It’s hard to realise how utterly different daily life in modern nations has become compared to the existence of our forebears. Who can say what’s been lost amidst all that’s been gained? Many promising babes have been thrown out along with the wasted bathwater of the past.
It can be difficult to discern which aspects of human nature have been thoroughly transformed and which have been simply disguised beneath fashionably chameleonic costumes and momentary mores. Many apparently wilful acts are actually repetitive reiterations of instinctual behaviour. Fundamental change can easily evade control or prediction.
Commonplace notions and behaviour that seemed utterly normal in times past are often thoroughly forgotten or completely proscribed. Blood sports and bloodletting, mercury tooth fillings, poisonous coal gas pumped into citizens’ homes, workhouses for the poor and the apparently ‘natural order’ which routinely subordinated women and ignored children’s needs are anathema to advanced societies. We’ve left much behind in the infancy and childhood of our species but if we’re wise and fortunate we still have a great deal of growth and evolution ahead of us, doubtless accompanied by the usual requisite growing pains.
Our race is not yet run. Many things we take for granted will be completely swept away and replaced in less than a single human lifespan. Whether we keep the baby or the toxic bathwater of our industrious leavings is entirely up to us; we can’t have it both ways.
Throughout virtually all of human history slavery was regarded by almost everyone as a normal state of affairs. Populations reared in the primate pecking order of feudal societies were indoctrinated to believe in a ‘natural order’ of sexes, classes and castes and to regularly pay obeisance to distant faceless overlords and the tin-pot graven gods devised to authorise their totalitarian rules. Even when enough technical and ethical progression had occurred to make slavery both an uneconomical and undesirable proposition, freeing the most benighted enslaved underclass of humankind required centuries of argument, conflict, bargaining and travail.
Centuries of struggle and public education were necessary to make the bleeding obvious a recognised fact; that all men and women are born (not created, friends, but self-created) equal and deserve the same rights, freedoms and responsibilities as everyone else - unless they prove by destructive actions that they’re incapable of living in free and just societies. Centuries of struggle have resulted in the recognition of a few prime requisites of egalitarian cultures; the recognition of an individual’s sovereign rights to habeas corpus (to own their bodies and live freely without fear of unjust imprisonment), robust democratic traditions, freedom of speech and an unfettered media, an independent judiciary, electoral oversight, fair and equally apportioned rights and responsibilities and the freedom to pursue one’s dreams, ’ere they harm none.
It’s always suited ‘great leaders’, captains of industry, monarchic dynasties and their coterie of privileged servants, relatives and hangers-on to keep the far greater majority of humankind time-poor, ignorant, insecure and helpless. Endless work was required to maintain the lifestyles to which these robber barons were accustomed and to fulfil their dynastic fantasies, so the poor were informed that they were expected to work until they died. They were told that ‘idle hands do the devil’s work’ and ‘there’s always a place for you in the army’.
We applaud the advances of the last two centuries, but still have a long way to go before true equality and freedom can become the norm. It isn’t a matter of technology or ability; all the tools and treasures we require are lying at our feet, hidden in plain sight. It’s a question of perception, wisdom and will.
In this day and age, working almost all your life away to secure the basic necessities and a few little luxuries is lauded as a valuable and necessary ethic. In fact, we’ve already reached the point where everyone on the planet could easily be provided free housing, food, clean water, health care, education, refrigeration, transportation, information, communication and energy – if only we’d give up war and stop paying all our time and imaginary money to weaponsmiths and their bankers, so they can hold a war-stained sword of Damocles over all our heads.
Utopia? Why not?
It would be relatively easy for everyone on earth to be provided with a basic payment or guaranteed wage that would provide us all with the requisite leeway to spend our only true asset – our precious time on planet Earth – more fruitfully and wisely. Those who seek more can always work harder than is healthy for them if they so desire. Most taxes, visible and otherwise, go not toward schools, hospitals and public welfare but into refinancing imaginary debt. Almost all the rest are wasted on war.
There’s plenty in the pot, but a lazy crazy few hold all the cards. Universal welfare is not a dirty word or some socialist plot; it’s easily available now, if we wake up and seize the day. Scarcity is an artefact of profligate waste, empty-headed ingrained competitiveness and carefully inculcated moral and technological delusions. If he heal and nurture the planet that spawned us abundance will be our reward.
Despite all our advances and advantages wage slavery is still the norm, regarded as a fair and ‘natural’ order by just about everyone. But technical and ethical progress has reached the stage where endless, pointless drudgery is no longer necessary, and certainly undesirable. In an age when everyone is expected to work full time to keep up with an endless mechanised rat race treadmill and children are farmed out to day ‘care’ in their parents’ absence, it’s easy to see that mindlessly active hands, not idle ones, are the true agents of mayhem, loneliness, madness and destruction on planet Earth. Idle hands have time for recreation, regeneration and true creation – time and space to write, build, paint, maintain, plant, repair, play, enjoy and make love.
Further progress or evolution can’t be achieved within today’s politically daft power-oriented pseudo-system of monetarism – a regime that not only throws out the baby with the bathwater but eats its own children and spits out intractable toxic waste. Neither capitalists, communists, monarchists, nor any adherents to other tried and untrue isms hold the keys to our future. Yet whatever we choose to do with our lives and time, a brave new world will be built on the foundations of the paranoid old one. Change isn’t coming; it’s already here, unstoppably unavoidable, and it’s time to open our hearts and minds and recycle our destructive tools and toys into braver, better implements. How we proceed is up to all of us all; it isn’t up to the self-blinding beurocrats and timeservers who currently run the uninspiring show for the amusement of today’s unseen overlords. It’s a question of what we each choose to do with our time.
How will caste-ridden control freaks with edifice complexes continue to suppress and divert that which they fear the most – the wilful nature of fundamentally uncontrollable yet thoroughly likeable humankind – when everyone realises that the emperor has no clothes? Abundant sources of power and techniques to harness endless free energy have been ruthlessly suppressed for more than a century. How can you sell free energy? How can you meter freedom? How can the masses be allowed flying vehicles, making all notional national borders redundant? Abundant free energy makes a totally new paradigm possible; inevitable!
There will always be those who believe unlimited power also makes possible an unmatched potential for total control and complete oversight of every earthly deed, word and even thought. Some insecure people just can’t let go of limited power and will cling to it ruthlessly, even if they must maim and blind everyone in the process of hiding the unlimited sources of energy all around and inside us. If you’re a worker, you’re probably working for one of these perpetual malefactors - contributing to their stockpile of destructive power, while receiving only indigestible promissory notes that have no intrinsic value in return.
Free energy is the lynchpin that makes anything possible. When most work in today’s world is actually measured in joules, not women-hours, we can all be free to work or play at whatever we like. No-one needs to struggle for supremacy in a needlessly competitive dog-eat-dog world any more. In fact, clinging to the superannuated failing patterns of our ancestors in a nuclear era is a lethal proposition.
Today’s purblind leaders won’t easily give up their kingdoms and satrapies on the quarantined prison planet we’ve built for them; they’re terrified of humans, after all. But even a world emperor can’t hold back the tide or moderate the output of the Sun. They’re things we can only do for ourselves and together; believe it or not, such things are not only possible but well within our grasp as a species. Anything is possible when we’re finally ready and willing to leave the playpen and take our place as wise collective governors of Planet Earth.
A great philosopher of the last century* formulated a basic plan for human advancement and evolution - SMI2LE; Space Migration, Intelligence Increase and Life Extension. This is what it will take to reach the next plateau of being for humankind, but we have to let go of our childish toys and transform our partial notions of who and what we really are. Wise friends are waiting to help us; not gods who demand prayer or prostration, but our very selves dwelling in more advanced forms.
One day most of us – even the otherwise praiseworthy Dalai Llama - will even come to see that the unnecessary slaughter of sentient beings for the purpose of consuming their corpses is unnecessary, unsustainable, unhealthy and positively demonic. Death reeks and breeds death and it’s also a very bad look. The enslavement of other beings takes many, many forms, and in all slave societies the masters also live in an all-encompassing prison where freedoms are negligible and compassion is rare. If we can’t recognise sentience and the intrinsic right to life amongst our fellow travelers on Spaceship Earth, how can we recognise it elsewhere – or even in ourselves?
The future we face is a revolution of human hearts and minds; a rekindling of the light within. Unlike information and temporal loyalty, knowledge or love can’t be bought or sold, nor even given; they’re an experience. Don’t put it off. Jump off the treadmill. Live your dreams today, in the gift of the present. We live on a beautiful world and there’s plenty of real work to do and joys to experience while we’re repairing all the damage we and our ancestors have done. It’s been a long party, but no-one gets to really SMI2LE until the mess has been cleaned up.
Turn on. Tune in. Opt out! We can only create paradise for all if we’re together, man…
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