Friday, May 11, 2007
Einstein to the Rescue!
"Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle."
"There is no salvation for civilization. Or even the human race, other than the creation of a world government."
"A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth."
I am reading Walter Isaacson's extraordinarily detailed book: Einstein, His Life and Universe.*
Einstein thought in postulates. That is, he was a deductive thinker. It is the key to world peace. "The deeper we penetrate and the more extensive our theories become," he (Einstein) would declare toward the end of his life, "the less empirical knowledge is needed to determine these theories." (P. 118)
What is deductive thinking? Here, from Isaacson's book:
"Some scientific theories depend primarily on induction: analyzing a lot of experimental findings and then finding theories that explain the empirical patterns. Others depend more on deduction: starting with elegant principles and postulates that are embraced as holy and then deducting the consequences from them. All scientists blend both approaches to differing degrees. Einstein had a good feel for experimental findings, and he used this knowledge to find certain fixed points with which he could construct a theory. But his emphasis was primarily on the deductive approach...The simplest picture one can form about the creation of an empirical science is along the lines of an inductive method. Individual facts are selected and grouped together so that the laws that connect them become apparent. However, the big advances in scientific knowledge originated in this way only to a small degree. The truly great advances in our understanding of nature originated in a way almost diametrically opposed to induction. The intuitive grasp of the essentials of a large complex of facts leads the scientist to the postulation of hypothetical basic laws. From these laws, he derives his conclusions." (P. 117/118)
The Founding Fathers of the United States postulated a new government deductively above/beyond the separate states' governments which, being only parts of a whole, had forfeited their past deductive raison d'etre. In short, the founders had to imagine the USA first, then fill in the details. This process took many years as individual citizens only gradually accepted the holistic deductive political reality the credo of which was "E pluribus unum."
"Imagination is more important than knowledge," wrote Einstein.
He warned us in 1945 following the publication of Emery Reve's best-seller, The Anatomy of Peace, that "Our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man's discovery of fire. This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalism....In a war fought with the atomic bomb, perhaps two-thirds of the people of the earth might be killed.." and that we should "Remember your humanity, and forget the rest." (P. 491)
Indeed, the Nuclear Age itself was deduced from Einstein's historically insightful equation E=MC2.
That's precisely why there is no "solution" to the present Iraqi situation. It is only part of a total deductive situation involving the entire world community. Both the Bush administration and the Congress are mired in an inductive framework which in itself can admit of no deductive solution. Only a wholesale political postulate involving that community which is already physically one and totally interdependent can present a solution.
Neither can the US troops in Iraq-literally an occupying force-return home nor can they stay since violence per se provokes its counterpart. Catch-22. Moreover, given the artificial religious divide between the Sunnis and the Shiites, a peaceful solution between them cannot ensue within the context of the relativist inductive framework and reasoning.
Einstein's first and most famous postulate was the holistic principle of relativity.
In the chapter "One Worlder," Isaacson extrapolates: "As in science, so it was in world politics for Einstein: he sought a unified set of principles that could create order out of anarchy. A system based on sovereign nations with their own military forces, competing ideologies and conflicting national interests would inevitably produce more wars. So he regarded a world authority as realistic rather than idealistic, as practical rather than naive. For the remaining ten years of his life, his passion for advocating a unified governing structure for the globe would rival that for finding a unified field theory that could govern all the forces of nature." (P. 488)
He also advocated a world legislature that would be elected directly by the people of each member country, in secret ballot, rather than appointed by the nation's rulers. (P. 490)
On September 4, 1953, at the City Hall of Ellsworth, Maine, as a stateless person and declared world citizen, with Einstein's written approbation** , and in the name of over 750,000 registered World Citizens, I postulated a world government (of world citizens). The reasoning was totally deductive: I based it on three 'principles': One God (or Wisdom, Reason, Understanding, Spirit, etc.); One World and One Humanity. "When I am judging a theory," Isaacson quotes Einstein, "I ask myself whether, if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way." From these three postulates-which I called "world laws"-we citizens of the world have been filling in the details ever since. (See The Ellsworth Declaration, worldservice.org/doc)
"Iraqis," "Americans," and everyone inbetween are already united in the deductive postulates of one God, one world and one humanity.
Albert Einstein, we aver, would have approved wholeheartedly of this politically deductive follow through to his imaginative scientific postulates of the entire natural cosmos wherein humanity finds its perennial home.
*Simon & Shuster, 2007
(Note to Walter Isaacson: In your Chapter 'One Worlder,' please include in subsequent editions Einstein's support of the December 3rd, 1948 Salle Pleyel meeting in Paris - where an 'Honorary Chairman' place was reserved for him - 8 days before the UN General Assembly left its "international territory" of the Palais de Chaillot after declaring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th as "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations".)
**"I am eager to express to the young war veteran Davis my recognition of the sacrifice he has made for the well-being of humanity. In voluntarily giving up his citizenship rights he has made of himself a 'displaced person' in order to fight for the natural rights of those who are the mute evidence of the low moral level of our time. The worst kind of slavery which burdens the people of our time is the militarization of the people. But this militarization results from the fear of new mass-destruction in threatening world-war. The well-intentioned effort to master this situation by the creation of the United Nations has shown itself regrettably insufficient. A supra-national institution must have enough powers and independence if it shall be able to solve the problems of international security. Neither can one nor has one the right to leave the taking of such a decisive step entirely to the initiative of the governments. Only the unbendable will of the people can free the forces which are necessary for such a radical break with the old and outlived traditions in politics. I greet this assembly as a serious effort to serve a most important mission of our generation. A. Einstein