In a perfect world

{Editor’s note: This story first appeared in 1991 in Leisure Weekly, Keene, NH, USA, where the author was once managing editor.]

A good society is a means to a good life for those who compose it; not something having a kind of excellence on its own account. — Bertrand Russell

In a perfect world, there would be no soldiers, no police, no crime, no hatred, no oil spills. A ritually stabilized world population, structured so each person connected with an actualized family unit, would have behaviorally internalized integrity and civility and this was reflected in friendly social behavior and totally amiable international relations.

In a perfect world people, would live closer to the land, leave a lighter footprint on the epidermis of the planet. One thinks of Indians, gliding across a world with a much lighter footfall, as a higher form of civilization — big-picture-wise — than our own.

One recent story postulated that the collective sound made by the human race — think of jet engines and nuclear tests, please — is having a disintegrating effect on the tectonic structure of the planet. Planetary harmonics would be a hot occupation in a perfect world.

One also thinks of ancient Greeks, who regarded the planet as a living organism — a “zoon” — to be thought of in the second person — as a “you” rather than an “it.” If you go back far enough in ancient history, you come to a time when speech and logic had no third person. The ability to conceptualize comes, as revealed in Homer, accompanied by rationalized hallucinations for that substantial part of human existence that cannot be named very accurately.

It was something called thumos that men felt upon going into the battle for Troy, an emotion something akin to heart, spirit, and soul, and it drove men to kill. In a perfect world this “thumos” would have been completely ritualized into games and nontoxic religious/philosophical practices.

Aggression, in a perfect world, would be unacceptable behavior, especially since a planetary legal network was in perfect working order, untainted by commercial corruption. In a perfect world the dilemma of aggression and sexuality would still not have been completely worked out.

In a perfect world, the unchallenged distortion now extant in society in the matter of self-advantage would have been unlearned and in its place, the maxim “you may not live this life for yourself” would have been imbued in public consciousness. Jesus and Sartre agreed on this one.

There would be no cops because everybody would be their own police chief, with a responsibility for oneself that does not reflect true responsibility until it demonstrably and positively affects someone else, on a continuing basis. Heck, who’d have time for crime.

There would be no war because everybody would have enough to eat, the world government saw to it. Those xenophobes who saw world government as a threat to their own selfish aggrandizement were laughed into babbling anonymity long ago.

In a perfect world, would be crystal clear that all humans are one family, no matter what the color of their skin, the cut of their hair, or the name of the God they pray to.

Ah, but in a perfect world, the name of the Gods they prayed to would all be understood as synonyms. Not only that, but in a perfect world, God would have regained her female element, so that respect for this lush, bounteous cushion upon which we live would have overshdowed the fashionable, testosteronic bloodlust which had once oppressed the masses and turned the planet into a toilet.

The key part to creating a perfect world is very much like the creation of the United States of America: principles codified for the common good. It’s striking to realize the sincere human dignity of our founding mothers and fathers, particularly compared to the sterile, shrill pronouncements of our current establishment. This is what is missing. I keep saying it. I won’t change.

What is missing from our current structure of government is something you can find in your home. The presence of kids practically guarantees you have it. You can put any name you want on it — I like real life. Some would call it love.

That’s what’s missing from the forces flushing the world down the sewer. This is not a planet to be covered with asphalt and riddled with electronic impulses and funky chemicals. It’s our home, and damned if — really — we know the first thing about it.

In a perfect world this would be obvious, and the respect accorded to every aspect of our environment would, of course, be second nature.

And we would run our governments and businesses as if they were built to serve the home, because they were. And because of this, we would have more time to tell our children that we love them.

In a perfect world we would understand all the larger implications of our actions. We would be much more sensitive. We would understand that nobody ever learned anything by winning all the time. We would understand that profit in one sense is always loss in another. We would not drink Cokes and Pepsis.

In a perfect world, a kind of tripartite schizophrenia would govern social thought and legal sanctions: in addition to mental and physical concerns, the human personality would include another category of thinking. You could call it spiritual, but that word has long since become too freighted due to the efforts of establishment religions — ineffable is a better word.

So many of the things in life we truly want — love, children, and safe home, a community of friends in which one can take sincere pride — all are ineffable. You can’t quite reach out and touch them, but you sure can feel them in the silence of your heart.

In a perfect world, every action would be precipitated by first thinking of such things, ineffable things.

In a perfect world, the government would have the ultimate responsibility of eliminating misery. Corporations which manufactured products useful to humanity would pay taxes three times lower that corporations that made money merely by shuffling more money.

In a perfect world, children would not aspire to be Operation Desert Storm warriors and trade playing cards glorifying unmentioned slaughter. Instead, they would aspire to be healers; the untamably aggressive would be architects.

In a perfect world, people would write a lot about what a perfect world really means. The government would not be afraid of new ideas because it was simply a collection of them anyway. A government afraid of new ideas is generally a government with something to hide.

In a perfect world, everyone would vote and no one would run for any office. In a perfect world, all officials served only one term at anything because it was obvious, as the Greeks had known, that government service required no special attributes and that one person could do these jobs as well as another. Problems are inevitable when people stay too long in power.

And above all else in a perfect world, we would have learned that we may not fear what we may not avoid, because all those things are only creatures of our own creation.

John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida whose Internet essays are seen on hundreds of websites around the world. He is the author of “America’s Autopsy Report,” “The Perfect Enemy,” and “The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn’t Believe the Official Story of What Happened on September 11, 2001.” His latest collection of essays, “Recipe for Extinction,” can be preordered (late February publication) at http://www.johnkaminski.com/

John Kaminski is a writer who lives in the Gulf Coast of Florida (pelicans are back, eating merrily) whose essays are seen on hundreds of websites around the world.