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Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

As our capitalistic–democratic systems fail, perhaps it is time for humanity to grow up. … From the SynEARTH Archives.

Childhood of Humanity

Alfred Korzybski

THE conclusion of the World War is the closing of the period of the childhood of humanity. This childhood, as any childhood, can be characterized as devoid of any real understanding of values, as is that of a child who uses a priceless chronometer to crack nuts.

This childhood has been unduly long, but happily we are near to the end of it, for humanity, shaken by this war, is coming to its senses and must soon enter its manhood, a period of great achievements and rewards in the new and real sense of values dawning upon us.

The sacred dead will not have died for naught; the “red wine of youth,” the wanton waste of life, has shown us the price of life, and we will have to keep our oath to make the future worthy of their sweat and blood.

Early ideas are not necessarily true ideas.

There are different kinds of interpretations of history and different schools of philosophy. All of them have contributed something to human progress, but none of them has been able to give the world a basic philosophy embracing the whole progress of science and establishing the life of man upon the abiding foundation of Fact.

Our life is bound to develop according to evident or else concealed laws of nature. The evident laws of nature were the inspiration of genuine science in its cradle; and their interpretations or misinterpretations have from the earliest times formed systems of law, of ethics, and of philosophy.

Human intellect, be it that of an individual or that of the race, forms conclusions which have to be often revised before they correspond approximately to facts. What we call progress consists in coordinating ideas with realities. The World War has taught something to everybody. It was indeed a great reality; it accustomed us to think in terms of reality and not in those of phantom speculation. Some unmistakable truths were revealed. Facts and force were the things that counted. Power had to be produced to destroy hostile power; it was found that the old political and economic systems were not adequate to the task put upon them. The world had to create new economic conditions; it was obliged to supplement the old systems with special boards for food, coal, railroads, shipping, labor, etc. The World War emergency compelled the nations to organize for producing greater power in order to conquer power already great.

If there is anything which this war has proved, it is the fact that the most important asset a nation or an individual can have, is the ability “to do things.”

“In Flanders Fields the poppies blow . . .,” that is too true; they blow and they are strong and red. But the purpose of this writing is not the celebration of poetry, but the elucidation and right use of facts.

Normally, thousands of rabbits and guinea pigs are used and killed, in scientific laboratories, for experiments which yield great and tangible benefits to humanity. This war butchered millions of people and ruined the health and lives of tens of millions. Is this climax of the pre-war civilization to be passed unnoticed, except for the poetry and the manuring of the battle fields, that the “poppies blow”stronger and better fed? Or is the death of ten men on the battle field to be of as much worth in knowledge gained as is the life of one rabbit killed for experiment ? Is the great sacrifice worth analysing ? There can be only one answer-yes. But, if truth be desired, the analysis must be scientific.

In science, “opinions”are tolerated when and only when facts are lacking. In this case, we have all the facts necessary. We have only to collect them and analyse them, rejecting mere “opinions” as cheap and unworthy. Such as understand this lesson will know how to act for the benefit of all.

At present the future of mankind is dark. “Stop, look, and listen”-the prudent caution at railroad crossings-must be amended to read “stop, look, listen, and THINK”; not for the saving of a few lives in railroad accidents, but for the preservation of the life of humanity. Living organisms, of the lower and simpler types, in which the differentiation and the integration of the vital organs have not been carried far, can move about for a considerable time after being deprived of the appliances by which the life force is accumulated and transferred, but higher organisms are instantly killed by the removal of such appliances, or even by the injury of minor parts of them; even more easily destroyed are the more advanced and complicated social organizations.

The first question is: what are to be the scientific methods that will eliminate diverse opinions and creeds from an analysis of facts and ensure correct deductions based upon them ? A short survey of facts concerning civilization will help to point the way.

Humanity, in its cradle, did not have science; it had only the faculties of observation and speculation. In the early days there was much speculative thinking, but it was without any sufficient basis of facts. Theology and philosophy flourished; their speculations were often very clever, but all their primitive notions about facts-such as the structure of the heavens, the form of the earth, mechanical principles, meteorological or physiological phenomena-were almost all of them wrong.

What is history? What is its significance for humanity? Dr. J. H. Robinson gives us a precise answer: “Man’s abject dependence on the past gives rise to the continuity of history. Our convictions, opinions, prejudices, intellectual tastes; our knowledge, our methods of learning and of applying for information we owe, with slight exceptions, to the past-often to the remote past. History is an expansion of memory, and like memory it alone can explain the present and in this lies its most unmistakable value.”

The savage regards every striking phenomenon or group of phenomena as caused by some personal agent, and from remotest antiquity the mode of thinking has changed only as fast as the relations among phenomena have been established.

Human nature was always asking
“why” ? and not being able to answer why, they found their answer through another factor “who.” The unknown was called, Gods or God. But with the progress of science the
“why” became more and more evident, and the question came to be “how.” From the early days of humanity, dogmatic theology, law, ethics, and science in its infancy, were the monopolies of one class and the source of their power.

The first to break this power were the exact sciences. They progressed too rapidly to be bound and limited by obscure old writings and prejudices; life and realities were their domain. Science brushed aside all sophistry and became a reality. Ethics is too fundamentally important a factor in civilization to depend upon a theological or a legal excuse; ethics must conform to the natural laws of human nature.

Laws, legal ideas, date from the beginning of civilization. Legal speculation was wonderfully developed in parallel lines with theology and philosophy before the natural and exact sciences came into existence. Law was always made by the few and in general for the purpose of preserving the
“existing order,” or for the reestablishment of the old order and the punishment of the offenders against it.

Dogmatic theology is, by its very nature, unchangeable. The same can be said in regard to the spirit of the law. Law was and is to protect the past and present status of society and, by its very essence, must be very conservative, if not reactionary. Theology and law are both of them static by their nature.

Philosophy, law and ethics, to be effective in a dynamic world must be dynamic; they must be made vital enough to keep pace with the progress of life and science. In recent civilization ethics, because controlled by theology and law, which are static, could not duly influence the dynamic, revolutionary progress of technic and the steadily changing conditions of life; and so we witness a tremendous downfall of morals in politics and business. Life progresses faster than our ideas, and so medieval ideas, methods and judgments are constantly applied to the conditions and problems of modern life. This discrepancy between facts and ideas is greatly responsible for the dividing of modern society into different warring classes, which do not understand each other. Medieval legalism and medieval morals- the basis of the old social structure-being by their nature conservative, reactionary, opposed to change, and thus becoming more and more unable to support the mighty social burden of the modern world, must be adjudged responsible in a large measure for the circumstances which made the World War inevitable.

Under the flash of explosives some of the workings of those antiquated ideas were exposed or crushed. The World War has profoundly changed economic conditions and made it necessary to erect new standards of values. We are forced to realize that evolution by transformation is a cosmic process and that reaction, though it may retard it, can not entirely stop it.

The idea that organic species are results of special creation has no scientific standard whatever. There is not one fact tending to prove special or separate creation; the evidence, which is overwhelming, is all of it on the other side. The hypothesis of special creation is a mere fossil of the past. Evolution is the only theory which is in harmony with facts and with all branches of science; life is dynamic, not static.

Philosophy, as defined by Fichte, is the “science of sciences.” Its aim was to solve the problems of the world. In the past, when all exact sciences were in their infancy, philosophy had to be purely speculative, with little or no regard to realities. But if we regard philosophy as a Mother science, divided into many branches, we find that those branches have grown so large and various, that the Mother science looks like a hen with her little ducklings paddling in a pond, far beyond her reach; she is unable to follow her growing hatchlings. In the meantime, the progress of life and science goes on, irrespective of the cackling of metaphysics. Philosophy does not fulfill her initial aim to bring the results of experimental and exact sciences together and to solve world problems. Through endless, scientific specialization scientific branches multiply, and for want of coordination the great world-problems suffer. This failure of philosophy to fulfill her boasted mission of scientific coordination is responsible for the chaos in the world of general thought. The world has no collective or organized higher ideals and aims, nor even fixed general purposes. Life is an accidental game of private or collective ambitions and greeds.

Systematic study of chemical and physical phenomena has been carried on for many generations and these two sciences now include: (1) knowledge of an enormous number of facts; (2) a large body of natural laws; (3) many fertile working hypotheses respecting the causes and regularities of natural phenomena; and finally (4) many helpful theories held subject to correction by further testing of the hypotheses giving rise to them. When a subject is spoken of as a science, it is understood to include all of the above mentioned parts. Facts alone do not constitute a science any more than a pile of stones constitutes a house, not even do facts and laws alone; there must be facts, hypotheses, theories and laws before the subject is entitled to the rank of a science.

The primal function of a science is to enable us to anticipate the future in the field to which it relates.

Judged by this standard, neither philosophy nor its kindred-the so-called social sciences-have in the past been very effective. There was, for example, no official warning of the coming of the World War-the greatest of catastrophies. The future was not anticipated because political philosophers did not possess the necessary basis of knowledge. To be just we must admit that philosophy has been but little aided financially because it is commonly regarded as unnecessary. The technical branches of science have been strongly backed and generally supported by those to whom they have brought direct profit; and so they have had better opportunities for development.

Ethics in the stifling grip of myth and legalism is not convincing enough to exercise controlling influence. Such is the situation in which we find ourselves. Being still in our childhood and thinking like savages, we looked upon the World War as a personal creation of a “war-lord,”because those interested in it told us so. We neglected to use our common sense and look deeper into its origins; to perform for ourselves the duty which political philosophy did not perform for us-the duty of thinking in terms of facts and not in terms of metaphysical speculations. Knowledge of facts would have told us that the war lords were only the representatives of the ruling classes. A system of social and economic order built exclusively on selfishness, greed, “survival of the fittest,” and ruthless competition, must cease to exist, or exist by means of war. The representatives of this system determined to continue to exist, and so war was the consequence. The ruling classes carried the whole system under which they lived to its logical conclusion and natural issue, which is “grab what you can.” This motto is not peculiar to any one country; it is the motto of our whole civilization and is the inevitable outcome of our stupid philosophy regarding the characteristic nature of man and the proper potentialities of human life. Where are we to find the true doctrines ? Where the true philosophy? If we go back over the history of civilization, we find that in all “sciences,”except the exact ones, private opinions and theories have shaped our beliefs, colored our mental processes and controlled our destinies; we see, for example, pessimism opposed to optimism, materialism to spiritualism, realism to idealism, capitalism to socialism, and so on endlessly. Each of the disputatious systems has a large number of followers and each faction looks upon the others as deprived of truth, common sense and knowledge. All of them play with the words “natural law” which they ignorantly presume to have as the basis and content of their own particular doctrine.

It is the same in the realm of religions; there are approximately 291 million Confucianists, or Taoists, 761 million Roman Catholics, 211 million Mohammedans, 209 million Hindus, 177 million Protestants, 157 million Animists, 137 million Buddhists, 115 million Orthodox Christians-to speak only of the most important religions. Each group, and they are rather large groups, believes its theory or its faith to be infallible and all the others to be false.

Bacon seems a bit remote, but the idols and medieval fetishes which he so masterfully describes are equally venerated to-day.

(Novum Organum by Francis Bacon.)

34. “Four species of idols beset the human mind, to which (for distinction’s sake) we have assigned names, calling the first Idols of the Tribe, the second Idols of the Den, the third Idols of the Market, the fourth Idols of the Theatre.

40. “The information of notions and axioms on the foundation of true induction is the only fitting remedy by which we can ward off and expel these idols. It is, however, of great service to point them out; for the doctrine of idols bears the same relation to the interpretation of nature as that of the confutation of sophisms does to common logic.

41. “The idols of the tribe are inherent in human nature and the very tribe or race of man; for man’s sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things; on the contrary, all the perceptions both of the senses and the mind bear reference to man and not to the Universe, and the human mind resembles these uneven mirrors which impart their own properties to different objects, from which rays are emitted and distort and disfigure them.

42. “The idols of the den are those of each individual; for everybody (in addition to the errors common to the race of man) has his own individual den or cavern, which intercepts and corrupts the light of nature, either from his own peculiar and singular disposition, or from his education and intercourse with others, or from his reading, and the authority acquired by those whom he reverences and admires, or from the different impressions produced on the mind, as it happens to be preoccupied and predisposed, or equable and tranquil, and the like; so that the spirit of man (according to its several dispositions), is variable, confused, and, as it were, actuated by chance; and Heraclitus said well that men search for knowledge in lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.

43. “There are also idols formed by the reciprocal intercourse and society of man with man, which we call idols of the market, from the commerce and association of men with each other; for men converse by means of language, but words are formed at the will of the generality, and there arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind. Nor can the definitions and explanations with which learned men are wont to guard and protect themselves in some instances afford a complete remedy-words still manifestly force the understanding, throw everything into confusion, and lead mankind into vain and innumerable controversies and fallacies.

44. “Lastly, there are idols which have crept into men’s minds from the various dogmas of peculiar systems of philosophy, and also from the perverted rules of demonstration, and these we denominate idols of the theatre: for we regard all the systems of philosophy hitherto received or imagined, as so many plays brought out and performed, creating fictitious and theatrical worlds. Nor do we speak only of the present systems, or of the philosophy and sects of the ancients, since numerous other plays of a similar nature can be still composed and made to agree with each other, the causes of the most opposite errors being generally the same. Nor, again, do we allude merely to general systems, but also to many elements and axioms of sciences which have become inveterate by tradition, implicit credence, and neglect.”

Metaphysical speculation and its swarming progeny of blind and selfish political philosophies, private opinions, private “truths,” and private doctrines, sectarian opinions, sectarian “truths” and sectarian doctrines, querulous, confused and blind-such is characteristic of the childhood of humanity. The period of humanity’s manhood will, I doubt not, be a scientific period-a period that will witness the gradual extension of scientific method to all the interests of mankind-a period in which man will discover the essential nature of man and establish, at length, the science and art of directing human energies and human capacities to the advancement of human weal in accordance with the laws of human nature.

Read more from Alfred Korzybski’s Manhood of Humanity

Read More on Ortegrity and on Sociocracy  Read a  Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order

Read the Synergic Future Series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

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Friday, November 14th, 2008

More interesting reading. Technocracy was originated in the 1930’s in America. It would be more appropriate today to replace the term North America with the term Earth. The term All North Americans with the term all humanity. 

A Technocratic Solution for Humankind?

Don Malcolm

Technocracy’s proposed plan is a scientific/social design to produce and distribute a virtual abundance equally to ALL North Americans with the least possible wastage of nonrenewable resources, a minimum of human effort, and a maximum of efficiency. The industrial mechanism would operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Efficiency could achieve required production with less infrastructure. Goods would be better built to last longer, eliminating built-in obsolescence and lessening the production equipment necessary. Products, wherever possible, would be designed with total recycling capability thereby decreasing the drain on non-renewable resources.

A viable method indicated by Technocracy’s calendar would show the population, from age 25 to retirement at 45, working four days onthree days off for 287 days (165 which are work days) plus 78 days vacation per year. Technological improvements since 1933 have shortened work time considerably. Citizens up to age 25 would receive education and training. In their greatly increased leisure time, people would have an opportunity to engage in a variety of familial, introspective, artistic, scientific or sporting pursuits or extensive travel.

Money, as we know it, would be replaced with a non-fluctuating medium of distribution. Instead of having an “elastic value” (supply and demand) as at present, goods would possess a measurable energy input and would be distributed on that basis. The total “cost” of all goods and services produced would be the total amount of all energy used in their production. Personal consuming power would be issued to all citizens throughout their lives, in a form of non-negotiable accounting. It would be used only by the person to whom it was issued as a medium of distribution. In modern usage it would likely resemble (physically) the credit card but there the similarity would end. In conjunction with a modern computer system it would be in a continual accounting system (detailing expenditure of energy and natural resources), a continuous inventory, an identification and record of the holder and a guarantee of security. _ Unlike the credit card, it would NOT be: a medium of exchange, subject to fluctuation of
“value”, subject to theft or loss, subject to hoarding or gambling, a symbol of wealth or prestige, a means of creating debt. It would be useless to everyone except the person to whom it was issued. There would be no personal “saving”: the unused remainder of individual’s energy account would be canceled out at two-year intervals and replaced with a new account. Banks would cease to exist.


In a Technocracy, private property would become obsolete. All “property”, technological development and production including automobiles and housing would be owned equally and in common by the population of North America. Personal choices in housing would be allocated according to need; car usage would be accessed by the Energy Certificate in much the same way “U-Drives” are now obtained. Public transportation would be developed to the limits of technology and imagination. Automobile production would drop to about 10% of present numbers. Mortgages, car payments, maintenance and insurance, debt and all taxes would be nonexistent.

More about Technocracy

Read More on Ortegrity
and on Sociocracy  Read a  Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order

Read the Synergic Future Series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

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Thursday, October 30th, 2008

As our present Majority Rule Democracy flounders about offering us nothing but false alternatives to “solve” our problems, and Global Corporate Capitalism fails in its mission to create wealth, perhaps we should consider a different kind of system. … The following is a transcript of a radio address delivered on January 13th, 1933 from the Hotel Pierre in New York City. …

What is Technocracy?

Howard Scott

At the outset, Technocracy desires it to be understood that all of this publicity has broken upon it like nothing else that has happened to any similar organization in the history of man. Months ago we were unknown, working quietly as a non-profit research organization which in the year 1932 had expended less than $1,200 for administrative purposes and had received not more than $300 exclusive of the subscriptions of its members. To date it has written fewer than 14,000 words but, judging from the response on this Continent and abroad, those 14,000 words have done their work well–too well perhaps, since most of the clamor in the press, pulpit and elsewhere has not, of necessity, the slightest genuine connection with the work, data and principles of Technocracy. Let it be said also that most of the many attacks against us originate in the camps of the liberals, economists, social philosophers and others of the tribe of axiologists* who are all interested in the preservation of `values’ that have no functional relationship to the problems of a modern industrial society. These attacks, however beneficial to newspaper and publishing interests, have added nothing to a proper understanding of our work.

Technocracy is a dual thing. On the one hand it is an organization of scientists, engineers, technologists and workers in other technical fields; on the other, it is a body of thought. This body of thought may be concisely described as a technological approach to, and an analysis of, all social phenomena. Technocracy is not premised on any philosophical preconceptions, convictions or beliefs. Technocracy is based primarily on a study of the rates of growth of all energy-consuming devices on this Continent as a function of time. Technocracy is concerned with the natural resources available for conversion into use-forms and their quantities; with the quantity of energy and materials consumed in the proper operation of the physical equipment on this area; with the number of people required in this total operation and the hours of work within a given time. These are some of the principal questions with which Technocracy has always been, and is now, concerned.

Tonight we would like to take this gathering and the radio audience of this Continent back a few pages in the history of this country and in the biologic progression of man.

Ever since man was driven from the jungle by his more agile but less enterprising relative, the ape, he has been conducting a long and arduous struggle, fighting his way toward ever more effective sources of energy. In this struggle the problem of population has come to play an increasingly important part. For example: in the 200,000 years prior to 1800 the biologic progression had so far advanced that the total world population of the human species in the latter year was approximately 850,000,000. In the subsequent 132 years this population grew until it is now approximately 1,800,000,000–a greater increase than in the previous 200,000 years.

The point to be especially noted is that most of this population increase is due to the introduction of technological procedures into social life. By way of contrast, consider China. According to the Nanking estimates of 1932, China has a population of 470,000,000 today an estimated growth of only 71,000,000 in the past two centuries. France–according to the estimates of Reid, Baker, and others–would require over four hundred years to double its present population of approximately 40,000,000. Both of these countries are admittedly backward in their rates of growth on the technological level; that is to say, neither of them has taken full advantage of the incentive to population increase afforded by the introduction of technological procedures into their social life.

Compare these examples with the United States. In 1830, slightly over a century ago, this country had a little more than 12,000,000 people. Today the figure is approximately 122,000,000–an increase of 10 times in a century. Now set these figures against the background of the energy consumption during the same period: In 1830 we were consuming as a nation less than 75 trillion British Thermal Units of total extraneous physical energy (derived principally from windmills and domestic animals with some coal and water power.) In 1929 we consumed slightly less than 27,000 trillion British Thermal Units of extraneous physical energy–an increase in the century of 353 times. What is the drift of such facts–which can be supported and strengthened from many sources?

Technocracy points out that in all social systems prior to the last 200 years man was the chief engine of energy conversion. Efficient from the mechanical point of view, this engine was severely limited in output, rating at approximately one tenth horsepower per eight-hour day. All the work and wealth of human society from the dawn of recorded history to the beginning of the 18th century depended exclusively upon this engine. Thus we have Adam Smith, in the opening sentence of his famous book, (published in the same year as America’s Declaration of Independence and, ironically, within a short distance of the town where James Watt was developing his steam engine) defining wealth in terms of human labor which in turn created all values. This was a correct description of the conditions of which Adam Smith wrote, but it has since become increasingly evident that man, as a creator of physical wealth, is receding more and more into the background, yielding, and not unwillingly, to the rapid growth of technology and of power procedures. Technocracy emphasizes that in all the older social systems there was no means of altering the rate of doing work: You could increase the total number of human beings only up to the physical limits of the area in which they lived, that limit reached, migration was the only alternative to the reduction of population by mass famine.

On this Continent, a century ago, the log cabins of our forefathers required for their operation and maintenance only the simplest of water-wheels, and windmills. There was no integration, no coordination or synchronization. The individual ego could be exercised to the full, and each local area could be manipulated according to the whims of the individual operator. At this point we come to the basic question–the operation of a physical apparatus.

The law of impact states that when two oxcarts collide at three miles per hour there is no great danger of any serious results, and at this rate in an oxcart civilization you could do without good roads and stringent driving regulations. The driver could fall asleep, and even when awake required only moderate intelligence to prevent the mild order of disaster which might result from inattention; but increase the speed of the vehicle and the sequence of operations instantly changes. With a modern automobile you require not only roads but good roads. You cannot drive at sixty miles an hour on blind earth; the faster your rate of motion the smoother must be the path you traverse. Speeds of that order require a given curvature of road to prevent disaster, the maximum curvature possible for a road designed to carry traffic at any given speed can be determined in advance–and this determination will have no regard of the personal idiosyncrasies and capacities of the operator.

We have been experiencing a change in the magnitude of social operations due to the accelerating rate of doing work on this Continent. For precisely the same reasons we must consider, quantitatively, without personal allowances, the proper conditions under which this work may be accomplished smoothly.

It has often been said that if we could take the Chinese and somehow raise them bodily to the standard of living that prevails on the American Continent, not only China and the Orient would be benefited thereby, but prosperity would return to the United States and the Occident. Such reasoning is characteristic of the present confusion in social thinking which is still based upon the classical economics of human labor and `value.’ When, however, one realizes that prior to 1830 we, on this Continent and everywhere else in the world, consumed not over 2,000 kilogram-calories of extraneous energy per capita per day, and that in 1929 we, on this Continent alone, consumed a maximum of 154,000 kilogram-calories of extraneous energy per capita per day_when we realize this, the problem of China takes on a new and unsuspected aspect. In brief, in order to raise the standard of living of China to the present level of the North American Continent it would be necessary to expend two and one-half times the total energy consumed by the entire globe in 1929–a little puzzle which we may reasonably doubt even the capacity of the Chinese to solve.

Now, in 1933, after three years of the most unprecedented conditions that this country has ever known, when the oscillations of production have gone to greater extremes than have ever been witnessed in any preceding depression, we find ourselves with more unemployed than we had total population a century ago. Each succeeding declination in the production curves of pig-iron or of almost any other major industrial commodity swings lower, calling more forcibly to our attention the problems peculiar to a society increasingly dependent upon the correct operation of its physical equipment. It is these problems which Technocracy now poses, stating in particular that the continued substitution of physical energy for man-hours results, not in technological unemployment, but in a reduction of total employment and of total purchasing power.

Granting this inexorable replacement of human labor by physical energy, Technocracy makes the further statement that such a condition brings the social mechanism of this Continent into sharp conflict with the interference control vested in the Price System of production. The Price System, which we have defined as `any exchange or energy flow control founded upon a commodity valuation,’ originated under those social conditions where human labor was the prime factor in the performance of work and the creation of wealth. The `values’ upon which this system rests and by which alone it may continue to function might be described as the condensation of human perspiration. Once you eliminate that sheer human toil becomes functionally insignificant–you have struck at the very heart of the Price System fundamental postulate is the continuance of man-hours as an appreciable factor in the total energy consumed by society. You cannot continue to eliminate man-hour an expect the Price System to remain stable: It will go out of balance in proportion to the rate of social change and social change is here quantitatively defined as proportional to the rate of substitution of extraneous physical for man-hours in the operation and maintenance industrial social mechanism.

By way of illustration: Our first blast furnace in Massachusetts turned out approximately 3 tons of pig-iron a week. (My authority here is a published advertisement of the New York Trust Company.) A modern furnace, operating with less than half of the earlier total of men per furnace, will do over 1,000 tons per day are speaking, remember, of changes of rate, not total employees in the iron and steel industries.

The number of people required to shovel sand, coal or by individual labor may be realized when you watch a power shovel with a 100-foot beam and a 95-foot moving 15 or 18 cubic yards of material a vertical distance equivalent to a six story building. Just how laborers would be required to move one load of that shovel an equal distance?

We are not here attempting to say–as many of critics charge us with saying–that America is on the verge of chaos or an evil doom. We have merely maintained that if present trends continue–and we see no chance of them abating–you may expect a greater unemployment in this country within eighteen month at the present rate of these trends, and assuming continuance, it is conservative to envisage a total unemployment in the United States within this period of 20,000,000.

We make this statement knowing full well that moratoriums, inflation, and all other possible palliative are going to be attempted with all the astuteness and dexterity that political chicanery can bring to bear in dealing with the problems of this Continent. We know also that the debt merchants will exercise their legerdemain to the full in order to save the face of the present situation. Inflation, which is now one of the prime concerns of Congress, would be of real interest only to those who possess above a certain number of debt claims, because they alone can go into debt fast enough to take advantage of inflation. The man who works for wages or a salary cannot go into debt and thus cannot take advantage of inflation, the privilege of debt being in other hands.

So it has come about that Technocracy, in the full blaze of world publicity, will experience attempted exploitation by those with whom it has, and can have, nothing in common. The politicians and debt merchants of the day will be moved to employ Technocracy as one of the cornerstones of a new political state; they may even go so far that, under the color of Technocracy, an institutional fascism will be introduced as one of the dictatorial prerequisites of the incoming president. This and many other efforts will be made to utilize the work which Technocracy so quietly initiated, but we, ourselves, will consistently maintain the position from which we started–that you cannot continue to do certain things on this Continent; that people and times have changed, and that any decisive moves toward readjustment must be the responsibility of those who control the policies of this country.

We have accomplished very little, but it has become clear that, if present conditions continue, we shall be forced to consider problems more grave than any with which this country has so far concerned itself. Yet America has just lately had a national election, and not a single outstanding figure in politics or finance has come forward with any proposal that has one iota of usefulness in dealing with these conditions and these problems.

To an outside observer America would appear to be a nation that is rapidly sinking to greater social instability and whose leaders lack intelligence to offer us more than soporifics and palliatives. The past three years have brought forth nothing genuinely relevant to the situation and, if this barrenness persists for another ten years, we are due for one of the gravest social readjustments that this country has ever experienced.

James Watt produced his steam engine at about the time the Constitution of this country was drawn up. There is a profound significance in this fact. It meant that the epoch of social change, as above defined, opened with the commencement of the United States as an independent political unit. It meant that all the political instruments and economic theories carried over from an older time would become obsolescent on an area exceptionally favored by nature for the richest development of power–an area to be subsequently exploited to the full in that direction.

A similar irony of events brings me to speak tonight in a hotel that yesterday was sold on the block under the hammer of the auctioneer. Symbol enough of the financial obsolescence brought about by the very technological procedures misapplied to its design and construction! As the Irishman said, `Sure and it was no good before it was built.’ Throughout the United States today we have an identical situation.

Bear well in mind that under a Price System monetary wealth is equivalent to the creation of debt; physical wealth, on the other hand, is the conversion of available energy into use-forms and services. Under a Price System the process of being wealthy is the collection of debt claims (such claims being represented by the amount of `money’ you possess); physical wealth, on the other hand, is a degradation of converted energy into total uselessness, or, complete consumption. You are not physically wealthy in the possession of debt claims against an automobile company (that is, through being able to buy its product); you are wealthy, in the physical sense, only when you are wearing a car out through use.

Let us put this question of debt in another form. The population of this country during the past century has increased as the square of time, production as the cube, total debt as to the fourth power, and available energy as to the eighth power. You are putting your goods `in hock’ faster than you make them. Note now this peculiarity about debt: The more use we make of it the more we have. This is in complete violation of the basic laws of physics which state that the more we use of physical things the less we have of them.

Today, with over 200 billion dollars of total debt in this country, we find ourselves owing four times per capita as much as we did in 1895 and sixteen times as much total according to one of our economists. Do not forget that in 1893, 1907, and 1920 we had write-downs of this total debt, but its rate of growth is inclusive of all the write-downs, and the debt continues to mount thus continually throwing the system out of balance.

How then is it proposed to handle a Continental setup wherein the production of physical wealth has passed from the direction of one process to that of another?

The Price System goes back to remote history. We have had variations of it for thousands of years. Russia today operates under a Price System, even if it has eliminated private enterprise and commercial initiative. Its mechanics of exchange and its evaluation procedure are on the same basis as those of the United States–it has internal bonds, corporation charters, corporation stock; it pays wages and salaries and buys and sells on a commodity valuation basis. These things cannot exist without the Price System–from which Russian communism believed it had escaped. Furthermore, Russia had to call upon the outside world for technical assistance in the introduction and use of new machinery–the foundation of the new social mechanism she wished to set up. Unfortunately, a great part of this machinery was sold to Russia by businessmen who were anxious to unload stocks of this equipment already obsolete. Tractors that were made to sell to the backlot farmer of 140 acres should never have been sold to the gigantic farms of this new state. But Russia is learning her lesson and doubtless by now is rectifying these errors.

If you plot the growth of population on any given area subject to a high-energy consumption, then you must also plot the growth of all energy-consuming devices on that area–for this reason: The only distinction man possesses functionally, the one thing which differentiates him functionally from all other species, is his capacity to design and construct organic extensions, that is to say, energy consuming devices independent of himself and capable of operating at high capacity with a minimum of human labor and attention. Under the compulsion of this technological development our modern world has reached a point where a laissez-faire economy can no longer be maintained. It is essential that we know the rate of growth each and every energy consuming device upon any given continental area if we are to operate successfully the physical equipment of that area at an energy consumption of 150,000 kilogram-calories per capita per day. The more energy we consume per capita, the greater the need for a change in the methods of control–exactly as in the change from an oxcart to an express train. The social mechanism of today has advanced to an order of magnitude far beyond the log cabin stage of our ancestors; the methods of control must be adjusted thereto.

Technocracy points out that these problems, if not solved, will lead to a situation of increasing gravity, possibly terminating in a secondary crisis. Attempts to balance our budget, to reduce expenditures on a downward curve, will simply mean less employment than before with a resulting decrease in purchasing power, and we will be compelled finally to such devices as debt moratoriums, debt holidays, inflation, and a free-for-all race as to who can create debt the fastest.

How long this can go on we do not know. We did not create the situation; we are not responsible for it. Machinery and power procedures are not guilty of the present situation on this Continent; neither are the engineer, the technologist, and the scientist. What we do know is that the past three years have been more conducive to social thinking than any similar period in our history, for it would seem that only under such conditions do we achieve some lucid intervals in our way of social thought.

We cannot push our industrial situation much beyond the point it has now reached. We have today a `technological backlog’ overhanging this country which makes our material backlog resemble a backyard woodpile. Yet, thanks to the prevailing interference control of the Price System and its corollary, debt creation, we can use only a small portion of that technological backlog. A new system will have to be put into effect in order that the things which science and technology have developed may come into full social usage. Such usage is not possible where you are looking for the earliest possible means of creating debt faster against others than they can create it against you, and it is just this procedure which is necessitated by the Price System under which we operate our society. If you cannot maintain a preferential position in creating debt claims then you do not stay in business; you go out of it. This is not the fault of the individual debt merchant or businessman; he is no more rapacious than any other individual or group in this country, hut under the setup he is compelled to play the game that way. Granted a different setup, the rules of the game would be different. Technocracy is pointing out that social change will necessitate a new set of rules.

Social change, in the sense of change in the rate of energy conversion, was not inaugurated until the advent of the scientist, the engineer, and the technologist. The meal which we have had here tonight and the microphone before which I am now speaking are symbolic of two entirely different processes–the meal of a process which has not appreciably changed in seven thousand years, and the microphone of one introduced by modern technology. Food is still served with man as a transport animal with antiquated combustion methods still used to cook it; yet here before us is a delicate instrument through which the technologist puts me into direct communication with the people of this Continent. There is no reason why the meal could have not been served without human aid–no technical reason that is; financially, yes: It would not be sufficiently profitable to serve it so, and the capital investment would be too high.

Given a continuance of the present rates of growth of energy consumption, we can see no hope of social advance under the Price System and its democratic political sponsorship. These things contain nothing suitable for dealing with the problems in hand. They have no methodology except that of debt creation and this is not sufficient for a high-energy civilization. Therefore, Technocracy insists that unless a procedure is developed whereby we can accurately measure and know the rate of growth of all energy-consuming devices on this Continent as a function of time, and unless all production and distribution sequences are operated on what is known as the balanced-load (which means a minimum of deviation), then we shall rapidly approach the end of social stability and the beginning of chaos on this Continent.

I wish to note here a very interesting thing which has come out of the work and activities of Technocracy–one of the strangest social and political realignments in history. For the first time we are witnessing an alignment on the basis of functional capacity, so that now we discover the liberal (that last resort of the incompetent and stupid), the debt merchant, and the communist, fighting together in defense of a system of advantage. We can but wish them well, hoping that the company of each is pleasing to the others, and we reiterate that, unless the physical factors of society on this Continent are brought under control, and that very soon, these strangely assorted companion-at-arms will have little or no solace save the mud of the last ditch wherein they now struggle so valiantly.

Technocracy has little more to say except that it proposes to carry on, hoping that in the near future it may be able to bring out its first definite reports on how this Continent has functioned in the past century. It may be that social conditions are moving faster than we think, that they are even more serious than we have claimed. We do not know. Suffice it to say that if swiftly moving conditions do prevent our work from becoming known, they cannot prevent the work from continuing. That we have enemies and encounter hostility is clear enough, but we prefer to be known by the enemies we have made, for in their character and motives they exhibit an unparalleled functional incapacity.

Thus it comes about that Technocracy is not greatly concerned with replying to its critics. It does not have to. Conditions are determining the rate at which we are moving: Technocracy can afford to work and wait: no other organization on this Continent can. If we are correct, then we have carved out for ourselves one of the biggest tasks in history (and we will die in harness). If we are wrong, then we have been merely human. We can leave it at that, in the full knowledge that conditions in the next few years will decide who is correct.

Technocracy has no theory of the assumption of power; it is not concerned with going any particular place. It merely observes the present direction of social forces, striving to obtain a clear and unified picture of what is happening on this Continent. What is to come is for the future to tell. We wish everybody a happy landing, and close with the affirmation that Technocracy will stand its ground. For the rest, we will leave it to tomorrow.

More about Technocracy

Read More on Ortegrity
and on Sociocracy  Read a  Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order

Read the Synergic Future Series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

Front Page

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Reposted from 2002 SynEARTH Archives. …

Comments on “What Can Be Done?”

Thursday, Arthur Noll, contributing editor wrote:

As someone with no power except my voice, I am aware that our human society must change and change radically if we are to survive. It is from this perspective that I ask, what can be done?

There are things we could do, no matter who we are, to get changes rolling. I’ve posted a set of principles for society, and a plan for getting there. …  

Here are some responses and Arthur’s answers:

Scott Meredith writes:

Actually this is true. Arthur has at least proposed something, thus he’s done more than most of the rest of us have. I guess we all remain silent in the teeth of our understanding the degree of inertia that would need to be overcome to make the changes he has outlined?

Thanks for the positive comment, Scott. Yes, there is a lot of inertia to overcome, but the only way to deal with it is to get started. Just that small step of answering these questions. From there we can move on. One small step at a time. Once the decision is made to start, things can often start moving much faster. Look at the whole thing to begin, and you might lose hope, never start. But one small thing at a time, and it is remarkable how much can be done.

Tom Woodsworth writes:

I suppose the biggest problem is the nature and rational behind this list (AlasBabylon).

What many may (or not) be thinking is, “mmm…. Arthur’s ideas of co-operation in small survivalist communities banded together with a common vision of suistainability etc SOUND great…. BUT after I’ve read the Spirit of the Gene, enough Jay Hanson, etc., it doesn’t seem plausible.” That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, or that you should stop pushing for it, but rather that most of us on AB [not all of course!] are rather cynically stubborn. I know my idealistic youthful side has taken an incredible beating since running into, ROE, and now AB. I used to be a blindly optimistic, now I’m probably blinded with the disappointment that I won’t be able to do all the things I wanted to do a couple of years ago [see the world, get a couple of degrees, AND prepare myself for the coming chaos].

I haven’t yet read an agruement coming from you that refutes the genetic tendancy for humans to seek, consume resources and/or destroy the resource base. You make the plausible claim that given the dieoff conditions, those that DO cooperate in sustainable living will be the ones to pass on their genes– OK– but it’s something that’s pretty hard to prove using historial precedent [as Paul likes to remind us]. SO…. some of us refuse to even show off the tint of optimism. It doesn’t,however, mean we disagree with you completly .

On the other hand, other lists certainly DO exist with discussing your type of proposal, and more importantly putting it into action. One in particularly well suited is Sustainable Community.

Lately, the chatter has been hopelessly feel good and new agey… but there’s always room for improvement of course. Other groups also exist.

Alas Babylon, however (in my view) is better suited for information sharing as compared to community/ideologue forming (Dann describes it well as a type of weird, post-modern “family”– damn I would like to see all of us AB’ers at a family picnic, I’d bring the shui jiao [Chinese dumplings]!

Jack Dingler writes:

If humans were rational, then I’d agree with you. As it is, humans are not rational. Humans in general do not think, do not exercise logic and have a great deal of difficulty understanding ethics. If humans in general do not have these skills, then you must first teach them these things, before they’ll even be able to understand that there is a problem.

I used to worry about posting on these groups. Then I started having conversations about these topics with people I know. Almost all of them dismissed the idea that things could ever turn for the worst, under any circumstances. None of them understand why things have turned even now. They all know the complicated rhetoric spewed out by the news media, but beyond arguing over different points, they really know nothing about the issues. None have delved beyond the news curtain, none care to, and none believe things can get any worse. After all, we’re hearing in the news now that the economy is recovering and will be back to normal in six months. Isn’t that the truth? Now I know I can say anything I want and few will listen, they’ll instead put their hands of their ears and chant, “La la la la I can’t hear you!” So who really cares what I write or say? When things get rough, officials will be busy enough going after those encouraging protests, riots and other demonstrations.

If you’re here, and you understand the connection between energy and civilization, the myth of self referential economics and other issues that require the capacity for independant thought, then pull up a chair and watch society wind down. You’re officially a member of the Cassandra Club.

I wish I could agree with your arguments Arthur, but I do not believe that our species has the ability, to do anything that will avert the upcoming decline.

Jack, Over and over I say, I know very well I’m not going to reach everyone, though I’d like to try. I’ve said I think 99% are likely to evade, deny, opt out of dealing head on with these questions. But out of a population of 6 billion, that is enough. What I’m asking, is for each individual to say, yes or no. When people give the excuse that no one else is going to be reasonable, I feel the standard reply of mothers and fathers for years forming in my mind – just because others are acting crazy, doing stupid things, you have to act crazy and do stupid things? My question to each person is not about how everyone else is going to act. My question is, how are you going to act?

Jack Dingler responds:


I’m doing all I can do at the moment. I’m helping a friend turn his hobby farm into something that can produce food. Trying to prepare my wife for the inevitable, and attempting to keep a job. I’m also attempting to learn some skills that are difficult to come by in the modern age. I may be joining the SCA soon.

I’m working, writing code again. I’m thankful that I’m once again making a living in my chosen career, but I’m well aware that I may be back to earning low wages at any time.

I don’t see much else that I can do at the moment.

Ron Resnick writes:

I used to participate more in this group (Alas Babyon).

Months ago the overwhelming reality of the coming die-off hit me. It hit me hard enough that I am bored by speculation on how it MIGHT now or ever could be…prevented.

Recent political events in America just re-enforce the die-off agenda. Many have been expecting the overt Fascist actions now being put in place in OECD countries…most notably the US & UK.

I find my peace and joy through living in this remote corner of world (New Zealand) and through the appreciation of our high quality of life (for the moment).

I want to thank Arthur Noll for his challenge to thinking humanity. It is time we started answering some simple questions YES or NO. Our human future does not depend on big government, big business, or big religion. It depends on humanity as individuals, and whether those individuals will choose to organize themselves as community.

Read More on Ortegrity and on Sociocracy  Read a  Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order

Read the Synergic Future Series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

Front Page

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Reposted from 2002 SynEARTH Archives. …

“Answer yes or no, evil comes of anything else.”  — Jesus of Nazareth

What Can Be Done?

Arthur Noll

As someone with no power except my voice, I am aware that our human society must change and change radically if we are to survive. It is from this perspective that I ask, what can be done?

There are things we could do, no matter who we are, to get changes rolling. I’ve posted a set of principles for society, and a plan for getting there.

I’ve not heard any serious opposition. So, do people want to live like this? I have to doubt it. There is no opposition, there is also little support.

Why is that? If people wanted to be logical, and they had continuing questions about these principles, or any others, those questions could be answered. Don’t trust me? Bring in others. Ask “why”? Are we interdependent? You can answer that, yes or no.

Are there problems with monetary measure, with markets? I’ve given answers to that, you can check them out. I say that markets are oversimplified, they don’t take sustainability into consideration, and often put the wrong people in charge. Monetary minting and accounting is a large energy drain by itself, compared to other systems. So I say, that society should not use money and markets, should make conscious decisions about energy efficiency, and sustainability, for all of society, not leave these things, of energy efficiency and sustainability, for individual judgement, as happens with money and markets. Is that a yes or no?

I say that we use things sustainably, and that means as an example, that to cut one 50 year old tree a year, you must have enough trees growing to replace it, a minimum of 50 trees of all ages, and more than that, because other factors besides people kill trees. I say that these sorts of calculations can be done, for every resource we use, and should be done. Yes or no?

And finally, people are interdependent as far as reproduction, too, and reproduction should not be left up to individuals or couples, since the whole group is affected. And human reproduction should be in balance with use of resources. Yes or no?

All of these things are objective, simple, yes or no matters.

And yet people seem to not want to answer them. Instead of dealing with them, they turn away, try to change the subject, or just go silent. They say, I can’t do anything. But in fact, if a bunch of us took these principles to someone with scientific status, and said, here, what is wrong with these, it would put a lot of pressure on that person, to also give yes or no answers.

That is something that could be done. And if that person said yes, these are right, it could become more widely debated. And perhaps this person would say “no”, and give reasons. Then we could think again, having learned something. But do people want an answer? I think not. People seem to just want to thrash around in circles, wring their hands about problems, and act as if that were something significant. But what it really looks like, is hypocrisy. We can get answers if we really want them. I don’t think people really want answers.

The Web is Generous

Dave Winer

I want to elaborate on Stan’s joyous celebration of the power of flow on the Web and to add something to our group memebag. After seven-plus years of using the Web, I know where the juice is. It wasn’t really a mystery to begin with — it’s linking — but the power of linking is so taken for granted that it’s become invisible. (And precarious. The dominant browser vendor played an incredibly greedy game with the art of linking in 2001. Killing the golden goose, as if they invented the Web. Evil greedy dangerous company.)

In 1996, I called it holding hands in cyberspace and predicted a billion websites, instead of three, which is what the VCs and the press were predicting. (The Web is not a centralized medium, it’s a two-way medium, like email or the telephone. Excite and Infoseek are gone. Yahoo has lost its luster.

You can’t really be on the Web, and respect your readers, without being generous. So you might as well make the words that go with the links generous too. My teacher on this is a very wise man named Daniel Berlinger. I always get a cheerful word and link from Daniel. Is there anything wrong with this? No, in fact, it’s a lesson. Link with a negative vibe if you have to, but why not find something positive, and let the irritation be, and not necessarily share it? That’s something I can do better in 2002.

Thanks Dave Winer for sharing your wisdom, as Stan Krute’s says:

Dave knows Flow. The Power of Flow. The Beauty of Flow. The Goodness of Flow. The Win-Win-Win-Win-Win of Flow. You flow my way, I flow your way, ya give flow, ya get flow, others see this and join in on the fun, pretty soon, we’re all surfing a happy big flowin’ wave of our own communitarian making. And the surfboards just keep on agettin’ cooler’n’cooler’n’cooler ….

Anyways: Thanks, Dave! for the flow. It’s one of the things you do best. You flow selflessly all over the place. A Master of Plumbing. Plastic Man in Cybernia. We all bow, and flow right back atcha. Yowza!

ps – Flow is Love

Read More on Ortegrity and on Sociocracy  Read a  Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order

Read the Synergic Future Series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

Front Page

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

As we approach the 2008 election, have  you ever wondered if there wasn’t a better way? How might we make decisions in a co-Operative future?

Remember co-Operation means working together. We are seeking the win-win-win-win solution. This is where I win, you win, others win, and community wins. In this future, there are no Democrats–there are no Republicans–there are only human beings working together to unify the planet where we always share everything–air, water, and energy. … Reposted from 2002 SynEARTH Archives.

Synocracy & Sociocracy

Timothy Wilken, MD

Unanimous Rule Democracy is a much more powerful mechanism of decision making than the majority rule of present day democracy.

Synergy means working together—operating together as in Co-Operation—laboring together as in Co-Laboration—acting together as in Co-Action. The goal of synergic union is to accomplish a larger or more difficult task than can be accomplished by individuals working separately.

However true synergy, which gives us humans the opportunity to accomplish more together than we can accomplish separately, also requires more from us. It requires synergic consensus. For any group of humans, synergic consensus can provide a much more powerful mechanism of decision making than even the best majority rule democracy carefully following Roberts Rules of Order.

Synergic consensus occurs when a group of humans sit as equals and negotiate to reach a decision in which they all win and in which no one loses. In synergic science this is called heterarchy. That means all members of the deciding group sit on the same level as “equals”. All decisions within a truly synergic group are made within “decision heterarchy”. A decision heterarchy is made up of a group of humans with common purpose. The minimum number is 2 the maximum number is presently unknown. I believe the ideal size may be ~six or seven individuals. The group is organized horizontally with all individuals sharing equal authority and equal responsibility.

Most Western humans are familiar with the democratic committee system. It is very different from the decision heterarchy. While both are methods of organizing human individuals to make decisions for group action. Committees are filled with conflict and highly ineffective. In a committee no individual is held responsible for the actions taken by the group. And decision is made by majority ultimatum. A desenting minority member is forced to support the action he voted against or leave the committee. Heterarchy within a synergic group, in contrast organizes individuals to have equal authority to decide on joint action with equal responsibility for the resultant that is produced by that joint action.

Synergic consensus occurs when a group of humans sitting in heterarchy negotiate and reach a decision in which they all win and in which no one loses. In a synergic heterarchy, all members sit on the same level as “equals”. No one has more authority than anyone else. Every one has equal responsibility and equal authority within the heterarchy. The assignment for the heterarchy is to find a plan of action so that all members win. It is the collective responsibility of the entire heterarchy to find this “best” solution. Anyone can propose a plan to accomplish the needs of the group. All problems related to accomplishing the needs would be discussed at length in the heterarchy.

The proposed plan of action for solving a problem is examined by all members of the heterarchy. Anyone can suggest a modification, or even an alternative action to solve the problem. All members of the heterarchy serve as information sources for each other. The heterarchy continues in discussion until a plan of action is found that will work for everyone. When all are in agreement and only then can the plan be implemented. The plan insures that all members of the synergic heterarchy win.

Synergic Veto

All members are required to veto any plan where they or anyone else would lose. This is not an arbitrary veto. This is a veto to prevent loss. The heterarchy is seeking to win together. Plans causing loss need to modified to plans that insure winning.

Therefore all vetoes are immediately followed by renegotiation to modify the plan of action so that loss can be eliminated.

Synergic consensus is unanimous consensus. Unanimous consensus is protected by the judicious use of the synergic veto. Synergic relationship requires that when any party within a group is losing, the action causing the loss must stop. But again all vetoes are immediately followed by renegotiation to modify the plan of action so that loss can be eliminated, and action can continue.

Thus synergic consensus is a two step process. 1) consensus–to find mutual agreement, and 2) consent–to find specific disagreements and eliminate those through modification and re-negotiation of proposed plans. This second step is initiated by use of the synergic veto.

After I designed Ortegrity, which uses the process of synergic consensus and synergic veto, I learned about Sociocracy. It is from Sociocracy that I have borrowed the term consent for the second phase of synergic consensus.


Originated in the Netherlands in 1945 by Kees Boeke, a Dutch educator and pacifist, Sociocracy was a way to adapt Quaker egalitarian principles to secular organizations.

It uses the decision-making process of consent which is different than most systems of  ‘consensus’.

Consent looks for disagreement and uses the reasons for disagreeing to come up with an amended proposal that is within everyone’s limits. Consensus looks for agreement.

If a group wants to paint an outbuilding, consensus would require everyone agreeing on a color. Consent would require everyone defining their limits and then allowing the choice to be made within those limits. The painter might end up with 10 colors that are within everyone’s limits and then choose from those.

Synergic Consensus as described in ORTEGRITY seeks both consensus and consent by utilization of the synergic veto. When any member of the deciding group is in conflict and vetos a proposed plan, they are asked how would they change the proposal to accomodate their objection. Let’s take a deeper look at Sociocracy to see what we can learn. I will mark my annotations with an asterick.

The Four Principles of Sociocracy

1) Governance by Consent: The consent principle says that a decision can only be made when none of the circle members present has a reasoned, substantial objection to making the decision. The consent principle is different than
“consensus” and “veto.” With consensus the participants must be “for”the decision. With consent decision-making they must be not against. With many forms of consensus a veto blocks the decision without an argument. With consent decision making, opposition must always be supported with an argument.

* Synergic veto always requires renegotiation to find a plan of action that will solve the group problems without causing loss. Veto is never arbitrary in Ortegrity.

Every decision doesn’t require consent, but consent must exist concerning an agreement to make decisions regularly through another method. Thus, many decisions are not made by consent. Rather, with consent, persons or groups are given the authority to make independent decisions. Consent can also be used with non-human elements.

2) Circle Organization: The organization arranges for a decision making structure, built from mutually double-linked circles, in which consent governs. This decision-making structure includes all members of the organization. Each circle has its own aim, performs the three functions of directing, operating and measuring (feedback), and maintains its own memory system by means of integral education. A good way to evaluate how well a circle is functioning is to use 9-block charting. Every circle formulates its own vision, “mission statement” and aim/objective (which must fit in with the vision, mission and aim of the organization as a whole and with the vision, mission and aim of all the other circles in the organization).

* Circles are equivalent to heterarchies. In  ORTEGRITY, they are similar to Decision-Action Tensegrities.

3) Double-Linking: Coupling a circle with the next higher circle is handled through a double link. That is, at least two persons, the supervisor of the circle and at least one representative of the circle, belong to the next higher circle.

* Decision-Action Tensegrities as described in ORTEGRITY are single linked by the Organizers-Organized or the O-O.


Using a double link would add redundancy, security and allow more information to flow between Decison-Action Tensegrities–two heads are better than one, but at a price of decreased efficiency.

4) Sociocratic Elections: Choosing people for functions and/or responsibilities is done by consent after an open discussion. The discussion is very important because it uncovers pertinent information about the members of the circle.

* In Ortegrity, once the primary synergic task is defined and unanimously elected by the heterarchy, then a plan for synergic action must be developed using synergic negotiation. Now the members of the heterarchy will accept hierarchical roles with individual responsibility and authority.

In addition to the four main principles of Sociocracy, there are also these guidelines:

  • No secrets may be kept  (*Transparency in Ortegrity)
  • Everything is open to discussion – limits of an exec’s power, policy decisions, personnel decisions, investment policy, profit distribution, all rulesÖ.
  • Everyone has a right to be part of a decision that affects them.
  • Every decision may be reexamined at any time

* I am in agreement with most of what I read about Sociocracy. In many ways Sociocracy and Ortegrity are complimentary mechanisms with lots of similarities.

Sociocracy accomodates growth by creation of new circles that are then connected by double linking. Sociocracy can be regarded as a fractal structure, which means that the same patterns occur at different levels in the structure. That is why, once the basics are understood, the procedures at the highest level are as clear as the procedures at the grassroots level. It also doesn’t require very many levels to include a great number of people.

 ORTEGRITY grows by shreddng out. If the primary synergic task is within the abilites of the primary Decision-Action Tensegrity to accomplish it,then they accomplish it operating in action-hierarchy. When they are done, they reconfigure back into decision-heterarchy to define their next synergic task.

If however, the synergic task is too large for the primary Decision-Action Tensegrity to accomplish, then part of the primary synergic task will be to make the Ortegrity larger. This is accomplished by having the primary members recruit and organize secondary D-A Tensegrities.

TopDown Self-Organization

Once all members have agreed to a primary plan of action, they then divide it into smaller secondary plans for distribution among themselves. This results in the self-assignment of tasks. The members of the primary tensegrity, then divide labor through the voluntarily formation of a action-hierarchy to implement the plan. Each “organizer”, the term “manager” is scraped altogether, then takes his task down to the secondary tensegrity which he is responsible for organizing.

The pattern of organization is from the top down. This is not the “other-directed” hierarchy of American Capitalism. The process of organization is from the top down, but the mechanism is “self directed” heterarchy. Only when synergic consensus has been achieved at the higher level can the organizational focus move down to a lower level.

Within the Ortegrity, most “organizers” will function at two levels of tensegrity. Within the primary tensegrity, they are “organized” by the primary “organizer” — the synergic alternative to a CEO. In addition these members are also the “coodinators” of their own secondary tensegrities which they are responsible for organizing.

Within the Ortegrity, those individuals operating at two levels are then both organized and organizers. As members of the primary tensegrity, they are organized by the “primary organizer” — the O’ (called the O prime) and they are also the organizers of their own secondary tensegrities. Each of these is therefore an “organized-organizer” — the O-O  (called the double O).

An organization can have any number of Decision-Action Tensegrities. These Decision-Action Tensegrities can be on different levels. Large organizations would include several levels of Decision-Action Tensegrities. These different levels are referred to simply as first level, second level, third level and so on in synergic terminology.

Compound Tensegrities

The following illustration is of a base five, level two O.T.. Twenty five employees with one five-member primary DA-Tensegrity and five (five-member) secondary DA-Tensegrities.


The central DA-Tensegrity is the primary Tensegrity it is demarcated with the Omega symbol. It divides the primary tasks of the company into secondary tasks, these are then carried down to the secondary Tensegrities for solution by the O-Os, “organized-organizers”. In this example the O’ functions as both primary organizer and one of the O-Os.

Ultimately Flexible

No known system of organization is more flexible and adaptive then Living systems. The Ortegrity is a pattern of life.

The Ortegrity is ultimately flexible. There can be two to twenty individuals within the base D-A Tensegrities. Bases can be regular — all with the same number of members or irregular — all with different numbers of members or any mixture of regular and irregular.

There can be any number of levels, and any number of branches on each level. The system is so powerful that twelve levels looks like enough for most of our needs.

The following chart is based on a base seven regular tensegrity. All DA-Tensegrities would have seven members. 

# of base tensegrities
# of individuals
1 1 7
2 8 49
3 57 343
4 400 2401
5 2801 16,807
6 19,608 117,649
7 137,257  823,543
8 960,800 5,764,801
9 6,725,601  40,353,607
10 47,079,208 282,475,249
11 329,554,457  1,977,326,743
12 2,306,881,200 13,841,287,201

A level 12 Ortegrity would be adequate for organizing the entire humans species within a single organization. Recalling that the larger a tensegrity the more powerful it will is. Synergic science predicts this will also be true for human organizations structured as Ortegrities. Therefore, I would expect a trend towards very large organizations.

Imagine, what could be possible if the entire human species were a single organization. No conflict, no wars, no crimes. Is there anything we could not accomplish?

SynocracyUnanimous Rule Democracy

Any group of humans organized as an Ortegrity are using synocracy. If a nation of people chose to organize as an ortegrity they would have a synocracy. If all of humanity were organized as an Ortegrity, we would have world wide synocracy.

Synergic consensus is unanimous consensus. I can hear the objections now. “That’s impossible, you will never get everyone in the group to agree.” “Decisions will never get made.” “It is hard enough to get a majority to agree.”

A Japanese business heterarchy is slower at making decisions than a single manager in an American business hierarcy. It takes longer for a group of individuals to discuss, negotiate, and come to agreement than it takes for a single American manager to decide all by himself and order his subordinates to follow his instructions. If the speed of making decisions is the only criteria for choosing a mechanism of decision making then the dictatorship—the rule by one is the clear standout.

However, humanity has moved beyond dictatorships for reasons of fairness and justice. Majority rule democracy is not a rapid decision making process. Individuals within a group deciding—whether the group is a small committee or a large nation choosing a President—are seeking to gain the majority of support. This takes time—sometimes a lot of time. Our national elections often take place over an entire year. The focus is on lining up votes—working deals—in a word—politics. This process is anything but rapid. If all decisions in American businesses were made by majority rule, decision making would probably be even slower than in Japanese companies using heterarchical consensus.

Synergic consensus is not commonly availability to humanity today. We do not yet know how fast it will be at making decisions. But, I predict that unanimous rule democracy will prove faster than majority rule democracy. Synergic consensus elimates conflict. Recall conflict is the stuggle to avoid loss. Conflict is at the very heart of majority rule democracy. The focus of synergic consensus is very different. The entire group knows from the outset that they cannot lose. They are focused on choosing a plan of action that serves the needs of all the members in the group—to choose a plan of action that causes no one to lose.  The synergic veto is not invoked capriciously. The only basis for synergic veto is to prevent someone from losing. This is a mechanism to eliminate loss—to choose the very best plan of action for everyone. This may well speed up the process of decison making. In any event regardless of the speed of decision, implimentation will be rapid. There is no conflict. This is a major advantage over majority rule democracy.

Life Utilizes Synergic Consensus

Today, mind and brain scientists have made enormous progress in understanding how the human brain works. There has been many surprises in these recent advances. But the biggest shocker is that the brain doesn’t decide what to do. Decision making is not controlled centrally in the brain. The mind-brain appears to act as a coordination and consensus system for meeting all the needs of the cells, tissues, and organs of the body. The brain doesn’t decide to eat. The cells of the body decide to eat, the brain coordinates their activity and carries out the consensus will.

Our human brain stores the gathered information from the body’s sensing of its environment, the brain presents opportunities for action reflective of both the sensing of environment and the needs and goals of the 40,000,000,000 cells it serves. The brain is not the leader of the body, it is the follower of the body. It is a system that matches needs of the body with its sensing of opportunities to meet these needs by action within the environment. The brain is a ‘synergic government’ that truly serves its constituents—the cells, tissues, and organs that make up the human body. The body is governed by a unanimous rule democracy that has survived millions of years.

The apparent ‘I’ is not real. It is really a ‘we’. We humans have mistaken the self-organization of synergic consensus for the directed organization of an ego decider.

If the human body can using unanimous rule democracy and synergic consensus can organize and coordinate the actions of 40,000,000,000 cells so totally that we identify the whole organism as a single individual, then we humans should be able to use these same mechanisms to organize our species and solve our human problems. 

References and Acknowledgements:

Barbara Hubbard originally coined the term Synocracy to refer to a not yet defined future system of “rule by the people” in a co-Operative society.

Barry Carter the author of Infinite Wealth also independently created the term Synocracy. He writes: “Barbara Marx Hubbard created the term synocracy. Having never read her book, I independently created the synocracy concept by way of mass privatization. When people are owning partners in a mass privatization organization they must participate because owners operate on profit and loss. As mass privatization communities work together we move beyond representative democracy and even beyond consensus democracy to create synergy-ocracy and synthesis-ocracy or synocracy. Infinite Wealth shows mass synocracy to be the new system of social order for the information Age to replace representative democracy. It even replaces the notion of government with the broader notion of social order. Just as learning is driven internally where education is driven externally representative government is external and where as self-organizing mass synocracy is internally driven.”

More on Ortegrity More on Sociocracy  Read a  Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order

Read the Synergic Future Series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

Front Page

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

As we approach the 2008 election, have  you ever wondered if there wasn’t a better way? … Reposted from 2002 SynEARTH Archives.

Beyond Democracy

Timothy Wilken, MD

In today’s world, it is assumed without question that majority rule democracy is the best way to organize humanity. To even offer a criticism of majority rule democracy is to invite an immediate and often emotionally charged attack on oneself. We are quickly asked to choose between majority rule democracy or the dictatorships of communism/fascism. We are quickly reminded that if we don’t like it here in a majority ruled democracy, we are free to leave.

And, majority rule democracy which is rule by the most, appears to offer a clear advance over dictatorships which is rule by the one, or oligarchy which is rule by the few.

Majority rule democracy in its purest form was found in the ancient Greek city-states and early Roman Republic, these were direct democracies in which all citizens could speak and vote in assemblies. This was possible because of the small size of the city-states almost never more than 10,000 citizens. However, even these ancient democracies did not presuppose equality of all individuals; the majority of the populace, notably slaves and women, had no political rights at all. So even here the majority really did not rule.

In modern representative democracies we find the majority rule mechanism used to select our representatives, to make decisions within committees and to make decisions within the legislative bodies. In the United States, we elect one president, 100 Senators and 435 Congressman. This is one President for ~276 million Americans. There are two Senators for each state. Senatorial representation would vary from one Senator for ~16 million Californians down to one Senator for ~350,000 Delawarians. The members of the first House of Representatives were elected on the basis of 1 representative for every 30,000 inhabitants, but at least 1 for each state. At present the size of the House is fixed at 435 members, elected on the basis of 1 representative for about 500,000 inhabitants.

Our representatives do not even know us. If any Congressman met with 10 of his constituents every day for 365 days a year, it would take over 137 years for him just to meet all of them. And Congressmen are only elected for two year terms. If our Congressman don’t even know us how can they represent us?

So if we carefully examine modern representative democracy scientifically, we discover it is an oliarchy. In other words, we are ruled by the few. When we go to the poles to elect a President, we are simply electing the leader of the few who rule. Majority rule democracy ends for we the people the moment we exit the voting booth. And, our elected leader will have no need of our opinion for four years.

Its even less representative than it appears!

Both houses of Congress facilitate business by the committee system, and each has a fixed number of permanent committees, called standing committees, the chief function of which is considering and preparing legislation.

As the United States grew in population and in influence in world affairs, the volume and complexity of the matters arising in Congress also increased. Due consideration to all matters submitted to the Congress could not be given in open debate on the floor of the Senate and House. As a result, the standing committees of the Congress became the arbiters of the fate of practically all legislation. There are 22 standing committees in the House and 16 standing committees in the Senate. Even though majority rule is used to make decisions in these committees once the decision is made the results are imposed on ~276,000,000 Americans.

In recent years, the American people have attempted to exert their will by making use of ballot initiatives. Almost always if these initiatives are not popular with the few that rule, they are quickly dismantled. In November of 1996, the majority of Californians voted for Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action, Proposition 215, which legalized medical use of marijuana, and Proposition 187, which denied legal benefits to illegal immigrants. By January of 1997, all three were hung up in the courts or in a jurisdictional squabble with the federal government. None was close to being enforced.

By May of 1998, Proposition 215, the Marijuana for Medical Use Initiative which passed by a 56% majority throughout the state and by an 80% majority in San Francisco has all but been dismantled by the Few who Rule. They had succeeded in closing the majority of the medical marijuana clinics which had opened throughout the state, and were pressing criminal charges against many of those involved in the clinics. Obviously, the majority does not rule in California.

This fact is being increasingly realized by citizens across the nation. Voting in our representative democracy does not make a difference.  And we the people appear less and less interested in pretending that our voting has any effect whatever. Voter turnout has been declining steadily since 1960. And as reported  in the Wall Street Journal for November 9, 2000:

“Overall voter turnout for this week’s election barely budged despite nearly $1 billion of campaign television advertisements and the closest presidential contest in decades

“About 50.7% of the nation’s 200 million eligible voters cast ballots this week, marginally greater than the rock-bottom level seen in 1996, but significantly lower than the 1992 level, said Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. Four years ago, only 49% of those qualified to vote actually did so, the lowest turnout since 1924. By contrast, some 55% of the electorate went to the polls in 1992’s close race between Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush.”


Seeking synergic government

However, even if we had direct democracies using majority rule, it would not be a synergic form of government.

Adversary relationships require loss.

Neutral relationships prohibit loss, but do not require winning.

Synergic relationships prohibit loss and require winning.

So in fact, if we use the Neutral criteria of prohibition of loss, majority rule democracy is not even a neutral form of government. In majority rule democracy, the minority often loses. As Andrew J. Galambos wrote:

“The word Democracy comes from the Greek words which mean “rule of the people.” However, the practice of Democracy can be no better than the understanding of the concept of “rule of the people.”Over the past 2,000 years, most people have come to accept without question or reservation the idea that Democracy means the ability of the people to choose their mode of social organization by means of majority vote.

“The political concept of Democracy arose as a consequence of counting yeas and nays on particular issues and than selecting the men who would decide how issues were to be resolved. Whichever man could muster the choice of more persons than his opposition could muster became the dominant person for the society. This was and is nothing more than an application of the old dictum, might makes right.

“This concept of Democracy (which prevails to this day) relies upon the ability of the winning political leaders to count upon the support of more people than their losing opponents. However, this concept does nothing to ensure the protection of the property, hence, the freedom of those who may disagree. Furthermore, those who may be in the majority with respect to a given issue or political candidate will eventually find themselves in the minority with respect to other issues or candidates. In the long run, therefore, everyone loses. This concept of Democracy eventually breaks down and leads to a destruction of freedom.”

Source: Andrew J.Galambos, What is True Democracy,  Free Enterprise Institute, 1963

In today’s “FREE” world all political decisions are made using majority rule democracy. The the group deciding may be small, a committee faced with solving some particular problem, or large, the entire voting electorate of a nation choosing a President. Regardless of the size of the group deciding, decision is made when one faction within the group achieves a simple majority. That faction wins, the minority faction loses. Majority rule consensus requires only a simple majority to force the minority, the losing voters to accept the position of the majority, the winning voters. There is no need to gain the agreement of all of the members. There is no need to prevent the minority from losing.

Majority rule democracy of which the committee is the most common example is filled with political intrigue and back room deals to obtain majority consensus and defeat the minority. This often results in the dark art of politics which makes strange bedfellows. Even when the majority wins they are not assured of the cooperation of the minority. Often the minority may only support the elected plan half-heartedly, or even seek to sabotage the plan they didn’t vote for since they feel they are losing anyway.

Compared to the rule by the one of dictatorship,  the rule by the most of majority rule democracy, appears to be a much fairer way. And fairness is perhaps the greatest value of our American nation.  However, it should now be clear to the reader that while Neutral political-economic systems are better for humanity than Adversary political-economic systems. Majority rule democracy is really an Adversary political-economic system pretending to be a Neutral political-economic system. In reality only lip service is given to rule by the most.

What we really have in America, the “freest nation on Earth”, is rule by the few. And, while rule by the few holds some advantage over rule by the one, its advantage does not imply there is nothing better for Humanity.

If we are to find a synergic form of organization for humanity, we will have to look beyond the representative democracies of today.

Read the Synergic Future Series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

Front Page

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

The truth is especially hard to believe if it requires that we take action — if it requires that we change. If humanity is to have a future, we must take action — we must change. If humanity is to have a future, we must believe the truth.

This is the sixth in a series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding and 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future.

“We know how to solve our problems, we just don’t use what we know.” 

— Alfred Korzybski

Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future

Timothy Wilken, MD

Science fiction is a form of Time-binding. “Science fiction differs from science fantasy in that science fiction must obey the Laws of Nature.” A simple example is found in motion picture films. ≠In Gary Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy we hear explosions of battle in the vacuum of Space although sound cannot be conducted in a vacuum. However, in Stanley Kubick’s 2002 all the scenes in space were truly silent. The film 2002 is science fiction while Star Wars is science fantasy.

The best science fiction writers are always good scientists. And the best science fiction often predicts future science. Many scientific discoveries and technologies are described in science fiction stories years or even decades before they become realities. Jules Vern, described travel from the earth to the moon in 1865 and ocean going nuclear submarines in 1869.

Issac Asimov is perhaps one of the best examples of both a great science fiction writer, and a good scientist. His interest in science and writing developed in tandem.


He wrote his first story when he was only 11 years old, his first published writing was a column he did for his high school newspaper. While he continued writing, Asimov also attended college and managed to graduate from Columbia University with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1939, and two years later earned his M.A. in Chemistry. He continued studying at Columbia in a Ph.D. program, but with time off for WWII, he was not awarded his Doctorate in Biochemistry until May 1948. During this same period, he also managed to write 36 science fiction stories.

Asimov is most famous for his Robot stories. Asimov’s Robots were something very special. They could take any form, from a small household appliance to large space craft carrying tens of thousands of human travelers. Their most common form however was humiform. Examples of humiform robots are seen in recent science fiction movies. Most notably 3CPO the intergalactic translator in Gary Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy, Arnold Swartzenegger’s performances as terminators in James Cameron’s The Terminator films, Brent Spiner’s performances as Lt. Commander Data in Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek — The Second Generation, and most recently Robin Williams’ performance of The Bicentennial Man based on an original Asimov story.


Asimov’s robots were highly intelligent, spoke and understood all human languages, were highly mobile, physically strong and enormously powerful. They were awesome machines. If they had wanted to hurt human beings they could have in an eyeblink. But Asimov’s robots never wanted to hurt humans. Their powerful “positronic” brains were constrained by the Three Laws of Robotics. These laws first appeared in print in 1942 as follows.

Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics (1942)

1) A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Here we see that Asimov’s First Law of Robotics contains the commitment to helping. Not only must the robot not injure a human being it must protect the human being from harm. This is a requirement for helping. His Second Law of Robotics states again that the Robot must help human beings by obeying their orders. In Asimov’s stories the robots were often owned by the human beings they served. Asimov’s robots were almost always very decent and caring individuals, while their owner’s were often only too human. The robots were treated in the best of circumstances as respected and valuable friends, and in the worst as victims and slaves.

Asimov’s robot stories were remarkably interesting and intelligent. He fully explored the ramifications resulting when his robot’s intelligence evolved to a point that it equaled human intelligence and finally surpassed it.

Writing in 1942, Issac Asimov described a futurescape, where Robots had been invented in 2007. He invented the Three Laws Of Robotics to insure that this servant class of robots were safe to be with human beings. His futurescape spanned 6 decades and by 2064, positronic robots governed by the three laws of robotics were a widespread and common phenomena on Earth. They were especially important in humanity’s expansion into space and the colonization of other planets.

Forty-five years later, Asimov was still writing robot stories, but things had changed.

Twelve centuries had passed in his imagined futurescape, the science of robotics had progressed as rapidly as Moore’s Law drives computer design on Earth today. Robots were smaller more intelligent and could be made to look exactly like humans. Theoretically, a robot’s lifespan was unlimited. Robots had an endless opportunity to learn and to think about what they had learned. They were more intelligent than most humans, and their long life experiences meant they were usually much wiser.

It became obvious that the laws of robotics needed to be advanced as well. Asimov rose to the occasion by creating an additional or fourth law of Robotics. It was called the Zeroth Law because although it was created fourth chronologically, it was logically the First Law.

Asimov’s Four Laws of Robotics (1985)

0) A robot may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

1) A robot may not harm a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the Zeroth Law.

2) A robot must obey orders given it by a human being, except where that would conflict with the Zeroth and First Laws.

3) A robot must protect its own existence except where that would conflict with the Zeroth, First or Second Laws.

Robots in Asimov’s earlier stories then became known as 3-Law Robots in contrast to these new more powerful 4-Law Robots.


Recall that Asimov’s First Law of Robotics contains the commitment to helping. Not only must the robot not injure a human being it must protect the human being from harm. This is a requirement for helping. His Second Law of Robotics states again that the Robot must help human beings by obeying their orders. Thus within the original Three Laws of Robotics, we see a strong commitment to helping humans. This commitment to helping is expanded with the Zeroth Law.

As 20,000 year old 4-Law Robot Daneel Olivaw explained:

The Zeroth Law is a corollary of the First Law, for how can a human being best be kept from injury, if not by ensuring that human society in general is protected and kept functioning?”

The Zeroth Law of Robotics introduced the concept of responsibility to and for the entire human species. Now Asimov’s robots were required not only to care for and protect the individual human beings that owned them, but also to protect all human beings and by extension the ecosystem and the earth itself.

Protecting Humanity

Asimov’s Four Laws of Robotics can serve as the basis for developing a code for the Synergic Guardians of the Trustegrities. We can eliminate Asimov’s Second law which does not apply since humans are not property and cannot be slaves, and we can elimate the Third law as redundant since a Synergic Guardian is a human being and so is protected by the First law. This leaves us with only two laws necessary to protect humanity as community and humanity as individuals.

  • A Synergic Guardian may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
  • A Synergic 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 Needs of the Many

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.”


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.

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.

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.

The first law of the of the Guardian Trust 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 the Trustegrity 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 towards the rights of individuals. Trustegrity 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 Trustegrity Guardians’ first responsibility is to the safety of the individual. 

The Bigger Picture

Within synergic community, it is understood that actions that injure the EARTH and environement—the natural resources, fertile soils, waters, minerals, ores, metals, and the very air we breathealso injures humanity.


It is understood that actions that injures LIFEthe plants and animals and the biodiversity of all non-human Lifealso injures humanity.


It is understood that actions than injures the wealth produced by human action—whether in the form of Time-binding Trust or Property of living humansalso injures humanity.


Therefore, synergic community desires the protection of  all Synergic Wealth:

1) the Earth Trust—the planet and all natural resources,

2) the Life Trust—All plants, animals and humans,

3) the Time-binding Trust—the accumulated ‘knowing’ from the time-binding of all the humans who have ever lived and died. Our inherited Wisdom, Knowledge, and Information including Architecture, Art, Literature, Music, Science, and Technology,

4) Human Action—Mental and Physical—Thinking, Action, and Behavior—Primary Property of Living Humans 

5) Human Leverage—Mental and Physical—Intellectual Property in the forms of Theories, Discoveries, and Technology Designs—Primary Property, and Physical Property such as Tools, Technology Artifacts, and Products—Secondary Property of living humans.

This then forms the basis for a code of behavior for the Synergic Guardians of the Trustegrities.

Code of the Synergic Guardians

1) A Synergic Guardian may not injure the EARTH or, through inaction, allow the EARTH to come to harm.

2) A Synergic Guardian may not injure LIFE or, through inaction, allow LIFE to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First Law. 

3) A Synergic Guardian may not injure HUMANITY or, through inaction, allow HUMANITY to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First or Second Laws.

4) A Synergic Guardian may not injure an individual HUMAN, or through inaction, allow an individual HUMAN to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First, Second or Third Laws. 

5) A Synergic Guardian may not injure the Time-binding Trust and/or Primary or Secondary Property, or through inaction, allow the Time-binding Trust and/or Primary or Secondary Property to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First, Second, Third or Fourth Laws.  

Best of the Best

The Synergic Trustegrities will seek to attract the best of the best as candidates for Trustegrity Guardianship. Once selected these Trustegrity Guardians would have greater trusteeship privileges with concomitant authority and responsibilities for and to the Synergic Trustegrities. Once selected Trustegrity Guardians can serve in one of the three branches of the Synergic Trustegrities — the Earth Trust, the Life Trust, or the Time-binding Trust.

Trustegrity Guardian Candidates should have repeatedly demonstrated both personal and public honesty, and should have a history demonstrating synergic morality and behavior. In the future, Universities will offer degrees in Trustegrity and Guardian Science to prepare those young humans to desire to serve Humanity as Community. A careful selection process will be developed to select the very best which could include Trustegrity Guardian Academies.

Synergic Guardians of the Trustegritys

Recall the Trustegrities are structured using the principles and mechanism of the Organizational Tensegrity. Decisions are made in heterarchy using synergic consensus. Loss within the organization is eliminated with the synergic veto. Action is carried out by negotiated hierarchical. This eliminates conflict. The three trustegrities would work together. They would be guided by Humanity as Community using Synocracy.

The Earth Trust Guardians would protect and preserve the Earth Trust including the Earth and all natural resources. The Trust would be administered to best serve present and future humanity. 

The Life Trust Guardians would protect the Life Trust including all living systems — all life forms — this includes all humans, all animals, and all plants.

And, thirdly the Time-binding Trust Guardians would protect and preserve the Time-binding Trust — the accumulated “knowing” from the lives and actions of all the humans who have ever lived and died. Our inherited Wisdom, Knowledge, and Information including Architecture, Art, Literature, Music, Science, and Technology. Because of their committment to protecting all who have lived and who have died, they also protect the new  “knowing”of  humanity — the Intellectual Property of  living humans.

Synergic Guardians are not allowed to hurt anyone through their control of the Synergic Trusts. But in addition they are required to protect and conserve the Synergic Trusts. Further, they are required to help others and to insure that all humans have the basic needs of life —both survival and meaning. This is a binding obligation. Failure to meet these obligations results in the immediate loss of Synergic Trustee privileges. 
They will protect and conserve the Earth and the natural resources — including both the renewable resources — soils, water, and minerals — and the nonrenewable resources — coal, petroleum, natural gas, metals and other mineral ores.

They will protect Life — plant, animal and human.  

The Life and Earth Trusts are finite and fragile. Once a species of plant or animal becomes extinct, it is lost forever. Once our nonrenewable resources are consumed they are lost forever. And even the renewable resources can be damaged by careless use. And once damaged, they may not be repairable.

The Synergic Trustegrities hold all land and all the natural resources including native plants and wildlife in synergic trust. Land and natural resources cannot be owned. Land may leased as living sites for individuals and families. Land may be invested as production sites for manufacturing and commerce and earn revenue shares on behalf of the Trust. Natural resources may be invested in synergic production if it serves the interests of humanity as community and public welfare. Such investment would earn revenue shares on behalf of the Synergic Trustegrities.

The revenues the Synergic Trustegrities receive from their leases and investments are used not only to protect and preserve the synergic trusts, but also to help others.

The Synergic Guardians accept as their primary responsibility the protection of humanity as community and humanity as individual. They will seek to ensure that all humans are safe from crime and war; that all humans have access to shelter, nutrition, medical care, and education. They will further accept responsibilty for the provision of good care and life support for all humans in need — children and adults — the ill and injured, the poor and destitute, and the homeless.

On behalf of the Earth Trustegrity, they will provide:

1) Access to land and natural resources for personal use at minimal or no cost, and

2) Access to land and natural resources for synergic production with appropriate charges payable to the Earth Trustegrity in lease or rental fees, licensing fees, and/or revenue shares. All rental fees, licensing fees, and/or revenue shares are entrusted to the Synergic Trustegrities for Humanity as Community.

On behalf of the Life Trustegrity, they will provide:

3) Safety from crime and war, and full access to:

4) Comfortable, safe, healthy housing.

5) Good nutritious food

6) Good preventitive health services and comprehensive cradle to grave medical care, and access to the privilege of Reproduction based on fairness, equality, and mutual benefit to both humanity as Individuals and humanity as Community. This would include monitoring administrating, adjudicating the Trust privilege of Reproduction.

7) Access to animals and plants including native flora and wildlife for personal use at minimum or no cost.

8) Access to animals and plants including native flora and wildlife for synergic production with approriate charges payable to the Life Trustegrity in rental fees, licensing fees and/or revenue shares. All payments made are entrusted to the Synergic Trustegrites for Humanity as Community.

On behalf of the Time-binding Trustegrity, they will provide:

9) Full education to an individual’s ability and interest regardless of age,

10) The opportunity to participate in synergic organization and invest their action and leverage to earn revenue shares and acquire property throughout their full lifetime.

11) Access to communication with humanity as individuals and to humanity as community for personal reasons, for synergic production and consumption, and for synergic consensus utilizing Unanimous Rule Democracy.

12) Protection of the intellectual discoveries and inventions of Time-binding whether they be in the Time-binding Trust, or the Intellectual Property of living humans.

Front Page

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

The truth is especially hard to believe if it requires that we take action — if it requires that we change. If humanity is to have a future, we must take action — we must change. If humanity is to have a future, we must believe the truth.

This is the fifth in a series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding.

Trustegrities — Protecting the Future

Timothy Wilken, MD

It must now be obvious to the reader, that most of human wealth is a gift and cannot be claimed as property by any individual or group of individuals. I have divided this gift into three categories — the Earth Trust, the Life Trust and the Time-binding Trust.

I propose the creation of synergic trustee organizations charged with the responsibility to protect, conserve and administer the synergic trusts for the benefit of all humanity — both the living and the unborn. This organization could make use of the Organizational Tensegrity synergic mechanism which utilizes synergic consensus and the synergic veto to elimnate conflict. These Synergic Trust Organizational Tensegrities will simply be called the “Trustegrities”. The Trustegrities could form the basis for a synergic government in the future. They could perform all the positive functions of present government with none of the negative consequences. The Trustegrities would exist to serve humanity as community as well as humanity as individual.

The Trustegrities will be three with separate but complimentary missions in service to humankind. 

The Earth Trustegrity will provide:

1) Access to land and natural resources for personal use at minimal or no cost, and

2) Access to land and natural resources for synergic production with appropriate charges payable to the Earth Trustegrity in lease or rental fees, licensing fees, and/or revenue shares. All rental fees, licensing fees, and/or revenue shares are entrusted to the Earth Trustegrity for Humanity as Community.

The Life Trustegrity will provide:

3) Safety from crime and war, and full access to:

4) Comfortable, safe, healthy housing.

5) Good nutritious food

6) Good preventitive health services and comprehensive cradle to grave medical care, and access to the privilege of Reproduction based on fairness, equality, and mutual benefit to both humanity as Individuals and humanity as Community. This would include monitoring administrating, adjudicating the Trust privilege of Reproduction.

7) Access to animals and plants including native flora and wildlife for personal use at minimum or no cost.

8) Access to animals and plants including native flora and wildlife for synergic production with approriate charges payable to the Life Trustegrity in rental fees, licensing fees and/or revenue shares. All payments made are entrusted to the Earth Trustegrity for Humanity as Community.

The Time-binding Trustegrity will provide:

9) Full education to an individual’s ability and interest regardless of age,

10) The opportunity to participate in synergic organization and invest their action and leverage to earn revenue shares and acquire property throughout their full lifetime.

11) Access to communication with humanity as individuals and to humanity as community for personal reasons, for synergic production and consumption, and for synergic consensus utilizing Unanimous Rule Democracy.

12) Protection of the intellectual discoveries and inventions of Time-binding whether they be in the Time-binding Trust, or the Property of living humans.

Funding the Synergic Trustegrities

Future Positive was established to help humanity transition from the present adversary-neutral political-economic mechanisms dominating human life in 2002 to synergic alternative mechanisms available in a Synergic Future. In such a future the entire human species could be organized as a single organization, then there would be no need for politics, economics, or even money. Certainly the forty trillion cells in the synergic organization which comprise our bodies do quite well without politics, economics or money.

As I said earlier, if we humans synergically reorganized, we could all be wealthy beyond our wildest dreams. If we were to take all the wealth on planet Earth today, 2002 and divide it equally among the 6+ billions of us living on the planet, we would discover to our surprise and amazement that every man, woman, and child is a billionaire. There would never be any need for humans to earn their livings again. With synergic reorganization, and careful utilization of the Earth, Life and Time-binding Trusts, the Earth could comfortably support all of humanity. And this is without any need to damage or degrade our environment.

Our Time-binding Trust is so enormously powerful and gives those of us living today such enormous leverage that it is scientifically possible to solve all our human problems and meet all of our needs.

We humans are bound to the Earth, and our individual fates are linked together — we share a common fate. We can survive and prosper together as a unified species, or we can perish as individuals fighting and fleeing like the animals. There is no separate peace and no separate solutions.

All the land and all the natural resources of the Earth are needed for our species to survive. They cannot be held and used to serve any individual or group of individuals. The land and natural resources are not property, they cannot be owned by anyone. They are a Trust to be shared and carefully utilized by all living humans. They are a Trust to be conserved for all yet unborn humanity. 

Men did not make the earth…. It is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property…. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.”

–Adam Smith (1723 – 1790)

Ground rents are a species of revenue which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own. Ground rents are, therefore, perhaps a species of revenue which can best bear to have a peculiar tax imposed upon them.” 

–Tom Paine (1737 – 1809)

The land, the earth God gave man for his home, sustenance, and support, should never be the possession of any man, corporation, society, or unfriendly government, any more than the air or water.”

–Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

Henry George

The American writer, Henry George published Progress and Poverty in 1879, in which he made one of the first arguments for the common ownership of land by all people. He seriously argued for the full return of the land to humanity as community. He even suggested a mechanism for that transition. Here in his own words:

“There is but one way to remove an evil and that is to remove its cause. To extirpate poverty, to make wages what justice commands they should be, the full earnings of the labourer, we must substitute for the individual ownership of land a common ownership. Nothing else will go to the cause of the evil, in nothing else is there the slightest hope.

“But this is a truth which, in the present state of society, will arouse the most bitter antagonism, and must fight its way, inch by inch. It will be necessary, therefore, to meet the objections of those who, even when driven to admit this truth, will declare that it cannot be practically applied.

“In doing this we shall bring our previous reasoning to a new and crucial test. Just as we try addition by subtraction and multiplication by division, so may we, by testing the sufficiency of the remedy, prove the correctness of our conclusions as to the cause of the evil.

“The laws of the universe are harmonious. And if the remedy to which we have been led is the true one, it must be consistent with justice; it must be practicable of application; it must accord with the tendencies of social development and it must harmonize with other reform.

“I propose to show that this simple measure is not only easy of application, but that it is a sufficient remedy for all the evils which, as modern progress goes on, arise from the greater and greater inequality in the distribution of wealth—that it will substitute equality for inequality, plenty for want, justice for injustice, social strength for social weakness, and will open the way to grander and nobler advances of civilization.

“But a question of method remains. How shall we do it?

“We should satisfy the law of justice, we should meet all economic requirements, by at one stroke abolishing all private titles, declaring all land public property, and letting it out to the highest bidders in lots to suit, under such conditions as would sacredly guard the private right to improvements.

“Thus we should secure, in a more complex state of society, the same equality of rights that in a ruder state were secured by equal partitions of the soil and, by giving the use of the land to whoever could procure the most from it, we should secure the greatest production.

“But such a plan, though perfectly feasible, does not seem to me the best.

“To do that would involve a needless shock to present customs and habits of thought—which is to be avoided.

“To do that would involve a needless extension of governmental machinery—which is to be avoided.

“It is an axiom of statesmanship, which the successful founders of tyranny have understood and acted upon, that great changes can best be brought about under old forms. We, who would free men, should heed the same truth. It is the natural method. When nature would make a higher type, she takes a lower one and develops it. This is the law also of social growth. Let us work by it. With the current we may glide fast and far. Against it, it is hard pulling and slow progress.

“I do not propose either the purchase or the confiscation of private property in land. The first would be unjust; the second, needless. Let the individuals who now hold it still retain, if they want to, possession of what they are pleased to call their land. Let them continue to call it their land. Let them buy and sell, and bequeath and devise it. It is not necessary to confiscate land; it is only necessary to confiscate rent.

“Nor to take rent for public uses is it necessary that the state should bother with the letting of lands. It is not necessary that any new machinery should be created. The machinery already exists. Instead of extending it, all we have to do is to simplify and reduce it. By making use of this existing machinery, we may, without jar or shock, assert the common right to land by taking rent for public uses.

“We already take some rent in taxation. We have only to make some changes in our modes of taxation to take it all.

“Therefore, what I propose is—to appropriate rent by taxation.

“In form, the ownership of land would remain just as now. No owner of land need be dispossessed, and no restriction need be placed upon the amount of land any one could hold. For, rent being taken by the state in taxes, land, no matter in whose name it stood or in what parcels it was field, would be really common property, and every member of the community would participate in the advantages of its ownership.

“Now, insomuch as the taxation of rent, or land values, must necessarily be increased just as we abolish other taxes, we may put the proposition into practical form by proposing to abolish all taxation save that upon land values.

“As we have seen, the value of land is at the beginning of society nothing, but as society develops by the increase of population and the advance of the arts, it becomes greater and greater. Hence it will not be enough merely to place all taxes upon the value of land. It will be necessary, where rent exceeds the present governmental revenues, to increase commensurately the amount demanded in taxation, and to continue this increase as society progresses and rent advances. But this is so natural and easy a matter, that it may be considered as involved, or at least understood, in the proposition to put an taxes on the value of land.

“Wherever the idea of concentrating all taxation upon land values finds lodgment sufficient to induce consideration, it invariably makes way, but there are few of the classes most to be benefited by it, who at first, or even for a long time afterwards, see its full significance and power. It is difficult for working-men to get over the idea that there is a real antagonism between capital and labour. It is difficult for small farmers and homestead owners to get over the idea that to put all taxes on the value of land would be to tax them unduly. It is difficult for both classes to get over the idea that to exempt capital from taxation would be to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer. These ideas spring from confused thought. But behind ignorance and prejudice there is a powerful interest, which has hitherto dominated literature, education and opinion. A great wrong always dies hard, and the great wrong which in every civilized country condemns the masses of men to poverty and want will not die without a bitter struggle.

 “It is impossible for anyone to study Political Economy, or to think at all upon the production and distribution of wealth, without seeing that property in land differs from property in things of human production.

“This is admitted, either expressly or tacitly, in every standard work on Political Economy, but in general only by vague admission or omission. Attention is in general called away from the truth, as a lecturer on moral philosophy in a slave-holding community might call away attention from too close a consideration of the natural rights of men; and private property in land is accepted without comment, as an existing fact, or is assumed to be necessary to the proper use of land and the existence of the civilized state.

“The consideration that seems to cause hesitation is the idea that having permitted land to be treated as private property for so long, we should in abolishing it be doing a wrong to those who have been suffered to base their calculations upon its permanence; that having permitted land to be held as rightful property we should by the resumption of common rights be doing injustice to those who have purchased it with what was unquestionably their rightful property.

“Thus it is held that if we abolish private property in land, justice requires that we should fully compensate those who now possess it, as the British government, in abolishing the purchase and sale of military commissions, felt itself bound to compensate those who held commissions which they had purchased in the belief that they could sell them again; or as, in abolishing slavery in the British West Indies, the sum of 20,000,000 pounds was paid to the slaveholders.

“Herbert Spencer wrote in Social Statics, published in 1864 “Had we to deal with the parties who originally robbed the human race of its heritage, we might make short work of the matter.”

“Why not make short work of the matter anyhow? This robbery is not like theft of a horse or a sum of money that ceases with the act. It is a fresh and continuous robbery that goes on every day and every hour. It is not from the produce of the past that rent is drawn; it is from the produce of the present. It is a toll levied upon labour constantly and continuously. Every blow of the hammer, every stroke of the pick, every thrust of the shuttle, every throb of the steam engine, pays its tribute. It levies upon the earnings of those men who, deep underground, risk their lives, and of those who over white surges hang to reeling masts. It robs the shivering, of warmth; the hungry, of food; the sick, of medicine; the anxious, of peace. It debases, and embrutes, and embitters. It crowds families of eight and ten into a single squalid room. It makes lads who might be useful men candidates for prisons and penitentiaries. It sends greed and all evil passions prowling through society as a hard winter drives the wolves to the abodes of men. It darkens faith in the human soul, and across the reflection of a just and merciful Creator draws the veil of a hard, and blind, and cruel fate.

“It is not merely a robbery in the past; it is a robbery in the present—a robbery that deprives of their birthright the infants that are now coming into the world. Why should we hesitate about making short work of such a system? Because you were robbed yesterday and the day before, and the day before that, is that any reason why you should suffer yourself to be robbed today and tomorrow? Any reason why you should conclude that the robber has acquired a vested right to rob you?

“If the land belong to the people, why continue to permit landowners to take the rent, or compensate them in any manner for the loss of rent? Consider what rent is. It does not arise spontaneously from land; it is due to nothing that the landowners have done. It represents a value created by the whole community. Let the landholders have, if you please, all that the possession of the land would give them in the absence of the rest of the community. But rent, the creation of the whole community, necessarily belongs to the whole community.

“The common law we are told is the perfection of reason, and certainly the landowners cannot complain of its decision, for it has been built up by and for landowners. Now what does the law allow to the innocent possessor when the land for which he paid his money is adjudged to belong rightfully to another? Nothing at all.
“The law simply says: “The land belongs to A, let the Sheriff put him in possession!” It gives the innocent purchaser of a wrongful title no claim, it allows him no compensation. And not only this, it takes from him all the improvements that he has in good faith made upon the land.

“You may have paid a high price for land, making every exertion to see that the title is good; you may have held it in undisturbed possession for years without thought or hint of an adverse claimant; made it fruitful by your toil or erected upon it a costly building of greater value than the land itself, or a modest home in which you hope, surrounded by the fig trees you have planted and the vines you have dressed, to pass your declining days. Yet if Quirk, Gammon and Snap can mouse out a technical flaw in your parchments or hunt up some forgotten heir who never dreamed of his rights, not merely the land, but all your improvements, may be taken away from you. And not merely that. According to the common law, when you have surrendered the land and given up your improvements, you may be called upon to account for the profits you derived from the land during the time you had it.

“Now if we were to apply to this case of The People v. The Landowners the same maxims of justice that have been formulated by landowners into law, and are applied every day in English and American courts to disputes between man and man, we should not only not think of giving the landholders any compensation for the land, but should take all the improvements and whatever else they might have as well.

“But I do not propose, and I do not suppose that anyone else will propose, to go so far. It is sufficient if the people resume ownership of the rent of land. Let the landowners retain their improvements and personal property in secure possession.

“And in this measure of justice would be no oppression, no injury to any class. The great cause of the present unequal distribution of wealth, with the suffering, degradation and waste that it entails, would be swept away. Even landholders would share in the general gain. The gain of even the large landholders would be a real one. The gain of the small landholders would be enormous. For in welcoming justice, men welcome the handmaid of Love. Peace and Plenty follow in her train, bringing their good gifts, not to some, but to all.”

Henry George was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1839, the Earth’s human population had just passed 1,000,000,000 individuals. It is one hundred and twenty years since Henry George wrote his book Progress and Poverty. Since then the Earth’s human population has increased six times.

The truth is especially hard to believe if it requires that we take action≠if it requires that we change. If humanity is to have a future, we must take action≠we must change. If humanity is to have a future, we must believe the truth.

The wealth represented by the land and water, native plants and wildlife, chemical, mineral, and metal natural resources is so enormous that when it is rescued from the plunderers and returned to the Synergic Trust to benefit every human it will easily sustain the needs of all humanity.

The Synergic Trusts would make Land and Natural Resources available to individuals and organizations. The Trustegrity could be funded entirely by rent receipts from the lease and utilization of Land, and from the licensing fees and revenue shares it receives for use of Natural Resources from the Life and Earth Trusts. This leasing of land and licensing of renewable natural resources would provide the revenue base for all of the beneficial services to humanity as community and to humanity as individuals.

Basic shelter, food, education and medical care would supplied without charge to individual humanity.

Only those individuals wanting to use land and natural resources for synergic production would pay appropriate charges payable to the Earth Trustegrity in lease or rental fees, licensing fees, and/or revenue shares. Only those individuals wanting to use animals and plants including native flora and wildlife for synergic production would pay approriate charges payable to the Life Trustegrity in rental fees, licensing fees and/or revenue shares.

Only those making non-personal  use of the Earth and Life Trusts are charged fees and/or revenue shares. The rents and licensing fees charged by the Trustegrity and paid to the Synergic Trusts are not taxes, since the rentor or licensee is recieving valuable access to and use of the Earth, Natual Resources, Plants and Animals, wealth belonging to Present and Future Humanity as Community in exchange for the fees and revenue shares that they pay.

Thus the Trustegrities would abolish all taxation.

To be continued…

Front Page

Monday, September 29th, 2008

The truth is especially hard to believe if it requires that we take action — if it requires that we change. If humanity is to have a future, we must take action — we must change. If humanity is to have a future, we must believe the truth.

This is the fourth in a series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth.

Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding

Timothy Wilken, MD

Recall my earlier definitions of synergic wealth:

SYNERGIC WEALTH —def—> Life itself and that which promotes human well being generally — that which satisfies human needs of self and other — that which promotes mutual survival and makes life meaningful for self and other. This then includes all Property and all Synergic Trust.

SYNERGIC WEALTH is then 1) LIFE itself including the LIFE TRUST 2) HUMAN ACTION—Mental and Physical—Thinking, Action, and Behavior—Primary Property 3) HUMAN LEVERAGE—Mental and Physical—Intellectual Property in the forms of Theories, Discoveries, and Technology Designs—Primary Property, and Physical Property such as Tools, Technology Artifacts, and Products—Secondary Property, 4) the TIME-BINDING TRUST, and 5) the EARTH TRUST.

plunder is not Synergic Wealth. As stolen Property or exploited Trust it has been removed from the Synergic Wealth pool to serve the criminals’ needs.

If and when stolen Property is rescued by synergic justice, then it is returned to its rightful owners, or if that is not possible it is placed in the protective custody of the appropriate Trustees. If and when exploited Trust is rescued by synergic justice, it is returned to the Protective custody of the appropriate Trustees.

Korzybski’s Indexing

Now that we have carefully defined Wealth, we can utilize a derivative of Korzybski’s IndexingTT to identify what form of wealth we are talking about.

PropertyP is designated with superscript P. Life TrustLT is designated with a superscript LT. Earth TrustET is designated with a superscript ET. Time-binding TrustTT is designated with a superscript TT. And plunderp is designated with a subscript p.

Some examples would be: my computerP, the American eagleLT,the EarthET, Einstein’s Theory of RelativityTT, and the thief was arrested in possession of several cellular phonesp.

Synergic Trustees

Recall, I said earlier that all humans are synergic trustees.

We are Earth Trustees for the land and natural resources we are granted use of for our personal needs. We must conserve and protect those Earth resources that we are entrusted with. This is an obligation to humanity as community and to the Earth Trust.

We are of course the Life Trustees of our own bodies. We should take good care of ourselves. Take care with our health and nutrition. As parents we are the Life Trustees for our children until they are adults. We must not harm ourselves or our children. We must live in ways to help ourselves and our children. This is an obligation to humanity as community and to the Life Trust.

We are also the Time-binding Trustees of all the knowledge and skills that we personally have mastered from our study of the past. We must strive not to hurt others with this knowledge and skill. We should try and help others to whatever extent we are capable.

In synergic culture, all humans are granted access to the Time-binding Trust at birth. Every human may make full use of the knowing contained in the Time-binding Trust as long as that use does not hurt others.

Personal or educational use of the Time-binding Trust is encouraged without limit or restriction. Knowledge cannot be consumed. Using the Time-binding Trust does not in any way diminish it.

Every human who gains economically from their use of the Time-binding Trust is required to acknowledge and give credit to the innovators and creators of the knowledge they are using.

They are further encouraged to help others to the extent they are capable — helping is a basic synergic value. Who they choose to help and to what extent they help is entirely voluntary — entirely their own personal choice. And, while synergic culture encourages its members to help others, there is no coercive obligation to do so.

Furthermore, economic gain from use of the Time-binding Trust creates no economic obligation to the Time-binding Trust or anyone else.

Intellectual Property

New ideas, discoveries, hypotheses, theories, technology designs, inventions, as well as new art, music, and writing are not a part of the Time-binding Trust. This is intellectual property. Or, what Galambos called Primary Property. All property has an owner. We cannot use property without the explicit permission of the owner. Recall our earlier definition: 

PROPERTY—def—> Wealth created by human action and leverage. It belongs to the individual(s) whose action and leverage created it. All humans are entitled to the fruits of their action and leverage. All human-made wealth is property, and all property has an owner. The owners of property have 100% control over their property as long as such control does not injure others, this prohibition of injury includes other individuals’ property, and the synergic trusts.

Intellectual Property —>Thinking is recognized as a powerful form of action. Ideas, discoveries, hypotheses, theories, technology designs, inventions, as well as art, music, and writing are therefore property. Synergic science recognizes Galambos’ definition of Primary Property and fully accepts Intellectual Property Rights. Primary Property — Ideas, discoveries, hypotheses, theories, and technology designs can be used to develop Secondary Property—technology artifacts or tools which leverage further action.

Property Rights —> Owner(s) may transfer partial or complete control of their own property to others as they choose. They may sell, trade, rent, lease, license, gift, or donate their property as they please.

In today’s world there is much interest in intellectual property. Property in ideas are protected to some extent under patent and copyright statutes. Patent & Intellectual Property Lawyers Laurence R. Hefter and Robert D. Litowitz explain: 

“In today’s world a patent is a contract between society as a whole and an individual inventor. Under the terms of this social contract, the inventor is given the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, and selling a patented invention for a fixed period of time in return for the inventor’s disclosing the details of the invention to the public. Thus, patent systems encourage the disclosure of information to the public by rewarding an inventor for his or her endeavors.

“Although the word “patent” finds its origins from documents issued by the sovereign of England in the Middle Ages for granting a privilege, today the word is linked synonymously with this exclusive right granted to inventors. The World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights provides the international standard for duration of patent exclusivity, which is 20 years from the date of filing. All World Trade Organization members will be obligated to meet this standard. Under all patent systems, once this period has expired, people are free to use the invention as they wish.

“Any invention, either a product or a process for creating a product, “provided that they are new, involve an inventive step, and are capable of industrial application.” In other words, to be patentable, an invention must be novel, useful, and nonobvious. A prerequisite to patentability is that the invention must be capable of some practical application.

“A copyright is an exclusive right to reproduce an original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, to prepare derivative works based upon the original work, and to perform or display the work in the case of musical, dramatic, choreographic, and sculptural works. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, or embodied. Rather, copyright protection is limited to an author s particular expression of an idea, process, concept, and the like in a tangible medium.

“Copyright protection automatically subsists in all works of authorship from the moment of creation. The World Trade Organization Agreement provides a minimum standard for duration of copyright protection. In the case of a person, the term is the life of the author plus 50 years.

“The exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner do not include the right to prevent others from making fair use of the owner s work. Such fair use may include use of the work for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching or education, and scholarship or research.

“To secure copyright protection, the work in question must be an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Works of authorship that fall within this definition may include:

Literary works (including computer programs);

Musical works and accompanying lyrics;

Dramatic works and dialogue;

Pantomimes and choreographic works;

Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

Motion pictures and other audiovisual works; and

Sound recordings.

“It is important to note that the laws of many countries do not limit the type or form of work because authors are continuing to invent new ways of expressing themselves.

Property clearly plays an important role in our present Neutral political-economic system. Property will play an important role in a Synergic political economic system as well. Those those desiring to use Intellectual Property will need to come to terms with the owner of the property. I expect most owners would want their property used as widely as possible, happy to receive a use fee or Lever Royalty. The terms and amount of the royalty would be negotiated and determined by the owner and those desiring to use the Intellectual Property. Elsewhere in my paper entitled the Organizational Tensegrity, I discuss synergic mechanisms for determining and paying Lever Royalites for the use of Intellectual Property. 

Intellectual Property Rights

Recall as Hefter and Litowitz explained, in today’s world:

“Authors which incudes scientists, writers, artists, and musicians can copyright their works. However, copyright protection is limited to an author’s particular expression of an idea, process, concept, and the like in a tangible medium. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, or embodied.”

Galambos’s definition of property provided much greater rights to both Inventors and Authors. Under Moral Capitalism the right to control one’s property was an absolute with the only limitation being that you could not hurt others with your property. This right of course extended to intellectual property since after life itself, primary property was the most important form of property.

And, Intellectual Property rights were not limited to an author’s particular expression of an idea, process, concept, and the like in a tangible medium. Intellectual Property rights did extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, or embodied.

Galambos recognized that independent discoveries and independent inventions did and do occur. So individuals with strong evidence of independent discovery or independent invention were fully entitled to property rights.

As a synergic scientist, I am in agreement with Galambos’ call for a greater degree of intellectual property rights, and I accept the occurrence of genuine independent discoveries and inventions, and the need for a mechanism of justice to abitrate property disputes. 

Duration of Property Rights

Again, Hefter and Litowitz decribe our present world: 

“Current international statutes degree that the inventor of a new tool can file for a patent granting exclusive right of ownership for a period of 20 years from date of filing.

“The duration of copyright protection in the case of a person is for the duration of the life of the author plus 50 years.”

In Moral Capitalism, the duration of property rights were not to be limited.

According to the precepts of Moral Capitalism, Isaac Newton as the recognized innovator of the Laws of Motion would have intellectual property rights throughout his life, and these would not terminate even upon his death. Galambos invented the concept of a “Natural Estate”, the intellectual property rights of an innovator persisted even after death. A Moral Corporation was to be charged with the authority and responsibility for managing the intellectual property rights of the deceased innovator within his “Natural Estate”.

This Moral Corporation, representing the “Natural Estate”, would license the intellectual property of the deceased innovator to present humanity for moral (non-coercive) use. In our example, Newton’s intellectual property (The Laws of Motion) would earn revenue shares as a monetary payment of gratitude.

Since the Industrial Revolution is based in large part on the secondary property derived from Isaac Newton’s primary property (the Laws of Motion), one could easily imagine that the size of Isaac Newton’s “Natural Estate” would result in the creation of an enormously wealthy and powerful Moral Corporation.

With the large amount of intellectual property in the history of humanity there would be need for many Natural Estates. The largest Natural Estates would be those of the most important innovators in human history — Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, Hippocrates, Louis Pasteur, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, Rudolf Diesel, George Eastman, Albert Einstein, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Michael Faraday, Galileo Galilei, etc., etc., etc..

Galambos envisioned that the Natural Estate industry would become the dominant industry in a proprietary future dominated by Moral Capitalism. He saw the Natural Estate mechanism as a complete replacement for government. After all in a world where everything is property and where there is no such thing as a small interference with property, protecting property is the only rule. Moral Capitalism results in a completely proprietary world.

Unfortunately, the Natural Estate mechanism while a clever idea does not work, and in fact can not work. 

The Nature of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is slippery, hard to keep track of. When I learn something, I often place the fact in my mind without a proprietary footnote. This is true for all humans. There is presently no way to record or print out a copy of the human mind. And, if I am reading many different authors, talking with many different people, surfing the internet, listening to the radio, watching televison, there are enormous numbers of different ideas and thoughts that I am exposed daily, let alone in a lifetime of living and thinking. Is this my original idea ? Sometimes I don’t even know for sure myself.

And, my mind was already full of all the knowing that I have learned and mastered from the past. If I think in English, then the very structure of the languange I use to order my thoughts would belong to whoever invented the English language. And since language is build overtime often one word or phrase at a time, we are probably not talking about one innovator, but maybe hundreds, or thousands, or millions. And then, there is the language of mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, art and music. Most of what I know I learned from the dead. If that is property how do we sort it all out.

And, some of what I learned is from people who are still living. That is other people’s intellectual property, but at least they are still alive to represent themselves and their property rights.

Objectifying a living individual’s knowing is difficult, but doable. I can write down my ideas. I can tell my ideas to others. I can make written, digital, audio and video recordings. I can be interviewed, questioned. Asked to explain how I created the idea, and what was my train of thought.

However, all ability to objectify my knowing ends with my death.

It would create a world full of humans looking back at the past with endless struggles between “Natural Estates” arguing over who owns what. And, how do you settle these property disputes, when all the principles are dead ? 

Creating human organizations to the manage the intellectual property of the dead is fraught with enormous difficulties. Do the executors of Albert Einstein’s Natural Estate even understand his intellectual property.

Worse yet, who has the right to select those living humans to manage Natural Estates. It is first come, first served. I could announce tomorrow that I am the executor of Archimedes’ Natural Estate and that everyone who uses leverage in anyway owes Archimedes a revenue share. Imagine the revenue that could produce. And, of course I could pay myself quite well as Archimedes’ executor. Who decides ? Who arbitrates ? Certainly, Archimedes wouldn’t care.

And, why not just announce myself as the executor of the Natural Estate for the Inventor of the wheel or for the inventor of  language. Wheels are everywhere from ox carts to 767s, who wouldn’t pay royalties on the wheel. And, language there is no one who is called human that doesn’t use languge.  Everyone who talks must pay my company a royalty. 

Death and Inheritance

The dead have no needs including no need of wealth.

WEALTH —def—> That which promotes human well being — that which satisfies human needs — that which promotes both human survival and human meaning.

The dead have no actions nor do they lever others action. The dead cannot control Property or Trust, and therefore have no Property rights nor Trust privileges.

PROPERTY—def—> Wealth created by human action and leverage. It belongs to the individual(s) whose action and leverage created it. All humans are entitled to the fruits of their action and leverage. All human-made wealth is property, and all property has an owner. The owners of property have 100% control over their property as long as such control doesn’t hurt others.

At the time of death, all primary property of the deceased passes into the Time-binding Trust. This includes all known ideas, discoveries, hypotheses, theories, and technology designs.

When a creator of scientific knowledge dies their Primary Property passes into the Time-binding Trust. Those desiring to use Time-binding Trust like Haskell’s Periodic Coordinate SystemTT, Galambos’ Automatic Remoteness DilutionTT, or Einstein’s Theory of RelativityTT can do so as long as their use of these Trusts with synergic responsibilty — they do not hurt anyone with the leverage gained by using the trust, and they acknowledge and give credit to the innovator of that knowledge. No revenue share is paid for use of a Time-binding Trust.

Synergic Associate Daan Joubert asks:
“Suppose an innovator dies suddenly. What happens to the immediate family and the dependents that are supported from the income stream provided by the licensing of the innovator’s intellectual property.  — wife or husband, and minor children ?”

In a truely synergic culture. The basic life support for all humans individuals is provided by Humanity as Community using Wealth from the Earth, Life, and Time-binding Trusts. I will describe this completely in a later paper.
And, of course this is the proper roll of insurance. To provide for immediate family in the event of unexpected death.

But, during the bridge period, perhaps there could be some time period when existing contracts for use of the innovator’s intellectual property would continue. How long? The life of the spouse? Until minor children reach some age of adulthood. In today’s world perhaps that should be after college. (age 21) ?

Daan Joubert asks: “And, what about the situation where the work of the innovator was in progress at the time of the innovator’s death, suppose his/her innovations were not finished. Shouldn’t it be possible to appoint a curator of the ideas with a protected period of say 10 years, to complete the work as envisioned by the innovator?”
I think this is a valid concern, but I think the mechanisms as described would handle this OK. When the Innovator died, all his intellectual property becomes Time-binding Trust. It is now available to anyone to use with synergic responsibility. This would include those qualified to act as a curator of the ideas. Also it is possible that those most qualified to continue the innovator’s work were not even known by him. So, the release of the deceased innovators intellectual property to the Time-binding Trust opens up an opportunity for new minds to access and extend the work.

However with that said, if the innovation has not yet been disclosed to the public, or only partially disclosed to the public, then the innovation is still  private. There is no mechanism for private (not know by the public) intellectual property to enter the Time-binding Trust until it is made public by the act of disclosure. If the innovator was working with an associate, or team of associates, they could continue, finish the innovation and then go public.

Also, it is important to note any individual(s) who continue working on the innovation, making improvements to that  innovation are creating new intellectual property of their own with intellectual property rights.

So innovations should not be stranded by the sudden death of an innovator.

If you want to use the intellectual property of a living innovator. You have to ask permission and make an agreement for that use. The living innovator has property rights.  As an owner he/she may transfer partial or complete control of their own property to others as they choose. They may sell, trade, rent, lease, license, gift, or donate their property as they please.

Secondary property can be inherited — this includes artifacts of any kind or size — houses, buildings material possessions and physical products — technology artifacts or tools.

Land can not be owned. If you inherited a house or building you would be responsible to make the lease payments to the Earth Trust for the site upon which the house or building stand.

To be continued …