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5) Combine - Uulaccio

Uulaccio Dinkanataporn was a negotiator in a world that used negotiation for gain. Even if it meant war, the self-interest of the forces in play continued on their ill-conceived path irrespective of the consequences to human life or the planet. Uu had an ability of analysing the situation, and brokering deals so that both parties felt they had gained, usually because they recognised that the cost of war was too prohibitive - financially rather than in human life.

Uu's life had a fundamental sadness. Everyday he faced the prospect of dealing with people whose egos were driving the world to disaster, and he knew that his tenuous position was all that stood in the way of the deaths of hundreds, even thousands. Why were these people so misguided - so inhuman? Most people were just happy living day-to-day but these select few were repeatedly running headlong into disaster - disaster that was so unnecessary. He never worked out whether there was something different about these select few, or whether most would follow for personal gain, he also didn't know why he was different although he knew he had no choice.

But he knew there were others who lacked the choice, and needed to work for the general good; it was human Nature at its best. All his life he had sought to bring such people together, and he hoped that some would choose like he to influence the world's decision-makers. But he knew that was such a fruitless task. The power these decision-makers had corrupted both themselves and those that came in contact with it. So few can remain immune to the corruption by finance or by status, and if that was not enough then they played on your sense of justice and achievement for peace. So difficult.

He knew many caring people who ere not sufficiently grounded, especially amongst the young. Aaggh, the young were so easily fooled. Firstly the young are arrogant, especially the educated young. They don't even see how they are played with arrogance. They attend the schools the system creates, and because compassionate people are intelligent they become successful by the measures the system sets forth. But they fail to see that those very successes distort, instead of having to apply themselves intelligently to their studies they learn to apply themselves in the way the system wants. The success and distortion creates arrogance but because all in the system are the same way they don't see a problem.

Once outside the education structures business plays on their arrogance, they allow them to see themselves as important, and suck them in. Once they are in their arrogance soon goes as bosses only promote subservience, by now they are financially trapped and the process is complete.

Then there are those who reject the system, how much better are they? Their intelligence perceives the system for the corruption it is, but their intellectual arrogance asserts itself and they see their own knowledge as superior. Soon they start preaching to older and wiser, and their egos alienate those who would be allies. Most ridiculous is what happened in his youth on the left in the West. Firstly the intelligence of these youth noted the Natural truth that in this world we should all be treated justly - in some sense equally. They perceived that Marxist analysis of the economic system demonstrated the disastrous consequences of the capitalist economic system, and offered a possible challenge by recognising that the issue was marginal costs and that labour could fight for them - without labour there is no profit. Then these intellectual youths would pontificate on this analysis, both on platform and in small groups. Working class unite, revolution of continuous change, and similar slogans flew out of the mouths of these babes, and adults sympathised with views and felt abrasive at their condescension. After all most working adults felt the unfairness, they worked all hours for just about enough money to feed their families whilst the rich took all the profits and played golf.

And what was the choice these young offered? Violence. Revolution. And in some parts of the world, the voice of revolution was listened to. And in many cases such revolutions gained some success. But far too often, these revolutions had their own egos in charge and the revolutions lost track, and directly or indirectly hurt the people they were fighting for.

Nicaragua had been one. For years they had been damaged by the US who treated the country like a playground, propping up the right wing who paid them off with treats such as gambling and prostitution. But throughout the twentieth century the people sickened of this, and sought change through the barrel of the gun. The Sandinistas took democratic control, what can be more democratic than poor people expressing their injustice by fighting for themselves? Sadly the situation did not end there, that could never be allowed. The capitalist world championed by the US feared such control, so blockaded the country economically and politically. Who do neutral countries choose to trade with, the mighty dollar or a small country? Internally they were also destabilised so that they could not become self-sufficient. This again was easily managed. The ousted dictator had been sucked into power, and sought by any means to regain power. His personal guard had carried out atrocities whilst in power so they were detested. They were not now safe. Recognising this the US paid them. Military aid was sent, and part of this aid paid for hired soldiers, the guys who had previously committed atrocities - the Contras. For a decade the revolutionary government tried to make progress, improving schools and hospitals, whilst at the same time fighting off the US-funded contras. Throughout Nicaragua everyone knew this was the situation, whilst the revolution was in charge the US would enforce a trade blockade and fund these displaced mercenaries. In the election a candidate stood up and said I have an agreement with the US that if I am in power there will be no blockade and no funds for mercenaries. Common sense voted for this woman, and the revolution ended. Was it worth all the violence? Only Nicaraguans can judge. The revolution had got rid of the US puppets from government, only to find them as a danger in opposition. In the end the people sought no violence in preference to a more just political system - were they wrong?

In the USSR a people's revolution ousted the regimes that had grown out of the tsars. But this revolution led to much hardship and poverty. Meanwhile from outside financial pressure was exerted to destabilise this people's movement, and the revolution sought to restrict the influence of this finance. More and more a siege mentality grew up, and the egos of the leaders identified themselves as the revolution. Backed up by a political creed the leaders defended themselves in the name of the revolution, and soon there was an effective dictatorship, egos in charge. They fought against the finance to defend their country meanwhile removing the liberties of the people they originally claimed they were fighting for. Finally some theorists came to power claiming it is time to reflect on what is happening in the country, and open up and consolidate their system. They saw that the people were repressed. Despite improving the living conditions of many the people did not feel as if they had the choice. Despite an education process that attempted to counter the inroads of finance, when the people were offered openness they embraced it. Now they too have reverted and are controlled by a neo-tsar who encourages much of the excesses associated with such. Finance has made the inroads that it wanted, and there is now a government they can make profits from.

The twentieth century in China has got to have been the most devastating for any country ever, violence in China has been horrific and one can only feel sympathy for its people. The majority of Chinese people in the nineteenth century were poor peasants who had had a succession of emperors. At the beginning of the twentieth century European invaders attempted to gain trade control, whist Japan then followed up and invaded China first. Brigands fighting brigands and foreign powers interloping built up a stern resistance that then crystallised into Maoism. But Maoism was just an emperor with a different political creed, and soon millions died in the guise of this creed - a tool for maintaining the emperor's power. What was significant was how this emperor misused the arrogance of youth, and it was the young people with their arrogance who caused such devastation whilst maintaining the emperor in power. Eventually history again took over, and now again with the pretence of political creed finance has manoeuvred into power but there is potential sadness for the world as this finance is dividing the world. Will such a division of power continue to exist harmoniously? In China they are unlikely to argue. Their people have been devastated by the shellshock of the twentieth century, and are unlikely to seek any sort of change whilst there is any form of trickle-down benefit to comfort them against the memories their families tell them of.

Coming out of his analysis Uu thought, finance and greed has created the oppression but have any forms of violence against the finance produced anything other than hardship? He felt saddened again. After all he spent his life negotiating with the people who created this violence. He sought influence with the cartels who, because of his class, accepted him to a certain extent as one of them. He was one of them so he knew that violence was never an answer, and these cartels didn't want violence. They used it heartlessly, but they never wanted it. To them profits were profits whether in peace or war, and in fact in peace profits were better so long as sufficient people didn't know the lie of the land.

What Uu most wanted was his network, he hoped that people would work with him in trying to steer the world back onto its Natural Path. Some hope, he mused, but he continued with his efforts. And peoples of all ages came to him, some were just interested, others who were genuine; he worked with both - the negotiator in him. Sad to say many young came and disrupted. Most young people just followed. They knew that what life had to offer them was going downhill. Many sought escape, and if his organisation did not offer such an escape then he was connected to people who did. For most of the young escape was enough, they had been disenfranchised by the powers within their society. But for others escape was not important, life needed to change, and they came to Uu to try to change him, to try to make him more active. Whilst he had always said that peace was an active process, that activity did not mean war against the real powers. Yet that was what these young wanted, they wanted it simple - remove the powers that be. Of course as these powers were so few in number they had learnt to protect themselves - mostly through anonymity. They worked through governments, but never were government; governments were their puppets - yet even the governments were not truly sure of who was pulling their strings. Some names, CEOs, were obvious but what was the point in targeting them? Remove one CEO, and the next was just the same. To reach the position they had to play the game, and in the game they were always being watched, others were always looking for weakness to take them down. These people became inured as they learnt self-protection, and effectively became rich clones. Remove one, and a new clone appeared. Western education highlighted the need for individualism, and people than believed the myth of genius and individuality, but whilst there were exceptional people the reality is that it was the situation, the circumstances, hat created the process, created the individual genius. Adam Smith did not start free trade, he just coined the term. The economic powers at the time were seeking greater wealth for themselves, hid behind the process of wealth for their nations, and Adam Smith turned up with the words that gave it academic credibility. Society was just ready.

Yet because these young people had been recently educated they sought individual targets. They wanted plots against government A, system B, and cartel C. Uu wanted none of this disruption, and excluded such people. He was often rude, and told them to come back when they had grown up. This, of course, saddened him because their hearts were in the right place and they had the energy, but because of its negative flow it was too destructive. His organisations moved in the direction of active peace. Because his people understood that there was a unity of purpose and a strength in this direction, intentionally limited, time and effort was not wasted. When the energies of these young arrived trying to force a change I direction, energy was wasted bringing them into line.

What was equally frustrating with their single-mindedness was their lack of discipline - together with their youthful educated egos. Initially he allowed them to remain because of the strength of their heart, their compassion, but in discussions they were single-minded. Often powerful as speakers they would continually bring the discussion back to their agenda. Whilst Uu's organisations would be seeking strategies for active peace, these individuals would be seeking more violent methods for targeting their criminals. Some of his organisation, less mature - less worldly-wise, would be sympathetic, and soon these youth had created division. Once there was division, Uu gave up with them.

He did however need to cope with them so he established a Charter for Active Peace. This was a useful thing to do because, although his agenda in establishing the charter was excluding disruption, it led to a unity of his organisation as they worked through their understanding of this Charter. Revision after revision of the Charter occurred as they tried to finalise it, and this in itself disengaged the interest of impatient youth, but once the Charter was finally in place his organisation had become far more united, having lost disgruntled on the way and sorted out the unsure in the process. By including an exclusion for those propagating violence and by insisting that all affiliated to his organisations signed the Charter, much unity was created.

At the founding public conference of the Charter Namzo wandered in. Active Peace was a fundamental concept to his people, and the use of the term attracted him out of his academic entrapment.

At first Namzo was bored with the rhetoric, whilst Uu was a good speaker his content was the usual political speak. And what was the point with politics, the people with power did what they wanted and said what was needed so those without power could pretend everything was OK. However as he listened more and more he realised that Uu was not a man telling people what to do. As Uu explained more and more about the development of the Charter, he realised that Uu was a listener he was clearly a very wise man but all he focussed on was the listening. So Namzo listened, and learned - and his academic arrogance had not expected to learn. And the more he listened the less that part of his mind had control, and slowly a deep sadness purveyed his being as he understood that he had lost his way, that he had become trapped by the very tricks he had used to gain his status. He had been trapped by his own mind.

Yet he must set that aside as Uu was still talking, and he began to focus more and more on the need for peace, and as he listened to Uu's analysis of the world he saw the dangers. And again he saw his traps, how he had conned himself into academic acceptance and power. His mind drifted and he watched as the small decisions piled up into his trap. He looked at his academic justification itself, use of insight to take him ahead of the game. This had been what he had done - initially, he had manipulated the situation in order to gain power whilst still maintaining true to his beliefs. But that was not how things progressed, and he was shocked at how he had conned himself, and how rationalisation had snuck in with its bogus claims.

After a while the insights had dried up - much the same way his meditation practice had waned and fell away. But he didn't need that, he said to himself, his intelligence would carry him through. Little did he see that it was not intelligence telling him that but intellect. Soon what he was deducing as new insights were in fact revamped old insights, old understandings clothed in new terminology. He remembered his professor pressing him for new work, and under threat he had even attempted to rebuild his meditation skills. But his mind was disturbed and spinning, little chance of any insight connection there. So he looked at his work and he started deducing looking for something new. But instead of stepping outside and searching for the new, he used his deductive powers to move sideways. He searched for connections that were rephrasing, coined new words, reshaped existing ideas, and connected these with high-powered rhetoric that were the tools of academy. He had something new.

When he presented it to his prof, she was pleased - new work. But as she read it, she saw the connections the tricks of her trade, the approaches and processes that she had used to get her seat. She smiled. It was good enough to present as new, given what else was around, so she sanctioned submission to the various magazines. But her smile was deeper than that, because she realised that Namzo was not a threat, was not the threat that his individuality was to her early on. He was now one of them.

She tested this by asking him to write a critique of one of her papers. This she had never done before because she was afraid his sharpness would pull apart her own processes, and show to others in that clever way he had of saying but not saying how shallow her own conclusions were. His critique was favourable; it highlighted her processes as genius rather than what they were - reason, and then proceeded to celebrate her importance within the field. Excellent she thought, this man was now no threat and she could promote his papers, publications and speaking without any question.

At that moment in Uu's talk Namzo recognised these interchanges as being a significant change in his life, where he had lost truth to position and right to power. He looked at the Charter as Uu quoted it "Peace is not a passive process of not doing. It is necessary to resist the paths to violence by holding to truth and integrity." The Charter continued as did Uu, but all that Namzo saw was that he had not followed his own truth, had let slip the integrity that had been so important to his people in the village, and had not resisted the path to power offered by his prof. Whilst no direct violence ensued he knew that he contributed to the process of violence by his acquiescence. Nature gives us roles to follow and within those roles there are always choices of truth and integrity against acquiescence to existing authority and our own desire for power. He slumped forward in his seat devoured guilt and shame, and taken over by a level of humility that he had not felt since leaving the village.

Some guide.

Having signed up as a member of the Charter organisation, he left the meeting humiliated, and rushed home determined to use the tools his upbringing had given him. He closed his door and began to meditate. This time it was not a choice based on false desire to keep in with the prof, it was a cleaning out of all the rubbish that had accumulated over the years. He sat there, and slowly what felt like dark filth descended from his mind and pushed its way out through his anus into the earth. Soon he saw a pinpoint of line deep within his mind, and he sought it. It disappeared. Let it be so he did, and the light grew from inside and poured outside into the room. Now not so bright I diffused throughout the room, leaving a gentle glow, a presence, an awareness, that held his attraction, his concentration. Again letting it be he bathed in this diffusion, and slowly it disappeared as he drifted off to sleep. He then saw the deer in a dream, and it just started up the mountainside. Who was the guide, himself or the deer? He smiled at Nature, and woke up clean - cleansed, comfortable now with who he was. He, the deer, remembered where he had regained his soul, and for him the Charter for Active Peace organisation became central to his life.

He did know stuff, his village had taught him, but he had also learned in this civilised life that there was suspicion, suspicion founded on the knowledge that much in this part of the world created by man was sourced by arrogance. He had done that himself. Arrogance was something he mustn't demonstrate so working in the organisation he took care. He developed a routine prior to meetings of focusing on his heart, drawing his being into his heart, and concentrating on humility. The heart was naturally humble but focussing on the thought developed a pervading sense of non-aggression, non-assertiveness, a complete lack of desire for personal power. What mattered only was the propagation of the Charter, or rather what the Charter symbolised.

Like everywhere else in this world that man manipulated this organisation was also driven by ego. He watched as individuals vied for power, vied for Uu's attention, became sycophants of the righteous. Whilst it was better than power-seeking, this sycophancy was also little more than ego. The purpose of this ego was to be a part of Uu's world, and not being a part of Peace. Because the rhetoric and communal actions were peace-oriented the movement gained pace with this sycophancy adding, but it was diffused energy - not focussed on the heart but on dissipating aspects of mind. However despite the time it took he never allowed sycophancy to take over. He soon knew Uu but because his actions came to the leader's attention.

The one time he did allow sycophancy to surface was when he offered genuine flattery. He had been attending an Executive meeting of the Organisation, and Uu was making a rare visit to discuss recent negotiations concerning international manipulations in Africa. "If you want to talk egos then you have to listen to some of these African leaders," he burst out laughing as he thought of some of the preposterous people, "Africa is so difficult because of its tribal history. These people for centuries have accepted instruction from their leaders without question."

"Yet black people in white society generally refuse all instruction," mentioned an Exec member.

"Please be careful of stereotyping," warned Uu cautiously "Isn't that ironic though? Many will obey instructions of their leaders forthwith yet a significant proportion of descendants are known to reject law in western society whether that law has a moral basis or not. The legitimate excuse of the oppressed is not a reason to be immoral, morality has to be the basis of unity in this world, and the basis and practice of any freedom struggle.

"Unfortunately when the law doesn't treat you with a moral face your own face turns to rejection, to individual codes that soon get twisted by deprivation and peers.

"However in Africa black people run their own countries - at least to a certain extent," Uu returned to theme.

"At least to the same extent as the puppet leaders in the West," came from the table.

"Yes that too is an amusing irony," Uu smirked "many intellectuals in the West supported by African activists describe African leaders as puppets yet western leaders are not classified as such. And the profession of some western leaders was acting."

The table laughed with Uu's irony.

"These African countries are run by leaders whose pomp and ego defy normal description. There is the case of Mugabe whose rhetoric brought him to power, such an educated man who understood the needs of his people and how the political system had sent invaders into his continent, labelled vast tracts of land after their own egos - Mugabe's own land was named after Cecil Rhodes, and had even piggy-backed their exploitation on the back of the earnestness of missionaries," continued Uu after they quietened.

"It sounds as if you are sympathetic," piped up one.

"You cannot be a negotiator from a position of ignorance - unless you are not negotiating but using negotiation as a tool of oppression. The way Mugabe came to power was legitimate and democratic. He was born of a people who had been dominated and exploited by white rule, and out of this came Mugabe and other legitimate leaders.

"But at some stage what he stood for became his own ego, and not the interests of his people. No analysis is complete, and there is some truth in all. After his country was independent there was a civil war, resolved in the end but with scars and great division. His own people were in difficulties after the years of colonial exploitation and the civil war, and there was a significant group of white people still living there. These whites provided business links and mostly gained from it themselves. Also the agreement that ended the colonial rule had restricted access to the land for a long period of time.

"By this time his rule had been undermined, perhaps his principles had waned or he had succumbed to other pressures and pleasures, but by the early 90s every vestige of his reason for struggle appeared to have gone. Troops were sent abroad to defend his land, rash promises of land were made to the troops who sought recompense. And the economy went downhill.

"More the people suffered but he was still their leader, and this mattered for a long time. By the time they sought an end to his leadership he had become so used to power he couldn't relinquish it, it was part of him in his old age.

"But he was true to one thing, he was not going to be a puppet. And this is perhaps what destroyed the economy. If he wasn't going to be a puppet, then the West were not going to trade, maybe this isolation made his policies so entrenched. Around him fellow leaders all gave into the pressures of the western bank accounts, enjoyed the pomp and adulation of their people, and watched as the people toiled for years to provide a meagre living for their families and great wealth for the transnationals and their cartels.

"It is these I have recently negotiated with. You listen first to their anti-western rhetoric knowing it is only political capital. Then you look for what they truly want, how they can be bought, and then how the other leader can be bought. Of course neither can truly admit their own greed, so you have to deeply listen to their rhetoric to determine the particular needs of the people that the leaders want.

"Sadly there is no deep listening for negotiation, in other words no true desire to resolve the problems. But of course the problems don't exist within their own countries. In this world of trade they need to trade. Will they be forced into trading isolation as Mugabe's country?

"And of course the prices of the goods that they trade for are ridiculous. They get less than 5% of the price of a jar of coffee, yet they harvest it and put it on the boats. Who gets the money? Transnationals who own the distribution and retail. Ludicrous.

"But," he paused "a reality. And it is in this framework of financial domination that I am forced to seek negotiation, would that there were true deep listening for resolution of issues?" But we are back to the anonymity problem, who would we actually negotiate with, who controls the purse strings?

Afterwards Namzo went up to Uu "I was fascinated by your discussion of negotiation, of deep listening," ventured Namzo "People appear to be running all the time avoiding listening, playing their job games." Some of his self-critical resentment showed here.

Uu sensed his anger, and a bit more "Thank you, Namzo." He paused, and "we have never talked, have we? Where are you from?"

Namzo saw his ego flattered, but couldn't avoid it. He explained his story.

"Very interesting," said Uu carefully "there is much knowledge in the mountain villages that we have lost, much tradition - although I do believe they make an effort to keep tradition alive in monasteries."

Namzo concurred "They do but at times the monks become weighed down with daily duties, and forget their purpose."

Uu smiled "How right, but at least it is there? What do we have here in the metropolis?" They both looked sad.

Uu parted "We must always remember our roots. Keep up the good work." Perhaps Uu knew of him, Namzo thought.

Soon after, a request from Uu led to Namzo begrudgingly accepting the post of Executive Secretary, he knew it meant work.

At the next meeting Uu made a surprise visit, and announced that he had asked for Namzo, leaving no doubts in the minds of some sycophancy who had been debating resistance.

After "I am not sure why you have asked for me, Uu," thanked Namzo, "but I will do what I can."

"I know you will," Uu replied assuredly "but I want you to take special care in looking out for astute new members - even recruit people you know are committed. True People of Peace."

"As matters worsen, we might well need to change direction - to avoid disaster," muttered Uu quizzically.

Namzo nodded accepting his task, although not in truth comprehending all Uu had said.

And matters did worsen. The banks got greedy. They had already taken advantage of fears of terrorism heightened by the media. Under the pretext of restricting money flow regulations were brought in to make it difficult to open accounts. Once done this prevented people from moving accounts easily, so the banks started increasing the cost of accounts - service charges. They started with offshore accounts where rich people left their money and were not concerned with charges, and once they found that worked they turned to everyday working accounts - current. The charges were minimal, nothing to really complain of, and because of the banking cartel these were applied across the board. Once they saw how successful this was, they increased the charges significantly. The old had always complained as they had the time, but now even working people started saying the charges were too high. Some started to say it was time to stop using banks, and some tried but people didn't use cash any more - dangerous because of increased crime. And crime increased even more when more, especially the old, people started to carry cash; security guards were employed for pension queues .

New mini-banks sprouted up for wage-earners offering cash for pay cheques. These worked well, and it significantly affected the banks. These mini-banks could not afford security, and the police had to be brought in. But the banks were well in with the government and began applying pressure to close the mini-banks. At the same time b anks increasingly applied pressure so that payments had to be made by direct debit. Banks became tied to retail networks, and soon the only way you could pay at these superstores was by direct debit. Again the byword was security, your money is much more secure with direct debit, but in truth the only security that was offered was your being secure in the knowledge that the banks were taking advantage of you and you could do nothing about it.

In the end the government bowed to the financial pressure and mini-banks were closed. It started with the hue and cry of security at the mini-banks so the government increased taxes to pay for policing. But that didn't deter enough people so eventually the bank cartels setup bogus mini-banks and absconded with funds. The government then said that organised crime was involved with mini-banks so they setup stringent regulations for establishing mini-banks. But in practice these regulations were either too strict or it cost the mini-banks too much money to comply with the regs, and they were eventually closed down. Immediately bank charges went up again, as it had cost the banks much money in lobbying and less reputable actions.

Insurance was no better. It became a requirement for more and more purchases to be insured prior to purchase. Soon your hp agreement automatically had an insurance clause within it. Initially people didn't object to insurance, after all if something went wrong you got your money back. Until that got tested more and more, and fewer and fewer people were able to claim on faulty goods or make any other legitimate claim because of "escape clauses". Insurance just raked it in. Many people complained that the government had made regulations requiring insurance, should they then not make sure insurance complied? But to little avail, most of the management boards of the insurance companies were ex-politicians.

In themselves these had little impact, but the knock-on affects were serious. More and more organisations sought government people-entrapment regulations. House sales required builder certificates, plumber certificates, electrician's and so on, and all these came at a price not for the certificate but for the cost of repair to reach government Health and Safety standards. Increased regulation came at a price that people were forced to pay or they couldn't sell. And increased pressure was placed by business. Consumer groups tried their best but a seat on their board didn't pay well.

Simply to live in normal society became more and more difficult, buying a house, paying the bills etc. all had their hidden costs created by the government. Wages escalated to pay for the increased charges so there were fewer jobs. Government became increasingly backed by business so it was not necessary to worry about being popular. Whilst MP's still had salaries their real income lay in future board positions so less and less interest was paid to elections. Increasingly lobbying took place with all MP's - paying for silence in opposition, and the reward of the political business partnership were high.

Accountability had always been a difficult requirement of democracy, now it wasn't even discussed. The people became more and more alienated, and as usual turned on each other. Working people forced to work longer and longer to comply with regs began to resent even more those who weren't working. Pressure was increased to remove the welfare state. This naturally increased crime, increasing the cost of security and so on. Fewer cold keep up with these costs, and more became unemployed and descended into crime. And violence.

Action for Peace became more and more anti-government with each new regulation.