A logic trail that provides context.
- Hypothesis #1—The Ideal: A world of plenty is attainable on the basis of a superior economic system supported by the culture and the political structure.
- Validation of hypothesis #1 serves as the first building block for the improved organization in human affairs. The examination can then proceed to a definition of the superior economic system, hypothesis #2.
- The superiority of democratic capitalism can be tested and verified in many ways, but how universal can it become? Is it a “Western” phenomenon only? What political structures are required for its success? In hypothesis #3, I propose that it can be a universal system.
- In the later part of the twentieth century, the universal system of economic freedom was improving lives throughout the world. The American government, however, reversed this momentum by making mistakes that escalated the traditional impediment of concentrated wealth into destructive ultra-capitalism. Hypothesis #4 describes this impediment.
- The fundamental conflict between finance capitalism and democratic capitalism in America goes back to the beginning of the republic when non-democratic privileges to make money on money flowed from many government officials who could be influenced or bribed. Since then, the neutral money needed for free markets to work well has been displaced by easy credit for speculators, and wild swings in the economy have been the result. Removal of this impediment is the intent of hypothesis #5.
- How could this Constitutional contradiction persist while democratic power was growing in a country “of the people, by the people, and for the people?” The answer to this question is that the people’s elected representatives have not been reflecting the will and wisdom of the people; instead, the politicians have been influenced by the lobby power of Wall Street and the banking interests. Liberal Democrats have also ignored the will and wisdom of the majority, and instead of reforming ultra-capitalism, they have concentrated political power to micromanage commerce and redistribute wealth. Hypothesis #6 is about the resulting political gridlock that impedes appropriate reforms.
- This examination of the political gridlock raises yet more troubling questions: Why have reformers failed who had the democratic power to restructure government for the general welfare? Why has this failure gone on for so long? Why is this failure so profound that many have lost hope in the democratic process? The answer is that whereas the Enlightenment grounded the ideal and the means on the proper truth-seeking process, successive generations of thinkers and managers have failed because they abandoned the process that is the focus of hypothesis #7.
- At the turn of the millennium, the world was making the same mistakes it had made a century before. Not only were our leaders failing to seize the opportunity to unite in economic common purpose but also they were going backwards economically and backwards to new forms of violence. The sad record of the 20th century validates hypothesis #7, that global social progress has been retarded by persistent and egregious mistakes that should have been avoided by the correct truth-seeking process. The common denominators in all of these errors were ignorance and arrogance in the otherwise bright minds of sincere people who nevertheless lacked understanding of economics, the management of change, and the structure needed before freedoms can become functional. Among the first agents of change to employ the correct truth-seeking process in order to reconfirm the ideal and specify the means ought to be the universities; this is hypothesis #8.
- Enlightenment II is the long-term way to peace and plenty that will gain positive momentum with each generation of students and citizens. Other agents of change, people who can press for reform more rapidly, are to be found among institutional investors, the concern of hypothesis #9.
- The visible improvement in the lives of hundreds of millions of people will then set the stage for a steady reduction and eventual elimination of violence among people and nations. The United States is positioned to lead towards this economic common purpose and its promise of global social progress. That ideal prospect, including cooperation with the United Nations in its mission to substitute law for violence, is the focus of hypothesis #10.