I think it is a given that most people would prefer to live their lives in their home countries if they had any reasonable prospects of safe, happy and secure lives there. The fact that millions will take any risks to escape tells us one thing. We have to fix the problems in those countries and now! It is impracticable and disastrous if a huge portion of the world’s population feels compelled to travel somewhere else in order to feel safe and some prospects of hope.
The solution is as simple as it is unattainable under the present rulers of the world. World powers from the USA to Russia, Europe and China must agree to act decisively(using force if necessary) against any country that grossly violates the human rights of its people. Syria and North Korea are cases in point. Only by careful removal of disgusting regimes (that happily cause the deaths of huge numbers of even children) can the world progress. Ironically, the Coalition of the Willing under the command of the idiot, George W. Bush, removed Saddam Hussein and the result was only more deaths, more strife and more violation of human rights. The world powers should choose their targets with some wisdom. Notice that nobody has threatened to remove Robert Mugabe (a former terrorist who shot down civilian airliners during Rhodesia’s civil war) from power in Zimbabwe by force. Zimbabwe has no oil or huge resources and is therefore of little interest to the world’s power brokers.
If I continue to speak freely, as I will, I suspect it is only a matter of time until there is a knock on my door!
A realistic charter of human rights
Given the precarious state of life on our planet it would seem reasonable that the long term survival of the human race is subject to some considerable doubt. Globalisation has more rapidly brought negative consequences more so than positive ones. Although circumstances would seem to be rapidly spinning out of control there is no going back. We are on a one way journey wherever that is leading.
If we are to have any hope of overcoming these horrendous obstacles it will be necessary in the fairly near future to arrive at some sort of world government. That could be a UN with real teeth and power, although given its charter and the various rights of veto belonging to super powers who seldom agree, this is probably a pipe dream. A significant number of powerful nations would have to be willing to surrender most of their sovereignty. Millions die while nations and their governments follow their own agendas.
A democratic world government could only work if the bulk of humanity had sufficient education and intelligence to think both long term and fairly rather than chasing after immediate self-interest or ludicrous agendas and promises of extremist groups. The West’s promotion of democracy in the Middle East is an obvious example. The moment a genuine democratic election is arranged it is often the case that a majority elect an Islamic government tending toward the extreme and the West is mortified by the results.
A world government dictatorship is undesirable as the likelihood of an enlightened leader (in the mould of the Delai Llama) is remote. Even more so than leaders of democracies dictators seem only interested in their own well-being and that of their immediate circle of support. Syria and North Korea are obvious cases in point.
How we are to begin in saving our species and many others is a bothersome open question. Unless we can reign in the greed and philosophical stupidity of the mega rich and the very powerful we have little chance. The capitalist ethos of congregating more and more wealth in the hands of individuals or small groups is certainly doomed. The question is; will the survival of the human race go down with it?
A new charter of human rights will have to start from a non-capitalist standpoint. The very idea of human rights also necessarily includes the concomitant notion of human responsibilities. The idea of rights without responsibilities tends toward the absurd and is totally useless.
Charter of human rights
- 1. All humans should respect all forms of life and live and let live wherever reasonably possible.
- 2. Every human being has the right to basic shelter, food, water and the necessary means to sustain their lives.
- 3. All people have the right to produce and raise children (although not too many given the overpopulation of the world) in as much safety as possible. All children have the right to at least a basic education and preferably one beyond that.
- 4. People have the right to accumulate modest amounts of property and have that property protected. Such property should be subject to reasonable limits so as not to condemn others to poverty.
- 5. All humans have the right to defend themselves up to a reasonable use of force. This specifically does not include the right to bear arms. We have all seen how this amendment to the US constitution has played out. The right to bear arms actually diminishes personal safety rather than increasing it.
- 6. Everybody has a right to work and an obligation to do so, health allowing, until a reasonable retirement age has been reached. Such retirees have a right to modest support for the rest of their lives. People likewise have the right to reasonable amounts of non-work time and to be compensated fairly for their work.
- 7. All humans have the right not to be exploited, economically and generally, by others. This in turn translates into the obligation not to exploit others.
- 8. All governments, from world down to local, should be secular. Human beings follow many different, and quite often competing religions. No-one, and no religion has the right to assume a monopoly on truth and hope. People can believe what they want to believe and it is impossible to stop this in any case.
- 9. All governments and large private companies should be required to be completely transparent in all their deliberations and practices. The obvious exception to this requirement is weapons technologies and military matters. This exception is necessary to prevent such technologies falling into the hands of terrorists or criminals.
- 10. General transparency in governance is about the only effective way to fight corruption and corruption is one of the greatest blights on humanity, blocking our way forward.
Unless our outdated means of coordination between nations is quickly superseded it is all but certain that our species is going to follow the dinosaurs. There is little time left to act. Violence destroys much more than it gains. The various wars are testament to this. We must find non-violent ways of disempowering those who presently run this world, and are either possessed by greed and stupidity or else hamstrung by that of others. It could be argued that Barrack Obama is one of the most enlightened presidents in US history but is hamstrung by the realities of the power and wealth cliques that lie behind him. He may possibly even personally that Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are right deep down. However, there is no way he could say that or pardon them without risking a very likely assassination of himself. His position prohibits him from making many decisions and choices that he may like to.
The only way forward is for each individual to do what he or she can to follow a path of enlightenment and fight greed and stupidity at every turn, on every level!
If you’re interested in the future of our species and the world in general don’t forget to buy my novel ‘Brownout – 666’ (available as an eBook from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple I-store etc etc for a paltry few dollars). Don’t worry, I am not about to be capatapaulted into the ranks of the greedy mega wealthy. I am just scratching out a living.
Professor Vernor Vinge
In Australia recently, a lot of professionals have objected to the federal government’s proposal to cap tax deductible self-education expenses at a maximum of $2000. Doctors, nurses, teachers and many other professionals claim that they have to spend much more than this to keep up with the latest developments in their fields.
It is undoubtedly true that the task of keeping up with constant changes is becoming more and more demanding as well as expensive. The rate of change in the modern world is increasing exponentially. Just to be able to cope with our work and our lives in general we have to learn more and more.
Given the exponential rate of change the human race is going to reach a point where we are simply unable to learn and remember the amount of information that we will need to in order to survive. Professor Vernor Vinge coined the phrase, “the singularity.” The singularity is that point when the rate of change against the time axis goes off the chart. There is simply no way of stopping or slowing down this exponential rate of change. Perhaps the only solution will lie in humans becoming androids, with powerful computer chips embedded in their brains.
If you like my posts considering purchasing my novel “Brownout -666” available as an ebook from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Gardner, Ibook and many other ebook retailers.