Posted: Tue, November 27, 2012 | By: Eric Schulke
“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” – Chuck D.
The United States economic system remains the same for the most part, while the government adapts around it. Think of it like an enzyme. The shape of an enzyme will stay largely the same as it conducts its business, but its active sites, the ports that it takes substrates into, to act upon them, adapts by enacting what biologists call the induced fit. In other words, the enzyme adapts the way it interacts with its surroundings. That’s what the economic system in the United States has done to get to where it’s at, and that is the situation it faces again.
To summarize some of the main transitions the United States and its people have gone through in adapting over the years, to begin with, we all used to live in the woods. Many of us left the woods and adapted to farming, until over time, farmers comprised the majority of the world and spilled over into the newly growing United States. When industry was born and grew, a large percent of people left agrarian life and adapted to industry, until industrialists were to become the majority in the country. Now the industrialists have paved the way for the growing creative class, the alpha thinkers, the transhumanists. These people are our idea developers, our entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, scientists, philosophers, atheists and agnostics, humanists, activists, reformers, abolitionists and others. They are our alpha thinkers.
The creative class numbers currently stand at around 1/3 of the United States workforce, about 50 million people, and they produce as much wealth as the agrarians and the industrialists combined. What does this mean? It means that having reached the 1/3 mark, the creative class is teetering and on the verge of tipping over into becoming the majority interest group.
The last President to try to get elected by campaigning to get most of their votes from the agrarians was William McKinley. Within the next decade and a half, the progressive party was born to adapt to the new political climate of the emerging industrialists. Progressives are a mix of conservative, liberal, libertarian, green, etc. They deliberate, looking for the best ways to help pave the way into the future. The progressive’s goal has been to tailor the country to help industry grow and thrive through a variety of important policies, like the 40 hour work week, secure retirement, collective bargaining, expanded opportunity, healthcare and an eye to the development of key tools. Enacted over time, they have built the stage that industry has flourished on. Now with the stage set and built, we are positioned to make the transition, ready for the curtain to open on the next chapter, from the industrialist’s chapter to the creative class. Whereas the industrialists once took a political beating of criticism from the agrarians, the creative class now takes the same political beating and criticism from the resistant-to-change industrialists. A President running for office not too long from now, maybe even this year, may be the last to campaign to win on the industrialist vote, as McKinley had been a last in this way a century before. Just as the progressive party was born soon thereafter, the party of the creative class is looming at the horizon of conception to be fully hatched upon the political stage.
We see this on the horizon now through concepts like Science Debate, formed for the 2008 election to work to bring science to the political table. Science Debate, quote, “teamed with Research!America to do a national poll to show the candidates that 85% of the American public thought that debating these topics was important. [… The candidates] assembled teams of science advisers to help them answer the questions, which helped inform their strategic thinking. The inauguration of Barack Obama marked the first time a president has gone into office with a fully formed science policy and a sense of how it fits into his overall strategic agenda.”
We see this through the formation of political parties like the Longevity Party, begun by Maria Konovalenko of Russia and Ilia Stambler of Israel just a few months ago, in July of 2012. To quote Dr. Stambler, “Today, the US is without any doubt the world leader in life-extension research, simply in terms of investments in the field, more than probably all the other nations altogether (still even this amount cannot be considered sufficient). I believe one of the social paths to life-extension is to spread the effort more evenly among all the countries of the world.”
Has all of this transitioning and adapting been worth it? Did it work, and is it working? We can answer that question by asking ourselves what the people who never did step out of the woods have done. Have they produced anything new? They don’t even sail the seas let alone go to the moon, sequence the genome or put cameras, internet, voice transmission and other incredible things into an object smaller than an apple.
Why not stay in the woods though? There are plenty of enlighteningly complex ways we could illustrate the reasoning for that, but the basic answer was summed up by a variety of people, most popularly by Abraham Maslow in his hierarchy of human needs. Being that we have come upon this mysterious gift of human willpower, self awareness, we sought more than the woods. Then successfully making that transition, we secured things like security, employment, resources, various forms of moral order, friendship, family, community, society, etc, and continued to move up. Industry really allowed humans to augment their esteem from that of the basic survival and organization, to a place where we could plainly see that our awareness and willpower really does shape the elements. Achievement fueled more confidence and vice versa in a quickly upward moving spiral of progress. Only 5% of Americans were in the creative class as early as the 1960s. We have since exponentially transcended the upward moving spiral of human innovation, progress and the mastering of more and more of the elements.
We now control the majority of the elements in our environments. The main direction to go now is to expand out, to push the boundaries, expand our comfort zone, and illuminate an increasingly ever larger speck of light here in this seemingly infinite sea of mystery that we call the universe, so that we can uncover more and more of the big picture of existence. That is, as economist Richard Florida calls it, a post materialistic world. It is self actualization, the peak of human potential; it is the hitting of our kind on all cylinders, the humanity locomotive barreling through obstacles, through space, through the veils of mystery.
These creatives, these people working to self actualize, like the entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, transhumanists, indefinite life extensionists, innovators, education leaders, explorers, philosophers and the people that dare to brave the storms through living outside the box, the alpha thinkers, form a bustling new market place of competing ideas where the best rise to the top. Since the economic model, capitalism, remains largely the same, it needs to adapt less often during these centuries, and so the same economic rules continue to apply; everybody might not be able to create things that are great, but it’s not up to us to sort these marketeers, especially not by things like what they wear and how they talk. The market sorts them out, the best win and rise to the top. The creative class is a capital generating group of work horses, not the disparaging things that many Republicans paint them as. Where you find the greatest concentrations of the creative class you also find the lowest unemployment rates. The creative class, dominated by the Democrats, are today’s leading capitalists. There are people that may not yet understand why we should move up, to move forward to a post materialistic, self actualized world, but the creative class does. Those that don’t, want the outdated model, while the rising creative class is adapting to the new one. The old order progressives are being displaced by the transhumans in the same way that the progressives displaced the agrarians before them.
How do we know who the transhuman, alpha thinking, creative class is voting for? National Journal illustrates the answer for us in this table:
A 2008 CNN exit poll shows us that 71% of the irreligious voted for Barack Obama, with 74% of evangelical Christians voting for John McCain.
Sixty eight Nobel laureates supported Barack Obama in 2012, saying that the President, “understands the key role science has played in building a prosperous America, has delivered on his promise to renew our faith in science-based decision making and has championed investment in science and technology research that is the engine of our economy,” In a 2008 open letter endorsing President Obama, they said of George W. Bush that, “vital parts of our country’s scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government’s scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.”
The creative class votes Democrat.
At this time, the creative class tends to be marginalized. On average, they put off having kids longer, and go without more often, to focus and excel with intensive creative pursuits. Because of this, Republicans label them as things like loners, losers, and anti family. Because they tend not to give into fallacy as often, especially such egregious insults to intelligence like religion, they are labeled immoral, heretics, etc. They are the future of this world. They are continuing to drive mechanization up and dependence on workers down so that we can have the same amount, or more, stuff, tools, resources - so that we can put more time into creative class pursuits: technology, pioneering, the future, alleviation of toil and grief, grunt labor and busy work. This earns the creative class the label of things like lazy, of all things. A much larger percentage of us perform our work less often for the money, and more often for the intellectual capital produced. Republicans tend to look at that and think that work without pay is not work at all. That’s not the case, we put in more work for less pay, and still generate more wealth and capital than them. Anybody that criticizes longer hours of more productive work for less pay is shameful.
There is no pain no gain with physical activity and it’s the same with thinking. The creative class works hard to pioneer forward, and help themselves and the world self actualize. We are the ones that create the machines that drive down the demand for labor that causes the unemployment. The creative class doesn’t do that so we can continue on with 40 hour work weeks and money hording though. It’s so that we can work less hours for more wealth, and this part is key: so that more of the world can have the opportunity to choose to put more of their time into creative class pursuits. That is what this world needs, that is the future of this world. The universe is a big place and we aren’t going to extend our reach out beyond the fraction of a fraction of the speck of the known universe that we have access to now if we continue on with the policies of the 20th century. That is the policy of the industrialists, of the 1%, of the primitive theologians, of the Republicans. If the Republicans had taken control of the White House in 2012 then we wouldn’t have been able to continue to adapt and move forward. That’s not their goal.
The overall goal of the industrialists is to build the commodity producing industry that supports most everything else. It’s not to expand our boundaries and continue pioneering out and moving more people up further toward and into self actualization, post materialism and things like that. Agriculture and industry have been important steps, and continue to be important parts of our country, but they are not the goal. Their goal is not the future.
The goal of the theologians is not creative, forward moving, pioneering, progressive enterprise. It’s about holding onto the primitive traditions of thousands of years ago. It works to dictate modern day policy in a variety of ways, using outdated and disproven ideology. In Texas and elsewhere, Republican theologians work to block the teaching of critical thinking skills because such a curriculum would quote, “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” Churches also do things like pay less taxes, and try to impose their outdated book upon women’s biology. George W. Bush banned certain kinds of richly potential filled stem cell research, and since President Barack Obama has lifted the ban, the field has already made great progress.
The goal of the 1% is more wealth, and that is not a pathway to the future. They support policies like war, gerrymandering, voter suppression, super pacs and creative destruction. The creative destruction is all too often not in the positive sense, but as it benefits them, whereas the creative class inherently benefits all of humanity. As economist Joseph Schumpeter has defined, creative destruction is a tool that can be used, and is used by the wealthy through which they are able to devalue others wealth, in order to raise the value of their own. They do this by doing things like constricting the money supply, and they do that via means like hording money, putting runs on banks, and most notably, war. Burying our youth and our money in war makes the value of 1%er bank accounts go up. They can then buy more with those same stacks of dollars while the rest of us continue to fight for a stagnant minimum wage, a minimum wage which has been stuck at between 4 and 6 dollars, adjusted for inflation, for over a century.
The Republicans policy embodies policies like those. Republicans support remnant policies of rungs on the ladder we have climbed past long ago. Republicans by and large (not all) are not alpha thinkers. Republicans comprise the main population of grunts, builders, worker bees, followers. It’s up to us to put the kibosh on any dissent toward the creative class that they may put forth, stand firmly, and lead them forward.
Luckily the Republicans aren’t monarchs, they don’t run this country, the constituents and the voters do, and we continue to adapt. If not for all of the hard work, mountains of wealth and new capital generated by this work force, by this diligent, hard working creative class, then we couldn’t advance into the future at the rate we have. And humanity doesn’t stay put, that’s not what we do. That’s why we left the woods.
The vitality of our lives is relative to the breadth of our scope. Let’s not have the young new thinkers of our world continuously remake the pants and cars that aren’t built to last, in the name of keeping people busy. Let’s stand out of the way of the work to secure an endowment of wealth for this world, produced by our innovation, with less grunt labor, and give those kids tools, information, computers, microscopes and facilities for taking us to those next outposts. This union of alpha thinkers moves progressively forward.
These creative class work horses don’t work for the sake of wealthier millionaire and billionaires, although they do create most of them. They work with the goal of moving further and further into the future, of expanding out further and further, making sure everybody has the opportunity to move toward self actualization. They reject the notion of perpetuating grunt labor endlessly for the sake of it, and the 1%. They meet the Republicans on a bridge over a chasm between the past and the future, and firmly impress upon them their resolve. They say to them, as one of the first progressives said long ago, “You will not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify our future upon a cross of gold.”