Packing up items and polishing my presentation for the North / South Carolina Society For Philosophy Meeting this Saturday. Topic: Auguste Comte's Law of the Three Stages in Light of Postmodernism--And Beyond. The argument of the presentation is complex and I will only be able to present part of it. Although I'm an anti-positivist (Comte founded positivism in the early to mid-1800s), I believe he was onto something when he contended that intellectual civilization had gone through three stages, a theological stage, a metaphysical stage, and a scientific or positive stage. He was very optimistic (positive) about the possibilities of science, technology, and humanism to transform the world and human nature along with it. Stage Three thinking (as I've begun calling it) prevailed in the intellectual world for quite some time, and is still around, of course, in writings such as those of Richard Dawkins (cf. his The God Delusion). The problem: the trajectory of the twentieth century has left positivistic optimism in utter ruins regardless how you approach it. Two world wars, genocidal holocausts, weapons of mass destruction, calls for more wars, the perverse destruction of our economy and of our middle class, concerns over whether technology is liberating or enslaving us, and evidence of a global power elite aspiring to dominate the planet and rule it in a feudal fashion while impoverishing the rest of us--all of these, and much else besides, shows how humanism has failed, and how scientific and technological improvements have not translated into moral meliorism (the idea that improved living standards via technology actually make us better people). We began to enter Stage Four with existentialism, with an increased historicity about science, and with the abandonment of traditionalism within the arts. Can we look ahead to a Stage Five which actually revisits the earlier stages and recovers from each of them at least one strength that was lost? I do not think we have a choice, but we have what I consider an incipient Stage Five in freedom philosophy, in systems theory, and in the presuppositional approach to theology, if we can learn how these can be integrated, their various concerns brought into balance. Obviously I can only scratch the surface with this note; but I have the scent of another book coming somewhere down the pike!
In the meantime, Four Cardinal Errors tells the story, indirectly, of the rise of the superelite in its quest for global domination, via this country's four key mistakes: (1) we did not achieve full economic sovereignty from the British Crown, which was even then and has remained the center of superelite activity; (2) we embraced an educational system not based on American founding principles but in Prussian statism, which held that the individual does not belong to himself & to his God but to the state; (3) we replaced native Christianity with native materialism; materialism now suffuses our lives; and (4) we did not recognize the centrality and activities of the British Fabian Society, founded in 1844 and eventually also headquartered within the City of London, seat of the Crown. Four Cardinal Errors can be purchased on Amazon.com, on eBay, or ordered directly from the publisher, Brush Fire Press International, by sending a check for $11.95 plus $2.95 for shipping & handling to P.O. Box 923, Drayton SC 29333. Make out your checks to Steven Yates, not Brush Fire Press International. Please wait two to three weeks for delivery.