We Learners must confront a fundamental predicament. The info proletariat can no longer pay attention to the meaningless monolog of the elite; the info elite, to broadcast such nonsense. The habits that seemed comforting in the past have turned out to be futile. Slowly but surely, they are being cast aside.
We should promote cosmopolitanism, urbanity and mass travel in every population.
In optimizing the threat formula, our societies have amassed enough “surplus” wealth to arm hundreds of millions of soldiers with modern weapons and dispatch them wherever info elites choose to focus their fury and smear wasteland for years on end—at least at first. Thereafter, this martial desolation will crash and burn those patches where it is least desired, (read your doorstep), in a manner both abrupt and inexorable.
Had we invested this dividend sensibly to spread of peace, we could have anticipated huge profits in return: enough to allow everyone to travel where they wish, to deepen lifelong Learning and adopt a new world language. These projects and many other peaceful equivalents would generate greater wealth and investment opportunities in turn.
Without the monstrous military overheads and their collateral wreckage we have come to expect, Learner Administrations could extend modest comforts to everyone regardless of origin, credentials and return contribution. Any additional wealth produced would be gravy. I am speaking here of communal riches beyond imagining. See Mencius as to wealth.
Most Americans would agree that Kansas and Missouri have nothing to gain from interstate war and everything to lose. That would be the case for at least seven reasons.
· War shatters bonds of affection, trust and trade. The resulting chaos will take centuries to untangle. America has yet to heal sores that fester since its Civil War “ended” seven generations ago.
· An impartial Federal Government provides each State with peaceful means of conflict resolution. Could honest Kansans complain, “Those Missourians get preferential treatment in Congress?”
· In both states, vast majorities remain loyal to the federal ideal. They identify with a larger whole that seems to foster their mutual benefit. They would silence their own prismatic minority—by force, if necessary.
· Both states benefit from unlimited access to each other’s workers and resources, without additional tariffs and quotas.
· The federal military draws equally from both states and forty-eight others. It alone boasts a balanced weapons inventory and a fully trained, full-strength army. If push came to shove, it would outmatch any two states’ military assets.
· From a military point of view, the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts, offering greater security from outside threats.
· Both states share the same language, culture and constellation of political metaphors. No significant issues remain for interstate war.
For these reasons, State officials needn’t sit up late nights worrying that their neighbor’s National Guard will overrun them during the wee hours. American legislators don’t need to vote bills to fortify their state borders nor raise armies to guard them; they don’t worry about cross-state espionage and don’t recruit secret agents in other states. Any crackpot who made such insane proposals would be laughed out of office.
So why not between every nation-state on Earth?
Granted, Kansans and Missourians have endured brutal conflict in the past. Euro-Americans and Native American Indians wouldn’t put up with each other’s socio-economic contradictions. Shortly thereafter, Federal authority lapsed while local battle elites practiced militant banditry to argue the issue of slavery. Once this madness came to an end, the first fight resumed to its genocidal conclusion.
Nonetheless, any American Hawk could find more reasons than those listed here in support of interstate peace. If peace endures between Kansas and Missouri – inviolate yet unenforced – the validity of peace cannot be denied elsewhere. It would be a question of instituting these preconditions far and wide while permitting no infractions. The United States of the World, above and beyond the United States of America, yet imitating its greatness.
I will never understand why some (most?) Americans see this as a threat to their life and liberty. On the contrary, America would become a model for everyone to imitate as best they could. It could rule the world, not by brute force but by its shining example. Everything good about America would be empowered and everything bad, abandoned as disgraceful and no longer needed.
The States of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia are better off united; their populations are richer, freer, and more secure than they would be facing off against each other. Wouldn’t the nations of America, Russia and China be equally rewarded if they united with all the rest?
What harm would there be in that?
It may come about that the United States (or other nations?) reject a future world government, much as rich Americans rejected British control during the American Revolution, to protect themselves from foreign taxation and reassign that burden in-house to the poor. Otherwise, under British rule, the United States would have turned into a bigger version of Canada or Australia (what freedom-crushed horrors!).
As the Learner consolidation of PeaceWorld introduces global populations to unrivaled peace, justice and well being, America may become even more fanatically self-righteous and repressive in reaction—indeed, its political response to World Peace may become overtly fascistic. That would not be surprising, given Republican tendencies these days. The worst outcome would be a world war between Learner progressives and plutocrats based in the U.S. and elsewhere. That conflict would be likely to start out with historically routine U.S. tactics of undercover sabotage, selective assassination and reflexive terrorism against any hint of successful progress.
In that case, the U.S.A. should be held to its resentful neutrality and isolated from the rest of the world. Learners will welcome the best and brightest of Americans volunteers to uphold PeaceWorld; just as the best and brightest children born in the Republican heartland flee to the East and West Coasts once they’ve grown up, because their reason and empathy prevail over the hot-house greed, bigotry and third-world smugness they’ve found at home (complacently self-designated “American exceptionalism”).
If allied Learners apply limitless patience and restraint in the face of bloody acts of provocation, at-home majorities will eventually appreciate the advantages of PeaceWorld and join up on terms acceptable to both sides―even if a rich minority of wannabe slaveholders needs to be vanquished once and for all during another American Civil War. This massive reinforcement of PeaceWorld promises a much better outcome than attacking the richest territories and populations of the Earth in order to force them to conform. Learners will veto that kind of WeaponWorld warfare wastage as predictable as it is stupid. In so doing, they will be called upon to practice the most intense form of Satyagraha.
No doubt, unresolved water allocations, race/class conflicts and other contentious issues could rekindle militant hostility between these states, especially once global warming sinks its bright teeth into the world. Talented psychopaths and sociopaths will keep doing their worst until they have been identified and stopped. Crucial government responsibilities will include heading off such conflicts and resolving them peacefully, long before they turn into pretexts for violence.
Another weapon myth demands debridement and what healing that may bring. According to some contentious militants, their feuds have festered so long, their wrongs have become so unforgivable and their vendettas run so deep that no lasting peace can be reasonably expected.
In the past, Switzerland (and other regions as well) resembled today’s war-torn Balkans, in that their lovely landscapes were stained by factional massacre. Swiss Cantons fought each other for centuries as Raurics, Sequanians, Uberians, Allobroges and other tribesmen, Helvetians, Celts, Gallo-Romans, Alemanians, Raetians, and Romanche-speaking antagonists. They did so as allies of puppet-master imperialists seated in France, Burgundy, the Holy Roman Empire, Austria, Savoya and the cities of fractured Italy.
During the battle of Mortgarten in 1315, the mountain warriors of peasant cantons Uri and Schwytz massacred the armored troops of Zoug, Lucerne and Zurich under the command of Frederic, the brother of Duke Leopold 1 of Austria (killed later on by the united Swiss at the battle of Sempach).
Bitter, Catholic-versus-Protestant disputes aggravated centuries of secular conflict. Both before and after Federation, Swiss Cantons fought over feudal rights, foreign relations, rural versus urban priorities, and issues of class conflict. During hundreds of freezing winters, the Swiss burned Swiss villages, raped Swiss women and starved Swiss children during bouts of organized mayhem; in just the same way one could depict, in the years to come, the history of every other weapon nation-state in the world. Unforgivable crimes and unanswerable acts of vengeance stacked up as high as the Alps.
The Swiss hired out their warlike sons as mercenaries; they lost a million battle casualties abroad and fought several civil wars, both at home in person and by proxy among clashing European armies. Their mercenaries were famous for their merciless ferocity: they asked no quarter and gave none unless so ordered by their paymaster and not always then.
The serene Swiss of today (and other complex blends of ethnic peoples) could make claims just as outrageous: the same claims spit without qualm into each other’s faces by Croat, Serb and Bosnian aggressors, North Irish, Afghan, Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Middle-Eastern … (this list can grow quite long with boring predictability). Each militant feels he owes some countryman a long-standing blood-debt, or lusts after his neighbor’s territory to form a “Greater Ethnic Nation-State” of historical fantasia and suicidal militarism.
Niklaus von Flüe was a humble monk who took to an alpine cave and preached federation and peace for years, until grieving people decided to listen to him. Urged on by him, they concluded they would never settle their disputes by force without enslaving themselves to foreign powers orchestrating their quarrels. Common sense turned civil war patriots into welcome allies—or shunned desperadoes. Their personal fanaticism and Canton of origin became less important than the sincerity of their intent to enforce the peace and their honesty in walking their talk.
After many trials and errors – since they lacked any better idea and, unlike us, did something about it – the Swiss negotiated elaborate pledges of non-aggression that bound each Canton to its neighbors in peace, allied them against foreign aggression, separated them when they began to wrangle, and arbitrated their disputes. Most importantly, they signed “sit tight” agreements wherein allied Swiss Cantons pledged not to get caught up in third-party disputes. No Canton, however powerful and dominant in the past, could confront the remainder single-handedly and expect to thrive.
By criminalizing internal warfare and forbidding adventurism abroad, the Swiss made their nation rich, powerful and dependably neutral. The entire planet could expect equal blessings after they’d done the same thing. Every nation on Earth would have to confess to a long history of civil wars both extensive and minor before it could more or less ensure domestic peace. The whole Earth is merely the last nation in this planetary neighborhood that needs to enforce peace internal, integral and reliable.
A web of peace treaties cast across the globe could achieve a similar outcome. Those easy to negotiate (between the United States and Canada, for example), but especially among countries less amenable (for example, the two Koreas), as well as between dissatisfied minorities and their repressive national government. This, assuming every violator faced airtight sanctions and vigorous pursuit for disturbing the peace.
Across the planet, vast new Learning Networks could restore trust among suspicious peoples, encourage a relaxed form of Swiss confederation and criminalize warfare. Given so much more peace and quiet (and far lower military expenditures), business opportunities and profits would grow on every scale of endeavor.
We have been denied this planetary commonwealth by Prism extortionists and the rest of the population they’ve duped into hypnotized paralysis.
Today’s “sovereign states” and their harm forces are just organized street-corner idlers picking their teeth with titanium switchblades. When significant social progress threatens their dominion, they attack their host population and call this barbarism “internal security.” With international connivance, a global conspiracy of prismatic aggressors resorts to identical assaults—quite predictably, despite their geographic and political diversity.
We might conclude that warfare is a public health problem, a global pandemic. In that case, specialized peacekeeping/peacemaking forces should quarantine and eradicate it, backed by the industrial might of the planet. Millions of civilian volunteers could rebuild what has been destroyed and work hard to satisfy the demands that drove locals to fight.
Such organizations as Ruppert Nuedeck’s German group, Cap Anamu; the Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) of French origin, Belgian administration and global commitment; the American organization Witness for Peace—are prototypes of these Learner intervention groups. There are millions of potential volunteers out there, all dressed up with nowhere to go. We have merely to inspire, organize and deploy this PeaceWorld Army Group.
Municipal administrations can’t resolve their crime problems by laying waste entire wards. Weapon managers have rehearsed this alternative in Napoleon III’s Paris, in 1985 Philadelphia, in Palestinian Gaza and anywhere else they thought they could get away with it. Nor can they sell weapons to half the perpetrators, even though some reactionaries consider this a sound bargain and sound politics. Today’s so-called “Security Council” foremost.
On a planetary scale, we should imitate the healthiest cities: counteract organized violence, deliver the best public service and encourage the private ones that peace requires―nothing more and nothing less.
Malcolm X directed internal jihad against his own rage and in defense of brotherly humanity following his hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). During this quest, he discovered that white Muslims could be just as friendly to him as white Christian bigots had been merciless in the United States. This observation led him to change his mind about waging total war against the whites. He determined to promote peace when the opposite had been his prior goal. His martyrdom for peace is a valuable lesson in the precious benefits of mass travel.
Much like Ho Chi Minh. Despite his unrelenting struggle against French colonial tyranny and bully American militarism for which he felt equal contempt (with good reason), he never let go of his affection for the people of America and France, and admiration for their political ideals that he had picked up during his travels.
During such travels, the run of the mill ignorant bigot could find out that the nations and races he had simplified and despised as a whole, are complex agglomerations made up of individuals much like himself and quite likely to do him a spontaneous kindness: more fit to be admired or simply tolerated. In this way, he could avoid the bigot’s dilemma: anyone who generalizes about humanity, in whole or in part, is likely to be wrong except for the need to love it in whole and in part.
To facilitate this change in attitude, we will need to develop a cheap, reliable network of global travel. Military transport assets and barracks could be demilitarized, refurbished and interlocked for public use on a subsidized basis. Massive student exchange programs could swap the children of recent military antagonists on a semester basis and intermix them with local stay-at-homes during that school year.
This new melting pot must be watched very carefully. Learners should not flood closed societies with unwelcome and potentially disruptive intruders and thus stir up local xenophobia. Nor should they leave innocent youngsters at the mercy of local chauvinists who might retain some grudge at their expense. It will be up to idealistic parents to determine if they can risk the safety of their precious children to support this Learner ideal. Local authorities would assure that those in charge of the newcomers (teachers, guides chaperones and such) were fully qualified for that job – perhaps as a result of their own field trips among the former enemy and cultural adaptation, prior.
In addition and above all, wealth, health and learning should be more or less equalized across the planet. Otherwise, planet-hopping criminals, economic refugees and bearers of exotic diseases might flood more affluent regions and deter their influential inhabitants from pursuing this project.
Dedicated, sacrificial interventionists may help thwart massacres at future Beiruts, Sarajevos, Kigalis and Aleppos. Quite often, carefully advertised peace martyrs have rocked well-established and brutal weapons elites back on their heels. Examples include the Kalinga casualties of Ashoka’s shame, the wave of saintly martyrs that preceded the bureaucracies of mass religion (Catholic, Islamic and Buddhist, for example); the massacre of Gandhians at Amritsar; non-violent Indian salt marchers at Dharesana near Surat; American Freedom Riders during the 1960’s; Kent State war protesters whom green troops volleyed in panic; Steve Biko and his brutalized companions in South Africa; the Argentine “disappeared” and their courageous mothers; Mr. Aquino of the Philippines, assassinated on his return from exile; Witness for Peace Ben Linder, gunned down in 1987 Nicaragua; and religious workers brutally attacked in El Salvador. Countless other martyrs for peace have left us their commemoration from Guatemala, Mexico and other settings. With the connivance of the U.S. Congress and other power brokers, their sacrifice has often gone shamefully undocumented.
During future complex disasters, a few carefully publicized, canary-in-the-coal-mine peace martyrs may forestall local war crimes. They could convert into immediate, concrete intervention world outrage over their witness, testimony and sacrifice. They might dedicate their organization to the sacred memory of Rachel Corrie. Carefully trained peace martyrs would confront weapon sectarians under the klieg lights of world publicity. Many human rights abuses could be corrected informally on home ground in this manner. This might diminish the need for foreign military interventions, which, in the long run, wind up being far more clumsy, slow, expensive and unreliable.
Families do their best to conceal their in-house squabbles from strangers. Learners will force Prism sectarians to do as much, internationally. Meanwhile, the World Court will marginalize militant prismatics and support political moderates across the globe. Military intervention will be deferred until every peace initiative had been tried and exhausted, and until a jury of randomly selected peers had so ruled in an adversarial court of law.
Learners will replace the UN’s ad-hoc, insolvent crisis fumblings, with well-rehearsed, fully funded and vigorous contingency plans. The following complementary instruments need to be tested: A) Peace Olympics, B) the World Court Foreign Legion, and C) new planetary religions broadcasting the basic tenets of Peace Jihad: non-violent and sacrificial martyrdom whose only objective is Peace.
Irhaab haram: “terrorism is forbidden,” as every fortunate Muslim child is taught.