lubomir todorov

 

The Way to Universal Future

“Every Man is a Universe”

In the whole process of evolution, human species never had a viable strategy of individual survival: we can’t run fast enough to escape a cheetah, or kill a mammoth for dinner in a one-on-one fight.

Humans became a success story and reached the current Anthropocene age, riding on an initial version of group survival strategy: the one enlightened by the torch of Tribal Thinking.

As a result, our 21st century world is intensely globalised and technologically highly advanced, but we are still Humankind decomposed into tribes that seek dominance in the way they did thousands of years ago.

This reality has significant negative consequences on

The ultimate existential meaning of human civilization: securing the long term self-interest of each individual human being

For the following reasons:

  • The ubiquitous political culture of Tribal Thinking has over and over generated the greatest anthropogenic disasters in human history: wars and armed conflicts among various state and non-state actors have ended with tens of millions human lives lost and material culture worth tens of trillions US$ destroyed; The total economic impact of violence in 2015 reached $13.6 trillion in 2015, or 13.3 per cent of global GDP.
  • Driven by fear of real confrontation, current world annual military expenditure soared to trillions of US$;
  • World economy suffers astronomical losses due to the current rigid rules that lock edge technologies exclusively for military and security purposes and does not allow their use in mass large-scale production;
  • The advance itself of human civilization is significantly slowed down by the fact that top IQ human brain potential of the world are employed in the non-productive areas related to defense and security;
  • And, most importantly, the real time cutting-edge military capabilities of the weapons deployed around the world have more than enough power to self-destroy Humankind.

Which means that by still operating in the Tribal Thinking version of group survival strategy, in civilizational terms, we have made further technological advance of human society not only obsolete, but also a threat to our very existence as human species on planet Earth.

All we need to solve this existential conundrum is a new version of group survival strategy: the Civilizational Thinking.

Civilizational Thinking is not about creating new ideology or new religion. Civilizational Thinking is only about re-organizing the global political space environment into a universal multifaceted platform, on which all polities in their ideological, political, national, cultural, ethnic, religious, racial, etc. diversity exist, interrelate and compete with each other on non-violence basis – by following incontestable rules that are optimized to protect core values of human civilization. Monitored under United Nations special agreement and guaranteed by a Security Council with denationalized policy making process.

More than 180 years ago, the Swiss have already made Switzerland a fully functioning prototype for Civilizational Thinking: a sociopolitical space where people of different ethnicity, different religion and culture, who speak different languages, live together without violence and enjoy a high standard of continuous prosperity.

There is no ground for expectations that some intelligent creatures from other planet will come make the crucial transition from Tribal Thinking into Civilizational Thinking for us. It is we, the humans currently living on planet Earth, who have to roll up sleeves.

We could start with an open source process that generates relevant ideas and induces the appropriate real politics.

Just like the policy making in ancient Greece cities, where free people gathered on public places called Agora to live discuss and decide together what is best for them and for their future.

Universal Future is a project associated with the design of a new global political environment as a universal multifaceted interface platform, on which all currently existing as well as emerging in the future ideologies and religions could coexist and communicate with each other without conflict within any integrated (globalized) space, inhabited by human beings.

***

The Basics:

1. “Every Man is a Universe”

These words of notable poet Heinrich Heine highlight the unique flow of sensory images, thought, passion and ideas through the irrational dimensions of consciousness that constitute the existentialist trajectory of every single human ever born on earth. In the behavioral frame of reference, each human life projects into its singular physical trajectory in terms of time, space and action.

The above makes our Humanity, at this point of real time, a system composed of some 7.4 billion universes with each one of them following its own path/way on planet Earth while interacting with others. And for each and every one of us, there is the one only, ultimately important and uniquely special Universe, which we call My Life.

And in your individual Universe there always is a Constellation of super bright Stars that represent your individual perception of happiness – the things you are ready to die for; and your right to reach out to those stars is innate and inalienable.

2. The Survival Strategy

The decisions on where do we go and what we do are made in our brain. Human brain, defined by Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgyi as “… another organ of survival, like fangs, or claws” that “does not search for truth, but for advantage, and … tries to make us accept as truth what only self-interest is allowing our thoughts to be dominated by our desires”, plays key role in determining the interplay of both existentialist and behavioral sides of our existence.

Very naturally, survival is the fundamental component of self-interest. You can’t be happy if you are not alive. In the whole process of evolution, however, human species never had a viable strategy of individual survival: We can’t run fast enough to escape a cheetah, or kill a mammoth for dinner in a one-on-one fight. That explains why all our history is composed of stories about people living in groups.

In nature, species like certain bees, ants and termites, have developed advanced forms of social life that have, from evolutionary point of view, proved successful and sustained group survival strategies. Scientifically, bees, with their clear cut social structure, hierarchy, rigid rules of functional behaviour and narrow range of decisions that can be made individually, have been categorized into the highest ranks of eusociality. No duties uncompleted, no energy wasted on activities beyond the Grand Scheme of the Beehive, no clash of subjective caprice about what is better or worse. Killing another member, or destroying Hive property is unthinkable. The perfect biological superorganism that works diligently to make the unique product of honey. But bees will never construct a spaceship to endeavour a trip to another galaxy.

The case of humans in a group survival strategy is extremely complicated and controversial: because we represent a by far more sophisticated type of system, unlike bees, our brains continuously attempt to keep the evolutionary security of group survival strategy while reserving a large quota of individual independence for the unlimited freedom of our human spirit and for defending the immeasurable value of our human dignity.

In other words: in order to secure individual survival as fundamental self-interest and precondition of existence (Life), we have relinquished the absolute freedom of behavioral choices to go straight to what would completely and immediately satisfy the comprehensive individual self-interest (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) – because we have to live together with other individuals, and each of them have their own agenda of defending own self-interest.

3. Tribal Thinking

Humans became a success story and reached the current Anthropocene age, riding on an initial version of group survival strategy: the one enlightened by the torch of Tribal Thinking.

Tribal Thinking naturally came into existence with the emergence of the first human tribes scattered around the planet. Given the spiritual dimension of human nature, each tribe developed its own culture of legends, stories about tribe’s invincible heroes, and religions – to explain what was at the time difficult to understand, and to keep the tribe united. As a result, Tribal Thinking has hugely molded all culture related activities: not only ideology and religions, politics, philosophy and social sciences, but also art, traditions, legends, and even music and poetry. In fact, practically all current heritage of our human civilization is a conglomerate of masterpieces that are to a various extent tinted by the presence of some tribal culture.

In terms of survival, the Tribal Thinking version was acceptable for the very long part of human history – for the period when the world population was still fragmented, and when technologies still had no capacity to produce powerful weapons of mass destruction.

Tribal Thinking has many by-products, and a very renowned scholar – Edward O. Wilson, pointed at the two most important game-changing features – supremacy, and dominance:  “We’ve become genetically hard-wired to be tribal, to join groups … and, having joined, consider them superior to competing groups… Our groups — tribes, societies, nations — compete with one another for dominance, but as individuals, we also compete for survival and reproduction within groups via individual selection. Selfish individuals might beat altruistic ones, but groups of altruists beat groups of selfish people. The human condition is largely a product of the tension between the two impulses.”

The feeling of supremacy is a powerful motivating and tribe uniting factor, especially in times when tribes are confronting each other. But, in essence, supremacy is about predetermining moral, ethnic and legal conditions of the free competition game. And that is exactly how supremacy reveals the hidden acknowledgement of its inferiority.

Dominance can be related to supremacy, but also can be based on hypertrophied egos of individuals like Alexander the Great, Napoleon or Hitler that undeservedly occupy too many pages in the history textbooks: because obsessions to conquer the world have resulted in wars that brought to humanity the greatest anthropogenic disasters measured in millions of human deaths, suffering and destruction.

That puts the supremacy and dominance by-products of Tribal Thinking on top of root causes for initiating violence, and both need to be pin-pointed in political analysis and distinctly targeted in activities aiming at conflict prevention and reducing violence.

The condition of Tribal Thinking makes international security a basic civilizational dimension in the whole history of Humankind.

4. How 21st century realities made Tribal Thinking obsolete?

Throughout history, the inquisitive drive and inventive power of human nature fueled a relatively autonomous, but intensive process of improving our tools: the technological advance. That is how we reached our 21st century point of time: a world intensely globalized and saturated with state of the art machines, but governed by humans still decomposed into tribes that seek dominance in the way they did thousands of years ago.

Today it is not only about the ubiquitous political culture of Tribal Thinking that maintains violence measured in hundreds of thousands human lives lost and material culture worth trillions of US$ destroyed; it is not about the fear of real confrontation that makes current world annual military expenditure soar to trillions of US$, or the world economy suffering astronomical losses due to the current rigid rules that lock edge technologies exclusively for military and security purposes and does not allow their use in large-scale mass production; or about the advance of human civilization essentially slowed down through top IQ human brain potential of the world being employed in non-productive areas related to defense and security.

Today, with real time military capabilities of sophisticated mass destruction weapons deployed around the globe and under command of state and non-state actors operating in Tribal mode, we are at the point where exponential technological advance has diverged from retarded civilizational thinking to the extent to threaten the biological existence of homo sapiens. From civilizational point of view, we have let chimps to play on keyboard of the nuclear briefcase.

All we need to solve this existential conundrum of Humankind is a new version of group survival strategy: the Civilizational Thinking.

5. Civilizational Thinking

Civilizational Thinking is based on the postulate that

Human Civilization is the spiritual dimension of group survival strategy that unlocks capability of human beings to mutually defend their strategic self-interest by generating civilizational values.

Anthropologically Civilizational Thinking rests on the findings that “As revealed by latest genetic studies… all humans alive today — from the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of the Americas to the Sherpa in the Himalayas and the mountain tribes of Papua New Guinea — came from one common ancestor.”

The political aspect of Civilizational Thinking is based on the everlasting political values of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” With private property included.

In the broader interpretation of Anthropocentrism: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” (Albert Einstein)

Civilizational Thinking is a method how to re-organize the currently decomposed global political space, with state and non-state actors confronting each other, into a universal multifaceted platform, on which all polities in their ideological, political, national, cultural, ethnic, religious, racial, etc. diversity exist, interrelate and compete with each other without conflict.

6. The Concept of Civilizational Values

Some values that are important to us, we have for free from Nature. Most of our dearest things, however, are related to or made by people.

Civilizational Value is a physical or non-material product of human activity that has the capacity by itself, or aggregated with other civilizational or natural values, to be recognized by other humans as a potential source to accomplish one or more self-interest components. In economic terms, an entity incorporating civilizational and natural values, can appear on the market in the form of goods or service.

As an example, let’s follow 15 minutes of your routine morning: your croissant for breakfast incorporates pieces of civilizational values such as farmers cultivating land, harvest of crops, mill, transportation, baking, etc; in a similar way – through a chain of pieces of civilizational value, your coffee comes on your table. And while sipping your hot espresso, you check news and mail on your smart phone – with Van Gogh’s ”Starry Night” selected for the background picture. Did you know that the handset only is a product that incorporates several hundred pieces of civilizational values in the form of patents? The 4G telecommunications connectivity you need to reach internet servers with your smart phone, functions on another set of 80 000 active patents. And that does not include other many thousands of civilizational value pieces: such as already expired patents, or previous inventions and discoveries: You would definitely agree that your smart phone would not exist if William Gilbert had not discovered electricity in year 1600. While having breakfast, you are keeping an eye also on the TV – a different set of many more tens of thousands civilizational value pieces. You switch that off, and head to your car, that represents yet another set of tens of thousands civilizational value pieces. In reality, for those 15 minutes you might have consumed close to million pieces of civilizational value, each of them designed or manufactured by one or more human beings.

Just think about it: If we take for granted that Happiness is the momentary measure of self-interest, then one million people or teams of people, who lived in different centuries of human history, have worked hard to make you happy and feel comfortable in that 15 minutes of your routine morning! And very importantly – by your personal preferences and definitions of happiness and comfort!

No matter if a finalized civilizational value is a direct outcome of human activity, or was made by a robot that was made by a robotic plant that has been designed by humans, ultimately, humans only can be the source of any civilizational value. The greater the numbers of healthy and well educated people who enjoy high life standards and have successful careers, the higher the total output of civilizational values generated globally. And because civilizational values are what essentially has the capacity to serve our individual self-interest and make us happy, everything what we tend to categorize as “altruism” is, in reality, based on plain egoism.

Civilizational values cannot be measured by money. Otherwise, it would be impossible to explain why Van Gogh died penniless, after he painted more than 900 pictures with some of them, like your favourite ”Starry Night”, are worth each well over 100 million dollars? And how does that compare with John Smith, who made a few millions on the stock market: he has done for you what?

It all means one thing: Time has come to design the metrics that provide quantifiable assessment of civilizational values.

Today Big Data processing practically enables analyzing the market information about who of us, (7.4 billions of people on the planet), likes what, and that will have two major cognitive (and not only) consequences:

First, Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning already is in position to peel off the layers of each complex product conglomerate of civilizational values and to reach the frequency and the multiplicated usage of every civilizational value piece ever generated in human history; then AI can measure, in exact figures – in CiVal units, the overall contribution of that particular piece of civilizational value to the advancement of human civilization.

And second: by composing an adequate algorithm to attach each piece of civilizational value, as indexed in the above method, to its creator – we can design, for the first time in human history, a precisely calculated quantitative assessment of how great minds of Humankind – both from history and our contemporaries, have contributed to the long-term wellbeing of our human race. Are you not curious to see the Civilizational Ratings of Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Mozart or Archimedes? Or that of Elon Musk?

That will change a range of attitudes and decision-making processes: from the way people sitting in the Nobel Prize Committee and institutions vote, to news media editors-in-chief deciding who to publish on the front page.

But most importantly, Civilizational Value Rating will change individual and public perception about not what, but who is really important to Your Life.

For, if we don’t hold in our hand the compass of humanity’s basic values, how can we live confident, that we are walking our singular mile of human civilization’s long way, in the right direction?

7. The Universal Future

Universal Future is a project designed through Civilizational Thinking that models a universal multifaceted platform on which all polities in their ideological, political, national, cultural, ethnic, religious, racial, etc. diversity exist, interrelate and compete with each other on non-violence basis – by following incontestable rules that are optimized to protect core values of human civilization. Monitored under United Nations special agreement and guaranteed by a Security Council with denationalized policy making process.

The ultimate goal of Universal Future is the condition of sustainable prosperity for Humankind.

The Prototype: For more than 180 years ago, the Swiss are experiencing a fully functioning prototype of Universal Future: a sociopolitical space where people of different ethnicity, different religion and culture, who speak different languages, live together without violence and enjoy a high living standard in continuous prosperity. It is called Switzerland.

Universal Future is the ultimate long-term solution to the condition of international security.

8. Get Engaged: It’s Your Life

There is no ground for expectations that some intelligent creatures from other planet will come and make the crucial transition from Tribal into Civilizational Thinking for us. It is we, the humans currently living on planet Earth, who have to roll up sleeves.

We could start with an open source process that generates relevant ideas and induces the appropriate real politics.

Just like the policy making in ancient Greece cities, where free people gathered on public places called Agora to live discuss and decide together what is best for them and for their future.

Because the mission of human spirit is to confront challenges that civilizationally stand much higher than tribes of Homo sapiens fighting each other.

One Response to lubomir todorov

  1. David Baragwanath says:

    My grateful thanks for this profound analysis.

    It reminded me of Tony Honore’s “Ulpian: pioneer of human rights” (second edition OUP 2005) at ix: “Ulpian…can… justly be accounted a pioneer of the human rights movement… Human rights are not the product of the Enlightenment … The values of equality, freedom, and dignity, to which human rights give effect, formed the basis of Ulpian’s exposition of Roman law as the law of a cosmopolis.”

    Vision of what might and should be ought to be the everyday concern of every decision-maker.

    Regards

    David B

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