Projecting Peace in the Balkans

first posted to GEODESIC (listserv/newsgroup)
November 29, 1995

imageMy feeling on the Bosnia situation is I'd be a lot happier if the anti-nationalism thread, encapsulated in the Fuller Projection, which I delight in describing as 'copy-protected against showing political states', were given stronger currency in cyberspace.

Questioning the political solution to age-old survival issues is not a strident, militant exercise, but a remixing of instruments, more muting here, more amplification there. A lot of the most unstable nations were drawn into existence, did not arise organically from ethnic affiliations or other bonds of human networking. Even some of the more organic states have a shallow and artificial ring to them today.

Today, the topologies that bind human-to-human, even simple ethnographic binding, is too complex to fit onto a two-dimensional map. The nation-state jigsaw puzzle is not a solution, but is part of the problem. Communities in many disparate parts of the world feel common ties, and are integrated financially, culturally, without having any geographical turf that puts them inside, everyone else outside. It has gotten too mixed up for that now.

What I'd like to see is well-funded World Game displays giving us lots of data about where all the armaments are coming from. Where exactly are the manufacturers, what are the brand names, the prices? Where do all these people get weapons so easily to push this or that cause? Who makes money selling weapons? This should not be arcane knowledge for the paid analysts in cubicles someplace, but common knowledge accessible to any 6th grader who wants to know.

Lots of people take their nation-states very seriously and never question their integrity as human contrivances designed to solve certain problems. This will continue to be the case. But some of us do not see this theater as quality drama, and question the right of political pundits to monopolize the world stage with their sage lines and proposed scenarios, would like a greater mix and variety, especially with a focus on possible near futures that would be too interesting and intelligent and worth living in to make war seem such an attractive alternative.

If history a few years from now is going to have a lot less interest in nations and nationalism, then being a hero or martyr for this or that nation maybe won't seem so attractive to the young impressionables anxious to go out in a blaze of glory, taking as many of the enemy with them as possible etc. Not a channel that's going to get high ratings. Not a show we're going to waste much time on in future. Maybe time to learn some new roles and get out of the guns and coffins routine. Get this: a lot of us kids don't see your nations on our maps, and we don't care to learn about them as political entities.

We do not care for boundaries and wonder why you do. Not an apathetic 'not caring' or ignorant laziness but a willful, intentional, focused not-tuning-in, not recognizing, as an exercise of personal freedom to not have history ram itself down our throats. Again, this is just a thread, a bias, which is needed, in my estimation, to balance a seriously off-balance focus on nation-states as now and forever more.

We have so many nations facing exponentially increasing debt loads (including the US, but I'm less concerned about that), sacrificing the education of children, health care, to pay back what in many cases was borrowed by political leaders to feather their own nests, to finance ill-conceived projects contracted out to political cronies. Now the children must pay with their futures.

In Grunch of Giants, Fuller suggests a compassionate way out, wherein we hit the reset button on the ruinous sovereign state accounting system which from within is not suggesting any real fixes, beyond short term bandaid bailouts. The compassionate perspective is from without, seeing the Earth from space, as one, whole, bathed in a generous energy income, but not blessed with infinite time to make mistakes without learning from them.

So I circle the Fuller Projection and say I do not believe in these nations, even as I pay taxes, vote sometimes, pay attention to national affairs. I see drama, scripts, acting. I see theater. But I no longer willingly suspend my disbelief. And what I propose in place of political Great Tragedy is also drama, scripts, acting. Nothing new -- but I'd suggest new plot lines, definitely.

The show must go on.

Kirby Urner
after tuning in a lot of Bosnia stuff via the media

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