Case for Human Unity
A critical conclusion present in the logic that defines TZM's intention is that human society needs to unify its economic operations and work to align with the natural dynamics of the physical world as a single species sharing one habitat if we intend to resolve existing problems, increase safety, increase efficiency and further prosperity. The world economic divisions we see today are not only a clear source of conflict, destabilization and exploitation, the very manner of conduct and interaction itself is also grossly inefficient in a pure economic sense, severely limiting our societal potential.
While the nation-state, competition-based structure is easy to justify as a natural outgrowth of our cultural evolution given the resource scarcity inherent historically and the long history of warfare in general, it is also natural to consider that human society could very well find purpose in moving away from these modes of operation if we were to realize that it is truly to our advantage as a whole group.As will be argued here, the detriments and inefficiencies of the current model, when compared to the benefits and solutions possible, are simply unacceptable. The efficiency and abundance possibilities, extrapolated within TZM's intention to install a new socioeconomic system, rest, in part, on a concerted effort by the human population to work together and share resources intelligently, not restrict and fight as we do today.
Moreover, the social pressures and risks now emerging today around technological warfare, pollution, environmental destabilization and other problems not only express a deeply needed gravitation for true global organization, they show a rational necessity. The xenophobic and mafia-like mentality indigenous to the nation-state today, often in the form of “patriotism”, is a source of severe destabilization and inhumanity in general, not to mention, again, a substantial loss of technical efficiency.
As noted in prior essays, the core basis of our survival and quality of life as individuals and as a species on the Earth revolves around our understanding of natural law and how it relates to our method of economy. This premise is a simple referential understanding where the physical laws of nature are considered in the context of economic efficiency, both on the human and habitat levels. It is only logical that any species present in and reliant on the habitat in which it exists should conform all conduct to align with the natural orders inherent to that habitat, as best they can be understood at the time. Any other orientation is simply irrational and can only lead to problems.
Understanding that Earth is a symbiotic/synergistic “system” with resources existing in all areas, coupled with the provably inherent, underlying causal scientific order that exists, in many ways, as a logical “guide” for the human species to align with for the greatest societal efficacy, we find that our larger context as a global society transcends all notions of traditional/cultural division, including having no loyalty to a country, corporation or even “political” tradition.
If an “economy” is about increasing efficiency in meeting the needs of the human population while working to further sustainability and prosperity, then our economic operations must take this into account and align with the largest relevant “system” that we can understand. So again, from this perspective, the nation-state entities are clearly false, arbitrary divisions perpetuated by cultural tradition, not logical, technical efficiency.
The broad organization of society today is based on multi-level human competition. Nation-states compete against each other for economic/physical resources; corporate market entities compete for profit/market-share; and average workers compete for wage providing occupations/income and hence personal survival itself.
Within this competitive ethic is a basic psychological propensity to disregard the wellbeing of others and the habitat. The very nature of competition is about having advantage over others for personal gain and hence, needless to say, division and exploitation are common attributes of the current social order. Interestingly, virtually all so-called “corruption” which we may define as “crime” in the world today is based upon the very same mentality assumed to guide “progress” in the world through the competitive interest. It is no wonder, in fact, given this framework, that various other detrimental, superficial social divisions are still pervasive such as race, religion, creed, class or xenophobic bias. This divisive baggage from early, fear-oriented stages of our cultural evolution simply has no working basis in the physical reality and serves now only to hinder progress, safety and sustainability. Today, as will be described in later essays, the possible efficiency and abundance-producing methods that could remove most all human deprivation, increase the average standard of living enormously and perfect public health and ecological sustainability greatly – go unembraced due to the older social traditions in place, including the nation-state idea. The fact is, there is technically only one race - the human race; there is only one basic habitat - Earth; and there is only one working manner of operational thought – scientific.
Origins and Influence
Let's quickly consider the root origins of the competitive/divisive model. Without going into too much detail, it is clear that the evolution of society has included a vast history of conflict, scarcity and imbalance. While there is debate as to the nature of society during the period of time preceding the Neolithic Revolution, the Earth since that time has been a battlefield where countless lives have been taken for the sake of competition, whether material or ideological.
This recognized pattern is so pervasive in fact that many today attribute the propensity for conflict and domination to an irreconcilable, impulsive characteristic of our human nature with the conclusion that the human being is simply unable to operate in a social system that is not based upon this competitive framework and any such attempt will create vulnerability that will be exploited by power abuse, expressing this apparent competitive/dominance trait.
While the subject of human nature itself is not the direct focus of this essay, let it be stated that the “empirical power abuse” assumption has been a large part of the defense of the competitive/divisive model, using a general broad view of history as its basis for validity. However, the specifics of the conditions in those periods, coupled with the known flexibility of the human being are often disregarded or ignored in these assessments. The historical pattern of conflict cannot be considered in mere isolation. Detailed reference to the conditions and circumstances are needed. In fact, it's likely accurate to say that the dominance/conflict propensity which is clearly a possible reaction for nearly all humans in our need for self-preservation and survival in general is being provoked by pressures rather than being the source of any negative reaction. When we wonder how the massive Nazi army were able to morally justify their actions in World War II, we often forget the enormous propaganda campaign put out by that regime which worked to exploit this essentially biological vulnerability.
The notion of “self-interest” is clearly inherent to the human being's common urge to survive. This is obvious enough and it is easy to see historically how the raw necessity of personal survival, often extending to family and then the “tribe” (community), set the stage for the divisive, protectionist paradigm we exist in today. It should have been expected from the standpoint of history that vast economic theories would also be based upon the notion of competition and inequality, such as in the work of Adam Smith. Considered the father of the “free market”, he made popular the assumption that if everyone had the ethic to look out for themselves only, the world would progress as a community. This “invisible hand” notion of human progress arising from narrow personal self-interest alone might have been a semi-workable philosophy many years ago when the simplicity of the society itself was based on everyone being something of a producer. However, the nature of society has changed greatly over time, with population increases, entirely different role structures and exponentially advancing technology. The risks associated with this manner of thought are now proving to be more dangerous than beneficial, and the true definition of “self-interest” is taking a larger context than ever before.
Is it not in your self-interest to protect and nourish the habitat that supports you? Is it not in your self-interest to take care of society as a whole, providing for its members, so that the consequences of deprivation, such as “crime” are reduced as much as possible to ensure your safety? Is it not self-interest to consider the consequences of imperialist wars that can breed fierce jingoistic hatred on one side of the planet, only to have, say, a suitcase bomb explode behind you at a restaurant as a desperate “blow-back” act of retribution? Is it not self-interest to assure all of societies' children have the best upbringing and education so that your future and the future of your children can exist in a responsible, educated, and increasingly productive world? Is it not in your self-interest to make sure industry is as organized, optimized and scientifically accurate as possible, so that we do not produce shoddy, cheap technology that might perhaps cause a problem in the future if it fails?
The bottom line is that things have changed in the world today and your self-interest is now only as good as your societal interest. Being competitive and going out for yourself, “beating” others only has a negative consequence in the long-term, for it is denying awareness of the synergistic system we are bound within. A cheaply made nuclear power plant in Japan might not mean much to people in America. However, if that plant was to have a large scale technical failure, the fallout and pollution might make its way over to American homes, proving that you are never safe in the long run unless you have a global consciousness.
In the end, only an Earth-humankind conscious view can assure a person's true self-interest and hence, in many ways, also assure our society's “evolutionary fitness”. The very idea of wishing to support “your country” and ignoring or even enjoying the failure of others, is a destabilizing value system.
The days of practical warfare are long over. New technology on the horizon has the ability to create weapons that will make the atom bomb look like a roman catapult in destructive power. Centuries ago, warfare could at least be minimized to the warring parties overall. Today, the entire world is threatened. There are over 23,000 Nuclear Weapons today, which could wipe out the human population many times over.
In many ways, our very social maturity is being questioned at this time. Battles with only sticks and stones as weapons could tolerate a great deal of human distortion and malicious intent. However, in a world of nano-tech weapons that could be constructed in a small lab with enormous destructive power, our expanded self-interest needs to take hold and the institution of war needs to be systematically shutdown. In order to do this, nations must technically unify and share their resources and ideas, not hoard them for competitive self-betterment, which is the norm today.Institutions like the United Nations have become complete failures in this regard because they naturally become tools of empire building due to the underlying nature of country divisions and the socioeconomic dominance of the property/monetary/competition-based system orientation. It is not enough to simply gather global “leaders” at a table to discuss their problems. The structure itself needs to change to support a different type of interaction between these regional “groups” where the perpetual “threat” inherent between nation-states is removed.
In the end, there is no empirical ownership of resources or ideas. Just as all ideas are serially developed across culture through the group mind, the resources of the planet are equally as transient in their function and scientifically defined as to their possible purposes. The Earth is a single system, along with the laws of nature that govern it. Either human society recognizes and begins to act and organize on this inherent logic, or we suffer in the long run.
- Source: Rights of Man, Thomas Paine, 1791, p.162
- One example of this would be the patriotic economic bias that often influences the actions of regional industry. In physical reality, there is technically only one economy when working with the planet earth's resources and natural laws. The idea of “Made in America”, for instance, generates an immediate technical inefficiency, for proper goods production is a global affair on all levels, including the usufruct of world knowledge. To intentionally restrict labor and materials use/acquisition to only within the borders of a given country is economically counterproductive in the truest sense of the word “economy”.
- In the field of human genetics, “Mitochondrial Eve” refers to the matrilineally most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of modern humans. In other words, she was the most recent woman from whom all living humans today descend, on their mother's side. We are one family. Also, all characteristics of race difference (facial features/skin color) have been found to be linked to the environmental conditions where such sub-groups of humans lived/evolved. Hence it is a false distinction as a means for superficial discrimination.
- Sometimes also called the Agricultural Revolution, it was the world's first historically verifiable revolution in agriculture. It was the wide-scale transition of many human cultures from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement that supported an increasingly large population and the basis for modern social patterns today.
- In the 20th century alone, statisticians put the human death toll from war between 180 to 220 million, with some challenging those numbers by claiming evidence puts the toll 3 times higher in many regional cases: (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619194142.htm)
- A classic text that employed this basic fear was Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. “Human Nature” had a very clear implication, justified fundamentally by historical trends of totalitarianism suggested to be linked to collaborative/planned economies.
- This is expanded upon in the essay The Final Argument: Human Nature.
- The Nature/Nurture Debate has been well established as a false duality in behavioral biology/evolutionary psychology fields of study. The reality is that of a perpetual interaction with the gravity of relevance shifting on a per case basis. However, what is relevant here is the study of the human being's “range of behavior” and exactly how adaptable and flexible we are. Reference: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Robert Sapolsky, W. H. Freeman, 1998
- Commonly termed: “The fight-or-flight response” (or the acute stress response) and was first described by American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon.
- "Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." -Hermann Göring (A leading member of the Nazi Party; From an interview with Gilbert in Göring's jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, 18 April 1946)
- “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages”. (An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, Vol. 1)
- Sociologist Thorstein Veblen, writing in 1917, made this acute observation with respect to the changes in society and how they reflect the original premise of the market economy. “The standard theories of economic science have assumed the rights of property and contract as axiomatic premises and ultimate terms of analysis; and their theories are commonly drawn in such a form as would fit the circumstances of the handicraft industry and the petty trade... these theories ...appear tenable, on the whole, when taken to apply to the economic situation of that earlier time... It is when these standard theories are sought to be applied to the later situation, which has outgrown the conditions of handicraft, that they appears nugatory or meretricious.” (An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation) He also foreshadowed the rise of the “investment class” as today non-producing financial institution like banks & the stocks market have become more rewarding profit-wise than the actual manufacturing of true goods.
- Evolutionary Fitness is a biological term generally defined as "The probability that the line of descent from an individual with a specific trait will not die out." In this context we are linking human actions, socially, to the idea of species survival.
- Reference: Applications for Warfare (http://crnano.typepad.com/crnblog/2005/05/applications_fo.html)
- Source: Nuclear Weapons: 20 Facts They Don't Want You to Think About, Jim McCluskey, 2011 (http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/db_article.php?article_id=253
- This essay belong to Zeitgeist Movement Defined: Realizing a New Train of Thought