- George Radanovich
Social Systems or Brotherly Love
Brotherly Love is a Powerful Lever
Recently, three hundred economists, philosophers and social scientists gathered together to examine the prospects for social progress in light of these challenging times.
Believing that social scientists have never been so well equipped to provide answers, thanks to the development of all the relevant disciplines since WWII, these educated scholars from top universities around the world are concerned about the "crisis of social-democracy in recent decades that seems to have generated a decline of hope for a just society."
Organized as the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP), their mission is to:
"harness the competence of hundreds of experts about social issues and will deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best expertise on questions that bear on social change."
Their report included three publications covering socio-economic transformations, political regulation and governance, transformations in values, norms and cultures and a sixty eight page summary entitled Rethinking Society for the 21st Century.
The IPSP believes that developing countries "tend to mimic the developed, or rich countries, rather than inventing a new model of their own, and, in spite of reduced poverty in several countries, social hardships reminiscent of the early phase of Western capitalism are widespread."
In 1973, another foundation called Freedom House launched a new initiative, a report that assesses the level of freedom in each country in the world. Known as Freedom in the World, each year they produce a map ranking each nation of the world as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.
Through the years, Freedom in the World has gained attention and influence in the media, the policy world, among foreign governments, and among educators and scholars. They've been called the “Michelin Guide to democracy’s development and essential reading for policymakers and political leaders.”
Freedom House reported an increase in free countries every year since 1973, when 148 nations ranked as follows; 44 Free, 36 Partly Free and 68 Not Free. In 2020, 83 nations were Free, 63 nations were Partly Free and 49 nations were Not Free, for a total of 195 nations.
It looks like freedom is on the rise, but a closer look at the data shows that the number and percentage of both free and partly free countries have been decreasing since 2005. They document the decline of democracy in the world, or global freedom, over the last 15 years:
"As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world in 2020, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny.
Incumbent leaders increasingly used force to crush opponents and settle scores, sometimes in the name of public health, while beleaguered activists—lacking effective international support—faced heavy jail sentences, torture, or murder in many settings.
These withering blows marked the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedomThe long democratic recession is deepening."
This isn't Rocket Science
If you look at the Freedom in the World Map, most of the free nations, democracies or developed countries come from, or came under the influence of the West.
But, in their study, the IPSP makes the mistake of defining the West as Western capitalism. They also recommend a proactive government agenda, a social program of federally funded initiatives ranging from a guaranteed minimal base income to public health, education and welfare benefits for undeveloped countries.
And, to the detriment of the child, the IPSP defines family as a variety of consensual adult partnerships. Childhood detachment from the biological or adoptive parents is the common denominator of the breakdown of our society.
In their report, there is no accounting for the benefit of private charity, goodwill or brotherly love, and to leave the issue of family so poorly defined is to unmoor a nation and set it adrift onto the sea. In effect, the IPSP emphasizes capitalism and big government solutions to manage a declining social structure. This explains why freedom in the world has been declining for the last 15 years.
Criteria for any report about freedom in the world to social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers should include the following:
Does this nation acknowledge God?
Does private charity surpass the public welfare safety net
How strong is the bond between children and their biological parents
Does the nation have a free enterprise economy
The IPSP is correct, developing nations mimic free nations. But deteriorating social institutions in free nations reduces the ability to influence developing nations that yearn for a free and just society.
This isn't rocket science. The reformation of charity and family is the task at hand.