Building on the theme of our previous post, the Axemaker’s Mind, that unique human ability to create a symbolic system of conceptual thought, is what enables people, at least some of them, “to transcend the immediate experience of his senses.” And the schemers who would like to rewrite the rules underlying societies and economies and agreed upon political systems do not like that capacity one bit. They want to squelch this “abstract attitude” that can create mental worlds that exist only in the privacy of a person’s imagination. Use education to attack and shut down this capability that:
“can conceive of alternative responses and weigh in his mind alternative consequences and then determine his future action.”
No. No. No. The powers that be may not be comfortable with the individual’s chosen action. It might, after all, be an innovation that destroys the current revenue stream of a most favorite campaign supporter. Since emotions and values drive human behaviors in the absence of a conscious, deliberate decision to mentally engage, those become primary targeted areas to cultivate and change and monitor. As we have been discussing in so many of these posts on Social and Emotional Learning.
How do I know? Have I told you about the importance of playing tiptoe through the supporting footnotes anytime you are tracking political or economic theories? Is there actual support for this or is it merely someone’s ‘druthers hoping for funding and a captive audience to research the theories on? One of my tiptoeing escapades led me to a very interesting book from 1961, William Kapp’s Toward a Science of Man in Society. Interestingly enough, even though Kapp was an American professor, the book was published in the Netherlands. Perhaps because it laid out a vision for radically altering the structure of Western society. There seems to be quite the proclivity in education and social reform schemes to offshore the actual plans being relied on. Away from most prying eyes I suppose. At least before the days of the Internet.
Professor Kapp saw the noetic system as a key component of the social system along with kinship, production and distribution, and political systems.
“Since these four substructures are connected by a process of continuous interaction, it follows that modifications in one must lead to transformation of the whole.”
So if you are a stealthy politician or crony and do not want to actually push such a transformative scheme at the electoral ballot box or go to the trouble of rewriting fundamental documents like the US Constitution, you can still alter your country’s or the globe’s political systems by targeting kinship or control over economic production and distribution and consumption. That would certainly explain the communitarian push we have been documenting to replace the individual focus. “I am because we are” is certainly a big shift in kinship. Likewise, Sustainability and UNESCO’s Agenda 21 push and the Belmont Challenge are certainly direct attacks on our ability to produce, distribute, and consume.
That leaves the noetic system from the Greek word nous for mind. What makes noetic system an important concept to appreciate is its all-encompassing nature. It’s not just rational thought or the sequential, logical ability we called the Axemaker Mind in the previous post. It gets at beliefs, perceptions, feelings, attitudes, values, instincts, and anything and everything that might impact a person’s decision making and actions.
Anyone want to guess who Kapp credited with coming up with the term “noetic system”? Anybody think it might be important that the primary architect of UNESCO, Julian Huxley, was also credited by Kapp as naming the “shared and transmitted patterns of thought and science, law and morality, art and ritual . . . this pattern of conscious experience, thought, and purpose which provides the integrating bond between the individual members of society, man’s ‘noetic system?”
And they would like to disrupt the noetic system to get people to focus on each other and fixing all of society’s problems. I think UNESCO’s education policies we are seeing all over the globe make more sense once you appreciate this aim to attack the noetic system itself and
“specific capacities to learn and to transmit acquired experience and their ability not merely to adapt passively but to deal with their environment in a novel manner.”
Doesn’t that sound just like the concerns of Paul Ehrlich or John Holdren or James Burke? The limiting mindset to make the Earth a Small Planet of finite resources? So politicians and accreditation agencies and UN bureaucrats and grant seeking professors in Climate Change or Schools of Education or anyone capable of incorporating Sustainability into their grant proposals and duplicitous school and district charters and Positive School Climate NCLB waivers or recently issued Executive Orders or the constant hyping of bullying are all just current examples of attacks on the noetic system of individual students and society itself.
The expressed political aspiration for all this attacking and reforming is “while social change and social processes may be slow, they are as a rule cumulative. . . Whereever they may originate, their effect will be felt throughout the entire social structure until a more or less radical transformation has taken place in the whole system of institutional arrangements of which human societies consist.”
We have UN agencies actively seeking that transformation using education and the environment as their primary tools. We have a US President who boasted of fundamentally transforming America if elected who seems to be doing everything he can and things he should not to get this Kapp/Huxley social change strategy in place. We have many cities and communities in the US and all over the world now that are thoroughly bound to implement the UN’s Agenda 21 Sustainable programs pushing us all towards urban areas and transit systems. If you think Agenda 21 is just an urban myth read a few UN reports where they actively brag that ICLEI and Agenda 21 initiatives make UN institutions the only entities in the world with both global reach and local reach.
We seem to be on lap 3 of a 4 lap mile race to this desired radical transformation all over the West. And scheming sprinters are breaking away from the pack as we speak. A huge reason policies and practices all over the West have become so warped away from free markets and the concept of the individual has been this inability to appreciate how much of the collectivist attack was created through assaulting our personal and collective noetic system. Like dirigiste and the politically driven centrally designed economy, the noetic system is a nerdy sounding word that hides concepts that we have to appreciate in order to protect them.
Note to Readers Looking for a Definition of Dirigisme: If you go back to this May 10 post, you will see how I explain a Dirigiste Economy. I knew that understanding would be important to joining together all the different theories involved in this story. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/
The earlier post on May 9 explains how a mercantilist, government directed economy benefits the politically connected throughout history. But not the rest of us picking up the bill for the drinks and the party and the meetings at lovely places we can’t afford to visit at our own expense. At best a dirigiste economy is stagnant, as you can see from earlier posts, we are actually looking at an Industrial Policy trying to get people to accept redefinitions of prosperity around the elusive concept of Wellbeing for All. To reflect the planned lack of it, I suppose. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/