Many new thinkers are pointing out that through globalisation and nationalism based on democratic individualism (essentially reductionist social atomism) we are utterly destroying traditional agricultural based societies at a rapidly accelerating rate. Traditional societies have lived in comparative harmony with their environment for centuries. Globalisation and secular democratic nationalism are destroying the natural environment, including good arable land, so fast that it is hard to tell which will happen first, the collapse of the ecosystem or collapse of the world economy. The latter would bring about the collapse of all governments who have based their capitalist and socialist ideologies on the secular ideal of economic development. Another threat is the rise of fanatical and violent religious and secular fundamentalism which erupt during chaotic periods. Isn’t it time to look at the alternative to republican democratic Whig ideology?
Reason or Rationalisation?
Haidt points out that without the creation of fairly large social groupings based on religious mytho-dynamics, mankind would never have evolved psychologically and intellectually beyond small groups of primitives. As a lecturer in the sociology of religion in my early years I am well aware that the truth or falsity of religious beliefs is not so important as their consequences for intellectual and social evolution. Those who hate religion are usually, like Robespierre and Stalin and other self-righteous monsters, fanatical believers in Reason or worshippers of scientific materialism. As a wizard or wise man I am not myself a believer in one god or many or in reincarnation, nor do I believe in the infallibility of inheritance or the divine right of kings – it’s just that the alternatives to religious monarchies have so far proved much worse. As Gibbon wrote about the Romans “The people believed all religions were equally true, the philosophers believed that all religions were equally false and the administrators believed that all religions were equally useful.” Of course Gibbon, a loyal Whig member of parliament, was an historian writing outside the Anglican sponsored universities of the time.