Foster and Kimberly Gambles’ Response to Elisabet Sahtouris
By Foster and Kimberly Gamble
This is in response to Elisabet Sahtouris' Critique of THRIVE, which you can read here: http://www.thrivemovement.com/john-robbins-critique-of-thrive-movie-humanity-and-sanity.
To see the full dialogue between the Thrive Filmmakers and Pioneers, and to add any comments, please visit: www.thrivemovement.com/public-dialogue-between-thrive-movie-filmmakers-and-pioneers.
Thanks for taking the time to engage so that we have some possibility for fruitful interchange.
First, we are sorry you had a problem posting, but we never disabled the page and we are doing everything we can to empower open dialog – hence this new section for offerings by pioneers from THRIVE as well as comments from interested visitors.
We were sad to see the Praxis pamphlet inaccurately pose the “straw-man” that THRIVE was a political Libertarian or right wing treatise, and then spend 50+ pages attacking that instead of what we actually say and stand by. I hope you got a chance to read our response, which they refused to post, despite rhetoric about open dialog. It’s here:
Politics aside, though, the dictionary definition for small “l” libertarian is “an advocate for and defender of free will.” That we proudly admit to. How about you?
Your poetic statements about the rattlesnake sound very nice, but actually that icon symbolizes in American history the need for a citizenry to be alert to protecting itself from the overreaching, domineering tendencies of its own government – as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution / Bill of Rights are intended to do.
So although “seeing the sacred connections among us all,” ..., not fear of losing one´s possessions to another” is great, we do not believe that is going to be enough for the millions of people who just had their homes taken by the banks – or the indigenous people who lost their land in the first place. It doesn’t carry the day for your fellow citizens in Greece who have just had their economic well being take away by the deceptions of Goldman Sachs et. al. It won’t suffice for the millions of innocent people killed in the middle east as their cultures are being attacked and their resources stolen.
It is highly unlikely that we would devote our lives and our resources to the THRIVE film and website were it not for our dire assessment of our situation and for the commitment and love we feel for people and our planet. We know the same is true for you. So let’s begin with the stated intention of trying to uncover how it is we would suggest something so radical and controversial as only voluntary associations as the beacon to navigate by if what we are after is a truly thriving world for all.
In our decades of research, our primary tactic was to follow each thread of inquiry as far as we could. When we first encountered the notion of “aggregated power” being the core of the inequity we are now in, we didn’t even understand what that meant. Upon further exploration, however, we found it to be revelatory. Aggregated power is when some people have power because of an association they belong to- the most obvious of which is government. If an individual came up and demanded you give a lot of your hard earned wages so that they could go kill someone in another country, or even build something like a new road that they felt was most important, you would rightly protest that they not have this right. But when they put on a uniform and call themselves part of the government, that same behavior becomes acceptable and we call it income tax. And we know that we will get in big trouble if we resist.
Now to complicate things, we know that this process is relied upon to dole out the meager care that people receive who have lost their ability to care for themselves, so to be compassionate we comply. But we don’t usually notice that the same institution that we are now relying on to provide for them caused many of their problems in the first place- poor education, poor living conditions, poor health care, inadequate access to good food, etc. We also don’t tend to notice that the institution of government that we pay into and rely upon is responsible for more death and destruction than any other entity on the planet. So what do we do about this? We sat with, talked about and researched this question for years.
What we found was that the very basis of government is taxation – government can’t function without it. The problem is that in every single case throughout history, taxes have been used to grow the governments instead of truly providing for the increased autonomy and well being of its citizens. And another problem is that the taxes rely on the people who put on the uniform of government forcing others to comply, against their will. That did not seem like a compassionate or enlightened or even sustainable practice, so we started to research the thinking of other people who were concerned about this.
What we discovered was a whole new paradigm for human self-organizing that relied on the core principle of non-violation, that no one can violate another except in true self-defense. We found whole philosophies based on the notion that if people organized around non-violation instead of coercive taxation, a whole new kind of human existence became possible. And after years of immersion in this- which we discussed with you during your visit with us years ago - we found that this philosophy mirrored the kind of integrity and “wholeness” that the torus sustains itself with and which we had already found to be a template for sustainability. We compared the potential for true self-actualization of our whole human family and realized that transcending involuntary taxation as the core operating principle and evolving instead to a principle of non-violation held the greatest promise. This is what is referred to as the Liberty movement- not to be confused with the political Libertarian party, which was co-opted in the course of becoming political because true Liberty requires no involuntary governance.
So we continued our research and noticed that while much of the thinking behind this was utterly inspiring, there were almost no transition strategies that we could either find or align with. The greatest scholars in the field tended to ignore the dependence of people on the government and on the revenue generated from this coercive involuntary taxation that people depended on to survive. So we designed a three-stage strategy that keeps non-violation as the beacon toward which we are headed, but which also honors that we need to be using tax money to care for people in the meantime. However, instead of creating more of those involuntary taxes, we called for redirecting taxes that are already being accumulated – from the Pentagon for wars of aggression that most people do not support – and then from rectifying the paying of money to the private corporation known as the Federal Reserve. That is what we keep referring to as the “best of the Progressive agenda” for Stage 1.
Some of the tactics we outline to achieve this include campaign finance reform and undoing corporate personhood and making sure ballots are honestly counted so that we citizens can get representatives who will legislatively redirect this tax revenue and audit and end the Federal Reserve.
We then designed Stage 2 to reflect the fact that people would now have between 3 and 10 times their current income and assets while working the same or less. So they would need less government assistance and we could then safely shrink government to a protective role. This we describe as accessing the best of the traditional conservative perspective.
Stage 3 can then rely on people having more money and more time so that independent solutions to problems become possible. Independent Dispute Resolution Organizations, for example, will be emerging as an alternative to the corrupt state-driven justice system and alternative schools will similarly become more accessible for everyone. When you consider the economic and social ramifications of no longer having subsidies, bailouts, rigged markets and no-bid crony contracts that exist now only because of the monopoly on force and on money-making that the ‘state’ provides, new-paradigm solutions become possible and that is what we are talking about.
As Stages 1 and 2 are underway, we want to engage publicly with people everywhere in televised think tanks to explore the specific strategies and timelines for supporting all voluntary associations, including those where people choose to pay a portion of their money into a pool to be used in a way that someone they trust decides or WHATEVER they want- the only requirement is that it be based on non-violation and be voluntary. This is where the true evolutionary potential will be expressed, and we have the confidence in people to be able to rise to the challenges when empowered with the self-determination and resources they need to do it. Hosting and televising these and related think tanks is part of what supporting the THRIVE movement makes possible.
We recognize that mentioning evolving beyond involuntary taxation can sound callous unless one listens more closely to what we are really saying. We speak of the three stages as a core tenet of this new paradigm of self-organizing and have frankly been dismayed that you, Duane and John all fail to acknowledge the thought and care implicit in the 3-stage approach. It is especially easy to be misinterpreted because we are wealthy, and easily fall prey to your and Georgia Kelly’s depictions of us as elite who don’t care. We think THRIVE reflects our care deeply and encourage you to move beyond this shallow interpretation to a more rigorous exploration of non-violation and our true potential for freedom and self-actualization.
Here is a link to our 3 stage solution strategy:
Here is a link to an important “Top 10 Myths” about liberty thinking being misconstrued as uncompassionate.
For the record, we are all in favor of approaches like Sarvodaya and Mongdragon, as long as participation is voluntary. If participation is mandatory, and therefore coerced through force, then we are back in the destructive swamp of tyranny. In a liberated, non-authoritarian society, any non-violating system would be free to exist for those who find it fits their needs. Then healthy, self-sustaining systems would thrive while coercive, fraudulent or violent ones would quickly disappear.
“Such models are truly based on love, not fear of loss of what is ´rightfully´ yours. They do not start from a place of outraged “us” and “them” and “how do we get them to stop taking from us?” They begin, in the midst of an unjust world, to build a just and loving world. They waste no time or energy on judgmental condemnation...”
We take this to mean you think we should not be naming the perpetrators of economic, environmental and social justice collapse. We are devoting our entire lives and resources to building a just and loving world, but to tell us we should not name the rapist or murderer who is loose in the neighborhood, and not pro-actively defend our fellow humans from them, is just plain dangerous.
You said, “You reassured me again and again over the years of production that Thrive was totally positive and that I would love it...”
We hear from people all over the world that THRIVE is the most positive movie they have ever seen that actually deals with what is really going on. They are inspired by the bold exploration of both the problem and the possibility. They feel our profound confidence in people who are informed to make better decisions and they are inspired to rise to the occasion. We never said we were going to be Pollyanna about our situation just so people would be temporarily comfortable...while the police state closes in and all our systems are in collapse. In fact exactly what we told you was that THRIVE was a bold inquiry into what is in the way of our thriving, including that we were following the money is all sectors of human endeavor, and an exploration of grounded solutions by which we can reclaim our lives. We told you we thought you would be proud to be a part of it. We are sorry that we were apparently wrong about that.
While we wish it were otherwise, we nonetheless made this movie to change the global conversation and to provide practical information and strategies for breaking free of the nightmare of our collective reality and for realizing our potential. We feel we have succeeded in that. And, fortunately, the majority of people are a part of the film are proud to be a part of it.
We recall your visit here and the discussion that ensued when we asked you what ideological category your solutions would fall into. You acknowledged, much to our surprise, that “Communist” would probably come closest. This does not reflect our sense of what is possible, or best for humanity on this threshold of unprecedented awakening and realization.
Remember – the beacon in this plan is always freedom from violation for every individual. The society is shifted to a basis where the primary invisible currency is respect and trust, based on one’s actions. Fraudulent, polluting, destructive or coercive people and organizations will be out of business and prosecuted, with all appropriate restitutions, restorations and reconciliations
Most importantly the seed of tyranny and mass violence – authorized violation (under the age old failed ruse of the “good of the group”) - is finally removed consciously from our evolution on planet Earth. This is the piece that Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals and you and we were all duped into from childhood, because it gives the elite the keys to unethical power that royalty, the church and all the forms of “the state” have depended on to protect and grow their authority over others, and to wage mass wars and consolidate control. This is the story arc throughout history when individual rights are sacrificed for the community, the nation-state or the proposed New World Order “global regime” headed by the elite bankers.
If we don’t see this, name it and stand up for complete freedom and justice, we fear we are doomed to wars of annihilation that risk all life as we know it on this world.
We can’t take the room here to go into all the details, but we will direct those interested to sources that describe the possible workings of this new world in exquisite detail.
(We particularly recommend:
Universally Preferable Behavior, Practical Anarchy, and On Truth: The Tyranny of Illusion all by Stefan Molyneux and available along with hundreds of podcasts at http://www.freedomainradio.com/FreeBooks.aspx)
Meanwhile, we pose back to you these simple questions, and eagerly await your answers:
1) If there were a way to have accessible and good roads, education and healthcare, help for the poor, a respected system of justice etc. – without anyone being violated against their will - as in involuntary income tax - would you want that?
2) Just exactly when, for you, is it OK for one human being to take the rightfully gained property of another under the threat of violence?
We have stated that we believe our core moral compass needs to be “non-violation.” Many progressives hold theirs to be “fairness.” We would never argue against fairness, of course, but if a few people get the power to impose their idea of what is fair on everyone else, then you have thrown out the most fundamental principle of fairness, which is not to violate another! Fortunately our extensive research indicates that the more we align with that core ethic of freedom, the more prosperous, secure, creative and happy people can be. The evidence is huge, on the other hand, for the human and ecological disasters that communism, socialism, fascism and centrally controlled, state-intervention/pseudo capitalism always eventually cause. We do not, in my opinion, have the time to keep ignoring this critical distinction. To thrive on this planet, and to be accepted into the cosmic society, we believe we need to recognize the universal morality of non-violation.
3) Do you agree with that, or do you have a better idea?
“Exactly what do you see that the founding fathers of the United States got so wrong that we ended up with some taking huge advantage of others?”
So glad you asked...The founding fathers were missing the founding mothers, and the founding poor people and the founding slaves and the indigenous people they slaughtered in the name of “manifest destiny” and “divine right to rule”.
They were wise about warning against the tendency toward tyranny of any state (hence the symbol of the snake on alert to defend itself). The Declaration of Independence was very close to a stand for liberty and justice for all. By the time the rich guys sat down to make the rules for everyone else, they revealed their own biases for whiteness, money, land and rule by the “enlightened.” So then we needed a bill of rights. We have come a long way on the human evolutionary trajectory toward true freedom, but obviously we are not there yet.
A more evolved and updated “Declaration of Universal Independence” can be found here (right after the top 10 myths about liberty thinking as lacking compassion):
Many of the biggest scourges of all were not the founders’ fault. The Federal Reserve was a violation of constitutional practices where the Congress was supposed to keep the money making power and be accountable to the people...but oops, the elite bankers (dare I name them?) duped us again and the purchasing power of the dollar has evaporated 97% since that happened. And the founding fathers did not impose an income tax. That came as a “two for one deal” along with the Fed - only a hundred years ago - as the politicians’ part of the fraud to get all of us to pay their debt to the private bankers for the power to wage war and bribe one another without the approval of the people.
But I believe the primary mistake they made was centralizing power in their own hands by creating a nation state at all. Independent commerce, local protection of rights and independent security organizations (like the militias that one our independence from the tyranny of the King and his bankers) would have, and someday will, actually empower all of humanity to have the opportunity to thrive without institutionalized, legalized violence threatening us all. Will there still be skirmishes and conflict? Yes, but without the nation state, you can’t wage massive wars against other nations states – especially against the will of the people. Will there still be dangerous, unstable people in the society. Yes, but given that reality, the riskiest thing we can do (have already done) is to establish a political and economic system where those very psychopaths and sociopaths can and do rise to the top because of their very lack of compassion and ethics. In a truly free society, we would not be broke debt slaves, waging imperialist wars with our children’s lives, and on the brink of surrendering to a global police state.
You finally say, and I appreciate the opening deeply,
“I just don´t get how what you propose gets us to what you dream.”
We have dedicated the film and website to offering our best answers to this and to inviting others to bring their best creativity to the challenge. There are THRIVE –inspired, self-created Solutions groups forming in cities across this country and around the world who are organizing in alignment with the natural structure of the Vector Equilibrium and the natural flow process of the torus.
These inspiring Solutions groups are operating with non-violation as their core principle and linking together in taking on such issues as Ending the Fed, stopping Chemtrails, Fluoride and other toxic chemicals, creating alternative currencies and banks, supporting their Sheriffs in constitutionally protecting against Federal intrusion of the growing police state, stopping nuclear plants and weapons, growing independent media, withdrawing from tapeworm banks, buying and investing responsibly, banning GMOs and many, many others.
We think you have a deep misunderstanding of this movement and the ethic of non-violation. During slavery times, many people could not figure out how the economy could work if slaves were set free. Finally, based on the ethical imperative, slavery in that form was ended. Now we can do the same by rejecting violation completely and unleashing human freedom and creativity in a way our grandchildren will be proud of. We hope that our history of wonderful collaboration and deep friendship with you will facilitate revelatory explorations between us and among everyone else in this conversation. And we hope if that happens you will someday be able to feel the vision, love and integrity of THRIVE and be proud of the role you have played in bringing it to the world at this dire time.
Foster and Kimberly