Three Peoples Theory
My reductive Three Peoples theory is an attempt to simplify human society as much as possible, but no further. I got the idea of the Responsible Self from Robert Bellah in his "Evolution of Religion." I got the idea of the Creative Self from Richard Florida in The Rise of the Creative Class.
I propose that there are three kinds of people in the world: Subordinates Responsibles, and Creatives.
People of the Subordinate Self Call them slaves, serfs, workers, clients, marginalized, oppressed: these are people that do not experience "agency." They are go-along-to-get-along people, villagers under the thumb of the big man, the serfs of the feudal lord, the factory workers of the corporate behemoth, the ward heelers of the precinct captain. They attach themselves to a powerful patron in return for scraps from the lordly table. Religion: wrathful gods for whom humans are mere playthings.
People of the Responsible Self Call them commoners, citizens, middling sorts, "deplorables," these are people that believe they can understand the world and have a responsibility to do something about it. These are people that follow the rules, go to work, and obey the law. Religion: Axial Age God that made the Earth and a divine law and told humans to get on with it.
People of the Creative Self These are people that want to live a creative life, maybe as a writer, an artist, a videographer, an activist, a revolutionary. They don't want to follow the rules, they want to discover new rules. They don't just want to go to work, they want to reinvent work. They don't just obey the laws; they want to make new ones. Religion: Humans, not gods, are now become the creators.
Of course, the world is much more complicated that that. But most of the time most people have difficulty imagining anyone different from themselves as anything but an enemy, in a crude "us" and "them" approach to life, religion, and politics.
Using my Three Peoples theory I maintain that our modern politics is based upon an over/under coalition between the People of the Creative Self and the People of the Subordinate Self against the People of the Responsible Self, in which the People of the Creative Self pose as the defenders and saviors of the People of the Subordinate Self and the People of the Responsible Self are necessarily their enemies.
So I maintain that my reductive Three Peoples theory encourages people to imagine that, yes, there really are people different from me out there -- who are probably not my enemies.
Next step: Three Peoples Table of Contents.