The next problem we faced was that, because of unrest in some countries on Earth, we could not safely drop off the trainees for those countries. There were about a dozen of them left, besides Paul and Melinda, who had – gladly – agreed to be last out.
Not that these trainees as individuals were complaining. They spent their days riding round Earth in Ramael’s ’mobile, and their nights in five-star hotels. They were enjoying the best worldwide Grand Tour anyone had ever had.
Ramael concentrated on three things. First, dropping off the members of the third wave, and all the trainees he safely could. Second, regularly checking the well-being and progress of those he had previously dropped off. And third, touring the globe making sure people knew he was there.
Only once during this time did Ramael need to take violent action. A few days after the completion of the third wave, an Asian country – whose dictator we had Pulled to the Pit, but which had then been taken over by family members – threatened to attack one of its neighbours. Ramael went in and, in less than a minute, reduced three large government buildings in the capital to piles of sand. He did it without damaging their neighbours, even slightly. “Now you know more about what we can do if we need to,” Hazael broadcast. “Anyone that starts or threatens a war will be treated the same way, or more harshly.”
A week after the last trainees had left Perinent, Cristina and Helen elected to be Pushed back to Earth. “There is no-one here who needs our services any more,” said Helen, “but there are still several trainees in the ’mobile who could enjoy us.” That left in the hotel at Camp Two just Michael, Gabriel, the Team and Kenny.
To try to defuse the problems of unrest, those of us remaining on Perinent began to Pull leaders from each conflict. We usually Pulled them in pairs, one from each side. We let Harv’I, using knowledge John and Galina had collected and his ability to read minds, decide which side we should support. The loser then went in the Pit – along, shortly, with his lieutenants. The winner (usually the resistance leader) was fully briefed by Michael, Gabriel and myself, then Pushed back to the ’mobile. And soon dropped off – openly, and with a public promise of support if it should prove necessary – by Ramael and Hazael, who sometimes left a trainee with them as well.
And where tyrannies were still in place, even after we had Pulled the worst of the tyrants to the Pit, we went on a spree. We Pulled more and more of those in power in such countries to the Pit. And we again sent to Earth film of what was happening to them, although this time more geographically targeted.
You, dear reader, may be too young to remember the decades, which historians later called the Nasty Noughties and Terrible Teens. If so, lucky you; for it was a bad time.
The politicals – which description fitted not only politicians, but also politicized officials, media and educators, and those that promoted, supported or enforced their agendas – behaved as if they were a superior species to us humans. They set out to control us, to rule over us against our wills. They lobbied for, made and enforced bad laws. They made regulations to hem us in, and set traps to catch us out. And they treated us like herd animals, as if we were unable to make our own decisions or to act on our own initiative.
They spied on us with cameras everywhere. They recorded our phone calls, our e-mails and our use of the Internet. They demanded vast amounts of information about us, and stored it in insecure databases, which they regarded as a “single source of truth.” They routinely treated us as guilty until proven innocent. They took joy in ordering us around. They used every crisis as an excuse to expand their powers to harass us. They claimed privileges and immunities they denied to us, and evaded responsibility for the damage they caused us.
They polluted our mental atmosphere with lies and propaganda. They indoctrinated the young with their claptrap, calling it education. They promoted altruism, trying to fool us into subordinating our own interests to the interests of others, or of something they called “the community.” And they bombarded us with fear and guilt. Fear of terrorism, fear of overpopulation, fear of runaway global warming (or was it cooling?) because of our emissions of carbon dioxide, which they falsely claimed was a pollutant. And guilt for lots of things we did in our daily lives – like using energy and driving cars.
They accused us of damaging our environment. They told us that we had to make drastic changes to our lifestyles. They tried to make out that our civilization based on economic productivity and trade was not sustainable. They hated human industry and prosperity, individuality and independence. They hated deserved success, and those who earned it. They tried to imprison us in a mental atmosphere of ever shrinking horizons, of no way forward and no way out.
All this they fuelled with money which they took from us through taxation, that is to say, by fraud and threat of force. They made a big smokescreen about helping the poor and needy. But in fact, what they did was loot resources from the honest, productive and deserving, cream off a large portion for themselves and their politically connected cronies, and redistribute the rest, most of it to the dishonest, the lazy and the undeserving. This, of course, also bought them popularity with the recipients. So, societies became more and more corrupt, as the incentives grew and grew for individuals to behave dishonestly.
In some places, political governments simply ruled by force and fear. In others, a past history of relative freedom meant that they needed to be more subtle, and to try to enlist the support of sufficiently many of the people using propaganda, vague promises or shares in the loot. These politicals claimed that their system was democracy, and that it gave power to us the people. We had the vote, didn’t we?
But most of the candidates for office, that had any serious chance of winning, were politicals. And of the few decent people who did try to go into democratic politics, most were either corrupted or silenced by the political party system. They were intimidated into being loyal to whatever policies were dreamed up by the panjandrums currently in power in their party. So, even if an individual’s vote could have made a difference – which it never had, of course – there was no-one worth voting for.
And even if we could have voted someone decent into power at the national level, that wouldn’t have even started to solve the problem of bad policies imposed by the EU (European Union) or UN (United Nations). King Atrox would have smirked at the cleverness of it all.
But then, the Personal Transition began to kick in among human beings. Many people, at much the same time, woke up from the zombie state in which they had been held by the battering of lies and propaganda from the politicals and their media and “educators.” People started to think, Why should I put up with this claptrap any more? And they started to feel better about themselves.
It was as if, after decades of ever increasing madness and badness, some threshold had been reached, beyond which the political system could not hold together. It was as if, after a long, dark night, there had come a sudden, bright dawn. And people began to see clearly where they were, and what was around them.
Good people, who all their lives had been bombarded with false guilt by politicians, educators and media, snapped out of it. They no longer felt guilt for using energy, or failing to recycle, or because they were – falsely – accused of wasting natural resources, causing dangerous global warming or endangering species. They no longer felt guilt for being successful through their own efforts, or being prosperous, or looking after their own interests. They no longer felt guilt for spending their fairly earned wealth on the goods and services they wanted, and on the people who provided those goods and services.
They no longer felt guilt for driving cars, or flying in aeroplanes, or eating meat, or not eating enough fruit or veg, or drinking alcohol, or smoking. And they no longer accepted any guilt at all for anything they as individuals had no control over.
People came to understand that as long as they behaved up to basic human standards – such as honesty, peacefulness, responsibility and respect for others’ rights – they were not guilty of anything. And it didn’t matter what “laws” anyone made.
Instead, good people started to feel pride in their own achievements. They felt a renewed love of individuality, independence, economic productivity, progress and justice. They felt change for the better in the mental climate. They felt a new atmosphere of optimism, of expanding horizons, of confidence in themselves and in the future.
Very suddenly by historical standards, people stopped believing, or even being interested in, what they were told by the politicals and their media. They began to understand the frauds that had been committed against them. People fell out of love with politics, and with the political state. And they began strongly to react against its worst abuses. Against aggressive wars. Against violations of rights and liberties. Against lies, dishonesty and double standards by politicians, officials, celebrities and media. Against redistributory or confiscatory taxation.
Perhaps the strongest reaction was against the environmentalist or green agenda. At the end of the Nasty Noughties, the greens had almost succeeded in taking over the world with their humanity-hating agenda of destroying prosperity, stopping progress and ending individual freedom. Of course, they didn’t put it like that. They bleated about the environment, or polar bears, or “saving the planet” from climate change. But they put no value at all on us human beings, our nature and our rights and freedoms.
But, with the Personal Transition, people saw this agenda for what it was. They came to understand that the environment which we must preserve and cherish is the environment for human beings. That peace, prosperity and justice for human beings are far more important than polar bears or saving a few watts of energy. They saw that there was a way to a sustainable future, and it wasn’t the greens’ pipe-dream of using less and less resources. Instead, the way forward was to create more and more wealth.
And people felt a new kind of fellowship. They cared about the good people they dealt with in their daily lives. They cared about their customers and their suppliers. And they cared about those good people worldwide, who shared their basic human values like honesty and peacefulness. But, on the other side, people also came to understand that those that failed to make the effort to behave up to human standards were not their fellows.
There were other changes in people’s perceptions too. The idea, that people owed allegiance to some country or state, began to seem strange. The idea that governments had rights to stop people from passing across arbitrary lines, or to take a toll of goods passing across such lines, was seen as ridiculous. The idea that governments had a right to tell you who your friends and enemies were, was seen as crazy. For it was now obvious to everyone, that your friends are those who treat you well, and your enemies those that treat you badly.
And the idea that those who happened to live in a geographical area were owed compassion and support from others in that area, no matter how badly they behaved, began to seem even odder. Honest people started to think, why should I care about the dishonest? Peaceful people started to think, why should I care about the warlike? Dynamic people started to think, why should I care about the lazy? Those, who had been victims of bad political policies, started to think, why should I care about those that assaulted me?
Not that anyone was any less inclined to be charitable than before – as long as the recipients deserved it. But those that didn’t deserve charity – the lazy, the dishonest, the aggressive, the violent, the political – were shunned. And that was entirely their own fault.
At a higher level of thinking, people began to see politics for what it was – an outdated way of dealing with others, based on nothing better than violence, dishonesty and intimidation. They came to compare and contrast it with the way of dealing with others, which is natural to human beings – economics. A way based on being a value to others, and trading with them in an environment of peace, honesty and justice.
All along, so good people now understood, it had been the political way of doing things – their system – that had been unsustainable. There was nothing wrong with our way of doing things, the economic system, that couldn’t easily be solved given the will and a bit of effort.
People came to see political policies, designed to harm innocent people, as assaults against those innocent people. And to see those that promoted, supported or enforced such policies as criminals and worse, deserving nothing but contempt and loathing.
So, those that robbed good people through redistributory or confiscatory taxation, were seen as the thieves they were. Corrupt corporate bosses, that ran to government to get subsidies, or to bring harm to their competitors, were seen as the crooks they were. Those that ordered aggressive wars, were seen as the mass murderers they were. Police, soldiers and others, that behaved with brutality, were seen as the brutes they were.
Those that spied on innocent people were seen as the stalkers they were. Those that lobbied for bad laws were seen as the perverters of justice they were. Governments that oppressed, impoverished or aggressed against innocent people were seen as the criminal gangs they were. And those that promoted the “human activities cause catastrophic global warming” fraud – wanting, as they did, to destroy industrial civilization for the sake of nothing more than a pack of lies – were seen as the traitors to humanity that they were.
There grew also, in the minds of good people, a divide, a separation, from the politicals. Good people began to see the politicals as something different from themselves, as less than members of the human species. Neanderthals, some called them.
And there grew in the minds of good people a demand to bring the politicals to justice. All those that had taken an active part in politics deserved to be thoroughly investigated, scrutinized and judged as individuals. And those – whether politicians, lobbyists, bullying bureaucrats or officials, media, corrupt corporate bosses or other vested interests – that were found to have used political ruses to harm good people, or to profit at the expense of good people, deserved to be made to compensate their victims, and to be treated as the criminals they were. It was now their turn to feel fear and guilt.
But the most significant change of all was that people came to think of themselves, and those around them, as individuals. What mattered was not where people came from, or what colour their skin was, or even what religion they had been brought up in. What mattered was how each individual behaved. That, and only that.
One by one, the zombies awoke, and found that they were human.