ENRIQUE LESCURE

ENRIQUE LESCURE

Introduction

For decades, the concept and reality of mutually assured destruction could be said to have contributed to a less warlike world. Since the end of the Second World War, we have not had any more direct wars between Great Powers – not to a small part because the destructive potential defined by the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction ensures that such conflicts only have losers, and that future generations born in the areas affected by mass destruction will still suffer from the destructive effects.

Thursday, 06 July 2017 21:35

Mines and factories in a technate

 

Introduction

A critique has recently surfaced against aspects of Energy Accounting, which to some extent is a novelty. Usually, criticisms of the Design have been focused on the technical ability to manage information about the environmental capacity of the entire Earth and the production of our civilization, as well as the issue of incentives. These critiques have been levelled at us by proponents of the current or more radical forms of market capitalism. This time, however, the critique was directed from adherents of the Marxist-Leninist variety of central planning. It is certainly not every day one gets the opportunity to be criticised for unintentionally aiming to wreck the environment by people who in principle find the systems employed during the 20th century in the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, the German Democratic Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Democratic Kampuchea to be steps in the right direction.

Given that, the critique was fair, if we assume that we had intended the production lines to be arranged as the friendly detractor pointed out.

In short, their thesis was that it would be inefficient to give each human being a share of the Earth’s production capacity, and that it would be a logistical and environmental disaster to only produce complex goods when people are actively asking for them to be produced. For example, if an individual should be allocating energy units to a new computer, should then all the mining equipment have been dormant until the request for that computer was made? Should then a special train be commissioned, only to transport that computer to that particular consumer? And should that computer be produced locally?

The critique correctly pointed out that such a logistical chain would be insane. Luckily, that is of course not what we are proposing, though a very literal-minded reading of our article on Energy Accounting (http://eosprojects.com/energy-accounting.html) could certainly give the impression that we intend to throw away millennia of knowledge of how to set up logistical transport systems.

One should not forget that  our Design is just a broad outline, not even a proposal but a hypothesis, and that we – not unlike orthodox Marxists of the pre-Lenin variety – do not want or even believe that we in detail can predict or design the system of the future in a detailed manner reminiscent of a Gothic cathedral. Given that, the questions which have arisen from this critique are worthy to ponder on, and why not – when we are able to – provide a more detailed outline of how resource extraction and industrial production may look like under the umbrella of a technate?

That is precisely what we intend to do with this article

TL;DR Summary

  • In order for human beings to survive and thrive, human beings need to utilise resources taken from nature.
  • Human beings are communitarian animals and tend to use language and organisation to reduce the amount of time and increase the amount of resources which can be extracted. This is the economic aspect of civilization.
  • This needs repetition – when we are using surface area of our planet, we are depriving other species of habitats and resources, and thus reducing the biodiversity of the planet. And we must do that in order to survive.
  • Our current civilization is built on the compulsion of exponential growth, driven by a system of debt and interest (http://eosprojects.com/what-is-money.html).
  • We have developed an alternate system, known as The Design, which is aimed at creating the foundations for a sustainable civilization, by being intrinsically adapted to the Three Criteria (http://eosprojects.com/the-three-criteria-for-sustainable-earth.html).
  • One part of Energy Accounting, which is an intrinsic part of the Design, is that the individual users should be able to distribute their energy units to what they want to be produced for themselves, and that no cell-phones, computers, sneakers or furniture for example which people are not actively asking for should be produced.
  • The problem of course is that production is a multi-step process, and it would represent a huge problem if for example industrial equipment is used just to produce one sofa set, and one train set to transport the raw materials and the finished product to the specific user. It would in short be a logistical nightmare.
  • The critique also misinterpreted our calls for de-centralisation with that we somehow would want every village or town to for example have their own computer factory. That is not the case.
  • Regarding mining, one could say that there are two methodologies to combine the need for large-scale benefits (which actually could be positive for the environment) with Energy Accounting. These two methodologies could also be combined.
  • The first methodology is to gather all allocation data into bundles and then proceed to initiate the extraction of minerals, wood and other materials at a given time during the energy accounting cycle.
  • The second methodology would be to guesstimate the amount of minerals and other materials needed during an accounting period, to gather the resources and allow the users to order, with a steep increase in prices if we run out of reserves.
  • Regarding industry, to build numerous small factories to produce identical goods would indeed be a waste of resources and a strain on the transport system. It is very likely that the amount of factories under a technate would be lower, but that production would still be de-centralised.
  • Because of the intrinsic nature of production under a technate, the abolishment of the growth incentive and the obsolescence of copyright infringement, factories would no longer need to be the exclusive property of companies, since companies would have less need to guard their secrets.
  • The Design is at this point only a hypothesis, and it cannot be stressed enough that it as it currently is constituted should not be taken as a political programme or as a finished plan ready to be implemented. Rather, it should be seen as a sufficiently vague blueprint which establishes a model to which we can approximate our ways of resource management.

We do not plan to individualise production

No one has seriously considered that production and mining should be completely dormant for every second and minute until a new individual order dips in, and that a mining machine only should take up the minuscule amount of gold, silver, iron ore, tin, copper, mercury or titanium which is needed to for example make an alarm clock, and then immediately cease with the extraction and wait for three minutes until someone in China requests a tricycle.

That would be a ludicrous way of administering production, and would probably affect the environment in a way which on the whole is as destructive as the system currently applied over most of the Earth’s territory.

So no, the Design is not envisioned like that. Period.

How then could mining be conducted under the system of Energy Accounting as envisioned by the EOS?

Mining

Mining is, generally speaking, a hugely disruptive endeavour for the environment, especially in terms of managing the waste products, which could threaten freshwater reserves and biomes. One especially heart-wrenching event was the 2015 Rio Doce disaster in Brazil, which saw 60 000 tonnes of toxic sludge released into the environment and destroying an entire river.

The second criterion for a sustainable future stipulates a circular economy. This means that materials used within infrastructure and product lines would primarily seek to be made from renewed sources, and that there should be systems in place to regularly recycle discarded products to either make nearly identical products, or towards other kinds of use within the economy. However, it is unlikely that mining will cease to be an important part of our socio-economic system.

A central aspect of Energy Accounting is that costs for operations should be equivalent to their total emergy cost, from the establishment of an operation to its closure, as well as the cost for compensating for negative environmental effects. This will mean that mining operations in general will pay a heftier price for the effects they delve upon their immediate environments and the surrounding hydrosphere.

Another factor, which isn’t necessarily a part of the Design, is derived from our view of rights (http://eosprojects.com/relational-rights-a-new-foundation.html) and from the Ideology (http://eosprojects.com/the-ideology-of-the-third-millennium.html), under which relational rights can be seen as a subcategory species. From our views on rights follow that all things which affect the livelihood of local communities should be under partial or whole influence by said local communities. In short, primary stewardship over natural resources will always primarily be in the hands of the people who live within an area potentially affected by the hypothetical extraction of said natural resource.

 

Having written that, how would mining be conducted under a Technate?

One could state that there are two main routes to get around this challenge.

The first one relates to the fact that energy units – if we assume that the technate is not anarchistic – are distributed out both to the infrastructure/public sector and to individuals. Mining procedures could theoretically be put under the responsibility of the public sector, even though the individual mining Holons may be operated autonomously, and may get increased resources if they for example manage to improve their environmental footprint. In short, the industry will order a specific amount of stock minerals and other natural resources – timber for example – every year.

In that case, the costs of extraction are compensated through the share of energy units distributed to the public sector.

If we however stipulate that a scarcity of a raw material emerges, then orders for extra production will start to kick in, to a significantly higher cost for the consumers. Thus, the market mechanism – which in a technate is dictated by the environment – would constrict the potential damage. This means there could be potential hikes of costs. For the next accounting period, the user behaviour during the previous accounting period could be taken as an indicator for where things are heading.

The other way, is to go through delayed personal Energy Units, meaning that everyone who orders (for example) personal computers during one period will receive them 4-6 weeks later. This follows the opposite logic, and herein the consumers will pay a higher direct cost (on the other hand, everyone who is not in need of a personal computer will get a higher share of the available Energy Units because under this methodology mining will be considered a part of the user sector).

Both methodologies have benefits and potential setbacks. In the first method, we sacrifice some of the accuracy in the way in which we match supply and demand, for the sake of delivering base materials to Industry in a regular stream. Under the second methodology, consumers would have to wait a longer time to get the products and services they have requested, but we will gain a higher degree of accuracy and probably use a smaller environmental footprint.

Ultimately, probably neither of these two models will be used if the Design is actually implemented, but the end product could well borrow traits from both of these methodologies, in accordance with what is least environmentally damaging and provides the optimal degree of satisfaction amongst the public.

Industry

We strive towards an increased amount of resilience. It is not only a matter of ecological sustainability, but of autonomy, security and democracy. In a world with increasingly sophisticated and “smart” electronic systems, it has been shown that centralising the power grid as well as the sewage and heating systems can make communities vulnerable to terrorist attacks conducted by hackers. It is also a question of power – if local communities are in control over their production of food, electricity, heating and their water management systems, their freedom would increase and they would not find themselves in situations where distant actors compel them to changes which are adversarial for them.

It could be easy for one taking texts describing broad outlines and principles instead as detailed instruction manuals to misinterpret these goals as that we want everything to be locally produced. That is not the case, not even for food – as most communities will still import food, though the cost of food – just like every other item, will be determined by the emergy cost of its journey through the production chain. Therefore, the transport costs will measured into the amount of energy units allocated to food imports, but food imports in themselves won’t be sanctioned.

Regarding factory floors, the idea that each community would have small factories which make everything they need is as ludicrous as the previous assumption that mining would only commence immediately when individuals have allocated their Energy Units, and that an excavator would only dig up enough minerals to make one cell-phone.

It is very likely that there will be community workshops and factory floors, which mostly would focus on repairs, maintenance and spare parts for the community infrastructure. These will be accessible to the public and to Holons, and serve a similar but more expanded role as study associations in Sweden, as well as probably a few vital societal functions.

Regarding the production of microchips, bolts and screws, panels, electric gears and other aggregates, as well as finished products, infrastructurally speaking there is an opportunity to move towards fewer but larger factories than we presently have. The reason why fewer is that under a technate, there would be no need for the Holons of Ericsson and Nokia (for example) to have separate factories to make their products. The bottlenecks represented by copyright and the situation when two cell-phones are competing for the same client would evaporate, and therefore there would be no rationality in having separate factories.

The same applies in an even higher degree for micro-components and hardware, which can be modularized. Thus, even if production is reduced as a total – due to the fact that The Design is explicitly made in a manner which doesn’t stimulate exponential growth, which doesn’t reward any indulgencies into immediate-reward consumerism and which doesn’t engage in trying to brainwash consumers to maximise their consumption – the load factor, which means the usage rate of the factory floors will be the same.

Also, it could make environmental sense for such factories to be somewhat centralised, at least in their geographical distribution, as it would – maybe a bit counter-intuitively – lead to less transport overall. That would however most keenly be addressed by the overall tracking of the effects on our global footprints, not by well-meaning planners.

However, in regards of how the factories could operate, while there need to be specific Holons maintaining the infrastructure of the factories, the eventual food intake they need, as well as the supply of electricity, heating and water, the operation of the various industrial functions will most likely be shared by numerous separate, autonomous Holons which strive to supply the users with their demand. And these do not need to conform to any other plan than the constraints of our planetary carrying capacity and the input provided by the allocation of Energy Units.

My analysis of how factories probably are going to work within the framework of a technate is based not on ideological convictions, because I believe that ideology should not dictate structural organisation beyond the scope of guaranteeing human rights and striving towards ecological sustainability, but because we can already see this trend today (for example taxi companies which do not own their own cars, hotel chains which do not own any hotels, and so on). A factory which does not produce anything, but which allows multiple businesses and cooperatives to use its space to produce goods and services, is not unfeasible even under today’s unsustainable system.

There would most likely be regional variations, and no one would be compelled to organise a factory or a mine in a certain manner. Our Design opens up for wide diversity and opportunities for those seeking to adapt further towards sustainability.

Summary

 

Design by Vincent Callebaut 

It is true that immediate satiation of consumer needs is not possible to combine with Energy Accounting under the Design, as it currently stands adapted. It is not feasible to just mine resources needed for one individual cell-phone, or just cut down trees when one individual sofa needs to be made. It is also not possible to perfectly match the resource usage with the allocation of Energy Units.

That a Perfect system of Energy Accounting is impossible is however not an argument against the Design, since the Design is not modelled to become a perfect system or an ideal imposed on reality. Reality is complex and messy.

What this article has unfolded is that the distribution of Energy Units can be utilised in various ways, dependent on whether they are distributed to the infrastructure/Holons or to individuals/users, in this case with the example of mining. We have also described how a large factory might work under such a system, focusing on the structural rather than the environmental aspects.

Ultimately, a technate where all Energy Units are distributed directly to all individuals currently is very unlikely and unrealistic to succeed, but a technate operated as a centrally planned economy, where all energy units are distributed to the infrastructural aspects which are tasked with providing for all the needs, would probably degenerate into a static, stratified society ruled by bureaucrats rather than the communities themselves.

The most realistic route to expect is to strike a balance between two extremes of that kind, and to facilitate a good cooperation between the users and the infrastructural elements. It is my personal conviction, however, that we should strive towards maximising the possible autonomy of the individual and the community within the framework of such a system, because a de-centralised, localised civilization with an active, informed population would become more resilient, more dynamic and a place where everyone can readily access the tools to improve their well-being.

 

Background

More people come to realise that our current way of producing food – through industrial agriculture and monocultures – are contributing significantly to the destruction of the soils and freshwater reservoirs globally. Even if they are unaware of the specifics, they can easily see the absurdity of importing fruits and vegetables from abroad when they can be grown locally.

It’s this time of the year again 

The Annual General Meeting is the highest authority of the Earth Organisation for Sustainability, and is occurring once every year (as the name implies). During the annual general meeting, we evaluate the effectiveness of our accomplishments during the year, present our internal financial reports and elect our firm signers in accordance with the laws of the Kingdom of Sweden. 

Friday, 12 May 2017 20:11

The Technosphere and the Technate

Introduction

The Design is proposing the replacement of the current monetary system with one based on Energy Accounting, which derives its basis from Thermodynamics and its goals from the third criteria. Even though the overwhelming majority of people are agreeing with our three criteria, critique and skepticism is inevitably increasing when we are starting to talk about the proposed adjustments provided by the Design.

Of course, skepticism is well-motivated, especially given that our proposal is a novelty which would transform most of the manners in which we are dealing with resources, and redefine concepts such as property, wealth, profit and trade, which have been established parts of human affairs since before historical records started to emerge. Moreover, the Design has not been exposed to the realities of human society and the economy yet, which is why it needs to undergo field tests and simulations first.

Thursday, 09 March 2017 11:54

The Ideology of the Third Millennium

Introduction

What is a civilization?

The textbook definition is that it is a complex society characterised by urban development, professional specialisation, symbolic communication forms and a separation between mankind and nature. That definition, however is inadequate to explain what a civilization really is, since it fails to account for how a civilization perpetuates itself and manages to glue itself together.

Ultimately, it can be said that the situationist interpretation of society as a “theatre play” to some extent is true, since human civilization is an on-going process created by institutions which in their turn are constantly being formed by repetitive behaviours and rituals, which are encompassing the social fabric of a civilization and giving it resilience. It is also quite true that such patterns are necessary in order to uphold a civilization. This should not be taken as an endorsement of all norms ever developed by humans, especially as several customs – institutionalised and ritualised racism, subordination, sexism and animal abuse to take a few examples – are imposing various degrees of pain on unwilling participants. Without norms, however, complex societies will not be possible, due to situations arising where individuals may need to sacrifice the interests of themselves and their close kin for other individuals or groups of people who aren’t as closely related. In short, civilization as a concept could be defined as an on-going effort of realising itself.

It could be argued that a civilization concretely depends on three to four interlinked aspects which to some extent shape one another:

  • A geographical bio-region which provides areas for settlement and resource extraction. (Aspect Zero).
  • An infrastructure which allows human beings to take out a surplus necessary to form the basis for an organised way of life.
  • A culture of norms and expectations regarding interpersonal and inter-group behaviour which provide a manner of conflict resolution in tow with a common sense consensus.
  • A cluster of internally consistent values which serves to legitimise the status quo and the very existence of the civilisation in question.

This article will focus on the fourth and last of these aspects, in short what constitutes a hegemonic ideology, why a hegemonic ideology is needed, how the current hegemonic ideology – Liberalism – operates, and how it relates to our current way of life and our civilization. And thirdly, I will devote this article to define and elaborate on The Ideology of the Third Millennium, which is the driving value compendium behind our movement.

TL;DR Summary

  • Human beings are dependent on food and sleep for sustenance.
  • Society arises because it offers humans scale benefits.
  • Human beings are however not biologically evolved to organise in large groups.
  • Societies need internally consistent value systems from which concepts of justice, arbitration and power could be derived.
  • Such value systems can establish themselves in the form of cultural traditions and intellectual systems such as religion, philosophy and ideology.
  • Ultimately, the purpose of an ideology is to establish what the meaning of the civilization project is.
  • Our current hegemonic ideology, Liberalism, was created during a period when we could not foresee how the biosphere could be imperilled by carefree usage of the planet’s surface and resources.
  • Therefore, we need a new hegemonic ideology.
  • The ideology of the Third Millennium exists to establish an internally consistent array of ethics integrated within one intellectual system for the future sustainable civilization.
  • Our goal is to create a holistic ideological system where the liberties and rights of individuals should be enshrined and protected.

What you can ascertain

As a human being, there are only two things you can know the existence of – your own consciousness and an external reality which it (your consciousness) is unable to directly exert total control over. 

Your body is not fully autonomous, but dependent on nutrition which it cannot produce on its own, only acquire from external sources. If your body’s intake of water and food is inadequate, it will start to break down and you will eventually die.

Therefore, you need to eat to live. And when you are eating, you are utilising physical surface on the planet, which other species desire too, for they too need to eat – otherwise they shall perish as individuals. As Lierre Keith wrote: “For you to live, something else will need to die”.

I am perfectly aware that statements such as these are not popular or opportune for the young generations in the western world. Our current civilization has done a great work to separate ourselves from the reality created by our patterns of consumerism and resource usage, putting a veil of conscious ignorance between our manner of living and the effects it has on the biosphere.

Now, our movement is as pro-humanity a movement as there ever was. We desire for humanity to thrive on this Earth sustainably, and to secure the existence of a civilization for millennia. We need to eat, but we need to use the surface and space provided to us as wisely and optimally as possible.

To return to the topic of human existence – in order to amplify our ability to survive, we tend to cluster together in communities. We are a social species, and for untold generations humans lived, ate and socialised within the framework of small kinship communities living a life-style as hunter-gatherers. Organising in larger societies demand more complex forms of organisation, which are not adapted to our biological nature.

In short, conflicts that arise within the confinement of small groups can be solved through case-by-case arbitration when the group is a small, closely related band of Palaeolithic roamers. If you start to see emerging communities of hundreds of individuals, some which are not that closely related, you may soon witness the breakdown of society into groups fighting turf wars over living space and resources. This has forced through an evolution over the ages, in most sedentary civilisations, towards institutions – both formal and informal – which regulate and channel human behaviour, interests and passions in a manner which should reduce activities destructive for the continuation of civilization.

Note that most ideologies and treatises written by philosophers and leaders have focused on how to make humans live together and how to regulate the usage of land and property in such a manner that society doesn’t break down.

Modes of control

Most societies generally have three different forms of control which are used to uphold stability and establish norms and patterns of behaviour. In general, control is utilised in order to make the individual act in a manner which is seen as in accordance with the values and interest of greater society (beyond the kin of the individual), even if this manner in question would entail the individual moving against their own interests or the interests of their close relatives. Note that we do not claim that control in itself is something which always should be aspired towards, or that all forms of control are ethically sound.

  • Physical control – whereas one or several dominant figures operate through a chain of command, with the power to execute punishments and dole out rewards. The oldest form of control, prevalent since hundreds of millions of years back when animals started to use their size to dominate those smaller or weaker than themselves.
  • Social control – when the fear of rejection and the desire to be included within the meaningful framework of a social kinship is putting impact upon the behaviour of an individual. This kind of control seems to be organically ingrained in normally functioning human beings, as any casual observation of a schoolyard would indicate. This form of control is strongly related to cultural mores and is generally providing stability beyond what individual leaders could muster. Could be observed in species of social mammals apart from humanity, especially amongst apes.
  • Inner control – externally the simplest and most peaceful type of control, but the internally most complex form since it doesn’t rely of any hypothetical intervention from another party, just their mere existence. The individual here has formed a super-ego, an ideal version of themselves which they strive to realise and which they judge their actions in relation with. For an example, a person may refrain from committing an act considered illegal or immoral, even if there was conceivably no risk of getting caught, due to the sense of disconnect it would create between the idealised meta-identity of the individual and actions violating this idealised image. For example, a person may refrain from taking in possession an object of value found in a remote place, and instead opt to contact the police, even though there is little to none risk of being discovered and chastised by the wider society.

Of course, these three forms of control coexist in most human societies presently existing on our globe, though they vary in composition, emphasis and strength dependent on both societies and individuals. Some rare individuals may only be curtailed by fear of physical retribution, and some equally rare individuals are mostly driven by their inner locus of control.

The Ideology of the Third Millennium views the third form of control as the most evolved, and see in it one of the keys for humanity to achieve inner sustainability. When people strive consciously towards being the ideal they want to see implemented in the world, the amount of discord, self-interest and oppression will decrease – because humanity will evolve towards a more advanced state of existence.

This, however, necessitates a common foundation of values. The system of ethics ingrained into a civilization regarding human interrelationships, proper responses to events and how to show respect and consideration for other human beings and non-human individuals, and the principles from which these patterns are emerging must be consistent, allow for a spectrum of interpretation and be flexible enough to handle new situations. A civilization displaying a wildly varying diversity of ethical systems without the majority connecting to one overarching more is destined to rip itself apart. Right now, there are literally hundreds of different ethical systems throughout our Earth, some of which are diametrically opposed. Often-most, tribal ethical systems use two different sets of ethical rulers – one applied for the tribe and one for those outside of it. Such ethical systems can properly not be attributed as ethics as all, because they are per definition only serving the collective self-interest of one group above everyone else. It is advised to take a stare at Papua New Guinea to realise that the simultaneous implementation of dozens of particularist ethical belief systems on the same geographic space will produce a result which is beyond sub-optimal for all involved parties.

Thus, an ethos for a multi-ethnic, future sustainable civilization needs to be universal. That is not said that all other systems of ethics shall be repressed, but just as under Liberalism, there should be one which is normative.

Why cannot, however, Liberalism be that ethos, as it already is the dominant Ethos of the western world, and indeed is universalist and establish equal rights of all human beings?

On Liberalism

At first glance, Liberalism – the hegemonic ideology of today’s western world – appears to be the best constructed and most consistent of the ideologies until now created, not the least because it has, as Francis Fukuyama evidently pointed out, of the large ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries it’s the only one still widely practiced, while its rivals – Marxism-Leninism and Third Positionism – have largely ceased to exist as rival claimants to the interpretation of reality. If we look at the western world, with a few fringe exceptions, democratic socialism and conservatism can today be viewed not as independent ideologies in their own right, but as outliers of Liberalism which are basing most of their value systems on the heritage of classical liberals and social liberals.

Without dwelling too much on what Liberalism is or from where it is derived, we can state that we define it as an ideology centred upon the individual as a legal subject, and on the idea that laws should be founded on natural, individual rights. All adult individuals are viewed as equal in terms of being citizens and legal subjects. Conflicts between human beings should, in case a party is breaching law or causing injury, be solved within the framework of public or civil courts. A principle of separation of powers shall ensure that the state cannot fall under the power of one individual or faction. Another principle is democracy, that those tasked with government should rule with consent of the electorate and be representatives rather than rulers.

All of these principles, we agree with.

So why do we then need a new Ideology?

Because, there are several issues with Liberalism that makes it ill-equipped to intellectually and empathically deal with our current global ecological crisis. Moreover, some of the way in which Liberalism grade its principles are actually detrimental to our ability to transition the world towards a sustainable future.

  • Liberalism sees the individual as the focus and subject of society – the purpose of society is to guarantee individual rights visavi other individuals. However, an individual is not an atomised unit, but a consciousness dependent on a physical support system (a body) which is dependent on nutrients which can only be extracted from external sources (of the individual). If we exclude that reality, we disconnect the individual from the environment and render the environment into an abstraction.
  • Natural rights – the foundation of human rights – are based on the protection of property, which is seen as an absolute right. In fact, most classical liberal philosophers derive their philosophy of rights from the idea that all individuals possess natural self-ownership over their bodies. This brings with a number of problems, because multinational corporations – abstract entities really – are given equal (de jure) and more than equal (de facto, since they have more capital and thence time to act through the court system) powers in arbitration regarding conflict with individuals. In several countries, companies poison the water, destroy the air and subject their workers to inhumane working conditions, and the system of property rights are used as an ideological shield to justify their atrocities.
  • Rights are seen as being derived from the potential ability to reason, meaning that they are belonging exclusively to human beings. Thus, according to Liberalism, animals are either ‘externalities’ (if being a part of the wildlife), or property (if being domestic), and the well-being of the animal must always be weighed in relation to what damage intervention inflicts on the property rights of the owner. (See the article “Relational Rights” - http://eosprojects.com/relational-rights-a-new-foundation.html)
  • An economy must always primarily be a free market governed by the derivatives of supply and demand. Demand from this perspective is a function of the consumer’s demand curve, which basically denotes their monetary capability to consume. This means that a wealthy German male is seen as having the same right to acquire the ownership of a mechanical clock displaying a doll with an old geezer who can drag down his pants and fart, as a poor Malian woman is having a right to water and rice.
  • The environment is primarily seen as a “public utility” at best, since tourists may want “nice forestlands” to visit, and people may demand documentary films. Ultimately, keeping the environment “clean” is seen – again, at best – as another interest of equal regards as continued economic growth, property rights, urban zoning, the interests of entrepreneurs and consumer protection. The judgement regarding the macroscopic effects of a sixth mass extinction is not even present, as authorities are seen as managing a static set of interests in relation to rules based on the values of a disinterested, secular and liberal state.

Liberalism ultimately views the inherently unsustainable form of economic growth made possible by unlimited credit and consumerism as positive, and holds a positive view on consumerism as “liberating” the human being. In fact, Liberalism views the kind of atomised individualist who is the product of 70 years of commercialisation and commodification of our civilization as “the human in its natural state”, free from the inhibitions and social control inflicted by previous societies. This society is also seen as intrinsically desirable because it allegedly is a product of consumer choices. Progress is viewed as a linear curve always pointing to the right and upward, and according to Liberalism everything will always become better, because people in general have longer lives and a higher general income today than 200 years ago (which is true). They then extrapolate from this argument that this rise of global living standards will continue indefinitely, at the same rate as before, and that it will not be affected very much by rising sea levels or by soil deterioration and collapsing eco-systems caused by monocultures. Most of the establishment is aware that a few of the global environmental problems (notably most often mentioned being global warming) are poising a threat… to the current system of perpetualised economic growth that is. For if we “stumble” into a sixth mass extinction event, they realise that what they cherish and love about our current civilization cannot possibly continue.

In this regard, the delusion of the current system becomes apparent – it is like if a human being learning that unless they improve they are going to succumb to cancer is expressing grave concerns about the well-being of the tumour, and fervently denies that the tumour is the root cause of their ailment.

This forms the foundation of our civilization’s doublethink, where officials and leaders are guided through Powerpoint presentations which show how we are killing our biosphere, and later other presentations which show how we are going to increase economic growth. They put up regulations designed to curb emissions, and sign free trade treaties which increase them. And this they do in the sincere belief that they are “contributing to” the salvation of the planet, wishfully thinking that their lukewarm and self-contradictory reforms together with some Wundertechnologie will remove the bad environmental effects from the good system.

There are several reasons that they are unable to move away from the sky castle in which they are trapped. What we need to understand is that these people sincerely believe that the current way, despite its many shortcomings of which they are the first to admit, are convinced that it is the least bad system at worst, and that incremental changes and adjustments can salvage mankind through the crisis. When they hear more radical proposals, they instinctively cower in fear and react with anger, fearful that these radical proposals will scare the powerbrokers away from listening to moderate reform proposals, and are themselves stalked by premonitions of the crimes done in the name of the non-liberal or anti-liberal Utopian ideologies of the 20th century.

Our intention is not to destroy Liberalism, but to create a new Ideology which cherishes and protects the rights and dignity of the human being, while at the same time building its intellectual framework on an evolved, holistic view of our planet based on the knowledge we today have about how we are affecting and damaging an incredibly complex biosphere.

The Ideology of the Third Millennium – Life, Love and Light

At the core of every successful Ideology is a unified concept detailing the ethos and pathos of said ideology, and telling its adherents what – in essence – the meaning of the human civilization is. In short, what the meaning of life should be according to these values. No matter if the proponents of the ideology is aware of it or not, their adherence to their credo is often based, in its rawest form, on the ideology’s conception of a fundamental value. The ideologies which we have had, can often be summarised down to one word. Beneath, you can see how the most successful isms of the 19th and 20th centuries formulated their core values.

  • Traditionalism – Hierarchy
  • Conservatism – Order
  • Liberalism – Liberty
  • Socialism – Equality
  • Third Positionism – Struggle

Many of the original proponents of said ideologies were themselves unable to comprehend their own fundamental values, in relation to the values upheld by the founders of their rival belief systems. We are not going down that path, and we are very aware that the Ideology of the Third Millennium is founded on one, fundamental value which we believe should be the guiding principle of a self-aware, planetary civilization.

The value of Life.

Life, the guiding principle

We humans are living beings, and everything which we pursue in our lives is built upon the fact that we exist, that we are here and that we are alive. All the values, dreams and aspirations which every individual strive for in their own lives, are hinging on the existence of consciousness. No matter what this concept entails, it is necessary for every human being to be alive in order to be conscious, in order to pursue their interests.

Other species are striving towards the same goal of expressing themselves according to their capabilities and limitations. Life, self-conscious or not, seems guided by the desire to express itself. This need to survive and will to thrive have formed our biosphere – from its humble origin in chalky puddles of water or toxic sulphuric gas vents – towards planetary conquest, a symphony of tens of thousands of biomes and ecosystems, constantly transforming, expanding, contracting and inventing through the process of Darwinian evolution. This process, beginning with self-replicating amino acids and eventually birthing humanity, turned the Earth into a living planet – a paradise of colours, scents and songs. From our perspective, every human being has been given a chance to add their contribution to this great symphony – and with our creativity at disposal, there is no limit to the ways in which we could express ourselves.

It should be noted that humanity, despite its great ingenuity, wouldn’t be anything without the beautiful, living Earth which it emerged on once. Without the rivers and lakes, the fertile soils formed by thousands of generations of species, the forests and grasslands, and the animals which have assisted us during our rise, we would never have been able to form a civilization in the first place.

Unfortunately, our Universe is not – in general – well-adjusted for the emergence of complex forms of life. Most of it, 99,999999…% of its volume, consists of a dark, cold void, a few fractions of a degree warmer than absolute zero. Life – as we know it – is dependent on sources of energy. Stars, the fusion power-plants of the Cosmos, are manifold billions, but virtually insignificant in relation to the full volume of space. Around some of these stars, worlds with the capability to support complex eco-systems are situated, and life eventually emerge on them. Many of these worlds will undergo disasters throughout their history, wiping out all our significant portions of their Life again and again. Gamma rays and solar bursts may scorch the surface, meteorites and super volcanoes may blot out their suns, and some planets may even be ejected out from their mother systems, orphaned and destined to wander the cold vastness for billions of years…

And here we are, on our Earth. Five times, Life has nearly been extinguished, and five times it has rebounded, after millions of years of recovery. Humanity has existed for 150 000 years, and the concept of human civilization is a mere 10 000 years old. In relation to that, our latest rebound following the latest global mass-extinction has taken place for the last 65 million years. Life on Earth has existed for 3,5 billion years, though complex life has only existed for half a billion years.

The position of the Ideology of the Third Millennium, is that Life is the foundation for our civilization – and moreover, it is our Credo. It is diverse. It is beautiful. It is a flowing river of opportunities. It is everything. It is the Universe experiencing itself. It has allowed us the chance of standing up over the savannah, and be able to gaze beyond the stars and into our own souls.

Therefore, we mean that the founding imperative of a Planetary Civilization should be to uphold Life as the highest principle – that Life is the highest value of our Cosmos and that worlds with capability to host complex life are the most cherished material entities in the Universe. This means that we have an obligation to design our civilization in such a manner that we allow Life to flourish and multiply.

Our current civilization is – as you well know – not built upon these principles. Rather, it is founded on the maxim that short-term economic growth should be upheld indefinitely and be so positive as possible for the next quarter of a year. Those defending Life under this current system must beg on their bare knees to gain attention, must flatter and scrape before the powers that control the resources and must almost apologise for having the nerve of existing in face of the self-evident principles of fractional reserve banking and consumerism, because their suggested alterations may well hurt the prospects of continued economic growth. In fact, those forces who care about the future of life on Earth often have to resort to studies which claim that environmental soundness is good for economic growth, for example regarding tourism.

Proponents of the Ideology of the Third Millennium are ready to have a civilised dialogue and seek a discussion about an incremental transition towards a sustainable future, but we will never apologise for the desire to save our biosphere. For us, Life is not something which shall need to plead for its right to exist. Our manner of destroying the oceanic eco-systems through trawling and to turn half the planetary land surface into mono-cultures and significant portions of it into concrete wasteland is not even objectively good for ourselves in the medium to long term, since we are undermining the foundations of human civilization. It is beyond doubt that our current way of managing resources and surfaces is parasitic and is turning Life into Death, which is fundamentally against all our principles.

We believe in Humanity, and that we are able to form a truly planetary culture which can create a prosperous and thriving existence for our species while upholding a sustainable relationship with the biosphere on which we all depend for our sustenance. We also believe that this is not only a possibility – it is a duty for our Civilization to uphold sustainability and to see Life as the highest value, consideration and meaning of its existence.

Love (Empathy)

The future civilization should not be founded on the fear of force or exclusion, but on respect for human beings. Human beings are expressions of Life, and are each endowed with rights and duties towards one another and towards humanity as a whole. When we form communities within the framework of this new, sustainable civilization, they need to be based on a non-aggression principle which is based on the respect for Life rather than property.

In the heart of this principle is that human beings have a right to live, from the moment that they are born. That is the right which is the fundament of all other rights. From this follows that human beings should not be exposed to force, threats of force or intimidation with the purpose of creating distress. From this also follows that all human beings have a right to nourish themselves, to have a space where they can sleep and do their needs in private, to be able to clothe themselves and to have equal access to the public spaces of their communities, as well as free right to travel.

The exception to this is when human beings have committed acts of violence and have victimised other individuals. They may be restricted from having full access to the community, but may not be wilfully physically injured or put under treatment with the purpose of causing physical or emotional distress when they have already been neutralised. Every human being does however have a right to self-defence.

All human beings have a right to a say in matters where they are affected by the decisions of others, whether individual, communitarian, judicial or global. This includes communities, which should have power to influence decisions regarding the usage of land and resources which will affect their livelihood in one way or another. People have the right to form and utter political, religious and social opinions, in public and private, and to form voluntary associations.

Animals have rights to the extent that when human beings, individually or collectively, are imposing their will on animals, and directly or indirectly are affecting the natural behaviour of the animals, the decisions should be made in a manner of respect towards the animals and a desire to the extent that is possible protect their ability to pursue their natural behaviour. If their natural behaviour cannot be guaranteed, procedures involving unwilling animal participation should be discouraged. Human beings do however have a right to self-defence if they are attacked by an animal.

When we make decisions in order to transition our civilization towards sustainability, many human beings will see their interests injured – which is inevitable. The process of transition must be moderated in accordance with these rights to ensure that all human beings, even those for various reasons being vehemently opposed to the transition, should have their rights, as defined above, guaranteed and respected. Any future systems must be designed in a de-centralised manner which seek to have independent bodies which would seek to it that the transition towards sustainability and the management of our civilization is conducted in a manner that safeguards human rights and dignities.

Property is however not an extension of a human body, and when operations are damaging to other human beings or the environment, forceful action to stop the abuse cannot – as long as it doesn’t involve the physical injury of the property owner – be considered a violation of human rights. The property owner does have a right to challenge the forced management of their property, and their other rights may not be infringed upon by such an intervention, and should be ensured.

We do not view rights as propertarian, but as relational, and for those interested we have written a previous article on the subject.

Regarding duties, we see to it that there are negative (strong) duties, to not destroy biomes or damage the biosphere, to not commit wanton acts of cruelty towards other individuals, to not cause distress to other human beings and to not display indifference in regards to events when others are being subjected to suffering. There are also positive duties, to uphold Life and support what makes Life thrive, to show empathy towards one another and towards animal life, and to contribute to the new planetary civilization.

These duties are however not compulsory, and it is by far worse to police a fellow human being regarding their active conduct regarding positive duties. Instead, those who feel strongly about these ideals should by themselves act as a light for the world and make a positive example out of themselves primarily. A foundational principle of our way is that introspection and inner control shall gradually phase out primitive forms of outer control, and that we actively should strive to form our culture in such a way that we evolve towards a state where few if any are still subject under the individual governance of base instinct.

This does not entail that we desire humanity to evolve into the Vulcans of Star Trek, or the dispassionate Jedi of Star Wars. We desire that humanity embraces its full potential, both collective and individual, and strive towards an open community where no one shall be compelled or forced to conform to a certain kind of fad or thinking. Emotions shall not be repressed, instead we must focus on understanding our emotions and being able to separate ourselves from them when necessary.

Light (Enlightenment) 

We have established the Ethos of our future civilization (Life), and the manner in which we must relate to one another (Love). This segment is devoted towards discussing, not how our institutions should be governed (that is a matter for The Design, not The Ideology), but rather after what principles decisions should be made.

The Ideology of the Third Millennium does not proscribe any particular policies on the micro-level. As long as policies strive towards social and ecological sustainability and do not exert harm on individuals, there should be a foundation to discuss the form of their execution in relation to the goal. A few “ideologies”, notably obscure far-left isms such as “Maoism” and “Hoxhaism” have been quick to proscribe singular, specific policies as core tenets of their ideology, for example collective farms, mass organisation, the creation of low-quality steel through home furnaces and the genocide of bird populations using loud things. Critique of these policies have often been interpreted as vicious attacks as the ideologies themselves. We, the proponents of the Ideology of the Third Millennium do not believe that an Ideology should or even can point towards any specific policies, or establish policies at all. Rather, our Ideology should influence our policies in regard to what we are striving towards, and what we may not do in the pursuit of them.

However, what we can establish is the principles under which policies should be evaluated and enacted. These principles are built on Enlightenment, namely that:

  • Decision-makers, elected representatives or the citizenry are expected to deliberate upon the desired goals of a hypothetical policy.
  • When these desired goals have been expressed, groups with expertise in the fields pertaining to the desired goals should be introduced into the process and produce, amongst themselves, scenarios under which these goals could best be realised to the lowest cost for the communities and for the environment.
  • Ideological and political considerations (apart from human rights and sustainability) must not be utilised when the expert groups are establishing scenarios and measuring them. The policies must be judged according to the scientific method.
  • The expert groups need to conduct their study of the policies in a transparent manner, and both the summaries and the full report must be publically available. They must also present the proposals to the public in good time before a vote, and the public must be allowed to give their input.
  • The community must make sure that the public understand the policies which are introduced.
  • The policies must be introduced in a democratic manner.

The scientific method cannot establish normative goals, nor can it state anything about what morality our civilization should adhere to. However, it is the least bad of the methodologies we have at our disposal currently in how we are ascertaining facts and are relating to reality whenever something should be built, renovated, introduced or legislated.

For the opposite form of procedures, we can ask the reader to view the proposal of the current US Presidential Administration to build a southern border wall. Instead of carefully deliberating on how to achieve a policy objective (decreasing illegal immigration), the Administration has founded its mandate on the implementation of a goal which has not been studied or analysed by experts.

Enlightenment does however entail more than how policy processes are shaped.

It is imperative that the citizenry is educated. Rather than speaking about raw knowledge regurgitated through an educational system of the industrial public school variety, we are talking about a state of existence where the people should be able to reason in an informed manner about policies and values, be able to understand and critique arguments based on principles rather than opinions, where a majority would be able to recognise instances of psychological manipulation, the exercise of flawed arguments and to discard appeals to passions such as anger, sexual arousal, fear and pride. We strive to move even farther, and create the environment for future generations that would recognise and thwart attempts to subconsciously affect them through the use of marketing.

Our current civilization is partially built on the opposite foundations. It is informally seen as a right to attempt to affect the cognitive functionalities of the public through misleading or implicitly dishonest advertising. The forces of consumerism has strived to create an environment where people are increasingly under the control of their baser needs and instincts, in order to reduce the inhibitions to the indulgence of spree-shopping. In short, the foundations of a liberal, rationalistic civilization is challenged from within by advertisement and entertainment industries which together are working to make the public more stupid and more susceptible.

We need to strive towards the opposite, not by filling the heads of the public with knowledge which they cannot at present utilise, but by learning the populace what knowledge is, and what intellectual tools there are at disposal to properly use knowledge. We desire to and must work to create the foundations for an enlightened people armed with the ability to reason and utilise logic for the ends of protecting their interests and the interests of the planet.

In summary

The Ideology of the Third Millennium is centred around Life as the highest value, social and ecological sustainability as the goal and the protection of individual rights as an imperative. It is also essential that policy formulations are separated from notions, prejudices, opinions and politics and are undergoing a universal process where expert groups transparently should present proposals to the public.

It differs from the current hegemonic Ideology of Liberalism in the following ways.

  • Liberalism sees the Individual as an atomised, abstract unit endowed with rights derived from their (human) rationality and from property rights (initially being seen as being God-given).
  • The Ideology of the Third Millennium sees the individual as a consciousness in possession of a physical body which needs nutrients, sleep and intellectual and emotional stimuli.
  • Liberalism sees property rights as the foundation and model of all rights.
  • The Ideology the Third Millennium sees that rights arise from relationships, and whenever a human being is interacting in some capacity with another human being, both parties are having rights and duties in regards to one another. Animal have rights when human beings are affecting their ability to pursue their natural behaviour.
  • Liberalism believes that the laws of supply and demand are the highest good in the realm of economics, and that they are the basis of economic policy. The environment is seen as an external factor and a special interest at best. According to classical Liberalism, human well-being is subjective and a wealthy person’s desire for a third car is at worst equal to a poor person’s desire for rice.
  • The Ideology of the Third Millennium seeks to it that we should strive towards a functioning biosphere, to ensure the well-being of future generations, while ensuring that no human being must live under a certain minimum level measured by objective standards.
  • Liberalism sees the highest good as the unimpeded right of the individual to live their life as they please, within the context of a civilization based on exponential growth and consumerism.
  • The Ideology of the Third Millennium sees the highest good that we build a Life-centred civilization, where each and every human being is free to express themselves within the constraints imposed by the needs of the biosphere to thrive.
  • Liberalism views it as so that all human beings are entitled to their opinions and prejudices, and that individuals, political parties and maybe more than anyone corporations have the right to manipulate human perceptions with misleading advertisement and propaganda.
  • The Ideology of the Third Millennium views it as so that all human beings are entitled to possess the intellectual tools that make critical reasoning possible, and have a right to be intellectually armed against manipulation.
  • Liberalism sees the western civilization of post-1991 as the End of History and the culmination of human endeavour.
  • The Ideology of the Third Millennium sees it as our duty to build a civilization which upholds as its highest value Life, as the highest goal a sustainable planetary biosphere able to sustain future human generations, balanced with a need to ensure that humanity could – individually and collectively – thrive within the constraints imposed by the planetary carrying capacity.
  • Liberalism and the Ideology of the Third Millennium agrees that human rights need to be defended, and that human beings have a right to influence decisions affecting them, to voluntary association, freedom of movement, of faith and political conviction and to have the right to partake in and refuse to partake in political activities. Both ideologies agree that there should be an independent judiciary body and a freedom of information.

The first goal of the Ideology of the Third Millennium is to be a platform for public education, with the goal of establishing a global consensus regarding the following issues.

  • That Life on Earth is the highest single value for humanity.
  • That we have a serious ecological crisis regarding climate, soils, freshwater reserves and biodiversity.
  • That the three criteria established by the Earth Organisation for Sustainability are the minimum foundation on which any future worth the name could be built on (http://eosprojects.com/the-three-criteria-for-sustainable-earth.html)

The goal should not be to ban or censor divergent opinions, but to ensure that 66% of the global majority understand the reasons behind and support this consensus, and that it is necessary for humanity surviving with dignity on Earth.

Quotes

 

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

 Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

 

We possess the power
If this should start to fall apart
To mend divides
To change the world
To reach the farthes
t star

Ronan Harris, VNV Nation, the Farthest Star

 

The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”

Sir David Attenborough

Friday, 03 February 2017 08:36

Relational Rights – a new foundation