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The Horse Race to Accumulate Membership Numbers:

1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place

Mark Zuckerberg, Pope Francis, Donald Trump &
4th Place
Carlos Andrs Perez
This essay is dedicated to my beloved Sarah who has been an unfailing inspiration in the creation of it...

We have a truly enormous problem confronting us. It is called people. Not that
we should have the same thoughts about them that Jean-Paul Sartre thought,
Hell is other people, but that there are indeed a more than suffcient
number of them populating the worldwith lots more on the way. In 1961,
there were about 3,000,000,000 individuals populating our planet. At this
writing, the world's population is heading for 7,500,000,000 inhabitants, with
10,000,000,000 to come in the not very distant futuretempus fugit! The
United Nation's speculates that the aggregation of the African citizenry will
swell from the now 1,200,000,000 to 2,400,000,000 in the coming thirty years.

* * *

During the intoxicatingly, capitalistically-maverick turbo-democratic years

(1974-1982) when some Venezuelans binged on the lucre culled from the
exorbitantly high prices of their liquid gold, Ifrom 1976-1983curried
favour in an affnity with three of the ministers who helped form the then
Venezuelan government. At that time, the population of Venezuela was about
13,000,000 (31.11 million in 2015), but 60% of it was under 18 years of age. It
always was my curiosity to know how these government offcials governed
such a young, basically poor, huge grouping. In fact, if I visited one of the
ministers in his or her offces in the center of Caracas, two machine-gun-
toting men in business suits were always on guard. All the offcials were
somewhat anxious about their public appearances, but they trusted their
bodyguards with their lives. Still 13,000,000 is a formidable number, so
politics had to be really real to keep so many uneducated, rowdy citizens in a
state of moderate calm. But how was it done?
There was a glue that played an important part in keeping Venezuela whole
in those days. Carlos Andrs Prez (1922-2010), president of Venezuela 1974-
79 and 1989-93, known to all caraqueos y caraqueas as CAP, offered the
Venezuelan people two very important attributes: pride in themselves and
hope for their futures. And this was not a very unproblematic task. CAP had a
magic touch. He was a formidable leader, and a dynamic political force
throughout South America.

He was born on a coffee hacienda on the border of Colombia and Venezuela.

Studied political theory in Caracas. There were busts of Winston Churchill
and John F Kennedy on his desk at Miraforesthe offcial workplace of the
president of Venezuela. He was very well-read in political theory, had a
university degree in philosophy, was a driving force in the organization of the
Accin Democrtica party, went to prison for his robust political activities, and
is said to have been exposed to the sun every day there in a metal container,
and in 1973, in the run-up to the Venezuelan presidential election, walked
5800 kilometers visiting every village and city in the country he would soon
rule as president.

Venezuela had been exploited for decades by unscrupulous governments

bidding for low oil prices. (In 1968, in Hollywood, Florida, I paid $0.38 for a
gallon [3.8 litres] of gasoline.) CAP put an end to this. But when the oil dollars
started pouring into the country, Venezuela became unhinged, and began a
buying spree purchasing everything in sighteven two snow ploughs. There
was a saying at that time comparing Venezuelans to monkeys in trees who had
fallen into Cadillacs and Mercedes-Benz's. Money had been helicoptered
upon the mostly poor Venezuelan people, and there was no sense of decorum
or planning for the future use of this manna from heaven much of which had
been siphoned off to Miami banks by corrupt Venezuelan political and
business potents (Los Doce Discipulos)including CAP himself. Si fueris
Romae, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi.

CAP's redemption might be explained by focusing on how his political stance

was passionately formulated. This can be done in no better way than
reviewing his tremendously important futuristic speech, A New Economic
Order Is Essential for World Peace, before the United Nations General Assembly
on 16 November 1976 in New York. This admirable, enthusiastic speech
reveals much of the character and political thinking of CAP, and it should be
read by anyone interested in South America, the world's have and have nots
divide, and students and professors interested in reading an excellent political
oral communication.

In the discourse, CAP dissertates about the more than obvious economic
disparity between the socialistically-minded, rather poor nations, and the
industrial powers overriding themselves with wealth and often greed and
corruption. CAP calls upon the assembly's members to seek a just distribution
of wealththat he saw in 1976would eventually lead us to the many acts of
terrorism that today affict so many nations.

The speech includes references to the centuries when Latin Americans were
enraptured by powerful nations that gave them words along with trinkets; to
the need for a new international economic order; the importance of OPEC;
the international economic hypocrisy called aid; how the fnancial and
commercial decisions of the United Nations are manipulated by the
industrialized nations; how terrorism is the dramatic proof of the non-
existence of peace; the traffcking of arms; the manichean game of good versus
evil that leads to war; the need for a new mechanism in world trade relations;
the scourge of malnutrition; and, the responsibility of his country, Venezuela,
to place its rich natural resources at the service of its people and humanity.

This fne, terribly noble-minded parleyoften bordering on the poetical

speaks for itself demonstrating that CAP had a truly stately sense when he
thought of his beloved Venezuela. He knew Venezuela could only go forward
and be lead out of the swamp of ignorance and poverty to which its people
had been relegated for centuries by the industrial tough guys. CAP vied for
this possibility.

CAP's speech, today, reminds us that his best wishes for Venezuela and the
world were in vain and now hold no promise for hopefor anyone. He did
not have the numbers to succeed.

* * *
Now, ideas about the numbers President Donald Trump does not possess.
What is stunning about the 2016 American presidential election is the number
of citizens who did not vote, and the sensational silence about itas if
Americans are embarrassed to talk about these disgraceful fgures. Americans
can, all day, pontifcate on what a great nation they live in, while at the same
time close their eyes to the horrible events undermining the stability of their

55% voted; 45% did not participate. There are 218,959,000 eligible voters in
the United States. 62,984,824 voted for Trump; 65,853,516 voted for Clinton
for a total of 132,899,453. It might be said that about 73,500,000 voted against
Trump if small fragmented political parties are included in the stats.
(Researching this applied mathematics is a hazardous undertaking because
various websitessilly, confused and disunited as are the American people
themselvesoffer a plethora of confusing and contradictory information
their efforts to be so perfectly precise often ludicrous.

If the population of the DisUnited States around election time in November,

2016 was about 322,000,000 and President Donald Trump won 62.984,825 of
the popular vote, that signifes that one of every fve, or so, of the total number
of US citizens (including intelligent newborns!) appreciates The Donald. How
can Donald Trump manage the DisUnited Statesmuch less the worldwith
these midget numbers. Can Donald Trump actually manage his family? His

Many Americans believe that they are the most important driving force in the
world, and a still good number of themnever having stepped out of their
country to visit anotherswear that America is the best place to live in in the
world, and those who don't are truly missing out on something. That the
DisUnited States is creeping towards Anarchy, slowly but surely, is no
concern of these hyper-like patriots. It might be that Donald Trump will be
threatened with impeachment so consistently and emphatically he, too, will
come fnally to the conclusion that he might be somewhat of a competent
businessman, but in reality a disastrous, fumbling politician. (Let us hope this
shock would not bring him to the brink of suicidehe being so
megalomanic.) And his resignation will be construed as being a lifeline thrown
out to save the nation. Oh, when will the Americans wake up to discover that
they have sown more seeds of hate and misunderstanding in the world than
they have sown seeds of love and understanding! Putin, as Sun Tsu would
have suggested, has helped set the stage for the Americans to get the worst of
themselves from within their own delimitations. Putin knows very well the
Achilles Heel of the DisUnited States' government, and he knows how to
bring on the Americans' downfall encouraging them to do it all by themselves
vis--vis their arrogance and betise. Slowly but surelywithout a shot being
fred! Putin should write a book Why I Think Americans Are So Stupid. But, he
does not want to be politically incorrect!

* * *

Seemingly, the Pope has the numbers. The poor Pope! There are an estimated
2.3 billion Christians in the world, and the Roman Catholic church represents
about 1.2, maybe 1.4 billion, of those adherents. All Christian religions are
losing the membership race as people throughout the world become more
sophisticated and enquiring. The Vatican PR Machine is working overtime.
And there is talk about the feasibility of offering an online confessional for
sinning parishioners. Anything to acquire new members and keep the old

There is indeed much reason for the Roman Catholic church to be motivated
into employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat and
frustration. A very lot of rational motives. It is losing the religious popularity
contest. All over the world, its moneyed churches are closing. The Diocese of
New York, one of the fushest ones in the United States, has closed nearly 200
churches. In Germany, the Vicar of Jesus Christ's churches are being turned
into discos, restaurants, gyms and wellness centers. Confessionals are,
nowadays, used to store mops and cleaning fuids. Christians are focking to
commercial centers, not churches and cathedrals. In Italy, you best wear a
hard hat when you enter a lop-sided house of worship. 89% of the Americans
believe in a god; but, only 53% want to have anything to do with religion
according to the Pew Research Center. Americans want to have their cake and
eat it, too! (They believe in one of the world's 4,200 gods yet not even one of
these supreme beings believes in them!)

For decades the Italians have extolled the pope as a political fgurean
international rock star who can draw crowds and give the Italians, these
experts in the manipulation of Visual Aspect, the sensation that they are
reasoned somehow to be all important on our globe, they being the most
cunning book cookers (Thou shall not steal!) in the whole of Europe.
Italians do very little to abide by the Ten Commandments! Little peace and
love. Loads of hubris and chauvinism. The Roman Catholic god, not dog, is
their co-pilot. In effect, the pope of the Roman Catholic church, for the
Italians, is a political phenomena.

The poor pope has his hands tied. He spiels a cacophany of do this, don't do
that based on a two-thousand-year-old grouping of doctrinesfairy tales that
the smartphone society just will not tune in to. The Roman Catholic church is
an authoritarian institution. A Roman Catholic education teaches one to obey-
not think. Do not masturbate, go to church on Sundays, do not hate your
newly-elected president, marry for the rest of your life, if you are a priest or
nun, do not infnitum, are prescripts that do not hold water still
even though they did for centuries, and worse, keep the Roman Catholic
church in the dungeons of self-righteousness, religious tyranny, and even
corruption. The pope and his clerics, garbed in their medieval monkey suits,
are alienated from this world we live in, yet still, hanging on for dear life,
emphatically vie to keep alive silly religious notions that were taken out of the
folklore of the centuries gone by. Let us pray for the pope!to give up this
dupery and start paying his just share of taxes! Amen.

* * *

Mark Zuckerberg, with his 1.86 billion monthly active FaceBook users, has a
problem somewhat similar to the Roman pope's. What to do with this
monumental population of adherents that grows and grows. Should FB be a
religion or a political infuence. The pope in Rome belongs to an organization
that has held sway for centuries. FB has been in existence since 2004! Is it
possible FB's Mark Zuckerberg will stand over the human race as its supreme
leader brandishing some political or religious agenda? Mark Zuckerberg must
be suffering some enormous identity crisis!

In ascertaining whether or not FaceBook is a religion, we may observe that it

has many elements in common with a religion, including a large number of
faithful followers, sets of rules, procedures to follow, protocols, and a
dominant leaderPope Mark! But, in reality Pope Mark is a klutz at forming a
religion, and the fact that FB possesses many ingredients that might
confusingly distinguish it as a bona fde religion, it might be these that one day
will be the ruin of FB itself. There are two factors that demonstrate Pope
Mark's negligence in forming a religionassuming he actually had in mind
this grandiose mission. Anything to wash away his identity crisis!

The frst is Pope Mark's indifference to how multi-century religions were

shaped. The Roman Catholic religion cleverly set up a vernacular for its fock
to follow and live by. For example, Faith, Hope and Charity are Catholic
sound bites known throughout the Roman Catholic world. Of course, Pope
Mark instituted the three FsFriendship, Fame and Fortune. Nevertheless, a
vast difference between the two can be observed. Faith, Hope and Charity are
abstract, abstruse concepts. Friendship, Fame and Fortune are real, material
conceptions. Faith, Hope and Charity enjoy a centuries-old longevity. Will
Friendship, Fame and Fortune last even twenty years after their 2004

What will happen to FB and its disciples when hundreds of millions of them
come to the devastating realization that they possess very few genuine friends,
that they are as lonely and alienated as are hoards of other FB members, and
most of all, they have not tripped over some hoped-for fortune? The Age of
Suicide? Already many FB users are griping about FB's crowded marketplace.
Worse, while many users are still registered with FB, many of them just don't
utilize FB any longerbored or tired of it but not willing to unfollow it. It's
still the fashion! Pope Mark is racking in billions and billions for himself, but
who can he say is equally enjoying his luck and success? Not one FB user!
Will FaceBook be remembered as the Universe's most gargantuan confdence

Pope Mark's benightedness is howling when we consider the fact that he

missed, by light years, the most important particular that has differentiated
those religions that have held up for centuries from those comet-like ones that
have rapidly burned out: the promise of an eternal afterlife of blissful
harmony. An existence after death, a later period in one's life. That is what
adorers of a supreme being starve for. To be in blessed harmoniousness with
their Maker who has promised them salvation after a life of suffering and
sacrifce on Earth. How could Pope Mark have been so obtuse? He could have
tweeted the Pope in Rome or the Archbishop of Canterbury in London asking
for a bit of professional courtesy, no? He just was not thinking. Most people
crave for a hereafter. If they cannot obtain it from the power-structures of the
old society, they will seek it by other means and in other arenas. Mark
Zuckerberg just did not get it.

What should we expect from a shallow, uneducated Harvard University


Like the Roman pope, Pope Mark is bound to go the religious politics route.
Ignoring the separation of church and state motif, FaceBook will be a
political phenomena with religious overtonesthose signifcances which will
be designed to maintain FB's souls in a state of perpetual faithfulness,
obedience, and tax-free donating.

* * *

Authored by Anthony St. John

Calenzano, Italy
16 June MMXVII
Twitter: @thewordwarrior