I do not want, or expect, Utopia. There will always be new ways of living to explore, and lessons to be learned; some of them hard. As awareness expands, the more there is to see; the more wisdom gained, the more new dreams to manifest. What we think is exciting and optimal today will soon enough become common place and inadequate. New circumstances will always fall out from the less than perfect acts we perform from our limited awareness ...Who would wish it were different?
When we hold to forms and structures past the time of their ability to serve ever-growing Life, we are prone to anxiety, and for awhile, to ill-spend energies propping up supports better abandoned. We do well to search and work out new and viable alternatives while the old still stands. While there is still relative peace and prosperity, it is possible to have the presence of mind to experiment and weigh alternatives. Although Americans are known for their focus on practicality, rather than their philosophical ponderings, our political and individual freedoms allow for the expression of new ideas and some degree of exploration beyond the status quo. Until manifested in the physical, ideas may be "pie-in-the-sky" or "pipe-dreams" but imagination is an important phase of building and creating. Hopefully we will continue to allow a place for dreaming and Ideals in our prosaic day-to-day existence. When we see that our pipe-dreams really do represent what we want, then we can set out to manifest them in reality. If the Time is right, soon, our dreams will stand as realities before us.
The inordinate power of economics to color and
rule every moment and aspect of our lives has come to our awareness with great force of late.
This is partially a consequence of the structures and forms we presently live
within. Our forefathers could not see all the ramifications of what future
population growth and the vast industrial and technological developments would bring. Freedom to make as much money as possible, along with
endless natural resources, has made many wealthy. We still feel, and indeed are, fortunate to have the
liberties granted us by the original formulations of our constitution, regardless of how hypocritical we were in denying them to the
native inhabitants, the slaves, and even women and the poor, up until very recent times.
We tend to look at our founding father's documents as carved in stone, just as inviolable as the Ten Commandments of the Bible. That any word could be added (clearly provided for in our founder's intentions) as blasphemy. Much has happened that personages the likes of Jefferson and even Eisenhower have warned against. The mighty dollar IS in truth, our King, and in it we trust. As citizens, we spend the bulk of our time on our jobs and our possessions. Too often, Human Rights have been superceded by Corporate Rights, and still relatively few realize how prone we have to become to following the desires and commands of big business and a few financiers in global power. Even those yet to be born will suffer from what we are doing to the earth if we do not not see what is occurring, and come up with new alternatives. We definitely are ready for the next step.
That things have come to such a pass clearly indicates to me that we have not heard the last word in participatory government, nor economics, or the true meaning of spirituality, for that matter. The Liberties gained, and upheld, at great cost to our ancestors, and the gigantic technological and industrial changes have left us where we stand today, perilously close to the brink of an abyss that could very well swallow us if indeed the last word has been spoken, the last breath from the winds of change, breathed. As individuals, hopefully some of us can step back, gain perspective, and find new ways to relate to the earth and claim new liberties.
Much of the world rushes to adopt our Western ways. Our diet and appetites spread, as does our wastes and theirs. Billions of tons of the earth's elements are consumed and spewed forth. As our agriculture induces more food to grow in unsustainable ways, populations expand exponentially. We know something has to give; the Earth is giving off too many creaks and groans. Fumes have filled the Room in which we draw our breath, and it appears that weather patterns and other natural cycles are being broken. As we strive to sustain our families and relationships with other persons, we might do well to wonder and take closer stock of what it might be like if the changes reach our own doorsteps, and worsen. We need alternative, more independent ways to supply our food, provide shelter, regain our health, and educate our children. Placing our entire prospects for life in the hands of a beast certainly makes us subject to it's whims and attacks.
I strongly believe there are alternatives to explore, new beginnings to be begun! It might well be that only after the Megaliths have had their day and self-destructed, that better ways to live will stand out. Unless we start now, we may well not have this chance, at least here on this bluegreen Gem. If no one makes it through the days ahead, what an opportunity we have blown, and what a lot we each have to answer for! By wringing our hands, or playing victim, moaning "its too late, nothing can be done," our fate is already sealed. To go along with present trends, accepting the will of those who hold the financial and intellectual power as masters of our destiny, becoming better drones in their hives, will make us doubly vulnerable when they fall, and empty in our soul.
These pages are a compilation of what I have come to see as possible next steps, way's I'd like to see things go. No one else has to see it the way I do ... but I would certainly be interested in hearing where and how I am mistaken, and especially how others, how you, would make your world a better place. These are my views, no one else's, really. Other writers and persons have introduced me to their points of view. I have absorbed these over the years and used some of them to order the "facts" gained from my experience in living, making a livelihood, my thinking and feeling.
I see a world where we begin to make a clear distinction between three areas of social life. Rudolf Steiner and his small book, The Threefold Social Order first set my mind to thinking about this. After forty years of living with the apparent paradoxes he presented, and seeing my own life experiences in this light, I have come to believe that distinguishing the Spiritual Life, Rights Life, and Economic Life provides a true to reality, useful, framework to understand and structure our lives together. I am not a Steiner-ite, but I do appreciate his pointing out what he saw happening, and viable alternatives his principles present. Broad-handed, one-state organizations attempting to handle these three very important, but very different, aspects of our lives, with singular methods, can lead us into more trouble. Confusion and the lost potential of human expression, and the continued usurpation of earthly resources, will continue as long as these different aspects of social life are not differentiated and made separate.
Each aspect of social life working against the others is the outcome when each each sphere is not provided its required conditions for separate, independent development. It is not within the nature, or methods of present government to create the needed conditions and propensities for all three areas of life. The reorganization of one state into three divisions, if ever attempted, still could not possibly create the conditions required. The Economic life, the Rights life (the only valid concern of public decision making and action), and the Spiritual/cultural Life need entirely new ground. TA total reorientation is needed, and working towards change within the present systems can only be piece-meal and in the end, futile.
On the other hand, do we need three separate Governments each devoted to a different aspect of our lives? No! The very thought of this makes me cringe! I hope it becomes immediately clear that this is not at all meant. Of these three spheres, the Spiritual/Cultural aspect is in no shape or form a government. It is NOT a public decision making organ. Neither is Economic Life a public policy making organ, governing persons or lives. Only the Rights Life of Liberty Village is a form of government, and dedicated to thast one area of life which is public, rights relationships between persons. . Small or larger groups of persons may follow this principle of democracy in government to maintain amicable relationships between two or more persons within the group. REPEAT: Maintaining and facilitating rights relationships between persons is the government's sole function in New Liberty Village. The Economics sphere and the Spiritual/Cultural sphere are not public policy making, or enforcing, branches of our society. Only the Rights organization have this function and concern, then only in a single aspect of social life, the rights relationships between persons.
Again: Government in New Liberty Village is carefully limited to a very clearly delineated and proscribed area of life ... that is, pertaining only to rights relationships between human beings. The only thing "it", by the will of the people according to democratic vote, has the prerogative to determine and decide, and then maintain by public action, are those rights shared by every man and women, equally and the same. If an issue or a ruling is not applicable equally to every other man and woman within it's jurisdiction, then it does not belong in the governmental arena, and the concern must be dissolved immediately or taken into another arena, to be dealt with in an entirely different manner other than public deliberation and judgments. The first action of any court, or any legislation, or any forum is to determine if truly the issue under consideration is of any concern of a group decision or action. If it's ramifications do not apply to every man and every woman, no law shall be passed. If the issue is an individual matter, a cultural one, or a purely economical one, deliberation must end right there. Such Rights are defined and redefined, always open for review and change at all times, subject to a truly democratic vote.
Government you should soon see, has an important and distinct role to play in the new societies such as Liberty Village. As much as is humanly possible, political decision making is untouched by either economics or personal self-seeking. Hence, the possibility arises for true democracies, not token ones as they exsist today. Each man, each woman with equal voice, and equal power, simply by the fact of being a human being.
Having money, or not having money. Being male or female, of this persuasion or that, none of these individual differences determining one's say in the consensus process by which human rights are decided upon, and group enabled and enacted. This new form of governing, remember, deals only with what is the same amongst all human beings, and equal among us all. We determine what we truly wish and need for ourselves through discussion and deliberation, and express our vote. The Golden rule in practice, in government. Each person determining for himself or herself what it is s/he would want for himself or herself as a social right.
But only in the public, governmental area of life
does it's by-word, EQUALITY, have such meaning and importance. In the other two areas, other
by-words express the essence of their domain. Equality and sameness, is
in the Spiritual/Individual/Cultural life. Here, the premium is instead Difference,
Individuality and Uniqueness. FREEDOM seems to be the quintessential concept for this area
of our life. And in the Economic life of voluntary and free economic association,
FRATERNITY/SORORITY are the
by-words, or Brotherhood and Sisterhood (new non-gender word needed!?). Learning to work together
cooperatively to produce, distribute and consume goods necessary
for our survival and fulfillment. In the process of making a living, the occasion
given to rub shoulders, to move beyond our immediate families, and to socially
interact in down-to-earth ways.
We will come to see that the character of the "one-state-does-all", or any one-method organization (be it a small community or any other grouping of persons that would attempt to deal with all three aspects of our lives) supplies no ground for planting seeds for something vital and alive to grow. New and separate ground has to be cleared, each plot different, suitable for each Branch. What works for one order, can be toxic for another. Such societies, once understanding what each aspect requires, will grow quickly and healthily. Our economic activities, where we produce, distribute and consume our products in voluntary association with whomever we chose to work, each person doing what their talents and desires lead them to do, will spring up, almost overnight. No violent revolution, no destruction of the old is required, nothing but eventual recognition that this is obviously a better way! Wouldn't we feel foolish to do it the way we used to? Being limited economically only by what the market will support, and how much of ourselves we each choose to apply towards these activities, following the Rights Life guidelines about what the environment can sustainably support, individuals can provide for their needs and wants without becoming slaves to other persons or corporations.
Does a Liberty Village already exist? Here is how I see it. Our thoughts become things. Our thoughts have great influence on the course of our lives and our future. My task here is to set down my dream, my imaginations, that I would like to see become reality, that are becoming reality, in my life. Rather than a cut and dried one-way lecture, I want to begin painting a picture, an image. True, a rudimentary image, of what I imagine. I am open at this point, to a joint image. Perhaps you see many things I have not seen, and am not seeing. If I hear from you, or as I hear from you, this joint image will change and become the New Liberty Village. There is presently no Liberty Village extant in the "real" world. I have every reason to believe there will be. I take the liberty of Imagining LIBERTY VILLAGE, for now that place at http://www.geocities.com/~newliberty/liberty/intro.htm . If you want to see my ideas as web manager as influenced by others ideas, you can go to htpp://www.geocities.com/~newliberty.
Construction of an Online Village Now Underway!
I will begin by emphasizing that the days have past when men and woman, or groups of them, can simply read or follow someone else's plan or program, adopting it as their own, and expect something whole and healthy to come out of it. We must each come to our own conclusions and insights based on weighing our own experiences and then consciously applying our wills towards our particular circumstances. Blindly following someone else's ideas of what works can get us in deep trouble. The days of group identification, formally racial, or familial, are fast receding, and are now counterproductive to Individual growth and freedom. It is helpful to be open to any manner of thought, free to explore everywhere on our own, in our individual attempt to see things as they are. Take no one's word for anything. We each must find what is true for ourselves. Having established our own Identity, seeing and sensing Who We Are, there comes a time when strong individuals can take on joint projects and re-develop and establish a conscious sense of community and fellowship with others. Such individuals maintain their own individualities while creating shared realities in the outer world. It's really not that easy to create a new world all by oneself! I hope for feedback, suggestions, comments, questions, and help of any kind.
Here are some imaginations I'm working on:
The Ideals for society that I hold in image form in my mind,
and towards which I direct my energies, will facilitate the development of
individuals, focus upon the effects of human activity on the the earth and it's
creatures, and succeed at meeting the minimal needs of all it's members.
There is no room for starvation of innocent children, or death and crippling
simply avoided illnesses. The land will not be considered the property of any
single individual or organization, but rights for use will be adjudged and
distributed by a democratic government with no other function than to assure
equal rights and opportunity to everyone qualified by the simple fact of being
human. The most basic right, allowing freedom for individuality and
difference, not sameness, will be offered to all, equally.
The plan for the physical appearance of this village will be to blend into the environment surrounding it, without unnecessarily disturbing the life patterns of animals and plants. At the same time, a thorough respect for human artistry and expression is also to be considered a natural part of Life on earth. The design and construction of the homes and buildings will be accomplished using local materials, and new methods will be introduced making possible free shelter for anyone that requires and desires it. The Sun, the earth and stone, and some sustainable and renewable resources will provide the energy and the materials for habitat and economic activity. The land itself, especially topsoil, will be held in trust as of highest value, and organic "permacultural" practices will eventually replace the agriculture of today.
As the tools of technology continue to evolve, mechanical drudgery will continue to be further reduced. More time to invest in individual aspirations, and human relationships such as family, and broadened cultural and social life will be available.
Are these "I-deals " too idealistic, or Utopian? I don't think so. They could be manifested tomorrow given the change of values and commitment required for it's fulfillment. Do I expect such communities to develop in the relatively near future? Yes I do. Why do I believe this? Because I and others who share these ideals will do it, bringing them into manifestation. More and more persons will look to, and choose, better ways of doing things as the shortcomings of present ways of doing things becomes ever more obvious. I personally expect dire and chaotic changes to continue to occur in present societies at large. It may take a thorough collapse, and great need, before new alternatives for social life will be considered by those that survive. Hopefully all that which is positive and useful will be salvaged for the life that can begin in earnest after the shake-up. If enough persons direct their energies now towards such social experiments such as this one, and have the courage to live their principles and purpose in day-to-day life, alternative models for living can allow human survival in the future. Without conscious and intended actions on the part of persons with the welfare of others and themselves in mind and soul, I believe the odds of survival and progressing to higher levels of human expression are actually quite low. By coming to terms with what we really want for ourselves, understanding we are One, I believe most heartedly we can change things for the better, and express Who We Are by the lives we choose to live, with others. Jerry B
For a personal introduction, see my page at http://olivus.net/GOTsite/JerryB/index.htm
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org