Per Occult thinking: Materialism emboldens the force of Ahriman (who rules the force of logic). When given too much power Ahriman seeks to stamp out individuality.
In turn, as people grow more and more disillusioned (because of economic hardship or lack of options, for e.g.) this emboldens the forces of Lucifer (who rules imagination). Imagination is good but not when it descends into fantasy and decadence.
Materialism perverts logic and dulls feelings.
Rudolf Steiner believed in the “Christ Impulse/Christ Consciousness” – A force meant to keep the pendulum between Logic and Imagination in check. (See also Mystery of Golgatha). In his opinion World War 1 was materialism confronting its Karma.
6000 years ago, men begin to plunder and take slaves. Exploitation and plunder lead to a sense of inward becoming.
Roots of conflict lead to contradictory desires (imagining a better life – living in a fantasy on the one hand and plunder/exploitation which builds EGO on the other).
Industrial Revolution finds a split between Science and Philosophy. Science becomes the servile nursemaid of technology with the development and employment of mechanization.
Industrial revolution coincides with mechanistic conceptualization of the natural order – which sought to increase material profit at the expense of the human spirit.
Negative consequences include: Ecological imbalance, materialism, varied effects of personal greed, disintegration of human values, decline of the arts, lack of interest in personal excellence, lack of balance and an inability to see parts in relation to the whole.
The Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution are linked – both expressions of the same cultural paradigm shift.
The investment banker class emerged as the new royal class. Non productive; parasitic; unlike royalty they know how to maintain tentacles of power in the face of changing circumstances. Elite establishment becomes aligned with political hierarchy and people are a flock to be managed.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) Philosopher – God has many names, depending on the beliefs/religion of the individual; the Holy Spirit is not God; the Trinity does not exist; Jesus Christ’s death did not atone for our sin; salvation comes by practicing what you believe, whatever religion it might be; the afterlife is spiritual, but dependent on how well you lived in your physical body.
The Secret Doctrine (pub 1888) Helena Blavatsky – Deals with origin and evolution of the Universe: Hindu concept of cyclical development.
Annie Besant (1847-1933) – Founder of Theosophy – mystical philosophy seeking direct knowledge of the presumed mysteries of life and nature, particularly of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe.
Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) founded Anthroposophy – stems from believes of reincarnation and and Karma. Belief that the forces of ‘bad/darkness’ can be beneficial as long as the ego remains strong enough to keep them from becoming too powerful. The EGO is a citizen of the Spiritual World, not merely the inhabitant of a human body. You must break out of yourself to find yourself.
The purpose on Earth is to learn and enrich the collective store of knowledge. Self-knowledge leads to world peace.
Natural Justice/Natural Law/Natural Rights… all begin in Rome jurisprudence.
Aristotle: Justice is a habit of conduct; Political Justice = partly natural and partly legal. Natural Law = Source of all legality vs. the idea of Legality of Positive Law in which justice is derived from the will of sovereign alone.
Plato’s Gorgias: It is better to suffer than do injustice
Socrates: Justice is concerned with inner life. The just person sets in order his or her inner life.
Spinoza: Justice = Obedience… Laws are not formulated by reference to justice but to the interest of the State which has a right to its own preservation. As long as it has power, it can do as it likes.
Plato/The Republic – Wisdom= Virtue of Rulers, Justice = Organizing principle of Plato’s ideal state.
Thrasymachus says: Justice is the interest of the stronger. What is best for the protection of the State is justice. For the weak they can only do injustice. They can’t even experience it. Injustice means – disobeying rulers.
Thoreau, Gandhi, MLK Jr: Civil Disobedience toward unjust laws that violate a person’s conscience may have the force of the State behind them but they exert no authority over him or her. The just person is called upon to break them and to submit gladly to the consequences of break them by suffering whatever penalties may be attached to their breach (opposite of Good German).
In chemistry: Free Radicals are atomic or molecular species with unpaired electrons on an otherwise open shell configuration – usually highly reactive.
The Federalist conceives the possibility of a revolutionary process which is at once peaceful and legal.
Locke: Anyone who uses force without right – as everyone does in society who does it without law, puts himself into a state of war with those against whom he so uses it; A king may be resisted when he exceeds his authority and uses power unlawfully.
It is not the people who rebel; rather it is they who put down the sedition of the tyrant. A right to resistance.
Declaration of Independence says we have the right to rebel. You can not overthrow the Constitution.
Revolution is abrupt. It can occur in either direction, against the tide as well as with it. Action and reason can be equal and opposite in physical motion so in social change revolution and counter-revolution can aim in opposite directions.
The revolutionist is a radical.
Marx: Political power is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another.
Notes on Jeremy Rifkin book:
Empathy as a driving force in the unfolding human history speaks to our deeply social nature.
Much of what is written about history revolves around the pathology of power.
The importance of reframing the human narrative.
Evolution of emphatic consciousness – which is the underlying story of human history – has not been given the attention it deserves.
Unlike sympathy – empathy is active.
The underlying dialectic of human history is the continuing feedback loop between expanding empathy and increasing entropy.
Misc: Oral cultures are steeped in mythological consciousness; Script cultures give rise to theological consciousness; print cultures are accompanied by ideological consciousness; Electricity cultures spawn psychological consciousness. (Source – Ilya Prigogine?)