World Peace Is Possible - Part 3
A world without men? Do we have a choice?
In the first article in this series we introduced the idea of a world without men as a path to world peace. In the second article we explored the emotional engagement that is necessary to take this topic seriously.
In this post let’s address the question of whether we have the option of rejecting a world without men. We might start with this claim….
The marriage between violent men and the knowledge explosion is unsustainable.
Is this true? Let’s take a look.
The easiest place to start addressing this question is probably by discussing nuclear weapons, because they are an existing technology which is easy to understand. We all know what nuclear weapons can do, and that they are already in position to do it, so we can keep speculation to a minimum.
A simple fact presented to us by human history and the human condition is that there is really no chance that we can keep big stockpiles of these massive weapons around forever and violent men will never use them. No one can predict exactly when, how and why these weapons will be used, but sooner or later our luck will run out. Sooner or later some conflict like the war in Ukraine will spin out of control. There have already been a number of global nuclear war near misses, with the Cuban Missile Crisis being only the most famous incident on the list.
The point here is to remind us that violent men are already in a position to destroy our civilization in a single day. In fact, in some countries a single man has the power to decide the fate of everything we hold dear. Even the U.S. President has sole authority over the use of nuclear weapons.
Is this situation sustainable? Do we really think that this can continue forever?
The Knowledge Explosion Keeps Exploding
The knowledge explosion which brought us nuclear weapons is still hard at work bringing us ever more powers. Some of these emerging powers, such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, would seem to have at least the potential of becoming existential threats in the wrong hands.
So even if nuclear weapons were to magically vanish from the face of the Earth, the knowledge explosion will continue to generate more and more new powers of vast scale. The 21st century is not over, it’s only just begun. And whatever these new emerging powers may turn out to be, we can be assured that violent men will reach for these powers in their never ending quest for dominance and control.
What are the chances that this civilization can survive violent men acquiring ever more, ever larger powers, at what will probably be an ever accelerating rate? Would you bet your bank account on it?
Do We Have A Choice?
Do we really have the choice to not achieve world peace by some method? Do we really have the choice to continue with the assumptions and patterns of behavior from the past that we are used to and comfortable with? Do we really have the choice to radically transform our technological environment in ever more ways while continuing to think the same way that we always have in the past?
Is the marriage between violent men and the knowledge explosion sustainable?
If that marriage is not sustainable, then if we want to keep the miracle of modern civilization and pass it down to our children and grandchildren we have no choice but to embrace some form of radical change to the status quo.
What might radical change look like?
End The Knowledge Explosion?
We could return to the past of a century ago when human beings didn’t have the power to bring down the entire civilization. We could say goodbye to the knowledge explosion, a cure for cancer, an ever improving standard of living, and return to an agricultural society. Violent men would still be violent, but their horror show could continue as always without bringing on an end to everything.
How do you feel about hoeing potatoes ten hours a day six days a week?
Fix The Violent Men?
Sure, this would be great! The only problem is, nobody in human history has figured out how to do that.
RELIGION: As example, Christianity, a religion about bringing people together in peace, dominated Western civilization to a degree we can’t even imagine today for a thousand years. 1,000 years. That didn’t end the ruthless adventures of violent men, did it? In fact, some of the religious leaders were themselves launching wars and other horrors.
POLITICS: And so European culture flooded in to the new world hoping for a fresh start. And what did the violent men do when they got to North America? They created a new nation built upon a foundation of genocide and ruthless racism.
PRISONS: Today’s America incarcerates more people than any nation on Earth. Does that work at ending the threat from violent men? Apparently not.
MANAGEMENT: We should keep the many peaceful men and get rid of the violent men? Sounds great, except that we don’t have the slightest idea how to do that.
The point here is that we don’t really have any evidence that violent men can be fixed.
All that we can accomplish with religion, philosophy, law and social pressure is to make decent people a little more decent. We’re making progress there! But we shouldn’t confuse that progress with a solution for violent men.
Is World Peace Possible?
Yes, world peace is possible. Here’s why. The alternative is culture death.
We typically dismiss the idea of world peace because we think we have that option. But the truth is, we don’t have that choice.
Is a world without men the best way to achieve world peace? Maybe, and maybe not. Nobody will ever know for sure.
But while we’re dismissing, ignoring, debating, getting bored and wandering off, and hoping vaguely that somebody will somehow save us from ourselves…
The clock is ticking.
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