If and when we care enough and pause for a moment to contemplate the seemingly never-ending gratuitous violence, death and destruction that we humans inflict on ourselves, we should not forget that ultimately we are all in a biological relationship with each other. In this sense, at the very least, we all come from and return to the same planetary place. Why then do some of us behave so badly toward others, including the ‘other’ than human species? My short answer is that most of us have been persuaded to forget that we are first and foremost a planetary being. My longer answer is that since we as a species have allowed – even encouraged, the emergence from within our midst of so-called ‘ruling classes’ many millions of our fellow beings have been involved in the seemingly deliberate violence, death and destruction that takes place between conflicting international ruling classes.
Nowadays it is the international ruling class that deliberately maintain their military capacity to defend and or attack their international counterparts as and when they deem it necessary. The reason for this is that ultimately none of them can afford to trust each other. We can safely assume that the international ruling class as a whole is made up of a relatively small percentage of the planet’s population, – for the purpose of this story I am suggesting the number is less than 0.001%. Such a relatively small grouping would still include all royal families, all fiefdoms, several thousand of the planet’s wealthiest families and all of their subservient political, religious leaders and war-lords. On the whole these ruling classes rule over nation states that as often as not, are in conflict with each other, usually in a mad scramble for limited resources and maximising their profit/wealth. Consequently these ruling classes need to exercise power and control over the rest of us because they are totally dependant on us to continue producing and defending their wealth and their nation states. The rest of us therefor I am suggesting make up at least 99.999% of the planet’s population, a relatively large subordinate grouping that includes all working families, – employed and unemployed, all children, students, volunteers, conscripts, police, mercenaries, insurgents, terrorists, refugees and the homeless etc.
The ruling classes maintain their control over the rest of us by cleverly persuading us from cradle to grave that what they do for us is in our nations best interest and what they expect us to do in return is therefor in our own best interests. Using secular stories ie political, economic, security, legal and spiritual stories ie religious, with reward and punishment themes, the ruling classes divide the rest of us into so many different nation states, ethnic cultures, religious beliefs, and socio economic classes that their control over us is almost guaranteed. While ecological, biological and environmental diversity is essential for our survival as a species and while cultural diversity has and can be good for our human development, unfortunately the ruling classes have long since perfected their ability to manipulate these phenomena via their primary strategy of ‘divide and conquer’, hence their need to continue persuading the rest of us to forget that we are planetary, that we are in fact related to each other.
When considering the ruling class strategy of divide and conquer, the rest of us do well to remember that most of our early human development including our emerging spiritual awareness – our learning how to relate to other and all-that-is, and our more fundamental material inventions such as tool making, symbolic, verbal and written expression, took place during a period when resources were shared and people cooperated with each other as a matter of survival. Moreover, we can think of this as a period of creative human development that took place without the encumbrance of the yet to emerge ruling classes, without their cleverly thought out jealous god stories, without their nation states and without their standing armies. This creative pre ruling class period is genetically remembered by every cell in our body as a period when the personal, the spiritual and the political was experienced as planetary, this is the way we were throughout our early human development.
If as a species we want a to secure a future for our descendants that does not depend on gratuitous violence as a means of resolving conflict – at any level, we must first rid ourselves of the existing ruling classes. The logic of a planetary ruling class divided into competing, conflicting, warring nation states must be replaced with the logic of a democratic, class free planetary society. The logic of a global system of production, distribution and consumption based on the accumulation of profit and wealth that mainly benefits a small minority ruling class must be replaced with the logic of a global system of production, distribution and consumption that meets the needs of the whole of society. What we all – including the so-called ruling classes, now need is a democratic planetary social system that is capable of being environmentally safe and viable for all future generations.
Thanks to my daily and seasonal PaGaian practice of celebrating cosmic creativity in general and our planet’s Earth/Sun/Moon relationship in particular, I can safely claim that for me the personal and the spiritual is first and foremost planetary. Until recently I had almost given up on the idea of a political story that I could relate to as planetary, then I came across the World Socialist Web Site WSWS.org and the International Committee of the Fourth International ICFI with its Social Equality Party SEP. I have even gone so far as to start referring to myself as a born again PaGaian Trotskyist.
More of my journeying into the political as planetary can be found at malpataffy.com
Southern Autumn 2014