Ontological Politics

An integral politics grounded in the nature of being for human beings.

Any social or political envisioning is constrained by an invisible frame: by the implicit values and views on which it is created, most importantly its view of the nature of human beings.

If we are to rediscover our political imagination we need to go back to basics. And a big vision socially and politically must begins with a vision for the “Being” of human beings.

For example, much of modern economic and political thought rests on the assumption that you or I know what we want (think markets, democracy etc). However, most wisdom traditions teach us that discovering what we want is actually very hard and takes deep practice and reflection.

Ontological Politics starts from the question: who are we as humans beings. And from that asks what politics comes from that i.e. what social and collective would we seek. It incorporates ideas from philosophy, wisdom traditions, technology and cognitive science connecting these to a new value based political movement and programme for wiser society.

Ontological Politics Outline v1 (Winter 2020)

The following slides are from the first seminar series on ontological politics setting out some of key ideas in draft form.

The Politics of Sustainable Well-being

The struggle to shift to a political-economy that centres the compatible goals of well-being and sustainability, rather than economic growth, is perhaps the most important current example of ontological politics.

The focus of both wellness and sustainability lobby’s has been on insisting that sustainability is compatible with growth. But, the only way to combine the optimism that is seen in the Sunrise Movement and green new deal with the gritty realism about climate science may be to finally pursue a world where cultivating better ways of being for current and future humans is the goal of social and economic policy. 

Re-thinking society itself so that it is made to be sustainable and well is a radical proposition.

Possibility Now

An initiative of the COVID-era.


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