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:
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.’
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 .’ 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.
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: , , , and 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.
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.
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).
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 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 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.
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 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:
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, , 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some societies have flows of value that naturally reward creativity, innovation, risk management, invention, and investments designed to alter the 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 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.
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.
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 . (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.
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.