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Wednesday, 26 September 2007 00:00

Ending the curse of Babel may be our only, best chance

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By Arthur Hancock

Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better off than a dead lion.

— Ecclesiastes 9:4

Do you agree with the following sentence? The survival of the human race is more important than anything else on Earth.

What does this statement mean? It means that the continuation of the human species is more important than freedom, liberty, custom, heritage, country, religion, private property, privacy, you name it. There is absolutely nothing more vital than the survival of human kind.

Four billion years of earthly evolution has produced a creature capable of going from horse and buggy to space shuttle in less than 100 years. For all its faults, homo sapiens represent the crowning achievement of our little blue planet.

Yet our days as a species may well be numbered. The twin threats of thermonuclear war and environmental collapse pose an unprecedented threat to our survival. We may be the very first species to annihilate itself; to self-extinct. This doesn’t say much for the most advanced life form on Earth does it?

The twin threats are rooted in ignorance — the source of all fear — and this fear is expressed as violence and greed. Thermonuclear war is the inevitable folly assured by continued reliance on fighting as the way to solve problems. From stone clubs to intercontinental ballistic missiles, the same primitive flight/fight animal survival psychology has dictated human behavior across the millennia. The citizens of the nuclear club nations (that’s us, Americans) are basically saying: “In order to protect my country I am willing to risk terminating the entire human race by using nuclear weapons.” This is madness. For 50 years now we have been standing at the brink of doomsday. And I’m not just talking about a deliberate nuclear attack; the least likely scenario. Remember Murphy’s Law: what can go wrong will. Accidents happen. Is it worth the risk? Crazy people say yes. Sane people say no.

As for greed, every tribe on earth insists on its “right” to do just as it pleases within its own borders. Stalin slaughtered untold millions to consolidate power. Pol Pot annihilated multitudes of his fellow Cambodians; Kim Jong Il dines on 15-course meals while his people starve; Brazil does nothing while a New Jersey-sized area of its precious rain forest is logged or burned every year, etc.

The curse of Babel continues today. We remain hopelessly divided by language, culture, religion, and border. Every tribe on this planet, from pygmies in the African jungle to the People’s Republic of China claims the “right” of national “sovereignty.” Every clan wants to be independent from every other; autonomous; free agents — and be able to behave just as they please.

Imagine each “sovereign nation” as a single survivor assigned to one seat in a small rubber lifeboat. Adrift on the unforgiving sea each survivor has the right to do as he pleases within his defined seating area. If a man decides to start stabbing at the rubber raft with a sharp-pointed object, then that is his “right” as long as he does so within his legally established space. Tolerating this dangerous behavior is as insane as the behavior itself.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” Those oft-venerated words of Patrick Henry are utterly absurd when applied to the entire human race. If we are all dead then “democracy” and “freedom” and “liberty” and “fair play” and “God” don’t mean a damned thing. Who cares what you died for if there’s no one left alive to care on your barren radioactive planet?

It’s really very simple. As long as humans are alive, there is hope of eventual global sanity. When every human is dead there is no hope at all.

Rather than risk killing off humankind to preserve our particular country or cause, we must have faith that eventually the truth will out. That’s because the truth is and always will be the truth ... and one day it will manifest. A lie will always be a lie. And the only creatures capable of realizing the truth on this planet are homo sapiens. This is why humankind must survive at all costs — even if that means individual liberty must be sacrificed for a few hundred years.

The human race needs to be managed. The human race needs to be managed firmly.

Here’s what my admittedly distasteful theory proposes:

A World Government established with the ultimate aim of nurturing a planetary population who share a common language, a common race, a common purpose, and a common sense of ethical responsibility. In order to achieve this goal the steady eradication of all countries, borders, cultures, traditions, languages, religions, will be necessary. This Herculean task will take generations to fully accomplish.

The immediate aim of the World Government, initially a coalition of the super powers, will be eradicating the twin threats to human survival: thermonuclear war and environmental collapse. Abolition of all nuclear weapons and preservation of natural resources will be a top priority. Resistance will be crushed. Petty tyrants like Kim Jong Il will be speedily neutralized and his disaster of a country occupied and liberated. The deforestation of the rain forests and all life-threatening pollution will cease.

The formation of this government will be motivated by the unequivocal realization that this course alone will prevent the self-annihilation of humankind.

I don’t know if this will happen or how this will happen or how many hundreds of years it will take. I only know that I have become convinced that we no longer have time for all the fragmented, ignorant, primitive, and insane peoples of the world to “grow up” and lose their entrenched tribal identities. Not to mention their individual egos.

The trick of course will be keeping the inevitable corruption out of the World Government. Further revolutions and refinements will doubtless be necessary. But the unprecedented danger to human survival that we face today will have been eradicated.

What if the majority of citizens in the United States, the European Union, China, Russia, and Japan simply stopped cooperating with the comparative handful of “leaders” who control them? I think it’s more likely that the global revolution required will come from the masses at the bottom. Those at the “top” are far too addicted to their power and privilege to change. The Internet seems a good starting point to start mobilizing. And pain is a good teacher.

Imagine someone who has had countless drunk driving citations, caused untold death and destruction behind the wheel, and yet who continues to be allowed to operate motor vehicles of ever-increasing size and complexity — culminating in a monster rig carrying a doomsday cargo which, if spilled, could destroy all human life. This person insists that it is his “sovereign right” to continue to have a license. Should he keep his permit? Or should it be taken away whether he likes it or not?

The human race needs to have its license revoked or at least heavily restricted. The stakes have just become too great to allow this endless folly to continue. Humankind must forever be deprived of certain “rights”: the right to blow up the world; the right to befoul the world for profit; the right to exploit and enslave the weak and the powerless; the right to risk terminating the lives of everyone on the planet for any “reason” whatsoever.

What every human really needs is the right to fresh water, the right to food, the right to education, the right to health care, the right to respect, the right to contribute the best they have within them toward the betterment of all humankind.

I remember reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World when I was 16 and being horrified at the total control the World Government held over the human race. Now, even though I probably would be among the first to die, I see this kind of system as possibly our only hope for survival. The doomsday clock is ticking towards midnight and we literally do not have the luxury of tolerating the curse of Babel any longer.

(Arthur Hancock livesin Highlands and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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