Earth Manifesto Insights
Tiffany B. Twain
(See Home Page for the most
current Earth Manifesto understandings.)
The world has
become increasingly interconnected and more interdependent as modes of mass
travel have improved and the Internet and television and ‘talk radio’ shows
have had a growing influence on communication in our societies. Simultaneously, trade has proliferated around
the globe and the competition for resources has intensified. The number of people on the planet has continued
its increase of more than 70 million people every year for decades. These conditions are making the world
figuratively smaller and creating increasingly crucial needs for people
worldwide to cooperate in solving growing economic, social and environmental
The essays on
this website, together with the original Earth Manifesto that follows in Part
Seven, seek to stimulate thought related to the unprecedented challenges facing
the human race today. The goal of these
ideas is to clarify our best understandings and perspectives, and to identify
strategic initiatives and better courses of action that must be undertaken to
achieve sustainable, fairer, and more peaceful societies.
purpose of these essays is to inspire hope and positive action. Hopefulness, insight, intelligent planning,
and a commitment to wholesome change are important qualities for guaranteeing a
more sane future. NOW is the time to stop
arguing and denying and jockeying for privileged position. It is the time to begin the challenging
process of cooperating to improve the prospects of all. Let us boldly dedicate ourselves to leaving
future generations a legacy of fairness, sustainable consumption habits,
adequate resources, fiscal responsibility, and a healthy, ecologically sound
despair. We must not act cynically and
hypocritically. We already have a deep
psychic numbness caused by profound insecurities related to decades of terrible
warfare, economic recessions, nuclear threats, natural disasters, terrorism,
extensive poverty, and a whole panoply of individual anxieties that afflict us
in our increasingly stressful world.
We must use our
imagination, force of will, and inspiration to make the world a better place
for all. We must make bold efforts to
redesign our economic systems, improve our social institutions, reform our
wasteful bureaucracies, and make our societies fairer and more sustainable. The ideas contained herein are a vision of
hope. They are not paranoid conspiracy
theories, partisan delusions, or mere criticisms of wrongheaded government. They represent common sense, humanitarian
principles, and a Big Picture perspective.
Life from birth
to death is a drama, a tragedy, a farce, and a comedy. Universal challenges face us all, and we each
have our own unique set of adversities. In the light of our shared humanity and vulnerabilities and
interdependence, we must all work together to improve humankind and our fate,
and that of our descendents. At the
core of our souls, essential to our humanity, is a moral compass of conscience
and empathy for other beings. It is
socially important and wholesome for us to embrace fairness and to expect a sense
of civic responsibility from all citizens. A healthy society cultivates an appreciation and reasonable
respect for life, and for the lives and rights of others.
Each person has
natural propensities for good and evil within, and it behooves us to insist
that our government encourages the more noble aspects of its citizens while
discouraging selfish, opportunistic, mean-spirited impulses.
actions outlined throughout these writings are needed to ensure that we are
able to protect the quality of life of those alive today while simultaneously
preserving the potential for the well-being and prosperity of future
generations. The bottom line is this: Planet Earth is our home. We must begin to show it more respect, and to
live upon it in sustainable ways. And
we must protect the integrity of its vital ecosystems and critically valuable
Understandings are dedicated to the brilliant American author and humorist,
Samuel Clemens -- aka, Mark Twain. He
lampooned the distinctive behaviors and foibles of humanity, and he very
insightfully understood the satirical perspective of the course of human
events. He had a clear comprehension of
the absurdities and corrupting nature of political power. And he was committed to trying to
beneficially influence his country's domestic and foreign policies.
Mark Twain was
an outspoken member of the Anti-Imperialist League, the first national American
peace movement. He was outraged at
politicians who unethically capitalize on national tragedies to push through
unrelated agendas. Interventions in
Cuba and the Philippines in the wake of the mysterious explosion of the USS
Maine, which killed 260 people in the harbor of Havana in February 1898,
disgusted and outraged Mark Twain.
In an eerie and
unsettling parallel today, we see our politicians aggressively supporting war
on other countries -- Afghanistan and Iraq -- in response to the national
tragedy of September 11th, 2001. They
are deceptively using the authority and political capital that they have gained
from this national tragedy to ram through a radical conservative agenda in
unrelated realms of domestic, social, economic, and environmental policies.
Twain was no fan of war, which he described as ‘a wanton waste of projectiles,’
and he nurtured a healthy disdain for anyone who suggested that patriotism was
best displayed through enthusiastic support for military adventures abroad. The
phrase “our country, right or wrong” was, he argued, "an insult to the
Twain's deepest disgust was reserved for politicians who played on fear and
uncertainty to promote the interests of what would come to be known as the
military-industrial complex. Describing
how Americans were frequently goaded into war by their leaders, Twain recalled:
"Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is
attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities,
and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by-and-by by convince
himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys
after this process of grotesque self-deception."
sensibly, reasonably, intelligently, and morally seek clarity, truth, wisdom,
and understanding. We must neither
automatically assume, nor blindly believe, that those in power are morally and
honestly concerned with the common good or the true principles upon which our
country was founded. In fact, the
evidence is quite clear that our leaders are largely committed to public
policies that benefit a small and privileged minority more than the majority of
persuasive rhetoric and clever political spin, it is clear that our leaders are
acting downright disdainfully towards the rules of law that have progressively
evolved from our founding Constitutional principles. It is the essential contention herein that we must embrace
progressive ideas to prevent our leaders from exploiting and manipulating us in
their drive to achieve socially misguided objectives.
States was founded upon the concepts of respect for liberty and justice for
all. Significant aspects of justice can
be measured by the amount of equality of education, and of opportunity, that are
given to a country's citizens. The
greedy, privilege-defending power elite has significantly redefined
"justice" to mean not equality or fairness, but rather the meting out
of harsh retribution. Most people would
agree that the Founding Fathers were a more progressive and visionary lot!
to the U.S. Constitution embodied in the Bill of Rights were intelligently
designed to guarantee everyone equal rights for two principal reasons:
1. To protect the majority from the tyranny of
the power-possessing minority, in recognition of the fact that most forms of
government, like dictatorships, oligarchies, monarchies, and aristocracies, do
a poor job of protecting citizens.
2. To protect minorities from the tyranny of
the majority. Fascist governments and
theocracies have been particularly woeful in respecting the rights of
consists of questioning abuses of power, not of blindly accept them. The film Good
Night, and Luck Good concerns trusted broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow
and the Joseph McCarthy era of the 1950's. Murrow stood up to the blatant Republican attempts to discredit
people, to ruin their reputations, to blacklist them, and to use fear,
intimidation, and demagoguery to devastate dissent and erode political opposition
and destroy liberal causes.
The era of
Cheney/Bush/Rove/Rumsfeld Republicanism is being distinguished by a new form of
modern day McCarthyism. Political
opposition is belittled, emasculated, and disenfranchised. Loyalty to ideological doctrines is demanded.
Blind patriotism and fear are being
used to gain support for regressive social policies and misguided environmental
legislation and aggressive militarism. Insidious
initiatives are distorting our understandings and poisoning our political
HAVE NO CLOTHES! The disparity between
what our leaders tell us and the true impacts of their actions is astonishing. This is morally wrong. It is dishonest, deceptive, undemocratic, and
grossly unfair. Neoconservatism is a
right wing ideology, not a conservative philosophy. It is concerned with power, not right action; it is obsessed with getting, maintaining and
extending power, no matter how harmful this may be to American society. It represents special privilege, corporate
prerogative, unrestricted pursuit of wealth, business privatization, aggressive
militarism, and political and economic supremacy at any cost. It strives to achieve these goals by opposing
regulation, limiting corporate liability, outsourcing jobs, weakening civil
service rights, pandering ceaselessly to vested interests, and cutting
education, healthcare and employment programs that benefit the underprivileged
and the poor. It also works to erode
individual rights, polarize people, alienate and divide the public, use
bullying tactics, ruthlessly destroy opposition, eliminate dissent, use
deceptive pretenses and misleading propaganda, distort scientific findings,
demand loyalty, rely on faith-based initiatives, hypocritically exploit
religious extremism, put our troops in harm's way under false pretenses,
condone prisoner torture, and sow distrust and hatred towards other nations who
object to our supremacist ambitions.
this: throughout history, peace and social stability has been much better
served when the disparity between the wealthy and the majority is not too
extreme. The Reagan Revolution is
cumulating in some of the greatest economic disparities in American history, as
was revealed by Hurricane Katrina.
disparities between the fortunes of the rich and the poor are enormous and
growing. There are 45 million people without health insurance. Thirty-six million people earn incomes that
put their families below the poverty level. Thirteen million children live in poverty. Four million people experience homelessness
in any given year. Opportunities are
clearly not fairly available to all.
exception, legislation passed since George W. Bush took office has been focused
on increasing the privileges of big corporations and a small minority of
wealthy Americans. We must immediately
cease passing legislation that benefits rich people more than everyone else. Listen, rich people, you've got it pretty
damn good, financially --- and you are lucky that the bottom 99% is not
fomenting a revolution to appropriate all of your assets and send you to the
guillotine. Accepting a moratorium on
new advantages for yourselves, and largely preserving the ones you have, is a
small price to pay for retaining your freedom and privileges. Please agree to support more egalitarian
initiatives! Rich people have been
getting away with practically treasonous favoritism from Neoconservative
politicians, and it is time that they realize that a greater amount of fairness
is necessary in our democracy.
Maybe some of
our society's policies are fair? Let's
pick one, and examine it. Let's look at
the $70 billion-per-year mortgage interest deduction. Who gets that benefit? ... Oh -- I'll be
darned; the people with the top 5% of incomes get 54% of that subsidy.
Can we do
nothing that is more egalitarian? One
recommendation that we could adopt: give every taxpayer an increase of $5,000
in the taxable exclusion ("the standard deduction") on his or her
individual tax return. We could finance
this change by limiting the Inheritance Tax exclusion to a reasonable amount,
say a generous $3 million per parent, and revising the Tax Tables to be more
progressive, with higher rates for higher earnings.
is a brief description of the contents of the essays in these Evolutionary Understandings:
OF CONTENTS - A Brief Summary of Ideas Contained
1. Intelligent Redesign. We must fix our societies, and here is
insight into the Why.
2. Evolutionary Understandings Overview. You are reading it. Thank you for giving these essays your
3. Important Principles Illuminated. Sheds light and clarity on the important
ideas and deeper issues that are concealed and confused by the din of political
spin, rancor, propaganda, and conflict that is filling the airwaves and
flooding the world in a figurative tsunami of partisan deception, uncertainty,
illusion and delusion.
4. Visionary Perspective -- The Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment. Contains profound
understandings about human impacts on our surroundings, and enumerates better
ideas and positive changes that are needed in our policies and behaviors to
ameliorate the destructive and unsustainable aspects of these impacts.
5. The Big Picture. Examines human affairs from deep perspective points of view.
6. Katrina Revelations. Shines the spotlight on revelations that came
to the attention of the world as a consequence of Hurricane Katrina's
destruction and its aftermath.
7. Patriotism and Christianity. Mark Twain speaks out about the hypocritical
contrasts between religious doctrines and blind patriotism.
8. Materialism, Aggression, and Militarism. Explores the truth behind the motivations and
mechanisms of capitalism and militarism, and contains healthier perspectives
for saner, wiser, fairer courses of action.
9. Strategic Imperative --- Oil Independence. Analyzes the energy policies of our
civilization, and provides a healthy understanding of the means we must pursue
in order to create a sustainable future.
10. Superstition, Prophecy and End Times. Provides clearer perspective on Biblical
11. Faith, Fundamentalism, and Practicality. Explores the nature of spirituality, dogmatic
faith, and religious extremism, and both the beneficial and the deleterious
effects of these worldviews on our societies today.
12. Practical Idealism, Political Philosophy,
and Fairness. Provides valuable insight
into terrorism, conflict, and political philosophies, and a general framework
to make the world a better place.
13. An Ode to Liberty and Justice for All. An odd ode that laments the ironic
foolishness of humanity's current modes of existence, and sings the praises of
progressive change and greater respect for the idealism of our Founding
14. Strategic Planning Truths. Itemizes the compelling issues and underlying
principles involved in civil strife, and recommends better ideas to improve our
15. Reason, Morality, and Progressive
Adaptation. Argues thoroughly that
rationality and reason must have greater power in our societies to create more
fair institutions, wiser initiatives, and intelligent reform.
16. Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Progressive
Agenda. Elucidates the ten primary
reasons that the shortsighted business-as-usual Status Quo cannot be accepted,
and the salubrious changes that must be enacted in policy and action.
17. Freedom, Fascism, Deception, and
Rationality. Explores the political
dangers facing America and the world, and the many ways that the reigning
paradigms fail to correspond to reality.
18. The U.S. Constitution --- Progress and
Reaction. Analyzes the history of the
United States and the new challenges that we face in the context of the
progressive evolution of our country's laws and institutions.
The True State of the Union. Provides an objective perspective,
independent of political or corporate spin, of the true state of the Unites
States today, including specific analyses of the 14 most important challenges
20. Media and Its Impacts. Explains how the media influences public
perceptions, often to the detriment of clear understanding and wise action.
21. A Weakness for Irresponsible Expediencies. Contains the simple truths concerning deficit
spending, the Social Security system, and political doctrines.
22. An Ode to Visionary Practicality. This ode is dedicated to truth, intelligence,
reason, far-sightedness, peace, empathetic understanding, honesty and fairness.
23. Understanding the Universe. From the Big Bang to Big Ideas, here is a big
perspective that is valuable to life and the betterment of societies.
24. The Control of Nature. Investigates wiser approaches to humanity's
dealings with the natural world.
25. Quo Vadis --- Where Do We Go From Here? Examines the landscape from the vantage point
of November 2004, just after the last U.S. national elections, and gives
reassurance that we can all contribute to making positive differences in our
26. Our Bubble Economy. Reveals the risks that
we take in economic exploitation and speculative policies.
27. Empathy and Compassion. Introspection on right action between people.
28. Political Prophecy. Summarizes general principles and affirmative
ideas that can be implemented to improve our society and the world. Also contains an article by author Garrison
Keillor about the pathetic state of politics in August 2004.
29. The Zeitgeist of America in the Winter of
2006. A brief introspection into the
way things are, and are seen, in the world today.
30. Success, Failure, and Rationality. Thoughts about Finland and rational and
irrational reasons for our actions.
31. Sex, Sexual Drives, Sexual Intercourse, and
Personal Responsibility. Here is the
subjective objective enlightened scoop!
Read all about it!
32. An Ode to Meaning.
--- Dr. Tiffany Twain