, humanity etc., and the Gebserian potential for a new consciousness, and a new way of looking at the world.

Seemingly more accurate today than when his work was first published, in 1953 Gebser made the following observation:

“[…] there is on the one hand anxiety about time and one’s powerlessness against it, and on the other, a ‘delight’ resulting from the conquest of space and the attendant expansion of power; there is also the isolation of the individual or group or cultural sphere as well as the collectivization of the same individuals in interest groups. This tension between anxiety and delight, isolation and collectivization is the ultimate result of an epoch that has outlived itself. Nevertheless, this epoch could serve as a guarantee that we reach a new ‘target,’ if we could utilize it much as the arrow uses an over-taught bow string. Yet, like the arrow, our epoch must detach itself from the extremes that make possible the tension behind its flight toward the target. Like the arrow on the string, our epoch must find the point where the target is already latently present: the equilibrium between anxiety and delight, isolation and collectivization. Only then can it liberate itself[…]” (Gene Gebser, The Ever-Present Origin, p. 23)

We will recognize much of what Gebser describes in our own lives today. In the “anxiety about time and one’s powerlessness against it” we can perceive the pressures of modernity, career, the insistence that we do more for less, etc.

In Gebser’s “ ‘delight’ resulting from the conquest of space” we think of the wars in the Middle East and elsewhere (allegedly to spread democracy and rights), mass immigration (and, with it, culture), the exploration of space, and the internet which gives us access to the whole world.

And in “the collectivization of the […] individuals in interest groups” we can think of the compartmentalization and dividing of society into race, gender, etc., by politicians and political activist groups that benefit from grievance and the easy appeal voting blocs. This is the stripping of the individual of his or her timeless and transcendental values – courage, fortitude, inquisitiveness – and, with it, culture and history.

Our aim is the opposite. We do not which to strip people of their qualities, but, rather, we wish to provide a space and an organic system for the development of those qualities. But, before looking at the qualities of such a holistic society, let’s take a look at some of the assumptions of our contemporary society:

 “Equality”

It will be important for us to realize that the doctrine of “equality” is morally neutral, and can be used to justify all kinds of injustices. The Jim Crow South justified racial segregation with the doctrine of “separate but equal.” The Soviet Empire, like the British in India, created and reinforced the divisions of the societies they ruled over, to ensure that no credible, united opposition could manifest.

There have been numerous attempts throughout history to create societies in which every member is equal. But we know that these experiments – in the USSR, China, and elsewhere – required enormous state apparatus, secret police and spies, torture, mass slaughter, genocide. Still the experiments failed, because the fundamental flaw in the idea being that people are dramatically different, with different natural inclinations, talents, abilities, skills, interests, and lack thereof. This problem of “equality” is tacitly recognized today by governments who link it, absurdly, to its opposite: diversity. A diverse society is an unequal society, of course. Equality requires homogeneity – for us all to be the same.

Still, today, politicians appeal to identity blocs, getting thousands of votes for the price of one. But the real price is paid by the people themselves, who are reduced to no more than incidental characteristics. Their sex, sexual orientation, and skin color becomes what counts about them. What is profoundly them – their character, personal history, understanding and insights into life – are all expunged.

“Equality” renders irrelevant the quality of the person. But not only is this the case with the electorate, but, conveniently, it is also so with the politician, whose character, personal successes, failings, history, etc., goes, usually, unexamined, so long as we hear what we wish to hear for a month or so before voting.

The notion of “equality” comes down from Christianity, and its assertion that we are all “equal before God.” This was later inculcated in society as “equality before the law” – which is what most non-political people mean when they use the term. In essence, “equality before the law” means that we, as a society, will not judge people by those things that people cannot change about themselves – skin color, race, ethnicity, sexuality, looks, etc. – but that we will consider the person: his character, history, actions, inclinations, etc. This is essential for any real relationship.

Today, though, things are different. Although never quite defined, “equality” has become the catchword of contemporary morality. We need only recall the old preacher who speaks of God’s “love” with hate in his heart, and written on his face, to know that whenever a term has become the main expression of society’s morality then that term is already perverted, and will be used as a weapon of control.  Today, then, “equality” is often employed by a ruling class as a shibboleth to suggest, not equality as such, but rather the supposed superior morality and superior intellect of the person using it.

In other words, in an Orwellian twist, it is often used to reaffirm the inequality of the contemporary system. And in an inversion of the earlier meaning, we are told that we must consider people, not by who they actually are, but the things about themselves that they cannot change: skin color, race, ethnicity, sexuality, looks, etc. Consequently, we are estranged from one another, and must look to a political and media elite to negotiate any relationship between us.

Cultural Confusions

But this is all political. If we were to look back at how “equality” manifested under Christianity (i.e., as “equality before God”), we could point to the uniformity of dress in public life (with children and adults dressing alike); the strict moral code that informed the whole of society; strong disapproval and punishment of those transgressing the moral code; the building of free libraries (so that the poor could also have access to knowledge); the formation of trade guilds; the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and so on. In extreme forms, we find communities such as the Amish, whose members wear identical dress, and reject modernity.

In the contemporary age, “equality” has emerged commensurate with and manifests in fast food; coffee shop chains; generic “popular” music; generic products (such as cheap computers and global clothing stores); and newspapers and magazines that appeal to the “lowest common denominator.” In terms of outlook, we have the phenomenon of the exaggerated ego, in which individuals believe that they will be the “next big thing,” not based on talent (which they often lack, since they are unable to evaluate their character, strengths and weaknesses, etc.) but on a sense of “entitlement.”

On the positive side we have, for example, generic medicine, which enables millions of people to live normal lives. (Yet, even this is reaching its limit, as the medical profession takes increasingly into account family history, lifestyle, etc.) And we have a greater ability to share and discuss ideas via the internet, and to create culture through print-on-demand technology.

It might be objected that genuine creativity and superior culture has been created in our own time (at least some of it using the technology mentioned above). This is true, but culture that is created to be “unique,” “superior,” “better,” an expression of unique qualities, etc., does not embody “equality,” but, rather, challenges it.

We should acknowledge then, that in the contemporary world we have different ideas mixed together, with one often being mistaken for, or disguised by, the other. We have noted how “equality” is, in many cases, used to signify an elite status. We ourselves might talk of equality (e.g., “our society is based on equality”) when we might mean “independence,” “freedom,” experimentation, etc. Artists may create art for the elite, and may espouse “equality” to indicate their alleged moral and intellectual superiority. Other artists may use the term “equality” to indicate the raising up of the poor, uneducated, and so on. In which case they are, we suggest, really speaking about an ascendance based on holism, i.e., the kind of worldview that we are espousing.

Gebser and Wilber observe that in our contemporary society we have different people and cultures at different levels of consciousness – the archaic, mythical, magical, nation-centric, world-centric, etc. Since we are concerned with aesthetics as the basis of politics, we might note that we have earlier consciousnesses (such as that of ancient Greece) present in the Olympics; martial arts, sculpture that aims to embody beauty, etc.) mixed with what Gebser described as the “aperspectival” consciousness (i.e., the consciousness of “equality”), e.g., through the internet, fast food, art that aims to destroy beauty, etc.

Let’s look briefly at Lady Gaga’s song “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich.” The celebration of the “Beautiful” and the “Rich” (i.e., wealth) is completely in opposition to the contemporary belief in “equality.” We know that, for example, the Occupy Wall Street movement campaigned against the wealthy. Beauty has also been on the radar of pro-equality intellectuals (which makes Gaga’s a kind of hate crime in potential). For several years, lawyers and economists, among others, have been trying to make “lookism” a crime. This would mean discriminating against an ugly person would be unlawful. But, it is simply human nature to be attracted to what we find beautiful, and not attracted to what we find ugly. Out approach would not be to make this natural inclination a crime, but to focus on the importance, also, of character, inner qualities, etc.

Ten Points for a Politics of Ascendance

ONE: Aesthetics

In a holistic politics we must begin with aesthetics, not with ideology. This is, first of all, because we must imagine a future in which our worldview will be concretely expressed. As Gebser articulates, a radical cultural development in one area (e.g., geometry) immediately spur similarly radical, and related, developments in other areas (e.g., navigation, astronomy, art, philosophy), because it initiates a shift in consciousness. Genser’s theory has been demonstrated by scientists in recent years, who have shown that the creation of the first tool occurred at the same time as human beings began to speak, not because language was need to create the primitive tools (it was not needed), but because tool-making, the creative process, and language use the exact same part of the brain.For us, then, instead of the “equality” of fast food chains, gray concrete buildings, generic medicine, competing political parties who espouse all the exact same positions, etc., we envision a world in which holism and ascendance are the guiding principles. In this, we begin with the low, the ordinary, the actual, and enable its cultivation and raising up.

In architecture, this will mean, for example, using local and renewable materials in the construction – such as local stone, renewable wood, bamboo – so that the built environment is in harmony with the natural environment. It may mean that buildings are not always angular, but have more organic shapes that reflect the environment. It may also mean ensuring that – as we see in some cases already – that rooftops can be turned into gardens or even small, organic farms. This does not mean thinking small, but rather using these materials even in skyscrapers or similar projects.

Instead of box-like buildings, compartments and cubicles, we have a holistic environment that encourages health (physical and mental), an appreciation for nature, the reduction of stress, etc. Instead of viewing the natural preference for beauty over ugliness as “lookism” and oppression, we will cultivate an environment that encourages beauty as an essential and natural good that aids health and helps us to transcend ourselves.

In regard to fuel, we do not wish to crowd the environment with wind farms, yet nor do we wish to pollute the atmosphere with petrol fumes. Whether through solar-powered homes, hybrid cars, or something new, our aim will be to encourage the use of fuels that do (A) the least harm to the environment possible, and (B) provide maximum self-sufficiency for a region, state, etc.

Politics must move away from theory, to imagining what the world will look like under their leadership. Political parties and theorists should cooperate with architects, designers, car manufacturers, art historians, etc., who understand environmental challenges but who are concerned with the improvement of people’s lives through creating things of beauty.

G. I. Gurdjieff, an Armenian esoteric teacher who resided in Paris, suggested that visual impressions were a type of food that we needed to survive and thrive. Playwright Oscar Wildes tells us that “The true mystery of the world is the visible.” Basing our politics in aesthetics, while we will not prohibit ugly speech, art, and practices, but these will necessarily be seen and evaluated within the new context, and will have to compete with it.

TWO: The Body

The cornerstone of our politics is that it is based in the body, or, rather, respect for the body. In describing the aperspectival world (into which we are either moving or have moved), Gebser draws our attention to the Cubist paintings of Picasso and Braque, noting how they have destroyed time and space. We are able to see all sides of the object at once. His description reminds us of modern communications, especially the internet, which gives us access to the world of knowledge, and to any part of the actual world, at any time. We can speak to someone in Japan, Jakarta, London, New York, Bangladesh, or anywhere else in real time.

Although he does not mention it, there is a negative trait that comes through: The body is dissolved. The body that we see from all angles at once is one that is disintegrating and becoming less important in our society. We see the conclusion of this in the work of Mondrian, whose compositions of black horizontal and vertical lines and red, yellow, green and blue boxes seem to anticipate modern computer pixels, but which are themselves meant to represent spiritual ideas (Mondrian was a follower of the Theosophical movement). The body has disappeared. It is nowhere to be seen. There is only the rigid lines and colored squares and spirituality.

We might ask, then, if the destruction of, or at least the undermining of, the body is a negative manifestation of our aperspectival age, where do we see it? There are different manifestations. We hear today, for example, of the possibility that we will one day be able to upload our consciousness and shed our body altogether, as if it were superfluous, rather than integral to and inseparable from who we are. We know that, already, the television, computer games, and so on, have taken over physical activity for young people. We see that style has declined, with intellectuals and pundits appearing on the television wearing ill-fitting clothes, or clothes that do not suit the body.

More seriously, we see the attack on the body politically. Progressivism has emerged with, and is merely another manifestation of, this general tendency. Hence in Britain we hear of “health and safety” establishing rules that reduce adults to small children in terms of their body. Workers are prohibited from going up a few steps on a ladder. Police are told not to wade through ankle-deep water to rescue someone who inevitably dies. The world is presented as utterly threatening to the body, so that even rescue workers are unable even to perform quite ordinary acts.

In education we see physical excellence attacked, through the invocation of “equality.” Some “progressive” schools in Britain have banned score-keeping in competitive sports (such as soccer), so that there can be no losers. Of course, there can be no winners either – which is the real, if unstated, point.

It is a sensitive point, but it must be addressed. Many people in the West of the majority ethnicity (e.g., White English in England) believe that “progressives” oppose them in particular. We do not consider this to be accurate.

Our contention is that Western society and politics has gone out of balance, due to the compartmentalization of intellect and body in education, and the antagonism of intellectuals toward the more physical-type of man, and vice versa. The underlying, and unspoken, will of “progressivism” is to neutralize physical confrontations (between the physical type of man and the “progressive”) before they arise, and to keep conflict within the arena of the intellect itself, where the intellectual has the upper hand.

If we consider the disproportionately high percentage of ethnic minorities in many professional sports, the Olympics, and so on, and believe that this indicates a similar level of success for ethnic minority students in sport at school, we can see clearly that progressivism, though often claiming to speak for minorities, is in fact happy to disadvantage minorities so long as progressivism is reinforced as the ideologically correct worldview.

While progressives devalue physical excellence, conservatives, as we have noted, devalue the intellect, and wish only to preserve the status quo. The overemphasis on the intellect by progressives, and the rejection of the intellectual by the Right are the fundamental errors of Western society. The proper course is to see the intellect as one aspect of intelligence, which must work with others. The same also goes for the body; it, likewise, is part of a greater intelligence.

In traditional cultures, from the European to the Confucian, the higher type of man was required to cultivate mind and body, by learning, poetry, painting, military strategy, martial arts, etc. Although, today in the West, an array of subjects are taught at school, they are taught as samples of what the student might wish to specialize in later. He might wish to become an army officer or he might wish to become an artist – he may prefer the body or the intellect. To the traditional cultures this is absurd. The army general must be an artist and a poet, a thinker and a man of action, a servant and a leader. The same goes for the artist.

When we look at political leaders today we are struck by how unremarkable they almost invariably are. They appear neither to want to serve nor lead their country. They are neither poets nor artists. They have never trained the body, and wear a dreamy, distant expression, as if they are really somewhere else. We are supposed to judge them by how much they allege to believe in certain clichés. Judged by the standard of the ancient Greek, the medieval European, the Confucian, they are people without character, utterly undeserving of leadership.

Our culture, then, must begin to insist that leaders develop themselves as a whole. That they are thinkers, but also develop physical skills, cultivate the arts, and so on, so that they understand how ideas play out in the real world.

In education – which is where this new way of looking must begin – we believe that schools should teach holistically. Subjects are not to be regarded as distinct, but as teaching the same lessons in different ways, i.e., that the curriculum will be taught as what the Chinese call a “Way” (Tao).

A few real world examples may serve to show the relationship between the physical and the intellectual: In his book The Physics of Baseball, Robert Kemp Adair teaches science through sport. Although music and geometry were traditionally taught together, they became separated in modern education, so that few people would even realize that two disciplines are connected. However, in 2007, Godfried Toussaint proposed teaching geometry and musical rhythms simultaneously, by representing music geometrically.”[i] Again, undisputed Heavyweight World Boxing champion Lennox Lewis is an open advocate of chess, and has promoted the classical game to schools in Jamaica, the USA, Great Britain, and Canada.

In line with what we are proposing, the Lennox Lewis Foundation says it, “aims to identify and nurture the child’s innate physical and mental abilities and develop their self-esteem and confidence through the World of Boxing and the Game of Chess coupled with highlighting education as the main ingredient to achieving success.”[ii] Lewis himself has been called the “Chess Boxer,” because of his use of chess-like strategy in the boxing ring. Lewis even considers chess to be a good preparation for boxing.[iii] But he is undoubtedly also aware that learning chess has been shown to improve academic achievement, including in mathematics and non-verbal reasoning.[iv]

We do not believe that one student might be a great sportsman and another may be a great thinker. On the contrary, we believe that the student who is a great sportsman may become a great thinker, and vice versa – if, that is, he is taught other disciplines, in which he does not so readily excel, in respect to how they are related to the disciplines in which he does excel. In this holistic approach, even mediocre students may be able to begin to ascend, learning slowly, but understanding how all things work together or reflect one another. The talented sportsman at school may be able to become an advanced mathematician, writer, etc., through sport (as in Kemp’s approach above). The mathematician, for example, might be able to excel at sport, etc., through his understanding of mathematics.

THREE: Teaching the Foundations of Culture

As mass immigration has brought people of non-Western cultures into the West, the response has been superficial. Students are taught about the major religions, but from the perspective of the outsider, i.e., of progressivism, which is keen to flatter the religions so that it can use them for its own ends, but does not wish for their ideas to enter into our thinking – hence hostility is reserved for religions that appear closely related to the culture. Where they proclaim illiberal views, these views are proclaimed, by progressives, as not properly part of the religion. Indeed, the correct interpretation of religions, as far as the progressive is concerned, is one in which they are compatible with progressivism and espouse his views.

We would teach Greek philosophy at schools in Britain and most other Western states. This is often seen as an elitist subject, but since we favor the cultivation and self-ascendance of people, this does not affront us.

However, our purpose in introducing this subject to all schools is partly (A) to teach thinking and reasoning itself, (B) to teach the qualities of character necessary for life (e.g., through Stoicism), (C) partly to teach the basis of Western culture, and (D) partly to relate to other, non-Western cultures in a profound way:

As Thomas McEvilley has illustrated through his Shape of Ancient Thought, it is highly likely that ancient Greek philosophy was influenced by the contact the Greeks had with Asia, especially Hinduism, but also Buddhism.

A fusion of Hellenistic and Buddhist culture (“Greco-Buddhism”) also developed between the fourth century BCE and the fifth century CE. Greek philosophy (especially Plato and Aristotle) was also adopted by the Catholic Church, as it was also once adopted by a number of Islamic scholars in Spain.

FOUR:  Helping Students Ascend to the Top:

Because we believe in excellence and self-development, for students of exceptional ability in at least one area of the curriculum (e.g., sport, art, science), we would establish a small number of special academies, so that they could continue their studies at the highest level. While they would be given more time to focus on their chosen subject, they would continue to be taught other subjects, in a holistic curriculum, and would mix with other students from a range of disciplines.

Building character would also figure in the education of these students, and some would be requested to mentor lower year students, e.g., a specialist student in sport would mentor math, art, science, etc., students in sport. A specialist math student would teach math to specialist sport or art students of a lower year.

FIVE: Separating Sex and State

A century ago, morality was the privilege of the Church in the West. As organized religion has declined, its moralizing seeped into politics, which has degenerated into mere organized prudery. Instead of problem solving, Left and Right want merely to moralize. This is not our way. We note that moralizing is the de facto behavior of those who know nothing about which they claim to be experts – a point that becomes all too clear when observing the mainstream media.

Sexual relations between consenting adults is not the business of government. Marriage has been recognized by states as necessary to the stable society, as well as being conducive to personal happiness. In societies, such as ours, that allow homosexual sex among consenting adults, we see no reason why it should not, here too, recognize monogamous relationships. This is neither a progressive nor a conservative argument. Steve Schmidt, former campaign manager for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, remarked in 2010, “There is a strong conservative case to be made in favor of gay marriage.” Conservatives, he said, “are making the case that no more do you want big government conservatives in the bedroom than big government liberals telling you how to live your life.

SIX: The Essential Person Before Incidental Qualities

We wish to return the focus to the qualities and character of the person, which we regard as the essential foundation for personal growth and for the positive development of society. Instead of collectivizing people according to incidental qualities (e.g., skin color, gender, sexual orientation), we will focus on the qualities, achievements, skills and interests of people across society to encourage personal development, cooperation, and problem solving at the grassroots and local as well as national and international levels.

As already stated, we also wish to evaluate political leaders according to their characters, not according to what promises they may make prior to elections. The essential character and history of the politician will be the deciding factors.

SEVEN: Independence

We prefer the notion of “independence” over “individuality”, the latter of which hints at the abstraction and isolation of the person, and who, in this state, is more susceptible to negative collectivization.

By independence, we, again, wish to promote proper reasoning, and independence of thought and being. But independence implies an understanding of culture combined with the ability to develop, accept or reject as is necessary, for new, relevant expressions (e.g., through technical and aesthetic innovations).

“Wrong” speech will not be criminalized. “Hate speech” law is indicative of a society that wishes to dumb down. We wish to raise up. Hence we will allow challenges to conventional wisdom, no matter how upsetting or distasteful those challenges may be. But, these too will be challenged, and where wrong will be proven false (but not criminal).

EIGHT: Ending the Culture of Denial:

As the cultures of the world come into closer contact and cooperation, as well conflict as in some instances, it will be necessary to understand the major events of other cultures. Although most people are aware of the Nazi Holocaust, ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, and the recent genocide in Sudan, other genocides have been expunged from the Western consciousness.

There are different ways to deny genocide. Contrary to all the evidence, Turkey says it did not commit genocide against the Armenians, for example. In such a case, the facts can be brought to bear. In the West, however, we find an eerie silence in regard to most genocides that have occurred within the last 100 years. Most are not taught at schools or universities, nor are they even acknowledged as having taken place in most curriculums. Nor do they often feature as the subjects of documentaries.

Ignorance may be the excuse in some cases. But we believe that genocides are ignored by a politically radical culture in the West that does not wish people to know facts that contradict the prevailing worldview of the elite class. The fact of the matter is that millions of deaths do not matter to an elite class that claims to care about human rights abuses. We regard this as a culture of genocide denial.

To name some of the most significant genocides of the lat 100 years, which are generally not discussed or taught in the West:

  • The Armenian Genocide (1915 and 1923). Approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed under the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), and subject to other abuses such as deportations, death marches, and the kidnapping and reeducation of children.
  • The USSR (20 million killed, most worked to death in slave labor camps or intentionally starved to death).
  • Maoist China: 45 million civilians killed, and countless other lives destroyed in the “Cultural Revolutions” in which the traditional culture of China was attacked and its material objects systematically destroyed. Teachers, and people in any position of authority were routinely attacked, publicly humiliated and tortured, and finally killed, in order to bring about equality.

NINE: A New Approach to the World:

We wish to shift focus of foreign policy from the Middle East and its conflicts to Asia, and on building relationships with Asian states, regardless of their economic status. European states are the primary destinations for immigrants from Asia, and a proper understanding of the cultures, history and dynamics of states and cultures in Asia will help Western states to address issues – such as intercommunal conflict – before they arise in Western states. To give one example, Hindu girls in Britain were reportedly targeted for sex and conversion to Islam in 2007, with “recruiters” paying up to 5,000 pounds sterling (approximately $5,000 for every successful “conversion”).

These attacks are reminiscent of the harassment, kidnapping and forced conversion of Hindu girls in Pakistan (Approximately 15-20 Hindu girls are believed to be forcibly converted, and often forcibly married, each month in Pakistan.). It seems reasonable to conclude that attitudes cultivated in Pakistan were imported into Britain. It is unrealistic to believe that feuding neighbors in one country can be imported into a Western state, and will not feud there, or, moreover, that that feud will not find new outlets or new targets. It was later reported that gangs had targeted non-Hindu girls.

However, we do not merely wish to ensure that violent conflicts do not break out in the West. We would ensure strong working partnerships with India, China, Japan, and other Asian states, as well as Russia. We will also endeavor to understand each other’s history, elements of traditional culture or sense or understanding of aesthetics. Thus while trade will remain an issue of importance for nation states, we wish to stress the exchange of ideas and experiences in tackling local issues.

TEN: Holism and Ascendance:

In all areas, the crucial choice will be between an outlook that chooses to raise up, validate, and excel – whether the matter is of one individual, society, the nation state, nature, or culture – or one that is mired in the dumbing down demanded by “equality.” The following are lists of qualities that we would expect to see in societies based on equality and on holism and ascendance, but these may be used as a kind of meditation of the type of person we wish to be, or on the choices we need to make if a new politics, and one necessary for tackling the issues of our time, is to be evolved:

Angel_headshot_smallAngel Millar is an author, blogger, and the editor of People of Shambhala.


[i] Godfried Toussaint,  Teaching Geometry via Musical Rhythm, http://cgm.cs.mcgill.ca/~godfried/publications/geometry-via-musical-rhythm.pdf

[ii] http://lennoxlewis.com/charity/

[iii] The Telegraph, February 3, 2002, Dominic Lawson, The day I squared up to Lennox Lewis, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1383587/The-day-I-squared-up-to-Lennox-Lewis.html

[iv] Education.jhu.edu , John Hopkins University School of Education, New Horizons for Learning, Wendi Fischer, Educational Value of Chess, http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/thinking-skills/chess/

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