Turning that situation around will require not only the best thinking of everyone, but their spirit and energy as well. Dialogue, in the manner of Socrates, is one place we can start. Your opinion counts and you can Make Yourself Heard on this site simply by becoming a member. If you wish, you may remain anonymous. We do not reveal information about you without your permission.
Our sources are the various news and publication organs that normally cover international and historic events and technology, primarly in written form. Five years of research have led us to the following working hypotheses:
- A political persuasion with a mix of the left and right in governance seems best.
- That mix appears best served by a balance between social progressiveness (sufficient for safety nets) with enough fiscal conservatism to weigh against bloated and/or inept government while avoiding extreme national debt. Is the Cold War over or has the battle just begun? Where can we go in the face of terror? We wonder.
- A balance between fixed and mildly graduated taxes is indicated.
- Free trade must be encouraged with tariffs justified only for fledgling industries and only for limited times. Trading nations advance economically; isolated nations are limited in resources.
- Extreme economic gaps that currently prevail among both people and nations must be reined in if continuing radicalization and terror are to be avoided.
- Gaps in income exceeding about 20-30 multiples border on the extreme. Where is the morality in walling off any portion of humanity from decent lives anywhere?
- Trade agreements enhance chances for peace by bringing people together through international inter-dependence.
- Avoid extreme national debt. How much of the present US national debt is owed to China, a Commuist country? Too much, and the loans have been used unwisely, especially in Iraq.
- Political progress seems best pursued by those who have an internal Locus of Control. People having balanced internal and external loci of control are best suited to govern, for they are often dialogic team players.
- Governance methods need overhauling. Extremism in any form, cronyism, and special interests, all need to be subdued or outright banned from the governance equations. Professionalism is vital. Minorities must be heard and accommodated in dialogue as equals wherever and whenever possible. At the same time, minorities cannot be allowed to govern without majority approval.
- Maintaining a clean boundary between Church and State is vital. Blurring in the US at least has become a blot in our otherwise enlightened times.
- There is value in faith (mythos) even though the monotheisms have been in conflict ever since they came into being (following Abraham, Jesus, Muhammed and a host of minor prophets).
- At the same time -- there can be no question -- rationality (logos) has eased the human experience and considerably extended life span. Logos also gave us perspective into and the reality of the universe. With understanding comes control, and logos has given us understanding.
- The separate places and values mythos and logos play in life must be taught to each generation. One deals with what is known and controllable. The other provides comfort and courage for those who need it in the face of the unknown. Each can provide purpose.
- Social progress seems best pursued by those who have well-balanced internal and external Loci of Control and apply then in all walks of life and in all callings.
- Practical goals include the elimination of features that humiliate or alienate individuals or groups. This means:
- Equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, ethnicity or any birthright.
- Celebration of and respect for differences.
- Reverence for each individual.
Citizenship and Governance
An objective read of history reveals terror has many perspectives, opposite at each extreme, simply because economic status, religion, temperament, gender and station in life differ among people and societies. These roots must find reasonable balance before peace can prevail.
Our approach is to look for perspective among the lowest common denominators. We think we have identified at least two broad classes, nature and nurture; there may be more. At the least, genetic instincts for both fierceness and herding-for-protection are part of all of us. Their relative balance determines where we end up on the scale between peace and violence. To explore this further, visit: Natural History.
Nurture can offset nature as it is easy to prove. There are peaceful pockets in the most violent of nations and there are nations that have long been at peace, each enjoying its own "Pax National over extended periods of international violence."
Our collective attitudes shape public opinion and public opinion can make the difference between war and peace. This feature, of course, is aided by true democracy, where citizens have an actual say in things and cannot have their votes or intentions corrupted. A proper balance between internal and external loci of control on the parts of all world citizens will go far toward eliminating propaganda, special interests, bigotry, violence, war, and genocide. It remains to bring that condition about as a social condition. Again, certain societies are illustrative.
What we have come to is briefly stated:
Extremism born of the
Authoritarian Personality is the enemy of us all, regardless of its arena, origin or mode of expression. Equally dangerous is the Sociopathic Personality, the type who has no conscience whatsoever. These people. when they are charismatic, charming, and bright, can literally co-opt any group from family to nation. In fact, the Neocons already have. Their hard-line is sociopathic in expression.
Either nature or nurture, if extreme, can produce extreme behavior. When a sociopath can hold his/her nation in thrall, the obedient authoritarian personalities may fall in line long enough for a holocaust to occur. In fact some already have--in Rwanda and elsewhere. America came closer to just such a state than most of us know, until the 2006 election stalled the steamroller, at least temporarily.
At once, it is that simple, complex and dangerous. Nevertheless, there are reasons for Hope.
See: Civilization for an overview.
Visit Solutions for some current thinking.
Go to: RoadtoPeace/Google for brevia in index format.
Posted by RoadToPeace on Monday, December 12, 2005.