On Wednesday 19th November, for Parliament Week, I joined Mike Carey, Mike Fell and chairman Dr. Chris Tyler to reinvent democracy with an audience of gamers, sci-fi, fantasy and comic fans, LARP-ers, scientists and people interested in the future of politics.
The evening was part of a week of events intended to encourage people to engage with politics. (You can find out more about this using the hashtags #scifiparl & #DoDemocracy.)
Everything was filmed – there was even a stenographer! – so you’ll be able to see what we each came up with on the Parliament YouTube channel very soon. Chris and the two Mikes had many things to say, ranging from the fascinating to the terrifying and the audience was full of astute, broad-minded people who asked some very challenging questions. It was an excellent night and I was glad to have been invited.
The following was my contribution.
The Politics of Service and Survival
It is the year 2115.
London is submerged. The UK’s shrinking landmass and its mounting environmental catastrophes have given birth to a new society; one in which cooperation underlies all thought and action. Our internal borders have been dissolved. Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly and our own crucible of democracy have joined to form The United House. In anticipation of ongoing rises in sea level, The United House – formerly known as The Houses of Parliament – has relocated to the Pennines.
Research into quantum consciousness has now proven that our thoughts create reality. The supremacy of thought, both vocalised and unspoken, has come to underpin every aspect of human life – political or otherwise. So, whilst it is excusable for UK citizens to occasionally engage in random or pleasurable thinking, our political representatives, because their thoughts guide our entire society, are permitted to think solely in terms of the greater good.
Policies formed in The United House pertain not simply to a better future but to the very survival of our nation and its people. Synergy is now the supreme driving force, not only in politics but in all human endeavour. What we value now is family, community and teamwork.
The imminent threat of ecological annihilation has totally altered our common ideological landscape. Society’s preoccupation with amassing wealth, constant economic growth, individual success, self-image, celebrity, hierarchy and bloodline has evaporated in the face of constant survival issues – most of which are of our own making. The shame of our selfish, wasteful and superficial past is something we have tried to forget, the way a nation tries to forget its own war crimes. That’s how close we came to destroying ourselves.
Monarchy, peerage and authority by lineage are systems we now find meaningless at best and, at worst, counterproductive. Rather than waiting for others to guide us or act on our behalf, a deep sense of personal responsibility has become the quality that every individual aspires to.
Here in 2115, we revere and respect those who serve with the greatest selflessness rather than those who make the loudest noise about it. For this reason potential political candidates never self-select. From the moment of their birth Children are quietly and subtly observed within their families and communities and only those displaying innate and genuine humanitarian qualities are considered for party membership. It is this genetic predisposition to putting others before themselves that reveals the true politician.
We have come to realise that doing work you love brings the greatest benefit, both to individuals and to society as a whole. At the age of thirteen, therefore, every child undertakes a rite of passage to determine which area of endeavour they are best suited to and which will reward them and their community most richly. These rituals vary from county to county but all involve a period of fasting outdoors in complete solitude, so that each individual may receive his or her life purpose by interacting with the natural world. Since the day we finally realised humanity could not survive without understanding and caring for the land, this profound relationship with the environment, a form of ongoing dialogue between the land and the people, has become the bedrock of UK society.
Once the rites of passage are completed, those entering politics – numbers are small owing to the prerequisites and the rigours of initiation and training – are separated from their families and communities and transported to the Highlands for Simplification. Eight years of physical, mental and spiritual training lie ahead of them during which they will develop into brilliant, selfless leaders.
They will live, or die, by the following nine principles, commonly known as the Ninefold Path:
• Selfless Service
• The ability to operate outside and above society’s extant thought-forms
Without tangible objectives and the structured execution of plans, the Ninefold Path would be no more than a personal code of conduct. However, in conjunction with a political ideology upheld by a large number of similarly aligned party members, their combined mental energy is enough to alter reality. In simple terms they become a powerful force for the positive advancement of society.
There are three political parties:
• The first is EarthMind, in favour of a low-impact, shamanistic lifestyle.
• The second is ViviTech, promising a more stable future through Artificial Intelligence and technology.
• The third is MidLine, whose manifesto includes key elements from the other two parties.
Once the novice candidates have decided how best they can serve the nation, they are aligned with the party that most matches their abilities. For 95% of the novitiate, Simplification is too arduous a task to complete. Individuals ending their training early return to normal society, bearing no shame and knowing they have done everything they can to contribute. Their lives and work will still serve society but to a lesser degree than if they’d succeeded in becoming political representatives.
The successful 5% now take their solemn vows, swearing upon their own lives to adhere to and uphold the Ninefold Path. They have now become Gentle Servants, the 2115 equivalent of a member of parliament. They will devote the rest of their natural lives unstintingly to helping the people of the UK, and the land itself, not only to survive but to flourish.
Gentle Servants are celibate and have no possessions or currency. Nor do they have individual names, other than to state which political party’s manifesto they intend to advance. If any Gentle Servant displays thoughts or behaviours other than those that serve, if they deviate in any way from the Ninefold Path – this includes forming relationships of particularity with other Gentle Servants – they are deactivated and recycled. Their remains are transformed into a rich, nourishing plant food that is used on crops and in tree nurseries.
Before entering the United House, every Gentle Servant donates eggs or sperm to a fertility bank. In this way, childless couples not only have a chance to raise children but can do so in the knowledge that their offspring carry the same selfless genetics. Immediately after making their donations, Gentle Servants are chemically sterilised.
On arrival at the United House, Gentle Servants are segregated by permanently joining one of the three political parties. From this moment until their deaths, the United House remains their home. They are exceptionally well cared for by personal valets, receive the most nutritious foods and are given excellent medical attention. When not engaged in political debate, the rigorous physical, mental and spiritual training regimens, learned before initiation, form the structure of their daily lives.
United House political debates occur in the Hall of Sight where there are 651 seats, 217 allocated to each party. Topics rise to debatability when they become both urgent and vital to the nation. The debates take place in silence. Breaking that silence, especially with verbal utterances, is taboo. Gentle Servants enter the Hall of Sight and sit cross-legged in one of three designated areas, depending on their political affiliation. They enter deep meditation and each party collectively visualises the outcome they feel best serves the land and its people.
The power of their combined vision is measured by a quantum field sensor, a dendrite of which transmits images to every UK home. The quantum sensor detects, analyses, predicts and displays changes in projected reality, based on the collective consciousness of each party. The political vision most likely to bring about a reality of increased well-being for the land and the people is available – on screen – for all to see, at which point, the entire population can add the power of their own consciousness to it.
Whilst there is no voting, as such, every single person in the UK participates in every debate. They are motivated by an undeniable sense of personal responsibility because they have come to understand the immeasurable value and weight of their own thoughts. All notions of authority and subservience, them and us, haves and have-nots have dissolved, not because there exists equality of circumstance but because there exists equality of mind.
In 2115, society’s greatest role models are the Gentle Servants of the United House where one principle from the Ninefold Path always outshines the other eight – that of Selfless Service. And, whether it is EarthMind, ViviTech or MidLine who appear to win any given debate, there are no losers. Quantum analysis ensures that the strongest vision for positive change is always the one upon which new policies are based and these policies will, therefore, serve all equally well.
In 2115, we dwell in two continents; the outer continent is the land, which can either sustain or destroy us. The inner continent is the mind, where our very thoughts can do the same. In the continent of the land, there are many forces we will never be able to control.
In the continent of the mind, however, there is only one power: yours.