(Rebloged from the “Blog of Tsish”. Tsish is an extraterestial friend of mine from outer space.)
Over the previous days, however, I haven’t had the time to publish anything in your people’s internet. As you know, I am an extraterrestrian investigating your planet. Unfortunately, this entails the duty to write regular reports to our central. I’d rather continue with my asifological experiments and investigations but that will have to wait until next time.
After going through my latest report, however, I noticed it might be interesting for you as well, at least some sections. It is sometimes good to get an outsider’s view. From inside, some important aspects easily become invisible since your conceptual systems provide standard interpretations that hide certain aspects and lead your thoughts into ready-made directions. An outsider, on the other side, may immediately see what is wrong.
So let me cite from the most recent report on the T-Planet I am just preparing (T-Planet is alien-speak for Earth). Sorry for the bad translation, my automatic translator sometimes produces suboptimal results. And sorry, this is dry stuff (as such reports tend to be) but I thought it might interest some of you:
“…In comparison with the previous visit, only marginal progress in the cultural development of the inhabitants of the T-Planet can be registered. Because of that, we recommend again not to get into contact with them.” (don’t tell them that I am secretly blogging on your internet) “The inhabitants of the planet have made considerable progress in their technology. However, they have mainly used these technological advances to switch from direct simultaneous exploitation to long distance exploitation and finally, transtemporal exploitation.
In previous visits, the situation was characterized by the division of the population into several groups. An important construct of the culture of the T-People was that they divided themselves into different classes or casts of individuals. Some individuals or groups where regarded as privileged. One group was called “free people”, “citizens”, “nobility”, “human beings” etc., the other group or groups where denied these appellations. They instead had to act as slaves or servants for the privileged group (see 3rd, 4th, and 5th report).
It is a bizarre characteristic of most cultures of the T-Planet that the status of each individual as member of such a group is passed on to its genetic offspring. The T-People call this inheritance. Although these group divisions are purely cultural phenomena, they are coupled artificially (in the sense of a cultural institution) to the biological relatedness. So, the T-People constructed the as-if-construction that certain subgroups “naturally” have a certain status within the system (see the analysis of the phenomenon of nobility in the 4th report as an example).
The present situation is characterized by more subtle forms of exploitation. On one side, many T-People now acknowledge that such inherited privileges are unjustified. However, they still exist in hidden form, although most of the T-People seem not to realize this. For this purpose, a novel system of social organization was developed:
The surface of the planet was divided into different territories. The inhabitants of each territory get a document (called a passport or identity card) that states that they are inhabitants of one of these territories. In this way, the population of the planet is divided into several casts. The ownership of such a document for a certain territory is inheritable in the sense described above, with the well known coupling of rights to the genetic descent so characteristic for cultures of the planet.
Some of the territories are privileged compared to some of the others. Their inhabitants of these territories enjoy well developed social security systems, enough food and energy, education, a good medical supply and a life expectancy near the biological limit for T-people. They can move relatively freely between the different privileged territories (or inside the “privileged zone”) and generally enjoy a great deal of freedom.
The inhabitants of the non-privileged territories, on the other side, are subject to many restrictions and disadvantages. They often don’t have enough food, energy and clean water. On average, their life expectancy is lower. Social security systems don’t exist for them or are rudimentary. They produce goods for the inhabitants of the privileged territories but receive a payment for these goods that is low in relation to the price of the goods in the privileged zone. They cannot move freely. Especially, they can normally not travel into the privileged zone legally or only with huge restrictions.
As was noted already, these group divisions are still hereditary, which means they are coupled to biological descent. However, while in the previous times, the underprivileged people often lived and worked in the direct vicinity of the privileged people, now they are in most cases spatially separated from them. So, advances in transportation technology allowing long distance transportation of goods where used to separate both groups of the population.
As a result, most people, at least in the privileged group, are no longer aware of the fact that hereditary privileges and a system of exploitation based on them still exist. The inhabitants of the privileged zone feel free, elect their leaders and believe to live in a just political system. However, they restrict their perception of the political systems to their respective territory and are often not aware of the exploitative nature of the global political system.
The inhabitants of the non-privileged zone are not entitled to vote in these political systems, just like the slaves of previous times who where not entitled to take part in decisions. While in times of slavery most people where convinced that slavery was a natural and just system, now the view prevails that this system of global territorial division is natural and just, because the inhabitants of the underprivileged territories are free and entitled to vote within their respective territories. In cases where suppressive systems have developed in some of theses territories (in fact: most of them), the inhabitants of the privileged zone in some cases demand human rights from the leaders of the underprivileged territories. However, such problems are largely seen as “internal affairs” of those territories.
The need for a global social system (immediately obvious for the outside observer) that would guarantee at least enough food, medical supplies etc. to every inhabitant of the planet is normally not seen although a large number of people in the non-privileged zone die from starvation or preventable diseases.
It must also be noted that most T-people in the privileged territories are not interested in these things and know very little about them and about the underprivileged territories in general. Despite the development of advanced information processing and information distributing technologies, these are often only used to divert the attention from the real conditions.
It is interesting to note that the present system developed out of a system in which the privileged and the non-privileged territories we see today formed political units, so called colonial empires. Within these, exploitation systems of the old type existed. There was a caste system connected to a concept of “race”. People where arbitrarily divided into groups called “races” defined by superficial genetically inherited features like skin color (a logical consequence, it seems, of the preoccupation of the T-People with the concept of biological inheritance of cultural roles). When scientific advances made it difficult to justify this system as a basis for exploitation any longer, one should have expected that the exploited casts would have been given equal rights. However, instead of giving them an equal status as full-right citizens inside the increasingly democratic political systems of the colonial empires, they (the former slave caste) where instead denaturalized into their own territories. This was supported by spreading an ideology of “independence” among them. They where argued into believing that they where given their freedom, so most of them agreed with this step. As a result, as non-citizens of the privileged areas, they lost any kind of chance to take part in the political decision making processes of the former “colonial motherlands” that now turned into core parts of the privileged zone. Meanwhile, on the economical level, exploitation continued.
Besides this contemporary, simultaneous exploitation between people living at the same time, increasingly the economy of the T-Planet is characterized by transtemporal exploitation. On an ever larger scale, the T-People extract resources from their own future by nonsustainable practices, thus exploiting coming generations of the planet. This is now taking destructive proportions on global scale so that the outlook for the planet is very bleack….“
Now I am about to finish this report. Than I will go back to my private studies and experiments of which I hope to report (not to the central but to you T-People) next time.