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Author Topic: Transcending Hierarchy  (Read 459 times)


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Transcending Hierarchy
« on: December 07, 2006, 02:47:53 pm »

G'Day All,

Some of you have read my thread about why is work is such a drag. That thread was a prolog for this and another I am writing about our future as the dominant species on plant Earth. My response to a post regarding such "Utopian" thinking leads directly to this essay.

Transcending Hierarchy: Our Survival Depends on It.

After thinking about the future for as long I have, I agree with Bucky Fuller that humanity's fate is locked into one of two possible outcomes - utopia or oblivion. I believe such an outcome comes down to just one thing:

Unless humanity transcends hierarchy, we are doomed to oblivion.

This applies both at an individual and collective level. At the collective level all of humanity finds itself in the crosshairs of a war being waged passively and aggressively between the old Machiavellian elite and the emergence of a grass-roots, bottom-up, network-enabled, evolving, and rapidly growing collective intelligence. This war is being waged by the elite on multiple fronts. In cyberspace we are being subjected to their weapons of mandatory digital ID, DRM, one-way transparency and our subsequent loss of privacy and civil liberties, while they increasingly hide behind ever-greater degrees of secrecy. In meat space we have the "global war on terror", their latest smokescreen used to justify ever increasing draconian and deadly policies of global piracy, theft and war corporatism.

Unfortunately for them their policies are not sustainable . I believe the reason the power-elite are getting nastier is because their hierarchies are under constant assault both aggressively through terrorist networks, and passively through the power of the network itself. For most of human history, hierarchy and alpha-male control has been a part of human culture and politics. However, the emergence of networked intelligence is a direct threat to any kind of hierarchy. Whether it be politics, economics or any other type of game scenario, hierarchy can not compete with massively decentralized networked intelligence.

The power elite controlling the United States government against this new threat is one of several competing heads vying for global domination within this larger campaign of aristocratic hierarchal struggling to maintain power. It is no surprise then that Vladimir Putin is returning Russia to the days of the USSR in the name of his own phony effort to fight the "global war on terror". It's phony precisely because we can't fight a "war on terror" anymore than we can fight a "war on fear". Their use of this phrase is meant to be deliberately nebulous because it allows them to wage war against an unseen, indefinable enemy that can never be won. That's what they really want, an excuse to fight without any tangible reason whatsoever and without any tangible goal that has an end. Eternal war, straight out of Orwells 1984. Fighting a "global war on green colorless ideas" is perfectly suited to their agenda for global domination. Yes, terrorism is a problem, but not nearly to the extent they want you and I to believe. In the last year alone, 10x more people died from pharmaceutical miss application of drugs than in the World Trade Center. If those in power were truly interested in "saving lives" then why are more people dying under their own policies than by the hands of this so-called "terrorist network" they allege to so enthusiastically fight? Can you imagine a police force that kills more innocent people in one fight against an organized crime syndicate than all other murders committed by this same organized crime syndicate in all of its history?

So if those currently at the top want to remain in power they will be forced by both environmental and political pressures to either surrender to this new emergent more democratic order without hierarchies, or fight it with every last breath they have. So far the latter choice seems to be their preference. Notwithstanding people like Brittany Spears who prefers hierarchies with strong alpha-male leaders in charge to protect us from "evil doers", those in power not only can no longer protect us, they cannot provide us any remaining benefit whatsoever. So why do we continue to tolerate their presence? Because this strong tendency to place our faith and power in the hands of others was at one time a survival advantage for our species, probably originating when we were still hanging in the trees. However, we are now on the cusp of space travel and amazing powers of nanothechnolgical transformation at the molecular level of the human speciesis. The use of old primate hierarchies has come to their end. Something far superior has now landed on our evolutionary shores. This new thing is a bottoms-up collective intelligence network that is growing smarter each day. It is the way of evolution. Some have gone so far as to speculate that this collective distributed intelligence net work will become self aware by the middle of this century.If those at the top refuse to accept humanities and in turn the planets new phase in evolution, then they will have to fight evolution itself.

If history is any indicator, evolution cannot be stopped. After at least 5 planetary-scale extinction-level events, life managed to continue, evolve and prosper. Today we are a witness to this 4 billion year plus process of evolution and extropy winning against the background noise of entropy and decay. The signal to noise ratio has increased over time, and in our own lifetimes we have watched this ever accelerating level of intelligence and information grow in the span of a few days.

In the meantime those in power are now struggling to maintain control and are partially succeeding only because they have managed to convince an apparent majority of Americans that all the their lies are the truth. If it wasn't for the most aggressive and impressive propaganda campaign the world has ever seen (even Hitler would be impressed), they would not be succeeding right now. That or they would be forced to take the gloves off sooner. Already they are getting really nasty, which is the first sign they are getting desperate and their grip on power is slipping. In the old days the power elite could sit comfortably knowing their power base was secure without resorting to the gargantuan number of dirty tricks these people have to pull now. Unfortunately for them, these lies are not sustainable when even your typical ignorant Bush supporter will inevitably see this shit landing on his or her front door. Examples of this shit will include a poisoned environment making their families sick from an increased toxicity in the environment, their children going off to fight an unwinnable war, little or no remaining liberties once taken for granted in the constitution, constant government surveillance, a complete lack of basic healthcare, inability to support a basic standard of living they once took for granted. Why? Because if you listen to Repubodem Party leaders like Grover Norquist et al, those at the top want nothing less than a complete return to the days of the Robber Barons, where monolithic capitalism had absolutely no limits whatsoever. A return to the days when people had no labor rights or even basic living wages, no social security, no Medicare, no health insurance, no unemployment insurance. Nothing other than abject misery and poverty under the jackboots of their corporate masters. Obviously if these W supporters had any clue that this the future that Bush is delivering them, they would want no part of it. Unfortunately propaganda from places like Fox News and the corporate controlled media have got all these people robotically brainwashed into a one-track mind - 9/11, Saddam, Terrorism. They don't call it brainwashing for nothing. And because this "shit" hasn't hit the fan quite yet, the Bush administration has managed to keep a lid on it, at least for awhile. This is one reason why a part of me wants to see Bush win a second term, because then he and all his cronies will have no choice but to watch as the public, no longer being bamboozled by the aggressive propaganda machine, will finally wake up to the reality of what these people are doing to the planet.

Luckily for us, unlucky for them, this type of society will not come to pass. It simply cannot be sustained. Nowadays, the power of the network cannot be stopped by policy, by legal rollbacks or by draconian technology. The genie is out of the bottle. The network is global, the bottoms-up power of individual and collective action is now unleashed.

The Bush administration is now faced with two ugly possibilities - either they pull out of Iraq, and loose the grand prize of oil and "democracy" (new capitalist markets), or they have to re-instate the draft. Either outcome, which is a sure thing at this point, will prove disastrous for them. If we pull out Bush's greatest base of support, the white macho bully types we all hated in high school will lose face in the wake of defeat. The other option is that Bush will be compelled to re-instate the draft, in which case, the public backlash will be greater than anything we've ever seen before. I suspect the latter will be the option Bush will choose. Since his popularity will fall faster than stock in his previous oil companies, Bush and the power elite will pull off any remaining mask of civility to combat this growing civil unrest. We could see curfews, martial law, economic depression, even mass arrests, you name it. If it gets this bad, then chances are global war is the most likely outcome. In such a scenario the chances of the collective surviving is very slim. Essentially we will watch, as the dogs of war will unleash their self-fulfilling apocalypse.

However, in order for things to get this bad, the Bush administration must be able to hold onto power amidst all this growing power from the bottom. It's quite possible,  during the next two years he will become so unpopular that his administration will not be able to exercise any power. Even if he decides to create some kind of draconian autocratic state as Putin is now doing, America's ability to compete, and in turn generate sufficient revenue from a depressed economy comprised of a disenfranchised nonsupporting public will undercut critical financial life-lines.

For example, Airbus has filed suit against Boeing in the World Court for tax subsidies given to them by the US government, which by doing so the US violated its own treaty it enthusiastically supports. Unlike the UN, the Bush administration strongly favors these types of global trade agreements. . A trade war is the last thing anyone in positions of high power wants, as its detrimental to everyone, especially their personal bottom lines. So backing out of it is will not prove as easy as backing out of UN support. The Bush administration is now faced with ever escalating costs and dire consequences in their war for global domination that they will most likely not be able to afford for much longer.

So now we come to the individual question. The ability of people like you and me to survive and prosper regardless of what happens is continuing to increase. It's becoming clear that every person on the earth is fair game to these people. Our odds of getting caught in the crossfire of this war is increasing. However, simultaneously the collective power of the network is empowering us to make connections with like-minded people for support. While the old system crashed down all around us, a new decentralized system of support is coming along to fill in the gabs. Technologies are getting cheaper all the time. What this means is that our ability to create self-sustaining communities with an alternative energy infrastructure, alternative Permaculture, alternative medicine, alternative political structures, is getting better all the time. This means we won't need to depend on the old system for support much longer. On the near horizon or already hear our cars powered by air, cheap solar cells, wind power under 1 cent per kilowatt-hour, nearly free products from nanomanfacturing, and cheap space travel. Meanwhile every European nation has healthcare for all its citizens. Britain recently put into a place a policy that every new home must come equipped with the infrastructure for easy conversion to solar power.

Although this revolution is untelevised, the power of social software, location based services, peer-to-peer technologies immune to any DRM or law, a semantic web, all of them will make it easier for these types of alternative systems of support to flourish.

The good news is we have evolution on our side, which hasn't lost a fight yet.

Stay tuned, more to follow.


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