There are two kinds of human activities. The first kind is tool-like
activities, which are standard and the other is free creative activities
that are unique. Humans were used as a tool whenever their sense
perceptions and locomotive abilities, language understanding, and
special skills were utilized as means of production (i.e. means
to an end).
To the degree
humans are clipped of their versatility and their freedom is limited
in order to conform to the production process, the more tool-like
they become. In contrast, humans remain an end in themselves and
are not reduced to special tools to the degree versatility, knowledge,
and wisdom prevail in their life activities.
between these two kinds of human activities was exemplified in slave
societies where, in practice, human beings were divided into two
kinds. Slaves were assigned to tool-like activities and the free
citizens mostly performed the free creative activities. A peasant
spent more time as a tool-like instrument than a feudal baron.
In the later
stages of human society, most cultures threw out the idea of two
kinds of people and instead accepted the truth of one species, inherently
"equal." Thus, the differentiation between the two kinds
of human activities became implicit within the life of every individual
and the proportion varied for different social groups, and in different
The more civilized
we became, the less could we endure outright inequalities such as
slavery. Needless to say, the whole mental framework of a slave
society was the perceiving of slaves as a different species reducible
to mere tools, a perception which was certainly contrary to the
truth and was bound to be challenged by some from both sides.
as long as the human race lacked intelligent tools that could outperform
humans as tools, the technological basis of slavery was present.
and ethical restraints ended slavery of the Ancient civilizations;
and whenever those restraints were not present, slavery was revived
(e.g. slavery in the U.S.). Moreover, the hidden forms of tool-like
human activities grew with the increase of production.
In the industrial
society, the differentiation of the two kinds of human activities
within every individual reached its peak. Thus "activity as
a tool" versus "activity as a free individual"; hours
of work versus hours of leisure, etc. were thus clearly marked.
work and leisure is *not* the differentiation of physical and mental
activity: For example, lifting weights for muscle building, if done
for personal enjoyment, is not work, although it is extremely physical;
whereas programming computers for the one writing subroutines for
a corporation's accounting system, although very mental, is nonetheless
Thus, the tremendous
increase of production in the industrial society was achieved by
increasing the tool-like human activities, in all forms, to the
historical record of all the hitherto civilizations. In short, the
industrial society may well be named "the Age of Work,"
since work became the central human activity in this civilization,
both in its capitalist and and in its socialist forms.
The wealth generated
from industrial work gained more and more dominance over all other
kinds of social wealth and the political struggle for the laws governing
wages and ownership of this new wealth filled the pages of history
of industrialized world for over two centuries.
The production of intelligent tools in the post-industrial societies
is decreasing the technological necessity of using humans as tools.
Nonetheless, the social, political, and economic barriers may impede
the actual decrease of tool-like human activities for a long time.
The social ethics that justifies the lack of work as the basis for
the loss of income and pride, which is an inheritance of industrial
society, is no longer viable. Thus in our times:
one hand the capitalist perspective of viewing the world from the
angle of profit has been extended to the majority of population
within the exchange relations of both the capitalist and socialist
on the other hand, a movement towards enlightened self-interest
for individuals, businesses, and governments is beginning to manifest
itself as an alternative to a three-hundred-year-old profit-centered
What we are
witnessing is as important as the first making of tools by Homo
Sapiens Sapiens. We are at the threshold of new civilizations that
will be essentially different from the existing industrial societies.
The fundamental difference being a shift in the central human activity
from work and production-related activities to more creative and
Thus, in these
societies wealth generated, as a result of knowledge, creativity,
and wisdom, gains precedence over wealth generated by industrial
work. Therefore, social justice will not be confined to the industrial
ownership and the fair compensation of tool-like activities.
of social justice can no longer be confined to the just compensation
of work. Sources of income such as property ownership in the forms
of business, real estate, or stocks are increasingly yielding extraordinary
returns that are reflections of the new wealth crystallized in the
only existing forms of social wealth.
The need to
invent new forms of institutions to represent the newly created
wealth and the fair apportionment of this wealth among the citizens
are the most challenging issues of social justice in the coming
new civilizations. A public mutual fund as suggested by some futurists
like Albus is one possible form of the ownership of this new wealth.
As far as the
compensation of human activity is concerned, the main problem of
justice is no longer the fair compensation of tool-like activities
(work). The question is how to achieve a just compensation of creative
When the artist
of a hit record makes millions of dollars, and an average artist
(whether actually average or recognized as average!) can hardly
make a living; the dilemma of social justice is clearly pronounced--especially
because an unprecedented number of individuals are now involved
in such life activities, incomparable to all the hitherto civilizations.
A taxation and
welfare system vertically adjusted within each trade is one possible
solution to render justice for "hungry artists" and other
I need to emphasize
that welfare does not mean charity to the needy. Welfare is a non-economic
force to compensate the injustices that unavoidably result from
the nature of market economy. It is a social right to balance the
economic force and to compensate the worthwhile endeavors of individual
citizens. Viewing welfare as a tranquilizer for poverty is the worst
connotation of this system popularized by its opponents especially
in the U.S.
of the highest possible minimum of basic needs, health, education,
and especially professional tools is the first step towards a comprehensive
welfare program. Welfare projects are being attacked in the U.S.
and Europe because of their shortcomings.
The main problem
of welfare projects was that they were always half-hearted and the
needs of the advanced layers of society were never addressed. Welfare
became synonymous with charity, whereas the portion of population
that is ahead of economic reality needs welfare assistance the most.
This part of
population also may return many-fold to the society. Our welfare
system would never assist individuals like Steve Jobs, who needed
assistance to create wealth. What venture capitalists found profitable
was what welfare was meant to be from inception, that is, to be
ahead of the economic reality, which could have stimulated the economy
and not cause stagnation!
Also, the post-industrial
production is creating the wealth that is needed to base the economic
foundation of a comprehensive welfare sector of the economy. For
example, the social wealth resulting from automatic factories is
the kind of wealth that can be invested in a public mutual fund
to make an independent foundation for the welfare system, i.e. independent
from the government pressure.
needs to be created in a global scale, because otherwise the disparity
of different nations will give rise to unhealthy immigrations solely
for the purpose of taking advantage of welfare assistance in countries
where such programs are offered.
The various aspects of the contemporary epochal change are sometimes
lumped under the term "new age", with a host of many connotations.
Sometimes "new age" is understood as anything opposed
to industrial society, without discriminating between pre-industrial
and post-industrial productions. I am definitely partial to the
post- industrial production, and do not wish to go back to the pre-industrial
"futurists" are known as the defenders of the scientific
paradigm of the last three centuries, indifferent to political and
ideological issues, and avoiding the dilemma of social justice of
our times. I definitely acknowledge the inadequacy of the scientific
paradigm and emphasize the need to go beyond it.
Also I directly
confront the problems of social justice. Nonetheless, I agree with
all the thinkers who are referred to as "new age" that
the creative and spiritual dimensions of life are increasingly becoming
the focus of human life. I also agree with all the futurist thinkers
that industrial societies, whether capitalist or socialist, are
obsolete and that with the development of post- industrial production,
humanity needs to go forward and form new social institutions to
correspond to the new human needs, which are more in tune with the
economies with the post-anthropocentric production.
I do not limit myself to the economic and political realms of life.
The futuristic thinking issues range from human values and interpersonal
relations of individuals to the economics of new technologies and
the spiritual dimensions of life. That is, progress and justice
are not just evaluated on a one-dimensional sliding scale of economic
A host of other
factors ranging from environmental and biological imperatives to
aesthetic and spiritual values also affect and define our concepts
of progress and justice. For example, social issues such as worldwide
war and peace are no longer viewed a` la Clausewitz as "continuation
of politics by other means."
From a futurist
perspective, peace is as much related to the programming of the
unconscious part of human mind over millennia, as it is related
to the economic and political realities of our times. In other words,
lasting peace cannot be accomplished by more political treaties
and protocols, and the human flight or fight programming needs to
Nation states are becoming more and more obsolete as the watchdogs
of nations. Their economic viability has ended with the dominance
of multi-national corporations. As economic units, their significance
is declining like that of the family. If families lost their economic
and political functions centuries ago, it is in our lifetime that
nation-states are losing their power roles. This claim does not
mean that the national sentiments will vanish or that independence
for small nations is of no value.
to families, may remain as social forms of human community for centuries
to come. However, their function will become essentially ethnic
rather than legislative, judicial, or executive (similar to the
Spanish nation in the U.S.). My call is for the abolition of national
armies and national bureaucracies. Citizenship of any nation should
resemble the membership of a family: A voluntary flexible and easily
It should not
mean to kill or be killed for a nation, and should not promote a
rigidity and resistance towards intermingling with other nations.
National parties that move towards isolation, rigidity, and militarization
of nation-states are historically reactionary, especially such parties
of the powerful nations are hazardous to the well-being and openness
of the world community.
It is time to
form new global institutions in the areas of judiciary and legislature,
language and education, combined with strong local presence. The
above does not mean that I invite imperialist aggression in the
name of internationalism. Formation of global society is a voluntary
conscious act rather than a coercive exploitation and aggression
of leaders against laggers.
If some nations
similar to rigid families choose to enter this epochal change later
than others, I can only regret for their mistake rather than to
impose the change on them.
proposal is in contradistinction to United Nations. U.N. is founded
on the assumption of accepting the legitimacy of nation-states in
their current role of watchdogs of certain people and territories.
My proposal is based on the belief that such right and historical
legitimacy is ended in our times.
is similar to the confederacy of tribes (or families) with the recognition
of their separate sovereignty over their subjects and territories.
In contrast, my proposal dissolves that legitimacy and power, and
replaces it with a legislative, judicial, and executive body beyond
the "tribe" (i.e. the nation-states).
The parliamentary system of government with its division of power
and checks and balances is no longer adequate to guarantee human
freedom. Parliamentary system was probably the best form of power
sharing with the citizens in the industrial society. In the last
fifty years, the citizens of the more developed nations no longer
view the ideal of democracy as equivalent to representative democracy
and direct participatory law making is gaining momentum.
become more and more synonymous with the American ideal of individual's
right to the pursuit of happiness. Moreover, the division of polity
into parties has gained precedence over the three branches of government.
A Republican representative is closer to a Republican member of
cabinet than to a Democratic representative of the parliament. This
truth of the party system needs to be recognized and new forms of
checks and balances, between parties, has to develop. The basis
being the pursuit of happiness.
If in the industrial
society, the internationalist parties, such as communist parties,
turned into nationalist parties, the reverse is true in our times.
The relationship of different national parties with global bodies
will map the fate of human freedom, and justice, in the post-industrial
The move towards
a united Europe and European constitution is a beginning of this
great historical convergence. The central principle for *world constitution*
must be the recognition of the individual's right to the pursuit
of happiness, within every institution: Nations, corporations, political
parties, family, and other social bodies.
All human institutions
such as family, schools, nations, religious institutions, professional
associations, corporations, media, special interest groups, etc.
have been created to respond to some particular human needs. Some
of these institutions will evolve, some will vanish, some will transform,
and some will block the new upheaval.
I will not oppose
all institutions or support all of them,. One needs to vigilantly
understand the function, viability, and value of each one, individually,
before deciding on whether an institution is a barrier to progress
or can be reformed and help progress. The pursuit of happiness for
individuals will not be achieved by negating all institutions as
evil, and self-growth does not automatically "make things to
fall in the right place!"
On the contrary,
the correct understanding of human institutions and proper functioning
of them can enhance the individual happiness more than any kind
of anarchy. After the French Revolution, the destruction of traditional
social institutions left the individuals powerless in the face of
a swiftly-formed tyranny.
are abundant in history. Anarchy does not solve the problem of evolving
institutions, it simply ignores the reality and leaves us at the
mercy of the worst kinds of institutions, without creating a viable
alternative in practice.
of the new civilizations is not guaranteed. A worldwide economic
disaster, environmental deterioration, nuclear war, or reversals
such as reactionary revolutions, can put an end to humanity. Tyranny,
poverty, menace of war and disease, injustice of all kinds, are
surrounding us at this historic time.
Thus my optimism
is not without reservation. Even peaceful transition or revolutionary
radical changes may be the different routes of transition in different
parts of the world. The organization of change may also take different
forms and any progressive organization will be one of the many international
endeavors to help building a post-industrial global world.
new progressive organizations are created in a way, to function
vertically and horizontally, to incorporate the reality of our future
vision in ourselves, and to share it with other like-minded groups.
To elaborate on my own philosophical vision, I need to take a closer
look at the futuristic thinking.
The futuristic thinking encompasses all aspects of society and is
not confined to politics, religion, science, or psychology. I define
a futurist vision as a singular conceptual category to mean the
disenchantment with the philosophical paradigms of the industrial
society in different realms of life and the search to go beyond
In this search
one often finds people going "below" the industrial paradigm
and thinking of all non-industrial paradigms as advancement, whereas
many of the revived pre-industrial, pre-scientific modes of thought
put us in a worse situation than our current industrial societies.
One needs to
be careful that in negating the existing industrial society not
to fall prey to pre-industrial medievalism, which certainly could
not be called an achievement. The example of the retrogressive 1979
Revolution of Iran and formation of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI),
being in front of our eyes. Moreover, revolutions or alternative
lifestyles are not necessarily progressive.
As we have witnessed
in a number of revolutions in recent history, any illusion as to
the simultaneity of revolution and progress has been put to rest
- a simultaneity which had become a major ideological heritage of
industrial society ever since the American and French revolutions.
The social programs
of the best and worst of futurist groups exist only in thought and
on the paper at the present just as the programs of socialists were
only on paper before they ascend to power But once a movement succeeds,
its program becomes a social reality and no longer remains an interesting
intellectual chat in a cafeteria.
The above is
why in my opinion the new perspective needs more critical examinations.
For example, issues such as the practices of many spiritual groups
need to be critically evaluated. They promote a strong role for
their teachers (gurus), that oftentimes, even surpasses the role
of the priests in the Middle Ages. A similar phenomena can be observed
among psychotherapy groups with respect to the authority bestowed
to the psychologists. Whether we would be better off to have psychotherapists
acting as priests is an open question!
Let me emphasize
that authoritative views are usually backed with research and objective
studies, whereas authoritarian views are backed by the functional
position bestowed to individuals by their function in the cult's
organizational structure which justifies such privileges.
But the issue
of gurus and semi-priests is not all that the new thought has to
deal with. New areas of research into topics that were simply dropped
in modern science as superstition have resurfaced. New studies of
ESP, yoga, karma, meditation, psychometry, dreams, aura, crystals
as well as the value of mysticism, meditation and the power of NLP
(Neuro-Linguistic Programming) are the host of other problematic
It is true that
attention to the spiritual side of life in contrast to most philosophical
paradigms of the industrial society (liberalism, socialism, humanism,
etc.) is a great achievement for futuristic thinking. But the revival
of numerology, tarot, alchemy, out-of-body experiences, astrology,
channeling, etc., is problematic.
Of course, I
do not think that this revival is just a simple repetition of hermetic
classics. The present practitioners are like the Renaissance intellectuals
who put on the Greek cloaks to offer their own inventions underneath.
of global economy and politics, issues of social justice, progress,
individual freedom, transition, war, tyranny, poverty, are the host
of on-going problems of humanity that should be studied with a focus
on the new global conditions.
Philosophically the futuristic thinking as a whole is developing
a central theme which is challenging the main philosophical "super
paradigm" of the more advanced human civilizations.
In all the advanced
civilizations the process of tool-making to change the world was
accompanied by a philosophical notion of predictability and control.
This is how humans "tamed" nature and control became the
main purpose when facing nature.
It was not enough
to look at nature and to listen to its sounds, feel is warmth and
chill, taste and smell its delicacies. Humans needed to search its
causes (finally in four senses this term, causality, was formulated
Control as a
purpose expanded our eyesight from the immediate to subsequent far
causes. In fact, humans can see as far as distant stars with their
ordinary eyesight and this is not their immediate biological need.
our senses far beyond what our biological development would bring
and then language, writing, and technologies which reached a great
peak in the industrial civilization. But what are the drawbacks?
nature, we lost our respect for it and in many ways began exploiting
it, we now can witness various forms of pollution as "part"
of nature. Along with nature, we started to control each other and
in the domain of family, tribe, city, nation, and even world-wide,
control became the issue at stake in the forms of economic force,
political power, or otherwise. Even within the smallest social units,
the control of women by men was evident.
challenges to any kind of control were the substitution of one form
of control for another. Thus, the control itself was not challenged
and different social classes such as workers, or different races
such as blacks or different genres such as female sex were competing
for mastery and control.
This is why
the activists of these movements would find themselves practicing
the same traits as the ones they challenged whenever they succeeded.
Then testimonies of "disillusionment" would follow accompanied
by regrets over the sacrifices!
It seems like
the strife for control of nature and the control by different social
groups reached its peak in the industrial society and it gained
international dimensions in this society within its short span of
existence. Maybe this is why we are beginning to see the futility
of strife for control and are beginning to search beyond this "super-paradigm"
of all human civilizations.
I differentiate my vision from the anarchist position in this manner
that my proposal of going beyond control is relative to the growth
of each individual. In other words, proper management is definitely
preferred to chaos, when one is going up the steps of development
of the control paradigm is what I view as my ideal for humanity
as a whole. I describe the alternative paradigm as an autonomous
synchronicity or a mutual whirl. How can we be whirling together
with nature, with each other, different families, races, nations
without giving up our identity?
How can we be
dancing en masse without any partner controlling any of the others?
I think if we can answer these questions in theory and practice,
we will probably take a giant step in the history of humankind.
I would like
to scrutinize my dance metaphor. I asked how can we be dancing without
either partner controlling the other. But isn't it true that this
is exactly what the best dancers do? They resonate together.
In other words,
the expert dancers have their own centers, yet they relate. Because
they have their own center, they do not follow their partner but
they resonate with her/him. This is how they can whirl around each
other without either side controlling or being threatened by control
by the other. You cannot expect a novice to achieve this state of
dance in a few lessons, but if two advanced dancers try to approach
each other by a control paradigm, they are doomed to fail.
most advanced human societies have reached such a stage, in which
any form of control is not only unpleasant but is not feasible anymore
the more advanced strata of these societies who are involved in
contemplative and creative undertakings rather than action-oriented
jobs, control-oriented paradigms are doomed to fail in organizing
any kind of relations at work, at home, or at play.
In the post-industrial
societies where the creative side of human undertakings is gaining
precedence over tool-like work, where contemplation is finding more
value than quick action, even the most Lockean/democratic form of
control of the governed, i.e. even control by one's own "consent",
can hardly work.
It is noteworthy
that in fields such as pure science and art any form of control,
even the most democratic kinds, have mostly been counter-productive
in the past too. Only in economic and political institutions, different
forms of control have shown various degrees of efficiency from time
to time in the Modern Times.
the best form of control in those realms may be superseded by non-control
socio-political mechanism which can result from the changes at the
more basic level of human nature.
If the more
active or practical side of human life has been in prominence ever
since tool-making, and if the more "passive" or contemplative
side of life is gaining prominence, it is not hard to imagine the
whole basis of our social institutions, which were based on the
former, to transform in accordance with the "needs" of
If the more
active or practical side of human life has been in prominence ever
since tool-making and if the more "passive" or contemplative
side of life is gaining prominence, it is not hard to imagine the
whole basis of our social institutions which were based on the former
to transform in accordance with the "needs" of the latter.
In sum, practical
knowledge to be superseded by reflective wisdom, and the spiritual
side of life rather than the mechanical side, to take the major
portion of living hours, which has its own implications as regards
to the issues of economic compensation and social justice which
I discussed earlier.
The above paradigm shift is the reason that I think the differentiation
of changing ourselves and changing the world (the emphasis being
on the latter), which made sense in the industrial civilization,
should now be superseded. I think using the new paradigm in our
relationships with our children, spouse, or friends, is as important
as finding alternative organizational plans at work and in politics.
In fact, at
the present this paradigm, in contrast to the industrial paradigm,
is being more defined at the micro/individual level than at the
grand/social scale. I think the reason is that this view is challenging
the whole history of humanity as a whole and not just one particular
civilization in contrast to, e.g., the industrial civilization that
was challenging only another civilization, i.e., the mediaeval society.
Now if neither
nature controls humankind nor the human race controls nature, how
can human life be possible. Does that mean that we will be overwhelmed
by nature and live like animals? Not at all. In fact, the animals
are not controlled by nature but are overwhelmed by it. They are
hardly distinguished from nature for the term control even to make
to language, knowledge, and technologies have achieved an irreversible
"separateness" from nature that will preclude any kind
of submergence. Maybe our efforts to control nature, and also the
attempts of different social classes, races & sexes to control
their origins were necessary steps to achieve a separateness.
and final elimination of work (as defined at the beginning), means
the final freedom of humankind from the "dictums" of nature
for survival, and humans can begin to have a total symbiotic relationship
with nature without the fear of being conquered. The same can be
true for human relationships.
In other words,
for an individual who does not have to work the essential portion
of his/her life for survival, it is possible to practice autonomous
synchronicity. Envisioning how we all can whirl together, with nature
and each other, is the first step to find ways to reach this symbiosis
in different realms of life.
This is not
the same as anarchism, where control is replaced with 'anti-control'.
The difference is that here a certain level of maturity, at social
and individual level, ensures the stepping beyond the paradigm of
control; and self-management, rather than dropping management in
favor of anarchy and bewilderment This is something like what Zen
practitioners have done for centuries.
This will help
change the whole programming of our human nature of the last hundred
millennia, which has been centered on control. This is a giant and
difficult step for humankind, but once knowing that replacing one
form of control for another has been fruitless, at least in the
last two centuries, then we may start accepting this difficult path
as our only alternative for survival on this planet.
If the philosophy
of control is superseded, how do we know if we do not practically
fall under the control of nature or under the control of the mischief-makers.
I think the achievements of the advanced civilizations in technologies
and also in the recognition of basic human rights are irreversible
unless a catastrophe like a nuclear war or a world-wide reversal
But I think
such catastrophes are more probable to happen if we do not wake
up soon enough to change this paradigm of control, a one-time necessary,
yet outmoded characteristic of the human race. Even starting to
visualize the new paradigm in the different realms of life will
show the futility of a paradise in which one is controlled yet "well-treated!"
This way we may begin to see nature and each other differently,
different from what we used to see when we had utility in mind!!
1-To oppose the popular money and profit-centered view of
people and the world; and to support the manifestation of a movement
towards enlightened self-interest; for individuals, businesses,
nurture social justice in every corner of the world, by introducing
a comprehensive welfare sector in the world economy to encourage
the unfolding of the most far-reaching creative activities that
are ahead of economic feasibility. The foundation of this sector
to be formed as an international public mutual fund investing in
very advanced production. To aim at changing the work-centered mass
culture of industrial society and to encourage free creative activities.
promote globalization and confront nationalism. To help the formation
of a global political system based on post-industrial production.
To advocate formation of new a legislative, judicial, and executive
bodies worldwide, to work for individual freedom, social justice,
progress, disarmament and peace. To propose a comprehensive global
constitution with the goal of eliminating the political authority
of nation-states, starting with biggest nation-states.
urge the democratization of all human institutions for the pursuit
of individual happiness. To outreach for autonomous synchronicity,
as the ideal of interpersonal relationships of the individuals,
and the institutions. Also to oppose any form of tyranny, war, injustice,
and aggression; and to assist the overcoming of the human unconscious
flight or fight programming, as the only guarantee for a lasting
support the progress of new technologies such as space technologies,
biotechnologies, robotics, telecommunications, artificial intelligence,
nanotechnology, etc. And to champion research programs on the perplexity
of social justice, the future of various human institutions, and
the political and spiritual issues.
oppose all the so-called "new age" propaganda that promote
retrogression to Dark Ages. To encourage new understanding of the
universe and to favor the boldness to challenge popular philosophical
and religious beliefs about the origins and fate of humanity and
promote different organizations and publications that discuss these
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
Written: April 18, 2005
Republished: March 18, 2007
paper was originally written in April 1989. My late friend Jack
Li also was in full agreement with the above text and signed
it in April 1989. Jack Li passed away on April 8, 1994. I first
posted this text on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on
Nov 20, 1995.