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Published by
The British Antonio Rossin Appreciation Society
Preston  England

With the kind permission of the author

Antonio Rossin
Neurologist - Family Doctor
45010, Ca' Vendramin (RO) Italy


Dr. Antonio Rossin is a much respected Italian family practitioner, researcher and campaigner involved in the promotion of a greater public understanding of  the connection between language learning and mind self-framing in children, from which either rigid conservative or autonomous flexible behaviors follow in people. Focusing on an awareness of reification, flexibility, Rossin's educative model prevents the formation of addictions, and thereby from the incipience and internalisation of a fundamentalist attitude.


The Fascist Side Of The Golden Rule

Reifications (like biological entozoic infections of the gut) are proto-socio-neurological enculturations and as useful fictions are not necessarily symbiotic with, nor necessarily benignly adjuvant to the welfare of their unwitting and often naive hosts.
Jud Evans. "Reification and the Philosophy of the Unreal"

Freedom in humans consists of the ability to liberate oneself from the tyranny of reificationalist imprinting. Antonio Rossin. "Democracy, Religion, Drugs".

I always knew about Fundamentalism but didn't yet know about institutionalised Fundamentalism--wherein an institution is so permeated with Fundamentalism that people are not even aware that what they say or do is fundamentalist. I question: is Fundamentalism the trait of a few extremist religion-based communities, or is it a hidden but pervasive component of human mind, really a meme?

What concerned me was the widespread practice of authoritarianism in parenting, through the application of the "No-Contradiction Principle" in family dialogues and parents doing "their best" for the child, but in doing so encroaching the latter's right of initiative and self-awareness. From Family onwards, this authoritarian attitude characterises most social relationships, up to the State being managed "top-down" by an elite pretending they only know "what" is the best for, and should be done to, the people: regardless of the latter's right to any "bottom-up" participatory sharing in collective policy-making.

This concern brought me to become a founding member of the Worldwide Direct Democracy Movement and to hold discussions about Democracy Founding Documents, General Rules and Global Ethic issues. Throughout these discussions, I always criticised anyone's attitude to foisting top-down policies on a people whose right of self-expression in the form of bottom-up proposals and participatory initiatives had been oppressed by the "No-Contradiction Principle"; a principle practiced all through their family education model to the point of becoming the common habit. Education towards aware, autonomous participation since the earliest family patterning was a key priority, I guessed, to building bottom-up democratic communities.

I've met resistances against this bottom-up approach everywhere, by fundamentalist-like people wanting to perform their own Principles top-down on the people. I realised soon, most of my opponents legitimated their right to do the best for the people from a "positive" spelling of the Golden Rule:

" Do onto others what you want to be done onto you"

I can't agree. My basic reasoning is, if we wanted to do "what's good for the people", no Golden Rule could allow us to decide top-down what this "good" should be. Only the people themselves could make such a decision! Only by the decisions being made "bottom-up" by directly interested people, could qualify as the participatory social arrangement which Democracy stands for. Really, too many people claim they implement policies "for the people's good" by pretending to be empowered to decide what the people's good should be--thanks to the Golden Rule--but thereby they encroach in a very fascist manner on the people's direct decisional autonomy, responsibility and participatory rights. Wanting to avoid such evil misunderstandings, I've searched for the Golden Rule's correct "spelling". I've found this excerpt from Leonard Swidler's "Toward a Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic":

astro. ocis. temple. edu/~dialogue/Center/intro. htm

A glimpse of just how pervasive the "Golden Rule" is, albeit in various forms and expressions, in the world's religions and ideologies, great and small, can be garnered from this partial listing:

1) Perhaps the oldest recorded version--which is cast in a positive form--stems from Zoroaster (628-551 B. C. E.):

"That which is good for all and any one, for whomsoever--that is good for me... what I hold good for self, I should for all. Only Law Universal is true Law"
(Gathas, 43.1).

5) The 3rd-century B. C. E. Mahabharata, states that its "Golden Rule", which is expressed in both positive and negative form, is the summary of all Hindu teaching: "Do not to others what you do not wish done to yourself; and wish for others too what you desire and long for yourself--this is the whole of Dharma; heed it well" (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8).

7) The deuterocanonical biblical Tobit was written around the year 200 B. C. E. and contains a negative version --as most are --of the "Golden Rule": "Never do to anyone else anything that you would not want someone to do to you" (Tobit 4:15).

8) The major founder of Rabbinic Judaism, Hillel, who lived about a generation before Jesus, though he may also have been his teacher, taught that the "Golden Rule"--his version being both positive and negative--was the heart of the Torah; "all the rest was commentary": "Do not do to others what you would not have done to yourself"
(Btalmud, Shabbath 31a).

A comment immediately transpires: No substantial difference between positive and negative "spellings" of the Golden Rule has even come to light. Fundamentalism, meaning one's self-legitimisation to do what one dogmatically judges to be the best for others, seems to be the literal consequence of its "positive spelling": "Do onto the others".

Indeed, what if 'the others' who are subjected to the "Golden Rule" as expressed in the initiatives and related policy-making of a power-holder disagree with the latter's top-down judgement of WHAT is to be done? What about if 'the others', for some reason of their own which the power-holder couldn't know, or neglected to know, were to feel that the top-down policy was really hurting them?

This is why I suggest we eradicate the exclusive recourse to the "positive spelling" of the Golden Rule from any Founding Document of our Participatory Democracy: for it allows the power-holders to feel self-legitimated to "Do unto the people" whatever "No-contradiction Principle"-based policies they feel inclined to execute. And this at any level of society, from the parent/child relationship to the State, independently of any agreement of the recipients of such policies. Conversely, its "negative spelling", "do not do", implies that one's wish "to do" is insufficient in itself for doing things "unto others", as the latter's participatory agreement then becomes mandatory.

Hence a more democratic concept becomes ethically necessary in order to "do" any policy unto others: viz., the others' permission, or conscious asking for, before carrying out any "doing": which elucidates a relevant difference. That is, the "positive" spelling of the Golden Rule makes us judge "unto others"; whereas its "negative spelling" makes us become the servants of a necessarily aware people, our neighbour, or indeed our children. Let us therefore put this difference into a greater evidence in any Founding Document of Democracy