Consider the plight of the average American citizen: what we do seem to have in common, if we admit our deepest feelings to each other, is anxiety. Most of us feel that we have very little control to effect positive change in our lives, either personally or collectively. We also fear the future. We have grown cynical that those who “win” in the regularly-scheduled, mass-media-marketed, meaningless “rituals” we call “elections” have our best interests at heart. And, we feel that we have no power to restrain those interests which seem to always get their way in our national life. We feel that we are powerless victims of the U.S. military/industrial/government/media complex, which in reality is daily committing crimes against humanity – against us.
The below-listed complaints against our oppressors are paraphrased from the Declaration of Revolution (Seth Tyrssen, 2008, private communication), and are well-worth a review:
a. The cynical use of succeeding generations as cannon-fodder in wars that are never in the national interest, but serve only to enrich the manipulators who profit from such wars;
b. The betrayal of a natural, sustainable, and self-sufficient “economy” capable of meeting the needs of our people, by the perpetuation of the outmoded monetary-market, subject to the fractional reserve system, in which money in fact equals debt, hence making all people the slaves of multinational bankers and speculators;
c. In addition to the above, deliberately allowing, permitting, and encouraging illegal immigration across national borders, solely to secure the lowest possible labor costs, and therefore the maximum profits, for multinational corporations;
d. The illegal surveillance of peaceful citizens for the purpose of mass control, and suppression of dissent against the monetary-market system, or any of its crimes;
e. In the U.S., the destruction of individual freedom via the so-called “Patriot Acts,” which do nothing to combat hostility from abroad, but do a great deal to curtail the rights of citizens here at home;
f. Involvement of the U.S. in foreign wars without writ or consent of Congress, (which is required by the original Constitution), for the sole purpose of conquest and thievery of other nations’ natural resources, all under the pretense of staving off foreign hostiles;
g. Further encouraging exploitation by the approval and enforcement of “free” trade agreements, which allow Western finance to seek the cheapest labor expense, with no accountability or loyalty except to fast profits, at the expense of human and environmental well-being;
h. The deliberate fostering of hostility and perceived and real inequality between various self-interest and demographic groups, including races, ethnicities, religions, professions, geographic regions, levels of education, levels of income, and all other conceivable cliques, in order to keep opposition to tyranny divided and ineffective;
i. The deliberate destruction of environmental natural resources for the purpose of short-term profit for those in power - and the failure to develop, in renewable, non-destructive, and sustainable ways, certain of those natural resources – the result of which deliberately fosters a climate of scarcity;
j. Disproportionate taxation without popular representation, both overtly and covertly, to the point that, for example, in the U.S., the average worker must now work four months of the year just to pay his or her taxes;
k. Destruction of the organic family system, upon which all nature is based, by forcing an economic climate hostile to the survival of that system.
Indeed, the power elite of our current System is myopic, unimaginative, materialistic, and power-greedy. It will not give up its monopoly on power – caring not if the lives of every human being on Earth hang in the balance - unless forced to by the collapse of the System, and/or by mass revolt. From the existing condition of our nation, blighted by chronically impoverished geographic locations in our land, and sectors of our economy; a decaying infrastructure; increasing rates of violent conflict between demographic groups, crime, physical and mental illness, and addictions; a regressing middle-class; declining hopes for educational and career options; national deficit spending to fund countless foreign wars – we wonder: what would result if our national assets of people and resources were freed from exclusively capitalist criteria for what constitutes an “economy” – married with the advances which unfettered science and technology make possible? We can imagine, in the near future, that if the means of production is operating at maximum load factor, and is as automated as possible; if the sources of energy are environmentally benign; if resources, population and energy are all sustainable; if abundance, not scarcity, is the premise of production and distribution; if “energy accounting” (a concept in which the physical Laws of Thermodynamics, not fictional specters from economics textbooks, are applied to production and consumption), not the “Price System,” is the method by which goods and services are distributed to citizens; and if top-down design of integrated transportation, utilities distribution, waste management, housing, distribution of goods and services, etc. is accomplished – a way of life can be provided for the citizens of this nation unimaginable by previous generations.
How, then, can such a standard of living be achieved in our nation? Do we vote a “Transhumanist,” “Techno-progressive,” or some other arbitrarily-named “Party” into local, state or federal governments, which would then introduce the appropriate legislation? No; the underlying assumption of many futurists is that the people will not change the current System unless they are desperate, unless it becomes all too obvious, through social and economic instability; that the old System does not work anymore. The climate will then be ripe for those proposing new ideas to be given a fair hearing; the majority of people will be convinced by the rationality and logic of these ideas, and will want that system to be set up by consensus.
Even a cursory study of human history, unfortunately, reveals the improbability of such a peaceful scenario coming to pass. As Georges Sorel observed over a century ago, human beings are primarily motivated by irrational means, not primarily by rational, logical, “cost-benefit analyses.” Three organizations - Technocracy, Inc. (“TI”), in the United States, and “The Zeitgeist Movement” (“TZM”) and “The Venus Project” worldwide - popularize the possibilities of the application of science and technology to human concern, unfettered by the capitalist, globalist, “monetary-market system.” They refer to such a post-capitalist economy as a “Resource-Based Economy” (“RBE”). The issue of a transitional phase, between the monetary-market system and the RBE, is acknowledged as probable by these organizations, but not comprehensively-addressed, apparently because it is assumed that the exact nature of post-collapse conditions cannot be predicted. Vladimir Lenin thought of the Communist State as a transitional condition between capitalism and Socialism; in the latter condition, the “State would fade away.” Similarly, TI and TZM assume that a State will not exist in a RBE; that the masses will voluntarily give authority to the technicians, workers, scientists, etc. who are already in charge of raw materials, production, energy, and distribution, thus taking authority away from the government, which is considered to be parasitical. In the case of TI, the masses would, in a referendum, approve the Technocratic design for a “functional society” on the North American continent, which would necessitate the proposed changes in population distribution, residential arrangements, transportation, hydrology, energy production and distribution, replacing the “Price System” with the “Energy Accounting” system for distribution of goods and services, etc. Again, it doesn’t seem possible that such massive projects of construction and demolition, changes in infrastructure, relocation of populations, creation of new systems of coordination, and so on could occur as the results of a mere referendum, especially if the power elite would be resistant to giving up the reins of control (as one would expect), and during a period of social turmoil, economic collapse, and environmental disaster.
TZM has produced three independent films. In the closing scenes of the third film, “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward,” the masses of every major city on the planet are depicted flooding the streets, protesting and shutting-down the global economy, and dumping trillions of notes of currency in front of the central banks. Simultaneously, in their penthouse conference rooms, the “suits” read the screaming headlines in newspapers strewn across their conference tables, take their last draw from Cuban cigars, and call-off the planned charge of the riot police, who throw down their helmets in surrender. Fast-forward to a classroom of the future, in which children pass around a 100 dollar bill laminated in plastic, exchanging puzzled looks; then the camera zooms out from their futuristic city (or “arcology,” or “technate” – whichever term you prefer). As the landscape recedes, hints of other cities, linked together by hypersonic maglev railways, peek out occasionally from the largely virgin wilderness-state to which the planet has been returned. We end up in orbit, gazing upon a pollution-less, dazzlingly-blue-and-white Mother Earth. (I must admit: it never fails to give me goose-bumps whenever I watch it. But I can’t help but wonder what it was like for the human race during that intermediary period. Ed.).
It seems far more likely that a transitional authority would need to forcibly remove the parasites from power; take emergency measures to provide the life necessities of the people, and to protect them from lawlessness and disorder; take the initial steps to building the new “cities” or “archologies” (probably from “mining” obsolete civic designs) and meeting the needs of the population until they can be settled in same; and on and on. Then, there would have to be re-education of the masses, who, having spent their whole lives in a monetary-market system, may be unable to imagine their lives without the old “values,” hence may very well be extremely anxious, depressed or angry about needed social change.
Just as Bolshevism, and (inspired by Sorel’s thought) syndicalism were considered as “heresies” to Marxist purists (but as “revisionist” by syndicalists and Bolsheviks), any deviation from the policies of public education and influence, distribution of media, and non-violent protest would be seen by members of TI, TVP, and TZM as heretical. It remains to be seen whether these organizations would seize a “Fabian” moment with more aggressive action.
Would it be possible, or desirable, for “techno-progressive” groups to make common-cause with other organizations which advocate similar goals, with the agenda of effecting some “reformist” change? Or will it be necessary for a transitional authority to not rule-out any freedom of action, and to very well aim to be ubiquitous at every potential level of operations, from easy public access online, to underground cells? To pledge to never abandon the following agenda: to pounce on opportunities to wrest power from our oppressors, and to use that power to publically agitate for the transition from liberal democracy and supercapitalism, to an American “techno-progressive,” independent, sustainable, and impregnable culture of justice, fairness, organic solidarity, and abundance, for the benefit of all citizens of a self-sufficient American autarky.