I have taken note of a number of political theories that sought to “fix everything” but almost never managed to and only temporarily in the case of rare exceptions. Why?
For a good mechanic tasked with fixing a machine that had broken down for thousands of years, “How do I fix this?” would not be the first question to ask. After all, prior mechanics had asked and answered that question as best they could, all for nothing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be trying to fix things once again; that would already have been worked out.
No, the first questions to ask would be:
· Why did the machine break?
· How did it break?
· Who broke it?
For example: if it broke down because forces were applied to it beyond its capacity to endure, then no matter how many parts were replaced, the machine would break again, either where it broke before or at another weak linkage. If it broke because those who should have tended it, abused it in favor of special interests, then again, it would not matter what parts were replaced. If because it was used for purposes other than those intended; again, no matter.
If you could answer those three questions exactly, you might find a new, unforeseen fix that would last; otherwise, no way. All three questions would have to be answered before the last one could be addressed: “How can I fix this?”
Despite thousands of years of babble by reductionist meliorists (Plato, Machiavelli and Marx come to mind, as does the next tank top troll online) “How to fix” government; Learner poses three primary questions – deliberately and first off – so that its readers may follow its lead and make a better job of it. Thereafter, we may “fix” governance once and for all.
I sent away for a free copy of the Bible in French (www.bibles.ch). The Bible is a wellspring of literary style and inspiration for cultures that adopt it, the way the Koran (Qran) would be for Muslim cultures, the Vedas, for Hindus and other texts for other denominations. Not having read the Bible in French up ‘til then, (nor the Qran in what I’m told is its purest Arabic, nor, alas, the life of Buddha in Pali, nor the Gita in Sanskrit, nor …), it seemed my rusty French might benefit. I must admit I’ve never found a version of the Bible written in French as melodious as the King James Version.
As long as we understand how much less we know compared to what we don’t, and as long as we can catch a whiff of garlic cooking (per J.G. Ballard), everything will be fine.
My request earned me this answer.
“What did you intend to write???”
I replied something like this (rewritten many times since).
It’s not easy to weave a welcome mat for Learner, begin. So many ideas in so few words! …
I foresee a new world soon provided with the following.
· One duly elected World Mayor’s Office with its Administrative Council duly elected from grass roots both widespread and deep-rooted. Note my italics: no Big Brother need apply. It will be our civic duty and private pleasure to replace each of them with worthy tribal leaders.
· One vigilant and humane Judiciary, controlled from start to finish by randomly selected juries.
· An expert Police Force: the best warriors on Earth, handpicked to uphold the peace.
All by themselves, they would govern this planet the same way same our best cities are run: with one single police force, one judiciary and one mayor’s office.
Nowadays, this planet resembles Mogadishu on a Bad Day:
· two hundred cruel, ego-freak gang lords trumping each other at the expense of the planet;
· two hundred councils of senile elders bickering like spoiled children; and
· two hundred street corners, each with its gang-bangers coached by aged murderers, playing bloody War with AK-47s, M-16s and worse.
Nowadays, the Western Powers (America, Europe, Japan... Get it?) resemble Embassy Row in Mogadishu. They occupy the least damaged, richest and most heavily armed neighborhoods in a city in ruins. I don’t know the layout of Mogadishu, so I might be wrong about its “best” neighborhood. Nevertheless, my illustration stands.
I’d rather lead a quiet life in Seattle, Paris or Geneva (name your favorite city) – even as a poor man – than attempt some gold-plated survival as a millionaire in Mogadishu or Grozny. Be it my hometown or planetary setting, the children and I would be better off living in Geneva than dodging bullets down some alley in Mogadishu. That seems undeniable.
I could care less about all those fat cats who swagger along Embassy Row. Ivy-league gangsters in sharp-pressed suits, who starve children by the million then turn their backs. They make me sick. Categorically worthless, like the decrepit rulers of East Germany toward the end. Better ones are out there, brilliant ones; we have to identify and empower them in all honesty, also identify and thwart the least desirable ones.
Simply put, I intend to transform this Planet Mogadishu into Planet Geneva. To get away with it, I will need your cooperation and that of millions more Learners. The more, the merrier!
Picture the prodigies that better-taught children could achieve! The streets would glow with cleanliness and security; the parks would be well tended and inviting; the artwork, ah, the artwork! And the scientific discoveries!
Mogadishu could become what it always wanted to be: a regional capital of commerce, piety and Learning; a subtropical garden famous for its imperial parks and thriving, cosmopolitan port; an inviting tourist attraction and a center of abundance and wisdom—where the call to prayer would never again be interrupted by the disgrace of gunfire.
And the West? Embassy Row of Planet Mogadishu on a Bad Day? It would become the same district on Planet Geneva – just super-deluxe. The rising tide would lift yachts and dinghies alike.
Yet Mencius, my favorite Chinese philosopher among those commemorated, held it wiser to seek Humanity and Duty than a simple profit that will turn destructive. Humanity, Duty and Learning: those priorities could secure us a more certain abundance.
After all, what are our incentives today? Could we profit from WeaponWorld by perfecting it? Criminal expediency. Could PeaceWorld threaten our livelihood without added return, could it be too difficult and dangerous? Cruel and gutless denial. Could world peace fail to emerge until humanity 2.0 had, as perfectly suited for it as our version is not? Circular reasoning to dodge personal responsibility. Appraise our common motives here, without mercy, the way a panhandler might finger his pocket change to add it up by drizzly twilight.
Of course, we will need other things too.
· A brace of peace religions hand in hand. Are you some religious fanatic preaching exclusion and brutality in the name of God? No-one will listen to you any longer; you’re fired!
· A World Militia on the Swiss plan, which let each of us defend home, hometown and homeland against any Aggressor. It would put an end to organized crime and armed aggression in every community that signed up for it.
· A 1-800-my-rights telephone number direct to the World Court. Every hate crime and tyrannical conspiracy would be investigated at its source, and every human rights offender, arrested early on. Especially if some local militia started acting like a loose cannon.
· A World Agora of info politics and Learning, that would operate upwards from the grass roots, as reliable as municipal water, coordinated by computer and more responsive than our familiar political/entertainment lashups.
· An advanced degree to each child by puberty, the way we honor musical prodigies today. Most children would be prodigies in at least one topic of their choosing, if we encouraged the full range of their interests and never quashed them.
· Child rearing would become a sacred calling; so would the ritual purification of water by filtering it through biomass, or some other “miraculous” technology (notably Multi-use Titanium Dioxide). There’d be many more with so many Learners pursuing their topics of passion in the World Agora.
· Guaranteed public health: enough food, clothing, shelter and care for everyone. Simply because. As I describe it further on, a practical charity. We’d be sharing the wealth of Geneva, here, not the poverty of Mogadishu―both magnified to planetary proportions. Enough basic necessities to satisfy everyone's needs with a thousandfold left over.
· Free storefront or sanctuary-based mediation and arbitration services attended by religious and/or secular experts, for any pair of citizens holding a grudge and dispute. No civil case would go before a jury until it had been adjudged in this manner.
· The cultivation of climax biomes in every available habitat; and
· Space, undersea and microbial research in earnest.
You know, those things we make wishful noises for, yet let drop in favor of our weapon technologies? Please note: “our weapon technologies, our responsibility”―no one else’s. If we agreed to play this game honestly, with all our might and that of God, it could turn out to be much better for us than the fatal one we practice today, blaming others for our sins.
In so doing, we lead a life of misery: stripped of civility, charity, true faith, serious education, useful infrastructure, high art, climax biome, good taste and dependable security. Indeed, we’ve stripped our conscience bare—both as individuals and communities.. For the most part, our social habits should honor peace rather than rehearsing what it takes to survive another bad day on Planet Mogadishu.
We submit to this mass-induced stupidity because our societies have evolved through Darwinian selection to fear peace as much as cholera. Both were lethal to primitive cultures and both were banned.
Our culture trains us, from infancy under fulltime hypnosis, to shun peace and Holy Spirit as much as shit and piss. Social collectives and lone philosophers who chose instead to train their children to seek honest peace, true sainthood and real merit, got their throats slit by more militant communities both at home and abroad.
We are the worst weapon demons, and our societies, the deadliest weapon technologies that five (?) thousand years of Darwinian selection could produce. Do you recall the Orcs in Tolkien’s fantasies? Well, the real-world Orcs, that’s us: so-called lovers of peace who never manage to set it up.
The only thing our culture is really good at is optimizing this Threat Formula:
body count x (distance/time2)
Nuclear, biological and perhaps meteorological omnicide, that’s our ultimate cultural achievement and manifest destiny if we don’t transform ourselves on every scale, social, personal and spiritual. Otherwise, that’s all we turned out to be good at and our ultimate destiny.
Humanity = 0, Omnicide = -1.
What a sorry score for such a carefully tended, wisely hardened, perfectly nursed species! We perch on a blue-green orb hooded by an immense, black firmament studded with diamond solitaires that veils inconceivable abundance. A planet that’s good for us in every way―even though it is probably not our planet of origin since its 24-hour timeframe and the human sleep cycle have never been a perfect match, nor has the sun been safe for us to stare at even though animals do it, nor our backbone and joints fit for a lifetime of activity under one gravity.
Come on, Learner! We can do better than that!
For the first time in history, we have all the tools required for World Peace: global communications, mutual recognition and universal longing for peace. For the first time, all of humanity (even if not yet willing) could recognize one another as worthy equals. We could all start reading from the same page. Up ‘til now, we lacked those vital tools in common. At present, all we need is consensus, will, faith and guts. Have we got enough?
Have we had enough?
Note the adoption of new religions of peace at the top of my list. In my opinion and contrary to current political dogma, church and state are inseparable. If you attempt to “separate” church and state, some proxy of a religion will fill the vacuum alongside government. In the past, the relative liberality of Western governments could be traced in part to their adherence to Christian morality. At present, the spiritual void of national capitalist consumerism has become the public creed, to our obvious detriment.
If you find these ideas unacceptable along with others presented in Learners, skip them. It doesn’t matter if I connect with those whose beliefs or doubts lead them to reject new ideas. The marketplace of ideas is much like hitchhiking: mediocre people exclude themselves quite conveniently.
Our Christian creeds rely on the words of Apostle Paul, John of Revelation and St. Augustine. Somehow, those of Jesus are lost in the background, decorative but annulled. We heed the words of men, not the Word of God. What we should adore in pure faith, almost no-one can stomach, so thoroughly has it been corrupted. Jesus’ instructions were corrupted during the Roman persecution, the Nicene Council and the extermination of the Cathars.
I believe that Jesus taught us to live well and die one last time as clueless meat puppets. Be reborn in Him, literally. Reincarnate into His Perfect Life and live it out. Learn from it exactly what we needed in our lives to be saved. Suffer the Second Death by taking up His Cross (though His Mercy might spare us His last Agony), and go directly to Heaven with Him.
Go read His Word for yourself.
Otherwise, we condemn ourselves to an eternity of purposeless reincarnations, circular abstractions, insignificant rituals, empty sins and futile deaths—apart from the last one He taught us pending our compliance with His instruction.
Take into account your current life and see for yourself.
All creeds would be equally valid – Christian, Judaic, Buddhist, Muslim, Vedic, Atheist, Gnostic, Agnostic, Deist, Pagan or any other – if they helped us live a better life and didn’t get too upset once we committed our souls, after dying, into the life of Jesus Christ, our conscience somewhat less flayed by remorse. After this death, we would be perfectly free to choose Him and take His path to Heaven, for the first time in our many lives.
I challenge you to find such a miraculous, perfect and divine freedom to choose under other circumstances. Certainly not among the officious and enslaving prescriptions of killer apes stuck on WeaponWorld: “Do me this, do me that, or be damned. Believe in nothing but what we preach (including belief in nothing). By the way, allow us to snuff out you and your benighted progeny unless you consent to go over there and murder them and theirs.”
Every preacher of cowardly lies, brutality, exclusion, compulsion, betrayal and damnation by our infinite, Loving God—that creature just refines suicidal weapon mentality devoid of faith, love and God. May God forgive him and may I find some way to ape God's mercy.
We could build temples of eternal peace. Surely the Lord has enough mercy for every soul, with more to spare. I seek this apocatastasis, this universalism. The saints required to establish it are unemployed all around us.
All souls are saved: yours, mine, anyone’s. Thus toughened and fearless of anything on Earth, we must do our duty; thus armored, create Peace on Earth.
With no such faith – no real hope – no valid government – no true peace.
This summary will upset many people, especially those trained as children to fear World Peace and block it as adults.
This text is radically revolutionary and at odds with orthodoxy, as am I. According to Learner, the most admirable nationalist patriot is not much more than a jumped-up Crip or Blood who claims supremacy by flashing his idiot gang signs: from a cosmopolitan point of view, an armed and dangerous warmonger on probation. The pacifist devotee who claims moral superiority over the average guy, will achieve no better outcome than he (since he is lying to himself—at least the average warmonger is an honest monster).
To achieve peace, we must understand how much we fear it, how completely our institutions are averse to it and how thoroughly our current thoughts and actions thwart it. Whether we call ourselves warriors or lovers of peace; whether we’re young or old, rich or poor, learned or ignorant, pious or not; whether our institutions appear benign and sacred to us, or just mediocre or infernally bad; regardless of our identity position. Every institution, every down-home cliché, every cultural checkpoint will have to be taken by frontal assault and cleared hand-to-hand in this intellectual Stalingrad. No-one and nothing will be spared.
What will PeaceWorld look like once the smoke clears? It will delight our Loving God Who will bless it with miracles of approbation; unlike WeaponWorld abhorrent to God, Who lets it survive through forbearance of our sins. We could become true servants of God: athirst for, drunk with and slaked by the peace of God; caring wisely for every child; growing Eden and leaping for the stars. Justice. Compassion. Peace. You could leave your front door unlocked in perfect safety.
Think about that.
What if we stopped avoiding peace? What if we embraced it instead? Taught it to the children with pure conviction, to revere peace and uphold it forever, on our honor and with all our might?
Once Learners rally, the heavens will come to our aid.
This is my summary of Learner, begin.