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CONSTRUCTIVE IRREVERENCE It could seem to go against the grain to start questioning the sacred tenets of our cultural heritage, to break away from what our ancestors bequeathed to us, but it is necessary, if we want to have a future that we would like to look forward to. Consider: In the civilization that today rules the world (having disposed of other, less "successful", less "productive" social systems), each generation has been steadily, over the ages, leaving a future to their posterity that (on the whole, as an overall trend) has been progressively becoming worse and worse (at least in terms of having a place to live, and living in peace) for most life on Earth with each passing generation. Today, as in the most of the past of our exploitive civilization, the Earth is a pleasant place to live for only a very few humans, and most of those few humans live at the expense of a vastly greater number of humans and other forms of life. Life is becoming progressively more and more difficult for more and more Earthlings, human and nonhuman alike. Any crises and conflicts occurring on Earth are becoming more bloody and more costly in terms of damaged life and damaged Nature. All this due to following in the footsteps of the forbears who, in effect, were teaching their children that the only way ahead into the future was at others' expense. The other, more benign teachings professed by any "civilized" culture could only rarely counteract the raw outcome of human behavior in general. The amount of victims of this way of life (human and non-human alike) and the expanse of degraded Nature has been growing almost exponentially with the progress of civilization. We dutifully note and
bewail the damage, but no substantial changes for the better have been initiated yet. This is because our decisions and our actions come almost exclusively from conditioning that we received from our parents, who should really be disqualified as worthy tutors, because their most notable achievement in their lives (although individually they might have been quite likable fellows) was to pass on to their children an Earth greater in deficiencies than that their parents had left to them. And it certainly cannot be said that our children will inherit a Paradise from us! It cannot be even said that our children will inherit a world, if only a little better, if only a little improved than the one our parents left to us. On the contrary. We, in addition to whatever evils (environmental, or social) our parents allowed to happen, are running out of water and clean air, and any wars that will happen will, undoubtedly, surpass any wars that happened so far. The rich nations are still growing richer, while the hordes of the Earth's poor have no resources to get richer from. The gross imbalances that are already evident are increasing with time. We'll be leaving to our children an Earth rife with tensions whose eventually inevitable release will not be happy. We'll be greater than our parents only in the magnitude of misery that our children will be left with, aided only with knowledge that they are learning from us. Knowledge that in no way is any wisdom. A knowledge that is useless for making this place, the Earth, a happy place. What could be done? It is obvious that to look for help to knowledge gotten from the past might be problematic. Most of our actions to improve on the situation is patterned after experiences from the past, and because any solutions that would really radically improve this planet's lot are antithetical to the seemingly indelibly engraved commandment-thou shalt make profit no matter what the costs might be--no real improvements are really ever
made. Of course, we deny ourselves to see it this way, but do we really care where and how the stuff we consume is made, at what real cost? Our conscience doesn't extend beyond the supermarket, in most cases. And even when we might care on occasions, our having to "make living" stops us from undertaking of any meaningful actions; at best we might make a compromise, from time to time, that might look good, but that essentially is meaningless. Many people around the globe are contemplating, and actually even engage in violent actions to improve things, thinking that there is no other way out of desperation, but history shows that any violence committed in the name of improving of anybody's fate paradoxically never really brought any benefits that would justify any of the sufferings that any violence ever caused. Perhaps a way of truly and fully, of non violently redirecting the reigning paradigm towards a distinct betterment would be to start learning not from our past, but instead, from our future. A future that we would design ourselves, based on what we know to be true about our Earth and about humanity. This kind of knowledge is there, it would only require separating it from knowledge that causes humanity to be forever descending into more suffering. The task would be to design a future that would be as ideal as possible. A future where all the components would be as close to harmony as possible. A future that would be designed by virtually everyone, not only by politicians (who, on the whole, by the non-virtue of the current system in use, are inefficient servants of the people they represent, because the system that they are operating within is inefficient itself). A future that would be good for our children and all the living things on Earth. Technologically this would be possible. It might perhaps require to hook up all the computers in the world into a huge global supercomputer (this creating a supercomputer by hooking many PC's
together - is already being done on a smaller scale--look up "distributed computing"), creating thus a virtual "round table" that would be used to hone a model of our collective future to everybody's satisfaction, and then starting implementing steps that would eventually result in a realization of a future that would not be an outcome of dutifully following in the footprints of our progenitors (a process doomed to creating increasing misery on Earth without a fail), but that would be an outcome of following a fully informed and deliberately created vision. However - the ways of implementation are not important. To be willing to design a satisfactory future as a global collective would be important. The details of how to achieve such a future would take care of themselves, once we start knowing what such a future should look like.
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