Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovator Perspectives on Race Relations

Focusing on skin color within the USA is insufficient to improve race relations. By looking globally we can gain knowledge from our past to make future improvements with integrity, and re-discover we must follow a universally accepted Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

The worst human atrocity committed against fellow humans took place 300-500 years ago after European Christians committed genocide in the Americas in the name of Christianity (worse than World War II, World War I, Holocaust, Chinese Cultural Revolution, etc.).  Up to 100 million humans perished which represent 80% of Native Americans and Africans transported to the Americas as slaves. There is scant record of many rich pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas (e.g. 5,000 year old Sacred City of Caral in Supe Valley, Peru), and Africa’s population was flat between the years 1600-1850 while the rest of the world’s population more than doubled. Why is Columbus, who never set foot on USA soil, celebrated in the USA? Why is Andrew Jackson, who spent his life killing Native Americans, celebrated on $20 dollar bills? Why is Lord Jeff Amherst (1717-1797) a namesake for a city in Massachusetts? Amherst approved the intentional distribution of blankets used by smallpox victims to Native Americans and proclaimed his willingness to adopt “any other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.” His grandnephew Bill (1773-1857) inherited Jeff’s title of Lord in 1797, and went to China in 1816 where he failed to negotiate trade with China which ignited The Opium Wars, then he went on to India and commanded the first Burmese War of 1824 that killed 15,000 British soldiers at a cost of £13 million.

60% of all humans born in the last 200 years have followed Christianity or Islam, much more than the rest of the world largely represented by Indians and Chinese. The key innovation that drove human progress was industrialization which was led by USA/European Christians. The largest transfer of wealth through this industrialization was the forced import of opium into China (against Chinese laws), backed by gunboats, to take an estimated (2014) retail value of $2 trillion per year from China, mostly during the reign of Empress Dowager Cixi who ruled China for 50 years. China fell from the largest economy on earth in the year 1820 with 35% of global GDP to almost declaring bankruptcy in 1902 if not for a 39 year financing to pay Christian countries like Russia and Germany for the suppression of the patriotic Chinese Boxers’ Rebellion. USA also received payment, but returned some to help establish Qinghua University, a top school in China. USA became the global leader with 27-35% of global GDP between the years 1950-2001 on the shoulders of the largest middle class on earth after Henry Ford started to pay premium wages to his workers, but had to share its wealth mostly with Muslims beginning in 1973 when the OPEC cartel steeply increased prices. An estimated (2014) $1 trillion per year cash profit has been paid to OPEC to quench the thirst for energy to sustain industrialization. Both Christians and Muslims have concentrated their wealth in the last 40 years to widen the wealth gap, as the USA/worldwide Christians squeeze the middle class and a super majority of Muslims remain in poverty. Meanwhile, China has lifted more humans out of poverty than the rest of the world by sacrificing their environment.

We do not differentiate Arabs from Jews in the Middle East by skin color. The Chinese, Koreans and other Asians hate the Japanese not because of the color of their skin, but because the Japanese captured and forced over 400,000 women into 400 locations where they were raped by Japanese soldiers multiple times every day until they died. (In Yunnan, China, each Japanese soldier was given two tickets every week to rape innocent females in one of these 400 locations, and these tickets have been shown on documentaries and can still be inspected.)  The Japanese also massacred ~300,000 civilians and raped over 20,000 females in Nanjing, China over a 40 day period where soldiers competed for how many civilians they killed. While forgiveness is a virtue, the Japanese have not atoned for their atrocities. In fact, convicted war criminals in the International Court of Justice are memorialized in a Japanese shrine where top government officials visit every year. This is akin to the USA making August 6th and 9th as Little Boy and Fat Man (codenames for the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) Holidays with celebratory parades that killed 129,000 Japanese.  To get a glimpse of The Golden Rule, just look at the Japanese reaction to the gang rape of local girls near the Okinawa US Military Base by US Military Servicemen.  A reason the largest US Military Base in Asia is moving is due to the strong opposition of the local residents against these isolated incidents of raping local girls.  Of course, going back one more step, US Military should never have been stationed in Okinawa in the first place because Japan was supposed to be “expelled from all … territories taken by violence and greed…” based on the November 27th 1943 Cairo Declaration which the Allies dictated in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration which was the term of the Japanese unconditional surrender announced in Japanese radio on August 15th, 1945 and signed on the deck of USS Missouri on September 2nd, 1943.  Okinawa, as we know it today, was unilaterally taken by Japan in 1879 and renamed Okinawa Prefecture from the former Kingdom of Ryukyu.  Japan forced the King of Ryukyu Sho Tai (1843-1901) to move to Tokyo in 1897, even as Ryukyu paid tributes to China for over 450 years, with the last tribute left Ryukyu in the year 1874.  This is the subject of another blog…

How do we not focus on skin color or geography? We still have the American Dream where anyone can maximize their potential within their own lifetime. We think of people like Bill Gates, but he left a legacy of monopolistic practices at Microsoft. We can improve race relations by creating a network that focuses on opportunities with positive legacies while following the Golden Rule.  Use the Golden Rule as the foundation of our great society.  We clearly forgot the Golden Rule when policemen used excessive force to kill innocent citizens in Missouri, New York, Ohio and other places.

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diversity, Innovators World, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspectives on Making America Great Again

At 228 years old, United States of America has the longest sustained Constitution in the world today. There have been ups and downs to USA’s growth, but generally one growth path from the 1770s to the 1950s, and decline after the 1950s through today. How can we reverse the trend to be great again?

Let us look at history before we project forward.

Our Founding Fathers started as highly motivated immigrants in search of better lives. They overcame British oppression through the 1773 Boston Tea Party. After the Constitution was ratified, the very innovative Americans imposed the 1823 Discovery Doctrine on Native Americans to take land ownership and leveraged slavery in the production of cotton and coolies in construction of the transcontinental railway through most of the 19th century. These actions of low morality transitioned during the Gilded Age that provided concentrated wealth to Rockefellers, Carnegies and Morgans who often turned into philanthropists partly because the estate tax rate was as high as 77%. In the 20th century, Henry Ford helped create the middle-class by giving high wages to workers to buy homes and cars. The USA expansion continued through the unofficial entry into the second world war with the Lend Lease program in 1941 until Pearl Harbor, and sustained growth after the second world war with the Marshall Plan. With about 5% of global population, USA commanded 35% of global GNP at its apex in the 1950s.

Lack of experience in a globalized world has stymied our growth. Arrogance marked the beginning of the downturn when President Eisenhower was convinced by Winston Churchill to implement Project Ajax, a 1953 coup that imposed the Shah onto the Iranians, against their will. We fooled ourselves in the Vietnam War when General Westmoreland publicly stated “Vietnamese do not value their lives” in the documentary movie “Hearts and Minds.” These mistakes correlated to the decline of our share of global GNP to 16% today, despite innovations like internet, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, etc.

Looking domestically, an estimated 64% of Americans have never left US borders. Our K-12 education never taught us about discovery doctrine nor project ajax. Hidden behind the aura of religions like Christianity are values of superiority. The original sermons delivered by Jesus focused on loving thy neighbor. As a messenger of God, Mohammad created an egalitarian religion 1400 years ago, before the Chinese Mongolians defeated Muslims in Damascus and Aleppo 800 years old that changed Islam into the current form of women oppression under the name of Islamic fundamentalism .

We are changing the ways we approach education and redress past inequities with programs like Affirmation Action. Textbooks are acknowledging the annihilation of Native Americans. However, these changes did not happen uniformly across the USA. A large swath of Americans not living in east or west coasts of the USA still have not changed their values partly because changes to their education have not happened fast enough. They associate the American decline to Affirmative Action and new immigrants. Among early evidence of their strength was the high rating of the TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” in the 1980s. Donald Trump found a way through bullying and intimidation to reach the US Presidency without winning the popular vote, in violation of the definition of democracy. It is not surprising that Americans who believe in white supremacy feel their representative is in the White House.

What about the path forward?

There is no magic dust that can make change happen overnight. Please remove our emotions and develop a sustainable path forward. There will be ups and downs, but the path to growth requires a balance of innovations with integrity. There are two key dimensions:

1. Let innovation thrive. This includes the continuation of Silicon Valley practices to find the best talent anywhere on earth. For example, we may lead the world in Global Positioning System (GPS) with 5 meter accuracy today. China’s Big Dipper will have more satellites with encrypted accuracy of 0.1 meter. If left alone, Big Dipper will become the global standard this century.

2. Encourage global education throughout the USA by including topics like the Discovery Doctrine and Project Ajax. Broaden the horizon of the 64% of Americans who have never left the US border. This disparity of knowledge is a factor in our divided USA. We need to past the tipping point as defined by Malcolm Gladwell to embrace our globalized world.

The only constant in life is change. We must embrace change and do the right things together!

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Innovators World

Donald Trump and the changing composition of humanity

Within his first year of Presidency, Donald Trump already has a legacy. Under his watch, USA lost its position as a global leader. His strengths highlight the Christian focus on innovations with very little regard for morality. His weaknesses accelerate the US decline in global standing. We now have a visible turning point of USA’s decline which lowers the standing of Christianity among humanity of Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese.

Donald Trump is a product of the US society, trained to focus on his self-interests, not public goods. He is doing what he was taught to do. He sought a more prestigious education as a third-year transfer student from Fordham University in New York City to Wharton class of 1968 which had 366 students. Donald Trump did not graduate in the top 15% of his class (he was not among the 56 students on the Dean’s List). As a realtor, the government may be just a tool to get the public behind his properties.

In business school, we were taught to find a niche to deliver returns on investments, often taking the path of least resistance. Large businesses lobby the government for favorable legislation. As early as 1823, a highly innovative but amoral Supreme Court decision from the First Chief Justice John Marshall changed land ownership of the entire USA to European Christians. This “Discovery Doctrine” declared all Native Americans were tenants of Christian landlords. We can still see the consequence of this decision by looking at the electoral map today: Republicans control the land in between the coasts while Democrats control major cities in the east and west coasts. If we elect the President based on land ownership, Republicans would dominate national elections.

Election polling did not capture the difference between popular vote and electoral college. Facing defeat, Donald Trump openly called for the Russians to hack into and leak the Hilary Clinton emails. There is increasing evidence that his team, especially Mike Flynn who is a Democrat, colluded with Russians and did just that. In turn, we have heard the strongest Donald Trump support behind Flynn who is not part of his family. Time will give us the needed truth behind what happened in the 2016 election. To paraphrase a Christian motto: May the Truth Set us Free.

Instead of focusing on his tweets, let us defend our values by enforcing our conflicts of interest rules and regulations. Don’t let our government remove the estate tax. Wealth gap will widen if we allow the wealthy to legally keep their assets across generations. We relied on IRS regulations to capture Al Capone, and forced illegally obtained wealth to revert back to the government. Don’t let Donald Trump use the POTUS position to accumulate his wealth. He has already obtained six more trademarks in June 2017, with a cumulative total of at least 123 registered and provisionally approved trademarks in China alone. Sanctions against his empire will be more effective than being distracted by his tweets.

60% of all humans born in the last 200 years have followed either the Christian or the Muslim faith. With the decline of the USA driven by Donald Trump, that percentage may dip below 50% in the next 200 years. It is sad to experience the decline of USA accelerated by Donald Trump.

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovator Perspectives on Donald Trump

The glue that binds us is love. Our love of USA is rooted in our democracy, knowing that it is the worst form of government, except there is none better. We must therefore live with all the imperfections of a democracy. The most enlightening statistic in this week’s Presidential election was: Out of 232 million eligible voters (or 77% of total population), Hilary Clinton received 26%, Donald Trump received 26%, and “DID NOT VOTE” accounted for 46% (and third parties for the other 2%). In absolute numbers, Barack Obama received 66 million votes in 2012, compared to 59 million for Hilary. Mitt Romney received 61 million votes in 2012, compared to 59 million for Donald. In other words, 9 million less voters voted in 2016, and Mitt Romney would have beaten Hilary based on the number of votes received. Our challenge is to get the 46% non-voters to vote. Without a Constitutional amendment, we cannot change the electoral college. If it is true that we have one person one vote, Hilary would have won with the popular vote.

Because of the electoral college, the location of the voters also makes a difference. In five states (North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan), the difference was less than 180,000 votes in each state. In fact, if Hilary had received 70,000 votes more in Pennsylvania, 28,000 in Wisconsin, and 12,000 in Michigan, she would have received more than 270 electoral votes and won. The irony is that Hilary actually lost both Michigan and Wisconsin in the Democratic primaries to Bernie Sanders, yet they were not “battleground” states until near the very end of the campaign.

USA is a nation of immigrants. Native Americans arrived over 10,000 years ago, and Caucasians arrived 500 years ago. We gained independence from Britain in the year 1776 (240 years ago), ratified our Constitution in 1788, and George Washington was sworn in as the first President in 1789. Many of our Founding Fathers were slave owners, and about 1% of the total population were eligible to vote under various rules such as land ownership which was removed in 1828, after the Supreme Court used the Discovery Doctrine in 1823 to take away all Native Americans land ownership. Non-Caucasians became eligible voters in 1870, after the Civil War; women were allowed to vote in 1920; and the voting age was reduced to 18 in 1971. In other words, the only ineligible voters are children under 18, resident aliens and other people not officially recognized as US citizens. Today, our Constitution is the longest surviving written charter of government in the world, as amended 27 times (most recently in 1992).

The strength of our nation is in the values that we deliver from our hard work in combination with our diversity. In other words, there is no entitlement to value based on diversity alone. Diversity delivers value only in combination with hard work. Hard work does not always mean physical labor, as Bill Gates developed computer software, and Steve Jobs developed computer hardware. We know that the less educated Caucasians in rural America propelled Donald to victory. We can no longer ignore their issues for future elections. Until we address their issues, we may continue to be surprised in elections. Meanwhile, let’s observe if a very visible trend that affects wealth entitlements (by allowing wealthy families to transfer money from generation to generation) will be further reduced. The maximum estate tax rate was 77% between 1941-1976. Ronald Reagan reduced it to 55%; George W Bush reduced it to 45% and the current rate of 40% was reduced under Barack Obama.

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator perspectives on 2016 Presidential Election

If we compare what is happening today to what have happened in history, USA is heading for a Civil War this century unless we collectively take action to protect our democracy.

Humanity has not changed much for 5,000 years. Four communities (Egyptians, Sumerians, Indians, and Chinese) represented over 90% of humanity 5,000 years ago. Egyptians became Christians; Sumerians became Muslims; Indians have been divided by religions, and Chinese remained largely atheists for 5,000 years. Today, Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese represent over 90% of humanity.

Among Christians, Catholics was the dominated sect between 1,600 and 1,000 years ago, when the Roman Empire controlled Europe. After the downfall of Western Roman Empire, Orthodox Christians split from the Catholics 1,000 years ago. Orthodox is still the dominant sect in Russia today.

Soon after the Roman Empire was extinguished in the form of Byzantine Empire in 1453, Catholic indulgences, including the infamous Pope Alexander VI who sold the reading of Rosary for a shorter time in purgatory before reaching heaven, led to the Protestant split in 1517 by Martin Luther and John Calvin. Today, our global leaders live in Protestant nations like the USA.

Without imperial influences after 1453, Catholics found an opportunity to sustain prosperity after Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon defeated the Muslim Moors in Granada and paid for the voyage by Christopher Columbus in 1492. It was the same infamous Pope Alexander VI (born in Spain) who drafted the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1493 that gave the world to Spain and Portugal. 20% of treasures extracted (i.e. taken) in North and South America were paid to the Spanish King and Catholics for several centuries. Britain started out as pirates and stole from the Spanish ships loaded with treasures from the Americas. After Britain defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, British East India Company was formed in 1600, followed by the Dutch East India Company in 1602 to directly compete for global treasures.

For 200 years after the 1588 Armada defeat, Spain (and other Christians) took millions of Africans as slaves to the Americas (that kept the population in Africa the same between 1600 and 1850 while the rest of the world’s population more than doubled). The victims include Native Americans who were almost annihilated. Despite these amoral acts, Spain still lost North America to Protestants.

Spain was left without external sources of wealth. A large wealth gap became apparent that led to the 1936-1939 civil war which was won by Francisco Franco who became a dictator until his death in 1975. King Juan Carlos I succeed Franco and led the Spanish transition to democracy today.

USA became a global leader through industrialization when the cotton gin based economy succeeded with slave labor. We prospered as a munitions supplier in both world wars. However, Korean Armistice, Vietnam War, and the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts have drained American wealth, and US companies helped Muslims in Saudi Arabia establish ARAMCO and later the OPEC cartel that is transferring an average US$2 trillion/year since 1973. Just like Spain, USA wealth gap has emerged. Ronald Reagan was the first to introduce trickle-down economics, and Donald Trump is a beneficiary of trickle-down economics. There is a large base of less educated Americans who seek opportunities for their own American dreams. By focusing on gun control, we are distracted from the historically low inheritance tax that sustains the wealth gap. If not Donald Trump, there will be a stronger representative similar to Spain’s Francisco Franco. This stronger representative today is Hilary Clinton. We must remain diligent in monitoring her actions, or we will head for another civil war. For 2017, three cheers for our first female President!

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovator perspectives on Christianity #3

This is the third of three essays on Christianity that cover the three Christian breakthroughs from a Moral Innovator perspective:
1. The formation that started 2,000 years ago
2. The split between Orthodox and Catholics 1,000 years ago
3. The split between Catholics and Protestants 500 years ago

In Christianity #1 dated September 11th, 2016, the focus was on formation of Christianity 2,000 years ago. Pre-Christian communities like Essenes and Therapeutae focused on the soul or spirit. Several centuries after the death of Jesus, the writers of the Bible’s New Testament wanted believers to yield their souls to the consubstantial Jesus Christ, leaving all Christian believers only with their personalities. By adopting the Greek philosophers’ “Logos” (instead of Ethos or Pathos) to present compelling arguments for the soul and spirit, pre-Christian communities like Essenes and Therapeutae (and later Gnostics) had to become heretics. This story has not ended, as we may be able to find out more through the Dead Sea Scrolls which have been attributed to writings mostly of the Essenes.

In Christianity #2 dated September 18th, 2016, the focus was on the split between Orthodox and Catholics which was formalized in the year 1054, about 1,000 years ago. Orthodox Christians believe Jesus Christ is full human and full God, part of the trinity. Catholics believe in a consubstantial trinity. Both made Jesus a God even though Jesus himself did not proclaim to be God himself. On the surface, the divergence within Christianity was driven by power and rituals (e.g. should bread made with yeast be used or not during Eucharist/Communions. Catholics say yes, and Orthodox says no.

In Christianity #3, we focus on the Protestant schism from the Catholics. Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517 (in Germany) and John Calvin broke from the Roman Catholic Church in 1530 (in France), leading a confederation of Christians that collectively are called Protestants.

500 years ago, Catholic Christians had achieved independence after the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. Not only was there no longer an empire to backup Christians, the lure of treasures in the Americas led the Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI (1431-1504) to draft The Tordesillas Treaty adopted in 1493 by Spain and Portugal. This Treaty gave 90% of all of Americas to Spain, and the remaining 10% to Portugal which became Brazil today. 20% of all treasures collected in the Americas had to be turned over to Spain as royalty. Pope Alexander VI was one of the most controversial Popes, partly because he acknowledged fathering several children by this mistress, and partly because he expanded the practice of granting indulgences. For example, beginning July 13th 1495, up to 5,500 days less in purgatory can be purchased for reciting the Rosary, a Dominican meditation on Christians’ 15 greatest mysteries. Martin Luther’s protest in 1517 included the selling of indulgences such as reciting the Rosary.

Protestants generally believe the church belongs to the followers (or congregations), and not a separate institution like the Catholic Church. For example, Presbyterians are governed by their congregations, whereas some Calvinists’ believe in pre-destination. More recognized Protestants include Methodists (England), Baptists (Amsterdam), Episcopalian (USA), Pentecostal (USA), Churches of Christ (USA). Others include Salvation Army, Quakers, Mormons, Unitarianism, etc. Martin Luther’s marriage to a former nun Katharina von Bora also set the model for clerical marriage.

One of the most significant reasons Martin Luther (1483-1546) succeeded with the Reformation was the translation of the Bible into German, followed by the mass printing of German Bibles using Gutenberg movable type. We know that the printing of the Vulgate, or the Latin version of the Bible, started as early as 1450s. Up to 180 copies of were made, most of them in two volumes (the first volume ending with The Book of Psalms). We also know copies of vellum were heavier and sometimes bound into three or four volumes. The introduction of the movable type print was comparable to the internet as we entered the 21st century. No longer were scribes needed. Errors in reproduction were eliminated by the printing press. By adding several principles to the art of translation, Martin Luther also influenced the writing of the English Tyndale Bible (and later the King James Bible completed in 1611).

Martin Luther spent most of the last part of his life translating the Bible into German. After being excommunicated by the Catholic Pope (1521), the German New Testament first appeared in 1522 and the entire Old and New Testaments in German began to appear around 1534. In his later works, Martin Luther also expressed Jewish homes and synagogues should be destroyed, their money confiscated, and liberty curtailed, against some of his own congregation of Lutherans. There is still debate among scholars whether the World War II Nazis correctly characterized Martin Luther’s anti-semitic views.

Protestant congregations also adopted Logos to justify a new concept (such as Quakers) based on logical (moral) values, not credibility (Ethos) or emotions (Pathos). Many cult-like religions have been led by charismatic “lone wolf” leaders who attracted enough followers to sustain a congregation. For example, David Koresh believed he was the final prophet in the Davidian Branch. We probably recognize David Koresh as the child abuser who died in the FBI raid in Waco Texas in 1993.
What were the underlying moral values behind this Protestant Schism? It was the belief that scripture (e.g. Bible) has higher authority than the Catholic Church, and no institution or state such as Vatican can replace scripture. A clear example is Catholic confessions. Whereas Catholic followers confess to a preacher, Protestants repent directly to God in prayers.
Today, we know that Protestants and Catholics each have about 1 billion followers, which when combined with the 200-300 million Orthodox followers, make up 35% of humanity.

After 2,000 years, Protestants cannot reasonably expect the Vatican to just disappear because there is no need for Catholic Churches when congregations follow the scripture. An effective way to address this and other differences between Protestants and Catholics is to return to the original message Jesus himself preached during his three years of actual preaching: Love thy neighbor.

The next essay will introduce Islam. With 85% Sunni and 15% Shiite, there was a similar schism among Muslims. We will then introduce the Indian and Chinese civilizations. After we look at Christianity, Islam, Indians and Chinese, we will have addressed over 90% of the 7+ billion humans, and begin to address how Moral Innovations can facilitate a peaceful, homologous world. It will not be Utopia, but we can still thrive with knowledge of your places in the world, so we can do the right things and make it better.

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Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovators perspectives on seeking knowledge through history

There are different levels of understanding the moral innovation framework. At the top level, it is the balance of innovations with morality. This can also be read as continuous improvements with integrity.

It is easy to introduce innovations without a morality balance. iPhone 7 is a continuous improvement over iPhone 6, and the original iPhone was clearly an innovation. The morality balance is more difficult to illustrate because of the multi-cultural complexities. For example, how do we judge the exploitation of the slave-like Chinese laborers as Apple’s vendors/suppliers get 10% profit when Apple’s intellectual property rights command 90% profit? Apple is among the most valuable companies on earth with these profitable products.

Morality was formalized about 2,500 years ago when the global human population reached 100 million. Socrates in Europe, Ashoka in India, and Confucius in China proposed that humans follow societal rules as we encountered more fellow humans. Humanity as a whole began to diverge at that time, mixed with faith and religion. Socrates followers, through the Roman Empire, became today’s monotheists such as Christians and Muslims. Ashoka followers, through the Persian (Muslim) and British/Portuguese (Christian) influences, became henotheists (e.g. Hindu is generally a monotheist religion at the individual level, but compatible with the existence of many other Gods followed by others). Confucius followers, who were taught “we do not know enough about the living, how can we possibly understand the afterlife?” lead the world of mostly atheists around the world.

Christians and Muslims have inherent conflicts in their beliefs of their God being the only God, resulting in many conflicts that include, but not limited to, the Crusades 1,000 years ago. These conflicts probably drove Christians away from the Middle East. 500 years ago, Spanish Pope Alexander VI and the Portuguese claimed possession of the entire earth through the 1493 Tordesillas Treaty, and later the 1529 Zaragoza Treaty, with no input from the Chinese, Indians, Africans or Native Americans. Note the signers of these treaties were the Spanish and Portuguese. Britain, for example, created economic conflicts among Christians when their pirates looted the mostly Spanish treasure fleets collected from the Americas. After the Spanish Armada failed in 1588 to defeat Britain, the emboldened pirates found an innovative path to the treasures through shareholder risk-sharing investments in the concept of “company” that we know today as stock or equity investments. The British East India Company was incorporated in 1600. The Dutch East India Company (aka VOC) was incorporated in 1602.

Without the corporate governance that we know today, both East India Companies were corrupt with unsustainable immoral practices. VOC took Jakarta, Indonesia as headquarters before the corporate charter expired in 1799. The British East India Company lived longer partly because the British government granted (in 1773) monopoly power to trade opium. This was the nadir of human morality. Opium production was introduced to farmers in India and Myanmar (or Burma), and sold into China in exchange for 70,000+ tons of silver and other treasures earned through Silk Road and other trades. China was the world’s largest economy in 1820 with 33% of the Global GDP when the global population reached 1 billion. In other words, China produced goods and services that represented 33% of all goods and services worldwide less than 200 years ago.

As opium was illegal in China, the opium trade led to two opium wars. China lost over 25% of Global GDP between 1840 and 1940. Even though China has grown very fast in the last couple of decades to reach the second largest economy on earth, her share of Global GDP is only 16% today, less than half the size of economy they commanded less than 200 years ago. Using percentage of Global GDP highlights the relative time scale. In absolute scale, the global economy has grown from $600 billion to $41 trillion (1990$ on PPP basis) between 1820 and 2003. Today, USA is the largest economy on earth and commands 17% of Global GDP.

The outcome: Christianity became the most powerful and wealthy community on earth, with about 35% of humanity following Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant bibles. Most Christians are also capitalists.

After the Chinese revolution in 1911 that established the Republic of China, the capitalist European Christians needed another innovative path to accumulate wealth. Between 1915-1920, Britain’s Mark Sykes (1879-1919) and France’s Francois George-Picot (1870-1951) led the European Christians to decide how the Middle East should be carved up after the first world war. In a region already inhabited by Arab Muslims with rapidly developing nationalist aspirations (called the Committee for Union and Progress), a Sykes-Picot agreement was signed in 1916 that promised the same region to Hashimites, Saudis, and the Zionists of Europe. If not for the dissolution of the Committee for Union and Progress in 1918, death of Mark Sykes due to Spanish flu in 1919, and the 1920 Treaty of Sevres between the Allies and Ottoman Empire, the Middle East may be a very different place today.

In 1948, Israel declared independence with the overwhelming support of Christians in an almost exclusively Muslim Middle East. Christians, especially the USA Protestants, average tens of billions of US dollars subsidy every year for nearly 70 years to help the isolated Jews grow in a Muslim world. Christians are not as passionate as the Jews in reclaiming the Jerusalem homeland, but there is a prophecy proclaimed by Abrahamic religions (that include Judaism, Islam, and Christianity) that lead us to an apocalypse. There are irreconcilable differences to impose a Jewish state in the middle of Islam, especially in light of this prophecy. Even with 7 million brave Jews living in Israel today, this population is only comparable to tiny Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China. While Christians are fantastic tourists for the Israeli economy, Jews and Muslims need to return to their moral principles 2,500 years ago that humans must follow societal rules when they encounter fellow humans. Until we have these new societal rules for Jews and Muslims, our world will deteriorate into suicide bombers. The super majority of Americans suffer delays through the airport screenings due to a tiny fraction of potential terrorists, and trillions of dollars wasted down a path of mutual destruction.

In 1973, the fortune turned for hapless Muslims in the Middle East when Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) established oligopolistic pricing, and an average of $2 trillion US Dollars equivalent per year has moved into the Muslim dominated OPEC world. This is the second largest transfer of wealth among humans, behind the Opium Wars. It should not be surprising that the current terrorists are likely financed by such wealth, and Saudi Arabia (the largest oil producer in OPEC) is sponsoring Wahhabism, an extreme form of Islam, into places like Malaysia and Asia, where most of the Muslims live.

What is illustrated here is the increasing conflicts financed by immoral actions. David Cameron, the former British Prime Minister, was asked in 2010 during a TV interview why India’s Kohinoor Diamond (at 186 carats the world’s largest natural diamond) cannot be returned to India: “If you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty…”

Humanity is projected to reach 10 billion people by the year 2100, less than 85 years from now. If we do not educate our children with a moral innovation framework, the opportunity to achieve a homologous world will likely give way to a self-fulfilled apocalypse prophecy that is being called for by the Abrahamic religions. Will 40% of humanity reflected by the Chinese and the Indians have a choice for their own destiny?

That is the basis for the Moral Innovator motto: Thrive with knowledge of your place in the world. Do the right things and make it better.

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Innovators World, Overview

Moral Innovator perspectives on Christianity #2

This is the second of three essays on Christianity that cover the three Christian breakthroughs from a Moral Innovator perspective:
1. The formation that started 2,000 years ago
2. The split between Orthodox and Catholics 1,000 years ago
3. The split between Catholics and Protestants 500 years ago

In Christianity #1 dated September 11th, 2016, the focus was on formation of Christianity 2,000 years ago. Pre-Christian communities like Essenes and Therapeutae focused on the soul or spirit. Several centuries after the death of Jesus, the writers of the Bible’s New Testament wanted believers to yield their souls to the consubstantial Jesus Christ, leaving all Christian believers only with their personalities. By adopting the Greek philosophers’ “Logos” (instead of Ethos or Pathos) approach to present compelling arguments for the soul and spirit, pre-Christian communities like Essenes and Therapeutae (and later Gnostics) had to become heretics. This story has not ended, as we may be able to find out more through the Dead Sea Scrolls which have been attributed to writings mostly of the Essenes.

In Christianity #2, we focus on the split between Orthodox and Catholics which was formalized in the year 1054, about 1,000 years ago. Why was there a divergence within Christianity?
The answer lies in the adoption of Logos which use arguments to justify a new concept (such as a religion) based on logic, not credibility (Ethos) or emotions (Pathos). The Roman Empire played a critical role in Europe that helped Christianity grow without consensus. Catholicism was declared the official religion of the Roman Empire in 380ce. This action obfuscated the concept of “Separation of Church and State” that is a fundamental concept in the USA today. The Roman Emperor Constantine (272-337ce) reigned between 306-337ce. In February 313ce, he declared in the Edict of Milan that Christians could follow Christianity without oppression. In 325ce, he summoned the first ecumenical church in Nicaea where the trinity (or consubstantial Jesus) was established. Anything that disagreed such as Arianism and Nestorianism (which led Christianity into Asia and is the Church of the East today) were rejected and later declared heretical, just like the Essenes.

The Orthodox Church did not adopt the Latin (Roman) influence in various practices, an example of which is the use of leavened (i.e. bread made with yeast) or unleavened (i.e. tortilla or Indian Naan) bread during the Catholic Eucharist (or Protestant Communion). In 1053, the Latin (i.e. Roman) Catholics forced the closure of all orthodox churches in southern Italy. By 1054, all Latin churches in Constantinople were closed by the leader of The Orthodox Church, or Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Michael I. Cerularius (1000-1059ce).

It should not be a surprise that when Pope Leo IX (1002-1054ce) sent a team (or legates) to Constantinople in 1054 to claim supremacy over all Christians, including Orthodox, the leader of The Orthodox Church rejected the claim. Pope Leo IX then excommunicated the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople who, in turn, excommunicated the legates who carried the excommunication message.

What were the underlying moral values behind this Great Schism? Probably not a matter of whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used during a ritual that is considered a sacrament in most churches (started by Jesus Christ during his Last Supper). After all, the differences between the King James Bible interpretation of the New Testament (e.g. more lenient views on adultery) seems more significant than what type of bread should be used in a sacrament.

The moral values that drove the 1054 schism reflect a splintered religion based on more fundamental issues such as whether Jesus is God, and whether the trinity can have all the soul and spirit of all humans (not just the Christian followers). From a Moral Innovator perspective, both Orthodox and Catholic Christians agree that Jesus preached a moral message. Jesus did not explicitly proclaim he himself was God. Backed by the Roman Empire, Roman Catholics used Logos to present Jesus as part of the trinity. We know that Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476ce, but Eastern Roman Empire continued through 1453 in the form of the Byzantine Empire, through this 1054 schism. We can decide for ourselves whether Jesus is part of the trinity listening to Logos, Ethos, or Pathos approaches, or we can invent another approach that humans can accept over time.

Today, we know that The Orthodox Church has 200-300 million followers, most of them in Russia and Eastern Europe. Like Protestants, Orthodox has no central leader like the Pope in Catholicism. We also cannot ignore the influence of 20th century Communism on Orthodoxy when Stalin industrialized (with the associated Gulag atrocity) Russia, followed by oil and gas money especially after 1973.

An effective way to address the differences between Orthodox and Catholics is to return to the original message Jesus himself preached during his three years of actual preaching: Love thy neighbor. It is still a moral message.

We could not adopt “Ethos” instead of “Logos” to present Christianity because we do not know enough about historical Jesus. Christianity started to present “Pathos” or emotions which cannot be sustained. Since we have not returned to Jesus’ original message, we have continued to splinter in the last 1,000 years. The next major schism was the emergence of Protestants about 500 years ago when Martin Luther and others challenged Catholicism. That will be the topic of Christianity #3.

Similar essays on Islam will be posted after Christianity, followed by Indians and Chinese civilizations. After we look at Christianity, Islam, Indians and Chinese, we will have addressed over 90% of the 7+ billion humans, and begin to address how Moral Innovations can facilitate a peaceful, homologous world. It will not be Utopia, but we can still thrive with knowledge of your places in the world, so we can do the right things and make it better.

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