In the beginning. Three words that have the most profound impact on our planet. It is the offer of an answer. The answer, much disputed, is that a Divine being created all the universe and then chose man to enact HIS will.
And what a wonderful setup that has turned out to be. We, the actors of God’s will, must one day face judgement for these actions. The inherent unfairness is irrelevant, for how does one judge the Divine? Not easily, and certainly not too loudly, lest we wake the horrible heathen hunters.
So, In the Beginning, God created everything. He then singled out mankind and gave to a single individual (Abraham and his descendants) the authority to rule over the world. Of course this is after man has already been cast out of paradise for listening to a snake and eating the fruit of knowledge. Shall we then say “In the beginning, God made one flawed man a king.”? Again, not too loudly, because it is at this point that our heathen hunters start sharpening pitchforks and blaming Eve for all our woes, or some other kind of sexist, racist, thoughtless drivel.
This story, whether literal or symbolic and allegorical in nature, poses some very big questions, and I wont attempt to enumerate them all here, but some of the bigger ones include:
Is humankind suited to rule?
If not, what kind of Divinity chooses us as Rulers?
Is destruction, pain and suffering a Divine method of Rule?
My favorite one though-
Does our Authority extend to all of our planet? of course it does, we rule a planet where we cannot communicate with even a single percent of our fellow inhabitants.
Now, since we derive our authority from God, and God is Divine, we are to assume that the Divine method would be perfect, but there are some alarming points about this particular Divine method.
God is KING of heaven. He rules over everything from his heavenly THRONE surrounded by various devout followers ALWAYS at hand to sing his praises and KNEEL before him in supplication. The king has VASSALS in the form of Angels and LORDS in the rulers of men, and we are the masses, like PEASANTS existing in and destined for hell, unless we kneel and embrace the King’s authority. This is FEUDALISM.
For centuries, Feudalism was the be-all and end-all of human politics. Kings ruled with either iron fists or limp wrists, but rule they did. Since kings and emperors (Like God) owned everything within their domain, the Holey Trinity of Church-State-Bank were united in the Divinely chosen Leader. Power corrupted, and the resulting hunger began a long series of rebellions that eventually taught us the value of mass-opinion. Democracy was born and quickly became the buzz-word in liberation movements. Communism and Socialism tried their hand, but fell short of their well-written paper promises, while Democracy flourished.
The principal sounds good: “Let each have his say, and the majority wins.” How far we have come? From one ruler, to the freedom to choose one ruler. Or have we?
We still have our Royalty (Presidents, Ministers, Governors, Senators) We have the Vassals (CEO’s, Managing Directors) we have the Servants (The Global Military establishment) and we certainly still have the Peasants.
Everyone is told they have God-given rights, but few speak of our responsibilities, because, like our God, we can place the burden of responsibilities on those beneath us. (The world’s poor still make up the dominant part of the world’s labor force).
There is one system though, untried since the beginning. Impossible, because by its very nature, it refutes this Feudal Caste System. It threatens the status quo upholding the king’s dominion and dissolves his power. The king, unable to relinquish that power will fight to preserve it. It is a war. It has always been a war. A war of power, for power. And the losing side has a name defilied, first by the kings, and then later, by themselves. They are the Anarchists.
Many words have had their meanings changed and distorted throughout human history. But few as completely and effectively as the word Anarchism. What once stood for a belief in self-sufficiency and self-accountability, has become viewed as a system of chaos and destruction.
Anarchy and Anarchism are two very different ideas. Anarchy is the lack of governance. Anarchism is self-governance. The assumption of course is that by accepting Anarchism, we doom ourselves to Anarchy, and there is some justification for trepidation. In fact, for thousands of years, our kings have pointed out to us lowly peasants just how imperfect we are. Perfection is Divine, and we are sinful mortals. We are born with sin, something a Paleontologist might say dates back to our bestial origins. It is evidence all around us. From the over-consumerism of our western societies, to the depraved cruelties of the 3rd world. We pollute, we fight, we plunder, we rape, we steal, we kill.
But what if this ‘evil’ is not a symptom of innate human imperfection, but the result of deliberately distorted perceptions. When a war is fought, both sides end up losing, but there is a third party that profits, because every bullet fired proves the need for the king’s authority. The king wins, everyone else loses, and all because of an incorrect perception that our darker nature justifies authority, while the opposite is true. Authority is the source of our darker nature.
This perception twisted everything, until Anarchism became Anarchy, Love became Fear. Fear of each other, fear of ourselves. Our willingness to help because help was needed became a reluctance to help unless there is profit and gain. Our Religion preaches faith in the Authority of God. Our Government preaches faith in the Authority of our Leaders. Our Corporations preach a faith in the Authority of our Money. and all the while pointing out that man himself deserves no faith.
Utopia is a world in balance and perfect harmony within itself. Comparable to descriptions of Paradise or Heaven. A world of peace where each individual exists purposefully within a whole society and are free to express and explore their individuality and the full system. A world without a leader, because all are leaders who follow.
Our understanding of Utopia is so foreign to the reality of the Real World that we cannot accept it. As civilized beings we have developed a moral compass and this compass requires both right AND wrong to exist. A utopia has no wrong, so how will we know right? Does achieving Utopia doom us to the loss of our civility? The assumption seems to be that in a Utopia we will be deprived of choice. That only through conformity and uniformity can we achieve lasting peace. While this is understandable as a perspective based in limited perception, the truth is at once far simpler and in complete disagreement.
There is a vast, yet subtle, difference between a CHOICE and an OPTION. The difference is similar to that of the Essay and the Multiple-choice Quiz. The former allows for self-expression and self-exploration, while the latter tells you what your options are. By accepting Anarchism and moving deliberately toward a Utopia, we are not eliminating options but revealing choices.
Feudal systems, Democratic Systems, Socialist Systems are all ways of maintaining the status quo, so the king lives long. But is this the way to exist in a Symbiotic and Emergent Universe? No, of course not. The Rational, Logical and Morally correct thing to do, is to Choose Change. Of course, the freedom of choice allows you to choose existing systems and methods, and once you start choosing, the chances are that you’ll eventually choose several, adapting them to suit your needs. but limits, laws, restrictions, rules, false options and narrowed perceptions, all of which lead, eventually, to decay. A society in motion will tend to stay in motion, but a society at rest will devour itself.
We are now entering the age of awareness, when more people are experiencing more perspectives while sharing their own. How we choose to use our new awareness, as peasants serving a king, or as free people tending our home, will determine what lies ahead. Feudalism or Anarchism, the choice we must wake up to.
Remember this though. All kings are anarchists, since they will not let another rule over them. And maybe, just maybe, the answer doesn’t lie “In the beginning” but “In A Beginning”