The book traces the history of our nation and some of world history by looking at the mistakes made by humans in self organization that led to countless deaths of innocent people throughout history. It also looks at the subordination of human populations to ruling classes which feed off inequality to maintain wealth. I use many of the prevalent political philosophers to look through a lens of ideology of different events in history and why they occurred. This is all extremely relevant as many of the same political and economic trends displayed in ancient history are relevant to what is occurring today in the world. One of the most important things us as humans can do on earth is to create a better world for those who come after us. We can do this through technological advances but as learned by history technology can in some way create worse conditions for humans. One of the most important things we can leave to this world is a better way to organize ourselves in society to create better outcomes for all and keep a certain balance to the world. This can result in real growth and prosperity rather than technological advances at the expense of mass death and suffering. Wealthy groups subordinating classes of humans and strangling the hope of millions have created in some ways a worse world than in classical society. Fixing these problems as man moves forward in this industrial state is probably the most important problem to be fixed in human history. We could lead ourselves into complete destruction or cooperate in a better world with no exploitation and needless suffering. I am tracing these trends throughout the book and hope to come up with many groundbreaking solutions to help solve the current economic and political issues globally. Looking at history and political philosophy along with current events to document what is actually occurring and what we all can do to fix these problems.
One of the most important distinctions I make is between the theory of Thomas Hobbes and Jean Jacque Rousseau. The theory of Thomas Hobbes looks at the state of nature where humans live absent of any societal control. He believes they would display very selfish and evil characteristics. This theory lends itself to the conclusion that politically and economically humans must be controlled and guided to maintain a peaceful world. This theory mixed with Adam Smith’s theory on modern capitalism creates a world in which men who obtain power feel it is actually a moral obligation to align those below him to stop them from displaying their evil ways in life as they believe man to be just that. Adam Smith’s theory on capitalism justifies selfishness and control as a way of achieving economic progress. I do not question the advances that are brought by cooperative mass labor but I do question the managerial theory of industrialization that is justified by philosophy from Adam Smith who talks about the burden of the white man to guide those less evolved than you. I point to theory by Jean Jacque Rousseau as an alternative to the ideas of Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes. The theory is predicated on the fact that humans are naturally good but seek self-preservation. When their self-preservation is challenged this is when humans are forced to do things that would make you think humans were naturally evil. If this notion was true it would debunk the way that the current economic and political system is administered in the United States and would explain why certain acts of selfishness and control have been implemented on important fields such as the job sector, banking and government. Of course a theory cannot lead a country to a recession but a theory can influence those who have the gumption to seek out a power holding position to use certain principles to maintain there corporation or organization. The theory of Rousseau is that man does not need to be controlled and coerced to work and contribute to society. Man sees the benefits of living in a cooperative society and will put forth effort as he sees that combined prosperity increase among a nation.
This may seem like I am advocating something taboo to the American public which is communism but I am not. I am not questioning the power of private enterprise, ingenuity and creativity. Capitalism in its’ production has brought us the high standard of living some enjoy but also has created new problems that need to be solved. The way humans are treated under this new advent in human’s society is what I examine in this book. Going back to the different theories on human nature you can see that if humans need to be controlled then the people who own and drive industry would use certain tactics to coerce and force people to work certain jobs. This is just on a micro level of employee treatment but on a macro economic level the squeeze for profits at the top of companies is actually shrinking global economic growth and leading to the global recession. Many specific actions are taken by owners and management to contribute to this which I address specifically. It all goes back to the fact that they believe their selfishness will create economic growth and if they can make a profit it is their duty to. They, as individuals are also wrestling with confusion amongst their own desires. As I mention humans are out to fulfill self-preservation but this idea of what self-preservation is can be distorted. The common thought pattern among wealthy managers and owners is that the control they exhibit on others feels wrong but is actually your duty to create economic growth in the world. The ideas they adhere to adjust their idea of self-preservation and adjust their behavior accordingly. I feel getting certain ideas and concepts to the public will be one of the most effective ways of changing minds which changes the behavior of individuals and leads to material actions that may fix many problems we as humans face in such a young state of industrialism and mass globalization. I emphasize the fact that cooperation is the most powerful tool we as humans can use and together we can regulate ourselves to keep much of the exploitation out of the world that we see with individuals using the theories of Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes to justify mass control for the benefit of themselves and what they perceive to be the benefit of all.
We as humans have reached past the material limitations we had before the advent of industrialization. With industrialization there has been, however, many new problems that are equally if not more important then the previous hurdles we have climbed as a species. The way we organize ourselves in the modern world will decide whether we prosper as a global community or let our differences and misunderstandings lead to not only economic exploitation of masses of individuals but also possible violent conflict that could escalate into something none of us want to experience. I take this critical analysis of modern society in the world in hopes of reaching conclusions that can begin to solve some of the large problems we are going to face in the future and now.