Our ancestors have made decisions that have put our race into a certain path, one that leads to extinction for us an destruction of our world.
We do not have to go down this path.
There are other paths we can take into the future.
This book is about these other paths.
Preventing Extinction is a part of a series of books that deals with the nature of societies of ‘thinking beings with physical needs.’ Other books in the series deal with general realities of these societies, realities that are designed to help readers understand that there are general laws that apply throughout the universe and that these include laws of social organization for thinking beings with physical needs which apply to all such beings, wherever they are in this vast universe and whatever their physical form.
There is a ‘big picture.’
We are but a tiny cluster of pixels in this massive picture.
We didn’t choose the realities of the world upon which we were born. We happened to have been born onto a world at a time when certain very dangerous societies were already in place. These societies operate in ways that cause the intelligent beings in them to divide the land around them with imaginary lines and fight over the lines in a primitive and animalistic way. They use their immense intellects to help hem figure out better weapons in these battles and have created incredibly powerful tools of murder and destruction.
These beings (us, humans) are intelligent enough to realize that if they use the most powerful weapons they have built, they will destroy the entire planet and kill everything on it, including themselves. Realizing this, they have been able to refrain from the use of the most powerful weapons. But the wars continue, using what they call ‘conventional’ weaponry and techniques, the relatively harmless bombs, rockets, grenades, and guns that help them do the things their feelings push them to do destructively, without totally destroying everything. They have organized their societies so they could make these ‘conventional’ weapons in massive quantities (every year they make 24 billion bullets, enough to kill every man, woman, child, and infant on earth three times over). They need to strip the resources of the world around them at an incredible rate to keep the industrial machinery of their societies that (among other things) produce these weapons. As this rape of the world continues, they take the ecosystem their planet depends on more and more out of balance, stretching its ability to adapt and keep the planet habitable more and more each year.
This gives them two very dangerous threats to their existence:
First, their emotions can overpower their logic at any time. The most destructive weapons are sitting ready for immediate use. All it takes is for one person to push a button. Many people have these buttons and the realities of the ‘conventional’ wars often push people into corners and force them to make choices: either submit to defeat in the conventional war and submit to the demands of the enemies, or push the button. So far, reason has prevailed. But this is unlikely to continue forever. Given time, the button will be pushed.
Second, the slow and steady destruction of the ecosystem will continue until the ecosystem can no longer adapt. Some critical part of it will fail. The system is so large and interdependent that the sciences of these thinking beings aren’t able to fully model it, so they can’t tell exactly how this will happen. But this is certain: push the system far enough, and it will happen.
The other books in the series deal with the big picture.
The book Preventing Extinction deals with our specific situation on earth.
What must we do to put ourselves onto another path?
Preventing Extinction explains the steps.
To fully understand why the steps explained in Preventing Extinction will work, you have to understand the big picture. You have to understand the forces that act on thinking beings with physical needs in general and the ways our ancestors here on earth have reacted to these forces to create the destructive systems we inherited.
But not everyone has to understand these complexities to understand the solutions themselves. They just need to know the tools that are available and how these tools can be used to move us onto a different path. Preventing Extinction explains the tools.
The basic tools that are required involve doing something called ‘empowering’ an entity this book calls a ‘community of humankind’ and giving it certain rights and authority.
The societies do not even recognize the human race as a whole as a ‘community.’ There is nothing to tie us together and give us common tools we can use to advance our common interests and needs. Even if the great majority of the people of the world want to work with others of our species in other parts of the world, there isn’t any structure in place that allows us to do this.
In fact, the key structures of the world are designed to make this impossible. They are designed to tear us apart from other people, to build lines between the various peoples of the world, and to put these peoples into conflict. If we want to prevent extinction, we need to understand this and realize this on a conscious level. We need to have some kind of tool that can unite us and empower us.
What kind of tool can do this?
We actually have historical examples where people have tried to create such tools in the past. The most significant of such tools was created by Alexander of Macedon (also called ‘Alexander the Great’) who made a serious attempt to implement systems that had been designed by great thinkers of his past to unite the human race so we could work together for common goals.
Other people have made similar attempts. Some were based on the ideas of Pythagoras, as expressed by Socrates and Aristotle, and others built on independent analysis that led them to the same conclusion: If we want a sound world, we need to empower the human race in some way that gives it the ability to work collectively to meet its common needs.
Some of the people who made these attempts actually made significant progress. One notable example was Henri Dunant, the founder of a great many of organizations now called ‘Non-governmental organizations’ or NGOs, that work without regard to borders and countries.
The book Preventing Extinction is about steps that, if taken, will help unite the human race and give us tools that will allow us to work together to meet our common needs and advance toward our common goals.
Other books in the series go over background information. They show that there are many kinds of societies that thinking beings with physical needs can form. They provide scientific evidence that helps us understand the events that took place on earth when our most recent evolutionary ancestors (higher primates that were similar to modern chimpanzees) evolved and eventually crossed the line that took them to the beings we now call ‘humans.’
It shows the pressures on these beings and the way their natural reactions to these pressures would have led to highly territorial and extremely violent societies.
Imagine a group of whatever kind of primate was the immediate ancestors of humans just before their people started gaining the higher reasoning and complex communication abilities we have now. Imagine that their societies were organized as described above before they gained self-awareness. At some point, some of the animals realized that they had abilities their peers did not have. They could do things the others couldn’t. They became leaders in their community. The more intelligent ones looked for ways to do the things the tribe needed to do better and more efficiently. They were born with instinctual pressures that we might call ‘feelings’ that pushed them to want to do the things discussed in the quote above. (The chimps didn’t have discussions, do logical analysis, and decide to patrol their territory and kill any members of their species that weren’t members of their tribe. They didn’t have the mental capability to do these things.) The more intelligent members of the group would still feel these pressures. When they were discussing this among those of their group who were intelligent, they may have looked for words to describe this psychological pressure. Perhaps, if they could communicate well enough to be understood by people today, they may use words that describe these pressures as feelings or emotions.
They weren’t patrolling and killing for logical reasons. They were doing this for emotional reasons. They had instincts (that people like Jane Goodall would call ‘feelings’) that told them to do this.
They used their logical skills to help them do the things they felt they were supposed to do, including patrol and kill ‘foreigners’ trying to cross over into the territory that belonged to them. Obviously, they could do this better if they had weapons. The higher intellect gave them the ability to create better weapons. Eventually, there would be interbreeding between groups and the higher capabilities would spread.
The chimps would turn into people. The people would inherit the ‘countries’ of their chimps. They would inherit the structures that were used to select soldiers to defend the borders. They would basically be chimpanzee societies, with humans in them that have human capabilities to make tools and weapons.
This is a very dangerous combination.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The book Forensic History, a part of this series, goes over the scientific information we have about the way human societies came to exist and evolve into their present form. The description above is an extreme oversimplification of events that took place over a period of an incredibly long period of time.
I present it here simply to help you understand the general problem we face: There are forces that push us to divide the land into individual units (called ‘nations’ or ‘countries’ now) with imaginary lines drawn on maps that are turned into fortified ‘borders’ in the real world. The people on both sides of these borders have weapons of fantastic power. We can’t do the things our instincts or emotions (or whatever you call the pressures that push us to divide the world into individual territories) without organizing our society specifically around war. The enemies have done this. We have to do it too. If we fail, we will lose the wars.
Something inside tells us that this can’t happen. We may not ever be able to win, but we can’t lose.
Because of the incredible pressure of the forces that push us to mark off borders and defend them, we put people who want to do this in charge. They make the rules. They decide the priorities. They gain the power of something called ‘sovereignty,’ which means the power of ultimate control of society.
The Community Of Humankind
The book Preventing Extinction shows how we can build on the work of Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristotle of Macedon, Alexander the Great, and others all the way to the modern era to build systems that will empower an entity this book calls the ‘community of humankind.’
The human race today is not a ‘commonwealth’ or ‘community.’ The human race is divided into roughly 200 indvidual entities called ‘countries,’ each of which is run by an administration that claims that country is independent of the human race (with the ability to act without regard to the needs of the human race) and sovereign (with unlimited rights and no responsibilities to the human race, future generations, or even to protect the existence of the planet earth.)
The first step to moving toward a sound society is to build an organization that gives the human race as a whole a forum, wealth, a collective income that we can use to accomplish our common goals, and the ability to make joint decisions to determine what, exactly, the majority of the members of the human race want to happen in the future.
We need some sort of tool to turn what is now a large number of competing and antagonistic collectives (‘countries’ or ‘nations’) into a community. I am currently in the process of putting together this organizations and the first steps have been made. The organization is built on the model of Henri Dunant and the original organizations he started to create that was designed to unite the human race in its common goals. It also incorporates principles worked out by Pythagoras, Socrates, Thomas More, and many others who understood the basic requirements that would have to be met to have a sound society.
The previous attempts failed.
But this doesn’t mean that every attempt to solve this problem will fail. When people try to do things that are very difficult, early attempts almost always fail. There are problems they didn’t anticipate that can’t be solved with the resources they have at their disposal. People that follow can build on their successes and prevent the problems that led to their failure. We can make systematic progress, essentially getting on a path that will lead, eventually, to success. The goal of Preventing Extinction is to show people that such a path exists. There is a path that takes us to sound, stable, sustainable, peaceful, prosperous, and progressive societies that operate in ways that move the human race toward a better future as time passes. We can get onto that path if we want to do this.