The Society of HumanKind
OF THE CONSTITUTION OF
THE SOCIETY OF HUMANKIND
This last Treatise deals with the principles underlying the structure and Ordinances of the Society of HumanKind. It begins with a necessary caveat. No-one who accepts the Axioms and understands their implications as set out in the Treatise of Knowledge and elsewhere in these writings, can be so foolish or so arrogant as to imagine that anything he devises represents immutable perfection. What is true of everyone must be true of the author of this book. No constitution for the Society of Humankind suitable to a particular time and circumstances will be equally applicable in all future periods of our history. The reader may therefore feel that the design laid out in the Ordinances of the Society of HumanKind is unduly pedantic and prescriptive.
There is a purpose however, in setting out the Ordinances with some thoroughness and in fine detail in this first founding book of the Society of HumanKind, in apparent contradiction of the uncertainty created by the Axioms. The intent is not to bind the Society to a single design for all time. Rather the purpose of the Ordinances as they appear in this book is to lay down a structure that will provide a firm first basis for the Society; one that will safely carry it forward to the point at which it will be possible to bring the whole wisdom of humanity to bear on the design of a form and structure that will best meet our needs. It is for that reason that the ninth Ordinance prevents amendment or alteration of either the Ordinances or the Credenda of the Society before its spread to every part of our original world, and the first formation of the World Council of Elders that will then follow.
Rightly regarded therefore, the rough hewn first framework set out in these Ordinances, and the Credenda which may be found there and elsewhere in these writings, should be regarded as provisional, and no more than a first approximation. They are intended merely to serve well enough until the Society is properly established. Acceptance on those terms should be seen as a means to avoid wearing and unnecessary debate and division in the early stages of the development of the Society. The hope is that disputes which might otherwise distract the Society from its purpose will be pre-empted. It is perhaps right however, that some attempt should be made here to explain the thinking behind the Ordinances. If nothing else, those who later come to the task of refining and improving that effort will then at least have the benefit of some general understanding of how the Society came to be formed.
The Ordinances began with the idea that the structure and organisation of the Society ought to serve two fundamental purposes. First, the infinite survival of the Society; and second, its propagation of the pursuit of knowledge in all its forms and for its own sake. In these matters the Society acts on behalf of all past, present and future members of humanity, as the guardian of their interest in the achievement of its Aim.
An underlying assumption of the Ordinances is that it is not the possession of knowledge or skill, or the power that can arise from them, that poses any threat to the survival of either the Society or our species. It is their use or misuse. The structure of the Society is therefore deliberately designed to generate caution and inertia rather than activity and decision. Power is concentrated on the Elders, in order to permeate the Society with their caution and hesitancy. That will enable them to apply their wisdom and their distrust of innovation to the deliberations of the Society. Incidentally, that approach to decision-making in the Society, further justifies the provision made in the ninth Ordinance. It prohibits any substantial change in the structure or Credenda of the Society before the whole of humanity has had an opportunity to review the decisions made on its behalf in this founding book.
As a further precaution against the dangers of impetuosity, full admission to the affairs of the Society is made dependent upon the satisfactory completion of a long period of preparation and training, preferably in the formal role of Candidate. Candidature provides an opportunity for any potentially damaging qualities or characteristics of any individual first to be identified, and then properly trained and directed. It will be advisable to make the transition from candidate to Member conditional on the acceptance by a local Council of Elders that the period of candidature has been successfully completed. No Council should admit any candidate to Membership until it is satisfied that the applicant is sufficiently mature to make an informed choice, and is otherwise in all respects fit to take a full part in the life of the Society. At the same time, and to minimise the risk of any misuse of that power by local Councils, the reader should note that the Ordinances contain no limit on the number of applications a candidate can make for admission to Membership, nor any restriction on the Council to which application can be made.
The task to be performed by the Society is so arduous that it will require the employment of the best qualities of the whole living generation. The gravity of the experience and caution of the Elders, expressed through the power of their Councils, should bear down on, but should never wholly suppress, the energy and impatience of the Members and their representatives in the Executive Committees. Councils should never forget that, despite the in-built tendency toward inertia and delay in the structure of the Society, every generation has a Duty to further its Aim. That must necessarily involve action and decision, and hence some risk. That is the burden, of the fear and possibility of error, and of the destruction of the hopes of the whole of humanity, which each generation must shoulder alone.
That load will fall most heavily on the generation in which the Objective of the Dogma is first achieved, and on their successors. Those first immortals of humanity will have responsibility for the decision to pursue and implement the Aim of the Society and must choose how, when and indeed if, it is to be carried out. The awesome weight of those decisions will be immeasurably increased by the realisation that no sanction will follow if they choose to ignore their obligation to their predecessors. Their ancestors will have no recourse if they fail to take the opportunity to reunify our species by extending their new gained immortality to the whole of humanity.
For this reason the Society must be especially concerned to foster, preserve and encourage those characteristics of our species whose exercise is most likely to ensure that the Aim of the Society is realised when that opportunity finally arises. Fortunately, those are the qualities that also mark the best of our species. They are wisdom, humility, compassion and, above all, selfless love for, and devotion to, humanity. The development of those characteristics in each individual will always be a matter of great importance. The effort to possess and practice those qualities, and the encouragement of their display by others, benefits not simply adherents of the Society but also the whole of humankind. Each generation and every individual will thereby combine their own interest with that of every other member of humanity by making a direct contribution to the creation of the conditions that are most likely to lead to the salvation of the whole of humankind.
It must always be of particular concern to those responsible for the conduct of elections within the Society that they should look for the presence of those qualities in those likely to be given authority in its affairs. The moment when the apocalypse of our liberation from the oblivion of death will occur cannot be predicted. The Society must always therefore be prepared for the possibility that that awesome responsibility will fall into the hands of those currently, or about to be, put in authority.
The Ordinances contain strict conditions governing eligibility for election to, and tenure of office in, the Society. They include an important Ordinance that provides that the slightest sign of an interest in, or an ambition to hold, any office should be a disqualification from consideration for election to it. No member of our species who is possessed of any degree of wisdom, judgement, humility or intelligence would willingly aaccept any part of the terrifying responsibility for the hopes of the whole of humanity. The lack of any desire to achieve membership of any of the bodies of the Society is a proper indication of fitness for election to them. It is also a display of precisely those characteristics most needed for successful and effective tenure of office. The reader will recognise however, that no member of the Society who truly claims to be bound by its Duty will be able to refuse such election if pressed to accept it.
Despite the care and caution devoted to the selection and election of suitable Members and Elders, no one can predict the effect of power and position on even the best of humanity. That problem is addressed by the right of all Elders to question and demand answers from any elected member of any of the bodies of the Society. It enables any Elder to bring forward for judgement by a higher level Council any consequent failure by any office-holder to respond adequately to such questions. That part of the Ordinances is intended to provide an effective counterweight to the possibility of abuse and corruption in office. None but those who openly and honestly love their fellows will enter the election list, and they will be under constant scrutiny to ensure that they so act in the exercise of any authority they may be given. However, this power of scrutiny is itself open to abuse. It is to be hoped therefore, that those who might be called on to apply it will never forget that it is not error, imperfection or misconduct that is to be the bar to the Committees and Councils of the Society. It is rather a desire to conceal or deny them. Fitness for office, rather than character or reputation, must always be the overriding consideration when possession of power or office in the Society is called into question.
The power of the Elders is important, but the primary protection against error or the misuse of authority in the Society is the Ordinance which provides that no higher level body can require any subordinate body to take any decision or action. No action or decision of the Society can be of any effect in relation to any individual unless the local committee and council, in the election of which that member has had an equal share, consents or has acquiesced. Even then a higher level Council can veto the action or decision on the request of any Elder if it so determines. It must be clear from these provisions that the intention of the Ordinances is that no body or individual shall be able use the combined power of the Society for any purpose without the acquiescence of all its councils and committees. In this respect the Society departs from the general experience of the utility and authority of elected bodies as it has been generally understood and practised in our social and political life.
In addition the wording of the Ordinance on elections has been influenced by the need to draw upon the whole wisdom of humanity in the pursuit of the Aim of the Society. That need is to collect and balance all the diverse qualities, skills and interests of our species in the decision-making processes of the Society. It is therefore prescribed that each lower level body shall have an equitable vote in the election of higher level bodies. That allows for different weights to be given to the vote of bodies of differing sizes in the electoral process above the local level.
The reader should now be ready to return to the first and most important point made in this Treatise. The Ordinances of the Society of HumanKind should be the best means to achieve its Aim that the combined wit of the whole of humanity can devise. The detail in which they are first set out in this founding book of the Society is not intended to preclude debate on them. It is merely to indicate the degree of care and caution that should accompany all consideration of them. The Ordinances should always be reviewed and examined in the light of the changes time brings about. However, neither they nor the Credenda that translate the Duty and Responsibility of the Society into the lives of adherents should be altered without the approbation of the Councils of the Society as representatives of the whole of humanity. And then only by the formal and public resolution of the World Council of Elders or such higher body representing any greater aggregation of humanity as may in time appear.
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