4: Women’s Rights

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 6: The Socratic

The Socratic
Chapter Four: Women’s Rights

 

In the far, far west of China, high in the Himalayas, is the little village called Shangri La (香格里拉 pronounced, in Pinyin, ‘Xiānggélǐlā’). Shangri La is not at the end of the road, it is well beyond the end of the road. For thousands of years, the farthest west people could go with wheeled vehicles, and the end of the ‘civilized’ world to travelers along the Silk Road, was the town of Lijiang, about 60 miles from Shangri La. People traveling along the silk road to India (and then on to Europe) would have to trade their wheeled vehicles for horses and mules in Lijiang, load up with supplies (there are no stores between there and India), and travel west in pack trains over foot paths. The paths that take you through the mountains have not been mapped, even to this day. People traveling west from Lijiang in the past needed guides and, even with guides, they were taking their lives in their hands. Many set out from Lijiang and were never heard from again.

In the 1990s, Chinese engineers spent massive amounts of money to build roads as far west as they could go. The road system has been extended to Shangri La. It can’t go any further. The mountains to the west are too steep to build anything. The only road over them, a railroad about 400 miles north of Shangri La which was finished in 2015, goes over a pass so high that it has to use pressurized cabins (as in airplanes) so people will have enough air to breathe.

The village has a water supply fed by a massive mountain spring.

The water originates as snowfall in the high mountains to the west, most of which are above 22,000 feet in altitude. These mountains are isolated from industry and human pollution; the snows that fall there are as pure and white as you will see anywhere on earth. In the summer, the snow melts and the water goes through the porous rocks. It travels through a massive underground system of caverns, down and down and down, until it eventually gets to Shangri La, where it emerges though a hole that is about 20 feet in diameter. This filtered water is the purest water I have ever had the pleasure to taste; it is a joy to drink. There is a local legend that goes back more than a thousand years that holds that, if you drink nothing but this water, you will never get sick, never grow old, and never die.

In the evening, just before sundown, there is a train of villagers that looks like a row of ants walking up to the source of the spring water with buckets and other containers. They can get water in town: the spring is routed through a system of rock canals that flow through the village and the water in the canals is every bit as pure as the water at the source. But perhaps they believe the myth and want the purest of the pure: they hike up to the source so they can get the water from there, then hike back down to their homes in town.

The people who live in Shangri La are not ethnic Chinese. Chinese armies only conquered as far as the road would take them, so the land beyond Shangri La has never really been conquered. The people there were never a part of the Chinese culture, didn’t have enough contact with Chinese to get their genetic heritage mixed in, and never adopted Chinese ways. They live differently than the Chinese people. They only really found out that China and the rest of the world existed in the 1990s, when the road companies blasted tunnels through the rocks to make their village ‘accessible.’

 

Women In Charge

 

The Chinese government has named all of the ethnic groups in its country so it can keep track of them. It calls the group that lives in the mountains around Shangri La ‘Naxi’ (pronounced ‘Nashi.’) The Naxi villages in the far western mountains have become tourist attractions and people come from all around to see them, because of the unusual way the people there organize their societies.

One important difference: The Naxi people have a matriarchal society.

In their society, the women are in charge. The family name is passed from mother to daughter, not father to son. Family homes go from mother to daughter, not father to son.

Women make the financial decisions for the family; the men stay out of these affairs.

It is not the place of men to interfere in these decisions.

One interesting thing that tourists are told involves the marriages of the Naxi people.

Since women are in charge of wealth, women are in a position to make decisions that are, in most other parts of the world, made by men. Women decide on the rules of marriage. Since mothers know their children will be cared for by the network of women that run the society, they don’t have to find a man and convince him to enter into a legal contract of marriage in order to get enough security to allow them to have children with confidence.

They could find men and ‘get married’ (as in Traditional in China and most of the rest of the world) if they wanted to do this. But they didn’t have any economic or social pressure to do this and, over the thousands of years they have lived in these mountains, they have generally chosen not to do this.

Why tie yourself down to one man?

After a few years, he will become tiresome. If you are tied to him legally, you would have to stay with him anyway. To the Naxi women (at least before the Chinese culture began to contaminate their system after the roads were in) the idea of a woman ‘marrying’ a man for life would have seemed silly. If you aren’t getting along anymore, you should have the freedom to leave.

The Naxi people call their marriages ‘walking’ marriages.

The homes are controlled by the woman’s family. If the woman finds a man she likes, she invites him to her home and he stays there as long as she is satisfied with him.

When she doesn’t want him around anymore, she sends him ‘walking.’

It is always her choice.

He can only stay as long as she wants him to stay.

 

The Lost Horizon and Book Shangri La

 

In 1920, the Austrian Botanist Joseph Rock traveled to China to study the flora there. He wanted to go to remote places and find find plants that neither the Chinese nor western botanists had yet categorized. The lower mountains of the Himalayan mountains are incredibly diverse, because even a tiny difference in altitude leads to a different microclimate and an entirely different habitat for both plants and animals. He made his way to Lijiang and then kept going west along the trails of the old Silk Road.

He found a place that he considered to be paradise.

The people lived much differently there than they lived in the rest of the world. His writings mentioned many things. The idea of the ‘walking marriage’ struck him as very inviting.

Boys and young men in both China and the western world are taught that we have an obligation that we must fulfill before we can have sex. We need to make a commitment to stay with the woman we are to have sex with for the rest of our lives. We must make this commitment before whatever God or gods we worship and enter into a legal contract that will be forever binding. If we violate this commitment, we will go to jail or labor camps to work for the benefit of the woman we had sex with and then, after we die, we will be sent to hell for an afterlife of torture for eternity as punishment. This is a huge commitment and is very hard for some men to make. Boys who aren’t willing to make this commitment are told that we are not allowed to have sex, ever. We are committing an abomination if we satisfy ourselves any other way. It is a sin and a crime to do so.

Who made these rules? With only a few exceptions, the rest of the world has a patriarchal society. In these societies, men control the wealth and make the rules. Rules about sex are made by men. These men have decided that sex is a right that only goes to men who agree to support women and their offspring for the rest of their lives. What do women think of this decision? This is hard to say. The men who make the decisions in patriarchal societies don’t have to ask them and, as far as I can tell, they don’t do this. Women are there to provide sex and boy babies for men. Their opinions don’t matter.

Joseph Rock had found a place where women were in a position to make decisions about their sex lives. To the women in Shangri La, Rock was exotic: he looked different, he talked different, he knew different things, and his biology (which I am sure was a topic of conversation to the women of Shangri La) was something to be experienced. At least one of the reasons Rock thought of Shangri La as paradise almost certainly involved the way the women there treated him.

But it had other features he found amazing. He wrote about the purity of the water and air. He wrote about the extreme longevity and lack of disease among the people. He wrote a lot about the social harmony of this society and the way the people got along. They had found ways to divide the work and wealth of the world that allowed everyone to prosper without having to do a lot of work. He wrote that we in the rest of the world would be wise to study the way these people lived so we can see what it is about the way they live that makes them so tolerant, so easy going, so forgiving, and so able to make agreements and settle matters that would lead to war in other parts of the world without violence.

In 1930 a British author named James Hilton came across Rock’s writings. Hilton had seen the horrors of World War One and fought in the trenches. He had seen that, as soon as the war was over, the governments of the war-torn nations began to work on new technology that intended to use in the next war. Hilton believed that this kind of lifestyle was not sustainable. He believed we needed to find another way to live. Rock had found a place where people lived differently. Hilton wrote ‘Lost Horizon,’ a book that brought the idea of ‘Shangri La’ to the world.

I learned about Shangri La when I was traveling with a tour group through China. When I got to Lijiang (the ‘end of the road’ until 1995), I thought it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. (It is an ancient city, walled, with no vehicles allowed inside the city walls, a pristine environment and some of the most friendly people I have met anywhere I have traveled.) The rest of the tour group was excited about flying to Beijing the next day and getting to the next attraction on their tour, the claimed highlight of the trip, the Great Wall. I couldn’t bring myself to go and told the tour guide I would be staying. I ended up at a rooming house with a young couple from Guangzhou, who told me about Shangri La. They were going there in a few days and asked if I might like to see the unique place. When I got to Shangri La, I found another rooming house and told my friends I would be staying there. I only had a few months until my visa ran out, but I stayed there until the last day.

Why leave paradise?

Hilton never actually went to Shangri La. He altered Rock’s story a great deal and the Shangri La in the book bears no resemblance, except the name, to the Shangri La where Rock and myself lived (some 70 years apart). Hilton was trying to use the idea of Shangri La to generate a message that, he hoped, would help us prevent a war that would destroy us all. Lost Horizon was a best seller in the western world, however, and its version of Shangri La is the one most westerners accept. I thought that the role of women was the most striking feature of the place.

 

Women’s Rights and Society

 

Like the issue of jobs, the issue of women’s rights is often portrayed as if is a natural feature of human existence, due either to the design of God (the Abrahamic God is said to have made man in his image and then made woman out of a part of man to be a companion to man) or due to some immutable characteristic of human nature.

But is it?

If this were true, all societies would deny women rights. Whoever humans lived, women would be objects and property. Women could protest this, but they would never be able to do anything about it. We can’t do anything about the will of God or the vagrancies of human nature. The people who run societies could claim until the end of time that they have to make decisions on behalf of women, and subject women to rules that men made, because no one has any control over the variables that put women in a subsidiary role.

But what if we could find just one example that shows us that women don’t always play the secondary role in society? All it takes to disprove a claim that ‘nothing can be done about a problem’ is to give one example where that problem doesn’t exist. If it can possibly not exist anywhere it can possibly not exist everywhere. The subsidiary position of women is not due to the will of God or the vagrancies of human nature. It has an entirely different source.

 

This chapter under construction.

 

 

3: Jobs

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 6: The Socratic

The Socratic
Chapter Three: Jobs

 

One of the main reasons that people work to keep the imaginary lines we call ‘borders’ in place is to protect jobs. We live in times when new machines are invented every day that can do things that human workers used to do; the machines can do these things better, faster, and cheaper than humans. People who make things, distribute things, provide services, or do business of any kind are replacing human workers with machines.

As jobs disappear, more and more people compete for the jobs that still exist.

Almost everywhere, there aren’t as many jobs as there are workers who need jobs.

To protect jobs in their areas, people petition their governments to create walls that prevent people from crossing to work. They petition their governments to create strict controls and back these controls by any measures necessary to protect the jobs inside of the protected nations. If it is necessary to threaten people who cross with harsh punishment, treatment that reasonable people would consider inhumane (illegal job seekers are treated worse than dogs in many nations), or even subject them to deportation under condition that the people involved know means death for them, the people push hard for their governments to do these things.

In fact, the need to protect jobs is one of the main forces that push for the fortification of the imaginary lines called ‘borders.’ Without the need to protect jobs, most people would probably not want borders at all. They would want the freedom to go where they want to go, to buy from whomever has something they want for sale, to perform services for (work for) anyone who needs help. But the pressure to protect jobs overpowers everything else.

In fact, the need to ‘protect’ jobs is one of the most important driving forces of many of the most serious problems of humankind as of this writing. We all realize that destructive methods of doing things create a lot of work: if a continual stream of resources go into producing something (say people are producing electricity with coal) a large workforce is needed—indefinitely—to dig up and transport these resources. If we use a non-destructive method instead, say solar, we only need to produce something one time and then it produces electricity without any inputs that humans provide ever. People push hard for anything that will create jobs. Destruction creates jobs.

In fact, the problems caused by the need for jobs go even further. We all know that wars create lots of jobs. In many places, the war industry is the largest in the nation, and this is true even when the nations are not even officially ‘at war.’ As long as they can keep pouring labor into things that won’t bring any benefits to anyone, they can keep working forever. If they created value with their work, eventually there would be more of the valuable things than people were willing to buy; demand would collapse and the system would go into a depression, with truly massive unemployment. The war creates value that is then immediately destroyed without bringing benefits to anyone; as a result, the jobs creating this value can exist forever. Many historical examples exist of political leaders campaigning with promises to make war. The need for jobs is therefore one of the key driving forces of the most serous problems of the human race. It takes priority over good relations with other people, it takes priority over the health of our environment, and it even takes priority over our very existence: If we need borders we need weapons to enforce them and some of the weapons that already exist are capable of destroying us.

 

The Need For Jobs

 

The need for jobs is not a natural need like our need for water, air, and food.

People don’t need jobs to stay alive. As long as they water, food, air, and other necessities, they will stay alive whether or not they are spending their lives working for someone else. The need for jobs is a societal problem: it only exists in societies with certain structures.

Even in sovereign law societies, not everyone needs jobs: A great many people—the rich—live very well without any need to ever get jobs.

What is the reason for this need?

Why is it that we are willing to do such horrible things to our fellow human beings and our planet to get more work for people to do?

Why is it that we put jobs above everything else, including our very existence? (The main reason we enforce and reinforce the imaginary lines called ‘borders’ is to protect jobs. We need very powerful weapons, including nuclear bombs, to enforce these lines, so we are literally creating weapons that can destroy the world and risking our existence just to protect jobs.) Why does this happen?

What if this happens because of factors that are unique to the type of society that we inherited from past generations?

If this is true, and we moved to a different type of society, would the need for jobs carry over? Or might the other society not have this insanely pressing need?

Not all societies have this need.

Consider, for example, the societies of the Tanio people who lived on the island of Haiti when Europeans first arrived in the late 1400s. The historian Bartolomé de las Casas describes the place as ‘the most densely populated place on earth’ when he arrived there in 1498. (Link to source.) He puts the population of this island at 3 million the year he arrived. These people believed that forests, rivers, lakes, islands, and other parts of the world were the givers of food and the source of live, not simply possessions that groups of people could ‘claim’ and then own. No one owned the land. The land produced things people need and want. The people collect these things but, after they are collected, no one owns them. Since no one owns these things, there is no natural mechanism to determine who gets them. (If the land were owned, everything the land produced would belong to the owner.) People have to have meetings and make decisions about who will get these things.

The Taíno people used a part of the wealth the land gave them to reward (another term for ‘pay’) the people who helped collect nature’s bounty for them. This makes sense: it takes work to collect the wealth and people want to encourage people to do this work, so they will go out and collect it next year. But the land produced food, not people; all people did was collect it. Since the land produced a lot of food and other wealth, the Taíno people could provide enough for the workers who collect it to have incentives to continue to work in the future by ‘paying’ them only a small amount of the wealth the land produced. This left the great majority of the wealth the land produced—the ‘free wealth flow’ if you will—available to divide among the other people.

No one needed a job to survive in the Taíno society. Qqqq Taíno village pictures

No one wanted production to require more work than it did.

If production had required more work, the group would have had to ‘pay’ more (provide more in rewards) for the people who did the work, leading to less for the rest of the people to share. More work meant less wealth for the great majority of the people. The type of society the Taíno people had, a natural law society, worked in ways that precluded any need or even desire to ‘keep people working.’ If you could go back in time and live among these people, and you suggested they do things to create jobs, they would think you are crazy. If you were to suggest some of the things we do in our world today to ‘keep people working,’ including create rifts that may possibly lead to wars or subsidize the destruction of the world, they would not even have a word to describe this kind of suggestion, it would be so far beyond crazy to them.

Not all societies need jobs to function.

What is it about societies that makes them need jobs? If we have two societies to compare, we can see that the problem has to do with what happens to the free wealth, what we may call the ‘bounty’ of the land; the flows of value that financial analysts in the world today generally represent by the ‘free cash flow’ of the property.

 

Free cash flow: Previous books in this series explain that the free cash flow represents what we may call the ‘bounty’ of property. Adam Smith (the founder of ‘capitalism’) called this excess wealth the ‘rents’ of the land; Karl Marx called these flows the ‘surplus value.’ These flows clearly exist.

 

In societies where everything is available to buy and own, these free cash flows are offered for sale. Generally, you get a kind of package deal: if you ‘buy the property’ you buy all flows of value it produces, including the free cash flow. These free cash flows are expensive so, generally speaking, only rich people can afford to buy the right to get any substantial amount of free money every year. In societies where the free cash flows can become owned, either by conquering the land that produces them or buying them, the right to get the free money ends up going to the rich. This is why the rich get richer in these societies: they can use money they already have to buy the right to a continual stream of additional money.

It is also why these societies absolutely NEED jobs in order to function:

It leaves everything owned and available to buy, and no continual flow of value unowned and available to benefit the human race as a whole. People who aren’t in a position to buy the right to free cash flows (by buying free cash flow producing properties) have no underlying or ‘basic’ income whatever.

Everyone needs to eat.

If people have no income they can use to buy food unless they work, they need jobs to avoid death. The job market becomes the most important market there is. Not everyone who must work for a living realizes this on a conscious level and thinks about it that way, but the fact that they don’t realize it is true doesn’t mean it isn’t true. On some level, they know it is true and it influences their decisions. For example, although they may not discuss their feelings about this issue in polite society, when the curtain closes on the voting booth, they make it clear that jobs are more important than anything else. This is why, I believe, the ‘Brexit’ vote to withdraw England from the European Union and the Trump election succeeded, even though the huge majority of the polls stated neither would happen: the people claim to hate policies that create jobs, including isolationism, acts that increase international tensions and lead to wars, and environmental policies that foster and encourage destruction. But they know that these things create jobs and know they depend on jobs for their survival. As long as we live in societies where jobs are seen as such good things that people are wiling to destroy and take steps that lead to the risk of the end of the earth just to keep the job market strong in their area, we face horrible risks. We will never be able to solve the problems that threaten us.

 

Jobs in the Socratic

 

In the socratic, as of the year 2100, people have extremely high basic incomes.

When the system first started in 2025, only a tiny amount of wealth flowed to the people of the world through the leasehold payments on socratic leasehold ownership properties. The people could have voted to divide this money among themselves, but they had higher priorities. They saw horrific problems that offended their consciences. Before the socratic existed, the people had no way to address these problems: they had no collective income they could use to meet their collective needs. (They could only petition the entities called ‘governments’ of nations to deal with these problems and the governments had no interest in dealing with them; in fact, many of the problems that most offended the people of the world were caused by the governments of nations.) When they gained this tool, they started working on the problems.

As time passed, the income of the people increased (as more properties were put ‘into the system’) and they were able to devote more wealth to other issues. A great many people believed that the long-term survival of the human race was more important than their personal short-term welfare, so they voted to allocate more money to programs that allowed the Community of Humankind to buy more properties and then sell them through socratic leasehold ownership systems and to provide cash subsidies to people who were willing to use estate planning to put their properties into the socratic leasehold ownership system after they were gone. As a result, the number of properties in the system grew quite rapidly over the next few decades and, by 2070, the human race had sufficient income from the leasehold payments, and had control over a large enough percentage of the world’s wealth, to start focusing on other matters. In the elections, they began to allocate more of the wealth that flowed to them to the ‘Basic Income Fund.’

Money voted into the Basic Income Fund was divided evenly among the people of the world. This money didn’t come from any kind of tax. People who wanted to privately control property could buy one of the dwindling number of freehold properties that were for sale (and pay very high prices due to scarcity) or buy a leasehold property. Imagine you are in a situation like this and looking for some income-generating property, say a rice farm. If you find a property that produces a very high free cash flow, you can buy the rights to it, but you will have to compete with other bidders for the right to buy the leasehold. (All socratic leasehold ownership properties are sold in auctions; Possible Societies explains why this is necessary.) Other bidders are offering both prices and leasehold payments, with the leasehold payment always 1/5th (20% of) the price. To win the rights to this farm, you must offer more for both the price and leasehold payment than other bidders.

Each bidder is basically offering to pay more of the free cash flow the farm produces to the human race than other bidders, by offering to make higher leasehold payments than the other bidders. If you want to control this land privately, you must be willing to offer more of the free wealth this land produces to the human race than any other person on earth. Every single auction for a socratic leasehold ownership property works exactly the same way: people offer to give the human race more money each year than other bidders; only the one person who offers to give the human race the MOST money each year gets the property. In other words, the one person offering to give the human race the greatest percentage of the bounty/free cash flow the land produces will get the right to control it privately.

Why 83⅓%?

You can’t afford to pay out more than the free cash flow as yearly payments to control a property. (All of the rest of the production is needed by someone as compensation for something they do.) This means that this relationship exists in all systems where property rights sell in markets: the maximum possible amount people can offer is whatever amount makes their payments on the property equal the free cash flow.

If you borrow and must pay 20% of the price as a leasehold payment and 4% of the price as interest on the mortgage loan, your total payments will be 24% of the price (20%+4%). The price that makes these payments exactly equal to the free cash flow is: free-cash-flow/24%. (If we multiply the price times 24% to get the free cash flow, we divide the free cash flow by 24% to get the price; this is high school algebra; make the equation and divide both sides by 24%.)

Of your payment, 20%/24% or 83⅓% goes to the human race as its leasehold payment. Since the payment = the free cash flow, we get 83⅓% of the free cash flow.

Possible Societies went over the forces that determine the market prices and market leasehold payments that would apply in this situation. Although the reason is quite complicated, what ultimately happens is that the human race winds up getting 83⅓% a year of the free cash flow of most properties. (The sidebar gives a condensed version of the reason.)

Since we know roughly how free cash flows are, we can get a pretty good picture of the amount of wealth that would flow to the human race in this system. We live on a very, very bountiful world, one which produces many trillions of dollars a year in free cash flow. Even at the 2017 figures (which are going to be far, far lower than the 2100 figures, due to the incredibly strong incentives to improve in socratic leasehold ownership systems), if the human race got 83⅓% of the free cash flow we would be getting more than $15 trillion a year (Part Two of Possible Societies goes over the calculations). This works out to more than $20,000 for every man, woman, and child on the planet. If half of the free wealth went to services like roads, schools, parks, and infra-stucture, leaving only half to go to the people, an average family of four would be getting $40,000 from their basic income alone.

There would be no taxes on this income: since all services would be being paid for out of the free wealth, there would be no need to take any of anyone’s income to pay for these services.

Basic incomes are not ‘charity.’ They are not payments made to people who have no income otherwise. We live on a very bountiful world. The socratic system has mechanisms that allow this bounty to flow into a bank account that belongs to the human race. The human race uses part of this money to pay for common services, and divides the rest of the money among the people. Each person’s basic income is her share of the bounty the world produces. It is not charity, given instead of income from other sources, it is free money, provided as a foundation for other income.

 

Jobs In The Socratic

 

One thing is hard to explain to the children in the 22nd century:

At one time, people got no basic incomes at all.

Zero. Nothing. Zilch.

The world was still incredibly bountiful, but the great majority of the people of the world had no right to share in its bounty. The entire enormous bounty of this incredibly bountiful world went only to the very rich. (Remember, if everything is for sale, including the free cash flows, only people with enough money to buy the free cash flows will be able to get them. The right to get free money is expensive. Only rich people can afford this.)

This left the great majority of the people with no income at all, unless they worked.

This was where the high bounty of the world became a problem: A property is bountiful if it produces a lot without a lot of labor and other things that cost money. The less labor required in production, the more bountiful the property and the more free cash flow it produced. By the middle of the nineteenth century, people were building machines that could replace workers. All throughout the 20th century machine technology improved and machines became capable of doing more and more. Machines don’t have to sleep. They don’t have to take breaks to go to the bathroom or eat. They don’t get sick. They don’t come in drunk or otherwise limited in capabilities, turning out substandard work. Their work is always consistent, always of the same quality, and they can continue to work 24 hours a day without ever taking a break. Since mechanized processes can be synchronized perfectly, then speeded up, machines can do things hundreds, thousands, or in some cases even millions of times faster than human workers. The owners of productive facilities want the highest quality outputs and the lowest possible costs. They can almost always turn out better products at lower prices if they replace the fragile, inconsistent, and slow humans with machines. As the 20th and 21st century progressed, more and more of production was done by machine, and less and less by human workers.

This caused a horrible problem: as the free cash flows went up, the money flows that went to the very rich went up and up and up while the money flows that went to the workers declined. I entered the workforce in 1974. My first job paid $4.50 an hour, at a time when gas costs 25¢ per gallon, rent was $50, and a meal at a restaurant cost about $1. Within a year, I was making $10 per hour.

Now, as of 2017, I am paying my workers $12 an hour, 50% more than I was making in 1974, but gas, rent, and meals are more than 12 times more. This means that the $12 per hour they are making now has the same purchasing power as about $1 per hour in 1974. In other words, workers in the United States are only making about 1/10th of the amount per hour as they were making, in terms of purchasing power, in 1974. Although this example probably overstates the fall of wages globally, it is hard for people who have lived in both years to deny that people were able to buy a lot more with their earnings in the past than they can today.

Workers are getting poorer.

This is natural result of the most obvious law of economics: when demand for anything falls, its price falls. Demand for labor has been falling rather steadily for the entire time I have been in the workforce. As a result, prices are falling and, at 2017, the price of labor (the purchasing power of wages) is lower than it has been at any time since I have been in the workforce.

One of the main reasons that the price of labor must fall if demand for workers falls is that people have no choice but to work. People who have no other income can’t simply say ‘I think my time is worth more than the market is willing to pay, so I won’t work.’ They work or die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wasn’t a problem for the rich. If you owned properties, you got the free cash flows that they generated, so you automatically got richer. If you started out rich, you could have everything you want without ever diminishing your wealth: when you spent, more money came in.

The rich didn’t mind this. In fact, they liked it. But the great majority of the people of the world were not born rich. These people got nothing at all if there weren’t enough jobs to go around.

This concept is pretty hard for children of the 22nd century to understand because machines do almost all of the work. If you want to do something, you can find people who need some help with some things, and you might expect them to invite you to dinner or give you some sort of gift in exchange for your time. But you would never be able to depend on this to survive. What if you needed to work? What if your only alternative to work was death by starvation?

Starting in the nineteenth century, machines took over work that used to be done by humans. By the 21st century, most of the hardest manual labor jobs had been replaced by machinery. People didn’t haul coal on their backs or the backs of donkeys anymore, they used giant loaders to put it into train cars and moved thousands of tons with a crew of 5 (the standard train crew in the 20th century). But the machines still needed operators. In the 21st century, people found that they could build machines that would operate the machines that did the actual work, eliminating the need for operators. In the nineteenth century, an auto factory needed tens of thousands of workers. In the 20th century, only a few thousands were required. In the early part of the 21st century, only a few hundred people were required to manufacture cars. In the latter part of the 21st century, totally automated assembly plants turned parts that were made in totally automated factories into new cars, day and night, as long as people needed the cars.

Some people in the 22nd century could remember when humans drove cars, trucks, taxis, and operated airplanes, operating the controls manually. Machines could make adjustments far faster than humans and people became aware that hundreds of thousands of people were dying unnecessarily each year due to mistakes made by human drivers. Even young people with excellent reflexes were not as good of drivers as the machines. Bus drivers, taxi drivers, pilots, and engineers were no longer needed. The machines that moved us from place to place were built by other machines and operated by other machines. Need a ditch dug? Input the specifications into your computer, get bids and, when you sign a contract, a machine will come out and dig the ditch; you can send the money electronically.

Back in the old days, people made electricity with coal or nuclear power, both of which are very labor intensive. Hundreds of millions of people worked to scratch coal or uranium out of the ground and build and then rebuild the coal and nuclear power plants to keep the electricity flowing. But by the 21st century, the technology existed to make all the electricity people needed with sunlight. The panels that made this possible were made of the cheapest and most abundant material on earth, silicon. (Roughly 87% of the surface of the earth is silicon dioxide.) Machines made these panels and, when they were in the sun, they produced electricity with no need for human effort at all. The jobs in the energy industry disappeared.

By the mid 21st century, machines could do everything that human workers could do, and they could do it cheaper, faster, and with much greater precision. By the 22nd century, children couldn’t imagine a world where people had to work just to get the necessities of life. The majority of the people would starve. History teachers told them that many times, when jobs were scarce, this is exactly what happened.

 

Jobs and Basic Incomes

 

One of the main reasons people in our current systems want national borders is to protect jobs. Jobs are scarce and machines are eliminating jobs on a daily basis. People need to protect the jobs, by preventing people from crossing the imaginary lines to ‘steal’ their jobs. They also support politicians that promise to increase subsidies on destruction (which is already highly unprofitable and would not be taking place if not for the subsidies; Anatomy of Destruction gives precise numbers) to protect the few remaining jobs. (It takes a lot of very hard work to destroy this planet). They even support government officials who promise to create international tensions, promote hatred, and do other things likely to lead to war, for the same reason: war creates a lot of jobs. They want war, destruction, and national borders so that they can have more jobs.

This is the way sovereign law societies work: they leave the great bulk of people with no share of the bounty and other free wealth flows the land produces. These people must work or die. If there are not enough jobs, they must suffer and die.

But not all societies work this way.

We live on a very bountiful planet. It produces immense quantities of food and other wealth every year. In part, this wealth creation is due to the gifts of nature. In part, it exists because past generations invented processes and created factories that turn the abundant and free raw materials of the world into valuable products. As more and more wealth gets produced with less and less human effort, it is possible that all people could have better lives. In sovereign law societies, only a tiny percentage of the people benefited from these increased flows of wealth, however. The people with lots of money could buy the rights to free cash flows. They were for sale. Buy a bountiful property and you bought and owned a part of the bounty of the world. You didn’t have to share any of it with the human race. Being a member of the human race gave you no right to share in this bounty. It gave you no rights to anything at all.

Some nations claimed being human gave you the right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ But the nations that made this claim not only did nothing to provide these rights to anyone outside of their imaginary lines, they required their own citizens to give up their lives and liberty to rape the world of its resources to make weapons—those who did not comply didn’t get incomes and died—and spend their lives doing things that are the antithesis of ‘pursuing happiness.’

But this was before the socratic system was created.

At first, the income of the human race was small because only a small percentage of the world’s properties were controlled by socratic leasehold ownership. The human race shared in the free cash flows of all properties in this category, but with only a few thousand properties in this category, the human race only got a few million dollars a year at first, not enough to make any real difference.

But we live on a truly incredibly bountiful planet. It produced immense amounts of food and other good things before humans even existed. (This food and these other benefits went to other animals but the planet supported trillions of other animals.) When humans arrived, we were the dominant beings and got first claim on the bounty of this world.

By the beginning of the 21st century, the world was a part of one or another ‘nation.’ Nations were sovereign and controlled all wealth that came to exist inside their borders. The free wealth of the world went wherever the rulers and leaders of the nations wanted it to go. At this time, war was the largest industry on earth. The rulers and leaders of nations wanted to have advantages in war, so they organized their nations so that they would be better in war. Nations are better at war if its people are basically forced to work just to stay alive. If people have to work, they will do what they are told or their families will die. Rulers and leaders found that they could make their nations better at war if they kept them divided into ‘classes.’ The upper class would own and get returns on their investments that would encourage them to build factories and other facilities useful in war. The lower class would work in these factories or they would suffer miserably and then die.

Many people understood the idea of basic incomes and realized that, if people had basic incomes that were high enough to meet their basic needs, they would not have to work. They would therefore not depend on jobs for their survival and the economy could continue to function even if wars ended, even if rates of destruction fell, and even if national borders didn’t hold back job seekers. But the leaders of the nations didn’t want this to happen. They wanted the class distinctions to remain in place. As long as the nations were in charge, they made the rules and the opinions of the leaders and rulers were the only things that mattered.

As the Community of Humankind grew, the power of the people increased. The people wanted different things than the governments wanted. They didn’t benefit if a tiny percentage of the human race got enormous free incomes, while the great majority didn’t share in the free wealth the world produced in any way. When the people had wealth, they used a large part of it to help solve one of the most pressing problems that previous societies had had, their dependency on jobs.

 

 

taking over work. They need to protect the available jobs. This happens in societies where everything is buyable and ownable. But socratic systems work entirely differently, so they don’t have this same problem.

 

 

The socratic works

The leasehold payments came from something called the ‘free cash flows’ of bountiful properties. We live on a bountiful world, one that pours forth massive amounts of wealth each year. Even by the time the Community of Humankind was formed in the early 21st century, a large part of production was mechanized and produced with little need for human labor or unpleasantness.

Each time a machine replaced a worker, the wealth that the human had created was now being created without effort or labor. The world was more bountiful: it produced more wealth with a given amount of unpleasantness.

In the system that had been in place before, this was a bad thing: It caused the free cash flows of the property to increase, and these free cash flows only went to a tiny percentage of the population. These people—those who were already rich—got richer. The others—those who relied on labor for their incomes—got less money. Each time a machine replaced a human (each time a ‘job’ was eliminated) in the old system, less money went to the majority of the people (the working class) and their poverty grew.

The socratic leasehold ownership system worked differently.

Once a property became controlled by leasehold ownership, it remained controlled by leasehold ownership: there was no way for it to revert back to a freehold ownership status. The great bulk of the free cash flow of the property went to the human race through the leasehold payments.

Book Two of Possible Societies showed that we can calculate the percentage with great percentage. For most productive properties—those with risk levels that cause investors to accept a 4% return—socratic leasehold ownership systems will send 20/24% or 83⅓% of the free cash flow to the human race. This happens as a result of technical factors explained in the book referenced above.

People can buy leasehold rights to properties, improve the properties, and then sell the leasehold rights again. If they improve the property in ways that increase the free cash flows, say by replacing human workers with machines, the free cash flow will be higher and the leasehold rights will sell for more on both price and leasehold payments. The leasehold payments will go up and the human race will get more. In this system, each time a machine replaces a worker, the people of the world will all get more money each year from then on. The world will produce a higher bounty and the people will share that bounty. The more bountiful the world, the more it produces with a given amount of human labor (the only true cost in production), the more bountiful it is and the more there is for the people of the world to share.

At first, in the 20s, the Community of Humankind was still a small organization with only a few thousands properties that generated wealth for the benefit of the human race. But as time passed, more and more properties were added. (The leasehold ownership system is a one-way system: once a property gets into the system, it stays there; it can’t revert back to a freehold property unless the majority of the members of the Community of Humankind vote to have this happen.) As time passed, more and more properties got into the system. The human race got more and more wealth and the problems that threatened the planet with extinction fell in severity.

 

 

 

 

 

Before the Community of Humankind was a reality, the human race had no tools it could use to manifest its collective destiny against the nations of the world. After, it began to have a small impact. As time passed, people realized how valuable this tool could be. They had very simple tools they could use to advance the power and control that the human race had:

In time, more and more properties that were offered for sale were leasehold properties. People could buy these properties in markets. If you wanted to improve the conditions of existence for the human race, you could buy a leasehold on a property and the invest money in improvements in that property. You cold then sell it for much more money than you paid for it. (It would bring a higher price because it produces higher free cash flows.) You would benefit from this: you would get the gain on the price (called a ‘capital gain’). But the human race would benefit too: the leasehold payment is always 20% of the price the current owner paid for the leasehold, so if you sold it for more than you paid for it, the new owner will agree to give more money to the human race than you were giving to the human race. The income and wealth of the human race would increase.

If you really wanted to do something incredible for the human race, you could form a profit-making corporation with shares offered as socratic leasehold ownership shares rather than freehold shares. You could raise money this way for a project that would generate profit for you and your shareholders. Your shareholders would then share the wealth with the human race. The more money you make for yourself, the more you would be doing for the human race. People who follow you could find even better ways to do whatever it is you discovered how to do. They could buy large quantities of stock, improve the company so it generated higher free cash flows, and then sell the stock for enormous profits, making themselves incredibly rich. Their efforts would benefit every single human being on earth in a very real and measurable way: the flows of value that went to the people of the world (through the leasehold ownership payments) would go up whenever a share of stock was sold for a higher price than the buyer paid for it.

This system turns the most reliable feature of humans to the advantage of the human race. All beings that are alive and have physical needs must meet these needs or die. They are all ‘self interested:’ they must figure out the behaviors that will get them wealth they can use to support themselves and their families. Any beings with physical needs that don’t do this will not survive long enough to raise their families and any tendencies to not meet their needs will die with them. Only people who are able to figure out the behaviors needed to get wealth will survive long enough to raise their children to reproductive age.

Self interest is the most reliable feature of human nature. In fact, because all beings with physical needs face the same constraints, it is the most reliable feature of the nature of all beings with physical needs. The mechanisms of the socratic take advantage of this. They use it to the advantage of the human race. People can gain personal wealth for themselves and their families by doing things that increase the wealth for the human race as a whole. If you buy corporate stock, make changes that improve the company so it produces more wealth over time, then sell the stock for a higher price, you make money which you can use to give yourself and family better lives. This same transaction automatically benefits the human race in the form of higher leasehold payments. In fact, the human race benefits more than you do: your gain on the stock is only a one-time thing. The leasehold payments that go to the Community of Humankind are perpetual: they come in automatically, year after year, generation after generation, century after century. The more you do to make your own life better, the more wealth the members of the human race (ALL of them) will have in the future, for as long as the corporation you created/improved continues to add value.

This relationship between the interests of individuals and those of the human race is not a lucky coincidence. We humans, unlike other animals, have the ability to think on a conscious level. We have the ability to plan. We have the ability to do ‘thought experiments,’ working through different plans to find the one that works best. We can put together complex plans. In fact, with the aid of machines that we have built to help us categorize plans, there is no limit to the complexity of the plans. The socratic takes advantage of the best sciences available in the early part of the 21st century to intentionally align the interests of individuals with the interests of the human race as a whole.

The socratic is flexible. This means that if the plans created in the early part of the 21st century turn out to be sub-optimal, people can find better plans and put them into place. There is no written-in-stone ‘constitution’ for the socratic (as most sovereign law societies have, to prevent change). The people can change its ‘constitution’ to suit themselves.

This means that the socratic will evolve over time. People will find uses for the funds that flow to the human race that bring greater benefits to the human race. They will be able to allocate wealth to these programs by simple votes. New programs will come to exist to explore new and better ways that the human race can advance its interests and move toward the future.

 

Further Counters to the Powers of Nations and Governments

 

In the early years of the socratic, nations and governments still existed in the same essential form as before the Community of Humankind came into existence.

2 Background

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 6: The Socratic

The Socratic: A New Kind of Utopia
Chapter Two: Background

 

We are in the year 2100.

In history class children learn how things used to be.

At one time, the planet was divided up with imaginary lines into entities called ‘sovereign nations.’

Each sovereign nation was deemed to be the absolute owner (or ‘sovereign’) of a part of the planet. This arrangement created incentives that encouraged the most horrific activities within the capabilities of thinking beings, including the organized orgies of mass murder and destruction called ‘wars.’ If a group of people who themselves a ‘sovereign nation’ could ‘conquer’ a part of the world (attack it and terrorize their people so much that the military defenders of the land agreed to ‘give up’ rather than suffer more), everything in the part of the world that had been conquered belonged to the conquerors. The people on the land could be removed to special camps where they would be reeducated when this was possible (to make them accept the new rules of the conquerors) or, when this was not practical, removed or disposed of so they didn’t interfere in the activities of the conquerors.

This system created incentives that rewarded acts that caused immense harm.

The changes that started in the year 2025 altered this system, slowly, over time and, by the lat 21st century, the world worked entirely differently.

 

The Community of Humankind

In 2025, a group of wealthy investors from around the globe formed an organization called the ‘Community of Humankind LLC.’

The ‘cross’ in the name ‘Red Cross’ represents the cross of crucifixion, the symbol of the Christianity. It was founded by devout people who designed it to accomplish ‘Christian’ goals, mainly to help people in need.

One of the founders, Henri Dunant, was not a Christian and planned a far wider scope for the organization, with steps that would have put it on a path to alter societies in the way that the Community of Humankind ultimately did in the 21st century. But the others in the organization, led by the devout Gustav Moynier, believed this was against the will of God: According to the Old Testament, God created the nations, gave them the rights that they used war to enforce, and sanctioned the use of war to reallocate the lands belonging to the nations. To try to alter this—as Dunant proposed—would be against the will of God.

In recent decades, the IRC has made an effort to become a secular organization and shed its religious image, but it was formed, originally, as a religious organization.

The organization was loosely modeled after the nineteenth century corporation called the ‘International Red Cross:’ it was designed to be a non-governmental humanitarian organization with global reach. But, unlike the International Red Cross, the Community of Humankind was never intended to be a religious organization or to try to do things that that were designed to be limited to specific activities authorized by God. It was designed, from the first, to be a tool that the human race could use to alter the structural realities of its existence in ways that would move the entire human race toward a better future.

The Community of Humankind began by using money provided by the philanthropists to buy the freehold rights to bountiful, cash-flow generating properties. (Freehold rights are the total ownership rights that are commonly available to be purchased and owned in the world in the 21st century.) The Community of Humankind then created leasehold titles for these proprieties; it then sold these leasehold titles, selling the leasehold rights to these properties, in markets set up for this purpose.

 

Note: Freehold ownership and leasehold ownership are two different kinds of ‘land tenure.’ Tenure comes from the French verb for ‘to hold’ and refers to different ways that humans can ‘hold’ land. These terms are explained in detail in the previous books in this series. If you have not read these books or would like a short refresher, the appendix at the end of the chapter explains these different systems. The socratic society is based on a special kind of leasehold ownership called ‘socratic leasehold ownership,’ which operates in accordance with scientific principles designed to align the interests of the people who ‘hold’ land with the interests of the human race as a whole.

 

The buyers of these leasehold titles are buying almost all rights to the property. In most respects, their authority over property is the same as the authority of freehold owners. They make all decisions over the property and all rights and revenues of the property, at least initially, go to them.

But there are two specific rights to the property they do not own.

The first is the right to get certain flows of value that the property produces that they have agreed to pay to the human race as a yearly payment called a ‘leasehold payment.’ The amount of this payment is set in markets (as discussed in the appendix) which will work to cause the great majority of something called the ‘free cash flows’ of the land to go to the human race. The human race will get leasehold payments each year from every single property controlled with leasehold ownership. Because the leasehold owners will always lose far more money if they don’t make the payments than if they do, they have very strong incentives to put the interests of the human race above their own and make sure that the human race always gets its share of value that the land produces; even if they, the leasehold owners, have to do without or suffer, they will make sure the human race does not do without or suffer. (As the appendix explains, the leasehold owners will always lose exactly five times more money by not making their leasehold payments than by making them. No self-interested or profit-motivated person will chose to give up a large amount of money in preference to a small amount of money.)

The rights to these flows of value will belong to the human race. We live on a very bountiful planet, one that produces immense amounts of wealth without much need for human labor or hardship. In the socratic leasehold ownership system, everyone on earth shares in this bounty by sharing in the free cash flows that come from the land, go through the leasehold owner, and to the human race.

The second right that leasehold owners will not own is the right to harm the land they ‘hold’ through the leasehold ownership system. If leasehold owners want to use land in ways that are in a special list that has been approved by the human race in a global election called a ‘list of potentially harmful uses,’ they must get permission from the owners of these rights, the members of the human race. If you own leasehold rights to a property and want to do something on this list, say use the land to dispose of nuclear waste or apply chemical pesticides, you will need written permission. If the owners of these rights want to grant you permission, you can do these things; otherwise, you cannot.

The new land tenure worked a lot like the old land tenure system. Because buyers of leaseholds were buying fewer rights to the property, people could buy leaseholds for far lower prices than freeholds. (Some places on earth use both methods of land tenure side by side, making it easy to compare them. For example, most of the United States state of Hawaii is owned by five giant corporations which do not sell freehold rights. If you want to buy property in Hawaii from these corporations, you will not be able to buy a freehold, you will have to buy a leasehold. Some Hawaii land is offered as freehold property, but these properties are far more expensive than leasehold properties and most buyers simply can’t afford them, so they buy leaseholds instead.) Because of the lower prices, leasehold ownership made ownership more accessible to more people and the percentage of ownership in the world increased dramatically during the early years of the program.

All owners have incentives to improve properties. These incentives work pretty much the same way for leasehold owners as freehold owners. People can buy leaseholds on properties, improve the underlying properties, and then sell their leaseholds for far higher prices than they had paid themselves. People bought and improved leaseholds for the same reason they buy and improve freeholds: they wanted to be rich. The leasehold ownership system works in a way that causes the leasehold payment that goes to the human race to increase whenever the owners of leasehold properties sell for higher prices than they pay. (The leasehold payments is 20% of the price the current owner paid; if you can sell for a higher price than you paid, the leasehold payments for the new buyer will be higher than the leasehold payments you were making.) Although most leasehold owners were only improving because they wanted to get rich themselves, their desire to get rich brought great benefits to the human race: the more money they made, the more income the human race got from then on.

Leasehold owners owned almost all rights to the properties. But they did not own the right to use property in ways that harm it. If you own a leasehold and want to do anything on the ‘list of potentially harmful uses,’ you have to get permission from your landlord, the human race, before you can do this. No government decides what use is potentially harmful: the human race has elections to decide this. You can’t go to an official and bribe her to get a special permit, because the leasehold ownership system has nothing to do with governments or permits. It is about what the owners of the rights to destroy the land want to happen. If the owners of the rights to destroy the land don’t want to allow destruction, they don’t have to.

If you use your land in one of the ways on the ‘list of potentially harmful uses’ without getting permission from the owner of this right, the human race has the option of taking you to court and canceling your leasehold without giving you any money. Since you paid a lot of money for the leasehold, you have a powerful incentive to make sure you respect the rights of the human race. If you care about your own wealth position, you will again put the interests of the human race above your own. If the human race doesn’t want pesticides on the land or GMO crops to germinate there, you will make sure there is no pesticide residue or GMO contamination. Not because of ‘concern’ or ‘awareness,’ but because of greed: you won’t want to lose your investment. You don’t own the rights to do these things (if they are on the ‘list of potentially harmful uses’) the human race does. If you violate the rights of the owners, you can lose enormous amounts of money.

None of this was hidden from the buyers of leasehold titles. In fact, they had to take classes and pass tests to make sure they understood these things before they were allowed to pay for leaseholds. The new kind of land tenure had very strict rules. But people who were willing to follow these rules got great things in return. They got the right to own property rights for far lower prices than they would have had to pay to get freehold rights. A great many more people can afford to buy leaseholds than can afford to buy freeholds, so more people owned and got the benefits of ownership. People who wanted to control land and had a lot of money could control a great deal more land with freeholds (because the prices were lower), so they could make a great deal more money with leaseholds than leaseholds. It is true that leasehold ownership was not the same as freehold ownership. There were rules and people had to follow them. But they got a great deal in exchange for following these rules and so they agreed to follow them.

 

The Government of the Human race

 

The Community of Humankind was not run by any government. In fact, even the board of directors of the corporation had no control over its income. It was set up this way:

People made their leasehold payments into a bank account in the name of ‘the human race.’ The bank account was set up so that money could not be withdrawn by any person or group. It could only be transferred to other accounts electronically. The electronic transfers could only take place through public elections in which every voter had the same rights and same control.

Here is the basic idea:

Anyone could register to vote and get a user id and a PIN number by proving she is a ‘unique human being.’ In other words, the only thing you have to do to register to vote is prove you are human and not already registered. Once you get a user id and PIN, you can vote through the internet or through an automated voice system from a toll free number available from any telephone on earth. The value of each vote depended on the number of voters and the amount being voted on.

For example, say that $100 million has been paid into the account of ‘the human race’ in a given time period and there are 10 million voters at the time. Each person gets 10 votes, each of which is worth $1. You can then dial up or sign in and decide what happens to that money. The various funds on the ballot are put there by referendum: no government is involved in any way. The people decide what programs they want and these programs are put on the ballot. Say that one program on the ballot is ‘the disaster relief fund.’ If you cast 1 vote for ‘the disaster relief fund,’ $1 is immediately transferred from the account of ‘the human race’ to the account of the ‘disaster relief fund.’ If you cast 5 votes to the fund, $5 is transferred.

No government is involved in this process. Not even the board of directors of the Community of Humankind, LLC, has the authority to override the decisions made by the human race. The money belongs to the human race. It goes where the human race wants it to go.

One of the funds was called the ‘Basic Income Fund.’

Money in the Basic Income Fund is distributed among the people as ‘basic incomes.’ The basic income is the foundation upon which their other income would rest. In order to encourage people to participate in the election process, the people who set up the basic income fund set it up so that the money would be distributed equally among all voters for the first 50 years after the creation of the fund; after that, it would go to everyone whether they vote or not. Because people could get money merely by participating in the elections, people had powerful incentives to register to vote and then play a role in the election process. The system started out small but, over the years, a larger and larger percentage of the human race joined and, within a few decades, a majority of the people on the planet were voting members of the ‘Community of Humankind.’

 

A Counterweight to the Power of Nations

 

The global humanitarian non-governmental-organization called ‘the Community of Humankind’ was designed to be a counterweight to the power of the entities called ‘nations.’

It bypassed the nations entirely, granting rights specifically to the people of the planet. Every human being in this organization had the same voice and vote.

Where did their power come from?

We live on a world that produces immense amounts of wealth each year. It is a very bountiful planet. It produces many trillions of dollars a year in free cash flows. In the societies that we inherited from past generations, none of this free cash flows to the human race to be used for things that benefit the human race. The organization called the ‘Community of Humankind’ was designed to changes this. People who wanted to control properties could buy leaseholds, essentially agreeing to share the free cash flows the land produced with the human race.

At first, each only a small number of properties were ‘in the system’ so only a small percentage of the wealth the world created was shared with the human race. But people had a great many very powerful tools that they could use to expand the flow of wealth that goes to the human race and the power that goes along with this wealth. In order to understand how the system expanded to the point where the human race had enough authority to prevent the governments of nations from harming them, we have to understand a few of these tools. Let’s start with one of the most important:

 

Tools That Ordinary People could Use to Advance the Interests of the Human Race

 

Even before the Community of Humankind was formed, thousands of corporations structured as charities existed. These charities included some with global reach like Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross. Many people donated vast sums to these organizations because they wanted to help make the world better. Although these organizations did make a difference in certain areas, none of them was designed specifically to be controlled by the human race and to meet the specific needs of the human race as a whole.

The other organizations—even the very large ones—had very limited goals.

The largest such organization, as of 2017, is the International Red Cross, or ‘IRC.’ This organization was originally formed to help people affected by war. It had spread other areas, providing medical care for poor in areas where governments didn’t have any systems for this, creating a global blood banking system to provide blood for operations, and providing emergency assistance and disaster relief wherever it was needed. Even though the IRC’s activities are broad, they still affect only a very limited constituency. Other non-governmental humanitarian organizations had been formed over the years, but always to minister to a very specific constituency. As of 2020, there was no organization that anyone could give to that would use their donations specifically to advance the interests of the human race as a whole.

The Community of Humankind was designed specifically for this purpose. The founders of the Community of Humankind had been born at a time after people had discovered tools like land tenure systems would effectively share land tenure between private owners and the human race as a whole. They incorporated these structures into their organization. The more properties put into the system, the more control the human race had. Since any power that the human race had would have to in some way diminish the power of other entities, any contributions to the system that anyone on earth made would effectively transfer power from other entites to the human race as a whole. They would do much more than give the people of the world more money (pieces of paper with numbers on them.) They would give the human race a perpetual claim on an increasing amount of the bounty of the world, and give the human race increasing power and control over the important variables of their existence.

For example, say that you own a few rental homes that generate free cash flows in the time before the Community of Humankind is formed. You are planning your estate and you want your children to get the money from the sale of these properties, but you know they don’t really want the properties themselves and will only sell them if they inherit them. Before 2020, there was really nothing you could do to use the wealth and future cash flows these properties will generate to help the human race. All you could do is direct the properties be sold, with sizable inheritance taxes and fees deducted from the proceeds, and the balance of the money distributed among various parties, including certain charities that would use them in specific ways to benefit whatever constituencies they served.

After the Community of Humankind was in place, you had another option:

You could download a short form from the internet, fill it out, and submit it to be filed with the recorders office (the office that records land tenure deals) in you jurisdiction, with a copy emailed to the Community of Humankind for their records. This form directs the property to go to the Community of Humankind, which will then sell the socratic leasehold ownership rights to this property to the highest bidder and distribute all of the proceeds as you direct among your heirs. Your heirs will get what they want from you, the money, and they will get it right away. (It can take many decades for estates to settle in our world today; after paying all the fees for managing the estate over this time, often less than half is left over for heirs.)

The new buyers will not own freehold rights to the properties, they will own leasehold rights. Each year, they will make leasehold payments to the human race. This money will be available to be used as directed by the members of the human race. The human race will not be getting a one time gift, we will get a flow of wealth that should be perpetual.

Before 2020, this system did not exist. After, people had a real tool they could use to distribute their estates in a way that they would know for certain would benefit the human race and make the world a better place for all future generations.

A great many people want to make the world better and would do so if they simply had simple tools to make this possible. A great many very wealthy people are actively looking for tools like this as you read this, but, prior to 2020, these tools simply didn’t exist.

After the Community of Humankind was formed, anyone could take advantage of these tools.

People began to do so.

 

A Counterpoint To The Power Of Nations And Governments

 

Before the Community of Humankind was formed, there was no unique source of income and revenue that belonged specifically to the human race. Since we didn’t have any natural revenue stream, we didn’t have any kind of practical tool we could use to make our collective voices heard and meet our collective needs.

The entities called ‘nations’ claimed and used force to protect something they called their sovereignty over the land. Sovereignty refers to ‘the rights of sovereigns’ and sovereigns rights are absolute, total, and complete. All rights to the land and everything it produced and contained belonged to the nations, leaving nothing unowned to be used by the people of the world to meet needs that had nothing to do with protecting the interests of nations.

After the Community of Humankind was formed, the human race had some income that belonged to the people collectively. This gave us some power. At first, the income of the human race was very low so its power was also very low. In fact, when the organization was first formed, the formation and early years had no real impact on any of the rights or powers of nations or any important operations of society.

But, as time passed, this changed.

It started when people started to vote for some of the money to meet needs that governments were not meeting. Different national governments provided different levels of common services for their people. Some nations provided virtually no services, creating a chaotic and miserable existence for the people who live there. Other nations provide sporadic or services that benefit a few people (often those with the time, skills, and willingness to spend endless hours filling out the paperwork needed to qualify for them) while leaving the great bulk to fend for themselves. Some nations were better at providing services for their people, but still fell short in critical areas. The Community of Humankind provided a tool that the people of the world could use to fill this gap.

Governments are not, by their nature, institutions that are well suited to provide services to the people. According to Dictionary.com, the term government means:

 

1. the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration:

2. the form or system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is governed:

monarchical government; episcopal government.

3. the governing body of persons in a state, community, etc.; administration.

4. a branch or service of the supreme authority of a state or nation, taken as representing the whole:

a dam built by the government.

5. the particular group of persons forming the cabinet at any given time:

6. direction; control; management; rule:

the government of one’s conduct.

7. a district governed; province.

 

Governments are defined as bodies that control the people.

That is their primary function and the only function they always perform. If they provide services for the people, this is a kind of gift or ancillary action of the government. (Often the services are designed to help the government meet its other needs. For example, most roads are built to help industry function in ways that will provide weapons that governments need for war; people are allowed to drive their cars over them also, but the primary motivating factor—which is clear by reading the laws that led to the creation of the road system—was almost always something else.)

In Forensic History, we looked at the chain of events that led to the creation of societies that divide the world into nations (sovereign law societies) and the way governments evolved. Governments are needed to organize the defense of the system that grants rights to people born inside certain configurations of imaginary lines while preventing people born elsewhere from gaining these same rights. They are not service providers by design.

Since they are not designed to be service providers, they are generally not very good at providing services. Governments do certain things well: only governments are able to put together the large and complex network of facilities needed to build nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Anatomy of Destruction explains that destruction is always expensive processes that destroy large amounts of expensive resources are always more expensive than those that don’t destroy anything of value, given only the natural costs and benefits. The only way to keep destruction going—and keep the jobs needed to rape the world in place—is to create artificial costs for non-destructive options, provide subsidies for destruction. As time passes and more non-destructive technologies are invented, governments have to redistribute more and more wealth to keep destruction going. As of 2017, the second largest government programs on earth involve subsidies on destruction, with only organized mass murder (war) having a higher priority.

Only governments have been able to redistribute wealth in ways that can keep people using highly destructive processes (like using coal for energy and oil for transport) when these processes would otherwise not be taking place. (See sidebar for more information.) Only governments of nations have been able to accomplish the eradication of groups that have ideologies inimical to the premises of sovereign law so that governments and nations can take over. These are things governments are good at.

They are not good at collecting recycling from residences, for example. They are not very good at treating communicable diseases. They are not very good at creating non-military and non-destructive infrastructure. (As Anatomy of Destruction shows, our roads could be coated with coatings that would make them photoelectric at almost no cost above the current cost of road buildings; if governments did this, our roads would produce all the electricity we could ever need for everything, with no need for coal or destructive plants, and plenty of electricity for totally non-destructive high-speed electric transport systems. But this is not only something governments do not do, it is something they try very hard to prevent. They want jobs and they know that the solar roads will eliminate hundreds of millions of jobs mining coal and other fuels.) They are not very good at feeding the people (governments today spend billions on programs designed to ‘support’ agricultural prices, or drive them to higher levels; these programs make food more expensive, not less so.

Who knows better what services the people want than the people? After the Community of Humankind existed, the people had common income and they could use as much of it as they wanted to provide services that they wanted.

That is what they did.

They started providing their own services.

They basically told governments ‘your services are no longer required.’

The governments no longer had to waste money doing things they didn’t do well and didn’t want to do.

As time passed, governments did less and less. They spent less and less. They had less and less authority. They were never ‘taken over’ by the people; the society simply evolved in ways that caused power to shift from the governments to the people.

 

The End Of Nations

 

Once the people have control over wealth that does not involve governments or nations in any way, the people gain new tools they can use to influence the governments.

The entities called ‘the governments of nations’ want certain things that the people of the world don’t want to happen. Governments benefit from wars so they want a state of mind suitable to war.

War is a horrible thing. It involves the most inhumane activities within the capability of human beings. Most people shudder to think of the realities of war and these realities drive a large percentage of those who participate in these wars insane. (Call any phone number for war veterans services and listen to the message: are you considering killing yourself? If so, press 1. Are you considering killing others? Press 2…’)

Any time a group of people claim that a part of the world belongs to them and them alone, with no one else on the planet having any right to share anything it produces or contains, or even walk on that part of the world without the permission of the owners, war is inevitable. If we build our societies on the believe that this is an acceptable thing to do, we will never live in peace. Such a system grants special rights to a tiny minority of the people of the world at the expense of the great majority. The majority suffers, the minority benefits. A minority can’t control a majority without the use of force. (People will not agree to give up benefits that they need to keep their families alive just to be nice. They need to be forced to follow the rules that deny them benefits.) Obviously, if a minority wants to force the majority to accept rules, it will have to use large amounts of force. It must be organized to provide these tools and provide this force.

The people who live in these societies know that force will be needed. They know that, when the time comes, their people must be willing to fight fanatically and devote their lives to the military industry to make sure enough weapons are available, or their side will ‘lose’ the wars. They know that people have to have a certain state of mind to fight with the necessary fanaticism or give up their lives in the coal mines and weapons factories so that the war can continue.

The people who run the nations have to devote a great deal of effort and money to cultivating the necessary state of mind, or it won’t exist.

They have to create massive school systems and direct these systems in ways that make sure everyone is subjected to a highly political upbringing. I went to school in France and learned the need to shed ‘fill the furrows of the fields with blood’ to advance the interests of France; I went to school in China and learned that the government was responsible for making the flowers grow, and I went to school in the United States and learned that God shed his grace on America, which was the land of the free and home of the brave. I learned a history that claimed that every war was won by the good guys (the winners write history, so they always make sure the history books say they were the good guys), implying that every war ever fought made the world just a little bit better, and war is therefore not only good, it is the ultimate in good: it is the source of everything good that ever existed. Logic and reason tell us this isn’t true: We would expect the most brutal and inhumane fighters to be able to defeat more humane defenders, so we would expect wars to advance and increase brutality and a lack of humanity. But, somehow, the schools of the world are able to convince children that the opposite is true.

This is not cheap or easy. It requires a lot of hard work and money.

As time passes, it is getting harder and harder to cultivate the hatred and fear that war needs to exist. The old stories told of the enemies as subhuman monsters. You couldn’t know otherwise: you couldn’t travel to their countries, call them on the phone, email them, or see the Youtube posts of them living their lives and caring about the same things the rest of us care about. Information is helping to tie us together. But our togetherness is not organized. As of 2017, there is no central organization that represents ‘the human race.’ We have no collective tools we can use to make the governments of nations work to make life better for the human race as a whole. Governments are the entities responsible for wars and they know people fight better if they feel hatred and fear. They have incentives to spread these emotions and, since they control the bulk of the wealth of the world, they have tools to make this happen.

The Community of Humankind acts as a counterweight to the powers of governments.

It ties the people of the world together.

We have global elections. The wealth of leasehold properties goes equally to everyone, regardless of which country they were born into or what religion their parents told them they were. It acts as a unifying force, to counter the pressure of the entitles called ‘nations’ that is trying to tear us apart.

From the early days of the Community of Humankind, nations were no longer ‘sovereign’ entities. They didn’t control all of the wealth that came to exist inside of their borders; some went to the human race. As time passed, the human race became more important and the nations less important. In time, people started to wonder why nations existed at all. Why have imaginary lines between North Dakota and Manitoba, making them separate ‘nations?’ What is the reason that North Dakota and Minnesota are in the same ‘country’ and Manitoba is in a different one? The basic realities of the socratic system served to provide further uniformity. Socratic leasehold ownership worked exactly the same way everywhere. The rules of land use were determined by the people of the world, not by the governments of nations, and were, again, the same everywhere. The most important elections were the global elections that determined the allocation of the wealth of the human race. you could vote from anywhere on earth and everyone had the same voice and vote, no matter where they were born in relation to imaginary lines.

Nations didn’t disappear. But they evolved into something different than they had been at the beginning. They became less important. Eventually, the differences between nations were no more significant than the differences between the individual provinces or states within current nation. There were differences, but they weren’t great enough to fight over.

 

Appendix 2.1: Land Tenure

 

The term ‘tenure’ comes from the French verb ‘tenir’ for ‘to hold.’ Land tenure refers to the different methods that people may ‘hold’ land. There are two general types of land tenure in common usage:

 

1.            Freehold ownership.

2.            Leasehold ownership.

 

You can find both of these systems existing side by side in certain places. This makes it very easy to compare them. One important place where both systems exist side by side is the United States state of Hawaii.

The reason that Hawaii is different from the other states has to do with the way it was settled. Hawaii was settled by five giant corporations that own more than half of all land in the state. (More about the ‘big five of Hawaii.’) These corporations have no interest in getting rid of the land they own. They want to keep it forever. But they do want to set up a system where they can get income from the land and create incentives for other people (other than the owning corporations) to invest capital in the land, develop it, and make it able to create even higher revenue streams for the corporations in the future. These corporations have hired professionals to help them accomplish their goals and the professionals have created leasehold ownership systems that were designed specifically for this purpose.

The human race can use the same basic system that the corporations use in Hawaii, with this difference: rather than the system benefiting profit-making corporations, it will benefit the human race.

 

Difference Between Freehold and Leasehold Ownership

 

If you want to own a place in Hawaii, you have two choices. You can buy a freehold or buy a leasehold. Here are the differences:

If you buy a freehold you will pay the price and that is all you will pay; after you pay the price the property will belong to you and you never have to return it to anyone, follow anyone’s rules (except the government) or pay anyone anything to use it (except the government, by paying taxes). If you buy a leasehold, you will only own the rights for a limited amount of time, generally 30 years. After that, if you want to keep owning, you will have to go through an assessment process where the corporations determine the value of the property and readjust the leasehold payments according to a formula that the corporations have worked out and put into the leasehold agreement. Generally speaking, this means that the leasehold payments will go up when the leasehold expires. (In some cases, the corporations want to get the property back and, rather than adjusting the leasehold payments after 30 years, will buy back the property for some amount that is stated in the leasehold agreement.)

During the term you own, you will have to make leasehold payments each year to some other party that is not the government. (In Hawaii, you will have to make these payments to an agent who will then forward the money on to whichever one of the big five corporations holds the freehold title to the land.) This other party is your landlord. The landlord may also have certain rules that you must follow to keep your rights to the property. If you don’t make your leasehold payments on time or don’t follow the rules, the freehold owners can take you to court and, if they win, they can cancel the leasehold agreement. If this happens, you may very well be out whatever you paid for the leasehold: they don’t have any obligation to give this money back to you if you have violated the rules.

Another key difference between leaseholds and freeholds is the price. Leaseholds are much, much less expensive than freeholds. If you buy a leasehold, generally speaking, your total payments, including both the leasehold payment and the mortgage payment on the loan you took out to pay the price, will be roughly what you would normally have to pay to rent an equivalent property.

For example, consider a condo that has a rental value of $2,000 per month. The freehold rights on a condo like this would sell for about $600,000, if you can find them for sale. (It is very hard to find freehold properties in Hawaii.) The leasehold rights to such a property will sell for about $100,000 with a yearly leasehold payment of $20,000. Your monthly payments on such a property would be $2,000: $1,666 for the monthly contribution to the leasehold payment and $333 for the interest portion of the loan taken out to pay the $100,000.

If you finance the full price, you will pay about the same amount of money each month to own the leasehold property as to own the freehold property. But you will have a much harder time buying the freehold because, to buy it, you have to qualify for a $600,000 loan. This is far above the limits that government insurance companies are willing to insure, so this loan can’t be packaged and sold with a standard loan package: if you want to borrow, you will have to find a private lender and meet very strict requirements.

Almost all buyers in Hawaii go with leaseholds. Leaseholds are more affordable, easier to qualify for, and easier to get into.

One you are in the property, you have basically the same rights as you would have if you were a freehold owner, at least for the balance of the term of the lease. You can alter the property by getting a government permit, just as a freehold owner would do. If some land is included with the condo rights, you can expand and add additional rooms, or do anything the local zoning codes allow. You will have to pay these expenses with your own money; the freehold won’t help you out with them. But after you have improved the property, if you then offer the leasehold for sale, you can generally sell it for far more than you paid for it. (This is one of the reasons the corporations set up the system this way: they want people to improve properties because, if they do, the corporations are able to increase the leasehold payments when the lease term ends.)

 

Different Kinds Of Leasehold Ownership

 

If you are setting up leasehold ownership systems, you can set them up different ways. The corporations in Hawaii hire professionals to figure out systems that will best meet the needs of the companies. They want certain things.

They want the leasehold owners to be responsible. They want the property to be kept in good condition, they want the leasehold owners to follow the rules they make for the property and, most of all, they want to make sure that the leasehold owners make their leasehold payments on time without having to be asked.

They can make this happen by setting up leasehold ownership systems that require the buyers to invest a lot of money in the leasehold. If they have a lot invested, they have a lot to lose if they don’t comply.

It would have been possible for them to set leasehold systems that work in ways that make the prices of leaseholds (the amount people must invest to buy them) very low. For example, say that you are renting a condo for $24,000 a year ($2000 a month) and your landlord offer to let you buy a leasehold on the property with a yearly leasehold payment of $23,988. This is only $12 a year less than the amount you are paying as rent. This isn’t much of a saving and, as a result, you wouldn’t be willing to pay a very high price for a leasehold like this.

However, imagine that the landlord calls you and is wiling to offer you a leasehold on the property with a yearly leasehold payment of only $12. You will wind up paying only $1 per month to your landlord as a leasehold payment, so you will be saving a great deal of money and would be able to pay a great deal of money for the leasehold.

Landlords can set their leasehold payments to be anything they want. If they want the leasehold price to be very high, they can set the leasehold payments to be very low (as in the second example above). If they want the leasehold price to be very low, they can set the leasehold payment very high. It is a trade off: the higher the leasehold payment they ask, the lower the price they can get, and vice versa.

There are formulas that can be used to determine the price that leaseholds will sell for at different leasehold payments. Book Two of Possible Societies goes over these formulas in great detail if you are interested. The big five corporations of Hawaii have very large staffs of analysts that understand these formulas and know exactly how to set up the system to generate the combination of prices and leasehold payments they want. Generally speaking, they want the price to be about five times the amount of the yearly leasehold payments. This is a good combination for several reasons. Possible Societies goes over these reasons in detail, but here is a quick descripton:

If the price is five times the yearly leasehold payment, the leasehold owners will never miss a leasehold payment, no matter what. To buy the leasehold, they have to pay the price, either with their own cash or money they borrow and are responsible for repaying. If they don’t make their leasehold payments, the landlords can terminate the leaseholds and ‘take back’ the property, without having to refund any of this price. This means that the leasehold owners will lose five times the amount of their leasehold payment if they misse a payment. People don’t do this: if you know you will lose more money if you don’t make the payment than if you do, you will do whatever you have to to make the payment. If you have to sell your car, your computer, or even your blood, you will do this. If you don’t have anything else to sell to come up with them money, you will sell the leasehold itself. You may have to take a loss by selling at a bad time or very quickly, but if you do, whatever this loss is, it is far less than you would lose by missing the leasehold payment. The corporations know that people will not miss these payments. Because people don’t miss the leasehold payments, the corporations don’t have to go to any effort to collect these payments. (This will be a very big advantage when the human race is the landlord: we don’t want to have to worry about this.) Their income is essentially automatic: it comes in without them having to do anything.

Another advantage of this ratio involves risk. The leasehold owners will pay if they can. But what if they forget, or, for some other reason, don’t pay? Even if this happens, the landlords can’t lose. If they sold the leasehold for 5 times the leasehold payment, they can hold the money they get as a ‘price’ in reserve. (If they have a buyback agreement, which happens in many leasehold ownership systems, they have to hold the price in reserve so they will have the money to buy back the leasehold. In the socratic, the human race can gain certain advantages by offering buyback agreements on leaseholds. If we do this, we will need to keep the money in reserve to buy back the leaseholds, when the conditions required to buy them back are met.) If the companies keep this price money in reserve, they will be holding five times the yearly leasehold payment in reserve. If the leasehold payment is made, the money stays in reserve. If not, the property reverts back to the landlords without any need to buy it back, so this reserve fund is no longer needed. The reserve money can be transferred into the working account.

If the leasehold owners have to make the leasehold payments into the working account, one of two things must happen: either the leasehold payment will simply materialize in the working account when due, or the reserve money will transfer into the account. Since one of these things must happen (it is not possible for neither of them to happen; the landlords already have the price money in the reserve account and don’t have to collect it), the landlords income is risk-free: nothing can happen to prevent them from getting either the amount they are promised or five times this amount.

A third advantage of the 5:1 ratio involves improvements. This is a rather complicated issue and is dealt with in detail in Possible Societies, but here is the short version:

The pricing model that sellers of leasehold rights use sets prices that depend on the free cash flows of properties. The higher the free cash flow, the higher the numbers (both the price and leasehold payments are higher if the free cash flow is higher).

 

This chapter is under construction

 

 

1: A New Kind of Utopia

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 6: The Socratic

The Socratic
Chapter One: A New Kind of Utopia

 

On July 6, 1535, Sir Thomas More, the author of the book Utopia, was executed by beheading at the tower of London. He had been convicted of a violation of the ‘Act of Supremacy;’ a law which had been passed only a few months earlier; this law required everyone to accept that God personally supervised the society of England, with actions including the personal selection of its king and personal control over its variables. (Link to full text of 1534 Act of Supremacy.’)

The book More wrote, Utopia, claimed that the societies of Europe had serious flaws that other societies—including those of Inca that had recently been discovered in lands west of the Atlantic Ocean—did not have. More’s political enemies claimed that this book was proof that More did not really accept that God was personally behind the societies of Europe. He would not give his favored people anything but the best society that could exist; if this society had flaws, these were inherent flaws that came to exist because of human failings, not failings of God. By claiming that humans could live and did live other ways (Utopia was about the societies in the continent that was later named ‘America’), and could function without the horrific problems that were a part of the European societies, More was claiming God was either not involved or he didn’t really love the people of England to give them his best work. Either way, he was clearly in violation of the law.

The evidence was presented. More through himself on the mercy of the court. But the court had no discretion in the sentence, only the verdict. The jury convicted and the law had only one choice for a sentence: death. More had to die before he could infect young and gullible people and make them believe that humans could have better societies.

 

A Radical Departure

 

More had written a great many books.

All but one of them were totally consistent with the law.

More was a reverent religious scholar. He accepted the basic premise of the Old Testament which states that God personally organized the foundational structures of the Afro-Eurasian societies. He divided the descendents of Noah into ‘races,’ then divided the land with imaginary lines into ‘nations,’ and gave nations away to various races. As the Old Testament states, God specifically sanctioned wars as methods of reallocating lands that had originally been granted to nations and God personally created most of the other characteristics of the societies of Africa, Europe, and Asia. More was raised to believe this. He was educated by people who believed it. He was required to accept and believe it and, if we look at every source other than the book Utopia, he did believe it, without reservations or restrictions.

But the ideas presented in Utopia are a radical departure from the message of his other books. There is nothing even remotely like them in any of the other books.

Where did he get these strange ideas?

The book itself explains this: The book claims that More did not write the book himself, he was merely a collaborator on it, presenting one point of view. Two other authors worked on it with him and these two men thought of the world differently than More did. The alternate perspective of the book, he claims, came from these other authors, not himself.

Here is a little background. Thomas More was a highly respected public official and personal confidant to the king of England. 1513, he was appointed Ambassador and sent to Antwerp, Belgium, to negotiate an alliance between Belgium and England in case an expected war with Spain became reality. More’s publisher and personal friend, Peter Giles, lived in Antwerp and they spent time together. One day Peter Giles introduced him to a friend, a Portuguese nobleman who had been an investor in Americus Vespucci’s expeditions to continent to the west. (This continent was eventually named ‘America,’ but this didn’t happen until long after Utopia was published.)

The Portuguese nobleman, Raphael Hythloday, had come to Palos, Spain, shortly after Christopher Columbus returned there from the islands in the west that he had visited between October 1942 and January 1493. (Palos was Columbus’ home and the place he sailed from.) Raphael Hythloday wanted to go to these lands himself. He couldn’t go with Columbus because of a law that required all who went to these lands to be Castilians (people from the state of Castile, in Spain), and Raphael Hythloday was not even a Spaniard.

While in Palos, Raphael Hythloday met Americus Vespucci. Vespucci was from Florence Italy and was a close personal friend of Lorenzo D’Medici, the owner of the Medici bank (the largest bank in Europe), which was headquartered in Florence. He was in Palos to help the bank sort out some problems it was having with its branch in Palos. Americus Vespucci’s position as close personal friend, advisor, and personal assistant to the head of the bank, put him into contact with great many very wealthy people. We don’t know much about the details, but at some point while in Palos, he decided to organize a privately-funded expedition to go to the western lands. He began to recruit investors. The book ‘Utopia’ claims that Raphael Hythloday was one of the early investors in the project.

Americus Vespucci claimed and Utopia claims there were four voyages, but the descendents of Columbus claimed that two of these trips—including the voyages that would have made Americus Vespucci the ‘discoverer’ of the new continents—were lies and never took place. They filed lawsuits and presented their evidence that these voyages never took place, in an attempt to get their ancestor named the true discoverer of the continents named after Columbus.

They lost their suits and Americus Vespucci’s claim stood up, so the continent was eventually named after him.

Many people who call themselves ‘historians’ today continue to believe the version that Columbus’ descendents presented. Researchers who have looked into it have found a great deal of evidence that the disputed voyages really did take place, but since they were privately funded and no government was involved, we official documents are not available so, at least so far, there is no absolute proof that they happened.

Although some people dispute that he went on four voyages, there is no dispute that he did go to the continents and spent several years there. There is also no dispute that he did leave 28 men behind in South America on his final voyages, corroborating the information in ‘Utopia.’

Raphael Hythloday and Americus Vespucci went on several trips to the western lands.

(There is some controversy over the exact number but there is no dispute that at least two of the voyages did take place; see sidebar for more information.)

The final voyage was a horrible failure.

Americus Vespucci started with six ships. One of his captains had a girlfriend in Sierra Leone and wanted to go there for supplies; he tried to persuade Americus Vespucci to go via this new route and pick up supplies for the longest part of the trip (across the Atlantic) from the African port. When his request was denied he ignored the decision and went to Africa anyway, forcing the rest of the ships to follow. When the two men were finally face to face, in Sierra Leone, Americus Vespucci fired the captain who had disobeyed his orders. But the captain had loyal people on his ship and his ship and a second supply ship simply deserted. This left Americus Vespucci with four of his six starting ships. He had lost two before he even left the old world.

About ¾ of the way across the Pacific he discovered a tiny and uninhabited island chain now called ‘Fernando de Noronha.’ They stopped there to see if they could pick up some fresh water and, while there, one of his four ships ran up on a reef. He ordered all non-essential hands from the remaining three ships to go to the stranded ship in an attempt to save it. This left his other ships without enough people to prevent them from drifting and another one of them drifted onto a different reef. In the end, he lost two more ships, leaving him with only two of his original six.

The two ships that were left were not large enough to carry all of the people he had. So, some of the men would have to stay behind in Brazil. Raphael Hythloday wanted to stay behind. He had a particular goal: He had learned the local language (Quechua, still spoken by about 8 million South Americans) and had had many long conversations with the locals about the way the people of the continent that would eventually be named ‘South America’ by Europeans lived. They told him that the people in the western part of the continent lived in massive cities with very advanced sciences and high populations. Raphael Hythloday wanted to travel to these cities to see them and study them. The book tells of his long voyage to the opposite coast where he eventually ended up on an island just off the coast. The 1517 book contains a map of the island and detailed description of its geography. You can easily see for yourself that the map and descriptions represent the island now called Chiloé, off the coast of the current nation of Chile.

At the time, the island had a different name. It had been named after a highly respected Incan historical figure named ‘Utopus.’ The Incan people called it ‘Utopia.’ The title of the book does not refer to the type of a society, it refers to a place name.

 

Utopia

 

Raphael Hythloday went to Utopia for the same reason he had gone to Greece, then Persia, then India: he wanted to see how people there lived. He became convinced that the societies of the Incan people, as represented by the one on Utopia, had features that were far superior to those of European societies at the time. The book explains the key differences between the societies of the new world and those of the old world. The societies of Europe, Asia, and Africa were all based on the idea that Raphael Hythloday called ‘property.’ They started with the premise that a group of people could go to any land that had not yet been ‘claimed’ and go through certain rituals; if they performed these rituals properly, the land would then belong to them. It would be their ‘property.’ This is a foundational principle of the societies of Afro-Eurasia. They all accepted it. The societies of the new world were based on the premise that the land is the source of all things humans need and want. It is above us all; it is the source of all good things and doesn’t belong and can’t really belong to any group of people. To them, the idea of two groups of people fighting each other over which of them owned a certain part of the planet was as ridiculous as the idea of two groups of fleas fighting each other over which of them owned the part of the dog they lived on.

All societies based on the concept Raphael Hythloday called ‘property’ must necessarily have certain problems: Since they allocate wealth in a highly inequitable manner, they will and must have certain very serious social problems, including horrific crime and poverty. The claims of the nations must be enforced and this requires the allocation of immense amounts of wealth to armies and weapons, depriving the people of the benefits this wealth might bring. The wars themselves are nothing but organized orgies of mass murder and destruction and don’t benefit the great majority of the people. The weapons require vast amounts of resources which need to be extracted quickly to meet the requirements of the wars, leading to horrific environmental problems. Societies built on other foundations work in other ways. The people of the new world, we know now, never accepted the idea that a group of people could ‘claim’ a part of the world and, if they did, it would belong to them. They built their societies on other foundations.

Societies built on other foundations work in other ways. Without any need to force society to conform to principles of national ownership or national sovereignty, the Incan people had far more flexibility in the operation of their societies. They could build structures that led to far more equitable distribution of wealth, leading to social realities that were dramatically different than those in Afro-Eurasia. They didn’t have the principle pressure that the Afro-Eurasia people had for war, the pressure of ‘nations’ to expand their territories, because they didn’t have the entities called ‘nations.’ Raphael Hythloday thought that some of the structures of the Incan people could benefit the people of his home continent. He made his way back to Europe (as described in the book) and went to Antwerp specifically to find a publisher to help him get the word out. He met Peter Giles, Giles introduced him to Thomas More, and together they wrote the book ‘Utopia.’

This is where the book came from according to the book itself.

More’s political enemies claimed that More made up the character of Raphael Hythloday in order to be able to get away with criticizing the British society, in violation of the law. They claim that the Incan people (who had not yet been ‘discovered’ by Europeans) didn’t really exist. They claim that the words attributed to Raphael Hythloday actually came from More himself and reflect his true feelings and beliefs. In the book, Raphael Hythloday points out certain very serous flaws that all societies built on the idea of property must have, and claims that it is possible for people to organize the realities of their existence differently, leading to societies without these flaws. It is a very clear violation of the law for anyone to believe this and, although the book claims that More did not believe this, if he was the sole author of the book (as the prosecutors claimed), he must believe these things.

I have been to court a lot and I know that every court case is a crapshoot: you never know for sure how it will come out. You can be right but, if other side is able to make the jury think certain things, you will lose anyway. More’s attorneys thought the prosecutors case was weak and didn’t go to a lot of effort to tear it down. (More himself never even testified.) But the jury sided with the prosecutors and More was convicted. His belief set didn’t match the required belief set, so he had to die.

 

Why Does Any of this Matter?

 

I have tried to convince people that the human race is capable of organizing the realities of its existence differently for many decades. Almost always, I get a negative response. In some cases, people are aggressively negative: they scream at me and have even become violent.

Some of the opposition is due to patriotism. People have been raised to love their countries and believe that their countries are the source of all good things. Many of the people I talk to have fought, killed, and destroyed to protect their countries and all have made some sort of sacrifices so that wars can take place. (At the very least, we all pay taxes which go to pay for weapons.) Almost everyone has had friends or loved ones who have lost their lives, their limbs, or their sanity in one or another of the almost constant wars that take place in the societies we live in.

If it is possible to build societies that don’t have these constant wars, this means that all of these sacrifices may have been made in vain. They didn’t really accomplish anything or move the human race toward a better future. People don’t want to believe this. But, if they accept that societies could be built on other foundations, they have to accept it. The easy way to keep their worldview intact is to simply deny that better societies are possible. If hard, physical evidence verifies that they really are possible, they need to reject reality so they can deny this evidence. If people (like myself) present arguments that make it impossible for them to continue to accept the beliefs they were raised to accept, they react with anger; they think of the one who is trying to tell them a better world is possible as an enemy.

Other people who resist the idea claim to be practical. They say that it doesn’t matter if a better society is possible, because no change is possible. We are locked into the societies we inherited by immutable laws. Some claim these immutable laws some from God: he is responsible for the organization of our society, not us, and we are helpless compared to him. Others claim that these immutable laws are natural laws: humans are naturally evil and we would and will kill and destroy because of our evil nature; this will happen even if there are no claims that land inside of certain imaginary lines belong to nations. Their mental effort to resist accepting that a better society is possible don’t appear to be motivated by logic and reason, they appear to be emotional, almost as if they are acting by instinct. It appears to cause them mental pain to accept that the human race may possibly not be doomed, that we may be able to live in a society that can meet all our needs, and that we may have peace, prosperity, and live in harmony with the world around us.

Others have noticed this strong resistance to hope. At his trial, Socrates pointed out that his message (which was essentially the same as mine: there is hope) turned almost all of the people around him into his enemies. George Orwell also tried to explain people were capable of more, and was attacked for this. He even coined a term to refer to this state of mind: Crimestop. He describes it this way:

 

Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc [his name for ‘the type of society we live in], and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one’s own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body.

Link to source, 1984 by George Orwell

 

Orwell claimed that crimestop was something that is taught to us in order to make us resist any ideas that are inimical to the type of society in which we live. The people who benefit from war, destruction, and the extreme levels of inequity and social injustice we see around us teach it intentionally, to prevent us from thinking in ways that may get us to try to change the system that benefits them.

Although this may be part of the issue, I don’t think it is everything.

I think that the mental attitude that Orwell called ‘crimestop’ is a kind of self defense mechanism to protect certain premise that we use as the foundation for our understanding of reality. We have to function in the real world, which means we have to have some practical knowledge of the way its mechanisms work. The world we live in is crazy: it devotes more wealth to mass murder and destruction than to feeding and housing its people, it builds enough weapons to destroy the planet thousands of times over to protect the integrity of imaginary lines, and it pays farmers to not grow food while millions of people don’t get enough to eat. It is hard to make sense of this. Our minds try, however. We can kind of make sense of this if we think of the idea of ‘nations’ and the other foundational realities of our existence as having been created by God or existing due to some inalterable characteristic of humans.

If these structures are forced on us, we the rest of the things we see can almost be made to make sense: If we have to start with a certain foundation (if it comes fro some source above us), this is the only thing we can build on it. If we start with this belief then build on it, then someone says something that calls this belief into question, that makes our minds short circuit. The foundation has been pulled out from underneath of our idea of ‘the way things work’ and nothing is left that will stand without this foundation.

I think that part of the reason we appear to wish to reject the idea that the human race is really capable of building descent societies is the one Orwell described. The people who benefit from the operation of the system really do have incentives to figure out ways to get people to accept these realities passively and to resist any train of thought that would be inimical to this mindset. I have a background in behavioral psychology and know that tools exist that can help create this mindset. But I think that this doesn’t tell the entire story. It doesn’t really explain our willingness to ‘not grasp analogies’ or ‘fail to perceive logical errors’ or ‘misunderstand the simplest arguments if they are inimical’ to the principles of the societies in which we live. As Orwell notes, people have to go to a great deal of mental effort to not understand the enormous capabilities of the human race. I don’t think that they can be persuaded to go to this amount of effort with the behavioral tools that are now available. I think that at least part of the effort comes from a desire to protect key parts of our brain that we need in order to continue to function as sane people in a world that is very far from being sane.

Why point these things out?

I want to ask you, the reader, for a favor: as you are reading the rest of this book, please bear in mind that there is a natural and almost instinctive tendency to want to argue and show the other person is wrong when someone else talks about the idea of building societies that can meet the needs of the people of the planet earth. I am asking you to accept that this is a real urge and it affects everyone. Even you. A part of you will want to find any excuse to try to not believe that we actually can do better. Try to balance this out with hope. If you are able to do this, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I think I make a very good case that every technical problem that we might encounter on the path to a perfect society can be solved with tools that are already at our disposal.

 

The Socratic

 

This is Book Five in the New Perspective Series of books.

Book One, Forensic History, goes over the evidence that has recently become available to show us that our history is dramatically different than the history we have been raised to accept. It goes over the series of events that put the human race onto the path we are now on, a path that clearly leads to our extinction.

Book Two, Possible Societies, goes over the different foundations that human societies can rest on. It shows that some of the foundational can support societies that can meet the needs of the human race, others cannot.

Book Three, Reforming Societies, goes over the steps that must be taken to alter the foundational realities of societies in a non-violent and non-traumatic manner. If we change the foundation that supports the societies we live in, everything that rests on that foundation will change on its own. Our societies will start to evolve, moving gradually toward societies that may meet our needs.

This book, ‘The Socratic,’ is about the way a fully evolved non-destructive society will work. The changes explained in Reforming Societies are designed to alter the flows of value that create incentives within societies so they no longer reward and reinforce destructive and violent behaviors. They show how we can make changes that cause the interests of individuals within society to align with the interests of the human race as a whole. If the incentives are aligned, we can take advantage of the natural motivations of all living things to advance their own interests and the interests of their families to move the human race toward a better future.

How would such a society look?

Many people use the term ‘Utopia’ to refer to a society that has the best possible features.

But, according to the book that brought this term to the Afro-Eurasian world, Utopia is actually the name of a place and a ‘Utopian society’ is the name of a society that really existed, the society of the Incan people. Possible Societies explains that this type of society is in a category called ‘natural law societies’ and compares the characteristics of natural law societies with those of the societies you and I live in (called ‘sovereign law societies’). Although natural law societies do have certain very desirable features that sovereign law societies do not have, they also have certain very serious disadvantages compared to sovereign law societies. (The book Utopia explains this: although the Incan societies had far less violence, social trauma, and environmental problems than the societies of Europe, they lacked incentives that led to progress and growth, so Europe had more factories and superior technology.)

Earlier books in this series went over the different options and showed that it is possible to combine the best characteristics of natural law societies with the best characteristics of sovereign law societies to create a kind of hybrid society that has the best features of both societies. It shares the powerful incentives that prevent damage to the environment and create social equity with natural law societies, but it also has the features that lead to progress, growth, and opportunity that are a part of sovereign law societies. The socratic is a kind of ‘best of both worlds’ society, one that puts together the best features of both of the major types of societies that humans have had in the 3.4 million years we have lived on this planet. This book explains how such a society works.

2: The Road Map Explained

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 3: Journey through possible societies

Possible Societies (Book Two)
A Journey Through Possible Societies
Chapter Two: The Map Explained

 

The physical world is the ultimate source of all of the food we eat and all the other physical things we need to keep us alive. It provides our food, shelter, the materials we use to build our tools, shelter, fires, places to build, places to live, our water, our air, and everything we need to keep us alive and make our lives better. The way we choose to interact with the physical world determines who gets these things what they have to do to get them.

If you can get food, shelter, or other things the world provides by acting certain ways, you have incentives to act those ways. You can think of an incentive as a kind of invisible hand pulling you toward a goal:

You see food on a tree and you are hungry. You feel psychological pressure to try to get the food. You can’t just say an incantation and get it: you need to do certain things. But what? The incentive pressures you to figure out what. You must figure it out and practice it. If it works, you will get the reward of the food. If not, you will remain hungry.

Humans, like all other living things with physical needs, must react to incentives. If you decide you are going to ignore the pressure to get food, eventually you will starve to death. Some animals can meet all their needs without help from their peers. But humans are not in this category. We need to organize ourselves in some way to help us meet our needs. This means that we will have to work together to create rules that determine exactly what things people will have to do to get food and other necessities.

Societies with 0% ownability societies have entirely different rules about who gets food and other necessities and what they have to do with them than societies built on 100% ownablity. In 0% ownability societies, no one owns or can own the land. If no one owns the land, no one owns its bounty. In such societies, the people will have to make some sort of decisions about what to do with this bounty. We would expect them to share it in some way. Most likely, they would not want people who act in ways that harm others (say thieves and murderers) to have the same share as responsible people. Most likely, they would share it in some way that gave responsible people more and irresponsible people less. If people are rewarded for acting certain ways, they have incentives to learn the appropriate behaviors (the right way to act to get the rewards) and act that way. These societies naturally reward responsible behaviors, so they create incentives that naturally encourage responsible behaviors.

Unfortunately, 0% ownability societies don’t accept that people can own wealth that flows from the land even if those people are solely responsible for creating certain flows of wealth. For example, if you improve land in a 0% ownability society, you have no natural rights to the increased wealth the land produced due to your effort. As a result, these societies have no incentive systems that encourage people to use their skills, time, talents, resources, money, and other things that are collectively called ‘capital’ in ways that lead to improvements and advancement of technology. 0% ownability societies have

Societies that accept 100% ownability (sovereign law societies) accept that the land is owned and the owners get everything it produces, including its bounty. People who don’t own must work for people with rights to food and other necessities, or they will not be able to get the necessities of life and will die. The owners have powerful incentives to try to organize themselves into groups (nations) so that they can build a collective defense for their land and, perhaps, be able to conquer still more land. They need a lot of people who work for them to extract the resources needed for weapons, to manufacture the weapons, and to join the military establishments that actually use these weapons against others. People are offered rewards in the form of money if they do things that lead to the extraction of resources or military conflict. If people are rewarded for acting certain ways, they have incentives to learn the appropriate behaviors (the right way to act to get the rewards) and act accordingly. These societies naturally reward destructive behaviors, so they create incentives that naturally encourage destructive behaviors.

Book One described an example society based on an intermediate relationship with the land. In that society, our people didn’t try to solve the problem of whether parts of planets were ownable before we organized our societies. We decided this was a complicated question that we wanted time to solve. Until we had the answer, we decided to build our societies on some other factor. In the example society, we decided that we would accept that the dominant animals on the earth got first claim on the good things the world produces and contains. We could therefore make rules regarding the use of the land if we wanted, and no other animal could prevent these rules from being the rules of existence for this planet. We decided we were the lords of the land.

We could have simply guessed about the best way to interact with our land, perhaps praying to whatever invisible superbeings any of our people believed existed for guidance. If we didn’t have a professional in our group who had studied the different options and knew how they worked, we may have guessed. But we had an expert in our group who knew about all the options.

Terry told us that she understood a science that was devoted to studying the different ways people could interact with ‘property,’ including ‘real property,’ the common name for ‘parts of the world that are considered ownable.’ As part of this science, she had studied the different ways that landlords could deal with their properties. She knew how all of them worked. She told us that the science is fairly complex and technical and she didn’t want to try to explain it all to everyone before we did anything. She asked us to allow her to make a presentation. In this presentation, she explained the specific option she had used her science to select as the one most suitable for the needs of the current landlords of the world, the members of the human race.

Before we consider the scientific options, let’s review a little so we can understand why science is not needed to understand some of the options on the Road Map, particularly societies built on the two extreme methods of interacting with the land, natural law and sovereign law.

 

Extreme Societies

It is possible to build societies without even using the higher intellectual powers and reasoning skills of the human race. We can start with nothing but emotions, we can think about the emotions and analyze which one feels right, and we can then claim that we want whatever feels like it is what we should have, then put that one in place.

Consider this thought experiment:

Think about whether the planet we live on and its parts are ownable, and whether people or groups of people can own. If you start with the right perspective or guidance, you may be inclined to believe this does feel right. For example, we appear to own our own bodies, we appear to own our free will. We clearly have the ability to make claims to own and then create structures that allow us to enforce these claims.

Many people have thought through this idea. Some of them accept the idea of a higher power and some don’t. Those who accept the idea of a higher power (some sort of entity with the ability to think which has more authority here on earth than we have), often justify their feelings that the planet is ownable by claiming that it must be the will of the higher power that we own. The higher power allows the stronger and more aggressive people to control the weaker and less aggressive, so He must want the stronger and more aggressive to control the weaker. This must be a part of some natural order that was a part of existence before humans even evolved.

Different drugs tend to affect our emotions different ways. If you want assistance feeling the emotions that help people believe that aggression and physical domination grant people rights to parts of the world, alcohol appears to have this effect on most people. I have talked to many people who seem absolutely sure of this belief set when they are drunk. Many of them openly state they will fight anyone who says they are wrong, at least for the time they are under the influence.

You don’t have to use any math or science to determine how you feel about something. If you want to build societies on feelings, you can ignore science, ignore math, and, for that matter, ignore physical reality. (Many people who accept feeling-based philosophies aggressively deny hard physical evidence if it contradicts their beliefs. I have known people who insist the Old Testament—accepted by Jews, Moslems, and Christians—give an accurate picture of creation and all of the evidence that backs evolution or shows anything in existence is more than 6,000 years old was created and then planted here by a jealous God to test His follower’s faith.)

You don’t have to know any math to analyze your feelings, or even understand what the term ‘science’ means. You don’t have to understand the mechanical elements of human modes of interactions, or the different ways the different mechanical structures that help us meet our needs can interact with each other. You don’t have to understand the nature of the incentives, the source of the incentives, or anything at all to do with flows of value that create incentives. You can just take drugs and analyze your feelings. If you feelings tell you that the world is ownable, and the strongest and most aggressive are the owners, you can then say that this is your belief, and you will not accept any analysis of society that doesn’t start with this belief.

You may also use your feelings to come up with an entirely different set of beliefs.

For example, imagine you are out in a beautiful natural setting, on a clear, moonless night, away from noises and distractions of the 21st century world. You look up at the sky and think of all the stars, planets, and endless galaxies full of stars and planets. Think about how large the universe is and now tiny and insignificant this tiny solar system is by comparison. Think about how whatever parts of nature you think are attractive and appealing, then think about clear-cutting, strip mining, nuclear bomb testing, and all of the other human activities people claim they have absolute rights to do, because the parts of the planet belong to them or their ‘nation’ (which has given them permission to do these things).

Again, drugs can help people feel things that they can decide are foundations for their beliefs. People on marijuana often tell me that they feel peace and harmony are good things, and concepts that disturb peace and harmony, including the idea of ownability of this wonderful planet, just don’t feel right. They say that this world is more like our mother than our property, and we need to take care of it or it will destroy us.

Think about this until you start to feel some emotions.

If, after thinking about the ownability of the world, you decide it just doesn’t feel right, you might think about what kind of relationship between the human race and the world does evoke satisfying emotions. You might think about the incredible beauty of the natural world and how it feels to be on such a wonderful planet. You may think about the idea of the human race existing just to keep the world in this beautiful condition.

Many people have thought about such things until they felt emotions. In many cases, the people decided that it simply felt right to accept that the world is above us all and not our servant at all, but our master. They thought it felt right to accept that the laws of nature are above the laws of humans and humans should respect the laws of nature above all other laws. If enough people in a given area feel this same way, they can organize their existence around this belief. They can create rules that require others to act in accordance with the beliefs, to take care of the world, and rules that prevent any person or group from having any rights that might be considered to be owned or ownable.

Again, people don’t need any math or science to build these societies.

People can understand the principles behind and build the extreme societies without understanding even the most basic elements of science or mathematics. All they have to do is be able to feel emotions.

 

Creating Intermediate Societies

 

We don’t need intellect to build the extreme societies. They can be built entirely on beliefs. People can start with guesses about things for which they have no real evidence or proof. They can then build structure around these beliefs. If they get to a place where things don’t fit together properly (and this is bound to happen, since the structures are not built on a logical analysis of anything), they can make guesses about what feels right to them. Some people will feel it is right that THEY be in charge and make the rules. From time to time, the people who feel this way will be in a position to persuade, coerce, or otherwise induce others to accept their rules. They can make rules based on their feelings and beliefs.

The two extreme societies are amenable to this kind of analysis. People who are guessing about whether parts of planets are ownable by mortal beings like humans are likely to guess that either we do own or we don’t own. All or nothing are both likely guesses. They are not likely to guess that humans naturally own certain rights but do not own certain other rights. For example, they aren’t likely to guess that some higher power wants them to set up a leasehold ownership system like the one described in Book One, which allows people to buy and own rights to improve the world, to keep increased flows of value due to their improvements for whatever period they wish, but which leave the rights to destroy the land and rights to certain unearned flows of value to be unowned and under the control of the human race as a whole. People making guesses about philosophical issues will not be likely to guess that things are very complicated. They will keep their guesses simple: either whatever forces or powers that determine what should happen in the world want us to own or don’t want us to own. Once they have decided what they believe, they will build societies around these beliefs. We will then end up with either natural law societies or sovereign law societies.

In earth history, people appeared to have made one guess for a long period of time everywhere, guessing that the world was not ownable by human beings. During this time, people formed societies around these beliefs: 0% ownability societies. Then, in Afro-Eurasia, a group changed their belief system and accepted that humans were owners of the world (or could be, provided they went through certain ceremonies and rituals). They formed 100% ownability societies.

Intermediate societies are derived societies, created by mixing and matching the various elements of the extreme societies together. To form these intermediate societies, we must analyze several different variables and relationships between variables, and figure out how they can fit together. We use different parts of our brains to understand and compare complex relationships between variables than we use to analyze our emotions. If we are willing to switch mental gears, leave emotions behind and work only with practical and mechanical matters, we can work out the specific variables we can control to alter the flows of value that the people who make day-to-day decisions over the land get, alter the ‘degree of ownability’ of the land. On the Road Map of Possible Societies, the scale on the extreme left side is labeled ‘degree of ownability.’ The scale is from 0% ownability to 100% ownability.

The socratic leasehold ownership system transfers 83.333% of the free cash flow to the human race, leaving the other 16.667% to be ownable. You can work through the numbers from the last chapter and you will see that the human race got 83.333% in every single case. (In the first sale, the human race got $2 million out of $2.4 million; divide to get 83.333%, for example.) There is a mechanical reason for this ratio that we will look at shortly. Since we control the mechanics of leasehold ownership, we control the amount of free wealth we get and the amount that is ownable. We can set this at any level we want. This means we can create any ‘degree of ownability’ we want.

There are infinite gradients between 0% and 100%. As we will see, we can basically pick the degree of ownability we want. For example, we could create a leasehold ownership system that allows the rights to exactly 16.667% of the bounty the land produces (represented by the free cash flow) to be owned, with the other 83.333% unownable and under the control of the human race. If we do this, we will essentially have a 16.667% ownability society. The socratic leasehold ownership system described in Book One is a 16.667% ownability society.

In Pastland, we are in a position to start fresh. We can decide exactly what we want and make it a reality. If we want a 16.667% ownability society, we can have one. If we want some other degree of ownability, we can create it.

The exact mechanism that we will manipulate to alter the degree of ownability, called the ‘price leasehold payment ratio,’ is fairly complicated and is best understood with examples. We will see look at this later, using the original (unimproved) Pastland Farm as an example.

 

Incentives

 

The right side of the Road Map of Possible Societies indicates the strength of several important types of incentives that can exist in societies. If people can get money/value/wealth if they act a certain way, they have incentives to act that way.

You can think of incentives as similar to magnets, pulling people to act certain ways. They see that there is money there and will be available for the taking. All they have to do is figure out how to get to the money. If there are obstacles in their way, they have to figure out how to get around, over, under, or through the obstacles. If the pile of money (or amount of other value) is larger, the magnet pulls on them with stronger force: the incentives are stronger.

Sometimes people have to do horrible things to get money. Often, people with certain skills are offered large amounts of money to create tools of death. They may not want to create these tools. But they need food to feed their families and keep themselves alive and know that money can buy food. If they have no other alterative way to meet their needs, they will either respond to the incentives or die, along with the people they love. They know this. They have the magnet pulling them to do things that they find morally repulsive.

It is true that some people will be able to resist the incentives and perish along with all of the people they love. In his book The Devastation of the Indies, Bartolomé de las Casas discusses the fact that the Tianos (the first group to encounter the newcomers from Europe) refused to inflict any kind of injury on others, even if necessary to protect themselves from death. They had been raised in societies that rewarded social responsibility and violence was irresponsible: they couldn’t and wouldn’t bring themselves to commit violence on others, no matter how great the provocation. The Spaniards were from a different world, where murder was encouraged and the infliction of injury was required by their jobs. Las Casas points out that the Spaniards took advantage of this, making a game of seeing how much pain they could inflict on the natives before getting a reaction.

The Tianos could have kept their food and land if only they had fought back. (They outnumbered the Spanish thousands to one.) But they couldn’t bring themselves to do these things: the pull of the incentives was not enough to overcome their moral repulsion to inflicting pain on others, so they died rather than do this. Almost certainly, this happened many times in history: Groups could have kept their wealth if only they had been willing to violate their moral codes, but they refused.

The laws of natural selection then took over to reward the group that responded to the incentives. The propensity to resist incentives died with the group that did not respond to them. The survivors—the ones who were able to resist their moral repulsion and act as the incentives pushed them to act—were able to prosper, have large families, and pass whatever personality traits made them respond to incentives to their offspring.

 

Incentives In Societies

 

Incentives are not behaviors. They are behavioral motivations. They are psychological pressures that pull people to act certain ways by presenting money/value/wealth and inspiring people to try to find a behavioral path that will get them to that money/value/wealth. Incentives exist even if people didn’t intentionally create them. In fact, most incentives are side effects of the decisions people make about how to interact with land, not intentionally created rewards for acts.

For example, 100% ownability societies accept that any group that can ‘conquer’ land can have everything it contains and produces, from now until the end of time. People in these societies are basically being offered infinitely valuable rewards if they kill the people who live on other parcels of land or cause such misery among these people that they flee their homes and leave the land for their conquerors. In societies built on this method of interacting with the land, people have incentives to find ways to build superior killing tools and inflict pain on others, and use them. No one sat down and said ‘lets see if we can figure out how to create a system of incentives that induces people to kill and inflict misery on others.’ The incentives are unintentional side effects of the operation of their land tenure system.

By the same token, natural law societies distribute value and wealth to people who are responsible socially, environmentally, and personally. People have incentives to behave in ways that get them the payments offered for responsible behavior. Although these are desirable incentives, chances are they weren’t created intentionally. The people started out with beliefs about the ownability of the world and built on these beliefs. Any structures built on the belief in 0% ownability will leave the great bulk of the wealth the land produces unowned and available to distribute among the members. Any society that divides wealth will naturally exclude people who harm the group and give extra shares to those who are responsible. The incentives are side effects of the operation of their land tenure system.

Each land tenure system leads to different distributions of the food and other good things that the land produces, so each land tenure system creates different incentives. The scales on the right side of the Road Map of Possible Societies indicate the strength of two very important kinds of incentives, constructive incentives and destructive incentives, in the different societies in the chart.

 

Constructive Incentives

 

Some societies distribute money/wealth/value in ways that reward activities that lead to the creation of value.

What does it mean to ‘create value?’

It is possible to turn things that have little or no use into things with a great deal of usefulness. For example, I have a smartphone that weighs 1.9 ounces (roughly 60G). This phone is made of the most common materials on earth; the starting raw material for all of its critical parts is sand:

The screen is made of glass which is made of silicon dioxide, the main component of sand, gravel, and rocks. Silicon dioxide makes up 87% of the part of the world that humans can get to (the ‘lithosphere.’) The next layer below the glass, called the ‘digitizer,’ or the part that makes it possible for programmers to set up programs that respond to touch of the screen, is made of silicon wafers, which are made of silicon dioxide. The LCD screen that displays the image is also made if silicon wafer; the LED that provides the light is made of the same thing. The video camera, a CCD, is made of the same thing, as is the processor, radio receivers and transmitters, and the storage modules that are able to store the amount of data that would have taken a fairly large library to hold only a few decades ago. In fact, the great bulk of the phone is made of silicon products, which all come from ordinary sand. All of the working components (everything except the battery and case) are made of sand.

If you pick up 1.9 ounces of sand, world in one hand, and hold one of these smart phones in the other hand, you will be holding pretty much the same materials. But they don’t have the same value. The sand is basically free: you can pick it up from the side of the road. The phone costs about $100. The phone has a great deal more value than the handful of sand.

The phone exists. At one point, a group of people started with sand and converted it into the necessary parts to make a smart phone, then assembled it, installed the software, and tested it. The people who did this did not create matter: the matter already existed. But they created value: they turned something with no real value to something that could help people make their lives better in a great many ways. If I want to take a video to remember someone I love, I can’t do this with a handful of sand, but I can with the smart phone. If the elements are still in the form of ‘sand’ rather than a ‘phone,’ I have to rely on my memory and it will die with me. If the phone exists, I can relive that moment as many times as I want until I die and then others can relive it from then on, as long as there are people.

If I want to listen to music, I don’t need an orchestra. I can tell my phone to play Beethoven, and it will play for me, giving me just about any piece that Beethoven ever wrote, played by any of a number of very talented orchestras. The 1.9 ounces of sand just sits there. It can’t give me any kind of music at all.

The phone can allow me to talk, collaborate, and share my thoughts with just about anyone in the world; it can give me access to the internet allowing me to engage in complex business transactions, it can display any of the billions of books (the great bulk of literature ever written) on the screen so I can read it. If I don’t want to have to open my eyes, the phone’s processor will translate the digital words into speech (in just about any language I want), and read it to me, at whatever speed I specify. The phone can tell me I am on a map or in latitude and longitude to within a few inches. It can provide a map and digital images of any location on the planet where I live. It can explain to me how to get from wherever I happen to be to wherever I want to go, it can tell me exactly where it has been at any time ever since the phone was created and first activated, and it can tell me where I can find just about anything I may want to buy and how much it will cost. If I want to know the time, a sports score, the weather anywhere on earth, the price of any public corporate stock on earth, or what is happening in any city, or any of billions of other facts, I merely have to say the right words to wake up the speech recognition feature and ask the question; I get the answer almost instantly.

The handful of sand can’t do any of these things.

It is possible to start with raw materials that have so little use that, for practical purposes, we could say they are worthless, and turn them into finished products with great value. People who do this are not creating matter. The elements in the phone have existed since long before humans existed and none of them were created by anyone. But they were rearranged from their original form to a form that has great value. The people who organized the construction and operation of the facilities that converted the sand into the phone were ‘creating value.’

 

Creating Value and Society

 

Some land tenure systems (ways of interacting with the land) have flows of value that naturally reward activities that lead to the creation of value. Societies built on these methods of interacting with the land will have incentives that motivate people to find ways to create value or contribution to the creation of value. I call incentives that motivate people to create value ‘constructive incentives.’

Not all societies have constructive incentives. Humans had natural law societies for millions of years and never figured out how to turn sand into video cameras, communication devices, music players, or smart phones. Natural law societies actually work in ways that discourage certain kinds of creative and constructive activities: in these societies, the costs of many creative and constructive activities far exceed the potential benefits. (We will look at the flows of value in detail later so you can see that this is definitely true.) If people must not only take risk and time but also lose wealth in order to create value, they are actually penalized for doing things that lead to more value existing on earth. They have incentives to avoid these kinds of behaviors.

Sovereign law societies do have constructive incentives, but these incentives are not as strong as it is possible for them to be. The reason for this is that sovereign law societies can’t function without taking value away from people as taxes. People who want to create value must pay the government of their nation in many different ways to gain the right to do this. If the changes improve land, they must get permits for this and pay not only the permit fees to the government, they must also pay a small army of professionals to prepare the paperwork and meet the other requirements for the permits.

To build, they musts hire workers and to hire workers, they have to pay taxes, fees, and insurance premiums to the government that generally exceed the amounts the workers get. (If you hire workers, you have to pay the government for the right to hire them, by sending money that would have gone to the workers like income tax to the government, together with social insurance premiums and other costs which, combined, generally work out to more than the workers themselves take home.) They must pay taxes that are built into the prices of all products they buy. They must pay property taxes that will go up when the property is improved, essentially penalizing them for improvements. If they are able to make money from the project, they must turn over part of the money to the government as income taxes; if they sell the improved properties they have to pay capital gains taxes and, when they die, they have to pay estate taxes.

The people who have created the value have done something to increase the amount of value or wealth in the world. They have made the world a better place. Their compensation for this came from the money they earned. But, in sovereign law societies, they aren’t able to keep all of this money. They have to turn over a large percentage of it to the government as taxes. The incentives depend on the amount of money the people who act in ways that create value get to actually keep. Since they don’t get to keep all of the money that came from the creation of value, the incentives to create value are not as strong as it is possible to be.

Sovereign law societies do have constructive incentives. But they aren’t the strongest possible constructive incentives.

Other societies have stronger constructive incentives. Book One gave an example of this. In socratic leasehold ownership societies, the human race gets the great bulk of the unearned wealth that represents the free cash flow or bounty the world produces. This wealth represents gifts from nature to the people who live on this world. Since we get such vast amounts of the unearned wealth, we don’t have any need to take any wealth that anyone has done anything to earn. This allows us to allow them to keep these ‘rewards for creating value.’ If they are able to keep these rewards, they will end up with more money in a socratic leasehold ownership society than they would end up with in a sovereign law society for the exact came improvement. The strength of the incentives depend on the amount they are able to keep.

The center scale on the right indicates the strength of constructive incentives in various different societies. We will look at the flows of money/value in detail later in the book and show how to calculate the differences, but for now, I just want you to have a general idea of what the numbers represent.

If a society works to allow people to get and keep more money/value/wealth than it costs them to make changes that lead to creation of value, the society has ‘constructive incentives.’ The greater the profit they can make (the greater the excess of benefits over costs), the stronger the constructive incentives. The scale is 0% to 100%. The strongest constructive incentives are in societies that allow people who make changes that lead to the creation of value to keep 100% of the amounts of extra wealth they create. If the society works in ways that allows them to keep some, but not all of this value, it has constructive incentives that are between 0% and 100% of the maximum. If the society works in ways that don’t reward constructive activities at all, the constructive incentives strength is 0%; if the costs of improvements are greater than the potential benefits to improvers, the constructive incentives are negative.

If you refer to the Road Map of Possible Societies, you will see that natural law societies have negative constructive incentives: the costs of improvements in these societies exceed the potential benefits to improvers. People are penalized for improving the world. As you go down through the scale, adding ownership to the system, the benefits of improving go up and, eventually, get to the level where they balance the costs. At this point, people may make improvements, but they have no financial incentives to do so. (People make improvements for many reasons; financial incentives are only one of them. Even if they can only break even improving, people may improve; they only choose not to improve at all if the costs of improving are so much higher than the benefits that they can’t afford them. This is the case in natural law societies and tells us why natural law societies could exist for millions of years with no significant improvements.) We will see that there is a very specific degree of ownability that has these neutral incentives, a type of society I call an ‘EPLPLO society.’ (Chapter 6 is about this particular society; it represents a key transition point in societies.)

If you keep adding in ownablity, the constructive incentives get stronger. They keep getting stronger until a critical point, represented by the line marked ‘socratic leasehold ownership societies here.’ At this point, certain mechanical aspects of the society are ‘optimized.’ They work as well as it is possible to make them work.

After we pass this point, certain mechanical problems develop that lead to massive reductions in the income that go to the human race. In societies only a very short distance below socratic leasehold ownership societies, the income of the human race falls to the point where it can no longer provide basic incomes to the people. Only a little way further and the income of the human race falls so much that it isn’t enough to pay for essential services. The system will absolutely need taxes. Taxes will reduce the benefits of improving. Each step downward through the chart will take us to a society that needs higher taxes than the one above it. As taxes go up, the rewards for improving go down and the constructive incentives become weaker.

The bottom line of the chart represents sovereign law societies, the type we ere born into. In these societies, taxes are so important that it is difficult for us to imagine any society operating without them. (Even though we know that natural law societies existed for very long periods of time without taxes.) These systems don’t just need some taxes, they need very high taxes. The nations with the lowest tax rates in the world still take roughly half of all of the wealth flows that come from improvements (called ‘effective marginal tax rates.’)

Sovereign law societies do have constructive incentives. But they are not as strong as it is possible for them to be.

If we understand the different variables we can alter to create different degrees of ownability, we can decide how strong we want constructive incentives to be; then, we can simply look up the type of society that has these incentives and create it.

 

Destructive Incentives

 

Some societies have flows of value that reward people who do things that lead to the destruction of value. The destruction of value is essentially the opposite of the creation of value: To create value, you take something with no real value and turn it into something with great value. To destroy value, you take something of great value and turn it into something of no value.

One obvious example of destructive incentives involves pollution. The air has great value to us: we need it to keep us alive. If people pour pollution into the air, they turn something with great value into something with less value. If they are able to remove oxygen from the air and convert it into carbon dioxide, they reduce the ability of the air to support humans and other animals that rely on atmospheric oxygen to keep us alive. (Oxygen levels are falling very rapidly. Here is a link to a site that monitors oxygen levels in the air.)

Another example involves the construction of weapons. There are certain raw materials that are harmless in their natural state, but capable of killing large numbers of people if processed correctly. (Uranium, buried under the ground, does not explode or expose humans to radiation. Dig it up and process it into a nuclear bomb, and it becomes very dangerous.)

Our sense of security and safety have a great deal of value to us. If people can threaten us with destruction, they destroy this value. If they create structures that put our lives at risk, they destroy value.

Some societies work in ways that provide great rewards for behaviors that lead to the destruction of value. They have a type of incentive that I call ‘destructive incentives.’

The scale on the inside right of the chart represents the strength of destructive incentives in various societies. As was true for constructive incentives, it is possible to evaluate the strength of destructive incentives using totally objective figures. We can determine the amounts of money people can make in different societies doing things that lead to the destruction of value. We will see that these rewards are greatest in sovereign law societies. In these societies, the maximum amount of wealth that can go to destroyers does go to destroyers. If you start at sovereign law societies and go upward through the chart, you will move to societies where more of the wealth that had been paying people to destroy value will go to the human race, leaving less to go to destroyers. They get less so their incentives to destroy are weaker.

At a certain point, the strength of destructive incentives will match the strength of constructive incentives. If people react to incentives, the creation of value in societies of this type will roughly match the destruction of value. Destruction will still take place, but the combined effects of the healing power of nature, progress and new technology, and the effects of people who are trying to prevent destruction can be expected to be enough to counter the effects of the destruction.

This is the minimum condition needed for sustainability. Societies can only be sustainable if the destruction of value is no greater than the creation of value. (It is not possible to destroy more value than you create forever; at some point, some essential for life will be gone and the system will cease to exist, by killing everyone in it.) If we start at sovereign law societies and go up through societies in the chart, eventually we will reach the minimum conditions needed for sustainability.

If we continue upward in the chart, we move to societies with even weaker destructive incentives. Eventually we get to societies where none of the value that had been available to go to destroyers is available to go to destroyers. The chart shows that these incentives fall to 0% at the line marked ‘socratic leasehold ownership societies here.’ Socratic leasehold ownership societies were the societies used as the example in Book One. We will see that destructive incentives are 0% in these societies for a very understandable structural and mechanical reason.

Societies based on different interactions with the land have different destructive incentives. If we understand the different variables we can alter to create different degrees of ownability, we can decide whether we want to have destructive incentives and, if so, how strong we want them to be. We can then simply look up the type of society that has these incentives and create it.

 

Mixtures of Incentives

 

Many of the societies we will look at in this book have both kinds of incentives. They have ‘invisible hands’ pulling people to do things that make the world better (create value) and other ‘invisible hands’ pulling them to do things that make the world worse.

I believe that humans have control over our own destiny. We are not helpless pawns or minions of some god or being with higher powers than humans of some other name that has directed things to be as they are and will destroy us if we try to change them. We control the variables that determine the important realities of our existence. We can decide how we want them to work. We can make them work that way.

To make this kind of change, we need to be willing to leave our feelings about ownership and ownability aside and consider ownership and ownability to be a mechanical process. We need to look at it as we look at a machine. Once we understand the different ways this machine can work, we can decide how we want it to work and then set the ‘controls’ of the machine to make it work that way.

 

The Missing Sections

 

You will note that the lower-right corner and upper left corner of the Road Map of Possible Societies appear to be ‘missing.’

Not all combinations of ‘ways to interact with the world’ and ‘ways to interact with other people’ can lead to functional societies.

For example, we have seen that societies built on the principle of sovereign law (the type of societies we were born into, those that accept absolute ownability of the world) are not able to function without any authoritarian bodies at all. I have gone over the reason several times already, but here is a quick recap: in these societies, groups of people that are a minority of the population (the people of specific ‘sovereign nations’) claim that the majority of the people of the world (all people on earth who are not citizens of that ‘nation’) don’t have any right whatsoever to benefit from the existence of a part of the world the people who claim to own that part of the world have staked out and marked with imaginary lines.

The people who make this claim know that others will not simply agree to accept that they don’t have any rights just because they are asked nicely. They must be forced to accept this. The people who claim rights must use at least part of the wealth their land produces to build weapons to enforce their claims, build fortresses and other structures that defend their claims, and to pay people to man these fortresses and use the weapons to force the majority of the people of the world to respect their claims. These structures will require massive bodies with the authority to take wealth away from people (as taxes; sovereign law societies are the only societies that don’t provide any automatic income to the people of the human race that can be used for common projects). These authoritarian bodies must have the ability to organize efforts to extract resources in ways that a large percentage of ‘their own people’ may not accept. (Clear cutting forests, for example, and strip mining coal.) All societies built on this foundation absolutely require these authoritarian bodies: they can’t function without them.

The need to keep the nation ready for war, in spite of the sacrifice, suffering, poverty, and hardship this may cause for a large number of people, is one of the reasons these societies need governments to function, but not the only one. Another obvious reason for the need for governments is the stratification or hierarchical nature of sovereignty-based societies:

These societies have class hierarchies; people born into different ‘classes’ have different rights. The class that has to work to avoid death—the class that includes the great majority of the people—would not approve of these hierarchies if asked. The society must therefore be set up so that majority of the people will not have any real say in important decisions. (It may have token ceremonies that are called elections, perhaps where two people will have a kind of popularity contest to see who is the leader. But the people will never be able to control matters of any real importance in binding general elections.)

The idea of a direct democracy (system with no government or other authoritarian bodies at all) is fundamentally inconsistent with the basic principles sovereign law. As a result, it is not possible to have societies with 0% authoritarian control or very low levels of authoritarian control and have sovereign law in a real-world situation. The options at the extreme right side of the bottom line are not possible societies.

Book Three goes over all of the options on the Road Map in a scientific manner. As you might imagine, societies that are almost sovereign law societies—those with extremely high levels of ownability—will have the same basic problems as sovereign law societies, just to a lesser extent. These societies will also not be able to function without extremely powerful authoritarian bodies. If we get far enough away from sovereign law societies in the range, we will eventually get to societies that can function with extremely low levels of authoritarian control, and, at a certain point, will finally reach societies that can function without any authoritarian bodies at all.

This will leave a small area of societies at the extreme bottom right side of the map which attempt to combine the two variables in ways that nature does not allow. (You could think of this as similar to a graph of fractions which doesn’t slow any area that would require dividing by zero. Nature doesn’t allow dividing by zero.)

Note: it may be imagined that a demagogue may use force to take control of wealth from the people, even in a natural law society. The people would have no wealth and no control over the realities of their existence. But, if this were to happen, the demagogue would be the effective owner of the land and this would no longer be a natural law society, it would become a sovereign law society.

We know from an analysis of real-world natural law societies (see Forensic History) that, although they had people who were often called ‘chiefs’ or ‘tribal councils’ or even ‘kings,’ these leaders were only advisors: the people themselves had elections to make the actual decisions. People may accept advise without giving up control and power. The advisors will know that the people can override them so they have incentives to make sure they don’t go to far afoul of the desires of their people, or the people will override them. As a practical reality, it isn’t possible for one or a few people to take over control of society if the great majority aren’t willing to accept this. Sovereign law societies can only exist around massive propaganda machines, combined with extreme enforcement, that prevents people from acting out against the minority with power. Natural law societies didn’t have either of the tools needed to force people to accept that one or a small percentage ‘owned’ the land and had a right to make all decisions over its production, so they were able to survive without this happening for an incredibly long period of time.

The upper right section is missing for a different reason. Societies toward the upper part of the Road Map of Possible Societies leave a large fraction of the wealth the world creates unowned and available for uses determined by the people in elections. If the people control wealth, we have power. It is not possible to take away this power without taking away this control over wealth.

Societies toward the extreme left side of the chart are built on hierarchical structures: they have powerful ruling bodies that make all decisions and force the majority to do what they are told. As a practical fact, it is not possible to have these kinds of social structures in societies that leave a large percentage of the wealth unowned and available to benefit the people as a whole. If the people control large amounts of wealth directly, they can use their wealth to make sure their desires are turned into action.

This means that societies with a very low degree of ownability and highly authoritarian social structures are not possible societies either. Because these societies have structural realities that make them impossible, the options on the upper left corner of the chart are not possible societies and are not included on the Road Map of Possible Societies.

All other societies on the Road Map are possible. We can imagine them, we can analyze them with thought experiments to figure out how they work, we can conduct real experiments to verify the results of the thought experiments and, if we want to do this, we can build them in a real-world situation and they will function in ways that we will be able to predict using the scientific tools explained below.

8 A New Society

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 4: Reforming societies

Reforming Societies
Chapter Eight: Creating a New Society



On Earth as of 2016, the organization Dunant created (the International Red Cross ‘IRC’) is the largest organization of any kind, with 98 million workers (including both paid workers and volunteers), offices in every nation on Earth, operations in every city, state, province, territory, disputed area, and unincorporated area on the planet.

I have traveled many, many places. Everywhere I go, I see projects run by the Red Cross (now called the ‘Red Cross and Red Crescent,’ because of the fact that a cross is seen as the emblem of Christianity which misrepresents this now secular organization.) The organization provides blood banking globally, ambulance and medical service everywhere it is needed, emergency response teams to disasters of all kinds, care packages prisoners of war and political prisoners, lifesaving courses all over the world, and too many other services to list here.

It is a giant organization.

How did it get so big?

This organization did things that people from all over the planet wanted done. It didn’t just appeal to the people of a single nation that, however large the nation may appear, included only a small percentage of the people of the planet. (The United States is only 4% of the world population. Humanitarian projects designed to help only the people of the United States therefore are only likely to be supported by 4% of the people who support humanitarian projects globally.) It is not a local, national, or regional organization; it is designed to help all human beings in need, wherever they were born and wherever they live now.

People support it.

Many millions of people freely give their time and skills to this organization. Millions more provide endowments that generate income for the IRC, and hundreds of millions more provide gifts when they can afford it.

The organization is a corporation. The corporate form of organizing gives it certain important advantages. Since corporations are immortal, the organization can make long-term plans. It can create endowment systems that appeal to donors, test them out, modify them to bring about the greatest long-term increase in the ability of the organization to provide services. It can and does support armies of lobbyists (as do large commercial corporations). These lobbyists work with government officials everywhere on Earth to create policy that advances the interests of the humanitarian organization. It raises capital in the capital markets that serve corporations, it uses capital raised this way to invest in long-term projects that will increase its ability to operate in the future.

The people who ran the IRC have done and continue to do all of these things. As a result, they have been able to do things that no government on Earth has been able to do. The IRC wrote the Geneva Conventions and lobbied for national governments to make these accords a part of their policies, with internal penalties (enforceable by the courts of the nations that sign) for violations. They have massive disaster relief centers all over the world, with centers to monitor potential disasters and response; generally they can respond far faster and more effective than the governments of the nations where the disasters occur. They are at the forefront of efforts to combat global problems, like pollution from radioactive emissions (from power plants, from nuclear bomb tests, and from other radiological activities) and global climate change.

On Cosmos, the organization that was created (called the Community of Humankind LLC.) had many of the same characteristics. In fact, it only really differed in a few details. I want to go over them, however, because they are very important:

 

Details

 

The Red Cross was originally a Christian organization, designed to advance the humanitarian principles espoused by Jesus, as depicted in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. (The emblem of the IRC is a cross, the symbol of Christianity.) All of the members of the board of directors of the corporation except for Dunant were from Geneva, a staunchly religious city, and were devout practitioners of a branch of Christianity called ‘Calvinism.’

The first of the Books of Moses (called ‘Genesis’ in the English Christian version) describe the life of Abraham, his forefathers, and his descendents, in great detail. In the book, God makes a great many specific land grants to Abraham and specific named descendents of Abraham, creating ‘nations’ out of this land and granting these nations to specific named people and groups. These land grants include a large percentage of the land in the part of the world now called the ‘Middle East’ by secular people and the ‘Holy Land’ by the adherents of religions based on the Books of Moses.

Three major religions of the modern world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—accept the first five books (the Books of Moses) as the foundation if their belief systems. Religions built on the Books of Moses are called ‘Abrahamic religions,’ because Abraham is seen as the common ancestor in all of them. I don’t see how anyone could read the Books of Moses and not see the clear relationship between God and the idea of land ownership (the land grants made in the Books of Moses are extremely specific) and the idea of nations.

Calvinists believe that the Bible is literally true.

The first five books of the Bible (collectively called the ‘Books of Moses’) are called the ‘cannonal texts’ and are considered to represent the word and will of the all-powerful creator of existence in all Abrahamic religions. (See sidebar for more information.)

These books are very clear: God gave land away, granting all rights to it without exception to the people He wanted to have it. God created nations and defined their borders and boundaries. God initiated the conflicts that led to wars over land, indicating he wants these conflicts to take place. (If you doubt that the Bible says these things, I urge you to read it, starting with the first of the Books of Moses, Genesis in the Christian version. I don’t think anyone could read these words and have any doubt at all about what they claim.)

The belief that God is behind the idea of nations and wars, and that He directs events on Earth—including wars—to advance his agenda—is called ‘the principle of manifest destiny.’ The term indicates that, to believers, God has a destiny in mind for each part of the planet Earth. In the early days, when the population of the Earth was small, God dictated his will for each part of the world in specific statements. Later, as the population grew and spread, He stopped making these pronouncements, but continued to control the destiny of each part of the Earth. He made the destiny of each part of the planet ‘manifest’ or self-evident by granting victory in wars to the groups of people He wanted to have it.

Under the principle of manifest destiny, nations that win land in wars own it by divine right. God has granted it to them.

A great many people accepted the principle of manifest destiny in the 1800s on Earth, when Dunant was working to form the organization that is now called the Red Cross. This principle was proposed to rationalize the ongoing genocide in the western hemisphere, where governments of people with Abraham religions (mainly Christianity) were wiping out entire populations in order to take their land for settlement by the people claimed to have been chosen by God to take these lands.

To believers in manifest destiny, God Himself required the genocide: to refuse to take land when it could be taken easily violated His will.

When I see these words in print, I have a hard time myself accepting that people could ever accept such things. But even in the more enlightened 21st century—where a large percentage of the people are allowed to accept the principles of science and even learn them in school—a great many people claim to believe these same principles. I can imagine that people raised by believers who told them that the Bible was the work of God (and who had never been exposed to scientific explanations for the events the Bible proposes to explain) would be even more inclined to believe than people today.

By granting victory to groups who believed in the principles of sovereignty, which include the rights of conquest, God was showing the people of the world what he wanted to happen.

People had to take sides.

Either they were on the side of God or against Him. If they believed in the Bible or did not. If they believed in the Bible, they had to accept that the idea of rights by conquest as the manifest and clearly stated will of God. Since there can be no conquest without war, war is also a part of the will of God.

Calvinists also accept the words of the New Testament, which tells of the benevolent and humanitarian principles of the son of God, Jesus. They have the right to follow the teachings of Jesus, provided they don’t violate the principles of the Old Testament in the process. They have the right to mitigate the pain and suffering of people caught in war zones or otherwise harmed by war. But they don’t have the right to interfere in the reallocation of land itself, because this comes directly from the will of God the Father. After wars harm people, Calvinists believe they have both the right and responsibility to help ease their suffering. But they are not allowed to interfere in the structures that God has created or the events that God orchestrated.

The first board of directors of the IRC included Dunant and 4 Calvinists: Gustav Moynier, Louis Appia, Théodore Maunoir, and Guillaume-Henri Dufour. Dunant was an outsider both because of his nationality (he was French) and religious views (he was an atheist). Dunant made proposals to build a wide-reaching organization that would work to bring the people of the Earth together to form a giant community, and this community of humankind would then act as a forum for the members of the human race. They could use this forum to help solve problems that were caused by the division of the world into ‘nations’ and the specific incentives of the people who ran these nations, including incentives that led to wars.

But Dunant was an outsider.

He didn’t share the beliefs of the others on the board.

As time passed, the conflicts between Dunant and the other members of the board of directors grew. By 1865, they had come to an impasse: Dunant would not back down on his vision for the IRC, and the other board members would not back down on their vision. Dunant had certain authority under the bylaws of the corporation and could force his views through the board, even against the 4-1 opposition. (Remember: they bylaws of corporations are similar to the constitutions of nations: they explain what rights and powers people in various positions have.) In 1866, the board filed suit against Dunant to force him to accept their vision for the company.

Dunant was not rich and could not afford to pay attorneys to represent him against his opponents. They knew this. They probably Dunant would realize he was beat, and back down. They could ruin him financially, by pushing the lawsuit through, if Dunant decided to fight them. But Dunant didn’t react as expected: he used all of his savings to hire attorneys to fight the other board members. He kept fighting until April of 1867, when he could no longer pay his bills and was forced to declare bankruptcy.

By this time, the other board members were vindictive. They wanted more than to have Dunant back down, they wanted him gone. They found a way to do this: When people declare bankruptcy, they have to declare all of their assets. If they don’t, they have committed fraud. Most people in this situation miss something of value and don’t declare it. The other board members hired private investigators and found some undeclared assets. They instigated a criminal action against Dunant and he was convicted of bankruptcy fraud. Now he was a criminal, and the bylaws allowed them to fire him. Dunant was removed from the humanitarian organization he had created.

 

The rest of the story:

After he was kicked out of the Red Cross, Dunant continued to worked to realize his goals of societal change. He created several organization to do that, many of which still exist. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), he founded the Common Relief Society (Allgemeine Fürsorgegesellschaft) and soon after the Common Alliance for Order and Civilization (Allgemeine Allianz für Ordnung und Zivilisation). He helped create an international court to mediate international conflicts (now called the ‘International Court of Justice’ or more commonly, the ‘World Court’). He led the effort to create a world library, an idea that led to the creation of UNESCO. Although many of his ideas did eventually make a difference, at the time he was working on these projects he was working under serious disadvantages, broke, with a criminal record for fraud, and a reputation of being incompetent with money. Still, he gave everything he had.

Eventually, he just didn’t have any more to give. He had spent everything he had, and devoted his life to the cause of societal change, and believed that he had failed. (I don’t think he did; the organizations he created are on the right track, they just don’t go as far as their creator would have liked at the time. Hopefully, later generations do not share the prejudices of earlier ones, and can do things that couldn’t be done in the 1800s.)

He retired to a tiny rooming house in Heiden, Switzerland.

While there, a journalist from a local newspaper found out that the founder of the IRC (which by then had grown to an enormous organization) was living in his town. He visited Dunant and did a story on him, explaining all of the contributions he had made to the progress of the human race. The story was reprinted several times on many papers on Europe. At the time, the members of the first ever Nobel Committee were meeting to try to decide the winner of the first Nobel Peace Prize. After one of them read this article, they put Dunant on the top of the list and he won the first Nobel Peace Prize.

The prize came with a 150,782 Kroner cash reward. This is roughly equivalent to $1 million in United States money (based on 2016 purchasing power).

When he got the money, he was on his deathbed. He decided to give the entire $1 million to the owner of his rooming house, shunning all of the charitable organizations he had created. This tells us a lot about how disillusioned he was with the path these organizations had taken.

 

Divergence between Earth and Cosmos

 

On Earth, the humanitarian organization that Dunant created took a certain path. It worked to mitigate the pain and suffering of wars and other disasters, but didn’t interfere in the foundational structures of society, including the idea of ‘nations’ and the power that nations exercised.

The accounts I have read of these events make me believe that religious beliefs motivated this approach, as described above. Perhaps there were other reasons that had nothing to do with religion. Regardless of the reason, however, the fact is that the Earth organization did not pursue avenues designed to alter the nature of society itself.

Note: as time passed, the IRC has become a more secular organization. In 1983, the IRC formally announced changes in their policy that were designed to eliminate any religious bias or perception of religious bias. They were to be, from then on, a strictly secular humanitarian organization, providing the same help to people in need to all of the Earth’s people, without regard to their religion.

By then, however, their basic operational principles were well established. Although the announcement in 1983 indicated a change in formal policy, it didn’t correspond with a change in its operational principles.

In this example, I want to show that only a few changes in details—particularly details related to beliefs about the will of unseen entities with super powers—would have made an enormous difference in the way the world worked. On Cosmos, the people who responded to Dunant’s call for action were not as religious as the Earth equivalents. They were willing to believe that humans (rather than a power that was above humans) created the entities called ‘nations’ and that humans, human needs, and human motivations, were the main causes of wars.

The other board members on Cosmos did not have religious beliefs that prevented them from using the full powers that all corporations had gained at that time. (Humanitarian corporations are still corporations and have the same power and ability to influence governments as commercial corporations.) They were willing to use these powers to accomplish whatever goals they wanted to accomplish. They wanted more than just to have an organization to patch up people mutilated by war. They wanted an organization that would empower the human race, give it a true forum, and the ability to interfere in the chains of events and motivations that led to war. If the people of Cosmos didn’t want war, they would have a tool they could use to get rid of it.

 

Differences on Cosmos

 

Difference One: Turning The Members Of The Human Race Into The Landlords Of The Parts Of The World The Community Of Humankind Controlled.

 

On Earth, the organization that Dunant created basically put the endowments the humanitarian organization got under management with existing asset management companies. The managers did what they were trained to do: manage to maximize for the short-term returns the assets generate (see sidebar for more information).

Short-term returns:

We live in societies where money ‘grows.’ Because of this, a dollar now is considered to be worth more than the same dollar in a year. (If you have $1 now, and it is ‘growing’ at 10%, the same dollar will be worth $1.10 in a year.) You could reverse this and say that $1 a year is really worth only 90¢ now. Because money that won’t come in for a long time is only worth a tiny amount of money now, investment managers don’t bother with what will happen in the long term, they focus only on short-term results. (For example, if money is growing at 10%, $1 dollar that won’t come in for 100 years is worth only $0.00007 [the formula is =PV(10%,100,0,1) if you want to check for yourself; enter this into a spreadsheet cell.) (Here is a link to an article that explains this idea.)

Because income that won’t come in for a long time is basically worthless (financial experts say it is ‘discounted to zero,’) people trained to manage money in universities are taught to ignore it. Their clients care only about short-term income, so they care only about short-term income.

Dunant thought that the human race would be around for a long time, so he didn’t want to focus on the things professional asset managers focus on. He wanted to use his asset management system as a tool to give the human race a forum, not just to ‘maximize short term returns.’

Dunant believed that the world didn’t really belong to the nations that claimed it, and that the human race could have control over certain important decisions. He thought of the human race as the dominant species on Cosmos and believed that, as the dominant species, they were in a position to act as the lords of the land, at least for whatever endowments the organization he created controlled.

He wanted to give the members of the human race some of the rights and authority of landlords. He hired scientists to figure out the different ways that landlords could benefit from the existence of properties they controlled.

They worked out the options.

Book Three of this series is called ‘A Science of Society.’ It explains human societies from a scientific perspective, showing the way each different mode of interaction with the world works, the flows of value it creates, the incentives it creates, and the way the society will function if people respond to incentives. (Reminder: ‘respond to incentives’ means ‘are greedy, selfish, and motivated by profit.) Science is science: the laws of a true physical science are the same on remote planets in different galaxies as they are on Earth. If two physicists on different worlds do the same experiment under the same conditions, they will get the same result and formulate the same laws. Perhaps the terms they use may be different, and the scales of measurement may vary, but after translating the languages and adjusting for the different scales, the results should be identical, if they are truly scientific.

We have seen that the principle of leasehold ownership is used for property management. Scientific investment analyst came up with this program as a tool to help landlords meet their needs. (Chapter Three goes over the use of this system; it was developed in Hawaii in response to a need to manage vast tracts of cash-flow generating land with only a small administrative apparatus.) There are many different ways leasehold ownership could be set up, each of which align the interest of the people who deal with land with the interests of the landlords to a different extent. As you will see in Book Three, a Science of Society, the socratic leasehold ownership system that makes the leasehold price five times the leasehold payment is either at or very close to the option that provides the greatest possible alignment between the interest of the people who make day-to-day decisions on property with the interests of the human race as a whole. This is not based on any opinions of the desires of any superior being, faith, or what feels right. It is a scientific analysis built on mathematical analysis of variables.

For this example, lets say that the scientists that the Cosmos Dunant hired followed the same basic train of analysis and came up with the same results. They concluded that the best way to align the interests of the people who deal with permanently productive properties on a day-to-day basis with the interests of the human race was to us a leasehold ownership system constructed like the one described in the example society. They would not simply convert endowment properties into cash (sell them, as the Earth IRC does); they would use leasehold ownership to turn the members of the human race into landlords of these properties. The Community of Humankind would create leaseholds on any permanently productive properties it gained as endowments, and sell these leaseholds in markets that were designed as the one in the example society, to make the price of the leasehold five times the leasehold payment.

This would give the Community of Humankind a totally automatic and totally risk-free income from the land. It would give the people who controlled property extremely powerful incentives to manage risk effectively and totally isolate the Community of Humankind from any production risks. It would give the people who controlled properties extremely powerful incentives to find ways to improve the parts of the world they controlled to drive up the free cash flows. Once the properties had been improved, they could only ‘cash out’ or realize the ‘capital gains’ on the improvement by selling the leaseholds; when they did this, the income of the Community of Humankind would automatically increase.

The first important difference between Cosmos and Earth involved the way that the organization that represented the human race dealt with its endowments. On Earth, endowments were ‘cashed out’ and the money invested in ways that generated returns that the organization could use to pay for services. On Cosmos, the endowments were used to grant the human race income and authority over important decisions.

Although this is actually just a relatively minor difference from a technical perspective, it will lead to a huge difference in the role that the Community of Humankind plays in world events.

Second Difference: Elections

 

The second difference involves the way decisions are made. As noted above, the Earth organization was formed as a Christian organization, designed to accomplish certain goals that Christians are raised to believe in. (The second book of the Bible, the New Testament, claims that Jesus is the son of God, sent to Earth to help people find a path to reside in heaven after they die by living a just life and treating others humanely.) Although Dunant himself was an atheist, the people who helped him form the IRC were not, and believed they were acting on religious convictions.

The Earth Dunant wanted to create an organization that would empower the human race. This was not a goal shared by the other people involved with the IRC. They felt that they new best what Jesus wanted them to do and had no interest in putting any important decisions in the organization under the control of the people of the world.

The Cosmos Dunant didn’t encounter the same resistance that the Earth Dunant did. The other people he worked with were willing to accept the idea of using the Community of Humankind as a forum to protect and advance the interests of the human race. When he suggested using an election process to determine how the revenue of the Community of Humankind was used, essentially putting the decisions under the control of the members of the human race on Cosmos, they did not resist.

This is also actually just a minor technical difference. On one world, the humanitarian organization has a board of directors that makes decisions the way corporate boards make decisions. On the other world, the humanitarian organization has an election process that determines which programs get funded (as described below). Although the difference itself is minor and technical, it will have a profound impact on the role that the organization will take going forward: rather than being used to meet Christian needs (Jesus advocated forgiveness and humane treatment of others) it will allow the people to use this organization as a tool to meet whatever needs the members of the human race may have.

I am presenting the change this way on Cosmos for a reason: I want you to realize that all of the really difficult changes clearly are possible, because they are common to both planets. Here on Earth, the IRC doesn’t play the role that Dunant wanted it to play, but it does exist, it does attract more endowments than any other Earth humanitarian organization, and it really is the largest organization of any kind on Earth, with more people working for it (in many cases as volunteers) than for any other organization. This shows us that the basic idea of change is not impossible. It is clearly possible to use corporations to accomplish goals that the governments of nations are not trying to accomplish and that, in fact, the governments of nations may not want to be accomplished at all. It is possible for such an organization to grow to an immense size and gain enough power to alter important realities of existence.

We know this is possible because it is reality.

If things had happened differently on Earth, we may have evolved as Cosmos evolved. But we can’t choose which of several alternative decisions people in the past ultimately decided to make. They made the decisions they made and this places us in the situation we are now in.

It is now our turn, however.

We can’t choose the decisions people made in the past, but we are in charge now. If we want to use the tools that are already at our disposal for different purposes than their founders intended, we have this choice.

 

A Few Practical Differences

 

As time passed, more and more of the planet Cosmos became property that was under the control of the Community of Humankind, acting as landlords. It didn’t matter what nation people were from, they had the same rights as landlords, the same control over the wealth, the same rights to prevent destruction.

As time passed, people took advantage of the benefits of the system Dunant had created: If you want to save a part of the planet that you have come to care about, you would not have had any effective tool to make this happen before. No specific group had unambiguous incentives to save every single part of the world entrusted to it.

Even environmental organizations occasionally agree to sell land or trade it for larger parcels, under the assumption that their goal is to save as much land as they can, and they can often save more land by selling land that industry values a great deal for a very high price, and then using the money to buy larger parcels to protect. Imagine you gave land to one of these organizations, expecting them to save it, and they simply sold it to a factory so they could raise money to buy other parcels of land. Once you are dead, you have no way to prevent this.

Once a parcel becomes a part of the portfolio of the Community of Humankind, a leasehold title is created and then sold. The land is now under private control and management, but it is not owned by anyone. The entire human race benefits in a very clear way from the cash flows the land generates and the entire human race would clearly lose if these free cash flows were to stop.

Dunant set up the system so that the members of the human race were landlords, but not owners. The bylaws of corporations are like the constitutions of nations. The bylaws state that the organization is built on scientific principles, and at the time the corporation was formed, science was not advanced enough to determine whether ownership of planets and parts of planets by human beings or groups of humans is even possible, let alone advanced enough to determine exactly who does own the land.

Until such time as science is able to determine the true owners of each part of Cosmos, the Community of Humankind will not consider any part of the planet that is in its portfolio to be owned by any entity, including the human race as a whole. As a practical matter, the members of the dominant species are the lords of the land so the members of the human race, as represented by the Community of Humankind LLC, will consider themselves to be the landlords and custodians of any parts of the planet put into their care. The members of the human race acting as a unit through the Community of Humankind will have the authority to take steps to protect land and use it in ways that the landlords collectively agree upon. However, until such time as science has answered all of the important questions relating to ownership of planets by humans and groups of humans (something that may never happen), the members of the human race have no authority to dispose of land or divest themselves of all rights to any part of Cosmos under their custodianship.

This does not mean land many never be sold again, after it gets into the portfolio prohibit sales of land entirely. If scientists should find proof that there is a higher power and contact this power and be provided with evidence that it has given away the entire planet or parts of the planet to various people and their descendents, the people of Cosmos may have an election to determine what will happen. If they vote to follow the will and desire of the higher power, they can transfer the title to the new owners, whoever the scientists have determined them to be, and these new owners may then do anything with the land the higher power has agreed to allow them to do, including sell it. But until this happens (and, again, it may never happen), the land will remain under the custodianship and control of the members of the human race, acting as landlords of the world.

I find it interesting that people who believe in a higher power seem reluctant to test their beliefs about higher powers determining events here on Earth with science. This seems to indicate to me that they don’t have any real faith in their beliefs and believe that science will make them appear to be silly for even accepting these beliefs. I would think that people who truly believe there is a higher power, and accept science on any level, would want to put their scientific knowledge to use, and help answer important questions about the reason we are here and where we are going. The fact that science doesn’t appear to be in use, in any practical way, to prove the existence of higher powers and communicate with them, seems to indicate that people don’t really have as strong of beliefs as they claim to have. In other words, their beliefs are only superficial and too fragile for them to dare to test them. Perhaps, scientists can test these beliefs until the end of time and never find proof of a power that has more ability to affect events on Earth than the human race. If this is true here on Earth, and true on Cosmos, no land or other permanently productive properties will ever be sold out of the portfolio of the Community of Humankind.

There will be a one-way flow of properties into the portfolio of the Community of Humankind. People who want to save property from destruction can protect it while they are alive and then send it to the human race, which will then protect it (unless science determines a higher power wants something else to happen to it, something that may never happen). They will know that the human race gets income from that part of the land and everyone on Cosmos will therefore suffer (with lower incomes) if that part of the planet is harmed so it doesn’t produce as much free cash flows for the landlords. They will know that the landlords have veto power over all decisions that may lead to harm to the land and, since they all benefit if it is not harmed, they all have incentives to vote against activities that harm the land.

People who want to save parts of the world can do this in ways that help the human race move toward a better future at the same time. They will get three benefits by endowing the human race with their properties:

 

1. The endowment protects the properties in ways no other disposal of the property can mange.

2. The endowment generates income the human race can use to solve real problems that affect the entire human race.

3. The endowment will lead to a sale of leasehold rights within a few weeks and the benefactors can determine where this money will go; this will allow them to use their porperty to benefit their families without having to go through long estate planning and probate: the human race will get the property and their families will get what most family members want: cash.

 

The system Dunant set up on Cosmos is a superior endowment vehicle to any that existed before on Cosmos. It deals with every part of issues of people doing estate planning. On Cosmos, this made a difference. People took advantage of this system and the portfolio of the human race on Cosmos grew over time.

The system on Cosmos also has all of the same advantages as the humanitarian organization that Dunant set up here on Earth: it can and does do things to help people harmed by wars and other disasters. It can and does help with issues like providing ambulance and medical services in nations where governments can’t afford or don’t have any interest in providing these services. It can create and has created a global system to take blood donations and make the blood available to people who need it. It can create and has created mail-forwarding services so that prisoners of war can get letters and packages from their loved ones. It can be used and is being used as a tool to help deal with global issues like radiological pollution risks and climate change. On Earth, a great many people know about these efforts, and show that they back them with their donations of time, skills, and money. On Cosmos, people feel the same way and respond the same way.

But the system on Cosmos does not have the limits that the Earth corporation has. It does not simply accept that nations are a part of the natural order (created by a higher power) and therefore put matters that would affect the foundations of societies off limits. On Cosmos, the people have both the right and power to alter the foundational elements of society through two mechanisms:

Note: It is physically possible for people who own leaseholds to destroy the land without permission, but they will lose such massive amounts of money if they destroy without permission that no profit-motivated person would ever consider it; the landlords will make such vast amounts of money—because they will get the leasehold back and can sell the leasehold title again—that, if someone should destroy without permission—the landlords can repair the damage, and the landlords can use the enormous amounts of money they will gain as a result of the destruction to repair the damage.)

First, they can save whatever part of the world they control, and keep it safe forever, by taking advantage of the endowment system that will put this part of the world in the portfolio of the human race. They can save the world, one piece of it at a time. Each piece of the world that is treated this way will be unowned (at least until science can determine its true owner) and under the custodianship and guardian ship of the human race as a whole (not any nation). The members of the human race are the collective landlords of parts of the world in this portfolio. The people who make day-to-day decisions on these parts of the world can’t destroy them without getting their landlord’s permission.

I believe that this endowment system, by itself, has incredible appeal. I know that, if it were available now in a simple form, I would personally put all of the properties I own in it right away. I have known a great many people who have the same concerns as I have about what will happen to the part of the world they have cared for after they are not there to care for it any more. If it were possible to save parts of the world one at a time, starting with the part of the world you care about the most, I think a great many people would take advantage of this.

As parts of planets are moved under partial control of the human race, the power and authority of the human race grows.

The second important difference involves the ability to directly determine what happens to the endowments. Everyone will be able to see that the endowments of the Community of Humankind make a difference, because everyone will be able to vote in the elections and have a say in deciding what happens to the money.

Children born on Cosmos will grow up with this system. They will see that a part of the bounty of the world belongs to the human race and they will grow up believing that this is an entitlement: they are entitled to a say in what happens to the world; they are entitled to a share of the wealth that flows from the world (either in the form of services or cash). Once they believe this is an entitlement, they will begin to look at the role that governments play in societies differently. They will see that they can actually affect important global issues in real ways, without having to do the things the governments of nations tell them to do (which generally involve building and using weapons and other tools of mass murder and destruction).

 

A Transition Between Societies

 

When change started on Cosmos, the entire planet had a specific type of society, built on the primacy of sovereign law. Sovereign entities—nations—had unlimited rights and authority within the areas they claimed and defended. These societies are built on beliefs: they start with the belief that a group of people can call themselves by the proper name (a ‘nation’ for example), sew up some banners, write some fancy documents, and unlimited rights to a part of a planet will then belong to them. Sometimes, these beliefs are religious, sometimes they are secular. But all nations on cosmos—religious or not—taught their people that sovereignty was their absolute right, and no other laws or principles, religious or secular, were above their right to sovereignty.

Sovereign law societies are extreme societies, resting on an extreme premise, the premise of sovereignty. Sovereignty implies absoluteness; it is defined as a system of unlimited rights that belong to the sovereign entity. Sovereign law societies are built on principles that deny the human race as a whole any role in events in the areas defined as ‘nations.’ There are no human rights (rights possessed by all humans) in such societies; people only have such rights as the governments of their sovereign nations choose to give them.

As soon as the Community of Humankind has any income and any authority and ability to force the governments/nations of the world to bow to the will of the human race as a whole in any significant way, this is not a sovereign law society anymore. The governments/nations of the world are now longer sovereign. They no longer have unlimited authority, even within their borders. Certain decisions are under the control of the human race as a whole.

It is not a sovereign law society.

It is some other type of society.

We know that all corporations have the power and authority to lobby the governments of nations. The Community of Humankind is a corporation that is under the control of the entire human race. The Community of Humankind can lobby governments. (Book One, Forensic History, explained how and why the realities of warfare force the governments of sovereign law societies to create corporations and then grant them these rights, in its description of the Earth events that led to these corporations.)

The same realities forced governments of nations on Cosmos to create formal corporations and eventually grant them the same rights as Earth corporations. The Community of Humankind is a corporation. People who intended to eventually put this tool under the control of the human race created this corporation, put it into a form that allowed the human race to use it, and then put it under the control of the human race. Once this process was complete, the human race had a tool it could use to advance its interests. In many cases, the interests of the governments of nations conflict with the interests of the human race as a whole.

For example: The human race on Cosmos does not want the world destroyed. The governments of nations were willing to build weapons that could destroy the world, in order to increase their ability to dominate in war, and the basic realities of war require them to create a ‘credible threat’ that these weapons will be used. In other words, they must do more than wave the weapons around, they have to create plans to use them and convince other nations that they will carry through with these plans if certain conditions are met.

The governments of nations have no choice but to do these things, even though they know that if these things actually happen the world will be destroyed.

Sovereign law societies do not create any inherent incentives that reward governments if they can find ways to reduce or eliminate threats of war. In fact, these societies have inherent incentives that encourage governments to create the mental attitudes needed for war, to arm for war (even if this means they must deprive their own people of necessities to do this), threaten to make war, and actually make war. The members of the human race do have incentives to take steps to reduce or eliminate the threats that lead to war. Unfortunately, sovereign law societies do not give the members of the human race, acting collectively, any tools to help them advance their interests. They have incentives to try to eliminate threats that can lead to war, but no way to act on them. As we move away from sovereign law societies, we move toward societies where the human race has a forum and real tools it can use to meets its members common needs and advance their common interests.

A great many people on Cosmos believed that the threat of war—and particularly war that may involve weapons of mass destruction—was one of the biggest threats the human race faced on that world. They had a tool that they could use to work to manipulate the policies of governments: all corporations, including humanitarian corporations, have the power to lobby. (The definition of lobby is: ‘to solicit or try to influence the votes of members of a legislative body’) If they found that they couldn’t use the tool of lobbying because of the structure of government or other factors, they had another tool that they could use to alter the people in the governments: Political Action Committees. (The definition of the term ‘political action committee’ is ‘an organization that raises money privately to influence elections or legislation, especially at the federal level. All corporations have the ability to raise money privately to influence elections or legislation, so all corporations—including humanitarian corporations—have the ability to use this tool.)

Corporations had been using these tools to manipulate policy in the nations of Cosmos ever since the first corporations were created. But no corporation had ever been under the control of the human race before. None had been designed to meet the needs of the human race. The human race had a better existence if they could reduce the risks of war. They could do this by taking steps that transferred certain rights from the governments of nations of the world to organizations that were under the effective control of the human race, like the organizations described above.

As soon as any power and control of any events are under the control of the human race as a whole, rather than the governments of nations, the nature of society has changed.

The societies on Cosmos are no longer absolute societies, built on the idea of unlimited rights belonging to nations.

They have a different kind of society.

 

Possible Societies

 

I have pointed out several times that this book is the second book of a trilogy about the nature of societies. Book Three, the final book in the series, is called A Science of Society. Book Three explains a new science, one that analyzes all different ‘modes of existence’ or ‘societies’ that sapient beings with physical needs can form. Basically, it explains how beings with the same general characteristics as humans (sapient beings with physical needs) can organize their existence. Book Three lays out the options in a coherent way that makes it possible to understand and compare them all. The illustration below is a key illustration used for the points of Book Three, called ‘A Road Map Of Possible Societies’

Qqqq road map here

The up-down axis of this map basically represents the percentage of total rights to the world that the people consider ownable. The extreme bottom line of this road map of possible societies is labeled ‘sovereign law societies here.’ These societies are built on the principle that 100% of the rights to the world (unlimited or sovereign) can belong entirely to people (including groups of people who call themselves ‘nations’).

If you were to start at some point on this bottom line, and move upward, you would be moving to societies built on the premise that something less than 100% of the rights to the world are ownable. If you keep going upward on the road map of possible societies, eventually you will get to the extreme top line, labeled natural law societies. Natural law societies are built on the belief that exactly 0% of the rights to the world are ownable.

When I was a growing up, my grandparents lived in the town of Ashland, Montana, which is an ‘agency town,’ created to facilitate interactions between people with Europe-based values and people of American native heritage. The government’s policy was ‘assimilation,’ meaning the government was trying to make the American native people live as the people with eurocentric values lived, to believe in the concept of ‘property,’ to accept the ownability of the world and the God given authority of nations.

The government bureau charged with assimilation (the Bureau of Indian Affairs) would often do this by building subdivision-type housing developments and then giving deeds to the homes to the native people.

To the surprise of the non-natives, the natives would immediately tear them down and, within a few weeks after they had been given these new sub developments, nothing was left but rubble. As a child, I overheard many conversations about this. Why did they do it? Were they using drugs? Were they crazy? No one seemed to understand it. Now, I am coming to understand why they did it: they considered any attempt to permanently alter nature an abomination against the deity they worshiped. They tore down the houses for the same reason that we destroy lives and people to preserve our ‘sovereignty.’

The two extreme societies can be built on beliefs. People can believe that nature is endowed with its will or intentions and that people only came to exist on this planet to take care of nature and keep it healthy. They can believe that the laws of nature are above all other laws, and any humans claiming to be the owner of nature or things nature creates are committing the ultimate offence to nature, and the ultimate act of heresy.

Similarly, sovereign law societies can be built on beliefs: It is possible to believe that humans have been given rights and authority to own parts of the planet, and this permission comes from some authority higher than that of humans. In other words, it is an absolute right, with no limits whatsoever.

Societies in the middle are intellect-based societies. These societies work in ways that give the human race a forum and ability to control certain variables that they can’t control in sovereign law societies (which are at the very bottom of the road map of possible societies; the control of the human race, indicated by the inside-left scale, is 0%). In these societies, real physical entities (rather than ethereal superbeings that are claimed to exist) make important decisions on the planet. These beings don’t have to guess what the ones who make decisions want (as would be necessary for people who believe that invisible superbeings make the decisions); they can discuss this and figure out what they want.

I claim that such societies are possible.

They can exist.

Chapters 4-10 explained that a group of people with ideal starting conditions could easily form societies in the middle range, simply by voting for them. If a group of people start with ideal conditions, they can decide what incentives they want, hire experts to work out tools and structures to create these incentives, get recommendations, vote on the, and form societies that meet their needs.

This chapter is designed to show that it isn’t necessary to start with perfect conditions to start to move toward societies built on intellect. We, humans, are sapient beings. We have the ability to self-direct our minds and use them for whatever purpose we want. If we want, we can figure out how intellect-based societies operate, how they differ from the societies we were born into, and exactly what changes need to be made to cause our societies to gradually change in ways that incorporate intelligent human design into these societies.

The people of Cosmos have moved off of the bottom line of the road map of possible societies.

They have moved upward through the range of possible societies shown on the road map of possible societies. They are no longer in societies that rely entirely on prayer and other attempts to communicate with invisible superbeings for guidance about the way their societies work. They have to use their highest intellectual powers.

They can figure out what they want, and make it a reality.

 

More about the road map of possible societies:

Book Three uses the road map of possible societies extensively for its discussions. The first chapter of Book Three, available from this link, explains the idea behind the map, explains all of the possibilities, and explains what each of the scales and references on the map mean.

 

Characteristics Of Intellect-Based Societies

 

On the road map of possible societies (illustration above), there are three scales on the right labeled with various different kinds of incentives. These scales compare the amount of money that people are paid for certain kinds of behaviors to the maximum amount that is available to pay them. The ratios are indicated in percentages: If people are paid the maximum possible amount of money to act a certain way that is available to go to people who act this way, the percentage is 100%; if they get nothing for acting that way, the percentage is 0%, and if half of the money available to pay people to act certain ways (say destructively or creatively) goes to them, the scale will show 50%.

For example, some societies work in ways that cause people to get money if they destroy value (clear-cut forests or bomb cities for example). I call these incentives ‘destructive incentives.’ The red-shaded scale shows the strength of destructive incentives.

Calculated numbers:

A certain maximum amount of money is ‘free wealth,’ (the ‘free cash flow’). This free wealth is not needed by people involved in production (they will continue to work in production as long as they get paid for their time, and don’t need to get free money to continue to work). If the human race does not get any of this free wealth, it has no ability to control its destiny and the free wealth must go elsewhere.

As Book Three shows, if it doesn’t go to the human race, it goes to people who either conquer bountiful land in wars or ‘get rich’ so they can buy the right to get free wealth. It is possible to ‘get rich’ by buying rights to rape the world (say by bribing government officials to grant them), raping and selling the fruits of the rape to get more money. If the people who rape and kill get all of the free wealth, the incentives to rape and kill are as strong as they can possibly be.

If some of this free wealth goes to the human race, less is available to go to the murderers and rapists. As you go up through the bottom half, less and less of the free wealth goes to murderers and rapists, reducing the strength of the destructive incentives. When you get to the socratic leasehold ownership system, all of the bounty of the world goes either to the human race or to investors who pledge their wealth to protect the human race, leaving none to go to rapists and murderers, so the destructive incentives strength falls to 0%.

If societies don’t work in ways that reward destruction, the ‘incentive strength’ will be 0%. Note that all societies in the top half of the road map of possible societies have destructive incentives strength of 0%: these societies do not have the flows of value that are part of sovereign law societies that reward destruction. (The exact reasons are quite complicated. Book Three explains them in detail; the sidebar to the right gives you a basic idea.)

The numbers on this scale are not arbitrary; they are calculated numbers, based on mathematical relationships explained in detail in Book Three.

Only about half of the societies that are possible reward destruction and war. The other half don’t have any inherent flows of value that pay people to destroy their world or kill each other. Natural law societies, for example, at the top of the road map of possible societies, do not pay people anything to kill each other and rape the world. They don’t have destructive incentives. We have examined socratic leasehold ownership societies in detail and they don’t have destructive incentives either.

 

Constructive Incentives

 

Some societies have flows of value that naturally reward creativity, innovation, risk management, invention, and investments designed to alter the permanently productive properties of the world in ways that make them create more value. In other words, they give people money/value if they do things that increase the bounty the world provides. I call these incentives ‘constructive incentives.’

If you start at the extreme bottom line of the road map of possible societies (sovereign law societies) and move upward, both of these incentives change. The destructive incentives grow weaker (less money/value goes to destroyers) and the constructive incentives grow stronger (more money/value goes to people who create value and make the world better).

As we move up, the strength of incentives to destroy valuable things in the world get weaker, while the incentives to create valuable things grow stronger.

Incentives matter. They affect behavior.

People are greedy. They want money/value. The incentives are the rules that tell them what they have to do to get what they want. If the rules say that they can make less money destroying than previously, they will be less likely to look for ways to destroy, and more likely to look for non-destructive options. If the rules say that they can make more money creating value, they will be more likely to look for ways to create value. As we move upward through the range of possible societies, we can expect to see changes in the way our societies work. We can expect to see less destruction and more creation of value.

We were born into unsustainable societies. These societies reward destruction with the greatest possible rewards, while penalizing people who create value by taking away their benefits. As a result, we destroy more things of value (including the value of clean air and the value of security and safety against war and terrorism) than they create.

This is not a sustainable condition. You can’t destroy more value than people and nature working together creates, at least not forever. Eventually, something of critical value will be destroyed that we won’t have the ability to replace and we will perish.

The opposite condition is sustainable. It is possible to create more value than is destroyed, indefinitely. It is possible for a society that works in ways that generate more and better housing, more and better food, more and better medical care and other services, and to continue doing this indefinitely. It is possible to increase prosperity indefinitely.

If a society has enough creativity, ingenuity, risk-management, inventiveness, and investment to repair or replace all of the value that it destroys, but no more, it will meet the minimum conditions needed for sustainability. The total amount of value (including the value of clean air and safety and security) will remain constant. The quality of existence won’t improve over time in such societies, but it won’t wither either.

The societies we were born into destroy more than they create. They are clearly unsustainable. We have seen that socratic leasehold ownership societies have extremely powerful incentives to create value and do not pay destroyers at all. Socratic leasehold ownership societies are clearly sustainable.

If we are making a journey from sovereign law societies to socratic leasehold ownership societies, eventually we will get to a place where the strength of the destructive incentives will match the strength of the constructive incentives. If people respond to incentives as they always have in the past, we would expect such societies to be able to use the advantages they get from their constructive incentives to offset the destruction that takes place. If we keep changing society by expanding the role of the human race as described above, eventually we will meet the minimum conditions needed for sustainability.

 

Minimally Sustainable Societies

 

Minimally sustainable societies are not perfect societies.

They are not even ‘good’ societies, in an objective since, because they are at the actual limit of survivability.

The have strong enough incentives to push people to create value, and weak enough incentives to destroy value, that the people working to create value and prevent destruction, working with all of the forces of nature, can move fast enough to offset the destruction that people who respond to the destructive incentives cause. But just barely. The total amount of value of life, including the value of a clean environment and the value of knowing that war is less likely, remains about the same. Life is not really getting better for the human race on Cosmos. But at least it isn’t in a downward spiral that clearly leads to extinction for them.

When they get to minimally sustainable societies, most of the superficial realities of their societies are still very similar to those of the sovereign law societies they had a few decades earlier. They still have nations and these nations still have schools. The school curriculums are still under the control of the same government agencies that controlled them before, and they still want their children to be patriotic, and teach a version of history and reality designed to create this state of mind. They don’t yet distribute enough of the bounty of the world to the members of the human race to allow people born into the majority class to get through their lives without working, so most people still depend on jobs for incomes, and still have to worry about making sure that their system doesn’t put in improvements that would eliminate large numbers of jobs.

Although the superficial realities of their societies were almost the same as they were when they had sovereign law societies, everyone could see that the foundational realities of their societies were changing. Nations were no longer the unlimited sovereigns of any part of the world. The members of the human race as a whole now had at least some control over matters that affected the human race as a whole. Everyone on Cosmos could now participate in the funding elections. Although the amount of money they controlled was small relative to the value of the bounty of their very bountiful planet, it was an enormous amount relative to the amount of money that any other entity—even the largest national government on Cosmos—had at its disposal. For practical purposes, the human race had become the most powerful single entity on Cosmos.

In the sovereign law societies that existed before Dunant began the changes he made, the human race as a whole had no forum, no power, no authority, and no structural ability to act as a unit on any project whatsoever. The world was divided into nations and these nations were sovereign, with rights to do anything they wanted, regardless of the impact on the human race. People who didn’t like anything about the way the world worked could really only complain to the governments of the nations that they had been told were ‘their’ nations. If the governments ignored them, as almost always happened, they had no voice at all. They felt helpless and hopeless. Most people were so depressed by this reality that they didn’t even allow themselves to think about the reality they lived in. They simply did what they were told to do. Many thought that this life was simply ‘serving time,’ and they dreamed and prayed for a better existence that they thought could only come after they had died.

Now people could see that they had a forum, a voice, and funding. It is true that the funding started out small so the forum started out small, but everyone could see that the power and authority of the people of Cosmos, acting collectively through the Community of Humankind, was increasing over time as the funding went up.

After a few decades had passed, some of the adults had grown up in a world where the human race had a forum and right to make certain decisions. They felt a sense of entitlement. Their nations couldn’t always tell them what to do. The power of their nations had limits, and the human race as a whole, if it acted together, could go ‘over the heads’ of the governments of nations, and work together on projects that benefited the entire human race. People who had been raised after the human race had a forum considered it a human right to control the part of the bounty that the human race got.

If you refer to the road map of possible societies above, you can see that the line marking ‘minimally sustainable societies’ and the line marking ‘sovereign law societies’ are not really very far apart. Part Three of this series, A Science of Societies, explains all societies from a mathematical and mechanical perspective, showing how they all differ from each other structurally. You will see that sovereign law societies and minimally sustainable societies are not a great deal different from each other mechanically. In other words, a group of people who were born into sovereign law societies is not really a long distance from sustainable societies, and they can move their societies to sustainability through relatively minor changes. Book Three goes over the numbers and, if you understand the numbers, you can get a pretty fair idea of how long it would take to get from sovereign law societies to minimally sustainable societies, using the techniques described above for Cosmos.

Book Three goes over the calculations. It shows that we could expect the range of time to be something between 30 and 70 years, after the necessary organizations had been created and initially funded, to meet the minimum conditions needed for sustainability. For the sake of discussion, let’s take a middle estimate and say that it took the people of Cosmos 50 years to get to societies that met the minimum conditions for sustainability.

 

Beyond Sustainability

 

Once they reached sustainability, they could begin to think a little bit about their destination. What kind of society did they want to eventually have? In the sovereign law societies, war was the ultimate reality of existence, and most research focused on trying to find ways to create better weapons (by far, the area of research with the highest funding on Earth today). Other researchers spent their lives trying to figure out how to basically put band-aids on the gaping wounds that their economies had, to allow them to work smoothly enough to keep weapons production going and allow the nations to defend themselves. In these societies, no one would fund any research into the different ways human societies could work, because this research didn’t contribute to the war effort or help patch any wounds in the existing societies.

Now, the human race was in charge of large amounts of funding. On Cosmos, the people could see that the nature of their society was changing. They wanted to know what options they had going forward. Where might they want to end up? They created a science of society to study the options. They discussed the issue. They could see that science and technology were advancing in ways that were eliminating and would eventually eliminate virtually all of the jobs that the people then depended on for their incomes. Machines would replace humans in more and more areas. Even though labor costs were extremely low (due to an overabundance of workers and shortage of jobs), producers would still mechanize because machines could do things even cheaper.

Machines do it cheaper:

Today, governments work aggressively to preserve jobs in various ways. For example, no labor is needed to make the sun shine, or cause solar powers to convert the sunlight to electricity, so solar clearly destroys jobs. Governments use many methods to make sure the more labor-intensive methods remain in use, including massive subsidies to destructive companies, laws that prevent competition that may harm the destructive industries (all electricity producers throughout the world are protected government monopolies; it is not legal to compete with them), and special laws designed specifically to prevent solar (like the ‘Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act’ in the United States, which requires the producers of solar energy to turn it over to monopolies for miniscule payments set by governments, therefore making it illegal to sell at market prices), and the use of patent protection and other legal tools to make the lowest cost solar methods illegal. Here is a link to a post that explains a few of these laws.

If not for these government efforts, the majority of the worlds’ energy would be produced by solar, and would be free. Machines get more durable and dependable each year. If the machines don’t break down, and their energy input is free, machine production is going to be cheaper than manual labor production, even if the machines cost a great deal of money to build.

As time passes, much of the ‘earned cash flow’ that now goes to workers who earn it will become ‘free cash flow,’ because machines will replace the workers and the money will no longer have to go to workers. This doesn’t have to harm the majority of the people of Cosmos. It can actually benefit them. If there is some mechanism that allows more of the free money to go to the members of the human race, the total income of the people of the world will not fall when machines replace workers. People will get the same amount of money and be able to buy the same amount of goods as when more labor was needed, they just won’t have to do the work they used to have to do make that production exist.

The easiest way to see this idea is to consider what happens in natural law societies, when jobs disappear. Imagine that we are in the natural law society in Pastland, and say that someone wanted to install a mechanized system to do all of the work on the Pastland Farm. Once installed, the machines will run on solar power and be controlled by computers. The machines will do everything, and simply deposit 3.15 million pounds of rice in the common granary each year. The granary will then issue $3.15 million in money. Since the farm is not owned (in the natural law society), no one owns this money. In the natural law society in Pastland, the people determined what happened to unearned wealth in elections. After the machines are in, the income of the human race is unchanged. But now, it is not necessary to use part of this income to pay workers and suppliers. The machines do it all. The average income of the members of the human race is identical, but they now get this without working.

We will be able to see that if we move toward a system that is higher on the road map of possible societies and sends more of the bounty of the world to the human race, mechanization won’t lead to starvation and misery for the largest class in society, those born not owning any permanently productive properties. (Remember, this describes a transition system. In minimally sustainable societies, the great majority of the properties on Cosmos are still owned with freeholds by individuals, governments, or corporations.) In fact, if they choose a system that has strong constructive incentives, like a socratic leasehold ownership system, mechanization will actually increase people’s incomes and give everyone more things to buy with their increased incomes.

Once people get to minimally sustainable societies, they no longer have to concentrate on survival or patching up problems. They can concentrate on going forward to a better existence. They can decide what they want and where they want to go from there.

For this example, let’s say that the people of Cosmos study the options. They see that societies built on socratic leasehold ownership have certain advantages and want these advantages. After a vote, they decide that they plan to gradually head toward a socratic. They are already on a path upward on the road map of possible societies, and will eventually get to a socratic leasehold ownership society if they remain on this path. All they have to do is decide how long they want to take to get there.

All of the significant obstacles to change are in the past. No longer do people believe that nations must have absolute power because some invisible superbeing has willed it. They realize that the human race has control over its destiny. They can make their societies work they way they want them to work.

 

A Call to Action

 

You and I were born into societies that send nothing at all of value to the human race through any automatic process, where nations are sovereign with unlimited rights to destroy any part of the world under their control (without having to ever ask the members of the human race as a whole for permission), where nations are considered to have the God-given right to ‘conquer’ other nations, destroying anything they want in the process, to gain access to its resources or tax base. The human race as a whole has no forum to prevent this or even voice an opinion about it. We have no rights at all, except the rights the governments of our nations decided to give us.

What does the human race want?

We have no idea, because no one has ever asked.

The easiest way to see our impotence is to compare our situation in the 21st century Earth to the situation in the socratic leasehold ownership system described in chapters 4-8, where the people of the world determine what happens to the bounty of the world and the people/companies/countries controlling parts of planets must ask for and gain permission of the human race before they have any rights to destroy the world. We have no forum whatsoever. If the governments of the nations of the world want to fight each other over the rights to govern each part of the world, if they want to organize economies so that people have to participate in the industry that supports the military and participate in activities that are destroying the world in order to get the necessities of life, there is nothing the people of the world can do to prevent the governments of the world from organizing societies this way. The people have no forum whatever.

We can react to this situation two different ways:

First, we can cry about it. We can curse the fates that decided to have us born at this place and time. We can hope there are spirits in the sky who will listen to us as we mumble (pray) about all of the things that we wish they hadn’t done, or wish they would fix. We can tell anyone who will listen that we are opposed to it all, that we are not willing participants in the system and only participate to the extent we have to in order to eat, and that the fault all belongs to some mysterious ‘they’ who ‘should do something’ to fix it all.

Doublethink:

Doublethink is a psychological tool used to help people resolve ‘cognitive dissidence.’ People have certain perceptions about the way the world works, perceptions that came from their training. They see the world doesn’t really work this way. They resolve this dissidence by creating two realities in their mind, accepting only one of them, and then switching back and forth, selecting whatever version of reality creates the least dissidence.

 

We can refuse to take responsibility for the conditions of our own existence. We can hide behind drugs, rationalizations, and doublethink, and continue to whine and complain about it as long as we have breath, fighting the very idea of accepting that we may actually have control over our own destiny.

That is one option.

Our second option is to rejoice.

We have the tools now to deal with these problems. We don’t have to wait until the governments of the ‘nations’ that claim they are ‘our nations,’ invisible spirits, or some mysterious ‘they’ who many people think are waiting somewhere to fix everything act. We can start again. Dunant showed us the basic idea. Things didn’t work out for him, because history wasn’t quite ready for the things he tried to make happen. But times have changed a great deal in the last 150 years. Science has gone mainstream, and nearly everyone has been taught and come to accept that this is a valid method of solving problems. Corporations have more power than ever, and they can be used as tools now just as they could be used 150 years ago. We also have tools Dunant never had, including the internet and other communication systems that allow us to talk openly and spread ideas without hindrance by the people who controlled information and communication in the past.

Our lives are interesting.

We have something to give our own existence meaning.

The 3.5 billion years of evolution that ultimately led to humans, and the 3.4 million years after that in which humans have been advancing, don’t have to end with failure. We, the people now alive on the planet Earth, can take control of our destiny and bring new modes of existence, and new options, to ourselves in our later years and to all generations going forward into the future.

We have it in our power to change the realities of existence on this Earth.

This is not something we should be looking for excuses to not do.

We should be happy we have this opportunity.

How could anyone ask for more than to have the wonderful opportunity we have here and now?

Starting in mid 2016, I will be accepting applications for people to help me put the basic project together. We will need people to help set up the humanitarian organization (the Community of Humankind) and obtain initial endowments. We will need people to work the bylaws and other details, to set up the global voting mechanisms, and to help raise awareness of the project. Until then, there is something you can do: Try to get people to accept that the human race is capable of more than it has yet achieved. Talk to them. Try to let them know that other modes of existence are within the capabilities of our race and try to make them want to understand how these other modes of existence work. Let them know that the fact that our current modes of existence (the division of the world into ‘nations’ and the idea that nations are endowed by some higher power to have unlimited rights to the world) are doomed does not mean that the human race is doomed. We really are capable of more.

 

 

 

Books in this series

This book is a part of a series of four books about the important realities of human existence. They are:

1. Forensic History: uses new scientific tools and information sources to reconstruct the series of events that put the human race on the path it is now on. It explains how the realities of human existence came to be as they are. It focuses on the events led to the existence of the power structures that dominate the world today, including the entities called 'nations,' organized religions, and the massive and extremely powerful entities we call 'corporations.' These entities did not appear by magic. They came to exist as a result of decisions people made in the past. If we want to understand the realities of human existence, we have to understand who made these decisions, why they were made, and how the decisions made in the past have led to the realities that we see around us.

2. Possible Societies goes over the capabilities of the human race and the limitations we have for organizing the realities of our existence. It is an attempt to categorize all possible methods of organizing human existence—or all possible societies—in a methodological and organized way. Once we understand the different options we have for organizing societies, we can go over them to determine which of the options are able to meet our needs without constant problems such as war and unnecessary environmental destruction.

3. Reforming Societies: We were born onto a world that was organized in a very dangerous way. It was cut up with imaginary lines into the entities we call 'nations.' Each nation had formed a government which claimed that everything within that nation belonged to the people who were born inside the imaginary lines. Any society built on this foundation necessarily has very serious problems, which include powerful forces these entities surrounded by imaginary lines to engage in activities that are the most horrific destructive within the capability of any physical beings with the power to think on a rational level. The pressure to perform these horrible acts is so powerful that the industries devoted to war and the support of war, combined, make up the largest industries on Earth: More wealth, manpower, effort, skills, talents, capital, and resources are devoted to organized mass murder and destruction than any other activity on the planet. People have gone as far as building weapons that will destroy the planet if used and actually deployed these weapons, making them ready for instant use if certain circumstances arise. Given enough time, these circumstances are certain to arise.

What if we—the current members of the human race—decide we don't like these particular realities of existence? What if we decide we want some other destiny for our race (than extinction)? It is possible to organize the realities of our world in different ways. (Even children should realize this: humans need food, water, air, sleep, and protection from the elements; the imaginary lines that cut the world into 'nations' don't give us any of these things.)

But is it possible to actually build them?

If we know other methods of organizing the realities of human existence are possible, we can work out the exact structural differences between the realities of these other societies and the current realities of human existence.

We can figure out practical steps to take to change the form of ('reform') other societies. It explains the exact practical steps that ordinary people like you and I can take to put the human race on a path to one of these societies, if we should decide we want to do this.

4. The Meaning of Life explains why this matters. The societies we were born into must raise children to think a certain way so they will be willing to sacrifice for and participate in the wars that are an inherent part of societies built on the division of the world into 'nations.' To make them willing to participate, they must raise children to believe that there is a higher purpose behind the wars and behind the existence of the nations: They must make children believe that they were born to and exist to protect their nations, to respect the claimed founding principles, to honor the nation and, through ceremonies that all children are taught in schools, to even worship the nation, in the same way they are taught to worship the higher power that they were told created the nation. To make them do the horrible things that people must do to have wars, they must make children believe that this is the meaning of life and the reason they were born.

New scientific evidence is allowing us to put together messages that are encoded in our DNA and evident from the structures that are necessary for the process we call 'life' to exist in ways that can show us that there are scientifically acceptable and mathematically likely explanations for the existence of life on Earth that totally conflict with the premises taught to keep people willing to fight, kill, maim, cripple, destroy, risk and accept death for the benefits of the entities called 'nations.' If we accept science, logic, and reason, we can put together a picture of the meaning of existence that can help us see that the claimed reasons for existence that have been taught in schools and accepted for thousands of years are basically propaganda, created for the express purpose of allowing rationalization of horrific acts. If they could put together some rational picture of the reason we are here, people would not be willing to do the things that they spend their lives doing today.

What if we find there is a real meaning to our existence and it has nothing whatever to do with worshiping invisible superbeings or protecting nations? The entire rationalization for dividing the world into 'nations' and making war basically disappears. We must accept that the realities of existence on Earth are as they are because people made certain decisions. These people are no longer alive. We are here. We can make our own decisions. We can decide where we want to go from here and begin going there.

5 The Bottom Range

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 4: Reforming societies

Reforming Societies
Chapter Five: The Bottom Range

 

We are faced with a very difficult puzzle. It is not going to be easy to solve, but it does have a solution. The puzzle is to get from where we are now in the game play options (the middle of the bottom line) to any of the options in the survivable range.

We have a time constraint: the current game play rules lead to high levels of destruction. We have to move toward survivability in such a way that we get to survivable options before the destructive aspects of our current game play options destroy some critical aspect of our playing field and end the game prematurely.

Our goal, at this point, is not to ‘win’ the game. We will have to leave that to future generations. Our goal is only to prevent an ‘early stage loss’ of the game, so that future generations will come to exist and have the opportunity to continue our progress.

 

Early stage loss:

We are newly evolved beings. Our ability to intentionally access our frontal lobes—the ability to think consciously—is only about 3.2 million years old. This is an extremely short time in evolutionary terms. It would be a shame to lose the game at this early stage: We just got here. The game just started.

 

We don’t know what will happen in the distant future. Perhaps there are other obstacles that will come up, perhaps options that are not under the control of humans and that we may not be able to change. But the realities of our societies—the realities of game play—are under our control. If we fail now, at this early stage, we can only blame ourselves.

 

Strategies

 

If you want to change a game that is in progress and that people are currently playing, you have to use tact and finesse to make the changes palatable to people who are playing the game. You can’t simply start screaming and telling everyone that you don’t like the rules and want everyone to accept new ones. You have to find a way to make the changes in the game palatable to the current players.

We saw one example of this in the case of blackjack and corporate casinos. People who understood mathematics realized this was not a true game of chance and that they could therefore beat it. The casinos were trying to make changes so that this didn’t happen, without alienating their customers, the patrons who loved this game and wouldn’t come to casinos without it.

How did they do this?

To get people to accept, they created ‘perks’ or ‘comps’ that they could provide to players to keep them interested in the game, even though each change made the game a little harder for the players to win. At first, in early stages of the game changing, casinos paid 2:1 for natural blackjacks (only casinos that had changed the rules did this) and gave free drinks, cigarettes, rooms, food, and just about anything they wanted to players who the casinos valued. After people showed they would continue to play under these conditions, the perks were rolled back: the premium in natural blackjack was reduced to 1.5 to 1 and many casinos have eliminated it entirely. Although they technically still provide free drinks, they have cut the service times so much that often players are better off to leave the table and buy their own drinks rather than wait for the ‘free’ drinks to arrive.

The casinos wanted changes.

They didn’t use violence or force to get people to accept the changes. They essentially made business decisions: the best way to get people to accept the game changes was to set up a very low-key system to bribe them to accept the changed games. When people accepted, the game changes simply stopped playing according to the old rules.

If we want to change the game of existence that was in progress when we were born, it is easy to get impatient. The stakes are very high: our very existence depends on this. It is easy to turn to morals to try to rationalize rapid action, violence, or attempts to confiscate wealth or harm the people who are getting wealthy at the expense of the world and other people.

But we can learn something from the corporate casinos.

They examined their options. They weren’t trying make a moral point. They weren’t trying to show the people who had figured out how to beat them and win at a game that is supposed to always favor the house. The game play was already in progress. They didn’t want it to stop. They didn’t want to alienate the players, who were their customers and patrons. They examined the different ways that they could meet all of their goals at the same time. They then figured out the method that they thought had the highest likelihood of working and used that method.

 

How This Applies To The Big Game

 

We will see that one way to change the game of human existence would be for concerned members of the human race to form a humanitarian corporation to buy the full rights to properties when they come available, sell only the specific rights the human race wants ownable for these properties, and hold the rest of the rights in a trust (on behalf of the human race) with provisions that no person or group—even the government of a nation or the entire human race acting collectively—may ever own these rights or have any authority or rights to sell them.

This is possible.

 

Governments of nations sell unlimited rights to buyers (usually governments of subdivisions of nations or corporations that are totally or entirely owned by the governments, but sometimes to either humanitarian or for-profit corporations not affiliated with the nation or government). The practical realities of societies built on sovereignty require that the governments that make these deals act in good faith and protect the rights of the buyers with the same vigor they use to protect other owners. If they did not do this, they would not be able to conduct such transactions again: people will see that the governments are not acting in good faith and not deal with them.

Good faith means that they have to protect the rights of people buy the rights they sell and want to prevent harm to the land with the same vigor as they protect the rights of owners who intend to harm or destroy the land. We have seen that governments often use their armies to arrest people who are trying to stop destruction of parts of the world that the destroyers have purchased. (For example, they often arrest large numbers of people when these people try to interfere in the construction of nuclear plants.) They have to do this or people would not accept that they really have the rights to do things the government tells them they have the rights to do on the land (build and operate nuclear power plants, for example) if they didn’t do this, and the governments would lose the ability to get people to buy properties they are trying to sell.

If the buyers want to buy land to protect it, the governments have the same obligation to protect their rights to do this as it has to protect the rights of destroyers. The rules of the game apply to all players. We can take advantage of the rules that we know must be enforced to make changes that make the world better, if we want to do this.

 

Each such purchase, splitting, and resale of property rights will change the rules of the game by a tiny, tiny amount. It will move the human race upward in the chart of possible game options by a very tiny amount. If we do this, and keep doing it long enough, we will eventually get to survivable game play options.

This kind of approach requires several concessions that many people who don’t like the way the game is played now may think are wrong, that they may not want to make, or that they may even think are immoral to make.

Let’s consider the objections first, and then see if we may be able to overcome them:

1: People believe that paying people to give up rights that no one should ever have is immoral:

 

Many people believe that it is not really true that the governments, corporations, and other entities that claim to own rights to destroy the world (rape it of its resources and contaminate it with waste) really do own these rights. They believe that it is immoral for these claimed owners to even try to hold on to their claimed rights; these people should recognize this immorality and give up these rights voluntarily. They believe that the claimed owners who do not give up rights to do things that harm the world voluntarily ‘should’ be ordered to give them up, and the orders should be enforced by some authority. In other words, they think it is only moral to use force, not to use bribery or anything that looks remotely like bribery, for the human race to gain control of rights to the world that should never have been considered to be ownable in the first place.

If we buy these rights, we are essentially rewarding people for beliefs that the objectors claim are immoral.

People who pose this objection don’t even want to consider whether or not this approach to solving the problems will work. They think it is immoral to try. In fact, they think it is immoral to even consider trying. Moral people do not reward people for immoral beliefs or behavior based on these beliefs.

We can compare this to the morality of giving away extra bonuses to people who are doing something many people regard as cheating at a game (many people consider counting cards to be cheating; the game is only fair if the cards are either random or played as if they are random; in other words, not counted) rewards like 2:1 premiums on natural blackjacks or free drinks, cigarettes, and other perks in addition to their winnings.

Isn’t this immoral?

Perhaps. I can’t find any objective grounds to answer this question. It seems to be a question that we can’t answer objectively and scientifically.

But the people trying to change the game were hired for their practical skills, not their ability to make moral judgments. The directors who represented the corporate shareholders wanted a problem fixed. They hired people to find solutions. Once they had solutions, they evaluated them based on the long-term needs of their shareholders. They determined that their shareholders’ needs would be best met by implementing the system that had been designed.

Is it moral? This doesn’t seem to be the issue they focused on. In fact, it doesn’t even seem to be an issue they even considered. They cared whether or not it would work. Their analysits calculated the likelihood it would work and made proposals. They thought these methods would work and tried them.

How does this apply to the morality of different methods of changing the game?

The subtitle of this book is ‘A Practical Guide to Changing the Realities of Existence for Humans on Earth.’ It focuses on whether or not different approaches are practical, not whether or not they are moral. From a practical perspective, only one thing matters: will it work.

The question practical analysts must ask, therefore, when analyzing various different approaches to changing the game, is not whether they are just, fair, whether they reward immoral people, or whether they satisfies various different people’s beliefs about what is right and what is wrong, but whether they will work. If they will work, they are practical; if not, they are not practical.

As we will see, the approach discussed above has an extremely high probability of working to change the rules within the desired time frame without significantly altering the realities of the game and without significant resistance from game players. (People who own properties don’t object to being offered money for their properties.) It is practical.

Is it immoral? Perhaps. Perhaps, after we have evaluated this option, worked out its details, and calculated that it can prevent an early stage loss in the game, people will decide that it can succeed, but they will do a moral analysis and decide that the moral costs are simply too high, they will reject it, and it will never be tried. The appropriate time to do a moral analysis of the option will be after we understand the costs and benefits of using it, not before. Perhaps it will eventually be rejected for moral reasons. However, we should not decide not to even consider it or work out its details simply because, once it has been worked out, many people may consider it immoral. First, we must determine if it is practical. If it is not practical, it doesn’t matter whether it is moral. If it is, we can then decide if we are willing to pay the moral costs needed to accomplish the goal.

2: A Long, Slow, Road

 

Another problem with the approach discussed above (creating an humanitarian corporation to buy property rights from governments, corporations and other owners, turning over the rights we want to be unownable to a trust, and selling the rest of the rights) is that it is slow. It will take time—perhaps more than one generation—before we can even see measurable results, and it will take several generations before we will actually arrive at sustainability and survivability.

Unless you are very young, you may never see the results for yourself.

Obviously, if these methods could be shown to be practical, violence, revolution, or passing laws that would alter the behaviors of governments, corporations, and other owners, would be faster. If speed is important, then we would want to use the fastest practical methods.

But, again, we are faced with practical difficulties. People have tried to change the realities of human existence through revolution and violence over and over. It has not worked. (Watch the news. People are trying it now. Most of us don’t pay any attention to the attempts, because we know they aren’t going to change anything.)

The people who make the rules of the game have adapted to the threat of revolution and violence. They have built systems that make violence extremely unlikely to have any impact on the way the game is played. (In fact, the best game players know there will be violence and have positioned themselves to take advantage of it: they score points—in the form of more of the game chits called ‘money’—when violence takes place.) Even if small advances are occasionally appear to be made, we know from history that the nature of the game doesn’t change after revolutions or other violent events: the game play continues as always, merely with different key players. As a practical matter, revolution and violence have been shown through a very long history to be ineffective at changing the way the game is played. This is a reason to reject it long before we consider its morality. Why waste time trying to do something that we know from history is not going to work.

What about changes in the laws?

We have seen many, many attempts to change the way the game is played with laws. Again, practical realities have precluded any significant changes. The best players (the ones with the most game score chits and control over things that produce flows of game chits) can use their chits to influence the people who enforce the laws. If they don’t want to comply, they can make sure they don’t have to. (They can do this ‘legally’ through lobbying and political action, or, in places where such manipulations are not legal, by simply having people trying to enforce the laws assassinated.) When looking for practical solutions to problems, we are wise to learn from history: if a certain approach has been tried millions or even billions of times in the past, and has failed every single time, we are not being very practical to believe it will succeed the next time around.

Yes, the approach described above is slow. It will take a lot of time to buy property rights to enough of the world to make a difference and resell only the rights we want to be private. But sometimes people trying to make changes have to make concessions. Would we rather try a plan that has a mathematical certainty of working under the most likely scenario, but requires making time concessions, or a plan that we know from history will fail with virtually certainty, but doesn’t require making concessions?

 

3

 

Books in this series

This book is a part of a series of four books about the important realities of human existence. They are:

1. Forensic History: uses new scientific tools and information sources to reconstruct the series of events that put the human race on the path it is now on. It explains how the realities of human existence came to be as they are. It focuses on the events led to the existence of the power structures that dominate the world today, including the entities called 'nations,' organized religions, and the massive and extremely powerful entities we call 'corporations.' These entities did not appear by magic. They came to exist as a result of decisions people made in the past. If we want to understand the realities of human existence, we have to understand who made these decisions, why they were made, and how the decisions made in the past have led to the realities that we see around us.

2. Possible Societies goes over the capabilities of the human race and the limitations we have for organizing the realities of our existence. It is an attempt to categorize all possible methods of organizing human existence—or all possible societies—in a methodological and organized way. Once we understand the different options we have for organizing societies, we can go over them to determine which of the options are able to meet our needs without constant problems such as war and unnecessary environmental destruction.

3. Reforming Societies: We were born onto a world that was organized in a very dangerous way. It was cut up with imaginary lines into the entities we call 'nations.' Each nation had formed a government which claimed that everything within that nation belonged to the people who were born inside the imaginary lines. Any society built on this foundation necessarily has very serious problems, which include powerful forces these entities surrounded by imaginary lines to engage in activities that are the most horrific destructive within the capability of any physical beings with the power to think on a rational level. The pressure to perform these horrible acts is so powerful that the industries devoted to war and the support of war, combined, make up the largest industries on Earth: More wealth, manpower, effort, skills, talents, capital, and resources are devoted to organized mass murder and destruction than any other activity on the planet. People have gone as far as building weapons that will destroy the planet if used and actually deployed these weapons, making them ready for instant use if certain circumstances arise. Given enough time, these circumstances are certain to arise.

What if we—the current members of the human race—decide we don't like these particular realities of existence? What if we decide we want some other destiny for our race (than extinction)? It is possible to organize the realities of our world in different ways. (Even children should realize this: humans need food, water, air, sleep, and protection from the elements; the imaginary lines that cut the world into 'nations' don't give us any of these things.)

But is it possible to actually build them?

If we know other methods of organizing the realities of human existence are possible, we can work out the exact structural differences between the realities of these other societies and the current realities of human existence.

We can figure out practical steps to take to change the form of ('reform') other societies. It explains the exact practical steps that ordinary people like you and I can take to put the human race on a path to one of these societies, if we should decide we want to do this.

4. The Meaning of Life explains why this matters. The societies we were born into must raise children to think a certain way so they will be willing to sacrifice for and participate in the wars that are an inherent part of societies built on the division of the world into 'nations.' To make them willing to participate, they must raise children to believe that there is a higher purpose behind the wars and behind the existence of the nations: They must make children believe that they were born to and exist to protect their nations, to respect the claimed founding principles, to honor the nation and, through ceremonies that all children are taught in schools, to even worship the nation, in the same way they are taught to worship the higher power that they were told created the nation. To make them do the horrible things that people must do to have wars, they must make children believe that this is the meaning of life and the reason they were born.

New scientific evidence is allowing us to put together messages that are encoded in our DNA and evident from the structures that are necessary for the process we call 'life' to exist in ways that can show us that there are scientifically acceptable and mathematically likely explanations for the existence of life on Earth that totally conflict with the premises taught to keep people willing to fight, kill, maim, cripple, destroy, risk and accept death for the benefits of the entities called 'nations.' If we accept science, logic, and reason, we can put together a picture of the meaning of existence that can help us see that the claimed reasons for existence that have been taught in schools and accepted for thousands of years are basically propaganda, created for the express purpose of allowing rationalization of horrific acts. If they could put together some rational picture of the reason we are here, people would not be willing to do the things that they spend their lives doing today.

What if we find there is a real meaning to our existence and it has nothing whatever to do with worshiping invisible superbeings or protecting nations? The entire rationalization for dividing the world into 'nations' and making war basically disappears. We must accept that the realities of existence on Earth are as they are because people made certain decisions. These people are no longer alive. We are here. We can make our own decisions. We can decide where we want to go from here and begin going there.

8 Conclusion

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 7: A The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life on Earth
Chapter Eight: Conclusion

 

To understand the meaning of life, you have to have some ideas about the origin of life. If we know how the strange and wonderful process we call ‘life’ came to take place here on Earth, we have a starting place. If it is here for no reason at all, merely due to random chance events, then there may be no meaning at all to life. If life exists on this planet for some reason—any reason at all—understanding that reason can help us understand the meaning behind it all.

We can use a little binary logic to help us understand how life came to exist.

 

Is it Magic?

 

First, we can determine whether life came to exist by magic or not by magic.

In other words, did life on this world come to exist in some process that conforms to the known sciences that are built on objective observation, experimentation, and other evidence that can be consistently replicated and analyzed, or did it come to exist as a result of some process that supercedes or does not comply with laws built on replicable observations? Only one of these options is scientific: it is not scientific to start by assuming that laws built on the consistency of observations—laws that we can easily verify ourselves with experiments—are not real laws. This means that assuming that some beings have powers that allow them to act in ways that violate the laws of physics is not scientific and any analysis that assumes such beings exist should be kept out of scientific discussions. To keep our analysis scientific, we have to consider only alternatives built on the premise that the laws of science are consistent and universal.

We may then ask whether life came to exist on Earth by some random process or by some process that was other than random. This is a simple binary question with two mutually exclusive answers: either life came to exist as a result of random processes, or it came to exist as a result of some process that was ‘other than random.’ We have seen there is a great deal of evidence that random processes did not lead to life existing on Earth. I want to recap a little by putting the main arguments in one place:

 

Evidence That Life Is Not The Result Of A Random Process

Sex

 

One of the most powerful bits of evidence that life is not the result of random events is the existence of sex. Sexual reproduction is an extremely complex process that requires hundreds of different proteins (the worker molecules of life) working in perfect harmony, to take place.

For sexual reproduction to take place as a result of random chance, it would either have to evolve or appear spontaneously in its current, extremely complex, form. At some point, two different strands of DNA from two different beings must have gotten mixed. All of the enzymes and other proteins needed to disassemble the two different being’s DNA, sort it, and then reassemble it into a new strand of DNA which would lead to a being with at least the same capabilities as existing living things.

Once the sexually created being existed, it would have to survive to sexual maturity. Then, it would have had to find another being of the opposite sex to have sex with to make additional offspring. (This basically means that the above process would have to have happened at least twice, in close enough proximity that the new beings would find each other, and close enough to the same way for these two to be sexually compatible.) For evolution to explain what we see, the babies would have had to grow up and find their own sexual partners, made and raised babies, and these babies would have to have advantages over the simpler asexual beings that existed before, so that they could produce enough offspring to generate genetic diversity, leading to evolution. Sexual reproduction would have evolved and changed over time, getting better and better, until eventually the system that now operates, with hundreds of specific enzymes performing specific tasks in the well-orchestrated and incredibly fast-paced operation we can now observe through microscopes.

There are two conditions that would have to be met to have sexual beings evolve from asexual ones, and the evidence we have shows that neither of them were met:

First, evolution means change. If sexual reproduction had started out in a very simple form (simple enough to have happened by accident), then evolved, there would have to have been other, much simpler, sexually reproduction methods that took place. But there has been no change: sexually reproducing bacteria that have been around for hundreds of millions of years reproduce exactly the same way as humans do, on a cellular level, with the same enzymes and other worker molecules performing the same tasks the same way, in the same order, at the same speed. If sexual reproduction had evolved into the complex process we see now, some of things that are now alive and reproduce sexually would take advantage of simpler methods of doing things (making proteins differently, for example, or separating the hydrogen bonds that join the double ‘ladders’ of DNA, differently, or folding the linear chains first manufactured by ribosomes into 3 dimensional proteins differently). In fact, on a molecular level, there is no difference between the way the most primitive bacteria (thought to be the first sexually reproducing living things on Earth) split, sort, and splice DNA and the way humans do it. All of the same proteins are involved, all of the same processes take place in the same order at the same speed.

We would have found evidence of evolution on this level. We have not found it. The only logical explanation for this is that the evidence does not exist: there was no change in this process. It operates today exactly as it did for the first beings to use it on Earth. There was no evolution.

The other major problem with accepting that sexual beings evolved from asexual ones involves competition. Evolution requires that the MORE capable beings survive. Since sexual reproduction requires a great deal of energy, sexually reproducing living things are, by necessity, less capable than comparable asexual beings.

And not just a little bit: they are not even half as capable, with regard to this particular characteristic. Other things being equal, sexually reproducing beings would not be able to come close to competing in a world of asexual beings. This means that, for sexual reproduction to evolve from asexual reproduction, the sexual beings would have enough in advantages over asexual beings to compensate for their immense additional energy requirements. In other words, they would have to be more capable by orders of magnitude. Evolution involves gradual change and for a sexual being to evolve from an asexual one, the change could not be gradual. The basic realities of evolution itself rule out evolution in this case.

This means that, if life came to exist on Earth by random processes, the transition from asexual reproduction to sexual reproduction could not have been slow and gradual, it had to be a spontaneous set of changes that all occurred at the same place at the same time, through some process. It would have basically had to materialize in the incredibly complex way that happens when a human sperm fertilizes an egg, and then the fertilized egg becomes a new human being.

All of the required enzymes would have been in the right place at the right time in the exact right proportions. Somehow, all of these enzymes would have to come to ‘know’ what to do in reproduction. Then, they would have all had to do their jobs. As enzymes became depleted in the process, the cell must have ‘known’ this, somehow, and made more. It would have to have done this with great precision, always producing the exact right quantity of enzymes, never too few or too many (this would have crowded out the necessary enzymes).

All the energy for this would have to be provided (meaning that the cell would have to have had plenty of extra ATP, available for immediate use, and been capable of using mitochondria already). Then, the newborn baby cell would have to have survived (meaning she would have to mature pretty fast and learn to do everything needed for survival). Sexual maturity takes time, so the cell would have to have time to mature. Once it had matured, it would have had to have found a mate that had somehow come to exist as a result of the exact same process and was close enough in proximity and genetic structure to reproduce with the first sexual cell.

The odds of this happening by random chance are so low that we wouldn’t have the ability to estimate them. It would not be scientific to build analysis on the assumption that such an event occurred. If we are to be scientific, we must take this one piece of evidence by itself—the evidence of sexual reproduction—as sufficient to rule out any theory that life came to exist as it is on Earth through random chance.

 

The Genetic Code

 

The next argument against random causes involves the genetic code. The DNA in your cells has at least three different coded messages written inside of it. First, there is the four bit ‘reproduction code’ that allows it to reproduce itself with absolute perfection, time after time, making a mistake so rarely that, for practical purposes, you could say there are never any mistakes.

Second, there is the 64 bit ‘codon code.’ Each three links in the DNA ladder makes up one ‘codon,’ a triplet of which there are 64 possible genetic ‘words.’ Although we have not yet deciphered this code (we don’t know exactly what it ‘says’) we do know it is there, because each of the more than 5 trillion cells in your body contain an exact carbon copy of this coded message. For 5 trillion messages, each with more than 1 billion ‘words’ in it, to line up exactly in even 2 cases by random chance would be so unlikely as to be mathematically impossible. For them to line up exactly for each and every one of 5 trillion examples, all happening by random chance, would be so farfetched it seems insane to even consider it.

The third code, however, is the one that provides the strongest evidence against life coming to exist on Earth through random processes. This code matches up the coded messages in DNA to amino acids in proteins (the ‘worker molecules’ of life). The code matching is exact, without a single exception ever having been found. (This means that the same code in DNA always matches with the same amino acid, with no exceptions.)

Why does this provide the strongest evidence against existence as a result of random chance?

This is something that random processes simply do not do: They don’t write coherent, consistent, decipherable coded messages that make total sense to beings with advanced intelligence. To find even one example of such a coded message should be enough to tell us that intelligent design is involved. We find three, and all three are in the same molecule.

 

The Alpha Helix

 

In 1948, Linus Pauling, a researcher in X-ray crystallography at Stanford, caught a cold. He had been doodling some diagrams of the atoms of amino acids on paper and, while in bed, he began to fold the papers. He started to realize that the folded papers put the atoms into positions where the bonds made sense, while the unfolded papers didn’t. He folded until he got the best possible bonding properties, and found his paper was folded into a helix.

He had discovered an important reality of all amino acids which was later extended to all proteins (all molecules built on amino acids): they are built in helixes. He called his first model helix Alpha Helix. He won the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1951.

In his book ‘General Chemistry,’ Pauling explains the idea of helical bonds: The ‘spines’ of amino acids and proteins are long chains of carbon atoms. Carbon has four bonding points that always want to bond as far away from each other as possible, which means they will want to bond in a tetrahedron (a four sided pyramid). It is not possible to stack tetrahedrons at their tips and get a strait line. All of the bonds must be ‘curved.’ He found that the curves were all right hand curves, all with the same angle, and when stacked, made a helix.

If nature were to put a bunch of atoms together randomly, and it had to curve them, we would expect random sets of curves. For example, we might have ‘right, left, right, left,’ or ‘right, right, right, left,’ or ‘left, left, left, right.’ If you see something arranged into a perfect geometric shape, you suspect there was some special reason it happened that way. Even something as simple as a line implies some sort of design: if you were flying over a featureless desert, and saw something that looked like a straight line, you would think that you were looking at a road or something some humans had built: nature doesn’t make perfectly straight lines.

It is easy to calculate the odds for a chain of anything to all bond the same way, provided random forces are arranging them. The odds against a chain of 10 bonds, all turning out the same if arranged by random chance, are 210, or 1024 to 1 against. In other words, if you let something with two options happen at random (say tossing a coin), you would have to repeat this an average of 1024 times before you would get one example of all 10 being the same (all ‘tails’ on the coin toss, for example). The same formula can be used for the odds of a longer chain: the odds against 100 choices of a random variable being the same would be 2100, or 1,267,650,600,228,230,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 against. If you saw a chain of 100 links that could either be left or right, and they were all right links, the odds of this being due to chance would be 1,267,650,600,228,230,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 against.

All links in all proteins can be bonded either to the left or right. (It is possible to make ‘mirror image’ molecules that are identical to existing proteins but have the opposite curvatures. They can exist. There is no quantum mechanical or chemical reason for the bends to be to the right, this just happens to be the way they are made.) Some protein molecules have billions of links, all bonded the same way. (Human DNA, for example, has 57 billion carbon atoms; every single one of them is bonded in conformity with the alpha helix that Pauling discovered.)

How unlikely that all of the 57 billion carbon links in a DNA molecule would be right-hand bonds? The odds are 257billion to one against. If converted to numbers in the base 10 system, there are more zeros in the odds against random chance alignment for this one molecule than there are quarks in the universe. All DNA follows this same rule, as does all RNA and all proteins ever analyzed. The alpha helix is a fundamental part of all living things on Earth.

The odds against this kind of alignment of atoms occurring accidentally or through random chance are so high that, for practical purposes, we must rule out random alignment as mathematically impossible.

 

Mitochondria

 

Mitochondria has its own DNA, which reproduces a different way than the DNA of nuclei of atoms. Mitochondria is a virtually perfect power-cell configuration and was in this same configuration from the very first beings that used these power cells. There is no need for it to ever change: it was perfect when it first appeared. Evolution can’t make it better.

If you were sending a package to another planet with DNA that you hoped would eventually evolve into intelligent beings, you would need to send down the parts that were already the way you wanted them to ultimately be in separate packages than the DNA that you wanted to evolve. The two packages would have different operating systems: the molecules you wanted to remain the same would reproduce by mitosis, leading to exact copies of the original molecules. This is the way mitochondrial DNA reproduces. The reproduction process is virtually perfect: for all practical purposes, the mitochondria that exists now is the same as the mitochondria that existed 530 million years ago, with the first evidence we have of mitochondria existing. (There are a few minor displacements in atoms that don’t affect the way the molecule works, but all critical parts of the molecule are identical.)

The other DNA, that you would want to evolve, would have to be sent under different conditions and operate in different ways, reproducing by meiosis (creating differentiated cells) and sexual merging of DNA. Since this particular method of reproduction requires enormous amounts of energy, it would need a power system to run it. As we have seen, mitochondria are the power cells that provide the energy needed for all living things that reproduce sexually and use meiosis. Mitochondria can’t operate without unbound oxygen, so you would need to send down blue-green algae to create unbound oxygen first (unbound oxygen can’t exist in nature due to oxygen’s ability to bond with almost everything else). Then you would have to wait a very long time—perhaps many billions of years—for the blue-green algae to unbind the oxygen and put it into the atmosphere before the mitochondria and cells that depend on the power mitochondria produce to be able to operate.

If you want to send life a fast distance, you would have to reduce it to a package with the smallest possible size and weight. This would be necessary both to reduce the required energy to a manageable level and to reduce the odds of a collision at high speed (even a collision with an atom would be enough to destroy an object moving at a high speed relative to the speed of light) to a level that would give acceptable odds of arrival. The smaller and lighter you could make the package, the better.

DNA weighs 1 picogram (1 billionth of a gram) per 978 million base pairs. The DNA for mitochondria has 3,700 base pairs, the DNA for blue-green algae has 137 million base pairs, and the smallest genomes yet found in eukaryotes (sexually reproducing) is about the same size as that of blue-green algae. This means that all DNA needed to seed life onto another planet could conceivably be put into a package with a weight of less than a billionth of a gram.

It is possible to imagine planners working all this out, putting the package together, and sending it to another world. Since the package could be made quite small, it could be sent long distances at fairly high speeds without violating any laws of physics. (See sidebar for more information.)

What kind of process could make all this happen as a result of random chance? Evolution might explain it, but we can rule out evolution because evolution would have necessarily left large amounts of evidence that has not been found. (Evolution requires change. Mitochondria did not change. The alpha helix did not change. Ribosomes did not change. The genetic code is identical for humans as for the earliest blue-green algae.)

If there is a process that would allow such alignment of atoms through random chance and do all of the other things necessary for these atoms to come to life and do the things that we can watch living things do, this process has not yet been discovered. If there is no theory to explain it, saying ‘it exists but we just can’t explain it’ is essentially the same as saying ‘an invisible superbeing that lives in the sky created it all; we don’t know why or how.’ It is the same as saying ‘it is magic;’ this is no explanation at all.

This leaves only one conclusion: Life as we know it on Earth is NOT the result of a random process. It is the result of a non-random process.

‘Non Random’ means ‘intentional.’ The only scientific conclusion that has any significant likelihood of being correct is that some beings sent the basic precursors of DNA-based life to this world from another world.

 

What Does This Imply About The Meaning Of Life?

 

This book was written to support the ideas and concepts in the book Possible Societies. The theme of Possible Societies is simple: the human race is capable of organizing its existence in many different ways. Some are destructive, some are not destructive. Our ancestors chose an option that was destructive and put it into place. If we remain in the path our ancestors put us in, and continue to play the game of life according to the rules they set, we will not survive as a race. We will cease to exist, and everything we have done in our entire existence will be meaningless.

Why does this matter? Why would anyone care about this?

If we were placed here by an invisible superbeing that lives in the sky, created everything as it is, directs activities here on Earth, and can override all of the laws of science, it doesn’t matter: The magic one made it happen and there is nothing we can do to change it. Our destiny depends on the whims of the magic one and any attempt to alter the realities of our existence will only make the magic one angry. If this is the way life got to Earth, I guess it doesn’t really matter that thinking beings with physical needs (a class that includes humans) can organize their existence in different ways. Our destiny isn’t up to us: if the magic one wants us to survive, we will; if not we won’t.

Others say they don’t think there is a magic one, but it still doesn’t matter. They say that we came to exist as a result of random chance, so our existence is basically meaningless. So what if we destroy all life on this planet? If this is the only planet with life on it, then existence will simply go back to randomness after we are gone. If other planets have life, that means that randomness tends to produce life rather frequently, and our place will be taken by some other beings.

One way or the other, it doesn’t matter.

Perhaps, if these are the only two possible ways life could come to exist, these people would be right. Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

But what if there is a third option? What if some group of intelligent beings went to a great deal of trouble to turn the hostile and lifeless planet Earth was when it was first formed, and make it capable of supporting advanced life, by sending a terraforming organism like blue-green algae to this world? What if we are here because they went to even more trouble, sending the DNA needed for mitochondria, to power advanced life, and then sending the DNA for sexually reproducing complex life? If someone went to this much trouble, than we are not here due to the whims of magic superbeings or random chance, but because we have a destiny.

What if the history that the scientists give us is correct, and the history that the religious scholars give us is made up nonsense? What if we haven’t been here for a mere 6,000 years, but for millions of years? If this is true, we have lived other ways, proof that we can life other ways. If we can live other ways, it makes sense to understand all of the options and decide if we want to perish or survive.

The scientific evidence overwhelmingly contradicts with the stories of invisible magic superbeings. It overwhelmingly conflicts the premise that ‘its all random.’ The scientific evidence tells us there is a reason for our existence. We don’t know what it is, but the evidence tells us it exists. If we stick around, we will eventually figure it out. If we simply give up and allow the realities of the game that our ancestors decided to play and pass down to us to destroy us all, we are acting like the senseless lemmings that throw themselves off of cliffs for no reason. To accept death when it is unnecessary is suicide; to accept extinction of our race when it is unnecessary is genocide.

If we were placed here, the ones who went to such trouble to make it happen surely had some projections about how things would turn out. They surely realized that the minds that first had the ability to think on a conscious level would still be primitive in many ways. These primitive minds would come to conclusions that more evolved minds would not accept, and believe in magic beings. They would have realized that the issue of the ‘ownership’ of the world is a complex problem and, if people come up with some of the possible solutions to this problem, this would likely lead to the kinds of conflicts we see all around us on the Earth today. They would have realized that, if the brains had enough capabilities, they would come up with weapons, including nuclear weapons, to use to force others to accept their claims about the ownership and ownability of the world (by nations). They would have realized that this may be the toughest hurdle that would ever be faced by the beings they sent to this planet some 3.58 billion years ago, in their evolution to intelligence. They would have realized that some of these beings would not survive this phase. They would be evolved enough to build the weapons, but not evolved enough to understand why the pressures to build the weapons existed, and not evolved enough to accept that they had control over the variables that would save them.

I am arrogant and proud. My race, the human race, has done wonderful things in the past and we can keep doing wonderful things for a very long time into the future. Perhaps, if we were sent here intentionally, the ones who sent us knew that the odds against any one seeded planet making it would be very high, so, perhaps, they seeded thousands, millions, or even billions of planets. Perhaps, most of them were not expected to make it. Perhaps, they expected only one of these billions of seeded planets to produce a race of intelligent beings that would last long enough to accomplish whatever goal that they had for them.

When I look into the night sky, I am in awe of its magnificence. I have gone to the observatory gazed at the stars and galaxies, in endless wonder. There is so much there. Here we are, on this little world, about to kill ourselves over a game which is, by any objective measure, meaningless. And people are oblivious! They see it, but they aren’t willing to accept that we have control over our destiny and the ability organize our existence differently.

We are close to the end, BUT WE ARE NOT THERE YET. There is still hope. Perhaps billions upon billions of the worlds that we can see at night are inhabited, and perhaps the great majority of them won’t make it through the crisis we are now in, when they get to the point we are at now. But I am arrogant and proud. I love this planet and feel one with every living thing on it. It is worth fighting for. Perhaps only one race will make it through this crisis. Why can’t it be us?

Books in this series

This book is a part of a series of four books about the important realities of human existence. They are:

1. Forensic History: uses new scientific tools and information sources to reconstruct the series of events that put the human race on the path it is now on. It explains how the realities of human existence came to be as they are. It focuses on the events led to the existence of the power structures that dominate the world today, including the entities called 'nations,' organized religions, and the massive and extremely powerful entities we call 'corporations.' These entities did not appear by magic. They came to exist as a result of decisions people made in the past. If we want to understand the realities of human existence, we have to understand who made these decisions, why they were made, and how the decisions made in the past have led to the realities that we see around us.

2. Possible Societies goes over the capabilities of the human race and the limitations we have for organizing the realities of our existence. It is an attempt to categorize all possible methods of organizing human existence—or all possible societies—in a methodological and organized way. Once we understand the different options we have for organizing societies, we can go over them to determine which of the options are able to meet our needs without constant problems such as war and unnecessary environmental destruction.

3. Reforming Societies: We were born onto a world that was organized in a very dangerous way. It was cut up with imaginary lines into the entities we call 'nations.' Each nation had formed a government which claimed that everything within that nation belonged to the people who were born inside the imaginary lines. Any society built on this foundation necessarily has very serious problems, which include powerful forces these entities surrounded by imaginary lines to engage in activities that are the most horrific destructive within the capability of any physical beings with the power to think on a rational level. The pressure to perform these horrible acts is so powerful that the industries devoted to war and the support of war, combined, make up the largest industries on Earth: More wealth, manpower, effort, skills, talents, capital, and resources are devoted to organized mass murder and destruction than any other activity on the planet. People have gone as far as building weapons that will destroy the planet if used and actually deployed these weapons, making them ready for instant use if certain circumstances arise. Given enough time, these circumstances are certain to arise.

What if we—the current members of the human race—decide we don't like these particular realities of existence? What if we decide we want some other destiny for our race (than extinction)? It is possible to organize the realities of our world in different ways. (Even children should realize this: humans need food, water, air, sleep, and protection from the elements; the imaginary lines that cut the world into 'nations' don't give us any of these things.)

But is it possible to actually build them?

If we know other methods of organizing the realities of human existence are possible, we can work out the exact structural differences between the realities of these other societies and the current realities of human existence.

We can figure out practical steps to take to change the form of ('reform') other societies. It explains the exact practical steps that ordinary people like you and I can take to put the human race on a path to one of these societies, if we should decide we want to do this.

4. The Meaning of Life explains why this matters. The societies we were born into must raise children to think a certain way so they will be willing to sacrifice for and participate in the wars that are an inherent part of societies built on the division of the world into 'nations.' To make them willing to participate, they must raise children to believe that there is a higher purpose behind the wars and behind the existence of the nations: They must make children believe that they were born to and exist to protect their nations, to respect the claimed founding principles, to honor the nation and, through ceremonies that all children are taught in schools, to even worship the nation, in the same way they are taught to worship the higher power that they were told created the nation. To make them do the horrible things that people must do to have wars, they must make children believe that this is the meaning of life and the reason they were born.

New scientific evidence is allowing us to put together messages that are encoded in our DNA and evident from the structures that are necessary for the process we call 'life' to exist in ways that can show us that there are scientifically acceptable and mathematically likely explanations for the existence of life on Earth that totally conflict with the premises taught to keep people willing to fight, kill, maim, cripple, destroy, risk and accept death for the benefits of the entities called 'nations.' If we accept science, logic, and reason, we can put together a picture of the meaning of existence that can help us see that the claimed reasons for existence that have been taught in schools and accepted for thousands of years are basically propaganda, created for the express purpose of allowing rationalization of horrific acts. If they could put together some rational picture of the reason we are here, people would not be willing to do the things that they spend their lives doing today.

What if we find there is a real meaning to our existence and it has nothing whatever to do with worshiping invisible superbeings or protecting nations? The entire rationalization for dividing the world into 'nations' and making war basically disappears. We must accept that the realities of existence on Earth are as they are because people made certain decisions. These people are no longer alive. We are here. We can make our own decisions. We can decide where we want to go from here and begin going there.

Books in this series

This book is a part of a series of four books about the important realities of human existence. They are:

1. Forensic History: uses new scientific tools and information sources to reconstruct the series of events that put the human race on the path it is now on. It explains how the realities of human existence came to be as they are. It focuses on the events led to the existence of the power structures that dominate the world today, including the entities called 'nations,' organized religions, and the massive and extremely powerful entities we call 'corporations.' These entities did not appear by magic. They came to exist as a result of decisions people made in the past. If we want to understand the realities of human existence, we have to understand who made these decisions, why they were made, and how the decisions made in the past have led to the realities that we see around us.

2. Possible Societies goes over the capabilities of the human race and the limitations we have for organizing the realities of our existence. It is an attempt to categorize all possible methods of organizing human existence—or all possible societies—in a methodological and organized way. Once we understand the different options we have for organizing societies, we can go over them to determine which of the options are able to meet our needs without constant problems such as war and unnecessary environmental destruction.

3. Reforming Societies: We were born onto a world that was organized in a very dangerous way. It was cut up with imaginary lines into the entities we call 'nations.' Each nation had formed a government which claimed that everything within that nation belonged to the people who were born inside the imaginary lines. Any society built on this foundation necessarily has very serious problems, which include powerful forces these entities surrounded by imaginary lines to engage in activities that are the most horrific destructive within the capability of any physical beings with the power to think on a rational level. The pressure to perform these horrible acts is so powerful that the industries devoted to war and the support of war, combined, make up the largest industries on Earth: More wealth, manpower, effort, skills, talents, capital, and resources are devoted to organized mass murder and destruction than any other activity on the planet. People have gone as far as building weapons that will destroy the planet if used and actually deployed these weapons, making them ready for instant use if certain circumstances arise. Given enough time, these circumstances are certain to arise.

What if we—the current members of the human race—decide we don't like these particular realities of existence? What if we decide we want some other destiny for our race (than extinction)? It is possible to organize the realities of our world in different ways. (Even children should realize this: humans need food, water, air, sleep, and protection from the elements; the imaginary lines that cut the world into 'nations' don't give us any of these things.)

But is it possible to actually build them?

If we know other methods of organizing the realities of human existence are possible, we can work out the exact structural differences between the realities of these other societies and the current realities of human existence.

We can figure out practical steps to take to change the form of ('reform') other societies. It explains the exact practical steps that ordinary people like you and I can take to put the human race on a path to one of these societies, if we should decide we want to do this.

4. The Meaning of Life explains why this matters. The societies we were born into must raise children to think a certain way so they will be willing to sacrifice for and participate in the wars that are an inherent part of societies built on the division of the world into 'nations.' To make them willing to participate, they must raise children to believe that there is a higher purpose behind the wars and behind the existence of the nations: They must make children believe that they were born to and exist to protect their nations, to respect the claimed founding principles, to honor the nation and, through ceremonies that all children are taught in schools, to even worship the nation, in the same way they are taught to worship the higher power that they were told created the nation. To make them do the horrible things that people must do to have wars, they must make children believe that this is the meaning of life and the reason they were born.

New scientific evidence is allowing us to put together messages that are encoded in our DNA and evident from the structures that are necessary for the process we call 'life' to exist in ways that can show us that there are scientifically acceptable and mathematically likely explanations for the existence of life on Earth that totally conflict with the premises taught to keep people willing to fight, kill, maim, cripple, destroy, risk and accept death for the benefits of the entities called 'nations.' If we accept science, logic, and reason, we can put together a picture of the meaning of existence that can help us see that the claimed reasons for existence that have been taught in schools and accepted for thousands of years are basically propaganda, created for the express purpose of allowing rationalization of horrific acts. If they could put together some rational picture of the reason we are here, people would not be willing to do the things that they spend their lives doing today.

What if we find there is a real meaning to our existence and it has nothing whatever to do with worshiping invisible superbeings or protecting nations? The entire rationalization for dividing the world into 'nations' and making war basically disappears. We must accept that the realities of existence on Earth are as they are because people made certain decisions. These people are no longer alive. We are here. We can make our own decisions. We can decide where we want to go from here and begin going there.

Keywords: Keywords: meaning of life, the meaning of life, why we are here, who made us, where did we come from, is religion right, is religion lies, lies in religion, extraterrestrial life, life on other worlds, panspermia, spermogeneisis, possible societies, possiblesocieties.net, alternative societies, better societies, utopia, utopias, utopian societies, building better worlds, rebuilding societies, repairing societies, reforming societies, ReformingSocieties.com, non-destructive societies, nondestructive societies, fixing war, ending pollution, ending depletion, making the world a better place, leasehold ownership, private ownership, government ownership, corporate ownership, preventing extinction.