Chapter 7

Considerations Regarding
"The Ultimate Social System"

Wisdom From The State Department

In the September 4 1989 issue of Time Magazine, an article appeared entitled Has History Come to an End? {B204}

The article was referring to the recently published manifesto of capitalist wishful thinking entitled The End of History? put forward by Mr. Francis Fukuyama, deputy director of the U.S. State Department's policy planning department. In it, Mr. Fukuyama contends that the American political system appeared to represent the ultimate in social and political evolution.

As he himself put it,

"What we may be witnessing is not just the end of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." {B205}

In light of the fact that a State Department spokesman can publicly promote such delusions of grandeur for a system that only two years ago suffered a failure of its economy that almost mirrored the disastrous crash of 1929, and for a system which now has the dubious distinction of being the world's leading debtor nation, one must seriously resist the temptation to burst out laughing.

When the murder capital of Mr. Fukuyama's ideal society is also the seat of its government and one of its major centers of drug abuse, it would appear that, if nothing else, he doesn't demand much of an ideal system.

In any case, the American elite have in desperation resorted to this feeble attack on socialist theory. Although this story is only in its infancy, it is showing all the signs of being earmarked for a major coordinated and sustained media propaganda campaign, so get prepared to hear over and over again that the American system has at last triumphed over the ideals of socialism.

His attempt to wrap Feudalism and Neocolonialism in the stars and stripes and hoist it up onto a pedestal for the world to pay homage, is little more than another attempt to pull the wool flags down over the eyes of gullible readers. Whether or not he will succeed in influencing the American public to renew their allegiance to Feudalism has yet to be seen. He does nevertheless provide a patriotic focus to divert attention away from the serious hardships faced by the working class, and buys time to allow the elite to complete their withdrawal of equity from the American economy.

He went on to state that as for Marxism-Leninism, "while there may be some isolated true believers left in places like Managua, Pyongyang or Cambridge", no large state that espouses it as an ideology even pretends to be in the vanguard of history.

Mr Fukuyama appears willing to overlook that not only did Russia put the first man in space, she currently leads in space station technology. The State Department seems only too willing to play down the present and future significance of Russia's pioneering leadership at the forefront of man's cosmic debut.

He went on further to say that, "The egalitarianism of modern America represents essentially the attainment of the classless society envisioned by Marx".

I could be wrong, but I don't think Marx dreamed of an "egalitarian" Utopia where the richest 1% would own more assets than the bottom 90%. {B206} Perhaps he has also overlooked that unlike America, neither China nor Russia (which have approximately five and a half times the number of citizens to feed clothe and house) allows their citizens to go hungry or live on park benches and under bridges.

Although Mr. Fukuyama's thesis amounts to little more than a desperate attempt to mask and ignore the seriousness of America's social, economic, and political deterioration, it does draw attention to the need of honestly considering "the nature of an ultimate social order". To do this, we will consider the best and worst characteristics of our existing social systems.

The Folly of Nationalism and Economic Greed

The depletion of our ozone layer and the loss of marine life in our lakes as a result of acid rain draws attention to the fact that our interdependence goes beyond mere national real estate boundaries. Due to the current rate of species extinction, and due to the damage already inflicted on the planet's ecosystem, time is now of the essence. Mankind is on the brink of destroying not only itself, but the planet as a living organism. We must acknowledge that selfishness and greed is driving the economic elite of many countries to ignore the basic rights and needs of others. We can no longer afford to sit idly by while a handful of individuals push all life on the planet to the brink of extinction.

We must focus on the reality that humanity is a functioning element of a much larger entity, the survival of which depends on man's ability to control his baser instincts of selfishness and greed. The economic elite must recognize how their role of dominance as well as their claim to the bulk of global wealth, have both lost their validity.

In his book, The Critical Path, Buckminster Fuller shows that the planet's resources are still so abundant as to clearly indicate that famine, hunger, and poverty are artificial conditions imposed on humanity unnecessarily. {B207} And that is the pity. There is no rational need for the bulk of humanity to endure the hunger and deprivations brought on by the activities of a few selfish individuals.

My personal experience in traveling through nearly forty countries has shown that the average human being, irrespective of nationality, readily and eagerly extends generous hospitality and friendship to strangers. The more I traveled, the less I felt allegiance to any particular race, religion, culture, country, or political system. Perhaps it was this freedom more than anything else that allowed me to see somewhat objectively that racial, political, cultural, and religious barriers don't naturally occur in man, but are the hangover of collective social actions organized by a mere handful of powerful individuals who have manipulated whole populations to support their personal appetites for wealth and power.

The bulk of humanity would prefer to be left alone to live simple peaceful lives. Instead, they are made to bear the economic and political backlash of a small minority of economic elite around the world, who are busily exploiting both the human and natural resources of the planet to make fast and easy personal fortunes with virtual disregard for the social repercussions that follow in the wake of their activities. Hence, poverty, hunger, and war continue to overtake man's struggle for basic needs.

The destruction of the Brazilian rain forests is a very important case in point. As was discussed earlier, the rain forests are being destroyed mainly because the rich can avoid taxation by doing so. The planet's air supply is being jeopardized to line the pockets of a few wealthy Brazilians. {B208}

Whether we adopt the modern concept of mankind living in a global village or as crew members of spaceship earth, we must begin to live more harmoniously by focusing less on our separateness as individual nations, and concentrating more on global cooperation. We cannot, however, allow domination by an economic oligarchy to be confused with true global cooperation.

A global government run by the economic elite would mirror the inequities of feudal conditions but on a greatly magnified scale.

Both Feudalism and Colonialism are diametrically opposed to global cooperation!

Many other species before us have learned to cooperate and have probably had to go through similar struggles at a different level of awareness. We will have to do it too, and we can start by acknowledging the respective strengths and limitations of our existing ideologies in an effort to replace fear and hatred with understanding.

Capitalism, Communism, And Socialism

Although the world is no longer torn apart by a conflict of ideologies, Capitalism vs Communism. The truth is that both systems exemplify characteristics of human behavior, that while appearing to oppose each other, are destined to work together.

Capitalism is an economic and social system that evolved from the association of individuals who possessed an ability to dominate their respective societies. Because of their dominance, it provided these individuals with an opportunity to exist and flourish relatively free of restraints. A free spirit is the natural breeding ground for innovative discoveries, and rapid development, as the rapid progress in Western technology triumphantly confirms.

The dominant members have therefore always promoted the system as the ultimate expression of freedom for an individual. That certainly might be true for the dominant members, but the reverse is true for the remaining members of that society. This type of economic system surfaced in earlier Western societies as Feudalism.

It seems a truism that an excess of anything leads to problems, and in that sense, extreme individuality and independence manifests itself as selfishness, which when combined with dominance, produces social feelings of superiority, and hence class distinctions arise for the group who no longer perceive their fellow men as equals. This is the plight of Western nations today.

Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.


Logically, the natural reaction to class distinction and dominance is an appreciation for cooperation and brotherhood which manifests clearly in the symbiotic relationships so prevalent in nature.

Humanity's first serious attempt to design a symbiotic society, which would eliminate the social inequalities that result from social and economic class distinctions, led directly to the social ideals and principles upon which Communism and Socialism are based. Both systems put much emphasis on brotherhood, cooperation, and equality.

Consequently, humanity's need to control the abuses of selfishness and greed, was an evolutionary inevitability. The Communist reaction was as destined as the abuses of freedom.

Conversely, suppressing man's individuality and freedom excessively while striving toward unselfish cooperation and brotherhood, is as predictably a potential extreme of Communism, as greed is within Capitalism. Imperialism, practiced by any belief system, is an intolerable affront to the free will in man.

The benefits of resolving the duality of these ideologies remain to be sufficiently appreciated as a natural step in humanity's social evolution. A free spirit excels in pioneering and discovery; a cooperative spirit is the spirit of the hearth, ...a necessity for quality in every day living.

Humanity as a species is characterized by the need for the "virtues" of both Capitalism and Communism, ...without the "excesses" of either!

Although the hybrid system would manifest itself more as present day Socialism than either of the parent ideologies, Socialism is still in the developmental stage, but its potential as a framework from which to develop mankind's symbiotic potential is undeniable. Sweden's success with Socialism points to a middle ground solution that has already brought the Swedes a higher standard of living than America's. In fact, Socialist countries in general enjoy higher standards of living than either strictly Communist or Capitalist countries.

In reality, we are all symbiotic parts of one entity, and the challenge is to emerge with all of us pulling together, instead of in opposite directions, as we are blindly and uncontrollably doing now. As responsible members of the planet, it must become our goal and responsibility to work toward symbiotic cooperation by recognizing the value of the individual as well as the brotherhood of mankind.

Global harmony can be achieved not by choosing Capitalism, Communism, or any other "ISM", but by eliminating the extremes, the excesses, and the lack of cooperation in whatever system we are living in.

A more cooperative relationship must be worked out. However the time involved for this may be greater than the planet can afford, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and our headlong race into the field of genetic engineering draws urgent attention to the fact that unless we slow down our scientific progress and begin concentrating on a holistic perception of the part we play in the larger scheme of things, we may regress the planet to where our blue-green algae communities begin their second childhood.

While we all ought to be thankful for the diversity of culture and cultural skills that have developed over time as a result of isolating one group of humans from another, we can no longer afford to allow the darker side of mankind to use nationalistic pride and patriotism to motivate humanity into remaining as warring tribes.

In the meantime, and for the want of a small mid-course correction, the whole planet will continue to live through the agony of poverty, hunger, and all the other unnecessary social abuses we are inflicting on ourselves, and on the rest of the plant and animal kingdoms.

Because religious differences also appear at present to pose barriers to international cooperation and harmony, no discussion of what constitutes the ultimate social order would be complete without facing the problems that arise due to the existence of varying religious beliefs.

Rising Above Religious Differences

The social desirability and value of religious freedom is as equally valid as the existence of any other form of freedom. Throughout time, men have acknowledged their own as well as society's moral, ethical and spiritual needs as a basis for quality of existence. Unfortunately, the issue of religious freedom itself stands as a barrier limiting cooperation between the opposing ideological systems of Capitalism and Communism; but I think only through a lack of understanding.

It must first of all be fully recognized that religious freedom encompasses not only the freedom to believe, but the freedom not to believe, and the freedom to express uncertainty as well. Unfortunately, many well-meaning missionaries have been guilty of attempting to force their particular religious beliefs on other societies. Knowingly, or unknowingly they have been guilty of religious imperialism, which is a forceful suppression of religious freedom.

Despite obvious contradiction with the concepts of Christianity and brotherhood, churches used to be filled with slave owners. In fact, racially and economically segregated congregations still persist in America today.

It was not surprising then that when Communists first discarded the dominance of an elite minority, they also chose to discard the hypocrisy and oppression of the church. A resurgence of religious activity and freedom within the Communist countries could be ironically pointing to the fact that Communism may have too hastily thrown out the religious baby with the economic bath water.

People in all countries have traditionally looked to their spiritual leaders for guidance in finding a path out of their social problems. The expectation has not been unreasonable, and the role of the church as a conscience guiding social evolution is certainly valid. However the churches have been guilty of confusing their congregations by periodically displaying behavior that appears hypocritical of the values they traditionally purport to uphold.

It would do well to remember that the merits of a religion should not rely on how its clergy or congregations interpret and manifest the faith's religious dogmas, because social forces are capable of creating a substantial gap between the ideal behavior aspired to by a religion, and the conduct of the humans presently in charge of passing on the traditional beliefs to future generations.

Excesses and shortcomings can occur within religious systems as easily and surely as in secular systems, so it should therefore become an equally important responsibility to recognize and eliminate them in our religious systems. The administration of church wealth has played a detrimental role in the growth within the churches of an economically privileged elite who have been running their churches as Feudal empires, with economics playing an inordinate and inappropriate role. The conduct of our society's latest religious offspring, the TV evangelist, has brought the problem sharply into focus.

The need to address the shortcomings of religious administration becomes unavoidable in order to dispel the hypocritical behavior caused by the mismanagement of wealth within the churches. We can certainly recognize the shortcomings of church administration without casting any aspersions at the dogma of the religion itself.

The quest for spiritual awareness still plays a vital role in the planet's development. Not surprisingly, spiritual values remain an integral aspect of many cultures. However our regrettable lack of social harmony has occurred due to the fact that our focus on advances in science and technology has been at the sacrifice in growth of our spiritual tolerance, awareness and development.

Gandhi's Contribution

Mahatma Gandhi's contribution to humanity has yet to be appreciated by many outside of India. His living example of altruistic motives and personal self-mastery were focused into his lifelong activity of seeking world peace and harmony through non-violent methods. His dominant message was that change, no matter how urgent and necessary, must be achieved using non-violent methods only.

Gandhi gave his last breath without malice and with compassionate understanding, to an assassin whom he realized had not yet acquired freedom from compulsive instinctual behavior. He sought to enlighten those who in frustration see no alternative to overthrowing economic violence than an equal and opposite physical violence.

Violence for whatever reason fuels retaliation.
Dictators and selfish rulers have kept may people on the planet impoverished throughout time. Without even a rudimentary democratic framework to work from, many have taken the only path they could see to regain freedom, ...violence. They too were compelled into action because each extreme breeds its opposite.

Feudalism has no place on a shrinking planet any more. Before it is too late, a ray of hope must be given back to those who now feel abused and dispossessed. The problem is systemic and worsens with each new piece of legislation that facilitates either Feudal or neocolonial exploitation. Frustrations are manifesting more and more in the proliferation of violent and self-destructive behavior. The exploding alcohol and drug problems are symptomatic of an emotionally disturbed nation. Some are turning to drugs as an economic means of survival, but an increasing number are using drugs to try to at least temporarily escape the realities of a deteriorating society.

Fundamental changes are now urgently required.
Let's get started.

Bibliographic References for Chapter 7

{B204} "Has History Come to an End?" Time magazine (Sep 4 1989): p62
{B205} "Time to call history a day?" The Economist (Sep 16 1989): p48
{B206 "Are we at the end of history?" Fortune (Jan 15 1990): p75
{B207} Fuller, Buckminster. The Critical Path (New York St. Martin's Press, 1981)
{B208} "How Brazil subsidizes the destruction of the Amazon" The Economist (Mar 18 1989): p9