Final Reflections on The Third Place

To begin, I must confess that in spite of countless setbacks and time constraints outside of the Blog, I was able to complete the First Edition of The Third Place amidst significant obstacles. One of those challenges, as I had pointed out earlier in a preceding post, included the decision to install additional diagrams and photos to the final draft. The choice that I faced yesterday was a stark one as a consequence of my time on that day being preoccupied. Thus, I only had today to work on those diagrams, so I was forced to make a choice.

My choice was pretty simple: Should I focus more on making diagrams that depict how the Shopping Citadel interacts with the Total Educational Effort or should I be devoting to other important matters? In the case of the latter, what should I be doing instead? Having chosen the second option, I felt compelled to compose a Blog post where I will be writing my final reflections on what I had learned over the course of writing The Third Place’s First Edition.

Almost everything that I wanted to write about the Work-Standard is complete. I say “almost” because there were certain topics beyond the immediate purview of the Work-Standard that cannot be discussed in either treatise. Some are related to specific technologies, others pertain to historical phenomena that converge with aspects of the Work-Standard, and a few concerns psychological and sociological matters. Since there are others that could provide more information than I have access to at any given time, there was no need for me to dwell too much into those irrelevant topics. Focusing squarely on the Work-Standard and expanding on a concept established in the Second Edition of The Work-Standard itself was the real priority in the writing of The Third Place. With that particular issue out of the way, there are a number of observations that I had made while working on the Entries of this treatise.

In my discussions of the 1960s Counterculture, I mentioned that the more politically oriented movements were affiliated with the emerging “New Left” and “New Right.” There can be no doubt that they both played their respective roles in reshaping the Left-Right Political Spectrum, leaving their legacies on the historical development of Neoliberalism. Elements of the “New Left” coalesced around Social Liberalism (Read: Progressivism), whereas the “New Right” elements reinvigorated Classical Liberalism (Read: Libertarianism). United by the political tendencies of Neoliberalism, they exhibited and upheld its economic and social orientations. They may have their differences and points of contention, but they also cannot exist without each other.

Their cooption of the New Left and New Right by the Liberal Capitalists were eventually consolidated by the time of the Reagan Revolution. A new political-economic and socio-cultural consensus emerged in the US and throughout the broader Empire of Liberty. Free Trade, Open Borders, and Financialization were combined with Deindustrialization, Identity Politics, and the Knowledge Economy to yield the problems of the Western world that emerged since the 1970s. A growing inability to maintain the “social safety net” grew apparent during the 1970s and the 1980s became characterized by attempts to deemphasize its presence. The dynamics of Production for Profit and Production for Utility were altered to reflect the Globalization trends throughout the Empire of Liberty. Technology was understood by the Liberal Capitalists as being designed to eliminate Arbeit and Geld so as to further accommodate the interests of Kapital and Schuld.

Accompanying the transformation of the US and the Empire of Liberty in the Reagan Revolution was a “New Right” committed to spreading the Empire of Liberty across the Eurasian landmass and a “New Left” to defend the Empire of Liberty against Pure Socialism. It was also during this particular period that Neoliberalism subverted Social-Democracy to further its ideological aims. Although I documented those historical events before in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.), The Third Place (1st Ed.) provided me to reevaluate those same historical events from a different perspective. Nowhere are the conclusions of the two treatises more apparent than in the context of the 1990s, when the Empire of Liberty was at its apex in terms of power and prestige.

What was going on in the US and the Empire of Liberty at large during the 1990s? Why is there a growing “Nostalgia” for the 1990s in the 2020s, if we were to argue that the Western cultural trends of the 2010s exhibited a likewise “Nostalgia” for the 1980s? There is no doubt in my mind that the Commercial Media of the Western world is poised to view the 1990s in a “Nostalgic” light, as if trying to redirect serious scrutiny away from its prevailing historical trends. I say this because the 1990s tends to be perceived as being a lukewarm, mundane decade for the Western world. It seems rather quaint for most people when compared to the 1980s and the 2000s. If one were to look at the 1990s for what it was instead of what it ought to have been, one will find that the decade was far from uneventful.

There were a number of concerns from various authors of varying political persuasions about the implications of the Empire of Liberty and the “Unipolar Moment” that America found itself in under the Jeffersonians. The questions raised were existential ones about “American Nationalism” and “American Socialism.” What does it mean to be an “American” in a world order where entire nations are becoming Americanized and the US has free reign over international affairs? What does it mean if the “New Deal” consensus collapses and the “American Left” is no longer receptive to working class Americans, who must then have their voices heard by the “American Right?” And how do these implications affect the Union, the Constitution, and the Federal government?

In essence, cracks in the Jeffersonians conceptions of “American Nationalism” and “American Socialism” began to emerge in the 1990s. The “Jeffersonian Nationalism” meant conforming to the cultural values and social behaviors of the Union’s English Protestants and striving to their levels of Kapital Accumulation by attaining a social status befitting of American Suburbia. The “Jeffersonian Socialism” (what I had referred to in The Work-Standard as “Madisonian Federalist Socialism”) represented a Social-Democracy governed by a tripartite between Congress, Corporate America and Organized Labor. After the Death of Bretton Woods, however, Organized Labor was supplanted by Wall Street and Silicon Valley, both of which had everything to gain from recent developments in financial and information technologies. As the “Jeffersonian Socialism” grew increasingly impractical, it also became impossible for non-English Protestant Americans to emulate their English Protestant counterparts.

In another epoch of US History, that would have been an ideal opportunity for a new “Social Gospel” to reinforce the Jeffersonian conception of American Socialism. But because younger Americans, including the youths of those English Protestants, are more likely to be irreligious, another “theological pastime” (to quote Spengler’s Prussianism and Socialism) needed to be implemented. The result was the “Wokeism” phenomenon that appeared during the 2010s.

When I discuss about “Wokeism,” I should preface by pointing out that it is not a phenomenon exclusive to the “American Left” insofar as a likewise trend also exists on the “American Right” as well. Free markets are acceptable so long as everyone shares the same equal opportunities to partake in the ensuring exploitation. Open Borders are permissible when illegal immigration is treated the same as legal immigration. Government should be restrained inasmuch as its intended purpose of Wokeism is to perpetuate the ideals behind the Freedom-Security Dialectic.

Here, the term “Woke Capital” becomes applicable in understanding criticisms of Wokeism tends to have an Anti-Capitalist and Pro-Socialistic orientation. There are think tanks and NGOs, multinational corporations and technology firms, career politicians and bureaucratic technocrats all follow the same Incentives of Supply and Demand, the same Kapital and Schuld, the same paradigm of Production for Profit and Production for Utility. Classical Liberals are willing to support aspects of Social Liberalism if doing so will further the aims of Economic Liberalism. Conversely, a reciprocal relationship also occurs among Social Liberals willing to tolerate the worst aspects of Economic Liberalism insofar as they are in lockstep with Classical Liberalism.

It was that sort of relationship among the various factions within Neoliberalism that various authors on the Political Left and Political Right have accused Wokeism of acting as a vanguard of Neoliberalism and the Jeffersonian Weltanschauung in particular. In essence, one cannot claim to be in opposition to Liberal Capitalism without also opposing its various subvariants among the Political Left and Political Right. That is why contemporary politics in the Western world continues to resemble intricate constellations of shared interests among persons and groups from various segments of the Left-Right Political Spectrum.   

Therefore, if the proponents of Wokeism are from the Political Left and Political Right, thereby completing the Liberal Capitalist ensemble, it is only natural to conclude that the opponents of Wokeism are also from the Political Left and Political Right. Needless to say, this antithesis of Liberal Capitalism is a “Conservative Socialism.” Its Weltanschauung must not be derived from the Jeffersonian ethos that characterized American Nationalism and American Socialism throughout the 20th century. Instead of an American Nationalism defined by one People’s Community to the determine to all other People’s Community, the Hamiltonian conception will be an “All-American Community of People’s Communities.” And instead of an American Socialism intent on restoring or continuing the broken New Deal consensus, the Hamiltonian version will blaze its own paths.

To further distinguish those Hamiltonian versions from their Jeffersonian rivals, the term “Hamiltonian Federalist Socialism” was chosen to articulate the true meaning of this Conservative Socialism in an American context. If the name is to be shortened, “Hamiltonianism” will suffice. This Author is not alone in promoting such a political-economic ideology. There are other Americans who are determined to provide their own contributions to the formation of that ideology. In addition to figures like Michael Lind, I can also cite publications like the American Affairs quarterly journal and the more recent Compact magazine.

If American Affairs represents our “Right-Hamiltonians,” then Compact magazine are our “Left-Hamiltonians.” They may not seem like it from the outset and they may not have proposals on how things should be done but reading between the lines have convinced me that their hearts and minds are in the Hamiltonian Weltanschauung. Time will tell if something like the Work-Standard would go on to become the subject of discussion in these circles.

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