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THE LAW OF THE REVERSAL OF TENDENCIES

by Klaus Schlichtmann

 

ART. IX / 九条

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Walther SCHÜCKING, The International Union of the Hague Peace Conferences

 

INDIA and the Quest for an effective UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION

 

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The Law of the Reversal of Tendencies

an explication model – summery of the thesis

 

by Klaus Schlichtmann

¢ Deutsch  ¢ français 

 

“Omnia sponte fluant; Absit violentia rebus.” (Jan Amos Komensky, 1592-1670)

 

 (The structure of the explication model)

Perceptive pattern for realization of the Law of the

Reversal of Tendencies

 

     A. PERCEPTION OF THE GLOBAL EMERGENCY: the Eight Great Dangers;

 

     B. PERCEPTION OF THE CAUSES: the Four Factors;

 

     C. PERCEPTION OF THE GOALS: development of a Global Society enjoying freedom, prosperity and peace; and

 

     D. PERCEPTION OF THE WAY TO PROGRESS: the Eight-Point- Programme for Future Investment and Strategy Planning.

 

A.   PERCEPTION OF THE GLOBAL EMERGENCY: the Eight Great Dan­gers:

 

     1. HUNGER AND MISERY,

 

     2. UNEMPLOYMENT AND INFLATION,

 

     3. THE ARMS RACE AND WAR,

 

     4. POLLUTION AND LOSS OF QUALITY OF LIFE,

 

     5. DEFORESTATION AND EXTINCTION OF WILD LIFE,

 

     6. EPIDEMICS AND PESTS,

 

     7. DESERT EXPANSION AND DROUGHT (DISAPPEARING WATER RESOURCES), and

 

     8. CLIMATIC CHANGES AND CHANGES IN THE GEO-STRUCTURE.

 

     In many countries poverty, injustice and want are still common. Exploitation of nature and human resources endanger the life and culture on our planet. Valuable resources are wasted permanently. The ecological disequilibria and dismantling of the foundations of life accelerate.[1]

 

B.   THE FOUR FACTORS:

 

     1.   MAN (Money and Power/Means of Production);

 

     2.   NATURE (Forests and Wild Life);

 

     3.   EARTH (Raw Materials and Natural Resources); and

 

     4.   ‘HEAVEN’ (Deserts and Winds).

 

     These four factors are interdependent. In the course of history the factors 1. and 4. have had a positive (increasing) tendency, while the factors 2. and 3. have had a negative (diminishing) tendency. Their workings may give us an insight into ecology, the environment, society, industry and economy. Understanding the processes linking ‘MAN’, ‘NATURE’, ‘The EARTH’ and ‘HEAVEN’, can help in finding solutions to the problems with which mankind is faced. The basic assumption underlying the ‘Law of the Reversal of Tendencies’ is that

 

“When the tendencies have reached their extremes, they become reversed.”

 

     It could be shown that we are dealing here with a comprehensive, cybernetic system, perhaps similar to some of the theories developed by Talcott Parsons and others.

 

C.   DEVELOPMENT OF A GLOBAL SOCIETY ENJOYING FREEDOM, PROSPE­RITY AND PEACE[2]

 

     This is principally the same objective goal, which all great philosophers and religious men have taught. It stipulates that all life has a meaning and a purpose. The key to success in our work, in relation to our fellow-beings, in our relation to nature, the environment, etc. is to be found in our attitude.[3]   

 

D.   THE EIGHT-POINT-PROGRAMME FOR FUTURE INVESTMENT AND STRATEGY PLANNING

 

     Political decisions have to be made to ‘promote the establishment and maintenance of peace and security with the least diversion of the world’s human and economic resources’ (Article 26 of the UN-Charter), i.e. to allow each nation only the minimum to safeguard its borders and defend itself, until the world organization steps in. Only then will it be possible also to ‘achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion...’ etc. (Article 1,III. UN-Charter). A realistic programme for future development and investment could include the following eight points, each counteracting one of the Eight Great Dangers, established under A.:

 

1.   WORLDWIDE ERADICATION OF BELOW-POVERTY CONDITIONS THROUGH DISTRIBUTION OF LAND, WEALTH, TECHNOLOGY AND POWER; INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATION FOR BIRTH CONTROL, EQUALITY OF MEN AND WOMEN, RACIAL EQUALITY AND EQUALITY OF CHANCES.

 

2.   CULTIVATION OF OCEAN RESOURCES AND EXPLORATION OF OCEAN FLOOR DEPOSITS; CREATION OF A COMMON WORLD CURRENCY.

 

3.   ESTABLISHMENT OF WORLD FEDERAL ADMINISTRATIVE CENTRES, A UNITED NATIONS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY AND A BINDING INTERNATIONAL COURT OF LAW.

 

4.   RESEARCH IN AND UTILIZATION OF NATURAL ENERGY RESOURCES SUCH AS SOLAR ENERGY, BIOMASS, TIDAL, GEOTHERMAL AND WIND POWER; EXTENSION OF THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM.

 

5.   REFORESTATION AND PROPAGATION OF WILD LIFE; TRIBAL REHABILITATION BY RETURNING THEIR NATURAL HABITAT INTO THEIR POSSESSION.

 

6.   IMPROVEMENT AND COORDINATION OF HEALTH SERVICES, EDUCATION IN PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, HEALTH FOOD AND NATURAL LIVING; RETURN TO BIODYNAMIC FARMING AND NON-POLLUTING PEST-CONTROL METHODS.

 

7.  RECLAIMING OF DESERT LAND WITH THE HELP OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, LABOUR, FORMER SOLDIERS AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES; IMPLEMENTATION OF AN INTER-ASIAN IRRIGATION AND CANAL PROJECT AND A TRANSPOLAR ELECTRIC POWER GRID.

 

8.   ESTABLISHMENT OF ‘FOREST ACADEMIES’ AND DESERT PROJECTS AS FREE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES AND CENTRES FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT; EXTENSION AND COORDINATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK.

 

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(This concept had been first developed in 1973/74 and distributed in 1974 during a foot-pilgrimage in South India, along the Eastern Ghats (Koromandel Coast). An updated version was presented at the WORLD CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY in Innsbruck (Austria) in 1977. Although a few formulations changed, the basic concept has remained the same, and continues to be the basic framework for my work. As an explication model it can possibly help orientation in peace- and environment-related areas of study.)

 

                                                                    Klaus Schlichtmann

 

 

APPENDIX 

                        The River-of-Destiny (Garland Canal) Project[4]

 

            It was Willy Brandt, former West‑German Chancellor, Chairman of the Independent Commission on International Development Issues (IClDI) and President of the Socialist International, who had repeatedly pointed out that “development aid has become a new dimension of peace policy”. However, if we are to build the World of Tomorrow, where our children can live and work in peace, it is necessary to adopt a programs of action, constructive economic plans, that will move the people, politicians and academics, and to which all peoples and nations can contribute, and in which they can participate. Such a project has been envisaged for the Indian subcontinent.

            Already in 1971/72 a United Nations team of experts evaluated the subcontinental irrigation and canal project, combining, besides irrigation for food production, hydroelectric power generation and navigation. The American futurologist R. Buckminster Fuller wrote about the project:

               “Thinking in the longest time and biggest way about India’s problems and India’s needs, it becomes dramatically clear that the number one long‑distance project to be immediately undertaken and continually served until completion is the building of a North to South chain of great canals and reservoirs leading the waters of the Himalayas southward all the way to the southern tongue of India. The waters that can be impounded in the highlands to produce vast energy generating dams whose waterhead can render India the most favourably energy‑served areas in the world while also flowing its water under controlled conditions to all of its fertile fields.”[5]

            Implementation of the project could call for global collaboration, planetary planning and a transnational investment policy. The River of Destiny Project for World Unification as a strategy could raise public consciousness. Individuals, organisations, governments, and the United Nations could collaborate in the scheme. The River of Destiny Project is only a beginning. Its cost had in 1971 been estimated at 4 billion dollars. Other projects could follow or be simultaneously implemented, such as the Sinkiang Base Project[6] or connecting night and day in a single intercontinental power grid coordinating the electrical generating capacity of Russia, China and the Americas.[7]

The River of Destiny Project for World Unification,

Peace and Progress through Cooperation

 

1. On the Indian Subcontinent

            The Indian Subcontinent, comprising in its ultra‑maximum circumference central and South India, the Indus‑Ganga‑Brahmaputra plains and the great Himalayas, Baluchistan, the Hindukush and Pamir mountain ranges, the Takla Makan desert bordered by the Tien Shan mountains in the north and the Kunlun Mountains in the South, Tibet and Burma, is of unique ecological importance for the whole planet. Traditionally India has been called the ‘Cradle of Culture’, Dharma Kumbha, the ‘Motherland’, Matribhumi, the ‘Root Country’, Mulabhumi, the ‘Original Paradise’, Nandankanon and the ‘Land of Action’, Karmabhumi. Sri Aurobindo, one of the great spiritual leaders of modern India, called her ‘The Heart of the Orient’.

            India is as distant from Japan as it is from Italy and Greece. China in the East is as far as Mesopotamia in the West. There is historical evidence that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization of Mohenjodaro and Harappa traded with Egypt. Trade links of equal antiquity, dating back to about 3000 B.C., probably existed between India, China and the Malayo-Polynesians. Both the inhabitants of the Indus Valley and the inhabitants of Bengal were famous for their skill in navigation. Almost surrounded by water, with the Arabian Sea in the West, the Bay of Bengal in the East and the Indian Ocean in the South, India’s position is ideal for development of fishing industries, cultivation of ocean resources and marine trade. Arnold Toynbee maintained: ‘Indians were the first marines to establish trade with the world’.

     Throughout the history of the world, this, India has been known for her culture and wealth. Although its population density is not much different from that of Europe, China and the American West coast, the Indian continent has the advantage that its land can be cultivated throughout the year. Under favourable conditions rice can be harvested three times a year. There is practically no piece of land that cannot produce some crop or other at least once a year. With the availability of water everywhere throughout the year, the subcontinent could become the ‘food basket’ of the world: it is the cradle of agriculture even today, its variety of raw materials and natural resources which are exported is astounding. Cashew nuts, coconuts, peanuts, oils, fish, meat, tea, coffee, jute, spices, sugar, rubber, cotton, alcohol, long corn rice, silk and pearls, as well as iron ore, graphite, manganese, copper, mica and bauxite are exported to earn foreign exchange for purchasing technological know‑how and machinery to help develop and establish the country’s industry and technological and economical independence in order to be able to compete with other countries in the international market.

 

 

2. The Plan

            With nearly 1/6th of the world’s population modern India is a fast developing economy, promising a bright future. It is the largest democracy, and its Muslim population is a factor to be reckoned with as a political and economic determinator.

         According to Dr. K. L. Rao, a former Indian Union Minister for Irrigation, drought areas in India today are located in four regions: the drought region in the Ganges basin itself, a few districts of Orissa and West Bengal, Rajasthan and Gujarat regions which account for one third of the country’s arid area, and the peninsular area below the river Tapti in Maharashtra.

            With its 14 major rivers, 44 medium rivers and numerous minor rivers, India’s biggest water resources are located in the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins, each yielding about 500 million cubic metres annually. The total annual average quantity of water in the river systems and the exploitable underground sources is 1900 million cubic metres.     

            According to Dr. Rao again, the most important link would be that of the Ganga and Cauvery, linking enroute the Sone, Narmada, the Tapti, Godavari, Krishna and Pennar. The Ganga-Cauvery link involves lifting of the waters of the Ganges to a height of 300/400 metres by constructing a barrage near Patna, to serve the drought areas of U.P. and Bihar. In addition, water will be pumped from the central plateau of India to the dry areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

            A barrage of Dhubhri on the Brahmaputra and a 300 km canal will help divert surplus waters of the Brahmaputra to the Ganges, benefiting Bangla Desh also. Water from Navagam on the Narmada in Gujarat could be fed to Hutch and the Luni basis in western Rajasthan. Surplus flood waters of the Narmada could be fed into the system at this point, lowering the draw from the Ganges.

            Another link would help utilise the waters of the Chambal across the Aravalli mountain ranges in Ajmir and central Rajasthan. Another link to be considered is of the rivers of the western ghats for serving the rain shadow areas in the eastern part of the subcontinent, canalizing wasteful monsoon season flow; Mahanadi shall have to be linked to serve drought areas up to Vamsadhara.

            Apart from Irrigation, canalisation may also be used for navigation and the generation of hydroelectric energy. As to the navigation, it is clear that a national water grid over and across the length and breadth of India, will greatly enhance transport facilities ill the country. Perhaps even more important, the problem of floods can also be solved by river linking.

            The power potential of the Ganga basin in the Himalayas is estimated at 10,000 megawatts, and extensive tunnels and dams are being built for the generation hydroelectric energy to feed a state-wide grid. However, decentralized power-generating units under village supervision would be more appropriate to meet ecological concerns today.

            A project of this magnitude perhaps cannot be implemented and carried out without international cooperation. The Indian subcontinent is ideally suited, as we have seen, to fulfil the conditions for implementation of a constructive plan of action that would involve all peoples and nations on all levels.


 

    [1] See Max WEBER, Collected Essays on the Sociology of Religion, Tubingen 1920, p. 203, warning expressly of the moloch of the “modern economic order, tied to technical and economic conditions of mechanical machinized production... which determine the lifestyle of every single person who is born into this machinery ... with overwhelming compulsion, until the last barrel of fossil fuel has been burned away.” Translation following Talcott PARSONS (transl.), The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, New York, Charles Scribner’s 1958, p. 181.

    [2] In this rubric I have variously placed the ‘River-of-Destiny Project’ (see APPENDIX I.), or democratic, federal world government. The smallest workable ‘unit’ in the ‘River-of-Destiny Project’ is the ‘One-Acre Model Farm’ (see APPENDIX II.).

    [3] In January 1979 a ‘Project for World Unification, Peace and Progress through Cooperation’ was adopted by an assembly of concerned global citizens at the World Constitution and Parliament Association’s Third Session of the World Constituent’s Assembly. The ‘River-of-Destiny Project’, as it was also called, represents a PERCEPTION of what the GOALS might be, if one would work to achieve A GLOBAL SOCIETY ENJOYING FREEDOM, PROSPERITY AND PEACE. See APPENDICE.

    [4] The `River-of-Destiny Project was presented to the Third Session of the World Constituent Assembly, convened by the WORLD CONSTITUTION AND PARLIAMENT ASSOCIATION (WCPA), at Colombo, Sri Lanka (29 December 1978 to 6 January 1979). The work was the outcome of a group of 13, i.e. the Strategy Commission. The Commission was chaired by Mrs. Helen Tucker from Canada, who also suggested the title ‘River-of-Destiniy Project for World Unification, Peace and Progress through Cooperation’. Both a ‘Report’ and the paper itself were published in WORLD UNION, focus’, vol.XVX, no.7 (July 1979), pp. 37-45.

    [5] R.B. FULLER in a forward to Dinshaw J. Dastur, This or else..., Bombay: Jaico Publishing House, 1976.

    [6] A project of reforestation and development in the Sinkiang Autonomous Region of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

    [7] R. Buckminister Fuller: “...we must consider a North‑South world bound together across the North Pole. Right over the Pole from the Americas are the Soviet Union and China. The technology of ultrahigh‑voltage electrical transmission makes it possible to connect, Russia, China and the Americas into a single gigantic power grid. This grid would connect day and night; at one time or another, 50 percent of our electrical generating capacity is not working, but with day and night connected in an intercontinental grid, we suddenly discover that our generating capacity has been ‘doubled’. (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, Vol. 150, No. 1, July 1976)

 

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Human, All too Human

284 The means to real peace. -

No government nowadays admits that it maintains an army so as to satisfy occasional thirsts for conquest; the army is supposed to be for defence. That morality which sanctions self-protection is called upon to be its advocate. But that means to reserve morality to oneself and to accuse one‘s neighbour of immorality, since he has to be thought of as ready for aggression and conquest if our own state is obliged to take thought of means of self-defence; moreover, when our neighbour denies any thirst for aggression just as heatedly as our State does, and protests that he too maintains an army only for reasons of legitimate self-defence, our declaration of why we require an army declares our neighbour a hypocrite and cunning criminal who would be only too happy to pounce upon a harmless and unprepared victim and subdue him without a struggle. This is how all states now confront one another: they presuppose an evil disposition in their neighbour and a benevolent disposition in themselves. This presupposition, however, is a piece of inhumanity as bad as, if not worse than, a war would be; indeed, fundamentally it already constitutes an invitation to and cause of wars, because, as aforesaid, it imputes immorality to one‘s neighbour and thereby seems to provoke hostility and hostile acts on his part. The doctrine of the army as a means of self-defence must be renounced just as completely as the thirst for conquest. And perhaps there will come a great day on which a nation distinguished for wars and victories and for the highest development of military discipline and thinking, and accustomed to making the heaviest sacrifices on behalf of these things, will cry of its own free will: ,we shall shatter the sword‘ - and demolish its entire military machine down to its last foundations. To disarm while being the best armed, out of anelevation of sensibility - that is the means to real peace, which must always rest on a disposition for peace: whereas the so-called armed peace such as now parades about in every country is a disposition to fractiousness which trusts neither itself nor its neighbour and fails to lay down its arms half out of hatred, half out of fear. Better to perish than to hate and fear, and twofold better to perish than to make oneself hated and feared - this must one day become the supreme maxim of every individual state! - As is well known, our liberal representatives of the people lack the time to reflect on the nature of man: otherwise they would know that they labour in vain when they work for a ,gradual reduction of the military burden‘. On the contrary, it is only when this kind of distress is at its greatest that the only kind of god that can help here will be closest at hand.  The tree of the glory of war can be destroyed only at a single stroke, by a lightning-bolt: lightning, however, as you well know, comes out of a cloud and from on high. (R.J. Hollingdale, transl., Human, All Too Human. A Book for Free Spirits, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (1996), pp. 380-81)

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