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Edward Carpenter provides an early example of the ever present contrast
within the New Thought movement between those who support a Stoic approach
to life advocating a 'stiff upper lip' when confronted with social problems
or tyranny, versus those who understand that co-creation means cooperation among
diverse people to create a more compassionate world.
Do issues get dealt with by ignoring them?
What some call human rights, others call civil rights, and still others call equal rights.
What is more sacred? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
Or someone's odd beliefs system which calls for the punishment of other people to
preserve that person's weak illusions of "honor."
Carpenter was on the forefront of the human rights movemeent in his push for social reform.
Links to Edward Carpenter's Works:
Some sad souls adhering to the aberrant Late New Thought distortions of the
late 20th Century, promote a rigid adherence to the concept that life is an illusion solely transformed through the
individual's respective powers of the mind. These folks do not believe
in co-creation because for them "life is an illusion." Therefore
they encourage spiritual seekers to practice a form of Stoic acceptance of the conditions of life. The most extreme adherents to this approach teach an philosophy that mirrors Hindu teachings of radical acceptance of problems both individual and social summing up their approach as "we must wait for consciousness to change, then life will change accordingly." Some even point to certain diceased teachers lack of participation in the American Civil Rights Movemeent as model behavior. The most extreme within this group deny events that they do not witness. These souls claim that that acts of terrorism, or war crimes that they do not personally witness did not happen!
In opposition to the adherents of Late New Thought, we find Edward Carpenter who advocates for social reform, freedom of thought, vegetarianism, and pollution controls.
Some folks are alarmed at Edwards' advocacy of sexual freedom for consenting adults.
Edward Carpenter's blatant advocacy of the adults' rights to privacy in the
bedroom stirs deep anxiety among adherents to Abrahamic Thought forms who feel intense fear of those of the "third sex" in addition to fearing sexual liberation of women. Carpenter believed sex education would help reduce teenage pregancy and in his work Love's Coming-of-Age Carpenter promotes women's liberation as an essential part of a healthy society.
Carpenter's advocacy for the rights of all adults both male and female to love whomever they wish, in combination with his socialist views about the dangers of unbridled capitalism presents deep challenges for some Americans who have never questioned the creeds of cult of capitalism in a culture
rooted in Abrahamic Puritanism. Cultural life in early 21st century America reflected an affirmation of some individual rights, while at the same time the Supreme Court felt compelled to create a new precedent ruling that "corporations are people." This time was also characterized by a surge in political activity from the "Religious Right" in reaction to the court's confirmation of the rights of adults to marry whom they wish including people of the same sex. Abrahamics touting a "Judeo-Christian" philosophy began to rekindle their conflict with Abrahamic Islamics due to acts of terrorism on the part of maniacs using a twisted interpretation of Islam as the basis for their actions.
Growing up in England, a country with strict class boundaries, comparable to India's Caste system, Edward was friends with many Theosophists and early New Thought leaders including:
Rabindranath Tagore, Walt Whitman, Havelock Ellis, and Mahatma Ghandi.
Carpenter's book Civilisation, Its Cause and Cure draws attention to the fact that
few human civilizations pass the 1000 year mark. Recent work within the Free World such as Thomas Picketty's Capital in the 21st Century have illuminated the basic challenges for civilizations and pointed to the cure through participant democracy with Human Rights ensuring ongoing opportunity for all citizens.
The importance of opportunity and a standard of living have proven essential in the reduction of terrorism. The rise of media culture has historically been accompanied by terrorism used by extremist groups to promote their views. In the mid 20th Century, the world witnessed terrorism by both left and right wing groups, but 1972 marked a shift with some terrorists finding rationales for their acts within Abrahamic thought forms. While right wing terrorism using relgioous justification existed previous to this time in the United States since the civil war, these new terrorists sought to rekindle cultural conflict present within adherents of Abrahamic Thought forms since early conflicts between Islam and Christianity. Carpenter's advocacy of education and human rights have been echoed by those who feel these are essential components to combating the conditions that give rise to terrorism.
Carpenter's journey ranged through varying degrees of socialism ranging from far left socialism to conservative social democracy. These two are differentiated by the fact that wheras Marxist-Socialists support nationalization of industry, Social Democrats oppose nationalization of industry supporting private enterprise. Social Democrats feel that worker's rights and regulation of industry is essential to the protection of regular folks from abuse by corporations. A basic premise for this is that "the economy must serve society, not the reverse." Today's European Social Democracies such as Germany and Sweden feature robust economies with economoic opportunities for citizens which exceeds that of the both England, France and the United States.
Carpenter was one of the first people to recognize that neurasthenia was linked to stress which was ever present within the 19th Century life of non-elites.
Stress is re-emerging today as the source of major problems within industrial and post industrial socieites. The challenges facing participant democracies today are the same as those of the 19th Century. The exaggeration of extreme differences in wealth within a culture leads to rising dissatifaction in socieites within that culture. Historically, lack of opportunity has led to radicalization. Statistics clearly show that the wealth gap in the United States has grown radically since the early 1980's.
The lifestyles of global elites in the dawn of the New Millennium increasingly demonstrated a radical departure from the values of responsibilty such as Noblesse Oblige. During this time, the United States began to be viewed by other elites as a means to fight their wars by proxy. Internationally large corporations began practicing inversion which meant they moved their corporate headguarters to nations which offered means to avoid taxes that contribute to the nations such as the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Their media arms touted these savings as necessary for them to maintain competiveness, while the reulting profits were simply used to bolster the bank accounts of their owners.
Thus the wealth gap became stronger and nations that had previously had robust economies and vibrant societies appeared to be in decline. Media was increasingly consolidated into the hands of a few corporations which used their outreach to convince electorates that life could only be better through corporate control. The lifes of the rich and famous began to resemble those of British elites in the 19th Century.
British Elites in Victorian and Edwardian England were primarily isolated from the pressures of life through extensive wage slave arrangments. The classic symbol of extreme class difference is pocketless attire. Whereas the average working class person, sailor, soldier, doctor and lawyer require pockets to carry a wallet, the elite has servants to handle money or carry other items.
The internet increasingly emerged as the only vehicle for public expression, but rising concerns about terrrism was increasingly used as justification for global surveillance increasingly contracted to private corporations that in turn used their access to such information to consolidate control of other aspects of civic life. Edward Carpenter's views about the importance of education and human rights are increasingly being validated as essential in combating terrorism but provide an irksome dish of ideas for conservative as the banquet of philosophy and spirituality.