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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 8/14/19

It Will Take More Than Socialism and Democratic World Law to Save the World

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Recently I glanced through a 2017 college textbook called "Principles of Economics" which deals with microeconomics and macroeconomics. Looking at the index and glossary, I was surprised that there was no mention of terms like "capitalism," "socialism," "Marxism," and the "Labor Theory of Value." Nor did I find anything about "Voluntary Simplicity," which is what our nation needs if we consider the rest of the world where half of the world's population lives on less than $5.50 a day. Instead, I found in the book a section entitled "Why Does Economic Growth Matter?" Even some Green New Deal proponents advocate economic growth, but we need a Green New Deal that encourages and convinces the rich to live more simply so others can simply live.

If it would require 4 Earths for everyone in the world to have the lifestyle of the average American, we should definitely examine the way we live and see the immorality of having such a huge gap between the rich and the poor. Instead of valuing materialism and conspicuous consumption, it would be better to value psychological self-awareness, an intellectual understanding of history, the expression of loving-kindness, and mindfulness meditation.

Comedian Jimmy Dore did a 16-minute video interview of Dr. Richard D. Wolff entitled "Marxist Economic Theory Easily Explained." Professor Wolff states, "I would argue that many in Europe have figured out ways to limit the damage that capitalism has done. Jeff Bezos is worth 129 billion. If we took away half of his wealth, which would still make him one of the 10 richest people on the planet, we could solve the problems of college education in the United States. We could transform the continent of Africa and make them our friends for the next 150 years. There is no excuse for a society that produces that kind of inequality and then lets it just sit there." Jimmy Dore then added, "It's been estimated that to end homelessness in the United States it would cost 20 billion dollars. To end world hunger, it would cost 30 billion dollars. So he [Jeff Bezos] could end homelessness and world hunger. What kind of person amasses more wealth than any human in history, while the people who generate that income for him are poor and on food stamps? A megalomaniac. That's who would do that."

The two biggest threats to world peace are the United States government (which really is an empire) and the lifestyles of the wealthy in the wealthiest countries of the world. During the Age of Imperialism, the wealthy Western nations were in a race to carve up the Americas, Africa, and Asia. They were far more industrialized and had more powerful weapons. In their thinking, they thought they were superior to other peoples of the world, whom they considered to be subhuman or barbarians. They essentially believed that might makes right. The aristocratic elites exploited other nations as they exploited the workers in their own countries. Now we know who were the true barbarians. Now we understand much better why there is no peace on earth.

As a result of slavery (imagine that) and exploitation on a massive scale, the wealthy Western countries (with their more powerful weapons) got a big advantage over the underdeveloped countries, and this type of unfairness has continued to the present day. When corporations move their factories to underdeveloped countries and pay workers $3.00 an hour, when workers from developed nations had been getting $30 an hour for doing the same work, how ethical is that?

If the Earth Constitution is adopted, each country will take care of its own internal affairs without the need for a military, and there are some good models for how a democratic nation can develop. A democratic world government must have a military or police force more powerful than any one nation. The police force can be trained to use nonviolent, conflict-resolution skills in every situation, and we can learn those skills too.

Many plant and animal species are dying at an increasing rate because of the way humans have been living on this planet. Eventually, the human species could destroy itself as well unless radical changes are made. Nations have wasted precious resources fighting against one other. So many individuals have toiled, suffered, and died, when we really could have done things differently. The story of the human race has been a very sad tragedy because we have not yet found a way to live on this planet in a cooperative way.

True spirituality is the universal love for humanity, the Earth, and the divine ground of our being. That love must be institutionalized through democratic world law. The Earth Constitution is the best model available for democratic world law.

We can also promote the free tutoring, self-study, and group study of history. Few people have developed a love of history from our current schools, but there is joy and wisdom to be found in better understanding history. Many voters, with no understanding of history, get their information about the world only from watching or listening to the corporate-owned, mainstream media. I have been studying Western Civilization lately. When I read about all of the injustices and foolish wars that have caused so much suffering throughout history, it either makes me angry or feel like weeping, and I want to do something about it. I think it would empower others too if they could understand history better. We could form voluntary groups, for example. From these local groups, we can find common ground and build consensus communities. However, some historians and think tanks value a capitalist more than a socialist perspective, but in our search for truth and in our interpersonal relationships, we should strive to be open, honest, vulnerable, even transparent. At personal, local, national, and international levels, we must strive to not have ulterior motives and devious intentions.

To the degree there is a gap between the rich and the poor within nations and among nations there will be economic, political, social, and personal problems. Instead of the wealthiest workers earning a thousand or a hundred times more than the lowest earning income, the gap can be lowered to a ratio of 10:1 on an international level. After that, we can ultimately strive for a ratio of 3:1, as we encourage more voluntary simplicity among the wealthy to promote the peace and harmony of all.

If it currently would take 4 earths for everyone in the world to have the lifestyle of the average American, and half of the world lives on less than $5.50 a day (which is almost $2,008 a year (365 x 5.50)--the highest expression of love and fairness would be to support radical egalitarianism on an international level.

If currently the world is spending almost 2 trillion dollars a year on weapons and war, imagine what it would be like if those resources could be reallocated to building self-determined, self-sufficient, and interdependent local communities all over the world. Imagine what it would be like if we started becoming concerned for the self-actualization of every person on the planet. But we cannot have nations that get away with controlling, dominating, and exploiting other nations for their exclusive gain and greed.

Glen T. Martin, the President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association, the organization that created the Earth Constitution recently did a book review of The End of Growth: Adapting to Our Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg, a Senior Fellow in residence at the Post Carbon Institute in California. Glen Martin expresses high praise for this book in that it explains why we can no longer think in terms of unlimited growth. However, Glen Martin states: "Richard Heinberg does not mention the industrial-military complex that has dominated the economics of the United States and most of the world since World War II. His book does not mention war or militarism or global state-sponsored terrorism in which the top-secret intelligence agencies of the major imperial nations set up false-flag bombings, assassinations, and sponsor proxy terror forces from ISIS to Al Qaeda in the interest of imperial power and domination (see, e.g., Engdahl 2016). Nor does this book mention nuclear weapons or the global development of other forms of weapons of mass destruction." Here is a video interview of Richard Heinberg.

The 9 most egregious social sins that nations have committed are 1) Imperialism 2) Racism 3) Corporate Capitalism 4) Nationalism 5) Materialism 6) Patriarchalism 7) Anti-Environmentalism 8) Speciesism (species-ism) and 9) the Discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

In the 91-page booklet entitled A Global Security System: An Alternative to War (2017 Edition), which is published by A Global Movement to End All Wars, which was co-founded by David Swanson, there is "A Sampling of Other Peace Organizations on the World Wide Web" at the end of the booklet. Those 63 benevolent peace organizations and many others not listed must realize that enforceable democratic world law is the only way that we can make it all work together--to create lasting peace and everlasting love. It will be a big impetus for social change if World Beyond War will specifically advocate enforceable democratic world law and the Earth Constitution as the best model for it.

Authors Danny Haiphong, a weekly columnist for Black Agenda Report, and Roberto Sirvent have written a highly praised book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News--From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. In this interview with Rob Kall, Danny Haiphong states that the purpose of the book is to create an anti-war, anti-imperialist movement. Here Charles Dunaway interviews Haiphong about this book. Here David Swanson interviews Haiphong, and here Popular interviews Haiphong.

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October 9, 2019: I grew up in a church that said you had to speak in tongues to get saved and go to heaven. I often prayed fervently for the experience in the prayer room at church, where people would cry and wail, and roll on the floor. (more...)

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