Project Europe

in stages

H O L I G E N T

Societal Reconstruction

 

   

   

Holigent

PROPOSAL 

for

EUROPE

to become the

nursery of world peace,

universal quality of life and

resilient systemic sustainability.

 

   

 

A. Nicholas Frank

Founder, Holigent.Org

 

 

 

  

 

Why Europe first? We remember that twice in the 20th century Europe was the site of flash points that ignited world wars dragging America into the conflicts. In this 21st Century, Europe once again is conflicted; a global depression is upon us and a potential enemy of Europe is lurking to the East — this time with nuclear weapons. The tension between Russia and the West is putting the world into "colossal danger" Mikhail Gorbachev warned in a 2019 BBC interview. Europe is “On the edge of a precipice” warned Emanuel Macron (2019).


Should thoughtful people believe and expect that our existing practice of global, fossil-fueled, techno-industrial, capitalist-consumerist sprawl producing mountains and oceans of non-biodegradable and toxic waste can continue and lead to a future of peaceful systemic sustainability on our conflicted and nuclear armed planet, just because we reduce CO2 emissions? Clearly we have to do that and much-much more.


As you read the following stages of the proposal please explore ways you could take an active part moving societal reconstruction toward a future of peaceful systemic sustainability.


We have few options and limited time to reconstruct human minds, habits and habitats to leave a truly sustainable Earth for our children. This is a proposal for a brave living experiment.

  

 

Stage 1.  The Holigent House

Defining and housing the spirit of true sustainability

 

The first stage must be to outline a viable concept for enduring sustainability. Western civilization and industrialization has in some ways gone worldwide in the form of global techno-industrial capitalist-consumerism with an underlying feature of reductionism. Reductionism promotes compartmentalization, high specialization and deep fragmentation. All in opposition and separate from the cellular and organic collaboration that produces resilient living systems that powered 3.5 billion years of evolution on Earth.

 

Reductionism powered science and technology that separated humans from nature. The separation accelerated particularly during the past two centuries (less than a blink on the evolutionary time scale). This process gave free will a free pass to break nature’s sustainability rules. We are now wrestling with the consequences.

 

Evolution of life on Earth is a success story unparalleled in the known universe. Natural evolution must be our model. How closely we are able to mimic nature’s building and sustainability arrangement will determine human tenure on Planet Earth.

 

Now, we have to “decode” and understand nature’s building and sustainability rules. First let’s be clear about sustainability. Sustainability can be expressed by an estimated number of generations for which Earth can provide life support. Without such a 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 a near infinite demand on the finite space and resources of our planet. So, how did nature do it? Mother Nature made that impossible proposition possible under one unforgiving rule: All individuals of every species through every generation, must make their flesh, leavings and remains available as food and resource for other organisms, without waste. We must recognize that this also involves natural economy — Mother Nature’s rule of frugality. In one commanding sentence: Do the essential most with the least of resources, without waste.

 

Another part of nature’s uncompromising rule is quite opposite of the human practice of compartmentalization. A living animal can demonstrate the natural principle of holistic-systemic connectedness of natural systems: The heart beats for the heart and for all the other organs, the lung breathes for the lung and for all the other organs and so on. In a sentence: One for all and all for one.

 

Now, if we bravely attempt to put into words nature’s grand and uncompromising sustainability rule that moved evolution upward from the simple to the complex, the a,b,c, of Mother Nature's sustainability rule would be: a) one for all and all for one; b) doing the essential most with the least of resources; c) do it all without conflict and without waste.

 

We can regard this as nature’s building and sustainability code that we must mimic as closely as humanly possible. We must do this in a hurry because the window of opportunity is closing rapidly and irreversibly.

 

Admittedly, it is not likely that humans will shed their clothing and grow body hair to keep warm. Nor will we all go back to hunting and gathering to eat cold raw food. However, there will be consequences of doing otherwise. How closely we will follow nature’s sustainability code will determine the achieved true sustainability — the number of generations for which Earth will provide life support.

 

All babies must have a name. So in 2006 I gave the new sustainability concept the name Holigent — it is coined from two words holistic and emergent. Holigent represents a concept that mimics nature’s building and sustainability code to protect and nurture Earth’s life support capacity and to provide an organic model of systemic connectivity. This can be our guide to build social, economic and environmental systemic sustainability to construct a peacefully habitable future for many happy generations to follow us. This will be the core and working spirit of Holigent Societal Reconstruction building truly sustainable Compliant Communities.

 

Now that the concept has a name, it needs a home. This could be accomplished in a number of ways. Holigent communities will be organized by NGOs that may be set up and funded by governments, the European Union, corporations, billionaires, groups of individuals, or this Holigent.Org nonprofit organization. Solutioneers, those individuals who study, understand and practice this new concept of true systemic sustainability, can start by building a virtual home for Holigent Communities in the minds of people with the help of social media. When funds arrive we will then purchase a suitable real property somewhere in Central Europe. We will name the home of the new sustainability spirit, Holigent House.

 

Resident solutioneers will post a plaque prominently on a wall of the Holigent House stating the guiding spirit for building the future of resilient peaceful systemic sustainability for Europe and beyond. The plaque will read:

 

One for all and all for one,

doing the essential most

with the least of resources,

without conflict and without waste.

  

 

Stage 2.  The Holigent Campus

                Develop a new breed of solutioneers

 

At the rate donations arrive the NGO assigned with the development will enlarge the Holigent House to become a learning campus. The Holigent Campus will invite activists and protestors from across Europe to become solutioneers learning the art and science of Holigent Societal Reconstruction building Compliant Communities across Europe and beyond. 

 

Solutioneers will learn about “nature’s building code” and develop experiments to mimic nature as closely as humanly possible and adopt and assess the results of living, learning and working according those rules.

 

Solutioneers will learn and practice construction, community maintenance, renewable energy generation and vertical food production, among other skills. They will develop and practice ways of getting around with minimal use of mechanical transportation.

 

Accomplished Holigent Solutioneers will assist in building Compliant Communities across Europe and beyond.

 

 

Stage 3.  The Holigent Village

Living demonstration of true, resilient systemic sustainability

 

As funding continues to arrive, the Campus will be enlarged to become the first experimental and demonstration Holigent Village. Such Village will demonstrate societal reconstruction that complies with the natural codes that maintain Earth’s life support capacity — practices the art and science to achieve true systemic sustainability. Accordingly, a Holigent Village will be a cellular, live/work, all green, pedestrian community with a hybrid economy and social contracts:

 

Cellular: Human scale, non-sprawling, self-directed and self-replicating (reinvesting their income in constructing new communities). Holigent communities are not vertical command structures but rather horizontal networking arrangements with other community cells.  

 

Live/work: The human scale community contains living and working spaces so that people live within walking distance of their work.

 

All green: Structures are built to comply with the latest green technology. The community generates most or all its renewable electric power; grows a significant portion of its fruits and vegetables in vertical farming and does all its reclaiming and recycling.

 

Pedestrian: Human-scale, all-walkable garden-like community with minimal use of mechanical transport.

 

Hybrid Economy: The Holigent Delta Plan is a three-way agreement between employers, employees and the nonprofit management organization of the community. Employee-residents' number of hours worked at their job versus in community service is variable. This provides a flexible arrangement that works to secure continuity regardless of the condition of the general/global economy. For example, in a worst-case scenario of an economic recession, employers may go into a dormant state rather than shut down, and their employees go on unpaid furlough instead of being laid off. Furloughed employees then work additional hours in community service, earning community credit that will pay part or all their housing costs and provide life's essentials. Thus business investments are protected and employees’ essential quality of life is secured.

 

Social Contract: Part of the Holigent Delta Plan calls for each resident to commit a certain number of hours regularly doing community service for which they earn community credit that can be applied to reduce housing cost. Community service work can range from physical and social maintenance to participating in construction of new Holigent Villages. The Social Contract is a component of the proposed hybrid economy that works to elevate quality of life to become the essence of societal treasure and value exchange, diminishing the role of money.

 

 

Stage 4.  The Holigent International Village

A permanent world exhibition of systemic sustainability

 

Once we have real life demonstration of how people live, work, commute, produce, consume, educate and govern themselves in a Compliant Community such as a Holigent Village then we can work on the next giant step.

 

That step will be to invite all European nations, including Russia, to build their community within the International Holigent Village — a permanent world exhibition of Compliant Communities to promote social, economic and environmental systemic sustainability to secure universal quality of life and stability.

 

When the various participating nations build communities in their traditional architectural style, the result will be a colorful and vibrant permanent living world exhibition. Such an International Holigent Village can serve as a model to guide societal reconstruction in building a future of peaceful systemic sustainability across Europe and beyond.

 

Note: Holigent Compliant Community development is nonpolitical. It is reasonable to believe that nondemocratic systems will embrace it for creating much needed socioeconomic stability, without political interference.

 

 

Stage 5.  Export Holigent Community development

Plant seeds of hope, peace and stability around the world.

 

Successful Compliant Communities will assist in the construction of similar communities in troubled parts of the world. This will provide employment, hope and purpose for people living in those regions, offering them a choice alternative to becoming refugees, migrants or terrorists. European Compliant Communities will invite capable students from troubled regions to train them to become Holigent Solutioneers.

 

On their return to their native land they will be organizers and builders of Compliant Communities that will promote universal quality of life and help secure peace. They will also learn the skills of not challenging but rather working with local authoritarian regimes to remove hurdles and receive protection for such stabilizing and life improving developments.

 

Europe may consider this track leading to the long range solution of the migrant crisis that without a systemic solution may become unmanageable as suffering and conflicts multiply along with climate change and other disasters of a rudderless world.

     


About the author and thoughts


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


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


I live in Los Angeles, and this city is paradise for me, a place where I met and married an angel. We raised two adorable 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. After pondering the question for ten years in my windowless garage office, I needed to get some fresh air and a new perspective. In 1985 we packed up, my wife and our two toddlers and flew to Europe. Amsterdam was our starting point for an 18-month thinking and writing RV camping trip around Europe searching for answers. 


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 years 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.

  

My proposed solution is a result of decades of reading, thinking, and thinking again and writing. There is something else; my father’s guiding spirit. I lost Dr. Laszlo Frank to illness when I was four years old, but got to know him well through a book manuscript he wrote during the Great Depression in 1930s and left behind. The subject is the evolution of societies with a focus on Europe. My routine on our frequent visits to Budapest is to take a copy of his manuscript to the library of ELTE university where he earned his juris doctorate, and read and reread it while discussing the troubles of the world with his spirit, and of course catching up on lost time.


Decades into this search, here is how I see the world: Humanity is in deep, deep trouble. The double trouble started way back when along evolution humans acquired the do-as-I-please free will and used it to break the rules that sustained the development of life for billions of years. We managed to break, nearly irreversibly, the natural order of sustainability during the last couple of centuries (less than a blink on the evolutionary time scale).


We got deeper into trouble as we allowed our collective stress to rise to flash points that twice in the 20th century ignited world wars. In these early decades of the 21st century, our global collective socioeconomic stress is rising uncontrolled. Rising because we are depleting Earth’s life-support capacity while overpopulating our planet and engaging in a new out-of-control arms race producing nuclear hyper-weapons. I see civilization and life itself on the expressway to extinction.


After decades of searching and connecting dots, the answer to the question of the eight-year-old has filtered through. Why do grownups destroy beautiful cities and kill innocent people? The briefest answer lies in our deep-rooted evolutionary legacy, aggression. Overcome our self-destructive impulse will take no less than societal reconstruction of the ways we live, work, commute, produce, consume, educate and govern ourselves in the interest of building our future of resilient peaceful systemic sustainability. 


In conclusion, it is not difficult to understand that the natural order “nature’s building code” that evolved and sustained life on Earth for billions of years is functionally inoperative in the present day “do-as-I-please free will” of the human domain. It will also be clear in any thoughtful mind that humanity must urgently update its societal organizing code to be in line with nature’s building and sustainability code if a catastrophic collapse of civilization is to be avoided.


About rising complexity. It is worth mentioning that over the past 3.5 billion years, life on Earth 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 (mainly 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 develop to be commensurate with rising complexity (enough glue) to hold systems together and functional against the ever-present 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 is much speculation about why, a relatively simple and fundamental answer can settle a potentially long argument: The exponentially increasing complexity of life and society in the 21st century is outpacing democracy's inherent organizing capacity.


The resilience of free and open societies is also challenged by external authoritarian forces aimed to defeat democracies. The outlook once again is not good. A simplified explanation of that complex issue points to the reality that free and open democratic societies are complex. Consequently, their surface of vulnerability is very large. In this 21st Century, that vulnerability is dangerously enlarged by the digital age. Foreseeably, without a new resilience-building higher-capacity societal organizing system, democratic civilization is destined to collapse.


Will authoritarian systems survive democracy? For a short duration at best. When rising environmental and collective socioeconomic stress within authoritarian systems reach flash points, unhappy masses will blame their dictators and sweep them away. At some point in the not too distant future, Earth’s population of nearly eight billion will find itself without a societal organizing system. Even if a nuclear holocaust is avoided, gangster-ism and turf warfare around the world will dominate and turn our beautiful planet into a burning hell.


About the Economy. Capitalism — played by individuals, corporations and states — is the only game on the planet in which there are more losers than winners. To understand the deep flaw of this economic system, let's look into the book of Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-first Century, and pull out the deceptively simple-looking formula "r > g". It means 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 the East during the past four decades made China rich and America considerably poorer. This has political consequences, among others.


Europe has persistent problems that are inherent in the concept of the European Union. The EU’s one-size political economy does not fit all and the unexpected consequence of borderless movement of trade and people is the uneven 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.


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 (not for long) planet?


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


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 our sustainability prospects. When humans extract coal, oil and gas on industrial scales to fuel all our steam, gas and jet engines while overpopulating the planet, we are damaging and exhausting Earth's life support capacity. Thus, sustainability will be reduced to perhaps no more than one generation without future; 16-year-old Greta Thunberg knows that and 93-year-wise Sir David Attenborough knows that. In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond examines the reasons why ancient civilizations disappeared. He suggests that Western civilization is on the path of resource depletion and conflicts with "neighbors" that led civilizations before ours to collapse.


I am deeply concerned about Europe. We cannot forget 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. 


About collective stress and war. My inner child is still asking questions that cannot be ignored: Why all the wars, and how can we secure perpetual peace? Those questions 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 critical thought process.


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


Peace must be secured globally or it will not be 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.


Lately, my wife and I enjoy two or three months in Budapest every other year. My solo walks across the bridges spanning the Danube are becoming bittersweet rituals. When in the middle, over the river, I stop to remember that the retreating German army, in 1945, dynamited all the bridges to slow the advance of the Soviet Army. The sweet part of that reflection is that the bridges are no longer broken. I stand high above the water now. The scars of war are no more and Budapest is once again a shining pearl on the glistering silvery string that is the Danube. Yet, I cannot hold back a shudder thinking that without societal reconstruction such evil stupidity and destruction is likely to happen again.


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. 




                                                                                           Proposal for Europe.pdf 

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