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In every conflict it’s always good to know who the bad guys are, who those people are who are exploiting, or abusing or being violent towards others.
In Hollywood, it’s mostly easy. The good guys have American accents, and the bad guys have accents from foreign countries. [Although to audiences in non-US countries, it’s not always so clear that the Americans are the good guys after all.]
In History it was easy also. It was always the King or the aristocracy. In the colonial days, it was the white Europeans. And in the USA and South Africa it was the whites’ segregation laws violating the black populations. In other examples, the bad guys were (and still are in many places) the military dictators, etc.
So, when protesting, we (the exploited) always knew where to go to protest: the palace, parliament, and so on. We could also easily identify the bad guys because they looked physically different. There was always a way to tell the bad guys apart from the good guys.
This is no longer the case, especially in the most economically developed countries.
Today, the bad guys are the bankers, the politicians, the media moguls, the military commanders and the arms traders and they have neither a central geographical location nor a characteristic physical identity.
The advances in Human Rights in the west means that power isn’t entirely controlled in the hands of fat, white, middle aged, straight men as it once used to be. Today’s bad guys can be black (Barrack Obama, President of the USA), female (Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF), disabled (Wolfgang Schäuble, German Finance Minister) or gay (Antonio Simoes, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank plc).
The characteristics of a bad guy have been blurred a lot over the years.
So, is it really any wonder that a social movement finds it hard to find a cause around which to rally when it is so hard to identify who they are?
On top of that, the bad guys control THE tool for manipulating the public par-excellence! They control the media. So, they provide us with soap operas, celebrities, football and everything else that can distract the population away from the real problems of the world. They also control the economy so that the vast, vast majority of the world’s working population is hugely in debt. They create wars to keep us afraid of immigrants, the immigrants that do arrive in the west work for very little creating, downward pressure on wages.
And they systematically take the wealth created by the working population and filter it into the already extremely wealthy and their off shore bank accounts.
Industry provides us with bright, shiny new phones, computers, cars, clothes, etc., etc., that have to be replaced every year and are priced so that they can only be afforded with credit cards and loans.
And they make us believe that there is no alternative to this system. Somehow it is impossible to create any other alternative, despite the Universities being full of academically gifted people who could resolve all these difficulties. And for those who really can’t cope with living in today’s world, the pharmaceutical industry can provide you with the right medication so that your extreme anxiety and extreme happiness are reduced to a mere ability to exist without complicated emotions that might actually move you to do something about the situation you find yourself in.
If we really want to create the Universal Human Nation, a world with equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for ALL human beings on the planet regardless of the geographical and historical accident of the moment of their birth, then we have to understand the problem in its ultimate root and the ultimate root is that human life is not the central value in society. Human life is not sacred.
Any attempt to create a new world order will have to start with a new set of guiding principles and values and those values have to start with the fact that human life is sacred, and that we live on a planet which is sacred, in a complicated ecosystem with other forms of life that are also sacred.
We have to start with a principle that no human being consumes more than can be recycled, because the Universal Human Nation is a project not for this decade, or this century, or even this millennium. This project is a project for ever! It is a project for a million generations. Who knows what form and shape human beings will have in a million generations? Who knows what other forms of life that currently live on the planet will do in their own evolutionary paths towards greater consciousness? Who knows when the first contacts will be made with life on other planets?
All of these things will surely happen and our evolutionary path will take us there if we allow it to happen, if we are capable of avoiding a nuclear holocaust and a war that will wipe us back to the Stone Age in the best of cases.
The project of the Universal Human Nation is more important and urgent now than ever before in this history of humankind. This is why it is so important to generate awareness of who the bad guys really are and develop a unified movement towards such a goal.
Together, we can, as a species, create a new society and a new system of values. Are we capable of it? That is the big question that humanists are asking themselves.