|Posted by anillaul on July 30, 2012 at 10:20 AM|
This book intends exploring the reasons behind the crisis ridden world as we have it today. It is almost as if living from one crisis to another has become a way of life. On the one hand we have the genuine crises where the world around us is in a tizzy and all seems to be headed in the wrong direction and then we have what one would like to term as the perceived crises which add to the existing crises. These perceived crises are marketed crises where the sole intent is to propagate a hidden agenda by making even non crises seem like a crises for the “Business First Principle”. Yes, it may be said, that to some, the perceived crises is a way of life. The making of the perceived crises, their global marketing and then making a further global business of trying to resolve them, makes for good business. Personal addiction to finding the Hidden Agenda and finding simple solutions has become a passion. So heavy is this Addiction that every time one has successfully unravelled the hidden agenda behind one perceived crisis, the craving to get an even New High is overwhelming. It is a High that is far Higher than most intoxicants. But as is the case with all intoxicants, this has a fall out which is of one being isolated as a heretic and a social outcast. Simple solutions do not make for good academic or social conversation. If they are simple, then they just do not make good business sense and are therefore quickly discarded. Showing concern and highlighting the latest perceived crises, is fashionable and make for hot animated debates together with liberally funded seminars.
The challenge here is to sift the genuine crises that plague our world from the perceived crises, rationalise the reasons that led us to the present state and then to explore the possible corrective action or change in direction that may be required. This systemic rationalisation would provide the possible clues to the hidden agenda of the marketing agents of the perceived crises which is often more dangerous than the real crises. Armed with the formidable tool of information (not knowledge) together with modern scientific temper (the supreme and only determinant), the arrogance of man in his quest to conquer nature, has blinded him. This refusal to look back and examine the values and traditional practices as archaic, threatens his very existence.
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information”.
Traditional Practices of the past bear merit as they are the process of thousands of years of Evolution. These evolved through respecting the local needs and maintaining the social fabric that helped man co exist with nature and the environment. This process together with the clear definitive logic and understanding that resulted in the evolution of these practices is knowledge. The present day values and practices are the by product of the Industrial Revolution and are still to be time tested. The search for trying to understand the transformations together with the extensive documentation created in the process is information. When understanding comes about, as a consequence of this “research”, one calls this research in the true sense of the word. It however remains as information until such time as the understanding is complete. With the today’s crises ridden world and times we live in, it is becoming increasingly clear that our present day practices are the source of the problem. We have extensive information but little understanding. We are not willing to take corrective action, both by intent and design. It is this unwillingness of man to look over his shoulder and do a rethink, which is his main failing. Must man suffer this and learn the hard way or are we willing to re-examine the basis of Traditional Practices, cull out the wisdom and dovetail them with the scientific temper of the present generation? Maybe man has to indeed take a step back to the future.
“Till taught by pain, men really know not what good nature’s worth.”
The marketing machinery behind the selling of each perceived crises has been crafted to perfection. This business continues to be worth trillions of dollars. Every industry or major player in the financial world has been subjugated into funding this venture if only to stay in business by showing their concern through huge funding. Heads of states meet regularly at National Summits to discuss each crises without result, coin a new slogan and decide to meet yet again, if only to shake hands and cost their exchequers. Humungous amount of monies are spent with large amounts finding their way to the promoters. A great business practice for the propagators of the crises industry and a win win for all the players. Generating economy for the host country and the venue, thousands of NGO’s march in to show their concerns and lodge help boost the economy of the city where they meet. Each group has a hidden agenda to market. The source of funding to these NGO’s can be tracked down to the promoters of these perceived crises. The NGO’s with the best of intent to begin with, have been manipulated into becoming mere puppets.
Any step man takes to better his living, is subject to audit by this very powerful business group that runs the empire that markets the perceived crises. Initially marketed through the NGO’s ((Non Government Organisations) it has now percolated into the education system at all levels. No written or electronic media is complete without drawing the attention of the masses to the issues being marketed on a daily basis. Such is the bombardment and onslaught that there is no room to think anymore. Just as one does not question the alphabet or the numbers, the world without crises would be inconceivable. This then must be our focus area and deserves our undivided attention.
When traditional practices became a way of life, they were referred to as common sense and practiced so almost as a religion. Most religions within the tropics believed in and propagated the “Brotherhood of man and thereby Fatherhood of God”. Religions in other areas of the world propagated the “Fatherhood of God and thereby brotherhood of man”. Both base themselves around co existence but one has the bottom up approach whereas the other has the top down approach. Little wonder then that often many religions and more so within the tropics, are stated to propagate a way of life. We are often told that in today’s world “common sense is rare” and this is often espoused by the wise with much pride. This rare commodity is the subject of much research in leading academic institutions. Through extensive research and analysis much of it is now being promoted as the Higher forms of Living, Understanding, Being, Existence and the likes. Some of this is through the modern enlightened gurus who promote their own cults and have vast followings, usually with enormous financial gain. A few wealthy believers and patrons as followers and a new power centre is created. In the western world these gurus take the form of philanthropic organisations backed by industry. So enormous is the power that they can make or break a Government or even an entire country.
Just as “Everything that goes up must come down” so it is with the groups that market this crises industry. So intense was their focus on marketing the perceived crises industry that they lost focus on issues that provide for Sustainability of Mankind as a whole. Gasping for breath after they themselves are on the brink of total collapse and disaster, the advanced nations are now leaders in researching common sense under the garb of traditional practices. This wisdom is then being repackaged and hawked to the developing nations for humungous amounts. The fact that the resource was drawn from these very countries is conveniently overlooked for financial gain. The magic of marketing, a perfected art and science is an all in one cocktail cleverly disguised to benefit the world, ready to set the cash register ringing.
Those wishing to pursue higher education and write research papers for their thesis must write their proposal using the closing sentence as........... “and it’s effect on global warming and climate change”. The research proposal could be as absurd as to “why the pig has a curly tail” but the final objective has to conclude with the relationship to global warming and climate change. Should this conclusive objective be missing from their research proposal, more likely than not, the proposal would be summarily rejected. Such is the power of this Climate Change and Global Warming lobbyists. One is left with no option but to agree and in doing so the number of loyalists grows. Concluding with this statement would almost get one a huge research grant. It is at these institutions of excellence in advanced learning where time tested Traditional wisdom as passed down the ages is convoluted, tweaked to introduce a hidden agenda, repackaged as the product of intense research, patented and sold Globally as a product of higher learning.
Genetically modified products are losing credibility and organically grown foods are the order of the day. But they were there all along in the first place.
Traditional medicine is in and the chemicals as researched and advocated are on the way out. But they existed and were in extensive use until the recent past.
Traditional healing through yoga and meditation and naturopathy is the preferred route to healthy living. But this was practiced until the very recent past.
Traditional herbal beauty products are in and the chemical formulations are passé.
Virginity is in.
Vegetarianism is in.
Living with nature is the most desired.
Joint family living is making a comeback.
People’s participation in planning and decision making in civic matters is a way forward
It is almost as if living in the past would soon be considered futuristic.
The most serious aberration however is the manner in which we have come to accept and live with our present day practices of Human Settlements under the misnomer of their being progressive. Each solution that man has attempted has resulted in creating a problem far larger than the one he set out to resolve.
Human Settlements and Construction is the single largest consumer of wealth as well as natural resources but it is also the most balanced and equitable distributor of wealth. It is the skewed practices and Urban Policies of the advanced nations that are responsible for almost bringing them to their knees. Incorrect Human Settlement Design coupled with the principles of fractional banking has sparked off the present economic crisis plaguing the world. A few gained enormous amounts at the cost of others. The principal starting point of the tumble down is the commodification of land thereby making it a mortgageable security through the banks. Never before has man bought and sold land in the manner that we have come to accept. Land could never be bought or sold. It is only the asset on the land that could be bought or sold. The concept of “Mother Earth” is a cautionary term propagated to warn man of the severe implications, should he exploit land in the manner we do today. You don’t sell your mother is the hidden message. This commercialisation of land coupled with the system of Fractional Banking has set the world in turmoil. In the last century the Central Bank of the Federal Bank was disbanded in the US as it was concluded in no uncertain terms that fractional banking leads to the creation of money out of thin air and where none exists. Not that this has missed the attention of the few string pullers, but the concerted effort has been directed towards diverting the attention from the root cause of the problem. Fractional banking with high tradable values attached to land make for an even more lethal cocktail. At the tail end of this is the common man which takes the form of the Urban Crisis which is the Mother of all Crises. The perceived crises are the many diversionary strategies that are designed to serve the interests of few at the cost of the larger populace.
The present crisis began with the housing crisis using the land and the asset on the land as a tradable commodity, through the medium of bad mortgages created on inflated land values which then led to the crash of the Financial Institutions. If examined in the larger context it is the policies of urbanisation that are the most serious abuse of human values and sustainability. Ironically, those that have their house on fire are propagating sustainability to the rest of the world through failed policies. These faulty systems are the course material in the best of academic institutions and built into the very fabric of our day to day lives. The present young generation have come to accept this as a reality since this was an integral part of not only their fundamental education but their advanced education as well.
"To create lipstick for an honest whore is one thing, but to create deodorant for her pimp is another"
This approach of introducing and selling perceived crisis through the education system is very dangerous indeed. Just consider the fact that it is through the channel of charging and motivating the youth that terrorists sell their cause. This strategy of using the youth to propagate an agenda is similar and the consequences as dire. The intense energy and fervour of the youth to make a space for themselves is at it’s peak and commitment to fighting for a cause as it is at this age is fierce. Firing their imagination is all that is required to spark off a revolution. History has it so. Add to this an organiser, who is normally a retired Government official running a Non Government Organisation and you have a lethal way of propelling any cause. This category of NGO’s are now being termed as GONGO’s (Government Owned Non Government Organistions). This ex government Official, normally a bureaucrat, has all the where withal to garner political, financial and official support through the big boys club exercises influence and has access to enormous amounts of funding makes this his nesting ground for his retirement benefits. And with a group of like minded people the NGO transforms into an even happier hunting ground of ever green pastures. This new found green pasture has been transformed into a major industry in the form of education.
The civilisations of the past had recognised the power of Just Governance, Sustainable Development and Equitable distribution of wealth could be best achieved through Appropriate Human Settlement Design. Major statements of Architecture, Power, Dominance and quality of Civilisation were made and are attributable to this understanding. Most historians fail to recognise the power of Human Settlements as they were designed and their influence in carving out history. As they say “History repeats itself” but then “Historians repeat each other”. So it is with the way we have come to understand and design for Human Settlements. The evolution of traditional practices was subtly woven into the social fabric through Mythology, Myth and Religious practices so as to have people respect every aspect that would help and ensure the growth of the Humanity and its sustenance. This was more clearly evident in the Tropical regions as it is here that most civilisations took birth. It is this region that has the most population, the maximum flora and fauna, the largest amount of disease as also the largest amount of antidote to the disease. It is the region of the maximum amount of Myths, Gods, Religions and Mysticism together with a wealth of knowledge of co existence of all animate and the inanimate. Whereas major religions believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, the religions within the tropics propagate the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. Both are based on coexistence with man and nature. The recognition that the principles of Sustainability through Appropriate Human Settlement Design which was given due importance and it’s immense power was well recognised.
Where the Vastuvidya was the core principle of Human Settlement Design in India and it’s surrounding regions and the Feng Shuei of the Far East was the guiding factor, the Ubuntu of Africa was the basic principle. The Vastuvidya propagated that if every individual home was built respecting appropriate building practices then the resultant settlement would be sustainable. The Feng Shuei enforced much the same principles by propagating that if every built form respected the principles of the Five elements the resultant settlement would achieve peace and sustainability. The Ubuntu on the other hand propagated the principles of “I am because they are” thereby stating that in respecting the needs of the community in the first instance and planning around this value as the determinant factor, the community would be sustainable. In all cases the final principle is that one cannot survive alone and each individual is essentially only a part of the whole.
The most marketed crisis one has to say has been that of Global Warming being attributable to Carbon Emissions. With the prolonged winters that the west has been witnessing over the past few years, some rethinking has taken place. Quick to change tracks if proven wrong, the new slogan is Climate Change. Since everything on Earth, living or dead, every action or reaction and our barest of essentials for survival can be linked in one way to Carbon Emissions, linking Carbon to Global Warming or Climate Change makes for the best marketing strategy ever. Most of the issues related to the Carbon Crisis are directly or indirectly related to the Urban Development and Human Settlement Design, all of which stress that our past heritage of Human Settlements are Archaic and the very fundamental reason for all the ills that plague our societies. The converse is probably truer today. In selling this as the make or break of a crisis, the marketers of this concept now exercise control over every action every product and the very being of all. Be it good or damaging is irrelevant, the only objective is that of the power that propagating this crisis would wield and the monies that can be generated for the stewards of this new perceived crisis. There could obviously be no better business model, as those guilty of crime towards humanity and are touted as the saviours of the world. The most ardent of liars are those who repeatedly convince themselves that the lie they tell is indeed the truth. This is then repeated on a humungous scale until one and all believe that the lie is indeed the truth. This then goes on to being practiced as the norm until the next lie until all the lies cumulatively become a way of life. Man has perfected this art in the times we live. The state and form of the Human Settlements and the buildings we build is what history, the harshest judge, is about.
Carbon Credits and Carbon trading has been a major revenue earner for the promoters of this new hyped crisis. Even here, there has been a fresh turnaround and Carbon Credits that were trading at approximately 12 Euros are going a begging at close to 3 Euros
It is not as if one is belittling the scientific advancement man has made. But the need is to re examine the reasons as to why the faster we move forward the farther back we seem to moving from Sustainable solutions. Scientific revolution must and will have to move at tandem with evolution. Human Settlements is a by product of evolution and must be respected so. Whereas scientific solutions address the aspect of standardisation, the process of the evolution of human settlements addresses the solutions through localisation. The slogan, “Think Global Act Local” was coined at one of the first International Conferences when signs of the downward spiral we may hit, had been perceived. This slogan now almost lies buried as the stress seems to be one of centralising all aspects of life itself.
The very process of thought itself has been commercialised through the channels of education which has then become a major business. The once centres of higher learning and thought have been reduced to centres of subjugation of the human mind. This is more so where the issues are subjective and relate to human settlements and development issues. If they fail the test of quantifiable business gain, they are rejected outright. A typical research report or thesis has so many references to former researcher’s documents that there is very little room for the actual conclusions that are arrived at by the researcher himself. Continuous reference to former researchers eventually lends credibility by preventing dissent. Often the references are to the scholars who had written their thoughts several decades ago. The bibliography often forms a large part of the final pages of the thesis. It is almost as if the conclusions have been predetermined and the entire document is only an exercise in reinforcing the pre determined conclusions of the peers. Restating an idea without credits to the peers can attract serious legal consequences involving protracted litigation.
In the process Knowledge becomes Information and acquires or can be given a commercial value. Information is then patented as a commodity. Those propagating a hidden agenda are then free to tweek information to further manipulate the entire chain of brain washing, thus completing the vicious circle. The most powerful marketing machine can now be set in motion enabling absolute power in the hands of a few. This is the most potent form of warfare which can subjugate the most powerful.
The following statement from the Indian Parliament House Library reproduced below is very telling. Even though written in the Indian context this statement holds true for most parts of the world.
Lord Macaulay in his speech in the British parliament on February 2, 1835 on introducing English education in India said “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such high calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her cultural and spiritual heritage, and therefore I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture, and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.
The present day forces at play are contrary to the traditional practices that evolved on the principle that knowledge must be shared and passed onto the future generations. This basic principle of evolution and the process of dissemination could not and was not patented or used for financial gain. Products however had tangible value and did attract incentives in order to reap the benefits for the developer as also to encourage and fund future developments. Issues related to Human Settlements were value based and passed on from father to son through intricately woven myths and legends to ensure survival of the Community as a whole. These were modified from time to time as and when required.
This book does not intend to get into point scoring or propagating one agenda or the other in order to promote the ‘Business first principle’. It endeavours to highlight the processes that have evolved over the ages and are today considered archaic. It also endeavours to uncover the series of preventive measures that evolved over centuries and the manner in which they were woven into the very fabric of daily living so as to maintain the balances we so desperately need today.
One of the main causes for our environmental problems today is that validation of technology is subservient to business first and then to others things like the needs of a society or its environment. If we cannot abate this process, should we abet it?
That a major crisis exists is an understatement and we need urgent solutions. But we need to sift out the perceived crises from the real crisis. It is our Settlement policies and Building Practices which need careful scrutiny. This compilation would seek to address and rationalise each aspect in order to set planners and policy makers thinking once again.
Often simple solutions are disregarded owing to their sheer simplicity or merely on the basis of not serving the larger business interest of a few. This way forward would be to make solutions so simple that they become a way of life.