Journeyism 1 

Introduction 

We have coined the expression Journeyism for this elementary introduction to futurology because it combines a journalistic style with an element of adventure. Our approach is to “popularize without compromise.1See Journeyism 9 and 24. The element of adventure involves taking a road less traveled. 

What is to be done about our global future? 

Futurology is the type of inquiry that asks in a serious fashion what is to be done towards the long-term.2Benton, J., Gillis, A. and McShane, P. (2005/6). Introducing Critical Thinking. Vancouver: Axial Publishing, 196. Hereafter cited as ICT. 

We are optimistic that sustainable conditions for human dignity will exist for everyone in the long-term.3See Bernard Lonergan, “Respect for Human Dignity,” ch. 19, in Shorter Papers, vol. 12 of Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, eds. Robert C. Croken, Robert M. Doran and H. Daniel Monsour (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007. That possibility rests on a simple, but astonishing, message of hope: it is within our capacity to summon academic communities worldwide to collaborate effectively toward global progress. 

We need to make a start, aligned with the hidden decency in all, so that the decency be sifted and lifted out of past conventions ….4McShane, P. (2013) Futurology Express. Vancouver: Axial Publishing, 12. Hereafter cited as F.E. 

First, we appeal to your “hidden decency”.5Its presence in you, drawn from personal experience, follows our preliminary discussion leading up to a series of four exercises commencing with Journeyism 10. That is the capacity-for-performance of your best self – open to a fresh perspective on the … solution to the problem of living that is the human being.6ICT, 188. It begins with your native wonder, identified by Aristotle: 

All men [and women] by nature desire to know.7Aristotle, Ross (Trans.), Metaphysics, Book A, (I).

Is your wondering a desire to understand, or to have the facts of some matter, or to reach a plan for a day, or for a life? 

Your own thinking process, the desire identified by Aristotle, is [at] the heart of what matters. To come to it, or at it, critically, is enormously difficult in any age, but it seems altogether more difficult at the beginning of this millennium ….8ICT, 216.

Still, you might be wondering, “What is all this fuss about ‘native wonder’ and ‘your own thinking process’”? By wondering here, now, is it possible, then, that the expression, “desire to understand”, means a little more to you than mere words on the page? 

Might you also be wondering about global instability and its impact on your future and on generations to come? Hold that thought, or rather, that questionIn these difficult times, we believe those concerns extend to more than a few young international scholars and scientists wondering how to go about “clearing the air for the heirs.”9McShane, P. (2016) Profit: The Stupid View of President Donald Trump. Vancouver: Axial Publishing, 217. Hereafter cited as Profit. 

There are windows to be opened and fresh air to be let in.10Lonergan, B. (2017) A Third Collection. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan (CWL 16). University of Toronto Press, 98. Hereafter cited as CWL 16.

The point is, (and you would likely have surmised) you can begin “clearing the air” by focusing on yourself in a state of wonder. This strategy has been available,11In the past century, we are referring to the extraordinary labour of two thinkers, Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) and Philip McShane (1932-2020), whose voices have been “flying under the radar” the past seventy odd years. but neglected,12See, ”The Neglected Subject,” in Bernard Lonergan, The Subject, Milwaukee University Press, 1968, 2. for some time. It is important that we put our heads together to make a few elementary, but critical, discoveries about it, and eventually, how to “sift” and “lift” that desire effectively, in opposition to 

the dominant ethos of military-industrial-educational alliances of all colours with a mindless cluster of economic oversights, alliances that keep some of us hungry, some of us pampered, and all of us busy and ignorant.13F.E., 114.

How will Futurology work? 

Imagine restructured university communities whose main purpose is to serve all manner of practical and cultural needs in villages, towns and cities everywhere. 

[T]he method of futurology [is] a cyclic collaboration of groups of people deeply interested in effectively restructuring humanity’s stumbling start.14F.E., 8.

Imagine competent frontline scholars and scientists, creatively labouring in their respective fields, collaborating with their peers around the globe. 

In 1965, Canadian philosopher Bernard Lonergan discovered the concrete possibility of restructuring post-secondary education based on a coherent division of labour.15An image of Bernard Lonergan’s original “discovery page,” from February of 1965 may be found in ibid., Lonergan: His Life. Implementation of his discovery has yet to get underway.16The absence of coherent restructuring can be discerned in today’s academic routines. Those routines are rooted in having been “lost in some no man’s land between the world of theory and the world of common sense” (Lonergan, B. (1996) “Time and Meaning”. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan (CWL 6). University of Toronto Press, 121. Hereafter cited as CWL 6,in which “too many people felt it beneath them to direct their efforts to apparently trifling problems.” (Lonergan, B. (1993) Insight. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan (CWL 3) University of Toronto Press, 27. Hereafter cited as CWL 3.) The resulting ethos “[has] done not a little to make life unlivable.” (Lonergan, B. (1993) Topics in Education. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan (CWL 10). University of Toronto Press, 232. Hereafter cited as CWL 10.) 

It asks merely for creativity, for an interdisciplinary theory that at first will be denounced as absurd, then will be admitted to be true but obvious and insignificant, and perhaps finally to be regarded as so important that its adversaries will claim that they themselves discovered it.17Lonergan, B. (1999) Microeconomic Dynamics: An Essay in Circulation Analysis. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan (CWL 15). University of Toronto Press, 106. Hereafter cited as CWL 15.

Journeyism introduces key elements of Lonergan’s “effective science of the future, a globally-effective futurology,”18Op. cit.F.E.6. with “the eventual emergence of new standards of competence…”19Quinn, T. (2017). Invitation to Generalized Empirical Method in Philosophy and Science. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., xxviii.

The need for, and pressure towards, that division of labour will become evident as we move forward in the new millennium … it requires only that one be trapped into respectable performance, much as chemists after the 1860s were trapped into the Periodic Table.20McShane, P. (1998) A Brief History of Tongue. Halifax: Axial Press, 115. Hereafter cited as BHT.

Futurology and Economics’ New Standard Model 

An economy is just part of ongoing human history. Within that process we are born and raised. By our common sense we find our place in it and work out for ourselves our sad or happy lives and thereby make sad or happy the lives of others.21Ibid. CWL 15, 93.

And yet, 

there never was a serious economic science, a serious political economy, but in more recent times there has been an arrogant self-serving cover-up of its absence.22F.E., 5.

The absence of an economic science and its consequences has not escaped the attention of youth worldwide as reported by The World Economic Forum, an international publication “committed to improving the state of the world…”23“The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world … ” See www.weforum.org/our-impact.

In 2013, Telefónica in partnership with the Financial Times commissioned a survey of young people aged 18-30 across 27 countries in six regions. The survey … found, at the time of polling, the economy was the biggest concern for young people in North America, Europe and Asia. Meanwhile in the Middle East and Africa, the most pressing issue was terrorism, and in Latin America it was social inequality.24Hutt, R. “What do young people value? The World Economic Forum, Jan. 2016. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/what-do-young-people-value/ 

Since then, that absence and its consequences dominate the pre- and post-pandemic world.25Covid19 world pandemic, 2019-2020. The United Nations publication, Sustainable Development Goals, addressing the complex challenges facing young people today”26https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/02/world-youth-report/ (accessed online 09-10-20)   targets its goals: poverty, hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities,27The United Nations’ goal of “reduced inequalities,” as opposed to overcoming them entirely, is a concrete indication of the “long-term helplessness” felt across the globe, to which we refer in the quote below. sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals.

Our response to that absence and its consequences is Economics Actually,28Quinn, T. and Benton, J. Economics Actually. Today and Tomorrow. Sustainable and Inclusive. Toronto: Island House Press, 2019. an elementary two-part introduction to Lonergan’s other great discovery, the science of economics.29Bernard Lonergan, For a New Political Economy, vol. 21 of Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, ed. Philip J. McShane (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998) (CWL21). Hereafter cited as CWL 21. His discovery solves the economics part of the problem. 

In turn, Journeyism highlights how we need to meet the long-term challenge to implement that science responsibly “towards a fresh normative interpretation both of the [ebb and] flow of one’s own life and the [ebb and] flow of the economy.”30Op.cit., F.E., 102.

[T]he issue [we] raise here is the global possibility of shifting solidly and effectively from long-term helplessness to a massively new control of meaning that will take control of the globe away from the tyrants and touts and tricksters and gun-toters that are too evidently in charge.31Ibid., F.E., 4.

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1 Comment

  1. hazzang825 on July 15, 2019 at 5:21 am

    This webpage is full of interesting things.
    I really do believe that it will bring change to the world.
    I always wondered about how I learn because I know that the world is changing and the scattered knowledge could be integrated into wisdom.
    Thank you for letting me see it clearer.

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