I just read an interesting article regarding how to create an Empathic (i.e., Cooperative) Civilization.
A lot of the world’s misery can be traced to people who lack the wiring for empathy. What can we do to contain the damage they cause?
July 26 Joe Brewer
This article suggests (not too surprisingly) that the 1% who control World power structures, mostly for their own benefit, are highly non-emphathic. That is, the real 1% are not simply the richest 1%, but rather the most powerful non-empaths. Not all wealthy people are non-empathic. But our economic system is especially tuned to reward non-empaths in their struggle to the top. In addition, our legal and regulatory structures favor the creation of extremely powerful corporations who by the predominant definition of “business” and “competition” are at the top of the heap of non-empathic “individuals.” (Fortunately many corporations are socially responsible. However, by their nature, corporations are expected to make a profit for shareholders and to obey the law, rather than to create the greatest good for all.)
We knew all of this of course, but the analysis in this article makes the situation clearer. The author also makes good suggestions on what to do. But all of his suggestions require the 99% who are empathic to take back control of society (that is, for the ‘meek’ to inherit the Earth).
For me a key question is – how do we break the unholy connection between the powerful non-empaths and the millions of ordinary ‘conservative voters’ who admire powerful non-empaths and swallow their messages? The non-empaths are able to put their messages into frames that conservative voters resonate with, even though most of those voters are actually empathic.
Some of best ideas that I’ve seen about how to counter this are in Lakoff’s new book: The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic. Lakoff’s premis is not that progressives must take over the “rulership” of the country from conservatives — who currently worship the private sector and denigrate the public sector. But rather that progressives must stop using the frames developed by the 1% to gain the admiration and votes of conservative and independent voters. Progressives must instead use frames that truly resonate with the empathic and democratic nature of all people among the 99%. Our only way forward is to build true democratic partnership between progressives and conservatives to shape a better society that is good for all, rather than one that mainly benefits the 1%.