Reason for starting Social Thought in 1989
The baby boom generation holds a series of wrong-headed
ideas, which I believe will cause serious harm to our society as these
ideas are incorporated into public policy in the coming decades. Baby
boomers are already represented widely in public office and will
become more significant in the current and coming decades.
This generation also listens to public radio and some of the
baby boomers might be willing to consider better ideas.
The key wrong-headed ideas of the baby boomers are:
(1) The ideal environmental life is to live in a small commune
in the country, far from the city, using self-sufficiency skills
and providing home schooling. WRONG!
(2) Most social problems can be solved by person-to-person
encounters and getting to know each other. This applies to
domestic problems such as race and international problems
such as war. WRONG!
(3) Human beings around the world are very much the same with
only superficial differences. We have the same values, goals
and aspirations for our children. WRONG!
(4) Biological forces are the major source of our behavior, desires
and social behavior. Many of these forces originate in our
Social Thought is based on widespread academic insight gained
by thinkers in quiet graduate school environments in the late 1960's
and 1970's while we hippies were getting stoned and fantasizing our
Human beings only exist as part of a (particular) society. The
hypothetical wild child, raised by wolves, is an animal with no
human attributes ---- that can't survive.
So far, most animals that have been studied (ethology), down to
the shrimp, can only survive when trained by their parent; they are
social, just as we are. Most birds and mammals, and many
intermediate species, die without infant training and culturation.
Human societies are very complex and radically different
around the world. All our behaviors, desires and values are the by-
product of the institutions that have been created within our specific
Understanding our own institutions is central to understanding
human behavior. Failure to recognize that fact is where the baby
boomers went wrong and this wrong-headedness will cause great
future misery in our society.
Social Thought is about the way institutions work. Institutions
include language, nation, era, geographic locale, religion, family and