The Earth Party Narrative
The Lie of History
History is built on a lie.
At least the history that most of us were taught in school.
When and where, were we taught, that civilization began?
Around 5-6 thousand years ago (3,000-4,000 BCE), in a few key areas, such as Egypt, China, the Indus Valley, and especially Mesopotamia.
We were taught that:
1. "Before this, people were not civilized."
2. "Outside of these areas, people remained uncivilized, until one of those four civilizations absorbed them."
As support for this story, our schools gave us a set of criteria for defining what it means to be civilized:
1. Social Stratification
4. Organized Religion
5. Labor Division
7. Gigantic Buildings
Recognize that list from school?
We could look at any society, past or present, through the lens of that list, and determine whether we're looking at a "civilization" or not.
pic of microscope
If it met all or most of those criteria, we could call it a civilization. And if not, then we're looking at a pre-civilized, "primitive" culture.
Or so they told us.
Egypt and Mesopotamia met all of the criteria on the list, and so, we were taught, they held the title of "World's First Civilizations."
But they're only the first if we use that list. What if we question the validity of the list itself?
Is it actually a good list? Does it make sense?
Let's go back to history class, and start raising our hands and asking some tough, yet very common-sense questions.
Let's go through each item on the list:
1. Social Stratification
This means the division of populations into social classes: rich and poor, masters and servants, rulers and the ruled.
According to what our "schools" taught us, if everyone is equal, then it's not a civilization!
To be worthy of being called "civilized", someone must have power over someone else.
But why is that a good thing?
Why is the first picture "civilized",
but the second picture isn't?
Why is social stratification a good thing? Why is it good for one person to "lord it" over others? Why is it good to concentrate wealth in a few hands, while leaving the masses impoverished, forced to grovel for scraps from others who think they're better than everyone else?
Why is that good?
If everyone trusts everyone else, and everyone shares everything, and everyone is willing to help everyone else, without the guarantee of compensation... then it's not civilized!
But if no one trusts anyone, and no one is willing to help anyone unless they're compensated, then this is civilized.
Why is the latter more civilized than the former?
Why is a money-based economy a better system than a trust and sharing-based economy?
Why is that better?
If you're peaceful, you're not a civilization. To be a civilization, you have to commit mass-murder.
Is mainstream anthropology insane?
4. Organized Religion
If everyone has a personal connection with the divine, then you're not a civilization.
To be civilized, you need a hierarchy of bureaucrats interjecting themselves between you and your God.
But why is that better?
5. Labor Division
If everyone puts their hands in the soil...
and everyone develops an intimate connection with the land...
and everyone understands their ecosystem, and their place in it...
and everyone participates in the nourishing of their community...
...then it's not a civilization.
To be civilized, you must create an entire class of people who are disconnected from the land and clueless about Nature.
If everyone is independent and self-sufficient, then you're not civilized.
Starting to notice the pattern here?
Everyone used to work with the soil. Everyone had their hands in the soil, every day. Everyone maintained an intimate connection with the Earth, and no one forgot their connection to the wider community of Life. Kids didn't feel any need to walk into school with a spear and start randomly impaling their peers.
But then, when surpluses made labor division possible, vast swaths of the population became alienated from the soil and from the living world. They severed their connection with Nature, and thus began 5000 years of neurotic insanity.
So why is that good?
*Disclaimer: We're not against labor division - we just think it should be partial, rather than complete and exclusive. To learn more about our vision of a benign economy, see our Blueprint for a Mature Civilization.
If your culture and lifestyle are simple enough that everyone can remember everything they need to know by heart, then you're not civilized.
To be civilized, you must make your society a labyrinth of complexity so confusing that no one can remember everything, and the only way to remember all the important things is to write them down.
This is not to say that writing is "bad." It's not. But what does it have to do with the question of whether or not a society is civilized?
7. Gigantic Buildings
Buildings take up space. They cover up land that used to be living soil, capable of providing an ecosystem of Life.
The bigger the building, the more Life you have to erase to make room for it.
And if you respect your ecosystem, and only build buildings you need, then you're not civilized.
To be civilized, you have to blot out massive amounts of living soil for projects with no practical use, whose only purpose is entertainment, or the glorification of the upper classes - or some other pointless function that didn't even exist until you invented it to become "civilized"!
Whew. No wonder humans are struggling... if THIS is what we learned in "school."
Why are these things criteria for civilization?
Why are they good?
Conventional archaeology and anthropology have no answers to any of these questions.
But we have an idea.
All of these things are just the outward manifestations of an inner value system.
These harmful criteria are considered hallmarks of civilization because we live in a malignant civilization based on Power.
Think about it. It's all about power.
Social Stratification? Power.
Organized Religion? Power.
Exclusive division of labor? Power for whoever manages the workers.
Monstrous buildings? Power for the elite who get to occupy and use those buildings.
Consumption? Power. By displaying your ability to consume resources, you're displaying your power and status.
By having a huge, wasteful lawn, you're displaying your power over the natural world. You can bend Nature to your will, and that makes you powerful.
By dominating animals, you're reconfirming to yourself that you're powerful.
Our society has enshrined Power as the ultimate virtue in the universe!
But none of these things help us sustain our existence.
None of these things make life better.
And when pursued to its ultimate conclusion, this power-centered way of thinking leads to the destruction of the entire world.
The Earth Party Narrative
A Simple Test
The corrupt civilization shows up in more places that just anthropology classrooms. It shows up in every interaction in our lives.
Our definition of civilization determines our identity - our sense of who we are.
After all, if something defines civilization, then you have to have that "something" in order to call yourself civilized!
Whatever traits you consider "civilized" will form your core identity. And identity drives behavior - both individually, AND collectively.
Whenever two people meet, the malevolent paradigm is at work.
Here's a simple test to find out if your mind has been infiltrated by the programming of the corrupt civilization.
It's time for a little thought experiment!
Imagine two types of people, side by side:
Bob the Businessman
-owns a company that posts profits every quarter
-lives in a large suburban tract house with marble countertops
-has a large, well-manicured lawn that's mowed every week
-drives a nice, high-end car
-dresses very well, and owns multiple suits and neckties
-eats steak and filet-mignon at fine restaurants
-purchases entertainment at many fine, fashionable venues
-owns many shiny decorations, fine furniture, and expensive gadgets
-flies his family to vacation spots multiple times per year
-has a very expensive health insurance policy, and uses it frequently, for many prescriptions and surgeries
Rainbow Moonchild, the Hippie:
-has no full-time job; earns money performing music on sidewalks
-dwells in a tiny house, or maybe even a tent
-uses whatever soil is available to grow vegetables and herbs
-has no car; gets around on a bicycle
-wears second-hand clothing... doesn't even own a suit and tie
-is vegan and shops at farmers' markets
-sits at home playing guitar instead of going out for entertainment
-hardly buys anything unnecessary, trades for the rest, and all worldly possessions fit in a backpack
-travels via hitchhiking and ridesharing
-stays healthy through yoga, a vegan diet, time in Nature, movement meditation, herbs, spiritual care, and visionary plant-based shamanism
How do you feel about these two people?
If you're like most people, you feel admiration for Bob:
"He's made it."
"He must have contributed greatly to society."
"This is a model person."
"If only my kids could be more like him!"
Meanwhile, you probably feel disdain for Rainbow Moonchild:
"Lazy hippie! Get a real job!"
"They're not contributing much to society."
"I don't have anything against them, but they could have made something more of themselves."
"They're not living up to their potential."
The bottom line is, the Hippie is not as successful as the businessman.
But that's wrong. It's not true! It's actually the other way around!
In reality - in actual truth - the hippie is MORE successful than the rich businessman.
Because she achieved the satisfaction of her physical and personal needs with less destruction to those around her. Both she and the businessman might be satisfied - but the hippie used fewer resources to get there. That means she's more successful than he is!
Every human being has a duty to tread lightly on this planet, on behalf of future generations. We are tasked with finding satisfaction and happiness via the least destructive type of lifestyle possible - the lifestyle that minimizes our disruption of Nature.
The businessman is doing a worse job of that, and you are suffering because of it, because for every unit he consumes, that's one less for you (and everyone else, and future generations). He uses more land, fuel, and resources, leaving less for you.
The hippie uses less land, less fuel, and fewer resources - leaving more for you. The hippie is treating you better than the businessman. She's being a better neighbor.
And yet, you're disdainful of her - just for that - for treating you better. Because of her low consumption, you lower her status. And because of the businessman's high consumption, you raise his status.
Status has become coupled with consumption. Status is defined by consumption.
"Hasn't it always been that way, throughout human history?."
Status has always been correlated with consumption, but the causation used to be the other way: status led to consumption. But nowadays, consumption leads to status.
Powerful people - those with status - could consume a lot, because they were powerful.
But now it comes from the other direction as well. Now we start with seeing a person who consumes a lot, and give him status because of it.
Status has always led to the ability to consume. But now, consumption also leads to status.
Consumption is not a virtue. Conservation is a virtue. Consumption is a vice. Why are we admiring people who consume more? They're not successes. They're failures. They didn't succeed at consuming - they failed at treading lightly.
Rich people are bigger failures than poor people. They failed at being happy with a normal amount of stuff - and so a massive outlay of the planet's finite resources needs to be set aside for them, and veritable armies of laborers have to be assembled to do stuff for them and make stuff for them, just so they can reach the same level of happiness as a person living in a grass hut.
And if psychologists are correct, they didn't even attain THAT - because, as we know, most rich people are not happy. They project a gloating, satisfied exterior, while being downright miserable on the inside. Empty, unfulfilled, depressed, suicidal. They require industrial quantities of brain-altering pills (SSRI's antidepressants, etc) just to keep themselves together. They failed at happiness. Not only did they consume massive resources to achieve happiness - they didn't even achieve happiness!
They neither tread lightly on the land, NOR attained happiness. They failed at BOTH.
The narrative of power is what says they're successful. Because that's the one thing they do have - power. But what is it FOR? What GOOD is it? The power narrative makes no sense.
"But the businessman achieved so many more things! He has far more possessions, far more power, and he's left a much greater mark upon the world!"
And did any of those things make him happier?
"Happier? Well... no. They didn't."
Yup. So, if that's the case - if none of his so-called "successes" made him happier, then what was the point of it all?
"Well, he contributed more! He contributed to the good of society, while the hippie was just sitting around!"
How do you know he contributed more?
"Because he has more money..."
Why does having money mean he contributed?
"Because you don't get rich from doing nothing."
Sure, he did things, but how do you know they were positive things? How do you know they made the world better?
"Because people were willing to pay for his service, meaning it had value."
You mean people valued it.
"Yea, whats the difference?"
People can value bad things. It happens a lot. Take, for instance, high-fructose corn syrup. That stuff makes a lot of people a lot of money. But is the world better for it? Are the people who get rich because of it getting rich by doing good, by contributing?
You have no indication that his activities have contributed positively to society. All you know for sure is that he's consuming - and by that alone, you're willing to trust that he's done positive things!
And you're rewarding him, with social status.
"I guess I see your point. But why is it like this? How come my society thinks this way?"
This is the difference between paradigms!
Think about it. What is the main difference between the two people?
"I guess it would be... their rate of consumption?"
Yes. In he malevolent paradigm, high consumption is seen as a good thing.
We're taught to admire those people who consume more, while ignoring and disdaining those who consume less.
Our paradigm WANTS us to consume. It ENCOURAGES us to consume.
Everything about our society is set up to stimulate maximum consumption, at maximum speed.
Which culture is more mature?
Modern and grasshut side by side
Those who consumed more than their fare share were frowned upon. Now, it's reversed - a kind of upside down morality.
Status was always correlated with consumption, but it was an inverse correlation - as consumption rises, status should fall.
X f(x) low abso slope
But now its flipped. The more someone consumes, the more society admires them.
X f(x) low abso slope
And thats the test to see how much of the corrupt paradigm.youre still mired in.
Even when we don't need something at all, we're told to consume it anyway, and if we do, we get higher social marks, praise, and admiration from our peers.
And if we're satisfied without the thing, we're scorned for not consuming enough, and our social status suffers.
Even if we don't want the thing we're told to want, the malevolent paradigm tells us to go get it and consume it anyway.
But there's a problem. Resources are finite. This planet doesn't have an infinite amount of resources, including land space.
-The big house covers up more land, preventing flora from growing.
-The big lawn reduces a thriving, bio-diverse forest into a monotonous sheet of a single species.
-The fancy clothes, the cars, the meat and dairy - it all comes from the Earth, and it all reduces the integrity of the biosphere upon which all Life depends.
When one person consumes a resource, there's less for everyone else.
By cheering someone else's consumption, you're cheering your own deprivation - or the deprivation of your children and grandchildren, who will inherit the depleted world you're saddling them with.
And not only does it lead to personal scarcity, but to ecological collapse.
Civilizations are guests - a planet is a host. The former cannot exist without the latter. If the biosphere goes kaput, so does the civilization.
And every resource we consume causes damage to the biosphere. The more we consume, the more destruction to our ecosystems.
Do you notice anything funny?
"Yes. Our civilization is encouraging the very activity leading to its own collapse. It incentivizes its own destruction."
Bingo! It's like you paying your friend to beat you up.
The things it wants us to consume are the foundations of Life itself.
Trees, forests, animals. The purity of our environment. The integrity of the ecosystem. The Land. The Waters. The Air. The Biosphere.
This civilization of ours... is suicidal.
"Why would it be like this? How did it get like this?"
It's simply a continuation of the old model, begun around 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia. It's the logical conclusion of 5000 years of power-centered thinking. A paradigm that values power as the ultimate societal virtue.
"OK, but WHY though? Why did humanity shift towards such a horrible paradigm in the first place? What started it?"
What started it was technocracy.
If you're interested in exploring the psychological and spiritual underpinnings of the corrupt paradigm - how we got like this - our technocracy series addresses this.
And now it's time to shift the paradigm back to love.
From a destructive, power-based paradigm, to a life-affirming, love-based paradigm.
We did it before... and we can do it again.
We can become a mature civilization.
Continue to the next page:
The Earth Party Narrative
What Is A Mature Civilization?
So here's our choice.
We can stay on the road to destruction, or turn onto a path to peace.
It's time for a Great Paradigm Shift, to correct this 5000-year mistake.
it's time to replace our insane definition of civilization with a sane one.
"So... what IS a benevolent civilization? How should we define it?"
Good news! It's not a long list. There are only 3 criteria this time.
Let's have the lesson that our "schools" failed to teach us.
The Definition of Civilization
The Hallmarks of Civilization are:
1. Sustainability, 2. Liberty, and 3. Compassion.
Let's go through each:
The ability to live in perpetual balance with the ecosystem of the Planet.
To use systems which, if continued indefinitely, do not degrade the biosphere's health. The ability to be symbiotic with the Planet, instead of parasites. A "civilization" that is parasitic upon its host planet, draining and unraveling that planet's ecosystem, unable to sustain itself without cannibalizing its own foundation, is not a civilization at all.
Some values of sustainability are:
Balance with Nature
Efficient use of natural resources
Resilience / Anti-fragility
What's the good of existing if we're not free? In order for our civilization to be worth making sustainable, it must be a free society - one in which everyone is able to live without excessive stress, and pursue their dreams and passions.
+No bosses, masters, or domination... no slaves
+Roughly equal status for everyone, or status based on merit
+Egalitarian economics (not precise equality, but close to it)
+Meeting of needs with the least amount of labor
And in order to be worthy of preserving our Liberty, we must be compassionate. Not only as individuals, but as a society. Our social system must be structured to facilitate compassionate behavior, and make sure that the most vulnerable members are cared for and not abused.
+Caring for the elderly and disabled
+Sharing with the poor (or better yet, setting things up so that everyone has the ability to support themselves, so that poverty never takes shape in the first place)
+Recognition of animals as living beings with the capacity to sense and feel.
This last value, about animals, is extremely important. Animals are the most abused type of being in our society; billions are tortured every year, before being slaughtered to satisfy desires that are, in most cases, not based on any true necessities.
Any society that commits widespread, systemic abuse doesn't deserve to remain free. A society that lacks Compassion does not deserve Liberty, and will find a way to lose it.
This recognition must be acknowledged by the entirety of society, with anyone disputing it considered a psychopath by the standards of all respectable people. A society that tolerates, in its midst, the notion that animals are inanimate constructs, does not qualify as a Civilization.
S x C = L
Sustainability x Compassion = Liberty
Those are the 3 Qualifications for defining Civilization.
Any society that acknowledges all three is a Civilization, and any society that misses any of them is not.
So it turns out that the definition we learned in school was not only wrong, but upside-down! They taught us the precise opposite of the truth!
When you introduce Social Stratification, you don't become a civilization - you cease being a civilization.
When you introduce Warfare, you don't become a civilization - you cease being a civilization.
When inter-community trust deteriorates to the point that economic activity can't proceed without Money, you don't become a civilization, you cease being a civilization.
When you redefine consumption as a virtue... when you start obliterating Nature to show how strong you are, you don't become a civilization... you cease being a civilization.
In summary, the mature civilization is based on love - a recognition of connection to others and to the world.
The immature civilization seeks to achieve, without caring whether its achievements are actually good or not. It treats achievement as an end - as a goal, in and of itself.
Anything that makes it feel more powerful, is considered good.
It's like a small child feeling proud of himself because of what he's able to accomplish.
But as he grows up, and matures, the child realizes that not everything he can do is worth doing. Just because he's able to do something, doesn't mean he should.
Can and should are two completely separate things.
But the mind of an immature person - or an immature civilization - fails to recognize this. Our current paradigm treats power and achievement as the ultimate expression of success - regardless of how those achievements impact the wider system.
"Mine's the biggest!"
"No, MINE's the biggest!"
Perhaps this was a necessary phase in our development. Perhaps, just like a growing child, our society needed to go through some immature phases before it could mature.
But it's time to mature now. It's time to shift, from a power-centered paradigm to a love-centered paradigm.
From a malevolent civilization to a benevolent civilization.
"OK Mr. Utopian, people have been preaching this kind of stuff for centuries. I don't disagree - I think these changes would be a good thing. But why do you think it's happening NOW, and supposedly destined to happen? Why?"
Because now humanity is facing a series of converging crises like never before.
The depravity and arrogance of our immature civilization has become an imminent threat to all civilization period, if not all life on this planet.
We're approaching an ultimatum as a species - will we shift, or will we perish?
In the old days, the benevolent paraidgm used to be a luxury. It was for only those with spiritual enlightenment. But now it's no longer a luxury- it's a necessity.
But here's the good news.
Humans, while notorious for being lazy when it comes to self improvement, tend to act swiftly and decisively when faced with great danger. When our very existence is threatened, we get up off the couch and take action.
Gradually our species is becoming aware that its current model - the malevolent paradigm - is not sustainable, and it's going to collapse on top of us if we don't change the model soon.
So the awareness is increasing.
Even better news:
Where consciousness goes, energy flows. If our awareness keeps increasing ,then the paradigm WILL shift, and the next page explains the science behind how the paradigm actually shifts, and why a total planet-wide evolution in consciousness is possible simultaneously.
"But why hasn't it happened yet?"
Now, here's where it gets tricky.
Something is delaying the shift.
"What's delaying it?"
One complicating factor is coming from the Left half of societal mass-consciousness, and one is coming from the Right half.
The Earth Party plans to solve both of these issues, and thereby expedite the process of crossing the threshold and completing the evolutionary leap to the Love-Based Civilization.
In summary, let's compare the two paradigms once more:
A successful person is someone who has found a way to thrive while consuming as few resources as possible.
A successful person is someone who consumes as much as possible. He displays his power by consuming resources he doesn't even need to consume. He takes more from the community than he needs, depriving others of what they need - and society admires (!) him for this, and considers him successful, due to the power he's able to display. Children are taught to emulate him.
Civilization should strive for integration with Nature - to live in harmony with the natural world. To blend. The more Nature we conserve, the more civilized and successful we are.
Civilization should strive to replace nature. It should conquer the natural world and break it and bend it to Man's will. The more Nature we eliminate, the more civilized and successful we are.
Equality is a good thing.
You're not a civilization until you have inequality.
The health of a society can be measured by the independence of its people.
The health of a society can be measured by the dependence of its people. A successful, civilized society is one in which a small group of people control the livelihood and destinies of great numbers of people, who have to grovel, submit, and beg for their sustenance.
We are members of the Community of Life, and our job is to be responsible members, and treat other members with respect, and coexist without disrupting them. Animals are our brothers and sisters, and we share this Earth with them.
There is no such thing as a Community of Life. Humans are the only living creatures. Animals are just machines with no consciousness. We have the right to dominate them, exploit them, torment them, and own them as property. In fact, certain people have the right to do this to other people, as well.