An Introduction to the Principles of LIFE
In these pages we have set out what we believe to be the building blocks of a new political philosophy that is the antithesis of ideology. It is a holistic philosophy, grounded in reality and founded on tolerance. It sets out the basic constituents for a new social order that honors our humanity, delights in difference and calculates for change.
We believe that the need for change is self-evident and we have no choice, all we have is a little time. We can squander it or we can use it. (For the really short version see The Straight Scoop and the LIFE Study Guide.)
Little, if anything, that you will read in this text will astound you, much will appear crudely obvious. LIFE is not an innovation but simply a collection of common sense. Simplicity is at the heart of every truth and complexity is a haven for deception.
Before examining issues and policies, we need to explore principles and standards. The task is not simply to solve today’s problems, it is to lay out the basic principles on which a philosophy can be built that will stand the test of time. Policies that are built on a solid core of principles have an anchor and a reference point that allows for new situations to be handled adroitly.
To lay the founding stones correctly we must center ourselves in what we know is right. Innately we all possess the knowledge of the universal truths and a passion for survival. If we can harness those powers sufficiently to make an understanding, then we can progress.
Here is a summary of key principles on which LIFE is built:
- That we are interdependent is inescapable and so it must be that we undertake to support each other in times of need. We contract with one another for our mutual survival through a promise that secures the bare necessities of individual and common life.
- That we are individual is indisputable and it is what brings joy and discovery to our souls. Our respect for our differences makes us human. To honor ourselves we are duty bound to respect others and so tolerance becomes our greatest virtue. If we judge others, we are judging ourselves.
- Government is the means by which people enable sociality, it has no substance of itself. Law is the means by which people control unsociability, it has no power of itself. Both governments and law must live within the reach of all in order to reflect the people they serve.
- To work is to live. Our ‘work’ is what we do as a contribution to ourselves and to others. It is through our work that we validate our existence, fulfill our potential and develop our worth. So it is evident that we want to contribute, because it satisfies our needs and desires.
- There are also standards not of our devising that are the standards by which the universe keeps balance:
- Truth is a universal standard. Openness and honesty allow truth to flourish and they must be at the heart of government.
- Respect is required by Nature for and from all things. Respect for the planet and all its inhabitants is a standard that can guide us in the right direction.
- Balance is a standard that we must consider in every action, else we will face the reaction in ignorance.
- The thread that runs through all life sets the standard for us in understanding the holistic nature of all things. To ignore any level of existence will cause failure at all the other levels.
- Responsibility is a standard that allows us to fulfill our potential; without responsibility we cannot learn and if we do not learn, we stagnate. Progress requires us all, individually and collectively, to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions.
- Punishment advances no causes. To punish is to judge and belittles the persecutor in their self inflated esteem. Our sole discretion is to banish and seek restitution, these are the ultimate of our power whilst retaining our humanity.
The application of these principles and standards to social and political structures fashions a new model for governments and law that breaks radically from modern and historical traditions, is universally applicable and inherently stable.
We stand on the verge of an elementary decision-making time, not just of our times, but of the time of all humankind. Without quick decisions, followed by concerted action, we risk plunging the entire planet into a quagmire of environmental change and social destruction that will leave a future world unrecognizable from any our kind has known, and quite probably most of us will not survive. If that is our fate then it will only be because we failed to avoid it. Avoiding that fate requires simply that we act now. The industrialized democracies have the greatest responsility to act now, yet the many of the citizens of those nations do not vote. Why? We believe that is because they are not presented with a cohesive, positive alternative to the status quo.
What is required now is to inspire the uninspired to elect new governments committed to a new platform, and to do so within a decade — that’s not much time, but it is enough. We must organize now, around a standard, simple platform and present ourselves for election at every opportunity. A consistent platform will enable and speed the education of the citizenry of all nations, regions and communities. Those who do not wish to stand for office can be powerful in demanding that anyone they do vote for adopts the Standards of LIFE as part of their own agenda and commits to promoting them in any way they can, whenever they can.
Hopefully the principles, standards and proposals laid out here can create the basis for such a standard platform. We just have to break out of our entrapped investment in the existing dysfunctional system, and free ourselves from our fear that nothing better is possible.
We can change the world we live in for the better!
Let’s do it!
Gather your courage, take the hand of your neighbor and let’s us all march into the future together!
Chapters on Principles
To read more about the Principles follow through this five chapter set that walks you through the process that we went through to arrive at our conclusions.
- Start with the Structure
- You, Me, Everybody
- A Life of Work
- Muck, Magic & Money
- Yes, We Can