Problems of Humanity – Capital, Labor and Employment
Study the problem of the “Problems of the Capital, Labor and Employment”. First, by re-reading Lesson in Magical Work of the Soul in the Problems of Humanity course and by thinking through in reflective meditation the underlying cause or causes of the problem. Secondly, by practical investigation, including wherever possible some first-hand experience of the problem and what is now being done in the world to solve it. Endeavor to get right into the heart of the problem and learn to see it and understand it from the “inside out” in terms of practical action. This constitutes the essential contribution of the esotericist to the externalizing Plan.
At the end of the Set write a short paper on the results of your meditation work and practical investigation. Cut and dried solutions will not be possible, but a clearer understanding of the problem in the New Age terms and of what steps can be taken now towards an ultimate solution within the framework of the One Humanity, is possible.
The “Problems of Capital, Labor and Employment” – Overview
When we consider the 6 major problems of humanity that AAB wrote about in the 1940’s, the problem of Capital, Labor and Employment is arguably the most demonstrative and influential of the major problems she wrote about. It literally involves every person on Earth who works, regardless of occupation or work location including anyone who interacts with products and services from their nation or any other. It involves economic systems, which largely drives political, economic and social decisions and those persons or groups who control the means of production and the world’s resources. This is a problem about how capitalism and materialism effect everyone in today’s world.
When “Problem of Capital, Labor and Employment” was published in Problems of Humanity in the 1940’s, the world had just emerged from the very destructive effects of WWII and the first atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. This new atomic energy was seen as both destructive as a weapon and as a new “constructive” source of energy for mankind. Although atomic energy is being used around the world as a power source since at least the 1950’s, coal, gas, and oil continue to be the main source for generating electricity for commercial and residential sites right into the 21st century, which will be discussed in this paper.
Here at the beginning of the 21st century, the problems of Capital and Labor have evolved to create better relations between labor and management. This improved relationship has produced a more comfortable and productive workplace. However, given the sophistication of the world’s economy and workplace, issues between labor and management are more complex than in years past. They now involve new relationships that didn’t exist before, such as trade alliances among nations, redefining how business and commerce are conducted, teaching cooperation and goodwill in the workplace, changing attitudes toward protecting the environment and enabling the principle of sharing.
In this article, I will address the problem of Capital, Labor and Employment from at least four major angles:
- Changes in the office/warehouse/factory for the average worker, their interaction with corporate management and their importance to the company’s success;
- The influence of the corporations (the capitalists), particularly the energy giants and the significance of their economic and political influence globally over the last century
- Advertising – the powerful tool of the corporations, and its influence on the human desire body.
- Globalization – Its effects and how this process is creating alliances and bringing people together in cooperation
Finally, I will offer my observations and some possible solutions to the current economic / political crises(es) confronting us today.
Labor – Changes in the Workplace
In the last 100 years, so many positive changes have occurred for the worker regarding labor’s working conditions, company benefits and their interaction with management, that they cannot all be listed here. However, one of the major changes that’s occurred is the value that’s been placed on the contribution of the employee to the company’s success. Employees are now treated as strong contributors to fulfilling the business goals and policies of the company. The company values highly skilled workers by rewarding them with benefits, such as higher salaries or wages and special pension plans. This drive has increased over the last half century by attracting workers who are well educated and experienced to the profession. A more recent phenomena for the professionally skilled worker is how job recruiters search out the best workers and offer them more money and benefits to work for a competing corporation. This weakens the sense of loyalty that the worker has for his company and makes many workers more transient. In most cases, the American worker has much greater mobility and can move to another job easier than most places in the world due to a number of favorable economic conditions in the US, such as available and more affordable housing. In Europe and Asia, this type of free movement of the labor force is much more difficult.
Among the greatest changes in the workplace for the worker is the relationship between the worker and their employer. For example, just in the last 25 years many companies have adopted open door policies to encourage direct communication. This is management’s desire to institute cooperative business practices with their employees. This policy allows the average worker in the company to talk directly to the company’s leadership and offer suggestions and in so doing, participate in the company’s success. This practice when used, encourages loyalty and a sense of responsibility among the company’s personnel. In some cases, workers can actually receive a monetary reward for a suggestion that helps the company. Other positive changes for protecting the worker include the enactment of anti-sexual harassment, discrimination laws and worker’s compensation. In addition, the Family and Medical Leave Act passed by the US Congress in the late 1990’s, allows the employee to leave their job for up to 12 weeks while preserving their job. This law is mainly designed for maternity leave but can also be used for family emergency situations such as death in the family and caring for another sick family member.
Unlike other cultures, in the US workplace, the employee is expected to work and produce more. In most other countries, the motivation and expectation is often not quite as strong and so their ability for producing more is less.
Issues between Labor and Management
“The basic goal is the freedom and the liberation of mankind, but the spiritual workers are handicapped by the fact that men themselves must make free choice and decision in order to be free; they can only be liberated when they—as individuals and later as groups—liberate themselves from the expressed thought-control of the powerful dominating groups and from the fears which these groups intentionally engender. Freedom can never be conferred through totalitarian methods; liberation cannot come through a dictator or dictating groups.”
The Rays and the Initiations, p. 743
Most of the tensions between labor and management in the last couple of centuries have been around workplace and benefits issues. It wasn’t until the latter half of the 20th century that the skilled individual worker began to be seen as a valuable asset to the company. Often companies and corporations were controlled by greedy and authoritarian bosses who were unwilling to share the companies’ prosperity, largely made possible by that individual worker. Gradually, as the decades have worn on, the worker has gained more benefits and shared in the company’s success. With the main weapons of the union being able to organize and strike, they forced many companies to grant the average worker benefits such as more reasonable working hours, better pay and better working conditions. In the post-WWII era, labor unions continued to exist but began to loose control because some of them became too greedy. Today, labor unions still exist but are considerably weaker in influence. What remains comprise mainly the teamsters union of truck drivers, warehouse workers, auto plant workers and Teacher’s unions.
“Wrong capitalist practices caused labor unionism. The conditions were so bad that the public supported the right to strike at its own obvious inconvenience and the momentum of the picture of the sufferings of the laborer remains as a hangover habit of attitude unreal in fact in the case of almost all strikes. If those controlling labor policies do not see the handwriting on the wall, the public will ultimately abandon their labor support, the right-to-strike laws will lose their chief remaining weapon which is, hurt the public enough.”
Things to Come (Foster Bailey) p. 193
Educational facilities also grew and with this came the demand by the laboring classes for better living conditions, higher pay and more leisure. This the employers have constantly fought; they organized themselves against the demands of the awakening mass of men and precipitated a condition which forced labor to take action.
Problems of Humanity, p 75
We have said that over time, the unions were largely successful in creating better working conditions and better benefits for the average worker. There have been however, some unforeseen negative consequences. Now that the worker gets paid more, has better working conditions and benefits, this has cost the employer more money to operate. As a result, the company can’t profitably work in the US anymore. Consequently, many manufacturers, in clothing, computers, tools and equipment have relocated offshore to other developing countries such as China, India, and Central America. This allow a company a cheaper way to operate and make a product for a fraction of what it would comparatively cost in America. This has resulted in the closing of dozens of plants and warehouses across the US, particularly in the South and New England.
Another recent phenomena in the last 10-15 years, has been a shortage of engineers, particularly in the flourishing computer industry where thousands of highly skilled people from India, Pakistan and other countries are competing for American jobs. Many of these workers are highly skilled and will work for considerably less than their American counterparts. This has caused considerable tension in the white collar community in the US as the competition and demand for highly skilled jobs increases.
With the further expansion of the globalized economy, many companies in the US and Europe that manufacture technical products, such as computer software and hardware have expanded the offshore practice of hiring highly skilled technical support personnel. Just in the last 10 + years, India for example, supplies a significant share of workers who provide excellent and cheap labor for the computer manufacturers. This is directly an issue for companies not wanting to pay the higher salaries and benefits to the workers in America. This practice only benefits corporations in the short term. For the long term, labor markets in both Europe and the United States will be hurt. This will inevitably cause less of a demand for jobs in the technical fields in the future and limit the amount of research and development in the US.
Influence of Capitalists (Corporations) on labor, economic and government policy
The influence of capitalists, the rise of modern Western economies and governments can arguably be traced back well over 300 years. Back in the 1600’s, the merchant-capitalists in the West became wealthy and powerful by trading goods in the “Triangular Trade” or the shipping lanes between Europe the New World and the West Indies. At the time, these trade lanes not only strengthened the merchant-capitalist of the time but also strengthened the economic and political interests of Britain and France as well. From the 1600’s forward, it can be also pointed out that slaves or laborers were forced to become cheap labor and often suffered under an abusive capitalist task master who benefited completely by their hard work and gave little in return. This was an early beginning of the modern influence of the capitalist over the management of labor. This was also a relative beginning of capitalists either working in concert or exercising their control over the political and economic interests of the major countries of that era. This set a precedence later for the United States to base its economy on. From these early beginnings, the capitalist has grown in his influence over industry and governments as the centuries have passed.
“The responsibility for the widespread misery to be found today in every country in the world lies predominantly at the door of certain major interrelated groups of business-men, bankers, executives of international cartels, monopolies, trusts and organizations and directors of huge corporations who work for corporate or personal gain. They are not interested in benefiting the public except in so far that the public demand for better living conditions will enable them—under the Law of Supply and Demand—to provide the goods, the transportation, light and power which will in the long run bring in heavier financial returns. Exploitation of man-power, the manipulation of the major planetary resources and the promotion of war for private or business profit are characteristic of their methods.”
Problems of Humanity, p. 71
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the impact of capitalists and corporations on economic and governmental policy, countries and social structures has been extensive. For centuries, the rays have conditioned the process of how a business operates and how its organized. The power of the 3rd ray manifests in the form of companies, corporations and businesses organized in a structured way to make them function like a well run machine. The 6th Ray reveals that that power comes from a central source such as one authoritarian figure making decisions within a company. The 7th Ray, on the other hand has evolved many companies in the last 25 years to invite people within the company (group) to contribute to the whole (the company), thus diffusing the power of central figure’s policies.
Over time, the combined influence of the rays, has contributed to the consumer driven, materialistic civilization we now live in. This influence has not been entirely a healthy one. Due to the success of intelligent business practices around the world, humanity has created for itself a civilization that constantly demands products and services 24/7. This civilization as we have allowed it to evolve, has severely impacted life, stressed the environment, depleted the world’s resources and has clouded any clear vision for a sustainable future. It is precisely due to a lack of vision and wisdom that the current power and influence of the corporation, poses the most significant threat to world peace and stability because of their influence over the world’s governments, society, economies and culture.
In the last 100 years, capitalists have exerted tremendous influence over predominately Western civilization. In this section, I will be discussing two major industries: first – the ”energy” corporations. These comprise the oil, coal and natural gas industries. The second is the defense industries named by Eisenhower as the “military industrial complex”. These companies make up all the people that wage war, promulgate or philosophically justify its existence and of course the arms industry which creates the weapons. Although there are many other corporate influences that impact the world daily, I believe these two main industries are key when considering a solution to much of the world’s problems. For any comprehensive solution to the myriad of humanity’s issues, which I ultimately believe is a political one (resulting from the combination of vision and leadership at the governmental level), the leaders of these industries must be involved. For in reality, the government and these corporations feed on each other through back room deals in an effort to maintain power through money and control of much of the world’s resources. This relationship has perpetuated from generation to generation for well over a 100 years in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
“…the perpetuation of unlimited national sovereignty is a threat to the freedom of all humanity, illustrating the abuse by the part of the welfare of the whole. But we are rapidly learning that all humanity is a unit, that we are in fact one family, and that the welfare of all transcends the privilege of any nation to do as it pleases.”
Reflections(Foster Bailey), p. 82
For all of the 20th – 21st centuries the energy giants, such as the oil, coal, nuclear and gas corporations have made their impact on world politics, economies and cultures. The power and control of resources they command literally keeps our civilization going 24/7, around the world. For without the energies they generate, and the processing of resources, all transportation systems, for example could not function. Most industries could not create the myriad of products they currently put out and consumers use. It is safe to say that virtually every person on earth derives some benefit from the service or product put out by the energy corporations. However, there is a dark side to their operations.
Huge corporations threaten freedom if they do not accept responsibility for public welfare (healthcare, livable wage, stewardship to environment) as an essential business policy.
Reflections(Foster Bailey), p. 83
For the protection of the public and the environment, most of the energy corporations (globally) are under some type of regulation or control. A certain amount of regulation and oversight is necessary to prevent these companies from overcharging their customers and containing the pollution they generate. Some of the greatest polluters are the coal, gas and electricity plants that spew toxic chemicals from their stacks during the processing of raw materials. Various regulatory commissions, both at the grassroots and governmental around the world has contained industries that want to operate with impunity.
The political lobby of the oil industry has existed since before WWI and now in 2006 its power has increased so much that these energy giants are given special tax breaks and a free hand to pollute with impunity due to weakened environmental regulations. In the last 30 years, the oil industry and car manufacturers lobby has been so strong that any meaningful and tough environmental legislation for funding investment in alternative sources of energy has been largely prevented. Because Congress and the President has given in to these industries, important legislation and regulation has not been enacted for protecting the public from the chief polluters of our nation. This has resulted over time, of an environment that has degraded the health of millions due to the effects of poor pollution control devices on cars, trucks, airplanes and factory equipment. Since 2001, there have been at least 3 major assessments by the Pentagon and the CIA on is the issue that in the long run, environmental catastrophes will soon dwarf terrorism as a main issue for our nation. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the US government basically allows the oil companies and vehicle makers to pollute with virtually no oversight. This attitude and lack of action keeps the US from providing any substantive international leadership in curbing greenhouse emissions that these industries generate.
Speculation: In the late 1970’s, energy legislation combined with concern for the environmental health our nation was on the legislative agenda of Congress. If we had legislators and a awakened public awareness with just a little vision and courage, we could have passed tough regulations that would in effect eliminate our fossil-fuel addition over say 20 years. By this calculation, this would mean by the year 2000 our nation would have largely or completely moved to an “alternative” energy. Looking back in the last 40-50 years in just the Middle East and all its developments, how would our foreign policy be different? With the United States providing leadership and an example for other nations for curbing fossil-fuel emissions, how would the world’s land, water and air look?
In the reality of today’s world, the transportation and energy industry lobbies are so powerful, that our foreign policy has been compelled to adapt to their needs by making the need for oil in our “national interest”. Most of the oil the US imports comes from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and the Middle East. The energy corporations do everything in their power to ensure that the public maintains its insatiable appetite for oil. Due to the selfishness and power of the oil industry, tens of billions of dollars are spent yearly on oil production and development and very little money spend on alternative energies to oil. From a selfish and narrow-minded attitude, it makes perfect sense for the oil companies not to advocate investment in alternative energy, when their power and influence is so great at this time. They certainly do not encourage the public to buy fuel efficient vehicles and discontinue the manufacture of SUVs and other fuel-inefficient vehicles.
Although the research and development of alternative energies has been grossly under funded and poorly endorsed by our government, R & D has not been completely silent. There are experimental vehicles using hydrogen cells being studied. Hybrid vehicles using an admixture of propane and gasoline and bio fuels are already on the road, but their numbers are still few and the future is precarious due to investment issues. There are other industries too that provide alternative energy, such as wind power. In order to protect the public’s health, welfare and the environment for the long term, there must be a clamor from the public to compel the auto makers to build hybrid cars (alternative energy) and invest in alternative energies. At this point, I do not include government as part of the solution until the influence of the energy lobby is considerably diminished.
In short, because we as a country have our addiction to oil for literally generations, we have justified warring on other nations to make sure that oil will continue to flow for the US and the West. Through the combination of a lack of will by the public and the power of the political influence of the oil industry, we have justified going to war and causing untold destruction, such as currently going on in Iraq, to secure what we have defined as in our “national interest”. Due to the selfish and “lacking in vision” activities of the Pentagon, CIA, White House and Congress, untold suffering has and is occurring in other countries because of what we have done or failed to do. It seems that the forces of light are burdened with the daunting task of overcoming the illusion and dependence we have ascribed on the need for oil. Part of the solution here would be to strongly reduce greenhouse emissions by signing on the Kyoto Protocols, which most nations in the world acknowledge is valid and necessary for future environmental sustainability. The challenge will be also to counter the activity of the Black Lodge through education, by showing the public that there are alternatives to oil and that we as humanity need to invest in these technologies.
The nuclear power industry provides a great deal of power for cities around the world. The harnessing of the atom is also used in medicine and science for the benefit of mankind. Next to the oil, gas, coal and electricity producing industries, the next greatest polluter is the nuclear power industry, which generates a great deal of toxic chemicals. These chemicals are so toxic that they can only be stored in certain locations away population centers, such as Yucca Mountain in Nevada. There’s also an issue of transporting these dangerous chemicals through parts of the country that upsets many residents of local communities. Due to past mistakes and of the possibility for extreme damage to the environment and people’s health if these chemicals were released, the nuclear power industry is heavily regulated. Although the nuclear power plants provide considerable power for cities around the world, there are other threats from this technology mainly from Iran and North Korea. Both of these countries have created nuclear power plants apparently not just for peacetime use but for creating nuclear weapons. This issue is beyond the scope of this discussion but suffice it to say it is another issue to contend with regarding the use of nuclear energy.
Clean Energy – Solutions
The problems around the right use of energy for the benefit and not to the determent of humanity is a key issue to be resolved by all nations. Through peaceful and harmonious coexistence with the environment as a basic understanding, we can make the transition into the Aquarian Age free of the corporate mentality that there must be a control of the world’s resources and not care about the pollution they cause. The challenge is great because the control of the oil, for example, is currently tied to the foreign policy of many nations, such as the US and Europe. Oil is not only a major source of fuel but securing it provides nations a justification for war particularly if anybody tries to disrupt its flow or prevent its sale. The principle of sharing does not seem to enter the debate as its really necessary to make a rapid transition from fossil fuels to a clean, inexpensive energy as a means for powering the world’s industries and transportation before the damage to the environment will force the issue. There are already many indications that we are already at that point where the global climate is fighting back. Undoubtedly, the corporations and governments that demand these fuels must eventually realize that there is a responsibility towards providing for the public’s welfare – globally. There are many positive developments in the “public” sphere, such as the work of Prince Charles of Great Britain, where he is a noted environmentalist. He as funded projects that support the stewardship of his properties towards sustainability. Also, former Vice-President Al Gore made a film “An Inconvenient Truth”. This film released early in 2006, not only talks about the current status of the global environment but he especially emphasizes the consequences if we continue to largely ignore the problem. Further, he offers solutions. With the clock ticking, the larger responsibility for governments and industry (Capitalists), I believe will be for developing “clean” energy and equipment for the sustainability of humanity and the environment.
Defense and Arms industry
When we ponder the question of what’s holding humanity back from growing and making the “peaceful” transition into the New Age, the reasons are many. One of the major reasons we aren’t moving easily is our own insecurity with our neighbors and certainly with ourselves. For thousands of years, the forces of darkness have kept humanity in illusion by promoting an attitude of insecurity that keeps people in fear so they think they need this weapon or we need to attack that country. The glamour of thinking one needs a gun for protection has been a successful marketing ploy by organizations such as the National Rifle Association here in the US. Its main premise refers to the clause in the US Constitution that citizens have “the right to bear arms”. In the US alone, a recent statistic revealed that there are over 240 million weapons in the hands of private citizens. I believe that there’s is a big difference between being attacked and defending yourself as opposed to unilaterally attacking another country (or person) without provocation. For literally centuries, the defense and arms industries have promoted their implements of war to governments and individuals around the world with virtually no concern or conscience as to consequences of their actions. The defense and arms industry – a major capitalist enterprise, is a major determent towards fostering world cooperation and goodwill.
In a continuing discussion about issues around capitalists and their practices, I believe this subject is important and merits discussion. For it is the continuance of arms sales from prosperous countries such as US, Russia, France, China, Great Britain, etc. to other developing nations that keeps the astral plane of the world tense and provides an excuse and means of warring on their neighbors instead of negotiation, sharing and cooperation. These countries include those in Africa, Middle East countries, Central America and many others The sale of weapons to individuals and other nations, is another example of capitalists not being responsible for the public’s welfare. For in the vast majority of cases, the sale of those weapons will probably be used for harm or for exerting undo power and control over others.
“…the perpetuation of unlimited national sovereignty is a threat to the freedom of all humanity, illustrating the abuse by the part of the welfare of the whole. But we are rapidly learning that all humanity is a unit, that we are in fact one family, and that the welfare of all transcends the privilege of any nation to do as it pleases.”
Reflections(Foster Bailey), p. 82
Any nation(s) that engages in arms sales, tarnishes the soul of that nation and generates karma for its people. We certainly see this with the Iraq War that America seems to be “stuck” in. The arms dealer-capitalist can say that people have free will to buy and sell what they want and that “I’m not responsible for how others react to or use my weapons”. This may have an element of truth in that expression, but this type of thinking fosters an “I don’t care” attitude and certainly encourages recklessness and harmfulness in the astral plane of the world.
For this discussion, relating the rays can bring in a new insight. Two of the most influential rays in this discussion are the glamours of the 3rd and 6th Rays. The 3rd ray expressing Intelligent Activity is related to the principle of goodwill and the law of right human relations that governs all economic activity. The “Intelligent use of force with wrong motive or desire” and force(d) manipulation of a person or situation or event using force through by selfish desire weaknesses” are two examples of glamours of the 3rd ray. A glamour of the 6th Ray, which is definitely in play today is “ray of devotion or idealism – especially towards a religious ideal”. This has lead to violence and religious fanaticism that we’ve seen so much of in the Middle East and Asia. Putting weapons in the hands of fanatics is a very dangerous enterprise, which the United States and other countries has wrapped their foreign policy with for over 50 years – with mixed success.
There are many examples where the US has sold arms to so called “freedom fighters” such as Osama bin Laden to fight against the Soviets in the late 1970’s. Many of those weapons ended up in the hands of “other” countries, such as Syria, Iran and the Gaza Strip. The US and Europe from the 1970’s to the early 1990’s, has given the regime of Sadaam Hussein numerous weaponry. Sadaam turned around and used the weapons on its neighbors Iran and Kurds. This policy of arm sales has happened so many times. Why? The policy continues because “its highly profitable”. The last of my examples, includes the US providing high technology weapons to Israel. Depending on your point of view, Israel is defending themselves against those who wish for their annihilation from the likes of Hamaas, Hezbollah and some of the Palestinians. Although we know most of the players that wish for Israel’s destruction, it should be also stated that when Israel carries out military retaliation, they often do this by applying excessive force on their perpetrators. In the summer of 2006 war with the Hezbollah fighters in Southern Lebanon, Israel used bombs with depleted uranium (DU). It should be noted that these bombs came from the US. When the DU bombs were dropped in Lebanon, the one’s that actually exploded, left radiation on the ground. This is a poison left in Lebanon, still on the ground, which of course the Israeli government claims no responsibility. The resulting problems this radiation will cause will be increased cancer rates and other health conditions. The US is also using DU currently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The exploded ordinance is causing numerous health complaints from the soldiers serving there. From the Iraq War of 1991, soldiers from that time complain of the “Gulf War Syndrome”, where DU was also used, yet the Pentagon denies benefits to the very people who served.
Arms Sales – Solutions
When considering a solution for this problem, one first has to acknowledge the fact that the capitalists via governments who are selling these weapons don’t see this as a problem. This is an issue that transcends political parties for it has existed in the US alone since before the country’s founding. In short, the sale of weaponry around the world gives us the leverage to force our foreign policy on other nations by interfering and meddling in their affairs. So in the minds of the politicians think tanks, the CIA and strategists in the Pentagon, they find ample justification for this continued type of business practice, regardless of the consequences. Looking back since WWII, we can certainly see the negative results of nations, such as the US that frequently strong-arms other weaker nations through their force of arms.
From a spiritual point of view, the concepts of karma and “right action” are in play. The solution is definitely a political one where the government(s) need to consciously cultivate a spirit of goodwill and cooperation among peoples and nations. Diplomacy must be emphasized as the main solution to humanity’s warring tendencies. There first must be an effort on the part of the Security Council and all governments to curbing any arms sales and thus neutralize fighting both regionally and globally. Secondly, the fostering of political dialog among nations (and parties) to deter the need for weapons as the main solution.
There are a number of other actions that can be employed. The fostering of an attitude of peace and goodwill for supporting the understanding of human unity (One family) concept. This understanding will help to create a new foundation for political, religious and social reorganization of our civilization. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat – Ohio) has been espousing these ideas since at least 2002. For this idea to work, there has to be a modicum of peace so that the polarized parties will choose to sit down and negotiate instead of war. I believe that much of the problem of war (to include terrorism) is tied up with how our governments and industry see the world. Right now, they largely see resources that need to be controlled by the miserly few and are willing to sacrifice money and lives for it. Turning that attitude around, these parties can on the other hand foster the principle of sharing of the Earth’s resources, with an attitude of stewardship and responsibility towards the environment instead. If an attitude of prevention was always brought to the negotiation table, how many wars and conflicts could or can be prevented? There’s not just the issue of the warring parties and even the actual war, there’s also the poisons that are left after the war is over. How many wars have been fought over the centuries where the poisons of war are just left on the ground to cause more harm later on? Besides the DU issue already mentioned in this paper, the US still has not signed on to the International Landmine Treaty. This treaty would provide funding for the removal of “hidden” landmines from previous war zones around the world, e.g. Southeast Asia, (Vietnam), Korea and Kosovo. If the US, would sign this treaty, this action would provide the political will for eliminating landmines internationally. The fact that the US refuses to sign on has direct karmic consequences. By not signing on, the US in effect prevents its implementation and the result is more people will be injured or maimed by “hidden” landmines around the world. In this example, it is the White House, the Pentagon, the Congress and industry itself (manufacturers of these landmines) that need to have a change of mind and heart.
The overall concept of globalization, is not new, and is a term that has been used widely in the latter half of the 20th century, particularly since the 1980’s forward. Globalization allows for a greater international exchange of goods, money, information, the development of technology, and infrastructures. It defines the different types of political, economic and cultural interests, that want to expand into new markets – as a group. As a result , these groups establish trade through global connections with other groups or organizations, such as: G8, EU, OPEC, WTO, NAFTA, etc. Another way of looking at this movement is that its creating an economic-cultural and political global structure for the world community to work and thus create unity, while fostering cooperation (right human relations) and goodwill internationally. With cooperation and goodwill being the ideal, there are many who are not wanting this type of movement to succeed.
According to some members of the anti-globalization movement, globalization is an erosion of democracy. They believe that conventional democratic choices, prior to this movement, should not influence the course of events in today’s modern market-dominated capitalism. There are a number of significant anti-globalization people from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), environmentalists and human rights advocates that are protesting, through mostly violence-free action. Some of their claims are:
- Although, globalization promotes democratization of countries, it causes conflicts with some cultures, e.g. Islam
- Concerns about the effect on the environment of overproduction and the depletion of resources, e.g. over logging, fishing, whaling, mining, extracting too much water from the water table, etc.
- Concerns about the exploitation of workers in factories in Asia, Africa and Central America to produce products for the US or other Western nations (multinational corporations) that the worker in these local countries can’t benefit from these products or obtain health benefits due to the prohibitive costs in their local area.
From a esoteric perspective, globalization represents the incoming 7th ray where the concept of the cooperation and synergy among groups (e.g. nations) is tantamount. We are passing out of the 2000 year old era of the 6th ray that highlighted the individual nation, and its ambitions that forced its political, economic and cultural will on others. Its ironic that dictators like Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Napoleon and others all had unity in mind too, although through militarism, fanaticism and willful adherences to an ideal. These dictators are classic examples of how glamours of the 6th ray worked out. It should also be noted that a vocal minority of the anti-globalization movement people are also acting fanatical, as they are also holding on to their ideals during their protests but they’re protesting as individual citizens not nations.
In other positive developments of globalization, the rise of technology has contributed greatly to commerce and free market development. Here in America, we have the proliferation of the Internet, and other free market tools like Craig’s List and Angies’s list, which promotes a non-governmental interactions among peoples. In the case of the Internet, anyone from private citizens to governments can communicate with others around the world by exchanging ideas, buying products and promoting culture. The use of the Internet by average people is making a big difference in how we see and interact with our world. Its my belief, that sometime in the not too distant future, that we’ll see globalization as a movement that initially benefited the most powerful nations, economies and corporations. In the long run, the interaction among peoples and nations is really creating unity and fulfilling the purposes of the Plan. In these early stages of the new world government, economy and culture, globalization, although its continually evolving, is over time providing a vehicle for all the rays (individuals, groups and nations) to work together in cooperation, and overcome the issues that keep them feeling separated.
Influence of Advertising on Humanity
The platform of the leading ideologies is not necessarily wrong or wicked; it is the imposition by force and by a police state of an ideology, and its use by powerful men or groups for their own benefit, plus the keeping of the people in blind ignorance so that no free choice is theirs—which is fundamentally wicked and evil.
The Rays and the Initiations, p. 744
One of the most influential people in the 20th century was not a politician, economist, general or scientist but the founder of public relations. Edward Bernays, was the nephew of Sigmund Freud and the founder of public relations in the early part of the 20th century. He took his uncle’s ideas on people’s repressed unconscious and subconscious desires, and changed how the advertising industry operates. This is an industry which largely exists on manipulating people to buy products and services they don’t really need. In the 1920’s, this concept quickly got the attention of corporations on Wall Street, the US government and the CIA. His ideas were so successful that even Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda) of Nazi Germany from 1933-45 studied and used his methods for manipulating people through propaganda.
Edward Bernays has long since gone but what is his legacy? While Bernays himself was not a important historical figure per se, his ideas continue to impact anybody who looks at and observes movies, news media, advertising in any form, spokes-persons from governments around the world and of course politicians. In many cases, these various mediums and people are wanting to influence the public for buying a certain idea, product or service, directly impacting their free wills. The skilled public speaker and advertiser will take advantage of people’s weakest points, such as greed and desire and attempt to sway them to do what they want. It’s a problem that keeps people, to include our youth, to be interested in violent media, such as TV, movies and print media that prey on peoples desire for more violence. The cosmetic and fashion industries keep telling people that they will improve their self image with this cosmetic or that fashion. The manufacturers or cars, truck and SUVs constantly say you need to have this new gadget or feature. The tobacco industry continues to tell us that we need to have this cigarette to look cool. The junk food manufacturers tell you that in order to have fun you must consume our product, etc. Perhaps, the only value that advertising really has is to simply inform the public that a product or service actually exists, and let the consumer make up their own mind?
So what is at stake here? The greatest casualty in this discussion on advertising and its impact is ultimately the truth that lets us contemplate just how free we really are. If people’s desire bodies (lower manas and emotional bodies) can be manipulated cleverly and easily into buying an idea or product that in most cases they don’t really need, then we will continue to maintain a materialistic culture bent on using up as many resources on the planet as possible. Part of the truth that’s lost here is that the culture of consumerism, which exists in virtually every country in the world, is destroying our environment (the astral and physical plane) by encouraging people to continue to buy, go into debt, not to recycle, and even to the point of pressuring our children in schools to train for becoming more “successful” in a competitive in a materialistic world at the cost of their own health and happiness. The drive for procuring more materialistic gain has not made our civilization any happier.
Solutions? With the understanding that our free wills and desire bodies can easily be swayed, we have a very insightful window into the nature of what drives consumerism, and materialism in our civilization. So with the understanding that our expressed (or unexpressed) unconscious and subconscious desires do indeed exist, then it is incumbent on us, as “conscious” members of humanity to persuade our leaders in the financial, media and governmental sectors to neutralize the power of the advertising / propaganda machine tactics and promote the concepts of right ethics, right values.
With regards to the public influencing government, this is already happening with the exposure of the tobacco industry deliberately hiding the fact that smoking is detrimental to the health. Strong support from government and the public sectors (for over 15 years) has severely limited the tobacco industry’s ability to sell their products in the US. Now, virtually every state and a large majority of cities in the US have smoking bans at restaurants and pubic places. Also, there’s a growing movement of not selling or promoting unhealthy food (junk food industries promoting sugar and fattening foods) in schools. The issue? Do we want to continue allowing obesity in children and undermining their health? The ideal here is for industry and government to take the initiative and protect the public’s health. Further, they need to tell us the truth of who we are so we can make informed decisions without outside coercion. The issue of advertising and how its abused, impinges on the spiritual principle of freedom and free-will. Through the public’s awareness and expression of freewill, governments are being compelled to change laws that protect the citizenry and the well-being of the environment.
“Problems of Capital, Labor and Employment” – Conclusions
“To own, to possess, and to compete with other men for supremacy has been the keynote of the average human being—man against man, householder against householder, business against business, organization against organization, party against party, nation against nation, labor against capital—so that today it is recognized that the problem of peace and happiness is primarily related to the world’s resources and to the ownership of those resources.”
Problems of Humanity, p. 80
The principle that the Earth and its bountiful resources belong to all was elevated from the photography of the Apollo Missions of the 1960’s where we saw the Earth from space. For the first time, we saw our planet, whole with no borders or political boundaries. Up to this point, governments and society have not supported this concept but if humanity can realize its essential unity as one human family through education, we will be closer to embracing the concept that the planet and its riches belongs to all and not the selfish few. Here, in early part of the 21st century the spirit of humanity, despite its glamours, is driving onwards towards a more spiritual civilization and culture, with changes in the workplace, perhaps, being one of the most obvious examples.
In “Problems of Humanity”, Alice Bailey said “….the changes between capital and labor is a strive for freedom”. When the spiritual concept of freedom is realized then the physical plane will reflect this new understanding. For centuries, both labor and capital are inseparably connected and any changes to either group will effect the other. With the continual advances in automation and technology we’ve seen a dramatic increase in productivity over the decades, which has benefited both capital and labor. This has made the workspace more amenable for the worker for promoting creativity and thus allowing the capitalist to be more prosperous.
Among the greatest benefits (intangibles) and changes that have occurred that both labor and management (Capital) enjoy are:
- The principle of cooperation – for the business to expand and increase profits and expand it markets, capitalists have found a need to create new alliances, partnerships, through mergers and acquisitions
- Open door policy – This is managements’ desire to institute cooperative business practices with their employees, which give the employee a way of participating in the operation of the company and a sense of ownership
- Advent of technology – The concept of a virtual team is used around the world. When different parts of a company are located in different places, technology such as video-conferencing and e-mail allow management and workers to be connected as a virtual team. With the virtual team located in multiple locations, each team and its members depend on each other to fulfill their responsibilities to keep the company functioning. Also, the Internet and e-mail has defined a basis for communicating among team members and other business interests.
Lastly, we see that just in the last 25 years for example, globalization is bringing together the political, economic and social elements of society under the guidance and control of the 3rd and 7th rays. This is another indication that the concept of unity is taking hold in the international political and economic consciousness despite the frictions of all the players. It should be noted that the activity of these rays and others will continue to influence civilization for hundreds of years into the future by conditioning humanity to create cross-border cooperation through trade.
Another challenge for humanity is that the continual want or desire for more products drives consumerism. Capitalists are naturally responding to the public’s insatiable appetite for more products. This appetite, however has serious karmic consequences on the environment as corporations strive to meet the consumers wants, they are depleting the Earth’s resources and creating more pollution. This consequence, although in the mainstream consciousness and largely acknowledged by science, has yet to be brought under control. With increased pollution and erratic weather happening globally at an alarming rate, the time will come very soon when global warming, will create such destruction and that governments will be forced to protect humanity by making draconian changes in how we live and conduct ourselves in the world. There’s no easy answers and civilization has become used to an increasing voracious desire for more products that the environment cannot sustain. It seems that a combination of grass roots organizations supporting sustainability, science showing us where we’re at and offering solutions and wise leadership from the governmental sector are what’s needed to guide humanity at this critical juncture. From this must come the realization that consumerism can’t maintain its current pace if we want a vital and prosperous civilization for our children and succeeding generations.