This is a talk made the first time at Berkeley University in 2013. It was read out loud by a
It is quite simple: Either we learn how to share knowledge and resources in a fair way or we will destroy
ourselves and the planet. Our current activities are totally ruining Earths biosphere. Environmental
sustainability is only possible in a more just world where social sustainability is the core of the future
WE ARE ALL USEFUL IDIOTS!!!
etc etc etc
bla bla bla
The harsh reality is probably that none of all these fantastic new ways of thinking and doing things ( which N55 are deeply involved in) are going to have any substantial impact on our society until we understand the following and implement it not only in our ways of thinking but also in the way we treat each other, the way we behave in all situations:
The following is not an expression of an opinion among other equally important or unimportant opinions: Its based on logical relations and facts. Its not an expression of an ideology or the system of thoughts that one find in a religion. Because subjective opinions, ideologies or religions should never be used as the basis of political statements or decisions. Politics must be based on logical relations and facts. On whats right and whats wrong. Let us look at a decisive logical relation, the relation between persons and rights:
A person can be described in an infinite number of ways. None of these descriptions can be completely adequate. We therefore can not describe precisely what a person is. We do however have the possibility to point out necessary relations between persons and other factors. We have to respect these relations and factors in order not to contradict ourselves and in order to be able to talk about persons in a meaningful way. One necessary relation is the relation between persons and bodies. It makes no sense referring to a person without referring to a body. If we for example say: here we have a person, but he or she does not have a body, it does not make sense. Furthermore, there are necessary relations between persons and the rights of persons. Persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having rights. If we deny this assertion it goes wrong: here is a person, but this person should not be treated as a person, or: here is a person, who should be treated as a person, but not as having rights. Therefore we can only talk about persons in a way that makes sense if we know that persons have rights.
This leads to understanding politics on the most basic level:
The fundamental purpose of politics is to protect the rights of persons. If we deny this assertion we get: the fundamental purpose of politics is not to protect the rights of persons. This suggests that one of the basic tasks of politicians could be, for example, to renounce the rights of themselves and of others. This has no meaning. Or that there is a more important purpose to politics which does not have anything to do with persons and therefore also has nothing to do with the rights of persons. That is plain nonsense. Therefore, we now know that the basic purpose of politics is to protect the rights of persons. In other words we can not talk about politics in a way that makes sense without the assumption that the fundamental purpose of politics is to protect the rights of persons.
Our current most devastating political problem is the following:
Concentrations of power characterise our society.
How can we imagine that this situation could be changed?
We call our societies democratic despite the fact that our cities are monuments of injustice and unfairness. Capital and the institutional forces behind it rules. Large concentrations of power make the decisions that shape our behaviour and our lives in general. Our cities act as parasites on the planets resources and environment. The exploitation is staged and controlled by large concentrations of power.
We are all useful idiots.
If we don't take this serious we will probably end up destroying not only ourselves but also the planet that we want our children to inherit.
in order to survive we most likely have to learn how to distribute power and resources in a fair and rational way, learn how to share and collaborate instead of competing, to break down hierarchies and to find ways of existing with as small concentrations of power as possible.
One may argue that phenomena like open source potentially could have a big impact on our society. That it
will empower people. But its most likely not enough to produce decisive change. Banks, churches, corrupted
administrations, states and multinational cooperate structures have immense power. If Open Source really
becomes influential, concentrations of power will find ways of controlling it.
Even well-meaning people with good intentions are tempted to work for the concentrations of power that they ought to do away with. Most architects, urban planners, designers, artists etc are more than willing to work for these concentrations of power despite the fact that these concentrations of power do not necessarily respect the rights of persons. Even alternative strategies in arts, design, architecture etc ends up becoming absorbed by concentrations of power.
Maybe we have a fantastic chance to create a better world if we acknowledge the fact that a large part of the
people living in the current societies in the western world in reality don't have a job. Maybe the better
world is already there? The fact is that a vast number of people are kept alive and fed by the states and at
the same time told that they are unworthy and should be ashamed. Even without a redistribution of resources
and power, societies are already sustaining lives of people that don't have to work. And most likely will
never work. And more and more people will be out of work when robots take over the hard labor in the industry
as well as jobs that requires longer educations like the jobs of lawyers and doctors. Not just in the west but
also in China etc. Why don't we accept that fact and distribute power and resources. This would allow people
to spend their time learning, researching, designing houses that lasts and produce more energy than they
consume, discussing, being nice to each other, playing, etc?
The Greeks discovered logic and democracy 2000 years ago. Their wealth was based on two things: Silver mines and slaves. We have plenty of silver and other resources if we learn to distribute it better and find ways of existing with as small concentrations of power as possible.
Let us enslave the robots and learn to be free and be nice to each other.
Let us create a better world!