Into the Heart of Lightness

PART 1 - Draft Copy

CURRENT REALITY

The Fork in the Road

Dyma ni awr ar daith ein gobaith (here we are now on our journey of faith) - Morgan John Rhys

Say goodbye to work drudgery, heavy taxation, and environmental degradation. It sounds like a late-night infomercial. Yet, we have the technology to do this and more. So why the disconnect between what is doable and what is politically possible? Powerful actors and institutions are often blamed, but these reflect society in general. Suspect leaders and institutions fade away through the ages, yet the gaping separation between human potential and political reality remains. 

The misdeeds by overt and covert rulers are part of a deeper, systemic problem. At root, humanity’s evolutionary path is the culprit. Like all life, it led through a jungle environment, where force and deception are the cardinal virtues. The brutish instincts required for survival in this milieu are still within us. Automatic reflexes, hormones and selfish genes are among the impulses that drive irrational behavior. A cartoonist spoke to this by reframing the famous military quote, “we have met the enemy, and he is ours,” to say, “we have met the enemy, and he is us.”

The good news is that people change all the time and societies along with them. The development of civilizing structures nurtures our better nature. The law of the jungle is slowly giving way to the law of civil society. As a result, there is far less violence today than in the past. The most dangerous neighborhood would be considered a relatively safe space by our not-so-distant ancestors. The exception to this is during times of war. As one general put it: “the clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.” 

History has shown wars are inevitable in the absence of overarching laws. When tribal law was the highest level of social organization, there was constant combat between the tribes. As tribes coalesced into rules-bound confederations, the fighting between erstwhile deadly enemies dropped off precipitously. Once these alliances amalgamated into nation-states, warfare again diminished dramatically. Peaceful times were longer and covered more territory, with law settling most disputes. When war did come, it naturally scaled up with the larger groupings.

As nations grow closer together through technology, trade and treaties, warfare is again decreasing. It has been generations since conscription in many countries. War between the democracies is almost unthinkable today. There is still constant warfare on the world stage because nascent international laws are often unenforceable and applied selectively. However, combat is on a much-diminished scale compared to the past. The final step to ending war is to create more effective global laws. The question of our times is whether this is tried through the imposition of a secretive global oligarchy with dictatorial ambitions or through the participation of a more educated, informed public. 

The Emperor’s Old Clothes

“The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes.” - Michael Corleone, Godfather Part III

Understandably, many are vehemently opposed to the idea of global law. The more distant the government, the more difficult it is to keep it accountable. The higher concentration of power also tends towards more corruption. Stories that leak out of existing international bodies do not dispel concerns. Nationalistic conditioning, complete with flags and anthems, creates yet more resistance to the idea of world citizenry. 

Beyond this, our daily experiences with national and lower levels of government are rife with abuses of power and other forms of corruption. Politicians often finish dead last in surveys on the trust accorded to a profession. Who in their right mind would want more of this at a higher, almost untouchable level?

The first question to ask is how those elected to high office are ranked so low? To be fair, politicians are in the spotlight, along with their shortcomings. Constituents can condemn the human failings of a politician while ignoring their own similar transgressions. That said, the lack of trust is ultimately justified. Politicians are integral participants in what has been accurately termed a lying structure. This method of ruling predominated for millennia, long before any serious moves towards a world government.

The lying structure political model was codified some 500 years ago in a book entitled The Prince by high court diplomat Nicolo Machiavelli. The term Machiavellian is often used as a pejorative, meaning underhanded and unethical. However, Machiavelli was simply being forthright about what it took to advance in the ruling structure of his day. He concluded that we could not do good without power, but we cannot gain power, nor keep it, without doing evil. The reason he gave for this was the people themselves. Many would abandon their leader if they thought another power seeker could offer them more. He wrote: “princes who have little regard for their word have achieved great things, being the experts at beguiling people’s minds. In the end, these princes overcame those who relied solely on loyalty." He went so far as to argue that it was irresponsible to apply to political action the moral standards that are appropriate to private life. He reasoned that disorder would result, and the people would suffer more.

Machiavelli ignored the good side of humanity to say: “one can make this generalization about people: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars, and deceivers, they shun danger and are greedy for profit; while you treat them well, they are yours. They would shed their blood for you, risk their property, their lives, their children, so long as I said above, the danger is remote, but when you are in danger, they turn against you.” In other words, wise leaders don’t trust the people any more than the people trust their leaders. If people see personal advantage in supporting someone else, their loyalty turns out to be a loyalty of convenience, no matter what you have done for them in the past.  

Because rival claimants to power can be unscrupulous, the current leaders needed to act likewise to defend themselves. Nice guys finish last was Machiavelli’s observation. Consequently, he advised, “It is necessary that the prince should know how to color his nature well, and how to be a great hypocrite and dissembler.” 

Machiavelli viewed public morality as only another tool for manipulation. He wrote: “a leader doesn't have to possess all the virtuous qualities, but it’s absolutely imperative that he seems to possess them.” The crowd is won over “by appearances,” and as “the world is all crowd,” appearances matter. He expressed admiration for “a certain prince of present times, whom it is not well to name, never preaches anything but peace and faith, and is very hostile to both.” 

Over a century after Machiavelli’s defining work, Englishman Thomas Hobbes followed up with an equally pessimistic look at humanity. In his most famous work, Leviathan, he wrote: "in the first place, I put forth a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceases only in death.” Hobbes argued that individuals living in a state of nature were constantly at war, did not know right from wrong, and lived lives that were “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” He advocated rule by an absolute sovereign or dictator.  Otherwise, “during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man.”

The Machiavellian or lying structure still predominates today. It underlies the false reality projected by our mainstream media, educational facilities, and other institutions. People tend to vote for whoever promises the most, regardless of broken promises in the past. Leaders who are immoral and cater to the selfish side of humanity usually end up on top. For most people, it is easier to fool them than convince them they have been fooled. As difficult as it is to accept, as an aggregate, the people do get the government they deserve. It’s no one’s fault of course. Previous human evolution got us here. The selfish gene lurking deep within us needs to be better directed to get us out of here. The question is how best to break out of the cycle of mutual distrust to create a participative, empowering future for all world citizens. How can society create a post-Machiavellian world now that the communications technology is here to make it possible?

Machiavelli’s most well-known statement is that “it’s much safer to be feared than loved.” The reasoning is that fear is a more powerful emotion than loyalty or friendship for most. However, fear also breeds hatred. It is instructive that the ruler who served as a model for Machiavelli’s book fell to ruin rather spectacularly. Machiavelli must have sensed the downside to his advice as he also wrote: “the best fortress is to be found in the love of the people, for although you may have fortresses, they will not save you if the people hate you.”

Proofs of a Conspiracy

If indeed sometimes I do happen to tell the truth, I hide it among so many lies that it is hard to find. - Niccolo Machiavelli

Some super elites have owned up to their Machiavellian bent in published books that anyone can access through the public library system. Insider economist John Keynes came clean in his 1931 book Essays in Persuasion. He wrote, “for at least another hundred years, we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.” In other words, it is necessary to do evil in order to do good.

Jesuit and Georgetown University Professor Carroll Quigley, described by past U.S. President Bill Clinton as a mentor, wrote a 1966 book entitled Tragedy and Hope, a History of the World in Our Time. In this massive tome, he laid bare the reality behind Keynesian economics. He wrote: “The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.” Quigley also related that he was an insider with this group, had studied its inner workings for years, and approved of their overall aims.

Arnold J. Toynbee served as a director of the highly influential Royal Institute of International Affairs. He admitted his adherence to Machiavellian principles when he wrote: “we are at present working, discreetly but with all our might, to wrest this mysterious political force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local national states of our world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands. It is just because we are really attacking the principle of local sovereignty that we keep on protesting our loyalty to it so loudly because to impugn the sovereignty of the local nation-states of the world is still a heresy for which a statesman or publicist can perhaps not quite be burned at the stake but certainly be ostracized or discredited.”

In his 2002 book Memoirs, United Nations stalwart and financier David Rockefeller did not mince words when he wrote: “for more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” 

The above is but a tiny sampling of the evidence of the super-elite push to weaken national sovereignty in favor of global governance and do so by Machiavellian means. A key point here is that the conspiracy to create a world government is not a monolithic block as is sometimes presented. Like every other significant human endeavor, there are competing factions, outliers, and shifting alliances. As Keynes, Quigley, Toynbee, Rockefeller, and others make clear, even the injunction to secrecy is not something all feel bound to. A caveat is that when these leaders made their honest statements, they felt confident their grip on the mass media and educational systems would ensure our political reality would not become widespread knowledge. Rightly, it was assumed that few people would read the original works in low circulation journals or plow through Quigley’s book of more than 1300 pages. The Internet is a game-changer here. The relevant quotes were pulled from their obscurity and given wide circulation in a concise format, along with references to the original works. Belated, futile attempts to stifle information on the Internet is not so much to forestall fake news as to try to put this information genie back in the bottle. However, that genie can give us our best wishes, including accountable, transparent world governance.

Through the Ages

All great things have small beginnings.Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, the Art and Science of Systems Thinking. 

Change is the only constant. However, there is continuous change and discontinuous change. Continuous change is ongoing and gradual, a part of everyday life, like growing older. Discontinuous change is disruptive and divergent, creating upheaval, as in a job loss or the death of a partner. After a discontinuous change, an individual’s path in life can change significantly. An entire society can undergo discontinuous change. Revolutions, wars, and other phenomena can set a nation on a new path. 

The most dramatic discontinuity in human affairs is referred to as an age change. In an age change, a veritable explosion of inventions and innovations results in new ways of doing things in many societies. Previous human ages were the hunter-gatherer age, the agricultural age, the industrial age and the digital age. Humanity is now entering the knowledge age. 

The hunter-gatherer age began about three million years ago when earlier species of humans became meat eaters. Insects, carrion, and disabled animals provided rich food energy. This survival advantage was increased by the development of rudimentary hunting tools and strategies to bring down healthy animals. The hunting tactics and tools were also critical for success in clashes with other tribes. Hunter-gatherers evolved into modern humans. Other early human species, like the Australopiths, remained plant eaters and became extinct.

The agricultural age began to supplant the hunter-gatherer age about 10,000 years ago. Cultivating crops and domesticating animals helped stabilize the food supply. Settlements replaced nomadic life for most. Warfare increased as the growing populations led to more territorial clashes. Cities and civilizations arose out of the conquests and alliances. Money was invented, but ledgers, barter, and self-produced consumption dominated the economy. Industrial production, such as the manufacture of weaponry, farming implements and a few consumer goods, made up less than 5 percent of the agricultural age economy. Hunter-gathering tribes slow to develop were destroyed or absorbed by the larger populations and superior resources of agricultural age peoples. 

The industrial age started with mechanical inventions like the power loom, which increased the output of a worker by over a factor of 40. At a world’s fair in 1855, a thresher was demonstrated that could replace 123 farmworkers. The invention of steam power displaced yet more muscle power. Food production increased dramatically even as most people migrated to towns and cities. Many of those uprooted by the mechanization of agriculture found work in the factories of the burgeoning urban centers. As the agricultural age came to a close, less than three percent of the population was required to produce food surpluses in the developed countries. Countries slow to industrialize were easy prey for conquest and colonization by the superior weaponry and technology of industrialized countries.  

The harnessing of electricity spurred yet more production and new inventions. Trains, then automobiles, and planes revolutionized transportation. The telegraph, then the telephone, transformed personal communications. Newspapers, followed by radio and television, replaced the town crier and traveling minstrels. By 1956, about 70 percent of the workforce was directly engaged in manufacturing activities in the leading countries. Increased automation led to a gradual reduction in blue-collar employment and a rise in less essential white-collar activities such as advertising and finance. The digital age discontinuity was around the corner.

In 1946 ENIAC became the first fully functional digital computer. It occupied about 1,800 square feet, used about 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighed almost 50 tons. In 1964, the first desktop computer was unveiled to the public at the New York World's Fair. About 44,000 of the machines were sold to the business world. The first personal computer (PC) was introduced in 1971. In 1977, the digital age foundation was laid when three preassembled mass-produced PCs hit the marketplace: the Apple II, the Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80, and the Commodore PET or Personal Electronic Transactor. In 1991, the World Wide Web came onstream to connect the PCs of the general public to a growing treasure trove of information. Search engines made information retrieval instantaneous and easy. The growing decentralized and democratized communication structure planted the seeds of the knowledge age. 

The time between age changes decreased by magnitudes. Three million years ago, the hunter-gatherer age started, 10,000 years ago the agricultural age came on the scene. 400 years ago the industrial age began and 40 years ago the digital age came to life. Over the next few years, the knowledge age will come into being and humanity could enter a new phase of civilization. The predominance of force and deception in politics could shift to the rule of ethics and morality. In short, the knowledge age has the capability to complete an overarching discontinuity that spans all previous human ages; Machiavelli’s retirement party as it were.  

Alternatively, current misguided efforts to return to authoritarianism and totalitarianism of the past could reverse progress. Society could again devolve to lord and serf dynamics. Technology will provide a temporary cushion, as the immediate effect could very well be a general rise in the material standard of living for many. Then much like the Soviet Union, there will be a violent collapse leading to great hardship, only this time the venue will be global and the violence will be epic. Excessive concentration of power always leads to the same thing in human affairs. It’s not just the historical record that proves this out. There are logical reasons for the fulfillment of Lord Acton’s quote that: “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This will be covered in future chapters.

Discontinuity and the Deep State

Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategic situation in a particular society. - Michel Foucault

Futurist Alvin Toffler wrote a groundbreaking trilogy of bestsellers on the industrial age to digital age transition. The books were entitled Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift. They were published 10 years apart, starting in 1970. Future Shock (1970), encompassed a theme of people and societies being overwhelmed by the age change, with many going into a form of shock, unable to make sense of their fast-changing world. In The Third Wave (1980), the decline of the nation state and the rise of new ways of creating wealth and governance were among the topics. Increasing transnational powers and separtist movements would attack the nation state from above and below. Periodic polling at elections in the democracies would move toward a more direct interaction between the government and its populace.  Powershift (1990) explored new concepts of knowledge, wealth and force. The focus was on the empowerment of the average citizen, rather than the headline grabbing leadership changes at high levels. Toffler postulated that power is not merely transferred in an age change, it is transformed.

Revolutionary Wealth, published in 2006 and co-authored with wife Heidi Toffler, expanded on the concepts covered in the trilogy. Most notably, it took into account the emergence of the World Wide Web. Changes in space, time and knowledge were the dominant themes of the book. Geographical space became less important with the rise of cyberspace. Times for work and play became much easier to synchronize. A burgeoning wealth of knowledge was at one’s fingertips. New social media and other communication capabilities spurred grassroots global movements to challenge the transnational elite entities. The traditional idea of a world government accomplished by a unification of nation states is fading as a globalized revolution takes shape.

In The Third Wave, there was a grim recounting of the transition from the agricultural age to the industrial age. Ages already rife with violence became even moreso. In Alvin Toffler’s words, the age change involved: “one long blood-drenched drama of wars, revolts, famines, forced migrations, coups d’état, and calamities''. In assessing the transition from the industrial age to the digital age, he concluded, “the stakes are much higher, the time shorter, the acceleration faster, and the dangers even greater”.  He went on to warn: “Much depends on the flexibility and intelligence of the elites, sub-elites, and super-elites. If these groups prove to be as shortsighted, unimaginative and frightened as most ruling groups in the past, they will rigidly resist the third wave [digital age] and thereby escalate the risks of violence and their own destruction.” 

Every age change threatens existing power structures. Elites invested and experienced in the old ways of doing things are often slow to take advantage of the efficiencies of the new inventions and innovations. Rather than taking a leadership role, many attempt to cling to their increasingly obsolete ways. For example, most of the aristocracy gave up their power to elected legislatures through force and the threat of force, as the industrial age got underway. However, some seized the new tools and became leading lights of the age, others saw the writing on the wall and enacted sufficient reforms. They did not “escalate the risks of violence and their own destruction” and gracefully gave way to the emerging elected legislative bodies. English and Dutch royalty segued into comfortable ceremonial roles. Conversely, French and Russian royalty met tragic ends. Either way, the hereditary rulers of the agricultural age gave way to the elected legislatures of the industrial age. 

What’s in a Name

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things. "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all." - C.S. Lewis - Alice in Wonderland

Alvin Toffler used the analogy of the first wave to describe the agricultural age, the second wave to denote the industrial age and the third wave to describe the digital age. The ages have been given other descriptors. In 1982, insider Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote of an emerging technotronic era as a synonym for the digital age in Between Two Ages. The ill-fitting information age, which Toffler also used, became the mainstream term for some time. The digital age was then relabelled by the elites as the ‘third industrial age’, reminiscent of Toffler’s third wave description. For these elites, centered in the World Economic Forum, the steam-powered industrial age became the first industrial age, while the electrified industrial age was called the second industrial age. The emerging knowledge age has been given the label of the fourth industrial age. 

The agricultural age, the industrial age, the digital age, and the knowledge age continue to be better descriptors. They reflect the dominant characteristics of each age and so are easier to understand and communicate. This might make the terms unfashionable among the elites who prefer wordplay that is obtuse; the better to limit the involvement of the masses it seems. A lack of ability on the part of the average person is the unspoken reason given for elite exclusivity. Perhaps by design, even where this is true, it is due to a deficient education system designed by that very same elite. It’s worth pointing out another possible reason behind the current establishment age descriptions is that the first, second, third and fourth industrial ages suggest a certain continuity; one that doesn’t involve the usual elite downfall that generally accompanies an age change.

Arrested Development

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. - Frederick Douglass

A decade or so after the publication of The Third Wave, the establishment mantra was that the information age had arrived. In terms of technological capability this was true. In terms of society in general, the misinformation age would be a better fit. The elites overall did “rigidly resist” a true age change. However, they were not overthrown or superseded as Toffler thought likely and as had happened in previous age changes. Instead, elites manipulated the rise of the tech giants and other upstarts of the digital age through their control of finance and the industrial age media. New players that didn’t get on board with the old guard were marginalized or worse. 

The mass media, central banks, state schools, legislative bodies, corporate structures and so on that emerged with the industrial age remained largely unchanged in the digital age. These institutions were devised before there were telephones, televisions, radios, computers, instantaneous trillion-dollar global transfers, or the capability to destroy the environment. Economic progress is still measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Among other shortcomings, GDP measures a murder and a marriage to be of equal value if the same amount of money changes hands. Strange but true. Most legislatures no longer represent the people in any meaningful sense as lobbyists, campaign finance necessities, and the need to please the captive industrial age media  have taken over.

Only in the Soviet Union, where Glasnost allowed previously banned information to be freely circulated, were the communist elites, sub-elites, and super-elites shown the door. Or in the case of Romania, executed. Otherwise, the world’s power structure and its institutions remained largely unchanged. 

Evolving propaganda techniques kept many would-be revolutionaries distracted and divided. Amazing technological advances sated enough of the general population so the industrial age elites could continue despite their shortcomings. The super production of the digital age technology covered the cracks caused by obsolescent institutions. However, like most temporary fixes, the necessary foundational work is only delayed, not forgone. 

Institutional changes are at the heart of successful age changes. As the agricultural age gave way to the industrial age, political institutions changed from monarchies to representative democracies; economic institutions went from primarily barter and self-produced consumption to widespread capitalism and communism; and social institutional changes included extended family structures breaking up into nuclear families and massive migration to urban centers. The dramatic institutional changes worked in tandem with the new technology to lift civilizations both materially and morally.

Because institutional change was largely stillborn in the digital age, many facets of society degraded, even as technology made more possible. Unhealthy addictions increased and accompanied an overall decline in morality and civil behavior. Just a few decades ago, it was common to leave houses and other possessions unlocked in the developed nations. Now everything is locked up tight, often alarmed and with bars on the windows. Personal security cameras are common. The income of many of the essential workers has been falling in real terms for decades. Growing homeless encampments have surpassed those of the dirty thirties in some areas. American professor Brene Brown points out the world’s leading country is riddled with “the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history.” The social decline in the digital age is in stark contrast to the significant improvements wrought during humanity’s advances through the agricultural and industrial ages. 

To be fair, there has been significant progress in such things as ecological awareness and bigotry of all kinds. However, even these progressions are unravelling. To try to maintain power, elites have once again turned to the age-old ‘divide and conquer’ strategy; emphasizing differences in race and sex and creating ludicrous double standards designed to build animosities between different peoples. To their credit, more and more people see through this. The blatant hypocrisy around environmental sustainability has created a backlash where platitudes may be mouthed, but paths are now routinely marred by casual littering, mainly by the new generations raised on ecological awareness. Pseudo environmental leaders like David Suzuki have four residences with the protestors often having ecological footprints much larger than older generations.

The institutional changes that did happen in the digital age came from the outliers and the grassroots. The nuclear family, which is largely outside of deep state control, has undergone substantial change. Decentralized social media is well on the way to replacing centrally-controlled mass media and will be at the forefront of driving more significant institutional change in the future. Cryptocurrencies are just starting to probe at weaknesses in the banking systems, albeit some being co-opted by the reactionaries. The mysterious origin of bitcoin could signify a deep state project from the start. Regardless, the block chain technology came from grassroots programmers. The potential is there for genuinely new financial structures.  National legislatures remain largely unchanged but they are generally held in contempt and vilified in most countries, as people look for new, relevant governance models. 

The captive industrial age media offers mainly distractions and misinformation propaganda, but sometimes the best do offer a glimpse of truth. In The Guardian newspaper, William Davies wrote: “A recent survey found that the majority of people globally believe their society is broken and their economy is rigged. Both the left and the right feel misrepresented and misunderstood by political institutions and the media, but the anger is shared by many in the liberal centre, who believe that populists have gamed the system to harvest more attention than they deserve. Outrage with mainstream institutions has become a mass sentiment."

Change of Change

This is a time to make the future—precisely because everything is in flux. This is a time for action. - Peter Drucker

Signs abound that institutional changes can no longer be forestalled. The traditional elite totalitarian reaction is well underway as is the growing resistance. What remains to be seen is the method of the transition. Force is less tenable today on the part of the rulers. Widespread massacres of rebellious populations are off the table in the liberal democracies, not least because most police and soldiers would refuse orders and switch sides. This is helped in no small part by the right to bear arms in the United States and to a lesser extent in other countries. 

Deception is also in rapid decline as a control mechanism. Widespread new communications technologies mean less of the people can be fooled less of the time. The covid strategy may have backfired on the elites in that rather than accustom people to a loss of their rights; it opened the eyes of many to just how duplicitous the industrial age media is. As decentralized social media continues to supplant industrial age mass media, the secrecy necessary for the Machiavellian method is melting away. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) emphasized decentralized communications structures during the development of the Internet during the cold war. Before the introduction of the World Wide Web, the military and academia had designed networks and protocols with a view to preventing the decapitation of communications capabilities during a nuclear strike. A complex mesh configuration and flexible routing instructions could send messages around obliterated communications hubs and make continued widespread armed resistance possible. The enemy of the times was totalitarianism in the form of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. Fortunately, the defence structure was never needed for the purpose it was designed for. However, fortuitously, this decentralized design is now proving effective against the resurgence of totalitarianism today.

Tech giants are attempting to block and spin information, to continue the lying structure of the industrial age mass media. However, endruns are easy on the World Wide Web. The mesh configuration is doing its job. So-called ‘fact checkers’, attempts at censorship, salting search engine results and other disinformation tactics all end up seeing the light of day. The blowback is that there is further damage to the establishment's credibility and influence along the implementation of grassroots alternatives. It is not unusual for condemnations and ridicule to be the dominant themes in the comment section of an official news story that at one time would have been widely believed. This sea change in knowledge and attitude has happened in the short decades since Toffler published his groundbreaking trilogy at the onset of the digital age. Some dissidents adopt the tactics of the Machiavellians and spread countervailing fake news, but they are also being found out and lose credibility with the majority. 

China has led the way in censoring access to the Internet, but VPNs and other workarounds are common. As the Western elite ramp up their totalitarianism, Canada is leading the way in extending this concept to the pseudo democracies. After all, if all nations are likewise censored, then VPN and other workarounds will have nowhere to go for alternate information. Except other Internets are now possible. One labelled Solid has the lead inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee, on board. This looks to be co-opted already, with a leading finance company as a major sponsor, but other alternatives are in the works. Additionally, many Canadians are rising up. Alberta in particular seems destined to go the way of Florida in the United States, where increasing totalitarianism was firmly rejected.

Humanity is still at a fork in the road that is as significant as any in history. True to form, the ruling class approach to the knowledge age is ‘shortsighted and unimaginative.’ Superficial changes, lip service, and a reflexive clampdown flow from the top. The required institutional transitions are ‘rigidly resisted’ by the procrastinating elites who fear and dread real change as much as the average worker facing layoffs. While disappointing, it is not surprising. One of the things Toffler left unsaid is the Catch-22 inherent in an uninformed populace under a Machiavellian leadership. How do the current rulers get off this tiger without being eaten? There are precedents for peaceful institutional transitions. As mentioned, some royal houses segued into ceremonial roles. Despite calls for revenge, this method of peaceful change needs to be expanded for the next transition.

To take the path out of the jungle, to what Toffler and others have referred to as the first true human civilization in history, the transition itself should reflect the desired peaceful society as much as possible. Some developments since the last age change that calls for a relatively peaceful transition include the advent of nuclear weapons and serious ecological challenges. Humanity’s capacity for repeating a history of violent change may be reaching its limit. It has been said that people and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted. That point has been reached. Change of change is necessary. 

Legislatures have since been largely captured by the new underground aristocracy and their money machine. Campaign financing, lucrative board appointments, jobs after defeat or retirement, and offshore accounts while in office, all serve to subvert constitutional democracies and republics. As such, legislatures are losing power to knowledge age governance structures that truly empower the individual. Citizens are increasingly calling for such improvements such as the right of recall, referendums, free votes, direct democracy and adherence to bills of rights.

Creative destruction policies are another misused elite tool. Economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term to describe how free markets make old technologies redundant. The elites have stood this concept on its head to advocate a centralized, top down destruction of otherwise viable enterprises, with the idea that the masses will flow into the higher existence of a new age being designed from the top down for them. Yet the old institutional frameworks and the excessively top-down method itself militates against sustainable, workable new social structures self-organizing. Instead, all the destruction part of their strategy creates is a fearful, resentful population; the opposite of what is needed for positive change. 

When the creative destruction policies predictably fail, the fallback is a push for even more top-down control of the change process. The failure is blamed on the people themselves, rather than the thoroughly deficit plan. The latest example of creative destruction policy is the world covid coup attempt led by the elites through the World Economic Forum.

Natural law, or nature, always bats last, and so communist states collapsed in their competition against freer nations. Not learning from history, the elite solution is to scale communism up to a global level, such that there will be no opposing freer states. If they succeed, eventually nature will still come up to bat last, but this time around with apocalyptic results. As usual, there will be improvements in the short term, before the concentration of power slowly corrodes the structure, to the point of an explosive collapse. The current short-sighted, unimaginative, dictatorial approach will end up like all dictatorships; back in the jungle. From a systems theory perspective, this has been expressed as “the easy way out often leads back in”.

There is still time to change the road we’re on and there are promising developments. A surveillance society is one aspect of the authoritarian model being pushed by the establishment, but historical lessons on the horrors of totalitarianism, whether communist or fascist, have left a deep impression on society in general. Constitutional protections in democracies provide an additional layer of protection and are stalling the efforts of would-be dictators and oligarchs. 

Out of the Heart of Darkness

The history of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of freedom - Friedrich Hegel 

Toffler’s work was mainstream enough that he dined at the U.S. White House and a congressional house speaker wrote the foreword to one of his books. Because of his establishment approach, some of the specific concepts behind his concerns could only be hinted at. Forty years later, at the dawn of the knowledge age, self-censorship along with the usual establishment censorship, is no longer necessary nor desirable. Knowledge requires replacing lies of omission and often intentionally inaccurate information with relevant and truthful communication. 

Other key facets of the knowledge age, such as lifelong learning and artificial intelligence (AI), also rely on the bedrock of honesty to be effective. Otherwise, it’s garbage in, garbage out for both education and AI. The increased marginal efficiency and a sharing economy touted by the establishment is likewise compromised by sticking to the old, tired, top-down, fourth industrial age concept, instead of moving into a genuinely new knowledge age. Beyond the propagandized buzzwords, the reality is a sharing economy has been a facet of economics since the beginning of history, rising and ebbing through the ages. There is nothing that ties it to the knowledge age other than technology has created new online avenues for the activity. Early Native Americans, unlike today’s inhabitants, could not imagine letting anyone but an enemy stay outside on a winter night and so on. The increased marginal efficiency promoted is still calculated according to GDP, which is to say, destructive activities are lumped in with constructive activities to determine productivity. It is like a mathematical formula where plus signs and minus signs are used interchangeably. The very inanity of the GDP measurement is part of the reason it continues, as most people have trouble believing something so silly could be central to their economic life. Some basic thermodynamic terms were introduced by the compromised change agents, heralding the end of GDP, but without other institutional changes, this change will follow the concept of putting lipstick on a pig.

Evolutionary economist and cybernetician Kenneth Boulding was an early adopter of the term knowledge age. In his 1956 work The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society the relationship between the image individuals and societies have of reality, and the truth, is highlighted as a key concept for the future  The wholesale rejection of mainstream economic misinformation was necessary for Boulding’s scientific approach to wealth creation. In the simplest terms, his formula is that wealth is created through knowledge applied to matter and energy. In the simplest terms, a farmer would apply his knowledge  to an acreage, using energy to propel tractors and harvesters  

In thermodynamic or scientific terms, this is the human element applied to the natural entropy or disorder of the universe, creating negentropy, or order from chaos. Instead of god-like super-elites running the show, Boulding believed in “the immediate experience of the Holy Spirit, or Inward Light, available to every man to teach, guide, reprove, and draw him up toward goodness”. This outlook is in keeping with Thomas Jefferson’s precept that it is error alone that needs government. Self-organizing individuals, with just laws they create and back, will create a far better society than some would-be new aristocracy.

Trilateral Commission co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski covered the usual police state tactic of elites avoiding change in his 1970 book Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. He warned: “Another threat, less overt but no less basic, confronts liberal democracy. More directly linked to the impact of technology, it involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know­how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. He went on to write “In the technotronic society the trend would seem to be towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities exploiting the latest communications techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.”

This theme of loss of freedom echoes through the sterile chambers of the old guard. Previous Bank of Canada governor and current Bank of England head, Mark Carney, is among those opening proclaiming such a necessity. As one researcher put it: “In his book Value(s): Building a Better World for All, he claims that western society is morally rotten, and that it has been corrupted by capitalism, which has brought about a “climate emergency” that threatens life on earth. This, he claims, requires rigid controls on personal freedom, industry and corporate funding. Carney’s views are important because he is UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. He is also an adviser both to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the next big climate conference in Glasgow, and to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

The tunnel vision that ignores far more desirable and just alternatives is fed by the desire to acquire power and prestige. 

The obvious shortcoming of trying this age-old tactic is that the explosion of information would overwhelm the ability of would-be rulers to act effectively. There is a reason communist totalitarian states did not succeed even though information requirements were quite a bit less at the time of their collapse. As society becomes increasingly complex, distributed information flows are favored over concentrated information flows. The new aristocrats are counting on AI, robotics and other new developments to overcome the command and control deficiencies of the previous communist regimes. However, humans are spiritual beings, and solving the food, shelter, and clothing issue at the cost of our freedom is not a trade most would do for any significant period of time. A point to remember here is that elites are not a monolithic body. One could do worse than identify elites who are doing real work in protecting human freedoms and backing them against the reactionaries. 

THE ROAD FROM SERFDOM

The Money Trick 

In every republic there are two parties, that of the nobles and that of the people. The former have a great desire to dominate, whilst the latter have only the wish to not be dominated - Nicolo Machiavelli

Insider Carrol Quigley chose his words carefully when he wrote the financial system “was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world.” This was accomplished by allowing banks to create money from thin air. For the uninitiated, banks do not lend the money of their depositors. Each time they make a loan, brand new money is created out of thin air. The new money is lent out at compounding interest to the general public and captive governments. The money to pay the interest to retire the debt does not exist, until it is created from nothing, as more debt, at more compounding interest. This inexorably leads to debt servitude, or serfdom, for most. It is the reason the world is awash in debt today.

This method of money creation is not a conspiracy theory, but an established fact; one that is now coming into the general consciousness. The Bank of England now includes it on their website. As far back as 1922, the Chicago Federal Reserve outlined the money creation process in a booklet entitled Modern Money Mechanics. As will be covered in a later chapter, the neo-feudalist financial system Quigley referred to has been hidden in plain sight for some time, in low circulation journals and the unpublicized work of many monetary reformers, including accredited financial professionals. Arrayed against this was a tsunami of misinformation from the propaganda organs of the elite. By creating money from thin air, the new aristocracy was able to easily outbid competitors for control of the mass media, election campaigns and consequently education systems.

Even if an individual has no personal debt, they are still the servant of the borrower through odious government debts. In Canada, it is estimated one third of tax dollars goes towards paying interest on money created from nothing and ostensibly lent to governments by private banks. Refusal to pay one’s portion of taxes to service odious government debt would result in property confiscation and prison. In more honest times, the odious debt payments would have been called tribute, paid by a weaker state to avoid attack by a stronger, predatory state. In mafia terminology, it is called a protection racket. Governments that try to set up a more honest money system, such as Libya, are subjected to sanctions or worse.

Interest on money created from nothing adds significantly to the cost of almost everything. Businesses are usually paying interest on loans. This cost must be built into the price of goods and services. For a mortgage, it is not unusual to pay two or three times the cost of a house by the time it is finally paid off. Yet, like the rest of the loans, the bank did not lend the money of their depositors to give a person a mortgage. They created brand new money, out of thin air, by the push of a computer key, and took the house other’s had built and paid for as collateral. One reason the system continues is that it is so unjust most people have difficulty accepting it. Incontrovertible evidence is now easily accessible, but cognitive dissonance prevents understanding in many.

The End of Feudalism

The first feudalist structures emerged with the agricultural age. The tribal fireside decision-making of the hunter-gatherers was not feasible for the rapidly growing populations of the nascent civilizations. Close personal contact with leaders became a thing of the past for most. Power seekers used their newfound control of information to mislead populations and eventually create societies of rulers and ruled. In true Machiavellian style, agricultural age rulers overcame those leaders who were more honest with the people and did not make false promises. As an aggregate, the people got the government they deserved.

Formal feudalism entered the picture when knights and their vassals allied under a hereditary or military ruler. It ended through inventions, such as the musket, and events like the French and American Revolutions. However, as Quigley points out, the feudalist process didn’t stop. It went underground as banks took over from the medieval aristocrats. The banks did not go unchallenged by those seeking emancipation. This is an ongoing, major motif in censored world history that will be explored later.

Microserfs was an aptly named book about a group who worked to break free from the watchful eye of Bill Gates to found their own tech company and live fuller lives. Bill Gates is now using his desire to dominate in the health industry. How this will play out is still up in the air as of this writing.

Wage slavery is all too often an accurate description of how most people spend the bulk of their waking hours. More often than not, the work involved is busywork and does not add to wealth by anyone’s estimation, even as it destroys our environment. Resources are churned and burned simply so that many people can obtain enough money to survive and pay their debts. 

The age of leisure once widely predicted receded during the digital age, even as the promised automation came onstream. Most householders worked significantly more hours in the digital age than in the industrial age. A large part of this is a seemingly insatiable demand for consumer goods on the part of the population, driven in no small part by an advertising industry that has studied mind control techniques. Monetary reformer C.H. Douglas guessed that people were kept busy so they would have little time to dwell on their political reality and so agitate for change. 

Another possible reason for the lack of leisure is that some rulers would not enjoy their power as much. As Machiavelli pointed out, aristocracies “have a great desire to dominate”. This would be much more difficult in a society with widespread leisure and economic security. The desire to dominate is an obsolete evolutionary driver that involves concepts such as the selfish gene. It will be covered in a future chapter.

In fairness, in addition to causing great suffering, especially in poorer countries, the fraudulent financial system was also used to apply leverage that lessened warfare. There are those who claim the opposite and that our current money system caused all wars. This is impossible as warfare was ongoing and endemic long before the monetary fraud came into play. Banks do profit enormously by financing wars, sometimes on both sides of a conflict. However, in terms of the percentages of populations involved, war is much reduced today. In this case, the Machiavellians did evil to do good. 

However, the centralization of power corrupted. Instead of setting up the conditions to free people and segue into a great new civilization, finance is now working at creating a servile totalitarian state, ostensibly for our own good. They justify this as a requirement to prevent ecological disaster, necessary to prevent what has been. termed ‘the tragedy of the commons’. Yet there is a way to do this that empowers, rather than disempowers, the general citizenry. Which makes the way sustainable.

Modern lord and serf dynamics are sometimes referred to as class warfare by socialists and communists. However, in communist countries neo-feudalism is both more direct and more pronounced. As survivors of the collapse of the USSR relate, the predictable corruption happened with the concentration of power. Elites lived in opulence and followed a different set of rules than the oppressed masses. 

The knowledge age promises to at last end the feudalism era in both capitalist and the surviving socialist countries. New production technologies can enable freedom from want of the basics. Modern communication technologies can enable the first societies in history with true political freedom. 

Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis

When precedents fail to assist us, we must return to the first principle of things for information and think, as if we were the first people that thought. - Thomas Paine

Despite institutional shortcomings, the digital age did develop structures that make the first relatively peaceful age change possible. Worldwide widespread communications and nascent global organizations are two of the primary vehicles for this. Unfortunately, reactionaries are trying to direct these developments to serve a totalitarian agenda they see as necessary to ensure the earth’s carrying capacity is not exceeded by the demands of humanity. In their view, only totalitarianism can prevent what is known as ‘the tragedy of the commons’. In the ‘tragedy of the commons’, individuals seeking to maximize their returns from a resource will destroy or exhaust that resource, regardless of needs for the future. An overarching control mechanism is needed.

The philosopher Friedrich Hegel pointed out the correct way forward with his observation: “the history of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of freedom.” A product of his time, Hegel also thought the state would best advance the cause of freedom for all. Communism had not yet been tried and found wanting. More usefully, Hegel proposed a dialectic where some advances are arrived at through the melding of a thesis and its opposite, the antithesis. Creatively incorporating ideas from each side of an argument for and against a course of action can result in the best solution to many problems. This synthesis process can be iterative, leading to higher and higher levels of understanding or progress over time. 

One caveat, as cybernetician and economist Kenneth Boulding pointed out, is that many knowledge building blocks fall into place through natural symbiotic arrangements. However, the Hegelian dialectic is a good tool where this does not take place. 

Another caveat is that some elites have corrupted the Hegelian dialectic to push in the opposite direction of freedom. Their method has been described as ‘problem, reaction, solution’. In this, the rulers will create or point out a problem, the thesis, create a desired reaction or antithesis in the public through their propaganda organs, and then offer up a predetermined solution or synthesis that enhances their power at the expense of the citizens. The pseudo-synthesis seemingly takes in the concerns of the public over a loss of freedom to scale back some of the authoritarianism in a proposed solution to the problem. However, this can be temporary. The iterative part of the dialectic can be used to claw back yet more individual freedom during the next crisis, manufactured or not.

A seemingly endless series of issues follow this pattern, from global warming, to terrorism to pandemics. The truly free exchange of ideas necessary to a healthy dialectic are nowhere to be found. Desirable parts of a synthesis to solve real problems are generally rejected where they don’t lead to the centralization of power. In response, some change agents condemn Hegel’s dialectic outright. This is a mistake. The Hegelian dialectic is like any tool. It can be used for good or evil.  

Where the Hegelian dialectic can be used to good effect is to deal with seemingly insatiable demands on the environment by individuals and the carrying capacity of the earth. A systems theory concept that is useful here has been termed as ‘the freedom of the whole versus the freedom of the individual’. The idea can apply to any system but is used here in the context of society. The Principia Cybernetica Project was an early computer group that defined and explored this concept in some detail. 

The theory is that the more individual freedom increases, the less free an overarching society is to follow a predefined course. Conversely, the more free the larger community is to follow a plan, the less free the individual constituents will be. The Prime Minister of Canada spoke to this idea when he expressed admiration for China being able ‘to turn on a dime’. China is able to do this because the individuals in the country are relatively constrained. In a shocking oversight, the inferior human rights record of communist China, past and present, went unmentioned. 

The carrying capacity of the earth can be shielded from ‘the tragedy of the commons’ by non-totalitarian means. A synthesis to the environmental sustainability dialectic can be found by separating the lower and higher needs, defined here from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. At the lower levels of existence such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and communications, the most ecologically sustainable design would be mainly technocratic in nature; extending the concept behind the fluoride-free public water systems in many countries.

A key point is that the ownership of the machinery providing basic needs is widespread. Among many other advantageous outcomes, this design will forestall the problems inherent with the concentration of power. For the higher levels of our existence, our sense of belonging and self-actualization, freedom should be as unfettered as possible. 

There are also natural aids in bridging the false dichotomy between what cyberneticians term the freedom of the individual versus the freedom of the whole. This theory does not account for many things, such as most individuals choosing freely to do the right thing for society in general if given good information. Enlightened self-interest and morality are absent from the hypothesis. It seems the cyberneticians pushing this theory forgot Boulding’s warnings that the dialectic can be over emphasized and that many knowledge building blocks fall into place naturally. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides a good starting point for knowledge-age institutions. As will be seen, the section on the rights of property ownership in this document is of particular importance. In the final analysis, widespread, individual ownership is what makes the other rights sustainable. 

The campaign coming out of the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggesting people should own nothing and be happy is stunningly misdirected in view of both history and the real human condition. In the opinion of this writer, reading the articles on the WEF website is an exercise in how power corrupts the thinking process. They want to “lift humanity into a new collective” in the words of founder Klaus Schwab. Another article concludes “it still supersedes individual choice” regarding implanting devices in other humans. The arguments for this are astoundingly weak. Implantation itself can have merit. Stents to prevent heart failure are a low tech obvious example. However, once fully informed consent has been bypassed, implantation procedures are an offense to humanity in general. It is as if the puppeteers now see themselves as gods, much like rulers from the ancient past. They are blinded to the fact the earth is not an isolated system, but open to information from its exchange of matter and energy with the universe, which includes a higher power. More on this later

Own or be Owned

Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. - Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The campaign ‘own nothing and be happy’ from the World Economic Forum suggests the super-elites favor a pre-Magna Carta style of ruling for their fourth industrial age. This involves a further concentration of power and a propertyless majority. A far better, sustainable solution is what has been termed an  “ownership society,” where each and every individual owns a part of the amazing technology that is making labor less and less a factor in wealth production. 

Property ownership is at the core of individual freedom and was recognized as such after the fall of the royal houses and before neo-feudalism was fully established. At the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829 Benjamin Watkins Leigh observed, “power and property can be separated for a time by force or fraud - but divorced, never. For as soon as the pang of separation is felt...property will purchase power or power will take over property.” Early American statesperson Daniel Webster observed: “power naturally and necessarily follows property.” Noah Webster, who has been tagged as the ‘Father of American Scholarship and Education’ wrote: “Let the people have property and they will have power – a power that will forever be exerted to prevent the restriction of the press, the abolition of trial by jury, or the abridgment of any other privilege.” 

A discipline known as binary economics is the pre-eminent starting point for this path out of the jungle and towards true civilization. It is not a stretch to argue that civilized means must be used for the transition to a truly civilized age and an ownership society meets this requirement. For starters, the change process involves bringing everyone up, without bringing anyone down. 

Unlike past age changes, the establishment is not harmed nor even deprived of any property. This is possible because almost all property today is in the form of capital such as money and other financial instruments, rather than physical land or buildings. The continual increases in wealth derived from new technologies can be widely distributed by free-market principles, without taking from existing property owners. 

Currently, every year trillions of dollars of new capital come into existence. In binary economics, each and every person would be able to invest in productive property through interest-free loans made possible by this new capital. Insurance products would provide collateral. The loans are repaid through the profits on the investments. The ownership also provides a dividend income stream to the individual beyond what their labor can provide, much as it works for the wealthier today. This could be termed Universal Basic Ownership (UBO), as opposed to the Universal Basic Income (UBI) being pushed by those who want a disempowered population. A guaranteed income through a negative income tax is a last resort if an individual’s current investments don’t pan out. The design can be reversed engineered, starting with a negative income tax for more people due to current conditions, and segueing these people into ownership incomes.

With UBO, citizens are active, involved participants in the larger economy, creating a sense of belonging and interest in governance, From trust fund recipients to welfare cases, some people suffer from a 'crisis of meaning' from the passivity and detachment that comes with a UBI.

A UBO puts more power in the hands of the individual. Rather than faceless bureaucrats of a UBI determining a citizen's income level, the individual has significant input into choosing their investments. They can also vote for company direction or even serve on boards to have input into their income level and the beneficial impacts on their community and society their investment brings.

The binary economics aspect of the UBO means that any labor work you do is not deducted or otherwise affected by your investment income by prying bureaucrats. Binary means two, as in two separate streams of income, should you choose to engage in paid work.

With UBI, power is centralized in a small governing body, and so raises the risk of corruption. A political party can promise a big raise to get elected, regardless if the real economy is producing the necessary goods and services. This leads to inflation. In a UBO, power is decentralized and investment income is tied closely to actual production.

And finally, in the unlikely event, all carefully vetted investments fail for a citizen, the UBI concept can come into play anyways; but as a last resort, for a small minority. The negative income tax proposed by Milton Friedman is the way to go here for reasons that include anonymity and efficiencies such that existing government tax agencies could administer it through their normal procedures. You just send in your tax form like always, and your tax refund can be disbursed in monthly installments sufficient to provide the basics of food, shelter, and clothing.

As binary economist Norm Kurland put it “On the one hand there is capitalism, an economic system governed by market forces but where economic power is concentrated in the hands of a few who own or control productive capital. On the other hand, socialism, in its many forms, is an economic system governed centrally by a political elite, with even more highly concentrated ownership and economic power. Logically, a “third way” would be a free-market system that economically empowers all individuals and families through direct and effective ownership of the means of production — the best check against the potential for corruption and abuse.”

There are various investment instruments. One is entitled capital homesteading in recognition of previous homesteading legislation in North America that made landowners out of many in the propertyless classes. In this policy, enacted both in the U.S. and Canada, the land was sold for a nominal amount on the condition that it was improved and made productive. The explosion in new property owners formed a foundation for democracy and the middle class that led to North America becoming a beacon and desired emigration destination for the world. Capital homesteading follows a similar design, except relatively limitless capital takes the place of limited land. With ownership, each individual is in direct control of their productive property. 

Other investment vehicles include Employee Stock Ownership, Community Investment Corporations, Consumer Stock Ownership, and Community Land Development Cooperatives. Under these financial instruments, utility companies, new industrial and residential developments, larger companies, and so on, can all come into being with widespread, direct ownership by individuals. These and other designs form the foundation of what has been called economic democracy. 

There have been decades of work on these concepts by accredited lawyers, economists, and other professionals, with the result that both the current system and the future system are well understood, thereby helping ensure a relatively smooth transition to a new age. Employee Stock Ownership legislation in the U.S. resulted from the lobbying efforts of binary economists and supportive politicians. 

In binary economics, all will have equal opportunity, but individual productive investments, along with one’s own labor, will lead to dramatically different individual material wealth results. Some might prefer more free time instead of a higher standard of living. As the founder of social credit, C.H. Douglas put it, “what we really demand of existence is not that we shall be put into somebody else’s Utopia, but we shall be put in a position to construct a Utopia of our own.” Universal Basic Ownership or UBO should predominate over the top-down, feudalist Universal Basic Income (UBI) idea. 

More information on binary economics in a mainly U.S. context can be found at the Center for Economic and Social Justice website: cesj.org. The website at globajusticemovement.org works on marrying the core concepts of binary economics with other progressive movements that focus on creating a world community designed around ecological sustainability. A logical prototype is to use the widespread ownership in a Community Land Development Cooperative (CLDC) in conjunction with The Venus Project technocracy design.

The Best of Both Worlds

A good change leader never thinks, “Why are these people acting so badly? They must be bad people.” A change leader thinks, “How can I set up a situation that brings out the good in these people?” - Chip Heath

Despite better communications technologies, legislative bodies are growing increasingly distant from those they are supposed to represent. Widespread cynicism and opportunism are the new dominant motifs in establishment politics. Long-running surveys show that public confidence in the government fell precipitously in the 1960s and ’70s, recovered somewhat in the ’80s and early 2000s, and is at historic lows today. Increasing electoral fraud coming to light promises to push this even lower.

Another sign of the obsolescence of current political structures is the increasing divisiveness within electorates, to the extent that violence is bubbling to the surface even in developed nations. Separation movements are on the rise to try to bring more government closer to home; both physically to enhance accountability, but also culturally, to get away from the one-size-fits-all of a more totalitarian central government. Separatist movements are not unusual, it is the dramatic increase that is discontinuous, particularly within previously comfortable developed nations or the European Union, Alberta, Texas, Catalonia, and Britain with Brexit are some of the examples. The Economist magazine covered the growing list in The World in 2020: The coming surge of separatism. Recall and referendum movements also look to be on the rise. 

Something new is needed, to keep people from drifting apart when it comes to problems that occur on a global level. The governance structure changes required today would be similar in effect and degree as what occurred during the change from agricultural-age aristocracy to industrial-age elected representatives; either accept the change gracefully or be dragged violently along. Periodic elections of candidates heavily compromised by election financing requirements no longer suffice.

Communication technologies comprise one key here. As Nicholas Negroponte points out in Being Digital, connected computers globalize and harmonize while simultaneously providing decentralization and individual empowerment. In other words, the devices can create a synthesis from the thesis of individual empowerment and decentralization, and the antithesis of harmony and globalism. The networks can also exchange more information in seconds than all of the pre-computer communication in recorded history. 

An additional requirement for new governance structures is a better-informed populace. In the industrial age, indoctrination, not education, became a primary goal of schools, often out of the necessity of defending a nation-state. Now it’s time to teach students how to think, not what to think. Computers would again play a central role in online learning. Many of the specific changes cannot be determined in advance but would emerge in tandem with the other institutional changes. The overall goal and theme are what is important. There are some excellent designs to prototype, including one by the late social credit theorist Tom Taylor, who served as the Dean of Industrial Sciences at the University of Manitoba. 

An educated, informed populace is a necessity for the future because an oligarchy, benevolent or not, is unsustainable in the upcoming age. The flow of information today cannot be adequately addressed by excessively top-down structures. By the time information has passed up and down a decision tree, the situation on the ground has often changed. A truly aware person closest to the action is needed for the most intelligent decisions today. Artificial intelligence, or AI, cannot fill the gap because it is susceptible to garbage in garbage out rule. This also applies to machine learning algorithms, perhaps more so. Intelligence Amplification or IA in the general populace is also required. There is much unknown about human information capabilities, especially as it relates to higher information sources.

Less deception also results in strengthening the moral glue that helps align much of the lower-level decision-making to the common good. Currently, morality is declining in the West, as more and more people see through the lies of the leadership and lose faith in the system.

Even if a dictatorial leader resists the tendency of power to corrupt, the relative decency of such a person and the oligarchical structure itself leaves them wide open to a coup by those with fewer scruples. A broad base of informed popular support is needed to prevent a downward spiral into increasing tyranny. It was not an accident that Machiavellians came to dominate our current leadership.

As Machiavelli pointed out, the people themselves are ultimately at fault because of their own grasping for material gain. However, much of this is driven by what is known as a ‘scarcity mentality,’ where financial insecurity leads many people to try to obtain as much as possible during good times to be able to survive during the bad times. Economic security bolsters what is known as an ‘abundance mentality,’ where people are secure and so do not feel the need for greed. Of course, there is also the driver to keep up with Joneses or be the alpha ape in a town, city, country, or globe. But this can be redirected and subsumed within higher callings. Indeed, higher callings is the only way to attain any significance at all in a universe where the tallest buildings do not even register.

As it is, our societies are caught between the law of the jungle and true civilization. The worst of our leaders are opportunists, looking for a material advantage and with little to no thought for the common good. They may be vaguely aware that all is not as it seems with regards to budgets and deficits, but there is little thought given to this. They are not motivated by the primary goal of many players in the international financial field, which is a world government to end warfare and introduce environmental sustainability.   

However, the best of our current leaders also constantly lie or tell lies of omission. With some justification, they think truth and participative democracy would lead to anarchy; or worse the raw opportunists gaining more power. In their eyes, they lie to us for our own good. They do evil in order to do good. At some point, these leaders have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. By keeping the public in the dark and subverting our educational and mainstream mass media systems, they have ensured that the average person does not have the tools to participate fully in their future. Yet the old feudal structure is no longer viable or sustainable in the information age.

The CLDC is a for-profit, professionally-managed, citizen-owned-and-governed community land planning and development enterprise. Also referred to as the for-profit “Citizens Land Development Corporation” (“CLDC”), “Citizens Land Bank” (“CLB”) and the “Community Investment Corporation” (“CIC”), it is designed to enable every citizen of a community of any size to acquire a direct ownership stake in local land, natural resources, and basic infrastructure.

A social vehicle for every man, woman, and child to gain, as a fundamental right of citizenship, a single lifetime, non-transferable ownership interest in all the Bank’s assets, share equally in property incomes from rentals and user fees from leases or use of the Bank’s assets, accumulate appreciated equity values from enhanced land values and gain an owner’s voice in the governance of future land development.

An innovative legal and financing tool empowered to borrow on behalf of all citizen-shareholders and service the debt with pre-tax dollars to meet the land acquisition, capitalization, and operational needs of the Bank. The CLDC shelters from taxation the equity accumulations of citizen-shareholders and protects the outside assets of the citizens in the event of loan default or if the enterprise fails.

A social tool designed to encourage a just, free and non-monopolistic market economy. It applies the democratic principles of equal opportunity and equal access to the means to participate as an owner as well as a worker. It demonstrates that anything that can be owned by the government can and should be owned, individually and jointly, by the citizens.

A major feature in a proposed national economic agenda known as “Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen,” which is designed to reform existing monetary, credit, and tax barriers to provide every American an equal opportunity to share in the governing powers and profits from new entrepreneurial ventures, new technologies, new structures, and new rentable space built upon the land. Capital Homesteading offers a “Just Third Way” of reversing unsustainable federal deficits and debt, and revitalizing and growing the American free enterprise system in a sustainable and environmentally sound way.

The logical structure for a new age prototype of a CDLC is The Venus Project Center for Resource Management. IIt is a proposed development meant to showcase an economy that has environmental sustainability baked in and can act as a stepping stone towards the development of our proposed network of cities. A Living Lab For Global Solutions is how the organization describes it. It would be designed to test and advance solutions for an entirely new social system, along with approaches to restoring the Earth’s collapsing ecosystems. 

A community of non-professionals would be an important part of creating sustainable housing, food, energy, and more. They would be every bit as much a direct owner of the project as the leading designers. Shareholders of the first order. This would be the opposite of communism, where absolute control rests in an elite. Education efforts moving away from current industrial age models would be front and center. As an integrated total system, the Center for Resource Management will showcase a systems approach to sustainability across the entire social complex. It will act as a social blueprint for future cities and create an evolving social blueprint upon which highly efficient future cities can be built.

The CDLC as thesis, TVP as antithesis, can be the beginnings of a  true synthesis in such an experiment. Widespread educational, media, and legislative reform will work in tandem with the first post-feudalist society. Widespread support among the general populace is already there for such changes, as it is obvious these obsolete industrial age institutions and others are no longer working.

With widespread ownership, individuals would have significantly more freedom within global governance than they have today under national governments. 

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