Thank you for investing your time into the reading of this book. I promise you that it will be a most rewarding and stimulating read. It’s a bold and thorough exploration of how we can make positive social and political change that will be hugely benefit all people as well as the environment we rely upon for our survival. I am presenting here a subtle change in our collective philosophical outlook that represents a whole new approach in political theory, something I refer to as – Political Humanism.
This book opens with a full explanation of Political Humanism in its introduction, what it is and why we need it. Each chapter that followers is the detailed opening out, in practical terms, of the political theory in every part of our society starting with the institutions of government (chapters 1 to 4), then economics (5 to 7), then justice (8), health (9) and education (10). I largely restrain the conversation to British politics and society throughout the book but then expand in the last two chapters on environmentalism (11) and global affairs (12) to how the theory and its implications provide solutions worldwide. Political Humanism, I believe, could better deliver both societal and individual well-being to all people in every country but for some it would be an easier transition than others. I discuss these possibilities in Chapter 12.
I have tried to design this book for broad appeal, for young and old, those armed with previous academic insight and those recently exposed to and outraged by societal problems. As a result, the layout of the book is something that you may not have seen in other books. I give an ‘in brief’ summary of the main idea of each chapter in the chapter’s title page. Then in each chapter I immediately lay into the problems that the theory is created to fix, followed by the context in which the problems are born out of historically. Then, in each chapter I present the solution that Political Humanism, as a core theoretical foundation, informs. This format allows you to skip bits where you feel either you are already convinced of the problem or informed of the context. I also present it in this way because I have taken on a massive and far reaching subject and there are many new concepts and ideas based on the core philosophical outlook that I apply to every part of our society which are revealed layer by layer as you make your way through. This seemed like the best format for making my case one step at a time.
Despite beginning every chapter with a seemingly depressing overview of our problems, this book, you will find, is one of overwhelming optimism that a better future is just around the corner if we get to work on it now. You will see that the book is more than a passive read. It is a call to direct and immediate action to join an intellectual movement for positive change, not a camp or a cult but a general all-inclusive populace in agreement of some basic principles, working together for mutual benefit despite previous political divides. For Political Humanism is a focus on the things that unite us all, the common values we share, and while we may continue to bicker over the detail we should be simultaneously creating a society of well-being for each and for all. It is my humble opinion, and part of the central premise of the theory, that while divided we are achieving far less than we could be achieving if united and so I suggest a rapid systemic change is required to end the divisiveness of current political design. Political Humanism then is neither a product of the left nor of the right, it represents a whole new philosophical outlook that should replace that mindset. It is designed to nurture empathy and collaboration to draw people together to achieve common societal goals.
A rapid change is required because things could get so much worse for us in the months and years ahead with the way things are going on our current course in terms of our delicate eco-systems, the relentless planetary destruction by a seemingly uncontrollable system of global capitalism, its overwhelming and corrupting influence on the political process and the individuals within, their incompetence and inefficiencies, and the resulting social unrest, periodic rioting, and consistent lawlessness. We are a society on the edge in my opinion. This is an attempt to rally people around a positive and globally beneficial alternative to the prevailing political and economic theory that works in the interest of the few. We must take the steering of the ship away from the psychopaths and the narrative that plots its course away from their sycophants.
What’s required is massive grassroots change, from the bottom up, because our current system is not about to change itself. But while the change I am suggesting is both rapid and ‘of the people’ it is not in any way ‘revolutionary’, that is, it is not about tearing down what we have before a new way forward is created. It is about finding common agreement, by the many, on what constitutes a sensible, intelligent and calm transition towards a better place and by ‘better’ I mean for all and for each. This book is all about evolution, not revolution.
We are where we are due to the thinking that’s got us here, so I attempt to best present the reality of our situation in order to expose the thinking that has led us to this point and then help us extract what thinking proves useful, what thinking we need to adapt and move on with and what thinking we can clearly leave behind. So, there is a ‘game-plan’ approach and format throughout this book and that is –
be aware and realistic about where we are
present a vision of where we could collectively be, and then
rally and work out the best and easiest transition from a to b.
To this extent the resulting book is in equal parts:
a criticism of current political and economic thinking
the presentation of a whole new political theory and its ideological core
a practical guide for a better world in 12 easy steps
Concluding each of the 12 chapters is a very practical ‘how to’ section that attempts to rally you, should you be adequately motivated, around 12 reform campaigns each focussing on a specific area of our society. It is practical in that it helps separate out some of the arguments from each other as well as providing a format for making great change one achievable step at a time starting in Chapter 1 with ‘Democratic Reform’, where I will be asking you to join an online platform that helps ‘evolve our democracy’. At a later stage of the book I will be asking you to get behind more bottom up based schemes, like health reform, environmental reform etc., built around bringing together people within communities and neighbourhoods just as some of you may have already explored further during the Corona virus lockdown.
While asking you to consider the merits of the principles of Political Humanism, I will be asking that you expand your consciousness along with empathy and compassion for humanity and I hope that this experience alone will prove most rewarding and wholesome for you and the people around you. It may be that you find fault in my arguments or their practical application, but I hope that where you find fault you will still be thinking about what something better might look like and that the well-being of people is still a cause worth chasing. Perhaps, as a result of reading this book, you will come up with an even better idea, in which case I’d be fine with that if you were able to enchant people to your thinking and if that thinking inspired a better world. In this case our encounter would still have proven useful. Please feel free to engage with me after reading this book where you can find improvement in my position or ideas and/or the effectiveness of how these ideas might come about or be applied. My aim, quite simply, is to create a better world and I invite you join me in that quest, starting here. Let’s go…..