Volume CCC, No. 2,

Proceedings of the Philosophical Society
at Mare Tranquilitas

Inaugural Address of the
President of the Society
“Planetary Return”


Most Reverend Archbishop, and Bishops, Reverend Fathers, Honorable Governors, Members and Fellows of the Society:

    The tradition of the inaugural lecture has been one observed by scholarly societies for centuries.  I am truly honored that so many of you have taken the time and made the effort to be here for the inception of my presidency of this learned Society;  and particularly gratified to lead our Society as it enters the fourth century of its existence—an existence sometimes marked by the great difficulties of the transmigration, but always one in which those difficulties were overcome by even greater professional collaboration.

    This year, the Society has been called upon to undertake what may be the most important task in its three centuries of service.  As you know, the Directorate has been investigating the possibility of Planetary Return.  There are any number of technical difficulties to be dealt with, but it seems certain that the radiation is now within manageable limits; our propulsion systems are more than adequate to the task of safe landing (and return if need be); and we believe that it is possible to adapt our personnel to the six-fold gravity which was our own heritage all those many years ago.  The Directorate has called upon us in the Society for an analysis of the events that led up to the Cataclysm and the consequent Transmigration.  Simply stated, we do not want to make this great effort only to find ourselves back in the same state of disarray we faced three hundred years ago.  My inaugural address, then, will be an overview of the position paper which is even now being put together for the Directorate.

     The single word that we have found to best characterize Terran thought in the early twenty-first century may come as a surprise to you—you may have assumed that it went out with Merlin of King Arthur’s Court, but the word is “magic.”  Of course, I do not mean the sort of magic brewed up in the cauldron of a Shakespearian witch or worked by a wizard with a pointed hat—but if we consider magic as “an attempt to bring about an effect in the absence of a proper efficient cause,” we will understand the “magic” upon which the Church and State relied during the years leading up to the Cataclysm.  The Society’s contribution to avoiding a repetition of the Cataclysm will be the careful documentation of this foolish reliance on “magic” by pre-Transmigration civil and ecclesiastical authorities.

    I will furnish some specific examples in a moment, but first it must be emphasized that this reliance on “magic” rather than upon cause and effect methods to deal with public affairs was able to take place only because our citizens were intellectually unprepared, and perhaps unwilling, to recognize what transpired in their time.  We hope to determine whether this inability and lack of will was the result of universal laziness, or was the result of widespread public policy in the educational and informational agencies of Church and State.  To date, most of the evidence that survived the Cataclysm (and there is a great deal of it) suggests a near absence of formal education in logic and the disciplines of critical thinking, coupled with a sort of “bread and circuses” approach that wasted most of the time people might have spent in reflecting on societal issues, with a heavy emphasis on sports, mindless drama, and recreational drug use.

    A few examples of “magical” policy and the failure of Terrans to react will serve to illustrate the point, and to suggest broad strategies of correction:

    Most of our Terran, pre-Cataclysmic forebears were Christians as we are.  At that time Christianity was divided into three major branches.  Fifty years or so before the Cataclysm, spurious “reform” movements began to take place—spurious in the sense that while the three branches held a great deal of their moral theology in common, and a fair amount of their dogmatic theology, the “reforms” concentrated on replacing the common beliefs with ideas that would have been utter anathema as little as a century before.  Simply because human beings had agreed that it was the “modern” way, it became “permissible” (even “laudable”) to worship false gods, to take place in false worship, to engage in perversion, and to otherwise disassociate the practice of Christianity from Christian theology and morality.  The “magic” of the Hegelian dialogue turned former death penalty offenses into the “appropriate” behavior of the then modern Church.

    So firm was the belief in this existentialist “magic” that every indication of its failure was carefully ignored.  Statistical declines, the like of which would have gotten any business executive replaced, were praised as signs of “renewal.”  Declines in membership, attendance, and contributions accompanied increasing levels of foolishness and gross immorality—but unless someone succeeded in bringing civil or criminal charges the authorities spoke only of the need for a “more careful application of the principles of the Ecumenical Council.”  It was as though the cause could somehow be the cure.  The victims were ostracized or held to be in schism, while the guilty lived well until being put out on generous pensions or given benefices beyond the reach of  the laws of their native lands.

    They went so far as to falsify Scripture Itself—the very words of Consecration in the Mass altered to give the impression that everyone would be saved.  They even approved one liturgy with no words of Consecration at all!  It was as though men thought that they could change the will of God through the magic of the printing press!

    Both the civil and the ecclesiastical authorities invested in the “magic” of the United Nations Organization and in any number of other counter-productive and immoral agencies.  The entire world was to be “magically” improved by aborting its children, punishing technological innovation, and adopting a third-world mentality in international affairs—if not by abolishing the nations all together.

    “Magic money” pervaded the economies of the developed countries for well over a hundred years before the Cataclysm—and together with UN supervision, was foisted on the those aspiring to develop.  Instead of issuing currency backed by a nation’s assets or productivity, the nation’s debt was monetized!  The private bankers were only too pleased to lend more and more unpayable debt into circulation as long as the carrying charges were met, and they were given a ruling voice in the foreign policies  of the nations.  If that was not bad enough, the developed countries were on a crusade to divest their productive industries and run up incredible foreign exchange imbalances in favor of the countries with cheap production.  “Magic” alone was trusted to pay off the debt to the bankers and the producers—as we know, it did not.

Nor did “magic” protect national borders left unguarded for political reasons while the men who should have been guarding them were a half-world away, protecting the poppy production.  Nor did it protect against retribution by those who bore the brunt of the bankers’ foreign policies.  In spite of feigned indignation at the crude methods of retaliation, the victims of “magic” were successful in making a widely


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