Sunday, July 16, 2017

Never Forget “Western Civilization” Based upon Murderous Ecocidal Evil

Native peoples are strong and their movements
are getting stronger. Picture from Hawai’i.

Journalist: What do you think of Western civilization?
Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

“Take it from this old rich white man. Cross-cultural communication that seeks truthful expression of how to live within nature and with others who are different is vital. No one culture has all the answers, but together we almost certainly do, to such pressing matters that threaten our shared existence as perma-war, injustice, inequity, and ecological collapse. We need to listen to each other and seek a synthesis of the Western and non-Western, that reflects an ecology and humanity ethic truly worthy of the moniker “Universal Civilization”. — Dr. Glen Barry
By Dr. Glen Barry
Earth Meanders, Deep Ecology Essays by Dr. Glen Barry

WESTERN CIVILIZATION IS A MYTH

If ever a society was conceived in original sin, it is the Western democracies, Europe and North America in particular. Dominance of Western Civilization is based upon centuries of murder and enslavement of indigenous peoples and nature that continue to this day.

Some 500 years ago European tribes spilled forth into the world in a wave of ecological colonialism. Thus began an onslaught of murderous genocide, enslavement, rape, and ecocide in the name of christianity, capitalism, and country. Characterized by a pernicious greed and certainty in their own superiority; European cultures built a mysterious worldview that justified their callous mistreatment of others and destruction of the natural world.

Key among the sinister Eurocentric worldview was the mistaken notion that natural ecosystems, non-European people, and other sentient life existed solely to be exploited for their profit. Millions of plant and animal species, thousands of ancient cultures and their knowledge, and innumerable other human beings with different appearances and worldviews existed solely to serve Europeans and their colonies, and if they refused, their massacre was justified. Indeed, given their less than fully human nature, eradication through murder of other cultures was the civilized thing to do.

Not unlike a cancerous mutation, at a global scale a deeply flawed ecocidal and genocidal worldview radiated forth that pursued material comfort at the expense of other people, life forms, and the environment.

And the invading murderers had the gall to call themselves Western Civilization.

European and American exceptionalist rhetoric does not align with the history of settlers’ colonialist expansion. Or the continued ramifications upon the Earth, indigenous peoples, and plants and animals arrayed into ecosystems; of this miserable worldview being nearly universally accepted. Such a brutal and evil worldview has metastasized into our current over-populated, inequitable, unjust, and war-torn world; and threatens, after having destroyed nature and other more biocentric cultures, to topple the biosphere and end being.

But not before much more dramatic suffering and pain, first inflicted upon native peoples by Western civilization.

KNOW YOUR HISTORY

In the Americas alone around 100 million people – about 90% of the original population of  indigenous peoples – died from Western disease – including smallpox, measles, and cholera; or were murdered and/or violently displaced including through rape, warfare, and genocide by settlers.
Firsthand accounts of the slaughter are replete with tales of entire tribes being massacred, as children were pulled from their parents and impaled, women were raped and enslaved, as men fighting to protect their families and land were wantonly murdered.

Why? Because they were savages and would not surrender their land. And Europeans were the chosen ones.

An estimated 12.5 million Africans were kidnapped and shipped to the Americas with some 10.7 million surviving the journey, of which about 1/3 of a million were tortured and enslaved in North America. The brutal savagery of slavery is difficult to comprehend, yet was similarly justified by claims of superiority of white christian capitalist culture.

Granted, slavery, mass migration, and warfare existed for a long time and were practiced by many cultures. But none so ruthlessly and at such scale as the genocide wrought by Western civilization’s expansion. Such savagery has continued into world wars, carpet bombing of civilians, militarism in defense of resources such as oil, and the final clearance of natural ecosystems that make life possible.
Over 80% of Earth’s naturally evolved old-growth forests have been mowed, around half of the world’s land mass is under some form of cultivation, oceans are dying as they are scraped of life, water and fertile soil are increasingly scarce, and our very climate is spinning out of control. The biosphere is dying.

Such is the history of western civilization.

It is not my intention to downplay advances such as personal liberty, material comfort, and relative democracy associated with western civilization. But it has come at a heavy price, leaving traumatized societies and brutalized natural systems and animals, placing at risk the well-being of future generations and the very habitability of our Earthly habitat. And given the rise of fascism in Western democracies, such advances appear to be fragile and impermanent.

Western civilization has certainly not been civilized given any objective measure. The marvels found in entire cities such as Amsterdam and Venice have been built upon plunder and murder.

Western abuses of indigenous peoples continue unabated to this day. Out of such an abominable worldview has come an over-populated world that has liquidated its natural ecosystems, is in a state of perma-war, as the biosphere nears final collapse. And now in a last wave of outrage, indigenous and other non-Western peoples are the most impacted upon by abrupt climate change and other impacts of collapsing natural ecosystems.

The author has been blessed to play a small
supporting role in many successful indigenous
campaigns including We Are Mauna Kea
(pictured), Standing Rock, and many others
EMBRACING NATIVE KNOWLEDGE
There are innumerable worldviews regarding humanity’s place in the cosmos and understanding of right-living. Important knowledge exists such as the use of plant materials, how to sustain yourself from an ecosystem without degrading or destroying it, and how to minimize conflict. Native knowledge encapsulated in ritual has kept water, oceans, land, and fields largely intact for millennia. Along with natural ecosystems, this indigenous knowledge has been nearly wiped from the surface of the Earth by Western settlers.

It is not my intent to over-romanticize non-Western cultures. Many were warlike and locally over-exploited environments. But never has a culture matched Western imperialism’s grim need to proselytize, force their worldview upon others, and murder all those that resisted; including global claims of European sovereignty to non-Western land and resources. Much knowledge has been lost regarding how to live at peace with Earth and each other. Sadly, many indigenous peoples have embraced the expansionist ecocidal behaviors of their colonizers.

Much native knowledge regarding justice and truth as known by indigenous peoples continues to exist, and is present in contemporary movements ranging from Black Lives Matter to Standing Rock, and many millions of active and empowered local native communities. Globally indigenous, non-Western peoples are leading in demonstrating ways of being that do not kill others or destroy our shared natural ecosystems.

Daily the progeny of colonizing settlers are being being shown (if we care enough to notice), that there are other ways of being that do not depend upon systematic murder and ecocide to fuel economic growth for some (and misery and death for the rest). In Western democracies there is much discussion of rights. But rarely does this include the rights of the native people  whose lands were stolen, or of natural ecosystems and their wildlife to continue to exist.

Native cultures and their peoples are strong, and their movements getting stronger. With the humility of a reformed settler seek to understand and support social movements based upon indigenous sentiments. Join together to end fossil fuels, protect and restore old-growth forests, grant opportunity for self-reliance to all peoples, and resist continued human rights abuses upon those first peoples who have suffered enough.

THE WAY TO OUR SHARED HOME

Globally 370 million indigenous peoples from about 5,000 groups continue to live in their natural locales, yet have their rights continue to be suppressed due to the legacy of colonialism. It is estimated these cultures continue to control lands (however precariously in the face of industrial expansion) that hold 80% of Earth’s remaining biological heritage, and some of the last large functioning ecosystems that make Earth habitable.

Around the world indigenous based and other non-Western social movements are flourishing. Yet sadly, intersectionality shows us that numerous systems of oppression and domination continue to lead to discrimination against all who are not rich white males. Systematic racism continues to exist and pernicious attacks upon natural systems and their rightful occupants continue to be the rule.

Nonetheless, take it from this old rich white man. Cross-cultural communication that seeks truthful expression of how to live within nature and with others who are different is vital. No one culture has all the answers, but together we almost certainly do, to such pressing matters that threaten our shared existence as perma-war, injustice, inequity, and ecological collapse.

We need to listen to each other and seek a synthesis of the Western and non-Western, that reflects an ecology and humanity ethic truly worthy of the moniker “Universal Civilization”. Imagine and build a world that protects and renatures water and soil, forests and wetlands, oceans and cultures; based upon the combined knowledge and experience of the thousands of cosmological worldviews which have evolved as Homo sapiens peered from the forests to the stars.

Technology, commerce, and governance will all have a role in the coming Universal Civilization; as the rights of those that are smart and work hard to have more are protected. But the personal accumulation of wealth – the bedrock of western thought – will no longer come at the expense of unmet basic needs or a living Earth that can essentially last forever. Small government and business will serve bioregional communities, as all have the opportunity to live well ensconced within natural life-giving ecosystems.

Salvation for the human and all species requires atoning for the wrongs wrought by Western lack of civilization. Reparations must be made both to indigenous peoples and the natural world. There is much de-colonizing and ecosystem regeneration yet to occur. As all knowledge possessed by Western thought AND indigenous cultures regarding justice, equity, peace, and ecology is truly embraced.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The End of Being: Abrupt Climate Change One of Many Ecological Crises Threatening to Collapse the Biosphere

As industrial human growth continues its relentless assault upon nature, at least nine unfolding global ecological catastrophes in addition to deadly climate change have the potential to destroy the biosphere. Any number of other environmental planetary boundaries besides climate change such as biodiversity, water, soil, and ecosystem loss and diminishment has the potential to end being. The already substantial climate change movement must embrace a richer ecology ethic, morphing into a concerted effort to more broadly achieve global ecological sustainability.
“We could solve climate change tomorrow, and soil and water loss – or any number of combinations of surpassed planetary ecological boundaries – would still destroy civilization, potentially killing the living biosphere, and ending being.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Earth Meanders, Deep Ecology Essays by Dr. Glen Barry

At least 10 planetary boundaries exist that
threaten to make the biosphere uninhabitable
Human industrial growth is systematically dismantling the natural ecosystems which constitute our life support system. Rightly so, there has been an enormous amount of attention given to climate change (though action to rapidly reduce emissions still lags far beyond what is required). Climate change  is becoming abrupt and runaway; and threatens just by itself to collapse societies, economies, and ultimately the biosphere.

Yet climate change is only one of at least ten global ecological catastrophes which threaten to destroy the global ecological system and portend an end to human beings, and perhaps all life. Ranging from nitrogen deposition to ocean acidification, and including such basics as soil, water, and air; virtually every ecological system upon which life depends is failing. Gaia is dying.

The threat to global ecological sustainability goes well beyond climate change, and represents a more systematic failing of current political and economic models. Namely, the commodification of natural ecosystems – that are our and all life’s habitat – and their unsustainable industrial clearance for short-term profit, is sheer ecocidal madness.

The author has hypothesized that more old-growth
forests have been lost than the biosphere can bear
A branch of ecological science known as Planetary Boundary science knows much regarding ecological thresholds whereby Earth and her life may collapse and die. Planetary boundaries have been identified for ten global-scale processes including climate change, rate of biodiversity loss (terrestrial and marine), nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, ozone depletion, ocean acidification, freshwater, land use change, chemical pollution, and atmospheric aerosol loading (and others clearly exist). For each scientists have set thresholds beyond which the global ecological system’s integrity as a whole is threatened. At least three thresholds – climate change, biodiversity loss, and nitrogen deposition in ecosystems – are generally considered to already have been surpassed, meaning the planet is already in a state of ecological overshoot.

Recently I proposed in a peer reviewed scientific paper a tenth Planetary Boundary, adding a threshold for terrestrial ecosystem loss: hypothesizing that 2/3 of Earth’s land base must remain ensconced within natural and semi-natural ecosystems to avoid biosphere collapse (see Terrestrial ecosystem loss and biosphere collapse at http://ecointernet.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/MEQ-Terrestrial-Ecosystem-Loss-and-Biosphere-Collapse.pdf). Already some 50% of natural ecosystems have been cleared, meaning yet another planetary ecological limit has been exceeded. My identification of a terrestrial ecosystem boundary was the first published science proposing a planetary boundary based upon terrestrial ecosystem loss and connectivity, and has since been validated in other studies by scientific luminaries.

The point is that while abrupt climate change may well become runaway, collapsing society, the economy, and the biosphere; it is but one of nearly a dozen means whereby humanity has overshot the carrying capacity of the Earth System. Consider this: nearly half of all topsoil has eroded, 90% of large fish are gone, 4,500 kids die from bad water a day, nearly a billion human-beings live in abject poverty, and daily an unknown numbers of species disappear forever.

Highly inequitable, unjust, and unsustainable industrial human growth is systematically dismantling the ecological systems that make Earth livable.

We could solve climate change tomorrow, and soil and water loss – or any number of combinations of surpassed planetary ecological boundaries – would still destroy civilization, potentially killing the living biosphere, and ending being.

Gaia is dying as planetary ecological boundaries are crossed
Achieving just and equitable global ecological sustainability depends upon the human family becoming more aware of the numerous ecological threats facing our shared survival and well-being. Together we must commit to the radical, science-based social change necessary to sustain Earth and all her life. This will certainly require a shared “ecology ethic” which universally values nature – the plants, wildlife, and  ecological processes that make life possible. Ecology is the meaning of life.

Clearly much more research remains to be done on Planetary Boundaries and threats to the biosphere in sum, as well as communication of dangerous thresholds, and policy development to pull back from the precipice. I hope to look further at lag times in regard to when exceeding planetary boundary’s thresholds become dangerous, and to use what is known regarding Pacific Islands’ sustainability as a test case for terrestrial ecosystem loss, and to publish further ecological science. Most importantly, much more effort must be made to act with urgency and resolve upon the science that indicates we face mortal danger.

The way forward on a potentially terminally-ill planet include 1) transitioning to a steady state economy, 2) slowing population growth and then justly reducing human numbers, 3) committing to equitably meeting all of humanity’s basic human needs, 4) ending all natural ecosystem destruction and assisting remnants to naturally regenerate and spread, 5) ending the use of fossil fuels, 6) embracing organic, non-industrial, perma-culture based agriculture less dependent upon animal husbandry, 7) ending industrial clearance of natural ecosystems such as old-growth forest logging and factory fishing, and 8) demobilizing standing armies and diverting these resources to meeting humanity’s and nature’s needs.

Only such comprehensive, ecological-science based policies can prove sufficient to end climate change and all threats to global ecological sustainability, averting mass human suffering and death as the Earth collapses and dies.

As long as seeds and organisms exist, the propagules to regenerate Earth remain. It is vital that the diminution of Earth’s biotic diversity across scales – from the gene, to plants and animals, through the communities and ecosystems they come together to form, right up to our one shared biosphere – be halted immediately. We must not further squander humanity’s biological inheritance upon the altar of frivolous over-consumption by some. And together we must usher in an era of natural ecosystem protection and restoration.

There are many righteous livelihoods – that go far beyond the benefits provided by a slave-like debt economy – to be found in rewilding and pulling humanity back from the ruin of usurping planetary boundaries. But profiteering upon the systematic ecocide of our one living Earth will have to be banished, and strictly enforced for the common good, by a much reduced government.

There is much joy to be found in nature. Rediscovering wild places and clear waters in communities embraced by nature provides for a far richer life than shopping malls and highways. As we rediscover a sense of place there are multitudes of pleasures to be found as well in human literature, music, drama, sexuality, and community. Urban centers can be reclaimed from automobiles and once again become re-natured centers of commerce, culture, and civilization.

It is time to come together and choose life over death, truth over ignorance, beauty over industry, flowers rather than electronics. It is time to return to the land and embrace nature and ecology as the meaning of life. And to address with sufficient policies climate change and all threats to global ecological sustainability at once. Or being ends.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Toughen Up: Freedom of Speech Is Absolute, There Are No Thought Crimes

Do The Right Thing and Protect Free Speech
WARNING: This essay contains materials that will offend just about anyone in one way or another. Yet free thought and speech – even when offensive or in bad-taste – is the underpinning of liberty. Only through the fearless sifting and winnowing of ideas can we usher in an era of peace, justice, equity and sustainability based upon the identification of truthful action. All political ideologies, democratic liberties, the human family’s well-being, and the ability to identify solutions to looming global catastrophes are ill-served by efforts to stifle freedom of thought and expression. I have written at length that there is no god. That both authoritarian fascism and progressive elitism threaten our liberties. That it is a self-evident fact that we are all one human family. And that in an era of environmental collapse and abrupt climate change, ecology is the meaning of life. How can I hope that my unorthodox (yet I believe truthful) ideas are given fair consideration, if I don’t insist upon the right of self-expression by others that may be equally challenging? Censorship is undemocratic and can only lead to tyranny.

Earth Meanders, Deep Ecology Essays by Dr. Glen Barry
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.” – The Christian Recorder, 1862
“Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.” – George Orwell, 1984
“Mookie: You garlic breath, pizza slinging, spaghetti bending, Vic Damone, Perry Como, Luciano Pavarotti, Sole Mio, non-singing motherfucker.
Pino: You gold teeth, gold chain wearing, fried chicken and biscuit eating, monkey, ape, baboon, big thigh, fast running, high jumping, spear chucking, three-hundred-and-sixty-degree basketball dunking, titsun, spade, Moulan Yan. Take your fucking pizza-pizza and go the fuck back to Africa.
Stevie: You little slanty eyed, me-no-speaky-American, own-every-fruit-and-vegetable-stand-in-New-York, bullshit, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Summer Olympics ’88, Korean kickboxing son-of-a-bitch.
Officer Long: You Goya bean eating, fifteen-in-a-car, thirty-in-an-apartment, pointed shoes, red wearing, Menudo, meda-meda Puerto Rican cocksucker. Yeah, you!
Sonny: It’s cheap, I got a good price for you, Mayor Koch, how-I’m-doing, chocolate egg cream drinking, bagel and lox, B’nai B’rith Jew asshole.” – Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee, 1989
“In a democracy, the only correct response to impolite political speech and imagery is to grin and bear it, choosing either to ignore or respond, while fighting with your life for the right of the offender to think and speak. Otherwise your free speech may be shutdown next, and there can be no lasting liberty or revealed truth.” – Dr. Glen Barry

As one with both progressive and libertarian tendencies, I am terrified to see the efforts to stifle free speech from across the political spectrum. Freedom of thought and speech is the bedrock of human advancement and an absolute global human right; that once lost, threatens a return to medieval ignorance.

No one is ever justified in telling another person what they can think or say, period.

One must differentiate between words and actions. And be particularly careful to not abridge the right of political satire and comedy (even when ill-conceived and poorly done) as a particularly adept way to facilitate thoughtful insights.

Words Such as “House Nigger” Should Not Be Said Lightly, Nor Should History Be Denied (Image from movie Django Unchained)

It is unacceptable that one race can use the word Nigger and it is perfectly acceptable, yet others are pilloried for doing so. It is racist to say some races can utter these sounds and sentiments, while others cannot. If one believes in universal truths and a society free of bias, either uttering this offensive term is acceptable in limited instances by all including for shock value; or no one should ever speak the word, and we accept that we live in a totalitarian society. It is historical fact that under unimaginably onerous slavery that some were imprisoned to work in houses – disparagingly referred to by some as "House Niggers" – and others were enslaved in the fields. We must not turn away from historical truth that shows the magnitude of evil-incarnate, and de-legitimatize any reference, however in-artful.

As an early #BlackLivesMatter supporter married to a dark complexioned woman, I assure you I am keenly aware that black people have been persecuted terribly, and systematic oppression continues to this day. Yet so have other ethnicities and religions. Speaking freely about race including in a purposefully shocking satirical manner – such as in my favorite movie scene of racial tirades from Do the Right Thing that mocks bigotry (quoted above), or recently by serial-offensive comedian Bill Maher – helps to promote free thinking, and at the margin ensures that the most egregious forms of racial violence do not happen again. There has been no comparable censorship of terms regarding the Jewish holocaust and other historical travesties, nor should there be.

My point is simple: use of such a repugnant and emotionally charged word should be rare, only in limited appropriate situations and contexts (i.e. satire or discussing history), and the user be prepared for the consequences; but it should not be forbidden on the basis of race. Freedom of Speech means freedom to speak. And liberty's prohibition on thought crimes is absolute.

Frankly I like seeing fake images of Donald Trump being beheaded. I understand it as imagery meant to signify the horror of his immoral and narcissistic rule, which threatens human decency and our very survival. Such expression does not constitute a threat of actual beheading. If someone were to try to do that ACTION, an actual crime of volition would have been committed. Thought crimes harm no one and exist only as ideas which have the potential to enlighten.

UnPresident Trump's Actions Are Far Worse
Than Any Harm Caused by Democratic Political Satire
The picture of Kathy Griffin holding a fake human head pales in comparison to the fascist, charlatan, authoritarian, pussy-grabbing terror being unleashed by a narcissistic madman who couldn’t even win the popular vote; yet rules with imperial fervor. UnPresident Trump routinely attacks other in obscene manners outside of what has been contemporary political norms. Billions may suffer and die as this sociopath unleashes nuclear war and climate change ruin upon Earth. I think that is what Kathy was getting at in her satire, and it is protected political speech in any true democracy.

Even bigoted self-aggrandizers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Anne Coulter have the right to say whatever they wish, and to be ignored.

Many of my thoughts and words offend others. Frankly, I think Islam is a violent and vile medieval religion bereft of truth and with little to offer to post-modern humanity. Yet as an atheist, I think exactly the same of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and any other illogical faith that uses myth and violence to dominate our lives based upon self-serving lies regarding what non-existent ghosts in the sky want us to do. This is God Pollution.

I’ve taken some hard knocks speaking truth regarding the powerful in Wisconsin. Congressmn Mark Pocan should not get away with bragging of raping children. Nor should politicians like Governor Scott Walker be able to victimize others for a lifetime with impunity as a means to gain power.

If I don’t acknowledge the right of others to speak whatever they wish, how can I legitimately expect people to respond to my own challenging notions of truth? Censorship however carried out is for the weak and inarticulate, and can only lead to unchallenged falsehoods and tyranny.

There are no thought crimes. If you don’t like what someone says? Don’t listen. Or argue back persuasively your viewpoint. But don’t try to stifle free thought and expression. Otherwise suppression of your voice is equally justified. And what constitutes acceptable speech will be arbitrarily determined by transient social mores and whomever is in power at the time.
Both political correctness and rising authoritarianism are equally responsible for getting us to this current point of perpetually aggrieved sensibilities, an inability to address numerous looming catastrophes, and the very real potential for political violence.

The political middle where most truths are to be found has grown slender and disturbingly irrelevant.

Faced with abrupt climate change and biosphere collapse, in a world of grotesque injustice and perma-war, only the fearless sifting and winnowing of ideas can save the human family. We live in a world of tremendous diversity, and only by embracing our differences while learning from each other can we hope to survive as a species.

The right to speak your mind must be extended equally to anti-science climate deniers as to experts who have trained and acquired knowledge for a lifetime. To racists filled with hate, as well as to peaceful prophets of love. Free thinking and speech are granted as a human right equally to right-wing fascists as well as left-wing elitists. All have the right to think and say as they wish (while being held accountable for the veracity of their words, but not censored including self-censorship), including graphic art and satire meant to shock in a manner intended to bring about thoughtful reflection upon important matters.

We have a responsibility as a society to create an educated citizenry who can logically and rationally examine competing claims in order to arrive at judgments of fact and ultimately achieve knowledge. Individually it is up to all engaged citizenry to forcefully push back in the public arena against pseudo-science, fake news, and other nonsense. Yet while remaining open to new ideas.

In a democracy, the only correct response to impolite political speech and imagery is to grin and bear it, choosing either to ignore or respond, while fighting with your life for the right of the offender to think and speak. Otherwise your free speech may be shutdown next, and there can be no lasting liberty or revealed truth.

And through the discussions, often rabid and desultory, an educated citizenry can converge upon the truth. There may be missteps along the way, but only through fearless exchange of ideas do we have a chance at enlightenment and righteous action.

It is a well-recognized matter of law that speech which purposefully incites imminent violence is an exception to absolute free speech. This should not necessarily mean it is never justified, just that those espousing such thoughts have to be willing to accept legal responsibility for doing so.

So stop being such pansies. Toughen up. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t let political correctness or authoritarianism stifle your own self-awakening and free thought. Confront yourself with the speech and ideas to which you have not been exposed and thus go beyond the limited worldview into which you were born and have been indoctrinated.

If anything in this essay made you uncomfortable, good, that was the intent. Break out of rigid orthodoxy and join in the global discussion. Toughen up, stop being weak and whiny, as you hone your own message. Seek truth and purity of thought and expose ideas of others that are neither.

Monday, May 29, 2017

This US Memorial Day: One Human Family on the Precipice

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1755

“We may be different races and religions but we are all part of the same human family.” – Dalai Lama
“We are all one human family, tragically placed on a dying planet.” – Dr. Glen Barry

One Human Family Sharing a Borderless Planet That Is Dying
On a recent Memorial Day I called for an end to glorifying war, and rather than a day for celebrating war murders, suggested we take a “day to memorialize senseless acts of love, peace, sharing, and kindness.”

As America remains in a state of perma-war with a deranged narcissistic madman at the helm (continuing a long history of bi-partisan militarism), never has it been more important to remember that War Is Murder. And that modern warfare is waged on the basis of intolerable lies such as the sanctity of the nation state and conflicts over various unknowable god myths (which I have termed “God Pollution“).

The truth of the matter is that there are no countries, nor is their one iota of proof to favor one god story over another. This essay will focus upon the utter madness of nation-states seeking security, claiming to be ensuring liberty, through standing armies meant to murder others.

Nationalism is a particularly pernicious myth meant to divide humanity. People of all sorts are one species, with essentially identical needs and aspirations. We have far more in similar than differences; each of us put our pants on one leg at a time, seek love and affection, do not want to suffer, and desire the best for our children.

We are all one human family, tragically placed on a dying planet.

Having served my country in both the Army and Peace Corps, I have had the opportunity to ponder questions of war and peace, and my Political Science degree has helped as well. Out of a life-long quest for truth, I have emerged a militant pacifist, unwilling to condone violence other than in the most extreme instances of intolerable imminent harm (including perhaps the rise of global corporate fascism or collapse of the Earth’s biosphere). Yet I am fully aware that assertive people power expressed through non-violent direct action is the most just, lasting, and effective means of social change; and  must be exhaustively pursued in these times of global troubles.

While various forms of government exist, with liberal democracy being the worst and least effective, except for all the others; we are witnessing an era of creeping authoritarianism across the global political spectrum. This comes as the world is plagued by grotesque expenditures upon the military (over $1.6 trillion globally, around 37% by the US) at direct expense to global health, education, jobs, and the environment. And the world is awash in military equipment (including potentially stray nukes) sold to anyone with cold hard cash and the desire to murder.

There is not as much difference as one would suppose between autocratic Chinese market-based communism, an European Union of police-states, and American authoritarian democracy. In each governments and corporations have merged to ensure access to resources through the systematic killing of “others” that stand in their way.

This consolidation of power between commerce and state propels the ongoing ecocidal onslaught against nature that is collapsing the biosphere and threatens to end being, but not before a painful period of authoritarian suffering in a global wasteland.

Super-sized governments and corporations are rapaciously stripping Earth of natural ecosystems required for a habitable planet, largely to meet artificially created needs for non-essential goods and services for some elite over-consumers. This global oligarchy – dominated by the oil industry – exists to stymie people uniting globally for ecological sustainability, justice, equity, human rights, and community-based and autonomous livelihoods (jobs).

We are taught to respect imaginary lines on the ground more than the flesh and blood of our brethren.
Frankly I am appalled at the cost to societies of a permanent war-making economy to protect parochial self-interests of the war-mongering elite. Until just a century ago, militaries were largely demobilized between conflicts. The military-industrial-Congressional complex’s institutionalizing of war murders based upon artificial lines drawn on a map is grotesquely appalling, and threatens global ruin at any time.

To that end, it is absolutely essential that any order by UnPresident Trump to launch nuclear weapons be declared unlawful and not be implemented.

For such nationalistic corporate rule to work, we must hate others that are different than us. And to  have our less fortunate be willing to murder others who are less fortunate in the name of country and god.

It is vital that true personal liberty (to think, feel, express, and act as we wish as long as not harming others; not the sloganeering type of fascists equating liberty with obedience) not be traded for claims of security through militarism and a state of perma-war. Terrorism by both nation-state militaries and disaffected populations are bred in the back-and-forth of resource thievery, murder of innocents, criminal killing by small bands of madman, and resultant raining down of drone based missiles.

After 911 a gradual and effective shift towards global law was jettisoned. UnPresident Trump’s call to put America first returns us to a dangerous medieval tribalism unfit for an era of loose nukes and collapsing ecosystems.

The price of true liberty is the risk of criminal non-state murder, and resisting false nation-state claims that only militarism, nationalism, and war murders can keep us safe. Even with complete national corporate rule of every aspect of our lives, it will never be possible to murder our way to peace and security.

Survival and universal well-being of the human family and brethren species depend upon recommitting to creating international norms of behavior that ensure an end to war, injustice, inequity, and ecosystem loss.

True liberty and security can only be had through commitment to a universal non-sectarian rule of law, and global mechanisms to end war murders of all types. We can respect and celebrate our ethnic variety, coming together in bioregionally based federations, while eliminating the duplicity of arbitrarily delimited national boundaries. Policies such as a global and guaranteed basic income, ending fossil fuels, demobilizing standing armies, limiting income inequity, and protecting and restoring natural ecosystems can finally be given the attention they deserve by an empowered global government.

It is well past time for one human family, standing upon the precipice of global ecosystem collapse, to come together through a strengthened United Nations type organization. Together all global citizens must reject the utter madness of nation-state based perpetual war and conflict. Many details remain to be worked out, but building upon the International Court of Justice, the Paris Climate Change Treaty, and expanding highly decentralized, yet global, governance seems the only path to avoiding utter ruin.

The human family must come together now to find common cause in the protection of our habitat, dismantling the engines of state murder, and ensuring that the basic needs of all are met. The only path to liberty AND security lies in global institutions, international law, and an end to absolute national sovereignty. And a growing global citizenry committed to peace, justice, equity, and ecology.