Mankind Needs a One-Class World.
If you want to travel, go one-class!
No room for greed in the world any more.
When we look at the civil unrest throughout the world, some of it flaring into revolution and war. When even the “First World,” supposedly organized and stable nations, are simmering with failing financial organizations, worker’s strikes, political demagoguery and apathy, we must know we have come to a point of crisis in our vulnerable world.
“When earthquakes shake; volcanoes bleed,
how fragile man appears,
Adding to mankind’s woes caused by the dwindling of our resources and the division between the have’s and the have not’s ever increasing, is our burgeoning populations, our apparent inability to control them, and the fact we are forced more and more to live in unsuitable, marginal tracts subject to every force nature exhibits during natural phenomena. This has been brought home to us in the last few weeks by the earthquakes in New Zealand and the unfolding disaster in Japan, the last which many believe will account for more than 100,000 people dead or missing and up to five trillion cost in dollars and perhaps a world-wide nuclear threat. The country is so stricken along the coastal regions, the whole area may have to be abandoned, especially when the specter of another disaster can never be ruled out.
Which is why I believe the time has come to take the only course for mankind to live with any degree of peace, dignity and comfort; indeed, to guarantee our long time survival at all.
This is for us to begin to live in a “One-Class World.”
I traveled twice in years gone by to and fro Australia by liner. This was when one could afford such month-long vacations and commutes. It was in the earlier days of travel from Europe to the Antipodes, when a voyage by ship was not only much more fun, it was half the price of an airfare; a position that has reversed today.
As this is an aside from the main thrust of my article, let me just say that I went one way on the two-class ship (First and Steerage) - the P&O Himalaya - and returned on a one-class, the ill-fated Chandris Lines ship, the Australis, (to founder off the Canaries some years later).
These voyages taught me a lesson good for life. Never travel on a class divided anything: train, airline or ship. (Well, unless you heeling is ‘well, you can’t avoid “tourist class” on the airlines I suppose). But life on the Himalaya going to Oz was so restricted in Steerage as the proportionally few muck-muck’s had two-thirds of the ship, while we were crammed into the forecastle and environs, (and not allowed aft to defile our betters!).
This is the problem with our world today. In terms of the resources, material wealth, land and money, less than one-third of the people hold 90% of the goodies. That was bearable100, or even 50 years ago, but, like the unbearable pressures that build in two tectonic plates before there is a disastrous slippage, as off Japan, the center won’t hold for long in 2011, in fact, the melt-down has begun.
I think David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, is an astute politician and a pretty decent chap, as far as politicos go. In fact, he mails me regularly (true - along with a couple of thousand others he perceives as friends to his ambitions). His intention is to create a “Big Society,” a nation of people who volunteer to help one another and the nation as needs arise.
He may be well-intentioned; I have no doubt he means well. But it can never work as long as a relatively few hold nearly all the chips, as glaringly the case in the UK, with it’s privileged-ridden class system and its Oxbridge graduate-suffused leadership.
In the US, you don’t have the landed gentry; the aristocracy, the royals and all the rest who claim rank and assets by droit seigneur, but you have you own “upper classes,” those to whom most of the spoils of the nation belong by the right of might makes right from a very dubious history. And both nations have the burden of the religious hierarchy.
Most of the world’s nations have similar problems, more or less. If only we had possessed the foresight to have kept world population to acceptable levels achieved a hundred years ago - of maybe a couple of billion. Now, we have approaching 7 billion and the distribution is unequal which is destabilizing the whole planet.
Much of Russia, Canada and Australia, for example, are relatively empty while China and India account for more than 2.5 billion alone. These two nations, especially China, are enjoying runaway affluence, which is putting an added burden on the world’s resources and its ability to absorb waste and pollution.
Not long ago, a political philosophy brought about radical change in the way several countries divvied-up the wealth and apportioned all the benefits of education, labor, housing and all the rest. This was Communism. Everything seemed to go well for some years, but the same illness - greed - that is destroying our Democratic societies soon began to take hold in the communist world. Political graft became rife and the elite began to add dachas as second houses in Russia. Black market goods began to infect the rather Spartan climate of locally available merchandise. People began to look to the “West,” primarily the USA with its glittering, consumer charged cities. Except for a few small enclaves, such as Cuba for many years, communists began to be envious of the capitalists and desiring to have more than their more contented neighbors. Sadly, the dream of a few good men was dashed, and the old systems returned. China is still communist in name anyway, but money is the oil that keeps this huge nation running and there is a huge, growing divide between rice-paddy workers and the captains of industry.
It’s hard to see a future for China that doesn’t put it into a head-on collision course with the United States and some of its allies. China has few important resources, apart from coal. They need to import nearly all of their crude oil demanded by the burgeoning car sales and the demands of their transportation industry. With this end, and that of selling their goods, they are making friends in the Middle East, Africa and South America. In the main, they are looked upon with suspicion and hostility by the West who sees them for the rivals they undoubtedly are, passively or otherwise. In the meantime, the Chinese are seen as being dire enemies of many threatened animals, which they harvest for homeopathic medicines. Alarmingly, all the jingoistic sounds and fury are growing.
We can, of course, carry on as we always have with the end result of the biggest dog getting - for a time - the juicy bone. The US is still the one to beat militarily, but other are catching up. As I write, we are about to intervene in Libya and will, soon, many fear, in Iran. Meanwhile, many African states have millions starving or dying from a lack of fresh water. We turn the proverbial blind eye.
My task is not to list all the world’s woes in this humble article but just to repeat - as many have done:-
"We are one tiny planet; a mere mote of dust when measured against our vast universe. All out petty tantrums are but the striving of microbes when the yardstick of space-time is applied to mankind."
Yet all we have is this brief dance - life - in the warmth of our decaying sun. Evolution was not content to give us just enough neurons to allow us to mate, eat and find shelter. It equipped us with this formidable cerebral cortex with which to reason, debate and understand - to a great degree - our universe. Surely, then, man has the brain power to love and understand his fellow travelers on Earth; to view their needs as our own? And to communicate as one to solve our immediate problems before they consume us? IF we can’t do that, evolution and natural selection; the whole of our societies and history, were just a biblical waste of time…
Footnote. Verse is from Charged Particles, by Robert Challen de Mercer and is copyright. Thank you