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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 589)...

    I read as many Q&A's on the website as I could stand and did not find my question or answer, so here goes...

    What works is what has been tested over Time....the big Time, not just little time. I agree with what I understood from The Story of B, that a person of one culture can't just "become" a member of an existing tribe or culture or adopt their laws and customs and expect it to work for them. We don't really know what the original laws and customs of the Tak were to be able to draw from them now. So, aren't we (the "world-savers") in just as much danger of creating/inventing laws and customs that are equally unworkable because they are untested?

    ...and the response:

    I’ve nowhere recommended "creating/inventing laws and customs" as a means of saving the world--for exactly the reason you cite. On the contrary, I’ve said explicitly that this is NOT where our hope lies. In The Story of B I said: "If the world is saved, it will not be by old minds with new programs but by new minds with no programs at all" (and reiterated this in Beyond Civilization). In Beyond Civilization I went on to say: "Most programs take this form: Outlaw the thing that’s bothering you, catch people who do it, and put them in jail." I go on to say: "Old minds think: We have to write tougher and more comprehensive laws." The world is not going to be saved by passing new laws (or inventing new customs). If you’re still in doubt about what I AM saying, I strongly recommend to you the speech entitled "The New Renaissance" (, which I’ve described as "a concise expression of the basic message of all my books."

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