On Sapience, Politics, Economics And (Space Alien)Religion

I had stuff to do today.

The van that’s old enough to get its own Concealed Carry license drank some rainwater thanks to a a lost gas cap. I have to put on a fuel filter and purge the forward fuel line.

The futon frame that broke a week ago needs gluing and clamping. And we’re moving, so I have to pack up the house for the second time in three months.

But the world turns on, as does the stomach. Today, the Daily Mail chundered up a rich chyme of items for a blog entry: a former astronaut on extraterrestrials , and fishermen helping a baleen whale that had the foresight to ask them for help . Breitbart added this piece about the Black Panthers in Texas being stupid and smart at the same time. (The stupid part was the armed protest, chanting anti-police death-threat slogans when they were vastly outnumbered by the cops. You have to read down to the smart part, where one of them realizes that Planned Parenthood is, as Margaret Sanger intended, committing genocide against their race.)

These divers events do link together, which I shall demonstrate. Seriatim:

If you read the DM article about what Dr. Edgar Mitchell, #6 on the moon, said about UFOs, you will note that the ETs frequently interfered with missile tests at White Sands. (Personal disclosure: my father was involved with Nike Ajax, Nike Hercules, Nike X (Sprint), and later Pershing (all missile projects) in the Army and with a private defense contractor after retiring. The first three missile projects were antiaircraft or ABM; the second was a short-to-medium range ballistic that the Soviets feared and hated. When anyone mentioned UFOs, he shut up like a Tridacna clam on a pearl diver’s foot.) The level of interference ranged from observation and monitoring to destruction of test missiles.

Now, even after the fall of the USSR, the Russians weren’t forthcoming on their missile program failures, let alone the role of UFOs in such. (We know they broke treaties like empty vodka bottles when it suited them.) This leaves me at a handicap in elucidating whether they, the French, the Chicoms, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Israelis, and now the mullahs of Iran experienced extraterrestrial sabotage of missile tests, and the DM article did not address this issue. But supposing for a moment that only the US had trouble with UFO interference in missile tests (which strikes me as short-sighted on the part of the aliens, but I’m not ET), one must wonder why this would be. Perhaps:

  1. We were the only nation that actually used nukes, ever. Okay: good point, since the aliens may not have understood that we preferred to make the Japanese die for their country than make our GIs die for us. But if they (the ETs) came light-years plus to study us, one would think that they had the technology to monitor and translate our electromagnetic media broadcasts as well. They were likely here already, because the sphere of our electromagnetic signature extended only thirty or forty light-years at that point. By now, it’s out about a hundred light-years, give or take twenty. Too, by 1949 the Soviets had nukes, too(thanks to a few American traitors who did not get a tenth of the abuse they deserved). So our nuclear monopoly was over and, again, it does seem shortsighted for ET to hamper us while ignoring the Soviets.
  2. We had the most advanced and capable rocket and nuclear scientists. (A recently broadcast episode of Ancient Aliens postulated that Wehrner Von Braun had alien help with his experiments and, indeed, we Paperclipped him and a significant quantity of V2s for testing. But the Soviets got to the part of Germany where they were working on Die Glocke before we did, and that little project supposedly involved anti-gravity… and lethal levels of radiation.) We also had numerous failures, especially with Titan, Atlas, and Redstone, when it came to the space race, plus which the Soviets reached Low Earth Orbit first with Sputnik and Muttnik (I feel for poor Laika the dog, who may still be up there, mummified in vacuum after a horrible death.) Once more, ET made a big mistake if he/she/rhe/whatever ignored the Soviets.
  3. We succeeded in landing on the moon when the Soviets only put up a probe. This has to be the biggest failure of sabotage since the Valkyrie plot against Hitler and, unless ET possesses Keystone Kop competence (unlikely in a star-faring culture) seems far from likely. Astronauts with loose lips have said that the first moon landing was tracked and monitored by UFOs. Was Apollo 13 an alien sabotage event that proved too little, too late? We don’t know, and NASA’s not saying.

But we turned away from the moon, to Apollo-Soyuz, to Skylab, to the Space Shuttle, and to the International Space Station. Why? The deceased Senator Proxmire, who hated NASA but loved cheese subsides for Wisconsin(guess he was disappointed that we couldn’t mine green cheese up there) wasn’t that effective. What gave?

Part of the problem for secretive governments is that people remember things. I remember a funny little grade-schooler newspaper called The Weekly Reader. It should’ve been named Pravda Jr. I remember a big article in it (big being a relative term for a four-page, small-sheet paper), with associated cartoon by the happily mostly-forgotten Herblock as I recall, about how all that money NASA put into the moon program could’ve been spent on the War on Poverty. (Dispatch from the front: poverty won, as Jesus implied to Judas that it would.) I also remember an associate of the Communist-associated Reverend Martin Luther King–noted civil rights leader, plagiarist, and serial adulterer–to wit: one Ralph Abernathy, also Reverend, who showed up at the Apollo 11 launch driving a mule wagon and lamenting the condition of his race and the money not spent on uplifting them. The Black Panthers, who provoked some otherwise sensible politicians into acceding to the Gun Control Act of 1968, were spouting the same line, with demands for reparations over slavery at a time when nearly all former slaves and all masters were dead.

(My apologies for the digression, but many modern readers are unaware of this background, it having transpired before they were born. I’m getting to my point.)

ET did not get here, light-years from home, by being Forrest Gump. We have no idea how many millennia passed while aliens went through their rise to interstellar travel, but we can safely assume that the aliens have a long history with many setbacks. We can also assume that, since there are few prodigies like the late E.E. Smith, PhD, who could, as one of his characters did in the forgotten early SF novel Spacehounds of IPC, recreate advanced interplanetary travel and communications technology from raw materials, that space travel did not spring, like that goddess whose name I forget, fully formed from the head of Zeus, or from that of Beldar Conehead. (Smith himself convinced no less a prodigy than Robert Heinlein that he could personally do what his character did under the same circumstances.) A space-faring society must of necessity be an industrial society, and that means many sapient beings working together, at least until your robot tech advances enough to make the industrial workers obsolete.

(That obsolescence is occurring today, and is one reason the Black Panthers are so upset. Some racists call black people ‘obsolete agricultural equipment:’ this is cruel but no less true, just as blue-collar whites could be called ‘obsolete industrial machinery.’ ET presumably reached that stage about the same relative time in cultural history that we have. ET may have also implemented a Sanger Solution similar to what the one Black Panther elucidated, a long time ago and in a solar system far, far away!)

Industry requires organization, and our species has produced four importantly differing forms of socioeconomic organization: simple despotism(the default for most of our species’ history) free-market capitalism, mercantilism(which we have in the US today, and what England had during her Imperial period), and command/control oligarchical collectivism as in Nazi Germany and the old USSR. (The modern People’s Republic of China is a mercantilist state with the residual trappings of an old command/control oligarchical collectivism.  The United States is a former free-market state currently descending into oligarchical collectivism by way of mercantilism.)

The best-known advanced societies portrayed in popular science-fiction are Star Trek‘s military socialism (maintained by almost unlimited energy generation capability and unlimited consumer good production capability–think replicators) and Star Wars’ peculiar industrialized quasi-feudalism(Han Solo and the Weequay pirates were the few remaining capitalists there: Solo got co-opted and I get the impression that the Weequay were killed off in the Clone Wars or defending Jabba the Hutt. The Hutts strike me as mercantilists, not capitalists.) although they called it the New Republic. The Empire was pretty much a simple despotism. These fictional societies are interesting, but nonetheless remain only variants on the basic themes our sad planet has produced.

So, what does a space alien use for a government/economy? Good question! We can infer something by what they may be doing–and NOT doing–on our planet.

  1. They interfered with the US space and nuclear weapons programs, perhaps to the exclusion of all others, ultimately without success;
  2. They did NOT interfere with other nations getting The Bomb;
  3. They may have helped the Nazis with rocketry and anti-gravity;
  4. They operate in as much secrecy as they can, despite the fact that many people believe they exist and are here.

There is one major factor we do not know: are they working to influence the structure of our socioeconomic system? If yes, what are their motives, and is their endgame? To elucidate this we must elucidate their politics and their social and economic structures.

Perhaps our own international politics provide an answer. We tried to keep The Bomb a US monopoly. Ultimately, this would have been impossible; to quote E. E. Smith again, “what technology can produce, technology can analyze and duplicate.” However–and this is a very big HOWEVER– we could have made that monopoly last longer had we the will to do so, fewer traitors, and a long view of history. ET presumably did that not find that in ET’s best interest, because ET did nothing to help us sustain that monopoly. With a nuclear monopoly, we could have rolled up the Soviets like a cheap rug… and in a happier, slightly more radioactive parallel universe, I hope we did. Think of it: no Red China, no Castro, no Vietnam War–let alone no Cold War–no Arab oil embargo or OPEC, no Iraq War, no Taliban, no ISIS, and a much more peaceful planet. We must assume that ET, by helping the Nazis, not helping us, and not hindering the Soviets, DID NOT WANT THAT WORLD!

Either ET has something similar to the Star Trek Prime Directive, the aliens are treating our world as an unregulated experiment for the sheer intellectual curiosity of it, they see us as an experiment but are trying to jigger the results for any number of reasons, or they view, not so much humans per se, whom they could eliminate easily, but the United States in particular as a threat–not to them: remember, they could destroy us as a species–but to something else important to them.

It’s probably not religion, though it could be. If the ancient alien theorists are right, they created, whether by accident or on purpose, our major faiths. (As a Christian, I think Jesus messed up their plans, so they created Islam to keep us off balance.) But hold that thought, it’s coming up again.

It’s probably not resource extraction; the asteroid belt contains more heavy metals than have been mined to date on Earth, the gas giants hold mass quantities of organic chemicals, and the Oort Cloud is full of comets with ice and frozen gases beyond measure. Remember, these aliens presumably have automated industrial production, energy production, and resource extraction. They would have to do so just to create a starship.

Hitler wanted Lebensraum, or real estate; does ET need it? Hell no: if you can build a starship, you can build a space habitat bigger and better than Gerard O’Neill’s L5–which we could’ve built ourselves by now if we hadn’t run the dollar down a rat-hole with social spending… remember Abernathy and his mule wagon? Plus, we had this little thing called the Cold War that sucked up a terrible price in blood and treasure, leaving no room for space habitats.

Now we’ve eliminated all economic reasons for aliens to interfere with us humans, with one exception: maybe good planets are hard to find. Again, I call cow-pies: if you can build that starship that brought you here in the first place, you can terraform any of the legion of rocky planets our telescopes have detected. That’s assuming you take the long view of things–which you do or you wouldn’t’ve built your starship in the first place! After all, suns do go nova, or age and expand into red giants, then shrink to white dwarves or neutron stars, processes that kind of screw up otherwise useful planets. But, then, you’re so advanced that you don’t need planets any more, so…

Maybe it’s emotional: you want planets for the sun on your skin, the smell of forests, and the taste of salt air. Or… you have spiritual/moral principles, perhaps even religions–see, I told you I was getting back there–that value life and ecosystems wherever those may be found, and you have a real difference of opinion with us about the way we treat the planet we live on.

Trouble is, all our human attempts, accidental or purposeful, to live according to these presumed eco-friendly Gaian values here on Earth create more misery for us sapient humans. Zimbabweans crouching in their villages at night, terrified of lions, do not give a pimple on a rhino’s arse that lions are endangered, because the lions are a danger to their children and loved ones. And do I really need to mention the Government Motors Chevrolet Volt, inferior to everything on the road but a Yugo? We shut down the coal plants, as our Golfer in Chief wants, and your power bills will make a/c and heating a luxury only Al Gore and the other elite can afford.

(Personal disclosure: I lived, post head-injury, under borderline Third World conditions in a bad marriage for three years. I know what I’m talking about more than any American other than missionaries, overseas field biologists, field anthropologists, or Peace Corps volunteers. It sucked, and any fool who would force me to give up my current modest standard of living in the name of Gaia, the people, or whatever other shibboleth will receive, gratis, an extra navel or nostril upon any such attempt. I promise not to charge for the bullet the way they do in China when they execute people.)

I think ET hates America, even what little is left of us, because we of all nations resist the subjugation to their spiritual quest to make Earth a nature preserve planet. Still, by the fact of their attempts to prevent nuclear war and our continued existence as a species–and here is where I think Dr. Mitchell is correct in his surmises–they actually like humans in their non-human way, and not as dinner. Nonetheless, they share the view of ‘bioethicist’ Robert Singer that all life is morally equivalent, sapience notwithstanding to the degree that a well-bred lion is more valuable than a Downs Syndrome child. The only way the aliens will impose this is through force, because we humans are vicious, dirty-fighting naked apes who haven’t survived by being pushovers. I think the Holy Spirit, in Genesis, calls it dominion, and orders us to multiply and subdue the earth… something the aliens consider anathema to their biocentric and species-equivalent spirituality. So, to impose this tenet of their faith, they must institute among us governments receptive to that concept, and let those governments squeeze us into sustainable dystopia.

Is it a coincidence that the Progressive agenda is a lot like what I’ve speculated the aliens are doing? Perhaps, when outright sabotage didn’t work, they went for subversion instead… and got what they think they want: a turning back from manned space flight, and UN Agenda 21 to reduce what they consider an excessive human population. Alternatively, they got stuck in a command economy, but managed to develop the technology for interstellar travel and high-level energy production before their society collapsed of its own internal contradictions: the Roddenberry model again, but in the actual life of their civilization.

Thank you for your patience, any readers who hung on this long, for now I’m getting to that third article, the one about the baleen whale who approached the fishermen for help. (By the way, there is some excellent video of a ‘wild’–a term I don’t like for sapient beings–dolphin approaching scuba divers off Hawaii on a night dive for manta ray encounters, for the purpose of getting one of them to use those miraculous hands and those inconceivable sharp, pointy things to remove a nasty snarl of mono-filament fish line from a pectoral fin and save itself from a near-certain death sentence. This footage can be found on YouTube, naturally.)

The whale video, and the dolphin one, represent something that has been going on since humans learned to swim. (Granted, we’ve eaten cetaceans when times were harder than they are now, but in just about a century, most humans have come to rather like them and abhor the thought of killing them. Some evolutionists think humans developed from aquatic apes, rather than savannah ones. Indeed, humans have reduced hair, thicker body fat, and better swimming skills than apes: all aquatic adaptations. One of the first species these water-apes would’ve run into would be dolphins.) However one explains it, we humans do have this remarkable affinity for cetaceans, and they for us. This goes, amazingly enough, to the point that dolphins can and do perceive us as potential sexual partners. Tripp and T’pol didn’t break the intelligent species barrier until centuries after a young Florida man and a female dolphin had a torrid affair that ended in her suicide after an extended separation. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, at least not the part about Malcolm and Dolly: I don’t know if they existed in the Star Trek universe, and Gene Roddenberry’s dead, so I can’t ask him. (He wouldn’t likely answer: I met him when I in college, and he was a royally egotistical horse’s ass. But, then, so are most collectivists.) By and large, we humans, except for the morally and genetically defective among us, do not want to kill those they can love.

And here, I think, is our bargaining chip with the aliens: a planet with multiple sapient species, freely interacting in a society organized along free-market lines with just enough government to make sure the rights of all sapient beings are respected. We’ve got a document that can serve as a framework for that: the United States Constitution, plus the Bill of Rights, minus the Sixteenth Amendment. I do not think such a document exists or existed in whatever society (or societies: the aliens may be multiple civilizations and species playing a sort of cosmic chess with Earth as one particular square to control; I’ve simplified things a bit, yet I still think all of them share that Singerian ethical structure) the aliens call their own.

Look here, Annunaki or whatever you call yourselves in this millennium: our American Constitution, alien as it is to your presumed command and control mode of government, doesn’t allow us to pin back our God-given freedoms just for the sake of your weird Bio-religion… although you can practice it as long as you don’t break my leg or pick my pocket, to paraphrase one of the brightest humans to ever live, Thomas Jefferson. He deduced your existence in his day. He also said, “On your walks, let your gun be your constant companion…” still good advice two centuries later.

I admit that, as a species, we are crazy enough to destroy this world, because that is the genetic and cultural legacy of trying to survive on an incredibly harsh, climatically and tectonically unstable planet. That’s why our three most popular monotheistic religions–Christianity, Judaism, and Islam–showcase some very vicious behavior in their holy writings. Our ancestors did what they had to do to stay alive and pass on their genes and memes. That, to paraphrase the sexually mutilated protagonist of the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen, is what we have to work with. Even so, we managed to create the Constitution, perhaps with a little subtle help from some dissident faction of you who didn’t cotton to the command/control type of socioeconomic system?

I’d like to think so.

So here’s my proposal, ET, if you’re monitoring this: quit screwing with our freedoms through your proxies the Progressives, and we’ll create–if you’ll come out of hiding and help instead of hinder–a multi-sapient society right here on this third rock from our star. We’ll even promise to be nicer to our planet if you’ll let us put our dirty technological activities out in the lifeless vacuum, and help us make productive beings out of those idled by bad Progressive economic policy. And who knows: in the cosmically infinitesimal history of my native country, we wound up fighting and defeating some very bad people who threatened some other folks who’d themselves not treated us so nicely in the past. There are a lot of star systems out there, and some of them probably host truly nasty species, species who may not subscribe to your bioethical religion and would as lief eat you as look at you. We have some experience in causing extinctions, should the need arise.

And, as at least one whale can testify, we can be handy to have around. We might even make good dates. Dolphins certainly think we do.

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About depwavid

Contradictory facts: 1). I have Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by a total lack of social sense and the unique ability to beat a dead horse into individual component atoms; 2). I'm an NRA Life Member who thinks the NRA doesn't go far enough in protecting the Second Amendment.; 3). I'm a MENSA-qualified genius who let his membership lapse; 4). I'm a committed Christian; 5). I'm an equally committed libertarian. 6). I admire the writings of Robert Heinlein and L.Neil Smith, but not those of Dietrich Bonhoffer, Hannah Hurnard, or Oswald Chambers; 7). I enjoyed reading Hilaire Belloc's book on the Reformation, although I disagreed with 70-80% of his premises, and... 8). There's a lot more; I'm really impossible to categorize. Maybe I'll tell you later...
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