Category Archives: ARC
The Alliance for Responsible Citizenship
An exciting new project arising from Jordan Peterson's ideas, arguments and presentations
It’s called ARC, alluding to Noah’s Ark and the arc of a person’s life – and maybe even to the Ark of the Covenant.
Here is their launch announcement.
Quotes from that announcement:
“New International Alliance Announces Major Conference to Enhance Global Prosperity, Challenge Declinism and Revitalize our Understanding of Human Flourishing”
“The ‘Alliance for Responsible Citizenship’ (ARC) will provide an alternative to “the claim that decline is inevitable.””
“The Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) is being established as an international community with a vision for a better world where every citizen can prosper, contribute and flourish.”
The website is here. At the top, it says:
We are seeking answers to some of our day’s most fundamental questions, grounded in our core belief that everyone has intrinsic worth and something to contribute, and humanity has an extraordinary capacity for innovation and ingenuity.
Jordan Peterson presents the reason and ethos of this new organisation in a Youtube podcast. Here’s the main text of what he says in written form in full: My Vision for ARC.
Despite all this good news, this undeniable progress, a shadow has emerged, an adversarial challenge to this state and process of expanding abundance; an emergent crisis of meaning and purpose. God is dead, or so the story goes, and the future is uncertain. Five centuries of ascendant reductionist Enlightenment rationality have revealed that this starkly objective world lacks all intrinsic meaning. A century and a half or more of corrosive cultural criticism has undermined our understanding of and faith in the traditions necessary to unite and guide us.
In the midst of this existential chaos, the false idol of apocalyptic ideology inevitably beckons.
We find ourselves, in consequence, inundated by a continual onslaught of ominous, demoralizing messages, most particularly in the form of environmental catastrophism; the insistence that we confront a severe and immediately pending emergency of biological destruction, causally associated with our degenerate social structures and their excess and destructive industrial production.
The narrative generating these messages, quasi-religious in its structure and intensity, paints a dismal existential picture: the individual is a rapacious, predatory, parasitical consumer; society—even the little society of the family—an oppressive, tyrannical despoiler; and nature, herself, a hapless, fragile, virginal victim.
A deep, worldwide, social, economic and environmental revolution is therefore allegedly at hand; those who dare suggest otherwise are blind, if not malevolent, and must be silenced.
The results of such theories? The consequences of such proclamations?
The increasing and increasingly compelled imposition of severe, involuntary limits to material abundance and growth; the resultant artificially-inflated prices, particularly for energy, that most truly punish the poor.
The fraying of our social fabric into a chaos of alienated polarization; simultaneously, and in predictable lockstep, the extension of reach and control over even the most private details of our lives by increasingly gigantic and centralized organizations, governmental and corporate alike.
The spread, particularly among the young, of a demoralizing and socially-divisive doubt and hopelessness.
We have therefore initiated the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC), a new movement of hopeful vision, local, national and international in its aim and scope, aimed at the collective, voluntary establishment of a maximally attractive route forward. The ARC will open itself up to widespread public membership, as rapidly and extensively as is practically manageable, at as low a cost as is possible and desirable, so that everyone interested can aid in voluntarily formulating this story and strategy, and to discuss how its implementation might be encouraged.
The sheer complexity of the world, and the genuine diversity of individual ability and preference means that distributed decision-making is a necessity, not a luxury: no elite technocracy is capable of knowing best and then determining how we should all move forward as individuals and communities.
It follows from this that policy requiring compulsion, let alone force, rather than the voluntary assent of the participants, is bad policy.
We offer for the contemplation of those potentially interested in our invitation six fundamental questions, the answers to which might form the basis for a vision that is voluntarily compelling, motivating, stabilizing and uniting.
- Vision and Story: What destiny might we envision and pursue, such that we are maximally fortified against anxiety and despair, motivated by faith and hope, and voluntarily united in our pursuit of a flourishing and abundant world?
- Responsible Citizenship: How might we encourage individuals to reflect and to act so that they adopt full voluntary responsibility for themselves, present and future, as well as their families and communities?
- Family and Social Fabric: How might we effectively conceptualize, value and reward the sacrificial, long-term, peaceful, child-centered intimate relationships upon which psychological integrity and social stability most fundamentally depend?
- Free Exchange and Good Governance: How can we continue to gain from the genius of unbridled human innovation and the productive reciprocity of voluntary production and free exchange, while protecting ourselves against the tendency of successful organizations to degenerate into a state of wilfully blind and narrowly self-serving authoritarianism?
- Energy and Resources: How do we ensure provision of the energy and other resources crucial to our shared security and opportunity in a manner that is inexpensive, reliable, safe, efficient and widely and universally accessible?
- Environmental Stewardship: How might we properly pursue the environmental stewardship that most truly serves the needs and wants of all individuals today, tomorrow and into the foreseeable future?
We at ARC do not believe that humanity is necessarily and inevitably teetering on the brink of apocalyptic disaster. We do not believe that we are beings primarily motivated by lust for power and desire to dominate. We do not regard ourselves or our fellow citizens as destructive forces, living in an alien relationship to the pristine and pure natural world.
We posit, instead, that men and women of faith and decisiveness, made in the image of God, can arrange their affairs with care and attention so that abundance and opportunity could be available for all.
Those who present a vision of inevitable catastrophe in the absence of severely enforced material privation are not wise seers of the inevitable future, but forlorn prisoners of their own limited, faithless imaginations. Those who scheme to lead using terror as a motivator and force as a cudgel reveal themselves by definition unfit for the job.
We hope to encourage the development of an alternative pathway uphill, out of both tyranny and the desert, stabilizing, unifying and compelling to men and women of sound judgement and free will.
Welcome aboard the ARC.
I intent to formulate my own answers to the above questions, which I will post on the ARC website survey page and on this blog.