Corrupt incentives drive people’s contribution to the public discourse. Politicians, businessmen, financiers, are all guilty. The discourse no longer represents an honest viewpoint of reality, the dominant slogans on TV and radio are a designed smoke-screen to hide the real structure, decision-making, and motives at play in the world of economic policy, legislation, and campaigning. The derangement in economics, political deceit, and social manipulation is reaching unrecognizable proportions. Popular culture is responsible for making itself gullible to such influence. Our society nurtures a desire to be entertained from childhood, cultivating generations eager to be led by priests, politicians, advertising, pop idols, and whoever proves skillful at appealing to superficial emotions. Hence the increasing efficiency with which political marriages to the finance sector manipulate mass perceptions in the electorate during campaign season and drive up consumer demand with commercial advertising. The world’s social, economic, and political Order is in an irreparable downward spiral. Nothing can salvage it except a broad reconceptualization of our fundamental conceptions of society, self, government, global interdependence, the rule of Justice and Law, the reviving of the spirit of brotherhood in Religion, wide-scale increase in education and the free-flow of knowledge, robust discourse amongst the masses, self-sacrifice for unity, and a sense of obedience to One Universal Cause.
Framing the problem and a plea to begin rethinking society’s fundamentals begins here with Professor David Harvey:
In discourse, thought, reflection and action are intimately interdependent. Action is coherent only when it is not merely rote but also consultative, that is, when it is not dichotomized from reflection. Reflection, which is essential to action, is implicit in the requirement of explaining to the masses their own action, just as it is implicit in the purpose we attribute to consciously activating the subsequent development of experience.
For us, however, the requirement is seen not in terms of explaining to, but rather dialoguing with the people about their actions. In any event, no reality transforms itself, and the duty which we ascribe to responsible citizens of explaining to the masses their own action coincides with our affirmation of the need for the critical intervention of the people in reality through praxis.
The democratization of discourse, which is the spiritual re-education of people engaged in the fight for a just world order, has its roots here. And those who recognize, or begin to recognize, themselves as bearing the responsibility to contribute to this transformation must be among the developers of this new education. No world order which is truly just can remain distant from the masses by treating them as unfortunates and by presenting for their emulation models from among the privileged. The masses must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption.
The establishment of a just world order, animated by authentic, altruistic generosity, presents itself as a spiritual re-education of humankind. Values which begin with the egoistic interests of the privileged (an egoism cloaked in the false generosity of paternalism) and makes of the masses the objects of its humanitarianism, itself maintains and embodies injustice. It is an instrument of injustice.
This is why, as we affirmed earlier, the betterment of mankind cannot be developed or practiced by a wealthy minority fixated on 3rd world development. It would be a contradiction in terms for the privileged few to not only defend but actually implement a spiritual revolution. But if the implementation of a new type of spiritual education requires political power and the masses have none, how then is it possible to carry out the re-education of the world without a spiritual revolution?
This is a question of the greatest importance, the reply to which is at least tentatively underway in the system of distance education propounded by the Ruhi Institute. One aspect of the reply is to be found in the distinction between governmental education, which can only be changed by political power, and educational processes, which should be carried out with the masses in the process of organizing them.
Bind ye the broken with the hands of justice, and crush the oppressor who flourisheth with the rod of My commandments.