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Category — R. Buckminster Fuller

Rise of the Illuminati – Buckminster Fuller on the “Great Pirates”

R. Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895 to July 1, 1983) was a 20th century inventor, mathematician and futurist. Philosophically he was concerned with meeting the needs of a growing global civilization while reducing the use of natural resources; his inventions were meant to achieve those goals by simplifying and improving human housing and the objects of daily life.

Buckminster’s perspective on “whole systems” facilitated his ability to analyze the present and predict the future. This gift of perspective also gave him a unique understanding of humanity’s past. What follows is an extended excerpt from R Buckminster Fuller’s book “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.” It illustrates his all-encompassing vision of the history of politics on Earth… and more importantly… those in power and the ramifications of it.  (Section titles are courtesy of Tek-Gnostics)

Hidden Power – Rise of the Great Seafarers

by Buckminster Fuller

Looking at the total historical pattern of man around the Earth and observing that three quarters of the Earth is water, it seems obvious why men thought of themselves exclusively as pedestrians (dry land specialists). Confined to the quarter of the Earth’s surface which is dry land it is easy to see how they came to specialize further as farmers or hunters-or, commanded by their leader, became specialized as soldiers. Less than half of the dry 25 per cent of the Earth’s surface was immediately favorable to the support of human life. Thus, throughout history 99.9% of humanity has occupied only 10% of the total Earth surface, dwelling only where life support was visibly obvious. The favorable land was not in one piece, but consisted of a myriad of relatively small parcels widely dispersed over the surface of the enormous Earth sphere. The small isolated groups of humanity were utterly unaware of one another’s existence. They were everywhere ignorant of the vast variety of very different environments and resource patterns occurring other than where they dwelt.

But there were a few human beings who gradually, through the process of invention and experiment, built and operated, first… local river and bay, next… along-shore, then… off-shore rafts, dugouts, grass boats, and outrigger sailing canoes. Finally, they developed voluminous rib-bellied fishing vessels, and thereby ventured out to sea for progressively longer periods. Developing ever larger and more capable ships, the seafarers eventually were able to remain for months on the high seas. Thus, these venturers came to live normally at sea. This led them inevitably into world-around, swift, fortune-producing enterprise. Thus they became the first world men.

The men who were able to establish themselves on the oceans had also to be extraordinarily effective with the sword upon both land and sea. Here we see the specialization being greatly amplified under the supreme authority of the comprehensively visionary and brilliantly co-ordinated top swordsman, sea venturer. If his “ship came in” — that is, returned safely from its years’ long venturing — all the people in his realm prospered and their leader’s power was vastly amplified. [Read more →]

February 4, 2013   No Comments

Buckminster Fuller’s Great Pirates: The origins of specialization

BuckminsterFuller4a.jpg

Photo by Dan Lindsay (CC BY 3.0)

By Zann Gill

Buckminster Fuller’s first powerful concept was represented by the metaphor of the Great Pirates, by which he meant not merely storybook characters, but those who lead corporations and governments, who amass, and often misuse, power. He saw specialization, and lack of cross-fertilization, as weakening, not only every individual, but also the fabric of society.

Buckminster Fuller was a great generalist at a time when being a generalist had grown increasingly unpopular. He believed that the “new, self-employed architect-scientist is the one in all the world who may accelerate realization of a high standard survival for all,” and that it was technology that would make this vision possible.

Fuller placed historic responsibility for specialization on the Great Pirates, whose “divide and conquer” strategy fostered increasing specialization as a means to control and exploit others. Circumscribed knowledge, affording the comforts of being expert in a small domain, made people acquiesce in their subservience, almost without realizing. The arts of navigation, grand logistics, and effectively deceptive media for international exchange, made the Top Pirate in “the house” (gambling parlance) repeatedly a Winner Takes All.

These cautions, penned by Bucky forty years ago, have uncanny prescience in a world shocked by the Enron scandal, the FEMA fiasco (U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency) ineptly responding to the Hurricane Katrina crisis, haphazard response to earthquakes and other crises around the world, and growing suspicion that too much power to exploit drove United States troops into Iraq and Afghanistan on false pretexts.

In Bucky’s view, although the Great Pirates, as such, became extinct with the advent of technology, their legacy, their methods of controlling, deceiving, and exploiting others, lived on. They created contexts within which their methods could flourish, where their unscrupulous schemes gave them an advantage. Recent research suggests a new breed of Pirates – charming, dark-suited, socially adept psychopaths, who advance themselves at the expense of others through similar methods of dominion. This research recalls Bucky’s insights about the Great Pirates, not as outliers, but as very central shapers of accepted social mores, which survive today. The doctrine of “survival of the fittest” as the exclusive modis operandi of evolution breeds a view that “competition proves who deserves more of less,” a justification for warfare. [Read more →]

January 10, 2013   1 Comment