Anatomy of Destruction
We are destroying our world.
It is the only world we have.
We aren’t just destroying it: We are destroying it at a truly incredible rate. More than 300 million people globally work ‘full time’ (basically as many hours as they can) to extract underground hydrocarbons to use as fuels, make them available for burning, and burn them for energy. This causes massive destruction in all three basic ecosystems on earth: land, sea, and air.
The human effort required to destroy at this fantastic rate is immense.
It is so great it is almost beyond comprehension.
It is all unnecessary, at least from scientific, logical, and economic perspectives: We can get all the energy we want, and far more than we now use, using methods that have been around for longer than any living human on earth has been here, and don’t destroy at all.
These systems are all explained in the book Anatomy of Destruction.
Most of them require so little human effort that we might say they don’t require any human labor at all to make them work. For a simple example, solar panels are made by automated factories. (Humans can’t make them manually using labor; they have to be made in machines.) These factories use the most abundant materials on earth as their inputs.
Solar panels are made of roughly 87% silicon dioxide and 8% aluminum. The earth’s crust is 87% silicon dioxide and 8% aluminum. A single hill any where in the world contains enough raw material to make solar panels that would provide all the energy humans ever need on this planet. Using this material doesn’t harm it in any way: take a hammer to a solar panel and you end up with the same raw materials it was made from. It can be used over and over again.
Once they have been built, they produce electricity without any human interaction.
There are zero labor costs. Since labor costs are, by far, the greatest part of the cost of anything made, these systems produce electricity for far lower cost than any destructive option could ever have.
But, for some reason, the great bulk of our energy doesn’t come from these non-destructive systems. It comes from incredibly destructive systems.
And this is just one example of an (apparently) insane set of choices made with regard to destruction.
Roughly 55 million people are currently employed (around the world) destroying the world’s forests.
Many of these people get up before dawn and take drugs (coffee or cocaine) to give them the energy they need to start destroying as soon as there is enough light to do so. They work until darkness stops them and then go back, take more drugs (alcohol or opiates) to help them get to sleep faster so they will have the energy to the same thing the next day. The destructive activity is so great that you can look at satellite images and literally see the fires burning from space.
If aliens on other worlds are watching us and monitoring these feeds, they would be able to see these same things. The forests are a natural part of the planet’s ecosystem and would, if not destroyed, clean the air, remove the carbon dioxide emitted when the fuels were burned, purify the water, and enrich the land with nutrients.
The entities that make key decisions on earth, called ‘governments’ of the entities earth people call ‘countries,’ do not try to stop this kind of activity.
In fact, they encourage it. They provide massive subsidies that make it economically impossible for destroyers to switch to non-destructive systems. (Anatomy of Destruction explains some of these subsidies and shows that they are far, far larger than most people realize.)
The people in these governments are not shy about the reasons for these subsidies: they are paying people to destroy because this ‘creates jobs.’
They need people working. They think that paying people to destroy the world is a less dangerous and harmful way to create work than the other simple alternative, organized war.
We live in societies organized in ways that divide the human race into classifications or ‘classes.’
One of these ‘classes’ has no claim on the immense ‘free cash flows’ the planet produces over time. This class not only does not benefit from technology that allows machines to replace workers, they are directly harmed by this: they can only feed their children if they can get ‘jobs.’ If the machines do their work, these jobs won’t exist.
As a result, the people who run these societies know they must prevent the technologies that allow us to produce things using low-labor or no-labor systems are not used. Destruction is naturally labor intensive: it is not possible to extract the 174 billion pounds of carbon-based fuels humans burn each and every day without the work of hundreds of millions of people. (If the same energy were produced with solar, none of these workers would be needed.)
To make sure there is enough ‘employment,’ the entities that run earth societies (called ‘governments of nations’) must make sure that the technology that allows us to create wealth without labor is not used.
They must have laws (explained in Anatomy of Destruction) that protect the destructive industries.
They must have laws that inhibit, restrict, or prohibit non-destructive alternatives.
The people who come up with these policies see them as less ways to create large numbers of jobs than the only obvious alternative, war. (In extreme times, governments have no choice: the only way to create enough jobs to ‘get the economy working’ is to start a war. The leaders in the countries that started World War Two were not shy about the reason they wanted it: the world was in a depression. Hundreds of millions of people were starving to death because there weren’t enough jobs. War was a terrible thing, but it would definitely create the needed jobs. They openly told voters that, if elected, they would start a war as soon as they could do this. The voters elected these people and the result was a war that pulled all combatant countries out of the depression as soon as they joined.)
In fact, organized war is simply another form of organized destruction.
Hundreds of millions of humans on earth are employed in these two major destructive industries discussed above (digging up fuels to burn and destroying forests).
Hundreds of millions more people are employed in the industries that wouldn’t exist if not for the destruction. We could consider these other industries to be ‘primary destruction support industries.’ Hundreds of millions more are employed in thousands of other assorted destructive industries.
Anatomy of Destruction shows that none of this destruction is necessary.
Certainly, none of it moves the human race toward a better future.
Certainly none of it makes the planet healthier or a better place to live.
The destruction is incredibly well organized.
A New Perspective
Imagine you were an impartial observer from another world. You are watching the earth either through a telescope or by monitoring the radio, television, internet, and satellite feeds of this world.
What would you think of the things you see on earth?
The human race appears divided about almost everything other than destruction.
But in this one area, there is no division.
The humans appear totally united in one area: the destruction of their world.
In this area, they all work together.
They all seem to be willing to sacrifice their time and skills, give up the money that would have given their children a higher quality of life (use this money to pay the taxes that are used to subsidies destruction) and do anything else it takes to make sure this planet is rendered sterile and incapable of supporting human live as quickly as they can.
It almost seems to be the highest priority of the earth. (Almost because some observers would say that organized mass murder—war—is slightly higher on the list of priorities of humans on earth. But then isn’t war just another form of destruction? Isn’t it all a part of the same problem?)
What might an outsider make of this?
What is happening on this little blue speck of a world that makes the beings on it do such crazy things?
Anatomy of Destruction is a part of a series of books that deals with the nature of societies of ‘thinking beings with physical needs.’ There are many ways such beings (called ‘people’ in these books) can organize their/our existence, arrange the way they/we interact with the world and organize the way they/we interact with each other.
On at least some of the worlds where people live (and perhaps all of them) these people evolved from beings with lower intellectual capabilities. For example, on earth we have evidence that all humans evolved from less capable primates, like apes and these less-capable primates evolved from other animals with even lower intellectual capabilities.
It is possible for a group of people who have recently evolved to still have the neural patterns of their evolutionary ancestors. If their evolutionary ancestors had instincts that pushed them to form into tribes to mark off territories in some way (perhaps marked with urine scents) and attack and kill members of their species that are not members of their particular tribe/pack/nation that attempt to cross these lines, some of the instinctual pressure to act this way may still exist in the minds of the more-evolved beings.
They may act on these feelings, perhaps without even studying them logically to see if this is in the best interests of their race or their world.
The other books in the series discuss what happens if people forming societies act on these feelings without questioning them logically. They may take it for granted that they are not forming a ‘type of society’ by dividing the land around them into territories with imaginary lines and organizing for violent conflict with the beings/people in these other territories. They may think that their pressures to act this way (which they call ‘feelings’) are natural and take them for granted. They are supposed to do this. Then, as they gain the ability to design, build, and use better and better tools, they may focus this ability on finding ways to do the things their feelings tell them to do, including divide the world and fight people on the opposite sides of arbitrary imaginary lines.
The more the logical side advances, the more dangerous these societies become, because their higher capabilities allow them build and use better and better tools.
The other books in the series discuss the specific forces that operate within societies that work this way. The competition (war and ‘defense’) becomes the highest concern, by practical necessity: Any of the groups of people inside the territories (‘nations’) that do not organize for war will be defeated by those that do organize for war. Territorial units that extract more from the land and ignore destruction can do better in war than those that don’t. This leads to a kind of completion between the territorial units to do more than just destroy: they need to destroy faster and more thoroughly than the others.
We didn’t choose the conditions of our birth. We happened to have been born into societies in this primitive category.
The other books in the series deal with big-picture items and explain how to deal with the basic elements that force us to act this way. We need to understand, first, that other societies are possible. Then, we have to understand how these other societies work well enough to know the difference between ‘sound societies’ (those that can meet the needs of the people in them) and unsound ones (like the ones we inherited). Then we have to understand the exact steps that, if taken, will cause the societies we inherited to begin evolving to so that they eventually become ‘sound’ societies (societies that can meet the needs of the human race).
All this is doable.
The problem is that it will take time.
This is a big problem because of the rate of destruction.
We need to do more than simply wait until our societies have evolved into non-destructive societies, at least with regard to certain specific problems.
We will need to take some steps to slow the rate of destruction until the structural changes have been made. We need to give ourselves some breathing space.
Anatomy of Destruction is about how to give us this breathing space.
Anatomy of Destruction
The other books in the Possible Societies series are about the big picture.
Anatomy of Destruction is about nuts and bolts.
It is about the details.
Why is it that people can get rich destroying?
What is it that makes destruction so good and desirable that the people who run these systems actually subsidize it?
How do the subsidies actually work?
How do the people who want to get rich take advantage of these structures to make sure that they were the ones who have the rights to profit by destroying?
We will see that a lot of it is literally trickery:
The people who want to make money destroying take advantage of the ignorance of the public.
We don’t know enough to do anything about it.
In fact, we don’t even know enough to understand why they are saying the things they are saying.
They seem to be on our side, or at least they say they are. They seem to care about the world, or at least they say they do. But, somehow, nothing seems to work out the way they say it will. We have such great hope when we see the commercials. The oil companies hate the fact that we use oil and are trying to switch to solar. If we only buy from their companies, which are (we are told) investing in solar, rather than the competition, we will eventually do away with oil altogether. The forest destroyers plant ‘demonstration forests’ close to roads so we can see how much they love the land and how they treat it. They do know how to keep the land healthy. But if you look beyond the curtain of health, you will see the way they really treat the land.
If you are afraid to pull back the curtain and see how the world really works, Anatomy of Destruction is not for you. Sometimes, knowing how the world really works is scary and people don’t want to know this. But if you are willing to take a little time and put in a little mental effort, you will see human beings really do have the capability to understand how the world around us works and what steps we can take to better our situation.
Copyright 2023 by The Community of Humankind SA., Georgetown BWI