- YOU CHOOSE (II) -

 VERSION FRANCOPHONE

 

SUMMARY OF LEARNERS     INTRO & VOCAB

 

This text rejects straitjacket terms like Leftist and Rightist.  I have met some decent, thoughtful conservatives.  Believe me, I’ve appealed to far too many ‘progressives’ and ‘activists’ whose only commitment was to their dead-end prejudices and herd-like relationship.  I found many more people whose politics slid right off this scale. 

The incompatible demands of weapon mentality empower multinational and interdenominational right-wingers, no matter how much the rest of us despise them.  Don’t tell me that extremists like Slobodan Milosevic, the KGB and their historical replacements were ‘Leftists.’  They imitated all the tactics of typical Right Wing reactionaries.  Essentially, they were interchangeable weapon managers.  Most of us have born the talon-marks of these buzzards, as have our acquaintances and family members overseas.  

These days, ‘moderate’ reactionaries, ‘compassionate’ conservatives, shadistic liberals and mercenary radicals elbow each other across our TV screens.  Each group lauds the peace content of its own position and condemns the weapons outcome of its adversaries.  No one uses terms like ‘peace content’ and ‘weapons outcome,’ however.  That forbidden vocabulary would make everyone’s inexcusable lapses and shared strengths all too obvious.

Learners will conserve worthwhile values, extend a liberal hand toward those less fortunate, and go to the (radical) root of social problems.  I might even conclude that they would display reactionary revulsion—at renewed attempts to validate weapon mythology, for example.  A more accurate political shorthand might replace weapon managers’ ‘fearful hatred’ with Learners’ ‘love without fear or reproach.’

 

Free enterprise is a vital activity in many settings; central planning is, in others.  The so-called free market fosters central planning by corporations and centralized corporate welfare within weapon states.  It is hard to witness those activities in their purest form, since the more they turn into the only game in town, the more toxic they become.

Any habit and institution that promotes honest peace should be acceptable; everything that blocks it should be marginalized.  Peace benefits should be identified and magnified; weapons aspects, isolated and rendered vestigial.  The same social winnowing applies to every political dualism that so-called leftists and rightists have failed to resolve as long as they limited the terms of debate.

The success of social transformation demands that rulers and ruled share a consensus—never again dominance and submission.  This can only result from near-universal consent among the well informed.  Our orthodox constellations of political metaphors cannot describe this unheard-of consensus.  This book calls it a Cooperative of Plenty on the material plane, Laocracy on the political, and the World or Virtual Agora on the intellectual.

These days, we submit to reductionist, hyperactive and hyper- (actually, semi-) rational humanism.  In deference to this tyranny, a coalition of nation-states and multinational corporations oversees the most culturally isolated and politically neutered info proletariat it can engineer. 

Every political party conspires to further this runaway despotism: from Socialists and Communists, to Democrats and Republicans, to Nationalists and Fascists, and then back around again.  Reflexively, info elites shield their rice bowl in the weapon status quo, even though they take great pains to hide this primary motive.

Those who confront this Gorgon emerge as militant extremists, either from the Left or the Right.  Every ‘revolutionary’ member of a proto-elite is imbued with the same weapon mentality as his tyrannical archenemy.  He promises to confront orthodox violence with redundant threats of popular violence.  He anticipates social collapse and plots to manipulate it—with no more success than his dead-end predecessors.  Revolutionaries, crusaders and jihadi are good at only one thing: perfecting the next round of weapon technologies.

We live in an algedonic age.  The real rules are the ones we least understand.  Crucial social rules are neither discussed nor acknowledged, by popular consent.  They control a vast meta-system of warfare that doesn’t intrude into our lives until the lead slug, toxiplasm or gamma ray with our name on it crashes into us.  Until then, we remain placid, more or less reluctant conspirators with weapon management.

On the other hand, Learners will sustain syncretism (“as the Cretans did”).  They will identify failing institutions and then remove, reform or circumvent them.  Everyone’s life-quality, sacred awareness, natural habitat and long-term profit will benefit. 

We cannot sort these priorities effectively outside a Learner Commonwealth.  Ranking them fairly requires everyone’s well-informed consent, which could only be obtained therein.

Greed, power-hunger, and deprivation/abuse/neglect fears will diminish under Learner administrations.  Criminals, the obsessively rich and other social parasites will grasp the true meaning of wealth and power once they let go their primary fears.  New benefits will outweigh old fears and thus diminish violence and untruth. 

Those heedless few who persist in nurturing ancient evils will be caught up in social safety nets much more flexible, benign and secure than the makeshifts we rely on today: malign neglect before the fact, and compounds strung with razor wire, after. 

Only by adopting Learner priorities – and subordinating lesser ones – may we expect real progress.

 

In the meantime, the best among us attempt to relieve specific social ills in a vacuum.  No one person or group could hope to resolve any of these problems with a mere lifetime’s work; they seem so overwhelming. 

Frustrated reformers obey the useless logic of scientific reductionism.  They subdivide one big problem into tidbits insignificant enough to seem workable and then pick the smallest of them to resolve.  These weapon reformers seek compromise solutions by scavenging among the discards of weapon technology.  They are careful to leave monolithic weapon technologies intact, lest fear-haunted elites forbid any additional improvement. 

Independent groups of ‘morally superior’ beings carry out this hopeless microsurgery in direct competition with other reformers for starvation resources.  Their pecking orders resemble infighting among starving chickens.  We’ve tried every variant of this tactic for thousands of years, despite constant failure. 

We must first topple weapon mentality from its pedestal; only then may PeaceWorld stand a chance of succeeding.

Anti-cannibalism, universal salvation, emancipation from slavery, constitutional rights, class equity, worker solidarity, sexual liberation and apartheid terminated: it’s amazing how many initiatives progressives have set in motion despite our human frailties!  However, every time a mighty new ideal let some isolated group momentarily pry itself loose from weapon mentality’s grasp, regrouped weapon managers seized the next opportunity to ambush and scatter that peaceful consensus.  In a weapon dominion, paradox, paralysis and political reaction attend every isolated lunge at progress, no matter how well intended.

We are on the verge of an Ethical Revolution as staggering as the Industrial Revolution itself.  We have endured weapon management for so long, we no longer grasp the sovereignty of peace—it has ceased to signify.  We don’t respect or recognize anything any longer except aggression.  Our societies are less and less able to handle any project except killing as many long-distance victims in the shortest possible time. 

Weapon mentality has stacked itself steeper than its angle of repose; thus its eminent collapse is inevitable.  This semi-pure Tao of Yang is long overdue for a major infusion of Yin.

 

In order to invoke peace mentality, we must manage the world under one roof, and a peaceable one at that.  Each nation may attempt to protect its national sovereignty by sacrificing the wealth and children of its citizens; but this reflexive nationalism will enslave us forever to weapon mentality.

This said, Normal Angell made a valid point about nationalism:

 

“However mischievous some of the manifestations of Nationalism may prove, the worst possible method of dealing with it is by the forcible repression of any of its claims which can be granted with regard to the general interest.  To give Nationalism full play, as far as possible, is the best means of attenuating its worst features and preventing its worst developments.  This, after all, is the line of conduct which we adopt [with respect] to certain religious beliefs which we may regard as dangerous superstitions.  Although the belief may have dangers, the social dangers involved in forcible repression would be greater still.”  Norman Angell (pseudonym for Ralph Lane) The Fruits of Victory, The Century Company, New York, 1921, p. 246.

 

As long as weapons elites coordinate proxy wars between nation states and other Prism sub-aggregates – as they manage to do today – weapon mentality and its contradictions will condemn us to misery in the short term and military annihilation in the long run.  National sovereignty and weapon management have never delivered peace for very long, no matter how painfully they were applied.  Only world sovereignty could hope to sustain it through the foreseeable future.

 

“Two things should be obvious at once:

“…The peace of a political community is impaired by civil strife of all sorts.  Whether or not we choose to call such civil violence ‘war,’ the fact remains that civil peace cannot be regarded as perfect until governmental machinery is able to cope with every form of dissension or dispute.

“The perfection of peace does not depend on the removal of all causes for dispute or strife; nor even on the avoidance of force in the settlement of differences.  It depends on ways of keeping quarrels on the conversational level, and on a monopoly of the legitimate force needed to execute decisions.”  Mortimer J. Adler, How to Think about War and Peace, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1944, p 121.

 

Our weapons indoctrination instructs us to dread the prospect of one world government, (see the 1984 Syndrome).  This idea makes us nervous because we have been convinced (have convinced ourselves) that the only workable alternative is dangerously impossible.  In our heart of hearts, however, we loathe the current reality that allows Wimps and Prisms to lock us in global mismanagement—not the ideal of one elegant, global polity. 

We have as much to fear from one world government as we would from a Mayor’s Office: benign or corrupt as the case may be.  In other words, we have nothing to fear that Learner vigilance could not handle in the long run.  Just as human conscience drafted and upheld the best legislation written so far, so could it guarantee justice, freedom and plenty for everyone under a global regime that excluded from power those who derided them.

 

But I cannot leave it at that.  We are here to clarify and deepen our ideas, not simplify them.

The Bible and history reveal a fundamental contradiction.  Let’s call it the paradox of the Tower of Babel.  God interfered directly in the government of mankind on three occasions, (his anointment of Saul and David, and this one time in Genesis 11: 1-9).

 

1.      And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

2.      And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3.      And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.  And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

4.      And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

5.      And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6.      And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be retrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7.      Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

8.      So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

9.      Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

 

It’s strange how God intended to bind us to do what we feared and loathed most: scatter across the planet…

Likewise, history teaches that every time a civilization reached heroic heights of inclusiveness, abundance and benevolence, some monstrous cataclysm destroyed it.  Whether by plague, drought, volcanic eruption or a meteor-driven, all-season winter; some calamity befell every society that rationalized itself.

It doesn’t seem to matter that the same fate befell every other human aggregate, civilized or otherwise, as well as entire pre-human ecologies.  It doesn’t matter that primitive tribes were much less vulnerable to natural disaster, until very recently, than more complex, stationary and vulnerable urban societies.  We are interested in the fate of well-run civilizations and not of those whose disappearance was never recorded.  Right?

So what choice do we have?  We are confronted by a planetary civilization at odds with itself: vicious and arrogant because it is fragmented where it should be whole (in its peace technology) and holistic where it should be fragmented (in its mastery of weapons).

On the one hand, God forbids us to kill and Jesus forbids us to harm the little ones.  We are supposed to love our neighbor and turn the other cheek to violence.  The best way to do that would be for everyone to live under one roof and that a peaceable one, well regulated—in other words, on PeaceWorld.  On the other hand, the God of Genesis appears to have trained us like attack dogs to suppress our solidarity and replace it with enough viciousness to execute random mayhem with enthusiasm.  The Book of Revelation appears to threaten with the Wrath of God anyone but Jesus who’d dare urge Peace on Earth. 

Likewise, the natural world with its serial disasters that seem to focus in time and space on the greatest centers of civilization.  Note the volcanic eruption of Thera that blew Cretan civilization away; the meteor showers that destroyed almost the entire urban fabric of the Middle Bronze Age, first, and of the Early Iron Age a thousand years later – see Burning Libraries (BC) – and so on, recorded in history or not. 

It would be difficult to chronicle the destruction of your civilization if your last ten generations had utterly preoccupied themselves with not starving to death.

So it must be up to each of us to decide what we want to do.  Do nothing, sit on our hands and watch killer primates fatten themselves on helpless babes and the World Forest?  Or get up on our hind legs and act like civilized beings?  The former course certainly looks safer for the soul, and I am sure many moral cowards will cling to it.  The latter is more tempting for those who find all this barbarism intolerable… even at the risk of damnation by some red-toothed god—one in whose face I’ll spit as its jaws close on me.

Let me put it this way.  Should planetary disaster befall us, its illiterate survivors will likely blame it all on our having come together and tried to turn this carnage around.  No doubt the first literates among them will forgo scratching their fleas long enough to inscribe this solemn truth in the next set of sacred texts. 

“Here is the holy post-script of nuclear winter.  The peacemakers were horribly wrong.  Everything was their fault and not that of us, our predecessors and our militant disciples.  Viking mayhem, fervently executed, is the only way to secure the blessing of God.  Hallelujah!”

Isn’t that strange?  A few passages in the first and last books of the Bible forbid world peace, whereas the remaining books command it.  The Bible attributes every crime imaginable to man; but the only social decision that might reduce their impact—God forbids?  Seems like an obvious textual revision by weapon managers.

All I can respond is this.  Screw that.  If God commands me to do A and then condemns my eternal soul for optimizing A, that’s His business.  I refuse to be forced into world war merely because some long-revered weapon text tells me to do so.  Let the chips fall where they may; I will go on pushing for world peace.  In my universe ruled by our God of Love, it will be those who refuse to cooperate in peace who will face God’s disappointment (God help them) prior to being saved in any case. 

I have no use for a deity who can’t make up his mind what his slaves should do, and who condemns them to eternal hellfire for failing to satisfy his schizoid demands.  I will do my best not to kill and not to harm the little ones.  Let God make up His own mind whom to punish for His lack of clarity. 

And you, make up your own mind as well, now that you have these contradictions at your fingertips.  All this impacted constipate has given me a raging headache…

 

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LEARNERS: On the Move from WeaponWorld to PeaceWorld

 

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