It was heartbreaking to watch last night’s State of the Union Address, and to see the childish behavior of the two tribes who hold enough power between them to save our planet or, and this is more likely, to destroy it. Here is the true State of the Union. It is taken from the Introduction to my book: Faction-Free Democracy, Finishing What the Founding Fathers Started.
We stand in a world shaped by evolution by natural selection. It has two sides—on one it creates new life forms; on the other, it destroys them all. It has ruled our species since the beginning. It is mindless, purposeless, relentless, merciless and amoral—it is a force of nature. It has produced two living varieties of our species—tyranni who are aggressive and selfish, and democrati who are timid and unselfish. Tyranni, such as Donald Trump, naturally, irrationally, work against the common good. Democrati, such as Jimmy Carter, naturally, rationally, work for it. These varieties are locked in a relentless, Darwinian struggle for survival. This struggle is cyclical.
The Cycle of Human History
- Tyranni naturally, aggressively, selfishly push forward to take power.
- Democrati naturally, timidly, unselfishly step back to let them pass.
- Tyranni naturally use their power to indulge their selfish urges.
- Innocents (tyranni and democrati alike) suffer and die unnecessarily.
- A great commotion occurs—from elections to wars.
- Tyranni-outs seize power from tyranni-ins.
- Innocents continue to suffer, but under new rulers.
- And the cycle renews.
But because Nature has been so bountiful, because democrati greatly outnumber tyranni, and because humans are so resilient and so creative, this brutal process could not stop progress—very costly progress, often needlessly tragic and unevenly distributed, but progress nevertheless—of that there is no doubt. However, we are now dangerously near the end. Nature’s bounty is nearly exhausted. She can no longer heal our self-inflicted wounds, she cannot replenish what we take from her—she cannot forgive our greed.
Without the assistance of Nature, we humans are finally on our own. Our millennia of adolescence are over. It is time to grow up. We can no longer afford to indulge our selfish urges—we cannot afford to just do what comes naturally: act reflexively, act without thinking, play political games instead of doing the hard work of facing and solving the immense problems we have created for ourselves. If we continue to follow the instinctive natures given to us by evolution by natural selection we will go the way of countless other species—we will decline, even become extinct—and it will be sooner rather than later.
Tyranni have done much harm to our societies over the millennia. They naturally seek power and wealth. Large institutions have power and power leads to wealth. It is usually beyond the ability of a single tyrannus to gain control of a large institution. He must have allies. Recognizing this fact, tyranni are prone to form groups in pursuit of power and wealth. They work together to dominate those who do not belong to their alliance, while they intrigue against each other as each seeks to become the ultimate ruler, the supreme tyrannus. Such groups of power-seeking tyranni are factions, and they have been commonplace throughout world history. Once they gain power, once they control a large institution—from state legislatures to Wall Street banks to national governments—they irrationally push their power as far as it can take them—even if it leads to the destruction of themselves and the institutions they control.
The most powerful institutions are national governments, and they take on many forms. They are called monarchical, fascist, communist, socialist, democratic, republican, etc. I suppose that such classifications are important, but the most important category is omitted from the discussion. Governments are either tyranno or democrato. They should be measured by how they treat their people. Those that serve the common good are democrato and those that do not are tyranno. For example, several tyranno-governments have plagued us in our history. The monarchies were Great Britain under King George III, and the Empire of Japan. Nazi Germany was socialist. The Italian government of Benito Mussolini was fascist. The U.S.S.R. under Josef Stalin was a collection of socialist republics, and it was called communist as well. The Chinese government under Mao Zedong was called a republic and communist. The Confederate States of America was called a republic, as were the states of the unrepentant, postbellum South. The government of North Korea, I suppose, has its own specific identifying term, but I don’t know what it is, and I really don’t care. I only care that all of these governments treated their people badly. They were controlled by factions and they worked constantly to widen and increase their power over others. This tendency is natural for tyranni. But as they pushed and pushed their power, these nations finally met resistance and they had to obey a natural law, the law of evolution by natural selection—they had to adapt or die.
Great Britain lost its American empire because it could not adapt to the demands of its colonies. The Confederate States of America was formed because its founders believed that they could force the world to adapt to them. They thought that they could force the rest of America to accept their false hypotheses of white supremacy and chattel slavery. Such fantasies ultimately are fatal. The world is a natural place, obeying natural laws, not an ideological playground for the indulgence of false hypotheses. The Confederacy’s only hope was to adapt to the rest of America and to adapt to the world. But it was not to be. The Confederacy’s lack of adaptability caused it to belligerently self-destruct in four years of fratricide, which killed more Americans than all other wars combined. But for more than a century after this great tragedy, the faction of white supremacy controlled the southern states, and violence against black citizens continued. At long last, after another great shame had marred our history forever, America moved closer to its ideal, and not-white Americans finally were able to begin to claim, little by little, some of their long-overdue rights—but the struggle is far from over.
Nazi Germany tried to force the world to adapt to its false hypothesis of Aryan supremacy and was blasted off the face of the earth—and a benign government rose in its place. The Empire of Japan tried to force its own racism on the rest of the world and it, too, was destroyed and then replaced by a more peaceable system of government. The U.S.S.R., because of its belief in the false hypothesis of totalitarianism, and because it could not adapt to the outside pressures first applied by Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, eventually crumbled. Even now many nations struggle along, unable to adapt to the intertribal problems that have plagued them for centuries—for them, catastrophe is always near.
If we look carefully at our nation it is clear that we share too many characteristics with these tyranno-governments. We do not work for the common good. Our government is ruled by a small group of wealthy elite men who hold all of our nation’s power. These men hold power for decades, and it is very difficult to remove incumbents. The people have a small voice that is almost never decisive. Through their tight control of the election system and the two-party system, those in power decide who is to be granted access to power. Our rulers listen only to their own ideas, or to the ideas of sycophants, or to the ideas of those who give them money. Our rulers substitute their own wishes for the wishes of the people, and our rulers use our power primarily to benefit themselves. And, unfortunately, with regard to the economy, energy, inequality, and extreme weather, our rulers are pushing us beyond safe limits. It is safe to say that they are not following a policy of “safety first” in these four dangerous areas. The governments I named above were controlled by factions. Our government, like the other governments just described, works against the common good. Our government is a tyranno-government; it is not a Faction-Free Democracy.
Seven Favored Groups vs. Seven Hated Groups
From the beginning our government has favored some groups and hated others. I call them “the “seven favored groups” and the “seven hated groups.” The “favored” groups are treated, or thought of, with great kindness or partiality, and are believed to be endowed with special gifts, talents, or advantages—they are regarded as being worthy citizens. Our systems of government and economics work for the seven favored groups: white, male, Christian, heterosexual, well-to-do, native-born, and the abled.
The hated groups are treated with contempt or scorn—and are believed to be devoid of talent, have no special gifts, and no advantages—they are regarded as being unworthy, even dangerous, citizens. Our systems of government and economics work against the seven hated groups: not-white, not-male, not-Christian, not-heterosexual, not-well-to-do, not-native-born, and the disabled.
I make no claim that these groupings are complete, so feel free to adjust them as you wish. In general I mean that the favored groups have access to the best that our society has to offer, while the hated groups have access to much less, if they have any access at all. I also mean that the treatment of the members of each group is often unjustified. Worthy, and unworthy, citizens can be found in any group. The greatest divide between these groups is their access to rights, resources, opportunities, and protections. The favored groups have access to all of these necessities of a successful life, while the hated groups are often denied access based on irrational prejudices and biases such as racism, misogyny, religion, wealth, and the like. So, hereafter, when I use the terms “favored groups” and “hated groups,” you will know what I mean.
In recent years it has become apparent that our government is creating an eighth hated group: schoolchildren. Our government is complicit in the mass murders by gunfire of our schoolchildren as they sit at their desks preparing for the day when they will have the liberty to live their own lives, while in pursuit of their own happiness. Any government that enables the murder of its children is a government that has forfeited its right to rule and should be changed.
We stand in a world where the survival of our civilization, even the survival of our species, is in doubt. The systems that mistreat the seven hated groups are the same systems that have failed to protect our planet from the deadly consequences of burning fossil fuels. Scientists who are experts in the various aspects of extreme weather due to global warming, are virtually unanimous: we must do something now to stop the burning of fossil fuels. We are committing suicide. We, the people, through government, religion, education, economics, business, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, must urgently respond to the onrushing catastrophe of global warming. In short, we must adapt or die.
We must replace our current systems of government and economics with Faction-Free Democracy and democrato-capitalism
My book, Faction-Free Democracy, Finishing What the Founding Fathers Started, explains the adaptations that must be made and how to make them.