The Age of Authenticism

The world has enough Fiction, 
                                        Facade,
                                           Farce,
                                              Fraud, &
                                                 Facsimile.
The world needs more integrity and truth. It needs more authenticity, and it needs it badly.

Life is real. It is not a dream or mirage. It is not some ethereal hallucination we merely imagine is occurring. It is an authentic experience that is as real as you and I.



“I think, therefore I am.”
– Réne Descartes

(1596-1650)


There are a lot of philosophies and ideologies out there willing to fill your mind with fiction and fear. My job in writing this book is to fill your mind with facts and faith—faith in True Principles, and conviction in your capacity to understand and abide by them.

As human beings, our experiences are shaped, and ultimately defined, by the choices we make. Regulated by the passage of time, right choices will result in success, happiness, prosperity, and most importantly—FREEDOM; wrong choices will result in failure, misery, penury, and bondage in all aspects of life.

Human beings have a remarkable capacity for creativity when it comes to making excuses for why things didn’t, or aren’t, turning out quite right in their lives. From genetic predispositions and chemical imbalances to structural inequities and bad luck, a wide swath of humanity is convinced they are not to blame when their state of mind or life is undesirable. While the adversities listed above are real and challenging, they don’t have to define your life’s story unless you let them.

Things typically turn out badly for those who harbor a victim’s mentality, and it is always the fault of someone or something else. Such is the flawed belief system of those inhabiting the bubble world of blame. In the real world, however, the results you get in the long run are determined (with quasi-mathematical precision) by the choices you make.

There are, of course, legitimate exceptions to this overarching generalization, something I’ll discuss in greater detail in Chapter 16. Nevertheless, the principle of, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” remains an irrevocable truism that can never be wished away by the whimsy of mankind’s sometimes flimsy intellect. The time has come to stop making excuses for our personal problems, inadequacies, and failures, and take personal responsibility for everything in our lives.

Making right choices is not always easy, but the formula to achieving lasting success in any life arena is that simple. True principles exist, govern absolutely, and provide a sure way to happiness, success, and freedom; they are also relatively easy to understand.

I recognize this is a very black & white way of looking at a world ever colored in a spectrum of situational grays. Such circumstantial cloudiness can create profound ambiguity about the way things really are in the world and Universe. In the midst of such mortal mystifications—which we all must pass through—dark delusions often seem like horrifying realities. The only escape from the ashen lenses through which we must all peer lies in right thinking, speaking, and doing. There is no other way. The principle is that simple, and the application is that difficult.

THE NEED FOR UNSOPHISTICATED TRUISMS


I am aware how naïve and provincial such statements must sound to many in our postmodern world; and that is precisely what makes them so beautiful, profound, and desperately needed in our troubled society. The world has enough sophistication and rationalization; it needs more common sense and integrity. It has enough selfishness and hedonism; it needs more self-restraint and honor. It has enough sarcasm and greed; it needs more sincerity and goodness. It has enough derision and deception; it needs more encouragement and truth telling. The world has enough fake; it needs more real. The world has enough authoritative caricature; it needs more authentic character. In short, the world needs more self-action leaders.

A CRITIQUE OF POSTMODERNISM


Postmodernism is a term assigned to an intellectual movement that has increasingly dominated academic, cultural, and political circles since World War II. Postmodernism essentially posits that nothing really exists except that which is constructed through language, or that which is decreed by postmodern potentates to be true.

Principles of postmodernism promote a convenient credo of moral relativism, thus affording human beings with pretended power to redefine moral principles to suit their own capricious conceptions of right and wrong. However well intentioned its acolytes may be, the fruits of foraying into the practices of postmodernism have been frighteningly foul in recent generations, and portend a fearful foreboding for the future.



Wittingly or not, postmodernists seek to elevate human beings into godlike figures with the power to determine what is and what isn’t real on the contradictory premise that nothing really is at all, except that which is constructed by language and the pompous proclamations of postmodern demigod critics. And speaking of critics, postmodernism is full of them since the movement was largely rooted in literary criticism. The problem with critics is that they are almost always “Big talkers, and Little doers.”[1] The cultural produce of postmodernism consists largely of selfishness, hedonism, confusion, nihilism, and hopelessness.

With the perpetual production of such unsavory harvests, one must wonder why Western society has – for the past half-century or more – embraced the mores of their husbandry with such an ironically evangelical zeal. Technological advancements, the Information Age, and the end of widespread agrarianism were bound to create a clamor for a contrast to previous intellectual efforts. But sadly, their vacuously inauthentic intellectual product—bereft of any basis in reality—was destined to bear bitter fruit; and its tree has liberally delivered just that.

The aim of Self-Action Leadership is not to create critics, but to develop doers. It seeks to teach and train those whose desires lie not outside the stadium in the cirque du critique, but inside the arena on the platforms of performance. In the words of President Teddy Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." [2]

“Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.”
– Bryant S. Hinckley
(1867-1961)

While postmodernist thought originated largely among the literary intelligentsia, its insidious message of unreality soon spread to infect entire cultures and governments throughout the Occident and beyond with the popular, albeit erroneous, notion that there really isn’t any absolute truth. The result? Legions were sucked into an infernal black hole of intellectualism as its cryptic message crept into—and eventually cloaked—the balance of society and culture in the philosophy of anything goes. The collateral damage of this ideology to the moral pulse and existential progress of an entire planet has been, in many ways, calamitous—and in some cases even fatal.

Postmodernism has even sought to rewrite history, or at least cast a negative shadow on some of its greatest acts, actors, and achievements. Not all such aims have been bad. In some cases, history needed to be rewritten for greater accuracy and holism, and to have the scales and shadows removed from some of its darker secrets. In many cases, however, in an attempt to achieve social justice and absolute equality, history has too often been deconstructed and recast to make the good guys – who were certainly not perfect – out to be devils, while re-diagnosing some of the genuine devils as being merely misguided, mentally ill, or mismanaged, rather than as the evil fiends they actually were.

This book has been written as a response to the negative cultural consequences of postmodernism. It seeks to resurrect the reality of absolute truth along with its precious virtues of self-discipline, self-restraint, self-reliance, individual liberty, personal freedom, and realism upon which all of history’s lasting success stories were, and are, built. It further seeks to champion these virtues in nations, governments, states, communities, organizations, schools, families, relationships, and most importantly—individual lives.

I love my Country too much to stand idly by and watch it perish in the pages of postmodern philology. It will take several decades and much work to reverse the deep damage that has already been done, but the challenge is not insurmountable. Indeed, I believe America’s – and the World’s – best days lie before us, not behind us.

The time has come for the candor and actuality of authenticity to eclipse the pernicious perjury of postmodernism. It is time for something real. The dawning of a new age—an Age of Authenticism—answers this clarion call of the cynical, sarcastic, synthetic, and even sinful era in which we live. While I cannot take credit for coining this new term, I agree with its originator—the British novelist Edward Docx—that “Postmodernism is Dead,”[3] or at very least, is beginning to die.

Freedom Focused commends Docx for his insightful prescience, and his incisive selection of such an apt term to describe a whole new era that will mark the present generation and beyond, which history will eventually classify as transcending postmodernism and replacing it with something as new as it is old, and that remains perennially and effervescently vital--namely, goodness and truth. Freedom Focused is dedicated to promoting and championing this new Age of Authenticism throughout the world. We invite you to add your voice to the choir.
The Self-Action Leadership theory and model is designed to serve as an intellectual exponent of this new movement that is rejecting “postmodernism with all its detachment and deconstruction,”[4] and entering a nobler place where “some things are pure and some things are right.”[5] Postmodernism is the business of critics. Reality, truth, and authenticity are the business of self-action leaders and principled poets. In the words of G.K. Chesterton:

There is at the back of all our lives an abyss of light, more blinding and unfathomable than any abyss of darkness; and it is the abyss of actuality, of existence, of the fact that things truly are, and that we ourselves are incredibly and sometimes almost incredulously real. It is the fundamental fact of being, as against not being; it is unthinkable, yet we cannot unthink it, though we may sometimes be unthinking about it; unthinking and especially unthanking. For he who has realized this reality knows that it does outweigh, literally to infinity, all lesser regrets or arguments for negation, and that under all our grumblings there is a subconscious substance of gratitude. That light of the positive is the business of the poets. [6]

If you seek greater authenticity in your life and relationships, as well as in our nation and world, I invite you to join us in a new and fresh movement of education and action that spawns real HOPE, and leads to real CHANGE. This place of light, of reality, of authenticity, is a glorious place to work and reside. It is the promised land of hope and the real address of change. Most importantly, it is the gateway to individual liberty and personal freedom.

Join me on this journey to authentic living—a land where all people possess opportunities that are both real and endless. There can be no greater opportunity—individually or collectively.

And speaking of opportunity, every human being has so very much of it that it saddens me to see grievance trumpeted while opportunity is but whispered in corners of society where opportunity is scarce and hope is most vulnerable. It bereaves me to see the best that is in a human being squandered on the worst that has happened in the past—either to oneself or one’s ancestors.

The time has come to spend a little less time talking about how oppressed some people are, and spend a little more time proclaiming the potential of those same, remarkable people. Instead of crying out about limitations, let’s shout upon the rooftops how innately creative, talented, and intelligent ALL human beings are. Let’s spend less time telling people how hard they have it and invest more effort in telling them how capable they are of succeeding—even in the face of great external difficulties—if they are given a chance to learn, and if they are willing to apply the knowledge they acquire.

I am not suggesting we ignore persisting structural inequities. We must continue to fight racism, bigotry, and evil of all kinds wherever it festers. What I am suggesting is the promotion of a pedagogy of possibility as an alternative to the derailing dogma of grievance.

Join with me in a movement to unite ALL Americans—and eventually ALL human beings—in a vision of each individual’s unlimited potential for achievement and Existential Growth, as well as our still unreached potential as a Nation and Planet. There can be no greater national or global quest. And remember: it all beings with the one—with you, and with me.





I WANT YOU…


To realize your limitless potential through the power of


Authenticity
&
Self-Action Leadership




[1] From Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack. 
[2] Excerpt from T. Roosevelt’s Citizenship in a Republic speech delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910. 
[3] The term, “Age of Authenticism” was first coined by the British novelist Edward Docx in his article Postmodernism is dead in Prospect Magazine on July 20, 2011.  Article URL: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/postmodernisms-is-dead-va-exhibition-age-of-authenticism/#.U3LCSe29LCQ
[4] Quoted words of blogger (Pastabagel) on blog entitled: Partial Objects.  August 19, 2011.  URL: http://partialobjects.com/2011/08/what-comes-after-postmodernism/
[5] Lyrical line from the song, Month of May, performed by the rock band Arcade Fire.  Written by: Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Richard R. Parry, Jeremy Gara. 
[6] Chesterton, G.K. (2008). Geoffrey Chaucer. Cornwall, UK: House of Stratus. (Chapter 1, Page 15).



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