THE rEVOLUTION OF THE 21st CENTURY
I have written Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! [LEF] to change society for the better. Society in its entirety.
It is obvious that a change in course is urgently necessary almost everywhere. You just have to read or watch the news any given day to be rolled over by the latest economic, ecologic, social, political, religious… crises. Things must change fundamentally—but how?
Left and other utopias are being proposed (again) by critical thinkers these days. I see that not as part of the solution but as part of the problem. As soon as utopias were put into practice, blood was shed. Also in milder forms they are no solution because they force something contrived on society from its outside, and do not develop what is alive within human beings and wants to develop.
Exactly that is my approach in this book. I interpret the various crisis phenomena as hints as to what tries to come into being out of people’s needs but is being hampered by the present conditions. With the ecological catastrophes it is evident that they point ex negativo at what ecosystems need. The same is less clear in social systems. For this reason I analyze the diverse economic, political and the mental events to show their connections, recurring patterns and systems.
In doing so, these systems reveal their characteristic immanent dynamic of development. This is why any control of their processes – management, politics etc. – must go wrong or even fail if those three are mixed together of being controlled the same way.
What is meant by the needs mentioned above?
We want to develop our abilities, find meaning and fulfillment in our lives, have a mission, follow our beliefs, get to heaven our own way (or wherever)…—and all this in LIBERTY.
We want to define the basic rules of the game, our game, ourselves, and we want them to apply to all of us the same way; we want laws to be equally binding for all (remember: “All animals are equal but…”)—we want EQUALITY.
We do not require to compete in hamster wheels until collapse, we want fixed jobs that supply us with food and long-term security, we want prices that everyone can live on without someone else suffering somewhere far away, we want to live in such a way that others (people, animals, ecosystems...) do not have to pay the bill for it...—we want FRATERNITY.
Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!—they are the writing on the wall written with flaming letters. All present crises can be put down to the fact that this writing is not understood or not being taken seriously. However, the three terms are no utopian ideals. They are the very real impulses in every human being. That is why they cannot be stopped. What wants to come into being will. The social evolution cannot be brought to a standstill. We can forestall further crises and catastrophes by learning to read the warnings as hints that our society wants to develop toward liberty, equality and fraternity.
So, a threefold paradigm change concerning the fundamental convictions that leave their marks on our world is inevitable. This is why I have worked out possible new economic, political end mental systems and structures. As I said, not in the sense of a utopia, but as an orientation: If you understand liberty, equality and fraternity as a threefold social compass, how might that what wants to come into being look like? What conditions will people create out of their own needs when they shake off the chains of our present conditions, systems and paradigms? What can be changed top-down, on a grand scale, and how? And what can every individual do in its own sphere of influence? I have answered all these questions or, in the least, given hints to answers.
Much of what I propose is not fundamentally new. Of course, there exist already many good initiatives. But they fizzle out without effect because they do not have a common direction. This is exactly what this book wants to make possible: to unite everything that goes in the right direction in order to give it a common orientation. With such a momentum, nothing is impossible anymore.
However, there is also a lot of really new stuff in this book, even revolutionary (as its title is derived from the motto of the French Revolution). But instead of instigating a revolution I want to give an impetus and an orientation for a long-overdue social evolution. I intend to show people a way out of the rampant discontent and impotence. So many of our contemporaries are only waiting for something new that shows them opportunities and means to shape our social situation the way that they want it to be. This is what you will find in this book.