Orion Digest №40 — The Dual Machines

Between government, economy, and culture, humans have formed an international society that turns what would be a simple population of humans and the planet’s resources into a complex machine of moving parts. Every person within the system does their part and has their effect on the world around them, and when compounded together, it creates an sizable and tangible effect on the individual, taking on a life of its own. Even if it is made of words and beliefs rather than gears and screws, the moving parts still come together to take in fuel and output a desired result.

In this case, the desired result with civilization is to input available resources and labor to provide citizens with goods and services to fulfill their needs, from nutrition to safety, rather than have all the tasks of survival placed on each person alone. After all, it would provide much for benefit when making a shirt for one person to shear the sheep, another to collect the wool, another to spin the yarn, and so on, rather than have each person take on every step. In an ideal version of this machine, everyone is able to put in a small amount of effort and have their needs met, and those who are physically or mentally unable to work are provided for.

Unfortunately, when civilization first formed, we had not yet learned how to best organize ourselves, nor had we faced the atrocities that would teach us morality. Wanting not to labor but to still live in luxury, people sought power over others, and bent political systems, economies, and cultures to their will. Certain peoples had to succeed above all, certain nations had to be the strongest, certain elites had to possess wealth and nobility, even if it meant the rest had to work harder and eat less. Back then, we hadn’t learned to care about the pain of others, and so we took what made us feel good. After that, once the first stone was cast, and power was seized, others seeking their own interest followed suit, in a back-and-forth that has lasted millennia.

With time, those that have fought for the greater good have brought a greater sense of morality into the public eye, but even as people recognize the need for equality and sense of community, the systems that make up modern society are not conducive to greater and swifter change. Like a broken car with bad mileage, we are using more resources than necessary while hardly improving quality of life for much of the world, and barriers to public input in government are sprouting up everywhere. The consequences of our past actions haunt us and have placed upon our shoulders a great burden — people are at each other’s throats, the world is burning, and those in power have little interest in disadvantaging themselves to provide for the greater good.

If the ‘machine’ is broken, it is our moral obligation, both for our own sake’s and for the sake of others, to fix or replace it. Now that we stand on firmer ground, having seen what elements worked and which ones failed, we can work on a better machine. This is the purpose of eco-socialist federalism — a grand design supported by the belief and contribution of its population to fix the problems we have created in our ignorance, and to lay a stronger foundation for future generations to prosper. This is not an attempt to place a select few in power, to create a population of slaves that support the lavish livelihoods of the insatiable — this is an attempt to bend culture, politics, and economy down to a level that benefits all who participate in it. Everyone does their part, and everyone shares in the spoils.

Unfortunately, there is always the chance that whether by design or by human error, this grand new attempt at catering to the common good will be flawed, or will fail. We seek to design a more efficient machine, but when transitioning from paper to practice, there may be faults and errors that escaped our notice. This does not mean we shouldn’t try — even if there are still problems to solve, having less of them will still be a net positive result. However, it means we should be prepared to continue pushing for change and redesign, not stopping until we get it right, and even then, questioning on ways we can improve.

It is for these reasons that we propose to create two ‘machines’ — a federation that efficiently manages resources and serves the people, and an organization — Orion — that will stand from now until its last member to serve the ideals for which the federation stands. The establishment of a federation is a necessity — only united do we stand a chance of fixing our damages and alleviating our pains. However, Orion should not only serve to establish the federation — if we truly believe in the Tenets we have set forth, we must be prepared to see it through, to watch over the new world and, should a time come when the federation has fallen from its purpose, fight to fix the machine once more.

If society is to be a clock, gears turning and moving forward with the passage of time, then Orion is to be a clock keeper — watching and making adjustments as needed. This is not to say that Orion should serve as an official position within the federation — to do so would be to tie down the actions of our organization and make our authority seem undemocratic. Rather, Orion simply will, if necessary, speak the truth and aid communities on the grounds of moral authority above legal authority. If that falls in line with the federation, all the better, but if it does not, and the federation shows itself as no longer focused upon the greater good, Orion will be present to correct it.

In an ideal future, all that this second machine would have to do is stand still, keeping watch, and keeping firm the values of equality, community, and justice it has been founded upon. If all goes well, and we are able to properly fix the machine with what we know this time, it will never need to be repaired again. But so many times in the past have we thought ourselves right and correct about the state of the world, and so many times have we been wrong. The best thing we can do is guess the best course of action, take it, and be prepared to question ourselves and improve in the aftermath. We must first build federation, but if it proves flawed, Orion will be ready to act once more, and again as many times as necessary.

We are not the only organization out there seeking change, and one of our greatest strengths will be helping others with similar missions achieve their goals. However, even if we’re not the only one out there fighting for a better world, our mission is to always be out there, either fighting or defending a better world.