This posting will describe an intention, and not much else. Some ideas coalesced today, opening, for me, a clear sense of direction for the next six months and probably beyond. I have long held, without much elaboration, that one of the most important variables in public discourse is cast of mind, that we should look behind political utterances and behaviour for the cast of mind behind them, and not take them at face value. This leads to the idea that if we seek a voice in public affairs that will help move them in a particular direction, then we must look for casts of mind likely to take them there.
I have finally articulated the directions that I think public affairs ought to move, the phrases that I would write into the preamble of a political manifesto were I to write one. I call it, following William Blake, a Fourfold Vision:
To Benefit the Common Weal;
To Advance Social Justice;
To Nurture Human Contentment;
To Pursue Sane, Orderly and Continuous Social Reform, as the means to the other three.
You can find the article that started the whole coalescing at https://paulwconway.wordpress.com/, a companion blog to this one.
There you will find hypothesized three casts of mind, one of which promotes a Fourfold Vision, and two of which do not, or even actively inhibit. I am calling these, respectively, the Literary, the Mariposan, and the Ideological.
Some time ago, full of enthusiasm for blogs as a publishing medium, I set up three blogs. Since the end of the Stephen Leacock project I have been wondering what to do with this one. The latest developments show the way. I will turn this blog into an exploration of the Mariposan Cast of Mind, as “fragmented, incomplete, and inconclusive” as Stephen Leacock made it out to be. Ed Jewinsky wrote the seminal article on that perspective, and I will start with it. He was describing a book; Stephen Leacock was describing a people and their cast of mind. The fit with the original purposes of this blog is a good one.
The lead blog will be the one linked above. There I will explore the Literary Cast of Mind and how it can be mobilized.
The third blog is https://wordpress.com/post/playstephenleacock.wordpress.com. It will be explore the Ideological Cast of Mind. This is not such a convenient fit. Stephen Leacock was not an ideological thinker. In fact, he said quite rude things about the ideologies of his day, and would say quite rude things if he saw them in their contemporary forms. He was a man of complex mind, with a Literary Cast of Mind, which he urged on his readers with great energy although never calling it that.
All these matters I will explore, with the help of those I hope to recruit, in the months ahead. It will take some time, probably all summer, for me to get everything going the way I want, blogs, web site, social media, and all. Those with regular weekly publication schedules are KnICH Magazine at http://www.patreon.com/knichmagazine, the Voyageur Storytelling web site at http://www.voyageurstorytelling.ca, and my Twitter page @conwaypaulw. I will blog when I can, as the ideas emerge.
Please remember: It all starts with the Leacock Tetrad: Knowledge + Imagination + Compassion + Humour. It informs the Literary Cast of Mind. It repels the Mariposan and Ideological Casts of Mind. It can serve to Benefit the Common Weal, Advance Social Justice, Nurture Human Contentment, and Pursue Sane, Orderly and Continuous Social Reform. There is much that can be said to amplify these assertions, and it will be said.