By Manuel Valenzuela
Humanity and the Tribe
From the heaven’s above and in space beyond, outside the dimensions of Earth’s rounded surface, where one can almost grasp the stars and the darkness that is the universe, contemplating and exploring the vastness of an energy not fathomable by primitive minds, a small yet lively planet can be witnessed revolving around its axis, divided into day and night, going about its daily existence, exhibiting its cloud cover and vast oceans, its green continents and brown soils, its vivacity and contained energy. A planet without lines of separation, without borders, flags and nationalistic inclinations can be seen from high above the zenith where few men and women have gone before, a world where only natural barriers exist, fluidly traversing the dimensions of Earth, undivided by the laws of man or the wars of humanity. From high above the reach of clouds one single world can be seen, undivided and unmarked, a planet of land and water, a paradise existing as one energy, knowing no boundaries nor countries, no separation of peoples nor impassable borders. From the stars only one Earth exists, a spiritual resonance of life, listening to a revolving entity in an unfathomable universe, where man is but a pebble of time and place. From high above there is one planet, one home, which all things living can claim as their own, belonging to nothing and everything. From the moon and the stars and the darkness of the universe only one Earth exists, one home for humanity, one planet from where we all derive.
If nations were meant to exist the powers that be would surely have created them, much like mountains and rivers and lakes and forests, much like humans, out of chosen clay and borrowed ribs. If borders were destined for humanity then surely Earth would have provided them from the beginning, making human movement impossible, limiting our existence to the territory we were born into, destined to live inside sealed lands, some granted fortune, others unforgiving barrenness. If nations are the destiny of human civilization, why are they so new in our history? Why have they fluctuated so much in such little time, changing, altering, disappearing, being destroyed, being rebuilt and gaining/losing territory over the course of their life cycle? Why do borders shift with each new war and each new geopolitical earthquake?
If territory were a god-given right, then 6.3 billion humans would be born with promised land, a parcel each, in equality and justice, free of jealousy and greed, a gift from the metaphysical, not acquired through exploitation, criminality, fraud, duress, robbery, ethnic cleansing, genocide and dispossession of entire groups of humans. Yet nations and borders were not created along with mountains and rivers and lakes and oceans and valleys, and so have become anomalies eviscerating a once balanced Earth. They cannot be seen from beyond the blue of our skies nor from the black of space. They have never been part of Earth, until the arrival of humankind not too long ago, that is.
For Earth and its natural wonders do not contemplate the complex interactions of tribal man nor the territorial divisions and aspirations of humans. Its lands and waterways have existed for billions of years, just as they will exist for billions more, regardless of how long humanity has left on the planet. They have existed before us, just as they will exist long after as well. Earth’s surface obeys the dictates of nature, not man’s political hegemony nor our ever-changing geopolitical history. It changes according to the laws of science, not those of our species, taking epochs and not centuries to mold and form, in the quiet patience of time and not the sudden movement of technologies. Its environment, air, mountains, forests, oceans and rivers, though destroyed, raped and intoxicated by the hands of man, will in time return to normalcy, ready once more to re-start balances lost and reclaim beauty usurped.
Inside the contours of a physical Earth unmarked by delineated barriers a planet of unsurpassed beauty and wonderment exists, where the colors of sky blend with those of water and land, granting us hues of blue, green, brown and everything in between in an unsurpassed embodiment of life, a potpourri manifesting the natural magnificence as undivided stand the imaginary lines of political separation dividing the diverse amalgam of humanity. Created where no divisions exist out of the manipulated imagination of those elite energies at the top of the human hierarchical pyramid, borders, nothing more than invisible barriers carving out vested interests and maintaining the illusion of territorial division, are the fault lines whose tectonic frictions continue to erode the commonality of man and the unity of the human species.
Humans are a mere hiccup in the long life of the planet, a nanosecond in the twenty-four hour clock that is Earth history, a species that though young, has raped and pillaged the only home it has, destroying and scarring lands, intoxicating the air it breathes and the environment it lives in. We have, like the good mammals we are, marked the lands of Earth as our own, our diverse and multiple tribal groups claiming territory much the same way as our animal cousins, fighting, defending and protecting what we claim is ours. As territorial as many primates and mammals, we have historically claimed our territory based on its availability of resources and its ability to provide for our survival. As such, each tribal group defends the land, and all it provides, with the aggressiveness and violence worthy of the human animal.
The earliest of our tribes spread to all corners of the globe, for hundreds of thousands of years settling the lands of Earth, like a giant tree scattering out its vast branches of humanity, claiming property and resources, fighting off intruders, invaders and wonderers, following game and weather for survival. New groups entering already claimed and protected territory were forced to move on in search of virgin land, continuing on their nomadic journey through the lands of Earth, stopping only upon finding those soils as yet untouched or unpossessed by other groups. The same cycle was repeated over and over again, through the course of many thousands of seasons, with new hunter gatherer tribes, finding already claimed and defended territory, moving on into lands never before seen by the eyes of man, settling unpopulated areas, exploiting resources, defending their homes, watching still more groups of humans pass through their territory in search of uninhabited regions, looking for a land to call home.
For hundreds of thousands of years this is how the planet came to be populated by man, helping spread humanity to all continents and forever setting off a chain of events that would, when combined with the behaviors and instincts ingrained in the human condition, give rise both to the cocktail necessary for ceaseless violence upon each other and a perpetual state of human warfare. With borders now established, with territory to defend and homes to protect, with some lands better than others, richer, more resourceful and better endowed for human survival, with jealousy, greed, power and wealth prevalent among human tribes, with a thirst to possess the lands and riches of others, with the hunger to expand territory and increase wealth, ceaseless and savage fighting among men could only inevitably follow.
It is borders, and the political entities that exist inside and around them that have led, along with religion, to the myriad of problems that have plagued humanity almost from the beginning, dividing, fragmenting, alienating and destroying us, forcing man to fight man, serving to segregate ourselves into distinct tribes unwelcome of competitors, spawning unending war, pillage, rape, invasion, occupation and destruction. From our exodus out of the Great Rift Valley human tribes have fought to maintain their territory from other human groups, protecting the lands they settled and sought, defending, like the primates we are, our homeland, our hunter/gatherer territory, our resources, our livelihood and our modes of survival.
For hundreds of thousands of years territorial borders separating tribes, keeping them at peace only until the next wave of human animal appeared yet again to launch still another war or battle, would only last as long as the tribe defending its home existed. If a native tribe migrated out, was conquered, destroyed or was forced to assimilate to invading tribes borders would shift, just as they always have, according to the dictates of new balance of power, of the exhaustion of resources, of new conquerors and new geopolitical tremors. Thus, throughout history, recorded and never known, the human condition succumbs to an ingrained and instinctual hunger for land and resources, thereby trumping wisdom, foresight and analytical thinking, usually resulting in humans fighting humans for resource-rich territory sought in the lose-lose entanglement called war.
The same continues to apply today to nation-states and their borders, for the tribe has not ceased to exist. Rather, it has simply grown and evolved, rising out of the tribes of bloodlines to the clans of extended families and relationships, splitting apart into new groups due to differences or joining together with other tribes according to bonds forged, beliefs shared or interests protected. Some tribes grew large while others remained small, with the advent of animal domestication and agriculture continuing on their way towards the eventual settlement of towns and villages, later growing to city-states and kingdoms run by pharaohs, kings, Caesars and high priests, many in small proximity to one another, always under threat of barbaric and savage war. Some tribes extended themselves towards empire through war and conquering of other peoples, consolidating and expanding borders and groups, only to eventually fall, just as all empires eventually do. Still other peoples remained stagnant, evolving differently according to environments and circumstances, living at the fringes of known civilization, preferring subsisting in harmony with nature, incorporating sustainable development, remaining nomadic, hunter-gatherers, moving to the calls of migration, natural spirituality and co-existence with fellow tribes.
In time many tribes turned to fiefdoms out of fear of their fellow man, protected by the wealth of nobles and royalty, making the growing masses serfs and indentured servants. Regions of ethnically homogenous peoples banded together for protection in walled cities, maintaining their identity and culture, living in an old world of constant fear, war and insecurity, in regions no longer capable of supporting the growing human population. Virgin land vanished, congestion and competition dominated, resources dwindled as populations rose and frictions grew out of groups suddenly being pushed towards each other. Fiefdoms became united, regions became kingdoms, kingdoms became nations and in time under one crown and banner did tribes find themselves in, led by divine kings and queens, exploited by royalty, nobles and priests, becoming subjects without rights, serfs bound to the land they worked.
Monarchs, having consolidated lands and peoples, set out to colonize new tribes and lands, growing in wealth and power, continuing to subjugate their subjects. Slowly the masses revolted, tired of living in misery and servitude, tired of over-taxation and of possessing no rights. Revolutions exploded throughout the world as a new energy was birthed, the nation-state, political and representative, espousing freedom and democracy, its leaders chosen by the people, supposedly catering to the needs of the masses. Humans suddenly found themselves no longer subservient to the inbreeding-laced, incompetent led, diluted blood of royalty or the vice-like grip, dumbing-down control of the once-mighty Vatican.
With the growing power of some nation-states the once small tribe has become a tribe on steroids, encompassing tremendous wealth and power, possessing huge amounts of land, hundreds of millions of diverse people living inside its borders. Today’s powerful tribes, mainly those living in the fortuitous north, endowed with temperate weather, fertile soils, abundant crops, advantageous global positioning, made extremely wealthy at the expense of the resource-rich south through colonization and able to expand –and maintain – their power, control and wealth thanks to domination of world economic, financial, banking and trade markets, incorporate the vast talents of its people, using the collective brain of its citizens to grow in strength, building the most lethal military machines ever created by man, inventing nuclear weapons, WMDs and solidifying and expanding capitalism, the most corrosive, oppressive and exploitative economic instrument ever invented by humankind.
Without Flags, Without Nations
Today the nation-state is a vast control mechanism designed to subjugate its citizens, keeping the masses purposely ignorant to reality and subservient to the elite and those in power. Mutating capitalism with feudalism, masking serfdom with the comforts of materialism, hiding slavery with the crumbs of consumerism, the nation-state is an outgrowth of human hierarchy, of the perpetual exploitation of those at the bottom by those at the top. Today’s nations, nothing more than tribes fed vast quantities of human growth hormones, becoming behemoths addicted to wealth and power, are well oiled machines clandestinely enriching and empowering those already at the top through the blood, sweat and tears of the masses.
Through the control and manipulation of the people using a vast assortment of tools, the elite are therefore able to maintain power, seemingly able to do as they wish while the masses linger in complacency and pacific lethargy. Retaining the loyalty and the blind trust of the masses is critical in order to maintain the status quo, and this the Establishment does extremely well. The illusion presented, the fantasy espoused and the manipulated behaviors controlled must be pervasive and omnipotent, conditioned into the citizenry from cradle to grave the benefits of the state, hiding truths and reality, espousing fictions and lies in order to maintain balance, power and the indispensable yet ever-threatening blind loyalty of the people. Based on faith in the system, brainwashed into the mind from an early age, the citizens of a nation become ardent supporters of the same system designed to exploit and control their lives. Welcome to the nation-state at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
The conditioning and manipulation of minds begins seemingly from birth as the idea of the nation-state is planted into the young, still-developing human brain. Like organized religion, the system knows that in order to maintain lifelong loyalty and dependence of its subjects, it must begin brainwashing from the earliest moments of life. It must begin eroding the naturally inquisitive human mind from the beginning, instead implanting the seeds of lifelong loyalty and subservience. It must bombard the still-innocent, naïve mind to its dictates, lest the mind begin questioning its tenets as it matures and reaches the age of reason. And so, blitzkrieged with the cocktails of nationalism, children are transformed from little primates into loyal servants of the nation, abusing the innocence of youth so as to not confront the wisdom and experience that comes with age.
The system knows that in order to achieve its army of worker bees and soldier ants it must use the recipe used to conquer souls, perfected for nearly 2,000 years, of breaking the human mind early, implanting ideas and beliefs that in adulthood will be nearly impossible to erode. Hereditary conditioning of minds, personalities and behaviors works best in youth, when the mind is still fragile and innocent, when the brain is growing and susceptible to believe almost anything if it is manipulated long enough, pervasively enough. Thus, the process by which youngsters are indoctrinated and made loyal to the state commences in schools as children embark on a journey of education that will span at least a decade and a half through a purposefully corrosive, under funded and manipulative state education system whose curriculum caters to the interests of the nation and the elite that run it.
From the beginning young children are subjected to countless hours of indoctrination to the state, becoming obedient citizens submissive to authority, taught to never question the very fabric and foundations of the nation and those that lead it. They are molded into becoming one more cog in the system by a classroom environment and teaching structure pilfering individual thought and expression, making youngsters conformist creatures of habit taught always to trust in the system, in those governing and leading. Forced to listen, learn and read what the Establishment wants taught, children begin incorporating what they see and hear as fact, in their young innocence believing in the altruism of their nation’s government.
The idea of the nation they reside in, and of the undying loyalty to it, is firmly ingrained by curricula, teachers and textbooks. Dozens of songs espousing nationalism, patriotism and the historical fictions of the nation are taught, forever remaining entrenched in one’s mind. Books whitewashing, glossing over or altogether erasing the reality of a nation’s troubled past, with its incessant crimes against humanity, its evil deeds, its wars, its invasions, mass murders, genocides, ethnic cleansing, forms of market colonialism, wars of economic depravity and continued exploitation of peoples are disseminated throughout the nation, revising the history its future citizens learn. Instead, romanticized stories of myth and fable are inculcated, making ordinary men seem god-like, bigger than life beings never capable of wrong. Elite exploiters of human flesh become Founding Fathers; criminals and murderers become Presidents; racists become Supreme Court justices; members of the Establishment become Secretaries and legions of traveling salesmen turned political prostitutes become Congressmen. In the world of make-believe, where truth is turned upside down and falsity becomes reality, it is children who absorb legend best, and it is they who become targets of fictional stories masquerading as history textbooks.
For years children are indoctrinated that the nation is the supreme manifestation of good and its principles, no matter how detrimental they may be, are to remain unsurpassed and unquestioned. All citizens must conform, obey and follow its policies, always remaining loyal and faithful to its actions. Throughout the course of a child’s passage through the education system, the sacredness of the red, white and blue, along with that of the national anthem is conditioned into minds, becoming sacrosanct relics, to be preserved and cherished. The idea of government as wise and beyond reproach is taught, making faith in the system a sought-after virtue in all citizens.
And so, for years the same process is repeated again and again, year after year, grade after grade, each semester that passes brainwashing a new piece of information into developing minds. The truth is never revealed, love of country is bombarded and slowly but surely, through methodical and systemic manipulation of minds, the young primate brain succumbs to the barrage of patriotism-filled teachings, becoming, over time, the obedient, unthinking, unquestioning and complacent loyal citizen of the nation. With a decade and a half advantage over the now maturing and reasoning adult mind, the system has laced our thoughts with its tools of loyalty, succeeding in quieting our questions, controlling our energies and implanting the pacific acceptance of the system into our being.
As adults we have not a chance, really, as the apparatus of brainwashing has achieved its mission long before we have had an opportunity to think for ourselves. Before we know it, the programming of our youth is resurrected when we least expect it, attacking our adult life whenever the nation needs our subservience most. Suddenly all that has ever been imparted onto us rushes our minds, making us blind as bats and as obtuse as earthworms. The love of nation inculcated, the sacrifice to flag learned, the patriotism manipulated and the loyalty to government preached are, at the flip of a switch or at the birth of a new Pearl Harbor, released like adrenaline rushing our bodies, making us drones to unwise undertakings and subservient slaves to the dictates of the elite.
Rabid like wild dogs, the human animal is once more reincarnated, mutating our placid selves into conduits of aggressive thought and violent activity. Tens of millions of citizens, forever raised in clandestine manipulation to the doctrines of nationalism are, like Pavlovian dogs, awakened from their sleep by the calls for war. Wisdom becomes non-existent and the logical, analytical human brain becomes lost in the haze of the warmongering frenzy captivating the population. The silent calls begging restraint, peace and non-violence get blown away by the roar of war drums beckoning us forward and the sounds of the war machine turning on its engines.
The triumph of this hereditary conditioning, through years exported into a citizen’s adulthood, can best be seen in times of war, national disaster or forced sacrifice, when the masses become enraged with the parameters of nationalism, becoming easily led and manipulated entities through the jingoism extolled by leaders, governments and propaganda. In patriotism the masses rise in unison with the state, becoming the marching army beating to the drums of war, accepting of loss of life or limb, willing to fight those deemed enemies of the state, ready to sacrifice their rights and freedoms for the sake of the nation.
Blindly following blatant lies and deceits, ignorantly believing the bully pulpit of criminals and murderers, wrapping themselves up in colorful flags of division, nationalism and false senses of superiority, millions hear the trumpets of mobilization programmed from birth into their hypnotized minds. In a short period of time the culture of war is reintroduced, those peoples chosen by the Establishment as enemies of the state are ostracized, targeted and attacked, and a military, war-like mentality grips the nation. The Establishment and the government they control have achieved their goals. Years of patience and investment in our so-called educations have paid off. The Establishment can do with us as it pleases, sending our loved ones to die, our children to experience hell on Earth, returning maimed in body and mind, blatantly and under cover of legality pillaging our treasure and taxes, eviscerating our rights and freedoms, tarnished our reputation and creating the energies of action-reaction which will invariably lead to our karma exploding in shambles.
Nationalism and patriotism are as corrosive to human interaction as anything ever created by the human animal. Love of country, blind patriotism, aggressive nationalism, ignorant xenophobia, dumbed down unenlightenment, manipulated fear and programmed insecurity fuse to form a most malignant cocktail of human wickedness, resulting in the historical failure to contain the human animal. It is during these times of the human animal unleashed, such as is found today in America, when humanity as a whole suffers the consequences of those creations of man called borders and nations. It is during these times when the population of a super tribe is inundated most with feelings of superiority over all other peoples surrounding them. Those false enemies, which government and Establishment propaganda have over the years created, suddenly become imminent threats that must be destroyed. It is in times of nationalistic fervor that logic ceases to exist, violent thought grows, racism prospers and aggressiveness expands. All such lunacy for love of country, for love of flag and for love of government.
The division of humanity into nations and separate peoples is a way for the Establishment of each country to better control the population. Borders, flags, governments and the tools of nationalism create divisions, threats, competitors and enemies, making six billion people rivals, not friends. Separately the Establishment can better control us, making us fight each other for the resources and power the elite need to keep their grip over us. Along with religion, nationalism – or super tribalism – has led to the waging of more wars and the death of more humans than anything ever created by man or nature. It is corrosive and worthless, with warlike leaders exploiting our love of tribe in order to make warlike peoples of us all. Division of peoples leads to enemies created and declared, where the poor of one nation fight the poor of another for the wealth and power of the elite.
The nation is the reincarnation of the feudal estate on a much grander scale, yet serfs we all are, obedient to our feudal masters, fighting for their lands and riches, for their accumulated and growing power, while we sacrifice treasure and loved ones for no apparent benefit to the masses. Nationalism forces us to fight fellow humans who are made enemies, though in reality they are no different than you or me. For years we are made to believe in their evil through the propaganda bombarded into our lives. For years we demonize who they are and what they stand for, yet in reality their differences to us are minimal. Yet the elite need growing wealth and power and this is accomplished through war. War needs enemies, and nations need evildoers in order to mobilize a nationalistic population.
The nation is yet another tool of the elite, creating barriers to the inevitable amalgamation of humanity that is as certain as cold in the winter. The movement is obvious for all to see, from the very beginning the joining of humanity has been in motion, going through its evolving steps in time, dancing to the beats of mankind’s slow progression from the mini-tribe to the super-tribe. Today the planet is a global village, with more diverse group interaction than ever. Unions and partnerships of diversity continue to increase; peoples of hundreds of various nations now comprise a single country. In several continents ethnicity no longer determines national identity. The mixture of racial and color lines only keeps expanding, freeing fear based on ignorance the more we interact with each other. In the last century the coming together of the people of the world has taken a dramatic step forward thanks to technology and progress. The inevitable joining of hands of the world entire is not too far off, a mere blink of an eye in human existence. Perhaps, pragmatically, we are 100 years away at best, perhaps 250 at worst.
Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of waiting so many decades, for the Earth is reeling and humanity continues to push the envelope of self-destruction. The future must begin now, for this thing called nationalism, competition among countries and the pursuit of resources will engulf our only home in flames before too long. The fraternity of tribes must come together, the brotherhood and sisterhood of peoples must commence, for the super-tribes see the dwindling supplies of resources and the ever-growing demand of its citizens, and soon will stop at nothing to quash rivals and competitors, just as human tribes have done from the very beginning of human life. Time is a luxury we no longer have, for we are killing ourselves through the pollution we excrete and the carbons we release. Earth is being transformed and the ramifications of what we are doing to her will wipe our species from the planet.
The greatest threat facing humanity is humanity. Nationalism and religion continue to devastate our potential. They continue to resurrect the human animal embedded in all of us, making us destroyers of the planet and of human life. The division of peoples based on super-tribes has always led to battles, fights and wars. There is no reason this will stop before blazing holocausts envelope our planet and destroy our civilization. Nations and borders are illusory, tools of segregation and control, designed to divide and conquer, exploit and subjugate. They are the root holding human wickedness together, never allowing us to exorcise the demons of war from our midst.
We are all in this together, forged out of one common African ancestor. We are human, one and all, born without flags, without borders and without nations, spawned naked to politics and in harmony with nature. The nation is man-made, as is patriotism and nationalism, creations of our animal selves. Our loyalty should be to the Earth and one another, not to the intangible fantasies of division or the imaginary lines of control.
From the zenith of space our eyes now see monolithic snow-covered mountain ranges and fertile valleys, great plains and dense jungles, expansive oceans and lush forests, arid deserts and mesmerizing gorges, all the continuance of billions of years of a changing planet, all formed by nature, all visible from the darkness of the universe. We see one undivided Earth free of demarcation lines, tangible borders and separate nations. We are the mega-tribe, from one, many, from many, one. Divisions based on nation-states will inevitably disappear, becoming an extinct and archaic mechanism of an advancing human civilization. The nation state has served its purpose; it has now become a liability. We are now citizens of the world, not of countries, forever loyal to Earth and each other, not the Establishment, knowing that separate we will fall but together we will prosper.
Where flags do not rise and borders do not divide is where our journey must commence, leaving behind the divisions, the aggression, the violence and the wars for so long hemorrhaging humanity to death. Citizens of the world are we, united and strong, wishing an end to enemies and separations, no longer seeking solace in borders and national boundaries, aware that the current system is leading us all into ruination. A better way exists, one based on cooperation, not competition, communalism, not individualism, togetherness, not isolation.
Into the future we must head, where flags do not rise and borders do not divide we must stand, transforming our world and our way of life. If we fail the archaic nation state/tribal system will continue to destroy us from within, forever clenching us in the dungeon and demons of the human animal. If we succeed, perhaps a new dawn of human enlightenment awaits us and with it our salvation as a species as well.
Mr. Valenzuela’s new novel is now on sale through Authorhouse.com at Echoes in the Wind Sales Page. A philosophical, educational and spiritual story on humanity and our civilization, as relevant as today’s headlines, this book is almost 600 pages in trade paperback form on sale internationally through secure web page transaction. Additionally, the novel is now available on Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, as well as other online book sellers. If preferred, the novel can also be ordered at any local brick and mortar bookstore worldwide through the book’s ISBN number, 1418489905.
Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries,
It isn’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace…
Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one,
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.
— John Lennon, Imagine
Manuel Valenzuela is social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst, Internet columnist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by Authorhouse.com. A collection of essays, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and Humanity, will be published in early 2005. His articles appear regularly on www.informationclearinghouse.info . His unique style and powerful writing is read internationally and seeks to expose truths and realities confronting humanity today. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at [email protected] A collection of his work can be found visiting his archives and by searching the Internet
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