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Volume 1, Issue 2
October 6, 2003

1. Quote of the Month
2. What's New at World Beyond Borders?
3. Utopia Beyond Borders
4. What You Can Do


"A federation of all humanity, together with a sufficient measure of social justice, to ensure health, education, and a rough equality of opportunity to most of the children born into the world, would mean such a release and increase of human energy as to open a new phase in human history." --H.G. Wells



World Beyond Borders has grown tremendously in the past month. We have new articles, new features and new projects and we're eager to tell you about them.

If you've visited our site recently, you've probably seen the new "Make a Donation" buttons. We have no shortage of cool ideas, but it takes money to make some of them happen. Right now, we want to sponsor The Hunger Site. If you've never visited The Hunger Site (www.hungersite.com), it's a click-to-donate website where you click a button and sponsors pay for food for the hungry. America's Second Harvest and Mercy Corps distribute the food. Why not go over there now and click?

Are you back? Did you see those sponsor advertisements? Well, we want to have a World Beyond Borders ad up there so it will reach caring, globally minded folks like you. And all of the money goes to buy food for people who really need it.

If you normally give money to groups fighting hunger, why not donate to World Beyond Borders this month instead? We use PayPal, so everything is secure. If you want your whole donation to go to sponsoring The Hunger Site, say so when you fill out the donation form. Otherwise, we may keep up to $10 for future projects. Thank you!

OK, so what else is going on? We've added two discussion boards to the Interactive Activities and Communication section. One is for debating the pros and cons of global government and the other is for general talk. So go over there and meet some of your fellow world citizens!

We're sponsoring a contest to design a flag and anthem for planet Earth. The contest page is in the "Interactive Activities and Communication" section. We have printable PDF flyers you can distribute. And please consider entering yourself.

We also have a bunch of new articles. Here they are, by section.

Why Global Government?
"Petitioning a Government That Does Not Yet Exist" by Beth Sawin looks at those fake UN anti-war petitions you all got a few months ago. People are realizing that the Earth is deeply interconnected and, Sawin writes, "More and more of us are going to be turning to something that we have yet to create - a government that can hear all of us, all of the people of a world that is whole."
"Confessions of a Passionate World Citizen" by Jane Shevtsov reflects on what it means to live as a global citizen. Where does a belief that humanity is more than the sum of its 6.3 billion parts take you in the present world? This piece has more questions than answers and we hope you'll share your thoughts on our discussion board.

How Might We Get There?
"To Sear the Collective Soul: The Big Vision and Why We Should Talk About It" by Tad Daley is both a discussion of strategy and a beautifully written, inspirational view of the Big Vision of democratic global government and a united Earth. Highly recommended.
Ronald Glossop has contributed two articles on (but not in) Esperanto. "Why We Should All Learn Esperanto" is pretty much what its title says. "Why We All Should Be Esperantists" takes a more academic look at some political and historical aspects of Esperanto. Hey, it's worth a try!
"Leaders, Celebrities, Organizations Call for World Government"... or do they?

That's all until next month. Please send article submissions to Jane Shevtsov, jaia@ucla.edu.


by Eli Williamson-Jones

One of the most powerful forces that has shaped human social evolution for thousands of years is the utopian drive. Everyone seeks to find seemingly perfect conditions in which they can thrive and live out their existence in happiness. The places in our world where obstacles inhibit or deny this drive are the places with the most brutal conflicts and intense human suffering. The recent headlines of our news attest to this reality in the Middle East, where Palestinians will go so far as to blow themselves up with their enemies in the cause of restoring their old way of life and the freedoms now denied them.

"Utopian" and "utopianism" are words associated with impossibly idealistic, visionary reform. It may be impossible to have a perfect world but it is also impossible to keep people from trying to build one. America can be seen as one of the largest products of this evolutionary force and as the largest and longest-lasting utopian bubble humanity has ever built. Behind it, we can see a past succession of lesser utopian bubbles from the British to the Roman Empire, all the way back to the lavish lives of the emperors of China and kings of ancient Egypt.

The life span of a utopian bubble is usually short because it is often built on the oppression and exploitation of vast numbers of individuals. We have yet to figure out a way to build a sustainable utopia that isn't exclusive and constructed on the misfortune of others, creating enemies and provoking attacks by them.

Although we have a ways to go before we build a sustainable civilization, most believe they can buy a taste of utopia if they have enough money. We know that money may not buy us happiness, but most believe it can pull their yacht right up next to it. There is a utopian magazine called Architectural Digest that provides great examples of this utopian drive at work in the world. It is filled with pictures and accounts of those who have attempted to create their own personal utopia. Every article in this magazine examines a bubble utopia, with its near perfect world or attempt at building one within a mundane, incoherent, or distopian setting.

To many people, the articles and advertisements in this magazine appear unreal because we seldom see such a perfect reality with unblemished humans, objects and environments. But if one enters the world of absolute excess, the playgrounds of millionaires and billionaires, one will find their efforts and vast resources being channeled towards this goal of building and sustaining personal utopias.

The science of the utopian drive is something that filmmakers and screenwriters have tapped into to boost their revenues and ensure a successful movie. Their utopian equation is expressed through mythological structure with the hero as a representative or citizen of utopia or guardian of a utopian bubble. Evil or distopia exists as those who attack utopias from the outside or corrupt them from within. Audiences will pay a lot of money to escape the distopian setting of their lives and feed their hunger for utopia. That's why during the distopian times of the Great Depression, the film industry did extraordinarily well.

If we look at the top ten highest grossing movies of all time, we see the utopian equation at work in each of them. The utopian heroes are the "good guys" and represent citizens of utopia. In The Lord of the Rings, the Hobbits exist in a utopian setting of the Shire, with its plentiful sustenance and high standard of living for all. It is here that the hero, Frodo, takes up his hero's journey to protect his world and way of life. In Star Wars, the Rebellion is made up of heroes fighting for a utopian future, free from the bondage and tyranny of the distopian Empire. Lord of the Rings and Star Wars occupy four out of the top ten spaces below.

1. Titanic - $1,835,300,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes trying to escape a doomed utopia bubble)

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - $968,600,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

3. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - $922,300,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

4. Jurassic Park - $919,700,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes narrowly escaping a utopian tragedy)

5. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - $918,600,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets $866,300,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

7. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring $860,200,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

8. Independence Day - $811,200,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

9. Spider-Man $806,700,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

10. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - $797,900,000 worldwide sales (utopian heroes fighting distopian threats)

Aside from the film industry, countless others use visions of utopia to boost their sales. The advertisement industry, which uses utopian imagery to attract us and make us purchase products, is one of them. Ads make people believe they can experience a bit of utopia in their lives. Other industries are entirely devoted to protecting utopian bubbles from outside threats. One large-scale manifestation of these efforts in the real world can be found in the trillion dollar security industry that surfaces in everything from home security systems and guns to the military-industrial complex with missile defense and weapons of mass destruction. All these resources are poured into the efforts of protecting utopian bubbles from distopian threats.

Now the question we must ask ourselves is, where will this utopian drive within lead us? Our energies may be directed towards building a personal utopian bubble like in Architectural Digest. Perhaps a beautiful million dollar mansion in the country with brilliant interior decorating and hanging gardens outside. Maybe our energy is directed towards saving money for a utopian car or wardrobe. Or perhaps we use our resources for plastic surgery to make ourselves look more utopian and more likely to attract that utopian man or woman of our dreams. The applications of this utopian drive is limited only by our determination and the obstacles keeping us from tasting success.

There is one important thing to consider before we run off and continue with business as usual and our everyday pursuit of utopia. We must become aware of the places in the world where the people have been completely shut off from any possibility of utopian fulfillment. There are nations on Earth whose citizens live hand to mouth and have no way to rise above the distopian nightmares of poverty, civil war and endemic diseases running rampant. It is places like these where terrorists are most likely to be raised and taught to hate and attack the utopian bubbles of the West that control 65% of the world's resources, yet have only 14% of the population.

Perhaps we should direct some of our utopian drive towards trying to start plans and construction on a utopia that encompasses the whole Earth, and not just an elite percentage of the population. How practical is it to keep building utopian bubbles if they are constantly inciting individuals to destroy them? How practical is it to try to live with business as usual in a nation hated by the distopian Al-Qaeda that will stop at nothing to arm themselves with nuclear weapons and sacrifice their lives in the cause of bursting our utopian bubbles?

America is a utopian bubble in danger of popping precisely because it is failing to take into account the utopian drives and aspirations held by the other two billion people on the planet, living on $2 or less a day. As long as this cavernous gap between utopia and distopia grows wider, dualistic polar energies will continue to incite terrorists to attack our utopian bubbles, just as they did on September 11, 2001.

We must use our utopian drives and extend them further than the traditionally limited scope of individual, family, and nation to encompass a sustainable civilization of all humanity. The world will never achieve the Utopian ideal of liberty and justice for all unless the world's citizens unite and embrace a Constitution for all peoples of planet Earth. If we recognize this next needed step in our evolution, we are potential citizens of the united world or Omega Utopia. This is a civilization that has reached homeostasis and is no longer in danger of self-destructing through fragmented parts waging war on each other.

Although we don't live in this world yet, we can see what must be done to get us to our destination. A global utopia would have few enemies among us and the only real threats we would face would come from distopian extra-terrestrials who have yet to reveal themselves. Until we work towards these ends, we will continue to sustain a world of imbalance and suffering whose correction will come in the horrendous form of World War III. To the burned and mutilated survivors of this nightmare nuclear holocaust will come the great sorrow and realization that we could have prevented it, but did not.



*Forward this email to at least two people. Yes, we asked you to do that last time, but email is a free and effective way to spread the word about World Beyond Borders, so we are asking you again.

*Support our flag and anthem contests. Enter yourself. Get kids at a local school or library to create designs. Put up flyers where they'll be noticed. Translate the flyers into other languages and send them to us. Send contest info around by email. We welcome your energy and creativity.

*Give money for our Hunger Site ad. Yes, there's probably no shortage of groups asking for your hard-earned cash, but here your donation will do good twice -- first by promoting the vision of a world beyond borders and then by feeding hungry people around the world. Thanks in advance!

We want your stories! Email Jane Shevtsov at jaia@ucla.edu.
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