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The following selection of principles rests on the foundation of the philosophy of Prometheanism. These principles are not meant to complete the picture of Prometheanism depicted on this site, for this living philosophy continues to develop and nothing will finish it, nor does this page include every important idea associated with Prometheanism or method of expressing these ideas. Deeper and more diverse reading beyond the pages about Prometheanism on this site can be found at Promethea.

 

Individual Achievement

Because of the individual nature of humanity, capabilities of individuals have ultimately been responsible for all accomplishments, through self-expression. Accumulated, exchanged accomplishments become complicated and massive cooperative works, and it becomes difficult to trace them to individuals (thereby making it easier to claim credit for another's work in the name of abstractions) - but ultimately a person achieved anything which became part of something a group of people achieved. This observation indicates that whatever people do, and whatever problems they introduce and mistakes they make in the course of acting, they require room for their individual self-expression in order for achievements to compound and improve, including solutions for the problems they introduce. Limiting or controlling the flow of self-expression in thought and action does the same to its creations, and in a very tangible sense blocks the flow of life itself.

Symptoms of Suppression, From Frustration to War

When the flow of expression from a person does not come forth freely according to really considered self-interest appropriate to that person, when it becomes stunted or misdirected, unhealthy and sometimes terrible problems will be the consequence. Because life is like a complex balance of different 'drives' all in a rush to express themselves, expression will find an out even when it is ignored, avoided, or forced back. However, this will be an unhealthy expression of urges which is not productive and perhaps destructive, ultimately weakening that person, and quite possibly others indirectly.

Sometimes, the energy which might have been directed into some preferable pursuit will go into behavior which is 'only' self-destructive. This is bad enough, but more often, it will have consequences for other people as well. Everything from the frequent callous or petty treatment of others, to acts of great desperation known as heinous crimes in today's societies, may be traced to compensation for such weakness and mis-expression. Just as a moment of insecurity may bring on unusual compensatory lashing-out in anyone, in extreme cases a personality's overall weakness - inability to strengthen, integrate and thereby achieve balance of the expressive aspects within - will leverage the specific strengths that remain to it as means for expression. For example physical violence and emotional abuse are all too common at a personal level, while numbers of people may act out similarly through a variety of political or social means, such as the persecution of minorities, or foreign wars, all as means to redress absent pride and fulfillment which comes with the personal integrity of a strong human being.

Individual Freedom

In light of the individuality, diversity, and subjectivity of life, and the importance of unrestricted self-expression, the ability to choose goals and values according to self-interests and pursue them in personal freedom is best. For maximized self-expression, every individual needs full personal freedom to express themselves in thought and action, with personal responsibility to bear both repercussions and rewards. This independence can be difficult at times, but we need to strive to express ourselves on our own, anyway. The choices made and the actions taken in freedom may be imperfect, but the process will strengthen people, increase their ability and improve their self-interest, to make them more likely to improve their own life and the lives of others.

Complexity and Reduction

One way of looking at life is to see it as properly diverse and complex in ramification, even unpredictably chaotic in mathematical terms. Problems occur when people look at life and reduce it to simplistic, necessarily inaccurate models which accurately cover mere subsets of life and life's possibilities. Despite the usefulness, appeal, and even need of such models in fitting contexts, they can lead to ignoring vast amounts of contradictory information, supposing to understand and predict what is too complex to be grasped at once or predicted with certainty, and to behaving according to artificially diminished patterns of living which come along with reductive conception.

One accessible illustration of the latter is severe addiction, in which addicts of an experience become like hedonistic robots who only program themselves to do other things in order to repeat that experience, which appears the whole of life to them, and such oversimplified life quite obviously becomes something less. But there are many less blatant examples. For instance, large-scale social ideas and accompanying behavior depend upon highly reductive models such as collective nations. Finally an overly beloved model among models often hardens followers into established orthodoxies of thought and behavior, as has happened with rationalism, mind/body duality, and otherworldliness, for examples.

In general, when rich complexity gets reduced in people's lives, or when it appears reduced to people and they behave accordingly, this signifies a need for change. Prometheanism suggests it may be unwise to meddle with the complex world - and especially to act upon realms such as large social networks far removed from personal interest, or immediate knowledge, or reliably studied patterns - except for change necessary to unlock ourselves from an overly simplified pattern we already know is problematic; otherwise what is not broken should not be fixed. As Taoists and other Eastern and traditional philosophers have noted, to pursue arrogant ambitions to become impossibly godlike in our conception of complexity may invite disaster. In fact, misunderstanding if not arrogance toward complexity appears behind the worst suffering today: orthodoxy, political rule, and collectivism, the most dangerous limitations human beings foist on themselves and presently the three greatest threats to the advancement of life.

Amorality and Unorthodoxy

Amorality should not be confused with immorality, as in doing wrong according to a morality, nor confused with an absence of conscientiousness in some sense. Here amorality means independence from moralities, and in a larger sense really follows from independence from orthodoxies (and foundational absolutes) in general. (Moralities meaning simplistic, falsely objective, codified accounts of positive and negative behavior fused with physiological reinforcement, such as feelings of guilt or shame.) A given morality is inevitably culturally-specific and contextually-derived, as is testified by the large number of different, competing moralities people believe in. No morality can suitably guide us all by the same rules. It makes sense for values to differ as people and circumstances differ. Moralities are inaccurate and counterproductive in light of the subjectivity of all experience between different people, and the need for adaptability in any person's life. (How can any specific be "right" or "wrong" in every case?)

Prometheanism goes beyond this to define the desirable as what is life-advancing, and the undesirable as what hinders or harms life - and suggests that a very adaptable, fluid, experimental and complex understanding of this is best. However, Prometheanism cannot suitably object to morality as must be relied on by those who are not ready to embrace amorality - again, this is too inflexible. Amorality serves those who are strong enough for its independence, and will behave respectfully because of this strength, despite not having a code of good and bad behavior, or a mythos of good and evil to live by. Similarly Prometheanism stresses open-minded and experimental thinking in other ways too, but also understanding for those who have become dependent upon more conventional and supposedly enduring assumptions, and habitual psychological frameworks.

Force and Government

Force as violence or intimidation against an individual limits self-expression unnecessarily, unless subordinated to the defense of individual life. Employing force as a social foundation harnesses instincts to bring about ends distinctly at odds with the vitality, strength, individuality, and diversity of life itself.

Government is the institution of monopolized force supporting conceptual hierarchies and orthodoxies, justified by the accomplishments done in its name. It acquires mythic importance over time and people ignore their own sacrifices for its sake as befits an idol. Many even willingly sacrifice their more enlightened potential for the sake of their own partnership in political rule, whether to profit from taxed wealth, to gain importance and attention available through political power, or to exercise imagined involvement in political control through democracy.

Collectivism

The sloppy identification of oneself or others with collective, imaginary identities presents a considerable problem, especially due to ignorance and underestimation of it. (The same is true of any one of the other overused conceptual approaches which have become major philosophical errors in practice.) The most apparent form human life takes is the individual self, and thinking too much of abstract, mass collectives such as nation-states, countries, sects, societies, cultures, majorities and minorities, induces us to forget that.

Nothing should be more important than our own individual lives. Individualism puts our life first – collectivism says our life is insignificant compared to something larger. None of us have ever met a "nation," seen a "social good," or talked to a "race," but we are supposed to care about them deeply, much more than we are supposed to care about ourselves or the people we know.

The Promethean Mission

People of the world now very often fail to consider the above. There are very many compounded illusions established in the world, especially in the institutions of society, especially politics. Most people believe their perspectives are objectively better and extend to everyone; often the only difference comes down to how much any one person can push other people to go along. We are supposed to live for others because we are told to, not because we want to. We are controlled and ruled and fooled regardless of our choices, but many simply refuse to direct themselves much at all.

The Promethean movement is trying to change this world. We want strength, we want individuality, we want diversity, we want freedom. We oppose whatever gets in the way of self-expression. We plan to help people build a new kind of society – we call it a Promethean society. It would seem like a new kind of society because it has not been tried before, yet it will also comprise something more natural according to what human life needs and wants. We think a prototype, a localized rather than universal first Promethean society will prove to many more people that we humans can live differently.

Such is our ongoing mission, our first great objective, and our way of living to the fullest. And we need your help.

Promethean Society

Promethean society is the name for a new kind of interpersonal arrangement which incorporates the important ideas in Prometheanism, in which we can maximize the potential of individuals to live to the fullest by removing obstacles to self-expression and thereby encourage greater integrated strength. At the same time, a Promethean society allows people to protect themselves from and adapt to potential problems along the way.

Promethean Capitalism

Prometheanism extends to economic life the same prescriptions as for other aspects of life. Among interacting individuals, economic freedom, a diversity of achievement, complexity in economies, and seeking profitable advancement are all desirable, and force has no basic role to play. The common redistribution and interference with economic achievement according to every influential political creed has much to do with not only ignorance but jealousy and spite, symptoms of weakness based on a position of perceived inferiority. While economic planning on a personal level makes sense because of familiarity with considerations, macro-economic planning amounts to pretending to grasp the impossibly complex and removed. Combined with free achievement, free exchange of different commodities and services in a local or large scale network (trade) can bring mutual profit according to subjective desires only individuals can determine and satisfy. The advancement of life in economic terms requires a historically unrealized economic circumstance for a Promethean society called Promethean capitalism, a free market of individuals without restrictions on effort, exchange, or on the subjective definition of capital and profit for oneself.

The Rule of Ideas

The powerful, ramifying influence of ideas underneath human interaction offers an improved method of "ordering" a social group, a partial remedy for those most dreadful principles which have already taken hold and gained massive ideological weight: political rule, collectivism and orthodoxy. In a Promethean society the "rule" of ideas to inspire, to establish precedent and adjust to unique circumstances, to maintain continuity and custom, will become the acknowledged and open method of leadership, on a voluntary basis of participation and as part of the natural complex network of information flow in human culture. Prometheans will offer this leadership overtly as known, trustworthy providers of guidance, but everyone will able to accept or give whatever advice and persuasion he or she pleases (as is already considered usual in social interactions not distorted by the perverse rules of politics), and may adopt any standards, for example independent arbitrators for adjudication. The most important ideas Prometheans can develop, offer and promote are those principles of Prometheanism which will become foundational principles for a Promethean society, especially the ideal of life.

 

See also: The Promethean Trilogy, and Self-Expression, Promethean Capitalism, Critiques of Democracy, and other material at Promethea.

 

composed by Phoenix
page updated January 24, 2008 17:34

 

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