Archive for October 10th, 2002

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Thursday, October 10th, 2002

We continue with the third in our SafeEARTH series. See: 1) Beyond Crime and Punishment 2) Synergic Containment: Protecting Children


 

Synergic Containment

Science and Rationale

Timothy Wilken, MD

Synergy at its most basic simply means “working together.” Synergic science is then the study of “working together.” As science has progressed in helping us understand the human condition, it is now clear that we are an interdependent species. Sometimes I depend on others, and sometimes others depend on me. Another important fact of being in interdependent species is we share the same environment—the same reality.

Shared Reality

At home, we share the same living space with friends or family. If I turn the heater thermostat up, the room will become warmer for everyone. Control of that reality is shared. If I start yelling and screaming, things will get much noisier for everyone. Control of that reality is shared. If I make a mess or don’t clean up the kitchen, then we are all living in that mess.

This is just as true in the workplace, our neighborhoods, our communities, and in fact in the whole world. We live on a single planet, we all share the same water, the same air and the same resources of the single small planet.

Because control of reality is shared, if I foul the water or air, I foul your water and your air. Whatever I do, will effect you. Whatever you do, will effect me. If we work together and act responsibly, we can minimize the harm we do each other, and maximize the benefits of solving our problems together.

Freedom of action in a shared environment is a privilege, not a right. When we use Synergic Containment to protect a child, we are teaching the child that in a shared environment, he is free to act as long as those actions do not hurt others. We are teaching him to work together and act responsibly.

Synergic containment is probably most attractive to parents because it is a technique to control adversary behavior when you love and care about the individual behaving adversarily. Most parents love and care about their children. Containment is about protecting both the victim and the aggressor. It does this by stopping adversary behavior. Now synergic containment could be used just as effectively outside the family.

Community Use of Synergic Containment 

Throughout the long history of humanity, the primary mechanism for controlling adversary behavior has been adversary punishment. In the short term, adversary punishment seems successful in controlling adversary behavior, but punishment always hurts and injures the one being controlled. This injury tends to breed anger and resentment in the one being punished. Of course the effect is longer if you kill the aggressor, at least until their children grow up.

Now, outside the family, we often do not know or care about the individual being controlled with adversary punishment. So we are less disturbed that they are being injured and hurt. In fact we often identify with the victim, and feel it is only fair that they suffer for their crimes. It is an “eye for an eye,” and a “tooth for a tooth.” It is our very definition of justice.

What we are missing here, is that adversary punishment fails to stop adversary behavior in the long run. Punishment breeds hostility, hatred and eventually revenge. The Israelis and Palestinians have been punishing each other for decades, with no sign that the mutual adversary behavior in their communities is stopping or even slowing. “As you sow, so shall you reap!” You can’t stop adversity with adversity.

We have been adversarily punishing serious crimes in the United States for over 200 years. As the FBI reported in 1998: Despite the fact that as of “midyear 1998, the United States’ prisons and jails incarcerated an estimated 1,802,496 criminals”, in the year 1997, “the number of violent crimes—murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault —and property crimes—burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft —reported to the police departments in the United States totaled 13,175,070.” (2)

Community’s Right of Synergic Containment

In Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek,  Mr. Spock, the Vulcan Science Officer from a race ruled by logic, would remind his shipmates that: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or of the one.”

spock:  

The human body is a community of 40 trillion individual cells. The individual cells are organized synergically to be interdependent upon each other. They cannot separate themselves from the body as community. The survival of the cells depends on the survival of the body. The needs and safety of the body precedes the needs and safety of the individual cells. Sometimes individual cells are injured or even sacrificed to protect and insure the survival of the body as a whole. The needs and safety of the community of cells takes precedence over the needs and safety of the cells as individuals.

The Needs of the Many

Which is more important? The individual’s right to freedom of action or community’s right to public safety? We can now see that this is a silly and false argument. Community is simply “many” individuals. My freedom of action stops at the boundary of another individual’s personal space and safety.

America has long been the champion of the individual’s right to freedom of action. In fact, our American criminal justice system is so paralyzed by the need to protect the rights of the individual, that our streets are full of criminals, and our e-mail boxes are full of unsolicited junk mail and garbage including pornography and fraudulent offers. Why do we tolerate this? Isn’t it time to grow up? Aren’t we smart enough to create a society that values both an individual’s right to freedom of action and the community’s right to public safety.

With the discovery that humanity is an interdependent species comes the realization that we humans can no longer separate ourselves from community. Humanity as community is larger and contains humanity as individuals. The needs and safety of humanity as community must precede the needs and safety of humanity as individuals.

Community’s Right to Synergic Containment rests on the premise that if you deliberately harm other members of community, you will lose freedom of action within that community. If I harm others in a shared environment, I should expect community to contain my behavior—I should expect community to restrict my  freedom of action.

The Rule of Public Safety is that no human should be allowed to deliberately injure another human—that all adversary actions should ideally be prevented and when not prevented quickly contained.

Our present culture based on the false premise of human independence often places individual needs and safety over community needs and safety. This will shift dramatically in a synergic culture. If we humans choose a positive future, we would want a system that provides both for the protection and safety of humanity as community and humanity as individual.

Life Trust Guardians

This future system might well be modeled after the most successful systems on the planet—the living systems. Your body has a powerful immune system which protects the organism as individual cells and the organism as a whole.

In my proposal for protecting humanity, I have defined those who would assume this role as Life Trust Guardians. Their mission would be the protection of both humanity as community and humanity as individuals. They are bound by two laws.

The Code of the Life Trust Guardians

1) A Life Trust Guardian may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

2) A Life Trust Guardian may not injure an individual human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First Law.  

The first law of the of the Code commits to protect Humanity as Community. The second law commits to protect Humanity as Individuals. This represents a major shift in human values from today’s focus with the individual as primary to tomorrow’s focus with community as primary.

While Life Trust Guardians are responsible for the safety of both humanity as community and humanity as individuals, the needs and safety of community take precedent over the needs and safety of individuals.

This does not suggest a casual attitude toward the rights of individuals. Life Trust Guardians may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would cause injury to humanity as a whole — except where that would cause injury to humanity as community. When an adversary event presents no risk to humanity as community then the Synergic Containment Officer’s first responsibility is to the safety of the individual. (3)

Protecting the Public

The Life Trust Guardians (LTG) as described in A Synergic Future have large responsibilities. Here we will only address their role in protecting public safety.

The Public Safety Division of the LTG would be entrusted with protecting the public safety by containment and prevention of adversary events. They will utilize synergic mechanism based on synergic morality to insure freedom from crime. This synergic organization will act more like our body’s immune system, than the law enforcement agencies we are familiar with today. Life Trust Guardians accept the premise that adversary behavior is caused by ignorance and not badness. This is discussed at length elsewhere in Beyond Crime and Punishment. Life Trust Guardians are synergists. They operate in the synergic paradigm.

Adversary

Synergic

MISTAKES = Badness MISTAKES = Ignorance
INVESTIGATE ANALYZE
ACCUSE & BLAME DETERMINE RESPONSIBILITY
PUNISH

—> self-punish

EDUCATE

—> self-educate

“Guilt”   

  “Learn”   

regret->

RESTITUTION

Life Trust Guardians accept as their responsibility the protection of humanity as community as well as humanity as individuals.

The Rule of Public Safety is that no human should be allowed to deliberately injure another human— that all adversary actions should ideally be prevented and when not prevented quickly contained.

The Public Safety Division of the Life Trust Guardians accomplish the rule of public safety by:

  • 1) Seeking the Containment of all adversary events,

  • 2) Performing Scientific analysis and investigation of all adversary events to determine the causes and parties responsible,

  • 3) Holding Responsibility Hearings when those suspected of adversary actions claim innocence,

  • 4) Providing Rehabilitation of those responsible for serious and dangerous adversary events up to and including incarceration for long term psychiatric and psychological treatment until they are found to be fully recovered and no longer a threat to the public safety,

  • 5) Providing Education of those responsible for adversary events until they possess the understanding and knowledge necessary to avoid such events in the future,

  • 6) Seeking Restitution from the responsible parties to repair to extent possible the injuries that their adversary actions have caused, and

  • 7) And, always working toward Prevention of future adversary events, by monitoring and/or restricting personal freedom as appropriate to protect the public. (3)

The Public Safety Division is composed various pubic safety specialists. These include: Synergic Containment OfficersScience Officers, Hearing Officers, Rehabilitation Officers, and Prevention Officers.

Let us examine the process in more detail. When an adversary event occurs and an injury is reported to the Life Trust Guardians, they will dispense Containment Officers to the scene of the injury to analyze the adversary event, and if further risk to body or life exists, contain it.

Principles of Synergic Containment

1) Protection and safety of Humanity as Community.

2) Protection and safety of Humanity as Individual

3) When in conflict, the protection and safety of Community takes precedence over the protection and safety of the Individual.  “The needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few or of the one.” A community is a collection of many individuals.

4) The force of Synergic Containment is overwhelmingly powerful. The power of community is much much greater than the power of any individual or group of individuals. The power of the many outweighs the power of the few or of the one.

5) The force of Synergic Containment is never applied to punish others for wrongdoing. It is applied only to protect. The goal is to protect the largest number of individuals possible. Because this force is so powerful it must be applied carefully. It is always applied with love and compassion. It is always applied thoughtfully, carefully, intelligently, cautiously, and calmly. Ideally, individuals win, community wins, Life wins and the Earth wins. If some must lose, all efforts will be made to minimize that loss.

Depending on the nature and severity of the adversary event, Containment Officers have the authority to take those suspected of adversary actions into custody. Public safety is paramount. Suspects are required to cooperate with the Containment Officers, and if asked to enter into custody to do so voluntarily.

Containment of adversary events is the prime responsibility of the Synergic Containment Officers. They are required to protect themselves and the public. If a suspect resists being taken into custody, the Containment Officers will utilize the most advanced containment technology in every effort to avoid injury to the suspects, but if the suspects resist, Containment Officers are authorized to use whatever level of force necessary to insure public safety. This includes authorization to use deadly force.

When a synergist is containing an adversary, he must speak the language they understand—the language of force.

While our immune system lacks any ability to repair or rehabilitate cancer cells, the Life Trust Guardians should have much greater success rehabilitating and educating adversarily behaving humans. In a synergic future, all Physicians, Psychiatrists and Psychologists will be Life Trust Guardians. As humanity becomes more synergic and our knowledge of human psychology becomes greater, the need for deadly force should diminish.

In a moment we will examine how this might work in the real world, but first we need to define what it means to be “hurt”. Recall, when an adversary event occurs and an injury is reported to the Life Trust Guardians, they will dispense Containment Officers to the scene of the injury to analyze the adversary event.

Today, if you have a house fire you call the fire department. If you have home accident with personal injury, you call an ambulance. Now within synergic society all of these problems would be reported to and handled by the Life Trust Guardians, but Synergic Containment Officers would only respond to reports of adversary events.

An adversary event involves the intentionally injuring or threatening to injure other individuals–fighting and flighting–pain and dying. This is where we find conflict–the struggle to avoid losing–the struggle to avoid being hurt or killed. These are the events that our police forces respond to today.

Synergic Containment

Synergic Containment Officers are only responsible for containment of adversary events.

AdvEv:

Their first task will be to contain the adversary event, and prevent the event from spreading further into community and involving new victims. 

ContainedEvent:  

Synergic society does not view the perpetrators as bad or criminal. However, they certainly recognize that they are dangerous. Recall in our initial discussion of using synergic containment to protect children, we are seeking to contain and protect all the individuals caught up in an adversary event—both victims and perpetrators. Containment is about protecting both the victim and the aggressor.

Synergic Rescue 

Once the adversary event has been contained, the second task becomes to safely rescue all of the individuals caught up in the event. This rescue is prioritized. First to be rescued are victims at greatest risk for further harm, then victims at lower risk. Once the victims are safe, the synergic containment officers will begin their rescue of the perpetrators.

 Synergic Disarmament

If those perpetrating the adversary event have weapons, they must be disarmed. Today, the danger of adversary events is greatly magnified by access to weapons. We humans are Time-binders. That means as a species we can create knowledge without limit. When we incorporate knowledge into matter-energy it is called a tool. Because knowledge can grow without limit, tools can also grow without limit. When tools are used to hurt others, they are called weapons. In our modern world, we have created ever more powerful weapons. These weapons are not safe in the hands of ignorance.

Once the perpetrators of an adversary event are contained, their victims rescued, then they will be disarmed, this must be effected before they can be rescued.

Next: Synergic Containment: Protecting Community