Monday, May 31, 2010
“Change the tool and you can change the world.”
“You all live aboard a beautiful spaceship called Earth.”
I write on "Memorial Day"–the "remembering day" in the United States of those who fought and "died" for their country. I remember all too well my elder brother Bud's death at Salerno in 1943 when I was in pilot training at Ryan Field, Arizona. Did he really die for the fictional "United States of America"? I'll never know what he thought about that. As for me, all I wanted was "revenge" for those who killed my brother. My bombing of German cities from the B-17s I flew in the 92nd Bomb Group out of Poddington, UK soon followed.
But it didn't help.
Because I couldn't forget those civilians who died under my bombs (which always makes me cringe inside when anyone "Thanks" me for my wartime service.)
And the national war game continues apace. Case in point: The US government has ordered 2,400 F-35 jets at $113 million apiece: cost $271 billion…."The US has spent more than 5.5 trillion $ in developing their nuclear arsenal and France has spent about 1.5 trillion $." (See http://www.nti.org/e_research/e3_atomic_audit.html).
The "other side" of that "remembering," is the challenge to think through war's cause in order to eliminate it. Or else why just remember only the suffering and death? What percentage of war veterans, for instance, Americans and others, have come to that realization, then acted on it? And since the age of "world wars" (really "international" wars) beginning in 1914 continues to this very day, it goes without saying that "world thought" alone leading to "world action" is the self-evident antidote to "international" war.
Besides, since August 5, 1945, the fictional frontiers of nations became redundant given the "indiscriminate" nature of atomic/nuclear weaponry.
Speaking of worldly disasters, this Sunday morning on the various TV news shows, the main subject was not the possibility of nuclear holocaust but the BP Gulf oil spill, not only an environmental disaster of monstrous proportions but also a devastating humiliation of impotence for every human watching the oil gushing out of the depths of the earth 5,000 feet below the surface into the pristine Gulf waters. Apparently unstoppable from the earth's bowels creating deadly pollution in living water, the black oil is revealing something ominous about ourselves. Is there not an immediate and global link between the worldwide use of oil (especially by the war machines) and the propensity of a national community still at war with itself? Is there a statistical count of what percentage of the world's oil is used by those national machines of destruction?
Now that would make useful reading on this Memorial Day.
Sixty-six years after WWII, at 88, I am about to fly to Washington, DC Tuesday to attend "The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award." at the National Press Club. A prize of $100,000 is to be awarded to one of 25 entries from 27 countries. The winner would be responding to the Bucky Fuller dictum of "Challenge to our minds, our experience, for the highest advantage of others in the shortest possible time."
A propos, the author of Critical Path reminded us that "All who are really dedicated to the earliest possible attainment of economic and physical success for all humanity-and thereby realistically to eliminate war–will have to shift their efforts from the political arena to participation in the design revolution." And more explicitly in The Crunch of Giants he wrote ominously that "We may soon be atom-bombed into extinction by the pre-emptive folly of the political puppet administrators fronting for the exclusively-for-money-making supranational corporations' weaponry industry of the now hopelessly bankrupt greatest–weapons-manufacturing nation, the U.S.A."
Bucky also insisted in Critical Path that he was not "a political revolutionary," but a "design science revolutionary. " "I sought to change the environment, not the humans," he wrote. Nevertheless, regarding the illusion of national sovereignty, he insisted that "All of the 150 nations of our planet are about to be desovereignized by evolution, that is, they are about to become operatively obsolete–about to be given up altogether.”
Thus his over-arching and succinct prescription for humanity's success in Utopia or Oblivion was: "Essence of the world's working will be to make every man able to become a world citizen and able to enjoy the whole earth, going wherever he wants at any time, able to take care of all his needs of all his forward days without any interference with any other man and never at the cost of another man's equal freedom and advantage." (Emphasis added).
Further, he noted in Utopian or Oblivion, that "world citizenship is coming about by itself," that "This picture is of the now visibly developing new 'world man'..a man who talked about being a ‘world citizen'..(Yes, it was this writer!).
Indeed, the computer on which I am writing this blog and the internet to which I will upload it when finished, then your reading it on your computer anywhere on the planet conveyed by satellite is surely adequate and self-evident proof enough of this giant's vision.
After my return from India in 1956 during which I had traveled with the first World Passport both to and from,* I attended one of Bucky's talks in 1956, in Philadelphia. He was delighted to receive from me one of the first edition of the global document.
May his myriad followers throughout the global village likewise seek this powerful tool representing his/her world citizenship living in our frontierless world those astronauts in the Space Station regard in wonder and euphoria every 90 minutes during its 11,000 mph endless whirl around our home planet.
So don't leave without a World Passport!