This profound quote is attributed to the great Futurist, Dymaxion Messiah and Tekgnostic Saint, Bucky Fuller. Richard Buckminster Fuller (july 12, 1895 to july 3, 1983) was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist. He published more than 30 books, was the inventor of the geodesic dome, and coined or popularized terms such as: Spaceship Earth, ephemeralization, synergetic and tensegrity.
Beyond Fuller’s incredible architectural, engineering and philosophic contributions, perhaps his most outstanding and sustaining accomplishments were his way of thinking and being… his lifelong practice of what he called “comprehensive anticipatory design science,” a design modality grounded in ethics. Fuller was a holistic thinker with a self-developed talent for pattern recognition. In his life’s work, Fuller demonstrated that humanity can entirely re-conceive the way we live on this planet.
“He dared to think big… and he dared to be naïve (this was his credo), asking questions whose obviousness often proved illusory” - Taney Roniger.
So what does it mean to Dare to be Naïve? What the hell was Bucky thinking? To most people who were brought up and educated in the ways of the Western World, naiveté is a bad thing. Naïveté (or naivety) is commonly defined as the state of being naïve… of having or showing a lack of experience, understanding or sophistication, often in a context where one neglects pragmatism in favor of moral idealism. No one in their right mind (read: left hemisphere) wants to be thought of as a naïve idealist.
But here’s the thing…
We are living in a world that is being driven by a predominantly cynical, sarcastic and predatory mind-set. Those in power… those entities (or that paradigm) whom we fondly refer to as: “the powers that be” …rule with an iron fist. Little thought is given to how profit-driven decisions affect the majority of humanity. This disregard is increasingly being demonstrated out in the open... for all to see.
In the “good old days” of the late 20th century, the power elite went to great lengths to hide their nefarious shenanigans. Now-a-days, they no longer feel the need or necessity to hide their activities. They are just getting on with their late-stage capitalist agenda. This is what is meant by the notion that we are living in a “post-conspiracy age.”
So if the powers that be are playing their capitalist end-game, with total disregard for the societal and environmental ramifications of their actions… maybe what this world needs is a dose of idealism. Maybe we have heard enough from the capitalists and pragmatic naysayers. Maybe it is time to listen to the poets instead of the pundits. Maybe it is time to give optimism a chance.
For without optimism, we are all doomed. When it comes right down to it, most of us would prefer a world where people’s basic needs are seen to. Most of us aspire to the elimination of suffering. In these dark times, it has never been more important to be optimistic. It has never been more necessary to envision a peaceful, sustainable future. The glass is half full, dammit!
If our fearless leaders can’t be counted on to help see us through these troubling times, it is up to each of us to rise up and co-create a better, more conducive world. It is up to each of us to facilitate a future that our children would want to inherit. This is a fundamental responsibility we all share… taking care of our kids. There is still time to act, although time is fast becoming an increasingly precious resource.
In these dark days... Bucky Fuller's words and deeds shine forth like a beacon of sensibility and inspiration. So in a world where cynicism rules… in a world devoid of opportunity and optimism… in a world of predatory pragmatists, Bucky's example is worth serious consideration. Because in a world where fear, sarcasm, skepticism, and suspicion prevail… being naïve is a revolutionary act!
Dare to be Naïve!
More on Buckminster Fuller here