Imagine if somebody decided to declare active and total war on one of the most brilliant manifestations of nature. Let’s say that in the name of ecology, sustainability and saving the planet, somebody sought to destroy all orchids, as an example. Their argument might be that orchids are crowding out all other biodiversity, too resource hungry and too hard to control and so must be stopped at all costs. Such an argument would be nonsensical, wouldn’t it?
I have been seeing things about the UN’s alleged Agenda 21, which is said to be a blueprint for sustainable living in the twenty first century. In this plan, a bunch of more or less self-appointed experts and technocrats lay out a vision for how things will need to be, for the planet to survive. It outlines all manner of nature reserves and reduction of consumption. Sounds good, superficially, doesn’t it? How will all this be achieved? By declaring active and total war on one of the most brilliant manifestations of nature in the entire universe – humanity.
The plan is said to call for concentrations of humanity into rack and stack cities. It calls for massive population reduction (i.e. killing). People are to be stripped of their liberties and freedoms, to achieve the necessary control, so that the grand plan can be enacted. People will be barred from vast areas of the planet. They will be ill educated, because it has been shown that highly educated people consume more resources. In short, it will mean the death of art, artists, creativity, freedom of expression, free will, self determination, privacy, intimacy, love, invention, innovation, imagination, inspiration, hope and even the family. Yes, the family. A generation of children will be co-opted by a global government to be indoctrinated to fight against the beliefs of their parents. It’s a recipe for austere, global despair.
This kind of totalitarian control has been attempted before, of course. Not on a global scale, but certainly on a continental scale. At the root of the theory is the idea that the very nature of humanity can be changed, or at least adequately suppressed in perpetuity, to achieve the “greater good” ends of the dogmatic theology put forward as scientific rationalism. If you treat people with enough violence and deprivation, they will do as they are told, the theory goes.
But who will administer this “for your own good” medicine? Which race of supreme beings is immune from the normal human desires for autonomy, imaginative thought, growth, self determination, creativity and propagation of the species? Surely not humans! But here’s the problem with the theory. They want some humans to control other humans. They want some humans to be allowed freedoms that others are not. In short, a self-selected elite is to be in charge of a cowering, oppressed mass of humanity that is to be farmed. In other words, the entire plan is a thin disguise for a plot to rob the majority of humanity of their birthright, so that a tiny minority may prosper. It’s not about sustainable living and saving the planet at all.
Their plan assumes that humanity is conquerable. The same people think the same thing about nature, actually. They think they can shape it, control it and plan it, according to their will. Unfortunately for those that would see themselves as in charge, and hence able to do whatever they want, living lives of opulence, splendour and unlimited consumption, at the expense of masses of humanity that will live the lives of battery chickens, to support this folly, humanity is not as they wish it to be. Humanity is indomitable. It is resilient, resourceful and driven by motives that these people can’t even begin to understand.
History tells us that curiosity is what makes us educate ourselves, not schools. A good parent is a far better teacher than any school teacher can ever be. We make, create and use our ingenuity not because we want to, but because we have to. We are wired to be that way. We make art, beauty and aesthetic improvements because it’s part of our hard wiring to survive and prosper. We love, not as some aberration of oxytocin brain chemistry, but because it is intimately tied up with an imperative to create the next generation – for our genes to survive. None of that can be changed by threats, menaces, ill treatment, laws, totalitarian controls, curbs to freedom or stripping away of human rights. You can’t take away human rights. They’re part and parcel of who we are as a species.
Attempts to overlay ideological systems of existence over our very natures has never worked and never will work. People that believe they can control and lock down human thought and activity, through police actions, the force of law, violence and extermination, in the name of survivable living in the twenty first century, believe in a fantasy humanity. They believe in a subservient, pliable, disinterested, passive, dumbed down, artless, unimaginative, distracted, disempowered, disunited, insensate creature, lacking in inquisitiveness or curiosity, that never existed and never could exist, but which they need to exist for their grand schemes to work.
When I grew up, I was told the story of a young boy, indoctrinated by the state, a neighbour of my father who survived life under both Stalin and Hitler, who took it into his head to denounce his own father, over some trivial father-son dispute. The State came and took the denounced father away and he was never seen again, presumably shot. The devastation that this boy felt, for the rest of his life, was a salutary warning for all. It was a warning passed down to me. When the State seeks to indoctrinate youth against its elders, stories like this are all too common.
The problem for totalitarian planners is that humanity cannot be and is not the way they wish it to be in their fantasies. Humanity loves. Humanity shares. Humanity gives. Humanity is altruistic. Humanity is kind and merciful. It has compassion. It finds ingenious ways to create happiness and comfort. It will make art with whatever materials are at hand, however meagre. Have you seen cave paintings? It will design, invent, improvise, improve, innovate and have uplifting, imaginative, soaring thoughts. Humanity finds a way to spread the stories of the best story tellers, who tell tales of hope and the defeat of despair. Every dystopian novel, 1984 included, reveal the power of humanity against the most extreme, repressive, totalitarian systems. Big brother is no match for all of us, united.
So art will go on. Creativity will not vanish. Music, poetry, stories, videos, books, paintings, sculptures, tools, social interactions and love will continue, under whatever difficult conditions prevail. If you’ve never read George Orwell’s 1984, or Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, or One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, I recommend that you do so. You will see, in all of these books, that what I assert is right. Humanity triumphs. Grand plans to control, in the name of whatever theoretical “better end” is proposed, never work. At the heart of every one of these systems is a group of humans seeking to take as much as they can from a much larger group of humans, to enrich their own lives at the expense of others. It was the same under Chairman Mao and Stalin. Hitler’s Youth did not, in the end, turn against their parents in any lasting way. Agenda 21 is no different.
I advocate a belief in actual humanity, rather than fantasy humanity. Actual humanity, if encouraged and empowered, solves problems of sustainable living not by repressive control, but by imaginative, creative thinking, ingenious solutions, invention, innovation, engineered answers to pressing problems and by uplifting, ennobling and edifying the most remarkable manifestation of nature in the entire known universe – humanity. Biodiversity, pollution, rampant consumerism and epigenetic plagues are all soluble, but you have to let every one of the bright, intuitive, insightful human minds on the planet work on the problem, instead of living lives of distraction, frenzy, busy work, economic indenture and jack booted repression. You have to unleash all of that potential, to find the answer. The answers proposed in Agenda 21, whether or not it is actually a policy of the UN (there is some debate), is a second rate solution, borne of a few mediocre, limited intellects that ignore the realities of humanity. It’s a plan derived by people that have no empathy with the actualities of the human condition. It’s garbage, propagated by poor excuses for humanity.
Humanity is not something apart from the Earth. Humanity and the Earth are intimately connected. Waging war on the one, for the benefit of the other, won’t work, because it’s effectively a war on ourselves. We’ve tried raping the planet for humanity’s benefit. We’ve seen the UN propose a war on humanity, to permit the Earth (and an elite few humans) to prosper. What we need is a proposal to nurture both the planet and humanity, because we’re one and the same. We are not separate entities.
We can do better. We can have beauty, art, freedom and love. We can have biodiversity, clean air, clean water and sustainable living. We can achieve that, because there are more creative imaginations than ever before available to think about the problem. But we have to let them.