Every soul takes its trip, not so? Often precipitated without rhyme, reason or predictability? You’re taking yours, I’m taking mine, to each and everyone their own: managed more or less giftedly and passionately for the better or for the worse until its fatal climax, that for which no one involved has any choice. Hitler and his henchmen had their trips, too. Some new tyrant’s might smash ours like yachts berthed in a hurricane. History has warned us.
Yet haven't we become cagey enough to recognize the worst gangsters and shut them down? Won’t any newcomer be comparable to all the creeps of history? Is there anything new they could try, that we’d not already seen through?
Learners will tap into everything that allows itself to be known, which will make them smarter. Smarter people, fewer mistakes; fewer mistakes, less pain; less human pain, greater productivity. Rapid investment for profit without limits. Could we show enough Humanity and Duty, per Mencius, to see this through? Enough guts to attempt it? Where could we find those guts; in the salvation of our soul, perhaps?
Have we grown too cagey for our own good? These days, we find it safer to believe in nothing and no-one, whatever the cost, and trust in no new ideology. Fanaticophobia, what a sorry habit! “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 in clear and frank for your consideration.
First things first! World peace first!
I’m shouting this from the rooftops, so far unheard. I’m abog in this world’s denial.
You may have noticed three phenomena act in concert for the first time in history.
· There is a truly global communication network out there. In exchange for our conglomeration of alien and alienating nation-states, we are rapidly turning into One People and One World. Me Tarzan. Me swing message along jungle vines of World Wide Web. Give you.
· Like-minded Learners (just like you and me!) throng this planet. Regardless of ethnicity, nation or creed, each one craves peace. Exquisitely trained and ready for anything, we outnumber the tyrants and their collaborators by thousands to one.
· Finally, we’re teetering on a cliff-edge of omnicide ("Kill everything!") that’s nearing more scary every day.
Why not exploit this triple-paned window of opportunity, recruits and crisis, barely cracked open? It was sealed shut against us in the past, since we lacked essential peace components. Every prior effort at peace was doomed to fail in their absence, and condemned so often that we allowed ourselves to be convinced that all such efforts are useless, with or without those essential components. That window of opportunity will close again soon. We have only this fleeting opportunity before the evil-twin components of those peace efforts carry out our final, mechanical and peremptory execution.
In order to make the most of our peace effort, we need to share one ideal and organize around it. An ideal not yet on the tip of every tongue, yet 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’ll never refer you to an alternate, pro-Nazi one. My family fought the Nazis tooth and nail ; I despise them. However, this is WeaponWorld and I must harvest my quotes where I can find them. Your appraisal of Learner will demand of you an uncomfortable broadness of mind].
“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 martyrs…thus much stronger].
Shouldn’t America remain the political lighthouse of the world? Or must it turn so stupidly into the world’s latest bully Centurion? Why not nurture this country’s legendary idealism and transplant it into the fallow loam of the Old World for permanent cropping? All that has been grown there, up to now, were the weeds of weapon mentality.
America has always served as a pragmatic test bed for lofty new 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 have done best.
And yet, when we start mimicking Old World tyrannies, 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 cultivate 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 one. It’s not engraved on marble or on bronze, but in the heart of each citizen. It is the real constitution of the State, which grows stronger 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 its institutions; it imperceptibly replaces the force of authority with that of habit. I speak of morals, of customs and especially of opinion: that overlooked element of our politics, yet upon which all the rest 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 morals – 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 into PeaceWorld, but not cram you inside. All I can do is suggest the melody and hope that you choose to harmonize. Everybody, sing!
It is immaterial how PeaceWorld may repay us—however much we may long to bask in its glory. Our conscience revived at last, the glory of God, reverence for long-dead ancestors, the wellbeing of posterity and our military honor as guarantors of Peace, all of them demand it.
That should be enough for us.