Launching The New Enlightenment: The Reaffirmation of the Social Contract: Michael Jaffey

Unlike the many other books now being written bewailing Western society’s sorry state, this book offers a diagnosis and proposes remedial action While it is true that ours is an affluent society, and many people are having happy lives, and brilliant science and technology have made life easier and longer, consider just how badly we manage the economy: Periodic recession, obscene inequality and poverty for many despite hugely increasing economic output; and, specially in North America, a perverted broadcasting system paid for by business corporations to promote consumer goods, polluting the airwaves with deceit and untruth, and harming society. And most inexcusable, we continue spewing carbon into the atmosphere, endangering civilized existence on our planet. What this book does is explain the radical institutional reforms that will restore us as the model of what the good society should be.

We shall immediately recover the hi-jacked broadcasting system and place it at the service of the people and society; transform the public finance system to allow a rational allocation between private and public spending; launch the mega-projects that will convert the economy into a low emitter of carbon, and with a better quality of life; and put an end to the absurd cycle of boom and b

Dear fellow Rhodes Scholars,

I am of an earlier vintage of scholar than most of you – I went up in 1949.   I’ve always interpreted Rhodes’ dictum, ‘Fight the World’s Fight’, as meaning being concerned with striving to serve society – to make the world a better place to live in.

That it what I set out to do when I recently wrote my book ‘Launching the New Enlightenment’, which I briefly summarize below.   I very much would like to hear from you whether you think that what I propose would make the world a better place for us humans to live in.   The book is available from Amazon as either a paperback or kindle e-book.

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Launching the New Enlightenment

A Call to all Thinking People

We have reached a time when we, the people, must intervene, our Western society is sick, and heading in the wrong direction. But what needs to be done is not clear to our economists, our political scientists, our public policy experts. Their diagnoses are all different, they give us little guidance on what we must do to heal our society.

Perhaps in these difficult times we need to depend less on these experts, these specialists, and turn to the generalists, to ourselves, and rely on our plain good sense.

My book, ‘Launching the New Enlightenment’, attempts to jolt us out of our preoccupation with our present, old familiar woes, and the incremental improvements suggested by our experts, and instead reorient our thinking, consider what a better future world might be like, a place more comfortable and fulfilling for human beings.

What would this ideal society be like? I suggest it would have the following characteristics.

• Most certainly it would have ended our present inexcusable failure to stop spewing carbon into the atmosphere, the future of civilised life on our planet would no longer be under threat.

• It would no longer be cursed with cyclic recession and unemployment

• It would no longer have poverty for many people, despite hugely increasing economic output;

• Its broadcasting system would serve the people, no longer part of it – in North America most of – part of the marketing function of business corporations, its programs interrupted by annoying, irrelevant, selling ‘messages’ wasting peoples time, and polluting the atmosphere with deceit and untruth, corrupting society.  And in separate channels of this future broadcasting system, corporations could display their wares, and people wishing to go shopping could examine what is on offer and decide what to buy.

• This better future world would even rid us of that annual pest, the income tax return – the needed public funds would instead be bled out of our production processes – yes that can be done!

• And this civilized society would oversee our brilliant fast advancing technology, making sure it is always to the people’s benefit, and that they are not bounced into some nightmarish future world

If you, as I expect you will, find this future world more appealing than our present one, you may want to read my book to learn how to get there.

It won’t be easy. Our society is now locked in its present doom-directed course,  it will not be easy to shift it onto a new trajectory. How to overcome the gross inertia of our institutions is the subject of my book’s Part Three: Grand Strategy.

It is a matter of spreading the ideas discussed here. Movements have played a large part in bringing about the world’s major reforms. But now, with climate calamity threatening, we need a sequence, ideas, a movement, political action, that is exceedingly quick, a couple of years.

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These are the things we must do to mend our society, and bring into being a new, great, Second Age of Enlightenment

Michael Jaffey
Ottawa
22nd Sept 2016

Contributed to Rhodes-Scholars.TV by:

Michael Jaffey
(Rhodesia & St Edmund Hall 1949)
Ottawa, ON
Canada

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