• What an Asshole #6 - Mark Satin


    Mark Satin from the Introduction to his book, New Age Politics, 1976:

    The Third Force

    The basic approach to politics that this book takes has always been with us here in America, in bits and pieces at any rate. The beauty of the social movements of our time is that each of them represents one of those pieces -- and if you put them together, you are able to see clearly and coherently, maybe for the first time, what I like to call the perpetual “third force” in American politics.

    Third force politics is a radical politics, not so much in the sense of radical versus liberal as in the sense of going to the roots of things. Specifically, third force politics goes to the psychocultural roots of our problems. It does not concentrate exclusively on the institutional and economic symptoms of our problems.

    It is a radicalism that is neither of the left nor right -- a radicalism that is modest enough to borrow what it needs from each of the old political “ism’s” but bold enough to transcend them. (It is not a wimpy “mean” between the so-called “extremes” of American power politics.)

    It is a radicalism that is more interested in healing society than in championing the exclusive claims to rightness of any one faction or segment of society; a radicalism that is more interested in reconciling people to each other’s needs and priorities than in winning people over to its side (and so producing a losing side, poised for revenge).

    It is a radicalism that is less interested in blaming groups and governments for our problems than in attempting to work out new and viable solutions to our problems.

    It is a radicalism that is less interested in standing up for alternative ways of doing things than in standing up for appropriate ways of doing things.

    It is a radicalism that traces our problems not to economic poverty (as was done between 1960-1966) or even to political powerlessness (1966-1972), so much as to a more general kind of purposelessness -- to our lack of sustaining and believable ethics and values; to our lack of community; to our lack of inner strength.

    It is a radicalism that acknowledges and accepts complexity, irony, paradox, and ambiguity -- a radicalism that acknowledges the richness of life even when aspects of that richness are not particularly politically “correct.”

    It is a radicalism that opposes large concentrations of property and wealth, not because it believes that money is “bad” but because of a desire to protect everyone’s right to a sufficient amount of property.

    It is a radicalism that recognizes the existence of a force in all things that is God or Truth or Love, and that derives its guiding ethics and values from that recognition or worldview or sensibility; or from a passionate commitment to life in all its forms, which amounts to the same thing in the end.

    Above all, perhaps, it is a radicalism that understands that the real problem is not how to get people, groups, and governments to agree on the “one best way” to do things, but how to get them all to agree to live and work synergically together ("synergically" is when you get more by cooperating than you can by competing. "Synergic power" is a key to New Age governance).

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: What an Asshole... started by anaxarchos View original post