Note: This article is rife with interesting links, which you’re welcome to explore… 🙂
If modern civilization traces back to Atlantis…
… then today’s best countries might be in Northern Europe. According to my research (as well as others‘), the king’s capital of Atlantis was Basileia, located in what’s now Northern Europe… so it makes sense that advanced principles of society-building might emerge near the center of that late, great empire.
Let’s explore the possibility.
Denmark: Happiest Country on Earth
A good place to start is Denmark, recently rated the happiest country on Earth. Why? Danes enjoy…
1) Nearly a full year of maternal leave (including some paternal leave) for new parents… (USA comparison: 10 weeks of maternity leave),
2) Free health care as a basic human right, (USA comparison: families live on the brink of disaster, with health care, housing, and education costing 75% of their discretionary income),
3) Gender parity, with 38% of national parliament positions held by women… (USA comparison: 17%)
4) Biking to work and school as the norm, producing more fitness, less pollution, fewer accidents, and less wear and tear on roads,
5) A national culture centered around hygge, a sense of warm, happy, snuggly coziness and candlelight that gets Danish families and friends through their long, dark winters,
6) A sense of collective responsibility, belonging, and service to others that’s become culturally ingrained as well as legislated.
Number 6 is especially important. The sense of belonging and service to others can be the greatest source of peace within us, within our communities, and throughout our world. Desire to serve is the most natural condition for the finer human spirit residing within… the living spark that guides us to paradise after we die. When intimate kinship emanates outward into the workings of families, companies, and governments, peace and contentment prevail.
Where America Falls Short
Sadly, here in the USA the division between rich and poor has grown to historic proportions, which has strained the sense of belonging to the breaking point. While 25% of Americans struggle to afford food, and 25% of American children live in poverty, rich Americans have become obsessed with increasing and protecting their wealth by wielding political and industrial power. They lobby bitterly against free health care and education for Americans, fearful that such generosities would cut into their wealth.
In these troubled American times you’d think that the poor would be more inclined than the rich to cheat and steal, just to survive… but in fact the opposite seems to be true. The wealthy are more inclined to break laws to protect their wealth.
When the wealthy class begins to vilify the less fortunate as social parasites and welfare queens (which is occurring today in the USA), it’s apparent that a storm front is approaching. Grass roots movements of the down-and-discontented are growing quickly in America. A few examples:
As fear and greed drive the wealthy away from compassion toward further repression of the poor, the desire to redistribute wealth grows stronger and stronger among the less advantaged… and it becomes the proverbial vicious cycle.
If the Danes are the happiest country in the world, it’s because they take care of their people. The USA has become an unhappy place in recent years, largely because the rich take care of themselves by taking control of government and industry… and the swelling ranks of poor are neglected.
So, how to solve the crisis here in the States? Maybe we could learn something from Northern Europe.
To get a good look at wealth distribution ideas percolating today, look to Switzerland. (It’s probably not just a coincidence that the Swiss city of Basel derives its name from Basileia, the grand Atlantean kingship.)
Switzerland: Basic Income for Everyone
The Swiss enjoy a hands-on democracy in which a revolutionary idea, signed by only 100,000 petitioners, can be put to a national vote. This month they’ll vote on a “fat-cat” initiative in which CEO salaries will be limited to 12 times the salary of the lowest-paid employee. If passed, the new law would put an end to an era of obscene personal windfalls enjoyed by industry leaders… at least in Switzerland.
Another, even more radical petition was submitted last month with 100,000 signatures: Every Swiss adult—rich or poor, employed or out of work, married or single, homeowner or renter or homeless… everyone would receive an unconditional basic income of $2,500 Swiss francs per month (about $2,800 US dollars).
One-third of Swiss GDP would go to the public’s basic income… and most of it would quickly be recycled back into the economy through purchases.
A date hasn’t yet been set to vote on the Basic Income initiative in Switzerland, but if it passes, it’ll usher in a new era of democracy that is (arguably) well suited to the modern age in which most work has become automated. The basic income would guarantee the chance of a modest life style for everyone in Switzerland.
At best, a basic income, were it to spread worldwide, could usher in the Golden Age of this Second Epoch of humanity. People at last would be free to pursue their greatest dreams. Genius and creativity would flourish.
At worst… well, here are several links to the basic income idea and its pros and cons:
Many experts feel that the initiative is too radical and the chance of its passage is slim, even in Northern Europe.
In any case, Switzerland with its Basic Income idea is certainly the country to watch in the coming months.
Shades of Atlantis!
On the lighter side, also from Northern Europe:
Ylvis is a comedy duo from Bergen, Norway consisting of brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. Written and filmed for the talk show, their song and music video “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” went viral on YouTube in September 2013 with over 275 million views to date, bringing the brothers to international attention.
Other articles in the Fixing America series:
Northern Europe Does it Right
1 The Problems
2 Basic Income, One Solution
3 More Thoughts on Basic Income
4 Wrap-Up on Basic Income and Wealth Tax
5 Basic Income and the Fertility Rate
6 Restoring a Good Reputation
7 Contending with Savage Forces
8 Being a Noble Force
9. A Comprehensive Solution
10. Marching Toward the End Time
11. The Destructive 1 Percent
12. Overcoming America’s Oil Addiction