Global Change via Religion/Philosophy
Looking at Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, Mohamed, and the Hindu legacies, one sees many long-term impacts of a global and quasi-global nature. Religion represents a deep and archetypal philosophy, which acts on multiple layers of the psyche.
The deeper the changes in the human psyche which can be made — particularly over a span of many generations — the greater the likely consequential changes in human history.
More superficial philosophers, who appeal merely to logic and reason, tend not to understand the deeper layers of human reality. As a result of their lack of comprehension, their work tends to have a more limited impact on human history. The exception to that rule is when particular strains of philosophy — superficial on their own — are built upon and refined over many generations. If the more refined strains of thought are bundled into more robust and comprehensive schools of thought — they may ultimately result in powerful philosophical systems that birth potent offspring such as the Jeffersonians or the Marxists.
Global Change via Education
Education is underwritten by philosophy — and often by religion. Education takes many forms, formal and informal. Formal education builds the intellectual and pseudo-intellectual classes, while informal education builds the working classes and the skilled classes. Overemphasis on formal education at the expense of informal education leads to a top-heavy society of faux elites, which almost always exerts a subversive force on guiding traditions.
Negative change via education is quite easy, and such change can be easily seen in modern practises of education at all levels — from K thru university. Negative change is easy, since it is always easier to make a system worse than to make it better.
Positive and lasting change via education is difficult, since one confronts the “chicken and egg” problem immediately and throughout the enterprise.
First, Stop Making Things Worse!
One starts making a horrible system better by stopping the processes that continually make it worse.
Ultimately, achieving the most positive change through education requires better parents, better teachers, better systems of teaching and learning, better systems of apprenticeship, better occupational and professional systems, and better societies as a whole for producing better students and receiving better graduates. But one must begin somewhere, and the best way is to cut out the tumour, drain the pus, neutralise the poison — stop making things worse!!!
That is the key to making today’s world better via education. One must starve the self-perpetuating system that keeps making everything worse. Jordan Peterson has a number of ideas — including exposing the parts of modern universities which are making everything worse, and helping students to route their educations around the ugly parts.
He has also given some thought to starting his own online university:
It is true that everything a person needs to be well-educated in a formal sense, can be found at a good public library. Similarly, one can also find what one needs on the internet, if he knows where to look.
Perhaps one might change the world merely by pointing out the parts of the mainstream that one should avoid, and highlighting the freely available resources that one can readily make use of. But one would need a very prominent soapbox to scratch the surface of that challenge.
Spending hundreds of $thousands going to university to study the humanities or social sciences is not only unnecessary, it is potentially crippling over one’s lifetime. $Trillions of fruitless debt is a way to make the world worse, not better.
Global Change via Politics/War
Who had the greatest long term impact on the world: Thomas Jefferson or Karl Marx? It is too early to say, but over the past 100 years, the republic spawned by Jefferson has become the world’s economic and military superpower, while most “nations” spawned by Marx have collapsed in seas of blood and/or ruin. China, after rejecting Mao’s brand of Marx, cannot be considered Marxist any longer. Vietnam is likewise moving away from its North Vietnamese communist ideological origins in order to fend off China’s aggressive advances.
Marx still has great appeal to power-mongers around the globe, but his track record in real world political experiments has been deplorable.
Relatively recent megalomaniacs who chose the path of war include Napoleon, Hitler, the Japanese militarists of the 1920s/1930s, and Mussolini. But aside from Napoleonic law, their impacts have been transient, and swept back by subsequent history.
Lasting Global Change Incorporates Multiple Paths
Lasting change must be deep and wide. Most forms of change are quickly and easily reversible. All forms of human change are ultimately reversible — other than total extinction.
Coincidentally, it almost seems self-evident that the goal of post-modernism — the political ideology that rules most western universities, media outlets, governments, foundations, and other prominent cultural institutions — is to foment the nihilist extinction of any possible abundant and expansive human future.
When seen in that way, we have some important choices to make.