Vision of this site

 

 

Vision

by

Tomasz Pietrzykowski

 

This site is entirely dedicated to the project of the creation of a new form of society called the  Cooperative Wisdom Society or shortly CWS. The document presented below summarizes the basic philosophy, the proposed structure of CWS,  and a few suggestions concerning bringing this vision to reality. There also exists a sister site www.tomasz-pietrzykowski.com (currently under revision)  where the author presents a more personal view related to CWS.

This document is purposefully very condensed. However, I hope the content is sufficient for the reader to decide if she/he is interested in the project. More detailed discussions (in textual or audio format) will be gradually presented on the site of all the major points briefly summarized here.

Many of us are aware that humanity is moving in the wrong direction, but not everyone is aware of the extent of the damages which have already occurred. Moreover, everything indicates that this trend will continue and increase. It may lead to the tragic end when the majority of accomplishments achieved during our long journey of hundreds of thousands of years will be destroyed. In the worst case, most higher life forms (including humans) will disappear.

Our environment is more and more devastated; some changes are already impossible to repair. Violence and senseless killing take forms unknown before. Social bonds, the foundation of our society, are being destroyed. The disparity of wealth and power increases. Legal and illegal corruption become acceptable. Hypocrisy and the insanity of some so-called “world leaders,”  is growing day by day. We are bombarded by a growing avalanche of useless and often harmful information which contributes to the increase of psychological hypochondria. Our physical and mental health is deteriorating due to the presence of legally accepted toxic substances present in air, food and water: pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, food preservatives and others. Consequently, previously very rare physical and mental diseases, caused by the immune system attacking our body, are affecting a growing portion of humanity.

Our economy is based on the culture of debts, pleasing the stock market and the fanatic “religion” of economic growth. The main ingredient of our economy is consumerism: people are brainwashed to keep buying useless products and services. Christmas shopping makes the whole economy rejoice or become depressed.

However, this is not all. During the last hundred years, our whole civilization became dependent on the availability of electrical energy, internet and mobile networks. Without them, we would not get food and water. Our security and health care are dependent on them. Without the internet, the whole financial system would collapse in a matter of hours. The internet and the delivery of electricity cannot function without each other, and their centralized design makes them fragile and vulnerable to destruction: for example, natural disasters or attacks commanded by some insane “world leaders” or terrorist organizations.

We have managed to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons which may wipe out millions of human beings: this danger increases since some countries (or perhaps mafia and terrorists) who have access to such weapons are led by insane leaders, obsessed with promoting their ideas at all costs.

The conclusion is starkly obvious: the most popular present political system, called democracy, obviously ceased to be able to cope with modern reality.

More detail about our present state of affairs will be published on this site under the menu Foundations with the title: “Theatre of the absurd and confusion.” But I think, that what  I have presented above, is sufficient to show that the existing system is fundamentally defunct and beyond any “repair,” so it needs a complete change.

Attempts in the past such as Marxism, Anarchism and similar have not worked. The present social trends in helping ecology and society work only on a small scale, at best.

Consequently, because of the absence of any realistic alternative to our system, I have decided to propose a new socio-economic-political system called the Cooperative Wisdom Society or CWS. This society would be based on egalitarianism which would remove one of the main sources of our evils: social and economic stratification. It means that independently of gender, age, and profession everyone has the same social and economic status – a nurse, leader or teacher, none of these has a better house or enjoy any special privileges. It also implies that all decisions concerning CWS, on each level of its hierarchy, are made unanimously. The fundamental premise of any democracy is that decisions are imposed by the majority; This logic implies that one group (the majority) is superior to others (minorities) which eventually leads to disharmony. As we well know, it is the key reason why democracy never really works in the long run.

However, egalitarianism does not presuppose that each member of CWS is identical. To the contrary, each person would be free to develop her or his own natural inclinations and talents – for example, one may be more prone to physical work, another to science, art or management of group endeavors, etc.. The choice would be free from present value systems which imply one kind of work is be better than another.

Relations between members of CWS would be based on altruism. This term, used in many moral and religious doctrines requires clarification. It means that an individual is not only focused on one’s own wellbeing or, at best on one’s own family or friends but also pays attention to the welfare of others– other is alter in Latin. It may be difficult to accept such an attitude because we have been conditioned hundreds of generations to accept egoism as the norm. However, due to wisdom, another founding principle of CWS, we develop the ability to comprehend experientially that the feelings of others are basically the same as our own. We are interconnected, so we cannot ignore the suffering of other beings. As a result, we naturally try to help. From a pragmatic point of view, altruism makes complete sense: we cannot effectively cooperate without being aware of the state of mind and body of others.

However, this altruistic cooperation would not be something deadly serious – it will be infused with the warm sense of humor – another great accomplishment of Homo Sapience.

In spite of the profound changes of the existing socio-economic system, CWS would retain all the positive accomplishments of humanity independently of when and where, particularly in the domains of culture, science, education, medicine, and technology. To the contrary, it will use the advancements in science and technology, in order not to harm the ecology and repair, as much as possible, the damages that have occurred already.  For example, it would use the abundant sources of energy of wind and solar radiation to make our life more comfortable than it is now and produce ecologically safe food to satisfy the needs of the world.

It can go even further: science, freed from the existing narrowing dogmas and technology, freed from the constraints of our economic system based on the absurd idea of profit, may exceed the wildest visions of science fiction.

I am fully aware that many readers may consider the very idea of CWS,  as an idealistic fantasy, a fairy tale about some mythical kind of paradise, which is impossible to realize in this present society. Such an opinion would not be surprising. Most of the sources of our collective and individual consciousnesses are shaped by existing religions and philosophies, the majority of which, tell us that we are egoistic, sinful, greedy, cruel and unruly; that wars and other calamities are as old the humanity itself, and so on. Moreover, such views are confirmed and further reinforced when we look at the present dire state of the world.

However, this proposal is not as idealistic as it may appear. Due to discoveries of modern archeology, there is a growing body of evidence that shows us that for at least 100,000 years of its existence, human society embraced a primitive version of cooperative-wisdom as the principle of its social structure and functioning. The Paleolithic hunters/gatherers and even some early Neolithic agriculturalists, as recently as 4,000 years ago, lived as egalitarian societies, without gender bias or any other form of stratification. Furthermore, the socio-economic structure of hunters/gatherers is also known: they formed small groups of 20 to 30 members largely based on the principle of matrilineality.

This view is supported not only by archeology. Anthropologists have discovered that the hunters/gatherers social format continues until now, without any significant changes among some isolated aboriginal groups such as the Hadza people from Tanzania.

The greatest accomplishment of our ancestors was their radical departure from the social structure of the rest of the hominids and becoming Homo Sapiens. The word sapiens comes from Latin “sapientia” which means wisdom. Homo Sapiens rejected animal social structure of suppression of the group by a leading male and, instead, created a social order based on egalitarianism. This allowed humans, in a relatively brief period (the comparative speed of evolution of just 200,000 to 300,000 years), without any significant genetic changes, to become the master of our planet.

Homo Sapiens were very ill-equipped for survival: they had no claws or fangs to defend themselves or capture prey (meat being the main source of nutrition) and no fur to protect themselves from the harsh climate. During the Last Glacial period when all their genetic “relatives” perished, including the Neanderthals, Homo Sapiens survived. Why? Because they were able to create abstract thinking and the human language by which individuals could communicate and express their ideas. They developed the ability to observe, and so created visual art. They were able to formulate the law of cause and effect so they could, due to knowing how to cooperate and develop the technology. Amongst many things, they invented garments to survive the cold weather of the Last Glacier. They created a variety of sophisticated hunting tools such as the bow and arrow and the boomerang; they improved the maintenance of fire so they could make pottery and smelt metals; they invented weaving. Homo Sapiens were able to domesticate animals, develop agriculture and also created art and religion. All of these advances occurred during the period when the societies still maintained an egalitarian social structure. More on this subject will be published on this site under the menu Foundation entitled “Homo Sapiens.”

I believe that this excursion into our egalitarian prehistorical past is necessary. It serves to show that this proposal is not an idealistic fantasy, but it proposes to come back to the point of our journey before we took the wrong turn and went towards the path of social and economic stratification.

Following this introduction, is the presentation of the outline of the proposed CWS:

Its smallest unit called a nucleus would consist of around 20 – 30 members. This size is not chosen haphazardly – it was the size of the social groups of our ancestors, the hunter/ gatherers which enabled the making of a unanimous decision, the cornerstone of CWS.

The members of a nucleus should live close to each other in individual houses or small co-houses. This proximity would enable frequent daily interactions that would make altruistic cooperation the natural basis for everyday life. It would also make possible the communal raising of children as was done among hunters/gatherers. Such upbringing of children would have an important beneficial effect because they would be exposed to the diversification of input beyond their own parents. These extended interactions would help them to become responsible members of a society as well as providing security which would foster their natural, creative playfulness.

The social structure of the nucleus would be egalitarian so, independently of the social role or gender, each member would have the same economic and social status. That would apply to everyone without exception including the leader of the nucleus, who would be selected unanimously. Her or his role would be coordinating and overseeing the functioning of the nucleus and making everyday decisions. However, if any member disagreed with such a decision, it could be confirmed or overturned at the next opportunity, when the whole nucleus would meet again.

The ultimate goal of each nucleus would be to be self-sufficient, as possible. Food would be grown using efficient techno-ecological agriculture and electric energy generated by solar and wind power, so as not to harm the balance of the natural environment. The self-sufficiency of the nucleus is designed to survive any potentially dangerous social disturbances.

Saying all of that, of course, we cannot be naïve and believe that such a system can be established easily. The reason is brutally clear: our individual and social consciousness are profoundly “indoctrinated” by the long period of stratification. Consequently CWS, on all levels, would need thorough mental “detoxification”  in the form of ongoing mind training called Wisdom Training or, in short, WT. It would be integrated into the daily life of the whole community. 

The main purpose of this training would be to remove the pollution of almost 10,000 years of stratification. By virtue of the training, gradually, the individual and social consciousnesses of the members of the CWS would return to their natural state of wisdom and altruistic cooperation.

Wisdom Training would be based on an ancient, particularly effective and time-tested meditation technique called trekcho which was formulated in the 14 century by the Tibetan sage Longchen Rabjam. Fundamentally the goal of this practice is to rest one’s mind in nowness, and when distracted, to return to nowness as soon as one becomes aware of that. It is easy to comprehend intellectually, but it requires a lot of patience, discipline, and consistency to be successful. Uprooting deeply ingrained, omnipresent habitual mental patterns is not easy and takes time. To facilitate the resting of the mind in nowness while facing everyday challenges, other Mahayana practices, parmitas and lojong, would be utilized.

The necessity of such training distinguishes CWS from the many other attempts to develop similar social structures, which have not sufficiently appreciated the power and persistence of deeply rooted, often unnecessary, destructive beliefs and opinions.

It should be strongly emphasized that WT would be free of any religious beliefs or psychological dogmas – fully secular.

The overall structure of CWS would be a network of nuclei organized into a hierarchical structure. The next layer above the nuclei would consist of Cooperative Wisdom Villages or simply villages.  Each village would be a cluster of about 25 – 30 nuclei located as close to each other as possible. That would enable, not only personal communication between members but also altruistic cooperation between individual nuclei. A village, because of its larger size, would permit increased self-sufficiency, for example, the establishment of primary schools and basic medical service centers.

Each village would have its Village Council consisting of the leaders of its nuclei. It would be the governing body of the village that would function by making unanimous decisions concerning matters of the village. Similarly, as in each nucleus, the village council would unanimously select the village leader. Her or his role would be analogous to that of the leader of a nucleus, but in this case, the village leader would be the head of the other leaders of associated nuclei.

At this point, it should be strongly emphasized, that the introduction of a hierarchical structure in CWS would not compromise its egalitarian character.

I hope it is easy to see how such a structure can be expanded: 25 – 30 villages would compose a CWS town which would have its own town council consisting of leaders of its villages, which, from among themselves, would select it town leader, and so on. It can also be added that a  relatively large sized town could allow for the further development of self -sufficiency: for example its own communication and energy distribution systems. Such an approach can be continued as long as needed  – the larger the CWS, the more self-sufficiency it may be able to create. That may become critically important in order to face the serious disturbances which may take place (see above).

A few suggestions on how to begin. The members of the newly formed nucleus, before they attempt to begin its realization, should have a clear sense of a common purpose, and establish close relations. One of the suggested ways to accomplish this would be to engage in the group practice of WT – it will cement their relationships and facilitate making good decisions based on the fairly well know phenomenon of group intelligence.

The realization of a nucleus would require many pragmatic factors to be in place:  the finances to purchase land, build or buy houses, acquisition of the equipment necessary for self-sufficiency and so on.

The nucleus should have a proper legal structure, for example, bio-agricultural cooperative which is usually viewed positively in most countries. There should be established close and friendly relations with neighbors and participation in various local positive initiatives. This will permit the nucleus to be viewed as beneficial rather than as an oddity.

More detailed suggestions on these topics will gradually be published under the menu Structure and Economy.

All the pragmatic details are very important. The vast vision of the CWS – to prevent human society from self-destruction – can be accomplished only by small steps, following the famous saying of the Indian sage Padmasambhava: “my vision is greater than the sky, but my actions are like grains of sand.”  It begins with creating nuclei whose members have a cheerful and decent life, whose minds are open and aware, and have had a good relationship with the world around them. If this can take place, others could be interested in following the same model.  That would be far more effective than sophisticated publicity. As the saying goes: “the proof is in the pudding.”

Saying all of that it does not mean that “the proof is in the pudding” approach would be the only way to promote the growth of CWS. Using the group intelligence it would utilize all available means internet communication like: web sits, email, and various social networks. Each nucleus will be able publicize their experiences and offer theirs suggestions. It is very important because situation usually varies from country to country: for example it is entirely different in France than in Canada.

Before ending, I am putting forward a direct appeal to the readers of this Vision: there is not too much time, let’s get together and prevent self-destruction. But remember: time is moving much quicker than 20 years ago, much quicker. Please feel free to write to me: Tomasz Pietrzykowski at pietoma@gmail.com or call +33 625 16 14 20 I am available.

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