What can we do about the state of the world?

I am Vinay. I have always erred on the side of the incomprehensible truth. I’m not sure how many of you can hear me, or understand what I have to say. This is a planetary emergency. You have been activated. You’ve been activated since you were born. You just have to remember that you are a fully-empowered agent of human evolution, the planet you were born on is dying, and species-level pathologies formed around the creation of the nuclear weapon, interfacing with deeper scars left by bad religious theology have wedged us into a no-win global political deadlock that could kill us all, along with all future human beings, and every living thing that walks, swims, flies or crawls upon this earth. Go forth.

In the first part of this stimulating article, Vinay Gupta answers the question: when will the world system collapse. The third part answers the question: what can “I” do.

Vinay is truly one of the great maverick geniuses of our time, with a very powerful ‘oral presence’, not fully translatable in the written works, but nevertheless, they are always worth reading and pondering, even as you may disagree with some of this premises and conclusions.

And if you really want to understand the logic of my own work, Vinay is the only one who really ‘got it’ and gave the right characterisation of it. Ask him.

In the second part, which we reproduce here, he dwells on the solution side.

Vinay Gupta:

“I think I can draw a line through available data that tells us how to get a future we all can live with, the future we deserve.

I had to tear down most of my mind to get to here, because it requires letting go of our model of how the future is created, and doing something else, and connecting the main evolutionary drives of the human race directly to the machinery which will solve our real problems.

Here’s what we’ve got.

* Cheap renewable energy revolution

Ultra-cheap solar power

Konarka and NanoSolar – both offer ultra-cheap solar panel technologies, vastly cheaper than coal. Last time I checked the numbers, NanoSolar had $800m of investment and $4.2 billion dollars of pre-orders. Konarka was talking about a long-term goal of $0.10 per watt production costs (5% of the current silicon cell $2/watt) and NanoSolar was talking about $0.30 a watt somewhat sooner. There’s no clear limit on scaling these technologies once they deliver.

Liquid transportation fuels

Algal Turf Scrubbers – farming the thick slippery green hairy stuff that grows on the bottom of rocks. It grows in sea water. It could be grown on non-crop land, in huge shallow tanks in coastal desert regions. It is a polyculture – grow whatever falls into the tank. It does not require pesticides or genetic engineering to work. The numbers look good enough to provide all the fuel the world needs without breaking anything else. Nothing else is even close.

Processed into biobutanol it will likely run in existing gasoline cars, too.

Powerdown

* Water and Sanitation

Biosand filter – saves maybe 5m deaths a year, a plastic bucket filled with algae, sand and gravel to filter water. There are other, similar technologies.

Sulabh toilet – saves about 5m deaths a year. Other toilet designs may suit other regions better, there are many.

* Energy

Rocket stove – saves maybe 5m deaths a year from breathing cooking fires, and deforestation. Also see wood gasification stoves.

Cheap solar gadgets – primarily lights and cell phone/computer chargers, but other things too. Solar cookers seem to work in some places, not others.

* Communications

Mesh networks – everybody shares everybody’s short range wireless connections to form a global network. Eventually we’ll wish we never invented these, but face them we must.

Cheap android tablet – add a keyboard if you need one. I use a Huawei S7, $150, 3G works as a phone. Five years they’ll be giving them away in cereal packets.

Information services – m-health, m-banking, m-farming, day-by-day precision agriculture recommendations (second to last page) based on satellite telemetry of your GPS coordinated farm, interactive mass-translated how-to guides on how to survive and thrive in every climate. In progress.

Space

* Demilitarize

Demilitarize space – we can’t do anything else up there while space is run by black programs.

Declassify the real launch vehicles – the SR-71 did officially Mach 4 and 100,000 feet in the 1960s. We have 45 years of technological development since the SR-71 was designed, and the official story is that the now-grounded 1980s technology Space Shuttle is the best we can do. They’re lying. You know it. I know it. We need the real launch vehicles declassified, or at least the bits we need for civilian access to space. Need, not want.

Expand

Push all Genetically Modified Organisms into orbit – biotech companies can still make money up there, it gets the GMOs off the planetary surface, and it provides an economic rationale for investing in cheap launch. And they must go, before there is an awful disaster.

Get the high frontier back – we’re trapped on earth and we’re turning on each other. Blame mammalian or primate psychology, but we don’t like to be in a confined environment with no way to expand to get more resources. It makes our genes restless, then aggressive. It is our will to go, and we are in a secret pitched battle with the secret state for access to space, which is the only place we have to expand into. We need the agencies to declassify a real launch technology, for the benefit of the entire human race. Who’s our Kennedy?

I cannot stress how important this is. People invariably misunderstand this part, but step back, have a think about it. We’ve gone from relatively hard science to speculation about black space programs. Are we still on solid ground? Do they have these things? If so, when will they release them for the benefit of all of humanity?

* The New Rights of Man Every Person

Two human principles. Firstly, we do not use force, because we do not have atomic weapons and starting a fight you will lose is stupid. Secondly, the only problem we have here is us and therefore we cannot kill our way to a solution, which means no atomic weapons.

No global jurisdiction – we must acknowledge that the field of human rights has become a gridlock of rights, entitlements, preferences and theology. Rights directly conflict with each-other, as in the right to property directly conflicting with the right to assured access to water. Without a global jurisdiction, no government can enforce any kind of coherent rights doctrine, particularly in the face of borderless problems like terrorism or environmental crisis. Without a global court, our conventional methods for handling the conflicts between two virtues fall apart: we cannot leave it to case law and judges to sort it out.

Geneva for all – our western democracies are backsliding into legalized torture. We all know our governments are torturing, by sending people abroad, by locking them up in black sites, by legally incarcerating them and treating them so badly their minds break. They may be doing this on our behalf, but they are doing it, and we are not standing outside the embassies and the secret police headquarters every day demanding Geneva Convention rights for “terrorists.” And this is really what is about: we’ve lost Geneva. We’ve lost the international rule of law on the battlefield, and we’re sliding backwards into barbarism. Can we all agree on Geneva rights for all prisoners as a responsible starting point? Some may wish to go further, but if we can agree that Geneva rights for all prisoners is a good starting point and we should achieve it first perhaps we can make a unified demand of government to end the barbarism and go back to civilized war. Just one small step. I therefore propose a “Geneva For All” campaign be the first starting point of any political platform that seeks to repair the damage done to our democracies since 9/11.

The minority of one – in an increasingly complex global environment, the hard categories which formed entitlement groups and identities in the early post-Modern period have disintegrated. Transgendered and bisexual people chip away at traditional frameworks of sexual privilege and oppression. Multi-racial individuals dissolve the formerly hard barriers around race. New relationship patterns like polyamory begin to show what a new settlement between human desire and safe-sex technology might look like. Rather than a patchwork of special laws to meet the idealized and mythic special cases, we need to acknowledge that everybody is a special case, a unique and pressurized minority of one struggling to express their humanity through the exercise of their capacities, defended by our collective recognition and defense of their human rights. There is no point in discriminating by race or gender in law because, in the final analysis, these categories have become so fluid as to become legally meaningless in an increasing number of edge-cases. Can a 1/4-Indian sue for racial discrimination? What about a 1/16th Indian? Where’s the line? Similarly for gender or sexuality. Is it worse to call a hetrosexual man, a bisexual man or a gay man “faggot”? What if he is only occasionally gay, or used to be a woman? What then? Legally protect the individual, and not the group, because there are no groups which have real, hard, tangible legal edges any more. We should not be arguing in courts about who is or is not a member of which specially protected group. This is not a legal framework or a call to end protection for minorities, but an observation that the basis for such protection must emanate from the minority of one, not a laundry list of legal special cases.

The religious roots of oppression – Crowley completely dropped the ball on thelema. Thelema is a secret thread. It’s the hard stuff the boys and girls in the back room are doing. It’s where Alan Moore came from. Therefore it’s where Anonymous came from, or at least their iconography. It’s what Kanye West was thinking about when he spent $300,000 on a Horus necklace and made the POWER video, which is about as good a piece of religious art as has been done in a century. It’s what Jack Parsons was running on when he invented the solid rocket motors which fueled the space race and wrote Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword. And, yes, it’s what Jimmy Page and David Bowie were on, for a while. Why am I talking about occult religion? I’m bringing this up to broaden the debate on human rights, and for a reason.

Mainstream jurisprudence in most of the world is a direct descendent from desert monotheisms or other traditions which unify political and spiritual power in the form of God-Kings as in Japan or China. In these traditions, the secure functioning of the State is equivalent to doing God’s will on Earth, and this is Very, Very Important. And these guys, all of them, are destroying the future of humanity. The religious right want to start a jihad with the Muslims. The descendants of Mao will enslave their own for filial-piety-turned communist.

I think that to get effective human rights we’re going to have to go beyond this. Consider, if you will, Liber Oz, which is Crowley’s summary of The Rights of Man. Now this is very simple. It is freedom. It may not be a perfect expression of Freedom, but there’s no doubt that the intention is to express Freedom in a fairly absolute form. There’s no legal system to hassle out what happens when these rights conflict with each other, there’s no sound basis of common law, there’s nothing about the Sacredness of Property as an Extension of the Self. It’s just Freedom. It’s not even Just Freedom. Now, as I said, Crowley screwed this up. In the hands of an English Victorian who’d been educated as a Fundamentalist Christian, it was a bomb. It blew Crowley’s head off, and he never seems to have done justice to the work. Parsons is a more approachable thinker. If you want the most beautiful, subtle form, Alan Moore’s Promethea is staggeringly beautiful. When the time comes to have a renegotiation about the fundamental basis for human rights on this planet, our planet the Earth, I’d like us to start from The Law of Thelema, which is Freedom at the center. But I’m not suggesting I care whether you do it or not: do what thou wilt. We have no basis for a jurisprudence of Freedom, nor do we have any realistic goal of rapid adoption of a Freedom-based legal system. Do not let conventional Anarchism or property-based Libertarianism secularize the Sacredness of the fact you are Free. Rather, ask yourself this: if you had been born on a planet where the received word of god was

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

“Love is the law, love under will.”

how different might your life be?

Ending the nuclear stalemate – right now we are resolving the problems on this planet with violence, and since the invention of the nuclear bomb, neither side can win so we have a global deadlock in which there is no over-riding dominant power to make the rules, but rather a series of destructive warring fiefdoms that are squandering the future of the human race in endless banal competition.

I want you to stop seeing the State as anything more than a garbage collecting utility function. Your nationality should not matter any more than your ethnicity or your religion, it’s a tiny facet of your humanity, not a reason to draw a line on a map and go to war. The myrmidons of the State are trapped by a theology which acknowledges only a single word of god, a single point where the Divine Right of Kings radiates out from. Where these competing groups with nuclear weapons meet, two different conceptions of reality are locked in conflict. The strain this puts on the fabric of the planet, on the very fundamental survival of humanity, threatens us all. We must take our nuclear warriors off duty, and make it clear to them that we will settle our differences without organized violence of the kind that could ever escalate to the use of weapons of mass destruction – or, indeed, military weapons at all. They cannot back down from their status as our guardians, and yet we cannot afford the terrible price of requiring such protection. It is up to the people of earth to dissolve the strains between each-other in an equitable, harmonious way, to make a political peace so strong and so vivid that the nuclear watchmen can hang up their bombs and retire.

They are not keeping us in cages for their amusement – they are keeping us in cages for our protection.”

Who is Vinay?

Modern industrial civilisation leaves no space for the sacred narrative. Does it matter? Given the resistance many of us feel towards both institutionalised religion and New Age spirituality, can we find ways of speaking which make room for the return of the sacred? Vinay Gupta belongs to the Indian tradition of the ‘kapalika’, or ‘bearers of the skull bowl’, and the Nath Sampradaya, an ancient yogic sect.

3 Comments What can we do about the state of the world?

  1. Johannes Marat

    Brilliant statements, but I cannot comprehend what he is saying about “Expand”.

    Is he really is recommending manned space flight as an answer to the population explosion?

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