The progretarian idea boils down to 2 core principles:
1. As the world gets more complex and noisy, mastery in one area of life is not enough anymore. You have to advance (progress) in every field of life and benefit from cumulative leverage.
We enter deeper and deeper into information age. Every task that is repetitive will be replaced by machines in the coming decades. ATMs and self-check-out counters are just the beginning. This raises the bar for survival and people with only one area of expertise won’t be able to thrive anymore, because their assets to society have to compete all of a sudden with polished metal. This means the future belongs to the complex, creative thinkers, that have cross-disciplinary expertise and can thereby draw conclusions between fields and close gaps for a greater good. If you’re an entrepreneur, e. g., you have to be good at managing a company, at marketing, at communicating with people, at raising money, you have to understand your product, your market, the possible competition and the legal boundaries. The list goes on. It’s a whole bunch of different flowers (skills) that add up to a bouquet (exponential cumulative leverage effect -> thrive) and only this combination results in you being called an entrepreneur of which the company benefits from. Isolated skills will become more and more useless. Every extraordinarily paid job is a complex bouquet of single flowers.
The President as the officialy highest ranked person in society is the most common example of this. Being President is one skill on the surface level, but many at a closer look. And only being clearly above average in all the laid out single skills, that might vastly differ from each other in what they afford, adds up to that one super surface skill called President.
And while this is obvious for professional skills, the progretarian foundation of this idea is initially in private life. In those regards it’s simply not enough anymore to BE good at math (one passion, one talent, one interest). You have to know some things about food and eat a clean diet, so that you can STAY good at math. You have to develop social skills, communication skills and romantic skills to serve the whole range of human interaction. You have to increase your physical resilience and work out. You have to increase your mental resilience and read and meditate. All those things combined make up a beautiful bouquet.
– The beauty is in the bouquet, not the flower
– Flower = survive / bouquet = thrive
– Alive to survive, dive to thrive
– Dive = progress in all areas of life
I adressed this first core principle in previous posts by asking “How can one become the best self one can be?”
2. When personal cumulative leverage of skills and expertise reaches a threshold, progress becomes only sustainable (and desired) by helping other people to progress.
Stephen Covey calls this “private victory before public victory”. Gary Vaynerchuk calls it “legacy is greater than currency”. I adressed this in previous posts by asking “How can we become the strongest versions of ourselves possible, in order to help others become the strongest versions of themselves possible?” There are many expressions of this understanding from way more mature people than me.
The idea is to take the focus of attention away from yourself and onto others, because you understand the context you are in as a human being. Life is enjoyable because there are other people on this ship called Earth.
Monarchies, slavery, war, exploitation, betrayal, crime, drugs are all creations of internally focused minds, that still operate under ME-ME-ME. They accumulate money, status and possessions, so that all those things reflect back to them and the world, who they are, because they actually don’t know and are empty inside. They missed the potential-of-growth-point in midlife where you have to switch your focus. They still think happiness is a new car, a new watch, a nice dinner, another vacation (ME-focus) and not clean water in the 3rd world, teaching your kid how to ride a bike, giving a homeless person a buck, writing a book (YOU-focus). There are only so many steaks you can eat, so many cars to drive, so many women to fuck. It gets shallow. And while you don’t have to stop doing this (maintenance of ME expertise), it can’t stay the sole purpose of your existence anymore to indulge in things for your own enjoyment, gratification and experience of self. There lies far greater enjoyment ahead in helping others. But in order to teach the skills and influence, you have to learn the skills and be influenced first.
– 1st half of life = ME-focus / 2nd half of life = YOU-focus
– Understand the “human context”: We’re a tribe
– Switch of focus in midlife = human evolution on micro (ME) and macro (YOU) level
– If I excel on the fast lane long enough, I open up new fast lanes for others to excel on, which again create more fast lanes for further people and this then exponentially raises global wealth and helps mankind to survive.
The progretarian movement can be understood as a romanticization of existing mindsets forced by the modern day environment. The idea of a “studium generale” is not new and was the industry standard for scholars a few centuries ago. I just take that idea and put it into a larger context.
If you highlight all the single facets of those 2 principles, you come up with a whole bunch of consequent principles and conclusions. I will expand on those in the future in far greater detail and most likely a few books.
And I’d be grateful and humbled, if you joined the ride!