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Jubilee 2000

The Radical Agenda for Global Social Transformation

II.
The Three Explosions
III. The Three Complexities
IV. The Jubilee 2000 Agenda

I. Introduction  

This Radical Agenda for Global Social Transformation is based upon the conviction that there are profound forces at work in the world today that are propelling the human race toward an extraordinary event -- a flashpoint -- in the evolutionary history of this planet, an event matched in significance on only two previous occasions. 

The first extraordinary event took place incomprehensible aeons ago with the emergence, out of the agitated primordial stew, of a complex assemblage of molecules with the ability to reproduce itself, thus setting in motion a biological process that has resulted in the evolution of the spectacular variety of living organisms that inhabit the earth today, amounting to, by some estimates, more than a hundred million different species of microorganisms, plants and animals (including humans!). 

The second extraordinary event, which on the evolutionary time scale took place only yesterday, was the emergence in the human species of a uniquely high level of intelligence, producing an explosive acceleration in the pace of evolutionary change. Suddenly, lightning-quick technological invention, rather than biological diversity and natural selection, began driving the evolutionary process, and in a few ticks of the evolutionary clock the human species developed characteristics and abilities far beyond that of any other earth-bound species, some to our joy and others to our great pain, but amazing nonetheless. 

And now, just as we begin the countdown of the final days of the present millennium, when thoughts are understandably turned toward the future and filled with concerns about what lies ahead following the dawning of the next millennium, as coincidence would have it we happen to also find ourselves racing toward a third extraordinary event, an event for which the emergence of life and the emergence of human intelligence were but dim preludes. Although the final outcome of this third extraordinary event is still in doubt, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are really only two possibilities, one exhilarating and the other terrifying. 

The exhilarating possibility is that the human race will finally undergo a kind of spiritual transformation during which we will forsake all the old social institutions and attitudes that have evolved during the past several thousand years based on the principle of competition, and replace them with an entirely new social arrangement based on the principle of cooperation, resulting ultimately in the coalescence of more than five billion individual humans into a single collective social organism, the mature shape of which is as impossible to imagine as it is to foresee the emergence of a mighty oak from a tiny acorn. We can expect, however, that such a harmonious coalescence would produce a dramatic blossoming of the human spirit, a spectacular display of human creativity, and a miraculous metamorphosis that would lift the human race onto another and higher plane of existence, a spiritual and physical transformation that would surely qualify as the third extraordinary event along this planet's evolutionary path.

"Competition is a sin."

"The combination is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return."

-John D. Rockefeller I

However, the other possibility, the terrifying one, is that the human race will continue on its present course, blindly singing the praises of competition while steadfastly declaring that human nature will never change, that this is how it has always been and how it will always be, until one morning we awake to the news that sometime during the night "something went wrong." An unfortunate confluence of events has sparked an uncontrollable political, economic and ecological conflagration, a global firestorm of madness and mayhem, finally reducing the planet to a cold and lifeless rock once again, streaking unnoticed through the universal vastness, a ghostly memorial to what might have been. That, too, would qualify as this planet's third extraordinary evolutionary event. 

That we are on the threshold of a profound change -- a third extraordinary event -- is certain. What remains in doubt is which scenario most accurately describes humankind's future. Will it be transformation? Or annihilation? And what, if anything, can we do to affect the outcome? That is the urgent question to which The Jubilee 2000 Project both seeks and proposes an answer.

"Perhaps, in fact, the continued tolerance of Communist parties and Marxist philosophy in the West is rooted in human nature, in our capacity for self-deception, in our dreams of a society without conflicts and without poverty, in our refusal to see that all of the quick roads to such a society lead to totalitarianism."
-Anne Applebaum, Wall Street Journal writer, in "Teflon Communism," 1998-Jan-12

II. The Three Explosions

The accelerating speed with which we are being propelled toward the third extraordinary event is being driven by three simultaneous and mutually intensifying explosions: the Population Explosion, the Technology Explosion, and the Communication Explosion.

The changes taking place in each of these three areas clearly fit the definition of an explosion ("a large-scale, rapid and spectacular expansion"), and if they were to be charted on a graph, using the horizontal scale to indicate the time element and the vertical scale to indicate the quantitative element, each of the three would be represented by a gently upward-sloping line reflecting thousands of years of almost imperceptible change, until suddenly, in the Twentieth Century, the line takes off like a rocket, straight up and off the chart.

The significance of these three explosions is that each greatly increases the number and the intensity of human interactions, thus raising the level of social kinetic energy. It is as though each individual is like a single atom, confined within the limits of the Earth's biosphere as in a sealed container, and as such contributes toward a certain level of social kinetic energy through movement and interaction with other "atoms." 

When there were only a few nomadic tribes wandering the Earth, the level of kinetic energy was low, with minimal interaction between individuals and tribes and with very little effect on the global biosphere. Today, however, because of the Population Explosion, people are crowding in on one another, with as many as ten million or fifteen million people jammed together in metropolitan areas, fighting for space, pushing and shoving, arguing, yelling, screaming and cursing at one another, while horns blare and sirens wail. Because of economic breakdown, ethnic conflicts, political upheaval, drought, famine, and disease, millions of people -- nearly 50 million, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees -- drift in migratory waves across national borders, forging rivers, climbing fences, dodging bullets, digging tunnels, trekking through mountain passes, searching for some hospitable place on this crowded planet, only to be greeted by anger and deadly hostility wherever they turn. By some estimates, Earth's population, after tens of thousands of years of human history, finally reached one billion just a little more than two hundred years ago. But then it took only another 170 years to add the next billion, doubling by the year 1945. The next doubling took only 31 years, reaching four billion by 1976. And today, in 1998, the population has grown to nearly six billion! "A wide-spread, rapid and spectacular expansion." And as the number of people explodes, so does the level of social kinetic energy.  

Contemporaneously, as a result of the Technology Explosion, the effect of the Population Explosion becomes greatly magnified. Now, each individual has become more and more active, darting from place to place, creating an ever-widening area of influence and interacting with greater numbers of people. Meanwhile, society-at-large is busy putting its technological talents to work, laying down railroad tracks, building super highways, paving airport runways, launching rockets into space, changing the course of rivers, raising up monumental cities of concrete and steel, all the while consuming precious energy, transforming raw materials and natural resources into mountains of garbage and trash, polluting the air, defiling the water supply, laying forests to waste, exploding atomic weapons, releasing deadly radiation into the atmosphere, showering Earth's surface with poisonous herbicides and pesticides, manufacturing for human ingestion an endless variety of complex chemicals of unknown effect. All this, thanks to the "wide-spread, rapid and spectacular expansion" of technology. Thus the level of kinetic energy rises still further and the social pressure on our biosphere continues to build.

However, it is the Communication Explosion -- a consequence of the Technology Explosion -- that raises the social kinetic energy to its annihilating or transforming level. It is the Communication Explosion that increases each individual's awareness of the activities of an exploding population, a population that, with the aid of technology, has become increasingly active, more powerful . . . and better armed. Through the magic of modern communications, events scattered around the globe become an instantaneous cause for global alarm, the subject of global debate, and a shock to the global economic and political systems. The Technology Explosion extends the physical reach of the individual; the Communication Explosion expands the individual's awareness. The Technology Explosion puts a high-powered rifle in the hands of an assassin; the Communication Explosion sends a shock wave rippling through the global collective consciousness when the assassin pulls the trigger. Technology creates luxurious lifestyles for the rich and powerful, while the masses in remote poverty-stricken villages and in the shanty towns that fester on the edges of the world's capital cities can only watch the proceedings on their neighborhood tv sets with amazement and envy . . . and eventually, frustration, bitterness, and anger. Atrocities are flashed across the global screen for public inspection: ethnic cleansing, holy wars, tribal mayhem, car bombs, chemical warfare, bombed playgrounds and marketplaces, destroyed hospitals. Political corruption and economic chicanery are angrily charged and vehemently denied. The injustices and malfunctions of the social system are held up for observation and discussion, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Hatred, paranoia, fear and confusion flash through the collective consciousness, like the relentless pulsing of a blinding strobe, electrifying the social atmosphere and raising the level of social kinetic energy still further.

"As is the case with socialism of the Marxist-Leninist variety, the essential lesson of German National Socialism is that collectivism kills, and that the lawless state - in whatever form - is the real enemy."
-William Norman Grigg, "Lessons From the Holocaust," in The New American 1998-Nov-9

With all three explosions taking place simultaneously, with each of the three intensifying and magnifying the effect of the other two, and with all this explosive energy being confined within the limits of the thin biosphere that wraps this planet Earth, we are, day by day, relentlessly and inexorably, moving ever closer to that flashpoint in human history when the pressure becomes so great that the very essence of human nature must be profoundly and irreversibly changed.

The Radical Agenda for Global Social Transformation

III. The Three Complexities

The way in which humanity responds to the tensions and pressures caused by the three explosions will determine the final outcome of this spine-tingling drama. Until now, the response has not been very promising. At a time when our survival depends upon our willingness to work together cooperatively to develop global solutions to global problems, we find ourselves trapped within a social system so organized that everyone on Earth is forced to compete, directly or indirectly, with everyone else on Earth, adding yet another element of volatility to the explosive social atmosphere. Under the circumstances, it is astonishing to see that today's favorite mantra, repeated endlessly by politicians, economists, educators, and business leaders, is that we must all become more competitive!

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
-Milton Friedman

While some may argue persuasively that competition is nature's way of driving the evolutionary process forward and that most of humankind's achievements have been so driven, there are powerful reasons to believe that the principle of competition has not only reached the end of its usefulness, but that if it continues to be humankind's dominant social principle, we can expect the present disintegration of social order to accelerate. What has already happened to Beirut, Mogadishu, Sarajevo, Kigali, Kabul, and Grozny, will surely also happen to Nairobi, Johannesburg, Bombay, Manila, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Prague, and Moscow. And for the same reasons.

To appreciate the degree to which competition permeates and dominates all of society, it is useful to focus our attention on three concepts that are the most pervasive institutionalized manifestations of competition: Government, Law, and Money. Each of these three concepts may have served a useful purpose during some earlier time. In theory, governments are meant to maintain order and protect the common good, laws are meant to guide human conduct in a way that promotes equity and justice, and money is meant to provide a convenient medium of exchange that facilitates economic activity. In reality, however, none of the three fulfills its intended function, as each day's news reports clearly demonstrate. In reality, as these three concepts have insinuated themselves into all aspects of our lives, they have grown into such mind-boggling complexities that they are beyond the comprehension of any one individual and beyond the control of any one group. The result is not only a frustrating and heart-breaking waste of precious time and energy but also a dangerous concentration of power, which, in turn, is the primary cause of the growing inequity, injustice, economic dysfunction, and social disorder so widespread as to place the human race on the threshold of global chaos.

An essential aspect of competition that is seldom mentioned by those who sing its praises is that it produces losers as well as winners. And what the winners win is control over the lives of the losers. Likening the global social system to a game, those who win control of the world's national, regional and local Governments write the rules of the game, Laws are the rules the various governments write, and Money is the all-important score-keeping mechanism. It is the concept of money, which seeks to digitize and quantify, and therefore dehumanize, every human transaction, that makes it possible for the players to keep score in this fast-moving, ever-changing, multi-level, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional Mother of All Monopoly Games.

"If men did not have some commodity of objective value which was generally acceptable as money, they would have to resort to primitive barter or be forced to live on self-sufficient farms and forgo the inestimable advantages of specialization. If men had no means to store value, i.e., to save, neither long-range planning nor exchange would be possible."
-Alan Greenspan, 1967

There are plentiful attempts to praise the beauty of this competitive game. We are told that competition forces everyone to excel, to work harder, to be more productive, become inventive, produce products of higher quality. If the "free" (read, competitive) market is permitted to work its magic, an "invisible hand" will guide human activity in the most productive and desirable directions and the entire human race will benefit, because a rising tide lifts all boats, large and small. As for individuals, if they will but work hard, be thrifty, honest and conscientious, they will be rewarded with success. And beyond that, if they are truly clever and inventive, not afraid to take risks, but believe in themselves and adopt the entrepreneurial spirit, they stand to attain riches beyond their wildest dreams.

Nonsense. The truth is that only in a small percentage of cases does it work out that way. The truth is that hard work, conscientiously and honestly performed, is no guarantee of success. There is, in fact, considerable evidence to support the belief that the reverse is true, that in our competitive society

"Cumulative evidence supports the conclusion that in the United States as in other countries, the age of individualism and laissez-faire in economy and government is closing and a new age of collectivism is emerging."
-George S. Counts, author of Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order?, from the final 1934 volume of a 17 volume Carnegie Foundation funded study exploring the use of public schools for the purpose of socialist indoctrination

the decent hard-working people are the ones who get screwed, while those who are devious and manipulative and clever enough to figure out ways to advantage themselves within the workings of this labyrinthine economic system and its complex rules, with a bit of good luck thrown in, are the ones who walk off with the spoils. If they are born at the right time and in the right place or marry into the right family, if they have the right lawyers, accountants and investment advisors, if they learn how to execute a leveraged buyout, downsize a corporation, cook the books, lobby the Congress, bribe the authorities, romance the bankers, and trade stocks on insider information, then the numbers in their bank accounts, their scores, will keep rising: one million, five million, a hundred million, five hundred million, a billion, three billion. It is never enough, and the bigger the number, the more extravagant the praise. As their faces appear on the covers of Fortune, Forbes and Business Week magazines, and their successes are glorified and their lifestyles admired in glowing profiles on the pages within, the truth is that the rest of society is paying a terrible price for the maintenance of an economic system that makes that kind of success possible.

There are two threats to the continuation of this game, however. One threat is that, as the concentration of power continues unabated, the general population will get so fed up with the inherent unfairness of it all that they finally break free of all restraints and go on a vengeful rampage, against authority, against the system, and against one another.

The other threat to this Mother of All Monopoly Games is that some unforeseen event with unforeseen consequences will cause the whole fragile structure to collapse in a heap like some monumental Rube Goldberg contraption. As problems arise within the three complexities, the prescribed medicine is always more of the same, another government bureaucracy, an amendment to the constitution, a tax increase for some, a tax decrease for others, more legislation, tighter controls, greater oversight, free trade areas, free economic zones, tax incentives, an insurance program, another development bank, a new trade agreement, trade sanctions, more regulations, inspections, certifications, licenses, franchises, and so on and on, endlessly. Patches, and patches on patches. But the entire structure, under siege from the three explosions and bearing the growing burden of its own obesity, must eventually collapse.

When that happens, when governments cease to be meaningful, when laws are totally ignored, when money is worthless, when the whole thing comes apart and no one knows how to fix it, then what do we do?

The Radical Agenda for Global Social Transformation

IV. The Jubilee 2000 Agenda

Because "none of us makes it unless we all do" (to reaffirm a Sixties aphorism) [This aphorism is wrong and offensive. -Ed.], the Jubilee 2000 Project calls for the design of a radical new social system that is based on the assumption that everyone on Earth will cooperate in its organization and in its operation [False premise. If the enterprize is what it purports to be in this document, it is doomed. The plan is well-suited to the real objective of global holocaust. -Ed.] The objective is to demonstrate the enormous potential for individual freedom and self-realization in a society energized by the uplifting spirit of cooperation. The expectation is that the resulting design will be so attractive, and its detailed supporting documentation and elaboration will be so persuasive, that it will win the near-universal approval necessary to begin its implemention -- all in time for an international jubilee celebration and a global sigh of relief by the year 2000!

An impossible fantasy, you say. But the Jubilee 2000 Project is determined to persuade you otherwise. The feasibility of the Project is based upon the same three explosions of population, technology and communication that are driving us toward the implosive flashpoint that is destined to change the human race forever. While these three explosions hold the potential for human annihilation, they also make possible the social transformation that must take place if the human race is to survive. The Population Explosion provides the muscle- and brain-power, the Technology Explosion provides the tools, and the Communication Explosion makes it possible for that exploding population to come to an agreement on how best to utilize technology's tools to provide abundantly for all of humankind's physical needs.

"Power over a man's subsistence is power over his will."
-Alexander Hamilton

"Beware of him who promises something for nothing."
-Bernard Baruch

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."
-Adam Smith

Based on the reality of those three explosions and the enormous constructive potential they represent, the Jubilee 2000 Project proposes the following program as a way of applying that potential toward the transformation of society.

STAGE ONE -- ORGANIZING THE JUBILEE 2000 COMMUNITY

The first stage has been devoted to setting up a flexible and scalable electronic meetingplace in Cyberspace where people from around the world can gather to openly and freely share their ideas and work together in the design of a new global social system, while at the same time communicating their progress to others in order to solicit their feedback and support. With the recent explosive development of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the necessary communication infrastructure has suddenly materialized in a most impressive way, organically and without central control, a fitting paradigm for the new global society. While the Internet began life as a tool of the military, and then quite by accident was briefly taken over by scientists and academics, it has most recently been commandeered by businesses that are pouring billions of dollars into hardware and software in order to enlist its magical powers in the great global free-for-all of international commerce. And many see this as a wondrous thing, cheering lustily at the prospect that a new piece of communications software or a faster CPU will give them a competitive edge over those unfortunate enough to be a nanosecond behind the curve. The Jubilee 2000 Project, however, looks in the opposite direction, proposing that this wondrous communication tool be used, not to increase the intensity of competition, but to find ways for people around the world to work together cooperatively. Such a mechanism could eventually replace the coercive nature of government, law and money with the persuasive power of information, knowledge and understanding. Such an electronic meetingplace can now be found by clicking on the Community button on the left.

STAGE TWO -- ORGANIZING THE JUBILEE 2000 GLOBAL DESIGN PROJECT

With the electronic meetingplace organized and in place, the next objective is the installation of software for the creation of a Geographic Information System (GIS). With a digitized global map as a frame of reference, plans are to organize a global network of volunteers to participate in the design of a virtual global society, starting with the mapping of a detailed inventory of the world's needs, as well as an inventory of its resources, and then coordinating and synchronizing the two by running a series of simulations with the use of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) software to demonstrate how efficiently society could function if everyone agreed to work together. By excluding in the design and simulations all activities in support of the three complexities, and by eliminating the wasteful redundancies inherent in a competitive system, it will soon become dramatically clear that a cooperative system can care for all of humanity's physical needs with a fraction of the time and effort now consumed by a system that satisfies the needs of only a fortunate few.

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-William Pitt, speech to the House of Commons, [Nov. 18, 1783]

There are several ways you can participate in this project.  Interested? Click on the Project button on the left.

STAGE THREE -- COMMUNICATING THE JUBILEE 2000 DESIGN

Upon completion of the initial design, the final stage will be devoted to its modification and refinement in the course of communicating it to the world-at-large through a campaign of publicity, public relations and personal proselytizing. How often have we heard or uttered the poignant refrain: "If only we could all learn to live together, what a wonderful world this would be!" The Jubilee 2000 Project is based upon an important modification of that refrain: "If we all knew what a wonderful world this could be, we would all learn to live together!" The target date for learning, and celebrating, that lesson: January 1, 2000!

Sorry, you say, but it still sounds like an impossible fantasy; the problems are too numerous, too pervasive, and too complex to be solved with such a simplistic solution.

Quite to the contrary! It is precisely because our problems are so numerous, pervasive, and complex that they can only be solved with a simple solution. No matter how big or how fast the computers, no matter how many or how detailed the laws and regulations, no matter how numerous the commissions and committees and conferences, the world's problems are never going to be solved on a piecemeal basis, as though each problem has a unique cause and therefore requires a unique solution.

A much more promising approach begins with the belief that underlying all of humankind's social problems is a single cause which points immediately to a single solution. What makes the situation so promising and so encouraging is the knowledge that every one of us, in our heart of hearts, knows what the cause is. And we also know the solution. We are certainly familiar with the slogans: "Love thy   neighbor." "All you need is love." "Do unto others . . . " "It is better to give . . . " Etc. But we stop short of organizing our society accordingly. Why? Because, while we each believe that we can be counted on to do more than our part, we fear that too many others cannot be trusted to do theirs.

In total almost 55,000,000 people died in various communist famines and associated diseases, a little over 10,000,000 of them from democidal famine. This is as though the total population of Turkey, Iran, or Thailand had been completely wiped out. And that something like 35,000,000 people fled communist countries as refugees, as though the countries of Argentina or Columbia had been totally emptied of all their people, was an unparalleled vote against the utopian pretensions of Marxism-Leninism.
-R.J. Rummel, professor emeritus, U. of Hawaii, from
How Many Did Communist Regimes Murder?

Consequently, most doubts about the possibility of a Utopian society focus on the problem of un-cooperative and anti-social behavior, as though the certainty of such behavior on the part of some justifies the existence of this monstrous social-control apparatus that is plaguing the rest of us. However, if all the time, energy and resources now being devoted to the care and feeding of this hydra-headed monster were to be directed instead toward the care and feeding of the human population, we would soon discover how easily, with modern techology, we can provide for all of humankind's physical needs. Equally important, in such a society un-cooperative and anti-social behavior would plummet, and when such behavior did rear its ugly head, we would have the resources available through family, friends and neighbors to deal with it in a humane and loving way.

Despite millennium after millennium of human atrocities, the Utopian dream will not die. In successive waves of optimism, the dreamers have attempted the impossible, failed, and slipped out of sight for a time, only to reemerge at a later time stronger than ever. The last such major eruption of optimism took place thirty years ago with the idealism of the love-peace-and-freedom counterculture, now so widely reviled. Do not the times now cry out for that next wave of optimism? Does not the evidence overwhelmingly declare that this is the moment when we must try again? But this time, we must have a plan.

So now, what about you? Does there not remain in your heart a smoldering (r)evolutionary ember that may yet help set the world ablaze with hope? Is not the opportunity to participate in a global effort to fundamentally change the world too fascinating and too exciting to ignore?

How do you respond to the Jubilee 2000 challenge?