Pollsters tell us that sixty to seventy percent of Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track. This finding is not very helpful without a clear understanding of "wrong track".
The following is a map of the human mind in terms of its tendencies to deterine what "wrong track" means. Observation and critical common sense tell us that humans behave, think and emote irrationally, rationally and more-than-rationally. We all experience being confused, being logical and being deeply moved by ideals such as, beauty, truth and love. The three major tendencies of the mind from which we can derive the other tendencies are confusion, order and vision. The irrational tendency of confusion leads to destruction. The rational tendency of order leads to productivity. The suprarational tendency of vision leads to making a world according to our ideals.
What practical ideas will translate the ideal of justice into the just distribution of wealth? Right now the United States government, state governments and city municipalities distribute trillions of dollars to senior citizens, welfare recipients, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and government employees’ pension funds. Most of the money goes to older and needy people. Government treasuries are going broke. The distribution system is backwards.
Let’s assume the following: 1.We have a right that no person prevents us from living our lives in peace according to our personal values. 2. We have a responsibility to contribute to the reservoir of wealth that we also draw on to live flourishing lives. 3. We have a personal responsibility to flourish. The foregoing principles are based on the common sense reality of simultaneously being an individual and being social.
Personal power = psychological insights x philosophical insights
During a recent trip to Greece when it was, and still is, suffering financial convulsions, I had an interesting conversation with an erudite architect that had just officially retired but continues to work. Fluent in three languages besides his own he was speaking in English about the nature of the human being. Believing in the theory of evolution he contended that the high point of evolution was reached when a scattering of human beings in recorded history produced great achievements in literature, art and science. According to him these luminaries were like shooting stars that had had little effect on raising the universal consciousness of mankind. His analysis of the current state of humans led him to the pessimistic conclusion that humanity is devolving, that is, going backwards from creative consciousness to the sensual consciousness of the animals without the protection of a finely honed instinct. Consequently, humans are becoming more dangerous to each other than animals in the wild are to each other.