Dear Billionaire

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Societal Reconstruction

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Please see the outline of Holigent Project Europe  HERE

Dear Billionaire and Fellow Resident

of this amazing but wounded planet Earth

Subject: A long-range action plan to make life and society resilient in times of social, political and environment uncertainties and attempts by foreign powers to undermine democracies.

Our focus is on Europe as we are watching the Continent once again drifting toward uncertainties. We remember that twice in the 20th century Europe was the site of flash points that dragged America into world wars. A disintegration of the EU in the 21st century would most likely result in political extremes, the probable end of democracies that may lead to the catastrophic collapse of civilization. 

Below I take a look at the under-currents that are drifting Europe and the world toward such a dark scenario. I will then propose an action plan by which the Continent will never again serve as flash points of world wars, and I will show how Europe could become the birthplace and nursery of world peace and systemic sustainability. Later we could plant the seed of Holigent Societal Reconstruction in troubled parts of the world to provide a constructive choice for the children of those lands, so that they will not become refugees, migrants or terrorists. First, allow me to introduce myself.

Near the end of the war in 1945 I emerged from the bomb shelter, and seeing my city in rubble, my eight-year-old self asked: Why would grownups destroy beautiful Budapest and kill innocent people? This question is the engine driving my life-long search for answers.

I grew up in communism and escaped that hopeless and murderous system under the cover of darkness across the partially dismantled Iron Curtain in 1956, after the defeat of our short-lived revolution.

I lived in Montreal for a few years then moved to Los Angeles. This city is paradise for me where I met and married an angel. We have two amazing (grown) children and built a modest fortune of residential income properties. As a kid, I was a jack-of-all-trades who could fix nearly everything for the family that was broken. This early self-training is my secret of being able to fix electrical, plumbing, doors, locks, heating systems, you name it — and construct multi-story residential structures from foundation to roof (with city permits).

The relentless voice of that eight-year-old kid inside me never stopped whispering, telling me I have work to do. On a late evening walk (1972) on the Westside of Los Angeles, it all came together. I decided that I would answer all the questions of the kid even if it took the rest of my life. I educated myself, learning about self, life, society and the universe.

Allow me to tell you about a few interesting things I learned. Reading Carl Sagan helped me realize that in some sense I am as old as the cosmos because all the atoms in my body were born in the belly of stars billions of yeas ago. I am deeply impressed by his words: “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

The value of this realization was to stretch my imagination in my search to be bold and nimble while navigating my thoughts in the extreme complexity of our world today. But I did not know what he meant when he said "Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception." So I set out to explore these and many more questions.

About rising complexity. It is worth mentioning that life began on Earth some 3.5 billion years ago and evolved from the simple to the complex. I was deeply puzzled about how evolutionary self-organization could create all the matter in the universe and the living magic on Earth out of the near nothingness of cosmic vacuum. I model and explain (to myself) this magical process to extreme details in my third book, The Holigent Solution.  

The most important thing I needed to understand in this process is how complex systems build themselves and why they may fall apart. That becomes understandable when we observe the relationship between complexity and self-organizing capacity. It will be clear that self-organizing capacity must also grow to be commensurate with rising complexity (enough glue) to hold systems together and functional against the torrent of unrelenting entropy.

About democracy. Humanity's great challenge is finding ways to organize society to hold together and function. In the 20th century alone, segments of humanity experimented with politics on the extreme right (fascism) and the extreme left (communism). The ancient Greek invention, democracy, survived those political experiments, but in the 21st century, democracy is faltering. While there are many answers to the question of why, a relatively simple and fundamental answer can settle a potentially long argument: The increasing complexity of life and society in the 21st century is outpacing democracy's inherent organizing capacity. Foreseeably, without a new higher-capacity societal organizing system, civilization is destined to collapse.  

About the Economy. Capitalism, played by individuals, corporations and states is the only deal on the planet. To understand the deep flaw of this economic system let's look into the book of Thomas Piketty, Capitalism in the Twenty-first Century and pull out a deceptively simple-looking formula "r > g" — meaning that return on capital in the long run is greater than economic growth. You can think of this as the "DNA" of capitalism. It compels money and wealth to migrate and pool in every direction. Vertical wealth migration from the "99%" to the "1%" creates extreme wealth inequality, which from time to time brings out the pitchforks and guillotines in bloody revolutions. Horizontal wealth migration such as the great transfer of wealth from the West to East during the past four decades made China rich and America considerably poorer, which has political consequences, among others.

About countless brilliant minds. In the beginning of my project of finding meaningful answers to life's urgent questions, I contemplated enrolling and seeking knowledge from higher educational courses. Then a question arose in my head: Why is it that the greatest problem solvers in the known universe, with countless brilliant minds credentialed by higher educational institutions are unable to answer humanity's existential challenge — creating peaceful systemic sustainability on our eminently habitable planet?

The identification of this paradox gave me no other choice but to sharpen my curiosity and self-educate. I left college and set out solo, beating a path through the jungle of misconceptions and ignorance so I could get off the path of Western civilization heading in the direction of hell paved by good intentions. I use hell as shorthand for catastrophic failure.

About societal fragmentation. Western civilization has been traveling that path from the beginning, starting with democracy and its limited capacity to handle high complexity. The Western path continues with the reductionism that is the philosophical foundation of modern science and society. Reductionism has become the source of compartmentalization, high specialization and deep fragmentation, which are all at odds with the laws of nature and rules of sustainable life on our planet. We are beginning to understand that sustainability depends on interconnected networks of holistic-emergent collaboration.

For the reductionist mindset this is incomprehensible, because the natural way is not linear but a rising path of evolution from the simple to the complex. Reductionism cannot fully accommodate that concept. I suspect an additional conceptual dimension may be at work to facilitate holistic-emergence (the birth of new substance, form and texture/quality) while all things connect along evolutionary self-organization on the exponentially rising path toward extreme complexity.

The sustainable domain we must find at our level of complexity lies far outside what we know and practice: global, fossil-fueled, techno-industrial, capitalist consumerism. All this explains to me what Albert Einstein meant when he said, "A problem cannot be solved by the same mindset that created it."

I admit that capitalism worked vastly better for me than the communism that I escaped. But capitalist consumerism is rapidly depleting our planet's life support capacity. In its present business-as-usual form, it cannot secure a peaceful and sustainable future. It is more likely lead to rising societal tension and confrontation between nuclear powers competing for the remaining scraps of resources.

About sustainability. Capitalism and democracy are complicated enough, but now new arrivals are joining the complexity bundle: global warming, climate change and unsustainability. We have to find a near-magical systemic solution that can solve the entire bundle of social, political, economic and environmental problems all together, all at once — like the way organs work in a living body: one for all and all for one — because there is no compartmentalized solution.

Global warming and climate change are new troublemakers. The issue of whether they are real or imagined can be settled by focusing on sustainability that overrides all other arguments. Sustainability can be expressed by the number of generations for which Earth can provide life support. Without such an attached number, sustainability is a meaningless buzzword.

The pending exhaustion of Earth's life support capacity is relatively easy to understand. Through billions of years of evolution, Earth sustained countless generations of millions of species. This would be an infinite demand on the finite resources of our planet. How did nature do it? Mother Nature made that impossible proposition possible under one unforgiving rule: All individuals of every species must make their flesh, leavings and remains available as food and resource for other organisms, without waste.

For the past couple of centuries (a blink on the evolutionary timescale) humans have been flouting this rule by leaving behind mountains and oceans of indigestible and toxic waste that no plants or animals can utilize. That is surely the express way to extinction.

However, it is not likely that humans will shed their clothing and grow body hair to keep warm. Neither will we all go back to hunting and gathering to eat cold raw food. However, there will be consequences of doing otherwise.

About collapse of civilizations. When nearly eight billion humans clothe themselves, make fire to cook their meals and use mechanical contraptions to replace walking, we are diminishing the sustainability number. When humans extract coal, oil and gas on industrial scales to fuel all their steam, gas and jet engines while over-populating the planet, we are exhausting Earth's life support capacity. Thus, sustainability will be reduced to just a few generations without future; 16-year-old Greta Thunberg knows that and 93-years-wise Sir David Attenborough knows that, announcing at the UN Climate Conference: "The collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."

About collective stress and war. My inner eight-year-old child is still asking a question that cannot be ignored: Why all the wars, and how can we secure perpetual peace? That question kept me up many nights, but the answer eventually filtered through. To understand that issue, my imagination had to fly millions of years back in time to our evolutionary jungle. In that dangerous world where every critter is food for some other critter, you had to develop an efficient survival mechanism. Aside from the usual weaponry, such as jaws with sharp teeth, you had to have a highly tuned neuroendocrine stress arousal mechanism. That system prepares the animal to fight or flee in fractions of a second that can make the difference between life and death. Irrefutably, fast reflexive action had higher survival value than slower thought process.

That stress arousal system is our evolutionary legacy, still deeply embedded in our nervous and endocrine systems. Modern man at high stress still responds with fast reflexive "reptilian" action with diminished ability for critical thought process. This system cannot be surgically removed. Our only option is to secure quality of life to keep stress levels from rising to flash points.

Peace must be secured globally or it is not secured at all. This may be achieved by preventing the rise of collective socioeconomic stress. The Holigent Project would achieve that by securing universal quality of life through the introduction of a cellular hybrid socioeconomic arrangement and would nurture it from local to national to global scale.

About nuclear war. The subject I hate to think about is the probability of nuclear war. In 1945 the United States was the only nuclear power with two atom bombs — both dropped and detonated. Today there are nine known nuclear powers with an estimated total of 16,000 nuclear weapons. Do the math in probability for Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and remember to factor in that in a nuclear confrontation, the perceived winning option is first strike. In a 21st-century nuclear world war, the lucky ones will die instantly. The survivors will suffer horrible, slow deaths in a radiation-poisoned world. 

Life and wealth preservation. Please remember, there will be no fence tall enough or island remote enough to protect you from the troubles of the world. But if you do find an island remote enough where trouble won't find you — boredom will probably kill you anyway.

Changing humanity’s course away from civilizational collapse toward universal quality of life in peaceful systemic sustainability will be multi-generational work. However, we are the last living generations that have the opportunity to plant the seed of true sustainability before the window of opportunity closes forever. It is our obligation to start the process of Societal Reconstruction toward economic, social and environmental justice, quality and systemic sustainability so that our children and grandchildren can continue to nurture and improve the process.

Your donation, beyond being a part of your life and wealth preservation portfolio, will buy triple your money's worth. First, it will secure live/work quality of life for the participants. Second, Holigent communities will produce income that will be partially reinvested in further constructions; thus, Holigent Communities will become self-replicating societal cells. Third, the good news of Holigent Societal Reconstruction will travel ahead of itself and turn people's attention and energy away from anger, toward hopefulness and participation. Hopefulness will reduce collective socioeconomic stress as it travels, and so it will help preserve peace. 

About the Budapest and Los Angeles projects. The development of Holigent Communities must be funded upfront so that the nonprofit management organizations can deliver the quality-of-life promise. I am preparing to organize the construction of teaching/demonstration Holigent Communities in Budapest and in Los Angeles. Budapest is a logical location near the center of the Continent where the costs of land and labor are considerably lower than in Western Europe. The more important consideration in the Budapest project is planting the seed of the idea and testing the concept of hybrid cellular societal reconstruction to halt the political polarization and the probable disorderly breakup of the European Union. The smell of that would invite the intrusion of the hungry bear from the east and set in motion an East-West nuclear confrontation.

We remember that the chief reason for creating the EU was putting an end to the warring between neighbors on the Continent. However, the unexpected consequence of borderless movement of people and trade is the pooling of wealth and human resource. As a result, the North got richer at the expense of South and Central Europe. And the damage caused by the "brain drain" for Hungary and others will be felt for generations. The Holigent Project would remedy that by gradually transitioning the EU from the vertical command system with a one-size political economy that does not fit all — to horizontal cellular collaborative community networks with hybrid economies and social contracts.  

Los Angeles on the North American continent is one of the most car-dependent cities in the world, with endless miles of congested streets and freeways. This results in monumental amounts of wasted fuel, time and quality of life. Holigent rearrangement of living and working is much needed in Los Angeles and across America.

My not-so-secret hope is that a friendly competition will develop between Europe and America in a race against time for societal reconstruction. The aim is to be the first to build a living Holigent Community to demonstrate to the world a replicable hybrid socioeconomic system and political economy oriented toward universal quality of life and Peaceful Systemic Sustainability.

What will your donation buy for the European Project? Around $40 will buy a square meter of land just outside Budapest, where we would set up a tent campus and invite young people from across Europe for weekend and summer camps, so we could teach them how to become Holigent Solutioneers. Alongside professionals they would learn to repurpose old industrial structures and, in the process, learn to build Europe's peaceful and sustainable future.

On that land approximately every $800 will construct one square meter of new working and living space with the aim of building a functioning Holigent Village. That community will serve as the demonstration core and will invite European nations to participate and construct their own Holigent Communities on adjacent properties. Thus the cost would be shared for the proposed development of an International Holigent Village. It would become a permanent world exhibition and teaching campus for the proposed hybrid socioeconomic arrangement securing universal quality of life and resilient peaceful systemic sustainability for all its participants.

In Los Angeles no undeveloped acreage is available in a suitable location, therefore would purchase moderately priced homes along light rail lines, such as the Expo Line. We would renovate those homes to provide shared live/work spaces, and in time the project would grow to become a Holigent Village. On average, every $0.9M would buy such a home on its own lot.

Before the end of 2019 we will have set up an NGO in Budapest to organize the European Project. I/We will be traveling to Budapest in the spring of 2020 to kick-start the project with the Holigent Road Trip across Europe to spread hope, encourage participation, solicit donations and deliver a hard copy of open letter and proposal to the European Union in Brussels.