genuine optimist

The Destruction of Hate, Episode 4

People can build up a lot of hate toward others. It’s a real problem that stops the potential for a thriving culture. When hate builds up, it can destroy relationships and become self-destructive. We should ask ourselves, where does hate come from?

Hate comes from one of two sources. The first is “not having your voice understood.”  The second is “not understanding the voice of others.” It is quite amazing how similar these two are, and how easily they overlap.

Let me begin by saying that every human being has a core belief. My core believe is that we are born good. I hold this core belief because I refuse to accept the limitations of far left and far right political thinking. Instead, I believe in high right and high left thinking. Let me explain.

Imagine the side profile of a head, you know the kind children make in elementary school during valentines. The far left is the back of the head. These people believe that life is not equal and therefore they choose to make things equal through state control.

Now imagine the nose of this side profile. This is the far right. The far right believes in the individual and in something they call inalienable rights, often exhibited in the Bill of Rights. While this is more appealing than the state managing inequalities, there is something better than the far right, and yes something better than the far left.

I would like to introduce high left and high right thinking. First, the high left believes we are born free and that through natural free association, powered by our mutual consent, we can achieve great things. They do not believe in popular democracy. They believe in the culture of consent. The modern liberal has lost this belief. Liberals today have degenerated into state-imposed authoritarianism in the name of social justice. Voice, discussion, and democracy have been tossed aside by the far left, which is why we need to re-educate the left with high left thinking that supports discussion, transparency, and a spirit that seeks to understand all things.

The high right believes we are born good. Like the high left, they also believe in natural free association, and yet they have a strong sense of the truth in their minds, a truth tide to God.

 

Both the high right and the high left come together naturally through common consent, which is symbolized at the top of this side profile. At the top of the head in this image is where genuine optimists hang out. Neither the far left nor the far right come together at all for the same reason the back of the head and the nose never see each other. They exist too far apart. This is where hate begins to boil, and neither the far right or the far left mindset understands the other, and each side rejects each others’ belief.

The far left rejects individualism because it never solves for inequalities and injustices. The far right rejects statism because it destroys individual liberty. It is time to talk of the silent majority that does not believe in either of these.

A business partner of mine calls the high left and high right purple people. They are not blue and they are not red, they are purple people. Purple people mix together. Mixing means you understand others or that you are well understood. This happens because you believe in common consent, the open forum where people can come together without force or compulsion. In fact, purple people naturally seek to understand before they are understood.

The big assumption of the far left is that people cannot self-manage themselves and that people cannot fix the problems of inequality or injustice on their own. The far left has lost trust in natural free association. This is because they do not understand the potential within people, they distrust freedom. This kind of thinking happens because they have no vision to organize freedom. People always need help in their mind. The more this responsibility to help others is removed from the people, the more control the state obtains over the people. Eventually we call this low left thinking, a degeneration of liberty into secular authoritarianism, and this has a core belief that is very destructive. It believes that human beings are born selfish, and thus only through state control can we manage this selfishness.

Do not confuse the far right with fundamentalism, a big mistake many do. We call fundamentalists the low right. Like the low left that pushes for a secular authoritarian control because all humans are selfish by nature, the low right pushes for a religious central authority, which has an equally destructive core belief that human beings are born evil and sinners. If you want to understand why the low left and the low right work together, it’s because they both believe in authoritarian rule. They are both pushing for central control. The only difference is the low left wants centralized state control and the low right wants centralized religious control.

Any way, you see the intense division. One sees the problem of inequality and wants to fix it through state control, now called social justice, which degenerates into state authoritarianism. The other sees the problem of state control affecting individual rights that exclude God and so they can easily degenerate into authoritarian religious control. The two shall never be as one. They are doomed for eternal war and at times allied against the high right and the high left when it suits them. I know, because I am not a fan of state control. I prefer community solutions to solve for inequalities and injustices.

I am a genuine optimist. I believe in the power of free association at the most local level possible. If we do not have a vision for a better way to organize using free association and the utility of common consent, our world will inevitably collapse into rigid authoritarian rule.

Because of this perpetual division, I have left both camps. I started to look at humanity with a blank slate. I came to the conclusion that we are born good and that we are born free, and sadly we just fail to hear the good in others and we fail to respect the freedom for all. We do not hear the good in others because we do not have a way to organize that good. This requires a better understanding of freedom.

The division of separation between the far left and the far right is just too great for us to come together. It’s just not going to happen.

When ideas within people are not heard, frustration begins to swell. These people whose voice is not heard can appear overly aggressive, loudly passionate, and they can easily talk over people. If they are not heard for long enough, their frustration inevitably turns to anger, and anger eventually turns to hate. Hate is the fuel that degenerates into authoritarianism. Something needs to change in society, so I decided to believe in something different to separate myself from the world of divisive hate.

I now believe in the high left and the high right. The high left believes we are born free. The high right believes we are born good. These two beliefs can easily come together.

It seems the far right and far left political divisions have lost their way. They have lost what they once stood for. I believe we can easily work together toward something we call common consent. If one believes we are born free and another believes we are born good, common ground can be reached. It is good to note that the low left and the low right have their own common ground. It’s called central control. If you want to create more hate in the world, push for more central control. If you want to create thriving cultures, push for common consent.

It is time we stop the destructive nature of hate and its divisiveness. It is time for a renaissance. It is time we begin to see new and better ways to organize. The idea of free association is going to have a serious boost in our lives. People are going to start organizing in headless ways, and in time greater consent is going to be the name of the game, and vision from every person will rise with no power struggles. Welcome to the new world, it’s coming.

A genuine optimist is a person who can see this new world. A genuine optimist is a person working to bring to life more discussion, more consent, and from this a thriving culture will surface. The destruction of hate is here, jump on board, the train is starting to move. Let more of us become high left and high right people, and let us freely come together natural for a greater good.

My First Experience with Being Genuine and Optimistic, Episode 3

They were the sophomore class of 2000, specifically my fifth hour English class. They were children of the desolate, and on one particular day I held everything back, which is opposite the phrase that says, “Don’t hold anything back.”

As students of the performing arts, they would come into my class just after lunch, all loud and bouncing off the walls, singing and acting in eager anticipation of more of the same after English was over. Having drama to the left and dance to the right of my class made my job especially difficult. My students were always oversupplied with the center of energy, much like my first hour seniors as well as my second and third hour juniors, all of whom suffered from the same but with less electricity. The school, in its second year, was a High School for the Performing Arts, the first charter high school in Utah. I was the entire English department, and my sophomores had just climbed to the neck of my impatience.

Before I continue let me set the stage. Prior to taking the position I was given a cargo of 210 students at a traditional high school. I say cargo because that is how I felt about the students; they were an unbearable weight of responsibility to teach reading and writing skills to every day, six times a day. Depression, sickness and discouragement consumed me. I passed out once in the bathroom and my wife took me to the emergency room on several occasions because I could not handle the panic, which came not from the apathy of the students, which was bad, but from the overwhelming and impossible task of teaching that many students in the face of such high idealism.

I began to ask, “Would a company require a manager to supervise over 200 people without several assistant mangers?” With four years of teaching college level courses under my belt, I could not live up to what education should be at the secondary level. And it was not that I had once reached my ideal either, but that I would never reach it that made me so sick.

Therefore, in the second year at this traditional high school in a bedroom community, and after losing forty pounds and working a second job tending bar at night, I came across John Taylor Gatto’s Dumbing us Down. If a truly great teacher could quit and feel okay about it, then certainly a very depressed teacher could do the same. I resigned in the spring of 1999, just short of sadness turning to cynicism. It was miserable to leave a handful of students, especially my debate team and those students that I had come to love, especially Ben, Sam, Wayne and others.

The next fall I went back to teaching part time at a local college, only to find more student indifference than subsequently realized. Apathy was oozing to the top of the education food chain. I did not know it at the time, but part of the problem had to do with me. Nonetheless, after a year of this I was offered another job to build the language arts curriculum for Utah’s first charter high school, which brings me back to my story. I took the job and thought it would be different.

After a few months, I privately came to call the school The New High School for the Alternative Arts. As a new school, it became a quick replacement for students kicked out of other local schools and it was also a place for various quirks in personality to spread their wings, if you could imagine. Surprisingly, many found it appealing for the uniform requirement and the low student/teacher ratios. As a former actor in Hollywood, I thought I could handle 130 students, much fewer, but still not low enough.

I felt a strong need to mentor and be close to the learning of my students in the same manner done to me by two powerful mentors in my life. Although the anxiety and panic never surfaced with my new position, I started to become negative, until one day ennui stiffened my bones like a cold wet storm.

I even said it out loud to my fifth hour sophomores. I said, “You all suffer from ennui and I am sick at the core.” I said it while reading Emerson and nobody wanted to listen. It seemed, at the time, that nobody heard me. Instead, they wanted to play. They wanted to be entertained and to entertain each other in the same manner children play king of the hill. They wanted a show-and-tell-day and to be the center of it all. I then decided to take to heart something my father once said, “Never give a gift that will not be received.” And so, in the true spirit of holding everything back, I said with a smile and with uplifted energy, “Let’s play a game. Let’s play heads down thumbs up.” Sadly, they got excited and we played the game.

It was easy; a classroom of teenagers suddenly became all devoted and orderly about the event. I had control of the class and an odd euphoria came over me as if I was a great teacher. They were quiet, attentive, and deeply involved in the game, and I did this for several days, heads down and thumbs up. I took role at the start of class and then picked four students to start the game, and that was it. That’s all I had to do. For myself, I just sat at my desk and was able to organize my drawer and catch up on other things. I even surfed the net a few times while the class played a children’s game.

Something was wrong, though, and Amie, a student of vocal concern, started to get upset and bored, and so after a back-and-forth small debate with her I allowed her to sit outside and read Emerson quietly to herself. She took the offer and the next day other students, equally bored, were given the same option to play the children’s game or read quietly outside. By the next week half the class was outside the classroom. Some chose to read Emerson; most sat and discussed, in a soft voice, the lunacy of Mr. Kelsch inside.

Curious about their unusually quiet talk, I decided to sit with them outside and leave the remaining few to play alone, which dwindled to nothing after a boring day of hangman. Soon, we were all out of class, in the hall, talking like adults, quietly, as if big brother was watching. We were breaking the rules and I was not taking role.

I will never forget what happened next. I told them about the high school I just left. I told them about my depression, or socially affected black dog as Winston Churchill called it, and about what I thought learning should be. I gave them several essays and full-length arguments about the system of education we were stuck in. I shared all that I dreamed and had in mind to be. I gave them an essay by John Taylor Gatto and then I handed them Fahrenheit 451. They relished it in one week. Yes, we read and discussed a book in a week. They all became seriously bothered, and even more affected when we jumped into Brave New World, which took two weeks. We read Hamlet after that and jumped around literature like it was a candy store. My office was filled at lunch and discussion never seemed to slow down. I directed their minds where their questions drove them, even if it meant deeper water than what they were used to, even deeper water than I was comfortable with. This odd, on-the-floor and in-the-hallway style raised a few eyebrows.

Many students wanted to know why there was fear and evil in the world and, in true mentor character, I stepped out of my bounds and found a griping essay by Ernest Becker that summarized his book The Denial of Death. As student actors, they were given snippets of Otto Rank’s Art and Artist, and it was at this time that we learned that a student’s father committed suicide some years past. We also heard of students from a local high school that were killed in an automobile accident due to reckless driving. My students could not understand these things and so I finally, for the first time, held nothing back. I asked them to return to the classroom where I retold an event that happened when I was in school. It began like this:

“A teenager pulled out of the local Dairy Queen in his hot rod pickup and sped down the boulevard. Many watched him burn rubber and hydroplane over a film of water left from a recent rainstorm. Tragically, the teen swerved into the opposite lane and crashed into a diesel truck approaching from the opposite direction. All three friends in the back were throne out and killed instantly. Two others in the front, including the driver’s girlfriend, were killed. The teen driver survived with a broken rib and a crushed foot. Let me ask, why did he do it?”

“He was stupid,” replied a student.

“Stupidity does not explain his motive. Why did he do it?” I asked.

Another student said, “He needed to feel powerful?”

“Why did he need to feel powerful?” I returned.

“Because he felt insecure,” said the same student.

“About what?” I asked.

“Himself, I guess, heck I don’t know,” said the same student.

“Yes you do know. Why did he need to feel powerful?”

“Because nobody liked him,” said Amie.

“What does it mean when nobody likes you?”

“It means you are not recognized,” said Asia.

“What does it mean to not be recognized?”

“It means you are not powerful,” said Amie again.

“We have used that explanation already. What does it mean to not be recognized?” At about this time many gave up because we all eventually become frustrated for the same reason when our vocabulary is empty or when we refuse the logic that is obvious. But the students did not give up as I continued with the questions.

“Because he did not want to feel unimportant,” said another student.

“Why the need to feel important?” I asked.

“Because he just did not want to feel unimportant,” repeated the student.

“What does it mean to feel unimportant?” I then asked.” When you ask what something means, you force the mind to define. It’s the hallmark of good teaching.

“It means…that…you are not looked up to,” said Dallas.

“What does it ‘mean’ to not be looked up to?” I asked.

“It means nobody likes you,” said Amie.

They found themselves lost in a circle, so I repeated the question slowly for the class to help focus the issue, “What…does…it…mean…when nobody…likes you?”

“…You have no…meaning,” said a quiet Darby with hesitant reflection.

“What does it mean to have no meaning?”

“It means you are…alone,” said Darby.

“What does it mean to be all alone?” I asked.

“That is nothingness,” piped Neal, a freshman who snuck into my fifth hour class without me knowing.

“What is nothingness?” I asked with a stern look at him.

“Empty space” said Dallas to the side.

“What is empty space?”

“Oblivion,” said the freshman in trouble.

“What is oblivion?” asked another student.

“That is death,” said Tim in the back with the confidence that comes when you place another in checkmate.

“So, let me get this straight. The teen sped in his truck to get the attention of all those watching in order to feel important so as to have meaning, which he needed to deny his fear of rejection, which is really a symbol of death?” All the students sat puzzled and even frustrated. An honor student near the center of the class said, “Can’t you just say he was insecure? How does death enter the picture?”

“They are the same,” I said. “Is not rejection a symbol of death, at least as stated in the writings of Otto Rank, William James, Norman O Brown and even Shakespeare.” The class sat quiet for a while and started to connect ideas and experiences they had never linked. Some even developed a blank stare, especially a particular honor student not prone to conceptual linking that did not offer a ready-quick answer. I then welcomed them to “The Human Condition,” and the bell rang, for once, at the right time.

Lunch in the cafeteria was busy with talk. The lecture came to be known as “The big picture lecture,” and other students would play the Socratic roll and ask a similar line of questioning to other students. They were demanding that others define and make sense of human motives that are obvious but rarely taught as obvious. They revealed the psychology of their favorite musicians and typical teen antics; they saw politics in a new light, and a few could see (and accept) the fear in their own lives. Last came the private virtue of self-knowledge where some students became bothered with their own black dog for a while and most increased in their personal and social responsibility, which is public virtue. Take away the defensive posture of denial, and private virtue is given fresh air to breath.

Many of these students found their way to my home on occasion, and nearly one third of the entire school joined my debate team. I have mentored many students on an individual basis, but never an entire class. I looked forward to fifth hour English, and even to all my classes, but it was fifth hour English that lifted my heart. They inspired my wife to submit my name to be nominated as a torchbearer for the 2002 Olympics, and on that cold night I carried a flame of fire above my head and, in the crowd several of my students ran alongside with smiles brighter than the flame held above my head.

It was a sad day when I left the next year to take a position in higher education, and yet they still came to my house, and they continue even to this day with emails and questions, and I give them things to read and ask them questions to see where their minds are, and I always give my own thoughts in the exchange, but never in the context that my answer is the truth. I always say that the truth is like the Grand Canyon and that you know nothing unless you understand the history in each layer of strata. Luckily I understood human fear, which I used to connect the dots to other things. A liberal arts mentor is a book and a librarian. On one hand he has a singular strength, a kind of active world view, and on the other hand he knows what else can be found in the library. Depth leads to breadth, as one mentor taught me

In May of 2003, my fifth hour English graduated and I was there to honor them. Today, some are serving their country in the military, many are attending colleges throughout the United States, and nearly all have some kind of scholarship or dream to propel them. My only regret is not learning sooner about the spirit of being genuine.

A liber (Latin for book or classic) education is about letting go as a teacher and allowing students’ questions to surface. It is also more than this, for if I had not been ready with some basic literature or the knowledge that took me some years to figure out; I would have missed the chance to be a mentor. And had I not let go and allow my class to appear “off task,” I would have missed the chance of genuine optimism. A liber education is about classics, mentorship and virtue, something I learned in the nick of time.

A liber education is yours throughout your life, a slow line upon line of personal responsibility leading into social responsibility, which I have recently learned is private virtue leading into public virtue. The two combined define the mission of genuine optimism. This is what liber means. It is not a curriculum of must-know information, and it is not a bell to stop you in mid thought. It is a need to understand and a willingness to stand for that need mutually as mentor and student. More importantly, over time a liber education, for both student and teacher, holds nothing back. In the final turn, a liber education leads to leadership.

The greatest classics were never passed from teacher to student in a semester of school. They were passed from classic to mentor to reader and back to mentor. The cycle continues through a process of reading, writing and responding, and this back and forth dual mentor/student relationship fueled by the classics is the hallmark of a liberal arts education and the dying practice of a generation of experts. With such close contact to classics and the dialogue exchange with a mentor, the student receives a natural checks and balances against a poverty of private virtue. The end result is great leadership, the greatest contribution of a liberal (liber) education.

Many of my students keep in touch, and a student not well known from the class—the freshman who snuck in that one day—recently asked, “Do I suffer from ennui still?” Thinking that nobody heard me that day, I said, “No! But I once did, and let me tell you, it is something to fear.”

Many teachers complain about student apathy, and I was one of them. And because students would not listen to me, I became sick within. Had I known sooner that mentoring is listening to them and their questions and not what I had to say, I could have avoided much heartache and pain. Ask any student what love or joy or truth is, as I have done, and if you are not equipped with sound definitions to challenge their budding concepts, then you are not prepared to mentor and they will sense it. I was prepared in the letter of optimism, if there is such a thing, but not in the spirit of optimism. Two wonderful mentors gave me the former and providence led me to the later.

Today, when my students leave my home and when they write an email asking me to respond to their essays, a sense of faith wipes away the darkness that nearly overcame my hope. Therefore, if not for any achievement or accomplishment of my own, then at least a liberal arts education will improve the private virtue needed to always remain my students’ most obedient and humble servant. Great leadership is born out of this concern, out of a mission to build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage, a mission that inspires greatness in others and moves the cause of genuine optimism. Part of the challenge in being genuine is facing up to your own fear by accepting it. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly powerful. It’s true, a renaissance is coming. Genuine Optimists everywhere are making it happen, and all because they see a pathway to organize without the struggle for power; they are the first to see an open invitation to being genuine without retribution.

The Lost Values of Liberal and Conservative, Episode 2

In the company of liberal democrats, I become a community conservative. In the company of republican conservatives, I become a classical liberal. Both community conservative and classical liberal are birds of a feather. They naturally compliment each other because they naturally support each other. I call myself a genuine optimist because this is what I believe. I believe we are naturally meant to find agreement and consent. It is part of our divinity. Dark forces want just the opposite. They want confusion and not consent, they want division and not dialogue.

Let us first look at liberalism to see how it has been destroyed and replaced with divisive intents.

Liberalism is not what it ideally should be. It has regressed into a kind of political advocacy for the extreme while losing its equal voice for all. We should ask an honest question, is this good?

The least served in any society has changed for the liberal. We once viewed the least served as being the disabled, the ill-literate, the unemployed and the hungry. These were the least served in society, and many associated a genuine concern for serving the least as being liberal. However, today the liberal mind sees the least as being those with different sexual orientations, ideological ethnicity, or just about any identity issue. Here’s just a few:

  • Black people believing that cops specifically target them because of the color of their skin.
  • Feminists believing that men judge and treat them poorly solely based on their gender.
  • Women voting for a women because the US needs its first woman president to empower women.
  • People believing conservatives hate all women, Muslims, and Mexicans because they believe in nationalism.
  • People assuming that if you are a white male, your political ideology is trying to push white supremacy.

These are not issues that serve the least. They create division. This is what liberalism has become, divisive and contentious–a constant splintering of people apart into polarized groups.

If you believe these are universally true and apply to all people mentioned, then there is no way such a belief can come to an agreement with others. Tragically, such a belief can never sponsor a vision for all. That opportunity for building consensus with a unified vision is completely removed from the table of discussion. This is what hatred does. It keeps us from talking and it keeps us from coming together.

I love that word talking. For me, it once stood for the very meaning of liberalism. Take John Stewart Mill’s essay “On Liberty.” Published in the mid 1800’s,  Mill said something remarkable. He said “The silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” The liberal left today, which is really the far left, does not believe in this principle anymore.

The lost liberal value is freedom, free-agency, the free press, and free expression, plus all the freedom needed to increase more transparency, more openness, and more collaboration. I am not saying the democratic party ever held these truths. What I am saying is that many of us at one time were taught that to be liberal meant to be an evangelist for these truths.

Is there any hope for bringing these truths back? Yes! We first need to start talking about the purity of liberalism against the backdrop of statism, which is not liberalism at all. True liberalism is a decentralized voice for all; statism is the centralized control of voice for a few. These are incompatible with each other, and we need to spread the good news that liberalism is reborn in its purity through new ways of free association. Hold on to that thought. Many episodes to follow will explain. Just keep this one beautiful truth in your mind, liberalism is to be freely expressive and open to channels of discussion with the goal of reaching the truth. Tell that to every social justice warrior and every political democrat you know. Wake them up to their true origins and let the restoration begin. Put aside the political and get back to original principle.

As for the conservative, what do you think it means? I would suggest that you not consult a dictionary right away, first ask a democrat what they think the word conservative means. You will find a lot of derogatory comments like tightwad, close-minded, warmonger, and the word capitalist is often used in the same negative tone.

Conservation or to be conservative means to protect value. It is central to a sustainable culture. Have you ever heard anyone use the following phrases:

  • The conservation of liberty in the hands that add value.
  • The conservation of wealth in the community.
  • The conservation of voice and vote together.
  • The conservation of responsibility locally.

All of these are rarely held in the hands of the people, something you think conservatives would jump on. Instead, the word conservative today is associated with a strong military, secure borders, protecting the second amendment (right to bare arms), free markets and a balanced budget. These are repeat slogans with no real call to action. Meaning, they are not principles; they are platitudes we take with no responsible action. Like the liberal, the conservative has given up the central drive to conserve everything possible that is good and to conserve value as locally as possible. Like the liberal, they have moved to national soundbites and have ignored the local plight of liberty.

For example. Compare the conservation of responsibility locally with the slogan free trade. Which one solves for the other? Does free trade conserve local responsibility? No! But does local responsibility conserve free trade? Yes!

More responsibility locally creates a decentralized market and this is closer to free trade. More responsibility locally is a definitive action. Conservatives too often have a motto or a slogan but no real call to act. If they had a real call to act that would solve for local issues of inequality, then liberals could jump on board. Unfortunately, free trade means nothing unless we can show how it creates more natural equality without the state getting involved. Until conservatives understand this, the liberal will gain power from time to time and push more responsibility toward the state in an effort to solve for inequality. It is the job of the conservative to keep the liberal focused on the community. This way individual liberty is also protected.

I am going to say a lot about conservatism and liberalism over the years and in many podcasts. For now, consider the following highest and best values of both conservative and liberal. It is high time we generate a renaissance with these in order to move the cause of liberty.

What is Conservative?

To conserve is to protect what is good. Conservatism is about about value, the freedom to create value and the liberty to conserve value. The following principles define what we should conserve the most.

  • Wealth conserved in the community is vital to its sustainability. Wealth is value. Adding and conserving value in the community is the purest expression of liberty, and conserving public wealth locally protects the liberty to add more value.
  • Responsibility in the community is vital to its freedom. When liberty to add value is taken away by statists, people become less responsible locally. Apathy grows and we depend on the state treasury for support. Therefore, the conservation of local responsibility empowers more local liberty.
  • Voice and vote together are central to a thriving culture and when kept together they protect the freedom to associate. The “Count My Vote” movement separates vote from voice. This is very dangerous and explains why “Keep My Voice” is so important. Having an equal vote statewide only empowers the wrong people to influence that vote, namely big money, the media, unions and establishment elites. The caucus system preserves both vote and voice within the same local system, which is immune to outside influence. Popular voting on a larger regional or statewide scale is very is destructive to voice. We should be improving the caucus system and not tarring it apart.
  • Religious and cultural fundamentalism can usurp wealth, responsibility and voice. When this happens we give up our liberty to more central control.

What is Liberal?

To be liberal is to be freely expressive and to open channels of discussion. The goal is truth, and free open discussion is the liberal approach to reaching truth.

  • “The silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” Silencing discussion is not liberal; it’s authoritarian. Mill’s essay “On Liberty” and Locke’s essay on “Toleration” serve as classical foundations of both liberalism and liberty.
  • Common consent is better than central control, and definitely better than popular voting. The modern liberal has lost site of this. In order to increase more discussion, consent must be improved. When broken into modular form, increasing consent through both voice and vote is the best way to preserve liberty. Consent in modular form (a representative republic) eliminates the problem of power struggles and gives greater voice for all.
  • The community is the best level where liberalism can solve for inequality. When liberalism leaves the community to solve for inequality over many communities or over the state or nation, it usurps local liberty and shuts down both consent and discussion.
  • Classically liberalism is not statism, socialism, or communism, however liberalism can degenerate into these when it’s contempt for inequality pushes more central control. The only real solution to inequality is to push for more discussion, more representative consent, and more local liberty. When liberalism leaves its central pillar of discussion and toleration, it becomes authoritarian.

So there you have it. The lost values of liberalism and conservatism are reborn. Let’s give them a new life by giving them a new voice. That voice is Genuine Optimism, the hope that through common consent locally we freely associate as a people to surface better communities. These better communities will be united and not divided. They will lift ideas and not individuals. They will become thriving cultures and not power struggles. A renaissance is coming, can you see the early morning glow rising over the horizon? If you can, you are a genuine optimist. You have a solid foundation for your optimism, because you have the cause of liberty restored in your soul.

 

The Story of The Genuine Optimist, Episode 1

Many people come into our lives with an upbeat attitude. Sometimes we question this attitude. This does not make us negative and it certainly does not make us pessimistic. It just says “we do not believe their attitude is genuine.”

A genuine attitude comes from a source that many of us believe in. This source stems from values like persistence, vision, and community. Other values can include hard work, patience, and conservation. The Genuine Optimist values the conservation of equity, wealth and energy over everything. This is the true source of my optimism.

Anyway, Genuine Optimists, and there are many of us, talk about the real source of optimism. They do not talk about their success. They talk about vision and purpose. They talk about the value that propels them.

Most of us have been taught that optimism is an individual quality. But what if optimism has a lot more to do with people working together than a personal attitude inside? People and culture can tare us down for sure, but they can also lift us up. At the Genuine Optimist, we talk about the thriving cultures that lift and inspire people.

Please consider one thing: optimism is not a mental attitude alone. Wikipedia has it wrong. While some say that optimism is a good feeling inside, which is not well understood and often fake, a few of us argue that optimism is the purpose we find in a vision that unites people.  Such a vision, in order to create a thriving culture, must be accessible and believable to many.

If optimism is an attitude only with no identified value, the optimism is not believable.

Let us look at it this way. Have you ever been able to understand a motivational speaker full of energy and enthusiasm? You may want to feel what they feel, and you may want to have their success, but it’s almost impossible for most of us to fully understand them, especially when we cannot see the value supporting their optimism. Even more, if optimism is the feeling of success individuals achieve, what is it that brings a community together? Is it better to have optimism alone or is it more effective if we have it together?

It is time that optimism be accessible to more people than ever imagined. Rather than a speaker on distant stage, it is time we see optimism as a thriving culture and not just personal success. This is going to call for a serious shift away from the exclusivity of optimism that only a few claim to have, to the open accessibility of optimism for all.

The first place to begin is with the definition of optimism. As a part time college instructor for over twenty years, I always tell my students to “define your terms.” I tell them to look up the word and find its original meaning first. If we find the true meaning of a word, and if that meaning is what we intend, then we should use that word. But never change the meaning of a word to fit your world view. That is very dangerous. This is why I always teach that, “words are up for grabs but not their meanings.”

The word optimism has a meaning. It is the belief that this is “the best of all possible worlds.” Sometimes it is defined as “a better world to come.” Think about that for a moment. What if there is a better world? If you could see this better world and if you were part of bringing this better world to life with others, would this not make you a genuine optimist?

I ask this question because the original meaning of optimism comes from the Latin “optimum” or “best thing.” This is where we get “best of all possible worlds” and a “better world to come.” So here is the question. What gets in our way of achieving our optimum best as a people? Notice the use of “our best” and not “your best.”

Just about every motivational guru or self-help book tends to focus on individual optimism and not the optimism of whole groups or cultures. Some call themselves “an eternal optimist,” but many of us scratch our heads wondering what that means. For example, bad things happy to good people. It’s hard to be an eternal optimist during a personal crisis.

This is why genuine optimism is so much more. It is not tide down to one individual, which is often a power struggle with one’s self and others. It’s much bigger than that. It’s a thriving culture.

The answer to what gets in our way of achieving our optimum best as a people is the political power struggles we create. Most corporate, religious and government organizations tend idolize vertical authority and this means more central control. Good people, or genuine optimists, do not function in political hierarchies.

In fact, here is the greatest revelation. Good people do not organize.

Think about it. Good people do not organize.

They add value, they have vision, and they stand for principle, but they rarely organize. In fact, good people never fake a staged act, and they do not intimidate, and they certainly stand clear of irrational ideas. In other words, they are not political. They are anti-political. The book The Political Optimist: The Restoration of Common Consent talks about these people in detail. If you want to learn how to read political people, then read this book. It’s available on Amazon and on Lulu.

Let me take a moment to explain something about political people. The word political is tide to the struggle we have with those in power at work, in our churches, schools and governments. This is what politics is, a power struggle created by central control and the people that blindly support authority at greater and greater distances. Political people centralize power, genuine optimists see no need for power to be centralized. They choose instead something we call consent.

So there you have it, political people want central control, and genuine people want common consent. That’s the real battle we are facing in the United States and around the world.

Here is a great test. If you want to know how to tell if someone is political, ask them a simple question, “Are we born evil and sinners?” Political people say yes. And because of this they also believe that we need more centralized control to be properly managed. It’s the only way, in their mind, to protect humanity from self-destruction. Too much freedom is then replaced with too much control. This is how political people think.

Genuine Optimists believe something different. They believe that we are born free and good. Corruption happens from how we organize as a culture and not from our birth. Hold on to that thought. I will explain in many podcasts and vlogs to come.

I just want to emphasize that Genuine Optimism is a decentralized and headless way to organize. It is all for one and one for all. Genuine optimists believe in decentralization. They believe in people forming their own culture and in the idea of self-government to advance their optimum best. They believe in the purity of free association without compulsion and are attracted to thriving cultures and not just one person on stage. They are drawn to ideas and not people.

They say a rising tide lifts all ships. Welcome to a place that advances that truth.

If your business, community organization, or church is suffering from political power struggles created by too much central control, the genuine optimist is here to speak up. For the first time, one voice is willing to talk about the elephant in the room.

From the Genuine Optimist you will hear about new visions, about people organizing in headless ways, and new technologies to support natural human cooperation. You will also learn about the greatest principle that supports a thriving culture, the strict conservation of equity within its own community. You will witness for the first time pure sustainability. Also, you will get some history in the past and some vision for the future. In time, the Genuine Optimist will interview unknown visionaries and give them voice.

Hold tight, a renaissance is coming, and it’s only the middle of the night, and one voice has woken up early.