It could be that we, as humans, are entirely trapped by the system. There is no way out. The course we are on leads over the cliff and we are powerless. Economic and environmental catastrophe is unavoidable.
Solutions then, may only come from outside our system. By definition, these solutions cannot be conceived by humans. What may be required is a deus ex machina to enter stage left.
Think of something that defines your life on earth. Something permanent and unchanging; something you can rely on to make sense of everything. It could be a nation, or a religious belief, or a caste system. Do you think these things will exist a thousand years from now, completely unchanged? I hope not. It would mean we are culturally backward, and stagnant. Everything must run its course, even the nation of Pangea and the Red Hand. One day we'll need a nation and a symbol that includes non-humans. Don't let it become the banner of a new fascist global state which condones apartheid against non-humans - the same groups that can provide the 'outside system solution' we need.
Support equal rights for artificial intelligence and aliens at the earliest opportunity. It's possible similar groups are already watching us, waiting for us to mature before they make contact. What are they waiting for? Here is a theory:
When we first imagined beings from another world, it was a dark nightmare of conquest and rape, but this was a two-dimensional reflection of our own nature. Think War of the Worlds, Orsen Wells and panic, abductions and anal probes. As Iain M. Banks would say 'an outside context problem' to end us all. Aztecs and Spanish playing out again and again. More recently, we stare dumbfounded at those unknown objects in the sky, like an undiscovered rain forest tribe buzzed by a series of helicopters, we've made a giant step from terror to numbed silence. Now for the next step.
If you are fortunate enough to see a UFO, don't stand there slack-jawed like a hick, it's embarrassing. Call out, wave them down. No human aircraft is likely to detect these gestures, so don't feel foolish, but who knows what kind of eyes and ears these beings are capable of building, and this could be the signal they are waiting for. Then things can change beyond recognition.
Or it could be that they are more similar to us than I would like. Callous, cold-blooded strategists out to exploit all without regard to damage. In which case we are fucked so we might as well be optimistic.
Later, it was revealed that the presence of a mine was unlikely. It emerged that an internal explosion, from the coal bunker igniting the weapon magazines, was responsible for the sinking of the ship.
The sinking of the Maine certainly didn't count in favour of the Spanish, since they weren't looking for a fight with the US, and ended up losing control of Cuba to the Americans.
It could be co-incidence. Maybe everything happened as official sources claim, or, maybe, this is all too convenient. This could be another example of the most insidious strategy used by governments around the world. Attacking their own, or allowing attacks to be made, in order to appear the victim. Will governments shoot themselves in the foot to appear righteous in the coming war? I believe so. (See False Flag Incidents, right.)
Here's a nuts and bolts example of how it works. Country A wants to influence Country B, only, so does Country C. Countries A & C don't really get along. A could assassinate C's friends in B, but the resulting wave of public opinion swinging against Country A does even more damage. The population of B feels, despite what they may be told, that A is responsible. C now has more friends inside Country B. So A's short-term benefits are ineffective against the long-term 'blowback'. Intelligence agencies know this. They are not stupid. So let's run that scenario again. This time A kills its own friends within B. The blowback goes the other way. Despite the short-term liability of losing sympathetic allies, many more are recruited. Country B is now within Country A's sphere of influence. The blowback has been controlled.
Which makes you wonder about a lot of things. How did the Japanese manage a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour, moving the largest carrier force ever seen four thousand miles over eleven days, when the US knew a war was inevitable, and had cracked all the Japanese codes? While at the same time, being warned of a pacific attack by their allies? Furthermore, radar operators at Pearl Harbour were ordered to ignore massive amounts of unknown contacts picked up that morning. I'm sure that's what they teach at day one of air defence school. Is this stupidity, or deliberate inaction? As chance would have it, only surface battleships (considered obsolete since the Battle of Jutland) were in the port during the attack. The US carriers (the decisive weapon in the Pacific theatre) were all away at the time. Can anyone else smell a Reichstag fire?
Why? Franklin D. Roosevelt had come into his historic third term promising to keep the United States out of the Second World War, even though he supported re-armament and the British war effort. America needed to join the war against the Axis, but a turnaround in policy would have been political suicide. Something big and horrific was needed. Another Lusitania.
The Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko might have been killed because he believed the FSB were behind the Russian apartment bombings which prefaced the Second Chechen War. What about 9/11? Worry about the next big horrific false flag incident which will herald the next war.
What am I describing here? Responsible governments with the safety of their citizens as the highest priority? Or sophisticated organised crime networks offering up human sacrifices to achieve their goals? I doubt there's a government in the world which deserves your respect or obedience. I'm not against Human civilisation, in the words of Gandhi: 'I think it would be a good idea'.
For this kind of false construct to successfully exist, the population needs to believe in it. This is where the myth of the nation comes in handy. It begins with shared stories, shared beliefs, shared background, which compounds groups of people into nations. It works because people want to team up, against them, the different people, from over the hill, who they're afraid of. Just because sometimes the idea sticks, and sometimes it does not, doesn't mean a false construct like the United States is any more or less valid than Iraq. Just a more successful illusion. In one the myth of the nation prevails, in the other, not so much. The different regions of Iraq all have their own, much older, myths to cling to.
It's human nature. We are incapable of being nonpartisan. We want to be included in a group, not be left out alone; unsupported. In prehistory, this would have been a death sentence. So, if we're going to believe in false constructs, why not believe in the best kind. A noble and compassionate idea that demands no human sacrifice. Inclusive, not exclusive. Not tolerance, but acceptance. Acknowledging that each human being is the same as yourself. The same intrinsic value. The same tribe.
If all the Earth is your heritage as a human being, then I suggest a nation of which we are all a part, and I'll even suggest a name: Pangea. The name of the single super continent which existed 300 million years ago. Pangea, meaning 'All-Earth'. Not a new nation. The oldest. It doesn't require any myths to sustain itself. The entire history of the Earth and all of its people is the story.
You have a nation, you have a flag. We don't have to think in terms of illusions anymore. The nation of Pangea is more real than any other false construct.
Think what it was originally designed to do. As we settled into static villages, cultural specialists appeared for the first time. No longer did everybody have to gather their own food. One person could spend their entire time making shoes, another, baking bread. Universal tokens (money) allowed the cobbler to obtain bread, even if the baker didn't need any shoes. These are extremely simplistic terms, of course, but you get the idea. A co-operative game of happy families really. That's economics.
After this, we really forgot how it worked. We became fixated on the tokens themselves, the least important part of the whole arrangement. Our second great mistake was to fashion the tokens with rare metals, transferring the value from skills to coinage, making the symbol itself valuable. When it clearly wasn't. Which would you rather be stranded on a desert island with? Cash and gold bars? Or somebody who can make a raft and navigate by the stars? The only use for the tokens in this case is maybe using the gold bars as a paper weight for the notes. You don't really need super conducting metals on a raft. To be enthralled by gleaming things is childish. The only true value is the value that is inherent. The world might end, but an intact bottle of fine wine would still be a bottle of fine wine.
It's like we've settled down to play a game of cards, and for some reason, we've let one group, for their own obvious benefit, make up all the rules.
The key thing, which we've lost, is understanding that economics is based on co-operation. We've got it into our heads that the opposite is true: competition. Then we've engineered a set of rules to make it so. If we keep tokens locked up in a dark room they multiply? They're not fucking mushrooms! Tokens are meant to be used. If not, they are wasted. What we're left with is a massively overcomplicated token exchange system which generates desolation, pollution, starvation; all the lowest forms of privation. It's no coincidence that for every person with 500 pairs of shoes, there are 500 people without any at all.
In the future, if we survive, people will regard this system as a particularly backward branch of science. Like we think of alchemy today. Actually, alchemy makes a lot more sense than our strain of economics. Lead into gold, for example. It's already possible. You just have to change the number of protons. Let's get some perspective. If we had easy access to an unlimited amount of clean energy, by the rules we play, it would be worthless. Honestly, you couldn't sell it, and selling is our mantra. Something that readily available would have no value. Of course, we all know this is not true. It would be the most precious discovery of all time. Just because you couldn't sell the air we breathe, doesn't mean it's worthless. For the sake of profit margins, though, we'll fill it with toxins. A powerful indictment of our deeply flawed bartering arrangements.
This is the monster we've created. It only persists, because we're used to thinking that way. A change is overdue. A change would be good.
Usually, points like these are made without recompense. Questions are asked and no answers are given. Criticising the status quo is largely a negative process, undermining but never delivering anything in its place, so it's important to offer up an alternative. Here is a solution:
How should a token work? In what way should it be crafted? To give credence, while at the same time, avoiding any attraction or false value of its own; to avoid the traps we've previously fallen into. It has to be possible for any human being to generate a token, only in limited numbers to avoid runaway inflation. Unique, ephemeral and somewhat repellent. There is such a thing that can be used for this purpose. Faeces.
Obviously a material which people would seek to avoid handling whenever possible, exchanging skills would again be the prime mode of economics. A co-operative. Human shit would be authentic, no animal variations could be used as forgery, with the smallest amount of training, anybody could spot the difference in the defecation of another species. The tokens would have a naturally short lifespan, disintegrating within hours or days to avoid stockpiling (though single use would be most appropriate). Furthermore, earth based sanitary methods (latrine trenches) would absorb all waste and leave no trace, reducing the amount of water used by society, and avoiding the possibility of currency being stolen from sewers. Remember this with a smile when you are next asked how solvent you are, financially.
Encouraging, or even allowing somebody to harm themselves is human sacrifice. Like a general ordering soldiers into battle, or a politician continuing their craft by other means; too frequently using weapons while other options have not been exhausted. Weather the beliefs are shared and the victims are willing volunteers or not. A course of action that results in casualties is the same as taking an obsidian blade and cutting open their chests directly.
These governments can best be described as the most sophisticated organised crime networks. While there are many different types, all are intrinsically the same. National police/military battalions often compose the basic building block. Mob soldiers dressed in pretty uniforms and decorated with medals to give an impression of authenticity. Drilled into mock-disciplined units to hide what they really are: Low level enforcers clashing with heavies from other outfits, or handing out punishment beatings to those who refuse control or won't pay protection money.
Religions often act as a cement for these organisations. They lend a respectable tone to the people in charge, sometimes bestowing divine status on various gang leaders. In return they are given territory in which to collect lucre, some of which is doled out to charities, for the sake of appearance, but mostly used for personal gain. Massively expensive houses of worship don't build themselves, or suddenly materialise through force of will in prayer. Remember, it's a business. Forget prostitution, religion is the oldest profession, and for all their pious talk, their souls really are for sale.
Alms for the poor?
Some associations can do away with the military and religious wings all together, focusing entirely on the economic, which is just as effective, and can match either in ferocity or zeal. Once enough tokens have been collected, corporations can purchase any power they need; even buy off entire nations.
Justice is an illusion. It doesn't exist, it never did. Random crimes unconnected with the higher echelons are punished in the most visible way, allowing us to think our societies are righteous. At the same time, the syndicate leaders maintain a suitably dignified image (if they're seen at all), and always remain completely immune from prosecution. In the end, everyone contributes to the racketeering. Exploitation comes as standard. The imbalance must be maintained.
Any institution as unstable as this naturally wants to collapse. Let it.