SECTION TWO: MAXIMUM CHANGE WITH MINIMAL RESISTANCE
Since we have established the technical conditions for a unified society, we can assume that a unified human society is achievable through human operation. Even so, human operations can vary in difficulty. If a unified society is too difficult to achieve in the foreseeable future and its establishment time surpasses the deadline for human extinction, furthering discussion would be pointless; thus, it is necessary to conduct a realistic analysis of the resistance to such change.
One: The Brutality of Social Change
Throughout human history, social change has always been linked closely with brutality. Cruelty has been an enduring theme in social change, be it the replacement of small states or large shifts of regional or global influence.
The fundamental reason for this brutality is the contradiction between old systems and new ways of life. Social change generally occurs when the ruling class of the old system is replaced by the ruling class of a new system. Since the ruling class occupies a dominant position, it will most certainly use its dominance to safeguard the interests of itself and some specific groups. These interests may be economical, political, or cultural, but they all belong under the happiness value category.
If social change is to take place, the old ruling class must be replaced. When this happens, the interest groups they represent are deprived of their happiness values. Some of these values will subsequently be adopted by the new ruling class and the interest groups they represent. In short, such social change generally robs happiness values from some people so that other people may acquire them. Those in danger of losing their happiness values will inevitably strive to defend their own interests, while those who seek happiness values of their own will inevitably strive for successful change.
This is just the beginning of the problem. In order to defend their own interests, the dominating group in power will take advantage of their dominance and employ any means necessary to prevent change. They may even use immoral methods like exile, imprisonment, torture, murder—even the murder of family and friends—to prevent change. Similarly, those who seek change are aware that the purpose of this change is only for their own happiness; therefore, they will also adopt extreme methods to totally defeat the ruling class. As a result, assassinations, terrorist attacks, and wars will inevitably take place.
Although the original intention of any change is limited to the acquisition of happiness, life will usually be lost in the process. Since the dominant ruling class will always be at an advantage, any social change will be met with huge resistance.
In order to safeguard its own rule, the ruling class will also implement a series of corresponding policies and measures to influence people’s ideology and convince them of its legitimacy and reasonability; thus, more scientific and reasonable systems cannot be easily accepted by the people. As we can see from history, new ideas usually take centuries to be accepted, and even more centuries to finally enact change. Take the Renaissance movement as an example—it was actually an attempt to overthrow the Catholic feudal rule under the banner of classical European civilization revival. Because Catholic feudalism had imprinted deeply on people, it was very difficult to change systems of belief. As the first thought-liberation movement in modern human society, the Renaissance movement took two hundred years—from the fourteenth century to the sixteenth century—to achieve substantive effect. During this period, many thinkers and scientists were massacred and persecuted. The ultimate success of the movement was achieved through war.
The Enlightenment movement (i.e., the Second Ideological Liberation Movement), which was launched shortly afterwards, took more than one hundred years to produce actual results. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Enlightenment championed rationalism, criticized the feudal social and political system, and attacked the theology of the Middle Ages; it also proposed the establishment of a rational society and state, paving the way ideologically and theoretically for modern democracy. The success of the Enlightenment was marked by a series of great revolutions and major wars, including the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic War, in which millions were killed and wounded.
At the root, it was the incredible nature of this social change that caused its brutality. At the same time, the ideological process necessary for this social change took particularly long to achieve as well. The Enlightenment itself was one hundred years in the making, but the Renaissance movement was a prelude to this social change, making the preparation time for this revolution roughly four hundred years.
The same is true for the communist movement. The goal of the communist movement was to overthrow the bourgeois rule and establish a socialist country with a proletarian dictatorship. There were no doubt sharp conflicts surrounding such a radical change, so its preparation time and brutality were extended accordingly.
The earliest socialist ideology can be traced back to the book Utopia written by More in the early sixteenth century. Since then, humans have pursued ideal societies and explored socialism for hundreds of years. The process of such exploration was also the process of ideology development. It was the birth of socialist thought by Marx and Engels in the nineteenth century that provided the theoretical basis for the establishment of a socialist regime. Further dissemination of these ideas eventually led to the establishment of a socialist state, and now the banner of communism flies over half the world. The brutality of establishing socialist regimes is obvious. The birth of almost every socialist country has been accompanied by bloody wars and armed uprisings. The establishment of the first socialist regime—the Russian Soviet regime—was immediately met with armed intervention by various capitalist countries in the world. The establishment of China’s socialist regime claimed millions of casualties through war alone. All this undoubtedly resulted from the antagonism between the existing ruling class and the groups fighting for social transformation. When such direct and intense conflicts of interests occur, it often becomes a matter of life and death.
Two: The Fundamental Interests in This Change are Consistent for All Humanity
Generally speaking, the greater the scale of social change, the more difficult it will be. The difficulty comes when the dominant vested-interest-groups expend all efforts to uphold the existing system. When this occurs, it takes longer for the opposing party to accumulate enough power for change. Social transformation can only be achieved when the balance of power between the two sides is reversed. Due to the sharp antagonism between conflicting interests, all social change is difficult, takes a very long time, and is extremely brutal. These characteristics are intensified as the scale of social change increases.
The great social transformation from a country-based society to a large unified society will be far greater than any previous social change. Past social changes have all been changes within the state system, whether institutional changes or a country’s merge, division, or reconstruction. No matter what, these changes have been limited to the social form of the country. The shift from a country-based society to a large unified society is a fundamental change in the social form of human society; it is based on the precondition of the demise of all nations. The groundbreaking significance of such change is not only unprecedented, but it cannot be rivaled in the future. Does it also mean that the difficulty, time required, and brutality levels of this social change will also be unprecedented?
We know that unification is our only option and the last resort for humanity. Without global unity, it will be impossible to truly limit the development of science and technology. This social change relates to the overall survival of mankind and everyone’s most fundamental interests. While the extinction brought about by science and technology may not directly endanger us, it is a crucial threat to our children and grandchildren, as well as all future generations.
Additionally, a unified society has the potential to bring about universal happiness for all mankind. Once mankind is unified as a whole, society will be much less competitive, and ethnic and religious integration may be possible. At the same time, a unified society is particularly suited to the promotion of equalized wealth. All of this makes the global unified society one without competitive pressure or knowledge renewal pressure. War and crime will decrease in frequency, and humanity will enjoy general affluence, health, and longevity. (These issues will be elaborated on in later chapters.) Moving towards unification will not only ensure the overall survival of humankind, but the overall happiness of humanity.
The profits of a unified society will benefit generations to come, indiscriminate of status. Unification aligns with the fundamental interests of all humanity, as there will be no conflicts of interest no matter what group or level people belong to. However, while global unification is consistent across humanity in terms of fundamental interests, fundamental interests often contradict visible interests. Fundamental and long-term interests require in-depth thought and wisdom and are often only championed by the most rational people. The majority of people will always be blinded by immediate and surface interests; therefore, a number of selfish individuals who choose to ignore the fundamental interests of all mankind will stand in the way of human unity.
Three: Resistance Analysis
The resistance to the unification of human society largely comes from the groups of people whose visible interests are compromised. Which groups are these, and how much resistance will they offer? We can start with the following analysis to find the answer.
First of all, among the general population, the biggest beneficiaries of a unified society will be the vast majority of poor countries, especially the small and medium-sized poor countries. These countries suffer poverty mainly because they have been treated unfairly historically; some have been ravaged by war while others have long been oppressed by colonialists. Since the rules of international competition are formulated by the rich and powerful, and the competition in modern society is fundamentally a competition of science and technology, small and medium-sized poor countries are developmentally restricted due to their lack of funds, insufficient personnel, and poor management abilities. They are least capable of translating science and technology into productive forces; thus, they are bereft of the fruits and benefits of modern civilization.
Once the world comes under the integrated management of a world power, not only will poverty-stricken areas be treated impartially, but they will also receive help from all over the world. While a unified society is devoted to restricting the development of science and technology, it also emphasizes the universal promotion and application of existing science and technology that is well established and safe. Those small and medium-sized poor countries do not have the capacity or conditions for such promotion and application, but a central world government can fully popularize and apply the most appropriate scientific and technological achievements in these areas. It is completely possible that these areas may become sufficiently wealthy very soon.
Secondly, it’s important to understand that the rich countries do not need to make any special sacrifices for the cause of unification, even though the inhabitants of poor countries will benefit from a unified society. This will result from the assistance and sacrifice made by the rich countries. Will the richer countries suffer great losses? That is not the case. Development and poverty alleviation in poor countries will depend mainly on the widespread promotion and application of existing science and technology; the main input required will be scientific personnel and management personnel. Although talent cultivation and support will require considerable investment, it will not place a great economic demand upon richer countries. Moreover, these kinds of investments can be compensated through other means.
We all know that since conflicts between countries often manifest in war, all countries invest greatly in their military. In a unified society where countries no longer exist, war will desist as well. With the integration of ethnic groups and religions and the establishment of a non-competitive society, crime rates will also drop. The military’s main task will be to maintain social stability and to conduct relief operations during natural disasters. This will reduce the military’s expenditure greatly—perhaps to one-tenth of what it is today. This means that more than 90 percent of global military expenditure will be invested in other areas. If these funds are partially invested in the development of poverty-stricken areas, they will have great impact.
A large, unified society can reduce spending in other areas as well. With the demise of countries, the governing bodies of all countries will disappear as well, and only the world governing body will remain; therefore, administrative expenses can be reduced. With the demise of countries, obstacles to regional exchange between those countries will disappear as well. In particular, obstacles to fair trade will disappear, all of which will result in the reduction of various expenditures. Much of this money could be invested in the aid of poverty-stricken areas, and poverty could be eradicated very quickly.
Third, the people of moderately affluent countries will also benefit in some way. Once the world is unified, and existing safe and mature scientific and technological achievements are universally promoted and applied, the world will attain an equalized level of wealth. This level of wealth will be equivalent to or slightly higher than the level of affluence enjoyed by developed countries today.
Some portion of existing achievements in science and technology are yet to be applied today, but they will finally play their part in a unified society. Even the most developed countries cannot boast of having the most advanced science and technology in every aspect, but a unified society can. A unified society can aggregate the most advanced science and technology in the world and surpass any developed country today in terms of overall advancement; therefore, the standard of living in a unified society will be even higher than that of developed countries today. As a result, the people of moderately affluent countries and rich countries will enjoy some economic benefits as well.
Fourth, there will be no major change in the interests of middle and lower-ranking leaders of countries. Once unification is achieved, the middle and lower-ranking leaders of various countries will be retained, and the sectors they lead will remain largely unchanged in terms of scope. There will still be higher levels of leadership and management above them, so the visible interests of this group will not be greatly damaged.
Fifth, the top leadership of small and medium-sized countries will suffer most loss in terms of visible interests, while the top leadership of major powers will be the biggest beneficiaries. Since the highest authority in a county-based society is the state, the decisions and behaviors of the top leaders in each country are usually absolute and final. They not only enjoy glory and power of the highest level, but also gain many privileges and visible interests as a result.
A country-based society requires the coexistence of many countries, and each country has its supreme leadership level. In a world power, however, the number of leaders will be very limited, and the leaders of small and medium sized countries may play an extremely small role in the promotion of unification. They are most likely to lose power and privilege in this process, and they will suffer most loss in terms of visible interests.
The opposite applies to the highest leadership of major powers. Generally speaking, any major change in the political map depends on the efforts of major powers. The transformation from a country-based society to a unified society is more tremendous than any other in history, and it will rely heavily on major powers. The most capable leaders and groups of these major powers will undoubtedly be in a position to play the most important roles.
Most importantly, the unification of society is a great undertaking that will save mankind and enable universal happiness. Its significance has no precedence and can never be rivaled; such a meaningful undertaking will be the dream of any capable political leader. Those who play an important role in this process will no doubt leave their mark on human history forever. In addition, the top leaders of major powers will be most likely to emerge as the leaders of the world power; therefore, the leaders of major powers will be the biggest beneficiaries of a unified society.
To sum up, unification is not only in the interest of all mankind but can also grant visible benefits to the majority of ordinary people. If this idea were to be promoted to the people, they would become the most powerful force in global unification.
In the leadership class, the middle and lower-ranking leaders will not lose many visible benefits, but they will benefit greatly from unification. Additionally, such a cause has great significance to the survival of humanity and includes the fundamental interests of all peoples, so the leaders of this group will also be supporters and promoters of the unification cause.
The greatest obstacle to world unity will probably come from the top leadership of small and medium-sized countries. They will be the greatest losers in terms of power and privilege. A considerable number of them will consider the cause of global unity to be worthy of personal sacrifice and become agents of change; however, a small number of extremely selfish individuals may disregard the survival of mankind as well as the happiness of future generations in order to cling to their power. They will be the clowns that stand in the way of a unified society.
If these people oppose global unity, they could do considerable damage due to their leadership status. They might be able to mislead the people of their countries though their own policies and propaganda. In this regard, this group of people will be the main impediment as well as the strongest resistance to social unity.
Correspondingly, the top leaders of major powers are likely to become active promoters of global unity, since they would also become the biggest beneficiaries. These people could do a great deal of good by mobilizing their countries to support the cause of unity. At the same time, the influence of major powers is not limited to themselves, as they also have the ability to call upon other nations or regions of the world. Though such major powers are only a small portion of the world’s countries, the have global influence that cannot be matched by smaller counties.
The top leaders of major powers are not only most likely to actively promote the process of unification but also have the greatest ability do so. If the top leaders of the few most powerful countries were determined to act in unison, global change would be possible. In short, the top leaders of major powers are the most dependable strength for the cause of unification.
From the above analysis, we can see that although the transition to a unified society is an unprecedented social change in human history, its consistency in the fundamental interests of mankind and its benefits to the top leaders of major powers may result in relatively small overall resistance.