If we are to devise a truly transformative vision of progressive politics and convince others to join us, we need to develop new ways of thinking, speaking and being. Politics as usual, and the types of people traditionally involved in politics, will not be enough to see us through.
To address this crucial challenge, we are developing a network of visionaries, influencers and activists from diverse areas of expertise to build the foundations for a transformative political movement.
If these beliefs resonate with your deepest convictions, join us.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
- Political problems are never “just” political; they are always also emotional, psychological and (what some call) “spiritual” problems. Their solutions therefore cannot be merely “political” either. We aren’t in need of mere adjustments to the government budget. Instead, we need an expansion and refocusing of the stakes and substance of politics, with a stronger focus on issues of interpersonal connection, social belonging, a shared sense of purpose, and the expansion of human possibility. These issues are not fringe problems in politics; they are the most central issues of all.
- Politics has neglected the most fundamental questions of human life—those related to meaning, purpose and transcendence. The current consensus, which reduces progress to a practical and ruthless debate on a very limited number of questions in economics, has ignored our emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. It restricts our understanding of our potential to technical skills and economic productivity, to the neglect of our psychological, intellectual, and interpersonal potential. This is part of why so many currently believe politics is irrelevant to their lives. In a way, they are correct.
- The personal development of individuals must be taken seriously if we want to transform society. We all go through crucial phases of psychological development throughout life that make us wiser, more empathic and socially more adept. The level of personal development determines how competently we manage to tackle complex problems and emotional issues. Personal and interpersonal development is a societal concern that’s too important to solely remain a private responsibility. It must become one of the most central issues in public life.
- Perhaps most profoundly, changing Western politics will require a rethinking of the self. For too long we have been overly influenced by a liberal vision of the individual: utilitarian, self-serving, and psychologically separate from others. But this is an impoverished vision of what we are and especially of what we could be. We must expand the field of politics beyond the world of individual concern and move beyond purely economics interests, as these only scratch the surface of our shared potential.
- Most current political language is insufficient. Those who want to improve the conversation need to learn from the aspects of human experience found mostly in literature, mythology, poetry and similar types of expression. There is also a need for greater shared practice and ritual, as well as a more comprehensive exploration in general of shared experience. That’s because intellectual understanding can only get so far in political struggle – for most of us, words are secondary to practical engagement with our personal experience.
- In order to go beyond a politics of fear and heal divisions within our own movement we need to embody much greater emotional nuance, moving away from positions of antagonism, policing, skepticism, and sarcasm and instead leading from a place of vulnerability, openness and compassion. We believe that political discussions are often cynical posturing, shows of aggression or routine exchanges of (often barely-different) views. In order to be better allies to oppressed groups and better evangelists towards those who might join our cause, we need to improve our way of approaching conflict. We believe that a more sincere, compassionate, and vulnerable form of engagement disarms our skeptics, supposed enemies and critical friends and models the kind of world we wish to create. Modelling this type of politics ultimately allows others to believe in it and join us.
- Working on psychological development and modelling a new kind of discourse will serve as the point of departure from where we’ll be able to undertake the great ambition of narrating a new vision of where politics should go. We live in a time where all notions about grand narratives have lost their legitimacy, and the only trustworthy response to any prophecies is a quick smug dismissal that effortlessly rejects such claims as nothing but naive fairy tales. But we should put our embarrassment aside and take the risk. Our aim is to build a strategy and collective narrative with greater explanatory power in the present moment than any we’ve seen thus far.
At our annual gathering just outside London on the 8-10th September, we will share the source code for a new type of politics that can be developed and coordinated internationally. If these beliefs resonate with your deepest convictions, join us.