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"To Build a Better World"
Volume One Number One
Table of Contents
Private Ownership, Free Enterprise,
Competitive, Market Determined
Public Health and Social Infrastructure
Statement of Rights & Responsibilities
There comes a time in the affairs of humanity when a revolution is needed in their social institutions. It is proper to put up with inconvenience and gradual change, when things are following a course that is not intolerable. However, when conditions have reached such a state that the system has caused its own destruction then it needs to be replaced by a different and better system. Crisis is the opportunity for change. Failure to learn from the past will mean that the past will be repeated. Humanity's extremity is God's opportunity and the current situation is the opportunity to revitalize the spiritual motivations of humanity both individually and as expressed in its institutions.
Any economic system in this world will achieve only relative justice, that is to say - something that is less than absolutely just. Only God can dispense ABSOLUTE Justice. A philosopher once suggested the following guideline for those proposing political economic systems. Let the design be such that if you are born to live under it a hundred years hence as the least advantaged person in the world - that you will feel the system to be just.
All human decisions and designs will remain relative because of the frailty of human wisdom and character, but there must be a political economic system of some sort. The alternative - anarchy - is lawlessness and disorder, and that is not a choice for a society that seeks justice, harmony, security, and abundance. A just economic system cannot exist separately from a just society, nor can a society be just - without a just economic system.
The intention is that this blueprint should be used as a "How To" manual, in a post-cataclysmic recovery period by those who wish to reconstruct society in a just manner in order "To Build a Better Tomorrow".
Bruce Beach, born April 14th, 1934 in Winfield, Kansas. Honourable discharge after four years active duty and four years reserve USAF. Radiological Scientific Officer. Graduated Southwestern College, Winfield. Master's degree in Economics from Texas Christian University. Taught in black colleges in the Southern US and in Northern Colleges in Canada. Built Ark Two in Horning's Mills, Ontario - home of wife's family since 1800's. Over twenty descendants. Founder and coordinator of the World Language Process. Has traveled to Europe, South America, Japan, and China.
The kernel for the system proposed here developed from what were called Local Economy Trading Systems (LETS). LETS was the most highly recommended system, for post-nuclear recovery, in the:
The design details presented here are the result of decades of study and contemplation by the present author, who had been acquainted and involved with LETS for many years prior to the FEMA study. He developed a video presentation on LETS for which he arranged booths at fairs for its presentation. Eventually he came to realize, that for LETS to be truly applicable to a post-nuclear holocaust system, the system needed to be more 'recovery' oriented, and furthermore because of the generality of the destruction, it would need to be 'networked' - thus the development of the LERN (Local Economy Recovery Network) concept.
The author, at one time a college professor of economics, is a university trained Institutional Economist. As with all things dealing with economics, there are probably as many definitions of Institutional Economics as there are economists. In simple terms, we may say that Institutional Economics is a special branch of economics concerned with how social institutions affect economic organization and vice versa. Institutional Economics views economics as more than a system of logical relationships concerned with the disposal of scarce resources with alternative uses.
Many factors, demographic, geographic, environmental, political, religious and so forth will affect the social organization, but the foremost determining factor in the eyes of most Institutional Economists will be technological change and its effect upon the means of production. Nuclear war will have a profound effect upon the technology available and will therefore cause extensive institutional change.
The institutional change caused by nuclear war can take any one of many forms. Anarchy and chaos is what is most usually predicted. Those who would like to restore the economic / political system to its previous form should pause to think - that might result in the same type of conflict that has created the present situation. Alternatively, the recovery situation may be looked upon as an opportunity to create a system much more suited to humanity's real purpose, that is to say to spiritual growth and service to God and humanity. Such is the nature of this proposal.
The specific form of Institutional Economics proposed here is what I designate as Spiritual Economics, because its main goal is the spiritual enhancement of humanity. While the author is a member of a particular religion, the LERN system itself does not advocate or promote any one religion. Spiritual values are to be found in all religions. Cultures have flourished when spiritual values have been followed, and they have failed when the values have been allowed to be degraded.
The spiritual values with which we must be concerned for a successful economic system have nothing to do with the dogma or rituals of any religion, but rather with the values that all religions teach - such as honesty, integrity, justice, compassion and many more. There are some who will say that these values are independent of religion, but the viable source for them in humanity has always been religion. While the economic system should not be supportive of a particular religion, it should be supportive of religion, in general and religions should be supportive of it.
Economic systems having the above appellatives have been shown to be the most efficient (efficiency is always the by-word of economists) and productive economic systems. Consideration needs to be given to encouraging each of the above facets, and each facet is discussed separately elsewhere in this blueprint.
Monopolistic, bureaucratic, command systems - such as the communist system that caused the USSR to collapse - have again and again been shown to be more wasteful, eventually crumbling from their own weight. They sometimes, however, have an advantage in more immediately defining and directly achieving goals. Wisdom is required in their limited use, and the goal should be to work towards the proposed ideal.
Modern technologically-based economic systems are highly interdependent. No one really understands how they work. Division of labour, expertise and entrepreneurial incentive appear to be the key. Adam Smith gave the example of eighteen steps being required in the manufacture of a simple straight pin. There is a famous essay called "I Pencil", which demonstrates that no one person could make such a simple thing as a pencil - leave alone things like an automobile, a computer, or any one of the other many things of modern society. On a desert island, with all of the necessary raw resources, a person would be trapped there forever, if the rule were that they had to make a pencil in order to leave. The skills necessary for making the rubber for the eraser, the carbon for the lead, the brass to hold on the eraser, the paint to cover it, the machinery to cut the wood and to imprint the lettering upon it, amount to hundreds if not thousands of skills. Add to this, the marketing, transportation, and hundreds of interrelated activities involved in its distribution, and it becomes impossible to describe the inter-relatedness of the inputs for the production of something so simple as a pencil.
In a city like New York City, each day sufficient bread was delivered that most anyone with the money to purchase it could find the kind and quantity that they desired, and yet at the end of the day, relatively very little was thrown away. This was true of hundreds of thousands of products, including pencils, and all this occurred without the management of any overall czar or engineer. The free market is a marvellously efficient system working in a means beyond human comprehension.
But the system could also be marvellously inefficient, destructive, wasteful and extremely unjust. Some women had abundant milk to feed to their cats, while others did not have sufficient for their children. Billions were spent within the economies for the destruction of warfare, while millions of people had insufficient for the necessities of life. Pollution and destruction of the environment abounded. Even the wealthy drove their expensive cars through congested and cluttered streets, avoiding neighbourhoods that were not safe, and sailed their fancy boats in streams from which they dared not to drink. The ills of the societies were too great to catalogue in their spread of materiality, immorality and the destruction of the human spirit.
It is a matter of balance. Economies, like cars, will run off the road if they do not have steering wheels that do not turn them from moment to moment, first left and then right as the need may be. In the new system being proposed here, guidance is the role of the Directorates. The key is in encouraging entrepreneurship and selecting Directors with the appropriate balancing qualities.
Next to spiritually-advanced Educators and Directors, the greatest skill needed for industrial and social recovery is that of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are the agents of social / industrial transformation. They are the visionaries of social and technological change. Even if their motivation is not totally one of greed, as has been espoused in some economic philosophies, still they need to be counter-balanced by an agency of social conscience. In the LERN system, that agency is comprised of the LERN Directorates and the insight of the LERNED.
While the LERN system is a free market competitive system, it is to be very much distinguished from the concept of the 'laissez-faire' (buyer beware) system which was amoral, that is to say without moral value. The pure laissez-faire system would let the market decide whatever it wanted to provide, whether it was drugs for immoral purposes, guns for murder, pornography for children, or anything one might name. It had no inhibitions. If the market had money to buy it - then it would be supplied. Crass materialism, possibly even exceeding the demands for weaponry for warfare, consumed much of the resources of society. If the LERN system functions correctly, then morals rather than money will determine the priorities for the use of society's resources.
There needs to be balance in all things. The liberalism of J.S. Mills, to which I thoroughly subscribe in the field of academic ideas, must be balanced in practice, in the area of manipulation of mass emotionalism that was found in advertising, the news media, and entertainment. TV, movies, the newsstands were arbitered only by what money demanded. It may well be that in reaction to the excesses of the recent past, there will be the tendency to return to practices that will outdo the espoused values of the Victorians, but that too would be wrong.
Society can only progress morally and spiritually as rapidly as higher values are truly interiorised by its members. Accommodation for release must be made for the 'pockets of pus' in the social ills of the body politic, because if they simply fester hidden within, the whole body of society will eventually be destroyed. As stated elsewhere, a city or society without a sewer eventually becomes completely a sewer. The leaders of society need to be moral persons with mature views as to what is practical in working towards the ideal.
The LERN Educators and Directors need to try to seek out, identify, encourage and develop entrepreneurship at every level. They need to encourage people to be independently directed. To take personal responsibility both for setting and accomplishing goals, and to assure that those goals are in keeping with society's best interests.
Individuals need to be encouraged to dream up new ideas, challenge assumptions and belief systems in order to find a better way, and to break through worn-out thinking to create new solutions. Entrepreneurs are the change agents of society; whenever they see a problem, they want to find a way to solve it. Their self-reliance must be directed towards taking action for the betterment of the LERNs and ideally towards having a global vision. The ideal is to act individually and locally, but for global purpose. Each person must be encouraged to feel that if world betterment is to become a reality, they are the ones that are going to make it happen. People must be challenged to reinvent themselves, and be willing to start over if they find that something is not right.
The further down the productive system that we can develop motivated entrepreneurship, then the greater the efficiency that will be attained. What we are talking about is the power of the motivated decisions of the individual in a free economy. It is thus in an exchange economy that we obtain the efficiency of "relative advantage" that arises out of the different combinations of land (raw resources), existing products from past production (traditionally called capital) and entrepreneurship enhanced by those skills which are contributable to specialization and division of labour.
In the face of the demonstrated success of free competitive enterprise, socialists have argued that a controlled economy is more efficient, because it eliminates the redundancy of competition and assigns resources on the basis of social need, rather than on the basis of individual selfish desires. There must of course be a balance between individual selfish desires and collective social need. Finding a balance between these two philosophies will achieve the benefits of both worlds … and eliminate the tragedy inherent in each alone. To find this balance, there must be a new revelation in the thought processes of those participating in the rebirth of the economy. Those in authority must avoid the pitfalls of the past by not endangering the future with previous socio-economic dogmas.
Particular economic systems are often seen as having a natural association with some particular type of political system. Indeed in its early decades, the subject of economics was called Political Economy, and Adam Smith, considered the father of economics, was a professor of moral philosophy.
Pure democracy can work only in very small groups, where every decision can be voted on by the group as a whole. Larger groups require that decision-making be delegated. That can be accomplished in many ways, but the system proposed here is direct delegation. Each level, through secret ballot and majority vote, selects its delegate to the next higher level. Those members elected are not 'representatives' of those who elected them, but rather have their concern as Directors for the entire level to which they have been elected. Indeed, their view and concern should be universal.
The Directorates, through majority vote of the Directors, have full authority at their level - legislatively, administratively, judicially - subject only to the directives of the higher levels that they have themselves elected.
Neither the individual Directors, nor the Educators, have any authority whatsoever. They can only praise, commend, encourage, evaluate, critique, question, suggest, recommend, inform, communicate, and in such manner, educate.
The Directorates can delegate authority to whomsoever they please. The Directorates can also rescind delegated authority, reverse decisions of delegated authority, and redirect delegated authority at any time and in any manner that they please.
Political Party Power systems serve the interests of the wealthy. It cannot be otherwise. It takes time, money, and resources in order to seek office, and the wealthy, for their contribution of the resources, will always be able to make their personal demands and receive their benefits at the disadvantage of the community as a whole.
The solution is to do away with party power politics. To start at the very grassroots level, and to select the most qualified of leaders to be the LERNED in a truly democratic process without any campaigning or contributions, and that those leaders will, in turn, select the most qualified from among themselves - on up through the hierarchy, so that the best will select the best of the best.
The LERNED are the Local Economy Recovery Network Educators and Directors. The Directors are those elected by secret ballot at each level. The Educators at each level are those who were former directors at that level, but who were then not elected to the next higher level.
There is only one safeguard for the system, and that is that the LERNED, the individuals selected to be the Educators and Directors must have the highest spiritual qualities available. The electors must carefully evaluate the qualities of the individuals they choose, and choose them for no other reason than that they will be the best Directors. It is impossible to catalogue all the qualities that one should be sensitive to, but certainly honesty, integrity, sincerity, industriousness, dedication, intellectual capacity, fair mindedness, tolerance, compassion and so forth.
The society will only progress to the degree that the members can exhibit maturity in selecting their Directors. They must be able to see through superficial values of appearance, charm, popularity, personal friendship, glibness of speech, emotional fervour, and so forth. Careful consideration should be given to the needs of the community and the make-up of the Directorate, to be sure that there is balance in the representation of minorities, sex, age groupings, and so forth, so that all members of the community will feel represented. As the community as a whole achieves a maturity, in the recognition of the importance of unity, it will achieve a dynamic of successful activity. These principles of selecting Directors apply at all levels of the electoral process. Those voting must carefully acquaint themselves with the spiritual qualities of those for whom they are voting.
The Local LERNs may form in locales where there is a remnant of the previous establishment. This can be beneficial or detrimental to the LERN, depending upon how flexible and amicable that remnant is to the establishment of a new way of doing things. Where there is outward opposition to the LERN, or the majority of the citizenry are psychologically attached to conformity to the established system, then there may be little likelihood of success for a LERN.
However, in those locales where LERNs are involved in the reconstruction of society, from the ground up, then they may become the basis of general social organization, and the group structure on which they are based will become the primary social structure. In that case, every individual in the local LERN geographical area over the age of fifteen would automatically be qualified as a voter in the local LERN. If a person does not participate in the LERN of which they are geographically a part, their name should nevertheless be registered on the rolls and counted towards the number of eligible voters.
Local LERNs are geographically contiguous organizations and higher LERNs are geographically contiguous to the extent that no other LERNs are permitted to geographically intervene between them and their members. Local LERNs may be as geographically small as several floors of a high-rise building, or geographically as large as many square miles to obtain the minimum number of participants. Everyone in a local LERN geographic area is automatically counted as being part of that community - whether they actively participate or not.
The geographical extents of a LERN should just fit to the 'natural' physical geography, to the extent that it embodies somewhere between 50 and 200 individuals of voting age. Initially, a LERN may determine its own boundaries, but later when there is a higher level LERN, then that higher level will set and readjust the boundaries for its member LERNs as it sees fit. Initially there may be a great amount of boundary change and readjustment as new LERNs are melded in.
Initially, many local LERNs may have a high degree of dysfunctionality because of ignorance, superstition, religious customs, and other causes, but these variations appear in a free society and are even a part of free will. In the relative world, there will always be a scale from the least functional to the most functional LERNs. Functionality itself will certainly be defined in various ways by various LERNs. This variety is not only something that is be tolerated, but is something that should be appreciated as a part of the process in continued functional and spiritual growth.
The election process needs to be completely transparent. All local LERN members age fifteen and over who have not been a Director for a full calendar year are eligible to be elected. The voters simply write down names equal to the number required to fill the vacancies. The number of votes received by each person voted for is then announced. Those getting over 50% of the vote will be added to the local Directorate. If there are not enough individuals who received over fifty percent of the votes, a run-off is done for the remaining vacant seats. The process is reiterated until all the vacant seats are filled.
One ideal method of voting is to have a plate on top of a large clear jar or fishbowl. The voter walks up when their name is called and puts their single voting slip on the plate. Another person empties the plate into the bowl. After all have voted, the clerks sit visibly in front of everyone and tally the votes and announce all the numbers. Computers are marvellous, but there are some things to which they should not be applied.
Directors, except at the time of start-up, are elected for a period of three years. Initially, there should be election for staggered periods of service, so that approximately one-third of the directors are replaced each year. At the initial elections, those elected should have their retirement dates set in reverse order to their election and in accordance with the number of votes, received so that those receiving the first or greater number of votes will have the longest periods of service. Principles of this sort should be determined by the Directors at each level and followed throughout the process, so as to achieve just and equitable results, rather than some stringent dogmatic application of rules.
The ideal, as stated, is to have about one-third of the Directors replaced each year, so that there will be both continuity of experience in the Directorate and new members being continuously added each year. The Directorate will have to conduct elections so as to apply this principle as fairly as they can. Unless otherwise directed by higher LERN levels, the LERN Directorate can have their elections on particular anniversary dates or as vacancies occur. There can also be elected alternates, so that positions can be filled without interim elections, but in that case the three-year duration of a delegate's term would start from their filling the position and not from the date of their election.
All members of a local LERN shall have the right and responsibility to attend their local LERN's general meetings. These meetings should take place at least once a month, but can take place weekly or even daily if the Directorate feels the necessity. There should be informative reporting available from every higher Directorate level. There should be community consultation in which members of the community can express their concerns, ideas or questions. The meetings are an opportunity for the Directorate to explain its programs, instruct the community in the principles involved, and to listen to community suggestions and concerns.
The method of consultation is one that needs to be developed in a manner such that there will be full and frank discussion. The meetings must be conducted with courtesy, and without rancour, and there should be the opportunity for everyone to participate.
The community can, if it wishes, collectively express its opinion, but no votes or suggestions by the community are binding upon the Directorate. The community works on a basis of delegated democracy rather than pure democracy. Only the considered opinions of the collective Directorate have authority.
The remedy for alienation is active participation. The remedy for disenfranchisement is active participation. The path to entitlement is through active participation. One key to active participation is the size of the group. Too large a group and the individual is lost in the crowd. Too small a group and there is not sufficient dynamic. A group size of between 50 and 200 will generally be large enough to have a dynamic and a variety of skills and still not be so large as to be unwieldy. Any group over 100 should be allowed to autonomously split. Any group over 200 should be required to split.
2. The second goal of the Directorate should be that all the members of the community and all the community resources are fully employed.
3. The third goal of the community should be the extending of the community network with other communities.
For all the mature members of the community, the primary thrust must be to develop their independent motivational and organizational skills. The Directorate must become very aware of what assets each member of the community has, what resources they need, and to help them obtain those resources to be able to contribute to the community to the best of their ability.
The Directorate should ascertain that every member of the community is fully occupied to whatever level the community has assets to utilize their capacities. Some level of employment can always be found for every individual. There is never a lack of work of some kind to be done. Idleness must not be permitted.
The most difficult task for a Directorate will be to continuously improve the virtues of the community, and this is a matter that must receive their utmost attention.
From the outset, the (local) Level One Directorate must seek to encourage the formation of adjoining communities and Directorates so that it can eventually become a part of a Level Two Community. Only through networking will the division of labour be possible, the development of expertise and the economies of scale that will produce affluence.
b. Others will not help make it work
c. The government will re-establish itself and take care of us.
d. It is being described by a human and we should wait until God establishes His system.
e. We should not participate in a 'human' system.
f. It does not have lawyers, bankers, stockbrokers, politicians and the other types of people who were the successful leaders in the past.
g. It does not give preference to my country, my religion and my race.
the Questions and the Answers
Question: How to provide and increase security?
Question: How to find the resources that we need?
Question: How to find the expertise that we need?
Question: How to achieve demand for an efficient scale of production?
Question: How to find the labour that we need?
Question: How to find solutions for our problems?
The answer always is: Expand the LERN network.
Composition of the Higher LERN Levels
The upper level Directorates are comprised of a single representative from each of the Directorates in the level immediately below. There can be a varying number of supporting Directorates, but there should be no fewer than five and no more than fifteen. The ideal number of directors may be around seven or nine, some uneven number being more likely to assure that there won't be tie votes in the decision-making process.
When there are higher LERNs directly in line above, a LERN then that LERN will have the responsibility of determining the number of LERNS in the lower LERN's membership - which it can change at any time. If the LERNs are in a period of rapid expansion, there may be a need for continuous shifting of boundaries and memberships. The existing director representatives of a lower LERN may simply be moved to the new LERN group to which they are being assigned, but if a new lower LERN is created, then new directors will have to be elected from the new LERNs.
The principle is to maintain the LERN groups in a reasonable size dynamic, and to assure that borders of the members of a LERN are contiguous. Other than that, the Directorates determining the borders and memberships need to follow no set rules. They may change borders, numbers of LERNs within the group, and such other parameters when and how they see fit. They should consult with the members - whose LERN memberships and borders they are adjusting - but they are under no compulsion to follow the recommendations that they may receive.
The primary goals of the higher level Directorates are essentially the same as those of the lower level Directorates.
2. The second goal of every higher-level Directorate should be that all the members of the lower level LERNs and all the LERN's resources are fully employed.
3. The third goal of every higher level Directorate should be the extending of the LERN network.
Those Directors at the higher levels will either be elected to still higher levels, or they will automatically become Educators at their level when their three-year term expires. In the case of unexpected vacancies arising from Directors being elected to a higher level or resigning because of health or some other necessity, there should be immediate election of a new Director for three years of service from the lower level that elected the Director creating the vacancy. Each immediately lower level LERN will always have one and only one Director in the next immediately higher-level LERN Directorate.
When there is a vacancy at a higher level, the directors at the immediately lower level that had elected the individual vacating the seat then vote by secret ballot among themselves for one among themselves. The votes are then openly examined, and if an individual has received over 50% of the votes, they are elected to the higher position. Otherwise the voting is repeated. This will then create a vacancy in that Directorate, which will likewise be filled by the Directors at the next level immediately below, or the electors in the local when there are no lower Directorates.
For higher levels, there is always one and only one representative from each individual community that supports that level. This means that a replacement member is always drawn from the community from which the promoted, retiring or otherwise vacancy-creating Director came. Except at time of start-up of a new Directorate (when the designated serving times must be staggered), each elected Director will serve for three years, and on the third anniversary of their election, a new member must be selected by the community that first selected them. Those Directors not elected to a higher level automatically become Educators at their level.
The intent of these procedures is that the membership of the Directorates will always be rotating. There should always be approximately a third of the directors serving in their third year, and a third of the directors in their first year to provide experience, continuity, and new vitality. Election of an individual from each lower directorate will take place at least every three years, although it may be more often if there is need for a replacement for any reason. The Directors at the higher levels will eventually often have years of experience in the lower levels before being elected to the higher levels. This will all work towards a continuous combination of both experience and new blood.
The next higher level judges complaints against Directors. Appeals by any party can be made on any subject to any in-line higher level that will agree to hear the appeal.
Higher Level Directorates will be comprised of five to fifteen individuals each one having been elected from a different Directorate of the Level immediately below. Assuming an average of 100 voting members in each of the lowest (Level One), Directorates the various levels will represent approximately the following numbers of people.
Level Eight might be approximately the world population after a nuclear holocaust, and would therefore be World Government, but if there were a greater number of survivors, or if the population recovers, there could perhaps be a ninth level.
Each of the higher LERN level Directorates should hold regular assembly meetings, probably monthly, attended by all directors of each of their immediately lower LERNs. The members of higher LERN level Directorates would therefore have two monthly assembly meetings to attend. One with the next level Directorate above them, and one with the Directorates at the lower level immediately below them.
The Directorates themselves may very well meet every day, thus being a Director at Level Three and above would be a full-time job. As time progresses, and the system stabilizes, it will often be that a director completing service at the fourth level will have been a director for twelve years, and they should then be compensated for becoming full-time Educators - fulfilling tasks assigned to them by the Directorate. A level four LERN would gain approximately three new Educators each year, and would eventually stabilize after forty years, with 80 to 120 Educators, about one for every one thousand persons, and a number for which the Directorates should be able to easily make good use.
The Directorates at all higher levels can obtain economic efficiencies by coordinating resources between the lower levels. They can establish means of communication and transportation between the lower levels. Efficiencies, skills, and economies of scale will be greatly enhanced as each higher level comes into existence. Some activities, such as various levels of policing, area road maintenance, communication, and production capacities of particular scale will naturally attach themselves to particular LERN levels.
How extensive LERNs may become is as yet presently unknown. If they were to become very extensive, there may then be a different set of responsibilities, such as: the need for national or international currency; coordination of international exchange; matters of jurisdiction over a plethora of international matters such as airwaves, air travel, and shipping; rules, conventions, and standards for measurement, safety, and security; the control of international resources; water; air pollution; and use of the sea. These subjects of national and international commerce are all far beyond the purview of this present blueprint.
There is great incentive for LERNs to affiliate into ever-broader networks because of the immense benefits of economies of scale. Nevertheless, there are instances where a lower LERN may be reluctant to associate with a higher LERN, or that a higher LERN may be reluctant to accept a lower LERN as an affiliate.
If the members of the grassroots LERNs have properly assessed the spiritual values of the delegates that they have selected, there should be no concern about their LERN Directorates highjacking the system, and not seeking higher affiliation, because of some desire to maintain dictatorial control. But still, it is conceivable that there may be feelings that the higher LERN does not embody the high moral and spiritual standards that they wish to enforce.
Conversely, a higher LERN may be reluctant to embody in its membership some lower LERN that it does not feel has obtained the standards of the higher body, because it would consequently dilute its efforts. Overall, these concerns and hesitations, on either side, will be reflective of the actual or perceived tolerance of the parties involved. Legitimate questions may be asked by either side, of the other, as to their comprehension and implementation of spiritual and social virtues. Some concerns may be:
b. That fully safeguarded elections are practiced and honoured.
c. That cultural heritage, race, religion, gender, and such are not a matter of discrimination.
d. That literacy and education has been sufficiently obtained.
e. That the community provides economic justice.
f. That the community is supporting scientific development.
g. That the community assists other communities outside of itself.
The more expansive that the LERN system becomes, the greater will be its geographic boundaries, and the more likely that it will encounter greater cultural diversity in which these issues will have to be dealt with. Wherever these problems occur, both parties should strive to assist the other in accepting and implementing the higher moral, spiritual and social values, so that the affiliation may be made.
A Just Economic System is about entitlement. WHO is entitled to WHAT. All persons, in an abundant society, are entitled to subsistence. That is to say, to sufficient food, shelter, clothing and basic health care, so that they will not die. In a less than abundant society, decisions sometimes have to be made in favour of those who can contribute to the survival of the society and those who can't or won't. An abundant society that is humane will meet the needs of the handicapped, incapacitated and elderly. Any society should be particularly concerned about the health, welfare and education of its children, because they are its future. A society of true abundance and justice will provide to ALL its members the opportunity to not only fulfill their material needs, but also the opportunity to develop to the utmost their spiritual capacities.
Some persons feel that in recent decades the term "entitlement" has attained the connotation that the unproductive and irresponsible members of society have a claim on the wealth of those who do produce and exercise personal responsibility. They use the emotional word "irresponsible", where often the word "non-responsible" would be better. Children are non-productive and non-responsible. Likewise the very elderly may be non-productive and non-responsible. The same can be said for the mentally retarded and other categories. But, aside from that, the idea of entitlement that is our concern here, is more concerned with production than consumption.
Our main concern with entitlement is, who (i.e. which entrepreneurs) are entitled to the factors of production (land, labour, existing goods). Our purpose, concern and thrust is to increase production as quickly and efficiently as possible, through the encouragement and support of entrepreneurship, so that there will be an abundant society in which everyone gets cared for, to a standard that allows for personal growth and development to their full potential. It is necessary that distribution of resources will be based upon value judgements as to the future possibilities present in the person, and on value judgements regarding the moral quality of their behaviour.
Theoretically, in capitalistic countries, the chartered banks received their authority from the government, and the government got its authority from the legislatures and elected representatives of the people, so that ultimately the control of money supposedly rested with the people. In practicality, as most people came to realize, it was the large concentrations of wealth (and consequently power) that actually controlled the programs of the political parties.
While immense emotional furor existed regarding the various programs of contending political parties, most people realized that there was little difference in the various parties' basic tenets, and that control ultimately remained with those who controlled (usually inherited) the great concentrations of wealth and none of the parties were about to change the banking or monetary system. For this reason, most people never bothered to devote any great amount of time or personal financial resources in involvement in those processes. Some did, out of emotional attachment to some philosophy, and some others did, because, by working within the system, they were able to achieve personal gains. But as stated, many (in fact most) were alienated and never even bothered to vote, because they recognized that they had already been effectively disenfranchised from the centres of power that actually controlled their entitlements.
What is presented here, as an alternative, would be seen as mere utopian daydreaming, under any other circumstance other than that of restoration of society after a societal cataclysm. However, in this particular circumstance, people have not only the opportunity, but also the necessity, to create a system that will fulfill their needs. They will be well advised in the process to create a just system. All authority eventually rests with God. Those who would implement human systems should keep foremost in their minds the objective of being in accordance with God's command for justice.
Entitlement is the real key to the LERN system. It is the ability to create ownership and also credit or debt. The rules of entitlement are completely determined by the Directorates of the LERNs without any restriction, except those enunciated by higher in-line levels of LERNs as the latter come into existence.
Simply put, it is Authority that determines Entitlement. The underlying principle is that the authority of the Directorates arises from the directed. The authority of a higher level comes from the next immediately lower level through that immediately lower level's selection of Directors for the next immediately higher level. The process repeats all the way through to the very highest levels. The legitimacy of the authority of the LERN higher levels therefore comes from the right of the directed at the LERN lower levels to choose their Directors. I have redundantly expressed this in three ways, so that there can be no doubt about the matter.
The Directorates need not refer back to any historical documents, no matter how previously revered. They need take into account no previous customs, no matter how long established. As long as there are no in-line Directorates above them, they need not limit in any way their own actions, and when there are in-line Directorates above them, then their actions are limited only in such manner as the in-line Higher Level Directorates may deem.
Hopefully, at all levels, those implementing policies and rules will be guided by the higher wisdom that has been communicated to humanity in the past by the highest spiritual sources, such as the Prophets and other leaders in moral thought. The concern with morals and ethics in economics has a long history. Adam Smith, considered by many as being the father of economics, was a professor of Moral Philosophy and until more recent times, the study of economics was always referred to as "Political Economy".
The purpose of this blueprint, in describing how Entitlement may be determined in LERNs, is an entirely practical one. While grand philosophical issues might be discussed, analyzed, and debated, what is presented here is a practical suggestion of how local LERNs may go forward and recover economically from a cataclysmic upheaval. Indeed, because there can be such difference of opinion as to what is the best course, and because circumstances can vary greatly both through time and from location to location, what is key to determination of Entitlement is the establishment of the authority to determine the Entitlement. All who comprehend what is being presented here will understand that the two go hand-in-hand or, better yet, hand-in-glove, for the one - Entitlement- is clothed with the other, Authority.
If the Directorates are overly conservative, or even if the members of the local LERNs are overly conservative, and are not willing to take any risk in taking debt and issuing credits, for fear of loss, then the system will rapidly collapse. Each one must apply their assigned talents (as in the Biblical parable), to the best of their ability. As an analogy, many arrows will miss the target and numerous seeds won't sprout. But that is the nature of life. There must be tolerance and forgiveness of debt for those who have a bad or failed crop, whether due to external situations such as the weather or pestilence, or whether due to bad management. In the latter case, it is the responsibility of the Directorates and the Educators to assist and encourage their LERN members in learning better management techniques. Sometimes this requires restraining their members in the use of credits, but oftentimes it means encouraging them to use and employ even more. The Directorates and Educators at the higher LERN levels particularly need to provide guidance in these matters.
Directorates have the capacity to both create and destroy credits. In the past, the destruction of credit was done through fees, interest, taxation, penalties and other such chimera. None of those veils are necessary to the LERNs, and they can create or remove credits directly. They simply should not do it arbitrarily, capriciously, or unjustly, because that would destroy the user's confidence in the system.
The limit to which LERNs need to create credits is determined by three factors:
Two - the capability of the community
Three - the need to redistribute entitlement
To give some specific examples: Suppose, in the first instance, the Directorate may wish to assist some specific entrepreneur by issuing him credits, but if there are insufficient resources in the community upon which the entrepreneur can spend the credits, then he/she would be bidding up the price of those resources in trying to obtain them.
In the second instance, if the entrepreneur did not use the credits, then the resources, perhaps principally labour, would still go unemployed. As long as there is unemployed labour, the Directorate needs to encourage entrepreneurs to employ it, by giving them credits or by employing it themselves in productive, community social projects. There should never be unemployed labour.
In the third instance the Directorate may feel that they need to benefit a particular group, such as children needing teachers, disabled needing nursing, or perhaps the elderly simply having their grass cut, lawns mowed, meals prepared or whatever. If there is no labour available to do the tasks, the credits will be inflationary. On the other hand, if the recipients have reservations about accepting what they think is charity, or are conservative and wish to save or hoard their credits, then the labour will still not get employed.
Credit hoarding can be remedied by time dating credits, confiscation of credits, or other means. There is some need and benefit in saving credits. It can reduce unnecessary consumption and can permit their accumulation for large projects or defer their usage to a more socially significant time. However, an amounting accumulation of 'book credits' must not be allowed to become a veil of 'debt' that prevents further credit issuance and thus prevents full employment. If excess accumulations become a problem at some future time, they can always be confiscated. This was the way of the previous system, through what were called taxes, and particularly in the use of inheritance tax.
A balance is always necessary. In some instances, people will need to be encouraged to restrict their use of credits, and in other instances, especially in the case of productive entrepreneurs, they may need to be encouraged to use more.
The key concept here is that LERNs at every level seek to maintain full employment in their LERN, and to utilize in the most productive and socially beneficial way possible all the resources in their LERN. If there are idle resources in any LERN, then that LERN needs to issue credits in such a manner that those resources, particularly labour, will be utilized. If the LERNs are well-functioning at higher levels, then the lower level LERNs will have to do less and less intervention at their level.
Higher level LERNs have a greater base of resources and a broader field in which to employ them, so that they can more efficiently implement programs and projects that will more beneficially benefit all in their LERN. The credits that they issue will have a broader geographical base of utilization and will therefore be more readily received and sought for. Higher LERNs can distribute credits to lower LERNs for distribution in keeping with their directives, but if there is ever insufficient utilization of resources within a lower or local LERN, then it is the responsibility of that LERN to issue credits in that LERN, so that the resources, principally labour in the LERN, are being utilized in the most beneficial manner. This may very often take the form of issuing credits for specific tasks being undertaken or particular goals being achieved.
All local LERN members, age of fifteen and over, should be assigned by the LERN an identification number, and a limit of Entitlement in creating local LERN dollars (credits). Individuals who feel that their designated level of entitlement is inadequate should have the right to appeal to the LERN Directorate and if not satisfied there, to the higher in-line Directorate levels. This is the means of creating and controlling credit.
Everyone should have access to some credits, and be instructed by the Directorates as to how to use them properly - ideally for the purpose of improving their capacity for production. It is in this way, that from the early stages the skills of entrepreneurship are encouraged. At all LERN levels, those individuals who develop good entrepreneurial skills within the LERN should be given greater and greater access to credit within the limits that the LERN has available. Those who acquire extensive credits, through their enterprise, should be encouraged to accept still additional credits, so as to undertake projects matching their capabilities.
Eventually there will be the accumulation of credits by individuals to such an extent that they will be able to take over the control of large plants and facilities. Those individuals should have complete control and authority over those facilities. The decisions and risks that they take with credits that they have acquired, or have been assigned, will be entirely theirs. This type of 'sole' proprietorship is in effect 'soul' proprietorship, rather than the 'soulless' operation of corporations, and takes the place of the existence of corporations.
No matter how large or conglomerated an operation may grow - it should be ultimately identified with one individual. All trade identifications should identify that individual ultimately responsible. That individual bears the moral responsibility of the operation's relationship to its employees, its customers, the public, and the environment. Those individuals who control large concentrations of resources, productivity, credits, and wealth have a moral responsibility to use it for society's benefit. Guiding principles may be found in Andrew Carnegie's "Gospel of Wealth", but even the large charitable institutions that those individuals may form should also always remain under the authority and guidance of the one individual or a successor individual approved or appointed by the responsible LERN.
Entitlement should be entitlement for worthwhile social purpose. There are margins of freedom of will that need to be permitted, but the ownership of credits is not an absolute right to use them in any way that the owner sees fit. This too was prevented in the previous societies by such things as luxury taxes, graduated income tax, taxes upon specific items such as tobacco and alcohol in order to reduce their usage, and so forth. Once again, such chimera is not necessary in the LERN system, and the LERN Directorates are able to directly regulate anti-social behaviour in the form of particular or conspicuous consumption - which in the past was actually a form of stealing from the society as a whole, just as was shoplifting, tax avoidance, counterfeiting or many other crimes.
The philosophical argument in the past has been that the accumulation or display of wealth was a reward for achievement and an incentive to others to become more productive. Great accumulations of wealth are most often highly leveraged up from initial skills. As long as those skills are employed to utilize the wealth for social benefit, there is no harm in the concentration of wealth, but in the LERN system, there is no restraint upon directing the wealth elsewhere if it is being misused. The Directorates will always have to weigh the pluses and minuses of remedying a specific ill versus developing and maintaining stability and continuity.
Ultimately, all entitlement rests with the Directorates under principles established by the highest in-line Directorates. The Directorates will determine at which level enterprises, institutions, and operations of particular size will be governed. While their directives should not be capricious, there are still no limits upon them other than those determined by the higher and highest level Directorates themselves.
The transfer of all title, the total confiscation of all property, and the ultimate decisions about the manner of its use, lies totally within the purview of the Directorates. As stated here before, and several times elsewhere, these decisions should not be capricious - so that the entrepreneurs will have confidence, security and incentive in their undertakings - but nevertheless, the ultimate decisions remain those of the Directorates with the right of appeal to still higher Directorates by both lower Directorates and individuals.
The continuity of the operation of large organizations, whether for profit or charity, will be a matter of continuous concern of the Directorates. When an entrepreneur is unable to continue to manage organizations, for whatever reason, then the Directorates must arrange for an equitable succession, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The mechanisms for doing so can be quite varied and inventive. Auction or lottery among qualified applicants, and division of the operations into segments suitable to the new management available, are but two that might be mentioned. The methods should not be limited by custom or any extraneous restraints.
The present system of extreme wealthy inheritance is almost totally without social value, because entrepreneurial skills are not passed along with the wealth. The incentive for entrepreneurial activity, that one will be able to pass along their acquisitions to their descendants, needs to be replaced with a broader social conscience. Permissions of inheritance should be rigorously limited.
Many economists have often said that, "money is a veil", but in any case, to most people, its nature is a mystery. Money is more than currency or coin - more than cash and cheques and the balance that one has in the bank. The line between liquid and non-liquid assets blurs, as does that between debt and credit. Various definitions of money exist, such as a medium of exchange, or a store of wealth, but none of that concerns us here. We each have enough sense of the meaning of the term money, to have a notion of what we are talking about.
One of the main issues of entitlement is who is authorized to create money (credits). In the traditional systems of the 20th century, in many people's minds, it was the government. They saw the printing of currency or coinage as being the creation of money. Gradually, most knowledgeable people became aware that cash (i.e. currency and coin) was a very small part of money, and that it was actually the banks that created money through loans. Still, some felt that this was controlled by the government through its National Bank, or as in the US, the Federal Reserve (an actual, probably intentional, misnomer). In most capitalistic countries, including the US and Canada, the money creation system was owned and operated by private capital organizations.
In the past, money creation was the purview of persons of great wealth and power who were truly hidden behind a veil:
to many of the legitimate needs and concerns of the lower classes of society.
Neither the history, morality, nor the mechanism of the creation of money in the past need concern us here. What the LERN system accomplishes is to put the control of the creation of money or credits in the hands of the individual to a greater degree than in the past. In actuality, it rested there to a degree already, to the extent that individuals were willing to create debt by borrowing or lending money - sometimes referred to as consumer confidence. Every person who had a credit card was authorized to create money within the limit set on the card. The real issue then became, who had the authority to set the limits on credit cards or to refuse loans. In the past, it was not done by the legislatures of a country. It was done by the banks and the lending and other financial institutions.
LERNs, as the primary economic structure, can provide the social structure with the resources to fulfill all social goals. And, it should be mentioned, without the need for interest or taxes.
LERN Directorates at any level can issue credits (that is to say, LERN dollars) to anyone in their LERN for having delivered goods or having performed services or they may just gratuitously provide credits for the individual's use. This they might do for an entrepreneur in whom they have confidence, or for elderly, children, handicapped or others for whom they feel a social responsibility. Directorates should be particularly generous to those saints who provide services to the community without seeking personal gain.
Individuals can also receive credits from other members of the LERN who have possession of them, by delivering goods or services to the other members. The individual in possession of the LERN credits or dollars will then be able to buy with them goods and services from still other members of the LERN, and this is what helps maintain local economic activity and full employment in the LERN.
LERNs at any level may issue LERN dollars or credits for use in their LERN. It will probably be that those seeking goods and services at lower levels will prefer to use the credits or dollars issued by the lower levels, because those credits and dollars issued by the higher levels will have a larger geographical area of application. In economics, this is seen as the application of Gresham's Law, and here it works to the advantage of the lower level in maintaining full employment. Nevertheless, the exchange rates will be quite fluid and self-stabilizing.
With wisdom and experience, the Directorates at all levels will determine how many credits they can issue. While limits might be imposed upon lower LERN levels by higher LERN levels, this is not in keeping with the LETS philosophy, because the very purpose of LETS credits or dollars was to create cash for full employment on the local level when it was not forthcoming from the higher level.
The facility for tracking LERN transactions has been greatly enhanced by the availability of personal computers. The availability of computers, however, will not be a determining factor of whether or not LERN systems can be implemented, because they can even be implemented with a pencil bookkeeping method.
Practical experience is the best guide, and it is practise that will give experience. The procedure can be as simple as creating and exchanging cheques such as most everyone is familiar with in the current banking system. The cheques can then be hand cleared, and accounts credited or debited at the LERN office for the level at which the cheque was issued. Just as technology assisted the current banking system in printing, numbering, sorting by account number, and so forth of cheques, along with the keeping of accounts on computers, so could it benefit LERNs if it is, or becomes, available.
Very advanced techniques of electronic debit cards can be used, once that technology again becomes available. Yet, simple is as simple does. To avoid security issues such as counterfeiting, forgery, uttering, kiting and other such deviousness, a LERN may need both an internal and external system of checks and balances to accompany its authority for overseeing entitlement. These systems, however, should not be overly burdensome and should simply meet the practical necessity of the milieu and level of activity of any particular LERN.
What will need to be done in practise is that those with some skill in these matters will need to establish the local mechanics and procedures. Hopefully, then, they will be willing to share their art with others in nearby localities, where others are also trying to establish LERNs. As the popular saying is today, "This isn't rocket science that we are talking about."
Once again, let me stress, there must be an appropriate degree of tolerance for failures, and where needed, they must be written off without penalty or reflection on those responsible for them. Developing entrepreneurial skills is a learning process and experience, including failure, is often the best teacher. The nature of the world is that in great abundance it rewards the proper combinations of the factors of production. In the financial/industrial world of the past, there were often very great failures, even under the skilled hands of highly trained, motivated and capable managers. That too is part of the nature of the real world. What is needed is the appropriate development of entrepreneurial skills.
In a well functioning economy, there will be an ever-increasing amount of abundance to risk (I do not wish to say waste) on entrepreneurial training and experimentation. LERN Directorates will have, however, direct means at their disposal to deal with outright fraud, theft and false manipulation, of any sort, and they must do so immediately and directly without all hanky-panky that was involved in the previous system of courts and lawyers.
Initially, entitlement may have to be controlled through a dual system of credits and rationing. Simply having credits may not be sufficient social justification for hoarding, controlling, consuming of specific scarce resources.
In practicality, in the process of recovery from a societal-cataclysmic situation, it may be necessary that the Directorates have access to and control of any surviving stocks of food, fuel, or other necessities, and that they use these as the incentive to encourage organization and to establish the acceptance of debt and the creation of credit. Initial issuance of credit entitlement may be relatively limited, but on the other hand, in some locales, there may be a surfeit of resources for certain factors of production that should be immediately employed through qualified entrepreneurs, and those individuals should be given the entitlements to do so.
The farmer comes first in the construction of society. The farmer comes first in the re-construction of society, and the farmer should come first in LERNs. The first needs of the farmer will be: security to protect the family; to protect any current inventory; to protect the farm and equipment.
Those who try to survive in the cities will still need to try to restore agriculture, whether it is in balcony boxes, front lawns or public parks. For them, security will be a particular problem, and they may be sorely lacking in the necessary agricultural skills. Survival in the city is not very promising, even if a sufficient land-to-population ratio should be available.
Because there may be less mechanization available after a societal cataclysm (because of lack of fuel or power), farm operation may become more labour-intensive, and the farmer will need access to more labour. In rationing, the farmer will have a very high priority to any fuel or energy available. Alternate sources will have to be developed.
All of this resolves down to entitlement, and it will have to be have explained to the farmer that he/she has the entitlement, right and responsibility to issue LERN dollars for the services and labour that he/she needs. The farmer's production is the basis of the survival of society. Agriculture requires that the necessary resources be allocated to it, and it is the first place where we wish to put to work any idle resources such as labour.
The agricultural need for labour can come in sudden gigantic bursts. There are not just the cyclical demands for labour such as soil preparation, seeding, harvesting, etc., but there can be pressing demands to fight such things as insect infestations or weather extremes. In high-tech agriculture, the farmer had at hand mechanized methods for doing this along with special chemicals. In the recovery period, the Directorates must realize that it is their responsibility to meet the priority of providing sufficient labour to do the job. This does not mean just assigning otherwise idle labour, but rather totally re-prioritizing the tasks of the society and community.
In an emergency, of periods of very high farm labour demand, all absolutely non-essential other tasks must come second. School children, construction workers, shop owners and operators, and every other type of employment must be considered for temporarily stopping, closing, and interrupting their employment to assist with this primary task. The LERN Directorates must assemble the brigades, see to it that they are transported to wherever the farmers require them, and that they are supported with meals and other necessities. This overall activity is absolutely essential, and has the very highest priority next to security.
All types of labour-intensive activity may be required, from the shovelling of the soil to the pulling of ploughs by teams of human labour, to the careful individual replanting of seedling plants, to individual watering, individual weeding, the removal of attacking insects one by one, the covering and uncovering of the individual plants, and in the case of grains, the ancient methods of winnowing, reaping, and threshing may have to be employed. Whatever, whenever, however, the farmers must determine the needs, and all others must assist.
There are some special post-nuclear concerns that will have to be considered. It may be possible to decontaminate asphalt streets of towns and villages along with playgrounds and parking lots, but the farmer's fields present a special challenge. Radiological and biological teams need to analyze the problems and determine strategies for response. Because of fallout patterns and weathering, not all areas will be equally contaminated so the areas need to be first surveyed by radiological monitors. This will help determine the degree of exposure from working on the fields, and also the types of crops that can be planted there.
It may be that very young children should be kept away from the fields, since their lesser stature means their vital organs are closer to the soil. Also kneeling, sitting or lying on the ground may need to be avoided. Another possible hazard may be that ultraviolet rays will be so intense during the daylight hours that work can only be performed in the early morning and early evening. Even then there may be need for special shielding clothing (tight knit clothing is far better) and particularly shielding for the eyes.
Some plants are more radiation - and ultraviolet - resistant than others, while others may need particular types of protection. Young plants may have to be seeded in protected areas and later transplanted, and for other plants it may be necessary to tend them individually throughout their productive cycle. For example, there may be an abundance of automobile windshields that can be utilized to improvise thousands of small individual greenhouses for a few plants each, and these same windshields may require light shielding to be controlled on a daily basis.
The details of improvisation are beyond the scope of what can be presented here, and the details are very particular to the specific circumstances of the crops and resources being dealt with. Those possessing the expertise to find the solutions must carefully consult together and implement and adjust as they go along. Within a year or two, rabbit, sheep and goat (particularly for milk) populations can probably be restored, but there may be issues regarding the shortage of feed supplies and the concentration of radiation in the food chain.
There are a number of general solutions for dealing with radioactivity in the food chain.
2. Deep-ploughing land to turn it over and bring non-radioactive soil up to the surface. (This works well only where there is deep topsoil).
3. Selecting plants to match the soil characteristics, i.e. plants that they have no desire for the radioactive minerals that are in the soil.
4. Conversely, growing plants that have a preference for the particular radioisotopes in the soil. These plants might then be used for other than food purposes - such as fuel - and would then, over time clear that soil for food crops. A number of such plants are known. Jimson Weed is one.
5. There is a microbe called radiodurans of the family Deinococcaceae which consists of the genera Deinococcus and Deinobacter, which can be added to the soil. This microbe is non-pathogenic, which means that it is not harmful to humans. Curiously, it delights in eating radioactive material. It does not destroy the radioactivity, but it stabilizes it in the soil so that some plants will not take it on up into the food chain.
6. Fertilizing the soil with a mineral that will be taken up in preference to the radioactive mineral. (Oftentimes this is calcium, as found in marl).
7. Composting and creating soil that does not have radioactivity in it, and then using that soil in a greenhouse, or otherwise protecting it from contamination.
8. Using hydroponics gardening or other similar methods that tightly control the mineral uptake of the plants.
9. Using distilled water on the plants. (Unfortunately this deprives them of the minerals that they need and minerals then need to be added to the water).
10. Removing the radioactivity from the food. This is not easily done, but may be very necessary. On the Ark Two website and on the free Ark Two CD that was circulated in all fifty of the United States, there is the procedure for doing this for milk.
11. Storing the food until radioactivity decreases. This works well for the radioactive iodine isotope in powdered milk and cheese.
12. Avoiding foods that have high radioactive content. For example, soymilk might be substituted for dairy or mother's milk for children.
13. Eating lower down on the food chain. Each higher level of living organisms in a food chain concentrates the radiation more. It is possible to make flour directly out of bacteria instead of grain. Growing bacteria on non-contaminated oil sources from wells or tar sands would then produce pure, uncontaminated flour which coincidentally, second only to eggs, has the best balanced protein available.
14. Avoiding meats and animal products, because they are high up the food chain.
15. Classifying foods by radioactive content and using high content foods for feed for animals that will neither produce product nor be eaten - such as dogs. Coincidentally, because of their relatively short life expectancies, in many cases this will not be detrimental to the animal.
16. Reserving foods with high radioactive content for individuals with short life expectations. At some levels it takes twenty years or longer for the radiation to take effect, thus will not be detrimental to people who are already elderly. Let them have the meat, fresh milk and eggs.
17. There are chemicals and supplements that can be eaten that will offset the effects of radiation in food. Russian Blue dye is one, and there are others. This may be a rather radical approach and should be done under the direction of a physician.
18. An overall healthy lifestyle; balanced diet, proper weight, energetic purposeful activity, avoidance of detrimental substances such as smoking, drugs, and alcohol will all add to a person's overall vitality in warding off the effects of internally-consumed radiation.
19. Radiation sickness has been shown to have a very high psychosomatic component. In early situations, a placebo can be highly effective, and a longer-term comprehension of the actual limited degree of threat to a specific individual can be very beneficial.
20. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and still other strategies will be developed with experience. Food radioactive content can be indicated in packaging; the content can be certified, and varieties of foods can be imported from areas that are radioactive free for that particular food. Eat well and prosper!
Equally important to the production of food is the preservation of food. In the pre-holocaust days, the major solution was to import agriculture from climates that were currently producing. It is unlikely that this solution will be rapidly available. Another popular pre-holocaust solution was freezing, but this requires energy sources that will probably not be readily available. What remains is largely drying and canning. Some foods, such as grains, lend themselves naturally to drying, and then they can later be ground, sprouted, or seeded. Others, such as fruits and vegetables, can be made into 'leathers' to a much greater degree than was the pre-holocaust practice.
Canning will present particular challenges. Canning factories require not only energy, water, and the supply of raw product, they also require 'tin' or packaging material. Salvaging may provide glass containers, but there may be considerable ingenuity required in developing 'sealers' for them. The knowledge for home canning techniques of sterilizing the containers, preparing the contents, and actually performing the canning operations will probably widely survive, but it will have to be broadly taught and widely practised.
The techniques of seed saving, during the preparation of food, must also be broadly taught, along with the techniques of sprouting them and recovering suitable varieties. The seeds from hybrid products, contrary to the myth, will grow new product - not just the hybrid, but rather its ancestors. These can be further developed to produce pure strains. Many, many people may need to be involved in the seed development activity in their homes.
Initially, food rationing and the control of the distribution of food will be essential. The gathering together of food supplies will be a very contentious issue, and for those few who have made prior preparation, or who happen to have control of sufficient stocks, it will be one filled with trepidation. The balance between the rights of those who have prepared, and the need to access the supplies of those who are simply hoarding, will need to be accomplished with wisdom by the Directorates.
Even as recovery progresses, there will still be need for rationing. Simple possession of general credits will not be a sufficient basis of determination as to who gets what scarce resources. One person must not be allowed to feed their cat, while someone else's child is starving (which is not to say that there may not be a need to preserve a certain number of cats).
Access to certain desirable commodities may be seen as a means of reward for particular accomplishments, such as taking on hazardous salvaging, exploration or transportation assignments. Initially, the means of distribution will probably need to return to the older less-efficient ways of clerks at counters handing out specific goods, and it may be a while before the pre-holocaust methods of supermarket open shelving can be re-established.
Techniques for the distribution of bulk food products will have to be developed. People may well have to bring their own containers to the distribution points. Eventually, new packaging procedures may be seen as a priority to develop.
Food distribution may be a major tool for LERN expansion and growth. The Directorates will find as they integrate to higher and higher levels, that specialization, economies of scale, and trading to relative advantage will be very beneficial.
Next to apathy, the greatest threat to the survival of society, will be the idea that the establishment which did not have the wisdom to recognize that there were tens of thousands of nuclear weapons in the world, for which they needed to prepare their population to survive, would now have the wisdom to direct the surviving population in restoring and constructing the society. This way lies death.
Those who had no plan for survival before the holocaust also have no plan for reconstruction after holocaust. They may well have control of the surviving resources and means for their distribution. The problem is not the distribution of the surviving resources, but rather the production of new ones, and for that, they have no plan. The surviving resources will run out, and for those who survived the initial catastrophic events this will simply mean death delayed. The survivors may have seen death a-plenty, but they will then see it more than plenty.
The apathetic, those sitting and waiting for others to bring the solution, are part of the problem; nay, we can say they are 'the' problem. The LERNs must arise independently and foster independence in others. The solution lies within your own selves, and nowhere else. It is essential that agriculture be re-established immediately. There may be sufficient existing stocks to get through one winter, but the second will be problematic.
After the farmers, the maintainers of order (police, fire, military), health services (doctors, hospitals, community health), infrastructure reconstruction (mail, public transportation, power, telephone, gas), basic reconstruction (roads, rail, bridges, sewers, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, etc.) and essential industries (food processing, refineries, paper mills, etc.) need to be returned to service as soon as possible. If the existing institutions survive, they may be able to do this in several ways, such as by use of force and so forth. However, if the old institutions do not survive sufficiently, or are sufficiently flexible, this could and should be achieved by the issuing of LERN dollars by the higher LERN levels. The LERN level that should have each responsibility is determined by the scale of the project and the geographic spread of the service.
At all LERN levels, once security is established, salvaging is one of the earliest activities that needs to take place. Agricultural salvaging will, of course, have priority, but all forms of salvaging are essential, and much of it is probably only possible within a narrow time window before the total loss of the goods will occur. Salvaging will not only provide immediate resources for the survivors, but it will also provide meaningful activity, and if conducted properly, will be a major factor in the restoration of technologies.
The establishment of social authority is key to maintaining order in the salvage process - otherwise it will degenerate into simple scavenging and looting. In the absence of other coherent authority, the LERN organizations in the immediate area, no matter how elementary or how recently established, must take control. Issues of ownership, property rights, and entitlement, are all ones that they can sort out later. Initially, they must simply announce their total overall authority over all assets in their area.
Types of salvaging and protection of resources will fall naturally to organizational levels of particular sizes. A Level One community that is adjacent to a large production plant that employed tens of thousands of workers would probably not even be able to protect that plant, leave alone operate it, should some aspects of it again become operable. A facility of that size would require the oversight of a matching higher level, very possibly a Level Three, just to secure and protect it. This again demonstrates the importance of making higher-level LERN organization a priority.
Salvaging superintendents need to be established for each overall and sub-salvage operation. Many procedures will need to be developed 'on the fly', such as identifying the salvage personnel, the methods of excluding all others from the area, the matters of human remains recovery and disposal, along with accompanying health issues, the problems of controlling contamination and hazardous materials, along with gathering and protecting the salvaged material and establishing standards for compensating the salvagers.
Individual salvaging skills will need to be rapidly identified, such as the ability to establish priorities and handle particular types of products. Salvaged products will need to be categorized, inventoried and appropriately stored. It will be necessary to assign various levels of authority over various products. For many, rationing will be essential, and for others there will need to be developed networks of bulk and distribution storekeepers.
Higher LERN levels can develop long term and long distance salvaging projects. There will be the need to identify essential technologies and the equipment and expertise associated with them. Localities having particular assets should be brought into the network as quickly as possible, and if this is not possible, it may be possible instead to rescue the assets by trading for them commodities that have already been salvaged.
The tradition has been Martial Law and the shooting of looters. While that applies to a local tragedy, it is not suitable for a universal cataclysm. Salvaging will need to be both encouraged and controlled. Authorization by LERNs at the local Level and higher can give the salvager entrepreneurs the authority relative to the LERN's geographic area, and the LERN Directorates can also provide the distribution outlet for the salvagers, through creating LERN dollars for the salvagers delivering their goods.
The key to organizing salvaging enterprises lies with entrepreneurs. These need to be identified, recognized and authorized by LERN Directors at every level. The LERN Directorates need to authorize, entitle and legitimatize all entrepreneurs including salvagers. The vitality of non-centralized economic systems, and particularly of LERNs, lies in the development and release of the entrepreneurial talents and spirit.
One of the first things that a LERN may need to do is to establish warehouses or storehouses. Anyone may bring goods to the warehouse, and the LERN Directorate could appoint warehouse entrepreneurs with the responsibility of either paying for the goods outright with LERN dollars or taking them on assignment. There may be a need to develop a network of salvage reception centres that receive, classify, value the goods and then distribute them to various categories of warehouses. These types of systems need to be worked out between the entrepreneurs and the Directorates.
Still other individual entrepreneurs could use granted entitlements to acquire the goods from the warehouses at wholesale prices and to then retail them for LERN dollars. The salvagers would then have been rewarded on a wholesale basis, and the retailers would give value added by specializing in particular lines of products. Thus, one retailing entrepreneur might know and stock culinary tools, and another, children's clothing, just as we see in present-day malls. Those seeking something would have the advantage of being able to find it in a specific location and having someone knowledgeable about the products to assist them. It is this type of creative entrepreneurial activity that creates efficiency and value.
Salvaging is only a temporary solution and possible for only a short duration. Eventually new production will be necessary. Establishing new production should then become the prime objective of the LERN Directorates. Entitlement to money (credit) creation is only one of the forms of entitlement that will be needed by the entrepreneurs. They will also need entitlement to land and plants (factory, machinery, equipment, etc.). The traditional forms of entitlement being inoperative, the method of entitlement will have to be developed 'on the fly' by the LERN Directorates.
New production may begin in cottage industries, even by the re-invocation of some older technologies. There should be considerable liberality in supporting every effort. Repeated failure in such difficult times should not be unexpected, and should not be subjectively penalized, but should be objectively redirected with love and encouragement. As conditions stabilize, then higher standards of performance can be imposed. Experience and increasing maturity will eventually be gained at all levels. Once again, the most beneficial path is to educate and encourage as many as possible in the entrepreneurial skills and spirit. The benefit of the LERN system is that these skills, as well as the other factors of production, need not lie idle because of external factors outside of the LERN's control, as has been formerly the situation with local economies in times of recessions and depressions.
In the past, there has been a trend towards both vertical and horizontal integration and conglomeration of industry. There are undoubtedly some technological efficiencies to be obtained in such a process. On the other hand, a large part of the activity was motivated by the need for access to money, or simply the control that was influenced by money. This type of control is counter-productive to the initiatives of individual entrepreneurship, and it will probably be beneficial, especially in the time of social reorganization, to achieve as much as possible, the benefits of entrepreneurship (incentived individual ownership) through as much decentralization as possible. Even in large production facilities, there should be the ability to implement schemes of individualized control, or at least profit sharing, so as to encourage individual incentive and entrepreneurship for efficient management.
Refugees should never be looked upon as a liability, but rather as an asset, if the LERN is properly utilizing all the labour available to it. The identification and inventory of expertise skills is most essential. Prime skills, where not immediately necessary to the salvage operation, should be gathered together in a manner to preserve the skills themselves, so that they can later be passed on.
Aside from the humanitarian aspect, the most valuable thing that a LERN can salvage is people. People come with skills and capabilities, and children and young people come with those assets for the future. The concern, particularly in North America, that refugees may use up scarce resources is sadly misplaced. There are plenty of resources, if properly used. It is largely cities with their gigantic populations that will be destroyed. The rural areas of North America contain the breadbasket of the world. If continued production of food is immediately instituted, then there will be more than sufficient.
In the past America has wasted its two greatest natural resources. Many people cannot even identify what those are. Some will say oil, others water, still others the air or the forests or the topsoil - but all such answers are wrong. The second greatest natural resource that America has wasted has been the human brain. It is said that in an average state, or province, there are born each year fourteen children with the potential of Einstein - but that resource was simply wasted through watching TV, and all the other frivolity of immorality in North America.
The primary resource that North America wasted was the human spirit. The ghettos, the recessions, the unemployment, the rat race to survive in a sea of materialism, destroyed the spiritual attributes of its people. People all come with those two great assets - the human mind and the human spirit, and both need to be utilized to overcome the quandary that it has found itself in. The answers are full employment, the development of entrepreneurial initiative and spiritual purpose. That is God's plan for humanity and it must become humanity's plan in order to serve God.
Pickings may be slim for a few years. Coffee, bananas, spices, oranges, chocolate and many other items may be in short supply in Canada, which grows none of those things - but people can survive if they use the two foremost natural resources that they have - the human mind and spirit. The more people that survive and that are set to the task - the more quickly rebuilding can take place.
Many survivors of the first days of the catastrophe will never make it to places of refuge. Those who do will need to be sheltered and fed. Way stations along the way would be necessary, perhaps every few miles, for brief sheltering and rest, as the flood (if there is a flood) works its way further and further out into the hinterlands - assuming that they are walking and assuming that the weather permits. At Ark Two, we have emergency plans for this type of activity, such as the making of temporary boots from tires and so forth, but by the time you read this, that initial phase may be long past. On the free Ark Two CD there were many files dealing with such things as temporary shower and laundry facilities, outdoor latrines, and standards for refugee camps.
Long-term and long distance refugee rescue programs may be possible, especially if some forms of transportation can be set up. The Directorates will have to come up with creative forms of emergency housing and programs for assigning refugees to existing housing. But once again, aside from the humanitarian aspect, this is an important activity in salvaging one of the most important factors of production for the recovery of the economic system.
LERNs should insure full employment. The local LERN or the Directorates at the higher levels should be the employers of last resort. That is to say, they should guarantee that everyone has a job. While it is their function to assure that tasks of social purpose, such as fire departments, are staffed with capable people at attractive rates, they should be able to find many social tasks, such as the removal of destruction and waste, which do not require a high level of skill. The latter can be filled, if necessary, at a somewhat lower wage rate, so that those accepting such employment will have incentive to independently find better employment.
The success, or current performance of an economy, can be measured by the fewness of individuals willing to accept the guaranteed low-paid positions. One of the major functions of the Directorates and the Educators is to educate the members of LERNs in how to develop better opportunities, and how to become self reliant and capable of managing economic activities on their own. Still, acceptance of guaranteed employment should not be denigrated, and where there is a large demand for this type of employment, this in itself is indicative that the overall economy is not functioning well, and the Directorates need to look for other remedies.
At the other extreme, if there are too few participants in the offered guaranteed employment; it may be indicative that the Directorates are creating too great a demand for labour resources, by over-utilizing the labour in activities that they pay directly. Opinion as to the degree to which direct or collective community goals should have priority over the independent entrepreneurial demand for resources is one that will have to be expressed through the collective process of consultation in the LERN assemblies. LERN assemblies can directly express their opinions (but not as a decision), through resolutions publicly or privately directed to any level of the LERN Directorates. However, the power of decision would still remain with the appropriate level Directorate.
With this approach, of workfare rather than welfare, there should be a much-reduced need for welfare to those cases that are absolutely physically or emotionally handicapped to the point where they cannot function productively. Even those with severe handicaps should be provided opportunities to contribute to the society, in what we presently call 'sheltered workshops', because the ability to make positive contribution to society is a part of human dignity and a human right.
Refugees will very often have a great concern about what has happened to other members of their families. One of the great advantages of the LERN system is that over time it can be an exceptionally powerful method of locating other family members. The problem in a Great Catastrophe is that members of a family will often have no idea where other family members have gone, or if they have survived.
In cases where the family was separated, when the catastrophe started, some may have been at work and others in school. There is no telling in what directions the circumstances may have driven them. If homes and neighbourhoods were destroyed then there will have be no known point for them to reassemble.
Even survivors in areas that were not destroyed will have family, and friends in other locations, which they will wish to find. It may be many months before communication systems can be re-established so that a substantial search can be performed. The same problems of dislocation may exist in the areas being searched. Almost everyone will wish to try to find someone somewhere.
The census system of the LERNs will be very beneficial in finding lost friends and family. As the LERN network grows, requests for search can be directed to particular areas and search lists can be compared with the LERN registries. With experience, techniques and procedures can be developed (such as for 'ghost' locations that no longer exist), and the databases of survivors can be enhanced with information that will make the searches simpler. For example, while the phone system may not be working, or the phones at particular locations may no longer be there, children and others can still be asked their phone numbers, because this is one of the first things that they memorize. A search on phone numbers would then be a simple way of locating people.
Initially the search programs will not need to be elaborate at all. Simply entering names, numbers, and associated information into a word processor document will allow them to be searched. As the LERN system expands the documents can be accumulated into the higher and higher levels. Standard procedures for recording and searching the information can be established at the higher levels, and the more levels that there are - the greater the geographic area that they will cover.
In such a catastrophe, there will be astonishing cases, decades later, when someone will discover a long lost relative or friend. The initial work, for establishing the databases to be searched, will be with the registering of refugees in the process of assigning them to LERNs, and in creating the inventories of their skills.
Next to security and food supply, the three greatest remaining threats, which survivors will face after thirty days, are:
b. good sanitation facilities
c. control of communicable diseases
The expertise and technology to deal with these threats will likely not be available. Surviving knowledgeable public health officers will be as rare as any other specific segment of the population, and the need for their services will be greatly increased. Even if the experts should be available, they will not likely have the equipment that they need.
Public water systems, no matter how remote, will probably be interrupted for lack of power. There is little likelihood of operating personnel being available, nor in most places, of the system being intact. This means that the only recourse will be to fall back upon the most primitive systems of carrying and boiling water.
Sanitation systems will most likely suffer the same fate as the water systems. This will require, therefore, the digging and maintaining of primitive latrine systems.
The detection, quarantining, and curtailment of communicable diseases, may be the single largest problem. There will certainly be no large supply of vaccines, or of personnel to administer them. Isolation and quarantine will be about the only defense available. Because the incubation and contagion period for some of the greatest mass killer diseases is shorter than their time of detectable appearance, the immensity of the resulting plagues is unpredictable.
The resulting epidemics from these causes, like forest fires, will eventually burn themselves out, but also like forest fires the trail of destruction that they leave behind may be horrendous and immense. Once again, the best line of defense will be the extension of the LERN systems, because only there will be found both the few remaining pools of expertise, and the coordination to put into effect their recommendations.
Space limitations permit us to deal with only a few specifics in the accompanying boxes regarding the important public health areas of water, sanitation and communicable disease control. The same is true for the Social Infrastructure subjects of full employment, security, and public motivation.
The tables on this page are representative of the detail that must be considered. The Directorates must either find, or develop, experts to deal with the various areas. The small amount of detail, that we have been able to include, comes from WHO (World Health Organization) and military manuals. The problem is that the information is so extensive that we have many manuals on the subject. The local experts will either have the necessary information or will have to find it.
o Length of time this quantity available.
o Source and quality of water.
o Number and type of water points.
o Water storage facilities.
o Water purification methods available/in use.
o Length of time persons must wait for water.
o Number of persons per water point.
o Transport and storage.
o Equipment/expertise on site.
o Population per latrine or toilet.
o Anal cleansing methods and availability.
o Availability of soap.
o Presence of rodents, etc.
o Adequacy of burial sites.
o Conduct rapid health assessment
o Detect outbreaks early
o Monitor disease trends
o Identify main disease threats
o Identify potential epidemic diseases
o Report epidemic potential immediately
o Identify the areas through which
o Identify priority interventions
o Identify the lead responders
o Establish coordination mechanisms
o Create treatment / isolation centers
o Establish quarantine standards
o Maintain responder quarantine
o Establish chain of command
o Supply personnel with identification
o Establish perimeters and check points.
o Create means of communication.
o Establish procedural principles.
Besides providing entitlement to money and factors of production, the LERN can facilitate the local economy in many ways. It can provide inventories of the skills, services and goods available. It can establish acceptable rates of remuneration. It can witness / authenticate contracts. It can adjudicate disputes. It can control and prevent abuses. LERNs at all levels should become very adept at acquiring, maintaining, updating and sharing with other LERNs, and the public, all types of information useful in establishing goals and evaluating performance. Until Adam Smith's 'hidden hand' of the free markets re-establishes itself, LERNs should devote substantial energies to identifying deficiencies in the input / output matrix of production and in encouraging entrepreneurs to remedy those deficiencies.
LERN Directorates should rise above the pedestrian view of being mere bookkeepers or adjudicators within the standards of the current traditional system. They should view themselves as facilitators and educators; servants within a new spirit of economics. Whatever idealistic and philosophical views they may initiate, there are many improvements that can be made over the current system. To reiterate, they should seek to encourage saints, guide sinners, and restrain satans. The distribution of such personalities, in every society, follows a Bell Curve. There are few saints and few satans. Most of us are just garden-variety sinners. The curve can shift up or down some ideal spectrum line. If the society improves, the standard for being a saint will be higher. If the society becomes decadent (or continues in its present decadence), the standard of sainthood will be lower. The inverse is true of satanhood.
While economic sainthood is desirable (defined by this writer as a willingness to devote one's life in complete service to God and others), one must realize that it will be rare. This station is not some merely abstract form of life, where one is living on some spiritual high and not making any real economic contribution to society. The real saints enter the struggle of daily life, and wrestle with problems of relative good and evil found in the marketplace. On the other extreme is the satan, who seeks only personal advantage, to the disadvantage of others. These too, under proper control can serve society. But the ideal remains that those who are instrumental in producing great wealth should use those same talents in assuring that the wealth is used to the benefit of society.
Much of North America has been preoccupied with physical health, and many of those people who can't, or feel that they can't live without certain drugs - won't. Type I diabetics for instance will simply not have insulin in the recovery period. More serious and perhaps most serious for most will be the lack of anaesthesia, analgesics, and antibiotics, or that is to say, of painkillers and antibiotics. For many types of ills, medicine will return to the level of the early 19th century. However, there need not be nearly as many 'medical' deaths as then, because we do have a much better understanding of aseptics. The big killer in childbirth was simply that doctors did not understand the importance of cleanliness and area sterilization.
All women for centuries and most even at the beginning of the present century, in many parts of the world, had children by 'natural birth' methods - that is to say without painkillers. This may not be pleasant, but it is not fatal as far as the human race is concerned. Initially, there will also be a higher rate of infant mortality - possibly in part from the lack of cow's milk, although there too, a return to breast feeding will certainly ameliorate that problem.
Initially, statistically, infant mortality and numerous common ailments such as appendicitis may return to levels of morbidity of around 1860. The re-introduction of early 20th century anaesthesias, principally alcohol, ether, chloroform, and nitrous oxide, along with painkillers like opium, and what are presently drug addict compounds, should within five to ten years get surgery back up to about a 1930's level. The measurement of progress will be when the reported standard (rather than an individual stunt operation) reaches levels equivalent to each of the subsequent decades. It may be two or three decades before operations like general organ transplants, heart transplants, pacemakers, and hip replacements are being regularly done. It won't be just the lack of technology, but also the necessary retraining of associated surgical and nursing skills. None of this will happen of course, unless there is an integrated effort, as being proposed here, to re-introduce technological society.
In the interim there may be an immense trend to rely upon methods of alternative medicine. While these may be 'pooh poohed' by the present medical profession, in point of fact, they have in many cases about the same rate of success, and some would claim even better. Where they will not be effective is in cases of physical trauma. People are just going to have to be a lot more careful. Serious auto accidents, for instance, are much more likely to be fatal or to leave the victim much more incapacitated for life.
The first and foremost technological concern will be the development of energy. Presently people think of energy as coming from hydro, oil, natural gas, with some forms of alternate energy such as wind and solar. Except for solar cooking and water heating, forget the latter, because for power generation it is too high-tech and too low in efficiency as an early source in the recovery period. Actually, there are many dozens of sources of energy and there is no need for me to catalogue them here. The technical details are too involved to present here, but the details for many systems were / are available on the Ark Two CD. The two main problems about electrical generation are that it is very related to economies of scale and the system of distribution.
There will be centres that will be able to restart electric generation rather quickly. A satellite picture, while not showing the North American east coast ablaze in light as before, would still show pinpricks of light at various spots across the continent. There are more hydro generating plants than many realize - and while the big generating stations may have been destroyed, there will still be numerous small ones. The problem will be power transmission because the grid will be inoperative. Nevertheless, from these smaller centres it should be possible, with the right social structure, to re-establish much of the nucleus of technology so that the rest can be rebuilt.
Waterpower generation is by no means the only source. Gas-fired units near the gas fields, wind power generation, and other sources can also be rather rapidly developed. As for nuclear - forget it. It is too high-tech, and it will be fortunate if it can simply be safely mothballed. It was an immoral system anyway to have been expanded the way it was, before determining a method of getting rid of the waste, without passing the burden on to future generations.
Wind power for sailing, the re-implementation of steam, and of course human and animal power will be more easily obtained. Many of the old techniques, like using wind to drive grain mills, dog tables to operate butter churns, a plethora of other energy sources can be quickly re-discovered by inventive individuals. It may take a couple of decades to fully re-implement the power grid - especially if some major hydro components are missing - but the demand for energy will also be many times reduced for a considerable period of time.
Next to energy, the most important technology will be that of transportation. Transportation is itself of course dependent upon energy in the form of fuel. Surviving operable refineries will be the exception, as they require both energy and raw resources. The greatest initial need will be fuel for farm tractors and trucks. Rationing of the surviving supplies will probably not prove a solution for long.
There simply are not enough horses around to replace the tractors. The solution has to be to get the tractors going. There are several solutions available. One is that of using the gaseous fumes from wood pellets, or other smoke, for carburetored engines. This is a tried and proven method explained on the Ark Two CD. Another solution is the operating of diesel equipment using vegetable oils, which are actually easier on the engines than is regular diesel fuel. This biodiesel is a renewable resource on the farm. There are also farm-distilling methods using corn and other grains. All in all, in a couple of years it would be possible to establish a self-replenishing cycle of renewable resources of energy at some significant level.
Efficient use of the energy is as important as is its production. The use of bus routes - perhaps using old school buses, and using smaller vehicles, even motorcycles, to tow trailers, are a couple of examples. The use of bicycles for delivering messages and small parcels over longer distances, and of course the extensive use of 'shanks mare' (walking) as a basic means travel. The re-introduction of walking paths and rest stops will be beneficial.
The network of highways will not be destroyed, although it may be considerably disrupted. Long detours may be necessary because of missing bridges and alternative means of river crossing, such as by ferries, may be much slower. Severe earth changes may particularly affect such things as overpasses and bypasses will have to be built around them. Traffic will be very much reduced. Both by the number of survivors and the inoperability of vehicles, mainly for lack of fuel. Refuelling for long trips will be a major concern. Initially, convoys may have to take their own fuel with them, and later as routes are established, they may also be able to establish refuelling points, but it will be a considerable time before the market exchange system will make it possible for individuals to spontaneously travel from any point on the continent to another, without trepidation regarding the finding of fuel.
The situation, however, is not nearly as dark as many make it out to be. A mere two hundred years ago, pioneers had to seek trails for covered wagons from one side of the continent to the other. They had to ford streams and find provision along the way - many pushing handcarts and carrying children on their backs. Today, we know where the mountain passes are. Maps showing the accurate situation can be made available within a year or two. The roadways will still be mostly paved, and the travel an ease beyond the comprehension of the early pioneers. The pioneers traveled west to build a new and better world. May your travels be for the same purpose!
It was 1844 before it became possible to communicate beyond the line of sight. Lanterns, flags, drums or smoke were the means of immediate distant communication. There will be sufficient surviving ingenuity to put the equivalent of point-to-point teletype back in place within a couple of years, perhaps even the telephone, from selected point-to-points. Not far behind, there could be initial rudiments of the Internet. However, before the wonder of present communication is replaced, there will have to be replacement of the power grid. Short-wave point-to-point communication may have a prominent role to play for a long time.
The long term recovery of modern communications requires the recovery of the electronics industry, along with the manufacturing of computers and the hundreds of components that go into them, including cathode ray tubes, integrated circuits and so forth. Those items rely in turn upon the development of thousands of products in the field of metallurgy, plastics, glass making and products of innumerable other industries, which rely upon still others for raw materials, catalysts and other inputs, not to mention the skills that lie behind all these. If we consider the complexity of making a simple pencil - then that of manufacturing a computer is truly beyond the human mind to catalogue all the underlying inputs required. Nevertheless, they will all come together again with restoration of the proper institutions to support them.
At Ark Two, we have gathered together hundreds, perhaps thousands (if we were to catalogue them all), of formulas, methods, plans and so forth, for manufacturing a wide spectrum of products at simplified levels of technology. To what degree it will be possible or necessary to implement these procedures is as yet unknown. Of this much we can be certain, there is no need for anyone to ever be idle, as we attempt to reconstruct society and to re-implement technology. Undoubtedly, we will go down the wrong technological path innumerable times, and will have to repeatedly abandon specific attempts as we find better and more efficient solutions. It is the active effort that will achieve a beneficial end, rather than idle sitting theorizing and waiting for someone else to present a solution.
The main necessity for the re-establishment of basic industries, such as: petroleum refining; iron and steel manufacturing; concrete and raw components; lumber milling; rubber; plastic; and hundreds of others, is the establishment of the supporting institutions. Those necessary institutions are not brokerage firms; stock markets; banks; legal firms; courts; and government bureaucracies. The remnants of those previous institutions may prove to be the greatest impediment to the reconstruction of society in a just and better way.
The direct method to reconstruction is to develop and entitle entrepreneurial skills at each local level, and to network those together through a spiritually-just goal-oriented system that encourages free market interplay with the incentives of private ownership, while avoiding the bureaucracy of government and large institutions such as impersonal corporations. Decision-making must be put in the hands of responsible individuals with the final arbitration of what is just or unjust, beneficial versus non-beneficial, being decided by the spiritually-motivated LERN Directorates, democratically and hierarchically elected from the grassroots by all the members of the society.
Of all the resources most important to salvage and rebuild after the holocaust, the two most important are the human spirit and the human mind.
Leading up to the holocaust, the society abandoned spiritual education to the churches and then largely abandoned the churches. Much of what many of churches taught was simply dogma; in any case, and of little use in counteracting the moral morass in which the country found itself. Scandals appeared in the papers about immorality in the church; in government and political dealings; and in the highest management of the largest corporations and financial institutions; while the lack of justice in the judicial system and the complete lack of lawyers to commit to any value system was beyond comment.
The immorality was apparent to everyone in the torture of prisoners; the killing of thousands of children; the language and morals displayed for hours each day on the TV; and in the entertainment stars and sports heroes that were most admired by the society. Advocates of every immoral position, racist, sexual, drug use, and any other that one might name - made their positions heard over and over throughout the major media, but there was no strong advocacy to be heard for spiritual purity, love, compassion and tolerance.
Unless society first remedies this deficiency in morality, then aught else it may try to do will come to naught in establishing reconstruction of society. The former seeds and weeds of decay will again immediately spring forth and destroy the seedlings of a spiritual and just society. Spiritual education must be grounded in issues of ethics and virtue, and not in recitation of dogma. It must not be confined to 'religious' education but must be a part of the 'warp and woof' of everyday living - particularly in the dealings and directions of the Directorates and in the assemblages that they address, and the guidance that they give. The need and situation must not be addressed by token assertions and statement of public sentiment, but rather by constant and systematic study on the subject in both the local LERN communities and at every LERN level.
Second only to spiritual education in defining and achieving the purpose of life, is the development of God's greatest gift to humanity, which is its intellect. Individually and collectively, this activity will be one of the most rewarding that humanity can undertake. It lies at the core of all spiritual, social and scientific advances. Education should be seen as a life-long process, rather than an activity confined to the early years of life. From the very earliest stages of the reconstruction of society, the effort spent in identifying, preserving, organizing and expanding intellectual capability in every area of worthwhile human endeavour is one that will eventually offer the greatest rewards.
How this process should unfold is one to which the Directorates should pay the utmost attention in accordance with the capacities of their level. Every local LERN, must of course, be concerned about the education of its children, but as progress is made up through the hierarchy of LERNs, there will be the need to develop and pass on the skills and technologies present in that level. The higher levels will have a pool to draw from, for the preservation and development of the arts, as well as the most advanced thought available in every field. Every lost opportunity to salvage and retain academic achievements will be difficult to replace.
Every LERN, at every level, in keeping with its capacity, should devote some of its thought and resources to the preservation of the arts. Those who have talents of any sort should be encouraged to further develop them, share them, and pass them on. This is true of music, sports, and every talent that one can imagine. The higher LERNs should be especially thoughtful about preserving what may be called national treasures and talents so that culture may be preserved and the society's prestige re-established in the reconstructed world.
Every skill within a community should be identified, and arrangements made to pass that skill on. Some skills that do not appear to have immediate application will be very critical in preserving. There is a saying about skills that, "One either uses them or loses them." Lost skills may be very difficult to recover.
A constant question that every Directorate, at every level, needs to consult about is; "How to expand the LERN network". Aside from the humanitarian issue of its being the best way to help others, it is also the best way to help yourselves. Every LERN should strive to establish ten others, and if they do so, they can justly and proudly proclaim themselves to be a Ten Fold LERN. At the outset, it is an easy task to simply go to the geographic area next door, to help organize a meeting and explain the method of establishing Directorates. Eventually, some individuals in the LERN may be assigned this as a full-time task.
Ark Two has tried to seed this idea, and this paper that you are reading, throughout North America and elsewhere. Much in the Biblical manner of hiding the leaven in lumps, throughout the whole loaf of bread. It may be that LERNs will spring up great distances apart, but it may also be that they will be able to reach out to each other, to form a coherent fabric.
Well-established and well functioning LERNs will wish to assist others at greater and greater distances - even in other countries. The problems of social conflict raised by the previous failed system can arise and strike at one from any quarter - and as always the more extended the LERN network, the more beneficial it will become. The Higher LERNs, as they become viable, should recognize this as a primary task and responsibility, and they should request quotas of personnel from the lower LERNs, which they will assign to a program of well-thought out and defined goals and tasks for expansion.
Those who become missionaries of the LERN system should not only teach the mechanics of the operations of the LERNs, but they should also be conversant with and able to explain the principles, as explained in this newspaper, underlying the LERN concept of social, economic, and political justice. Most importantly, they must emphasize the importance of virtue to the success of a social system, and they must embody in their own lives the moral qualities that virtue entails. The essential LERN attitudes are those of obedience to God and service to humanity. While the LERN system does not promote any one religious system, it does promote them all. While the LERN system does not single out any one sector of humanity to serve, it does seek to serve the whole of humanity. Surely, promoters of the LERN system will not claim to be saints, and while they may certainly arise on their own, in the cases where they are sent forth by Directorates, the Directorates should take care to make sure that they are not satans.
A constant question that every Directorate at every level needs to consult about is; "How to expand the LERN network". Aside from the humanitarian issue of its being the best way to help others, it is also the best way to help yourselves. Every LERN should strive to establish ten others, and if they do so, they can justly and proudly proclaim themselves to be a Ten Fold LERN. At the outset, it is an easy task to simply go to the geographic area next door, to help organize a meeting and explain the method of establishing Directorates. Eventually, some individuals in the LERN may be assigned this as a full-time task.
Well established and well functioning LERNs will wish to assist others at greater and greater distances - even in other countries. The problems of social conflict raised by the previous failed system can arise and strike at one from any quarter - and as always the more extended the LERN network, the more beneficial it will become. The Higher LERNs, as they become viable, should recognize this as a primary task and responsibility, and they should request quotas of personnel from the lower LERNs, which they will assign to a program of well thought out and defined goals and tasks for expansion.
At all levels of LERNs and in all assemblies, meetings and organizations - and at every strata of society, the foremost skill that must be learned is that of consultation. This is a skill that is foreign to most of North American society. It has been practised among some of the native peoples, but there also it has become largely a lost art. Even the term 'consultation' has often been diverted to meaning opinion rendered by experts. Decisions in many organizations are made through persuasive argument, occasionally debate, and often through some form of personal or political manipulation. This was amply demonstrated in the continuous parade of news items of the antics in the parliaments and congresses showing everything from filibuster, to banging on desks, applauding only for 'their side', demonstrating time and again that there was no sincere search for truth.
Consultation, if properly conducted, will acquire Divine assistance in arriving at proper solutions. It must be engaged in by each consulting member with the sole purpose of finding a solution to the problem and in serving God's will. If an individual is not really concerned about finding a solution, and if they are not committed to the position that the solution will be towards achieving the Infinite Good, then they will not positively contribute to the outcome and may well be detrimental.
There are many principles to the consultative process, and there should be demonstrated a maturing recognition of them and increasing ability to apply them through the ascending ranks of LERNs. To describe the process in depth is beyond the scope of what can be presented here, but necessitate it to say that those entering the process must detach themselves from their own ideas. Every person involved must be allowed to fully state their opinion, but once they have stated it, they should detach themselves from that position and seek only the best solution. Presentation of ideas should be done with modesty and courtesy, and they should be definitely listened to with modesty and courtesy. There needs to also be a commitment on the part of the group to fully support whatever decision is reached by majority vote. This last point is most important. If a solution is not working out, then the matter can be re-examined at a later time.
All subjects need to be consulted on. In assembly meetings, the LERN Directorates need to inquire as to the concerns of the communities. Actual Directorate consultation will take place with only Directorate members present, but the community can consult and recommend in its assemblies if it so wishes. Higher Directorates must make a point of consulting regularly with each of its immediately lower Directorates. Directorates at all levels must consult regularly with those appointees, organizations and entrepreneurs for which they are directly responsible. Even at the very lowest community LERN level, the Directorates must make a point of consulting privately with every person in the community to determine their needs and aspirations.
This is a totally different approach from the previous society, where everyone's business was considered their own private business and no one else's concern. Entrepreneurs had to bear the burden of decisions, success or failure in their own firms, farms, and businesses without community help. Family conflicts were left to the families to resolve, even when the problem couldn't be resolved internally. Children were often left to their own struggles when a family wasn't able to provide the necessary support or guidance. But children, businesses, families, are all a part of the whole community's responsibility, and the community requires communication and consultation.
All major decisions need to be consulted upon - sometimes just with another individual or just in the family or firm - sometimes with just the local Directorate - sometimes with the community as a whole. Experience will demonstrate the balance, but the Directorates must always regularly consult with all individuals and individual LERNs under their purview. They should not wait for problems to develop, but should rather be aware of the spiritual, moral, social problems that may precipitate them.
The first question that every Directorate should ask itself at each meeting is: What is the most important thing that we should be concerning ourselves about? Regarding the use of resources they must always ask: Is this the best use to which this resource can be put? In consulting with entrepreneurs, the first question that should always be asked is: Should this enterprise continue? And always, always, regarding every issue the Directorates must always be asking: What are the spiritual issues here, and how does our decision further morals, virtues, and justice?
All consultation, meetings of Directorates and assemblies, should begin with a prayer, end with a prayer, and pause for prayer, if there appears to be conflict or a solution is not forthcoming. The prayers should always be considerate of any minority members of the group. They should never take a form or format that would not be acceptable to all of the group's members. This means they should avoid ritualistic statements, terms and formulas that would not be acceptable to the others. Conversely, there should be tolerance for prayers, no matter what their source, that do not express ideas that are theologically offensive to any members of the group. The goal should be to develop tolerance and good will. Those who would say that the lowest common denominator is to have no prayers at all and to keep religion out of the affairs of the community are erroneous, because it is the irreligion, immorality, materialism and non-attention to the spiritual side of humanity that has brought about the current state of affairs.
Human Rights are Divinely Given Rights, and every person born has the right to the necessities of life such as food, shelter, parental care, education, religious and moral instruction, employment, the opportunity to make a contribution to society along with freedom from fear, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of expression and so forth. Rights expand with the development of the individual, but so also do responsibilities.
This is the writer's attempt to develop a statement of the responsibilities of a mature adult. The idea behind forming a statement of responsibilities is that 'rights' for adults are accompanied by responsibilities.
To One's Community
To One's Family
To One's Self
To recognize God's latest Manifestation
To teach others about God's Word
To contribute to one's religion
To consort with people of all religions
To respect all of God's creatures and creation
To contribute to the welfare of the poor,
To have a sense of world citizenship
To have a sense of community citizenship
To serve humanity
To work for world unity and peace
To work for universal understanding and a universal auxiliary language
To support the elimination of prejudices
To support the equal rights of men and women,
To support the development of science,
To be happy and love one another
To develop strong unified families
To support one's family and children
To educate one's children
To be moral and improve one's character
To earn a living by a trade, craft or profession
To become educated and informed
To be moderate and balanced in one's consumption
As one reads a list of responsibilities, one sees that rights are often reflected within the responsibilities themselves. There are undoubtedly more rights and responsibilities than one could exhaustively list. There are rights and responsibilities between employers and employees, governments and citizens, husband and wife, children and parents, and many other combinations that could be named.
The smallest infant, of course, has only rights and no responsibilities. It is as one begins to mature that one gains responsibilities. It is for this reason, that as they mature, young children should be given responsibilities starting from a very young age. With proven capability to meet responsibilities, there should also come matching privileges - and that also should be the case throughout life.
In any relationship, the responsibilities of the partners to the relationship may, and indeed usually will, differ. Thus it is that governments will have one set of responsibilities and its citizens another. Employers one and employees another. Even within marriage, there are defined areas of responsibilities. This is not to say that all citizens, employees, marriage partners, or children within a family are not equal.
Equality, however, is often a chimera. Both the needs and capabilities of individuals differ. Consequently, the rights and responsibilities of an older sibling will often be radically different from those of a younger. Such distinctions apply to the whole of the family of humankind. Those individuals with particular needs, or talents, must be given special consideration to satisfy those needs, or develop those talents.
The pressing need of individual humanity today is for Justice. The pressing need of collective humanity today is for Unity. When unity is achieved by humankind, peace will naturally ensue. Many persons today mistakenly believe that peace is the most pressing need of humanity today, but true and lasting peace will not be just the absence of war, it will be the result of the unification of humanity. If Justice accompanies this unification, peace will also naturally result in prosperity.
The unity of humanity does not presuppose the homogenization of humankind. There can be, indeed must be, diversity in unity. For humanity to fulfill its potential, it must display all the diversity and variety in the human garden that is seen, by analogy, in a beautifully cultured flowerbed. It is diversity that creates beauty. The greater the diversity - the greater the beauty. Compare humans to the amoeba, or the whole planet to the monotony of the ocean or desert surface. It is diversity that leads to the most complex and productive machines and technologies - but all the parts must work in harmony to achieve a unified purpose. Such also is the case with economics and society, because it is diversity that leads to the most productive and beautiful society, but the unified end purpose must be that all works together to serve God and humanity.
We must create society to serve humans, as well as humans to serve society, for while the part must serve the purpose of the whole, the whole must sustain the purpose of the part. These, then, are the ideals that the mature thinker, or if you will, that the mature soul must strive towards in this day. To the degree, and only to the degree, that more and more of humanity becomes composed of mature and responsible adults will the heavenly kingdom appear on earth. It is the responsibility of each one of us to strive towards that goal.
There must be order, of course, or else, there will just be anarchy and chaos. The question, what kind of order? Administration by tyrants and bullies may be better than no order at all, but most people will wish to see the implementation of a just system.
The old system was one of rule by law and order. Very often this resulted in very little justice. Victims were very seldom compensated, the perpetuators of crimes were seldom reformed, and oftentimes not even restrained.
Law was determined by the lawyers and judges. The law was simply whatever they said it was, usually no matter what legislatures had intended. Legal victory was usually just a matter of who could afford to pay to argue the longest. Most often, the only ones who really benefited were the lawyers. No one could really know what the 'law' was because it was contained in books occupying hundreds of feet of bookshelf. Those with sufficient funds could generally have the books searched, to find sufficient precedence in their favour to achieve whatever goal they wished.
A Just political economic system is based upon the Pillars of Reward and Punishment - the carrot and the stick. It should be organized in such a way, (as should society itself) as to:
* Direct (Guide) the Sinners, and
* Restrain the Satans.
Human rights are truly Divinely Given rights - but human administrative law is human created fiction. For example:
* Corporations are the fiction that property can be a person.
The time has come to do away with both. Historically the US and Canadian courts treated corporations as persons with rights, while simultaneously denying those rights to the people for whom the Bill of Rights, Charter of Rights and constitutional amendments had been written with the intention to protect. The decisions of the Courts simply reflected the ingrained wealthy establishment, and when it was not their pleasure, people of colour and women were not even considered to be 'persons'.
The monstrosity of the system grew by leaps and bounds - the legal bookshelves becoming longer and longer, and the injustices greater and greater. Soulless corporations robbed the masses of billions, and their administrators generally went entirely free, while the US prison system incarcerated the highest percentage of population of any country in the world.
Administrative justice seeks to punish. It very seldom compensates the victims of crime, and does little to reform criminal behaviour. The argument is that it reduces crime by threat of punishment and by removing offenders temporarily from society.
Restorative justice is the recognition that the failure of administrative justice is the society's fault, and therefore victims should be compensated by society. In a spiritually maturing society, there is also the recognition that the perpetrator of the crime is also often a failure of the society, and that the society needs to do all that it can do to prevent such failures and to reform the failures that occur.
The failed North American society had billions to spend on military destruction, and the prosecution and punishment of criminals, but was unable to assure that each person was trained to the limits of their capacity; that they had full employment to use that training. Under the North American, system one could wish for the reform of criminals, but when there was little or no chance of employment for them on their return to open society, then there is some justification for not condemning them for engaging in the skills that they learned while in the prison criminal society.
There are also sociopaths in society and, as stated before, the satans must be restrained. In a properly functioning society based upon spiritual principles, there will be very few that can be neither restrained nor reformed. For those few, an affluent society is capable of warehousing them, although there always remains the threat that they might escape. The present writer's preference would be that a thousand child rapist murderers would be eliminated, rather than one additional innocent child be killed. Occasionally, a wrongfully convicted person may be sentenced to death, and thus it is that some have said that they would rather see a thousand guilty go free than one innocent put to death. Such are the moral judgements that Directorates will have to make. Not only these but perhaps others equally or more challenging. As they wrestle with the spiritual principles involved, they may move from one position to another, and back again.
Trite but true that mercy to the wolf is punishment to the lamb. Justice is incomprehensible in a society that opposes capital punishment of the most guilty, and simultaneously permits the murder-abortion of the most innocent. A recovering society will not have the luxury of coddling the satans. Those who prey upon others will have to be at the very least carefully monitored and be forced to contribute to society. If the cost of monitoring them is greater than their contribution, then they will need to be eliminated. Future times may be able to return to more "humane" procedures.
The success of the LERN system has a lot to do with the success of the re-establishment or replacement of what is currently considered law and order. Entrepreneurs must have some stability, some assurance that their work will not vanish to either an officially sanctioned or a rogue raid. The higher Directorate levels will have to curtail the power of those who, from within the administrative structure, try to unduly use their influence, as well as those from without who seek by violence to achieve their own ends. Practically, the Directorates will have to deal with the specifics when they meet them. The remedies will depend both upon the specifics and their resources for dealing with them.
Both revolutionaries and the establishments justify their actions on the basis that they are the more just, and that therefore they are justified by any means to obtain their ends. For this reason the educative process is essential in instilling a sense of high moral value, justice, fair play and so forth. This educative process must be of a higher mentality, emotionality, and spirituality than has ever existed in humanity previously, or the pattern of errors plaguing the past will quickly reverberate all over again. It is a long and difficult process, because the veneer of society is very thin and the task is most delicate, but nevertheless it is essential. Unless there is a broad consensus as to what is fair and just, the entrepreneurs have no principles to play by and no surety that others will be expected to play by the principles. Without such guiding principles, there is no justification for hope of reward for taking the risk that is part of being an entrepreneur.
There does not need to be the burdening mass of laws, rules and bureaucracy that shackled social innovators in order to preserve the inherited status quo. The decisions can be made by responsible individuals with souls in LERN Directorates and their appointees, rather than by soulless corporations and government bureaucracies guarded and guided by minions of legalists dedicated to specific ends, rather than to common-sense readily-recognized justice.
The operation of any system is dependent upon the goodwill, wisdom and spiritual enlightenment of its administrators. It is incumbent upon the members of local LERNs to select Directors with high spiritual qualities. The Directorates must in turn seek to assign delegates, with the same qualities, to the higher LERN levels. These individuals can then dispense justice on the basis of Principles of Recognized Rights and Freedoms, rather than interpretative arguments regarding syntax in written statements of law. Educated descendants of the original indigenous inhabitants of North America, and other such native peoples throughout the world have often pointed out how the lack of such commitment to justice in the Western systems was a major shortcoming.
At every level, from the local LERNs through each level to the highest Directorates, there must be the recognition of the responsibility to educate all participants in the need for honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, fair play, equality, tolerance, commitment to freedom, and justice. We need only look about the world at the moment to see how intolerance, fraud, bribes, collusion, arbitrary power, exclusionary interests and such, wreck the opportunity for progress, security, and the benefit of all. A system of intelligence, morality, and spirituality greater than any that inspired people before, must be instilled in the survivors of the disaster - or the disaster begins again.
Whatever principles, guidelines or rules the LERNs may implement, they should always have a maximum 'sunset' of three years. No directive or rule should have force beyond the timeframe that there are members of the LERN that were responsible for its definition. Each directive or rule should be published at the outset, with its sunset date. The dates of rules and directives would always be maintained, so that as their sunset anniversary neared, the LERN Directorate could decide to re-implement the directive or rule, or to modify it, or to let it lapse.
Very often principles, guidelines and rules simply become ingrained in a society, and no longer need to be stated. After a while, people know to drive on the right-hand side of the road. It does not need to be written down somewhere. The principles for the safe operation of machinery and the principle that one should operate it safely become generally known. Every hammer does not need to have written on it, "Do not strike people on the side of head with this instrument."
Growing spiritual social civil consciousness will make rules unnecessary against littering, and a thousand other such things of anti-social behaviour. These are presently often covered in by-laws but the obvious principles of social behaviour will be sufficient. When someone is found to be violating the principles, then the LERN Directors can require that they be re-educated and can find methods appropriate to that end. In a maturing society, the members will be very sensitive to just criticism. There need to be no massive shelves of volumes of books of rules or lawyers and bureaucrats to see that they are administered.
The evidence of a spiritually-maturing society will be when in it is decreasing its rules, laws, and directives - rather than enacting more. Each LERN level should however each year restate its current guiding principles and goals.
Ark Two is a survival complex built in rural Canada (see location map), which began in about 1980. It is a 10,000 square foot underground structure (see interior map). The facility was designed and constructed by Bruce Beach (see Bio).
The Ark Two has been dedicated for many years to helping people prepare for a Great Catastrophe, and to having the information necessary to recover from it and to reconstruct society. While we do not know what form a catastrophe may take, still with the number of nuclear weapons that there are in the world, there is the very great possibility that it may be nuclear. We also realise that, in the immensity and intensity of Divine Retribution, the very equilibrium of the planet itself may be disturbed.
For many years the Ark Two Community has distributed, to anyone requesting it, a CD free of any charge through its TEAM Leaders throughout Canada, in every one of the fifty states of the United States and in many countries in the world. It has also maintained the information in hundreds of pages on the www.webpal.org website. If one were to print them all out, it would amount to thousands of printed pages of information. The goal is to make available, to everyone, essential information for reconstruction, recovery and renewal.
Since it is anticipated that you will be reading this information after the Great Catastrophe, we do not know if the information on the CD and Internet will still be available to you. In the past, we have assisted many hundreds of people in obtaining thousands of pieces of radiation detection equipment, and we have given away hundreds of pieces to those who could not afford them. We have stockpiled, tested and labelled hundreds of radiation detection devices (currently worth tens of thousands of dollars) to give away to those people that we would have to turn away from the door of the Ark Two shelter. In December 2001, we completed a series of four twenty-minute videos, on such subjects as building an expedient shelter, for showing to the same group of people.
Our plan has been to train Radiological Instructors while in the shelter, so that they could go out afterwards and train monitoring and decontamination teams. Equipment was also stockpiled for these teams and specifically a food and water radiation-monitoring lab for each province in Canada.
For over forty years, my wife Jean and I have made an intensive effort to alert people to the threat and to urge them to prepare for it. I could never have done alone all that we have done together. For weeks, she stood at my side and helped load two printing presses for imprinting of over one hundred thousand booklets that we gave away absolutely free. After the advent of the Internet, untold thousands more booklets were downloaded in a printable format for printing and distribution by many other people.
We used many ways of getting the information out to the public. We sent out tens of thousands of pieces of literature through the mails. We set up booths at numerous fairs. I appeared on dozens of TV and radio programs, many of national and international scope, and there were so many newspaper and magazine articles written about the Ark Two that we long ago lost count. Literally, multiple millions of people heard about our efforts. And we never charged anyone a penny for any of the information. It is our intention that what you are reading now will be stored in a great number of widely dispersed locations for distribution after the Great Catastrophe.
Once the Internet became popular, it surpassed all our other efforts of informing people. The interest in our web pages grew to where we got thousands of hits each day. Sometimes, at a period of particular interest, it was tens of thousands. Once, during one three-hour period at 9/11 there were over 85,000 hits that completely swamped the system and our server had to pull the plug. Within hours our Webmaster had the URL rerouted to a new dedicated server directly on the backbone, and we were back up. Parts of the site were eventually mirrored at over 30 locations. We have no idea how many hits daily there were on all the sites combined.
As far as we know, no one else has made preparation for the reconstruction of society. Nowhere else, for that matter, was there made available to the public, through the Internet or otherwise, all the information that we gathered together for recovery. In our 'recovery' library and CDs, we assembled hundreds of pieces of information, oftentimes found in whole books, on the subject of re-establishing 'primitive' agriculture and means for developing local sources of energy.
A great many of our resources deal with old Pioneering skills. We cannot just go back to the old ways. We have lost many of the skills. No one ever had them all, and you would be hard put today to find a wheelwright, a miller, a tanner, a barrel maker. All those trades, like farming, have advanced into modern technology, and the present experts seldom have used the old ways. Many of the old implements are no longer around, and we certainly don't have the horses. Most modern horses are neither bred nor conditioned to pull the plough. Still, in the skills of the past, we may find solutions to the problems of the moment.
Our personal library is very extensive. At one time, I counted 13 sets of encyclopaedias. These are mostly specialized - like a 14-volume set on gardening, and another 16-volume set on do-it-yourself repairs. There are others on health and medicine and a variety of other subjects. We have also acquired CDs with hundreds of books, and one summer, we put a crew to work microfilming thousands of documents that we now have on microfiche. These, plus many, many books, are in just our own home, but our Ark Two Community librarians are the real gatherers of information, and they have many thousands of books, mostly on technology for recovery.
In the future, if people want it, we hope to be able to disseminate all this information widely. There are many blind spots in our library. We have little information on modern technology and almost no information on leading edge technology. Members of our Ark Two community are of far more than average knowledge about nuclear and computers, but there are many, many fields such as in modern metallurgy, petroleum refining, hundreds of specialties in chemistry, medicine, and untold numbers of other areas that the expertise to re-establish them will have to survive with the experts - if they are going to be recovered in the decades following immediately following the catastrophe that we imagine.
One major focus of our library has been maps, in order to determine where materials and expertise may reside. We have thousands of maps, like local road maps and topographical maps - more and more maps on an expanding scale. We have every map ever published by the National Geographic. We have CDs with map search programs, and North American and World Atlases. The list goes on. One map set which we were very desirous of obtaining cost thousands of dollars (far beyond our budget) from the US government. It comes with a subscription program for real-time updating, and the printed book is reprinted annually -a marvellous tool for demographers tracking changing patterns - but one used copy would serve our purposes. Miraculously, on the Internet, we found a library discard copy, at a fraction of the cost.
Other associates of ours are providing us with gigabytes of recovery information on CDs. Our problem has not been so much one of obtaining information but determining on which to concentrate our limited resources for storing and cataloguing. Tons of information is of no use, if you have no way of finding what you want in it. In early years we were given literally tons of new books by libraries and publishers, expensive new technical volumes that often cost over a hundred dollars each, but we finally had to abandon that effort simply because of lack of storage space and manpower to handle it. Tons had to be destroyed simply because we could not, even with weeks of searching, find a way to transport them to Third World countries who were desirous of having them.
Our problem generally was not getting information, although many things that would have been helpful were concealed from us by the government. Principally our greatest task was one of determining what information was going to be most useful to the survivors. What we hope to offer is information on: measuring radiation contamination in food; producing food without the modern technology and its skills; finding alternate sources of energy; recovering and repairing remaining machinery; creating the nucleus of an economic system; and reconstructing the basis of functioning society. It is our sincerest hope that we will be able to get this information to the people who need it, and that they will find it useful.
While we have many humanitarian plans for assisting refugees, helping families to relocate lost members, providing physical, mental, and spiritual sustenance to a shocked and traumatized society, the foremost instrument in all of this must be the reconstruction of a functioning society itself. The LERN plan for that is what we have presented in these pages.
Many people, looking at the situation after a nuclear war, will feel that it is hopeless, but if people really work at it, they can in twenty, fifty, a hundred years, put it all back just like it was. The warring nations, the great nuclear weapon arsenals, the polluting industries, the selfish, immoral, pornographic oriented, pleasure-chemical society can all be there again. Then the holocaust will repeat itself with increasing intensity until humankind destroys itself, or decides to transform itself closer to its Divine created purpose.
"Do we really want to put it back like it was?
The extensive catalogued ills of humankind; war, famine, poverty, ignorance, hatred, prejudice, lack of justice, materiality, immorality, and so forth, are all of humankind's own doing. This world and this planet was blessed with sufficient resources that, if the directions that God provided through Spiritual Teachers had been followed, it could have been a paradise, rather than the hell that it became. There are many who will feel that the immediate post-holocaust state, that humankind will find itself in, can be contributed to God's retribution, for humanity having turned away from Divine Guidance.
Conversely, that humankind has survived at all may be contributed to Divine Intervention, and God's love and compassion for humanity. Indeed the Bible says, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:22)
Prior to The Great Catastrophe, one can have no exact idea as to the form or degree of the catastrophe. I speculate that, by two years afterwards, something in the neighbourhood of eighty percent of humanity will have perished. Also, prior to the events, I cannot have any exact idea of the nature of the Divine Intervention. I feel quite certain, however, that whatever form it takes, it will seem quite natural. At present I speculate that there will be some form of earth changes, which will be as dramatic as the Nuclear Holocaust itself.
Whatever events transpire, humanity should comprehend that The Divine Retribution and The Great Catastrophe is the result of its own doing. The fact that the catastrophe is permitted to occur is a matter of the beneficence of Divine Providence, in providing humanity with free will, while simultaneously setting limits to its actions. Humanity had turned more and more away from the principles of Divine Love and Harmony, which would be reflected in obedience to God, and the care and protection of their fellow human beings.
In short - while the creation of the catastrophe was mankind's doing, and the Divine Intervention and ending of it was God's beneficence, the future still lies with humanity's free will. Others may hotly dispute these theological, philosophical viewpoints, so all I can say is that they are what motivated the writer's preparation and presentation of this newspaper.
North American Native Peoples Prophecy tells about a “Third Shaking”. The survivors of World War Three will surely feel that they have experienced it.
At the conclusion of the First Shaking, the peoples of the world gathered together in San Francisco to raise the banner of universal peace after the conclusion of the Great War or what was called the ‘War to End War’. One nation, the strongest and most admired on earth, refused to participate in the formation of the League of Nations. That nation was the United States.
Consequently, the Second World War took place, and once again the Peoples of the World gathered to form the United Nations, and to assure a firm and lasting peace. One nation, the strongest and most admired on earth, refused to participate unless it could have veto over the decisions of the rest. That nation was the United States.
Consequently, speaking in a tense to when this paper will be relevant, the Third World War took place. Once again all the nations and peoples of the earth must gather together to assure that a firm and lasting peace will be established. No one nation can have veto over the whole. The idea of sovereignty must be limited to rights over certain areas. The weapons of mass destruction must be eliminated altogether. Any world that has a combination of unlimited national sovereignty, and nuclear weapons, is doomed to repeat The Great Catastrophe.
Society needs to be reconstructed, so that Justice is assured for every individual member of humankind. Justice, prosperity, religious and intellectual literary freedom, cannot be the bounty of just a few limited nations among all the peoples of the world. Those are Divine Rights that are Human Rights of all humanity.
To assure the implementation of the Divine Given Rights, the institutions regarding; power politics, the control of money, the administration of the principles of law, the entitlement to property, must be revised and the rights and responsibilities of the individual must be carefully examined, studied, and broadly understood and practiced by the masses of the peoples of the world. New institutions must be evolved that assure the establishment of national boundaries without military warfare, the exchange of international commerce without economic warfare, the exchange of ideas through a universal auxiliary language without cultural imperialism, and the fulfillment of the desire of the world’s masses for religious, social and intellectual freedom without resort to revolutionary or terrorist means.
Prior to the holocaust, when this paper is being written, there are many post-holocaust visions:
There is the ‘Ridley Walker’ vision in which total anarchy will prevail.
There is the ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’ or ‘Alas Babylon’ vision in which isolated groups will re-establish some technology.
There is the “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, “Waterworld”, “Postman” vision of return to the pre-technological past.
There is the ‘Left Behind’ vision in which some long established conspiratorial group, perhaps seen as the instigator of the holocaust itself, will establish a global dictatorial system.
There is ‘The Final Battle’ vision of extragalactic forces seeking to take over the earth.
There is the ‘Business As Usual’ vision where power and politics will struggle to establish their individual agendas.
There is the ‘Awaiting God’s Kingdom’ vision in which it is anticipated that God will do it all for the righteous and that they have to do nothing but await the departure of their adversaries.
The theme of this paper has been the 'reconstruction of society', that is to say - the construction of society in a new manner, rather than the 'restoration of society' which would be putting society back in the form that it was.
2. Have meeting and decide on geographic boundary
3. If enough present – elect Directors (can be interim Directors until later date)
4. Directors have complete local census conducted in boundaries
5. Directors adjust boundaries if necessary
6. Directors consult on recovery plans
7. Schedule Local Assembly Meeting to explain plan and hear suggestions
8. Assign individuals to help adjoining areas organize
on HAM Radio
After the Catastrophe
Ark Two will monitor the band (note singular) appropriate to propagation conditions at the time.
80/75 meters LSB (LSB = Lower Sideband; the world standard)
If possible, Ark Two will TX an SSB or CW beacon on an appropriate band so others can find us. We will ID as ARK TWO. Reply on beacon frequency in SSB or CW when our carrier drops.
40 meter LSB
Generally, 40 meters is a good daytime band until perhaps 4PM, and then 75 meters picks up. 20 meters is a long-range band used for long haul, and counts on bouncing off the ionosphere and reflecting back, as does most amateur communication. The operator must understand propagation and skip, the factors that affect them, and know how to select the proper band based on numerous factors.
10 meters and 15 meters are the bands most affected by the eleven-year sunspot cycle. We are about 18 months from the bottom of the cycle, which is the most difficult times, in about 6 years we'll be at the peak of the next cycle, and the higher frequency bands will work. Now it's very rare to be able to make other than very local contacts on 10 and 15 meters, and this will only get worse until the sunspot cycle picks up. When it does get near peak, though, small amounts of power can talk around the world with simple antennas.
The above are the type of reasons that we are mentioning "appropriate to propagation conditions". There may be other conditions caused by EMP, widespread nuclear activity, and earth changes. Whatever, we will be looking for people calling the tactical sign ARK TWO, and the call sign that we respond with will depend upon which of our HAM radio operators are present - providing that is relevant.
Some major papers regarding the medical treatment of radiocontamination, the development and operation of refugee camps, and dealing with pandemic. Links to these latter will be found: