Every soul has its own trip that often unwinds unpredictably, subject to intangible Karma; not so? You’ve got yours, I’ve mine, to each their own: managed more or less skillfully until its fatal unfolding, for which no-one has any choice. Hitler and his henchmen had theirs, too. Some new tyrant’s might smash ours like yachts berthed in a hurricane. History has warned us.
Haven't we become cagey enough to recognize the worst gangsters and shut them down right away? Won’t newcomers remind us of all the creeps of history? Could they try anything new that we’d not already faced and overcome?
Learners will tap into everything that can be known, which will make them smarter. Smarter people, fewer mistakes; fewer mistakes, less pain; less human pain, greater productivity. Rapid investment for limitless profit. Could we express enough Humanity and Duty, per Mencius, to see this through? Could we have enough guts to attempt it? Where could we find those guts; in the salvation of souls, perhaps?
Have we grown too cagey for our own good? These days, we find it safer to believe in nothing and no-one, to trust in no new ideology, whatever the cost. Fanaticophobia, what a sorry tendency! “The opposite of illusions is not disillusion, but the truth.” A Course in Miracles, Foundation for Inner Peace, p. 438.
So here’s my agenda for your consideration.
First things first! World peace first!
I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops, abog in denial and unheard by the world.
You may have noticed three phenomena act in concert for the first time in history.
· We have a truly global communication network. Our conglomeration of alien and alienating nation-states is rapidly turning into One People and One World. Me Tarzan. Me swing message along Internet jungle vines to give you.
· A host of like-minded Learners (like you and me!) throngs this planet. Regardless of ethnicity, nation or creed, each of us wants peace. Well qualified and ready for anything, we outnumber the tyrants and their agents by twenty to one.
· Finally, we’re teetering on a cliff-edge of omnicide ("Kill everything!") that’s getting scarier every day.
Why not exploit the triple window of opportunity, recruits and crisis, barely cracked open? Since these essential peace components were missing in the past, it was shut against us. The failure of past efforts convinced us that they would always be futile, with or without those essential components. That window of opportunity will close again soon. We have only this fleeting opening before the evil-twins of those peace efforts finish us off.
For our peace efforts to succeed, we need to share one ideal and organize ourselves around it: an ideal not yet on the tip of every tongue, but universally adoptable after careful consideration. One that would embrace the best and worst of who we are; brace us to fear, exclude and censor nothing and no one. It would shield us from ice storms of recrimination, blame games, brutality and untruth. Finally, it would allow us to forgive everyone and everything, including ourselves and the worst we’ve done in the past—as individuals, cultures, and creeds.
Could we forgive ourselves, repent our unholy ways and make honest amends? Could we find out what that would take? Could we wrap our minds around it?
Learners will call that high ideal “PeaceWorld.”
For the first time, we dispose of the means, motive and opportunity required. Once the baton goes up and the first note rings out, our peace chorale could drown out the bad brass band blare of WeaponWorld.
[Author’s note: a neutral, academic web site now offline. I’d never refer you to an alternate, pro-Nazi one. My family fought the Nazis tooth and claw; I despise them. However, this is WeaponWorld and I must harvest my quotes where I can find them. Your appraisal of Learner will demand that you stretch your open-mindedness beyond its comfort zone].
“In every case where there are exigencies or tasks that seem impossible to deal with successfully, public opinion must be concentrated on the one problem ... Only in this way can public interest be aroused to such a pitch as will urge people to combine in a great voluntary effort and achieve important results.
“This fundamental truth applies also to the individual ... He must always concentrate his efforts to one definitely limited stage of his progress, which has to be completed before the next step be attempted … This systematic way of approaching an objective is an art in itself and always calls for the expenditure of every ounce of energy...” Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. I, Chap. 10.
“… all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be repeated persistently until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.” Vol. I, Chap. 6.
“The more the militant energies of the people are directed towards one objective, the more will new recruits join the movement, attracted by the magnetism of its unified actions, ...” Vol. I, Chap. 3.
“Any Weltanschauung, though a thousandfold right and supremely beneficial to humanity, will be of no practical service for the maintenance of a people, as long as its principles have not yet become the rallying point of a militant movement.” Vol. II, Chap. 1.
[His militancy was that of brutes; Learners' will be that of cooperators…thus much stronger].
Shouldn’t America remain the political lighthouse of the world? Or must it molder into its latest bully Centurion? Shouldn’t we nurture its legendary idealism and transplant it into the fallow loam of the Old World that has only yielded, up to now, the weeds of weapon mentality.
America has been a pragmatic test bed for lofty ideals. Its citizens have taken the most radical, most risky ideologies and transformed them into working models of downstream abundance. Around the world, idealists, entrepreneurs and common folk alike have fallen in love with our splendid results and beaten a path to our door. That’s what we are most admired for and what we do best.
And yet, when we start mimicking tyrants of the Old World, their wary inhabitants begrudge us our second-hand despotism and strike back hard. With good reason: those gladiator-movie clichés never worked in three thousand years of bloody trial and error—as we know perfectly well.
The time has come to develop PeaceWorld: our one true calling. Other alternatives are mere death by the sword.
“To these three kinds of law a fourth links up, the most important of all. It’s not chiseled in marble or in bronze, but in the heart of each citizen. It is the real constitution of the State, which gains strength every day. It revives and replaces other laws when they reach their expiration date or exceed it. It holds a people to the spirit of their institution and quietly replaces the force of authority with that of habit. I speak of mores, of customs and especially of opinion: that overlooked element of our politics, yet upon which everything else depends; that part which secretly preoccupies the great statesman while he appears to focus on specific regulations. Those are but the girdle of the dome of which mores – born more gradually – end up forming the unshakable key.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Du contrat social, (The Social Contract). Book II, Chapter 11.
I can invite you to investigate PeaceWorld but not cram you inside. All I can do is suggest the melody and hope that you harmonize.
It is unimportant how PeaceWorld repays us—however much we may long to bask in its glory. Our conscience revived at last, the glory of our God, reverence for long-dead ancestors, the wellbeing of posterity and our military honor as guarantors of Peace, those should be enough for us.