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Shalom!
At times like this, I really wish I spoke Hebrew.
I have no idea what he just said, but I'm going to make a quick introduction
before I begin the formal speech
in great gratitude to The Zeitgeist Movement Israel
that have made this possible.
[Applause]
My name is Peter Joseph.
I work with an organization called The Zeitgeist Movement.
While most of my talks are about inherent economic inefficiencies
which are fueling the majority of the civil unrest, ecological abuse
and general deprivation that we see in the world today
coupled with highlighting existing, yet unapplied scientific realizations
that could solve such problems in general
not to mention creating a new societal design
originating out of another form of thought
that would virtually guarantee environmental
and social sustainability if implemented
the central focus of this talk is a little bit more temporal.
It's different than any other talk I've given.
The title of this presentation is 'Defining Peace: Economics
the State and War'.
It's divided into 4 sections.
The first is entitled 'The History of Human Conflict
and the Human Nature Debate'.
As the evidence will show, the stubborn concept that we
humans are inherently and inalterably aggressive
and territorial will be addressed.
Finding that early societies did not engage
in mass warfare and that most conflicts
especially the large scale mobilization we see in the modern world
are actually the result of conditions
real or contrived that lure
the human being into a position of aggression.
This will then lead us into the consideration of our environmental condition
and the structural and psychological modes that encompass it
leading to the understanding that when it comes to war
the condition as we know it is set by the state
generally speaking.
Part 2: 'The State Character and Coercion'.
We'll consider the origin of the modern state and its characteristics.
It's been found that there's an average set of qualities
that pertain to these concentrations of power.
Moreover and more profoundly, the influence of the state
on the values of the culture will be addressed
especially regarding loyalty, patriotism
and how easy it has been
for a very small number of political and commercial interests
to entice the public that their wars are moral, right and beneficial.
Then in Part 3: 'The Culture of War
Business, Ownership and Competition'
a deeper look at the underlining condition motivation
which appears to have created the state and its power
and the war propensity itself will be considered.
Focusing on the roots of our social system
and how not only is war natural
to the current economic methods we use
it is inevitable.
It will be expressed that the structural basis and resulting psychology
that exists in the monetary market system of economics
that governs the world today is the core driver
of human conflict in the world overall.
In the final section, Part 4: 'Defining Peace
a New Social Contract'
we will consider the causal logic of what we have described prior
and in a basic reductionist method, deduce what societal characteristics
support peace, and what do not
and how we as a world society can reset
our societal condition to allow for this newfound human balance
before it's too late.
Before we begin, I need to address a broader issue
that I feel is understated in the world.
It seems to sit at the core of society as historically lackluster inability
to change (which I think we all might notice)
not only in the context of global warfare
which we see as almost natural in the world today, unfortunately
but also with respect to common sense social changes for the better
which are systematically rejected, without legitimate logical defenses.
Very simply, it appears that traditional sentiment
is constantly in conflict with emergent knowledge.
For example, once an ideological institution is established
usually with the basic consensus of the population at large
a time-armorial distinction emerges
which implies that this practice or belief is now empirical to the human condition
and will last forever.
We see this characteristic in religious, political and economic thought
most pervasively, but no intellectual discipline
or social advent seems to be immune.
Even those who call themselves scientists
claiming to hold dear the vigorous ethic demanded by the scientific method
often fall victim to traditional biases
and erroneous loyalties, skewing their findings.
Those loyalties are almost always born
out of a traditional, customary culture and its dominant institutions
with which those personalities are groomed.
I think Dr. Gabor Maté put this issue very well
"It is simply a matter of historical fact
that the dominant intellectual culture of any particular society
reflects the interests of the dominant group in that society.
In a slave-owning society, the beliefs about human beings and human rights
will reflect the needs of the slave owners.
In a society which is based on the power of certain people
to control and profit from the lives and work of millions of others
the dominant intellectual culture will reflect the needs of the dominant group.
If you look across the board, the ideas that pervade psychology, sociology
history, political economy and political science
fundamentally reflect certain elite interests.
The academics who question that too much
tend to get shunted to the side or to be seen as sort of 'radicals'."
A cursory glance at ideas which were once considered absurd
impossible, subversive or even dangerous
which later evolved to serving human progress
shows a clear pattern of how wrong we can be in our loyalties.
It is axiomatic to say that many ideas which will enable progress
and benefit society in the future will be hideously opposed
and fought in the present-day.
It seems the more broadly beneficial the new idea, in hindsight
the worse the initial reaction is, by contemporary culture.
A classic case and point is the gruelingly slow recognition
of the mechanistic nature of scientific causality in the world
an understanding and method which has facilitated
every single attribute of human progress in history
from the solutions of disease resolution
to the advent of abundance-producing technology
to our understanding of the human condition itself
and how the planet works.
The scientific method, which is really
the materialization of logic and application
was not only met with the most heretical condemnation
by those institutions of political and religious power historically
it is, I'm sad to say, still rejected today
in many areas of thought and application.
Anti-science perspectives
tend to reside with issues of supposed morality
argued in a vast wasteland of subjective perspectives.
A classic example is the highlighting of technological advances
that have been used for detrimental purposes, such as weaponry
which clearly has nothing to do with technology
but with the distortion of motivation by the culture who's using it.
A more sophisticated claim is that the scientific method is simply not objective.
You will find this view held by early Western philosophers
like Thomas Hobbes or Robert Boyle.
Here I can actually find some sympathy
but only with respect to a certain irony
given the ongoing interference of cultural victimization on the outcome
of ostensibly scientific conclusions, as noted before.
So-called scientists are not to be confused with the method of science.
Very often the cultural influence and deposits of value
are simply too strong of a bias to allow for the objectivity required.
The more controversial the new scientific finding
the more dissonance usually occurs, and that's what the historical record shows.
In a classic text by authors Cohen and Nagel entitled
'An Introduction to Logic and the Scientific Method' (a book I recommend)
this point was very well stated with respect to the process
of empirical logical evaluation and its independence from human psychology.
It states "The logical distinction between valid and invalid inference
does not refer to the way we think (the process going on in someone's mind).
The weight of evidence is not itself a temporal event
but a relation of implication between certain classes or types of propositions.
Of course, thought is necessary to apprehend such implications
however, that does not make physics a branch of psychology.
The realization that logic can not be restricted to psychological phenomenon
will help us to discriminate between our science and our rhetoric
conceiving the latter as the art of persuasion or of arguing
so as to reduce the feeling of certainty.
Our emotional dispositions make it very difficult for us to accept
certain propositions, no matter how strong the evidence in their favor.
Since all proof depends on the acceptance of certain propositions as truth
no proposition can be proved true
to one who is sufficiently determined not to believe it."
What is it that comprises that force that stops
what we would call objective thought? Cultural conditioning and its values.
Seems very obvious, but unfortunately we're all victim to this.
We humans have no spontaneous thoughts or actions.
We are causal organisms perpetuating a chain of ideas and reactions
always existing in an 'intermediate tenure'.
Coming back to the central context, it is critical to point out
that there is nothing more ingrained in a culture sense of identity
than the broad social institutions we are born into
and the values they perpetuated. The older the tradition is
the stronger the fight to preserve it.
The world, in many respects, is now an accelerating clash
between stubborn traditional conceits
upheld by institutions which continue to gain from their exploitation
and the emergent, scientific reality and logical assessment
that is proven to illuminate the closest approximation
to truth we have as a species.
As I begin this assessment of the nature of war and peace
a controversial subject indeed, I'd like everyone to listen to themselves
monitor their own personal reactions to the statements I make.
When you encounter something you don't agree with, honestly ask yourself
where is that dissonance originating from?
Is it coming from a technical analysis
where the variables are being taken into account on their own merit
absent the messenger? Or is that disagreement coming from perspectives
which just might be based on cultural value comforts, which
for better or worse, have defined what you think is empirical normality
regardless if it's true or not.
That noted, let's get a few things out of way regarding myself
given the sensitive territory I'm about to embark.
I'm not here to speak with condemnation of any country, political party
religious claim or institution at all.
I'm not here to argue in favor of war or against US imperialism.
I'm not here to even inflame bias in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
nor am I here to pose judgment on any party or power explicitly
despite the endless notable atrocities illuminated by history.
Why? Because when it comes to change, and I mean real change
all currently received angles of common debate
and their postulated, inner-systems solutions 'in the box'
are invalid when the broad context is understood regarding war.
We need to think on a different level now.
Given that frame of reference, I cannot logically be loyal to any country.
I have no loyalty to any person, guru or leader
or any respect to submission. I hold no loyalty to any race, religion
political party or established ideological creed
and most importantly, I hold no empirical faith of permanence
in any assumption of supposed fact
historical, current or future, beyond the understanding
that all known human conceptions will evolve
change, refine, from here until the end of our existence.
The only constant is change.
[Applause]
The only constant is obviously change.
While that seems like a self-canceling paradox
the purpose of the historical record itself is really for us to gain inference
from everything we see in history whatever the discipline may be
and when we apply the scientific method of evaluation to its patterns
we can draw relevant conclusions.
That is basically what we do with our minds.
Science is our tool for creating a better world for all human beings
while preserving the habitat and very simply
(as this work will describe) it is only when we change the structure
of the predominant global social system
namely its economic premise, which precedes all others in causality
that what could be called 'world peace' is possible.
Part One: The History of Human Conflict and the Human Nature Debate.
It appears that much of the world's cultures still possess
largely superstitious views of human conduct
territoriality and supposed inevitabilities of war
both from the standpoint of offensive provocation and defense.
It has been argued historically that humans have an innate tendency for violence
implying at the extreme cases that regardless of the nature of the circumstance
violent, domineering behavior will erupt
almost randomly like a pressure valve releasing steam.
Therefore, as the logic goes, the posture of war and protection
is deemed a natural, inevitable consequence for everyone.
This idea has taken on various metaphysical forms in history
with likely the most notable being the religious notion of evil and good:
evil existing as a spiritual force that simply cannot be stopped
only protected against.
As will be discussed more later, this use of the good and evil duality
along with many other truly superstitious assumptions
is still very much a part of the motivating political rhetoric
that works to entice public support for the states' wars.
A powerful tool of propaganda indeed, especially given the fact
that the majority of humans on this planet still assume
such religious forms of causality, hence the inherent credulity.
However, if you were to ask most moderately-educated individuals
what they mean by the term 'evil'
the definition would probably be relegated ostensibly
to the scientific notion of human instinct.
Given the near contextual equivalent of these notions in context
I think Dr. James Gilligan of Harvard University Center for Study of Violence
in America had the most direct response. He states
"One reason the instinctual argument for violent behavior
is to support the status quo.
If violence is innate and instinctual, then clearly there is no point
in trying to change our social and economic system."
What does history and modern science really show with respect
to the human sociological condition regarding patterns of violence
with respect to the human nature debate?
Have they found the 'war gene' that enables this instinct
for us to come in mass and kill other people?
Is there anything in the physical sciences that they can express
an empirical causality residing in the evolutionary biology
or even the evolutionary psychology
of the human organism to express violence inevitably?
The answer as modern sociobiological research has shown is clearly 'no'.
It is found that the entire basis of assumption
that has drawn the conclusion that humans are innately violent
comes from a narrow comparison of events
with high levels of omission, with respect to what circumstances
or conditions brought about those events.
There is only one universal factor that can be measured
with respect to development and execution of violence
whether civilian or military, and that is the environment.
The only known trackable, universal variable
is the nature of the environment, physical and sociological
which the human being has been raised into or exists in.
At the very core of our human definition
is really the environment itself, something I find quite interesting.
As a species, our physical and mental facilities were selected
and left remaining by biological evolution
with respect to what best enables our fitness and survival.
We are literally manifest of the physical environment
and natural physical laws that govern that environment.
This is what evolution is: a shaping process of the universe
to slowly conform new emerging entities to existing conditions
so they work. This is why we exist on Earth and have the components we do
breathing air versus existing on Venus.
If we evolved there, we'd have very different components
to be able to survive there, if we could survive at all.
Even our gene expression, which is assumed to be at the core
of our supposedly fixed human nature psychology
is actually controlled by environmental stimulus
(something people don't talk about enough).
For example, if you take a child at birth and place him or her in a dark room
for a certain period, the genetic propensity to see will simply not develop.
If you take an infant at birth and feed it and house it
yet never touch or give affection to that young infant
not only would that child not grow, it will likely die
because affection is intrinsic to the infancy stage of development:
environmental influence.
In the end, what is found is that the single greatest determining factor
influencing the human organism in the long and short term
is the environment around us, with our genes reacting to that stimulus
within a certain range of possibility.
The more we learn about his relationship
the larger the range of possibility seems to reveal itself, on many levels.
The largest range of possibilities enabled by environmental causality
is on the level of culture.
When we realize the magnitude of cultural influence on human psychology
and sociology, we are left with the glaring realization
that the most profound imperative we have
when it comes to changing human behavior
is to change the circumstance we exist in
both with regard to primal core survival, such as access to the necessities of life
and safety, to the subtle educational and cultural influences
that shape the way we view the world and each other.
That isn't to say humans do not have an evolutionarily derived nature.
Our general instinct to live, to procreate
to even defend ourselves if threatened
most certainly we have these tendencies; we are not blank slates.
The consideration of our common auto responses or so-called instincts
are indeed still factors to consider in general in the equation
but the equation is so greatly skewed
what has been found is that we have a predictable range of behavior
based almost entirely upon the conditions present
and the difference between one human being picking up a weapon
and killing another in cold blood as the institution of war formally demands
and one who chooses not to, is purely a cultural contrivance.
What separates a serial killer
who profiles a group of people for systematic murder
and a soldier who does the same thing?
Where does the moral line draw?
To me, as controversial as it may seem, it doesn't draw
for there really is no moral line at all
when the circumstances of the person are considered.
For each person is and can only be a consequence of their environment
whether biologically induced or culturally programmed
and the latter holds far more weight than the former
when it comes to human behavior and choice.
Sorry to drill it in.
For those who might think such a notion is dangerous
and cold, no morality
perhaps with the assumption that we humans require some type of moral guidance
for civility, such as the traditional religious commandment:
"Thou shalt not kill."
I ask you from a more pragmatic standpoint:
Have these age-old ideals done anything
to stop the seemingly endless global violence
human abuse towards each other and the anti-human exploitations
that exist on a daily basis? The answer is obviously 'no'.
Imposed philosophic morality will not save the world.
Only a calculated tangible plan
to alter our circumstances so that such actions pose no merit
will stop what we consider to be immoral behavior.
With that out of the way, let's take a brief examination of history
with its relationship to conflict.
I'm going to start in a place you might not expect: our primate ancestors.
Older anthropological studies that have attempted to justify human violence
would often compare humans to our earlier stages of evolution
for their pattern recognition. It seems logical on the surface
since we share about 95 - 99% of the DNA of chimpanzees
and other primates in that spectrum. Sounds impressive.
It might also sound impressive that fruit flies
share about 60% of human genes
but that connection to behavior is dubious at best, I think we'd all admit.
That's because the sharing of genes in this context
has almost no relevance whatsoever
as counterintuitive as that approach is.
Regardless, there are indeed common behaviors relating to violence
we do see between human society and non-human primate society
such as social stratification, even pure murder
elements of organized violence, revenge reactions
trust and antitrust responses
and a number of other reactions that we certainly recognize in our own species.
Like human culture, they also show unique variations and exceptions
to this behavior based on experiences and conditions
which make such notions of trait universality
difficult to diagnose empirically.
For example, an anthropologist and neuroscientist at Stanford University
who spent decades studying a baboon troop in Africa was amazed
to witness a social transformation in this troop after the Alpha males
of the group became poisoned by accident and died
leaving only the lower, less aggressive classes in the troop.
This removal of the Alphas and their troop dominance
apparently transformed this group into one with much lower levels of violence
and aggression than he had ever seen before
not only for that existing generation, even a decade later
due to this environmental cultural shift in the troop
they still maintain low levels of aggression
even when they acquire new males that migrate from other troops
who have those normal aggressive tendencies.
They are actually able to condition those new members
into equally lower patterns of aggression on average
hence the cultural conditioning.
It's a very unique finding. Does that mean that baboons can be conditioned
to wear business suits and drive cars to peace rallies
and sing John Lennon's song 'Imagine'? Of course not.
We're dealing with a range of behavior. Therefore the pertinent question becomes:
What is the range of the human being?
It appears that the more simple the organism is in biology
(especially its cognitive development if there is any) the less flexibility it has.
The classic example would be ants, who show steadfast predictable behaviors
almost to the extent that they are mere chemical machines
unfolding in an automatic way
but the more complex the organism, generally speaking, the more versatile.
If you examine what we understand now about human brain evolution
from its reptilian status to early mammalians
to the late mammal changes, reasonable evidence suggests
that the current state of our cerebral cortex, especially the neo-cortex
is what enables a very unique, adaptive understanding and flexibility
we take for granted in human society, or even don't recognize.
This is also clearly evident in the vast, varied cultural expressions
we see and have seen in the world historically.
It's a unique thing, where on one side of the planet
you can have pacifist communities with little to no violence
while the other side: systematic daily slaughter.
Given no evidence to support true psychological differences
in races, only the regional conditions and culture
can explain these vast differences.
This leads me to a general history of human society and warfare.
Likely the best place to start is the vast period of human existence
as hunter-gatherers before the Neolithic Revolution
and the advent of agriculture and common tools
which was roughly 12,000 years ago.
We often forget that 99% of what we define as Homo-Sapien (us)
existed in largely non-stratified, egalitarian social structures
with low levels of violence, and the pattern of mass-mobilization for warfare
as we know it, virtually nonexistent.
The few hunter-gatherer groups that still exist today
in isolated pockets still show support for this general, peaceful manner.
It appears that after the Neolithic Revolution
with the advent of us being able to control our environment
hence production and stockpiling of food
the creation of tools, the ordering of labor rules, etc.
the seeds of our current socioeconomic system were planted.
It is easy to see how the basic concept of value
as derived from one's labor manifested a protectionist and reciprocal system
of exchange of labor, even though such value and market notions
were not formally realized until the 17th or 18th centuries.
As this progression continued from the Neolithic Revolution
the passive often nomadic lifestyles of the hunter-gatherer
slowly became replaced with the settled, protectionist tribes
and then eventually localized city-type societies.
It is here where we begin to see warfare as we know it
including the technology that enables this weaponry
which is a conversation in and of itself.
In the words of Richard A. Gabriel in a text called 'A Short History of War'
"The invention and spread of agriculture
coupled with the domestication of animals in the 5th century BC
are acknowledged as the developments that set the stage for the emergence
of the first large-scale, complex urban cities.
These societies which appear almost simultaneously around 4000 BC
in Egypt and Mesopotamia used stone tools
but within 500 years stone tools and weapons gave way to bronze.
With bronze manufacture came a revolution in warfare."
It is also the period that the concept of the state
and the permanence of the armed force emerged.
"These early civilizations produced the first example of state- governing institutions
initially as centralized chiefdoms and later as monarchies.
At the same time, centralization demanded the creation of an administrative structure
capable of directing social... [Technical problem with microphone]
The development of central state institutions and a supporting administrative apparatus
inevitably gave form and stability to military structures.
The result was the expansion and stabilization
of the formerly loose and unstable warrior castes.
By 2700 BC in Sumer
there was a fully articulated military structure
and standing army organized along modern lines.
The standing army emerged as a permanent part of the social structure
and was endowed with strong claims to social legitimacy
and has been with us ever since."
Since that time of those early forms of modern civilization
there have been thousands of wars
most of which have to do with the acquisition of resources or territory
where one group is either working to expand its power and material wealth
or working to protect itself from others trying to conquer and absorb it.
This is essentially still the same state of affairs today.
The question to be asked is: Why the persistence of the tendency?
Where's the root origin? What motivates an army to kill
in a controlled cold manner for the sake of the state's benefit?
As will be expanded upon as we continue this talk
the tendency for war is not a universal human trait that demands expression
but a very sensitive vulnerability
to one's sense of social identity, sense of acceptance
fear and general personal concern which if properly organized
can be manipulated into the service of one group over another.
The human nature debate regarding violence which shows no universals
does reveal a highly probable response tendency
when certain environmental stimulus is presented to the human
to generate fear or offense.
What has been set in motion since the early period of modern warfare
is not some anomaly of human society
nor does it appear to be an unstoppable human tendency.
Rather, it appears to be a natural characteristic of:
1) The function of the state institution and its inherent need for control
along with the core of its origin
the foundational economic assumptions of resource scarcity
superstition and the psychology it perpetuates.
Part Two: The State, Character and Coercion
Since the very nature of modern warfare is almost universally representative
of a larger social entity and governmental apparatus known as the state
let's consider its basic characteristics in general.
The first to note is its basis in self-protection.
Since the state was born out of tribal sovereignty
where independent authority is claimed over a geographical area
(a region which had been stolen from some other group
who will likely claim the same thing at some point)
the issue of protection is inherent and consequential
Not only protection from external forces
but from what can be rightfully called in feudalistic terms 'its subjects'.
These subjects are also historically held to hold a duty
or responsibility to the state's institutional preservation.
This medieval remnant is not only with respect to "serving your country"
such as joining the armed forces, but also found in the notions of treason
sedition and other legal protections
that work directly against the citizenry
if they were to get out of line, too far.
It is also worth pointing out that these elements of internal protection
have been updated by more modern means
such as with the fairly new concept of 'the terrorist'
and its inherently open, ambiguous distinction
which can be applied to both foreign and domestic citizens
enabling an even more flexible form of internal protection
due to its ambiguity.
As far as the broad characteristics and nature of interaction of states
state entities (excuse me) across the world
it is generally safe to break them up into categories of superpowers
powers, sub-powers and in feudalistic terms, vassal states.
After the Cold War, the US is noted to have emerged as the world's first superpower
as defined by its military and economic might.
The powers, many of which are gaining traction today
and could now be called parallel superpowers
are the other large economies such as China, Britain, Russia, etc.
each always with enormous military power as well.
The sub-powers could be considered the more passive
yet independent states, which is the majority
while the vassal states are the ones that operate in subservience
to the power states, often providing economic advantage
through subjugation, on one level or another.
With respect to subjugation, this is a core characteristic
of the predatory nature of the state institution.
It is worth pointing out that the tactics of subjugation
which is what in many ways facilitates the states' power status
have changed over time in effect becoming more covert in its warfare.
Some of these methods are not physically violent at all
at least not on the surface.
These include economic warfare approaches which serve
as complete acts of aggression in and of themselves
or a part of a procedural prelude
to traditional military action, which comes in the form of trade tariffs
sanctions, debt by coercion
and many other lesser known, covert methods
which typically have to do with a sense of debt
with dealings of the World Bank or the IMF
or the United Nations in the sense of sanctions.
These globally sanctioned, financial institutions
have heavy vested business and state interests behind them
and have the power to impose debt to bail out suffering countries
at the expense of the quality of life of its citizenry
often taking charge of natural resources or industries
through select privatization or other manners that could weaken
a country's ability to the effect that it becomes reliant on others
and their industries.
This is simply a more covert form of subjugation
than we saw with the British Empire during its imperial expansion
and the East India Company, the commercial force
that took advantage of the newly conquered regional resources
and labor in Asia in the 19th century.
Some analysts will compare the British Empire to the United States
and examine how the fact that the US gained its status
through not just military pressure
but through the presence of this very covert complex economic strategy
which repositions other countries into subjugation
to US economic and geo-economic interests.
Why?
Because as will be addressed in more detail in Part Three
despite the superstitious rhetoric to the contrary
the state is nothing more than a manifestation
and extension of the economic paradigm.
It is an economic entity in its purest form
and this is something many today seem not to fully understand.
The conduct of the state is based on methods of resecuring itself
by whatever means necessary. Those who condemn the United States
as a corporate, commercial state empire
as though such a disposition is an anomaly of state power behavior
are not taking into account the very economic premise
upon which it is based, as we will discuss as we go along.
Those basic issues aside
let's now hone more into the coercive tendency of the state
with respect to its war posture.
Since behind the state (as with any institution) are human beings
and their values, the issue of mass-conditioning
to support the state's integrity is paramount to its survival
As history has shown, when it comes to war
the public at large rarely, if ever
initiates the original interest in conflict
only the politicians and their benefactors do.
Then, they work to entice their subjects for support.
Patriotism, honor, the moral crusade:
The first thing to notice about all state wars in preparation
is that they never express themselves as being offensive
only defensive, the common defense as it's called.
In the US, the Department of Defense is the name of our war ministry, really.
It sounds noble, while also immediately implying
the assumption of fear from the external.
While the general public sees this fear in a traditional, invasive sense
the more relevant fear is on the state level.
It is discrete, and the fear has to do with the state power's fear of loss:
the loss of power.
Perhaps the best expression of this was exemplified in the work
by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski
'The Grand Chessboard' was the name of his work and this book details
a series of extremely accurate observations and predictions
with respect to what it will take for America to remain
as the world's major power, specifically its necessity to control Eurasia
and the Middle East.
In this posture, the fear is generated out of an unargued assumption
that American global leadership is the only way.
The chess game to preserve should
always should be in our own favor, or else, perhaps
the world at large will suffer as a result.
It's a classic imperialist apologist view
that we the Americans and our allies must take over everything
because we know better.
Coupled with this fear-based assumption is that if the US
isn't the empire power, then another one will come along
and hurt US interests
which on the of social maturity at this stage happens to be true
(and this is what Brzezinski argues) but at no point
is there a viable reflection on social balance.
It's simply not considered
which is absolutely characteristic of the state entity
and its foundation, so we shouldn't blame Brzezinski for his view.
He is simply expressing what is sadly normality
even though, as we'll describe, is wholly inhumane
and extremely unsustainable.
He states "America is now the only global superpower
and Eurasia is the globe's central arena.
Hence what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent
will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy
and to America's historical legacy.
To put it into terminology that harkens back
to the more brutal age of ancient empires
the 3 grand imperatives of imperial geo-strategy
are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals
to keep tributaries pliant and protected
and to keep the barbarians from coming together.
Henceforth, the United States may have determined
how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia
thereby threatening America's status as a global power."
If you read this work, which was written about 15 years ago
you will notice even right now immediately
that the American imperialist state and its allies have been acting
upon this specific interest explicitly.
However, you will not see the political establishment or mainstream media
expressing this view at all to the public in its day-to-day affairs
even though Brzezinski will argue it as though it's common sense.
The media, corporations and the state
go back to age-old tactics of psychological coercion
which is based entirely upon a metaphysical fantasy kind of rhetoric
which utilizes ideas such as faith and moral good
patriotism and the idea of honor, fear in common defense
and other largely empty concepts
which serve only to mobilize the population
to support the interests of the waring party.
Thorstein Veblen, a sociologist and economist, who will be quoted quite a bit
in this presentation, I think put this best in 1917
"Any patriotism will serve as a ways and means to warlike enterprise
and the competent management, even if the people
are not habitually prone to a bellicose temper.
Rightly managed, ordinary patriotic sentiment
may readily be mobilized for warlike adventure
by any reasonably adroit and single-minded body of statesmen
of which there is abundant illustration."
Abundant illustration indeed
for at the core of all social motivation for war
rests a subset of such intangible values
which are in all reality exceedingly xenophobic
neurotic and irrational.
Veblen continues "It is also quite a safe generalization
that when hostilities have once been got fairly under way
by the interested statesman, the patriotic sentiment of the nation
may confidently be counted on to back the enterprise
irrespective of the merits of the quarrel."
I think this is best exemplified today with the common American phrase
which probably carries over to other countries "I'm against the war
but support the troops!"
This is what could be called 'classic Orwellian doublethink'
and has been very effective in reducing public outcry
which then plays into the concept of honor
and the very sacrificial nature of the soldier entities themselves.
Here is where the ceremony and elaborate costumes
medals, authority appearances find their place.
Honor is formalized through ceremonials, medals and postures of respect
events and other adornments which impress the public
as to the value of the actions of the soldiers
and hence the value of the war that they represent.
This also creates a cultural taboo
where to insult any element of the war apparatus
can be seen as showing disrespect to the sacrifice
of the Armed Forces and their honor, hence reinforcing the broad illusion
that the initiation of wars are noble acts with noble participants.
Paired with the notion of honor and the effect of what it represents
resides the ultimate tool to crusade: morality.
Veble continues "Any warlike enterprise that is hopeful to be entered on
must have the moral sanction of the community or of an effective majority
in the community. It consequently becomes the first concern
of the warlike statesman to put his moral force in train
for the adventure on which he is bent.
There are two main lines of motivation:
1) The preservation or furtherance
of the community's material interest, real or fancied
2) Vindication of the national honor.
To these should perhaps be added a third:
the advancement and perpetuation of the nature's culture.
This last point on the perpetuation of the nature's culture
is best exemplified by the Western imperial catchphrase
of seeking to spread 'Freedom and Democracy'
in a metaphysic/religious notion, pure and simple.
The actual meaning of this poetically fanciful yet entirely empty phrase
has more to do with the perseverance of private interests and their freedom
than some moral objection to another country's supposed inhumanity
and the interest to 'liberate them' or whatever.
It is no different than the infamous
ideological crusades during the Middle Ages
which always had an underlying material and territorial interest
for the benefit of the few behind-the-scenes
despite the religious overlay we hear in history.
I can think of nothing more powerful
than the mobilization of religious moral values
in service of the few who actually gain from the war enterprise.
The notion of freedom and democracy is equally as persuasive
as the historical notion of one religious group seeking to save another
by invasion and subjugation.
I hope that connection is made.
That acknowledged, let's consider the general unfolding of the war venture.
With the seed of patriotism and ongoing reinforcement of sentiment
in a given population whose political constituents seek to motivate for war
the first step is usually an event that creates a direct imposition of fear
that's coupled with a violation of the national honor metaphysic.
Zbigniew Brzezinski understood this well and he stated on the issue
"The attitude of the American public toward the external projection
of American power has been much more ambivalent.
The public supported America's engagement in World War II
largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
As America becomes an increasingly multicultural society
it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues
except in the circumstance of a truly massive
and widely perceived, direct external threat."
This can be not only a threat
in a real sense but also a metaphysical one
in the sense of intangible moral, honor or outrage.
If we go through history, say the United States' wars...
(as an American this is the history I'm most familiar with)
if we go through the US' wars, we find that the point of provocation
that leads to war is almost always of a minor nature
in proportion to what follows, exacerbated entirely by the irrational
moral outrage and honor neurosis
that leads to seeking retribution and revenge
manipulating the public to believe such things.
From the Mexican-American War for example of 1846
that began with a scuffle along the Mexican domination of Texas
the news reports proclaimed 'off the cuff' that
"Mexicans are killing our boys in Texas! " plastered all over the news.
In this little war, stealing land from Mexico
cost 30,000 deaths in total over the course of a few years.
30,000 deaths and that's a long time ago.
The Vietnam-American War which was provoked by a supposed torpedo attack
that didn't kill anybody, yet opened the public support for an involvement
that killed about 3.5 million humans!
Nearly all of these imperial wars, including the inclusion of the US
in world wars, pose proportionally nominal inflictions statistically
yet grossly amplified by the public's jingoistic reactions.
The basic sociological understanding was formalized
in a CIA created plan called 'Operation Northwoods'
when the US was seeking an excuse to invade Cuba in the 1960s.
They planned to conduct a series of terrorist attacks internally
and then blame them on Cuba for the sake of public perception and support
hence exploiting their moral outrage and fear. This is public record
and dare I add
the king of all modern religious events
one that provoked every level of moral outrage
honor and patriotic neurosis
the events of September 11th, 2001 prove beyond any doubt
that the causality of a given provocation need not have
any true bearing on the actions that follow by the State
given enough shock and jingoistic fervor.
Even if the US government's official narrative of this event
was absolutely true, 100% truth
the actions of the US government and its allies that followed the event
had nothing to do with anything that relates to the event itself.
Absolutely nothing, if you paid attention.
[Applause]
It merely opened the floodgates of patriotic retribution
and allowed for a virtually open palette of imperial mobilization.
Back to the broader point of state character beyond the US
the acts of 9/11 also open the floodgates for a broader redefinition of terms
for almost every power structure in the world
because intrinsically, the power structures of the world, the state entity
are self-contained in their very definition.
They don't really care about any other country or about their population.
It's not a moral thing. It's the way that they've been constructed.
From Turkey to Russia, to Israel, to the UK, etc.
the benefit of 9/11 was massive to the State in hindering the public
the external, engulfing and exacerbating its power.
For the record, there is no war on terrorism.
There can be...
[Applause]
There can be no such thing as a war on an abstraction.
It has no universally operational premise. It has no location
and even worse, it has no universal notion of success
not to mention all acts of so-called 'terrorism' are statistically invalid
with respect to true threats to human society
and public health, but that's for another conversation.
Trillions of dollars being spent on an affair when we have people dying
of so many other things that money could take good use with
but we all know what the real intent actually is:
The real war being waged is actually on problem resolution and human harmony.
The real war is on a balance of power and social justice.
The real war is on the institution of economic equality.
Unfortunately, social stability is not a sought characteristic
of large state enterprises for it affords no advantage.
The true tool of terrorism is not as an act of violence
by an incredibly small desperate subculture that does exist
but a tool of excuse by the State
for further power consolidation, foreign and domestic. I won't drill it in.
As I complete this section of the talk regarding societal manipulation
by state powers for the purposes of reinforcing state integrity
at the ongoing expense of other states and its subjects, I'm often asked:
What defines social cohesion now, and community trust?
Isn't patriotism and national pride a positive force on some level?
If you think about it, nearly all notions of community
have basically been overridden by the ever-dividing premise
of market competition and the privatization of everything.
There's very little left in the world that instills
structurally social capital and community trust anymore.
Even the so-called egalitarian states of the world:
Norway, Sweden, etc. are showing
large patterns of imbalanced growth and income equality
hence their loss of community. It's getting worse, in other words.
For internal purposes, it could be said that patriotism does serve a role
since it's the only thing left, but only within the interests
of the isolated community.
However, I'm sorry to say, this tribalism can easily
be turned around against other forces in the same logic.
I'm sure there was great camaraderie and interpersonal support occurring
with the 10 million strong Nazi army
but that nationalist cohesion also facilitated
one of the largest examples of social destruction
and division in the modern world.
On a different level, on a final note at this point
our economies are of scale and they're inherently international by nature.
They have to be. Patriotic nationalism has no place
in our technical, earthly reality on any level, especially in this regard.
The state as it exists is really an incredible reducer
of technical efficiency when it comes to supporting
the human population through production and the like.
The environmental respect as a whole is also lost
because of the boundaries that are set up.
It really slows down certain attributes and responsibilities inherently
having these walls up. It's not economically efficient.
It doesn't gravitate towards actually being responsible
towards your environment, and I think we're beginning to see those issues
even more so today, on multiple levels.
Same premise: Even today the idea of 'made in America'
(I even saw a 'made in Israel' while I was here)
it's a common mantra for commerce advertising now.
Yet, that intention is of an immediate technical inefficiency
for proper good production is inherently a global affair on all levels
including the usufruct of world knowledge.
Everyone is contributor to the knowledge; there's no isolated knowledge;
it's impossible to assume that only your country could produce isolated things.
It's an organism of knowledge that continues to evolve.
In the truest sense of the word, economy can not have boundaries
and restrictions. It's simply too inefficient.
You can operate that way, but you're not actually
operating in the true sense of earthly management
which is what an economy is, hence the reduction of waste.
Patriotic nationalism is not only dangerous, it's technically inefficient.
True social cohesion can only truly be sustained
on the human scale globally, with our loyalties to each other, the habitat
and the natural laws of nature, a technical reality, not a poetic one.
Otherwise, you will have nothing but conflict, inefficiency and degradation
which is exactly what we have now.
In the words of Albert Einstein "Nationalism is an infantile disease:
It is the measles of mankind."
[Applause]
Part Three: A Culture of War, Business Ownership and Competition
In the prior section, we ran through some core characteristics of the state entity.
Now I would like to express the obvious
yet grossly overlooked foundational premise of its existence
which underscores the logic of all of its characteristics denoted.
When we reflect on the core values of the state
and its interest in self-protection, coupled with the general propensity
for territoriality and commercial expansion
hence the rotating empires we've seen historically
we find that the core of the institution is really a culmination
born out of certain assumptions
namely those that define the foundation
of what we call modern economics today
or specifically market economics today.
I would like to first point out that when attempting to speak empirically
I see no merit in such terms as capitalism or the free market
or socialism or communism or any other 'ism' notions
which really serve as limits of debate
in the discussion of social operation, as they represent a truncated
frame of reference with respect to our economy and what an economy means.
The real foundational premise
of all of those traditional institutions goes back much farther in time
than any traditional economic theorist would admit.
What we find is that the evolution of the economic system we know today
has been in lockstep with the ongoing evolution of the state entity.
If we want to diagnose what it is that initiates war, subjugation
and territorial disputes along with a possible resolution for global peace
we need to step back much farther and examine the very fabric
of where our life-support and dominant personal
and social values are derived.
As noted earlier, the Neolithic Revolution was a powerful turning point
for the manner in which human society organized itself.
With the sudden, then hidden understanding of scientific causality
slowly emerging, our newfound ability to control our environment
and strategically produce more than was available before
brought about the advent of a producer class
and the active trade itself eventually as labor specialization
became a normal, fixed part of the socioeconomic model.
This new basis of social organization then eventually advanced
into the use of symbols to represent the exchange value
of a producer's good, in the act of trade, known as money
which in effect was the introduction
of a new commodity in and of itself, an abstraction.
This inherent monetary value
an abstract notion of value of paper
(even with the gold standard, it was still abstract)
led to the concept of investment.
Labor slowly became more and more centralized
as the corporation or plant was owned
and facilitated by the investor class that dealt with the money
in and of itself, that could buy the producer.
Then, as the natural advancement in science and technology
slowly reduced the need for humans as a producer (mechanization)
of all the new novel concepts of service and production
for the sake of maintaining the now established labor system
a transformation has occurred where that original role of the person
has deviated from being a producer harnessing direct trade
for personal interest, to a vehicle of servitude, to the interests
of the investment and ownership class.
Today, as a consequence, the most rewarded form of social participation
which actually has zero bearing on the life-support processes
of the original, economic premise itself, is investment.
As will be reiterated in a moment, this consequential ownership class
is what currently runs the world, colloquially speaking.
Sociologist Thorstein Veblen summarizes this issue
from a slightly different angle, but in a very acute way:
"The standard theories of economic science have assumed the rights of property
and contract as axiomatic premises and ultimate terms of analysis
and their theories are commonly drawn in such a form
as would fit the circumstances of the handicraft industry and petty trade."
What he means by that are the simplistic notions of the producer
early on before modern technology.
"These theories appear tenable on the whole when taken to apply
to the economic situation of that earlier time
in virtually all that they have to say on questions of wages, capital
savings, the economy and the efficiency of management and production
by the methods of private enterprise resting on these rights of ownership
and contract and governed by the pursuit of private gain.
It is when these standard theories are sought to be applied to the later situation
which has outgrown the conditions of handicraft
that they appear nugatory and meretricious.
The competitive system, which these standard theories assume
as necessary conditions of their own validity
and about which they are designed to form a defensive hedge
would, under those earlier conditions of small-scale enterprise
and personal contract, appear to have both a passively valid assumption
as a premise and a passably expedient scheme
of economic relations and traffic. " He continues
"Under that order of handicraft and petty trade
that led to the standardization of these rights of ownership
in the accentuated form which belong to them in the modern law and custom
the common man had a practicable chance of free initiative
and self-direction in his choice in pursuit of an occupation and livelihood
in so far as rights of the ownership bore in his case.
The complexion of things as touches the effectual bearing
of the institutional property in the ancient customary rights of ownership
has changed substantially.
The competitive system has in great measure ceased to operate
as a routine of natural liberty, in fact; particularly insofar as touches
the fortunes of the common man, the impecunious mass of people."
He then goes on to elaborate why. This is the most critical point
"At least in the popular conception and presumably in some degree also in fact
the right of property so served as a guarantee of personal liberty
and a basis of equality and so its apologists
still look on the institution.
In a very appreciable degree, this complexion of things
and of popular conceptions has changed since then.
Although, as would be expected, the change in popular conceptions
has not kept pace with the changing circumstances.
On the transition to machine technology, the plant became a unit of operation
and control has clearly come to be not the individual or isolated plant
but rather an articulated group of such plants working together
as a balanced system (a. k.a. corporation)
under a collective business management and coincidentally
the individual workmen has been falling into the position of an auxiliary factor
nearly into that of an article of supply
to be charged up as an item of operating expense
so that at this point the right of ownership has ceased to be
in fact, a guarantee of personal liberty to the common man
and has come to be, or is coming to be, a guarantee of dependence."
He wrote that in 1917
to avoid a seeming divergence
on the broad flaws of the monetary market economy in general
keeping in pace with a specific focus of war, the state
and as evolution from this core economic foundation.
This point by Veblen is critical to understand
as it underscores what is the growth
of an abstract economic premise of ownership
with a shift of power from the general worker/producer class
to the investment and ownership business class
which are in effect a detrimental perversion
of the producer concept, the very basis of the original theory
as these people literally contribute nothing
to the technical artistic and scientific basis of common industry;
yet, they are now the focal point of interest.
Amazingly enough, due to the power now yielded
by this ownership investment class
we have a state entity which not only operates
as a manifestation of those values of competition and ownership
but pulls the majority of its governance constituents
from the very same wealth, business and operation pool.
Surprise, surprise!
These values also create and perpetuate a legal system
which works to benefit not only the interests of the ownership class
but also the interest of its expansion
which is a trademark of the capital business venture
which manifests into the monopolistic, imperialist tendency
that defines a pivotal characteristic of the large state.
Like business monopoly in the commercial world
the larger in size the establishment
the more it tends to want to increase its size.
It's a basic business acumen.
On this issue of ownership and hence its inevitable morphing
into the governance class, Veblen states
"The responsible officials and their chief administrative officers
so much as may at all reasonably be called the government or the administration
are invariably and characteristically drawn from these beneficiary classes:
nobles, gentleman or businessmen
which all come to the same thing for the purpose in hand;
the point of it all being that the common man does not come
within these precincts and does not share in these councils
that are assumed to guide the destiny of the nations."
He adds with respect to the legislative legal orientation
to which these beneficiary classes defined by the ownership investment values
are in control of
"It may confidently be counted on that all the apparatus of law
and all the coercive agencies of law and order will be brought in requisition
to uphold the ancient rights of ownership
whenever any more is made toward their disallowance or restriction.
There is a strong and stubborn interest bound up
with the maintenance of pecuniary faith (that means money)
and the class in whom this material interest vests are also in effect
invested with the coercive powers of the law"
which means you're double screwed.
Put another way, those factors that enable the upper and ownership class
which have been codified by the near religious acceptance
of the rights of property, trade and exploitation
as the practice of social governance
are reinforced by the direct legal governance via the very same constituency
that benefits the most by the economic system itself and all its inefficiency.
When it comes to the state initiation of war
it does not take a lot of ingenuity to understand the multilevel commercial
and financial interests that are really behind it, especially now.
It's bad enough that the basic nature
of the culmination of the state institution is economic
self-preserving and exploitative in general
but when the event-to-event wars are taken into account
and the specifics of those who gained and those who've lost are figured
a whole new level of predatorialism emerges
an entirely new level of disgust emerges.
In the past, the basic stealing of land and its inherent resources
were more or less the central benefit of state wars.
Today, we can extend these economic benefits
to the massive military expenditures
that have huge impacts on GDP and trade
the reconstruction of war-torn areas by the conquering
state commercial subsidiaries
the slow prodding of a country's integrity through trade tariffs
debilitating sanctions and debt impositions
for the sake of population subjugation
for the benefit of transnational industries
and many other modern conventions which universally
benefit mostly a very small number of people
and again, the ownership and investment classes.
This point was most likely best expressed
by one of America's most decorated Army officers of the 20th century
Maj. Gen. Smedley D. Butler. He wrote a book after World War I
called 'War Is a Racket'.
He had this to say about the industry of war
"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest
easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.
It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one
in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
I spent 33 years and 4 months in active military service
and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man
for big business: for Wall Street and the bankers.
In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe
for American oil interests in 1914.
I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place
for the national city bank boys to collect revenues in.
I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics
for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua
for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1902 to 1912.
I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916.
I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903.
In China, in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil
went on its way unmolested.
Looking back at it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints.
The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts;
I operated on three continents."
It's amazing!
[Applause]
I'd like to conclude this section by pointing out
that this analysis is taking a very broad view
for the sake of the global audience that this lecture hits
and the relevance as it is in its broadest scheme.
War, while its core historic drive is indeed economic
can also have the direct force of ideology, crusade
and moral right as a central motivator
not only with respect to public sanction as noted before
but also as an active component of the motivation on the state level.
However, this is the exception, not the rule.
Even with the ostensibly driven, religious foundation
of the state of Israel, and the assumed divine right it has
as a backdrop for its claim of ownership against Palestine
the deciding factors are still to be found
as economic in operation at the core level.
As will be noted in the next section, peace will likely not come
from the interaction of any state
or any level of governance by the ownership class, the beneficiary class.
It will come from the people, its subjects...
[Applause]
who will work to transcend the power of the statehood entirely
realizing that the human level of loyalty
is the only possible perspective.
[Applause]
Part Four: Defining Peace - A New Social Contract
As we all know peace today is not defined by an amiable reconciliation
of differences in larger efforts for collaboration.
No, peace today is defined by competitive armament
and the general premise of 'mutually assured destruction'
as was coined with respect to the Cold War.
Peace today is now only a mere pause between conflicts
on the stage of global civilization.
There is a war going on somewhere virtually all the time.
When there isn't, the major powers are busy scuffling
moving their little tanks in the sand, building more advanced weapons
selling off old ones to some other allied country
who are basically posturing in the same way
all under the name of not only protection, but good business as well.
Military establishments today have at their disposal
the most advanced proprietary forms of technology
employing some of the best scientists on the planet
in this venture for orchestrated death.
When we consider the exponential increase of information technology
occuring in the world, which facilitates greater and greater levels
of material/technical advancement and the advancement of weaponry
the realization is that the incalculable levels of possible human
and planetary destruction possibly awaits us.
In the words of Albert Einstein
as he witnessed the expression of the atomic bomb
"Our technology has exceeded our humanity."
The question to be asked is are we as a society mature enough
to handle the incredible possibilities
for our new technological advancement?
Technology, which could also benefit the world in profound ways
or will our divisive, xenophobic, tribal state premises
and economic selfishness prevail?
At least in the past, social immaturity, the prevalence of territorialism
and dominance had a limited cost, but we have nanotech weapons
that will eventually make the atomic bomb look like a Roman catapult
a new level of social awareness and responsibility needs to arise, and quickly
for this is no longer an issue of national security.
It is an issue of world security.
To paraphrase one of my heroes Carl Sagan, an American astronomer
and avid proponent of scientific thought and its application to society
"It's almost as though there is a God and he gives us a choice.
We can use our emerging technological abilities to improve the lives of the human species
and create an abundance where no one needs to starve or be deprived
or we can create a greater means to destroy ourselves.
It's our choice."
Our global economic system is based on a social Darwinism
which assumes that if everyone looks out only for their self-interest
often at the expense of others
who are basically seeking the same thing in theory
a larger order, social balance will magically occur.
This is the foundational meta-magic philosophy
of figures such as the father of the free-market Adam Smith
and his notion of 'the invisible hand'
but things have changed.
We've reached the point where our personal self-interest
now desperately needs to become social interest
if we expect to survive the many trials ahead of us.
Our evolutionary fitness is now becoming a social imperative
not a personal, self-interested one.
Our self-interest must become social interest if we expect to survive
because they are actually one of the same
if you really follow the logic.
Either we become a globally conscious, singular society
with respectable core values on the fundamental level, or we perish.
Either we change or we die.
Today the US, Israel and other extensions of empire
are prodding the states of Iran and Syria growing more and more close
to a provocation over energy resources
other acts of commerce, geopolitical, geoeconomic control
of coveted Eurasia as Brzezinski pointed out 15 years prior.
The recent withdrawal of US troops from Iraq has now freed up some resources
and given that most presidential campaigns
tend to persevere in re-election of the incumbent president
it would not surprise me at all if we see conflict emerge
before the 2012 US elections.
However, Iran is not Iraq. It is in tight economic balance with Russia and China
the two other superpowers, with enormous military capacity.
It is not out of the question to foreshadow that any invasion of Iran
will quickly generate a global destabilization of power
to which something of a world war could commence.
If you examine the military expenditure of the large powers
you will see an upward curve, accelerating in most cases over the past decade.
Military trade agreement of these powers, such as the recent selling of
$30 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia, revealing a growing intent.
On the other side Russia continues to sell arms to Syria
another state in the crosshairs of the US empire.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated in mid-January of this year
during his annual televised press conference
that Russia would use its veto at the UN Security Council
to block any resolution calling for military force to be used against Syria
also saying that Russia is 'seriously worried'
that military action against Iran would be under consideration
and vow that Moscow would do all it could to prevent it.
"The consequences will be extremely grave" he said.
"It will trigger a chain reaction and I don't know where it will stop."
Likewise in late 2011, a Chinese Maj. Gen. commented
"China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war"
according to NDTV, a Chinese news station.
These reactions make sense since Iran is a key energy component
and deeply engrained in the geo-economic interests of those powers in the region.
In the end, who will suffer from the interests of these state...
these state interventions, the imperialism
and even the fighting of it and lack of reconciliation
(because it's imperialism on all sides if you think about it.
The motivations are equally the same. )? The people will.
Possibly on a tragic scale, especially given
the growing automation of military adventures
where less people are now needed with such drone aircrafts
that can be remotely controlled from thousands of miles away
engaging in combat without direct military loss on their end.
I won't even go into the direct loss of empathy
which implies that further cold violence is on the horizon
because people are detaching themselves from the act of murder
through automated means. I think Dr. James Gilligan put it best
"In the past, throughout nearly all of human history
the main threat to human survival is nature. Today, it's culture."
Therefore, not only does direct, traditional protest need to persist
in the limited capacity it has
but it's time for the people of the world begin to form a new alliance
that challenges not only the drug-addict behavior-like sickness
of the state establishment and its endless juvenile, competitive war incentive
but also get down to the root of its causal nature
which is the monetary market system of economics
and its metaphysic notions of wealth, property
power, trade, ownership and competition.
In the words of Thorstein Veblen from 1970
"It has appeared in the course of the argument
that the preservation of the present pecuniary law and order
with all its incident of ownership and investment
is incompatible with an unwarlike state of peace and security.
This current scheme of investment, business and (industrial) sabotage
should have an appreciably better chance of survival in the long run
if the present conditions of warlike preparation
and national 'insecurity' were maintained
or if the projected peace were left in a somewhat problematic state
sufficiently precarious to keep national animosities alert
and thereby to the neglect of domestic interests
particularly of such interests as touch the public well-being.
So, if the projectors of this peace-at-large are in any degree inclined
to seek concessive terms on what the peace might hopefully be made enduring
it should evidently be part of their endeavors from the outset
to put effects in train
for the present abatement (stopping) and eventual abrogation (ending)
of the rights of ownership and of the price system
to which these rights take effect."
To restate, peace is not characteristic
of the current model of economic practice. The question then becomes:
What form of economic model (if there even is one) would
inherently reward a state of peace by its very construct?
As the scientific method of reasoning has made its way into everyday life
with the slow dissipation of superstition across the world
(at least with respect to social organization)
a powerful new train of thought is emerging.
This train of thought places the basis of economy
on the principles of natural physical law
and not the inventive whims of prior, primitive assumptions of human behavior
and other false dualities and things that are baggage from our evolution.
It is in this work that The Zeitgeist Movement finds its calling.
The revolution of our economic premise from superstitious to scientific
will not only transcend the grand failure of war
the state power neurosis as well
while overcoming the grand inefficiencies associated. It will enable
and reinforce a world of human betterment beyond anything we've ever seen.
Environmental and social respect (which is desperately needed)
and a material abundance that our technology could create
if we decided to allow it to
something that the world has never seen.
Just as we had a great social paradigm shift after the Neolithic Revolution
we are on the edge of an equally strong shift of consciousness
as we inch into an age of post-scarcity and global collaboration.
Today there is no technical reason for any human being to starve
to be without housing or clothes, to not have advanced education
and high public-health, both physical and mental.
If we can transcend this dark period which we currently reside
future civilizations will surely look back in horror
at the enormous insanity of our actions, fears and arrogance.
Perhaps a new term will be coined to describe the age that we live in.
I would suggest 'The Age of Ignorance'.
In conclusion, I'll make one final point with respect
to the overcoming of this war machine.
It will not come from the state or as they say 'speaking truth to power'
nor will it come via the ownership investment classes that control it
that have engineered the function of society as we see it.
World peace will come from a global rise in public solidarity
on the human civilian level and it will come from
a mass rejection of the distorted values
and manipulation tactics coming from the state and its commercial values.
It will come from a worldwide movement, absent borders
racial notions or political or religious parties
to be based rather on the immutable common ground we all share as a species
which simply says "No, we are not going to play this game anymore."
As the world is falling apart around us with the growing unemployment
the resource depletion, the boundless debt expansion
and collapse pressure, all of which could further fuel
the motivation for international warfare, as history has shown
there is likely no greater time in modern history
than to stand up and begin to do something in a very active way.
1% of the world stand in control
of over 99% of the population, in the broadest concept.
I really personally can't wait to see the look on their faces
when the 99% realize how much power they really have.
[Applause]
In conclusion, in the immortal words of Carl Sagan
"The old appeals to racial, sexual, religious chauvinism
to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work.
A new consciousness is developing which sees the Earth as a single organism
and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed."
We are one planet. Thank you.
[Applause]
www.thezeitgeistmovement.com
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"DEFINING PEACE" - Full Lecture | by Peter Joseph | Feb. 6th '12 | The Zeitgeist Movement

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王惟惟 published on August 9, 2017
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