Chapter Seven: Atlantis (Cosmos)
When we first began watching Cosmos, the planet had advanced to about the same level as the Earth of the mid 1800s. Corporations had recently gained incredible powers, allowing them to build giant production facilities that had never before existed in the world.
The changes made a huge difference in certain industries. Steel production, for example, was able to skyrocket. People had been making steel for thousands of years on Cosmos. Before the giant corporations that had only recently come to exist, they removed the iron from dirt in small ‘backyard’ smelters, and turned it into steel by hammering it in blacksmith’s shops. As a result, even though millions of people were employed in the steel industry, the entire planet only produced a few hundred tons of steel each year.
The new corporations built gigantic facilities, each of which could turn out more steel in a single day than the entire planet had produced in any single year of its pre-corporate industrial period. With hundreds of such plants on the planet, Cosmos was now producing millions of tons of steel each year.
Their world had had wars constantly since they had converted to the sovereign law societies some 5,800 years earlier. Roughly half of all steel production had gone to weapons makers and wars for this entire time, as militaries could pay more for products made of steel than people in the private sector. This was still true, and weapons-makers still bought roughly half of all steel. Since steel production had increased by a factor of nearly a million fold, the militaries of Cosmos now had roughly a million times more weapons made of steel than they had in the pre-corporate industrial period.
The chemical industry—which was largely devoted to the creation of explosives—also benefited from the giant new industrial corporations. Before these corporations, people made explosive powder by hand, scouring the stables, outhouses, and sewers of their world for saltpeter to mix with various fuels to make the different explosives needed for rockets, bombs, grenades, cannon, and rifles. The new industrial corporations engineered new nitrates (saltpeter is a natural nitrate that provides oxygen in a solid form to fuels, allowing the fuels to burn extremely quickly or ‘explode’). They built giant factories to turn out nitrates in quantities of millions of tons a year. This not only increased the amount of explosives available for guns, rockets, and bombs, it improved the explosive power of these devices immeasurably.
Militaries that had access to the output of these industrial corporations had fantastic advantages over other militaries. Some leaders of national governments were living in the past and didn’t want change. They didn’t facilitate these new corporations and their militaries didn’t have access to the enormous quantities of weapons made with steel, and ammunition made with the new explosives. These militaries couldn’t defend the nations that funded them against the militaries of the industrialized powers. The militaries of the corporate industry friendly nations came in tanks with automatic weapons and precision rifled cannon that could shoot for miles and destroy anything in their path long before they arrived. The militaries of nations that were not friendly to corporate industry had horses and muskets.
As a result, the militaries of industrial corporate (IC) friendly nations could easily take over any land controlled by governments that were not IC friendly. The rulers of the IC-friendly nations could simply decide which land they wanted and take it. They scoured the world for land that was suitable for industry but under the control of non-IC-friendly governments. When they found it, they simply took it. The non-IC-friendly militaries were helpless to prevent conquest. The IC-friendly nations expanded, while non-IC-friendly governments disappeared.
The leaders of the new corporate/industrial nations soon realized that they were in competition with each other to conquer land held by the less progressive governments. They had to take over the more desirable land fast, before other industrial nations snapped it up. As a result of this, a large part of the world was at war, generally with various IC-friendly nations fighting each other for the right to take over parts of their world that could easily support additional industry.
A New Kind of Warfare
These wars of competing IC nations were unlike any wars the planet Cosmos had ever had in the past. Armies with millions of men on each side faced each other, with the aim of annihilating each other in order to gain rights to small parts of the world for the nations that funded them, with weapons that would have been unimaginable only a few decades earlier.
War had been a reality of life for the people of Cosmos ever since they had reordered their modes of existence to accept that parts of the world could be owned, absolutely and completely, by warlord/kings and other leaders of groups of people who called themselves by terms like ‘nations’ and ‘states.’ But without the industrial corporations, these wars were more like armed gang fights than anything we here in 21st century Earth would call a ‘war.’
The new wars killed, maimed, and destroyed on a scale that even the most inhumane warriors of the pre-industrial world could not have even imagined. When a battle raged through a town, often tens of thousands of people were left lying on the battlefield, dead or maimed, while entire cities were razed to the ground, with whatever civilians that had been able to survive by fleeing suddenly having no homes, no safe drinking water, no medical supplies, no food, and no fuel.
How Change Started
One day, a businessman named ‘Henri Dunant’ happened to be traveling through an area that was affected by one of these battles.
Dunant was shocked by what he saw. Of course, he knew that the wars were going on, because he read newspapers. But until he saw it with his own eyes, he had no idea how horrible these events were. As he looked over this almost indescribable misery, he changed the way he looked at the priorities of his life. Before, he had been content (as had most people) to devote his life to his ‘work,’ which basically meant trying to find ways to get more of the pieces of paper that were used to keep score in the ongoing game, or ‘money.’
Now, he could see that there were more important things than money.
Dunant was a ‘big picture’ person. He not only saw the misery and agony of war from a personal level, experiencing it by dealing with people affected by the events, he saw that, over the long run, war meant a tragedy for the people of his planet that was far beyond personal suffering. (Here is a link to the Earth Dunant’s book describing the reasons he changed his view of life.) He could easily see that the growth in the production of weapons and other tools of war, the growth in the destructiveness of war, and the fantastic advances in the technologies associated with organized mass murder and destruction of the life’s work of billions of people were moving the human race toward a horrific future.
Dunant was not one to sit and whine about his problems, and complain to others that ‘they’ (meaning some nameless group that supposedly sits around waiting for people to whine, so they can fix problems) should ‘do something about it.’ He was a puzzle solver. When he saw problems, he looked for solutions. What could HE do, personally, to make a difference? He spent several weeks working to try to get life back to normal for the survivors of the battle. Then he thought about the problem in general. Where does it come from? What kinds of steps could the people of the world take to start changes that could eliminate the problems? He thought about this a great deal.
Dunant believed the problem was not a problem of human nature, and therefore did have a solution: he had known a great many people and had seen great compassion and empathy in almost all of them. Taken as individuals, people seemed fine. The problem seemed to come from the structures that brought these people together into ‘nations.’ Something about the idea of ‘nations’ led to these horrible conflicts. The people he knew, as individuals, didn’t want to have to devote the roughly half of all production that was then going to militaries to organized mass murder and destruction, and didn’t want to have to live through the carnage, either as aggressors or defenders. The problem was in some foundational structure that lie at the foundation of the idea of ‘nations’ that are seen to belong to the people born inside certain sets of imaginary lines.
He decided to devote his life to doing whatever he could to help set the human race on a path to modes of existence that could function without the horrible events he had seen as he passed through the war zone.
He started by writing a book about his ideas. The book started with a description of the events that led to his changing his life goals, including a graphic description of carnage and his role in trying to help the miserable victims of the one battle he had witnessed.
He then suggested that all this was totally unnecessary.
The people of Cosmos were basically all the same. They all had the same never endings on their bodies, they felt pain from the same wounds to about the same degree, they loved their children, they smiled and laughed at basically the same things, and they all had the same physical needs. They all could see that humans benefited from cooperation and were harmed by conflict. The human race as a whole did not benefit from the wholesale destruction and conflict, it was harmed, both by the diversion of wealth (often during the Earth’s nineteenth century, half of everything produced when to meet the needs of the corporate military industrial complex), by the environmental destruction needed to produce weapons in sufficient quantity to compete in the battlefield, and by the carnage and destruction itself.
As individuals, they were harmed in many ways. As a race, they were harmed even more. They were only benefited in ancillary ways, as the war brought short-term solutions to the problem of unemployment and temporary stability to the economies of these highly-unstable systems.
The battles were not really between the people of the combatant nations: the great majority of the people in the two fighting nations had nothing against the people of the nation that their governments had decided to attack and nothing personally to gain or lose from ‘victory’ for their nation. In cases where the IC nations were fighting each other for the right to control land that was suitable for industry, the people who lived on the land basically had no vested interest whatever in which side ‘won’ the war: whichever won, they would become tools of the new industrial corporations, that would turn them into a part of the ‘workforce’ of these corporations. Even the people in the militaries didn’t really have anything to gain from victory: they were soldiers. Most of them fought because they needed work and they didn’t want to take the grunt work at the factories and weren’t qualified for executive positions in the corporations, so they could only support their families if they joined the military. They fought because they were paid to fight and, as long as they didn’t get killed in the current battle, they didn’t really care which side ‘won’ it: they would be paid the same amount regardless.
(On Earth, the battle that Dunant witnessed was between the militaries of Austria and France, which were fighting over land in unindustrialized parts of Italy that both governments wanted.) The people of Cosmos generally didn’t have anything against each other, at least not anything that they would feel strongly enough about to fight over. The problems were not between the people of Cosmos or even the people of the nations that were doing battle, but between these strange entities called ‘the governments of nations.’
Dunant thought that, if the people of Cosmos had a forum and a way to work collectively on their common needs and goals, they could perhaps gain enough control over these entities called ‘the governments of nations’ to alter the variables that cause the leaders of these governments to get into these conflicts and believe they have to use such destructive means to settle them.
The people of Cosmos did not have a forum like this.
There was no entity that represented them.
There was no organization that the people of Cosmos could use to help them mitigate the effects and risks of war and adjudicate disputes before they became wars.
Dunant didn’t simply propose that we sit around and whine about the problem. He didn’t propose that people complain, mumble under their breath to an invisible superbeing in the sky. (The Earth Dunant was a devout atheist: he didn’t believe that superbeings existed.) In the final pages of his book, he proposed that proposed that such an organization be created.
The Community of Humankind
His book attracted a lot of interest. A lot of books discussed war, but none of them really seemed to give any information about the issues Dunant had raised: the incredible human tragedy, the increasing risks going forward into the future, and the fact that people had options other than complaining to their governments or gods for dealing with the problem.
Some of the people who read Dunant’s book were in a position to help with the solution he proposed. They contacted Dunant and asked if he could meet with them.
Some of these people owned that generated free cash flows. When they met with Dunant, they told him they wanted to work with him. They wanted to set up an organization so that these flows of free cash could be used to help create a forum for the human race as a whole, allowing them to deal with some of the problems that no one had yet found a way to deal with in the nation-based systems.
They wanted these flows of free cash to fund an organization that was not affiliated with any government on their world, but which would work to mitigate the horrible effects of wars and other tragedies that governments caused.
Dunant had made them think.
Before they read his book, they were aware of the carnage and misery that the new kind of war was creating. Everyone was aware of this. But they hadn’t really allowed these realities to get to the forefronts of their minds, and they hadn’t really considered the long-term implications of the continued increases in war technology and destructiveness. It was so normal they didn’t see it.
After they read Dunant’s book, they started to see that the human race was at a kind of crossroads.
They realized that their ancestors had put them onto the path that they were now on. They realized that this path led to increasing horrors and then, eventually, extinction, when the weapons available to the armies got powerful enough, and the commanders got desperate enough to use them. They realized that the human race could stay on this path and, if this happened, the people would end up in the miserable conditions that Dunant predicted.
But they had another option. They could actually do something. Dunant had looked at the problem from a very practical perspective. He had thought about what might be done and had some proposals.
As a first step, Dunant suggested taking advantage of the immense powers that corporations had gained over the last few decades.
In the world that Dunant lived in, corporations had the ability to transcend national boundaries, and operate anywhere on the planet they wanted to operate. They could, and often did, grow quickly to become larger and more powerful than a great many of the nations of their world. They could, and generally did, form divisions devoted to making sure that corporate-friendly people got into leadership positions in governments, to make sure that these people felt obligated to individual corporations (because the corporations helped them get into positions of power), and to lobby the governments to make sure the legislation they enacted meet corporate needs.
All corporations could do these things.
Even humanitarian corporations.
Dunant told the other people interested in helping that there is no reason that the people of the world could have a corporation to represent their interests.
Once this corporation existed, it could create sets of accords that would limit the tools governments could create and use in war, and use its full lobbying power to pressure governments of the nations of Cosmos to sign these accords and agree to their terms.
The agreements would allow this humanitarian organization to send employees into war zones with immunity from attack, to help both the civilians and military people who the belligerent nations are not in a position to help with food, water, medical services, and other essentials.
The humanitarian organization would be a corporation, and the recent changes that had taken place on Cosmos (see text box above) had forever rights. They could make long-term plans and attract funding for operations that would last decades or even centuries. If the people of Cosmos liked the work this organization was doing, they would help it with funding and it could grow.
Eventually, this organization may be big enough to start to take other steps (described below) that would actually alter the foundational realities of society, and eliminate the stranglehold that the entities called ‘governments of nations’ had over the resources and economies of the planet Cosmos.
Eventually the organization that Dunant envisioned was created on Cosmos. The ultimate goal of this corporation was to turn the entire human race into a true community, so they named it ‘The Community of Humankind, LLC.’
The Community of Humankind would start with the basics. It would figure out ways to cause the flows of value that came from the properties the business people would use for the initial endowment of the company to carry out the projects that Dunant had outlined to them. Since wealthy people formed this corporation, its organizers knew about free cash flows and decided to make use of these free cash flows to benefit the human race as a whole—not just the owners of the that generated these free cash flows.
Dunant didn’t want to guess about the best way to manage the endowments his corporation started with. He did his research. He traveled around the world to find the people who understood all of the different ways that land and other cash-flow generating properties could be managed for the benefit of the human race. He organized a conference for them to discuss the issue and present options to him and his backers, so they could make an informed decision about the best way to accomplish their goals.
One of the recommendations stood out.
It involved having the Community of Humankind act as a landlord for the cash-flow generating . The landlord would then create leaseholds for the cash-flow generating proprieties, sell the leaseholds, and then use the income from the leasehold payments to lobby governments (as all corporations, including humanitarian corporations, can do) to sign binding accords that would limit the things they could do in war, and agree to submit international disputes to a court they would set up for this purpose to find non-violent solutions.
The consultants who recommended the idea of using an intermediate kind of property control, between leasing and owning (leasehold ownership), provided a long report on the different ways that leasehold ownership could work. (Book Three, A Science of Society, explains all of these options.)
They pointed out that a particular kind of leasehold ownership aligned the interests of the people who made decisions on properties with the interests of the Community of Humankind (landlords of the world in this case) more closely than any other option. The consultants showed that this particular kind of leasehold ownership, which they called ‘socratic leasehold ownership,’ would work totally automatically and create a system where the people who controlled would have incentives to manage the properties well, make all payments to the Community of Humankind without fail, and improve the properties over time in ways that would lead to a continual and rapid growth in the income of the Community of Humankind.
If the Community of Humankind truly represented the human race on Cosmos, the human race would have an automatic, risk-free income that would give them power. They could use at least part of this income and power to counterbalance the forces that pushed nations to do things that led to war, destruction, and other problems that harmed the human race. Since the income of the human race would grow over time, the human race would find itself able to do more and more to this end each year that passed.
Socratic Leasehold Ownership On Cosmos
Dunant and his colleagues decided to take the advice of the consultants, and use this method to generate the income that would empower the human race (who would be the landlords) and give them control over variables that they did not control in the system in which they were born.
Dunant set it up—at least initially—for the philanthropists who had asked him to set up the organization.
These people made the initial endowments to get the system started. But the starting donors were happy to have the organization increase its scope, by accepting property bequests and donations from anyone who wanted to donate.
Dunant planned to focus on bequests, at least initially. This would cause the endowments to the humanitarian organization to be lower initially, because of course, the Community of Humankind wouldn’t actually get the cash-flow generating properties until the people granting the endowments passed away. But Dunant wasn’t going to sacrifice immediate growth for long-term prosperity for the Community of Humankind. He knew that a great many people want to do something to move the human race forward. They own cash-flow generating properties that are emotionally attached to. They know that if they die without making arrangements for these properties, the properties will almost certainly wind up owned by people who only want to find ways to extract the maximum amount of money from those properties. If they can increase their revenues by destroying the land, they will have incentives to do so and may do so. (Who are these people? See: ‘personal stories’ in textbox below.)
People now have an option they didn’t have before: If they endow the Community of Humankind with these parts of the world by bequest, they will know that these parts of the world will benefit the entire human race from then on, until the rest of history. They know that the members of the human race will have control over destruction decisions and, because the members of the human race get money from these parts of the world, they will have incentives to protect these parts of the world and make sure they remain healthy, so that the revenues will continue forever.
Uses for Funds
Once the founders of the Community of Humankind had the system set up, they began to use the revenues to accomplish the goals they started with. They created an organization to help victims of wars and other disasters that was independent of the governments of Cosmos. They used their lobbying power (the same lobbying power that all corporations had) to introduce legislation into governments around the world to accept that their corporation had special rights in war zones: its people are protected as long as they display the emblem of the organization.
The board members used some of this income to draw up a set of documents similar to the Earth ‘Geneva Conventions,’ which limited the things governments could do in war, and then form lobbying organization to get the governments of all of the nations of Cosmos to agree to these accords, with additional funding used to put global pressure on governments to adhere to their agreements.
Then, the board of directors of the Community of Humankind did something unheard of on their world: they decided to let the people of the world determine how the revenue of their global humanitarian corporation would be used.
They used the best available technology to make it as easy as possible for the people of Cosmos to make binding decisions in elections where every person who wanted to do so could vote. This would make the Community of Humankind a kind of mouthpiece for the human race. They would make their will known directly, in elections, and it wouldn’t be necessary for any board of directors or other ruling body to have to guess what the people wanted and act on these guesses.
Structure of The Community of Humankind
Henri’s plan involved making the members of the human race the landlords of Cosmos.
The landlords would have control over certain variables in properties in their ‘portfolio.’ The landlords would have the right to make certain decisions about the uses of the parts of the planet Cosmos that are part of their ‘portfolio.’ The landlords would be able to collect certain incomes from the parts of the planet that were in their ‘portfolio.’
At first, the portfolio would be small. But if the members of the human race liked the power that the Community of Humankind gave them, and wanted to increase the size of their portfolio, they could do this in relatively simple steps. In fact, if they wanted, they could take advantage of well-understood laws of compound growth to cause the size of their portfolio to grow pretty much automatically, if they wanted to do this.
If they took advantage of this, the human race would become landlords over increasing percentages of the planet Cosmos as time passed. (The text box to the right shows how much a $100 starting income will grow over 200 years.) The scientists explained that they could do this by having the Community of Humankind (the corporation) use part of its income to buy freehold rights to additional in markets.
All this happened while Henri was still working on the design of the global humanitarian organization he intended to call the ‘Community of Humankind.’
He didn’t want to have a cookie cutter humanitarian organization, one that would ask for money (or other things that could be sold for money), put this money into standard real estate investment trusts or stock mutual funds to generate income, and then have a bunch of bureaucrats determine what they thought the people of the world might want done with the returns to help them. He wanted something that actively involved the human race. He wanted the bounty of the of Cosmos to benefit the entire human race forever. The people of his world wouldn’t have to simply hope that a group of bureaucrats somewhere could guess what they wanted; they would actually determine where this wealth went in binding elections.
Basically, Dunant was taking the first step to putting the human race on Cosmos on a path to the example socratic leasehold ownership system explained in Chapters 4-8.
The leasehold payments go to the landlords of the planet. Henri and the other founders of the Community of Humankind didn’t want the money to go through any bureaucrats (who may skim off for themselves or their friends/supporters first). They wanted the money to go directly to the landlords.
They set up a bank account for the Community of Humankind.
We have seen that the leasehold income for socratic leasehold ownership is totally automatic and totally risk-free. Money simply materializes in the bank account called the ‘bounty account of the ‘Community of Humankind’ over time.
Cosmos was always bountiful. It was bountiful before the first humans arrived there. The first humans had first claim on the bounty and left other animals only what the humans didn’t want. Later, people fought over the land and the bounty went to the victors, who became the owners of the land.
No one has the authority to withdraw money from the bounty account. The account is set up so that only way money can leave the account is for it to be transferred to one of two other accounts, and only then in accordance with orders from the owners of the bounty account, the members of the human race.
None of this money can go anywhere without the direct consent of the members of the human race.
Here is how it works. Say you live on Cosmos. You can apply for a ‘voter account.’ If you are a human being, you will be approved. (Many computer experts here on Earth are working hard at figuring out ways to determine if applicants and responders to web pages are humans, rather than robots.) When money is added into the bounty account of the human race, a computer divides the deposit into the same number of shares as there are voter accounts. For example, if a total of $1 billion goes into the bounty account in a given period of time, and there are 10 million voter accounts, every voter account will get $1,000. Let’s say that you haven’t logged on in a while and when you log on you see that there is $1,000 in your account.
You can’t take out this money, as it isn’t your money; it is a share of the bounty of the world that corresponds to your percentage of the human race. The human race as a whole determines what happens to the bounty of the world. You, as a member of the human race, can decide what happens to ‘your’ percentage. At this time, your percentage works out to be $1,000 and you can decide what happens to this money.
The ‘election’ process is really simple. You have only TWO choices. You can cast your ‘votes’ to transfer your share of the bounty of the world into one of two separate accounts. Both of these accounts will benefit all members of the human race, but they will do so in different ways:
You, as a member of the human race, can decide how the bounty of Cosmos is used to benefit the people. They can get it in cash, or they can get it in the form of public services.
This is, again, a very simple system: the world is bountiful. Various parts of the world are now under the control of the human race as a whole (though the Community of Humankind). At this time, no decision has been made about who owns these parts of the world. The idea of ownership of the world is a difficult question and one that the people who founded the Community of Humankind have decided to put off until they are in a position to deal with philosophical issues (for example, after war and environmental destruction are eliminated). Until that time, they consider the land unowned.
In this system, someone or some group must decide what happens to the money/wealth that flows from unowned land. The people who set up the Community of Humankind have decided that they want the landlords of Cosmos (the members of the human race) to make this decision in elections.
You, as one of the landlords, can decided to either distribute the money among the landlords in cash, or use it to provide services that benefit the landlords (including, of course, you). If you want, you can choose to have ALL of ‘your share’ of the bounty divided among the people of Cosmos in cash. You may also decide to have ALL of ‘your share’ of the bounty used to provide common services for the human race as a whole. Or, you may decide to send part of it to the ‘Cash Fund’ and part to the ‘Services Fund.’
What If You Vote For Cash?
Let’s say that you decide that large groups of people aren’t very good at providing services. You don’t want any giant organization of any kind (neither a government or a non-government organization) providing any services at all, at least not if you can help it. You can cast all your votes for ‘the Cash Fund.’ If everyone who votes makes the same decision, all of the money will go into the Cash Fund. (The votes are not suggestions to a ruling body; they are orders to the bank. The bank account is set up so that each vote literally transfers money from one bank account to another.)
Day after day, various leasehold owners will make their leasehold payments and the money will appear in the working bank account of the Community of Humankind. As this happens, an equal share of this money will go into the voting accounts of each person on Cosmos. You will see money come into your voting account constantly.
If you want, you can go to your account and fill out a form that will cause all of your share of the bounty to automatically transfer to ‘The Cash Fund’ as soon as it reaches your account. If you don’t want to be bothered, but definitely want this to happen to all of the bounty of the world that you have any say over, you can place this order and will never have to be bothered by voting again. If you ever change your mind, and decide that you want some or all of your share to go to services, you can cancel your order and make whatever changes you wish.
Some people believe that their lives are better if large groups of people can get together to pay for things that benefit everyone, then make these things available for everyone to use for free.
For example, some of the money may be used to set aside certain land and administer it as public parks, available for the enjoyment of anyone. Some people believe that a network of public transit systems (bullet trains, for example, airports, highways, sidewalks, bike trails, and roads) provides benefits, and the people are better off to build these with public money and open them to everyone, than to have profit-motivated corporations build them and then charge the public to use them.
Cosmos has some very serious problems. The people of Cosmos will have large amounts of money at their disposal. If they want, they can allocate some of this money to projects designed to deal with the problems.
The members of the human race can decide what they want to happen to the flows of money that come in from the land that is unowned, but over which the human race acts as landlords. If we decide that we want some of this to go to pay for common services, we can decide which services we want.
Perhaps, at some time in the future, we may want to take over services that governments now provide, so that we can provide them equally, without regard to political boundaries, in exchange for an agreement by the governments to lower taxes. Perhaps, at some time in the distant future, we will provide all the services people want this way and there will be no real reason for governments to have taxes at all. In fact, if the people of the world provide the services they want themselves, and if ‘nations’ are not sovereign anymore (and therefore not really ‘nations’), the people of Cosmos may decide they don’t really need to have people to ‘govern’ them anymore, and eliminate any authority of any small group of people to ‘govern’ or ‘control’ the rest of the people around them. Perhaps, in a few decades or generations, the society will evolve to be like the example society explained in the Chapters 4-9, where the people of the world use part of the bounty of the world to pay for services that benefit them all, and divide the rest among themselves in cash.
But Cosmos has just barely started on its transition between societies. Its people inherited problems caused over more than 5,000 years of fighting, destroying, and exploiting human weaknesses and needs for profits. They inherited serious problems.
Most likely, they will use a large part of the wealth they now control to find ways to deal with these problems. This is exactly what Dunant intended: he wanted to give the human race on Cosmos a forum and a tool they could use to help move them toward a better future.
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.