Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

America in decline

Dear Editor,

America is in decline but there is only one pragmatic path that Kim Holmes didn’t mention in “What’s the Big Idea” 3-10-11. He is correct in saying “America’s decline is a choice” but his belief that we can maintain American supremacy in a world of increasing economic, political, religious and environmental instability without the political transformation the current global lawlessness paradigm isn’t a sane choice.

Fact is no religion, state, nation or empire has ever remained supreme indefinitely. And none will. Things change. Those with the wisdom and capacity to adapt to reality, and can do it fast and effectively, have the best chance of survival and remaining on top. Our form of government allows for such change but not nearly as good as China’s.

The overwhelming reality in today’s world is a growing interdependence. It has has always existed but the exponential growth of the power of technology and its increasing affordably and global distribution means power is increasingly in the hands of people as well as every other entity; corporation, government or extremist religion.

The “Big Idea” that Mr. Holmes and any others committed to maximizing our future freedom and security is overlooking is the genius idea routinely rejected by other generations – the concept of a democratic world federation. Former generations rejected the idea of ‘law not war’ and we have had war, after war, after war with only a cataclysmic end in sight. Albert Einstein, a supporter of world federation, once said he “didn’t know what World War III would be fought with but he did know that World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones.”

Mr. Holmes and others who fear world government have to look at the only other options. Continued global chaos leading to Armageddon -- or a world dominated by some nation or religion that may not have America’s best interests mind.

Fact is humanities progress depends on accepting and establishing a political structure that matches the irreversible global interdependence that now exists between every person, city, state, national government, and religion. At the heart of that structure must be a globally accepted and enforceable bill of human rights. An American woman once introduced one and the world accepted it. It’s called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. It was accepted because that generation experienced the horrors of war, genocide and WMD like no one else ever has. They saw it as the essential foundation of real peace but were unable to create any capacity for enforcement. A bill of rights is what allowed the creation of America. And “we the people” of the world won’t be able to maximize lasting freedom and security with anything else.

The more people like Mr. Holmes resists this old but big idea the more he empowers the current system with ‘national sovereignty’ reigning supreme over human rights. And in that system, every nation has the right to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, to whomever it wants – whether it has the resources or not. Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Kaddafi and any future leader of any country will retain that abusive right unless limited by a just system of global law capable of limiting their abuse of such unnatural power. If we continue to rely on military power to limit such nation’s rights, we should all start stocking up on sticks and stones. It’s world law or global chaos. Our choice.