Our Old Friends, Guilt and Shameè A New Religion?
We are wise if we wonder where humanity is going and decide to do something, hopefully useful, to assist that evolution. This article will test your ability to consider alternatives to what we have been, what we are, and what we can become. Take time to absorb the challenges, process them and draw your own conclusions.
At this time in history, truly for the first time (maybe), there is global economic disruption. Unlike the geographically limited economic events that preceded and were the underlying cause of WWII in Europe, most countries are now negatively impacted, or about to be negatively impacted by economic fallout in other countries. Even China will face significantly declining exports as this disaster unfolds. But if you listen to the news or read financial articles online you most often hear a different story for the USA. Why, even our stock market has climbed back to mid-2008 levels, so the economy must be good and more good things will follow. It doesnít wash. Too many major negative realities are being ignored or hidden in the pap that is fed to the naïve public, like our overwhelming public debt and the resulting coming huge levels of inflation as we create money out of thin air. Joseph Goebbels, Hitlerís Propaganda Minister, would be proud of our government and business media conning many of the citizens into complacency with the Big Lie.
The one country with an apparently solid economy is Brazil, and that because they were/are intelligent enough to have eliminated dependence on foreign energy by growing sugar cane and fermenting it into ethanol. The country runs entirely on energy produced within. It is a useful, sensible form of isolationism from global events. Toss in their self-sufficient and fairly recent industrialization and agriculture and you have a level of independence from global economic events similar to what the USA experienced during the 19th century. This is a marked, indeed massive change for the better in Brazil since I wrote Destiny, some fifteen years ago. Brazilís ascension economically was stimulated for the future in part by paying the poor to assure their children attend school. What a wise president! What a wise government! As for the rest of us caught up in the foolishness of the free trade agreements and the offshoring consequences and the banking/mortgage fraud, well, we are in for very hard times ahead, economically and potentially in terms of war or internal revolt.
Here are a few facts to support that position. Consider that the real unemployment level globally in affected countries either is or will soon be at least 25%. The published unemployment numbers are a complete whitewash. The unemployed people and their families are now deemed to be non-essential by businesses, and so they are, for various reasons. One reason in the USA is free trade agreements without trade parity that allowed our corporations to offshore jobs and to guarantee (cause) an ongoing and massive balance of payments problem and poor employment opportunities in the USA. Another reason is that advancing technology has caused humanity at large to reach the point where the needs of all can be produced by the few, and this results in the most serious problem of non-essentiality. It does not take a genius to figure out that our condition globally is unstable, yet all anyone talks about publicly is in terms of the "economy." What is not discussed is what happened in other countries in the past when the demands exceeded the resources, either physically or in terms of ownership, or in terms of available employment to enable anyone willing to work to carve out a normal life.
In terms of business needs and the associated "economy" this means about 25% of the developed world population is meaningless or even harmful. They consume but they create nothing of economic value to justify their consumption. And slowly but surely they have been marginalized, but even so they represent an ongoing high cost to those who are employed and paying income tax. As we go into the future that number of meaningless people will increase, for business optimizes efficiencies in costs as well as revenues to maximize profit. Thus there is no economic meaning or value to those considered unnecessary. Those presumably meaningless people, however, will not of their own volition go away or stop having children. Any student of history will quickly see that such conditions are the precursors to wars, for those "meaningless" people must be gotten out of the way. If they are not eliminated they will be pushed into poverty and eventually riot and threaten to bring down the government, as is presently a concern in Egypt.
Speaking of Egypt, a few days ago I read one article on Yahooís financial page that proclaimed the political problems of Egypt to be settled down and moving towards peaceful resolution. It credited Mubarek with using a strategy that provides time for temporarily joined factions of the revolution to argue with each other. Then, I watched the news and saw that the public areas of Cairo were still filled with the angry mobs. They established a tent city there and they are not disbanding and going home. They fear retribution from Mubarek if they go home. And we have negotiated and executed the exit of most Americans away from Egypt, even our newscasters. It sure is apparent that our prime media dissemblers and their owners canít even keep the Big Lie working consistently. Today the news reports that Mubarek is gone. What a surprise!
It is of curious note that in a number of my more recent articles I have specifically mentioned the irrational population growth of Egypt between 1956 and 1985. I addressed the fact that the economic and population expansion fueled by the completion of the Aswan dam has backfired due to downstream and upstream social and physical consequences of building the dam. Thus, it is easy for me to understand that there will be very many poor people in Egypt now, so many in fact that in a time of global economic stress the cork has popped. But now let me return to the general article topics.
I do not know if war will be used or some other mechanism to impact reproduction and thus lower the population of the "non-essential" people. What I do know is that we have been heading towards this point in history ever since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Thus the old arguments against population control, specifically the use of technology, a.k.a. the Green Revolution to allow many billions of people to be well fed, miss the point entirely. There is a massive difference between what we can do and what is justified in terms of ongoing essentiality or contribution, and especially in terms of environmental waste and destruction generated/caused to support ever-expanding populations of non-essential individuals.
This preface, up to this point, has covered a few hard realities that pose significant problems for individuals, businesses and government. These problems are in the here and now, not in some distant future. All that is missing now is the spark to ignite conflict and rioting in many countries, or between countries. Globally, we are very unstable. Now you know one of the real reasons why that is true Ö we are not and have not been balancing needs with contributions, or perhaps we now are, albeit crudely and with severe effects on at least one out of four people.
Our situation is not new to humanity. It is merely on a much larger scale today, and sufficiently serious to cause governments and businesses to lie and to dissemble continuously to keep the negatively affected populations from reacting violently. People who can listen seriously to the financial or political news, or read financial articles as if they were factual, or even waste time arguing with each other about details that have nothing to do with overall cause and effect, are naïve. They are innocent and ignorant and easily led to believe whatever their leaders tell them Ö until those leaders fail to provide food or shelter or clothing, or decent paying jobs so that those items can be purchased. I have also written previously about that reality. How easy it is for most folks to try to forget or ignore the past!
Well, one must ask how many times we have to repeat this cycle across history, the present and in the future? We appear never to learn from our mistakes and many millions of ordinary naïve and innocent people pay the consequences in each cycle, primarily because they are ignorant about reality and directed not to become knowledgeable. Many are incapable of deep reasoning and therefore learning even when provided opportunity for education.
Now I get to the crux of the matter. Is naiveté or inability to learn for the weak a justification for taking total advantage of them or periodically destroying them through war? Is survival of the fittest the only tune we know? Can we get beyond silly socialism that only exacerbates our larger and long-term essentiality problems with overpopulation exactly where we donít need it, among the poor, and even in increased longevity but not great health or contribution for the rest of the population?
I decided to hammer on our religious institutions, our businesses and our governments in this article to proclaim that they are not worthy of much respect. This is because of their continuous failures to manage humanity holistically, when they are the leaders with the knowledge and the wealth and the power, throughout history. What they have done to us is to teach us to feel totally inappropriate guilt and shame for our own fate, our limited opportunities and our inherited weaknesses. We are kept ignorant and uninformed of important matters, so that we do not argue with their decisions, which have been proven to be disastrous for the common man, time after time, all through history.
THE HARD VERSION
Five hundred years ago the Catholic Church had already developed, over one thousand years previous to that time, into a powerful and subsequently wealthy organization, with far reaching influence. The influence of the church on matters political as well as personal was major. Indeed, the geographic span was so large there was an Eastern Church/Holy See based in Constantinople for Middle Eastern Catholics, as well as the more commonly known Holy Roman Catholic Church/See in Rome, Italy, in a separate land area commonly known as the Vatican. Kings routinely consulted the Pope. Even royalty sought dispensations for such things as divorce, which was flatly forbidden for ordinary people. The Vatican became the equivalent of a sovereign country, and so remains today. The Eastern Church eventually and essentially fell under the onslaught of Islam and secular pressures. The geopolitical power of the Vatican today is a wisp of what it used to be, for many good reasons that will be discussed.
What allowed the Catholic Church to become powerful initially? History tells us that various Roman and other Emperors/rulers sought out and destroyed the early Christians, but, and these are my beliefs, eventually the Emperors (Constantine, 331 AD) saw the benefit of having an afterlife scenario to promote their military aspirations at a time when the Empire was declining. Thus granted official Roman sanction, all the way to making Christianity the official religion of the Empire in 380 AD, the church began to develop a broad power base. This power was a result of selling common people on the idea that if they did as they were told, and believed as they were taught to believe, that they would have eternal life at the end of their earthly existence.
The corollary to the promised good afterlife was the hell and damnation that would result for unbelievers. With power achieved politically, the church quickly and thoroughly created the hell and the damnation for people in this life, through oppressive demands and the killing of freethinking. Yet with the fall of the Roman Empire knowledge from that empire and earlier cultures/civilizations was maintained by the church even through the Dark Ages. Meanwhile, ignorance abounded for the general populations of Europe. The printing press had yet to be invented by Gutenberg, in 1450, and that was some hundreds of years into the future. And Martin Luther didnít come on the scene with the Reformation until 1515 to 1521. Thus, by maintaining ignorance for the general population by failing to teach anything other than church dogma for around 1000 years, and by operating to destroy all intellectual freedoms, the church developed an unassailable lock on power.
The misuse of that power became apparent in the Renaissance Period with Inquisitions in various countries and excommunications were threatened and used to keep the more intelligent curious doubters under control. Even the occasional member of royalty was excommunicated. For ordinary people of limited education and limited means the church simply used guilt and shame, public and private, to extract obedience, not to mention vast amounts of labor (building cathedrals) and of course, financial "contributions." Indeed, the whole concept of confession was brilliant in that all people were declared sinners who routinely needed the intercession of a priest to achieve forgiveness and thus remain eligible to eventually have eternal life, in heaven. We have yet to see proof of even one person surviving this life, merely claims about what presumably happened thousands of years ago up to the present, and avoidance of obvious demonstrable lack of performance via weak arguments about a future Day of Judgment. But I demand proof now, else all of it remains an unfounded silly pipe dream, with horrible earthly consequences of certain men making the lives of other men deficient by design.
As a sociological study these simple and commonly known facts I have just presented are extremely interesting. The entire basis for success in the early church was based on declarations of divine power, control of destiny and proof of nothing, merely political approval and a kind disposition for obedience and a nasty disposition for anything else. Many of us have heard about the declaration of the church roughly fifteen years ago about the Italian scientist, Galileo. He was imprisoned and excommunicated by the church during the Italian Inquisition for his strength of belief in his scientific findings, which argued against church dogma regarding astronomy. Galileo was declared to be okay, 400 years later. When I wrote Destiny I made a point of discussing the idiotic and arrogant position of the church both in Galileoís time and now, for the church was not and is not populated by truth seekers. The church officials are merely self serving power seekers. If you doubt that then visit St. Peters in Rome and see for yourself manís testament to man, papal lists and statues, not Christianity. I well remember my visit and my consternation and my questions to my wife Ö "Where is Jesus? Where is Mary? All I see are statues of popes!"
The views of the Catholic Church are factually irrelevant but politically and personally very powerful. The unproven promise of heaven or hell a.k.a. Catholicism, along with some nasty militaristic campaigns done in the name of Catholicism, routinely convinced most of the global populace outside of Asia, at least until the ascension of Islam in the 20th century, of their personal ignorance and requirement to believe and to behave as instructed by the church. Sociologically this means one very simple thing. People at large have been proven to be sheep due to ignorance and lack of will, and willing to profess belief in anything while under the gun, and this is reflected, as it turns out, in almost all religions and cultures throughout history. Alas, the ignorance aspect is frequently genetic in origin as well as a direct result of cultural and religious pressure to so remain.
The long and short of it is that all power structures want and need and demand total obedience, and they will do anything at all to maintain and enhance their power. This has been true, to the absolute and continuous detriment of the common people, as deemed necessary by those in power, everywhere throughout history. That reality, not considering valid counter arguments about ignorant people needing to be led for their own survival (covered later in this article), is in and of itself an unarguable powerful standalone reason to promote anarchy. The equation is simple. Give any group sufficient power for any reason for long enough and they will make you and your descendents into slaves, ignorant slaves, until they have too many slaves, and then conditions disintegrate into chaos.
This brings us to the present time and back to the true purpose of this article. All the lead in about the Catholic Church was merely an example of a massive historical problem, in fact nothing more than a super-sized shakedown, with enough factual historical detail to support the position I have taken. I have no more beef with the idiocy of Catholicism than I do with any other power structure that is formed, ostensibly to promote the glory of god or country or the welfare of humanity, but which in fact produces suffering, sorrow and perpetual ignorance. I might have used examples of bad governments or bad businesses instead of a religion example, for it matters not what I select when I choose to point the finger at power hungry troublemakers, deceivers and killers. Government + Religion = Bad Government = Disaster for the common man historically. Today 90% Business + 10% Religion = 100% Government. All spell disaster when left uncontrolled.
All three promise a few conceptually good things and deliver many things and consequences utterly different from the promises and reliably bad, either immediately or through stepwise devolution. Ideals are boilerplate. Reality is different. Simply consider the endless wars in history that, ultimately, have proven and solved nothing long term, and the domination and subjugation of peoples, like the American Indians, who were unable to defend themselves and thus for all practical purposes perished, in the most "liberal democracy" in existence. How long has any nation existed with or maintained a good life for its common inhabitants without causing substantial loss to other nations? Consider Colonialism, 15th and 16th century Catholic Spain to 19th century Church of England, Victorian Great Britain, up to the present secular and Jewish USA abusing local and global labor. How many people today in poverty or in powerless minority groups suffer within any given developed nation, even as illegal immigrants?
Have our laws, courts, police or prisons ever solved anything, or have they primarily been tools of oppression used by the existing power structure? They have presumably been justified by the undeniable fact that some people, some very few people, are truly nasty and thus need to die or suffer long periods of incarceration. How is it that we appear to need ever more restrictive laws and more police if life is good economically? There are and have long been alternate solutions for the truly nasty. For example, weíve had prefrontal lobotomies available for around for 70 years that could easily be used to tame the most violent people and turn them back into society as harmless drones. Yet we speak of us having human rights? We have never seen anything of lasting value from our repressive laws and subsequent punishment systems. It doesnít work in terms of stated goals for the necessary actions to stop the sources of crime are never honestly addressed and acted upon by anyone in power. Power serves self and only self. Government continuously extends the negative application of repressive laws from the population segment that requires close attention to the entire population, and that is most inappropriate.
How is it that the financial emphasis in performing governing is on oppression, repression and punishment and not on early and continuous education to promote considerate behaviors across the population? What an absurdity! Even the religions know better and start training children in values when they are very young (and naïve). Look beneath the phony self-serving surface and self-aggrandizement of government and what you will find is nothing more or less than a somewhat updated form of ancient organized oppression from kings and emperors. Even the age-old black robes from Catholicism are still used for judges in our courtrooms!
Of course, and this is truly humorous, the church pictorial representations of the good folks, like Jesus and angels in heaven, have him/them wearing white. I guess this means our judges and priests represent only nasty things because they wear black! In fact, that is exactly what it means. Is that supposed to demand respect out of fear? Corporate presidents and members of the Congress, even with all their power, simply wear suits. Well, at least the pope wears white, albeit with a very tall headdress and other decorative clothing features that put the most decorated Indian chiefs to shame in symbolic figurehead aggrandizement! Whew!
One of the largest problems with religion and government is that both promise fulfillment and justice and neither provide much of either to ordinary people. Religion has not and cannot demonstrate anything reliable about an afterlife, so they promote unquestioning faith in the afterlife, and complete tolerance of poor living conditions here. Government is utterly unable to provide justice as it is powerless, for example, to return murdered people back to life Ö there is no other justice, and there never was. Thus, even our most politically and thus "legally" powerful governmental organizations deliver only the weak excuse that what they are doing is fair and respectable and responsible, in rule of law or in governing in general. They fail badly and continuously and they are proven easily to be utterly unreliable, serving only special interests. So has it been, so is it now, so shall it be. Reality, expressed in how legal processes actually work, depending on who you are, makes a mockery of the "rule of law."
Misdirection is a very large part of the scam. Look at the news and the press given to the crimes of the weaker common people. How is it that we need to watch their pathetic failures and suffering? Is that how we are supposed to differentiate ourselves from those "bad" people who donít obey laws or religious doctrines? Consider how common people are briefly promoted in power to deliver (and accept responsibility for) punishment through juries. Consider lawsuits pitting common people against each other, with no recourse other than to pay for large amounts of insurance that should not be necessary at all, but which bleeds financial resources from common people to feed the powerful. Is it not clear that the most effective way to keep people from recognizing and acting upon real societal problems brought on by the powerful, through omission or commission, is to have those common people constantly at war or at least at odds with each other; even in ridiculous cultural differentiation or phony gender issues?
Is there a rational answer to this seemingly timeless mess? Yes. The caveat is that those in government and business leadership and religious groups have the financial and political power to create a good present and a superb future for humanity, yet absolutely no ability to do that which is the only thing that will work on behalf of all the people. The disease that afflicts them all is hunger for power. And with few exceptions, they cannot participate in the world of physical science, the only reliably true progress, for lack of mandatory aptitudes for mathematics and physical sciences. Thus they turn their high but non-scientific aptitudes and efforts to develop and apply useless control practices, and thus they are mostly useless to the progression and evolution of humanity. The damage they have wrought far exceeds any good ever done by any of them, even the well intentioned. And they use the fruits of science to enhance their power to our detriment.
Laws are used to promote the power of the already powerful, and they are used to oppress the common people. Guilt and shame as well as prisons are the mechanisms to keep people in line so that they do not direct their thoughts or their productivity to their own interests. They are instead taxed heavily, or abused economically and increasingly confined to activities that either work on behalf of only the powerful or are otherwise deemed harmless activities, like sports or lotteries, that deflect the common people from thinking about and acting on negative realities of society.
Is it right to feel guilt or shame for calling shit, shit? Is there any reason to believe that any of the structures of government, business or religion used from our distant past up to the present, will ever be any different from how they have been in their effects on the common man? Of course, the answer is an obvious no. To continue what we have been doing, in an environment of ever more repression and oppression, aided by advanced technology, will lead us nowhere useful. It will take us backwards. We have already gone backwards. The USA of our founders isnít to be found anywhere within our borders, anymore.
An example of the extent of our governmental devolution into absurd oppression is seen in our federal government extending their control over our common citizens to other countries. If a USA citizen does something that is legal in a foreign country but not legal here then that citizen can/will be arrested here and punished. What ever happened to sovereignty? How is it that a citizen of the country in which the act occurred would not be punished for the same act executed by the USA citizen, yet the USA citizen will be punished? Does your government own you, like a slave, or is itís only right to apply USA laws limited to USA national land areas and protectorates?
There is no valid reason for battle between us and the "bad" guys we war against continuously in other countries and who war against us, albeit very weakly. The entire geopolitical circus is simply one huge power trip seeking wealth and control of all peoples and all assets. There is not one damn thing about it useful to the progression and evolution of humanity. All that is accomplished is the destruction of lives and property and massive waste of natural resources.
What is wrong? Our entire paradigm for conducting life on this planet is utterly foolish. One power base, the church, is anti-knowledge. They want nothing to interfere with their formally ingrown decided realities about the nature and purpose of life. They promote stasis and perpetual human weakness. Their god appears to dislike humans who attempt to rise above ignorance and the marginal life that results from perpetual ignorance. The only benefit is to the powerful church leaders, and that is the reason they promote a god who proclaims and demands common people to forever remain weak and ignorant. The idiocy of that position is obvious to anyone who has ever been a parent, for we relish in the growth of our children, not in them remaining weak and ignorant. That reality screams the idiocy of the Catholic Church and other religions like Islam and the obvious nature, self-serving nature, of keeping the hierarchy in power at the expense, permanent expense, of the common man.
Move to the world of business and again we find the few powerful people wanting to control everything, especially the wealth. Businesses use science and growth in knowledge for them to become more powerful, but only to their own ends. There is no consideration or interest in promoting the common good. If it happens it is incidental. The common people are exploited for their labor and their money, but are paid in an unreliable environment only such money as the businesses are forced to pay for the labor. Businesses cause upheaval and destroy cultures today as they presently have the power to play global labor sources against each other. They drive down labor cost while vastly increasing the power and wealth of the business and particularly those who are the power structure within the business. And the further along the world of mergers and acquisitions proceeds the more abuse heaped onto the common people, as cartels and monopolies have been formed with total government complicity.
Government is totally control oriented, like the church. Government produces no income, only expense; paid by taxing everyone with above poverty level income who is not powerful enough in business to influence business tax legislation and loopholes for the profits gained by the very wealthy. Government, like the church, and using the demands of powerful business people, seeks to dominate everything without and within the country. Government is a power trip not designed to help the common people grow, prosper or become knowledgeable and more self-sufficient. Government demands obedience and promotes ignorance. Were this not true we would see the return of freedoms and the elimination of punitive legislation that serves only to control, in detail, the lives of the common people. We would see major funding to educate the entire population to the extent each individual could learn and apply what they learned. We would see investment in infrastructure for the use of the people, and respect for the environment so our descendants might enjoy what we have. But such is not the case. Unarguable experience has proven that government ignores important infrastructure and quality of life issues for the common citizens, and instead directs tax money to wage wars of economic conquest, and sometimes campaigns for territorial conquest. So has it been, so is it now, with no reason to believe in future changes to benefit the common citizen.
So again I ask, what is wrong? I have pointed out negatives of the church, businesses and government. The powerful people in each generation who run those enterprises are reliably self-serving at the expense of the common people. They destroy the lives of those people economically and personally, with war and with oppressive legislation, and business greed. They uniformly and reliably ignore the opportunities to help people grow in knowledge and freedoms, and to allow those people to enjoy life and organize humanity for peace, fun, growth in knowledge and holistic preparation for our future.
This is fundamental insanity, not survival of the fittest. It is crude animal behavior that demolishes any claims of superiority of humans over other animals and especially their behaviors. When the most powerful operate essentially only to their own benefit they are not humanitarian and they are not future oriented for the benefit of humanity. How is it that most of the most capable people, outside of the world of the physical sciences, destroy human happiness rather than help build it and assure it?
So this is the real point of the article. The guilt and shame are all on the would-be leaders throughout human history, who have immeasurably harmed the common people. This is one basis for recognizing the need for massive change within and changing the world order and how we manage our evolution so that this asinine behavior cannot continue. Aggregation of power must be stopped cold and reversed. The extremely destructive results from the mental illness of power hunger must be stopped permanently.
THE SOFT VERSION
Alas, I am by my own moral standards required now to promote religion, business and government for some of the good that they all do. So I will. In the course of that discussion I will explain those aspects of the common people that make many of them ineligible to expect much consideration from more capable people. These things must be said in the name of fairness, and also to lay the groundwork to explain my solutions to our apparently timeless problems of humans disgustingly taking advantage of each other and of our environment.
A practical basis for religion is found in the Bible. Look up Sodom and Gomorra. If people at large are not focused on following one creed or one supernatural belief system then they start to worship any kind of idol to whom they can attribute life, luck or whatever, and morality becomes fluid. The idea is that most people need consistent answers to their great questions about the unknown, questions about existence, the meaning of life, and things like why did my child die, where do I go when I die? The truth or falseness of the answers given is not the point. The point is that the mass hypnosis provided by organized religion provides peace of mind and it organizes and aligns the overall society in terms of active operating values and expectations. It is part of the human psyche to either be too dull to ponder questions like First Causes as an individual, or too intelligent as an individual to believe in random magic. Thus, a universal (or at least earthly) set of answers about existence has to be given to the masses.
Failure to provide that answer on a regular basis resulted in confusion and chaos, even across residents of ancient villages. No rules for living among each other means that any behavior is normal, and that is clearly unacceptable, for there is little incentive to be productive if the fruits of your labors will be stolen at will by anyone around you. You cannot defend yourself or your family in that setting, for you know not who will be friend or foe. Rape and pillage, part of the end of many ancient, and for that matter modern wars, is the best example of what happens when rules about decent human behavior cease to exist or cease to apply, even temporarily. Underneath it all is the presence or absence of carefully crafted human values. Hence, the ancient code of Hammurabi and things like the Ten Commandments of Judaism. Even the witch doctor has an essential societal role.
This organization or practice is known as religion. Religion provides rules and explanations for living, and excepting some of the earlier tribal practices of human sacrifice on balance religions teach people to live together in peace. Mutual respect is taught with a basis of universality in religions like Buddhism, or, focus on pantheistic god bases to give ultimate responsibility and privilege to cover different important aspects of life, like love, or war, or weather or motherhood. This approach, common in Hinduism, earlier Greek god mythologies and even Norse attributions of things like thunder to Thor tells us pantheism gives people more focus by directing them to seek the favor of the designated expert. Then there is monotheism as characterized by the in common Jewish, Christian and Islamic or Muslim god. In this latter case, common physical origins provided after what later became diverse cultures a common basis for existence, and one stop shopping to pray and get answers to all questions. It was the simple act of becoming physically separate that, as you might expect, would result in different religions for Jews and Muslims, even though they started with a common god. Christianity, as most of us know, was simply an outgrowth from Judaism, a refinement if you will about how humans should care about, help and respect each other, an approach to life which I rather favor.
The theme of organizing people to follow rules and dictated standards of behavior is one that spans religion, government and even business, so you will be reading more of that later in this article. What should be clear to you are three things: 1) Humans must be organized for any sort of progress to take place or for any kind of confidence in living productively to form. 2) Willingness to submit personal will to some version of the will of a higher authority is mandatory for social hierarchies to form and to succeed, and starting with an all powerful god as a reason for doing so greases the skids to justify similar social practices external to religion. 3) Attributing origin and responsibility for existence to one or more gods, and expressing the will of the god(s) through rules, provides an abstract disconnect between earthly responsibility of leaders and the results their leadership produces. It is commonly known as "the will of god" and it is a convenient mechanism, subtle yet obvious, for finger pointing to escape responsibility for poor decisions. Unnecessary failures within the medical community are an excellent example, where the "will of god" is blamed for bad results, and also used as a means to calm grieving people regarding the deceased loved one going to heaven (god called him home).
It should be clear that religion is one essential practice to maintaining constructive values across society. Religion is the "tie that binds" peoples who would otherwise have little or nothing in common. And it matters not whether groups of people or nations/national governments refer to their set of common and constructive values as religion or political theories of government. In the end, a common value system that promotes peace and rules and that supports efficiency structures within the society is all that matters, sociologically. Of course, you will note that I did not mention personal happiness.
This then is a good transition point to discuss government. As religion and government both are about rules to stabilize and control society they have a lot in common. Religion sets the moral standards and government passes laws to punish people who do not adhere to those standards, at least the ones captured in the laws. At the action level religion determines the content of many laws that relate to human behavior, such that claims of secular thinking by government are simply inaccurate. Religion speaks generally of man living well, with joy and gratitude for the wonderful world provided for him. Government helps make that happen. Government builds and maintains the roads and bridges and transportation systems and other infrastructure in that world to allow that to happen on an integrated large scale. These responsibilities are outside the domain of religion and clearly too large for individuals or even groups of people to contemplate, let alone execute.
The simple and basic idea is that we need government to execute all of the tasks that are too large for individuals and even communities. We thus have many levels of government from national to state to county to city. Each typically has a domain of operations such that the various governing organizations dovetail responsibilities. It does not take but a moment to realize that large national government is essential for the items mentioned above and military protection and the creation and enforcement of uniform laws (unlike states) that are the active form of the moral codes expressed in religions.
The fundamental idea is that good government will create an environment in which individuals can live out their lives in peace and confidence and fairness. Here we see the active form of the golden rule, for at best we do have a common purpose and a common understanding that we must contribute and acquiesce to the common good, and in turn receive good will and security. Now you can clearly understand my angst in the previous section of this article, for the degree of difference between the responsibility and the execution define good or bad government. Nonetheless, it is impossible at this time in history to have any large scale integrated society function well without the active participation and leadership and rule of government. It is simple common sense. Anarchy in its truest form across a nation is a logical absurdity.
As neither religion or government create the products we need to live, or the associated monies or other valued exchange mediums like precious metals, we have physical production and financial sides of life that link business to government. Government is responsible to set rules for businesses to follow to the benefit of all the citizens (more angst!), and these are financial through monetary control and of a safety and quality nature in organizations like the Food and Drug Administration. Business thus needs common operating rules and laws to avoid business chaos, and this is simple to understand from the same perspective that individuals need common and consistent religious training to understand how to interact morally with each other. The term used in the past was "fair business practices."
The interplay between business and government is considerable and important. It is up to government to stimulate business to provide that which is needed by the larger society (jobs and growth), yet not interfere with the fundamental nature of capitalism, which supports efficiency in creating and distributing the many things we need to conduct life as individuals.
The very nature of business in a capitalistic environment is structured, with its own set of rules and pretty much its own set of ethical values for interactions, business to business. These values require few laws, though many laws do exist to cover many situations, but basically those intelligent enough to create and manage businesses understand the importance of standards, including physical, procedural, legal and ethical standards. Competition can, however, muddy the water of ethical practices, and as such businesses evolve continuously to become no more or less moral than their leadership. If they can they eat each otherís lunch.
The very nature of large business organizations is such that the individuals who work for the business must follow common rules and practices that address the needs of the business, not the likes or dislikes of the individuals. The necessity for acquiescence to management is then obvious, with somewhat more degrees of freedom and flexibility than what is found in military organizations or other areas of government. The idea is that businesses can draw on creativity from many levels while military and other government organizations have fairly fixed rules on job domains and privileges. It is the very reality of flexibility and freedom for the employees to contribute creatively and subsequently to reap personal rewards that provides for well run businesses to grow in strength and domain.
As is rather obvious, individuals are entirely dependent on their employers to provide income sufficient to meet the needs of life, so that essential products and services the individual cannot or does not produce can be purchased as needed. It is also obvious that financial compensation must be based on the value of the individual to the business. Otherwise, talent leaves for better opportunities, or the enterprise suffers because those who might contribute new ideas derive little or no benefit in an environment of standardized financial compensation for a given type of job. That was a serious fault of communism as practiced within the former Soviet Union.
Given the dependency of the employees on the employer, and the financial and psychological stresses on the employees when that dependency is not addressed humanely, it becomes obvious that considerate business behaviors towards employees are critical to our wellbeing. We are fully responsible and must do everything we can as individuals to contribute to the health and growth of the business. In turn, the business is in fact responsible for the wellbeing of the employees and their dependents. Dissembling and lying in the past twenty to thirty years to deny that reality in support of offshoring and "profits only" moral considerations for "investors" are a sick twist and complete misrepresentation of an essential societal responsibility of any business. Thus, ultimate unilateral implementations of tunnel vision capitalism are extremely destructive to the common citizens/employees, so we have to think of business as we do government. It can be good or bad.
I recognize that much of the discussion in this section could be called "Life 101," at least for educated and/or experienced perceptive people. Yet, without a standardized, common understanding of fundamental reasons for existence and interrelationships and practices, how can one make a value judgment about whether or not a given business, government or religion is doing what they are supposed to do? It is thus most important within this article to create a common understanding of the real purposes for all these social forms and organizations opposite the needs of individuals. We must have realistic expectations, else we have distortion in our thinking, and then we produce little or nothing of value. We must appreciate the good that these societal structures provide. We must always be alert to deviations from the fundamental responsibilities of each structure and we must actively support constructive changes and fight against devolution into utter self-serving practices, else these essential societal structures become our destroyers. Each has, in fact, done damage simply by failing to evolve principles and practices through time, in accordance with overall human evolution. Static views of life donít work well in a dynamic environment, whether we are talking about religion, government or business, or the thoughts, wants and needs of the common man.
Finally, it is time to discuss the variable expectations, intelligence and rights of the common citizens. It is already clear that the individuals who lead in any structured organization are possessed of aptitudes that are not shared by most of the people they lead. There are some exceptions typically related to nepotism or to elitism based on some common factor, like education or social background. Aside from those exceptions the general point is that the less capable people in terms of leadership aptitudes and career interest do not, as a rule, gain or occupy positions of leadership, at least not very long, by personal choice or by failure to perform.
The sad truth of what we find in general intelligence and education and experience across about ninety percent of the population is that the people in that large group are useful only in certain circumstances in certain occupations. Most of them do not and cannot contribute at any level beyond simple labor to human evolution. This is a genetic function over which they have no control, for each of us is born with or without high aptitudes to learn or to perform well in different possible careers. That financial compensation is tightly linked to position in society resulting from applied aptitudes is the reality. That reality is not about to change simply because of wishful thinking, and what it means is that the less capable people, some ninety percent of all of us, will live a less fulfilled economic life. Similarly, the lower ninety percent may get to enjoy some of the benefits of society, but they cannot contribute in essential ways to demand high income as there are and have always been too many of them for the jobs available. Thus, there is a push down effect in society where the least capable have very poor lives.
The law of supply and demand applied to people in the last paragraph determines individual success. Inability to have and use one or more high aptitudes or abilities or inherited genetic gifts to become essential to a business implies a life of poverty or subsistence living. That is the invariant reality throughout history and there is no reason beyond kindness or personal gratitude for being born capable to justify providing the less capable with the better things in life.
In the USA our laws, Constitution and Bill of Rights define a requirement of fairness and equality that, while critical to national success, in no way addresses how to manage a population with vastly different aptitudes. No matter how various people have tried to modify and force definitions of equality across a very unequal society, the simple fact is that the less capable people are not equal, are not capable of becoming equal, and so cannot take advantage of laws addressing equality and human rights. That each citizen is given the right to vote is as far as equality goes, and only fools imagine that individual votes are cast based on equal knowledge or equal ability to reason on behalf of making optimal choices. The reality is that the right to vote means almost nothing regarding how the society will be run, regardless of which political party wins any given election. This has been discussed at length in earlier articles.
Our various attempts at socialism have not worked beyond providing the same type of potential opportunities across the population of economically disadvantaged people as would be present for somewhat higher positions economically and educationally. This is good in that the very few individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who happen to have aptitudes to learn can rise in society to the level of their abilities. It is bad in that almost all of the economically disadvantaged are incapable of learning because of relative genetic disadvantage that shows up as inability to learn. They are permanently disadvantaged because they canít learn enough to contribute meaningfully to a technically advanced society, yet economic support of them does and will guarantee high levels of unthinking reproduction.
Thus, socialism simply exacerbates the original problem of finding a place in society for learning disadvantaged people to gain financial security. And here especially is where religion muddies the water. To operate from the golden rule type of thinking when the recipient of your beneficence simply cannot later do unto/for you as you do for them, produces good personal feelings now but, like socialism in general, results only in later larger problems. This is a true reason for angst, for exactly what is kindness and consideration in an environment such as our modern day ever more complicated society? If the favor I do today takes away hunger for the moment, only to underpin/guarantee more hunger years later, then what have I done? Is it not more realistic and humane and practical to help avoid future poverty by accompanying economic assistance with limiting reproduction in the same timeframe?
You now can see that the thinking here applied to those severely limited in learning and economically disadvantaged also applies to the rest of the common people. When the common people reproduce beyond what the society needs in terms of employment then the quality of life for almost all people declines. Part of it is crowding, part of it is problems like accidents resulting from limited skills or reasoning, part of it is environmental stress with no corresponding valuable contribution, part of it is the law of supply and demand, but overall the common man is an increasing drain on society. Unfortunately this is the reason that today the wealthy show little to no signs of moral concern about the wellbeing of people who lose their jobs. Turning their backs on the needs of the common man is an expected result of having no way to justify, economically, the support of the common man. Some of that is due to technological improvements, some is due to global labor competition, some is due to recognizing that population growth without corresponding ability and/or motivation to learn and contribute something valuable is destructive.
Is this position justified? Is it moral? As an individual I want to believe in my right to fair treatment, so it is not possible for me to approve of any actions that will reduce my quality of life. So should it be for all the common people. It is not fair to expect anyone to accept declining life style when they have not actively done anything wrong, but have instead done what they were/are told to do by the leaders. Yet there is a fundamental disconnect between the comparative evolutions of the different parts of society. The kind answer is to manage population. The wicked answer is to cause and ignore poverty or create war.
Now it is time to move on to solutions to our apparently timeless major problems.
Who has the chutzpah to believe any individual, especially oneself, is qualified to define and promote total change to how humanity lives and evolves? I do.
Let me begin with a statement of non-apology. All of us err in some of our reasoning and our conclusions on many subjects. Thus, I am not predicting the future. I know my limitations. What I am about to do is describe invariant change that has to occur for humanity to evolve well. I know what does not work based on our history. I see real progress in human endeavors that will allow us to improve markedly if we are so inclined. Whether we will evolve in useful ways is not my decision to make. All I do is shine a bright light on possibilities in the hope that others can understand and promote human progress.
Iíve already described at length many of our less desirable traits and characteristics, and Iíve described fairly, albeit briefly, our societal efforts to create and to maintain order and progress. We have, in general, good motives. The problem is, we have failed repetitively and consistently in ways too major to ignore or to accept.
What this all means is that we have to do a series of stepwise fundamental changes that will alter what we are and how we evolve. Most of us are unknowingly anti-knowledge because we are incapable of even conceiving complex questions, let alone rational answers, to our thoughts about our existence. Here are the simple questions. Why are we here? How did we get here? Where are we going? We have accepted our limitations and ourselves and we have ceased to grow. Instead, we are inclined to accept whatever happens and consider lifeís larger questions beyond our understanding and our control. That is why we endlessly repeat our mistakes.
This is foolishness. It is time to grow up.
That many of our leaders from the beginning of recorded history have done the best they could, from a basis of abysmal ignorance, is the good news. We can change if our leaders see both the benefits and the means of change, and act on the opportunities. They will do so to our advantage if the nature of the changes and benefits do not undermine their power or cause us to become larger burdens.
I consider it ironic that power is so frequently seen as a zero sum game. Power is limitless and can be had by all. No one is undermined and no one is limited by past societal structures and practices, for the need for those structures and practices, as we know them today, goes away. That will be a hard sell in certain quarters.
For the record, all guilt and shame are useless. They are negatives that add no value and no growth. The nature of official disapproval, from any power structure, adds zero value to progress. At the best, simple people are kept from making unthinking but active stupid mistakes. Letís dispense with guilt and shame now, and replace it with something positive and useful.
To outline a rational future we first have to identify characteristics of that future that contrast with realities today. Then we look at how we can get from where we are to where we want to be. Letís begin.
The first priority is to enhance mental prowess across all of humanity starting with the births of children yet to be born. That will be a product of genetic engineering when we have advanced genetic engineering, and that will take many decades at best. The degree of improvement will be higher with succeeding generations following the first births of humans with advanced mental prowess.
The second priority is to become physically immortal, and that change will also be a product of genetic engineering. There will be overlap between the first and second priorities and physical immortality will be guaranteed to all with advanced mental prowess. As a new humanity evolves, genetic engineering will advance to the point that the older earliest and subsequent immortals will have their own brains enhanced to be equal to the latest advances.
Reproduction as we have known it will cease for lack of need, but not the ability to reproduce. Immortality is the reason we will stop reproducing as we do today, where each generation has to relearn all that humanity learned earlier and then try to push out our frontiers of knowledge. Acceptance of death as a natural consequence is stupid when there is an alternative to losing what we know in each generation.
The two characteristics of advanced mental prowess and immortality combined determine a new structure for society; an entirely new structure based on the abilities of humanity after enhancement. This means virtually all of the control mechanisms and wide wealth disparities and power disparities today will be eliminated. There will be no reason to have them, for all people will have easy access to all things.
The human of the future will have a variety of physical changes to enhance physical abilities as well as mental abilities. Basically, anyone can choose to become whatever they are motivated to be in terms of a career, lifestyle and hobbies.
The physical necessities of life in terms of food and shelter and transportation and associated areas will have become automated such that human labor to obtain those necessities will be merely a memory of an older pre-historic time. Labor, per se, will be defined by what each individual decides to learn and do, and being immortal means this will change for individuals through centuries and millennia, according to their interests.
Demands on the environment will lessen considerably as the number of people will lessen to perhaps one billion.
The one commitment to society will be to advance knowledge where needed and to apply that knowledge and implement change as capabilities increase with new knowledge.
The overall goals are to understand everything, to enjoy living and to ultimately seek and honor the source of our existence, whatever that means. One thing is certain, travel beyond our little solar system will be a given in the quest for knowledge to understand or as necessary create the meaning of life.
As little as 60 years ago the general descriptions I provided in this section would have been scoffed at as wildly delusional. Today we have just enough knowledge about genetic engineering and genetic science in general to realize that our path into the future is already known. It is now a stepwise matter of making it happen. We will redefine and recreate abundant life of many forms in many places. We will drop the negative aspects of our past and present which were/are byproducts of ignorance and death.
Power. Isnít it interesting that we will not have to amass it to use against each other? Is it not even more interesting that such sad considerations like the "world order" will cease to exist? Health problems will cease to exist. Meaningful, creative fulfillment without harm will define the character of man.
Power. It will be the sum of the parts, the people. All will have abilities and interest in being a part of the whole. Learning will be so rapid and intelligence so high that human control functions of governments will no longer be needed or wanted. Businesses will continue to provide for physical needs. Religion will have been redefined. Education and pursuit of knowledge will become the primary purpose of life.
It all starts with advancing theoretical physical science and then applied science and technology. It is a surefire path to success and the elimination of our weaknesses and limitations. The hardest part is psychological in letting go of our past, what we have been, and virtually all that we have known in societal practices to assure survival.
Now it is necessary to outline steps necessary to achieve the goals of enhanced mental prowess and physical immortality. It is most clear at the present that no matter how wonderful some of our genetic discoveries have been; there is a major resistance to moving ahead unhampered by such things as religion and government. Even business sees advancement only in terms of increasing wealth. These entities are defined by their seeking and amassing power, and removing power from all others, so that control of the masses is simple.
There is no question that research and development of all things related to genetic science will have to happen without the destructive influence of power seekers who could and would damage, distort or even destroy progress. If you think about it, isnít it odd that the madness of power seekers puts people who are in fact mad in power. Odd indeed! Perhaps it isnít so odd after all when you consider that the aptitudes that support becoming a leader do not support the increase in scientific knowledge necessary to evolve from where we are into a brighter future.
Up to this time in history we all see the rest of the world, people and occupations through how they interface and impact who we are and how we will each develop and realize our respective destinies. We are egocentric and that is no surprise.
Perhaps the religionists, especially the Buddhists, can help teach us how to let go of our egocentric thinking, and how to learn to experience joy and respect in being part of a universal whole. There is no guilt or shame in seeking a holistic destiny for humanity. It is surely time for us to grow up. Letís do it.
Last, I challenge you to think beyond our legacy, our inheritance from the past. Is focusing on what we can become a new religion? Is this not transcendent evolution? Does this not seek God? Think about it.