A paradigm is a basic idea on which society is built, a reference point, a guide for our thinking and our activities. Each decision, each action should be tested with the new paradigm. The sentence “everyone has the same status” is simple but has a great influence. Does an action contribute to the idea that all people have the same status?
Most actions do not undermine the power position and the higher status of the 1% and their political stooges. That did even not happen during revolutions. The old power was replaced by a new power and inequality continued to exist. The great ideas of the French Revolution – Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood – were hardly used during the revolutionary struggle and after the revolution soon discarded.
A change in paradigm opens the way for completely new ways about how society is organised, how problems are solved, how and which decisions are taken and how people behave.
A well-known example is the development in astronomy after Copernicus changed the basic idea that the earth was the centre of the universe in the idea that the sun was the centre. Because of the new paradigm many seemingly unsolvable astronomical problems were solved.
The problem of the nearly ten million children that each year die before they are five years old can now not be solved because the kids are not involved in the money economy. They are not important, they hardly exist. Children in rich countries do not die before they are five years old. With the new paradigm emphasis lies on the cause of this misery, the higher status and the greed of the 1%, and not on the effect of this misery, the lack of food. With the new paradigm this problem stands on top of the list of world problems because kids that die before they are five years old are obviously not humans with the same status. Also the inferior position of women and racism disappear fast in the new Humane Society.
It lasted hundred and fifty years before the Copernican paradigm shift was accepted but in the present society with electronic communication a paradigm shift can convince and inspire people faster. In the revolutionary transition time people use the new paradigm in their daily life and in their actions. Their mind changes and after the revolution there is a new kind of people that is not anymore conditioned by the money factor. Revolutionary actions should always combat the cause of the misery in the world, the money paradigm and the unequal status of people and not concentrate on the effects of the fact that money rules the world. The question should be what the new same status paradigm means for actions.
Demonstrations that beg for different decisions affirm that there are beggars and leaders. That does not comply with the same status paradigm. Autonomous Clubs that control, veto and punish faulty leaders who violate the well-being of the 99% strive for the same status for everyone. The Clubs are inspired and guided by the same status paradigm to equalise power differences between leaders and common citizens.
The Golden Rule for Actions complies with the new paradigm. Damage to the 99% should be minimised. Any damage should hit the 1% who are now nearly untouched by actions. They have a higher status. The paradigm says also that when the 1% violates the freedom, privacy and well-being of the 99% the 99% may violate the freedom, privacy and well-being of the 1%. We have the moral right to intrude into the private living sphere of the 1%.
Greed, money, power and the existence of an exclusive elite dominate all decisions, common people are secondary. Money for the Few, misery for the Many who have not the same status, not a decent life, a place to live, good education, available health care, enough food to survive etc. Corruption, bribery and crime at the bottom is now punished while powerful people who give themselves ridiculous incomes are presented as honest workers who deserve a lot of money. The 1% have reserved for themselves a higher status and a different treatment than the inferior 99%.
That something is produced is more important than what and how something is produced and who the producers and the customers are. What you possess is more important than what you need and who you are. Everything should turn around living people and not around dead money, dead buildings, dead corporations or dead systems. Actions should not take place in front of dead entities but in front of the houses of living people who violate our existence.
The first slogans of Occupy pointed to the same status paradigm, “We are the 99%” and thus there is a 1% that is different emphasizes the human factor. But “Occupy the Financial Centres” gave attention to buildings and not to people who use these buildings for their own benefit. It turns around bankers and not around banks, about CEO’s and not around corporations, around directors and not around institutions, around greedy 1% and around people with a higher status who find the 99% inferior. When people who take decisions are not personally called to account for the consequences of their deeds, their minds do not change. When activists continue to demonstrate in front of dead buildings their mind does also not change. For a Humane World we need people who know that it is a better world when all people have the same status.
The new paradigm will not immediately be understood by The People, they are indoctrinated by the old paradigm. It takes time to penetrate in the minds of the 99%, it takes arguments and above all it takes successful actions. When new action methods have small successes in contradiction to the unsuccessful old-fashioned actions, more people change their attitude. And suddenly society changes, suddenly the revolution is there.
The Humane Society completely differs from the present one based on power, money and inequality, based on a power pyramid with the 1% on top and the 99% down under. Decisions may never violate the basic rule that people stand central, that people have the same status.
Taking the road to a world without a 1% we get a society in which all human contribute to the well-being of all and not only to the well-being of people who are already privileged.
Joost van Steenis