Chapter 18 - Night Shadows
At this point Olive stopped our walking and pointed to a faint light in the distance over the forest. She said that the ice-cream place is located where the light is, farther down the river and across the forest. "It won't take us more than an hour to get there," she added.
The faint light in the distance that we were aiming for looked to me like a perfect metaphor for the human journey before us, and the countless footsteps it would involve. I drew Olive's attention to it.
"Before any of that can happen, Peter, we have to change ourselves as human beings," Olive responded. She suddenly began to laugh. "Isn't it ironic, Peter, that I had to learn to appreciate music in order to discover what an economy is that accomplishes these necessary achievements, and what our humanity is all about? An economy isn't primarily a physical thing, Peter. It's primarily a structure of intent. The intent shapes everything. If the intent reflects the principle of the Second Renaissance, the Principle of the Advantage of the Other, then the outcome will correspond with that intent and the resulting economy will take us towards a brand New World with a prosperity in civilization that has not yet been seen on this planet. If, inversely, the intent is to create a liberal environment for stealing from one-another, like the one that we already have, then society will destroy itself in the process and we'll get nowhere. So it is again the future that determines the present."
I began to laugh. "The present imperial intent appears to be to let the world disintegrate into poverty, insanity, and to let it wipe itself out in imperial wars for dominance over the remaining scraps that are left in the primitive world. That's already happening, isn't it? The Oil Wars have already begun. If we don't change course they will soon be expanded into vicious wars over mineral resources and wars over food resources."
"Your Anglo/American liberal system of greed-based fascism, which runs much of the world today, assures that the stealing by force will escalate until the coming food wars will wipe out much of mankind," said Olive.
I began to laugh again. "That's already happening," I interjected. "The majority of the global food production and distribution is already privately owned by the imperial cartels. They already determine who eats and who is starving to death. If the present course isn't altered mankind will meet the return of the Ice Age with empty hands and empty hearts as an inwardly empty society that is essentially already dead as human beings. Then the subsequent physical dying won't alter anything fundamentally."
"That won't happen," said Olive. "The future will determine that there'll be a change in the present. If the intent of society reflects the principle of the Second Renaissance, the Principle of the Advantage of the Other, then the focus is on universal human development and the outcome will reflect that intent in the form of created riches for society. That, all by itself, would bring the present on track which what is needed for the future. No miracles are involved here," she said.
"That's love-based economics," I interjected.
"No, Peter, that's the principle of economics," said Olive. "Love-based economics is the principle of economics. There exists only one principle of economics and that is love-based economics. In music there is only one principle of harmony possible, which may have many expressions, but there is only one principle. The same is true for economics, Peter. The principle of economics is love-based economics in its countless expressions. There exists no other principle of economics, and consequently no other economic process. All other processes, such a financial looting and slavery-based stealing, result in poverty and the social and physical collapse of society. But that's not economics. That's insanity."
I nodded. "That difference makes all difference, doesn't it?" I said quietly. "I agree, social and physical collapse can't be called an economic process."
"Real economics has only one intent, Peter," Olive continued, "which is to improve the human condition and brighten civilization. Its goal is to brighten our lives as human beings."
"Real economics began with the agricultural revolution, aeons ago," I replied. "It enabled mankind to grow its own food and enabled the domestication of animals that soon depended on this humanly created food resource. The well-functioning modern economy doesn't supercede this process. One can't supercede a principle. One can only utilize it more and more efficiently. That opens the door to technology and efficient industrial processes and advanced machinery in agriculture and machinery in transportation, and advanced cultural development. And for this to function well, a society has to create an efficient supporting infrastructure, such as the machine-tool industry that supplies the productive industry, and an efficient transportation infrastructure to make the whole thing workable. All of that, of course, needs to be supported by scientific and technological progress that develops the efficient processes further and further, including the human skills needed to carry out those processes. And finally, in order to make this possible, a society has to make huge investments in human development. This includes the kind of education that teaches the process of discovery and the dimension of the real history of our humanity as human beings. We need education that unfolds the potential of our self-development, which takes us beyond the present attainments. All of that needs to be created once again, Olive, since much of it doesn't exist anymore. The investment in human development must also include the creating of sufficiently spacious housing that advances the inner development of the human being, and efficient healthcare to protect the human potential, and efficient transportation which assures that that this potential isn't wasted in gridlocks on the freeways, and efficient administrative rules to overcome the current immense waste of our human potential in red-tape processes that don't add to the power of the human potential. Society's investment in its self-development must also include the building of efficient cities, neighborhoods, and communities, which enable a rich cultural and social development to happen. Once we have that kind of an economy functioning, since a real economy provides all of that, then we have the infrastructure in place to do the higher level development that is becoming evermore crucial. On this higher-level foundation we can begin the development of the galactic electric power on the scale that is needed, and the ionization technology that gives us access to the metals and other materials that are bound in the silicates of the rocks and in the mantle of the Earth. Society needs a richly functioning economy to do this, Olive. Nothing less can support those large-scale hundred-year development projects without a whimper. Since we are pressed for time, we have no choice to pursue all the development processes simultaneously. Won't that create an exciting world for us? Only then, when all of that is happening in a big way, can we even begin to think in terms of building the large-scale indoor agriculture projects. And we must achieve all of that, Olive. We must not hesitate. Our goal must be to bring a naturally growing world population into the coming Ice Age in such a highly developed technological renaissance that the climatic changes, when they occur, have no effect on us. Nor will we find this development process to be a burden, if the process is happening. It will create the richest and most exciting world that we can imagine, at every step along the way. Am I dreaming too tall, Olive?"
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