Our ancestors have made decisions that have put us into a very dangerous path.
It leads to violence, destruction, and ultimate extinction for our race.
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.
You and I didn’t choose the conditions of our birth.
You didn’t determine your sex.
You weren’t given a chance to choose your skin color, before you were born.
You didn’t choose your parents.
You didn’t even choose the planet of your birth.
You didn’t choose the point in the evolution of this planet when you would be born.
Various different ‘arrangements of existence’ or ‘societies’ have existed on this world in its history. You didn’t get to choose what kind of society would be in place when you were born.
None of us did.
We got what we got.
The people who set up this society, long before anyone now alive was even born, decided to build on a very dangerous foundation: They divided the world surface into entities that we now call ‘countries.’ They then created teams of people based on arbitrary factors like the location of their birth relative to a set of imaginary lines (which are themselves arbitrary and change all the time). Then, they organize existence as if it is a sport where the teams fight each other for prizes including territory, resources, more jobs for the members of their working class, or other things that the different teams value. The team leaders (entities called ‘governments’) organize the territory their teams control so they will be better at competition than the other teams. They take wealth from ordinary people and use it to make the most fantastic weapons imaginable. They even make weapons so dangerous that, if used once, they will destroy the world. (This makes their priorities clear: they must think this sport is the most important thing in existence, or they wouldn’t live like this.)
An objective observer, looking at this kind of society from outside (say from another world with intelligent beings) might have a hard time accepting that the beings that have built this system are truly intelligent beings. They may think that this kind of society looks more like it was designed for apes or other savage beings, those without the ability to think logically, than by and for beings with true intelligence.
How did existence on this earth come to be organized this way?
We will see that these societies are not the result of intentional scientific analysis. There were no groups of evolving neanderthals or homo-erectus who analyzed the different ways that beings with their new mental capabilities could organize their existence, figured out all options, and decided on this one (one divides the world with imaginary lines to fight over land), then created it.
This particular type of society wasn’t intentionally created.
We will see that it survives still in many of our evolutionary ancestors. They had it and passed it down to their descendants. They passed it down to australopithecus afarensis (a link between apes and members of the ‘homo’ genus. They passed it down to their descendents to homo habilis, who passed it to homo erectus, who passed it down to neanderthals and denisovans, who passed it down to us.
We evolved. We gained ability to use fantastic new mental tools, including logic and reason.
We could have used these tools to help us examine the idea of a ‘human society’ to see how it might work, find a logical and sound system, and build it. But we felt pressure to use our newfound intelligence for other things. We inherited instincts from our evolutionary ancestors to be territorial. These instincts told us that certain mountains, valleys, rivers, and meadows were ours. They belonged to us and no one from outside our group has any right to benefit from their existence. There were outsiders, foreigners (members of our species that were not members of our group/country) trying to benefit from the sunshine that fell on our side of the line our ancestors drew, the rain that fell there, and the food that grew there. Our instincts told us to feel passionate hatred of these outsiders. Since they are capable of reason and can use their reason to make weapons that might allow them to simply take what is ours, we also felt fear. The fear and hatred told us that we had a priority: we had to first secure our borders. Then, we could figure out better societies. We made better and better weapons and developed fantastic tactics, but we never felt secure enough to start a quest to a better future. The enemies (those outside our borders who we must never trust because they want what belongs to us) always got more weapons too. As time passed, we got ever more frantic. We are never going to be safe, so we need to put everything on hold until we have solved our ‘national security’ problem.
And here we are.
You and I didn’t create the societies that are now in place.
They are not ‘our’ societies, in that we didn’t choose them.
We must avoid the temptation to take mental possession of them and defend them as if they are ‘ours’ and anyone who says anything that implies they are something other than perfect is attacking us, criticizing us, and trying to paint us as evil or ignorant.
We can do this.
We can separate ourselves from these societies and look at them as would a scientist on another world. We can be objective and scientific.
A scientist would note, first, that the type of society we have now (the one that divides the world with arbitrary lines and fights over them) are unsustainable. Unsustainable societies are temporary societies. (This is what the term means: if it can’t be sustained, it is temporary.) They are going away.
There is nothing we can do to prevent them from going way.
It is going to happen.
It doesn’t matter how the people of the earth feel about these societies.
Even if they loved them with all their hearts (I don’t think many people do, but even if we all did) we wouldn’t be able to keep them.
These societies are going away.
That is a scientific fact.
There are two ways this can happen.
First, we can accept that our destiny is under our control.
We can accept that we have the right to use our minds any way we want. If we want to sideline the thought of how to make money, or how to make better weapons to expand the rights of our country for a few minutes each day, and think instead about better ways to organize societies, we have the right to do this.
We can study the different ‘paths through time’ that species that are evolving from primitive animals may take, as they become more intelligent. We can figure out the different kinds of societies that they will be able to form once they reach the ability to intentionally work together as a community of humankind.
We can find something better.
We can figure out what steps, if taken, will cause the path we are now on to shift so that we are heading in a slightly different direction. We can identify the path that leads to a sound society and figure out exactly what must be done to get onto that path. The societies we inherited will go away when they are replaced—by our own intentional actions—with better societies.
The second option is simpler. We can do nothing. We are already on a path. We already know where it goes. If we stay on it, we will be pushed along by the inexorable pressure of fear and hatred. We will get better and better at killing and destroying until those that are the most strongly affected by the hatred and fear simply give up trying to keep them in check. They give in to their murderous instincts (the same instincts we inherited from our evolutionary ancestors) and take a step that might be as simple as pushing a button. These societies will go away when we go away.
These societies are not sustainable. They are going away. This web site is designed to create a resource base for materials that can help people who want them to go away the first way discussed above.
The Possible Societies Series
This website is a portal to a series of books called the ‘possible societies’ series. The books in this series are about what is possible. The titles are listed below. Each title has a link that will take you to a section lower in this post that explains what that book is about and how it fits into the whole:
The books are:
1. Forensic History
2. The Meaning Of Life
3. Possible Societies
4. Preventing Extinction
5. The Anatomy of War
6. The Anatomy of Destruction
7. Journey Through Possible Societies
The books in this series are all independent. You should be able to read any of them first, and then go through them one at a time in any order you want.
But they all tie together.
They all deal with a common issue.
I want people to understand this key idea: The human race is capable of far, far more than we have yet achieved. We now have dangerous, destructive, violent, animalistic and savage societies. The foundational elements of these societies are not even human creations: our evolutionary ancestors had instincts that made them fanatically territorial, made them want to divide into troops/teams/tribes, identify themselves with the people in their troop/team/tribe, and organize to defend the borders of their territories and wipe out any who were not clearly identifiable members, using any means necessary. We inherited these instincts and we inherited the societal structures that rested on these instincts.
We are humans.
But we are not really living in human societies, at least not in societies that take advantage of the incredible intellectual capabilities that we have that our evolutionary ancestors did not have.
We are capable of more. We can build what the books in this series call ‘sound societies,’ where the term ‘sound societies’ refers to those that are capable of meeting the long term needs of the human race and moving us toward a better future with each year that passes. We don’t have sound societies now. But they are possible, they can exist and, if we want to take the time to study the necessary information, we can have them. They are ‘possible societies’ in every sense of the term ‘possible.’
Each of the books in this series presents a different part of the puzzle you need to see this key point. We need to accept it. If we remain in ignorance in this matter, and never see we can do better, we will never try to do better and, of course, we will never have anything other than the simplistic and animalistic societies we inherited. We will be like the engine in the child’s book ‘the little engine that could’ before it got the courage to try. We are now on the very brink of our extinction. We don’t have to go over that brink. There are other paths into the future that go other places. If we understand this, we can taking the steps needed to alter our course so we go somewhere other than the place our current path leads.