Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shuffling Off Borders

Dawn of the Optimates

How Do We Get From Here to There?

At dinner, a friend and reader of this blog lately asked how I expect to get from where we are in the world now to this UCS and Comenian world government that I am always talking about. Here is how I see it, barring unexpected circumstances. I expect that science will be proven right. Climate pressure will get worse and the seas will rise. After a few decades, or sooner, local, regional and global conflicts will break out as nations and peoples become increasingly desperate.

This is just what Gwyn Dyer describes in his book Climate Wars (I have not read it but I did audit a rather frightening radio documentary predicting in coming decades political tensions, wars, environmental collapse, mass famines and political anarchy.) If I agreed with what Dyer assumes, that the only way people can think and solve their problems is through relations between nation states, I would not be bothering to write this book, whose title will be "People Without Borders."

Instead, I think we can change course. We can escape this bind if we cast off our mental shackles. We are perfectly capable of thinking of our world as a unity, unbounded by prejudice and nationalism, and acting for the benefit of all human beings. The intellectual groundwork has already been laid by John Amos Comenius. I am convinced that his Panorthosia is the most important book to come out in my generation (after a three hundred year diversion, it was finally translated into English and published in its entirety in the mid-1990's). Although it is some ways a difficult book, it details exactly how to escape our otherwise inevitable slide into anarchy, famine and collapse.

So, how do we get there? We read Panorthosia, then act upon it. We form a three pronged democratic government on all levels, starting with the family and neighborhood, going right on up to the continental and inter-continental levels. This will reform from the ground up the three pillars of order in the world: science, religion and politics. It will swing power away from the present axis of nations and large corporations toward continental, world and local organization.
The first part of Section One of People Without Borders describes how this must start with the peoples of the world. There must radical improvements to democracy as we know it. This in turn will reorient the media, transport and architecture and, most importantly, introduce a new way of life for the world citizen. This lifestyle will not come about on its own; it is the fruit of a plan set up at the same time as the local, neighborhood, continental and world governments form. The second part of People Without Borders describes elements of this plan. Here are a couple of its most important goals.

Goal One: Every child learns a trade or profession, with full work qualification by the next generation. The trades and professions then reform democracy, introducing into it a stronger element of meritocracy. Introduce a fund to assure that every person, working or not, receives a standard liveable income.
Goal Two: Make the human ecological footprint non-destructive. Invent a new high-density housing project that is combined with rapid underground transport and run on renewable energy sources. Run this housing, power and energy strip in a world encircling line uniting each continent with every other. Use this experience to devise a building code for a consultative, dynamically shifting architecture that places agriculture at the heart of residency.

Once these megaprojects are underway, lay down similar autonomous living projects across desert regions. This will green an area as large as South America. This is the most promising colonization prospect since the discovery of the Americas -- Richard St. Barbe Baker estimated in the 1960's that with a massive effort at planting trees the Sahara alone could sustain four billion people. This population shift would allow us to depopulate ecologically sensitive regions and allow them to return to nature. It would also provide excellent housing and opportunity for the billion souls now languishing in slums, without any infrastructure at all.

Section Two of People Without Borders looks at the theoretical groundings of the four essential organizational services of world citizenship: freedom, wealth, merit and security. We have completed the first two and are entering into the third, merit. Merit is the concern of meritocracy, what used to be called aristocracy, the rule of the best.

Hereditary aristocrats had already reached such a stage of outrageous corruption that the Greek word "aristocrat" was a pejorative when Comenius suggested the Latin form of "the best" as an alternative way of referring to those who earn power and influence through merit: "optimates." I would call an optimate any scientist, spiritual leader or educator who promotes goal number one mentioned above: universal trades and professions. This section covers the goals and plans that optimates might want to undertake once everyone has a trade and a standard living.


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