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August 2, 2013

Bring Back the U.S. Peace Movement

By Roger Copple

The recent mass protest gatherings in Egypt and other places around the world need to happen again in Washington D.C.


From http://www.flickr.com/photos/48648384@N00/6371771413/: CND Badge, 1960s
CND Badge, 1960s
(Image by dannybirchall)
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CND Badge, 1960s by dannybirchall

The insanity of U.S. foreign policy, the emergence of the Surveillance-Police State, and the destruction of the planet by corporate capitalism necessitate a return of the anti-nuclear, anti-war, nonviolent Peace Movement. 

We may laugh at religious fanatics who hold signs that say, "The End is Near!" But, right now, it's clear that we are in fact experiencing an end to democracy (in whatever limited degree we had it), privacy, and ecological sustainability. International bankers and transnational corporate executives--the military-industrial-security-financial complex-- continue to "hijack" the U.S. government as it seeks to gain control of every country, creating a sinister New World Order. Now, I am not one of those people who believe in an organized conspiracy going back 300 years, but I do believe a lot of the wealthy elitists have similar interests that don't bode well for the rest of us, the 99%.  

Actually, there does need to be a New World Order, but it has to be built from the bottom-up, with an emphasis on personal freedom (such as marijuana/hemp legalization and the freedom to visit Cuba), democracy, ecological wisdom, radical egalitarianism, social justice, and nonviolence. 

Dividing the world map into 500 legislative rectangles of equal population, while taking all money out of politics, would be one way to create a democratic world government. The World Legislative Council could then make executive and judicial branch appointments. 

Expecting real change to come through better Democrats and Republicans leads mostly to great disappointment. The two-party system is corrupt, and third parties under the current system will never get an equal voice. 

Writing to members of Congress, writing articles, and signing petitions to get new federal amendments passed--such as striking down the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling of 2010, which now increases the corporate influence of politics--can take decades to produce the needed change.  And, even if those efforts are successful, many other major changes will be needed to further expand democracy and promote peace. The millions of Egyptians who have recently massed together in one place in unity have much to teach us.    

The problem with the Occupy Movement was that the demonstrators could not agree on a list of specific demands, equally supported by other peace movements around the world. Here is a proposed list of ten demands that can create the change needed to save the planet before it is too late:   

1. Dismantle all nuclear weapons and nuclear energy power plants the world over as soon as possible.

2. The U.S. government must bring home all its troops and close down its 700-1000 military bases around the world. Even with such a drawdown, it would retain more than enough capacity to defend its own borders. The money previously spent on the military would be used instead to create jobs and rebuild the nation's infrastructure: "[A]nd they shall turn their swords into ploughshares." (Isaiah 2:4). 

3. Single-Payer Health Insurance will be instituted, with the federal government as the single payer.  

4. The influence of money will be taken out of politics.

5. The U.S. House of Representatives will be elected through a system of Proportional Representation, and the U.S. Senate will be abolished. The seven largest national political parties will be empowered. 

6. The Electoral College System for electing a president will be abolished. A president must win by a majority of individual votes (not just a plurality of votes), using the method of Instant Runoff Voting. 

7. Congress, not the president, will select Supreme Court judges, who will serve for nine-year terms. 

8. There will be a non-hierarchical, or grassroots, approach to public schools: Neighbors who live within the boundaries of each public elementary, middle, and high school will establish their own school philosophy and curriculum, using public funds. There will no longer be federal, state, county, or township control of neighborhood schools. This will improve neighborhood togetherness and community solidarity. 

9. The Federal Reserve will be abolished, and Congress will oversee a publicly owned banking system like the State Bank of South Dakota. 

10. The United States will work to establish a democratic world government that provides equal pay for equal work, with no one earning more than three times the wages of the lowest paid worker. A system of workplace democracy will be instituted.  

Marches on Washington D.C., state capitals, and city government buildings can be coordinated to occur simultaneously four times a year, until the U.S. Congress, as urged by masses of citizens, implements the above ten demands through the passage of federal amendments and laws. Representatives who do not support the ten demands will be voted out of office. It is time to begin. 

Roger Copple is 63 years old. He retired in 2010 from elementary school teaching (mostly 3rd grade) and high school special education in Indianapolis. Now residing in the Bradenton/Sarasota area of Florida, he is deeply grateful that he stuck it out to get a teacher's pension and started getting his Social Security early at age 62. He now hopes to make a contribution to society through further study, reflection, and writing.

Submitters Website: http://www.NowSaveTheWorld.com

Submitters Bio:

I retired in 2010 from teaching general elementary and high school special education in Indianapolis. I am interested in studying political theory, world history, and foreign policy. Integrating the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism, Yoga Sutras, mindfulness meditation, and Progressive Christianity with socialism, I personally think of myself as a spiritual socialist--a reformist, democratic socialist. I am not a revolutionary socialist because I believe that if violence is used, it will create violent repercussions. The world, especially the United States, needs to give peace a chance. I am a socialist because I value economic production for the good of all, always with an internationalist and ecological perspective. I want to live in a carefully planned society and in an orderly world, built from the bottom-up, not the top-down,from the neighborhood block club, to the elementary school district, to the voting precinct level, to the township, to the county, state, national, and ultimately to the international level. I also support completely autonomous neighborhood elementary school districts. I now believe that stopping U. S. imperialism is the most spiritual and ethical thing I can do. I do mindfulness meditation daily, walk every day, and do yoga stretching. I am a vegetarian, aspiring to become a vegan. I grew up in the subculture of the United Pentecostal Church and remember going to church four times a week and fearing that I might go to Hell because I was not "saved" with the necessary evidence of "speaking in tongues," and the Rapture of the Church was imminent everyone in the church told me. My parents have always voted Republican. My deceased father believed that if JFK had become President, he would have compelled everyone to become a Roman Catholic. I am now a YouTube transcriber for Marxist Professor Richard Wolff's speeches at www.democracyatwork.info. My website: www.NowSaveTheWorld.com