To whom it may concern:
UTOPIA or OBLIVION, that’s the prospect for humanity, said the late Buckminster Fuller. And I wonder… Is it Missed Opportunities? Conspiracy? Greed? Vested interests? Or just plain stupidity, if we carry on as usual!
What are human beings fundamental birthrights? They need to be understood and claimed, especially for the disenfranchised and future generations, who cannot speak for themselves.
Many people are concerned about injustices, unemployment, poverty, homelessness, drug addicts, healthcare, crime, war, terrorism, globalization, species extinction, natural resource depletion, pollution, climate change, and many other miseries that are destroying our beautiful planet.
The late scientist Buckminster Fuller researched those problems and came to the following conclusion, in his book CRITICAL PATH in 1982. “It is now possible to give every man, woman and child a standard of living comparable to that of a modern-day billionaire. This is not an opinion or a hope; it is an engineering demonstrable fact…World Game ** makes it eminently clear that we have four billion billionaires aboard our planet, as accounted by REAL WEALTH, which fact is obscured from public knowledge by the exclusively conceived and operated money-game and its monopolized credit system accounting…We find all the no-life-support-wealth-producing people going to their 1980s jobs in their cars and buses, spending billions of dollars’ worth of petroleum to get to their no wealth-producing jobs. It doesn’t take a computer to tell you that it will save both Earth and humanity billions of dollars a day to pay them handsomely to stay at home.” It was meant for the North American Continent in 1982 as an example.
This statement can be verified by the US research organization Technocracy, which stated some 80 years ago that, if we would operate our society in an intelligent manner, with the ‘Energy Certificate’, instead of money, then these could be our benefits. The first 25 years of anybody’s life could be devoted to schooling and job training, suiting a person’s aptitude and ability, with no financial burden to student and family. A working age from 25 to 45, with perhaps a quarter the present working hours and than retirement with full purchasing powers and privileges. Equality of men and women. Full medical and dental care for life. No more debts of any kind to anybody. An orderly planned society obviates competition, advertisement and shoddy products to assure continuous sales and service. The whole fear industry could be transformed to render useful service. If there is no financial gain through litigation, a simple ‘excuse me’ or ‘I’m sorry’ would settle most grievances. The present reason for economic crimes, alcohol and drug abuse would be gone. No more need for anybody to prostitute themselves. And no more wars!
Visualize what it could be like now, 80 years later, if this would have been promoted like an automobile commercial, and put on the ballot box. It would make political parties and elections obsolete. It could have been the modern version of what Plato talked about that, “Rulers were not to have any private property or wealth, as the temptation to sacrifice the interests of society for their own would be too great.” Of course, Plato’s and Technocracy’s ideas are not without faults, but should give us something to think about.
The late psychoanalyst, social theorist, and humanitarian Erich Fromm confirms what Fuller and Technocracy disclosed in his book THE SANE SOCIETY in 1980, for example:
“The present development is characterized by the increasing replacement of manual work by machine work, and beyond that, of human intelligence by machine intelligence. While in 1850 men supplied 15% of the energy for work, animals 79%, and machines 6%, the ratio in 1960 will be 3%, 1% and 96% respectively.”
Professor John Farina of the Wilfred Laurier University said in 1982:
“Man invented machines so man would not have to work and we’ve succeeded to the point of one and a half million unemployed. (In Canada) But instead of cheering about it, we’re in despair. To me that is sheer raging idiocy.”
In view of the previously verifiable statements, it should be obvious that the people in education, business, and politics missed a fantastic opportunity to create, for the first time in history, a just and sustainable society. Sadly, there is nobody in ‘Who is Who’ who will talk about such possibilities publicly.
The former media mogul Ted Turner challenged us in 1992 with this statement: “If we don’t make the right choices after we have all the information, then we don’t deserve to live.”
Well, we have more than enough information. Oil and gas, the stored sun’s energy, which took hundreds of millions of years to incubate, gone forever within this century. We are, in fact, approaching PEAK EVERYTHING.
Our planet will be around for millions of years, what gives us the right to dig out the last of the non-renewable resources and destroy the environment in the process? And now, nations are posturing to exploit the Arctic resources, just because they’re there?
The oceans, where ALL life began, are fished out and used as convenient sewers, and ocean bottoms are scraped clean of all living things and creatures, with no thought given to future generations. This is just a fraction of what is ailing our world. We’re living in a finite world, and cannot carry on as usual.
Honest research would make it obvious that ’Obsolescence Incorporated’; like making last year’s car models obsolete, as well as thousands of other consumer goods, is not only foolish, but also morally wrong, as it wastes precious resources that we’re stealing from our descendants. The “fight” for job-creation and full employment is utterly absurd. We need a co-operative-participatory-shared-leisure society, where everybody’s NEEDS are supplied. We can ascertain what King Tut died of some 3300 years ago, but WE are unable, or unwilling, to investigate what ails us now?
How did it ever come about, that the farmers and workers, without which nobody could live, have to go begging for a living wage, while the financial and related paper shuffling institutions, who produce nothing of real value to society, demand and get, no, take, millions and billions?
In view of all declining resources and escalating miseries, perhaps anybody who wants to be a leader in academia, business or politics should live and lead by example, with a new Global Ethic, “Do not expect from others to live with less than what you’re willing to live with.” That would determine anybody’s integrity. Remember, we come with nothing and leave just the same. Immature minds crave prestige and an insatiable appetite for possessions, but a mature human being could say: “My riches consist not in my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.” ***
By the simple fact of birth, all humans are co-owners, temporarily, of the wealth of this Earth and the marvels of technology. No useful invention can appear before its time, we’re all indebted to somebody else. Example: In 1990 a 12-year patent infringement lawsuit was settled for $10,2 million for the ‘inventor’ for the intermittent windshield wiper against the Ford Motor Company. He claimed that they stole his invention. Isn’t it a logical course of improvements that any 5th grader could eventually figure out?
Why does the rest of humanity have to be held hostage for this, and millions of other cases that clog up the courts and need thousands of lawyers, who are required in our predatory society, but produce little of real value to society? Bill Gates is a smart ‘opportunist’, he got lucky first, but he couldn’t have Microsoft without a Tesla, Faraday, Edison and thousands of other ‘innovators’. Let’s be thankful to all pioneers, inventors or innovators and let’s get on with life.
The never-ending pro-and-con arguments about global warming or climate change, whether men-or-sun-made, or even true, must look really ridiculous, when intelligently viewed from a cosmic-time perspective and the future. Eliminating none-life-producing jobs and businesses, without anybody suffering, could cut resource-demand and greenhouse gases significantly.
Our consumption oriented “Having” society should be encouraged to explore the concept of “BEING”, a philosophy best articulated by the late Erich Fromm, in his books.
“If life’s tendency to grow, to be lived, is thwarted, the energy thus blocked undergoes a process of change and is transformed into life-destructive energy. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. Evil constitutes the crippling of a human beings power. Criminals (and terrorists) are made not born.”
The late scientist Ashley Montagu, is both frank and explicit in his book, The Humanization of Man, said, “Evil is not inherent in human nature, it is learned…Aggressiveness is taught, as are all forms of violence which human beings exhibit.”
Why don’t we apply such wisdom in society and the world, instead of clogging up the prisons and destroying our world in endless wars and wasteful competitions? In view of such powerful and verifiable statements, by these humanitarians, all members of past and present governments should be held morally, and some criminally responsible, and that includes CEO’s as well.
Fundamentalist religion, in cahoots with politicians and the money-manipulators, have ruled humanity virtually forever. Unless people wake up and claim their BIRTHRIGHT, nothing will ever change in the world, and could result in our demise.
I may be a dreamer, but we ought to heed the words of Albert Einstein: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Well, now, Albert gave us something to think and do about.
Gunther Ostermann firstname.lastname@example.org
**World Game, sometimes called the World Peace Game, is an alternative to war games. The playing of World Game was an idea proposed by Buckminster Fuller. The idea was to make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone. He publicly proposed the concept in 1961 as the core curriculum at the (then new) Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In 1972, the World Game Institute was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Fuller.
***Paraphrase of quote by Joseph Brotherton, 1783-1837, British author, politician, religious leader, community activist.
From the archives: