The Alliance for Responsible Citizenship
I am excited to be a member of the Organising Committee
I’ve been alarmed by the metastasising of certain ideologies through the creative industries and society more broadly. Ideologies and narratives which proffer doom and dread. From above it is Schwabism, an apocalyptic narrative that demands power be ceded to an elite and un-get-rid-able few. From below the propagation of meaninglessness via postmodernism. Ideologies that reject the wisdom that has united us and inspired human flourishing and prosperity.
So when I heard about ARC I got excited.
ARC is an alliance of people asking the difficult questions about our greatest shared challenges. They are focused on the common objectives of human flourishing, human prosperity and human well-being. And, crucially, we - you - are invited to participate.
What made our great artists great - from Michelangelo to Milton, Shiele to Solzhenitsyn, Giuseppe Verdi to Johnny Cash, was not that they dwelled in darkness, but they confronted darkness, with their eyes gazing upward, until they found the light again. As it was for those artists, so too for us all. We have a responsibility to face our challenges. That starts on the level of the individual but continues through to the local, national and international level.
ARC co-founder Baroness Philippa Stroud described this ambition for the project succinctly for The Telegraph:
“Throughout history there has been a better narrative that has called us higher and not lower, into collaboration and not division, into responsibility and not passivity, into building and not tearing down. Our mission is to create a community that is committed to providing a positive and hope-filled vision for the future.”
— Philippa Stroud
She joins a cast of organisers representing academia, philanthropy, politics, finance, the arts and beyond. They include Dr Jordan Peterson who explains the genesis and aspirations of the project in detail in this video:
“We thought about what we would like to have happen on the international front if we could have what would be best. And not what we think is best, but what would be best. Even how to construe what would be best. And we decided that we would actually approach this by asking a sequence of questions rather than by delivering a sequence of answers… [ARC will take a] decentralised approach which means trying to get as much input from the public as possible… And we wanted to put forward a series of questions rather than a series of propositions of how the world would have to be.”
— Dr Jordan Peterson
The Association of Responsible Citizens is an opportunity to galvanise a generation adrift. It is an opportunity for us to find freedom in responsibility. It is an opportunity to grapple with our common problems with our heads tilted upwards. And so I follow the other members of the Organising Committee by saying “Welcome aboard the ARC”.
For further details visit the ARC website here and stay tuned for the October conference in London.
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Have you considered interviewing Salman Rushdie to discuss free speech issues & his views on the role of imaginative narrative as the central hope for socio-cultural unification? I would be fascinated to hear how he would respond to the first question on the ARC survey. He is doing some limited promotion for his new novel as he continues to recover. His complex writings always generate such thought-provoking responses from my students.
Thank for lending your voice to this important endeavor. ARC to me is an approach to human flourishing without the authoritarianism lurking behind the green mask of sustainability. Sign me up! I work with conscious leaders who feel compelled to make a difference with their lives, teams and companies.