A historic convergence… for old Europe: risk or opportunity ?
Old Europe is facing a historic convergence of deep fundamentals. As an institution, Europe had long led the world in implementing rules and regulations. Some are virtuous (environmental, social), some are vicious (seed regulation, urban development).
Most other continents do not have this level of governmental oversight, and have used their relative freedom of movement to push Europe out of competition. Those rules vastly slow down necessary revolutions and block disruptive innovation. And, they often move from Europe to other, more welcoming continents.
Europe is one of the main players in the move towards globalisation, gradually rendering itself hyper-dependent on energy, food and resources from other continents. And, if we are to believe the ‘visionaries’ promoting European industrial rebirth… well, let’s hit pause on the pie-in-the-sky narrative. Sorry, but massive re-industrialization will not happen. Europe simply doesn’t have the human resources for that. Under-skilled, too old. They don’t even have sufficient arms and legs for top priorities like building renovation and basic tech maintenance. These nations are too dependent on resources from elsewhere, and lack the necessary skills: engineers, software developers, technicians, IT project managers, cyber-security specialists, etc.
It is like running the 100m race with concrete boots. The faded old continental powers still dream of the next golden age, but it’s not going to happen. If we just look at the demographics, and the mental/emotional state of the population, they are has-beens.
But what role can Brussels (dwarfed under colossal historical challenges) — home of the European Commission, executive branch of the European Union — play in this mega-shift? European nations, with their deep roots, could and should stay in the game, to one degree or another, with a refresh of their “reason of being”.
Here’s what I think EUROPE could do:
1→ Warn. Show ‘the others’ the flaws in the capitalist free market system. It failed. It ruined people, despoiled the environment, and torpedoed its own vaunted economies. The debt-based model is systemically bankrupt. Dare to show the bad results. « Please, do not make the same mistakes ». Come up with something smarter. Together. And, with any luck, the tables may turn.
2→ Gather. With its central location, Brussels is ideally positioned to pull together key stakeholders, experts, innovators, public sector players, corporations and constructive lobbies, around all functionalities of society. Be the coming-together place that’s so badly needed for the world.
3→ Connect. Link up players with resources — tangible and intangible — so they can work in the margin of the collapsing society, imagining and creating the new. Move the lines. Within Europe and around it, connect with the rest of world. In a non-political and non-dogmatic way.
4→ Test. This is a beautiful place, with great creative and professional people, where we can and should prototype new approaches on major issues. Think training, energy, food, housing, mobility, smart- and low-tech, biodiversity, agriculture, public real estate, healthcare, education, local regenerative jobs, and so much more.
5→ Inspire. With this vision, innovation, experimentation, testing and prototyping, Brussels (Belgium, or Europe) can become a showcase for the rest of the world. The world is watching,. Europe is, actually, expected to be such a showcase.
6→ Train. Leverage the successes by sharing the keys and understanding on real, live projects, in cities and countries worldwide. Deploy multidisciplinary teams to export the knowledge and expertise for global and multidimensional regeneration.
7→ Scale. Grow those initial field successes, empower more players to progress and accelerate, reap the benefits, serving communities and regenerating environment and jobs.
8→ Build. Construct the next-generation ‘cities of light,’ where people will thrive, fulfill their destinies and help carry us all forward.
Europe can, and should be the best at all of this. But, a little humility wouldn’t hurt. Recognize and accept failure. Own it, learn, and deal with it. Get back up and carry on, fortified by the experience.
Let’s gather together, share, test, and scale up the successes we have found.
Two distinct worlds are emerging from the tumult of the old order: the worst and the best. We have to choose which side of history we want to stay on.
Here’s how to look at those two emerging worlds: (OK, it is quite black & white, but let’s exercice focus and discernment)
→ One is under the thrall of high-technology, artificial intelligence and transhumanism, and is extractive, based on hyper-dependence. It’s galvanized by fear and control. Its talismans are chemistry to heal illness; chatbots to write the news and textbooks; graphical programs to create art; plug-ins to enhance human intelligence; full-automatic piloting of cars, houses, planes and jobs; single currencies to control the masses. This leaves no room for initiative and creativity. It is a bleak, gray landscape littered with use-and-discard social relations. Everything is designed to make life easier, imprisoning all of us into appearances and dependence.
It’s all about the easy way in, and the hard way out. We just have to pay, and buy whatever is touted in the advertising. Obey like sheets. Sell your soul to « them ».
→ A second emerging world is based on individual choice, autonomy, personal skills, the celebration of uniqueness, new entrepreneurship. It’s galvanized by thrill and happiness. It revels in reconnection to nature and its vital energy, diversity and abundance, depth and truth in relationships, ethics, healing and empowerment. It recognizes multiple currencies as vital to offering abundance to the masses.
This is, in many ways, the harder way. It asks for an effort on every aspect of the life we want to build.
In the West, the vast majority of people fall under Option 1. They think it’s impossible to draw outside the lines. Many are hopelessly lazy and dependent. They become stupider by the day, willing to swallow anything they are spoon-fed by their hallowed rulers. They’re demographically much older, too. It takes a lot to free people from that conditioning, but some are able to break through. The stand poised to become the next-gen leaders, albeit deeply embedded, behind the scenes.
In Africa, Latin and Central America, and across Southeast Asia, the general population is much younger, more agile, and more difficult to control. There was less money to make, so extractive capitalism didn’t penetrate as deeply in those countries. (The exception would be governments corrupted by the « developed » countries). There is much more grassroots social connection, fresh entrepreneurship and freedom of the mind. True intelligence will come from those communities. They also connect easily to spiritual dimensions and sustainable regenerative values, leading to greater free-flowing inspiration, hands-on pragmatism and conscious action, manifested locally, across communities. Travel more to save the planet :-)
These places are already starting to build their Regeneration Islands, revisiting all functionalities and exploring how to fulfill them in autonomous ways, creating new abundance and freedom. They are far from naive, and understand the power of technology, but are more conscious its cost.
The tables will turn. Soon. Get ready, and stake your claim — where do you stand?
If you’re hesitant about choosing between these two worlds, consider the ‘Universe 25’ experiment of Dr John Calhoun, a noted behavioral researcher and population theorist. Conducted in the early 1970s, his elaborate exercise involved mice, and was reproduced later with rats, with similar results. Calhoun created a utopian world, with sufficient food, no illness and no predation… all in all, a nice, comfortable space. He started the mouse colony with chosen, healthy individuals.
Here are his findings:
After multiplication and a thriving population, new generations were inhibited, and later on crowding behavior discouraged mating, contributing to dropping birthrates. A social ladder quickly took shape within males. The most dominant mice were characterized by their aggressively: so-called ‘alpha mice’ would often engage in violent bloodbaths, proceeding to attack, rape, and cannibalism of their peers. These violent outbursts had no provocation or motive… Least socially adept mice were completely excluded from mating. They spent their time moving between larger groups of mice, eating and sleeping alone. Occasionally, these mice would also fight one another. Any mice that fell between these groups were timid and became victims of violence perpetrated by their hostile counterparts.
Females took on aggressive attitudes too. Taking care of their nests in the midst of that chaotic space was no easy task, so many mothers would sometimes act violently towards their own litters. Others would completely withdraw from their responsibilities, ignoring their litters and quitting mating practices.
The ‘death phase’ marked the end. The spike in mortality rate fluctuated at around 100%, stopping population increase. Surviving mice had no perception of the ‘normal’ lives that mice led beyond the walls. An absence of social stimulus and maternal care lead to a high rate of physical and emotional retardation and mortality. Isolation paved the way for a new category of mice called the ‘beautiful ones’ . These were segregated from the other, bloodthirsty, violent mice. Being separated from the rest, beautiful ones made no contributions to society: no help in mating, mothering, marking territory, etc. Instead, they spent their time feeding, drinking, grooming, sleeping. No sex, no fight. They look very good, but are unable to cope with unusual stimuli. They look inquisitive, but they are very stupid.
Eventually, the beautiful ones outnumbered the more aggressive. Still, rather than mating or creating new roles in society, the beautiful ones continued to exist solely for their physiological satisfaction. With everything provided for them, the paradox of the beautiful ones reveals the self-destructive patterns that emerge when living a life without purpose. Because of the collective indifference towards mating or building a sustainable society, the mouse population began to die out, until there were no mice left at all.
If there exists no conflict, no danger, or no work to be done in a society, its inhabitants, like the beautiful ones, we will ultimately lose purpose in life, and completely die out.
I’m sure you’re familiar with people who would match some of the mouse profiles. So, which are the lessons from this experiment? What to do to avoid that tragic ending?
Get out of the rat race, as soon as possible — go behind the walls
Cluster with think-alikes to build a new civilization, outside the rat spaces
Stay awake, get work done
Get yourself out of danger
Humanity will die out before it’s able do much more harm to the planet. Our ‘die phase’ has started… so get ready, now, too be part of the ones that will be build tomorrow.
We face that choice, every day, but the doorway out becomes narrower.
Prof. Michel A. de Kemmeter