Manu for The Modern Era

Ideas for Creating a Stable Civilisation - Part One

Manu is a somewhat ambiguous figure because there is no evidence pointing to one particular character in one particular period of our history yet it's thought that he or more likely a continuity of thinkers existing over the past three or four thousand years gave thought to how we could organise ourselves in relation to what is fair and just.

It seems most probable that as humanity began to develop permanent communities thanks to the advent of agriculture and improved technologies, thought was given to the organisation of social structures and the concept of the rights of individuals and the rights of societies.

We have seen all manner of societies come and go, those that are based on beliefs or are patriarchal and feudal tend to be short lived and more unjust whereas those that are matriarchal and democratic survive for longer and provide a natural justice.

As examples we can look at ancient Roman civilisation that rose and almost disappeared in the space of four hundred years whereas in contrast Hindu (the region of India) civilisation that despite the concerted efforts of the occupiers over the past thousand years or so trying to destroy it, Hindu civilisation continues to survive and flourish.

Much has changed since the time of Manu although reading his code for coexistence indicates that he lived in an era when there was international trade and patriarchal capitalism had a strong influence over society.

The question of how we organise ourselves has existed for thousands of years yet for the most part it has been a combination of intellectual cleverness and physical strength which is why governments employ police and military forces. As we know from modern India which has one of the ballot ratios of police and military to the overall population yet it is one of the world's most peaceful countries despite the sometimes bad press remembering that most of the Indian media is foreign-owned and anti-Hindu. Contrast this with the USA which is one of the most heavily policed-militarised and yet remains one of the world's most violent countries that continually make wars in other countries.

It is widely accepted that the thrust of modern civilisation is towards the extinction of almost all life on earth and certainly the near extinction of our own species bought on by the race to exploit and possess not only the earth resources but all of life on earth for as long as it exists. It seemed that humanity has completely misunderstood the idea of 'be here now' spawning neoliberalism and a new form of tribalism substantiated by the belief that everyone in some way is right but the most powerful make the rules for everyone else to live by.

The quest for power of course goes all the way back to the emergence of the first patriarchal society and the abandonment of true spirituality and this lies at the heart of all human suffering. The difference between a patriarchal society and a matriarchal society is that the patriarchal seeks to have power over whereas the matriarchal have power with.

In order to have power over others and aspects of nature, a certain morality is required and we can see within the modern social and political structures that morality is always flexible. Donald Trump can order someone to be executed and laugh about it knowing that he is immune from prosecution and that he doesn't give a damn about the consequences. This is US geopolitical morality completely divorced by the more placid religious morality that advises do unto others as you would have done to yourself.

Institutionalised belief systems have the same problems due to a flexible morality. The priesthood teaches the believers to act in a certain way yet they themselves act in a contrary way while the rational minds protest against the immoral behaviours of churches, despicable leaders and institutions yet in all of this, the individual is dispossessed of any real way of making a difference and the collectives are undermined by subversive elements representing those holding Power.

The matriarchal society represents a more casual approach to governance and collective survival celebrating what serves humanity. A matriarchal society is relatively low-tech with many hands involved in production with the aim of facilitating human happiness and well-being with actual profits in economic terms as the surplus unlikely to be used by the community and therefore available to be traded.

The patriarchal society on the other hand represents a dominating social structure in which the governing elite all the wealthy manipulate the life around them for their own survival which we can see today in the amassed wealth and power of the 1% who have the power to decide elections and the flow of profits. The most insidious sides to this form of governance is that flexible moralities, unfair trading practices, deliberate deceptions, war and whatever it takes to maintain power are acceptable while those who are governed are expected to abide by what may be loosely termed as Christian morality.

While India and the country that most influenced in some ways has remained a matriarchal back-water, most of the world fell to patriarchal leadership where the law of the jungle and feudalism dominated. The physically strongest and most economically powerful endured and plundered for their own pleasure. Despite the advent of democracy and the concept of human rights, life on earth is governed by patriarchal capitalism and although most of us are dismayed by what we see happening in the world, we are powerless to do much about it except make some kind of peaceful protest or help to educate or share the ideas that there are other possibilities.

We call ourselves human beings yet the powers that be orchestrate our lives so that we are in fact human doings. The idea of being happy, alert, content, joyful, loving, thoughtful and all that other ways of being are only sanctioned in relation to service to the rich and powerful or what one may call the 'profit motive'. In the modern world, the morality of economic dictates that people should live to work more than they work to live which has been a source of conflict between workers and employers, workers unions and governments curiously balanced against the idea of civil liberties and human rights.

In the year 2020, we exist in a state of confusion. For every good idea that emerges that may help set humanity on a better path, a dozen contrary ideas are generated by the bureaucracies saving the powers that be and are anxious to preserve their limited status because it is a little higher up in the heap and above where they might well be placed if they had to toil as the working classes.

There has been a great deal of unfair criticism of India for its caste system because the class systems of the European countries are far more insidious although one must also say that the concept of Sanatana Dharma or what people call as Hinduism has been seriously damaged by patriarchal capitalism over the past five or six thousand years because like a virus, it infects every society preventing the application of true spirituality by substitution of beliefs.

Throughout the entirety of human civilisation, belief has become a substitute for knowledge. Belief of course is subjective and does not withstand scientific scrutiny whereas knowledge is objective and is validated by scientific scrutiny. In contrast, the experience of truth is classified as belief and those who speak of truth in relation to existence dismissed or ridiculed so that the mystic and the yogi have no place in Western society unless of course they can commercialise their ideologies which is happening.

We must remember in this discussion that there are two primary aspect to life or two sides to life. One is the external that we register through our physical senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell that we may share with others. The other side is the world within ourselves that is unseen by anyone else and yet it is as vitally important as the external because the less we make peace within ourselves we will not find peace outside of ourselves and vice versa.

To be happy and whole we must find a balance between our inner and outer worlds, a sense of equilibrium. Our inner world can be placated through beliefs and we can find consolation through some kind of success in our outer world but unless the two are aligned, the consequence is suffering.

Manu and various lawmakers being cognizant of these ideas have attempted to formulate a codified system of social behaviours and methods of treating each other which have been carried through although modified into modern societies. These so-called 'laws' are for the spiritually illiterate to coexist and inspire the seeking of actual knowledge. However this does not suit the patriarchal capitalist ideology which continues to try and squash spirituality so as to have a blindly obedient workforce and consumer society.

In attempting to establish a new framework, we must embrace the rational thinking reflected in various United Nations charters on basic human rights and freedoms that are continually being eroded.

In part two we discuss land ownership.


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