I have come across the writings of a number of political theoreticians who sought to “fix everything” and almost always failed. Why?
For an honest mechanic confronted by a machine that has broken down the same way for a thousand years, the first question would NOT be “How do I fix this?” After all, a thousand prior mechanics had asked that question and answered it to the best of their ability, all for nothing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here, trying to fix it for the thousandth time. This problem would already have been solved.
No, first questions to ask would be:
· Why did the machine break?
· How did it break?
· Who broke it?
For example: if it broke because forces were applied to it, during the normal course of its operation, beyond its capacity to endure; then no matter how many parts replaced, the machine will break again, either where it broke before or at another weak joint. If it broke because those who should have tended it, abused it instead; again, it will not matter what parts you replace. If because it was used for purposes other than those intended; again, no matter.
If you could answer those three questions accurately, you might find a new, unforeseen fix that would last; otherwise, never. You would have to answer them to your complete satisfaction before you could address the last one: “How do I fix this?”
Despite the thousand-year babble of reductionist meliorists (Machiavelli and Marx come to mind, as does your neighborhood progressive), around the theme of “How to fix” government; Learners seeks to ask and answer three primary questions – deliberately and first off – in the hope that its readers may follow it’s lead and do a better job. Thereafter, we may “fix” governance, once and for all.
I sent away for a free copy of the Bible in French on the Internet (www.bibles.ch). It must be a generous source of style and inspiration for cultures that adopt it, the way the Koran (Qran) would be for Muslim cultures, and the Vedas for Hindus. Never having read the Bible in French, (nor the Qran in what I’m told is its purest Arabic; nor, alas, the life of Buddha in Pali; nor the Gita in Sanskrit; nor …), it seemed that my rusty French might benefit. Even though I must admit I’ve never found a version of the Bible in French as beautifully written as the King James Version in English.
As long as we understand how much less we know than what we don’t know, and as long as we can catch a whiff of garlic cooking (per J.G. Ballard), everything will be alright.
You will find my humble summary of the Koran at the end of Learners’ chapter on Satyagraha—a fitting and timely blend of the best of religious creeds, by my lights. God is God; the different names we use don’t matter.
My request earned me this answer.
“What did you intend to write???”
I replied something like this.
It’s not easy to weave a welcome mat for LEARNERS: On the Move from WeaponWorld to PeaceWorld. So many ideas in so few words!
I foresee a new world soon to be provided with:
· one duly elected World Mayor’s Office and an Administrative Council also duly elected from vast and deep grass roots, (note my italics: no Big Brother need apply. It will be our public duty and private pleasure to replace all of them with worthy tribal leaders);
· one vigilant and humane Judiciary, controlled from start to finish by randomly selected juries; and
· one efficient, superbly professional Police Force: the best warriors on Earth, hand-picked to uphold the peace.
All by themselves, they would govern this planet, the way our best cities are run.
Nowadays, this planet resembles Mogadishu on a bad day:
· two hundred cruel, ego-freak gang lords,
· two hundred councils of senile elders bickering like spoiled children, and
· two hundred street corners, each with its gang of hoodlums led by decrepit murderers, playing bloody War with AK-47s, M-16s and worse.
Nowadays, the West (America, Europe, Japan...) is like Embassy Row in Mogadishu: occupying the least damaged, richest, most heavily armed neighborhoods of a city in ruins. I don’t know the layout of Mogadishu, so might be wrong about its “best” neighborhood. My illustration stands.
Me, I’m just a cheapskate stay-at-home and a chicken to boot (thus no sainthood claimed here!). Learners’ sole intent is to instigate a more viable world that this author (and anyone else) might reincarnate into. There is no way to predict how the world will evolve in one’s absence; but PeaceWorld seems to be the obvious way to go.
Therefore, from sheer selfishness, I’d rather live quietly in Seattle, Paris or Geneva (name your favorite city) – even as a poor man – than attempt some desperate survival as a millionaire in Mogadishu or Grozny. Whether my planet or hometown, the children and I would be better served growing up in Geneva, than dodging bullets down some Mogadishu lane. That seems undeniable.
I could care less about those sleek fat cats who swagger down Embassy Row. Ivy-league gangsters in sharp-pressed suits, they cut down and starve children by the million, then turn their back on them. They make me sick. Categorically worthless, like the last rulers of East Germany. Better leaders are out there, brilliant ones; we have merely to identify and empower them in all honesty. Also diagnose and forbid the least desirable.
Simply put, I intend to transform this world from Planet Mogadishu into Planet Geneva. To get away with it, I will need your cooperation and that of millions more Learners (about seven million, actually: one Learner for every thousand people on Earth, that ought to do the trick. Of course, the more the merrier!).
Imagine the prodigies that generations of better-raised children could achieve! All the streets would sparkle with cleanliness and safety; all the parks, be well tended and inviting; all the artwork, ah, the artwork! And the scientific discoveries!
Mogadishu could become what it always intended to be: a regional capital of commerce, piety and Learning; a subtropical garden famous for its imperial parks and its thriving, cosmopolitan port; an inviting tourist attraction and center of abundance and wisdom—where the call to prayer would never again be interrupted by the disgrace of gunfire.
And the West? Embassy Row of Planet Mogadishu on a Bad Day? It would become the same district on Planet Geneva – just super-deluxe. The rising tide would lift all the boats, yachts and dinghies alike.
Yet Mencius, my favorite Chinese philosopher among those remembered, taught that it would be wiser to seek Humanity and Duty rather than a simple profit that could turn destructive. Humanity, Duty and Learning: those could secure us a more dependable abundance.
After all, what are our incentives today? Should we profit from WeaponWorld by perfecting it? Criminal expediency. Could PeaceWorld threaten our livelihood without additional return, or could it be too difficult and dangerous? Cruel and gutless denial. Could world peace fail to emerge until humanity 2.0 had emerged, as perfectly suited for it as our version is not? Circular reasoning to dodge personal responsibility. Appraise our common motives here, without mercy: the way a panhandler might finger his fistful of change by drizzly twilight.
Of course, we will need these other things, too:
· A brace of peace religions that accept each other fully. Are you some religious fanatic preaching exclusion and brutality in the name of God? You’re fired!
· A World Militia on the Swiss plan, that lets each of us defend our home, hometown and homeland against any Aggressor. It would stop armed crime and organized aggression in every community that signed up for it.
· A 1-800-my-rights telephone number, direct to the World Court. By that means, every hate crime and tyrannical conspiracy would be investigated, and every human rights criminal, arrested at the source and early. Especially if some local militia started acting like a loose cannon.
· A World Agora of info politics and Learning, operating upward from the grass roots, many times more delicate and responsive than our familiar lashup, also well-coordinated by computer and as reliable as municipal water.
· At least one advanced degree for each child by puberty, the way we honor musical prodigies today. All children would be prodigies in at least one topic of their choosing, provided we encouraged the full range of their interests and never quashed them.
· Child rearing would become a sacred obligation; so would the ritual purification of water by filtering it through biomass, or some other “miraculous” technology. There’d be many more, with so many Learners pursuing their topic of passion in the World Agora …
· A guaranteed public health service, with enough food, clothing, shelter and care for everyone. Simply because. As I say further on, a practical charity. We’d be sharing the wealth of Geneva, here, and not the penury of Mogadishu―both multiplied to a planetary scale. Enough to satisfy everyone's needs, with a thousandfold left over.
· Free storefront mediation and arbitration services, faith-based and/or secular, for any pair holding a grudge or dispute. No civil case would go before a jury until it had been adjudged in this manner.
· The restoration of climax biomes in every available habitat; and
· Space exploration and exploitation in earnest.
You know, all those things we make wishful noises about, yet carefully sabotage in favor of our weapon technologies? Please note: “OUR weapon technologies, OUR responsibility”―no one else’s. If we agreed to play this game honestly, with all our might and that of God, it could turn out to be much better for us than the fatal one we practice today, blaming others for our sins.
In so doing, we lead a life of misery: stripped of civility, charity, true faith, serious education, useful infrastructure, high art, climax biome, good taste and dependable security. Indeed, we’ve stripped our conscience bare—both as individuals and communities. We are stripping the planet bare when we could be gardening Eden.
It’s time we grew back a new conscience and a healthier one.
The worst problem? Our culture honors weapon mentality more so than that of peace. Most of our social habits should honor peace instead of merely rehearsing what it’s gonna take to survive another bad day on Planet Mogadishu. If we rendered full honor to peace, it would be so much better for us in so many ways we refuse to admit! We are scared to death of peace.
Me, I’m eager to launch the project of world peace we fear most.
We submit more or less consciously to this mass-induced if disgraceful stupidity, because our societies evolved through Darwinian selection, to fear peace as much as cholera. Both are lethal to primitive cultures and both have been banned by them.
Our culture trains us, from infancy under fulltime hypnosis, to shun peace and Holy Spirit as much as shit and piss. Social collectives and lone philosophers who chose not to train their children in this way – who sought honest peace, true sainthood and real merit instead – got their throats cut by more militant communities both at home and abroad.
We are the worst weapon demons, and our societies, the deadliest weapon technologies that five (?) thousand years of Darwinian selection could produce. Do you recall the Orcs in Tolkien’s fantasy? Well, the real-world Orcs are us: so-called lovers of peace who never manage to set it up.
Our modern culture is only good at optimizing the following Threat Formula:
body count x (distance/time)2
Nuclear, biological and perhaps meteorological omnicide, that’s our ultimate cultural achievement and manifest destiny if we don’t transform ourselves on every scale: social, personal and spiritual. Otherwise, that’s all we’re good at and all we’re destined to accomplish.
Humanity = 0, Omnicide = -1.
What a sorry score for such a carefully tended, wisely hardened, perfectly nursed species. We are perched on a blue-green planet that’s good for us in every way (though probably not our planet of origin, given that our biological cycle was never comfortably 24 hours long, for the most part), under a vast, black firmament studded with diamond solitaires veiling much more abundance.
Come on, Learners! We can do better than that!
For the first time in history, we have all the tools we need for World Peace: global communications, mutual recognition and universal thirst for peace. For the first time, humanity (even if not yet willing) could recognize the Other as a worthy equal. All of us could start from the same page. Up ‘til now, we lacked those vital tools in common. All we require, at this point, is consensus, will, faith and guts. Have we got enough?
Have we had enough?
Note, at the top of my list, new religions of peace. I believe that standard Christianity is weapon-based and thus defective as a religion of peace. The same applies to our other weapon religions: to become truly peaceful, each requires a better role model. I ask you: what better role model than Christ?
Jesus often noted his disciples’ inability (or unwillingness) to understand. Our Christian faiths rely on the words of Apostle Paul, John of Revelation and St. Augustine. Somehow, the direct word of Jesus is lost in the background, decorative but overruled. We heed the words of men, not the Word of God. That which all of us should adore in pure faith, almost no one can stomach, so thoroughly has it been corrupted. Learners should compensate for this obvious want of faith.
Jesus’ instruction was deliberately corrupted during the Roman persecution, the Nicene Council and the extermination of the Cathars. The Nicene Council erased every reference to reincarnation in the Bible. A permanent putsch of weapon reactionaries took over every creed calling itself Christian, in addition to other surviving ones. This happened for the same stupid, inevitable reasons listed above.
I believe that Jesus taught us to live well and die one last time as clueless meat puppets. Seek to be reborn in Him, literally. Reincarnate into His Perfect Life and live it out. Learn from it exactly what was needed in our lives to be saved. Suffer a Second Death by taking up His Cross (though His Mercy might spare us this last Agony), and go directly to Heaven with Him,.
Go read His Words and see for yourself.
Otherwise, we condemn ourselves to an endless series of purposeless reincarnations, circular abstractions, insignificant rituals, empty sins and futile deaths—apart from the one He taught us, pending our compliance with His clear and simple instruction.
Take inventory of the content of your current life and see for yourself.
All religions would be equally valid – Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Vedic, Atheist, Deist, Pagan or other – if they allowed us a better life and didn’t get too upset if we opted to commit our souls, after dying, into the life of Jesus Christ, with a conscience somewhat less flayed by remorse. After this death, we would be perfectly free to choose Him and His path to Heaven, for the first time in our many lives.
I challenge you to find such a miraculous freedom to choose, perfect and divine, under any other circumstance. Certainly not among the officious and enslaving prescriptions of mere ape-men stuck on WeaponWorld: “Do me this, do me that, or be damned. And, by the way, allow us to snuff you and your benighted progeny unless you consent to go over there and kill them and theirs.”
Every weapon mentor who preaches cowardly lies, brutality, exclusion, compulsion, betrayal and damnation by our infinite Loving God—that creature just refines suicidal weapon mentality devoid of faith, love and God. May God forgive him and may I find some way to ape God's mercy.
Instead, we could have eternal temples of peace. Surely our Lord has enough mercy for every soul, with more to spare. I seek this apocatastasis, this universalism. The saints required to establish it are unemployed all around us.
With no such faith – no real hope – no valid government – no true peace.
Know this, then. All souls can be saved: yours, mine, some latter-day Hitler’s, anyone’s. Thus toughened and fearless of anything on Earth, we must do our duty; thus armored, create Peace on Earth.
This summary will upset many, especially those too well trained as children to fear World Peace and block it as adults. It will infuriate many more who expect their warmonger rubbish to be endorsed without opposition. It will bruise the stout egos of those who declare themselves eager for peace—the moment everyone has reached their dizzying height of puritanical pacifism. It will confound many pet pupils who have memorized their lessons repudiating peace and who repeat them today like parrots.
This text is radical revolutionary and at odds with orthodoxy, as am I. According to Learners, the most patriotic and admirable nationalist is not much more than a jumped-up Crip or Blood who claims supremacy by flashing his idiot gang signs: from a civilized point of view, a dangerous deviant. The devoted pacifist who claims moral superiority over the average guy, will achieve no better result (since he is lying to himself—at least the average warmonger is an honest monster). Learners should expect fierce opposition from every philosophical quarter.
To achieve peace, we must understand how much we fear it, how much our institutions are averse to it and how completely our current thoughts and actions thwart it. Whether we call ourselves warriors or lovers of peace; whether we’re young or old, rich or poor, learned or ignorant, pious or not; whether our institutions appear benign and sacred to us, or just mediocre or even infernal. Every institution, every down-home cliché, every cultural checkpoint will have to be taken by frontal assault and cleared hand-to-hand in this intellectual Stalingrad; no-one and nothing will be spared.
What will PeaceWorld look like, once the smoke clears? It will delight our Loving God, who will bless it with miracles of approbation; unlike WeaponWorld despised by God, who lets it survive through infinite forbearance for our unforgivable sins. We could become true servants of God: athirst for, drunk with and slaked by the peace of God; wisely caring for every child; regrowing Eden and leaping for the stars. Justice. Compassion. Peace. You could leave your door unlocked in perfect safety.
Think about that.
What if we stopped fearing peace? What if we understood it instead? Taught it to the children in pure truth, to revere peace and uphold it forever, on our honor, with all our might?
Once Learners rally, the heavens themselves will come to our aid.
This is a summary of Learners.
LEARNERS: On the Move from WeaponWorld to PeaceWorld