SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2016
Eric Lee, A-SOCIATED PRESS
TOPICS: ECOLATE SOCIETY, FROM THE WIRES, SYSTEM OVER SELF
TUCSON (A-P) — The SYSTEM of monarchy/hereditary aristocracy, feudalism, e.g. 18th century Russia and France, was adaptive for warlike agrarian societies (the non-warlike were subsumed) where power (the actual energy fueling the social order) was based on agriculture. Elites maintained their governance using military power based primarily on heavy cavalry (armies powered by agricultural surplus) as had worked for the Indo-Europeans who had spread out from the Pontic steppes of Eurasia over seven thousand years ago. The Aztecs and Incas did likewise, just without the horse.
The coming of the fossil-fueled industrial society, based on values linked with "progress" or growth, in which the real power and wealth shifted to business, to corporate-mercantile concerns, was fundamentally (utterly) incompatible with a hereditary class society. The partisans of technology and growth (the new wealth funded a new men-of-words intelligentsia) forced revolution, the real thing in Russia and France, and socio-political revolution elsewhere, thus leading to the technoindustrial hegemon we live under today.
The transition from monarchy to democracy was the last revolution. The transition was well underway in Britain when the American colonists staged their so called revolution. The transition was merely sped up a bit on the American side of the pond. There was a continent for the taking and the British elites were too distant and needed to be replaced by resident elites per the new business-as-usual model (which is what worked). The American Revolution was an armed rebellion to see who would take the continent as no revolutionary change was involved that wasn't already happening. Democracy won over aristocracy globally and got to write history. Even the People's Democratic Republic of Korea was subsumed, at least nominally.
The values of the industrial growth SYSTEM/democracy, in turn, are utterly incompatible with sustainability values, such that the tension between the two systems of values cannot be resolved other than by revolutionary change. As Orwell noted, this will involve the kicking in of rotting doors, or just waiting for them to fall, which is to say fundamental change tends to occur only after the SYSTEM in power falters, weakens, as will happen with continued exponential growth/extraction/consumption of the planet for the taking. The fossil-fueled SYSTEM is still being fueled (thanks to fracking) and will not curl up and die because self-professed revolutionaries demand that it does, or even sacrifice their lives to make it so. The technoindustrial SYSTEM will collapse of its own folly.
Unfortunately, as the SYSTEM weakens, those who rise up and lead the rabble (true believers, both) are almost certain to commit their own folly (self-interest/ideological "solutions"), replacing the SYSTEM with an even worse one of their own, just as the feudal Machiavellian princes did by aligning their agrarian political governance with the remaining Empire of Belief that dominated the Middle Ages. In the 21st century the remaining Empire of Belief may be focused on Mecca instead of Jerusalem.
Basically the problem is the old social order, the increasingly unfueled industrial SYSTEM, will need a new operating system (OS) as the one based on "progress/profit" (the optimum OS for exponential growth) will be what destroys it. The old OS is responsible for our collective "inability to understand the exponential function." If the new OS is supplied by whatever political or religious movement inherits the rubble, then when the revolution (the chaotic one) comes, expect it to be another empire of one sort or another. Revolution is a given, and alternative to chaotic-as-usual would be an Empire of Understanding based on the Laws of Nature. Humans have spent the last 10,000 years acting like self-taught five-year olds with machetes (now cars) who just do what they feel like without thinking it through. Alternative would be an OS that allows us to understand the exponential function, to see the implications: an OS that would allow us to "grow up" and replace our infantile narratives with reality-based ones in order to "get a life" sustainable.
The allegory of Lord of the Flies is one of boys behaving questionably. They may have done the best they could, modeling the industrial society they came from. They were doing okay for a time, but their experiment in living was having a bad outcome. They were having doubts, nearing a teachable moment (without a teacher), when the naval officer in a clean white uniform shows up. His presence was enough to collapse the boy's social construct, the hierarchy among boys. One reading is that someone else dressed in white (Jesus) was being foreshadowed. Assuming the boys could not get off the island and so were in need of learning to live properly on it, the appearance of a Kogi máma would have been potentially more transformative as he or she would think about it and say to the boys, "Okay, let's think about this." The ecolate would not organize them into factions or sects to find "solutions" or "save" them, nor think that taking them aboard a cruise ship headed for the pole was going to solve anything or save them. The race on the island between self-education/maturation and catastrophe was being lost, as is happening on a larger scale. The naval officer's SYSTEM is just taking longer to go too far. If someone in white is needed, perhaps someone who has had occasion to put on a lab coat could be of service.
If the claim "humans act like self-taught five-year olds" means something it is that average humans unthinkingly give way to (create) SYSTEMs where certain types dominate (e.g. opportunists pursuing self-interests). The "self-taught" references our collective ignorance which is where we get our ideas for how to live on this planet. The key point to consider is that not all humans are the same. There is a bell curve of difference such that not all humans function like "five-year olds with machetes." The Kogi mámas may be examples of humans who do not act like five-year olds, who can handle machetes (technology) without destroying the planet. Perhaps "there is no life [sustainable] without [ecolate] thought." There are individuals (who would rather know than believe) who are more grown up and less ignorant than average. If "ecolate" describes such humans, perhaps their ecolate understanding should rule (not individuals but their best guess understanding) as alternative to rule by Machiavellian princes (warlords, elected or not) and priests. The "Federation" as teacher listens to Nature, is Nature-taught, is alternative to self-taught, would be the new OS that might be an improvement over the old. The only certainty is that the old OS will be replaced or pass away. The coming "change" may lead to human extinction or could be an opportunity to "get a life" sustainable, the best thing to ever happen to us.
I am not a reformer, I see no possibility of reforming the global growth SYSTEM to become its opposite. The changes envisioned, the values and goals, are utterly incompatible with the corporate Euro-Sino growther narrative. This requires the destruction of technoindustrial society secondary to its own folly, which implies revolution as alternative to reform. Revolutionaries with bombs see themselves as the destroyers and they must have an enemy, someone or something to hate, to destroy. Alternative is to create a different narrative to replace the old one when its promises (of endless growth/progress) can no longer be believed in by we the people and our intelligentsia. What may be needed is not a cadre of determined revolutionaries to seize the day, but a teachable moment when a majority of humans (beginning with the leaders of their intelligentsia) are willing to do a clean install of a new OS. Developing a new OS to replace the dysfunctional one is also revolutionary even though no enemy is required nor is anyone to hate needed (love and understanding are required—of this Earth and the subsystems of it including five-year olds with machetes). We've had political empires based on military power, legislated laws, and ideological certitudes. We've had empires of belief based on divine laws, faith, and pontifications. Alternative would be a global empire of love understanding based on natural laws as revealed by listening to Nature. "To think is to listen. Listen." —Kogi máma. "In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. That, in essence, is the higher service to which we are all being called." —R. Buckminster Fuller on revolution.
System over self: The ecolate message.
The solar system matters (maybe): You are a speck on the pale blue dot below as seen up close. We hu-mans are smaller than we think.