tzm-guide-v2
The Orientation Guide you are about to read is a culmination of many sources and ideas that have evolved since the methods of scientific discovery have emerged.  This is Part I of IV and is being released as a series of essays which cover The Scientific Worldview, Sourcing Solutions, Logic vs Psychology, The Case for Human Unity, and The Final Argument: Human Nature.  Please note that this Guide is actively under development with the other 3 sections to be released as they are completed.

Download PDF Here:  TZM Orientation PDF (Full)

  1. Preface

    PART I - AN INTRODUCTION

  2. Overview
  3. The Scientific Worldview
  4. Sourcing Solutions
  5. Logic vs Psychology
  6. The Case for Human Unity
  7. The Final Argument: Human Nature

    PART II - SOCIAL PATHOLOGY & THE ANTI-ECONOMY

  8. Defining Public Health
  9. Evolution of Economy
  10. Market Efficiency vs Technical Efficiency
  11. Value System Disorder
  12. Structural Classism, The State and Conflict

    PART III - SUSTAINABILITY: A NEW TRAIN OF THOUGHT

  13. True Economic Variables
  14. The Design Revolution
  15. Industry & The Real Market
  16. Redefining Government
  17. Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy
  18. Freedom, Utopia & The Humanity Factor

    PART IV – THE ZEITGEIST MOVEMENT

  19. Understanding Collapse
  20. The Revolution of Values
  21. Engaging The Group Mind
  22. Transition & The Hybrid Economy
  23. TZM: Structure and Processes

    APPENDICES

  24. A: Vocabulary List
  25. B: The Scientific Method
  26. C: Reading List
  27. D: Common Objections
  28. E: TZM Quick Start
  29. F: 2009 Orientation Reduction
  30. G: Select Lectures

(1) Preface

"The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before." -Thorstein Veblen

Origin of the name:

"The Zeitgeist Movement" (TZM) is the existing identifier for the Social Movement described in the following essays. The name has no relevant historical reference to anything culturally specific and is not to be confused/associated with anything else known before with a similar title. Rather, the title is based upon the semantic meaning of the very terms, explicitly. The term “Zeitgeist" is defined as the “general intellectual, moral and cultural climate of an era." The Term “Movement" simply implies “motion" or change. Therefore The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is an organization which urges change in the dominant intellectual, moral and cultural climate of the time.

Document Structure:

The following text has been prepared to be as concise and yet comprehensive as possible. In form, it is a series of essays, ordered by subject in a manner which works to support a broader context. While each essay is designed to be taken on its own merit in evaluation, the true context resides in how each issue works to support a larger Train of Thought with respect to the most efficient organization of human society. It will be noticed by those who read through these essays in a linear fashion that a fair amount of overlap exists with certain ideas. This is deliberate as such repetition and emphasis is considered helpful given how foreign some of the concepts might seem to those with no prior exposure to such material.

Also, since only so much detail can be afforded to maintain comprehension given the gravity of each subject and how they interrelate, great effort has been made to source relevant 3rd party research throughout each essay, via footnotes and appendices, allowing the reader to follow through with further study as the interest arises.

The Organism of Knowledge:

As with any form of presented research we are dealing with serially generated data composites. Observation, its assessment, documentation and integration with other knowledge, existing or pending, is the manner by which all distinguishable ideas come to evolve. This continuum is important to understand with respect to the way we think about what we believe and why, for information is always separate in its merit from the person or institution communicating or representing. Information can only be evaluated correctly through a systematic process of comparison to other physically verifiable evidence as to its proof or lack thereof.

Likewise, this continuum also implies that there can be no empirical “Origin" of ideas. From an epistemological perspective, knowledge is mostly culminated, processed and expanded through communication amongst our species. The individual, with his or her inherently different life experience and propensities, serves as a custom processing filter by which a given idea can be morphed. Collectively, we individuals comprise what could be called a “Group Mind" which is the larger order social processor by which the effort of individuals ideally coalesce. The traditional method of data transfer through literature, sharing books from generation to generation, has been a notable path of this Group Mind interaction, for example.[1]

Issac Newton perhaps put this reality best with the statement: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."[2] This is brought up here in order to focus the reader on the critical consideration of data – not a supposed “Source" - as there actually is no such thing in an empirical sense. Only in the temporal, traditional patterns of culture, such as with literary credits in a textbook for future research reference, is such a recognition technically relevant.There is no statement more erroneous than the declaration that: “This is my idea." Such notions are byproducts of a material culture that has been reinforced in seeking physical rewards, usually via money, in exchange for the illusion of their “proprietary" creations. Very often an ego association is culminated as well where an individual claims prestige about their “credit" for an idea or invention.

Yet, that is not to exclude gratitude and respect for those figures or institutions which have shown dedication and perseverance towards the expansion of knowledge itself, nor to diminish the necessity of importance of those who have achieved a skilled, specialized “expert" status in a particular field. The contributions of brilliant researchers, thinkers and engineers such as R. Buckminster Fuller, Jacque Fresco, Jeremy Rifkin, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Sapolsky, Thorstein Veblen, Richard Wilkinson, James Gilligan, Carl Sagan, Nicola Tesla, Steven Hawking and many, many more researchers, past and present, are quoted and sourced in this text and serve as part of the larger data composite you are about to read. Great gratitude is expressed here towards all dedicated minds who are working to contribute to an improving world.Yet, once again, when it comes to the level of understanding, information itself has no origin, no loyalty, no price tag, no ego and no bias. It simply manifests, self-corrects and evolves as an organism in and of itself through our collective “Group Mind" to which we are all invariably a component vehicle.

That understood, “The Zeitgeist Movement" claims no origination of any idea it promotes and is best categorized as an activist/educational institution which works to amplify a context upon which existing/emerging scientific findings may find a concerted social imperative.

Websites and Resources:

The Following 10 Websites are officially related to The Zeitgeist Movement's global operations:

-Main Global Hub: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

This is the main website and hub for TZM related actions/events/updates.

-Global Chapters Hub: http://www.tzmchapters.net/

This is the main global hub for Chapter information and materials. It includes maps, a Chapters tool kit and more.

-Global Blog: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

This is the official blog which allows submissions of editorial style essays.

-Global Forum: http://www.thezeitgeistmovementforum.org/

This is our official forum for members to discuss projects and share ideas from across the world and share ideas.

-Zeitgeist Media Project: http://zeitgeistmediaproject.com/

The Media Project Site hosts and links to various audio/visual/literary expressions of TZM Members. Users donate their work for posting and it is often used as a resource Toolkit for flyer graphics, video presentations, logo animations and the like.

-ZeitNews: http://www.zeitnews.org/

ZeitNews is a news style service which contains articles relating to socially relevant advancements in Science and Technology.

-Zeitgeist Day (“Zday") Global: http://zdayglobal.org/

This site becomes active annually to facilitate our “Zday" Global Event, which occurs in March of each year.

-Zeitgeist Media Festival: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/

This site becomes active annually to facilitate our “Zeitgeist Media Festival", which occurs in August of each year.

-Global Redesign Institute: http://www.globalredesigninstitute.org/

The Global Redesign Institute is a virtual graphic interface “Think Tank" project which uses map/data models to express direct technical changes in line with TZM's train of thought in various regions.

-TZM Social Network: http://tzmnetwork.com/

TZM Social is an interlinked website that bridges many popular online social networks, creating a more central hub for communication through various mediums.

General Social Networks:

TZM Global on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/tzmglobal

TZM Global on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tzmglobal

TZM Global Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TZMOfficialChannel

Footnotes for "Preface":

[1] In Carl Sagan's work “Cosmos", he stated with respect to the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, noted as the largest and most significant library of the ancient world: “was as if the entire civilization had undergone some self-inflicted brain surgery, and most of its memories, discoveries, ideas and passions were extinguished irrevocably.“ Cosmos, Sagan, Books, New York, 1980, Chapter XIII

[2] The Correspondence of Isaac Newton, Volume 1, edited by HW Turnbull, 1959, p416

(2) Overview

“Neither the great political and financial power structures of the world, nor the specialization-blinded professionals, nor the population in general realize that...it is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on earth at a “higher standard of living than any have ever known”. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary and henceforth unrationalizable as mandated by survival. War is obsolete.”

-R. Buckminster Fuller[3]

About

Founded in 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is a Sustainability Advocacy Group which operates through a network of Regional Chapters, Project Teams, Public Events, Media Expressions and Charity Operations.

TZM's activism is explicitly based on non-violent methods of communication with the core focus on educating the public about the true root sources of many common personal, social and ecological problems today, coupled with the vast problem solving and humanity improving potential science and technology has now enabled - but yet goes unapplied due to barriers inherent in the current, established social system.

While the term “Activism” is correct by its exact meaning, TZM's awareness work should not be misconstrued as relating to culturally common, traditional “activist protest” actions such as we have seen historically. Rather, TZM expresses itself through targeted, rational educational projects that work not to impose, dictate or blindly persuade – but to set in motion a train of thought that is logically self-realizing when the causal considerations of “sustainability”[4] and “public health”[5] are referenced from a scientific perspective.

However, TZM's pursuit is still very similar to traditional Civil Rights Movements of the past in that the observations reveal the truly unnecessary oppression inherent in our current social order, which structurally and sociologically restricts human well-being and potential for the vast majority of the world's population, not to mention stifles broad improvement in general due to its established methods.

For instance, the current social model, while perpetuating enormous levels of corrosive economic inefficiency in general, as will be described in further essays, also intrinsically supports one economic group or “class” of people over another, perpetuating technically unnecessary imbalance and relative deprivation. This could be called “economic bigotry” in its effect and it is no less insidious than discrimination rooted in gender, ethnicity, religion or creed.

However, this inherent “bigotry” is really only a part of a larger condition which could be termed “Structural Violence”,[6] illuminating a broad spectrum of “built in” suffering, inhumanity and deprivation that is simply accepted as “normality” today by an uninformed majority. This context of “Violence” stretches much farther and deeper than many consider. The scope of how our socioeconomic system unnecessarily diminishes our public health and inhibits our progress today can only be recognized clearly when we take a more detached “technical” or “scientific” perspective of social affairs, bypassing our traditional, often blinding familiarities.

The relative nature of our awareness often falls victim to assumptions of perceived “normality” where, say, the ongoing deprivation and poverty of over 3 billion people[7] might be seen as a “natural”, inalterable social state to those who are not aware of the amount of food actually produced in the world, where it goes, how it is wasted or the technical nature of efficient & abundant food production possibilities in the modern day.

This unseen “Violence” can be extended to cultural Memes[8] as well where social traditions and their psychology can, without direct malicious intent, create resulting consequences that are damaging to a human being. For instance, there are religious cultures in the world that opt out of any form of common medical treatment.[9] While many might argue the moral or ethical parameters of what it means for a child in such a culture to die of a common illness that could have been resolved if modern scientific applications were allowed, we can at least agree that the death of such a child is really being caused not by the disease at that point, but by the sociological condition that disallowed the application of the solution.

As a broader example, a great deal of social study has now been done on the subject of “Social Inequality” and its effects on public health. As will be discussed more so in further essays, there is a vast array of physical and mental health problems that appear to be born out of this condition, including propensities towards physical violence, heart disease, depression, educational deficiency and many, many other detriments – detriments that have a truly social consequence which affect us all.[10]

The bottom line here is that when we step back and consider newly realized understandings of causality that are clearly having detrimental effects on the human condition, but go unabated unnecessarily due the pre-existing traditions established by culture, we inevitably end up in the context of “Civil Rights” and hence social sustainability.

This new Civil Rights Movement is about the sharing of human knowledge and our technical ability to not only resolve problems, but to also facilitate a scientifically derived Social System that actually optimizes our potential and well-being. Anything less will create imbalance and social destabilization as the neglect of such issues are simply a hidden form of oppression.

So, returning to the broad point, TZM works not only to create awareness of such problems and their true systemic roots; hence logic for resolution, it also works to express the potential we have, beyond such direct problem solving, to greatly improve the human condition in general, solving problems which, in fact, have not yet even been realized.[11]

This is initiated by embracing the very nature of scientific reasoning where the establishment of a near empirical train of thought takes precedence over everything else in importance. A train of thought by which societal organization as a whole can find a more accurate context for sustainability on a scale never before seen, through an active recognition (and application) of The Scientific Method.

Focus

TZM's broad actions could be summarized as to Diagnose, Educate and Create.

Diagnose:

Diagnosis is “the identification of the nature and cause of anything.” To properly diagnose the causal condition of the vast social and ecological problems we have today is not merely to complain about them or criticize the actions of people or particular institutions. A true Diagnosis must seek out the lowest causal denominator possible and work to source at that level for resolution.

The central problem today is that there is often what could be called a “truncated frame of reference” where a shortsighted, misdiagnosis of a given consequence persists. For instance, the traditional, established solution to the reformation of human behavior for many so-called “criminal acts” is often punitive incarceration. Yet, this says nothing about the deeper motivation of the “criminal” and why their psychology led to such acts to begin with.

At that level, such a resolution becomes more complex and reliant upon the symbiotic relationship of their physical and cultural culmination over time.[12] This is no different than when a person dies of cancer, as it isn't really the cancer that kills them in a literal sense, as the cancer itself is the product of other forces.

Educate:

As an educational movement that operates under the assumption that knowledge is the most powerful tool/weapon we have to create lasting, relevant social change in the global community, there is nothing more critical than the quality of one's personal education and their ability to communicate such ideas effectively and constructively to others.

TZM is not about following a rigid text of static ideas. Such confined, narrow associations are typical of Religious and Political Cults, not the recognition of emergence that underscores the “anti-establishment”[13] nature of TZM. TZM does not impose in this sense. Rather it works to make an open ended train of thought become realized by the individual, hopefully empowering their independent ability to understand its relevance on their own terms, at their own pace.

Furthermore, education is not only an imperative for those unfamiliar with the Train of Thought and Application Set[14] related to TZM, but also for those who already subscribe to it. Just as there is no “utopia”, there is no final state of understanding.

Create:

While certainly related to the need to adjust human values through education so the world's people understand and see the need for such social changes, TZM also works to consider how a new social system, based on Optimum Economic Efficiency,[15] would appear and operate in detail, given our current state of technical ability.

Programs such as the Global Redesign Institute[16], which is a digital think tank that works to express how the core societal infrastructure could unfold based on our current state of technology, working to combine that technical capacity with the scientific train of thought so as to calculate the most efficient technical infrastructure possible for any given region of the world, is one example.

It is worth briefly noting that TZM's advocated “governance” approach, which has little semblance to the current manner of governance known today or historically, originates out of a multi-disciplinary bridging of various proven methods for maximum optimization, unified through a counter-balancing “Systems” approach that is designed to be as “adaptive” as possible to new, emerging improvements over time.[17]

As will be discussed later, the only possible reference that could be considered “most complete” at a given time is one that takes into account the largest interacting observation (System) tangibly relevant. This is the nature of the cause and effect synergy that underscores the technical basis for a truly sustainable economy.

Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy

Today, various terms exists to express the general logical basis for a more scientifically oriented Social System in different circles, including the titles “Resource-Based Economy” or “Natural Law Economy.” While these titles are historically referential and somewhat arbitrary overall, the title “Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy” (NLRBE) will be utilized here as the concept descriptor since it has the most concrete semantic basis.[18]

A Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy is to be defined as: “An adaptive socio-economic system actively derived from direct physical reference to the governing scientific laws of nature.”

Overall, the observation is that through the use of socially targeted research and tested understandings in Science and Technology, we are now able to logically arrive at societal approaches which could be profoundly more effective in meeting the needs of the human population. We are now able to dramatically increase public health, better preserve the habitat, while also strategically reduce or eliminate many common social problems present today which are sadly considered inalterable by many due to their cultural persistence.

Since the dawn of scientific recognition, this general reasoning is nothing new in gesture and various notable individuals and organizations, past and present, have alluded to such a scientific re-orientation of society on one level or another. Notable examples are Technocracy Inc., R. Buckminster Fuller, Thorstein Veblen, Jacque Fresco, Carl Sagan, H.G Wells, The Singularity Institute and many others.

Train of Thought

Likewise, many such figures or groups have also worked to create temporally advanced technological applications, working to apply current possibilities to this train of thought in order to enable new efficiencies and problem solving, such as Jacque Fresco's “City Systems”[19] or R. Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House.[20]

Yet, as obviously important as this applied engineering is, it is still critical to remember that all specific technological applications can only be transient when the evolution of scientific knowledge and its emerging technological applications are taken into account. This makes all current applications of technology obsolete over time.

Therefore, what is left can only be a train of thought with respect to the underlying causal scientific principles. TZM is hence loyal to this train of thought, not figures, institutions or temporal technological advancements. Rather than follow a person or design, TZM follows this self-generating premise of understanding and it hence operates in a non-centralized, holographic manner, with this train of thought as the origin of influence for action.

Superstition to Science

A notable pattern worth mentioning is how the evolution of mankind's understanding of itself and it's habitat also continues to expand away from older ideas and perspectives which are no longer supported due to the constant introduction of new, schema altering information.

A worthy keyword to denote here is superstition, which, in many circumstances, can be viewed as a category of belief that once appeared to be adequately supported by experience/perception but can no longer be held as viable due to new, conflicting data.

For example, while traditional religious thought might seem increasingly implausible to more people today than ever in the West, due to the rapid growth in information and general literacy,[21] the roots of religious thought can be traced to periods where humans could justify the validity and accuracy of such beliefs given the limited understanding they had of their environment in those early times.

This pattern is apparent in all areas of understanding, including modern “academia”. Even so-called “scientific” conclusions which, again, with the advent of new information and updated tests, often cannot be held as valid anymore,[22] are still commonly defended due to their mere inclusion in the current cultural tradition.

Such “Established Institutions”, as they could be called, often wish to maintain permanence due to reasons of ego, power, market income or general psychological comfort. This problem is, in many ways, at the core of our social paralysis.[23] So, it is important to recognize this pattern of transition and realize how critical being vulnerable really is when it comes to belief systems, not to mention coming to terms with the very dangerous phenomenon of “Established Institutions” which are culturally programmed to seek self-preservation rather than evolve and change.

Tradition to Emergence

The perceptual clash between our cultural traditions and our ever growing database of emergent knowledge is at the core of what defines the “zeitgeist” as we know it and a longterm review of history shows a slow grind out of superstitious cultural traditions and assumptions of reality as they heed to our newly realized benchmark of emergent, scientific causality.

This is what The Zeitgeist Movement represents in its broadest philosophical context: A movement of the cultural zeitgeist itself into new, verifiable and more optimized understandings and applications.

Hence, while we certainly have witnessed vast and accelerating changes in different areas of human awareness and practice, such as with our vast material technology, it appears our Social System is still long behind. Political Persuasion, Market Economics, Labor for Income, Perpetual Inequality, Nation States, Legal Assumptions and many other staples of our current social order continue to be largely accepted as normality by the current culture, with little more than their persistence through time as evidence of their value and empirical permanence.

It is in this context that TZM finds its most broad imperative: Changing the Social System. Again, there are many problem solving technical possibilities for personal and social progress today that continue to go unnoticed or misunderstood.[24] The ending of war, the resolution of poverty, the creation of a material abundance unseen in history to meet human needs, the removal of most crime as we know it, the empowerment of true personal freedom through the removal of pointless-monotonous labor, and the resolution of many environmental threats, including diseases, are a few of the calculated possibilities we have when we take our technical reality into account.

However, again, these possibilities are not only largely unrecognized, they are also literally restricted by the current social order for the implementation of such problem-solving efficiency and prosperity stands in direct opposition to the very mechanics of how our social system is operating at the core level.[25]

Therefore, until the social system tradition and its resulting social values are challenged and updated to present day understandings; until the majority of the human population understands the basic, underlying train of thought technically needed to support human sustainability and good public health, as derived from the rigor of objective scientific investigation and validation; until much of the baggage of prior false assumptions, superstition, divisive loyalties and other socially unsustainable, conflict generating, cultural hindrances are overcome - all the life improving and problem resolving possibilities we now have at hand will remain largely dormant.

The real revolution is the revolution of values. Human society appears centuries behind in the way it operates and hence what it values. If we wish to progress and solve the mounting problems at hand and, in effect, reverse what is an accelerating decline of our civilization in many ways, we need to change the way we think about ourselves and hence the world we inhabit.

The Zeitgeist Movement’s central task is to work to bring this value shift to light, unifying the human family with the basic perspective that we all share this small planet and we are all bound by the same natural order laws, as realized by the method of science.

This common ground understanding extends much farther than many have understood in the past. The symbiosis of the human species and the synergistic relationship of our place in the physical world confirms that we are not separate entities in any respect and that the new societal awakening must show a working social model that is arrived at from this inherent logic if we expect to survive and prosper in the long term. We can align or we can suffer. It is up to us.

Footnotes for "Overview":

[3] Critical Path, R. Buckminster Fuller, St. Martin's Press, 1981, Introduction, xxv

[4] The term “Sustainability”, generally defined “as the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sustainability) is often today commonly referenced/understood within an Environmental Science context. TZM's context extends farther, however, including the notion of Cultural or Behavioral Sustainability which considers the merit of belief systems in general and their less obvious causal consequences.

[5] The term “Public Health”, generally defined as “The science and practice of protecting and improving the health of a community, as by preventive medicine, health education, control of communicable diseases, application of sanitary measures, and monitoring of environmental hazards” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/public+health?s=t) is used in this text as a basis of measure for considering the physical, psychological and hence sociological well-being of a societies' people over time. This is to be considered the ultimate barometer of the success or failure of an applied social system.

[6] The term “Structural Violence” is commonly ascribed to Johan Galtung, which he introduced in the article "Violence, Peace, and Peace Research" (Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 6, No. 3, 1969, pp. 167-191) It refers to a form of violence where some social structure or social institution harms people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs. It was expanded upon by other researchers, such as criminal psychiatrist Dr. James Gilligan, who makes the following distinction between “Behavioral” and “Structural” Violence: “The lethal effects of structural violence operate continuously, rather than sporadically, whereas murders, suicides...wars and other forms of behavioral violence occur one at a time.” (James Gilligan, Violence, G.P. Putnam, 1996, p192)

[7] http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats (Sourcing 2008 World Bank Development Indicators)

[8] Meme: an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meme)

[9] http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/religious-parents-causing-suffering-sick-kids-says-report-115021612.html

[10] Recommended Reading: The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Penguin, March 2009

[11] More on this issue will be presented in a following essay entitled “Sourcing Solutions”.

[12] The correlation between human behavior (in this context behavior of a socially offensive nature as determined by the laws of society) and the environmental influence of a person's upbringing/life experience is now without debate. A related term to note is the “Bio-Psycho-Social” nature of the human organism.

[13] The term “Anti-Establishment” is usually used in a context implying opposition to an existing, established group. Used here, the context is more literal in that TZM itself works to not “institutionalize” itself as a rigid entity but rather be understood as more of a gesture; a symbol of a new manner of thought or worldview that simply has no boundaries.

[14] The terms “Train of Thought” and “Application Set” will be used frequently in this text as they are interrelated. Please see the Vocabulary List, Appendix A, for clarification.

[15] Please see the Vocabulary List - Appendix A for clarification of this term. More will also discussed in Part III.

[16] http://www.globalredesigninstitute.org

[17] See Part III for more on the subject of “Government”.

[18] The term “Resource-Based Economy” can be literally interpreted as 'an economy based on resources'. This has historically drawn confusion in that one could argue that all “economies”, by definition, are “based” on “resources”. The term itself also has a strong association to an organization called The Venus Project which claims to have originated the term & idea, seeking at one time to trademark the name (http://tdr.uspto.gov/search.action?sn=77829193). The Term “Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy” is considered more complete here not only to avoid such possible associative confusion but also because of the more semantic accuracy of the NLRBE term itself, since it more clearly references Nature's Physical Law System and Processes rather than just Planetary Resources.

[19] Jacque Fresco, The Best That Money Can't Buy, Global Cybervisions, 2002, Chapter 15

[20] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_house

[21] The inverse relationship of literacy/knowledge accumulation to superstitious belief is clear. According to the United Nations’ Arab Human Development Reports, less than 2% of Arabs have access to the Internet. Arabs represent 5% of the world’s population and yet produce only 1% of the world’s books, most of them religious. According to researcher Sam Harris: “Spain translates more books into Spanish each year than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the ninth century.” It is axiomatic to assume that the growth of the Islamic Religion in Arab Nations is secured by a relative lack of outside information in those societies.

[22] A Nobel Prize for what is known as “Lobotomy” was awarded to Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz in 1949. Today, it is considered a barbaric and ineffective procedure. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4794007)

[23] The financial support inherently needed in the perpetuation of a given business, “for profit” or even so-called “not for profit”, sets up a dissonance between the business's sold product or service and the actual necessity or viability of that product or service over time. In fact, the obsolescence of any given product/service, which implies often the obsolescence of the producing business or corporation, appears inevitable as new technical advancements emerge. The consequence is a perpetual stifling of new ideas/invention that will disturb or override those pre-existing, or “Established Institutions”, resulting in a loss of income. A cursory glance at the state of technological possibility today, whilst also considering the question as to why those improvements are not immediately made, illuminates the paralyzing nature of income requiring institutions.

[24] "ZeitNews", a science and technology website related to TZM is recommended. www.zeitnews.org

[25] See Part II for more on this subject.

(3) The Scientific Worldview

“Almost every major systematic error which has deluded men for thousands of years relied on practical experience. Horoscopes, incantations, oracles, magic, witchcraft, the cures of witch doctors and of medical practitioners before the advent of modern medicine, were all firmly established through the centuries in the eyes of the public by their supposed practical successes. The scientific method was devised precisely for the purpose of elucidating the nature of things under more carefully controlled conditions and by more rigorous criteria than are present in the situations created by practical problems.”

-Michael Polanyi[26]

Generally speaking, the evolution of human understanding can be seen as a move from surface observations, processed by our limited five physical senses, “intuitively” filtered through the educational framework & value characteristics of that period of time - to a method of objective measuring and self-advancing methods of analysis which work to arrive at (or calculate) conclusions through testing and retesting proofs, seeking validation through the benchmark of scientific causality – a causality that appears to comprise the physical characteristics of what we call “Nature” itself.

The “Natural Laws” of our world exist whether we choose to recognize them or not. These inherent rules of our universe were around long before human beings evolved a comprehension to recognize them and while we can debate as to exactly how accurate our interpretation of these laws really is at this stage of our intellectual evolution, there is enough reinforcing evidence to show that we are, indeed, bound by static forces that have an inherent, measurable, determining logic.

The vast developments and predictive integrity found in mathematics, physics, biology and other scientific disciplines proves that we as a species are slowly understanding the processes of nature and our growing inventive capacity to emulate, accentuate or repress such natural processes confirms our progress in understanding it. The world around us today, overflowing with material technology and life-altering inventions, is a testament as to the integrity of the Scientific Process and what it is capable of.

Unlike historical traditions, where a certain stasis exists with what people believe, as is still common in religious type dogma today, this recognition of “Natural Law” includes characteristics which deeply challenge the assumed stability of beliefs which many hold sacred. As will be expanded upon later in this essay in the context of “Emergence”, the fact is, there simply cannot exist a singular or static intellectual conclusion with respect to our perception and knowledge except, paradoxically, with regard to that very underlying pattern of uncertainty regarding such change and adaptation itself.

This is part of what could be called a scientific worldview. It is one thing to isolate the techniques of scientific evaluation for select interests, such as the logic we might use in assessing and testing the structural integrity of a house design we might build, and another when the universal integrity of such physically rooted, causal reasoning and validation methods are applied to all aspects of our lives.

Albert Einstein once said “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge”.[27]

While cynics of Science often work to reduce its integrity to yet another form of “religious faith”, demean its accuracy as “cold” or “without spirituality” or even highlight consequences of applied technology for the worst, such as with the creation of the Atomic Bomb (which, in actuality, is an indication of a distortion of human values rather than engineering), there is no ignoring the incredible power this approach to understanding and harnessing reality has afforded the human race. No other “ideology” can come close in matching the predictive and utilitarian benefits this method of reasoning has provided.

However, that is not to say active cultural denial of this relevance is not still widespread in the world today. For example, when it comes to Theistic Belief, there is often a divisive tendency that wishes to elevate the human being above such “mere mechanics” of the physical reality. The implied assumption here is usually that we humans are more “special” for some reason and perhaps there are forces, such as an intervening “God”, that can override such Natural Laws at will, making them less important than, say, ongoing obedience to God's wishes, etc.

Sadly, there still exists a great human conceit in the culture which assumes, with no verifiable evidence, that humans are separate from all other phenomena and to consider ourselves connected or even a product of natural, scientific forces is to demean human life.

Concurrently, there is also a tendency for what some call “Metamagical”[28] thinking which could be considered a schizotypal kind of personality disorder where fantasy and mild delusion helps reinforce false assumptions of causality on the world, never harnessing the full rigor of The Scientific Method[29]. Science requires testing and repeat replication of a result for it to be validated and many beliefs of seemingly “normal” people today exist far outside this requirement. Apart from traditional religions, the concept of “New Age”[30] is also commonly associated with this type of superstitious thought. While it is extremely important that we as a society are aware of the uncertainty of our conclusions in general and hence must keep a creative, open mind to all postulations, the validation of those postulations can only come through measurable consistency, not wishful thinking or esoteric fascination.

Such unvalidated ideas and assumptions pose a frame of reference that is often secured by “Faith”[31] not Reason, and it is difficult to argue the merit of Faith with anyone since the rules of Faith inherently refuse argument itself. This is part of the quandary within which human society exists in today: Do we simply believe what we have been traditionally taught by our culture or do we question and test those beliefs against the physical reality around us to see if they hold true?

Science is clearly concerned with the latter and holds nothing sacred, always ready to correct prior false conclusions when new information arises. To take such an inherently uncertain - yet still extremely viable and productive approach to one's day to day view of the world - requires a very different sensitivity – one that embodies vulnerability, not certainty.

In the words of Prof. Frank L. H. Wolfs (Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, NY) whose “Introduction to The Scientific Method” is reproduced in Appendix B of this text for reference: “It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.”[32]

Emergence

At the heart of The Scientific Method is skepticism and vulnerability. Science is interested in the closest approximation to the truth it can find and if there is anything Science recognizes explicitly, it is that virtually everything we know will be revised over time as new information arises.

Likewise, what might seem far-fetched, impossible or even “superstitious” upon its first culmination, might prove to be a useful, viable understanding in the future once validated for integrity. The implication of this constitutes an Emergence of Thought – an Emergence of “Truth”, if you will. A cursory examination of History shows an ever-changing range of behaviors and practices based upon ever updating knowledge and this humbling recognition is critical for human progress.

Symbiosis

A 2nd point deeply characteristic of the Scientific Worldview worth bringing up in this regard has to do with the Symbiotic nature of things as we know them. Largely dismissed as “common sense” today by many, this understanding holds profound revelations for the way we think about ourselves, our beliefs and our conduct.

The term “Symbiotic” is typically used in the context of interdependent relationships between biological species.[33] However our context of the word is more broad, relating to the interdependent relationship of everything. While early, intuitive views of natural phenomena might have looked upon, say, the manifestation of a Tree as an independent entity, seemingly self-contained in its illusion of separation, the truth of the matter is that the Tree's life is entirely dependent on seemingly “external” “input” forces for its very culmination and existence.[34]

The water, sunlight, nutrients and other needed interactive “external” attributes to facilitate the development of a “Tree” is an example of a symbiotic relationship. However, the scope of this symbiosis has become much more revealing than we have ever known in the past and it appears the more we learn about the dynamics of our universe, the more immutable its interdependence.

The best concept to embody this notion is that of a “System”.[35] The term “Tree” is really a reference to a perceived System. The “Root”, “Trunk”, “Branches”, “Leaves” and other such attributes of that Tree could be called “Sub-Systems”. Yet, the “Tree” itself is also a sub-system, it could be said, of, perhaps, a “Forest”, which itself is a sub-system of other larger, encompassing phenomena such as an “Ecosystem”. Such a distinction might seem trivial to many but the fact is, a great failure of human culture has been not to fully respect the scope of the “Earth System” and how each sub-system plays a relevant role.

The term “Categorical Systems”[36] could be used here to describe all systems, seemingly small or large, because such language distinctions are ultimately arbitrary. These perceived systems and the words used to reference them are simply human conveniences for communication. The fact is, there appears to be only one possible system, as organized by Natural Law, which can be legitimately referenced since all the systems we perceive and categorize today can only be sub-systems. We simply cannot find a truly closed system anywhere. Even the “Earth System”, which intuitively appears autonomous, with the Earth floating about the void of space, is entirely reliant on the Sun, the Moon and likely many, many other symbiotic factors we have yet to even understand for its defining characteristics.

In other words, when we consider the interactions that link these perceived “Categorical Systems” together, we find a connection of everything and, on a societal level, this system interaction understanding is at the foundation of likely the most viable perspective for true human sustainability.[37] The human being, like the tree or the earth, again intuitively appears self-contained. Yet, without, for example, oxygen to breathe, we will not survive. This means the human system requires interaction with an atmospheric system and hence a system of oxygen production and since the process of photosynthesis accounts for the majority of the atmospheric oxygen we breathe, it is to our advantage to be aware of what affects this particular system, and work to harmonize our social practices with it.

When we witness, say, pollution of the oceans or the rapid deforestation of the Earth, we often forget how important such phenomena really are to the integrity of the human system. In fact, there are so many examples of environmental disturbances perpetuated by our species today due to a truncated awareness of this symbiotic cause and effect that links all known categorical systems, volumes could be dedicated to the crisis. The failure to recognize this “Symbiosis” is a fundamental problem and once this Principle of Interacting Systems[38] is fully understood, many of our most common practices today will likely appear grossly ignorant and dangerous in future hindsight.

Sustainable Beliefs

This brings us to the level of Thought and Understanding itself. As noted prior, the very language system we use isolates and organizes elements of our world for general comprehension. Language itself is a system based upon categorial distinctions which we associate to our perceived reality. However, as needed as such a mode of identification and organization is to the human mind, it also inherently implies a false division.

Given that foundation, it is easy to speculate as to how we have grown so accustomed to thinking and acting in inherently divisive ways and why the history of human society has been a history of imbalance and conflict.[39] It is on this level that such Physical Systems we have discussed come into relevance with Belief/Thought Systems.[40]

While the idea of “sustainability” might be typically associated with technical processes, eco-theory and engineering today, we often forget that our values and beliefs precede all such ideas and applications. Therefore, true sustainability means we need sustainable values and beliefs and that awareness can only come from a valid recognition of the laws of nature to which we are bound.

Can we measure the integrity of a Belief System? Yes. We can measure it by how well its principles align with Scientific Causality, based upon the feedback resulting. If we were to compare outcomes of differing belief systems seeking a common end,[41] how well those perspectives accomplish this end can be measured and hence these systems can then be qualified and ranked against each other.

As will be explored in detail later in this work, the central belief system comparison in this essay is between the “Monetary-Market Economy” and the aforementioned “Natural Law/Resource-Based Economy.” At the core of these systems is essentially a conflicting belief about causality and possibility and the reader is challenged here to make objective judgments about how well each perspective actually accomplishes common end human goals.

That noted and in the context of this essay, specifically the points about Emergence & Symbiosis, it could be generalized that any Belief System that (a) does not have built into it the allowance for that entire belief system itself to be altered or even made completely obsolete due to new information, is an unsustainable belief system; and (b) any belief system that supports isolation and division, supporting the integrity of one segment or group over another is an unsustainable belief system.

Sociologically, having a Scientific World View means being willing and able to adapt both as an individual and a civilization when new awarenesses and approaches emerge that can better solve problems and further prosperity. This worldview likely marks the greatest shift in human comprehension in history. Every modern convenience we take for granted is a result of this method whether recognized or not as the inherent, self-generating, mechanistic logic is found to be universally applicable to all known phenomena.

While many in the world still attribute causality to gods, demons, spirits and other non-measurable “faith” based views, a new period of reason appears to be on the horizon where the emerging scientific understanding of ourselves and our habitat is challenging the traditional, established framework we have inherited from our less informed ancestors.

No longer is the “technical”[42] orientation of science demeaned to mere gadgets and tools – the true message of this Worldview is about the very philosophy by which we are to orient our lives, values and social institutions.

As will be argued in other essays associated with this text, the Social System, its Economic Premise along its Legal & Political structure has become largely a condition of “faith” in the manner it is now perpetuated. The Monetary System of economy, for example, is argued to be based on little more than a set of now outdated, increasingly inefficient assumptions, no different than how early humans falsely assumed the world was flat, demons caused sickness, or that the constellations in the sky were fixed, static, two-dimensional, tapestry-like constructs. There are enormous parallels to be found with traditional religious faith and the established, cultural institutions we assume to be valid and “normal” today.

Just as The Church in the Middle Ages held absolute power in Europe, promoting loyalties and rituals which most would find absurd or even insane today, those a number of generations from now will likely look back at the established practices of our current time and think the exact same thing.

*See Appendix B which further explains the The Scientific Method.

Footnotes for "The Scientific Worldview":

[26] http://www.todayinsci.com/QuotationsCategories/SCat/ScientificMethod-Quotations.htm

[27] Quoted in: All the Questions You Ever Wanted to Ask American Atheists, by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Amer Atheist Press, 1986

[28] Stanford University Behavioral Biology Professor, Dr. Robert Sapolsky is likely most notable with his use of the term “MetaMagical”. His work is recommended: http://benatlas.com/2009/12/robert-sapolsky-on-metamagical-schizotypal-thinking/

[29] See Appendix B for an Introduction to The Scientific Method

[30] The term New Age is generally defined as “A broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism...”

[31] Carl Sagan was most famous for confirming the definition of Faith as “Belief without Evidence”.

[32] http://teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu:8080/phylabs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html

[33] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/symbiotic

[34] The Term “External” in this context is framed as relative to a perceived object. The broader point here is that there is no such thing as “external” or “internal” in the context of larger order systems.

[35] A “System” is defined as: “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.” It is worth noting up front the importance of this concept as the relevance of the “System” or “Systems Theory” will be a returning theme with respect to what frame of reference actually supports true human sustainability in our habitat.

[36] This Term is a variation on the more common notion of “Categorical Thinking” which is thinking by assigning people or things to categories and then using the categories as though they represented something in the real world.

[37] To be expanded upon in greater detail in Part 3 of this text.

[38] See Appendix A, Vocabulary List

[39] The Neolithic Revolution is a notable marker for a dramatic change in social operation and human relationships as civilization went from foraging and hunting – living in subservience to natural processes – to a profound ability to control agriculture for food and create tools/machines to ease human labor. It could be argued that human society has not been mature enough to handle this ability and the perpetuation of fear and scarcity led to hoarding, privatization, nation “gangs” and other divisive tendencies for group self-preservation on various levels.

[40] For philosophical clarity, it could be argued that all outcomes of human perceptions are projected – even the laws of nature themselves. However, this doesn’t change the efficacy that has been seen with respect to the immense control and understanding we have through the method of science.

[41] The notion of the “common end” or “common ground” will be repeated in this text and it is a critical awareness to average the needs, intents and consequences of the human being. A central premise of TZM's advocation is that human beings are more alike than they are different as we share the same basic quantifiable needs and reactions. In many ways this is the unifying attribute that could comprise what is called “Human Nature” and, as will be described more so in later essays, human beings indeed have shared, predictable, common reactions to positive and negative influences both psychological and physiological. Therefore, the intelligent, humane organization of a society is required to take this into account directly for the sake of public health – something the current monetary-market system does not do.

[42] As will be prolific in this text, the term “Technical”, while virtually synonymous with “Scientific”, is employed to better express the causal nature of all existing phenomena – even including human behavior and psychology/sociology itself. A central premise of TZM's advocation is that problem resolution and the manifestation of potential is a “technical” evaluation and this approach, being applied to all societal attributes, is at the core of the new social model advocated.

(4) Sourcing Solutions

“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.”– Albert Einstein [43]

A central consideration inherent to TZM's perspective on societal change for the better regards understanding “Progress” itself. There appear to be two basic angles to consider when it comes to personal or social progress: Manifesting Potential and Problem Resolution.

Potential & Resolution

Manifesting Potential is simply the improvement of a condition which was not considered prior to be in a problematic state. An example would be the ability to improve human athletic performance in a particular field through targeted strengthening, diet and refining techniques and other means which were simply not known before.

Problem Resolution, on the other hand, is the overcoming of an issue that has currently recognized detrimental consequences and/or limitations to a given affair. A general example would be the discovery of a medical cure for an existing, debilitating disease so that said disease no longer poses harm.

However, taken in the broad view, there is a distinct overlap with these two notions when the nature of knowledge development is taken into account. For example, an “improvement” to a given condition, a practice that then becomes normalized and common in the culture, can also potentially be part of a “problem” in the same context, which requires resolution in the event that new information as to its inefficiency is found or new advancements make it obsolete in comparison.

For example, human air transportation, which is fairly new in society, expanded transport efficiency greatly upon its application. However, at what point will modern air transport be seen more as a “problem” due to its inherent inefficiency in comparison to another method[44] So, efficiency is relative in this sense as only when there is an expansion of knowledge that what was once considered the “best” approach becomes “inferior”.

This seemingly abstract point is brought up to communicate the simple fact that every single practice we consider normal today has built into it an inevitable inefficiency which, upon new developments in science and technology, will likely produce a “problem” at some point in the future when compared to newer, emerging potentials. This is the nature of change and if the scientific patterns of history reflect anything, it is that knowledge and its applications continue to evolve and improve, generally speaking.

So, back to the seemingly separate issues of Manifesting Potential & Problem Resolution, it can hence be deduced that all problem resolutions are also acts of manifesting potential and vice versa.

This also means that the actual tools used by society for a given purpose are always transient. Whether it is the medium of transportation, medical practices, energy production, the social system – etc.[45] These practices are all manifest/resolutions with respect to human necessity and efficiency, based upon the transient state of understanding we have/had at the time of their creation/evolution.

Root Purpose & Root Cause

Therefore, when it comes to thinking about any act of invention or problem solving, we must get as close to the Root Purpose (Manifest) or the Root Cause (Problem) as possible, respectively, to make the most accurate assessment for action. Just as tools and techniques for potential are only as viable as the understanding of their foundational purpose, actions toward problem resolution are only as good as the understanding of the root cause. This might seem obvious, but this concept is devoid in many areas of thought in the world today, especially when it comes to society. Rather than pursuing such a focus, most social decisions are based around traditional customs that have inherent limits.

A simple example of this is the current method of human incarceration for so called “criminal behavior”. For many, the solution to “offensive” forms of human behavior is to simply remove the individual from society and “punish” them. This is based on a series of assumptions that stretch back millennia.[46]

Yet, the science behind human behavior has changed tremendously over time with respect to understanding causality. It is now common knowledge in the social sciences that most acts of “crime” would likely not occur if certain basic, supportive environmental conditions where set for the human being.[47] Putting people in prisons is not actually resolving anything with respect to the causal problem. It is actually a mere “patch”, if you will, which only temporarily stifles some effects of the larger problem.[48]

Another example, while seemingly different than the prior but equally as “technical”, is the manner by which most think about solutions to common domestic problems, such as traffic accidents. What is the solution to a situation where a driver makes a mistake and haphazardly changes lanes, only to impact the vehicle next to it, causing an accident? Should there be a huge wall between them? Should there be better training? Should the person simply have his or her drivers license revoked so they cannot drive again? It is here, again, where the notion of “root cause” is often lost in the narrow frames of reference commonly understood by culture as solutions.

The root cause of the accident can only partially be the question of integrity of the driver with the more important issue the lack of integrity of the technology/infrastructure being used. Why? - because human fallibility is historically acknowledged and immutable.[49] So, just as early vehicles did not have driver/passenger “Airbags” common today, which now reduce a large amount of injuries that existed in the past,[50] the same logic should be applied to the system of vehicle interaction itself, taking into account new technical possibilities for increased safety, to compensate for inevitable human error.

Just as the Airbag was developed years ago as the evolution of knowledge unfolded, today there is technology that enables automated, driverless vehicles which can not only detect every necessary element of the street needed to operate with accuracy, the vehicles themselves can detect each other, making collision almost impossible.[51] This is the current state of such a “solution” when we consider the root cause and root purpose, overall.

Yet, as advanced as that solution may seem, especially given the roughly 1.2 million people who unnecessarily die in automobile accidents each year,[52] this thought exercise may still be incomplete if we continue to extend the context with respect to the goals.

Perhaps there are other inefficiencies which relate to the transport infrastructure and beyond that need to be taken into account and overcome. Perhaps, for example, the use of individual automobiles, regardless of their safety, have other inherent problems which can only be logically resolved by the removal of the automobile application itself. Perhaps in a city, with an expanding mobile population, such independent vehicle transport becomes unnecessarily cumbersome, slow and generally inefficient.[53]

The more viable solution in this circumstance might become the need for a unified, integrated mass transit system that can increase speed, reduce energy use, resource use, pollution and many other related issues to the effect that using automobiles in such a condition then becomes part of the emerging “problem”.

If the goal of a society is to do the “correct” and hence sustainable thing, reducing threats to humans and the habitat, ever increasing efficiency - a dynamic, self-generating logic unfolds with respect to our technical possibility and design approaches.

Our Technical Reality

Of course, the application of this type of problem solving is far from limited to such physical examples. Is “politics” the answer to our social woes? Does it address root causes by its very design? Is money and the market system the most optimized method for sustainable progress, problem resolution and the manifesting of economic potential? What does our modern state of science and technology have to contribute in the realm of understanding cause and purpose on the societal level?

As further essays will denote later in great detail, these understandings create a natural, clear train of thought with respect to how much better our world could be if we simply follow the logic created via The Scientific Method of thought to fulfill our common goal of human sustainability. The 1 billion people starving on this planet are not doing so because of some immutable natural consequence of our physical reality. There is plenty of food to go around.[54] It is the social system, which has its own outdated, contrived logic, that perpetuates this social atrocity, along with countless others.

It is important to point out that TZM is not concerned with promoting “patches” as its ultimate goal, which, sad to say, is what the vast majority of activist institutions on the planet are currently doing.[55] We want to promote the largest order, highest efficiency set of solutions available at a given time, aligned with natural processes, to improve the lives of all, while securing the integrity of our habitat. We want everyone to understand this “train of thought” clearly and develop a value identification with it.

There is no single solution – only the near empirical Natural Law reasoning that arrives at solutions and purpose.

Footnotes for "Sourcing Solutions":

[43] From "Atomic Education Urged by Einstein", New York Times, May 25th 1946

[44] A notable modern example is new transport technology such as “Maglev” transport that uses less energy and moves substantially faster than commercial airlines http://www.et3.com/

[45] Again, this reality is embodied by the term “Application Set” throughout this text.

[46] Suggested reading: Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and Its Causes, Dr. James Gilligan, 1996

[47] The ‘Merva-Fowles’ study, done at the University of Utah in the 1990s, found powerful connections between unemployment and crime. They based their research on 30 major metropolitan areas with a total population of over 80 million. Their findings found that a 1% rise in unemployment resulted in: a 6.7% increase in Homicides; a 3.4% increase in violent crimes; a 2.4% increase in property crime. During the period from 1990 to 1992, this translated into: 1,459 additional Homicides; 62,607 additional violent crimes; 223,500 additional property crimes. [ Merva & Fowles, Effects of Diminished Economic Opportunities on Social Stress, Economic Policy Institute, 1992 ]

[48] See Appendix G, Ben McLeish lecture: “Out of the Box: Prisons”

[49] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc1117770/

[50] A 1996 NHTSA study found the fatality reduction benefit of air bags for all drivers at an estimated 11 percent.http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/regrev/evaluate/808470.html

[51] http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2011/04/google-engineer-claims-its-driverless-cars-could-save-a-million-lives-every-year.html [52] http://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats.html

[53] A slow, general shift, even in modern commercial society, from “ownership” to “access” is beginning to find favor today. http://gigaom.com/2011/11/10/airbnb-roadmap-2011/

[54] Major international organizations have stated statistically that there is enough food for everyone and that starvation is not caused by a lack of resources. [http://www.wfp.org/hunger/causes] In combination with efficiency improvements which will be noted more so in Part 3, the possibly for absolute global food abundance of the highest nutrient quality is also possibly today.

[55] This comment is not meant to demean any well-meaning social institution working to help within the bounds of the current socio-economic method. However, as will be described more so in Part 2, the current social model inherently restricts a vast amount of possible prosperity/problem solving due to its very design and hence activist and social institutions which avoid this reality and can only be working to help “patch” problems, not fix them, since they originate from the social system itself. A common example is charity organizations that wish to provide food to the poor. These organizations are not usually addressing why those people are poor to begin with and hence are not truly working to resolve the root problem(s).

(5) Logic vs Psychology

“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.”

-Aristotle[56]

A powerful yet often overlooked consequence of our environmental vulnerability to adapt to the existing culture is that our very identity and personality is often linked to the institutions, practices, trends and hence values we are born into and exist in. This psychological adaptation and inevitable familiarity creates a comfort zone which, over time, can be painful to disrupt, regardless of how well reasoned the data standing to the contrary of what we believe may be.

In fact, the vast majority of objections currently found against The Zeitgeist Movement, specifically the points made with respect to solutions and hence change, appear to be driven by narrow frames of reference and emotional bias more than intellectual assessment. Common reactions of this kind are often singular propositions which, rather than critically addressing the actual premises articulated by an argument, serve to dismiss them outright via haphazard associations.

The most common classification of such arguments are “projections”[57] and it becomes clear very often that such opponents are actually more concerned with defending their psychological identity rather than objectively considering a new perspective.[58]

Mind Lock

In a classic work by authors Cohen and Nagel entitled “An Introduction to Logic and The Scientific Method”, this point is well made with respect to the process of logical evaluation and its independence from human psychology.

“The weight of evidence is not itself a temporal event, but a relation of implication between certain classes or types of propositions...Of course, thought is necessary to apprehend such implications...however [that] does not make physics a branch of psychology. The realization that logic cannot be restricted to psychological phenomenon will help us to discriminate between our science and rhetoric - conceiving the latter as the art of persuasion or of arguing so as to produce the feeling of certainty. Our emotional dispositions make it very difficult for us to accept certain propositions, no matter how strong the evidence in their favor. And since all proof depends upon the acceptance of certain propositions as true, no proposition can be proved to be true to one who is sufficiently determined not to believe it.”[59]

The term “Mind Lock” has been coined by some philosophers[60] with respect to this phenomenon, defined as 'the condition where one's perspective becomes self-referring, in a closed loop of reasoning'. Seemingly empirical presuppositions frame and secure one's worldview and anything contradictory coming from the outside can be “blocked”, often even subconsciously. This reaction could be likened to the common physical reflex to protect oneself from a foreign object moving towards your person – only in this circumstance the “reflex” is to defend one's beliefs, not body.

While such phrases as “thinking outside the box” might be common rhetoric today in the activist community, seldom are the foundations of our way of thinking and the integrity of our most established institutions challenged. They are, more often than not, considered to be “givens” and assumed inalterable.

For example, in the so-called democracies of the world, a “President”, or the equivalent, is a common point of focus with respect to the quality of a country's governance. A large amount of attention is spent toward such a figure, his perspectives and actions. Yet, seldom does one step back and ask: “Why do we have a President to begin with?” “How is his power as an institutional figure justified as an optimized manner of social governance?” “Is it not a contradiction of terms to claim a democratic society when the public has no real say with respect to the actions of the President once he or she is elected?”

Such questions are seldom considered as people tend, again, to adapt to their culture without objection, assuming it is “just the way it is”. Such static orientations are almost universally a result of cultural tradition and, as Cohen and Nagel point out, it is very difficult to communicate a new, challenging idea to those who are “sufficiently determined not to believe it”.

Such traditional presuppositions, held as empirical, are likely a root source of personal and social retardation in the world today. This phenomenon, coupled with an educational system that constantly reinforces such established notions through its institutions of “academia”, further seals this cultural inhibition and compounds the hindrance to relevant change.[61]

While the scope of this tendency is wide with respect to debate, there are two common argumentative fallacies worth noting here as they constantly come up with respect to the Application-Set and Train of Thought promoted by TZM. Put in colorful terms, these tactics comprise what could be called a “Value War”[62] which is waged, consciously or not, by those who have vested emotional/material interest in keeping things the same, opposing change.

The “Prima Facie” Fallacy

The first is the “Prima Facie” association. This simply means “upon first appearance”; “before investigation”.[63] This is by far the most common type of objection.

A classical case study is the common claim that the observations and solutions presented by TZM are simply rehashed “Marxist Communism”.

Let's briefly explore this as an example. Referencing “The Communist Manifesto”[64] Marx and Engels present various observations with respect to the evolution of society, specifically the “class war”, inherent structural relationships regarding “capital”, along with a general logic as to how the social order will transition through “revolution” to a stateless, classless system, in part, while also noting a series of direct social changes, such as the “Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State”, “Equal liability of all to labour.” and other specifics. Marx creates players in the schema he suggests like the ongoing battle between the “Bourgeoisie and Proletarians”, expressing contempt for the inherent exploitation, which he says is essentially rooted in the idea of “private property”. In the end, the accumulated goal in general is in seeking a “stateless and classless society”.

On the surface, reformations proposed in TZM's promoted solutions might appear to mirror attributes of “Marxism” if one was to completely ignore the underlying reasoning. The idea of a society “without classes”, “without universal property”, and the complete redefinition of what comprises the “State” might, on the surface, show confluence by the mere gestures themselves, especially since Western Academia commonly promotes a “duality” between “Communism” and “Capitalism” with the aforementioned character points noted as the core differences. However, the actual Train of Thought to support these seemingly similar conclusions is quite different.

TZM's advocated benchmark for decision making is not a Moral Philosophy[65], which, when examined at its root, is essentially what Marxist philosophy was a manifestation of.

TZM is not interested in the poetic, subjective & arbitrary notions of “a fair society”,”guaranteed freedom”, “world peace”, or “making a better world” simply because it sounds “right”, “humane” or “good”. Without a Technical Framework that has a direct physical referent to such terms, such moral relativism serves little to no long term purpose.

Rather, TZM is interested in Scientific Application, as applied to societal sustainability, both physical and cultural.[66]

As will be expressed in greater detail in further essays, the Method of Science is not restricted in its application within the “physical world”[67] and hence the social system, infrastructure, educational relevance and even understanding human behavior itself, all exist within the confines of scientific causality. In turn, there is a natural feedback system built into physical reality which will express itself very clearly in the context of what “works” and what doesn't over time,[68] guiding our conscious adaptation.

Marxism is not based on this “calculated” worldview at all, even though there might be some scientifically based characteristics inherent. For example, the Marxist notion of a “classless society” was to overcome the capitalist originating “inhumanity” imposed on the working class or “proletariat”.

TZM's advocated train of thought, on the other hand, sources advancements in human studies. It finds, for example, that social stratification, which is inherent to the capitalist/market model, to actually be a form of indirect violence against the vast majority as a result of the evolutionary psychology we humans naturally posses[69]. It generates an unnecessary form of human suffering on many levels which is destabilizing and, by implication, technically unsustainable.

Another example is TZM's interest in removing Universal Property[70] and setting up a system of “Shared Access”. This is often quickly condemned to the Marxist idea of “Abolishing Private Property”. However, generally speaking, the Marxist logic relates the existence of private property to the perpetuation of the “bourgeois” and their ongoing exploitation of the “proletariat”. He states in the Manifesto “The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property.”

TZM's advocated logic, on the other hand, relates the fact that the practice of universal, individual ownership of goods is environmentally inefficient, wasteful and ultimately unsustainable as a universal practice. This supports a restrictive system behavior and a great deal of unnecessary deprivation, and hence crime is common in societies with an unequal distribution of resources.

At any rate, such “prima facie” allegations are very common and many more could be expressed. However, it is not the scope of this section to discusses all alleged connections between Marxism and TZM's advocated Train of Thought.[71]

The “Straw-Man” Fallacy

The second argumentative fallacy has to do with the misrepresentation of a position, deliberate or projected, commonly referred to as a “Straw-Man”[72]. When it comes to TZM, this usually has to do with imposed interpretations which are without legitimate evidence to be considered relevant to the point in question.

For example, when discussing the organization of a new social system, people often project their current values and concerns into the new model without further considering the vast change of context inherent which would likely nullify such concerns immediately.

A common straw-man projection in this context would be that in a society where material production were based upon technological application directly and not an exchange system requiring paid human labor, people would have no monetary incentive to do anything and therefore the model would fail as nothing would get done.

This kind of argument is without testable validity with respect to the human sciences and is really an intuitive assumption originating from the current cultural climate where the economic system coerces all humans into labor roles for survival (income/profit), often regardless of personal interest or social utility, generating a psychological distortion with respect to what creates motivation.

In the words of Margaret Mead: ”If you look closely you will see that almost anything that really matters to us, anything that embodies our deepest commitment to the way human life should be lived and cared for, depends on some form of volunteerism.”[73]

In a 1992 Gallup Poll, more than 50% of American adults (94 million Americans) volunteered time for social causes, at an average of 4.2 hours a week, for a total of 20.5 billion hours a year.[74]

It has also been found in studies that repetitive, mundane jobs lend themselves more to traditional rewards such as money, whereas money doesn't seem to motivate innovation and creativity.[75] In later essays, the idea of Mechanization applied to mundane labor to free the human being will be discussed, expressing how the labor for income system is outdated and restrictive of not only industrial potential and efficiency, but also human potential overall.

Another common, contextual example of a “Straw-Man” is the claim that if the transition to a new Social System was acted upon, the property of others must be forcefully confiscated by a “ruling power” and violence would be the result. This, once again, is a value projection/fear, imposed upon TZM's advocated logic without validation.

TZM sees the materialization of a new socio-economic model happening with the needed consensus of the population. Its very understanding along with the “bio-social pressures” occurring as the current system worsens, is the basis of influence. The logic does not support a “dictatorial” disposition because that approach, apart from being inhumane, wouldn't work. In order for such a system to work, it needs to be accepted without active State coercion. Therefore, it is an issue of investigation, education, and broad personal acceptance in the community. In fact, the very specifics of social interaction and lifestyle actually demand a vast majority acceptance of the system's mechanics and values.

Similarly, and final example here of the “Straw-man”, is the confusion about how a transition to a new system could happen at all. In fact, many tend to dismiss TZM's proposals on that basis alone, simply because they don't understand how it can happen. This argument, in principle, is the same reasoning as the example of a sick man who is seeking treatment for his illness but does not know where he can get such treatment, when it would be available, or what the treatment is. Does his lack of knowing how and when stop his need to seek? No - not if he wants to be healthy. Given the dire state of affairs on this planet, humanity must also keep seeking and a path will inevitably come clear.[76]

“Prima Facie” and “Straw-man” arguments are the bedrock of the vast majority of objections found towards TZM and in Appendix D - “Common Objections" - more examples can be found for reference.

In the end, it is worth reiterating that the battle between Logic and Psychology is really a central conflict in the arena of societal change. There is no context more personal and sensitive than the way we organize our lives in society and an important objective of TZM, in many ways, is to find techniques that can educate the public as to the merit of this mechanistic, logical train of thought, overcoming the baggage of outdated psychological comforts which serve no progressive, viable value role in the modern world.

Footnotes for "Logic vs Psychology":

[56] Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers, 1926

[57] Sigmund Freud was first to make famous the idea of Psychological Projection, defined as 'a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people.' However, the use of the term is more general in this context, reflecting the simple notion of assuming to understand an idea based on a false or superficial relationship to prior understandings - usually in a defensive posture for dismissal of validity.

[58] The term “Cognitive Pathology” is a suggested descriptor of this phenomena. A common characteristic is 'circular reasoning' where a belief is justified by merely re-referencing the belief itself. For example, to ask a Theist why they believe in God, a common answer might be “Faith”. To ask why they have “Faith” often results in a response like “because God rewards those who have Faith”. The causality orientation is truncated and self-referring.

[59] Logic and The Scientific Method, Cohen and Nagel, Harcourt, 1934, p19

[60] Suggested reading: The Cancer Stage of Capitalism, John McMurtry, Pluto Press, 1999, Chapter 1

[61] Criticism here of “Academia” is not to be confused with its standard definition, meaning a 'community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.' The context here is the inhibiting nature of “schools” of thought which all too often evolve to create an ego unto itself where conflicting data is ignored or haphazardly dismissed. Also, there is a risk common to this mode of thought where “theory” and “tradition” take prominence over “experience” and “experiment” very often, perpetuating false conclusions.

[62] Suggested reading: Value Wars: The Global Market Versus the Life Economy: Moral Philosophy and Humanity, John McMurtry, Pluto Press, 2002

[63] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prima+facie

[64] Written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 this text is widely considered the definitive ideological expression of Marxist Communism. “Communism” is said to be the practical implementation of “Marxism”. Text Online: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/index.htm

[65] Defined as 'the branch of philosophy dealing with both argument about the content of morality and meta-ethical discussion of the nature of moral judgment, language, argument, and value.' [http://www.thefreedictionary.com/moral+philosophy]

[66] The argument that Science is not a Philosophy is certainly open to semantics and interpretation but the point being made here is that notions of “right and wrong” and other “ethical” distinctions common to philosophy take on a very different light in the scientific context as it has more to do with utility and balance than mere concepts of “morality” as it is classically defined. In the view of Science, human behavior is best aligned with the inherent causality discovered in the natural world, validated by testing, building inference and logical associations to justify human actions as “appropriate” to a given purpose. Again, this is always ambiguous on some level and likely the most accurate context of philosophy as related to science is as a precursor to validation during investigation and experimentation.

[67] The term “physical world” is often used to differentiate between the “mental” processes of the human mind or sociological type phenomena, and the physical environment which exists outside of the cognitive processes of human perception. In reality there is nothing outside the “physical world” as we know it, as there is to be found no concrete example where causal relationships are simply voided.

[68] Feedback from the Environment could be said to be the “correction mechanism” of nature as it relates to human decisions. A simple example would be the industrial production of chemicals which produce negative retroactions when released into the environment, showing incompatibility with environmental needs for life-support - such as was the case with CFCs and their effect on Ozone Depletion.

[69] Suggested reading: The Spirit Level, Kate Pickett & Richard Wilkinson, Bloomsbury Press, 2011

[70] This concept will be explored more in Part 3 but it is worth noting that the type of “access” enabled by the suggested social system (NLRBE) does not rule out legal relationships to secure the use of goods. The idea of reducing the current property system to one of 'protected access' where, for example, a camera obtained from a distribution center is given legal status upon it rental to that person, is not to be confused with the Capitalist notion of Property, which is a universal distinction and a great source of industrial inefficiency and imbalance.

[71] See Appendix D, Common Objections

[72] Likely the best description of this is to imagine a fight in which one of the opponents sets up a man made of straw, attacks it, then proclaims victory. All the while, the real opponent stands by untouched.

[73] “Have you noticed...”, Vital Speeches of the Day, Robert Krikorian, 1985, p 301

[74] Giving and Volunteering in the United States: Findings from a National Survey, Hodgkinson & Weitzman, 1992, p2

[75] Suggested reading: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink, Riverhead, 2011

[76] More on the subject of Transition in Part IV

(6) The Case for Human Unity

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”-Thomas Paine [77]

A critical conclusion present in the logic that defines TZM's advocation is that human society needs to unify its economic operations and work to align with the natural dynamics of the physical world as a single species sharing one habitat if we intend to resolve problems, increase safety, increase efficiency and further prosperity. The world economic divisions we see today are not only a clear source of conflict, destabilization and exploitation, the very manner of conduct and interaction itself is also grossly inefficient in a pure economic sense, severely limiting our societal potential.[78]

While the nation-state, competition based structure is easy to justify as a natural outgrowth of our cultural evolution given the resource scarcity inherent historically and the long history of warfare in general, it is also natural to consider that human society could very well find purpose in moving away from these modes of operation if we were to realize that it is truly to our advantage as a whole group.

As will be argued here, the detriments and inefficiencies of the current model – when compared to the benefits and solutions possible – are simply unacceptable and the efficiency and abundance possibilities, extrapolated within TZM's advocation for a new socioeconomic system, rest, in part, on a concerted effort by the human population to work together and share resources intelligently, not restrict and fight as we do today by design.

Beyond that, the social pressures and risks now emerging today around technological warfare, pollution, environmental destabilization and other problems show not only a logical gravitation for true global organization - they show a rational necessity – and the xenophobic and mafia-like mentality indigenous to the nation-state today, often in the form of “patriotism”, is a source of severe destabilization and inhumanity in general, not to mention, again, the substantial loss of technical efficiency.

False Divisions

As noted in prior essays, the core basis of our survival and quality of life as individuals and as a species on the planet earth revolves around our understanding of Natural Law and how it relates to our method of economy. This premise is a simple referential understanding where the physical laws of nature are considered in the context of economic efficiency, both on the human and habitat levels.

It is only logical that any species present in and reliant on the habitat in which it exists should conform all conduct to align with the natural orders inherent to that habitat, as best they can be understood at the time. Any other orientation is irrational by definition and can only lead to problems.

Understanding that the planet earth is a symbiotic/synergistic “System” with resources existing without nationalistic bias in all areas, coupled with the provably inherent, underlying causal scientific order that exists in many ways as a logical “guide” for the human species to align with for the greatest societal efficacy, we find that our larger context as a global society transcends virtually all notions of traditional/cultural division, including no loyalty to a country, corporation or even “political” tradition.

If an “economy” is about increasing efficiency in meeting the needs of the human population while working to further sustainability and prosperity, then our economic operations must take this into account and align with the largest natural relevant “system” that we can understand. From this perspective, the nation-state entities are clearly false, arbitrary divisions, perpetuated by cultural tradition, not logical, technical efficiency.

Values

The broad organization of society today is based on multi-level human competition: nation-states compete against each other for economic/physical resources; corporate market entities compete for profit/market-share; and average workers compete for wage providing occupations and hence personal survival itself.

Under the surface of this competitive social ethic is a basic psychological disregard for the well- being of others and the habitat. The very nature of competition is about having advantage over others for personal gain and hence, needless to say, division & exploitation (of both human and environment) are fundamental attributes of the current social order. Virtually all so-called “corruptions” which we define as “crime” in the world today are based upon the very same mentality assumed to guide “progress” in the world through the competitive value.

It is no wonder, in fact, given this framework and ongoing shortsightedness, that various other detrimental superficial social divisions are still pervasive - such as race, religion, creed, class or xenophobic bias. This divisive baggage from early, fear-oriented stages of our cultural evolution simply has no working basis in the physical reality and serves now only to hinder progress, safety and sustainability.

Today, as will be described in later essays, the possible efficiency and abundance-producing methods that could remove most human deprivation, increase the average standard of living greatly and perfect public health and ecological sustainability greatly – are left unacknowledged due to the older social traditions in place, including the nation-state concept. The fact is, there is technically only one race - the Human Race[79]; there is only one basic habitat - Earth; and there is only one working manner of operational thought - Scientific.

Origins and Influence

Let's quickly consider the root origins of the competitive/divisive model. Without going into too much detail, it is clear that the evolution of human society has included a history of conflict, scarcity and imbalance. While there is debate as to the nature of society during the period of time preceding the Neolithic Revolution[80], the earth since that time has been a battlefield where countless lives have been taken for the sake of competition, whether material or ideological.[81]

This recognized pattern is so pervasive in fact that many today attribute the propensity for conflict and domination to an irreconcilable characteristic of our human nature with the conclusion that the human being is simply unable to operate in a social system that is not based upon this competitive framework and any such attempt will create vulnerability that will be exploited by one power over another, expressing this apparent competitive/dominance trait.[82]

While the subject of human nature itself is not the direct focus of this essay[83], let it be contextually stated that the “empirical power abuse” assumption has been a large part of the defense of the competitive/divisive model, using a general broad view of history as its basis for validity. However, the specifics of the conditions in those periods, coupled with the known flexibility of the human being are often disregarded in these assessments.[84]

The historical patterns of conflict throughout history cannot be taken into account in isolation. Detailed reference to the conditions and circumstances are needed. In fact, it's likely accurate to say that the dominance/conflict propensity which is clearly a possible reaction for nearly all humans in our need for preservation and survival in general[85] is being provoked by social influence more than being the source of such a reaction. When we wonder how the massive Nazi Army where able to morally justify their actions in World War II, we often forget the enormous propaganda campaign put out by that regime which worked to exploit this essentially biological vulnerability.[86]

True ”Self-Interest”

The notion of “self-interest” is clearly inherent to the human being's common urge to survive. This is obvious enough and it is easy to see historically how the raw necessity of personal survival, often extending to family and then the “tribe” (local community), set the stage for the complex, divisive paradigm we exist in today. It should have been expected from the standpoint of history that vast economic theories would be based upon the notion of competition and inequality, such as in the work of Adam Smith. Considered the father of the free market, he made popular the assumption that if everyone had the ethic to look out for themselves only, the world would progress as a community.[87]

This “Invisible Hand” notion of human progress arising from narrow personal self-interest alone might have been a workable philosophy many years ago when the simplicity of the society itself was based on everyone being a producer[88]. However, the nature of society has changed greatly over time with population increases, entirely different role structures and exponentially advancing technology. The risks associated with this manner of thought are now proving to be more dangerous than beneficial, and the definition of “self-interest” is taking a larger context than ever before.

Is it not in your self-interest to protect and nourish the habitat that supports you? Is it not in your self-interest to take care of society as a whole, providing for its members, so that the consequences of deprivation, such as “crime” are reduced as much as possible to ensure your safety? Is it not self-interest to consider the consequences of imperialist wars that can breed fierce jingoistic hatred on one side of the planet, only to have, say, a suitcase bomb explode behind you at a restaurant as a desperate “blow-back” act of abstract retribution?

Is it not self-interest to assure all of societies' children - not just yours - have the best upbringing and education so that your future and the future of your children can exist in a responsible, educated, and increasingly productive world? Is it not in your self-interest to make sure industry is as organized, optimized and scientifically accurate as possible, so that we do not produce shoddy, cheap technology that might perhaps cause a social problem in the future if it fails?

The bottom line is that things have changed in the world today and your “self-interest” is now only as good as your “societal interest”. Being competitive and going out for yourself, “beating” others only has a negative consequence in the longterm, for it is denying awareness of the whole system we are bound within. A cheaply made nuclear power plant in Japan might not mean much to people in America. However, if that plant was to have a large scale technical failure, the fallout and pollution might make its way over to American homes, proving that you are never safe in the long run unless you have a global consciousness.

In the end, only an earth-humankind conscious view can assure a persons true “self-interest” in the modern world today and hence, in many ways, assure our social “evolutionary fitness”[89] when such considerations are taken into account. The very idea of wishing to support “your country” and ignoring or even enjoying the failure of others, is a destabilizing state of affairs.

Warfare

The days of practical warfare are long over. New technology on the horizon has the ability to create weapons that will make the Atom Bomb look like a roman catapult in its destructive power.[90] Centuries ago, warfare could at least be minimized to the waring parties overall. Today, the entire world is threatened. There are over 23,000 Nuclear Weapons today which could wipe out the human population many times over.[91]

In many ways, our very social maturity is being questioned at this time. Sticks and stones as weaponry could tolerate a great deal of human distortion and malicious intent. However, in a world of nano-tech weapons that could be constructed in a small lab with enormous destructive power, our human “self-interest” needs to take hold and the institution of war needs to be systematically shutdown. In order to do this, nations must technically unify and share their resources and ideas, not hoard them for competitive self-betterment, which is the norm today.

Institutions like the United Nations have become complete failures in this regard because they naturally become tools of empire building due to the underlying nature of country divisions and the socioeconomic dominance of the property/monetary/competition based system. It is not enough to simply gather global “leaders” at a table to discuss their problems – the structure itself needs to change to support a different type of interaction between these regional “groups” where the perpetual “threat” inherent between nation-states is removed.

In the end, there is no empirical ownership of resources or ideas. Just as all ideas are serially developed across culture through the “group mind”, the resources of the planet are equally as transient in their function and scientifically defined as to their possible purposes. The earth is a single system, along with the laws of nature that govern it. Either human society recognizes and begins to act on this logic inherent, or we suffer in the long run.

Footnotes for "The Case for Human Unity":

[77] Rights of Man, Thomas Paine, 1791, p162

[78] One example of this would be the patriotic economic bias that often influences the actions of regional industry. In physical reality, there is technically only one economy when working with the planet earth's resources and Natural Laws. The idea of “Made in America”, for instance, generates an immediate technical inefficiency, for proper goods production is a global affair on all levels, including the usufruct of world knowledge. To intentionally restrict labor and materials use/acquisition to only within the borders of a given country is economically counterproductive in the truest sense of the word “economy”.

[79] In the field of human genetics, “Mitochondrial Eve” refers to the matrilineally most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of modern humans. In other words, she was the most recent woman from whom all living humans today descend, on their mother's side. We are one family. Also, all characteristics of race difference (facial features/skin color) have been found to be linked to the environmental conditions where such sub-groups of humans lived/evolved. Hence it is a false distinction as a means for superficial discrimination.

[80] Sometimes also called the Agricultural Revolution, it was the world's first historically verifiable revolution in agriculture. It was the wide-scale transition of many human cultures from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement which supported an increasingly large population and the basis for modern social patterns today.

[81] In the 20th Century alone, statisticians put the human death toll from war between 180 to 220 million, with some challenging those numbers by claiming evidence puts the toll 3 times higher in many regional cases: [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619194142.htm]

[82] A classic text that employed this basic fear was Hayek's “The Road to Serfdom”. “Human Nature” had a very clear implication, justified fundamentally by historical trends of totalitarianism suggested to be linked to collaborative/planned economies.

[83] See the essay: The Final Argument: Human Nature.

[84] The Nature/Nurture Debate has been well established as a false duality in behavioral biology/evolutionary psychology fields of study. The reality is that of a perpetual interaction with the gravity of relevance shifting on a per case basis. However, what is relevant here is the study of the human being's “range of behavior” and exactly how adaptable and flexible we are. Suggested Reading: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Robert Sapolsky, W. H. Freeman, 1998

[85] Commonly termed: “The fight-or-flight response” (or the acute stress response) and was first described by American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon.

[86] "Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." -Hermann Göring [A leading member of the Nazi Party; From an interview with Gilbert in Göring's jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946)]

[87] “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages”- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Vol 1

[88] Sociologist Thorstein Veblen, writing in 1917, made this acute observation with respect to the changes in society and how they reflect the original premise of the Market Economy.“The standard theories of economic science have assumed the rights of property and contract as axiomatic premises and ultimate terms of analysis; and their theories are commonly drawn in such a form as would fit the circumstances of the handicraft industry and the petty trade... These Theories ...appear tenable, on the whole, when taken to apply to the economic situation of that earlier time... It is when these standard theories are sought to be applied to the later situation, which has outgrown the conditions of handicraft, that they appears nugatory or meretricious.” [An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation] He also foreshadowed the rise of the “investment class” as today non-producing financial institution like banks & the stocks market have become more rewarding profit-wise than the actual manufacturing of true goods.

[89] Evolutionary Fitness is a biological term generally defined as "The probability that the line of descent from an individual with a specific trait will not die out." In this context we are linking human actions, socially, to the idea of species survival.

[90] Ref: http://crnano.typepad.com/crnblog/2005/05/applicationsfo.html

[91] Ref: http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/dbarticle.php?article_id=253

(7) The Final Argument: Human Nature

“Man acquires at birth, through heredity, a biological constitution which we must consider fixed and unalterable, including the natural urges which are characteristic of the human species. In addition, during his lifetime, he acquires a cultural constitution which he adopts from society through communication and through many other types of influences. It is this cultural constitution which, with the passage of time, is subject to change and which determines to a very large extent the relationship between the individual and society.”-A. Einstein [92]

The “Train of Thought” and “Application-Set”[93] presented in TZM's materials are technical by nature, expressing the interest of applying the method and merit of Scientific Causality to the social system as a whole.

The benefits of this approach are not only to be taken on their own merit but should also be considered in contrast to today's established, traditional methods and their consequences. It will likely then be noticed that our current societal methods are not only grossly outdated and inefficient by comparison - they are increasingly dangerous and inhumane - with the necessity for large scale social change becoming ever more important. This isn't about “Utopia” - it is about truly practical improvements.

The overall basis of the Monetary-Market (Capitalist/Free-Market) concept has to do fundamentally with assumptions related to human behavior, traditional values and an intuitive view of history - not emergent reasoning, actual public health measures, technical capacity or ecological responsibility. It is a non-technical, philosophical approach which merely assumes that human decisions made through its internal logic and incentive system will produce a responsible, sustainable and humane outcome, driven by the illusive notion of “freedom of choice” which, on the scale of societal functionality, appears tantamount to organizational anarchy.[94]

This is why the monetary-market model of economics is often considered religious by nature in TZM materials as the causal mechanism is really based on virtually superstitious assumptions of the human condition with little linkage to emerging scientific understandings about ourselves and the rigid symbiotic/synergistic relationship of our habitat and its governing Natural Laws.

When presenting TZM's solution-oriented Train of Thought to those unfamiliar, it is usually just a matter of time before, at a minimum, the basic scientific premise is understood and accepted in abstraction. For example, the isolated technical reality that we have the resources and industrial methods to easily feed everyone on the planet earth, so no one has to starve,[95] rarely finds argument in and of itself. If you were to ask an average person today if they would like to see an end to the 1+ billion people in chronic starvation on the planet,[96] they would most likely agree from the standpoint of “morality”.

However, it is when the logic runs its course and starts to depict the type of large scale social and economic reformations needed to facilitate true system support for those 1+ billion people that many find contempt and rejection. Apart from stubborn, temporal “value” associations - where people essentially refuse to change anything they have become used to in their lives, even if that change clearly supports a better outcome in the long term - there is one argument so common that it warrants a preliminary discussion in and of itself.

That is the argument of “Human Nature”. This argument might also be said to be the only real objection left, if you think about it, outside, again, of the near arbitrary cultural lifestyle practices people are afraid to change due to their identity associations and conditioned comforts.

Are humans compatible with a truly sustainable, scientific socio-economic system or are we doomed to the world we have now due to our genetics?

Everything is Technical

The case for a new social system based directly on a scientific view for understanding & maximizing sustainability and prosperity, technically, really cannot be contradicted by another approach, as bold as such a statement may seem. Why? Because there simply isn't one when the unifying, natural law logic of The Scientific Method is accepted as the root mechanism of physical causality and interrelationship.

For example, great surface variation (ornament) might exist with the design of an airplane, but the mechanics which enable flight are bound by physical laws and hence so must the overall physical design of the airplane in order to align with such laws and function.

Constructing such a machine to perform a job with the goal of optimized performance, safety and efficiency is not a matter of opinion, just as no matter how many ornaments we may place around our homes, the physical structure of the building must adhere to the rigid laws of physics and natural dynamics of the habitat for safety and endurance and hence can have little respective variation in a technical sense.

The organization of human society can be no different if the intention is integrity and optimization. To think of the functional nature of a working society is to think about a mechanistic schematic, if you will. Just as we would design an airplane to work in the best way possible, technically, so should our approach be to the social system, which is equally as technical in its operation.

Unfortunately, this general perspective has never been given a real chance in history and today our world is still run in an incongruous manner where the principal incentive is more about detached, immediate, shortsighted personal gain and differential advantage than it is about proper, strategic industrial methods, ecological alignment, social stability, public health considerations and generational sustainability.

This is all pointed out, again, because the Human Nature argument against such an approach is really the only seemingly technical argument that can possibly defend the old system we have today; it is really the only argument left when people who wish to uphold this system realize that nothing else they logically argue can possibly be viable given the irrationality inherent to every other claim against a natural law based social system.

Irrationally Bound?

Boiling it down, this challenge can be considered in one question: “Is the Human Species able to adapt and thrive in a technically organized planned system, where our values and practices align with the known laws of nature in practice, or are we confined by our genes, biology and evolutionary psychology to operate in only the way we know today?”

While many today argue the specifics of the Nature vs Nurture debate - from “Blank Slate” Behaviorism[97] to Genetic Determinism [98] - it has become clear, at a minimum, that our biology, our psychology and our sociological condition are inexorably linked to the environment we inhabit, both from the standpoint of generational evolutionary adaptation (Biological Evolution), to short-term biases and values we absorb from our environment (Cultural Evolution).

So, before we go into detail on this issue, it is well worth noting that our very definition as a human being in the long and short term view is based upon a process of adaptation to existing conditions, including the genes themselves.[99] This is not to discount the per-case genetic relevance itself but to highlight the process to which we are a part, for the gene-environment relationship can only be considered as an ongoing interaction, with the outcomes largely a result of the environmental conditions in the long and short term in general. If this wasn't the case, there is little doubt the human species would have likely perished long ago due to a failure to adapt.

Moreover, while it is clear we humans still appear to maintain 'hardwired', predictable reactions for raw, personal survival,[100] we have also proven the ability to evolve our behaviors through thought, awareness and education,[101] allowing us to, in fact, control/overcome those impulsive, primitive reactions, if the conditions for such are supported and reinforced. This is an extremely important distinction and is what separates the variance of human beings from their lesser evolved primate family in many ways.[102]

A quick glance at the diversity in historical human conduct we see throughout time, contrasted with the relatively slow pace of larger structural changes of our brains & DNA [103] over the past couple of thousand years, shows that our adaptive capacity (via thought/education) is enormous on the cultural level.

It appears that we are capable of many possible behaviors and that a fixed “human nature”, as an unalterable, universal set of behavioral traits/reactions shared by all humans without exception, cannot be held as valid. Rather, there appears to be a spectrum of possible behaviors and predictable reactions, all more or less contingent upon the type of development, education, stimuli & conditions we experience.

The social imperative in this respect cannot be emphasized enough for environmental influence is a massive factor that grooms not only our decision-making preferences in both the long and short term, but the overall environmental interaction with our biology in general also has powerful effects on personal well-being and hence broad public health in many specific ways.

It has been found that environmental conditions, including factors such as nutritional input,[104] emotional security,[105] social association [106] and all forms of stress in general can influence the human being in many more ways than previously thought. This process begins In Utero, through the sensitive post-natal and childhood “planned learning” adaption periods,[107] and carries on throughout life on all physiological and psychological levels.

For example, while there is evidence that depression as a psychological disorder can have a genetic predisposition, it is the environment that really triggers it or not.[108] Again, this is not to downplay the influence of biology on our personalities but to show the critical importance of understanding these realities and adapting our social system and macro influences to support the most positive outcome we can.

Changing The Condition

The idea of changing society's influences/pressures to bring out the best of the human condition rather than the worst is at the core of the social imperative of TZM and this idea is sadly lost in the culture's social considerations today. Enormous evidence exists to support how the influence of our environment is what essentially creates our values and biases and while genetic/physiological influences can set propensities and accentuations for certain behaviors, the most active influence regarding our variability is the life experience and condition of the human being, hence the manner of interaction between the “internal”(physiological) and “external” (environmental).

In the end, the most relevant issue is stress. Our genes, biology and evolutionary psychology might have some hangups, but they are nothing compared to the environmental disorder we have created in our culture. The enormity of now unnecessary stress in the world today – debt, jobs insecurity, increasing health risks, both mental and physiological - and many other issues have created a climate of unease that has been increasingly making people sick and upset.

However, the scope of this view isn't just about various temporal pressures that can trigger this or that propensity in a narrow sense - it is more about the broad educational, religious/philosophical, political and social values and ideas they perpetuate and reinforce. If we were faced with an option to adapt our society in a way that can provably better public health, would we not just do it? To think human beings as a society are simply incompatible with methods that can increase their standard of living and health is extremely unlikely.

In conclusion to this section, let it be stated that the subject of “Human Nature” is one of the most complex subjects there is when it comes to specifics. However, the broad and viable awareness with respect to basic public health improvement via reducing stress, increasing quality nutrition and stabilizing society by working toward abundance and ease rather than strife and complexity – is not susceptible to much debate.

We now have some refined truths about the human condition that give enough evidence to see that we are not only generating poor reactions and habits due to the influence of the current socio-economic order, we are also greatly disrespecting the habitat as well, creating not only a lack of sustainability in an ecological sense, but, again, in a cultural sense as well. To think humans are simply incompatible with these resolutions, even if it means changing our world greatly, defies the long history of adaptation we have proven to be capable of.

Footnotes for "The Final Argument: Human Nature":

[92] “Why Socialism?” http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism

[93] These terms are detailed in the Vocabulary List - Appendix A. The “Train of Thought” has to do with the underlying reasoning that arrives at the conclusions of TZM's advocation - while the “Application-Set” is simply the current state of applied technology today. The difference between the two is that the former is near-empirical while the latter is transient since technological tools are always undergoing change.

[94] Much can be said on the subject of economic organization and mechanisms for industrial production and more will be described in Part 3. However, let it be stated here that the “Price Mechanism”, which is the central catalyst for economic unfolding today, is inherently anarchistic due to the lack of efficient system relationships within macro-industrial practices. Production, distribution and resource allocation is not “strategic” in a technical, physical sense by any stretch of the imagination – the only strategy employed, which is the defining context of “efficiency” in the market economy, has to do with the profit and loss/labor cost/expense type monetary parameters which have no relationship to physical efficiency at all.

[95] This has been confirmed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme. This site is recommend for reference: http://overpopulationisamyth.com/food-theres-lots-it#header-1

[96] http://www.news-medical.net/news/20090623/102-billion-starving-people-worldwide-UN-says.aspx

[97] The notion of the “Blank Slate” was made popular by Thomas Hobbes but can be linked back to the writings of Aristotle. This is the idea that, in short, individuals are born without built-in mental orientation and everything is learned. Now largely debunked as a broad view due to proven “programmed learning” and humans' inherent “evolutionary psychology”, the idea still persists in general.

[98] The view that human beings are substantially more affected by Genes and Biology than environmental conditioning with respect to human behavior is still a heated debate, not to mention a frequent intuitive reaction by many to certain human patterns. The phrase “It's just human nature” is all too often tossed out by the layman. Authors such as Steven Pinker are notable for promoting the dominance of evolutionary psychology over environmental conditioning.

[99] An “adaptation” in biology is a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of 'natural selection'. In short, this occurs due to pressures existing on the organism in the environment. Likewise, “Epigenetics” is a fairly new awareness and study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. In short, it is a shorter-term “expression” adaptation influenced by the environment as well. As far as culture, this is more simple to understand. For instance, the language you speak is an adaptation to the existing cultural group, just like the religion you might be taught and hence many of the values you hold are directly a result of the cultural conditions you are within.

[100] The notion of an “Instinctual Reaction” could be applied here. However, the differentiation of what is or isn't instinctual has become increasingly ambiguous in the study of human behavior. Yet, it is clear in a fundamental sense that there are very specific patterns in common regarding the human species, especially in the context of survival and stress influence. Faced with pressing danger, very common biological/endocrinological reactions occur almost universally and these often generate behavioral propensities which are also predictable consistently across the species as a whole.

[101] The term “Behavioral Plasticity” can be applied here as an extension of “Neuroplasticity” which refers to active changes in neural pathways and synapses. Just as the brain used to be considered a static organ, human behavior – the expression of brain activity – clearly also undergoes change. As complex a subject as “free-will” and decision processes are to the psychological sciences, the nature of the human mind shows clear adaptability and vulnerability to input conditions. Unlike our primate ancestors, our advanced Neocortex* appears to be a center for conscious thought and in the words of Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Neuroscientist from Stanford University: “On a certain level, the nature of our nature is not to be particularly constrained by our nature.” [ from 2011 film Zeitgeist: Moving Forward ]

[102] *More on the Neocortex, an advanced area of the human brain attributed to consciousness can be found here: http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v10/n10/abs/nrn2719.html

[103] DNA mutation rates vary from species to species and have historically been very difficult to estimate. Today, with Direct Sequencing it is now possible to isolate exact changes. In a study performed in 2009, two distant male-line relatives - separated by thirteen generations - whose common ancestor lived two hundred years ago, were sequenced, finding only 12 differences among all the DNA letters examined. “The two Y chromosomes were still identical at 10,149,073 of the 10,149,085 letters examined. Of the 12 differences...only four were true mutations that had occurred naturally through the generations.” [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827123210.htm ] As far as the Human Genome, it is estimated that the genome might undergo only a few 100 changes over tens of thousands of years.

[104] A classical example is the “Dutch Hunger Winter”. A study tracking people who suffered severe malnutrition as fetuses during World War II found that in their adult life they suffered from various metabolic syndromes and metabolism problems due to the “programming” which occurred during that In Utero period. Ref: Famine and Human development: The Dutch hunger winter of 1944-1945. New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.

[105] Dr. Gabor Maté in his work “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” (North Atlantic Books, 2012) presents an enormous amount of research regarding how 'emotional loss' occurring at young ages affects behavior in later life, specifically the propensity for addictions.

[106] The relevance of the nature of social interaction is more profound than once thought. The correlation between different macro-societal factors and public health issues such as life expectancy, mental disorder, obesity, heart disease, violence and many other sociological issues were well summarized in the book The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Penguin, March 2009.

[107] A unique study of premature infants in incubators found that by simply stimulating them during that time (or showing “affection” by simple touch) their longer term physiological health was greatly improved compared to those untouched. Ref: Tactile/kinesthetic stimulation effects on preterm neonates, Pediatrics. 1986

[108] Ref: The Structure of Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Common Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders in Men and Women, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60

(8) Defining Public Health

"We are all responsible for all."[109] -Dostoyevsky

Overview

What is the true measure of success for a society? What is it that makes us happy, healthy, stable and in balance with the world around us? Is not our success really our ability to understand and adapt to the realities of our world for the best outcome possible for any given circumstance? What if we were to find that the very nature of our social system was actually reducing our quality of life in the long term?

As will be argued in this essay, modern social structures, values and practices have deviated away from, or are largely ignorant of, what true societal health means. What our social institutions today give priority to or discount by design, coupled with the goals and motivations associated with personal “success", which are all too often clearly “decoupled" from what true life support and advancement means,[110] is a subject given little thoughtful consideration in the world today. In fact, most “prosperity" and “integrity" measures for the human condition are now haphazardly equated to mere economic baselines such as GDP, PPI or employment figures. Sadly, these measures tell us virtually nothing about true human-well being and prosperity.[111]

The term Public Health is a medical classification, essentially defined as: “The approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community as a whole."[112] While often narrowly used in relationship to transmittable disease and related broader social conditions, the context here will extend into all aspect of our lives, including not only physiological health but mental health as well. If the value of a social system is measured by the health of its citizenry over time, assessing and comparing conditions and consequences through simple trend analysis and factor accounting should give insight into what can be changed or improved on the social level.

The central context here is how the social condition itself – the socioeconomic system – is affecting human health on the whole. In the words of physician Rudolph Virchow: “Medicine is a social science and politics nothing but medicine on a large scale."[113] Virchow recognized that any public health issue is invariably related to society as a whole. Its structure, characteristics and value reinforcements have a profound influence on the health and behavior of a society and arguments regarding the merit of new social ideas inevitably come down to a rational assessment of quality through comparison.

Since each respective component of Public Health has its own characteristics and causality, we can also work to consider alternative approaches to a given problem resolution or improvement, which might not be currently in practice, but clearly should be. An analysis of current Public Health components to understand what is happening over time and in different circumstances, coupled with a per case evaluation of each issue with an inferential consideration of what could “fix" or “improve" these results on the largest possible scale is the basis of the Train of Thought expressed here.

It is the conviction of TZM that the existing social model is a cause of “Social Pathology", with a perpetuation of imbalance that is unnecessarily generating both physiological and psychological disorders across the population, not to mention systemically limiting human potential and problem resolution in many ways. Of course, this context also naturally extends into environmental health, meaning the state of the planet, as such ecological problems/pressures/alleviations always have an effect on our Public Health in the long-term. However, that will not be focus in this essay.

This analysis will separate the issue of Public Health into two general categories - Physiological and Psychological[114] - with each category broken into subjects that represent dominant problems seen in a relevant percentage of the population overall.

Let it be well understood that physiological and psychological outcomes rarely, if ever, have singular causes. There is a “Bio-Psycho-Social"[115] relationship to virtually all human phenomena, illuminating, once again, the multi-level symbiosis characteristic of the human being. In other words, while the problem being focused on might be considered “physiological" in general, the underlying cause of that outcome might very well be “psychological" or “sociological" in part and vice versa.

The Economic Factor

As noted, the main thesis of this essay is to show the deep effect our global socioeconomic system has on public health, with a more specific focus on the power of poverty, stress and inequality. If you take a quick glance at the major causes of death globally, as put forward by the World Health Organization[116], clear differences based on the economic state of a region, such as the fact that Cancers are more common in high income societies while Diarrhoeal diseases are more common in low income societies, gives insight as to how the broad context of socioeconomic position can affect public health.

Mahatma Gandhi once said “Poverty is the worst form of violence."[117] His context relates to the unnecessary deaths caused by poverty in the sense of the broad limitations such severe financial restrictions have on health. This idea was later encompassed in a term called Structural Violence[118], defined by Dr. James Gilligan as “...the increased rates of death and disability suffered by those who occupy the bottom rungs of society." He differentiates Structural Violence from Behavioral Violence, where the former “operates continuously rather than sporadically"[119]

Please note that the term “Violence" in this context is not limited to the usual classification of physical harm such as person-to-person combat or abuse. The context extends to include the often unseen social oppression that, through the chain of causality characteristics inherent to our social system, leads to the unnecessary harm of people, both physical, psychological or both. Examples of this can range from obvious to complex in the chain of cause and effect.

A simple “macro" example would be the prevalence of Diarrhoeal diseases in poverty-stricken societies. These diseases kill about 1.5 million children alone every year.[120] It is completely preventable and treatable and while the infection itself is spread through contaminated food or drinking-water, or from person-to-person as a result of poor hygiene, its very preventability and rarity in first world nations by comparison shows that the real cause is now not the disease itself, but the poverty condition that enables it to flourish unabated. However, the causality doesn’t stop there as we then need to ask the question “what is causing the poverty?"

A more abstract “micro" example would be human development problems when adverse pressures in family or community structures occur. Imagine a single mother who, due to the financial need to raise her child, must work for income a great deal in order to make ends meet, limiting her availability for the child personally. The pressures not only reduce needed support and guidance for the child's development, she also develops tendencies for depression and anxiety due to the ongoing stress of debt, bills and the like, and frustration-driven abuse begins to materialize in the family. This then causes severe emotional loss[121] in the child and the development of neurotic and unhealthy mental states emerge, such as a propensity for drug addition.[122] Years later, still suffering from the pain felt in those early periods, the now adult child dies in a heroin overdose. Question: what caused the overdose? The heroin? The mother's influence? Or the economic circumstance the mother found herself which disallowed balance and thoughtful care of her child?[123]

Clearly, there is no utopia for the human condition and to think we can adjust the socio-economic system to thwart all such “structurally" related issues, macro and micro, 100% of the time, is absurd.[124] However, what is possible is a dramatic improvement of such public health problems by shifting the nature of the socioeconomic condition in the most strategic manner we can. As we proceed with the per case analysis of major mental and physical disorders in the world, it will be found that the true imperative for public health improvement rests almost entirely on this socioeconomic premise of causality.[125]

According to Gernot Kohler and Norman Alcock in their 1976 work An Empirical Table of Structural Violence, a dramatic 18 million deaths were extrapolated to occur each year due to Structural Violence[126] and that study was over 30 years ago. Since that time the global gap between rich and poor has more than doubled, suggesting now that the death toll is even much higher today. In effect, Structural Violence is the most deadly killer on the planet. The following chart shows rates of death of a specific demographic, revealing the more broad correlation of low-income and increased mortality.

[See PDF for Chart]

G. D. Smith, J. D. Neaton, D. Wentworth, R. Stamler and J. Stamler, ‘Socioeconomic differentials in mortality risk among men screened for the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial: I. White men’, American Journal of Public Health (1996) 86 (4): 486-96.

Physiological Health

The core physiological problems of the human population today include major mortality producing epidemics such as cancer, heart disease, stoke, etc. Relatively minor problems that not only reduce quality of life, but also often precede those major illnesses include high blood pressure, obesity and other issues which, while less critical by comparison, are still usually a part of the process that can lead to major illnesses and death over time.[127] Again, it is important to remember that the causality of these “physical" diseases is not strictly “physical" in the narrow sense of the word as modern study has found deep psychosocial[128] stress relationships to seemingly detached physiological issues.

According to the World Health Organization, the most common shared major causes of death in low, middle and high income countries are Heart Disease, Lower respiratory infections, Stoke, & Cancer.[129] While each of these illnesses (and many more) can be found related to the causal points that follow, for simplicities sake Heart Disease will be a focus here.

Case Study: Heart Disease

While the treatment of Heart Disease has led to a recent mild global decline in heart attacks and deaths overall,[130] the diagnosis of Heart Disease has not subsided and by some regional studies is on the rise,[131] or on pace to increasing substantially.[132] Coronary Heart Disease is still considered by the WHO as the “leading cause of death" globally[133] and it has been found that while there are genetic factors in play, 90% of those dying “have risk factors influenced by lifestyle"26 and overall the disease is widely considered preventable if lifestyle adjustments are made.

In short, well established relationships to high fat diets, smoking, alcohol, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and other risk factors allow us to extend the causality of Heart Disease and when we follow the influences, the most profound broad influence found has to do not only with absolute income - but relative socioeconomic status.

The WHO makes it generally clear that on the global scale, lower socioeconomic status breeds more heart disease and naturally more of the risk factors that lead to it.[135] This, on one side, depicts a direct economic relationship to the occurrence of disease. There is no evidence to show that genetic differences between regional groups could be responsible for these variations and it is obvious to see how a lack of purchasing power leads people into lifestyles that include many such risk factors.

A 2009 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology called “Life-Course Socioeconomic Position and Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease" found that the longer a person remains in poverty, the more likely he or she is to develop heart disease.[136] People who were economically disadvantaged throughout life were more likely to smoke, be obese, have poor diets and the like. In an earlier study by epidemiologist Dr. Ralph R. Frerichs, focusing specifically on the socioeconomic divide in city of Los Angeles, CA, USA found that the death rate from heart disease was 40 percent higher for poor men over all than for wealthier ones.[137]

Given our original thesis to consider a link from the social system itself to the prevalence of disease and their associated risk factors, we need to consider the direct relationship of stress & purchasing power.

Beginning with the latter, which is more simple, clearly poor health habits occur in lower income environments due to the lack of funds for better nutrition,[138] medical attention[139] and education.[140] Many of the high fat, high sodium risk factor foods, for example, leading to heart disease, are also the most inexpensive food found in stores.

It is worth noting that our socioeconomic model produces goods based upon the purchasing power abilities of targeted demographics. The decision to produce poor quality food goods is made for the interest of profit and since the vast majority of the planet is relatively poor, it is no surprise that in order to meet that market, quality must be reduced to allow for competitive buying. In other words, there is a market for each social class and naturally the lower the class, the lower the quality. This reality is an example of a direct social system link to causality for such a disease. While education about the difference between quality food products could help the decision process of a poor person to eat better, the financial restrictions inherent to their condition could easily make that decision difficult if not impossible as, again, such goods are more expensive on average.

In an age where food production and human nutrition is a well understood scientific phenomenon as far as what works and what doesn’t - what is healthy and what isn't on the whole – we have to wonder why the abundance of deliberately unhealthy foods and detrimental industrial methods exist at all. The reasoning is that human health is not the pursuit of industrial food production and never has been due to the isolated interest to generate income. More on this incentive disorder inherent to the Monetary-Market Economy in later essays.

The Stress Factor

Let's now consider the role of Stress. Stress has more of an effect on Heart Disease than previously thought and this isn't just referring to the statistical fact that lower income peoples tend to have a propensity to cope by smoking, drinking, manifesting high blood pressure and hence disregard their bodies and well-being due to the ongoing struggle for income and survival. While those factors are clearly evident and, again, found tied to the inevitable stratification found in the Monetary-Market Economy,[141] the most detrimental form of stress comes in the form of psychosocial stress, meaning stress relating to psychological interaction with the social environment.

Professor Michael Marmot of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University College of London directed two important studies relating social status to health.[142] Using the British Civil Service system as the subject group, they found that the gradient of health quality in industrialized societies is not simply just a matter of poor health for the disadvantaged and good health for everyone else. They found that there was also a social distribution of disease as you went from the top of the socioeconomic latter, to the bottom and the types of diseases that people would get would change on average.

For example the lowest rungs of the hierarchy had a fourfold increase of heart disease based mortality, compared to the highest rungs. Even in a country with universal health care, the worse a person's financial status and position in the hierarchy, the worse their health is going to be on average. The reason is essentially psychological as it has been found that the more stratified a given society, the worse the public health is in general, specifically for the lower classes.[143]

This pattern has been corroborated with many studies over the years including a deep collection of research organized by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. In their work, “The Spirit Level – Why Equality is Better for Everyone", they source hundreds of epidemiological studies on the issue, outlining how more unequal societies perpetuate a vast array of public health problems, both physiological and psychological.

Heart Disease aside, some Cancers, chronic lung disease, gastrointestinal disease, back pain, obesity, high blood pressure, low life expectancy and many other problems are also now found to be linked to socioeconomic status in the broad view, not just singular risk factors.[144] There is a “social gradient", it could be called, in health across society and where we are placed in relation to other people has a powerful psychosocial effect - those above us have better health on average while those below us have worse health on average.[145]

A statistical comparison of public health between countries with high levels of income inequality (such as the United States) and those with lower levels of income Inequality (such as Japan) reveals these truths quite obviously.[146]

However, such generally deemed “physical" illnesses are only part of the public health crisis generated by inequality which, again, is yet a consequence unto itself originating out of the direct, immutable stratification inherent to our global social system.

Psychological Health

Perhaps more profound in its public health implication is the result of social inequality on our mental or psychological health. This extends into behavioral reactions and tendencies such as acts of violence or abuse, along with emotional issues like depression, anxiety and personality disorders in general.

A general trend assessment of Depression and Anxiety in developed countries, countries that many intuitively would think would have more joy and ease due to the material wealth available, reveals a much different reality.[147, 148] A British study examining depression among people in their 20s found that it was twice as common in 1970 than it was in 1958.[149] An American study of about 63,700 college students found that five times as many young adults are dealing with higher levels of anxiety than in the late 1930s.[150] A 2011 study presented at the American Psychological Association showed that mental illness was more common among college students than it was a decade ago.[151]

Psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego University located 269 related studies measuring anxiety in the United States sourced between 1952 and 1993 and the aggregate assessment shows a dramatically clear trend in the rise of anxiety over this period, with, for example, the conclusion that by the late 1980s the average American child was more anxious than child psychiatric patients in the 1950s.[152]

A 2011 NCHS report reveals that the rate of antidepressant use in America among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008. Antidepressants were the third most common prescription medication taken by Americans in 2005–2008.[153]

While a genetic component for depression may have relevance, the trend rate clearly shows an environmental causality as the driving force. In the words of Richard Wilkinson:

“[A]lthough people with mental illness sometimes have changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, nobody has shown that these are causes of depression, rather than changes caused by depression...although some genetic vulnerability may underlie some mental illness, this can't by itself explain the huge rises in illness in recent decades - our genes can not change that fast.“[154]

It appears our relative social status has a profound effect on our mental wellbeing and this tendency can also be found in what could be declared as the evolutionary psychology of similar primates as well. A 2002 study performed with Macaque monkeys found that those who were subordinate/lower in a given social hierarchy had less dopamine activity than the dominant ones and this relationship would change as different sets were regrouped. In other words, it had nothing to do with their specific biology – only the social arrangement that reduced or elevated their dopamine levels. It also found that lower hierarchy monkey would use more cocaine to compensate. This is revealing as low dopamine levels in primates (including humans) are found to have a direct correlation to depression.[155]

The pattern has become very clear and while direct stressors such as job security, debt and other largely economic factors inherent to the social system play a major role,[156] the relevance of socioeconomic status itself is still dominant.

The following chart is a comparison of overall Mental Health and Drug Use by country.[157] It includes nine countries sourcing data from the WHO surveys, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, impulsive disorders, addictions and others. One can clearly see that the United States, which also has the highest level of inequality, has an enormous level of mental heath and drug disorders as well by comparison to the less stratified countries, Italy being the lowest in mental health disorders of the group.

Even perceived social status, such as the caste relationships found in countries like India, can have a profound effect on confidence and behavior. "A study performed in 2004 compared the problem-solving abilities of 321 high caste Indian boys against those of 321 low caste Indian boys. The results demonstrated that when caste was not publicly announced before the problem solving began, both sets of boys achieved similar results. The second round, before which the caste of each group was publicly announced, the lower caste group fared much worse, and the high caste much better, producing very divergent data compared with the first round.[158] People are greatly influenced by their perceived status in their society and often when we expect to be viewed as inferior, very often we perform as such.

In conclusion to this subsection regarding the psychosocial, inequality-based phenomenon that shows a clear relationship to psychological well-being, it is important to quickly make clear the vast range of issues found related. While further study of such issues can be found in the Reading List (Appendix C) of this text with the works of Sapolsky, Gilligan, Maté and Wilkinson highly recommended, let it be stated generally here that when it comes to Education, Social Capital (trust), Obesity, Life Expectancy, Teen Birth, Imprisonment and Punishment, Social Mobility, Opportunity, and even Innovation – countries with less income inequality do better than those with more income inequality. Put another way, they are more healthy societies.

Case Study: Behavioral Violence

Coupled with the above issues relating to inequality in society, there is one that deserves a deeper look – Behavioral Violence. Criminal Psychological Dr. James Gilligan, former head of the Centre for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School, wrote a definitive treatment on the subject in his work “Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and its Causes". Dr. Gilligan makes it very clear that extreme forms of violence are not random or genetically induced, but rather complex reactions that originate from stressful experiences, both in the long and short term.

For example, child abuse, both physical and emotional, along with increasingly difficult levels of personal stress, have a direct correlation to both premeditated and impulsive acts of violence and while men have a statistically higher propensity towards violence due to largely endocrinological characteristics that, while not causing violence reactions, can exaggerate them upon the stress influence,[159] the common theme is the influence of the environment and culture.

This is not to discount the relationship of hormones or even possibly genetic propensities[160] but to show that at the origin of this behavior is clearly not our biology, but the condition upon which a human exists and experiences endured. Other common assumptions of causality, such as “Instinct" are also far too abstract and vague to hold any operational validity.[161]

“I am suggesting that the only way to explain the causes of violence, so that we can learn how to prevent it, is to approach violence as a problem in public health and preventive medicine, and to think of violence as a symptom of life-threatening pathology, which, like all form of illness, has an etiology or cause, a pathogen" -Dr. James Gilligan[162]

In Dr. Gilligan's diagnosis he makes it very clear that the greatest cause of violent behavior is social inequality, highlighting the consequence of shame and humiliation as an emotional characteristic of those who engage in violence.[163] Thomas Scheff, a emeritus professor of sociology in California stated that “shame was the social emotion".[164] Shame and humiliation can be equated with the feelings of stupidity, inadequacy, embarrassment, foolishness, feeling exposed, insecurity and the like – all largely social or comparative in their origin.

Needless to say, in a global society with not only growing income disparity but inevitably “self-worth" disparity - since status is touted as directly related to our “success" in our jobs, bank accounts levels and the like - it is no mystery that feelings of inferiority, shame and humiliation are staples of the culture today. The consequence of those feelings have very serious implications for public health, as noted before, including the epidemic of the behavioral violence we now see today in its various complex forms. Terrorism, local school and church Shootings, along with other extreme acts which simply did not exist before in the abstracts they find context today reveals a unique evolution of violence itself. Dr. Gilligan concludes: “If we wish to prevent violence, then, our agenda is political and economic reform."[165]

The following Chart shows rates of homicide across wealthy nations with varying states of social inequality. The United States, which is likely the largest “anti-socialist" advocate with little structural safeguards in place (such as a lack of universal health care), while also pushing the psychological ethic that “independence" and “competition" are the most important ethos - shows a massive level of violence. While debates over gun control and the like still persist in the American political landscape with respect to the epidemic, clearly that has nothing really to do with causality.

[See PDF For Chart]

In Conclusion

This essay has attempted to give a concise overview of core causal relationships to human health on both the psychological level and the psychological level. The theme is how the socioeconomic condition in general improves or worsens public health overall, alluding to ideal conditions which would improve happiness, reduce general disease and alleviate epidemic behavioral problems, such as violence.

While direct economic relationships are very clear in how they reduce human health and wellbeing in the form of absolute deprivation, such as an inability to obtain quality food, labor-related time restraints that reduce emotional and developmental support for children, loss of education quality due to regional funding problems, along with case by case turmoil such as the fact that most marriages end due to monetary problems,[166] the relative deprivation issue has been more of a focus due to the fact that it is also a cause of most absolute deprivation itself.

Put into the structural, socioeconomic context, this reality firmly challenges the ethos that competition, class and other “Capitalist" notions of incentive and progress are drivers of social progress and health. The more we learn about this phenomenon, the stronger the argument becomes that the nature of our socioeconomics system is backwards in its focus and intent. Human progress and success is clearly not defined by the constant influx of market goods, gadgets and material creations for purchase. Public Health and well being is based on how we relate to each other and the environment on the whole.

The result is a hidden form of violence against the population and hence the public health crisis we see is really a civil & human rights issue. When we see clear genocide in the world we object strongly on purely moral grounds. But what if there existed a constant genocide that is unseen but very real - perpetuated not by a specific person or group but by a psychological disorder born out of stress generated by the traditional method of human interaction and economic ordering that has been created and codified?

As will be argued in the following essays, mere adjustments to the current socioeconomic system are not enough in the longterm to substantially resolve these problems. The very foundational principles of our current model are bound by the hierarchical economic and competitive orientations and to truly work to remove those attributes and consequences is to completely transform the entire social system.

Footnotes for "Defining Public Health":

[109] Paraphrased, from Karamazov Brothers, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1880, p316

[110] The point here relates to how modern society rewards and reinforces certain behaviors over others. For instance, in the Western World more financial reward comes to non-producing financial institutions than from true good and service production. This has generated an incentive problem which also includes environmental disregard and the ignoring of public health in general. As will be alluded to later in this text, the psychology of the market economy actually opposes life support.

[111] In recent years other attempts have been made to quantify “happiness" and well-being, such as the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Indicator which conducts measures via periodic surveys http://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/

[112] Public Health defined: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5120

[113] The Evolution of Social Medicine, Rudolph Virchow: Rosen G., from the Handbook of Medical Sociology, Prentice-Hall, 1972

[114] Sociological phenomena will be grouped in the Psychological category here for the sake of simplicity, as the result of a sociological condition is the aggregate psychological states of individuals.

[115] Bio-Psycho-Social means the interaction of biological, psychological and sociological influence on a given consequence. For example, Obesity, on the surface, simply relates to eating. If a person eats too much, they gain weight. However, there is a large degree of evidence now (as will be presented later in this essay) that shows how a person's psychology can be effected to crave the comfort of consuming due to external factors – such as a deprived emotional history or poor bodily adaption where bad habits are formed and expected. These latter notions which influence one's psychology are a result of the sociological condition.

[116] Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index.html

[117] Quoted in A Just Peace through Transformation: Cultural, Economic, and Political Foundations for Change, International Peace Association, 1988

[118] Suggested Reference: An Empirical Table of Structural Violence, Gernot Kohler and Norman Alcock, 1976 http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/13/4/343.extract

[119] Violence, James Gilligan, Grosset/Putnam, New York, 1992, p192

[120] Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs330/en/index.html

[121] The term emotional loss relates to severe emotional trauma experienced, mostly as a child, that persist in effect. In the words of Dr. Gabor Maté “The greatest damage done by neglect, trauma or emotional loss is not the immediate pain they inflict but the long-term distortions they induce in the way a developing child will continue to interpret the world and her situation in it." In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts", North Atlantic Books, 2012, p512

[122] As noted prior, the work of Gabor Maté is highly recommended on the subject of addiction resulting from emotional loss in childhood and feelings of insecurity. “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts", North Atlantic Books, 2012

[123] The work Mental Illness and the Economy, by M.H. Brenner is recommended. Abstract: “By correlating extensive economic and institutional data from New York State for the period from 1841 to 1967, Harvey Brenner concludes that instabilities in the national economy are the single most important source of fluctuations in mental-hospital admissions or admission rates."

[124] See “Humanity Factor" in the Vocabulary List, Appendix A

[125] A study for reference in the same basic context is The Effect of Known Risk Factors on the Excess Mortality of Black Adults in the United States, Journal of the American Medical Association, 263(6):845-850, 1990. This epidemiological study found that two-thirds of african-american deaths noted in context could only be accounted for due to low socioeconomic status itself and its direct/indirect consequences. [126] An Empirical Table of Structural Violence, Gernot Kohler and Norman Alcock, 1976

[127] Reference: http://thetimes-tribune.com/lifestyles-people/as-obesity-rates-rise-chief-heart-surgeon-sees-more-high-risk-patients-in-operating-room-1.1379223

[128] Psychosocial defined: Involving aspects of both social and psychological behavior; Interrelationship http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/psychosocial

[129] The top ten causes of death, WHO http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index.html

[130] U.S. Trends in Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke, PRB http://www.prb.org/Articles/2002/USTrendsinHeartDiseaseCancerandStroke.aspx

[131] Heart disease to rise 25% by 2020 http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/heart-disease-to-rise-25-by-2020-16177410.html

[132] New European Statistics Released On Heart Disease and Stroke [ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120929140236.htm ]

[133] The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke, WHO & CDC, Part 3, Global Burden of Coronary Heart Disease

[134] Ibid.

[135] Ibid., Chapter 11, Socioeconomic Status

[136] Life-Course Socioeconomic Position and Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease, American Journal of Epidemiology, April 1, 2009. http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2009/01/29/aje.kwn403

[137] Heart Disease Tied to Poverty, New York Times, 1985 http://www.nytimes.com/1985/02/24/us/heart-disease-tied-to-poverty.html

[138] Quote from the study “Can Low-Income Americans Afford a Healthy Diet? “Many nutritional professionals believe that all Americans, regardless of income, have access to a nutritious diet of whole grains, lean meats, and fresh vegetables and fruit. In reality, food prices pose a significant barrier for many consumers who are trying to balance good nutrition with affordability." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2847733/

[139] Reference: Medical costs push millions of people into poverty across the globe, WHO http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr65/en/index.html

[140] Reference: “Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say", NY Times 2012 [ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/education/education-gap-grows-between-rich-and-poor-studies-show.html?pagewanted=all ]

[141] Class stratification is an immutable part of the current socioeconomic model due to both the incentive system generated that disproportionately distributes income, strategical favoring the upper tiers of the hierarchy – such as in 2007, Chief executives of the largest 365 US companies received well over 500 times the pay of the average employee. This can be coupled with practices of macroeconomic monetary policy which structurally reward the wealthy and punish the poor through the interest system. (The wealthy gain interest income off investment while the poor, lacking investment capital, take loans for the majority of large purchases, paying interest. Put in abstraction, the poor are forced to give the rich their money through this mechanism.)

[142] Whitehall Study I & II, http://www.ucl.ac.uk/whitehallII/ Also See: Epidemiology of socioeconomic status and health M. Marmot http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10681885

[143] Ibid.

[144] A qualifier here to note is that this phenomenon relates more so to relatively wealthy societies in general than it does to inherently poverty stricken societies.

[145] Reference: Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts, R.G. Wilkinson & M. Marmot, World Health Organization, 2006

[146] A summary PDF of regression line charts extracted from the work of R. Wilkinson and K. Pickett can be found here for reference: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tantor.com%2FExtras%2FB0505SpiritLevel%2FB0505SpiritLevelPDF1.pdf&ei=GiqPUJyWEYL3igK6wICgBQ&usg=AFQjCNH-A12L8z6iT6VGr1PnI7CSHUIEuw&cad=rja

[147] Reference: The Dramatic Rise of Anxiety and Depression in Children and Adolescents, Peter Gray, 2012 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201001/the-dramatic-rise-anxiety-and-depression-in-children-and-adolescents-is-it

[148] Anxiety Disorders Are Sharply on the Rise, Timi Gustafson R.D [http://timigustafson.com/2011/anxiety-disorders-are-sharply-on-the-rise/]

[149] Time Trends in child and adolescent mental health, Maughan, Collishaw, Goodman & Pickles, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2004

[150] Sourcing the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, this article is a recommend summation: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39335628/ns/health-mental_health/t/why-are-anxiety-disorders-among-women-rise/#.UI9PRoUpzZg

[151] Depression On The Rise In College Students, NPR, 2011 [http://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132934543/depression-on-the-rise-in-college-students]

[152] The age of anxiety? Birth cohort change in anxiety and neuroticism, J.M. Twenge, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2007

[153] Antidepressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2005–2008, Laura A. Pratt, NCHS, Oct 2011 [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db76.htm]

[154] The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Penguin, March 2009, p65

[155] Social dominance in monkeys: dopamine D2 receptors and cocaine self-administration, Morgan & Grant, Nature Neuroscience, 2002 5(2): 169-74

[156] Suicide rates rocket in wake of economic downturn recession, Nina Lakhani, The Independent, Aug 15 2012

[157] Chart from The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Penguin, March 2009, p67

[158] Belief Systems and Durable Inequalities, Policy Research Working Paper, Waskington DC: World Bank, 2004 | Chart from The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Penguin, March 2009, p113-114

[159]The hormone testosterone has been commonly “blamed" for male aggression. However it has been found that inter-individual differences in levels of testosterone do not result in proportional differences in levels of aggressive behavior when tests on the general population were conducted. It has been found that rather than testosterone causing aggression levels to rise, it is essentially the other way around. See The Trouble with Testosterone, Robert M. Sapolsky, Simon & Schuster, 1997, p147-159

[160] See: Violence—A noxious cocktail of genes and the environment, Mariya Moosajee, J R Soc Med. 2003 May; 96(5): 211–214 | Notes a study in New Zealand where an apparent genetic link found to violent behavior would only manifest if a great deal of abuse in childhood took place to trigger an expression of that apparent genetic propensity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539471/

[161] Violence, James Gilligan, Grosset/Putnam, New York, 1992, p210-213

[162] Ibid, p92

[163] Ibid, Chapter 5

[164] Shame and conformity: the defense-emotion system, T.J. Scheff, American Sociological Review, 1988, 53:395-406

[165] Violence, James Gilligan, Grosset/Putnam, New York, 1992, p236

[166] Money Fights Predict Divorce Rates, Catherine Rampell http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/money-fights-predict-divorce-rates/