I was planning on writing a post called “Love Letters”, but the last few posts have taken me a different direction for the moment. The below YouTube video is an interview with Aldous Huxley that took place in 1958. As some of you might know, Huxley wrote “Brave New World”, a novel that hit an inner chord. There are several novels, poems, pieces of art, music, that hits my inner chord, and this novel was one of them. The video is around 28 minutes long, but it fits well with the last two posts and I wanted to keep it handy for my own use. I enjoy watching Huxley maintain his total control during this rather hostile interview conducted by Mike Wallace. Keep in mind…Huxley knows the press itself can be used as a vehicle to control the masses.
Act 3 may be a little controversial, but here it goes. Just as the fascist banking power preys upon the human weakness to take now rather than later, and just as the business construct preys upon the false notion of youth that time is on their side, so does the capitalistic power construct prey upon the fundamental drive of humans to reproduce. Sex, love, love-making, marriage, kids, yet another fundamental genetic make up of the human being which the power construct preys upon. Even the government gets in on the action. Have more kids…enjoy more tax breaks. How often do you hear the politicians say the heart of America is the family unit? How many kids does President Obama have? How many kids does Mitt Romney have? How many kids does Rick Santorum have? Combine this concept with the prior post, and you have the perfect mix to perpetuate the capitalistic model. For without more kids and an expanding population, there is no room for forward and upward trending sales and profit figures. The entire capitalistic construct relies on a growing population. And if the population isn’t growing domestically, there is always the outside world to set-up as targets — enter the global economy.
Now, reflect on Act 1 and Act 2, and take your relatively young people loaded up with debt and add marriage and kids to the formula. Of course the diamond ring and wedding expense will increase the debt, but that is peanuts compared to the future costs associated with one, two, or three offspring. Imagine, for a moment, the amount of money that is made off a child from birth through college. What is the average profit for the capitalistic machine per human being prior to a professional career where that human being actually begins to make money for itself? I don’t have the time or patience to look it up and I doubt there are any thorough articles or objective view points on the topic. Discussing population control or rational consideration of limited resources on a unique planet with finite resources relative to capitalistic economic concerns is taboo, especially in the United States of America which is weighed down not only by the “American Dream”, but by religious dogma.
Now, how does the middle class fund and pay for their offspring? Remember, wages in the “greatest country on Earth”, the United States of America, have been stagnant relative to inflation and productivity for decades. Yes, you guessed correctly. The only way to fund their offspring is through increased debt! Indeed more kids means tax reductions, but relative to the overall expense how does it shake out from a personal financial perspective? How does it shake out from an environmental perspective? How does it shake out when lots of kids are being born from irresponsible adults? Yes, the government has to step in to help those in need. And how does the government help those kids in need? Yes, taxes and more debt. And where does the money come from to help those innocent children in need? Well, not from the super rich or huge corporations, for they control the law via campaign donations and lobbyists. Eventually, the taxes come from the middle class and those that are not well-connected. The divide and the reprocessing is now becoming more clear. The root causes of the great divide between the few that have most and the majority that have little is becoming more transparent. But Act 3 is only the tip of the iceberg.
Rick Santorum may eventually fade, but if he goes on to win the top political position in the country, I fear we may enter into the perfect storm. We are in an age and time where the world needs to come together and make radical changes. The last type of American political leader the world needs is a flash back to historic beliefs and values that aren’t in tune with reality. Ask Rick what he thinks of over-population, environmental destruction, economic cancer, and the boiling hot religious rifts. He is the perfect fuse to detonate the dynamite. I have never really connected with any recent U.S. president, but I am actually terrified of Rick Santorum.
“I believe that you have an obligation to approach every issue in public life as I do from the standpoint of both faith and reason. My conscience was formed as a result of my life experience primarily through faith,” Santorum answered. “I bring that to the table. Yes, that’s who I am.”
He added: “I have an obligation not to just look at things that way but also to bring reason. I always think if your faith is true and your reason is right you’ll end up at the same place.”
A pack of hyenas approached a male lion in charge of a kingdom. The lead hyena slowly walked up to the King and said, “I have a proposition that I would like to discuss with you King.” The lion stared into his eyes and silently asked him to make his proposal. The hyena said, “I have watched and studied the human race and learned a great deal. They are the rulers of the planet and have the largest brain relative to body size. They have developed a very novel and intelligent concept that I would like to explain to you.” The lion continued to silently stare and said please continue.
The hyena said, “They have developed a concept called life insurance. Upon the death of the family-head the life insurance company will pay money to ensure that the surviving family has enough money to care for itself. In return for this favor, the head of the family must pay a small fee every month to guarantee this future promise. Millions and billions of humans contribute small monthly fees to ensure their family is taken care of upon the death of the provider or King. What do you think of this novel and intelligent concept developed by our almighty human rulers?”
The lion looked at the hyena and asked, “what is money and what is a monthly fee?” The hyena took some time to think in order to formulate an answer the King could comprehend. The hyena then responded, “money is the human equivalent to the energy we expend to earn mating rights, keep those mating rights and hunt food. But they have figured out all kinds of ingenious ways to make more energy without actually expending energy. They can print energy, they can invest energy and make more energy before the energy is spent, and most important of all, they can borrow energy to expend energy now with a slight expense of energy and the promise to supply much more energy in the future. Now, as far as your question about monthly fees, this is simply a promise to expend a small portion of your energy each period for a third-party so that when you die that cumulative expended energy will be released by the third-party to take care of your surviving family. Does this make sense to you now?”
The powerful lion sat in the tall grass as the wind gently blew his noble mane; he could smell the scent of antelope blood and his harems sex in the breeze. He observed his young cubs playing. The sun was beating down on his coat and the white fluid clouds transformed above. He looked directly in the eyes of the hyena and said, “I don’t understand what these ingenious human inventions have to do with you and me. Tell me why you are here before me.” The hyena bowed his head and took a few steps back and said, “if you allow my pack of hyenas to share in each of your harem’s catch, we will ensure that they will survive and have plenty to eat after you die. What do you think of this intelligent human proposal and concept?”
The lion looked at the dry prairie, his harem and cubs, the pack of hungry hyenas, the vultures looming in the tree above, and inhaled the wild warm scented air and said, “I don’t understand your proposal. One day I will be too old to protect my cubs and harem. One day a younger more powerful lion will come into my territory and challenge me to a duel. One day I will die in a fight to the death. One day a younger lion will kill me and eat my young and mate with my harem and all will start anew. One day I will lie here taking my last breaths — you and your pack and the vultures above will circle until I am dead and devour what is me. Why should I give you a little piece of me and my harem’s energy each month when I will give you all of me upon my end after my noble fight with youth and death? And how will you care for my harem and cubs upon my death? You and your pack are merely scavengers and cannot hunt or protect my harem and young cubs from a strong youthful lion and future King. What can you possibly offer and do to care for my family?
It seems to me that the human being has nothing to offer upon death and this is why it has created such ingenious inventions. Upon my death, I offer myself to you, your pack, and the vultures, and the young lion and future King will ensure the survival of my harem, eat my young cubs, and bring into existence new beings. This makes sense to me. The cycle is complete and efficient and I have something to offer upon my fight with youth and death. So my answer to you hyena, scavenger and shrewd investor with nothing to offer future generations, is a resounding no. Leave at once or you shall become a source of energy for me, my harem, and my cubs. Begone you worthless mooch!”
I often grow tired of observing and then criticizing the current human direction. Therefore, I decided to take a break and offer my thoughts on how the human species could attempt to take control of its own destiny and set a potentially more fruitful course than the direction we have currently chartered. I will say that like Socrates, I realize I know nothing and therefore these utopian visions are merely offered up to you as a form of contemplation or an impetus for us to discuss and debate the content, the ideas, or whatever comes to mind. Of course Socrates would use the dialectic to explore such a concept and would not approve of this essay type format so it is my hope that some form of dialectic occurs in the comment sections. I apologize if the length of these posts exceeds the more marketable short post format, but I need to expand my thoughts on this topic. I am less interested in attracting a large crowd than I am in attracting a few that may understand and appreciate the awful predicament in which we currently find ourselves.
Generation Skip will involve several posts and attempts to throw a wrench in the powerful cogs that have led us to what I have defined as “Gridlock” (see previous post). In essence, this group of posts will communicate with broad strokes an outline or framework for a utopian solution to Gridlock. Creating a utopian outline within the context of what currently exists as “human reality” is a very difficult and multifaceted project which can take many forms. Previous and much more intelligent thinkers have already provided a variety of utopian visions or in some cases, comedies or nightmares. My outline is merely one of an infinite number of potential frameworks for a utopian structure which is why I will in fact leave the ultimate goals and visions up to those beings living in Generation Skip to define on their own. I am merely trying to remove and free these beings from what I perceive to be the primary mechanisms that have led us to Gridlock. My goal is to free them from the heavy freight train-like momentum which has led us into a state of Gridlock.
The problems which I have observed in our current human world have all been touched upon in previous posts contained in this blog, but I want to briefly recap the big issues here and now. I think after outlining these key problems that my intention and logic for creating Generation Skip will make more sense and appear less comical and more logical.
First, I believe we have lost our way and allowed ourselves to be almost entirely consumed by and with economics. In fact, I fear that economics has become the primary focus of our energies, goals, visions, and spirit. Economics has always been a piece of civilization, but I believe it has become by a large margin (excuse the pun) the biggest piece of the pie. I fear that it over-rides, dominates, and suppresses all of our other potentially wonderful human traits, abilities, and creations. I fear that it holds hostage science, technology, medicine, education, law, politics, engineering, religion, spiritual endeavors, art, and other wonderful fields. All of these fields are held to constraints by funding, profits, money, and capital resources. None of these fields are short of human beings with great brains and talents. I am taking the above claim as a given and will not take time and space to prove these points. If you disagree, then by all means state your opinion and corresponding argument.
Economics, and in particular, capitalism, is based on one very important assumption – the human being is not motivated to create, innovate, or act effectively or efficiently without the incentive to make money, turn in a profit, and become wealthy. In the most primal aspect of this primary assumption, the human being is placed in the realm of training and motivating a young puppy. Many assume that a puppy will not act “appropriately” or learn to heal, sit, lie down, shake hands, or rollover unless you offer or reward the puppy with a treat. The treat in economics or capitalism is money or accumulated wealth.
I have more hope, confidence in and respect for the human being and its potential than do capitalists and economists. All I have to do is look at children. Do children learn to walk, talk, read and write in exchange for money? Does a child hug his mom because he is expecting a buck in return? Does a child laugh and cry, play and fight, dream or imagine only because he or she wants to make some dough? Do children play team sports and work together for common goals based on the assumption that they will make coin? Does a child become interested in a musical instrument or singing in hopes of becoming rich? There are so many intangibles that motivate or cause children to do what they do, and money and profit isn’t one of them. It is only when these children reach a certain age that they begin to become concerned with earning money and entering the “real world”.
I want to make a few broader points here. If you observe the natural world around us, not a single animate species is motivated by or acts for the exchange of money. The same principle applies to all that is inanimate – momentum, gravity, chaos, order, creation, destruction, all occur without earning a penny. The human being is THE ONLY thing in the entire universe (as far as we know) that is addicted to or functions on the concept of money. We must realize that everything we have created, infrastructure, airplanes, automobiles, skyscrapers, technology, satellites, space shuttles, antibiotics, were all not created by economics, capitalism, profits, and money. All these things that we enjoy were created by man’s brain, hands, and cooperation. All these things and perhaps more could have existed independent of economics, capitalism, profit, and money. In fact, if you contemplate the structure of skyscrappers, which are impressive, one has to realize that their shape and structure was developed with one purpose in mind — economy. How many people can we stuff into one structure while using the least amount of land as possible. Look to the past to see more beautiful structures and architecture. Money creates nothing – money is a piece of meaningless paper. If you are interested in this concept or argument that money, debt, and financial institutions are a myth and have caused great harm in our direction and assumptions about value, I urge you to read my first post on this blog entitled “The Human World without Money, Debt, and Financial Institutions”. It is shorter than this rant.
Economics, capitalism, money, profit, these things accentuate, emphasize, or reward certain human traits or behaviors. The words I would use to describe the traits or behavior or outcomes driven by these concepts include greed, shrewdness, swindling, inflation, recession, depression, market collapse, ponzi scheme, ripping off, miser, exploiting, cheating, selfish, hoarding, excessive, desensitized, cold, ruthless, criminal, deceptive, and the list goes on. I have worked in business for over a decade at some relatively high levels and have seen firsthand corruption, petty politics, exploitation, and massive layoffs where people are escorted to their cars as though they had committed a fucking crime. I have had some pretty good internal insight as to how the large powerful capitalistic corporation functions and makes money for the entity, those at the top of the entity, and those involved with banks and Wall Street. It isn’t rocket science. Just within the last two decades we have seen the rich getting richer and the middle class disappearing, companies making huge profits by exploiting cheaper labor abroad while laying off and killing jobs in the home country. We have seen suspect wars that could be linked to the need for oil which is a key piece to our capitalistic society. We have seen horrible examples of greed including Enron, Bernie Madoff, the housing derivative scam, the bailouts, and the continuing bullshit that occurs on Wall Street where investment bankers and traders use smoke and mirrors to make themselves and those in the know huge amounts of money from speculation and short selling. We have seen our government become hostage to lobby firms which are simply the guns of huge and powerful capitalistic entities. None of the above would have come about if there was no such thing as money, loans, debt, and financial institutions.
My second major concern or problem that needs to be solved is quite simply our massive and increasing population – currently at seven billion. I don’t care about the pros and cons and facts and figures spewed out by environmentalists or far right capitalists. All you have to do is open your eyes, ears, and nostrils to know for certain that our huge numbers combined with a capitalistic highly industrialized product driven society is degrading our planet and destroying or negatively impacting huge numbers of animate creatures and polluting the most precious resources on planet earth – air, water, and land. People, we are on a flying ocean rock alone in a giant chaotic universe that doesn’t care whether we exist or not. So, why don’t we take it easy on the number of beings we bring into our world? I’ll tell you why not. Economics, capitalism, profits, money, demands that we keep bringing more and more beings on-line. If we actually began to significantly reduce our population, how in the hell would companies be able to show upward trending sales and profit graphs and therefore where would the fuel come to keep the banks, Wall Street, and the investment banks humming along? It is a horrible wheel we have created for ourselves isn’t it?
Our increasing population combined with our winner take-all mentality leads to fewer and fewer resources and money to properly educate and nurture all of these new little beings coming on to our beautiful planet. Governments and states are running out of money, schools have more children and fewer teachers, which is leading to a dumbed-down growing populace. To make matters worse, huge pockets and numbers of people are ignorant, extremely poor, sick, suffering, yet it is within these very pockets that relatively more innocent little beings are brought on-line. This has to stop. It is not only cruel but it is also not sustainable when we attempt to appease their suffering by simply throwing money and welfare at them to buy food. Such short-term action may make us feel better, but it is not the solution. And it further strains our already empty public coffers. It is a fact that poverty breeds more poverty.
Generation Skip will attempt to free a group of beings from the above wheel in manner that hopes for further adoption without bringing down and destroying the status quo in an abrubt catastrophe. A sudden switch over to a utopian model for all human beings is not possible given our status quo. The framework and methods used to do so will seem rather strange and perhaps harsh, but compared to other potential utopian frameworks or visions the harshness and sacrifice required is rather mild. One of the fundamental principles of Generation Skip is that sacrifice over individual rights must occur for the culture to get up and running. The tension between individual rights and a unified whole is the conundrum we face as American’s and as a human species. Both sides of this spectrum are desirable and important, but if the balance falls too far to one side or the other, we lose a great deal of value, power, and potential as a civilization and as a species.
I have often observed, like others, the similarities between ant colonies and human colonies. We both have huge populations or swarms concentrated in relatively small spaces coined “mega” cities. If we look at a human mega city from high above we can observe ourselves swarming along sidewalks and our automobiles swarming in organized street channels.
Our numbers dominate the realm of the big species and the ants dominate the world of the little species. But ants are winning the population race as they out number us one million to one and equal the weight of the entire human race measured by pounds. Large ant populations have also been in existence for a much longer time span (millions of years) than our current modern mega populations. In an effort to learn more about ants and examine more similarities or differences, I found that there is an intelligent man that has looked into this subject with some depth. Below is a short piece I found interesting and a link to an interview he conducted on public talk radio. He provides some tasty morsels for thought. What can we learn from ants to sustain or keep growing our population? I assume that is our goal as opposed to something more significant.
EDWARD O. WILSON: Social existence has paid off in a very big way in evolution. Ants and other social insects are, by a long margin, the most social small animals, and they’re also the most abundant. And of course, human beings are, by a wide margin, the most social big animals of any kind.
The question I guess I’m most often asked is, what are the similarities between ants and human beings, particularly in their social behavior? And my answer has to be, not many at all. But there are some very important differences, and then you look at those closely, then you do illuminate the human condition somewhat. I guess that the real difference lies in reproductive rights and expectations. Essentially, a worker ant or a bee, wasp, termite, doesn’t have any. They are bound to the colony in the way that makes them meaningful only as members of the colony. They are little robots, programmed to do work for the colony to survive.
The exact opposite is the case with human beings. We join societies and we work to make them succeed—primarily for ourselves. We’ve learned how to cooperate to an extreme degree. We are capable of altruism. We do it by the unique genius of human behavior, which is the ability to form long-term binding social contracts. But in doing it, in building up a society that is so enormously successful, we have entered into an eternal paradox, a tension between individuality and self-serving, on the one side, and the needs of the society on the other, that makes individual success guaranteed. And that is, I’m afraid, inherent in the human condition. We will always suffer that tension and walk the fine line.
The question inevitably comes to mind, that is these inherent weaknesses in human society ever prove fatal, and if we ruined the planet for ourselves and disappeared, how would our own extinction affect the world we left behind? I believe that ants and other social insects would hold on somewhere, and life would pretty much come back to what it was before we arrived on the scene. Then, the ecosystems would return to a balance, and the ants and the other social insects would be right there with them, filling the environment as before, and going on as before, probably for tens of millions of years into the future.
“Billions” seems to be a common place number in modern man’s discourse – amount of government debt, amount of citizen debt, amount of wealth of the few super rich, number of those in poverty, number of the illiterate, number of stars in our galaxy, number of galaxies in the observable universe, age of the Earth, and the age of the known Universe.
The human population will hit 7 billion this year around the time our kids dress up to go trick or treating. How do we comprehend the number 7 billion? Well, if you were to start counting out loud right now, without sleeping, it would take you 200 years to reach 7 billion. But don’t waste your time — after counting day and night for 40 years the population will have gone up by another 2 billion.
There are sound arguments for or against the idea that overpopulation is a significant problem, but I maintain that our immense and growing population negatively impacts the quality of our existence and inhibits progress from one generation to the next. This is my introductory and light-hearted muse on our large and growing population and its impact on “The Human Direction”.
Top ten muses for your consideration:
2. Do you like searching for a parking space?
3. Do you like going to the mall?
4. Do you like going through security at the airport?
5. Do you like sitting on the airplane?
6. Do you like being stuffed into the subway?
7. Do you like waiting for the elevator?
8. Do you like suburban sprawl?
9. Do you like going to the beach?
10. Do you like going to a national park?