This is a continuation of our post The Meaning of Life – Have You Tried Googling It?
“How do you live in an age of bewilderment, when the old stories have collapsed, and no new story has yet emerged to replace them?” What will keep us busy when our jobs become obsolete? A new quest for meaning is required. In the future, virtual worlds may take over and socially-constructed systems of meaning could lose their meaning.
As a first entry point we took the meaning of life as a belief system or ideology derived from philosophical, religious and scientific inquiries about happiness, existence, consciousness and social ties. We posed two sub questions. One to reflect on the historical development of ideologies, and the other about what future belief systems might be.
- Why did so many people follow enthusiastically but blindly the main 20st century ideologies? What has been so attractive in them? We suggested to write down positive aspects, negative aspects and interesting aspects (a PMI)
- What types of ideologies will emerge in the future? We suggested to design at least 7 Alternatives, Choices or Possibilities (APC).
We only suffice to bring out the most interesting points. After all, it is not about an assessment of ideologies but about bringing forward new points of view. If you like to see the complete harvest of our thinking, and that of other contributors, go to the comments section of our last post
We took two belief systems: Neoliberalisms, the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism. And fascism, a form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.
Some interesting points about the old stories of neo-liberalism and fascism came forward:
- Eco-capitalism. Could the problems with neoliberalism be solved by developing something that can be called “eco-capitalism”?
- Eco-fascism. Will a kind of eco-fascism arise as a strong and decisive leadership is needed to deal with problems as pollution and climate change?
- Counter-ideology. Will there emerge a counter ideology to neo-liberalism, like communism and fascism emerged as a reaction to raw liberalism?
- Irrelevant class ideology. Will fascism rise again to be attractive for an unnecessary and irrelevant class that loose jobs like happened in the Weimar Republic, Germany just before the outbreak of WWII?
According to Max Weber, protestantism was one of the major “elective affinities” associated with the rise in the Western world of market-driven capitalism and the rational-legal nation-state. Regarding this, and related to future belief, we appreciate very much Phil Bachmann’s Interesting Points:
- How are Christians dissatisfied with Christianity?
- Can Christianity be re-interpreted?
Then, we speculated about some future ideologies that may take over:
- De-average-ism – the idea that the world could be a better place by leaving the all dominant idea that there is an average of every and anything – Swedish word, lagom!
- Root-ism – the opposite to ecofascism – people discover the underlying ways that nature support each other and this gives meaning to life, inspiration is the root system of trees.
- Event-ism – the meaning of life is to experience a wide scoop of challenges, experiences, events, emotions, relations.
- Brainless-ism – there is no other meaning of life than smoothfully fit in; we upload our brains and the leader will check our thoughts and modify if not good; our life will be ruled by data that will feed our ego, the collected data will solve everything and we will blindly follow the messages left to us by our voice assistant. And we are too busy to care, the robot can sort it out
- Enterprise-ism – the belief that not civilians or governments can solve our problems but that CEO’s and owners of large companies should shape our ideas about morality and laws
- Brain-ism – we will learn to supercharge our brain and discover the meaning of life!
In our next post The 4th Industrial Revolution and the Meaning of Life we will lay-out some steps about how to think about:
What are the consequences for the Meaning of Life by the fusing of information- and bio-technology?