Michael Laitman: Unsettling “Liberal” Behavior Calls for a New Socio-Political Order
Human society is coming to a point where extreme social polarization must bring about a higher level of social organization.
New Socio-Political Order: What goes on in America ripples throughout the world, and it is my hope that we can elevate our mindset beyond lies, division and power struggles, to see the inevitable reality: we must establish a new sustainable order that brings together liberals, conservatives, and everyone else, to truly make America great again.
Liberalism No Longer Deserves Its Title
Pluralism has been a centerpiece of liberal rhetoric. But the daily resistance to the lawfully elected president is by no means a true expression of liberalism, pluralism, or even democracy.
Today millions of Trump supporters are deemed unworthy of pluralistic respect or tolerance. In the same way that racial stereotypes develop, they have been shamed on both mainstream and social media, and grouped together as Trumptards, deplorables, racists, xenophobes, homophobes, and Islamophobes, to name a few. The interesting thing, however, is that it all happens in the name of “pluralism.”
In universities, liberal intolerance has long been the reality. As New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, confessed: “We progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table—so long as they aren’t conservatives.” Likewise, classrooms have become echo chambers instead of sounding boards, with a politically correct regime that silences students who voice support for Trump. And Berkeley students have learned that if a right-wing speaker might get the stage, they should burn things down and scare them away, with the goal of protecting free speech, of course.
The media, supposedly the herald of objectivism, has become an orchestrated, funded instrument of political and financial powers, and has lost all credibility in the eyes of most Americans. The daily anti-Trump tone in the media has become so shallow that it fails even to look like a real discussion about the issues. Even after the election, it looks like media outlets are campaigning, while they continue to claim that they have not taken sides.
In the name of democracy, artists, singers and Hollywood icons have been cheering the call to “blow up the white house,” and carry out military coups to get rid of the new president. Those among them who dared to offer a more unifying approach have been shamed and threatened to be ousted from the club.
Is this the pluralism that everyone had in mind?
We are witnessing the dissolution of the liberal ideology that has overextended its rule. The left has passed its peak and has gone from progressive – to regressive. What used to be the hallmark of pluralism is now the recipe for authoritarianism.
This is why Trump’s rise was inevitable, as is the rise of right wing ideologies around the world. However, unlike many decades in which humanity maintained balance through the transition of power between right and left, we have now reached an unprecedented time in human history, where this can no longer continue.
What Does True Pluralism Look Like?
With the political divide becoming deeper than the racial divide, we must take the long view and see where we are headed: if we continue down this route of extreme social polarization, the future is barely sustainable.
To avoid social catastrophe, we will have to foster a new mindset and establish an entirely new model of socio-political order, one that can accommodate opposite views to achieve social stability, rather than perpetuate and deepen social division.
In nature, this is the foundation of all living organisms. Be it positive and negative, plus and minus, contraction and expansion, male and female, you’ll always find the coexistence and interplay between two opposite forces, creating a higher level of order and prosperity. Evolution brings opposites together through dynamic equilibrium. The more evolved an organism is, the more contradictions it can accommodate.
The evolutionary process is cyclical: moving from deeper levels of conflict and individuation to higher levels of balance and cooperation. Human society is coming to a point where extreme social polarization must bring about a higher level of social organization. There is no escape from learning how to unite above right and left, not by eliminating the opposites, but rather merging them to create a higher understanding.
Throughout the world, my students demonstrate how “connection circles” can bring people of different views, even those engaged in active conflicts such as Jews and Arabs, to reach new levels of mutual understanding. When that happens, our differences complement each other. As Baal HaSulam wrote in his essay The Freedom:
“Each individual should maintain the integrity of their inheritance, and the contradiction and oppositeness between them will remain forever, to secure the criticism and progress of wisdom, which is the major advantage of humanity.”
Michael Laitman is a Professor of Ontology, a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, an MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics, and was the prime disciple of Kabbalist, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the RABASH). He has written over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages.