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“We have always,” my friend said, “had times of war and times of peace, cycling through the history of Homo sapiens. We always have, and we always will, because we are animals, driven by instincts expressed as emotions. Fear, hatred, love, compassion, and a longing for community with others of our kind.”
My friend was not wrong, and if I thought that were the whole story, I would have long past quit the struggle for human betterment and settled down to enjoy my animal instincts. However, that is not all; we have also special human gifts, the ability to think analytically, to take responsibility for our behaviors, and to look into both the past and the future, learn from them, and behave in a way that is responsible to them.
So I have higher goals for humanity, and I’ve spent at least the last 50 years of my adult life striving to honor both my goals and the sacrifices that my parents’ generation made in their struggle to organize the American cultural system around their vision of “No More War.”
Certainly, I am not the only one. Probably most of the sons and daughters of the WWII generation pursued that vision, and we obviously failed. Why? How? In order to use our special human gifts, I think it is important to ask those questions and share our answers. Here are three:
1 – We divided up the vision into different sub-visions in such a way that specific aims of many of the sub-groups conflicted with those of other groups who had the same over-all “no-war” vision. For example, economics tried to benefit people by growing the population, at the same time that biologists knew we must reduce population growth in order to maintain sustainable community.
2 – We believed and thoughtlessly implementing memes such as: “everyone has a right to his own opinion,” which is nonsensical coming from children of the Hitler era, but relieves us of the responsibility to share and discuss issues of importance.
3 – We chose to not discuss hard issues because: “it isn’t easy,” or “we don’t know what to do.”
During the last half of this time, I watched as every subsequent generation tore down a bit more of the anti-war structure my parents’ generation had built up – such as the rule of law and the welfare and education of the whole — and replaced those responsibilities with the imperative to win. The goal of our corposystem culture grew up around winning for fun, fame and profit, regardless of other considerations.
This is not the anti-war vision of my fathers.
On this Friday 13th I happened to be staying in a motel, and so I turned on the TV. Of nearly 1000 channels available, ALL were devoted to the joy of winning. From “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (Abraham Lincoln, BTW, was my father’s hero figure) to CNN, all programs aired chaos and mahem, and above all the “I win you lose” ethic, in one form or another.
The biggest difference I could see between Friday November 13, 2015 and 9-1-1, at the time we experienced the similar attack, was that only CNN, of all these nearly1000 channels, was interested in the news at all. Not even PBS.
After 9-1-1, over a decade ago, came the Bush announcement: “This is a great opportunity.” I think this boast has been removed from the record, but I heard it myself, and it was indeed a great and unique opportunity, or it could have been had he not chosen to use that opportunity to begin our new forever war, by attacking people who had no part in the tragedy, and thus initiate our current buildup to WWIII. Bush was afterward quoted as claiming that we would all be grateful for this decision. I’m sure the young men involved in Paris on 11-13 were not grateful.
I wish you could imagine what this Earth would be like today if Bush had used this greatest opportunity to make peace and grow compassion, as Eisenhauer did in his day of power, but I think the younger of us would not even know the difference now among different kinds of war: defensive war; fighting because we like to win; war in the name of peace; and our new forever war. We no longer care very much about war — the enemy is us.
Or is that just our human nature?
I like France. I think France did not like me very much, but they were polite. I experienced social benefits structured around a sense of communal responsibility that Americans today probably cannot understand. France tries to honor the welfare of the whole, without which community is not possible. France tries to be good to her people and thoughtful of others.
But the bottom line is that France knew – we knew — we all knew. Europe and North America and especially China, which did indeed take some responsibility for the fact, that we cannot HAVE the welfare of the whole and overpopulation at the same time. Nobody can. It is a biological and mathematical impossibility. And BTW, overpopulation is not how many people you see in the streets on market day and they are all friendly; overpopulation means how much food the Earth can provide, without causing degradation of the Earth food system, compared with how many people need the food (and other resources).
We have known this all my life. It was known before I was born. We cannot have the welfare of the whole of humanity without also nurturing the welfare of the whole Earth Biosystem – our Garden of Eden — and we have chosen to overgraze the Garden rather than preserve and nourish God’s creation for the welfare of our own future. We have known, if we do not nurture the Garden, that the time would come when the whole earth would run so short of resources that war would once again spread across the land – we, especially the recent generations of Americans — just hoped it would be someone else’s problem.
The Earth cannot feed an infinite number of people; people cannot compassionately watch their babies starve and suffer while at the same time thinking logically. People will try to save themselves and/or their kin using any method they believe will save them. That behavior is expectable and has been expected. We were just hoping it would be someone else.
Of course, that is probably not how the terrorists think about it, but I doubt if we can understand what they are thinking. We are not directly responsible to what they are thinking, but we are responsible for what we are thinking and doing or not doing, and we have been even more irrational than they in our belief that we can use up all the available resources of Earth and nothing will change and it doesn’t matter if someone else somewhere else suffers, because they could have it too if they would do what we do. That is a corposystem lie. It is, in real mathematical terms, certain that you cannot accomplish your goal of creating a long-term compassionate community, so long as you try to achieve it through growth. It can not be done on this Earth today.
I have heard all the excuses over the past 15 years or so. The worst: “I don’t know what to do.” What you do is talk and learn about how the Earth feeds us and DISCUSS WITH EACH OTHER what we can do to compassionately maintain the human population within the limits of the Earth’s ability to provide for the people. And stop electing officials on the basis of whoever can tell the most fantastically unbelievable lies and make us believe them. No excuses will change the reality.
No excuse will increase the maximum capacity of the Earth; no excuse will help Europe to absorb the ever-increasing numbers of refugees while we close our borders. Or if we don’t close our borders the result will be the same, so long as the population and economic growth of humans on Earth continues to expand. No excuses, nor all our riches, will feed the starving when there is no food. There is no excuse for behaving as though food comes from supermarkets – or from the corposystem. Food comes from the Earth itself. No faith or make-believe or lies or technological daydreams will change the facts of life that have cycled and recycled over the millennia; that make food both necessary and possible for humans on Earth.
The only force that CAN solve the problem is us. We must together stop pretending that we can solve the diseases caused by overpopulation by treating their secondary symptoms – by teaching compassion or spreading our failed economic system across the nations, or claiming God will nurture one religion or another, or making up fairy-tales that do not relate to the realities we face — or by nurturing the victims — or by winning anything – unless at the same time we all participate in the necessary discussion about the mathematically certain and biologically obvious cause of our current worldwide suffering. We must educate ourselves broadly, because the corposystem is not about to do that — and rise to a higher level of human compassion for all sentient beings, and treat The CAUSE of our current worldwide suffering at the same time we try to cope with the symptoms. BOTH. TOGETHER. AT THE SAME TIME. EVERY DEDICATED PERSON. SYMPTOMS and ROOT CAUSE.
Because it is not going to help if 99 percent of Americans gain glory and recognition by treating the symptoms of our suffering, while the other one percent struggle to generate recognition and assistance in their efforts to cut the growth problem at the roots.
That is, if we really do want to accomplish the goal of compassionate community, and if we really do have some level of compassion for our victims, and if we really do not want WWIII to climbing our fences and crawling onto our shores.
And if it’s not too late.
November 13, 2015
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