Radical Middle Newsletter
"Idealism Without Illusions"

 

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“The most ambitious effort to fashion a new-age manifesto was Mark Satin’s comprehensive but quite readable New Age Politics.’”
– Carl Boggs, The End of Politics, Guilford Press, 2000

 

New Age Politics, by Mark Satin:
Excerpts from the Third Edition

 

Some people think that my New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society (originally Canada, 1976) was the first book to weave ideas from the ecology, feminist, human-potential, spiritual, appropriate-technology, and similar movements into a holistic new political philosophy, or ideology.

To find out more about the book, please go to its  MAIN PAGE.  There you can find an introduction from me d. 2014, excerpts from 50 reviews and media mentions spanning  25 years, a PDF of the entire first edition, and more.

On this page I have typed out two excerpts from the third edition of the book (Dell Publishing Co., 1979) - the Table of Contents and part of the first chapter.  I hope they whet your appetite for more.  (Although the book is out of print, used copies of all three North American editions are still selling briskly at Amazon.com and elsewhere.) - M.S.

 

Mark Satin working on New Age Politics at his Vancouver B.C. commune in 1975.

 

I. Table of Contents

A Personal Word

Part One The Prison Within Us

1. What Is New Age Politics?

2. Why We Need a New Age Politics

Beyond Liberalism
Beyond Marxism
Beyond the Anarchist Alternative
The Emerging New Alternative

3. The Six-Sided Prison

Patriarchal Attitudes
Egocentricity
Scientism (Scientific Single Vision)
The Bureaucratic Mentality
Nationalism
Urban-itis (The Big City Outlook)

4. Racism: A Product of Capitalism -- or of the Six-Sided Prison?

5. Tri-Level Analysis: How to See Through to the Prison

6. History as if People Mattered: the Stages of Human Development

Part Two Monolithic Institutions

7. The Monolithic Mode of Production: How the Prison Is Institutionalized

Description
Origins
Examples
Effects

Part Three On the Prisoners Themselves (On Our Selves)

8. Are We Economic People -- or Self-Developing Persons?

The Seven Stages of Self-Development
Some Political Implications of the Seven Stages

9. Is Our Main Enemy the Capitalist Economy -- or the Stroke Economy?

10. Should We Look to the Proletariat -- or to All Those Who Love Life?

Economic Class Analysis -- or Psychocultural Class Analysis?
Life-Oriented, Thing-Oriented, and Life-Rejecting Classes

Part Four The Trans-Material Worldview

11. The Trans-Material Worldview: Metaphysical Basis for a New Age Society

The Materialist Worldview
The Non-Material Worldview
The Trans-Material Worldview
The Four States of Consciousness
We Are More Than Our Conditioning

12. New Age Ethics and Values

Four New Age Ethics
Six New Age Political Values
Some New Age Social Values

Part Five New Age Society

13. Jailbreak!: New Age Alternatives to the Prison Within Us

Androgynous Attitudes: The Alternative to Patriarchal Attitudes
Spirituality: The Alternative to Egocentricity
Multiple Vision: The Alternative to Scientific Single Vision
The Cooperative Mentality: The Alternative to the Bureaucratic Mentality
Patriotism and Planetary Consciousness: The Alternative to Nationalism
The Human Scale Outlook: The Alternative to the Big City Outlook

14. Biolithic Institutions: New Age Alternatives to Our Monolithic Institutions

Biolithic Learning
Biolithic Healing
Biolithic Housing
Biolithic Transport
Biolithic Technology
Biolithic Energy Systems
The Biolithic Corporation
Biolithic Religion
Biolithic Sexual Relationships and Commitments
The Biolithic Family

Part Six New Age Governance and Economics

15. New Age Governance

Synergic Power: The Alternative to Coercive, Competitive, and Anarchic Kinds of Power
Localization: Celebration of Diversity
Planetization: Celebration of Unity

16. New Age Economics

Beyond Corporate Capitalism
What Is Economic Well-Being?
Ethics and Economics
Motivation and Economics
New Age Capitalism

Part Seven Healing Self and Society

17. Some Guidelines

Inner Before Outer
The Ballot, the Bullet -- or the New Age Strategy?

18. Healing Self

Breaking Out of the Prison
Breaking Out of Our Programming
Voluntary Simplicity
Ways to Voluntary Simplicity

19. Healing Society

Group Work
Intentional Communities
Nonviolent Action
Electoral Politics

20. Celebration of Wholeness: Beyond Hope and Despair

Appendix Tools

A New Age “Political Platform” Offered as a Discussion Document

National Affairs
Planetary Affairs

Hooker to Frank to You: Some Early American Advocates of “New Age Politics”

Clearing the Ground: A New Age Critique of Marxism

The New Age Speaks

250 New Age Books
50 New Age Periodicals
100 New Age Groups

 

II. Beginning of Chapter One

This book is based on a simple premise. It’s that we don’t have a usable politics any more -- and that the politics we need, in America today, will not and cannot come from our old political “ism’s.” Not from capitalism, not from socialism, and certainly not from just “muddling through.” Muddling along, we won’t get through.

The situation we’re in is so new, so unprecedented, that we need a whole new way of looking at the world. A whole new way of seeing things and thinking about things -- especially political things. One that comes out of our own experience for a change, as distinct from the experience of Europe in the 19th century (which is where “modern” capitalism comes from, and Marxism and anarchism).

The point of this book is that a new way of seeing and a new politics is arising already in bits and pieces, here and there, across the country; but that we (and especially our intellectuals) have been so desperately set on pretending that nothing is fundamentally wrong -- or that socialism is fundamentally the answer -- that we’ve missed the coming together of these pieces, right before our eyes.

The new politics is arising out of the work and ideas of the people in many of the social movements of our time: the feminist, environmental, spiritual, and human potential movements; the appropriate technology, simple living, decentralist, and “world order” movements; the business-for-learning-and-pleasure movement and the humanistic-education movement.

The new politics is also arising out of the work and ideas of a couple of hundred sympathetic economists and spiritual philosophers, businesspeople and workers’ self-management people, systems analysts and psychoanalysts, physicians and poets. . . .

Each of these movements and each of these writers has something to add to the new politics. Their contributions come together like the pieces of an intricate jigsaw puzzle.

The connection

More and more of us have, over the last 10 years or so, become deeply involved in one or more of the movements mentioned above. At the same time, though, the radical political movements of the 1960s seem to have collapsed.

Could there be a connection?

I believe that the radical political movements declined as soon as they began to promote a doctrine of us-against-them, of “we have all the answers,” of separation rather than healing; as soon as they began to promote a Marxism that overstressed our need for things and tried to make us feel guilty about our deeper needs, which are emotional, psychological, and spiritual (and which are what got us into the radical political movements in the first place).

And I believe that the spiritual, feminist, environmental, etc., movements rose partly, at least, because they did contain a politics that did speak to our deeper needs. To all our needs.

But it was only an implicit politics, hard to see at first. And it was doubly hard to see just because it was so new and different from the politics that had gone before.

The purpose of this book is to make this politics explicit. To draw out, in some detail, its analysis of society (Parts One-Three), its worldview (Four), its social, institutional, and economic goals (Five-Six), and its strategy (Seven).

The third force

The basic approach to politics that this book takes has always been with us here in America, in bits and pieces at any rate. The beauty of the social movements of our time is that each of them represents one of those pieces -- and if you put them together, you are able to see clearly and coherently, maybe for the first time, what I like to call the perpetual “third force” in American politics.

Third force politics is a radical politics, not so much in the sense of radical versus liberal as in the sense of going to the roots of things. Specifically, third force politics goes to the psychocultural roots of our problems. It does not concentrate exclusively on the institutional and economic symptoms of our problems.

It is a radicalism that is neither of the left nor right -- a radicalism that is modest enough to borrow what it needs from each of the old political “ism’s” but bold enough to transcend them. (It is not a wimpy “mean” between the so-called “extremes” of American power politics.)

It is a radicalism that is more interested in healing society than in championing the exclusive claims to rightness of any one faction or segment of society; a radicalism that is more interested in reconciling people to each other’s needs and priorities than in winning people over to its side (and so producing a losing side, poised for revenge).

It is a radicalism that is less interested in blaming groups and governments for our problems than in attempting to work out new and viable solutions to our problems.

It is a radicalism that is less interested in standing up for alternative ways of doing things than in standing up for appropriate ways of doing things.

It is a radicalism that traces our problems not to economic poverty (as was done between 1960-1966) or even to political powerlessness (1966-1972), so much as to a more general kind of purposelessness -- to our lack of sustaining and believable ethics and values; to our lack of community; to our lack of inner strength.

It is a radicalism that acknowledges and accepts complexity, irony, paradox, and ambiguity -- a radicalism that acknowledges the richness of life even when aspects of that richness are not particularly politically “correct.”

It is a radicalism that opposes large concentrations of property and wealth, not because it believes that money is “bad” but because of a desire to protect everyone’s right to a sufficient amount of property.

It is a radicalism that recognizes the existence of a force in all things that is God or Truth or Love, and that derives its guiding ethics and values from that recognition or worldview or sensibility; or from a passionate commitment to life in all its forms, which amounts to the same thing in the end.

Above all, perhaps, it is a radicalism that understands that the real problem is not how to get people, groups, and governments to agree on the “one best way” to do things, but how to get them all to agree to live and work synergically together ("synergically" is when you get more by cooperating than you can by competing.  "Synergic power" is a key to New Age governance).

ABOUT THE RADICAL MIDDLE CONCEPT

WHY "Radical Middle"?

WIKIPEDIA Weighs In

50 Thinkers and Activists DESCRIBE the Radical Middle

50 Best Radical Middle BOOKS of the '00s

GREAT RADICAL MIDDLE  GROUPS AND BLOGS:

Over 250 Great Radical Centrist GROUPS and  Organizations

25 Great Radical Centrist BLOGS

  RADICAL MIDDLE INITIATIVES:

Generational Equity and Communitarian platforms,1990s

U.S. Green Party's "Ten Key Values" statement, 1980s

New World Alliance, 1970s

SOME PRIOR  WRITINGS BY MARK SATIN:

New Options Newsletter, 1984-1992

New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society, 1976

OTHER
PRIOR   RADICAL MIDDLE TEXTS:

50 Best "Third Way" Books of the 1990s

25 Best "Transformational" Books of the 1980s

25 Best "New Age Politics" Books of the 1970s

NOT JUST RADICAL MIDDLE:

10 Best U.S. Political NOVELS

50 Current Political IDEOLOGIES

50 Current Political  MANIFESTOS