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General Epistemology        Chapter VI-14       

 

ChapterVI-14 The ideal society

 

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The preceding chapters finally allow to sketch an objective portrait of this ideal society, that we all are dreaming about, that all thinkers are speaking about since the Renaissance. This process, started 2,500 years ago, has experienced a noticeable acceleration in the end of the 20th century. Will it complete in our lifetime? It is up to us to decide.

This chapter will probably be the most awaited, and the one read with the most enthusiasm. However, it must be understood that an ideal society is not built on declarations or wishful thinking: there «still» are principles to abide to, and even in some cases formal rules. However, the very notion of an ideal society excludes any «power» which would enforce these principles. The only solution is then that each of us understands how it works, and that each of us builds his share of this society at every moment, through our understanding and through our actions.

 

It is our state of mind which makes society conducive to happiness.

 

There is no point in changing the political system,

nor to swap the power of money against another power.

 

It is our state of mind which makes our experience happy or unhappy,

in such or such context or system.

 

It is this state of mind which will change society

and will make palliatives like money, laws and governments useless.

 

Clearly, it is not rules or systems or leaders which make a good society:

it is participants of good will who do what is needed.

 

Participants ready to each train themselves

to become this better society for the others,

without the need for rules or police to force them into it.

 

So there is no ideal society possible without a clear motivation,

and psychoeducation methods which enable us to apply this motivation.

 

We therefore cannot decree, enact, govern or legislate an ideal society: it is to be lived.

It will appear spontaneously when enough people are able to do it.

 

If we fail to meet these conditions, then democracy and the rule of law remain an optimum, despite their shortcomings. I definitively not advocate abandoning them in a kind of revolution: simply, when people are able to live without leaders or police, then they will no longer need these palliatives.

Unravelling lies

(Permalink) We often hear that there can not be an ideal society: given the variety of tastes, there would be no way to get everybody to agree. I scornfully reject such a cowardly lazy statement, as a lame excuse for discarding the effort to change, or as a means to justifying various antisocial or anti-life opinions.

The only useful conclusion that can be drawn from the diversity of tastes, is that a society can be ideal only if it accommodates all these tastes, life projects and styles, only to the limit of what is ethically acceptable. This is what does the scientific ethics seen in chapter VI-2, and the reason why I started this description by ethics.

For example, an angelic society which would persecutes homosexuals cannot claim to be «ideal» (and even not angelic to start with). In fact, we saw in chapter VI-5 that, even if homosexuality is not everybody's project, it is not in itself a harmful project. So homosexuals are also entitled to their place. And with them all the races, orientations, cultures, etc. On the other hand, things like sexual mutilation have no excuse.

An ideal society, then, is not a single system, not a standardized culture, or even not a single ideal. Instead it is a set of simple methods which will allow everyone to function without getting stuck in one way or another.

These remarks suggest a plan, which we shall follow: first a negative definition of what is incompatible with an ideal society, then a positive definition of what it necessarily includes. All other cases are then optional for everybody.

What must always be removed from an ideal society.

- (Permalink) All forms of violence, exclusion, coercion and selection are excluded, as discussed in chapter VI-4 on general ethics. Except of course for those who practice these things themselves: in this case the following subchapter applies.

- x/">Chapter VI-5 to Chapter VI-10 define what can be prohibited in terms of sexuality, ecology, economics, eugenics, control of our evolution, etc. So it is useless to comment them again in details in this chapter.

- Is excluded the destruction of nature. This requires population control and a limited land use (Chapter VI-7) which allows nature and humans to coexist without harming each other.

- Social palliatives such as money, contracts, states, laws, etc. are excluded. However, I do not propose anarchy or a new epistemological Grand Soir: these things can only be removed gradually by the participants themselves, as they are becoming able to appropriate healthier forms of economy and social functioning. Attempting to go too fast, or to impose these things, would cause suffering or even a reaction. Smart people can in any way accommodate themselves with these palliatives, even if they do not need them any more. Thus we shall have a transition period for some time, where people will abandon, one by one, the palliatives they will no longer need. The principle of this transition is explained in details in Chapter VI-8 on economy: everyone uses the palliatives he needs, in a mixed economy where everyone can find his place. A similar approach can be devised in other areas, such as traditional communities, marriage, etc. So there is no need, and it would be counterproductive, to ban money or declare a society without money: people will abandon money themselves, when they will trust the new way of doing things.

It is exactly like someone learning to swim with a buoy: he abandons this buoy just when he overcomes his bad reflexes and learns to trust water bearing him. But if we force him, he will not succeed, and he may even drown.

To protect ourself.

(Permalink) Obviously it is in everybody's interest to do what is needed to allow for a better society to exist, without repressing any orientation. But we know very well that, at least for some time, some people will not «understand» this requirement, and could even try to fight this society, or exploit it, from sociopathy (chapter V-13), laziness, idiocy, or to draw the attention on their ego. This would be so until the evolution of our brains is sufficient to avoid these mental disorders. This sub-chapter is aimed at these people, and them alone.

These people must of course understand that their stupid or hostile attitude brings ANY society on a ground where it has the right to prevent them from doing harm. There indeed is a fundamental hypocrisy to request that society does not repress them, while themselves precisely arrogate the right to repress others. If there is only one situation where an ideal society would force people, it is precisely this one.

I am very well aware of the hypocrisy of not protecting ourself from hostile individuals, and I do not accept the argument about toleraaance and libeeeerty in this case. Indeed, I involved in several community attempts, especially in the post-1968 years. All have failed, by ideology, lack of psychoeducation, but especially by the presence of derelicts, whom we called «zonards» in French, note 89, «cool» parasites specialized in the exploitation of the Hippies. But we «could not» expel them, in the name of «tolerance» or «not being cops»... so it came more and more of them, loafers, cheaters, filthy, lousy, violent, nutters, drug addicts, traffickers, delinquents, crooks, who in addition were moralizing us and requesting tolerance until the group broke up. (In one case there even was a murder, fortunately after I left). In general, interesting people would leave first, discreetly without saying anything, long before the activists exhausted their patience. So I am not in favour of «tolerance» in this case, and especially not for the hypocrites who advocate this one-way tolerance.

 

Acknowledgment: I speak of «protecting ourself», but NOT of attempts to «re-educate» people by force, let alone to standardize them. Indeed, experiences like the USSR, and my own experience of several community groups or even French social services, show that this idea itself is a wide open door for simpletons to immediately think themselves superior, and to have fun of humiliating others. In the very minute this license is granted to them, these people divert it to sadistic games, with the easily recognizable little smile and shiny eye, which I saw on several social workers and two French magistrates. And once their control established, they do not let it go any more: any attempt for the target to free himself is interpreted as associability! Thus this perverse trap narrows itself more with each of our movements. Such attitudes would quickly bring our new society on the same path as all the other new societies which preceded it: gulags, inquisition, normalization, psychiatric repression, etc.

At best, we can provide education and training, but the only criterion for compelling a person remains hostile behaviour (or a psychiatric pathology which makes the person dangerous). For the rest, people voluntarily come to a better society, fromf their own free will. It is «opt-in». People who do not agree will still have to respect others, or to live in the reservations we shall see later.

 

Of course, the methods of control must also conform to the social ideal, otherwise they would go straight against any definition of an ideal society. Thus, in transition, an ideal society might need a police force, for those who annoy others. But a cleaner police, which would use radically different methods.

I have an experience of this situation. In the early days of Second Life, many were thinking that «everything is allowed», like making sadomasochism in public. There even was a sect of crackpots who asked everybody to bite them, and then brought them in horrible places. For this, the Second Life Elven community had developed a group of Guardians, of which I was a member. We were so efficient and dreaded that we were often asked to wear our group tags in parties where we had no means of action. Yet these Elven guardians practised a form of non-violence, where any insult or aggression was banned: we enacted our elven values even in a conflict situation!! This involved a deal of training and self-control, very different from the brutal repression that we still see in the world by 2019. And we were very efficient: the Elven lands were among the quietest places in Second Life, and often the attackers were understanding and becoming friends.

Well, we could call our police guards, kind guides, protectors, spiritual brothers, wonderful guardian angels, social instructors, cool friends, etc. But all these words have been horribly abused. So let us keep with police. Well, ok, not with the bad vibration of the current polices. No black uniforms, no snuffling radios, no torture, no death penalty.

 

Limiting displacements remains the least bad solution possible. Which would be much more humane than today's prison, for example on an island with nature, with a variety of statutes for different cases. We saw in chapter VI-8 on economy the notion of a mixed society, where everyone chooses the economic system which suits him, while still meaningfully taking part in the whole. For annoying but not aggressive psychoprimitives, we can design villages or areas where they would live as they see fit (within the limits of ethics). Reservations, yes! But men and women would always be under absolute contraception, or separated, to avoid children in these abnormal conditions. For dangerous people who need surveillance, we need to restrict them to narrower places, which we can call prisons. Of course we shall avoid hideous buildings and sociopathic guards. But in general there is no need to introduce these things in a prison: the inmates bring them themselves in.

It has been said that robots make excellent prison guards. It's a good thing, because prison guard is not a very fulfilling life experience. We have better to experience than watching idiots. I propose self-managed prisons, ha ha ha ha!

And if there are some who do not like prisons, they just have to do what is needed not to go.

This would save us the pain to take care of them.

What an ideal society must necessarily include

(Permalink) Ok here we come to the interesting stuff.

The meaning of life seen in chapter V-5 guided us to a scientific ethic, chapter VI-2. This does not define an ideal society which would be the same for all, but still it leads to basic principles for a society which best allows everyone to pursue his own positive ideal:

- To seek pleasure and happiness, within the limits of respecting others, without being restricted by artificial or arbitrary rules or concepts. Our ideal society is therefore a hedonistic and free society. Being understood that this is not limited to bodily pleasure: nature, art, beauty and spirituality are as much fundamental values, and even more, than sex or food.

- In contrast with an egocentric search for pleasure, scientific ethics proposes compassion, mutual aid and solidarity: if a problem arises somewhere, it is everyone's business, without the need for an authority to take decisions.

- Knowledge, by a strong scientific research, and the availability to everybody of the whole knowledge, scientific results, historical archives, etc. Internet seems the best vector for this.

- Beauty, chapter VI-9.

- Nature.

- To be what we want. This point may look inapplicable. However, the experience of virtual worlds shows an interest for different species. This could become technically feasible in the physical world, and is already in the afterlife.

- An egalitarian society, where advantages and resources are shared at best. We saw in Chapter VI-3 how, in solidarity, special aids are granted to those disadvantaged by nature, disability, etc. (with the understanding that no one is artificially «disadvantaged» by society). But these helps do not fall from some distant «government»: in our egalitarian society, everyone participates in decisions, and works for the whole. We saw how in chapter VI-10 on politics. People are also involved in the application of decisions, such as helping the most unlucky. It is like their «taxes», but free and spontaneous.

I suppose no one imagined that an ideal society would run without effort or work. Yes, this need remains, and it will remain as long as we have not replaced all the workers by robots. But where would be the pleasure of creating, then? No doubt that creative activity will survive the robots, even if some don't like this.

- The other chapters of this part, chapter VI-9 on art and beauty, chapter VI-7 on ecology, chapter VI-16 on eugenics and the future of humanity give many details that I do not repeat in this chapter.

 

These principles are very generous and very general, and everybody will applaud them. However, the many previous attempts show that this agreement on the label is not a guarantee of success. The devil is hiding in the details, it is said. This is why I selected some «touchstones» to verify the authenticity of a real attempt:

- Vegetarianism, Hahahahah!!! I devoted a full chapter 62 for this criterion in version 1. I did not retained such an unbalanced plan, but this criterion keeps the same importance!

- Sex is not bad.

- Sex is not mandatory.

- Sex and love are inseparable (see chapter VI-4 and chapter VI-5).

- The plurality of lifestyles, arts, projects, etc.

- Everyone defines their orientation or activity in life.

- Ecology and respect for nature

- Science, for the accuracy of its practical forecasts

- Science as one of the fundamental purposes of consciousness: to know.

- Spirituality. This is actually the first criterion, because it is what will definitively determine the success of our attempt, as we shall see in the next subchapter:

How society can ensure our happiness

(Permalink) As seen in chapter V-5, happiness neither results from the possession of rare objects, nor from some miraculous gift. Instead it results from the simple satisfaction of the essential objectives of our consciousness, in the absence of external disturbances (aggressions) or inner problems (neuroses, hate, grasping). (Given the need to start with your own experience, I do not repeat these purposes here, please follow the instructions in the linked chapter to find your own answer, so as not to be influenced by the answers of others).

A society of any kind can have extremely diverse organizations, styles, and even goals: it makes us happy if these goals are among the purposes of consciousness, or if this society allows us to have our own purposes. Above all, a society allows us to be happy, if it allows us to work for our own goals, instead of neglecting, delaying or contradicting them.

 

To ensure our happiness, a society must therefore ensure the basic necessities:

- Food, housing, health, help for the disabled

- Security against aggression

- Access to means of communication, transport, etc.

- A pleasant place to live

- Access to a preserved nature (yes, I really put this in the basic necessities, it is not a mistake)

- To be able to meet interesting people.

 

Then comes the guarantee of being able to pursue our fundamental objectives:

- Freedom to choose what we spend our lives on (within the limits of ethics, and with a fair contribution to basic necessities)

- The necessary means to have an expression activity, or to fulfil our consciousness objectives.

 

However this is still only for the material side. A normal society must also provide:

- A peaceful atmosphere, pleasant, friendly, free of conflicts, problems and pressures.

- Presence, support, and social recognition. Whether with family, friends, work, leaders, justice, and even government if there is one. Another way of presenting this was seen in chapter V-17, with the notion of spiritual energy: people are happy and functioning if they receive enough of this energy: social recognition, support for our project, concrete support, social love and even physical love. Important, this attention received from others only benefits us if we are indeed psychologically able to receive it.

 

Of course, this only works if the energy donations are two-way: so we also have to support the others, in an economy of energy, parallel to the physical economy of food, housing, health, etc. We shall then need to spend some time supporting others in this way, encourage them in their project, meet them, help them personally (not just provide work in a factory). But on this question, an important point was seen in chapter VI-8 on economy: this «fair» contribution is not accounted, not controlled. Everything is based on our sincerity to provide the necessary expense in time, effort, resources, etc. If we need to be controlled, then we are not ready to a totally free society, and still need an authority or an accountancy of our actions.

 

Hence again the need for psychoeducation:

The basis: psychoeducation

(Permalink) Psychoeducation is what allows us to control our neuroses and other unhealthy atavisms inherited from our uncontrolled Darwinian evolution (chapter V-12). This is a necessary condition for living in a better society. Otherwise, these atavisms will make us do all sorts of nonsenses, ruining the so-called better society. Effective psychoeducation methods are now available, especially in spiritual training. However it is still a slow training process, and especially random, because its needs a consciousness taking to be able to start, and it can hang in several ways (sects, etc.). And we can not even force people to psychoeducate themselves! All attempts of this kind have only resulted in forms of bigotry (religions, Soviet regime, etc.).

It can be hoped, as in Chapter VI-16, that technological, genetic or spiritual methods will soon ensure that any new child will be natively psychoeducated, without the long, random process by which we still have to go today.

 

In the meanwhile, the basis of spiritual work remains introspection, this miraculous process by which the fantastic computer which is the brain is able to observe its own functioning, and modify itself! The capacity for introspection seems very recent, appearing with the wave of wisdom 2500 years ago, and available to all for only a few years (written in 2019).

Indeed the basis of the psychoeducation process remains introspection: the observation of our own thought processes. Then comes training, by mean of positive visualization, to reprogram our neurons in the right way. There are many methods, religious, spiritual or psychological.

Today it is difficult to know if one of these three types of training will prevail over the others. In fact, we do not even have to wish that one or the other prevails: it is essentially a matter of personal choice or collective culture.

It could even appear other methods, like emulation games for a better society.

I already use virtual worlds since several years, see my website Elf Dream:

- As a way to share the experience of the immersion in a world of beauty, using wonderful landscapes. A shared positive visualization, so to speak.

- To propose a protected community, as a sketch of an ideal society. The virtual, without the material stakes putting our neuroses in challenge, allows a much softer and appropriable approach of a better society. It can also more easily protect from harmful people (there even is a button for that). Yet, in all these years, I had to expel somebody only once. I think virtual communities will quickly become a major way to create and experience better societies. However the virtual will have to free itself from the people who try to destroy it. See my page on the virtual for news.

This chapter being quite abstract, I decided in the last minute to add it more flesh, by adding some images of the wonderful landscapes I created in several virtual worlds, in order to share this experience of the immersion in a better world. Numerous other persons also contributed to these scenes. Enjoy looking at these images, may they inspirit you.

 

Entrance of my region «Daur Anarie», 2019

Entrance of my region «Daur Anarie», 2019

 

In my region «Daur Anarie», 2019

In my region «Daur Anarie», 2019

 

Fest of the 8th birthday of Inworldz: Elven homes, 2017

Fest of the 8th birthday of Inworldz: Elven homes, 2017

 

Fest of the 8th birthday of Inworldz: community elven home, 2017

Fest of the 8th birthday of Inworldz: community elven home, 2017

 

Fest of the 9th birthday of Inworldz: the region of the Tinies. The two characters in
		white and in black, at left, get married for real. 2018

Fest of the 9th birthday of Inworldz: the region of the Tinies. The two characters in white and in black, at left, get married for real. 2018

 

One of the regions of the Relay For Life (American Cancer Society) 2018

One of the regions of the Relay For Life (American Cancer Society) 2018

 

Fest of the 8th birthday of Inworldz: Elven homes, 2017

Fest of the 8th birthday of Inworldz: Elven homes, 2017

 

Entrance of my region «Daur Anarie», 2019

Entrance of my region «Daur Anarie», 2019

 

Elven temple, Inworldz, 2015

Elven temple, Inworldz, 2015

 

In my region «Daur Anarie», Elven homes, 2019

In my region «Daur Anarie», Elven homes, 2019

 

How an ideal society can last indefinitely

(Permalink) For a very simple reason: there are no idiots who make climate denial, no crackpots who build atomic bombs (or if there still are, they are in their reservation, where they have no means to harm others). Whatever the problem, people can react and find a solution in due time: epidemic, climate change, global internet failure, eugenics catastrophe: solutions are found and applied, without nobody puts himself in the feet. Indeed psychoeducated people can certainly suffer, but they do not let their neuroses block action.

It really takes something big to stop a psychoeducated society: an astronomical cataclysm, or a global change which makes life physically impossible on its planet.

Application to Drake's formula

(Permalink) The capacity of a planetary civilization to last is the parameter L of Drake's formula: the duration of a civilization. And here the conclusion is clear: unless rare cosmic catastrophe, a psychoeducated civilization can last until the death of its star. In the case of the Earth, this is between one and four billion years (depending on the technology we shall put in, see chapter VIII-10). As most of the stars in our galaxy formed nine billions years ago, this allows for possible civilizations as old as five billions years, and even more if we count the minority of stars formed before. In the future, small stars can last much longer, up to fifty billions years. As there will still be stars forming by this time, we can expect to still find living people in a hundred billions years.

It is, however, extremely difficult to predict in the long term how a psychoeducated society may evolve: consider that rudimentary brains only started to appear 400 million years ago, while we are talking of ten times more in the future. It is therefore impossible to imagine how humanity will evolve over such a long time, even with Darwinian evolution alone, and even less with a directed evolution. Especially since there are several possible ways. I discuss this in chapter VI-16 on the future of humanity. Some paths are quite unexpected, and even poetic, although making civilizations unobservable in a few centuries. This would be a very positive explanation to the Fermi Paradox.

I study Drake's equation in Part 8, and the solutions to the Fermi Paradox in Chapter VIII-9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Epistemology        Chapter VI-14       

 

 

 

 

 

 

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