by Buckminster Fuller, CoEvolution Quarterly, Spring 1975
You ask, “where will the world be in 2025?” Some times people use the word “World” to mean the whole universe, “the most beautiful girl in all the World,” sometimes much more limitedly as “in the sports world” but I take it that you mean the planet Earth together with all the human beings gravitationally cohered to it around its 200 million square miles of surface. If that is your definition of the world, then I reply. The world will as yet be orbiting around the Sun as the Sun and its planets merry-go-round with the Galactic System. Whether the unique chemical constituents of humans will as yet be anthropomorphically organized and as yet healthily serving the weightless mysterious phenomenon life on board Spaceship Earth is the touch-and-go, yes-and-no question. Whether or not humans will be alive on our planet will however probably be resolved by cosmic evolution as early as 1985. We don’t have to wait until 2025 to find out. Human beings, unlike any other known phenomena, have been given minds with which to discover abstract, weightless principles operating in Universe and employ those principles in apprehending and treating discretely with the exclusively mathematical information regarding celestial chemistry and physics occurring in stars tens of billions of light years away from the little planet Earth.
In contradistinction to human minds’ unique capability, of discovering generalized and only mathematically stateable complexedly covarying interrelationships existing between and not in any of the geometrical, chemical or physical characteristics of any of the separate parts of complex systems, human brains as well as the brains of other creatures deal only with the unique sensorial inputs of each special case experience; the special color, sound, size, touch, feel and smell of that particular experience. Minds deal in eternal trans-sensorially apprehendable, covariant interrelationship principles. We humans were given this capability to function as local-universe problem solvers. We are here to solve evolutionarily occurring unprecedented metaphysical as well as physical problems. We can do so by means of our unique access to the thus far discovered inventory of eternal principles.
Universe is eternally regenerative. Universe is everywhere continually inter-transforming in accordance with the abstract, weightless principles of which (so far as we know) only the human mind has cognizance.
As of the closing of 1974, muscle and power are in complete dominance over world affairs. The world pays two pugilists three million dollars to pummel one anothers’ brain boxes for a dozen minutes in front of the T.V. cameras. The winner is officially adulated by the United States Congress. He’s a good human being so that’s great but no T.V. shows are celebrating far greater metaphysical battle heros and heroines in their silent commitment to love, truth and everyday self sacrifice for others.
For the last two decades the world powers have been spending 200 billion annually for armaments and only negligible amounts to assuage poverty. The most powerfully armed control the world’s wealth. Power and muscle clearly continue in the world’s saddle.
Whether human beings will be on our planet in the 21st century depends on whether mind has reversed this condition and has come into complete control over muscle and physical power in general and as a consequence of which the world will at last be operational by humans for all humans.
Humans will be alive aboard our planet Earth in the 21st century only if the struggle for existence has been completely disposed of by providing abundant life support and accomodation for all humans. Only under these conditions can all humans function as the competent local-universe problem solvers. That is what humans were invented for. Only if Abraham Lincoln’s “right” has come into complete ascendancy over “might” will humanity remain alive on board our planet in the 21st century and if so will be here for untold milleniums to come. Humanity is now going through its final examination as to whether it can qualify for its universe function and thereby qualify for continuance on board the planet.
It is not necessary to pick the half century away year 2025, to permit enough changes to develop to warrant journalistic reporting of prognostications. It is a matter of human beings getting into the 21st century at all. If we do make it, the acceleration in the rate of occurrence of unprecedented, utterly unpredicted, incredibly great technological economic and social changes will be almost (but not necessarily) devastating.
Human beings are not aboard our miniscule planet just to be pleased or displeased. Humanity’s mind-evolved-technology has now photographed a billion galaxies each of 100 billion stars surrounding miniscule Earth to an observed radius of 11 billion light years, 99.9% of which are invisible to the naked eye. Before the close of the 20th century humans may well be transceiver transmitted from here to there by radio and will be traveling back and forth between the mother spaceship Earth and various local- universe problem centers. Transceived by radio will mean traveling at seven hundred million miles per hour to attend to humanity’s local cosmic problem solving functions.
If humans pass their cosmic exam as local universe problem solvers and continue on the planet into the twenty-first century, there will be no thoughts whatsoever of earning a living . There will be no thoughts of, or even such words as business competition, money, or lies for such phenomena will be historically extinct. Such words as politics, war, weapons, debt will be only of historical significance.
Electronic means will have been highly developed for continual inventorying of all of humanity’s thoughts, volitions and dispositions regarding all currently evolving problems. Humanity will know at all times what the unique majority volitions may be regarding each and every currently recognized and considered problem.
There will be one world management organization similar to but greatly improved over those of the 20th century U.S.A. “city manager” functions. The one world management will be taking its instructions directly from the computer read-out volitions of the majority. When the majority discovers a given decision is leading humanity into trouble, the popular realisation will be immediately computer manifest and the world management will alter the course accordingly. This feedback, servo mechanism is the same as that employed in “automatic” flight controls and in the steering of ships. The popular view will be immediately served by the management with no searching for scapegoats when erroneous decisions are discovered and corrected.
All human beings engaged in common wealth produc- tion or research and development will be doing soentirely on their own volition because that is what they will want to be doing. They will have to qualify for participation in Olympic games. That which is plentiful will be socialized. That which is scarce must be used only for total advantage and must be used only in the research instruments and tools-that-make-tools which produce the plentiful end-products for humanity.
All of humanity will be enjoying not only all of Earth but a great deal of local universe. “Where do you live?” “I live on the moon,” or “I live on Mothership Earth,” will be the kinds of answers.
Some large number of human beings will be engaged in archeological research as humanity will want toknow a great deal more about the historical occupancy of our planet by humans. The important original buildings of antiquity will be rebuilt or restored as Babylon is now being rebuilt, and artifacts from world around museums will be returned to original sites and reintroduced to function as of yore. Thus research teams can live experimentally at various historical control periods of history thus to elucidate much of the wisdom gained in the past.
While everybody will know much of what everybody is thinking, individuality will notecase but increase. What people are thinking spontaneously as a consequence of the interaction of the unique patterns of their inherited genes and their own experiences will make personalities even more interesting one to the
other. Intuition will be fostered. Communication will probably be accomplished by thinking alone, ergo more swiftly and more realistically than by sound and words.
Omni-considerate, comprehensive, synergetic integrity will be the aesthetic criteria and its humanly evolved designs will come to do so much with so very little as to attain the ephemeral beauty heretofore manifest only by nature in her formulation of flowers, crystals, stars and the pure love of a child.
Whether humanity will pass its final exams for such a future is dependent on you and me, not on somebody we elect or who elects themselves to represent us. We will have to make each decision both tiny and great with critical self-examination — “Is this truly for the many or just for me?” If the latter prevails it will soon be “curtains” for all.
We are in for the greatest revolution in history. If it’s to pull the top down and it’s bloody, all lose. If it is a design science revolution to elevate the bottom and all others as well to unprecedentedly new heights, all will live to dare spontaneously to speak and live and love the truth, strange though it often may seem.