Whenever someone writes one of these online ventures into politics and/or philosophy, there are two questions which beg to be asked by those reading it. The first one is Why?, the second is Who Cares? and the writer is obligated to make an accounting of himself.
The question Why? is more than just a simple question of philosophy, as in What drove you to do this? In this specific instance, the question is moot because, to the author, the question of Why? has already been established. The important Why? is far more realistic and practical: Don’t you have anything better to do with your time? That question has been asked time and time again by people who are satisfied with the way things are, and who don’t see why the world needs to be changed, or at least don’t want it to get any worse. It never occurs to them that the authors of these articles write them because they feel compelled to do so, that they have a need to make their voice heard, regardless of how insignificant it might seem.
The question of Who Cares? is something completely different, and one any writer with anything resembling an ego needs to disregard as much as possible, because to wonder if anyone is going to care is to stop writing altogether. Writing treatises on subjects like politics (as opposed to a personal diary) without wanting anyone to see what they’ve written isn’t writing, it’s typing. Obviously the authors want people to care because they think these issues are important ones, and that’s enough of an answer for anyone.
In answer to a final question, allow me to admit to something: I am well aware that the ideas expressed here are rather simplistic. I have, at best, minimal experience with the inner workings of government or business and I’m not fool enough to think that I can design an entire political or economic system. But I do have a vision of what I think the future should be like, and it’s my hope that someone who does know how to make the system work will see some of these ideas and pick up on them. The question of naiveté is one that I will not debate, because we are all naive, regardless of specific viewpoint. Just as you cannot assume everyone to be honest and generous, neither can you assume everyone to be deceitful and selfish, and any political philosophy based upon either extreme is unworkable in a practical sense. And since I have been made aware that those who oppose the policies of the current American administration are in need of a countering vision of the future, this is my attempt to communicate what I think that vision ought to be. It’s a bold vision because it asks a great deal of us, and because it asks us to take the steps we are afraid to take as a nation and as a species, to become what I believe we are destined to become.
What Is The Pax Liberalis?
The problem with political policies based upon ideologies is that they’re based on ideologies. From Marx/Engels on the left to Rand/Hitler on the right, the futility of an ideologically-based political system has been proven time and time again to be both unworkable and dangerous. No matter how much force a government uses to impose it’s political will on an unwilling segment of the populace, it will never achieve it’s goal of total unity, because an ideologically based government lives in denial of a simple reality: that there is no such thing as a perfect system of government or society, simply because we’re talking about the governing of human beings, and human beings defy definition. There are six billion people in the world today, and everyone of them is a distinct individual with different needs, wants, and ambitions. Any system of government that expects to rule over such a vast amount of people must be able to address that issue, and to tolerate those who do not fit into the categories their leadership wants them to. Philosophers deal with ideas, but it is the politicians who must deal in the practical nature of implementing them, whether it means a peaceful means to an end or the use of force in aggression or defense.
The vision of the Pax Liberalis is a vision of a single global community under one government. It is the culmination of something that began thousands of years ago, when humans stopped being nomadic hunters and learned to live by controlling their environment and building communities. Since then, our history can be seen as a struggle between different communities for space and resources. Or, as President Clinton has said, a competition between different versions of “us” versus “them.” As alliances between states and nations have grown, the definition of “us” has widened, and will continue to do so until, eventually, a single global community will arise. Whether that happens in the coming generation, or the one following, or a thousand years from now, remains to be seen, because it depends on how willing we are to fight for it.
There are those who, while foreseeing and fearing the inevitability of a global community, have chosen not to combat it directly, but to impose their own will on it to their benefit. The United States is currently ruled by men who envision a Pax Americana founded on corporate interests, fronted by a few wealthy families, and backed by America’s unmatched military might. Their version of “us” is very limited, and their version of “them” encompasses everyone not in that small group. They fear a Pax Liberalis because it will deny them what they want the most: to control the dwindling resources of the world and to dictate their terms to everyone else. They despise such things as rights and freedoms, these are their enemies. They are willing to die for their cause, and they are also willing to kill for it. They see themselves as our superiors, as divine overseers who deserve nothing less than the role of world leadership, and they are willing to do anything at all to make that vision a reality.
But don’t let their power and their fanaticism fool you, because they cannot win. While no one doubts their obvious political and military capabilities, the plain fact of the matter is that their vision is limited, and limited vision means limited existence. Regardless of what the immediate future holds for America and for the world, in the end there can only be one peace: a Pax Liberalis. It’s a peace of freedom, a peace founded on our common humanity, and our responsibilities to ourselves and to the world we live in. It’s a peace that will last longer than any Pax Americana or Pax Europa, that will outlast any fundamentalist regime of any religion, a peace that recognizes that the most important thing the human community can know is that we will either learn to live together or we will all die together.
Reclaiming The United States
The first thing we have to do in order to achieve this vision is to take back our country. Just having a vision of the future is not enough, we must be ready and willing to act on it to accomplish it, because it’s not going to happen by itself. And we’re going to have to learn to accept certain realities. The enemies of freedom are in command now. They are busy at work destroying the financial power of the federal government to act for anyone’s benefit but a few well-connected interests. They have no qualms about lying to us so that they can go to war and kill innocent children for their own political gain. They have no morals, no ethics, and no principles above and beyond the naked grab for power that they cannot be trusted with, and that they will never willingly give it up.
We can no longer deny what is becoming clear to everyone else in the world: that the United States of America is becoming the greatest threat to global peace since the rise of fascism and communism, and the only people who can prevent it from escalating to the point of no return is us, and we must dedicate ourselves to the task of removing these people from power. Once accomplished, we need to find the means to prevent them from taking power again. The only way to do this is to re-establish the boundaries between the government and private interests. Repeal the SUN-PAC laws that legalized corporate-owned political action committees, and redefine what it means to be a lobbyist. Change the party primary system so that it doesn’t favor the candidate with the most money. Restructure the campaign finance laws so that good people aren’t deterred from running for office because of the need to raise such vast sums of money, and so that our public officials can spend less time raising funds and more time doing their jobs as legislators. Roll back the de-regulation of the media so that people with a vision that doesn’t conform to the corporate worldview have access to a means to communicate it. The Republican leadership thrives, not because their vision is better than ours, but because their wealth allows them to broadcast their message louder and to drown out anyone who stands against them. Take away that advantage, force them to play on our playing field, the field of ideas, and they will lose every time.
But before we can do any of this, we need to stop bickering among ourselves. The enemies of freedom speak with one voice, we try to drown each other out. This must stop. Democratic voters are upset with the Democratic Party leadership not because they lack vision but because they lack passion. To quote President Clinton again, people would rather vote for someone who is strong and wrong than for someone who is right and weak. The Democratic leadership must be made to understand a simple fact: fight for what you believe in or be replaced by someone who will. And if they fight, we should back them up, even if we don’t agree with everything on the platform. Differences of opinion on many issues can be worked out once we have re-taken power, there can be no debate on policy if we have no power to make it. There is no second place in politics. Win first, do everything else afterwards.
We must also learn to accept that, in the short term, we will lose, because it takes time to build the kind of unity we’ll need. As the saying goes, this is a marathon and not a sprint. I do not expect us to win in 2004 (though I’ll fight like a mother for the Democratic Party), but I intend to force the hand of the Republican leadership, to see if, as some of us have said, they really are fascists. Make it clear to them that we’re not going away, and that once we regain power we’re going to destroy everything they have worked for for the last thirty years, and fix it so that it will take them centuries to regain what they’ve lost, if they can regain it at all. Let them know that this is indeed a case of “us” versus “them” and that this may be their last chance to achieve their goals. If they’re really fascists, they’ll kill us all, and the rest of the world will deal with them in time. If they’re not, we can defeat them and treat them magnanimously, just to show them the real difference between “us” and “them.” Either way, they’ll eventually be tossed into the trash heap of history where they belong, alongside everyone else with delusions of power.
These are not unachievable goals. They only require work and sacrifice. If you have money, donate it. If you have time, donate that. If you know someone who needs help, help them. Do whatever you can to help drive these people from power and return the government of the United States to its citizens, where it belongs. The Republicans use great fear to frighten and manipulate people, we must fight that fear that with a greater hope for peace. We must do this, not just for the sake of America, but for the sake of the world, because reclaiming the United States is just the beginning.
Forging A Global Community
More than fifty years ago, the world fell back from war and formed the United Nations as an organization dedicated to world peace. The UN has been more successful than its predecessor, the League Of Nations, but it is incomplete, and it will need to either be replaced or restructured. A global government needs legitimacy, and it needs the military power to enforce the laws it creates. The UN as it stands is not prepared for this.
As with any nation, the new global government that is the core of the Pax Liberalis (which, for the sake of argument, we will assume to be a revamped United Nations), must derive its powers from the consent of those governed. It must be as free from corruption as we can make it, and it must represent the will of all of its people. It must be an open government which keeps as few secrets as possible. It must be a government that represents the will of the majority but which respects the rights of the minority, that guarantees the freedom of speech, religion, and press.
The most important duty for the UN will be the creation of a single, global economy. We are seeing the beginnings of this in the emergence of the European Union and the creation of larger and larger trading spheres. But the global economy must be made simpler, and it must be founded more on substance than on speculation. There are only two commodities: energy and matter. What is the value of an ounce of gold? A watt of electricity? A gallon of oil or milk? An hour’s hard labor? These are the things a global economy must base itself on. A global economy must also work to prevent abuse of labor and prevent multinational corporations from exploiting workers in poorer countries.
The next most important duty for the UN is the formation of a global peacekeeping force, a single military. This can be drawn from all of the countries governed by the UN, and can be used both to enforce the laws of the UN and to prevent wars from breaking out. Perhaps we could just make NATO the official military of the UN, perhaps we can create it from the ground up, these details can be worked out. Along with this military, we will need global versions of intelligence agencies like INTERPOL or the CIA, though hopefully less corrupt. The greatest threat to global peace once these organizations are formed is terrorism, but this is a threat best dealt with through intelligence, infiltration, and the surgical application of force, not by declaring wars on helpless countries in order to distract people from your own incompetence.
To those of us on the left who despise the military, and who fear the existence of a such a global organization, I have to be blunt: you’re wrong. The decisions of any legislature must be ratified on the battlefield. A UN without the means to enforce it’s own laws is a meaningless institution. To answer your fears I will say that we must all work hard to create a global government that is deserving of the trust we are placing in it. The military must be subservient to its civilian leadership and it must be constantly held under scrutiny to prevent abuse. I don’t deny that there is a potential for abuse, but you cannot let that fear prevent you from doing what needs to be done, and this needs to be done. Because the alternative is a never-ending series of wars over dwindling resources that will wind up destroying the planet and wiping out the human race. I, for one, am willing to risk the future potential abuse of power in order to prevent that, and so should you.
Specific policies must be formed to deal with countries who choose not to be part of the UN. We must accept the fact that some will not wish to join it, and we must not take those countries by force. The UN isn’t much more than a single trading sphere, we can have laws dealing with trade to these countries, and we must earn their trust so that they will join us willingly.
Most importantly, along with the rule of law and democratic institutions, the UN must be founded on the ideals of Truth and Trust. No government can survive long if it is founded on deceit, nor can it survive if it isn’t trusted. To that end, we must maintain the balance between public institutions, private industry, and a free press. It isn’t just neo-fascists like the Bush administration and its supporters that are against its formation, there are a lot of legitimate reasons for people to fight it, and we must all work hard to make those fears unwarranted.
This is a bold vision, and a scary one, because the critics are correct to point out the potential abuse such a huge organization can bring. But it is a goal we can all achieve if we work together, not just as Americans, or Europeans, or Asians, not just as blacks, whites, and Hispanics, not just as Jews, Christians, or Muslims, not just as liberals or conservatives, but as people, people who simply want a better world to live in. Not a perfect world, just a better one.
Addendum: The Global Bill Of Rights
Rather than attempting to write the organization of a global government, whose form has yet to be determined and whose substance I am hardly qualified to write, I thought instead to write the Preamble and a Bill Of Rights. As you can see, the bulk of it is based on the Constitution of the United States, but I have added items from the Constitutions of Great Britain, Germany, France, Israel, Japan, and other free nations.
We, the people of the planet Earth, in order to form a more perfect union, establish global justice and tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United Nations of Earth.
1. The state shall grant to all persons born on the planet Earth, on any colony or otherworldly province owned or politically aligned with the United Nations of Earth at the time of birth, or any vessel registered to the Earth, the rights of citizenship, and make lawful provision for all others. The state shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law without distinction as to origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, physical disability or sexual preference.
2. The state shall make no law establishing the citizenship of a corporate or other artificial entity, or grant them rights equal to or greater than the rights of citizens.
3. The state shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
4. A well-armed, well-trained citizenry being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms in their own self-defense shall not be infringed. The state shall make lawful provision to promote the safe and responsible use of legally owned firearms.
5. No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
8. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
9. In suits at common law, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
10. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
11. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
12. The powers not delegated to the United Nations by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the nations respectively, or to the people.
This document is incomplete. There are obviously a lot of issues and details I have left out, not because I don’t believe they are important, but because I was trying to keep this down to a reasonable length. Any and all suggestions are welcome, even from people like my pal BChan and his retard friends, who think they’re the only people in the world. To them, I say, laugh while you can, boys, your fifteen minutes are almost up.
Joseph Vecchio, a veteran of both the US military and of the internet, is a freelance writer. His daily blog, “Pax Liberalis,” can be seen at http://joevecchio.blogspot.com. He contributed above perspective to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from Georgia, USA.