Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Age of Authenticism: A Vision of the Future

What does the Future hold for America & the World?
What might America and the world look like in the 2020s, 2030s, and 2040s?

The purpose of our next two articles is to paint a picture full of potential answers to this question by illuminating the possibilities inherent in a futuristic full-flowering of the Age of Authenticism.

These answers are based on collective Freedom Focused research as well as the work of generational scholars and historians William Strauss & Neil Howe.

Click HERE to learn more about the AGE of AUTHENTICISM   

In this first article, we will discuss historical examples of character development that can aid our future efforts toward becoming an authentic populous worthy of widespread peace and prosperity.  We will also reiterate the coming challenges that will be the primary catalyst for our nation and world's eventual exit from the period of postmodernism and graduation to the Age of Authenticism. In next week's article we will paint a picture of what the Age of Authenticism might look like once it has fully flourished.  It will provide a visage of what things will look and be like in approximately the year 2035.

Sadly, we are still a ways away from the chronological epicenter of the Age of Authenticism.  Collectively speaking, we have not even crossed the starting point, although many people throughout our nation and world have already entered the stage individually.  While the British Writer, Edward Docx—the originator of the term—suggests 2011 as the official end of Postmodernism and the beginning of the Age of Authenticism, the reality is that it usually takes a while (sometimes many years) for a declared age to begin—not to mention flourish.

Click HERE to read Docx's article pronouncing the Death of Postmodernism and the Beginning of the Age of Authenticism

To date, Docx's article has received relatively little attention.  Moreover, to our knowledge, no other scholar or organization has promoted its percipience or its prescience as saliently or enthusiastically as Freedom Focused.  Furthermore, our growing body of work at Freedom Focused on this important subject has been almost entirely ignored to date.

From hedonism and gluttony to narcissism and laziness,
the United States in 2016 is crass, rude, unkept, 

culturally obese, educationally distracted, 
and morally destitute.
This is not surprising.  Why?  Because we are presently mired so thickly and precariously—albeit relatively comfortably—in the clutches of postmodernism and pre-structuralism that there simply isn't a wide-scale demand for Authenticism—at least not yet.  The world is so morally adrift, so structurally unsound, and so metaphysically troubled that there is no coherent majority currently capable of rising above the dismal din of political corruption, social malaise, and outright cultural rot that is stagnating all around us.  If you seek tangible evidence of what I am talking about, just tune into the 2016 United States' Presidential General Election pitting Donald Trump (a crass, lewd, and opportunistic pre-structuralist) against Hillary Clinton (an equally opportunistic, perennially untrustworthy postmodernist).

Politics has been a messy and sometimes dirty process throughout our nation's history; but rarely has it been as polluted as it is right now.  Moreover, while business and free enterprise have always had greedy figures of dubious moral quality stationed at its highest posts, it is arguably as bad as it has ever been, at least in terms of income inequality.  Lastly, while education has been a high priority throughout our nation's impressive educational history; it is sorely lacking at present—not only in terms of falling behind dozens of other countries academically, but in terms of being virtually bankrupt morally and ethically in terms of a largely (if not entirely) absent character education curriculum.

The Esteemed and August General
George Washington

(1732-1799)
George Washington—the President of the Constitutional Convention, the General-in-Chief of America's first major military force, our Nation's first President, and the foremost figure among our Founding Fathers—was a venerable Commander-in-Chief who set a positive, productive example of democratic executive functioning and bearing for future Presidents and Statesmen and Women to follow.

But his unprecedented leadership and sterling moral character were not the results of mere talent, nor were they developed overnight.  The process began when Washington was just a boy.  For example, at the tender age of only 13, Washington penned a comprehensive list of 110 rules he utilized throughout his life in the development of his personal character and interpersonal civility.

These 110 rules range from common manners and the conducting of communication to the very core of his character.  Consider the following examples of his many rules.


Rules for Common Manners


Rule 1.  EVERY Action done in Company ought to be with Some Sign of Respect to those that are Present.

Rule 6.  SLEEP not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

Rules for Civic & Other Communications


Rule 22.  Show not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.

Rule 48.  WHEREIN you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than Precepts.

Rule 49.  USE no Reproachful language against any one.  Neither Curse nor Revile.

Rule 50. BE not hasty to believe flying Reports to the Disparagement of any.

Rule 56.  ASSOCIATE yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.

Rule 58.  LET your conversation be without Malice or Envy....

Rule 73.  THINK before you Speak.  Pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily, but orderly and Distinctly.

Rule 82.  UNDERTAKE not what you cannot Perform, but be Careful to keep your Promise


"That Little Spark of Celestial fire called Conscience"

Rules for the Core Development of One's Character


Rule 108.  WHEN you Speak of God or his Attributes, let it be Seriously & [with] Reverence.  Honour & obey your Natural Parents [even if] they be Poor.

Rule 109.  LET your Recreations be Manful not Sinful.

Rule 110.  LABOR to keep alive in your breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire called Conscience. [1]

Wherever George Washington's spirit presently resides, he must be shaking his head in disgust and concern at the rife incivility, rampant immorality, and inauthentic hullabaloo that has so saturated our postmodern culture.  Imagine how the affairs of people everywhere would be different if we all (and especially our so-called leaders) heeded Washington's advice about manners, communication, and character.

George Washington, in addition to many of our other esteemed Founding Fathers and Mothers, was an authenticist of the first and highest order.  He was not perfect—no one is.  Nonetheless, he is a sterling example of an imperfect human being who strived—however imperfectly—to attain unto higher levels of personal character, polish, and perfection throughout his life.  Washington was very much A Happy Warrior of Wordsworthian quality and spirit.  Click HERE to read William Wordsworth's The Character of the Happy Warrior.   He was a noble figure of Authenticism to which we can all look up to, admire, and confidently model aspects of our own lives after.

Click HERE to read all of Washington's 110 Rules of Civility 


Benjamin Franklin
America's Greatest Renaissance Man

The "Poor Richard's Almanack" Image
1706-1791
Imagine a future world where the majority of our nation—and other nations—aspired toward an education in, and application of, the kind of manners, communications, and character lionized in Washington's 110 Rules of Civility and other, similar cognitive, behavioral, and ontological constructs such as Thomas Jefferson's 10 Rules or Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack.

Our express intention and implicit aspiration at Freedom Focused is to build a society and inspire a culture imbued with the qualities and characteristics of Authenticism.  To accomplish such an ambitious and far-reaching undertaking, we have assembled a comprehensive Theory & Model of self-leadership entitled Self-Action Leadership.  The accompanying textbook: Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom serves as a holistic self-guide that provides a step-by-step pathway leading to individual and organizational character and Existential Growth.

Our long-term goal is to get a copy of Self-Action Leadership into the hands of every person throughout the United States and the rest of the world who desires ontological authenticity and the development of good moral character in his or her life.  We aim to reach civic leaders and servants, corporate leaders and workers, educators and students, parents and families, and individuals everywhere with this message of peace, hope, honor, and prosperity.

We invite you to join this movement today by buying and reading Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom.  More importantly, we invite you to carefully study the principles and practices outlined therein, the material of which is the result of 12 years of careful and disciplined reading, observation, study, research, experimentation, writing, and re-writing.

And speaking of prosperity, it is time now to return to our discussion of what the 2030s and 2040s—the projected period of the Age of Authenticism—will look like, feel like, and entail.

A variety of metaphorical storm clouds are
presently on the horizon in America and abroad
First of all, we predict that this welcomed age will not truly begin in a collective sense until the onset of a serious national and/or world crisis that is likely at our doorstep.  "The Crisis of 2020" as generational scholars William Strauss and Neil Howe call it, will resemble preceding crises on par with the Civil War, the Great Depression, or the two previous World Wars.

Whether or not this period will involve a terrorist nuclear strike, an economic depression, a third World War, a Civil-War-esque social upheaval in our own nation, a combination of one or more of these calamities, or something else entirely, we cannot know for sure.  However, based on Strauss and & Howe's detailed generational scholarship, it is highly likely that a period of unusual struggle and suffering is pending and perhaps upon our very doorstep [2].

While our nation's "Ship" is badly damaged and will
get worse in coming years, we are confident
it will not sink entirely.
According to Strauss and Howe:
"The Crisis of 2020 will be a major turning point in American history and an adrenaline-filled moment of trial.  At its climax, America will feel that the fate of posterity—for generations to come—hangs in the balance. ... This crisis will be a pivotal moment in the lifecycles of all generations alive at the time" [3]. 
Thankfully, Strauss and Howe are optimistic that we as Americans possess both the capability and resolve to successfully overcome whatever challenges we will face in this period of grave trial.  In their predictive words:
"The sense of community will be omnipresent.  Moral order will be unquestioned with 'rights' and 'wrongs' crisply defined and obeyed.  Sacrifices will be asked, and given.  America will be implacably resolved to do what needs doing, and fix what needs fixing" [3]. 
As much as we'd like to think the Age of Authenticism will be produced by the incisiveness of our writing and the thoughtfulness of our pedagogical and practical constructs, this will not be the case.  Indeed, Freedom Focused will not produce the Age of Authenticism, but we will define and inform it.  The age itself will be brought on by whatever adversity and destruction accompanies the "Crisis of 2020" and other deep challenges which will, by the force of Nature itself, coerce collective society in America and beyond to finally begin looking inward to solve the profound problems in which we are already deeply mired.

When enough powder is
backed up, all it takes is
a few small sparks to
ignite a cataclysmic
explosion
Like the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, which produced the spark that exploded into the Great War in 1914, it may be only a minor spark that enflames this future conflict(s).  No one knows when this spark will be ignited.  All we know is that all signs are pointing towards the steady buildup of a powder keg the likes of which the world has never before seen.  This buildup will likely continue for several more years before it explodes.  When the spark finally does ignite the powder keg, the explosion will be disastrous and unprecedented.  Moreover, it will further ignite a chain reaction of other kegs that have likewise been filling up with powder for years and decades—dating back to the end of World War II in some cases, and dating back thousands of years culturally in other cases.

This trial-by-fire is going to be ugly.  It will compel the citizenry of the United States—and the peace-loving countries around the world—to humble themselves before principle and alter their practices in a desperation that can only come in a heightened external crisis.

Leaders of events during this terribly tumultuous time period will be those who had already paid the price to become authenticists prior to the onset of the calamity.  In virtually every age and society throughout world history, there have almost always been at least some authentic, principle-centered, leaders of circumspect character.  These leaders humble themselves not because circumstances require them to do so, but because they are compelled by the power of principles themselves.  At Freedom Focused, we aspire towards being the kind of principle-centered human beings that are ready to lead when the call comes.  It is our ardent wish to be the kind of people that humble themselves before the God of principle rather than being compelled to be humble by the god of illness, war, natural disaster, or manmade calamity.

Approximately 10% (or less) of any given population will usually rank among this highly authentic, anomalous milieu of good leaders.

Another 5% (or so) of any given population will usually rank in polar contrast to the 10% of authentic leaders.  This highly inauthentic, nefarious milieu will include those persons who are intentionally devious or even downright evil.

These fiends are the leaders of whatever dark forces seek to destroy and conquer during periods of conflict (e.g. Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, etc. and their higher ranking subordinates).

The remaining 85% of any given population will flock to banners and hearken to the precepts of either the good (on average approximately 55%) or bad (on average approximately 35%) leaders.  The morality of the leadership and the strength of their supporting armies (literal or metaphorical) will ultimately determine the victor.  I use the word "approximately" intentionally because history has proven that good can overcome evil if "good men [and women] do nothing."  On the other hand, there have likewise been times when good leadership and their accompanying followers have dominated an organization, culture, nation, etc.  As such, these numbers are not meant to designate every group; rather, they are intended to constitute the mean of all groups throughout history.

To illustrate this principle with a specific example from history, consider the results of World War II.  The Allies ultimately defeated the Axis powers during World War II because the Allies were pursuing the morally circumspect cause and they had more human and other resources to fight the battle.  Hitler and his minions were not only pursuing an evil course of unjust conquest; in the end, they were vastly outmanned and outgunned as well—much like the pie graph above suggests.

Whatever trials are to come will ultimately end according to predictable variables.  Whoever has the higher moral ground and larger armies with bigger guns (literal or metaphorical) will win the conflict.  Because of America and the Occident's historical moral high ground and military might, we at Freedom Focused believe the Western Powers will prove victorious once again—if they do not destroy themselves from within first.

Assuming this optimistic outlook proves accurate, we believe that all four generations taking part in this unprecedented national or worldwide calamity (Silent, Baby Boomer, X, and Y) will be sufficiently humbled to produce a subsequent generation of two-decades or so (give or take several years) that will be marked by a full-flourishing of the Age of Authenticism which we have written about at such great lengths in recent months.

This period will begin in the 2020s during the height, resolution, and aftermath of the "Crisis of 2020."  It will further flourish in the 2030s, where it will hit its peak.  It may also extend well into the 2040s.  By that point, however, younger members of Generation Z (also referred to as the iGeneration, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation, with birth years in late 20th and early 21st century) will likely have begun a predictable, collective descent into the next phase of postmodernism as the cycles of history continue to wheel themselves on indefinitely until the ending of this world as we know it—whenever that may occur.

At Freedom Focused, we are not presently concerned with what comes after the Age of Authenticism, although in 20-30 years we will start focusing a great deal thereon.  Our present focus is on offering our services in preparation to win the coming conflict and then help build a new period in the United States and throughout the world that we predict may rank among the most peaceful and prosperous eras in all of human history.

In next week's post, we will paint a specific, predictive picture of what life will look like in America and beyond at the epicenter or height of this magnificent era to which we may all look gloriously forward to in wondrous anticipation.  This picture will illuminate the year 2035—give or take a few years.

Notes

1. Washington, G. (Toner, J.M., MD, Ed.). 1888. Washington's Rules of Civility: And Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.  A Paper Found Among the Early Writings of George Washington.  W.H. Morrison: Washington D.C.  Note: Quotes are reprinted using modern spellings and slightly altered punctuation to improve syntactical flow.  

2. For more information on Strauss & Howe's percipient perspectives on the future based on their historical and generational scholarship, please check any number of their books on the subject, such as Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584-2069 and The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous With Destiny.

3. Strauss, W. & Howe, N. (1991). Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584-2069.   Quill: New York, NY. Page 382. (p. 382).





God Bless the United States of America—a blessed land of promise—now, and always.

Click HERE to buy a copy of Dr. Jordan Jensen's new book, Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom.

........................................................................................................................................................



SELF-ACTION LEADERSHIP is the key catalyst for initiating transformational leadership that lasts in any organization. The truth of the matter really is that simple; and the transformation of organizations through the holistic development of individuals really is that difficult—yet altogether possible for anyone willing to invest the time, effort, and sacrifice required to achieve authentic, transformational results.

Unlike any training program that has ever preceded it, Self-Action Leadership provides a single vehicle wherewith individual self-leaders can discover—and then act—upon the great truth that HOLISTIC personal development and growth spanning the mental, moral, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social elements of our individual natures is within the grasp of each one of us.

NoteFreedom Focused is a non-partisan, for-profit, educational corporation. As such, we do not endorse or embrace political figures. We do, however, comment from time-to-time on historical or political events that provide pedagogical backdrops to illuminating principles contained in the SAL Theory & Model.


Click HERE to learn more about the SAL Theory & Model.


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Click HERE to read more about Dr. Jensen's book, Self-Action Leadership, and to review what experts in the leadership field are saying about this groundbreaking new personal development handbook.


Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Jordan R. Jensen.

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