This menu shows the individual chapters of the book Timeless humanism . They fold individually as separate topics for discussion. The English version – Timeless humanism – listed for Czech
available : Kosmas.cz , Knihyabc.cz , neoluxor.cz , cuppress.cumi.cz , Heureka.cz
The English version under the title Timeless Humanism is available from the publisher and appointed distributors .
Timeless humanism – summary
Author: Vlastimil Podracky
Translation: Veronika Valdova
First edition of book “Timeless humanism or we lived and will live” was renamed in the second edition to Timeless humanism or conservative conception of a crisis. The book was modified with regards to comments the author received and amended to reflect new knowledge.
In the beginning, in section Unnatural life the author explains his attitude to contemporary decadent European culture, physical shape of the population, and devastation of natural resources. The author derives decadence form unnaturalness, as he calls the phenomenon, which dates from times when human beings overcame natural principles, namely laws of natural selection, and mastered his own life including imprudent interference with nature. He describes top generation which used for its wealth namely technological advance, employment of women, and decreased reproduction. Decadent wealth is therefore partially a debt or an expense paid by dying out population and natural resources which can no longer regenerate. Debt is transferred to generation that was defrauded of its wealth, which does not have reserves it could utilize; that should use renewable resources which yield considerably less than the non-renewable ones; that should have enough descendants to ensure reproduction stability and prevent irreversible extinction, and ensure sustainable life for the elderly. The whole decadence already appears in economic meltdown. Unnatural technique is that which creates unnatural life, especially that which allows people to control birth rate, and that which leads to life without menial work or replaces work altogether. Because humans are directed by general order; and grow up and live by rules of various origins, which form them and which they are obliged to obey, the most important issue of all is the content of these rules. Humans master technique. For this reason, the author focuses on analysis of the order.
Explanation of order in the section Natural principles and general order starts with interpretation of ontological terms being ideal and real, of which the ideal ones called by the author natural are constant. Its lower level can but does not have to be exploited; part was surpassed and not used in life; but the highest part is non-negotiable for humans in its effects, as it in its implications creates rules which the author calls “cosmic criteria” as conditions for future life. Among these cosmic criterions is namely the continuity of the fact of life on our planet. The conditions of survival of human race are clearly given and it is necessary to define them. The way of thinking, or mindset, which is consistent with these cosmic criterions, is called by the author timeless thinking, and the theory which is consistent with these cosmic principles timeless humanism. This theory, in harmony with life in freedom and human rights, is the fundamental axe of this book.
General order is that in which people try to adjust their lives; rules are of different origins and inner mechanism of change of the rules, called transposition. General order is what D Bohm calls explicit order and dares to interpret it in line with this theory. Moreover, the author explains the term general order in relation to spontaneous order as defined by F. A. Hayek, who claims that spontaneous order was never entirely spontaneous, and that society was always led by ideas which were often imported. What Hayek does not discuss, are these cosmic rules which form existential border beyond which spontaneous processes develop in malignant direction. It is therefore not possible to let spontaneous processes flow with no intervention, as these from the point of unnaturalness spontaneously pace toward extinction of European civilization; because without anyone noticing a situation of no return can occur. Transposition of rules has to be performed through timeless thinking, and there is no one else but humans who can perform this task.
To get to new way of thinking, it is first necessary to explain in the section Revolt against naturalness in thorough detail ideas of unnaturalness, as contemporary values and rules are called by the author, which currently rule European civilization. First he discusses origins of decadence and ideas which led to it. First of all, this was the pride of intellect and the assumption that man s equal to God and can resolve everything through reason only. This led to the phenomenon of disjunction from natural principles, from traditional order which did include natural principles, and humans, from each other. Disjunction is the cause of unnaturalness. This also explains imperfection of humans and non-interchangeability of human nature. Imperfection is in disharmony with pride; man failed in history many times and can only exist in company of fellow humans (a man is bad but mankind is good) and under the direction of traditional rules, which are tested in real life environment as functional.
Society, to survive, requires certain behavior from its members. That’s why people despite their imperfect nature behave well when rules are imposed on them. Ideas of unnaturalness disturb natural principles and support subversive ideas. These are first of all individualism and relativism; what surfaces in human behavior as skeptical fatalism. Second pole of unnatural ideas is constructivism coming from pride and disobedience of natural principles, which can revolt in everything, including interference with family, directed planning, and unlimited exploitation of natural resources.
Explanation of the theory of timeless humanism starts with section Interpretation of natural principles where the necessary natural principles are presented. Here it has got to be emphasized that these rules of human society are based on idea that human nature does no fundamentally change and that these rules do not change either. These principles are considered soft, what means that although they are determined internally, prepared for human use, it is upon human will whether they will be used; and whether the conditions for their use will be created.
This is compared to the laws of physics, where natural principles exist – e.g. thermodynamic law, on internal combustion engine is based which among other things. Principle can but does not have to be utilized, by creation of real conditions which in this case would be construction of combustion engine. In biology, there is fundamental principle of natural selection based on competition; and market economy is a derivative of this principle. This does not have to be utilized, and it is up to people to which parts of life they will wish to apply it. Another natural principle is balance; in other words harmony of opposite values. World consists of contradictions, what makes the world comprehendible to humans. If creatures at bottom of the sea do not know light; the darkness they live in has no concept. If there was no evil, we would not understand the concept of good we would live in. Some values cannot be removed from our lives, but some can. Difference between opposite values can be comparatively diminished; and it is possible to remove one of the values and by doing this automatically remove the opposite one with it. Between these polarities, there are third ways and natural mechanisms which require both values for their functioning. The market is based on opposite values and offer and demand; and if one of them is removed, market will cease to exist.
Family destruction occurs, when complementary characteristics of men and women get so close that some sort of intertype – not-a-man and not-a-woman can no longer exist, and if so, they are unable to form a family; and natural society cannot exist.
Last section discourses upon timeless society. If “pride of intellect” leads to the phenomenon of disjunction and unnaturalness, “humility of intellect” before cosmic principles is needed. It is necessary to know cosmic criterions and to perform transposition of rules of society in harmony with them. That is conscious activity of a human who cannot rely on some spontaneity, because this already beyond the point of unnaturalness develops toward extinction of European civilization and then all mankind and nature. Because development moves on a spiral and society which defies this and straightens the development leaves history. End of history is not some stable society but extinction of the society, what does not always mean demise of an individual, in case other societies remain. That’s why constant renewal is needed, certain return to old models, and at the same time certain move upwards to a higher cycle. Contemporary society, if it is to survive, has to return to old models, although not fully. Some new matters remain in place. New is mostly timeless thinking, which is a method of transposition of rules of general order, which stands in background of all changes which form societal evolution. Metaphysical idea of general appurtenance is necessary to overcome the phenomenon of disjunction. This is not only appurtenance among humans, but also connection with future generations, natural objects, and the whole cosmos. First of all, this is a general method of societal and political self-promotion which is easy to imagine. It can be said that for impact on society this is the general principle of activity. Author creates his own specific concept of timeless society as an example which includes renewal of older rules and partial restoration of original paradigm. What is new is approach leading to preservation of continuity of civilization and human race as a whole. First of all this is emphasis on purity of environment, sufficient reproduction, and ensuring of general vitality of humans, reduction of exploitation of resources, and creation of conditions for permanently sustainable life. Occurrence of mutations in biological nature of humans adjusted to appropriate pollution and the law of natural selection can ensure continuity of societies adapted to pollution, but it is necessary to ensure clean environment for natural life of sufficient part of population as the experiment with adaptation to unclean environment might not be successful.