As the 20th century public relations and propaganda expert Edward Bernays wrote: “Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which they can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos.” As a result, these informational or propagandistic efforts at prodding power brokers and societal stakeholders towards a “reorganization” of economic and social life has a basic and fundamental aim or goal, namely, to increase productivity and growth and to maintain social order by preventing violence and preserving peace amidst a global situation that is quite prone to de-growth and instability.
In turn, the idea of “global order” or “social order” is predicated upon these two priorities or needs, namely, the economic priority or need of increasing productivity and growth on one hand and the prevention of violence and preservation of peace on the other hand in order to maintain social order. This means that maintaining order is an uphill battle for people in power and for all stakeholders in the global order, given that there has been a downturn in productivity and growth in the United States and around the world as well as political instability in both the United States and around the world.
Arguably, the two major dimensions of the global order – namely, the economic dimension of productivity and growth and the social dimension of preventing violence and preserving peace – have to be solidified through political initiatives. These political initiatives relate to the issue of “class conflict” or “class struggle” which has defined American economic and social life from the very beginning of the American republic. In fact, my bachelor’s thesis was on the issue of Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian politics during the early years of the American republic. Thus, the greatest challenge for power brokers and stakeholders in the global order is enabling or prompting the switch from a political or social context defined by “class conflict” and “class struggle” to one that is based on “class consensus.”
How the switch from “class conflict” to “class consensus” plays out is now on full display with the talks between the U.S. Labor Department and the railroad workers’ union that have been going on for the last few days. These talks are just an example or sample of what needs to occur on a governmental and political level and in turn on a much broader and larger scale and scope. More than anything, the switch from “class conflict” to “class consensus” is more of an artform than an exact science, given that the interpersonal and social dimension of bargaining and negotiation between different classes and different people has an emotional and human basis or foundation.
Taken altogether, much of what I have published and written over the last few years falls under the umbrella of the basic concept or idea of “order,” even though my writings have covered a wide range of topics and issues. In turn, virtually all fields of contemporary research and study converge on the issue of building consensus out of conflict and thus creating order out of chaos, regardless of whether it pertains to politics, law, economics, or even medicine. Moreover, the general condition of social order and peace comes from the personal challenges we have all faced in reorganizing our personal lives and ordering ourselves in the face of systemic changes and transformations such as globalization and technology. And with all the anthropomorphic and man-made disasters and problems that have emerged over the years, re-calibrating the energies and spirits of people in both government and society towards a natural state and the natural principles of equilibrium, order, and peace will be easier said than done.