From: Professor Bart Vorsprong
Department of Species Emergence
Company for Galactic Advancement
To: Galactic Association
Thank you for your request for my comments and suggestions on the situation on the planet Sol-3, which its inhabitants call “Earth.”
My comments are not only for my fellow Galactics, but also for the inhabitants of Sol-3 themselves. I therefore begin with some background already known to most Galactics.
For a species to be accepted into the Galactic Association, Junior Section, they must have outgrown the primitive. They must have reached Level Three civilization. That means, in essence, that they have been through three transitions since achieving Level Two. One, the Personal Transition, where the members of the species come to understand themselves for what they are – honest, moral, peaceful, independent, civilized individuals. Two, the Social Transition, where they organize themselves to bring objective justice to every one of them. Three, the Economic Transition, where they become the masters and custodians of their planet.
The birth of new Galactic species is rare, and many things can go wrong before or during birth. Therefore, when species approach acceptance as Juniors, the Galactic Association studies them, and recommends action if appropriate.
The Sol-3 species call themselves humans. They are oxygen breathers. They are mobile and have two legs. They are bisexual. They are a little smaller than, and far less long-lived than, the Galactic median. They have unusually high mental aptitude, though most individuals never reach anything like their potential. Many of them are dynamic and industrious, though they have also many lazy free-riders.
Their planet Sol-3, which they call Earth, is smaller than average for a planet supporting intelligent life, but is rich in variety. It is well stocked with natural resources, most of which the humans have either not yet recognized as resources, or not found yet, or consider not yet worth exploiting. And, while parts of it are liveable for many Galactics, much of it is colder or wetter than the conditions favoured by most.
Perhaps partly because of their cold, wet planet, the humans are a fast moving species. They achieved Level One civilization only a hundred and twenty or so generations ago. After much stagnation and backsliding, they reached Level Two just twenty generations ago, at what they call the Renaissance.
Their development has followed the political model. About ten per cent of Galactic species have had politics in their past. The political model involves the acquisition, by a relative few, of power over the many, and its maintenance by means of violence, fear and deceit.
Where a species has had a political phase, and survives to become Galactic, in every case the political sub-species disappears, dying out at the latest by the completion of the Social Transition. Those that use or orchestrate aggressive violence, intimidation or fraud either reform themselves and are absorbed back into the species, or are ostracized out of existence. However, this has not yet happened on Sol-3.
The humans’ Personal and Social Transitions began some dozen generations ago, with what they call the Enlightenment. The Economic Transition came a little later. It began in earnest only six or seven generations ago, when the economy started to move from agriculture to industry.
For a time, all seemed to go tolerably. The Economic Transition spread slowly indeed; but it spread. And, just as agriculture gave way to industry, so in time did physical industry begin to give way to mental industry. The Social Transition, too, made progress. The rule of law, and the idea that government should be for the benefit of the governed, became widely accepted. And the political sub-species, in many areas undergoing the Transitions, felt the need to cede nominal power to the people, through a system called democracy.
But, unlike the standard Galactic species-birth, where the Transitions are eagerly accepted by the majority, on Sol-3 there has been great resistance to them. There are still inhabited parts of the planet, which neither the Social nor Economic Transition has reached. And the Personal Transition has stalled. Those, who have been and are going through it, are seen by many as odd, and by the political sub-species as objects of hatred and persecution.
Today, the Sol-3 species are backsliding. The politicals are trying to stop, even to reverse, the Economic Transition. Far from being encouraged to make themselves masters and custodians of the planet, humans are being forcibly taxed and regulated down into a stagnant, dreary, unsustainable economy. And large parts of the planet are being allowed to run wild. That is not custodianship! That is not making their planet into a home and garden fit for a Galactic species!
As to the Social Transition, in even the most advanced areas of the planet, the politicals are in control. In some places, they are able simply to rule as they want to. In others, democracy is supposed to defend the interests of the ordinary humans against the rulers. But the politicals have subverted even democracy.
For, by propaganda, deception, threats and offers of favours, the politicals have enslaved many of the population. They have made them into zombies, who – while not actively taking part in the politicals’ violence, intimidation or fraud – still support the political system through voting for the politicals. The politicals then claim that the votes of the zombies have given them what they call a mandate. A mandate to oppress and exploit the entire population.
The situation on Sol-3 suggests parallels with some cases of the past. At the risk of telling Galactics what they already know, I will review three relevant examples.
On Melox-8, where a political sub-species and a potentially Galactic sub-species were vying for control of the planet, we decided to do nothing. That was a mistake. For the violent, deceitful political sub-species exterminated their peaceful, honest rivals. We lost a species – and, very soon, we lost more. For, to prevent that political species polluting the whole Galaxy with their violence, intimidation and dishonesty, we found ourselves forced to destroy them and their planet.
On Qasi-3, we took the opposite tack. We rushed in with military might to defend our potential Galactics. We expunged the political species from the planet. But the results were not encouraging. The inhabitants of Qasi-3 did, indeed, become Juniors. Yet, perhaps because we had deprived them of an opportunity to grow by solving their own problem, they proved weak and feeble-minded. They never made it to Galactic adulthood.
Happier was the outcome with what used to be Vivro-2A. There, we transported all those with Galactic potential, who were willing to go, to the sister planet 2B, leaving the politicals in control of 2A. When, in due course, the politicals blew up their planet, the inhabitants of 2B – now renamed Vivro-2 – were ready for their Junior Galactic status. They are now fully adult, and active in the Galactic Association.
There are, however, two significant differences between the current situation on Sol-3 and the examples I have given above.
The first is, that in all three past examples there were two sub-species competing – a political one, and a potential Galactic one. But on Sol-3 today, there seem to be not two sub-species, but three. On the one side, the developed humans, moral agents devoted to individual freedom, objective justice, peace, honesty, prosperity and their Galactic potential. On the other, the politicals, desiring to rule over others through violence, fear and deceit. And, in the middle, numerically the largest group, the zombies. Human in potential and in many of their actions, but neither morally strong nor fully awake.
The second difference, before the current crisis erupted inside the last two generations, was classified information. The Galactic Association pursues a policy of non-contact with species not yet developed to near Level Three standards. In the case of Sol-3, though, this policy has been violated at least once. About the time of the humans’ rise to Level One civilization, a Galactic joy-rider (an Elo’I from Elo’I-1, some say) spent time on Sol-3. That visit is recorded in the books the humans call Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, and the first part of the book they call Joshua.
It seems that the joy-rider tried to teach the humans the rudiments of the Galactic way, before they were ready for it. For, from that visit, there arose among the humans a religion. And, out of that religion, unscrupulous politicals have spun a huge web of myths, which has hampered the humans’ thinking and held their progress back. It has still not entirely dissipated today.
It is proven that Galactic species and political species cannot co-exist for any significant time on one planet. If the humans are to become Galactic, politics and politicals must, therefore, be extinguished from their planet.
There is a circumstance peculiar to this case. That is, the presence of the zombies. Can they be woken up? Can they be persuaded to realize their humanity? For, if the developed humans could help the zombies – or enough of them, at least – through the Personal Transition, that would tip the balance against the politicals. And so lead to the continuation and completion of the Economic and Social Transitions.
Some answer these questions with an emphatic Yes. They think we may be seeing on Sol-3 the run-up to a spectacular event, which we have seen only five times before. We may be, if all goes for the best, about to observe all three Transitions, Personal, Social and Economic, being unleashed at the same moment. We may be about to observe an Awakening.
On the other side, right now, the political species have huge advantages over the humans. The politicals’ violence, and their control of the corrupt legal system, mean that developed humans and zombies alike find it hard to resist their intimidation and deceit. The persistent suffocation of the economy, and the drain of taxation, mean that the humans cannot prosper as they deserve. Denials of basic rights, such as privacy and the right to conduct business in the most convenient way, make it hard for humans to survive as independent, civilized beings. And the politicals’ control of the media and the education system, and their habitual lies and propaganda, make even harder the already hard work of trying to persuade the zombies to wake up. Indeed, even the most developed humans find it a constant struggle to avoid being dragged down into zombiehood, or even squeezed out of existence.
These considerations lead some to believe that the task facing the humans is too great for them, at least unaided. I myself think that the balance is close. Without Galactic help, the humans might or might not triumph over the politicals. But, even if successful, it would be a long process, with much loss of lives and happiness.
This is one good reason why we Galactics must now take positive action to help the humans. There are at least two others. First, the unfortunate incident of the joy-rider lays on us, even more than usually, an obligation to help the humans. Second, the example of Melox-8. To do nothing, I think, is not an option.
Some say we should do again what we did on Qasi-3. Invade the planet with military force, get rid of the politicals, and let the developed humans and the zombies work things out among themselves. I think that misguided. Not only because, as with Qasi-3, by taking the problem entirely away from them we would deprive the humans of an opportunity to grow. But also because of the very real risk that the humans, having had an over-simplified foretaste of our morality in “Thou shalt not kill,” might see us as indiscriminating killers, and reject us as hypocrites because of it. That would be a disaster.
Others say we should try to repeat the success of Vivro-2. If only that were practical. We might, perhaps, in three or four of their generations, make Sol-4 habitable for humans, with a little judicious atmospheric and greenhouse chemistry. (It would still, of course, be far too cold for all but the hardiest Galactics.) Unfortunately, we do not have that much time. The crux point will come inside the next half generation. And interstellar transport of more than a few, to an unoccupied planet, would be too expensive. We might, perhaps, save a remnant of the developed humans that way; but they would be no more than a remnant. Transporting the humans can only be a last resort if all other approaches fail.
Another suggested plan is Vivro-2 in reverse. Transport to Sol-4, not the humans, but the political sub-species. Take them to what they call Mars, establish them in a colony and leave them to fend for themselves. This plan scores excellently for artistic merit. However, it has drawbacks too. For, unlike Vivro-2, we would not be transporting the willing. We and the humans would have to use force to round up the politicals. And we would have to establish a hard and somewhat arbitrary line between those deserving to be transported and those deserving to be left in peace. That is not the Galactic way.
Yet others say we should show ourselves peacefully but spectacularly on Sol-3. We should – loudly and with authority – tell the zombies the score, and shock them into realizing their humanity and shunning the politicals. I think that is too risky at this stage, because it might awe the zombies so much that they retreat into their zombiehoods. Then, the humans would be worse off than before.
Here is what I suggest. First, we should not hold back from using our powers and resources for the benefit of the humans on Sol-3. But second, we must be, at least initially, covert in our help, not overt. Third, we should help those humans, who are ready for the Galactic way, first to understand it, and then to teach it to all those they can reach. We must help the Personal Transition along in any ways we can without revealing ourselves too early.
But we should let the humans take the lead in their task of bringing their species to the Junior Galactic status they deserve. We should let them have their chance to be the ones who awaken the zombies, help them realize their humanity, and eliminate politics from their planet.
If they succeed, well and good. If not, we still have the more risky option of showing ourselves.
Yours in Galactic peace, prosperity and justice,