The "1%" Solution


Societal Reconstruction

Dear Billionaire,

Here is my personal Project Europe action plan outlined in stages to plant the seed of a peaceful and sustainable future. We are planning to travel to Budapest in 2023 or as soon as funds become available to begin the Holigent Project.

Holigent coined from holistic and emergent; contains the essence of natural evolutionary self-organization — "nature's building and sustainability code" to protect and nurture our planet's life support capacity. This is the model and core philosophy of the Holigent Project building a resilient, peaceful and habitable future.

Why Europe? We remember that twice in the 20th century Europe was the site of flash points igniting world wars that dragged America into the conflicts. In this 21st century, Europe is once again dangerously fragmented. Mikhail Gorbachev warned in a 2019 BBC interview that the tension between Russia and the West is putting the world in "colossal danger" (of nuclear conflict.) The non-political Holigent Project could turn tensions into hopefulness and encourage people to participate in societal reconstruction to build a future of peaceful systemic sustainability.

We would organize and pursue the development of the Holigent Project through the following 5 stages.

Stage 1

The Holigent House

The “Holigent House” — the seed of the Holigent Project. It will be a small group of residential units (or an old castle with 79 rooms, needing renovations, is currently available) in Budapest a few kilometers from a derelict old industrial district waiting for a renovated new life. The core Solutioneers will most likely be students attending any of the number of universities near by. They will live in the "Holigent House" learning to become Solutioneers and prepare further stages of the Project. 

Stage 2

The Holigent Campus

The Holigent House will be enlarged to form the Holigent Campus. Here students (of all ages) will live, work and study the art and science of Holigent Societal Reconstruction. In time they will be organizing  and guiding communities across Europe and beyond to achieve universal quality of life and peaceful systemic sustainability. 

Stage 3

The Holigent Village

At the rate donations arrive, we will purchase additional real estate to enlarge the Campus for building a Holigent Village. The first such Village will demonstrate the societal reconstruction that complies with nature's sustainability code that maintains Earth’s life support capacity. 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 rental income in constructing new communities). Holigent communities are not vertical command structures but rather in horizontal networking arrangements with other community cells. 

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

All green: Structures are built to comply with the latest green code. 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 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 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 constructing new Holigent Villages. 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

Construct the Holigent Global Village —

a permanent world exhibition.

Invite European Nations to build their village community (at their own expense so the cost is shared) within an enlarged compound adjacent to the demonstration core in Budapest. 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.

Stage 5

Seeding Holigent Societal Reconstruction in troubled regions.

Successful Holigent Communities will assist in the construction of Holigent Villages in troubled parts of the world. This will provide employment and purpose to people living in those regions offering them a choice alternative to becoming refugees, migrants or terrorists.

Dear Billionaire: No ordinary people, no politician, no president, no UN or EU bureaucrats are able to save our future because that complex work is outside their skillsets. You are the only one. Please help Holigent.Org and together we will begin societal reconstruction.

It is awkward for me to ask you to give for a not yet proven idea, but I have no choice; my resources are limited to do this alone. This project needs money so we can purchase real properties to give it a home and bring the idea to living reality. The substantial preparation and 45 years experience in the related real estate renovation business enables me to select the right properties for developing the Holigent Experimental and Demonstration Village. It will be the base for the core Holigent Solutioneers and pioneers to learn the art, science and skills of societal reconstruction in compliance with nature's building and sustainability code and so build their future of peaceful and resilient systemic sustainability on our amazing Earth, the only habitable planet we know. We will provide ongoing reports on the progress.

About myself 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 following the defeat of our short-lived revolution in 1956 I escaped that hopeless and murderous system under the cover of darkness across the partially dismantled Iron Curtain. 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 should take 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. 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.

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 3.5 billion 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 (which  I will elaborate on later) along with how we can overcome our self-destructive impulse. That 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 system 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 grow 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 societal 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 eight billion will find itself without a reliable 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, Capitalism 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, guillotines and the bolsheviks in bloody upheavals. 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 fueling dangerous conflicts.

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 solve 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-on-Earth paved by good intentions. I use "hell" as shorthand for catastrophic failure of democracy and collapse of civilization.

About societal fragmentation.  The Western path is paved with 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 altogether at odds with the rules of organic collaboration of sustainable life on our planet. We are beginning to understand that our future depends on mimicking nature's building and sustainability code that applies within all resilient systems and organisms. In a sentence: organic collaboration of one for all and all for one doing the essential most using the least of resources without conflict and without waste.

For the reductionist mindset this is incomprehensible, because the natural way is not compartmentalized and linear but a rising unbroken 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 high complexity.

The sustainable domain we must find at our level of complexity lies far outside what we know and practice that is: Globally conflicted, fossil-fueled, techno-industrial, extractive capitalist consumerist, military-industrial complex. All this explains to me what Albert Einstein meant when he suggested (paraphrased): 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 that competition for resources will lead to rising societal tension and confrontation between nuclear powers.

About sustainability. Capitalism and democracy are complicated enough, but now new arrivals are joining the complexity bundle: global warming, climate change and un-sustainability. 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 separate and 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 an estimated 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 a near 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 through countless generations must make their flesh, leavings and remains available as food and resource for other organisms, without waste.

For the past couple of centuries, 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 expressway to extinction.

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.

About collapse of civilizations. When 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 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 just a few generations without future; teenage Greta Thunberg knew that and 90+ 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 and with high probability to nuclear world war. 

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 was 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 humans 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 universal 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.

Lately, my wife and I enjoy two or three months in Budapest every few years. 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 such evil stupidity and destruction is likely to happen again unless we act with urgency.

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 ready atom bombs — both dropped and detonated. Today there are nine known nuclear powers with an estimated total of 14,000 nuclear weapons. Do the estimation 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. 

About 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. I feel a deep obligation to the past and to the future to start the process of Transformative Societal Reconstruction toward social, economic and environmental justice, quality and systemic sustainability.


About the proposed Budapest and Los Angeles projects. The development of Holigent Communities must be funded upfront so that the nonprofit management organizations can actualize the Holigent Delta Plan and 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 in 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 — developing and testing the concept of hybrid cellular societal reconstruction to halt the economic and 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 that may set in motion an East-West nuclear confrontation.

We remember that the chief reason for creating the European Union 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 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 are painfully felt and will be destabilizing 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 flexible 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 aimed at securing universal quality of life and Peaceful Systemic Sustainability.

What will your donation buy for the European Project? $4 million would buy ten homes in a southern district of Budapest and house 30 to 50 people. This would be the seed project, a Holigent Campus, developing Holigent Solutioneers, laying the foundations for Transformative Societal Reconstruction.


Additional donations will go toward 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. That would become a permanent world exposition and teaching campus for the proposed hybrid socioeconomic arrangement building universal quality of life and resilient peaceful systemic sustainability for all its participants.

In Los Angeles, $14 million would buy ten homes along the Expo light rail line in proximity to the University of Southern California. The Los Angeles seed project would provide live/work space for resident Holigent Solutioneers. In time the project would grow to become a Holigent Village and continue to grow and become a nature-compliant Global Village — a permanent world exposition and center, teaching and promoting universal quality of life, global peace and systemic sustainability.

Afterthoughts. I was a curios kid, by age twelve I was regularly attending the planetary lectures at the observatory near my home in Budapest. Later in my life I became curios about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets in the universe. I learned a good deal about the cosmos and about the work of the SETI institute, searching for extra terrestrial intelligence.

SETI had big electronic ears listening to hear any intelligent signals in our Milky Way galaxy. Scientists calculate that the probability for intelligent life among the billions of planetary systems in our galaxy is high. Yet there is deep silence out there. The consensus among scientists is that intelligent life and their techno-industrial development exhausts the available resources. The population then engages in mutual destruction in the struggle for the diminishing life-support. 

It seems there is a cosmic glass ceiling that no evolving intelligence has been able to break through in the known universe. If Transformative Societal Reconstruction achieve continued sustainability on Earth, could humans be the first to break through the cosmic glass ceiling? That would put a smile on the face of the Cosmic Constructor!

With hopeful optimism,

A. Nicholas Frank

Founder, Holigent.Org

Los Angeles, California

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