The Progressive Worldview’s Society Metaphor: Society Is a Battlefield

Newthink’s society metaphor is Society is a Battlefield:

Society is a Battlefield Metaphor
• Society is a Battlefield
• Social interaction is war between groups.
• Warring groups either dominate or are dominated.

The traditional American worldview’s society metaphor was Society is a Wilderness. In traditional America, humanity’s social purpose was to civilize the wilderness. From this metaphor came unconscious entailments like “civilization must be defended from barbarism,” “it is virtuous to go into the wilderness and spread civilization” and so on.

The progressive worldview’s society metaphor is Society is a Battlefield. Under this perception, society is composed of groups struggling for domination. Warring groups either dominate or are dominated. Many of the progressive worldview’s most important beliefs branch out of this fundamental metaphor.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this:

• Society is a Battlefield
• Social interaction is war between groups.
• Warring groups either dominate or are dominated.

WorldviewTree_p100

The unconscious logic of this belief’s single entailment is:

• The dominant group ruthlessly oppresses and exploits the weaker group.

Worldviews at War

Let’s step back a little and take a look at the big picture I am describing in theprogressiveworldview.com blog and in my book Newthink.

…what I am talking about is the usurpation of the traditional American worldview (which I call Americanism) by the progressive worldview (which I call newthink).

Not to spoil the ending, but what I am talking about is the usurpation of the traditional American worldview (which I call Americanism) by the progressive worldview (which I call newthink).

Worldviews exist broadly across geography and over history. They don’t just pop up like mushrooms. They evolve over time, with general themes modified by local variations. A really new worldview is an epochal development.

When two significantly different worldviews exist as geographic neighbors or contemporaneously in the same society, friction occurs. If the unconscious beliefs of a worldview posit the necessity of conversion or overthrow of societies with other worldviews, it creates an existential struggle for domination, such as the current worldview struggle between the Muslim world and all its neighbors.

Historically, the western civilization worldview with its Society is a Wilderness metaphor compelled its members to either convert (civilize) other societies or overthrow them. The western civilization worldview overthrew the barbaric worldview throughout the earth. Whether Huns, Goths, Vandals, Tartars, Visigoths, Vikings, Celts, Indians, Native Americans or African tribes, they were all seen by westerners as godless, primitive and inferior societies. Good civilized people felt it was their duty of to educate, convert and, if necessary, overthrow them.

Americanism emerged from the western civilization worldview and inherited its tenets of right-and-wrong from it. The main difference in the two worldviews was in Americanism’s government metaphor: Government is Fire. This metaphor shaped the American belief in the necessity of small government restrained by checks and balances, which exists for only a few essential functions such as defending the nation and protecting the individual rights of citizens. Although Americanism was not as radical a departure from the western civilization worldview as the latter was from Barbarism, it still required an overthrow – the American Revolution. In its wake, a separating ocean then provided Americanism room to grow.

World history for over a century has been dominated by newthink’s evolution and its encroachment upon other cultures and worldviews around the globe.

But what goes around comes around. Now newthink, a relatively new worldview which because of modern technology has quickly achieved worldwide scope, is carrying out its own cultural takeover. World history for over a century has been dominated by newthink’s evolution and its encroachment upon other cultures and worldviews around the globe. In Europe, its overthrow of the western civilization worldview is nearly complete. In America, its overthrow of Americanism is well under way. America’s 20th and 21st century history has largely been the story of newthink’s usurpation of the traditional American worldview.

Newthink is replacing Americanism. But this usurpation, while monumental, is nebulous, masked by its own mostly unconscious nature and the great technological change of our times. Thus, its logic is hidden. Newthink looms over us, its powerful dynamics buffet our world, but it is only dimly perceived and little understood. Traditional America may never see it clearly until it is beyond challenge.

Americanism’s Society Metaphor

Our understanding of the society we inhabit is also guided by metaphor. Our social interactions, our goals, our style, our group affiliations, our self-imposed limits, our ideas of social virtue and vice, and more are defined by the society metaphor we have unconsciously assimilated.

Americanism’s society metaphor was the Society is a Wilderness metaphor:

Society is a Wilderness Metaphor
• Society is a Wilderness
• Humans must civilize the wilderness.

Traditional Americans assimilated this metaphor, again inherited from western civilization, as part of their worldview. They saw society as a wilderness and believed they were obligated to civilize it – the physical wilderness of early America, the wilderness of the unenlightened and sometimes dangerous cultures they encountered, and the inherent wilderness in their own society deriving from human nature. The Society is a Wilderness metaphor generated unconscious entailments like “civilization must be defended from barbarism,” “it is virtuous to fight for civilization,” “wildness must be tamed” and others.