SYAI: A NOTIONAL CIVILIZATION WITH ITS CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

This web site, begun in 2006, is being developed by someone who was born in 1935. I'm hoping to learn more about web pages as I go; but visitors be warned, this is a wordy site! There's a lot to tell. A utopian vision is not just a wishy-washy 'heaven'. To be relevant it needs to begin with a critique of the present state of our largely global civilization. This index page begins with a brief foretaste of Syai (there is a linked reference to the author) - then come the main contents: the critique ...

Table of Contents


Why this symbol?

Shield-symbol The yearly round of festivals and other observances have much to do with mythology (often in the guise of 'religion'). On another world - the world of the 'human-like' Syai people - we would expect the same. Mythology, with its story-lines, archetypes and metaphors, gives ethical cohesian, psychological insight, and appreciation of the mystery of Being. The Syai language is rooted in Syai mythology, though it has no trouble in describing everyday experiences or being 'extended' to cover science-based specializations. Syai civilization is symbolically characterized in this shield, in a number of different ways. On top is the dragonfly, the symbol of the Syai founder,'First Empress' Fahraa. The shield itself represents the sacred mountain which 'clothes' the primal 'spirit'. Whatever this essential ingredient is, it is inherent in everything and is 'process' rather than person-like entity. It is certainly not God as understood (or invented) by our one-god religions. Rather, it generates gods 'internally' just as it generates, maintains and destroys whatever appears in the external world. All the symbols on the shield have mythological or historical and traditional meanings. To discover these go to mythology and religion.

But it would be better to first discover more about the Syai world in its relevance to our world's present condition. To do that, carry on reading here and then go to the introduction page.


WHO AM I

- that is, who is setting up this web site? If this web site was to be all about me and my life, it would be like God. It wouldn't exist. But it's about Syai, so skip this page or look at it as one pleases. To read a progression of comments and ideas keeping pace with events in my life and the world, try my blog site: ambassador's notes

'Syai morality'

Syai moral values are based on a natural ethic. The most striking difference between them and the moral values of most Earth societies is as follows: although the Syai social system is very much centered on good child upbringing, the basic unit of Syai society is the individual, not the family, clan ... and it is certainly not the dynasty. From this basic difference is derived many others: in economics, rights over use of resources (which exclude private ownership), justice, civic and moral responsibility, mental health, 'human' nature and spirit (/religion). Also, Syai moral values are not centered on control of sexuality for various 'sanctioned' or customized exploitative purposes. Seeking sexual pleasure with the freedom to be rebuffed is not wrong. What is wrong is seeking power over (an)other person(s) for nothing better than ones own self-centered ends, appetites or gratifications. The best protection against (and means of recovery from) this kind of exploitation for anyone grown or growing beyond dependent infancy, is self-confidence, knowledge and understanding - not being left in ignorance and in danger of being pitied as a victim or 'damaged' survivor.

dog

A natural ethic has nothing to do with 'God's Commandments' or with the existence or nonexistence of God. Indeed, the 'Almighty God' concept sits on the common-sense wisdom of basing values on a natural ethic, rather like the dog-in-the-manger of the fable. A natural ethic has to do with survival; with the responsibility of intelligent beings to themselves, to the beings they share the planet with, and to the eco-support systems.

Long-term survival of a global civilization depends on exercising this responsibility, whether protecting a thousand-year forest giant (a sub-ecosystem in itself), preventing or punishing wilful cruelty to a kitten, or exposing a case of deceit or violence for personal or 'in-group' gain. Consequences of behaviour are traced according to assembled evidence and probability of effects on the vibrancy and longlastingness of the civilization. If individuals are not happy and not contributing to the happiness of others nonexclusively, then civilization's vibrancy and longlastingness is undermined. But this 'truth' is not without a qualification: 'Others', of course, includes the less powerful species and children of yet-to-be-born generations. Syai 'authorities' would recognize a need to deny to some persons or groups what they believe makes them happy, either for the sake of other species sharing this planet or for others of us yet to be born.
With reference to their founder, the Syai people call this the paradox of Fahraa and it was something she anguished over: To spread light and joy one must darken the lives of some in order to lift the darkness off the lives of the many.


Earth civilization's most pressing problem

The disaster of the 'Titanic' was a direct consequence of corruption. The safety of many passengers was endangered for the sake of competitive greed. Corruption is any dishonest or secretive kind of behavour to gain advantage over others, whether laws and regulations forbid it or not. It is also governments and other agencies deliberately taking the wrong path under pressures from lobby groups, such as spending vast resources on nuclear power when energy problems would have been coped with more sanely by spending those resources on developing natural renewables.

If it were possible for a Syai reporter to visit and study Earth's human civilization, would this image of the sinking 'Titanic' be found to be a fitting symbol of where we are heading? It seems likely it would become clearer to such a visitor from 'Space' than to many of Earth's people that the outstanding problem the Earth faces is CORRUPTION AND TOLERANCE OF CORRUPTION.

Titanic

Other problems are the effects: huge disparities in wealth; the degrading and polluting of earth, air and water; the 'draining' of the 'pool' of species diversity; drag-net and high tech. overfishing; crime with its associated pathologies and addictions; even overpopulation. In large degree these are all effects of forms of corruption. The 'tolerance' is by a great variety of influential people in society who - in one way or another that suits their investments or agenders - go overboard on 'human rights' and 'privacy'. A true tolerance is confused with allowing leeway and loopholes for shady dealings. The interest and entertainment afforded to the public by the criminal subculture is also a kind of dangerous tolerance which criminals are happy to take advantage of in insisting on their rights. Privacy becomes confused with secrecy. Furthermore, human rights should not be confused with private person's exclusive rights over property and - especially - over land. A saying of the Syai from Fahraa, their founder, is in RLAsyai.nayaa tafb ye sawaratuuk kuim`t nayaa nddnas wafwapa. "Every person lives off and cares for every part of The Land." Exclusive ownership rights and inheritance end up denying rights to the majority in that it consigns them to relative poverty so as to provide for the excessive material comforts and indulgences of the minority. The right to life itself is confusing when it becomes an enforced right to life, as when personal freedom is denied over ones own body when it is worn out and one seeks help to dispose of its intolerable burden.

Not to be excluded from corruption are such activities as pushing ahead with development regardless; making monetary gains by trading and speculating in money (/currencies); and treating one person, because of his or her boosted image and usually a few hours of skilled performance per month, as being a hundred times as valuable as other persons who are steadily working or active in positive ways. The 'Titanic' on its luxury cruise is indeed a fitting symbol of our world's post-modern experiment with giantist capitalism. What basically leads to disaster about it can be summed up in two words: (1) monopoly, (2) growth (- to be expanded on in the section on capitalism below). As for the past 'socialist' experiments, internal corruption and tolerance of corruption in the 'Party' - combined with relentless hostility from the richer West determined to win a crippling arms race - destroyed the humanitarian idealism inherent in Russian Communism and led to the catastrophe of Stalin's dictatorship.

Greed within limits is natural for children; but corruption is not the child of greed. It is greed grown up!. It is greed that has not been grown out of, by the wisdom of maturity and lessons of experience. Unfortunately, large, powerful organizations and corporations can be 'childishly' greedy too, and spread corruption in every field of their activities (often for the sake of the 'bottom line' or the money-hunger of shareholders.) Corruption in high places generally has its roots in education and the conditioning of a child of a reputedly good family as he (/she) moves into his (/her) twenties. It is hard to detect by the general public. Since WW2 there has been a growth in elitist thinktanks and fraternities within higher education. These loyalty groupings are usually secretive but outwardly respectable. They can form powerful lobbies associated with government and big business, and may employ tactics of persuading and silencing, worthy of a Mafia. There is a cost, evironmentally and socially, to having capitalist economies under their control. One can be sure the capitalist elite will be the last to pay that cost in terms of standard of living and quality of life. Revolution? Not in the foreseeable future. Young people's attention tends to be diverted from the social and environmental costs by being turned inward onto themselves and their real or prospective children. They are told - in effect - to concern themselves only with themselves, possessions, families, image and material success.

People who prosper are envied, whether their prosperity seems deserved, or is mainly luck, birth inheritance, or just ruthlessness. It was the objective of Fahraa, the Syai founder, to change that. She built up a new society, in which every enviable person could be clearly seen to deserve whatever made him or her enviable. One might still envy - a potent emotion - but it would be no longer justifiable in the light of reason.

The failing of CAPITALISM and DEMOCRACY

In Syai history, their equivalent of giantist, 'shop-till-you-drop' capitalism was regarded as the out-of-control 'engine' powering the 'ship' of civilization to its wreckage. That 'wreckage' is known to them as The Great Collapse - twelve centuries in their past. The Syai have a name for its replacement, which translates (approx.) as Centralized Credit-Incentive Regionalist Democracy (CCIRD - See inner page below on money when it is up and running).

'Democracy' has a broader and more potent meaning to the Syai than it is usually given by us. Some Syai diciplines, though reasonable, might strike some of us as draconian; but they are democratic in that they apply fairly to everybody - no loophole, smart evasion, charitable exception and special privilege. For instance, it would be regarded as anti-democratic and selfish to allow one person to be the biological parent of a dozen or more children. Each Syai adult expects to have three or less, and there are sanctions against grabbing more than a fair share of the gene pool. Every form of life survives by acquiring energy and reproducing. Too much reproduction and the energy starts running out. (To go on disregarding that simple biological fact could be Earth civilization's downfall.) Of course, selfishness is in almost everyone, but the redeeming feature of intelligent beings is that nearly all persons want to live in a stimulating but secure social environment and a richly diverse natural environment. That desire is the 'engine' of the Syai 'ship'.

corruption

The unqualified advocating and upholding of our popular liberal notions of democratic freedoms and human rights is not necessarily to the good. These notions tend to be be unbalanced (see final comments of this paragraph) and perilous, even inviting 'THE DARK WING OF CORRUPTION'. There must also be an advocacy of ethical boundaries, set by our faculty of reasoning and foretelling consequences. A firmness must be there to deprive the unreasonable person or group of their claim to secrecy or what they would call their privacy. In the last resort, they may justifiably lose their freedom and perhaps even their lives. We are seeing the consequences of a flabby kind of legalistic, over-tolerant, liberal advocacy in the growth of networking gangs at all levels of society. Such gangs (and individuals) make their gains - or vent their spite - by acts of unreasonableness. These acts are many and varied: littering and dumping, vandalism, abuse of the internet, theft, arson, racketeering, bribary and blackmail,looting and poaching with trade in looted items or endangered species, drug-pushing, charlatanism with brainwashing and exploiting of children or the gullible, cheating to gain qualifications, forgery and 'pirating', fraud and falsification of records or identities, money laundering, embezzlement, nepotism and 'cronyism' where funds that should benefit the whole community or nation are salted away for private advantage - also, tax inequalities, tax-evading iniquities associated with speculation and other means of financial rape. These are all aspects of corruption, but the essence of corruption is the exploiting and bullying of relatively powerless - usually poor - people to increase the wealth to the relatively wealthy; often done with governmental, legal and institutional mandating. In all these acts - to a greater or lesser degree - there is an invitation to menace and terror as the tensions and disruptions they cause mount up. Most of us are aware that we live in a violent society, but many are strangely accepting of it. Meanwhile most of us consider ourselves experts on sexual behaviour (or simply demand conformity to the cultural norm) and are ready to crucify anyone who steps out of line no matter how non-violently. But - forceful injurious rape excluded - corruption damages and kills far more surely in the end than most offences against sexual mores.

In falling back on the view that each individual or group have a right to their own private beliefs and acts, because 'truth' is relative anyway, the liberal 'post-modern' democrat may be helping to bring about the very nightmare scenario they seek to prevent. 'Live-and-let-live' and 'human-rights-above-all' is fine - so long as the environment and animal rights are also taken care of; and the people one has to live with don't hold to a militant faith or ideology conducive to interference in the lives of those who don't hold to the same! The media is largely to blame for protecting well-established faiths and traditionalist value-systems from trenchant criticism.

The bulk of our media thrives on ugly and tragic incidents, often embarrassing those who try to bring the perpetrators of them to justice. It puts up a front of being democratic and impartial, of being concerned for the public good, but this concern is almost smothered beneath consumption-driven trivia and cynical or harping commentaries. Rather, the 'Fourth Estate' is a political force in itself, owned by magnates, and with its own devious and generally conservative agendas. It is best treated as informative but untrustworthy. By setting the parameters of debate, it tends to keep out of the limelight what should be exposed, condemned, or made to explain itself if it can.lotso'shops

"Shop till you drop"


Spot the MacDonalds


Views and systems that need changing toward balance and non-self-contradiction

Bowing to the almighty dollar is unreasonable, like bowing to 'God' in man's own atavistic image. But currency for exchange seems practical, just as a 'spiritual' dimension to life seems psychologically essential, since we live by emotion, not just reason. That is how the Syai see it. They don't worship a reasonable God, like that portrayed in Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh, because such a god would reason himself out of existence. The aim of the founder of Syai was to construct a society worthy of benign gods and goddesses . These are derived from the achetypal, imagination-inspiring energizing complexes in our natures. The gods and goddesses are projected and personified in cultural myths and festivals. They come to dwell within us as well as in nature in general, and they suffer and rejoice with us.
(- See inner page below on mythology and religion)

Like N. D. Walsh's reasonable God, capitalism in the 'reasonable' form - praised for bringing to consumers the benefits of competition - abolishes itself. The stronger, established operator will always use their advantage over the enterprising weaker, thus subverting fair competition. Capitalism then degenerates into giant cartels and monopolies. The rampant growth and mergence of these with each other and with governments, religions,'charities' and NGOs, turns enterprise into in-group self-serving, into the preserving of a kind of wealth-based caste system.

Returning again to the image of the 'Titanic': In an attempt to monopolize trans-Atlantic luxury voyaging, the planning, building and operating of the ship was culpably flawed. Its most delux passengers were 'Corruption' and 'Death'. Disaster lay in wait, but the ship cruised on - its course rigidly determined. Our form of capitalism moves with analogous rigidity along its growth path.

big business

Despite some nods by 'big business' in the direction of conservation, and legislative attempts to discourage monopoly, today's capitalism is internally stagnant and externally dynamic. It cannot confine itself to trading in necessities with a modest, steady, unharming development of the surpluses needed to supply research, leisure, luxury and cultural entertainment. Without frenetic growth, the fear is that profits will fall. The employers' and shareholders' anxiety puts pressure on workers as well as themselves. Workers, too, begin to work harder to keep or get ahead, and derive less and less enjoyment out of what they are encouraged to consume to keep the frenetic growth pattern going. Always, each economic downturn or fear of downturn must be dealt to by increasing growth or finding new directions of growth. In an earlier stage of capitalism, it was observed by Lenin and British economist J.A.Hobson that this growth-syndrome led to imperialism. Lessening profit at home must be made up for by expanding into resource-rich areas where the people were not yet 'developed' into global capitalistic consumers. But what then, when resources start running out and the 'developed' people become resistant to foreign domination? A new direction? Well, profit and growth can be boosted by war. But who is the enemy now?

islam The feudalist-minded 'theo-capitalist' enemy is already within the gates. They are among us because of our need for oil and because the 'brotherhood' has been spreading globally so that it is almost impossible to distinguish which members - or ethnic associates of it - are friendly, which are neutral and which are hostile. Dangerous armament growth and trade goes on because our giantist capitalism is at the end of its tether. Lenin and Hobson were only wrong in their prediction in that it is taking much longer for giantist capitalism to collapse than they would have thought. In what other direction can it possibly grow? There are only two: (1) grow 'cannibalistic' institutions that will that will clamp down on freedom for all except a tiny privileged class and those under their patronage - a mix of fascist bureaucracy and far-right wing anarchism. Probably this kind of critique - this website - would be banned or punished. In solving social and environmental problems by brute force, the 'fortunate few' would doubtless work in close partnership with agents of death and spiritual deadness. (2) continue and increase the pace of over-exploitation and destruction of the natural environment. (Apologists for this anti-conservationist pattern of growth find excuse for the plundering of the natural world by assuming as unstoppable the burgeoning of the human population of the globe.) Neither the natural environment nor the natural goodness in human nature can much longer stand the burden of growth imposed on them. An Earth version of 'mai-akwowp' would strike the Syai observer as imminent and unavoidable.

To preserve something of capitalism's attractive ideal whereby doing what improves the quality of life for oneself is also to the public good, a form of government willing to undertake 'social engineering' must sit over the top of free enterprise. That government must be faithful to the fact of 'higher' animal nature, that, although we are inclined to be selfish, we almost all desire a good life for others as well as ourselves. Most reasonable people would approve of a communal ethic of consideration for others, as described above in Syai Morality. The Syai government works with that desire, by both reasonable force and the force of reason. Syai society is like the 'society' of motorists in a relatively accident-free city. A great many driving rules have to be obeyed, but friendliness and politeness greatly reduces the stress of these.

Knowledge and good government

People are never going to be equally successful in life, but good government must keep trying to come as near to that as possible. It is not only that the enterprising weaker operator must be helped to challenge the strong and wealthy, to create wealth without being crushed; but, even more basically, the seeker after knowledge and skill must be helped to acquire it. The most despicable form of monopoly is that which restricts the availability of knowledge and skill far beyond the just rewards of initial enterprise and invention. That wrong can be done not only negatively, by poverty and neglect, but positively, by putting young people off a reality-based education. For instance, their heads may be filled with the babble of a so-called Holy Book.

education? Along with dynastic inheriting of money and property, putting obstacles in the way of the inquiring mind seeking knowledge and scholarship or practical skill-acquisition is the most fundamental cause of Earth civilization's gross inequalities. Inequalities may develop, but an equal chance to start with is the objective of the Syai system. I would hope it has deep appeal to us as well, not just to reason, but to our hearts.

Any constructive comment is welcome. My address is |sambas@paradise.com.nz|. Suggestions as to links to other person's web sites presenting relevant viewpoints, such as the Conversations with God mentioned above, are also welcome.


Syai inner pages

This is a peliminary list of the pages I have begun or am planning.
    Those with 'C' have to do with Syai civilization and culture.
    Those with 'L' with the Syai language.
    The important introductory page is both, and explains the difference.
    If the page is incomplete - better to be visited at a later date - I add the plus sign,
     but if okay for a visit, the equals sign.