Complex problems require complex solutions. An understanding of the reasons behind our predicament also points out the means of overcoming the danger to human survival.
One benefit of using an analytical, logical approach to the danger of human extinction is that it gives the means for its prevention. Once we understand and accept the reality of our predicament, we are along the road of its avoidance. At this stage, the main obstacle is a human failing -- the tendency of denial. People addicted to alcohol or nicotine frequently deny their addictions or the harm they cause to their health. Similar denials exist in other human affairs. For example, there is the school of "historical revisionism" that denies the Holocaust. These Holocaust deniers function in face of the most thoroughly documented genocide in human history, where all the extensive Holocaust-related archives were captured following the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Many Americans -- raised in an optimistic culture and a prosperous economy -- may have difficulty accepting even the remote probability of human extinction. We must bring to the problem considerable analytical New Brain thinking, as we are exploring both the dangers and the opportunities of our future.
The Danger of Societal Addictions
Existing cultural forces, social conditions and institutions in many countries create behaviors that become self-destructive societal addictions. Ted Cox, in Rising from the Bottom, likens our world today to an alcoholic bent on self-destruction. He explores the methods of conquering both individual and societal addictions.
"Most 20th century cultures emphasized competitive hostilities to compensate for fears and feelings of inferiority; to satisfy the gods of power, property, prestige; to gain victory over enemies; to achieve control of women by men, and to feed the whole galaxy of compulsions that drove us toward the world crisis of the '90s. ... Dominating fears in people and governments generate the insanity of arms races, our suicidal war to conquer nature, and our uncontrolled population explosion -- the real and present threats to life on our planet."
Societal addictions developed in many countries. In Germany the antisemitism fostered by the state churches and other institutions, the militarism developed in Prussia, the feelings of racial and cultural superiority advocated by politicians, all combined to create the events that lead to two World Wars and the Holocaust. Other societies have developed their own addictions. Economic addictions may cover unrestrained development and exploitation of the environment. Cultural addictions involve racism and the exploitation of women. Political addictions include extolling the in-group -- like ultra-nationalism and religious fundamentalism, or victim-creating -- such as antisemitism persecuting Jews and communism abusing "capitalists." Political addictions also may be created to gain and keep power. This helps to explain the rise of Fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany and Communism in Russia and China.
The rise of totalitarian systems all followed a similar pattern that was based on the various forms of societal addictions. For example, in Germany the emergence of Hitler was facilitated by the addictions of racism, nationalism, antisemitism and militarism. These addictions were malevolently converted to the ultra-political addiction of "national socialism" by power-hungry politicians afflicted with the "demagogues' disease." The entire process was facilitated by militarism, communications technologies and many institutions of the modern state. Previous groups of powerholders were discredited by political mismanagement, and the disillusioned public turned to the new groups of powerseekers, with catastrophic results.
Like personal addictions -- alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, gambling -- the societal addictions can become terminally harmful. Demonizing other religious, racial, ethnic or social groups generates hatreds and enmities that lead to bloodshed and destruction. Indeed, if the collective societal addictions of humanity are not controlled, the extinction of Homo sapiens becomes a high probability event. The danger to human survival is obvious:
The history of the United States and Russia serves as an example of what harm political addictions can do. In 1835 French political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville predicted that the United States and Russia would become the major world powers. America, because of the New Brain logic influence of the Founding Fathers, remained relatively immune to political addictions. Consequently much less harm was caused by political mismanagement. The separation of powers; separation of church and state; avoidance of extreme political mismanagement; and periodic political renewals -- like the New Deal -- ensured the continuing growth and development of the United States. In contrast, the powerholders of Russia fostered such addictions as antisemitism, ultra-nationalism, pan-Slavism, militarism and Communism. Tremendous violence resulted from these addictions: two World Wars, civil wars, and Stalinist genocides. Today the United States is the remaining economic and military superpower, while Russia is in a period of decline.
Acknowledging the Denial
Obviously Homo sapiens is highly vulnerable to addictions. One would think that the superior intelligence of the human species would control addictions of all types -- whether by chemical substances or by mind-influencing cultural or social patterns. Regrettably, the wide spread of addictions demonstrates that such is not the case. This is due to the ability of the New Brain to use logical thinking to fabricate excuses to the effect that the addiction does not exist, or that it is harmless.
This common characteristic of an addiction is "denial." A person -- or a nation -- simply refuses to admit the addiction. Yet as Alcoholics Anonymous (a worldwide organization with over two million members in 70,000 groups) has shown, the disease of alcohol addiction cannot be cured without the vital first step of admitting the addiction. The denial of the Holocaust is exactly the same type of cure-preventing action. The Holocaust denial is taking different forms. The "historical revisionists" claim that the genocide never happened, and claims to the contrary are simply inventions by the Jews to make the Gentile world feel guilty, to support Jewish causes and interests.
The transferring of the blame to "Nazi criminals" is another form of denial. This denial then ensures that the cultural values, moral standards, behavior patterns, religious beliefs and other factors that contributed to the Holocaust will not be altered significantly. Such a society, still addicted to racism, Judeophobia and other vices, may again engage in genocide at a future date. The only difference would be that the new perpetrators might be much more cautious in hiding their genocide than the Germans of the Third Reich. Of course, potential victims will be watching carefully for any resurgence of real or imagined new addictions of genocidal racism. Military preparations against such a threat -- including the retention of mass destruction weapons -- will continue. This military readiness will inhibit cooperation and actions needed to abolish political mismanagement and the war institution -- the real cause of the problems of the human species.
Both Germany and Japan provide examples of "collective denial." Following the 1993 opening of the Holocaust Memorial in Washington, the large-circulation (over a million) newsmagazine Der Spiegel published such a collective denial article (The Shoah Business by Henryk Broder, Apr. 19, 1993). The article includes flagrant falsehoods, e.g., the Memorial was constructed with $150 million in government funds, and such foolishness as: (1) America is upset that the Holocaust did not take place in its territory; (2) American Jews should feel guilty for surviving or not stopping the Holocaust; (3) and the Holocaust is memorialized for the purpose of making money. The responsibility of Germany or the Germans is never mentioned; all the crimes were committed by "Nazis" or "Nazi criminals" -- and not by the millions of "ordinary men" who served in the armies, the industries and the state bureaucracies that made the Holocaust feasible. The conclusion is simply that America should mind its own business and let Germany take care of memorializing the Holocaust. The denial of democratic Germany for remembering the Holocaust apparently does not extend to the perpetrators. Former members of the SS -- many of whom were concentration camp guards -- are receiving generous pensions from the government of Germany. This generosity was even extended to ex-members of the Latvian SS, who similarly participated in the Holocaust.
A year after the opening of the memorial in Washington, Germany dedicated its own version of the Holocaust Memorial. The New Guard Memorial in Berlin supposedly commemorates "all the victims of World Wars I and II." This "equal opportunity" monument eliminates the distinction between perpetrators and victims. The SS guard of a concentration camp later killed in battle is now honored equally with the victims he helped to murder. This is indeed the ultimate denial.
Japan suffers from a similar case of amnesia about its role during and preceding World War II. The Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima "is largely a monument to Japan's own view of itself as victim." (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 6, 1993.) While the victims and the devastation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima are described in gruesome detail, no mention is made of Imperial Japan's actions before and during World War II. The millions killed during the Japanese invasions of China, the Philippines and other parts of the Pacific; the "Rape of Nanking;" the "Bataan death march;" the medical experiments on prisoners of war; the forced prostitution of the "comfort women" -- are largely ignored and thereby denied by Japanese society. (R.J. Rummel in Death by Government gives the estimate "5,964,000 Murdered: Japan's Savage Military.") Following the 50th anniversary of the ending of World War II, the prime minister made a feeble apology for the atrocities committed by the Japanese military. Even this belated expression of regret was violently denounced by right-wing groups and veterans' organizations.
Only by memorializing, studying and understanding the genocides and other atrocities of the 20th century can we take the needed preventive actions. Thus, the Holocaust Memorials can serve as warnings to humanity of the dangers of political addictions. The emotional manipulation by exploitive powerseekers must be prevented and replaced by democratic political systems that advance human survival.
"Some people have considered it morbid of the Jews to ensure that these horrors (of the concentration camps) are thoroughly documented and to insist that the public is constantly reminded of them. I do not agree. Men easily forget; and tend to forget unpleasant happenings more quickly than pleasant ones. It is vital that future generations understand the depths to which human nature can sink, vital that they realize that there is no limit to human cruelty and destructiveness, so that they will take what steps they can to see that such things are not repeated."
Anthony Storr, Human Destructiveness
The Cure of the Problem
By realizing that genocides are caused by political addictions the cure becomes feasible. We have a situation where the human species have to be healed, before the addiction and its results become terminal.
Richard Van Praagh, M.D. in his book Survival outlines the medical "approach to the diagnosis and management of life-threatening human problems." He suggests that "... the medical approach, in particular, and the scientific approach, in general, both have been highly successful in really solving major human problems." The principal problem of our time is human survival and the quality of life.
"Accurate diagnosis and successful management of major human problems -- as in medicine -- has virtually nothing to do with rigid dogma or ideology. What is needed for the people of the world as a whole is a new way of thinking, with modern methodology and understanding. ... Sick leaders and sick citizens armed with modern weapons pose a real threat to the survival of man."
Accordingly, "Leaders should be representative of their people. People everywhere must gain control over their leaders." He concludes that
"... the welfare of the human family everywhere must be the primary concern of politics. ... politics and economics must now consider mankind in a biologic or medical way... The objective health-sciences attitude, plus the compassionate humanistic approach, together will make possible the accurate diagnosis and effective management of the major problems of humankind."
Similar conclusions are reached by Herbert E. Meyer in Hard Thinking: The Fusion of Politics and Science. He makes a distinction between hard thinking -- based on the rigorous evaluation of facts and ideas, and soft thinking -- that makes an appeal to or through the emotions. A society that allows itself to be dominated by soft thinking -- and politicians who rely mostly on emotional appeals for gaining or keeping power -- will inevitably degenerate and decline. To overcome this negative development , "... we will need to create a political culture based on the sequence of idea, experiment, and observation." Fortunately, "... we have an abundant supply of the raw material that is vital to actually knowing what works. Information is the key to understanding, and the ongoing information revolution now provides enough information to conduct our public affairs in a way that has never before been possible."
Indeed, the understanding of our problems is now becoming easier than ever before. Extensive statistics and indicators are collected about every aspect of the economy, society, the environment and other aspects of our existence. Advocacy organizations, think tanks and scholars in every field have studied the human and global conditions. Their findings are now widely disseminated by both the printed and the video media. Solutions to these problems are proposed as well. The disciplines of policy analysis, futures studies and economic and social forecasting are capable to generating and evaluating feasible solutions. The biggest need is to show the interactions among the problems and the impacts of the remedies.
Correcting Political Mismanagement
There is enough knowledge to address the problems facing humanity. Meyer concludes that the largest obstacle is that "the major problems of the world ... are in the hands of politicians who generally are not competent to solve, i.e., diagnose and manage, the problems with which they are faced." New goals must be set up for collective humanity to ensure our continued survival.
"... the welfare of the human family everywhere must be the primary concern of politics. Leaders who seek to harm members of the human family, for any 'reason' whatsoever, must be removed from power and prevented from committing crimes against humanity. The only valid reason for being in government is to serve well the people whom one represents."
Current methods of governance in non-democracies are usually based on the old clan/tribal models. The most ruthless and strongest individual or party becomes the leader or ruling group. Supported by such institutions as the military, police and security services, this political class is almost impossible to be removed from power.
In democracies the political class frequently sells out to the special interests, to gain the funding needed to be reelected and thus stay in power. While their rule is not as harsh as that of an authoritarian leader, the national interest of the country suffers as problems continue to multiply.
New Social Inventions
Human civilization is the product of the many social inventions made since the biological evolution of our species. D. Stuart Conger in his Social Inventions supplies an outline and chronology of the major inventions that made social, economic, cultural and other progress possible. For example, under the "General Social Inventions" grouping we find: Government -- concept of the state; Armies; Art; Architecture; Library; Medicine; Hospital; etc. "Legal Social Inventions" include: Courts and codes of law; Judges; Jury; Attorneys; etc. "Educational Social Inventions" produced the many types of: Universities; Schools; and educational professionals and programs. An important group is the "Governmental Social Inventions," which include such different forms of governance as: Empire; Republic; City-State; Democracy; Professional administrator -- civil service; Legislative bodies; etc.
Social inventions become going concerns as institutions. Thus we have government institutions, cultural institutions, educational institutions, legal institutions and so on. As a general concept we may call accepted or operational inventions social institutions. Related groups of social inventions and institutions become social systems, implemented by social institutions. Thus we have a legal system, educational system, public welfare system, and so on. These social institutions and systems facilitate the operation of such economic institutions as agriculture, business, manufacturing, transportation -- a reflection of our civilization based on the nation-state.
Social institutions and systems created our civilization and secured the dominance of the human species on our planet. But not all social institutions are beneficial. The institution of organized crime still flourishes, while slavery, absolute monarchy, trial by battle and feudalism were abolished. Even successful social systems and institutions have to be continuously improved to meet new conditions and exigencies.
Over the centuries reasonably good social systems and institutions emerged. These social institutions, combined with our scientific and technological advances, ought to be able to solve our problems and remove the dangers to human survival. One major obstacle remains.
The institution of government is essential for the proper functioning of our other institutions and the economy by preventing abuses and resolving conflicts. The government institution is also responsible for cooperating with other countries and their institutions. But the emergence of the worldwide political class, with its short-sighted, selfish objectives, hinders such cooperation and the development of the new or reformed social institutions needed to preserve our species. Fortunately, the principle of social inventions offers a solution to this critical problem. It is possible to develop the social inventions that will provide the right type of governance to manage our other social institutions and systems.
The Performance of the Political Class in America
The American philosophy of "pragmatism" requires that we analyze the performance of the political class before we make drastic changes. It is feasible to compare our many social institutions in terms of how well they are managed to satisfy the needs of their beneficiaries.
Harold Koontz, professor of management, summarized the managerial functions in Principles of Management.
Planning is the executive function that involves the selection, from many alternatives, the right mix of organizational objectives, policies, procedures and programs.
Organizing requires the manager to determine the activities needed to achieve organizational purposes, the grouping of these activities, the assignment of them to subordinate managers, the delegation of authority to carry them out, and provisions for coordination among managers and subordinates.
Staffing is the function that secures the executive positions in an organization. This involves foreseeing what managerial functions need to be filled, to have on hand a managerial inventory, to know what qualifications are essential, to devise ways and means of discovering these qualities, and to recruit, select and train candidates.
Direction includes those activities that are related to guiding and supervising subordinates in achieving the organization's goals and objectives.
Control includes those activities that are designed to compel events to conform to the plans of the organization.
Undoubtedly the staffing function is the most critical. An organization even with the best structure and plans will fail if managed by poor executives. Conversely, an organization well staffed with competent and dedicated managers will be able to modify its plans and structure so that the organization will achieve its objectives.
Proper staffing of an organization demands that the organizational leadership believes in the objectives of the organization and serves its beneficiaries in accordance with these objectives. Thus the religious leader of a church, synagogue or mosque must have faith in God. A university president or a school principal should believe in the benefits of education. The director of a hospital wishes to heal people, and so on.
Certainly in the United States and many parts of the world the social institutions perform in accordance with these self-evident principles. The market gets rid of incompetent business managers. The occasional financial manager that embezzles is found out and punished. Careful selection and review processes in religious, educational, health and other institutions screen out unsuitable or poorly performing leaders. Unfortunately the most important social institution -- the one that makes the other institution function properly -- fails in this respect. The government/governance institution, because of the reasons discussed previously, is generally not staffed in accordance with sound management principles. The world-wide political class is the prime example of leaders not managing their organizations -- the countries and states -- in accordance with the needs of their people.
Public opinion in America is well aware of this problem. James Patterson and Peter Kim in The Day America Told the Truth summarized the results of the largest survey of private morals ever conducted in any country. The portion of the survey "Americans Grade Professions for Honesty and Integrity" is especially revealing.
The "Top Twenty: The Occupations Americans Most Admire" ranks the "firefighter"as the number one occupation. This is understandable, for here we see moderately compensated individuals risking their most valuable possessions -- their lives -- to save fellow humans. Others in the top twenty category include members of the healing professions: paramedics, pharmacists, dentists and medical doctors; in education: grade school teachers and college professors; religious functionaries: priests, ministers and rabbis. Occupations that provide vital or useful services to their communities are also highly respected: farmers, mailmen, housekeepers, baby-sitters, chefs/cooks, airline pilots, flight attendants, scientists, engineers and accountants.
But most revealing is the relatively low opinion the public has about the political class. Out of the 71 occupations listed, "U.S. senators" were in position 51. "Congressmen" were ranked as the 65th and "local politicians" as the 66th in the public estimate.
"Americans rated members of Congress and local politicians as well. Being honest, rather than showing their rancor, people ranked Congressmen among the seven least-moral professions in America."
It is unfortunate that our legislative representatives are held in such low esteem. As key components of the political system envisioned by the Founding Fathers they are required to make the government serve the citizens, just as firefighters and paramedics serve the public. Instead, driven by power hunger and careerism, they pander to short-term special interests, at the expense of the national interest and human survival.
Here we see the results of having a political class more interested in serving itself than the people who elected them. If our democratic system of government produces such poor outcomes, we can imagine what is happening to the unfortunate inhabitants of countries governed by dictators and authoritarian leaders.
Abolishing the Political Class
To ensure human survival we most develop a new social invention that will keep the best features of good government (such as democracy and civil societies) but will remove the temptations for the misuse of power. The worldwide political class must be replaced by a New Model Government that will combine good management principles with full accountability to and control by the beneficiaries of the governing institutions: the citizens.
Servant-Leadership: The Cure of Political Mismanagement
Political mismanagement has plagued the human condition since the institution of government was invented. For every ruler called "Great" or "Good" there have been many more called "Bad" or "Terrible" or simply mediocre without any distinctive appellation. In earlier, simpler societies even bad rulers could be ignored by most of their subjects who lived in their remote communities. In our crowded planet, integrated in a global communications network and economy, we are becoming increasingly affected by the mismanagement of incompetent or evil political leadership.
The emerging discipline of Servant-Leadership -- promulgated by The Robert K. Greeenleaf Center in Indianapolis -- may provide one answer to political mismanagement. The idea of servant-leadership is based on the simple concept that social institutions are to serve the people, and not the other way around. The logical extrapolation of this idea is that those who lead, i.e., manage and control our social institutions -- such as government, business corporations, universities and foundations -- should approach their duties as serving their institutions, and ultimately the people who are to benefit from these institutions. Servant-leadership assumes that power to serve is given by the institution and its constituents and may be revoked for non-performance. The servant-leader is thus under constant pressure to perform properly his or her functions. The servant-leader must have an attitude of wanting to serve; must believe in the goals of the institution; listen to and understand the realities of the institution and its environment; have the necessary foresight and awareness to prevent problems and avert crises; and lead by persuasion and example rather than by force.
Of course, no authoritarian leader can qualify as a servant-leader. But even democratically elected politicians fail to meet most of the tests of servant-leadership. More interested in gaining and retaining their power than serving their people, they can also become the causes rather than the solutions of political mismanagement.
Interest in servant-leadership is emerging in government and public service. For example, the idea of servant-leadership, as it should apply to operating the Federal government, is being explored by the Greenleaf Center.
A further step in the direction of servant-leadership will be the gradual substitution of politics -- with its built-in conflicts and opportunities for First Brain appeals to strife -- by administration . Gradually, divisive politics and political mismanagement can by replaced by the administering of the government institution by public servants -- essentially servant-leaders -- totally dedicated to, and able to focus on their proper tasks.
The servant-leadership task will be strongly facilitated by the availability of sound, reliable expert policy information and analysis. It will be feasible to develop policies and programs that optimize resources and enable the development of super-optimum solutions to problems of all types. (See Appendix, Super-Optimum Solutions.) As the world is gradually moving toward a global information society, vast resources of knowledge and information will be available about all aspects of the world's economy and society. Large numbers of policy analysts and experts will be eager to convert information into feasible programs and initiatives to improve the human condition.
The Social Contract: The Philosophical Basis of Servant-Leadership
The concept of the Social Contract, as expounded by philosophers and other thinkers since the time of the ancient Greeks, is the ultimate justification of servant-leadership. Since human society and governments are social institutions, they should operate under rules that benefit the participants of human societies. While a number of thinkers were proposing the idea that rulers who oppress their subjects need not be obeyed, it was the English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) whose influence was most felt. He stipulated that "government is a trust, its purpose is the citizen's person and property; and the subject has the right to withdraw his confidence in the ruler when the latter fails in his task." The rulers -- whether elected democratically or gaining power by other means -- are for the people and not the other way around. This was the principal issue which caused such disobediences of established governments as the English "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789. The various forms of democratic governments emerged from these revolutions. For example, the Founding Fathers were strongly influenced by the writings of John Locke. Thus, the United States serves as the model and prototype of the kind of government -- once its current defects are repaired -- that benefits human societies the most. America also has a moral obligation to lead the world away from the assorted autocracies, tyrannies, dictatorships, warlords, despots, kleptocracies and other forms of political mismanagers and misleaders. Only men and women whose primary interest is serving the people should be entitled to political leadership and public service!
Components of the New Model Government
The United States government consists of elected politicians of the executive
and legislative branches, and the civil service that conducts the business of government.
Under the principle of servant-leadership existing institutions can be improved,
without any radical changes to our democratic form of government. The new "people
serving government" would still have the two major components:
a. Servant Leader/Trustees -- elected by voters to ensure proper functioning of the public servants.
b. Public Servant Bureaucracy -- reformed and restructured to truly serve the public.
The elected legislators will have to follow the public trust model promulgated by Locke. Peter G. Brown in his Restoring the Public Trust offers a summary of the trust model. The model includes such concepts as:
To ensure that our legislators become true servant leader/trustees, new rules for gaining and keeping office will have to be developed:
Non-bureaucratic Public Servants
The principles of servant-leadership can also be applied to the civil service function. Michael Barzelay in Breaking Through Bureaucracy summarizes the lessons learned during an effort to reform the Minnesota public service. The ideas distilled from his research can be applied to all levels of government. He recommends the shift "from the public interest to results citizens value." The following table compares the old and the new approaches:
|Bureaucratic Model||Post-bureaucratic Model|
|Public interest||Results valued by citizens|
|Efficiency||Quality and value|
|Control||Winning adherence to norms|
|Specify functions, authority and structure||Identify mission, services, customers and outcomes|
|Justify costs||Deliver value|
|Enforce responsibility||Build accountability; strengthen working relationships|
|Follow rules and procedures||Understand and apply norms; identify and solve problems; continuously improve processes|
|Operate administrative systems||Separate service from control; build support for norms; expand customer choice; encourage collective action; provide incentives; measure and analyze results; enrich feedback|
There may be considerable disagreement whether the above model is applicable to all types of governmental programs and activities. The important point is that it is feasible to analyze the functions of the government administrative organizations, and develop principles for serving the citizens in accordance with the principles of servant-leadership.
Downsizing the Military
The war institution also needs to be reformed, so that it becomes a solution, rather than a major obstacle, to human survival. Here again the analytical and logical approach will help us determine the proper role of the war institution and the military in a survival-oriented human society. We must ask and answer the question: What is the reality behind the social institution we know as "war" and the professional military trained in organized violence and the conduct of war?
Organized violence, made possible by the war institution, took the lives of more than 208 million people -- mostly non-combatants -- in the 20th century. The Jewish-Slavic Holocaust could not have occurred without the combination of the political mismanagement and the German war institution described previously.
The professional militaries of other countries similarly facilitated massive genocides. Mao Zedong stated: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." The Bolshevik revolution, the crimes of Stalin, the cultural revolution in China, the genocide of the Khmer Rouge -- they were all made possible by the organized violence of militarism. This is epitomized by Stalin's mordant query during World War II: "How many divisions has the Pope?"
The professional military in the democratic countries engaged much less in violence and brutalities. Accordingly, to do justice to the military, we have to make a distinction between two types of professional soldiers:
a. Democratic military -- in democratic countries; obeys political leadership; does constructive functions. But it has to be ready to use extremely lethal weapons that could cause tremendous destruction. In addition, the need to employ expensive high-tech armaments diverts huge resources from the solving of national and world problems.
b. Authoritarian military -- in non-democratic, authoritarian or totalitarian countries; oppresses the people; conducts few constructive functions. Much of their countries' scarce resources is wasted on unneeded armaments. The military power secured by weapons is frequently converted into political power. Intelligence gathering and secret police functions are conducted. Oppressors and executioners are trained by the military. Oppression of the population causes resistance, and then the military wages war against its own people. This is the main source of conflict in Central America, much of Africa and Southeast Asia. In other countries the military oppresses minorities, and in case of resistance conducts massacres, as in Tibet and East Timor. Even when the military is kept under control, as in China, by supporting non-democratic regimes in power they slow down the economic, social and political development of their people.
What is the solution to this dilemma? We must downsize the war/military institutions worldwide, and transfer the resources to human needs. Fifty percent of the now wasted funds -- at least 400 billion dollars annually -- could be applied to solving world economic, political and environmental problems. We also need to realize that the war institution and the military have both good and bad participants. We must use the good part of the institution to suppress and eliminate the bad part.
The duty of the democratic military (DM) is to realize that the institution of war and militarism in its present form is now terminally harmful to the human species. The DM's strong sense of duty and honor will make him support the downsizing of the military and the reduction of violence. This can be achieved through a gradual dismantling of the military forces, converting its organizational and management potential to peaceful purposes, and allowing the transfer of economic and human resources to the meeting of human needs and the restoring of the planetary environment. A critical role of the DM will be the applying of pressure to the authoritarian military to become DM, and allow the liberation of their countries and their people's economic, social and political development.
The successful eradication of militarism will result in a new type of quasi-military institution. It will combine ceremonial functions with that of management activities, such as peacekeeping, disaster relief operations, infrastructure development and repair, and environmental protection and restoration. As the military institution is gradually transformed to handle these human survival and civilization supporting functions, the conduct of war and other forms of organized violence will be curtailed to the greatest feasible extent. The war institution will follow the fate of the institutions of monarchy and slavery, which were also expunged from the United States.
A rational investigation of our predicament will identify the interactions between democratic politicians and authoritarian leaders, and between the democratic military and the authoritarian military. The interactions and eventual outcomes can be summarized in a Survival/Extinction Equation.
The equations in Table 7 summarize the struggle between human survival: the life force; and human extinction: the suicidal death wish (caused by uncorrected political mismanagement and its accessory, the war institution).
The democratic politicians (DP) and democratic military (DM) represent the government and war institutions as they should operate -- as social institutions serving the welfare of their societies. Countries that possess this combination tend to be democracies, enjoying a condition of reasonably good human development.
The collapse of communism proved the superiority of market economies. Market economies in turn need a high level of political freedom and civil societies for their proper functioning. It is no coincidence that most of the 63 countries listed in the Human Development Report 1995 as possessing high human development and prosperity are democracies, or moving in the direction of open societies.
The authoritarian leaders (AL) and the authoritarian military (AM) are the mirror-image counterparts of democratic politicians and military. Invariably, the government and war institutions become corrupted and exploited for the benefit of small groups of individuals, at the expense of their societies. Even worse, progress in the human development of their societies slows down and may even reverse itself. Aggression against other countries is encouraged, and frequently wars result from the First Brain appeals to enmities against others. The lack of human development causes such harmful conditions as oppression of women, surging population growth and environmental destruction.
In the past it was possible to have an uneasy balance between democratic and authoritarian regimes. With the development of a global economy and global communications, one or the other combination must prevail. As the oppressed populations become aware of the opportunities of political democracy and market economies, they will struggle against their political misleaders and military oppressors. These authoritarian regimes will fight back, to retain their power. Naturally, they also will turn against the source of their perceived problem -- the free world. For example, during the Cold War totalitarian forces confronted the Western democracies. Similar confrontations will emerge in the future, involving increasingly lethal weapons of mass destruction. Even if major wars are avoided, the continuing environmental destruction and explosive population growth will eventually reach catastrophic levels.
The Survival/Extinction Equation shows the only two possible outcomes. If the human species is to survive, it must be governed by servant-leaders, in combination with a greatly downsized war institution. The alternative, which is the continued gross mismanagement of societies, economies and the environment -- frequently involving ever more destructive wars -- is bound to result in the destruction of our civilization, and even in the extinction of the human species.
The benefit of the equation is that the components are measurable. It is possible to assign a statistical or other indicator to the various conditions that make up the government and war institutions, and measure any improvement or decline. For example, democratic politicians are encouraging political freedom, which in turn can be measured by such indicators as rule of law, freedom of expression, adherence to human rights, open political participation and equality of opportunity. Such organizations as Amnesty International are beginning to measure both political freedom and its abuse. The annual Human Development Reports (by the U.N. Development Program) also provide excellent indicators of human progress -- or lack thereof -- in the 174 countries of the world.
Logically, the democratic forces in civil societies ought to prevail in this struggle. Unfortunately, there is a tendency toward complacency by well-meaning people, who have difficulty fathoming the First Brain mindset of authoritarian leaders. Good people tend to be passive and reactive, while the abusers of power are aggressive and active in reaching their goals of domination and power. This gives authoritarian political leaders a capability for mischief far in excess of their countries' economic power. Regrettably, it is difficult for democratic leaders to mobilize public opinion to counter threats by the authoritarian regimes. Strong leadership is needed to secure the vigorous actions required so that the democratic, obedient military prevail against their authoritarian and totalitarian counterparts.
John Keegan in A History of Warfare concludes that "Politics must continue; war cannot." A democratic military must emerge to ensure human survival.
"The world community needs, more than it has ever done, skillful and disciplined warriors who are ready to put themselves at the service of its authority. Such warriors must properly be seen as the protectors of civilization, ... against ethnic bigots, regional warlords, ideological intransigents, common pillagers and organized international criminals ..."
The Failure of Institutions
A thorough analysis of the Holocaust reveals the real causes of the tragedy. Such fundamental characteristics of Homo sapiens as a lack of an instinctive inhibition against killing fellow humans; the vulnerability to addictions, including cultural and political; and the First Brain vs. New Brain dichotomy and resulting susceptibility to emotional manipulations by powerholders and powerseekers supply the infrastructure of genocides and democides.
The Holocaust also exposed the failure of the social institutions that could have prevented it. For example, prior to the rise of Nazism the institutions of Germany were numerous and effective. In governance -- political parties and an efficient bureaucracy. In religion -- the state churches. In education -- excellent universities and schools. Many professional associations -- legal, medical, teaching and others. Among economic institutions -- associations of small businesses and artisans, as well as large businesses and corporations. The purpose of these well-functioning institutions was to convert human savagery into a civilized society, and ultimately to advance human survival. Instead these institutions almost universally allowed themselves to be corrupted by the addictions to antisemitism, racism, ultra-nationalism and militarism, and thereby significantly contributed to the continuing human decline/devolution of the 20th century.
All it took then was the convergence of events and conditions into a catastrophe. The political mismanagement by the ruling political class and the excessive war institutions of Europe erupted into the two World Wars. Not only were huge casualties suffered, but the discrediting of powerholders led to new authoritarian regimes and tens of millions of deaths by democides and genocides, including the Jewish-Slavic Holocaust. The ongoing political instabilities of many countries and the ready availability of both conventional and mass destruction weapons continue to endanger human survival.
The correcting of political mismanagement and the downsizing of the military must be accompanied by a reinventing of key institutions. Governments must adopt national goals that foster cooperation and amity, in place of hostility and enmity. Resources currently wasted on the excessive war/military institutions need to be applied to economic development, and the improving of the education and health of the less developed world. Other institutions that have a significant impact on human affairs must similarly modify their doctrines. A new code of institutional conduct may be used to guide such modifications:
> All human institutions, religious organizations, political parties, etc.
>> that teach, advocate, propose, support, endorse and otherwise promote
>>> enmities, hatreds, violence, hostility or the use of force against
>>>> other human groups of different race, class, ethnicity or religious affiliation
>>>>> must modify their teachings, dogmas and doctrines
>>>>>> to advance human survival by reducing intergroup strife.
Past failures of religious institutions have been especially painful. In Europe, the national church bureaucracies tended to endorse political mismanagement and the excessive war institution. For example, the "just war" doctrine supported the militaries during World War I and II, and the state churches of Germany acquiesced in the Holocaust.
American churches can show the way out. The wise separation of church and state prevented the formation of state church bureaucracies, making it easier to follow the true principles of religion. For example, in 1983 the U.S. Catholic Bishops Letter on Peace condemned the use of nuclear weapons. And in 1994 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a resolution that repudiated the anti-Jewish writings of its founder, Martin Luther.
A great step in the direction of defining a common set of human survival values by religious institutions took place in America. The Parliament of the World's Religions, representing 125 of the world's denominations, met in Chicago in August/September 1993. The delegates signed a Declaration of a Global Ethic, to guide human behavior into the new millennium. The Declaration "... advocates nonviolent solutions to conflict, respect for nature and equality between the sexes. It condemns leaders and members of religions that incite aggression, fanaticism, hate and xenophobia." The Declaration is an example of the spiritual revolution needed to advance the human condition toward survival. Exhibit D, "The Principles of a Global Ethic" is the initial version of the Declaration.
The adoption of the concept of servant-leadership will strongly facilitate the reform of other key institutions of our society. Especially important are the organized manifestations of voluntary human activities, dedicated to serving human needs not addressed by government agencies or commercial entities.
"Civil society refers to that sphere of voluntary associations and informal networks in which individuals and groups engage in activities of public consequence. It is distinguished from the public activities of government because it is voluntary, and from the private activities of markets because it seeks common ground and public goods. It is often described as the "third sector." For democratic societies, it provides an essential link between citizens and the state. ... Civil society includes voluntary associations of all sorts: churches, neighborhood organizations, cooperatives, fraternal and sororal organizations, charities, unions, parties, social movements, interest groups, and families. The inclusion of the family among those forms of social interaction between economy and state yields the broadest definition of civil society."
Carmen Sirianni and Lewis Friedland, Civic Practices Network
The strengthening of the institutions of civil societies in the United States and the rest of the world will facilitate the actions needed to reverse the danger of continuing human decline/devolution.
Advancing Beyond the Traditional State
Jared Diamond's summation of the evolution of human societies discloses the weaknesses of the traditional or conventional state. Powerholders have special access to information, can make decisions and redistribute surplus goods. This centralized leadership and decision making enables them to reward themselves and their supporters at the expense of the general welfare of their societies. Throughout history this was the common characteristics of authoritarian governments. But even the more democratic and open societies can be tainted by this negative potential. The recent examples of "crony capitalism" — more accurately described as "klepto-capitalism" — in Malaysia, Indonesia and other Asian countries demonstrate the harm done even by non-authoritarian governments.
To overcome this potentially fatal trend, a new type of state has to emerge. The
reinventing and strengthening of institutions to form a civil society will provide
the infrastructure of the next development of human societies: the common good
Common good: 1. A desirable end for government or public policy, which is good for the whole society.
2. The communal approach to the structuring and operating of a society, to reach an optimum level of economic and moral achievement and satisfaction for its participants.
The Common Good State
The common good state would modify the traditional state's institutions and operations, so that a higher level of civilization would be achieved to ensure continued human survival and progress. The "Traditional State vs. the Common Good State" table summarizes the changes made to the negative aspects shown on Exhibit A.2 "Conditions of Human Society."
Reaching the Common Good State
Obviously the concept of the common good is highly desirable for the continued survival and progress of humankind. However, a major obstacle remains in reaching it. How can people of highly diverse values, opinions and outlooks reach agreement on what is the common good?
While the extreme views of the radical right and left cannot ever be fully satisfied, the vast majority of our citizens may be classified as conservatives, liberals or centrists. For this most influential group of our citizens, it is feasible to develop and implement public policy decisions designed to satisfy their needs.
Super-optimum solutions (SOS) are alternatives to public policy problems in which
both liberals and conservatives — and others holding opposing viewpoints — come out
ahead of their initial best expectations. Developed by Stuart S. Nagel, professor
of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, super-optimum
solutions offer a method of developing alternative resolutions to most of the human
conflicts of the world. Super-optimum solutions result in win-win policies satisfactory
to both sides of actual or potential conflicts. Reaching the common good state becomes
feasible, because rational procedures can be followed in setting up societal goals,
and selecting the best public policy alternatives for implementing these goals for
the common good.
Our considerable intellectual and information resources will provide the means of accomplishment. Only a logical approach can enable us to identify our problems, their costs and the resources available for solving them, without the conflict that all too frequently accompanies major social or economic problems.
The Appendix "Super-Optimum Solutions" illustrates in greater detail the concept of super-optimum solutions.
Actions to Advance Human Survival
Once the twin problems of political mismanagement and the unrestrained war institution are recognized and accepted, remedies become feasible. We must reverse the problems and their interactions outlined previously. This reversal would enable us to strengthen our institutions to achieve civil societies and the resulting common good states world-wide.
The following is an overview of the actions that should be taken. The interactions and interrelations among the various actions and programs needed will remedy the previously outlined problems and conditions. The Exhibit E interactions chart, "Human Evolution -- Actions Needed to Advance Human Survival" illustrates the major relationships among the various activities. (Note: The items listed are capitalized, just as they appear in the interactions chart.)
The Moral/Spiritual Actions will provide the foundation of the entire program for promoting human survival. For example, we can enlist the cooperation of religious organizations, to Promote Adoption of "Principles of a New Global Ethic"; Secure a Papal Encyclical "All Wars Are Immoral;" and Promote Peace Education. The world's major religions -- Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and others -- should be able and willing to provide the spiritual reasons for correcting political mismanagement and downsizing the war institution.
The Inter-State Actions are designed to Reduce Fear and Mistrust Among Governments; Promote Decolonization and Promote Detribalization. Major programs will Educate Against Nationalistic and Religious Extremism; Strengthen Multi-National Conflict Resolution Institutions; Develop New Methods of Conflict Resolution; Establish International Peacekeeping Force Under U.N. Control; and Create a World Authority.
The Political Actions area needed to Support Trend for Greater Human Freedom; Reduce Economic Causes of Social Conflict; Replace Oppressive Governments; Encourage Establishment of Common Good States and Civil Societies; and Support Establishment of Peace Confederations. A critical component will require worldwide to Downsize the War Institution; Suppress International Arms Trade; Halt the Arms Race; Prohibit Possession of Mass Destruction Armaments; and Link Human Development Aid to Military Reductions.
The Citizens' Actions will provide grassroots support to Initiate "Government for the People" Social Movement in support of: World Leadership Actions; Proclaim New Human Order; Initiate Multilateral Disarmament; Establish Department of Peace and Human Development; Transfer Resources from the Military to Human Needs; and Apply Resources to Meet Human Needs.
The Knowledge Explosion Actions are needed to Rearrange Science and Technology Priorities; Stop Research on High-Tech Weapons; Develop Non-Lethal Weapons; Develop Cures to New Epidemics; Develop Environment Preservation Technologies; and Establish a Demilitarized Armed Force.
The Economic Actions will help to Solve the Debt and Deficit Crisis; Increase Economic Development; Stimulate Global Trade; and Promote Market-Oriented Economies.
The Environmental Actions will be essential to Reverse Environmental Damage; Reverse Deforestation; Reverse Soil Erosion; Reverse Desertification; Maintain Sustainable Population/ Resources Balance; Eliminate Malnutrition; and Eliminate Unsanitary Living Conditions.
The Social Impact Actions will Address Social Problems; Increase
Social Development; Provide Universal Primary Education; Provide Primary Health Care;
Liberate Women; and Organize Effective Population Control.
The Exhibit E (Supplement) illustrates these negative interactions in the form of a graphic drawing.
Obviously the actions, activities and programs outlined above and in Exhibit E will be difficult to achieve. Much opposition will be encountered from many current powerholders and military establishments. Yet the ideas proposed are feasible, for the purpose will be of benefit to the entire human species. Billions of people will support the effort, once they learn about the dangers and opportunities of the future. Because the opposing political leadership and the non-democratic military are a small minority, the right leadership will gradually overcome them. And this type of leadership is available, for the first time in human history, through the United States.
America, the Hyperpower -- Taking World Leadership
According to a poll conducted by USA Today in 1992, people around the world look to the United States to lead the way into the next millennium. Can we, and should we, take on this tremendous responsibility of world leadership? Do we have the qualifications for the most difficult task in human history?
World leadership is based on three major power factors: economic power, military power and moral power. Our foreign policy currently neglects the importance of moral power. Yet the values of America, reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, the Four Freedoms, the Atlantic Charter -- and our adherence to them -- provide an irresistible appeal to the repressed people of the world. Our moral principles are actualized by our democratic institutions, the influence of organized religion and a tradition of tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity.
The European Union and Japan are economic superpowers comparable to the United States. Russia remains -- because of its nuclear capabilities -- a military superpower. But only the United States has all three components of world leadership, including the all important moral leadership factor:
The unique combination of economic, military and moral potential make the United States a hyperpower, uniquely qualified to lead the world into the 21st century.
During the Cold War the superpower nuclear arsenals could have destroyed the world. Now the principal threat to human survival is the harmful impact of political mismanagement and a bloated war institution. The United States has both the capability and the moral imperative to eliminate these two dangers. Still, we cannot serve as the world's policeman -- it is simply not affordable, and does not fit the value structure of the nation. Instead, we must become the Tribune of Humanity -- defender of democracy, protector of human rights, advocate of economic and social justice, liberator of the oppressed (especially women, children and minorities). This is the role uniquely suited to a hyperpower. This world leadership role also will regenerate America and help solve our economic, social and environmental problems.
Foundations of the New American Foreign Policy
We are faced with a formidable task when we are considering not only the resolution of our own national problems but also the exercise of world leadership. The only reason we can even consider undertaking the mission is because, for the first time in human history, all the key components are in place.
First and foremost, a global consciousness is emerging. The dramatic developments in communications technologies finally are opening up even the most closed societies. The best exertions of totalitarian or authoritarian societies cannot keep information and awareness of the world away from their people.
Science and technology can satisfy the economic, health, educational and other needs of humanity, if only governments and powerholders will let these developments happen.
We have also reached a condition when most of the world's problems, and the prevention of their resolution, can be traced to the true causes. The elimination of political mismanagement and the downsizing of the war institution is becoming feasible. The tremendous financial savings from reduced military expenditures could be applied to the alleviation of our national problems and the strengthening of our economy. We could balance the budget with only moderate new taxes. Our productivity would be bolstered through increased investments, a better-educated labor force, and the transfer of scientists and engineers from the defense industry to innovation in manufacturing and development of new products. With the assistance of our allies, we also would have the resources to address the other issues of human survival. Human needs could be met by transferring military expenditures to economic development, education, health improvement and other deficiencies of less developed countries. Cutting down the flow of weapons non-democratic regimes also would speed up the worldwide trend toward democratization and civil societies. Finally, by eliminating mistrust among countries we could undertake the massive cooperative efforts needed to restore the global environment.
The Grand Moral Strategy of the United States
Once we realize that our foreign policy -- and our domestic policies mutually supporting each other -- must be based on the elimination of political mismanagement and the downsizing of the war institution, our democratic political processes can take over. We must solve our internal problems to maintain our capacity of moral leadership and serve as an example and model to the rest of the world. Our economic and social problems are readily identifiable, and rational programs to deal with them can be developed.
A cohesive set of programs and policies addressing our national and world problems should be assembled, to become a coherent, consistent, long-term national program of economic buildup, social reform and moral revival. The part of this program that would address our relationship to the rest of the world is the U.S. Grand Moral Strategy. The objectives and goals would be the following:
The Grand Moral Strategy will replace the present aimless drifting of our foreign policy. The Common Good Covenant (see below) will become the comprehensive program of our national revival, to incorporate as well the world leadership imperative demanded of the United States. The Common Good Covenant can be divided into the Domestic Program and the International Program. The Grand Moral Strategy will be the implementation of the International Program, to cover the objectives and goals outlined previously. The interactions chart of Exhibit F, "Implementing the U.S. Grand Moral Strategy," shows the major elements and their interrelationships.
The grand strategy of our foreign affairs will be conducted as the New Human Order, to replace the failing "New World Order" of the Bush administration. Existing policies of promoting human rights, democratization and civil societies will be intensified and pursued vigorously. Worldwide military downsizing will achieve substantial multilateral disarmament, including the elimination of the most dangerous weapons systems. Resources will be transferred to the meeting of human needs, including the alleviation of social and environmental problems. Economic development under market economies will be fostered. Simultaneous efforts will be made to promote the freeing of oppressed minorities, while reducing the levels of ethnic and religious violence. The ultimate goal of the New Human Order would be the bringing about common good states throughout the world.
A newly established Department of Peace and Human Development will coordinate the New Human Order. In addition, the downsizing of our war institution will require a process by which our current Strategic and Offensive Military Force will be gradually replaced by a less threatening Territorial Defense Force. With the development of the tactics and capabilities for conducting non-lethal warfare, part of our armed forces will be converted to a Non-Lethal Force. Finally, a Peace Force will use only the non-violent methods of persuasion, conciliation and mediation of resolving differences.
To assist in diminishing ethnic, racial, religious and other tribalistic enmities, the New Human Order will actively promote the establishment of Peace Confederations.
Economic and political cooperation among nations and other political entities, within cohesive geographical areas will help reduce tensions and frictions. The European Union is an operating model for this concept. Another area much in need for this type of cooperation is the Middle East. Exhibit G, "The Confederation of Abraham," outlines how a peace confederation could finally end the seemingly endless rounds of wars, violence and economic decline of the Arab world. Similar peace confederations could be established in Eastern Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and parts of Africa and Latin America.
The culmination of the Grand Moral Strategy will be the establishment of a World Authority, where the operations of the U.N. will be supplemented with executive functions devoid of military force. The World Authority will conduct impartial conflict prevention, mediation and resolution. As a service organization, it will coordinate the operations of other existing world organizations (such as UNESCO, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others). The World Authority also will undertake new functions in world economic development, environmental preservation, disaster relief and inter-community violence. Many of these activities will be conducted by the downsized military organizations of the various countries. Under the principles of servant-leadership the World Authority will be entrusted with activities of common interest to humanity, serving as a model of the correction of political mismanagement.
Covenant: An agreement that is formal, solemn and intended as binding; a solemn compact among groups; the tradition that human beings freely associate for common purposes through pacts of mutual commitment.
The Covenant for the Common Good: A Model for Political Management
We need a total program to implement the U.S. Grand Moral Strategy. This is required for two reasons. The United States must set an example to the rest of the world in how to correct political mismanagement and downsize the war institution. And solving our many economic and social problems will provide the resources to assist Third World countries in comparable efforts.
Developing the Common Good Covenant
The concept of the "New Covenant" emerged during the 1992 presidential election. The New Covenant was one of the campaign promises of President Clinton. It called for a contract between the government offering increased opportunity, while the public was asked to assume more responsibility. The 1992 Democratic Platform also called for "A New Covenant with the American People," which attacked political mismanagement and called for a service and choice providing and citizen empowering government.
Events following Election '92 demonstrated that the New Covenant was merely campaign rhetoric. The disillusioned public turned away from the Democrats in the 1994 congressional elections. The Republican landslide resulted in the legislative program called "Contract with America." This frantic attempt to dismantle the New Deal and the Great Society programs is a typical product of the political class. No serious effort was made to analyze the problems of the nation and develop feasible solutions for long-term improvement. Accordingly, we may expect the conditions of America and the world to continue to follow the path of human devolution.
To remedy this, we must convert and expand the promise of the New Covenant to meet the realities and challenges of the United States and the world. The vital United States leadership in correcting worldwide political mismanagement and the wasteful war institutions must become the cornerstone of a Common Good Covenant. The Common Good Covenant is to be the implementation of John Locke and other political philosophers' concept of the Social Contract, not only between governments and societies, but also among all the human communities of our planet.
Our extensive intellectual resources can form the basis of the political program needed to institute our national economic and social revival. But even the best ideas will not be accepted without a strong motivating factor. Here the Common Good Covenant has a powerful feature -- the emphasis on morality based on traditional American religious values. Trust in government and a sense of community must be restored before meaningful political actions can be undertaken to create a just and humane society.
A viable political program will require financial and other sacrifices by many citizens and organizations. A compelling moral vision of a better society is needed to justify the short-term sacrifices. The emergence of the numerous world problems again requires solutions based on morality, to replace the failed New World Order. The expanded Common Good Covenant can become the political program that satisfies the needs of the nation and the world with the resources that are available, guided by moral and spiritual considerations.
A systematic analysis and investigation of our social, economic, political and environmental deficiencies uncovers about 65 major national and world problems. These can be linked to eight national deficits that need to be addressed by a successful presidency. The Common Good Covenant can be coordinated with federal and state budgets to support the economic plan and other programs needed for our national revival and world role. Budget deficits can be cut, and major funds can be made available for needed economic and social investments.
Exhibit H, "The Common Good Covenant -- A Summary of National Goals and Programs" provides an outline of the proposed approach.
Worldwide Expansion of the Common Good Covenant
Properly developed, the Common Good Covenant -- after initiation and implementation in the United States -- can be expanded throughout the world. A country-by-country assessment of human needs can be conducted. Realistic goals can be set up for each government, based on available and projected resources.
The Common Good Covenant would establish compacts between the governments and the governed. The purpose would be the elimination of political mismanagement, which especially hampers the Third World countries. The worldwide downsizing of the military institution would provide the resources needed to meet human needs in such areas as nutrition, sanitation, economic development and other areas not meeting minimum standards. According to the 1994 Human Development Report at least $1.5 trillion could have been made available for this purpose by the year 2000.
The objective of the New Human Order would be the establishing of civil societies, governed by democratic politicians and servant-leaders. There also would be a balancing of human rights with human obligations. On the human rights side economic and social development with political freedom would be provided. On the human obligation side family planning, environmental protection and international cooperation would be offered in exchange for the development aid given by the developed countries.
The annual Human Development Reports by the U.N. Development Program provide excellent indicators of the conditions and progress made by the countries of the world. For example, the Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite of economic, health and education indicators that enable the ranking of countries according to their relative development. The 1992 Report includes a proposal for a Political Freedom Index (PFI), to measure country-by-country such goals of civil societies as personal security, rule of law, freedom of expression, political participation and equality of opportunity. The Human Development Index, the Political Freedom Index, and the downsizing of military establishments could be used to decide how resources by the developed world should be transferred. Countries that are successful in human development would be rewarded with continued or even increased aid. Governments engaged in continuing political mismanagement would be penalized by the reduction of human development assistance. Eventually, the inhabitants of these countries would take the actions needed to eliminate political mismanagement and participate in the New Human Order.
Implementing the Common Good Covenant through a Social Movement
Obviously there are many obstacles in the way of instituting the Common Good Covenant. The powers of the presidency need to be supported by a grassroots effort to overcome the special interests and other opponents of change and reform. A social movement is needed to implement the Common Good Covenant and related programs.
In the past, social movements have emerged to achieve needed social change. A social movement is an alliance of people and organizations that share a dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs and have a vision of a better human order. The abolition movement of the United States is probably the best example of a successful social movement.
"Social movements are collective actions in which the populace is alerted, educated and mobilized, over years and decades, to challenge the powerholders and the whole society to redress social problems or grievances, and restore critical social values."
Bill Moyer, The Movement Action Plan
Social movements have played a prominent part in American history. The abolition of slavery, the civil rights movement in the '60s, and the end of the Vietnam War are among the examples of successful social movements. Accordingly, it is feasible to develop a theory and action plan for the social movement needed to abolish the political class and its mismanagement of the human condition. "The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements" provides an overview of the major phases of the Movement Action Plan, which can serve as the model for the needed effort.
Stage One: Normal Times
Although major conditions exist that harm the best interests of society as a whole, society in general is not aware of the problems.
Stage Two: Failure of Institutions
Opposition emerges that undertakes research and proves that the official doctrines
and policies of governmental institutions violate society's values and the public trust.
Stage Three: Ripening Conditions
Growing consciousness and discontent of the victimized populations begin to converge into autonomous local groups. These grassroots opposition groups begin to start local prototype demonstrations and nonviolent action campaigns to dramatize the problem.
Stage Four: Movement Take-Off
A highly publicized, shocking incident becomes a triggering event that dramatically reveals the critical problem to the general public. This creates a sense of moral outrage in the general population that begins to undermine the position of the powerholders. A new wave of decentralized grassroots opposition begins to coalesce into a social movement.
Stage Five: Powerlessness
Although the social movement is gaining momentum, many activists begin to lose faith in success because of the strength of the opposition and the lack of quick results.
Stage Six: Majority Public Support
The social movement transforms itself into a long-term popular struggle to achieve the positive social change. A strategy of local organizing, education, involvement of mainstream institutions, demonstrations and citizen involvement programs is developed and implemented.
Stage Seven: Success
A new social consensus emerges, which turns the tide of power against the existing powerholders. The needed policy changes and institutional reforms achieve most of the goals of the social movement.
Stage Eight: Continuing the Struggle
The social movement will celebrate its success, but then must engage in a follow-up process to ensure the carrying out of its objectives. It must also build fundamental structural changes to continue the society improvement process.
The new information and communications technologies -- availability of personal computers, faxes, access to the online services and the Internet -- would strongly facilitate the networking needed for a successful social movement.
The "Government for the People" Social Movement
The present condition of our society calls for a major reconstructing social movement -- a Great Awakening for the new millennium. The threat of human extinction due to political mismanagement and the war institution is real and urgent. For a more immediate concern, numerous economic, social and environmental problems persist and worsen. We do have the intellectual capital and the economic and spiritual resources to solve these problems. But our powerseeking and powerholding politicians are evidently unwilling to take the needed actions. Accordingly, concerned citizens must unite and effect the needed changes.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln in his famous Gettysburg Address proclaimed:
"...that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
The American people, and the rest of the world, both deserve and need this ideal form of government. But instead we have what may be called: "government of the people, by the political class, for the special interests."
Obviously this is not a desirable situation. A prosperous democracy should not have a disillusioned citizenry, which stays out of the political process. Nor should we have the kind of problems that diminish our well-being as a society. Is it desirable that 40 million Americans are not covered by health insurance? Or the U.S., with 5% of the world's population, will soon have two million convicts in prisons, which will be an astonishing 25% of those who are incarcerated for crimes committed in the entire world? The majority of the eligible voters did not vote in the 1996 presidential election -- only 49% voted. The percentage of voters in the 1998 congressional election was less then 40% of those eligible.
To improve both the human condition and the well-being of the United States, a transforming social movement has to be initiated. The appropriate name of this social movement is: Government for the People. The broad-based nature of such a massive social movement could then enlist the many organizations that already exist in response to concerns about society, the environment and other aspects of the human condition. There are also many informal grass-roots level activists ready, able and willing to participate.
Constructing a unified mass social movement will be a difficult, but feasible task, especially now that the Internet is available. A clear message has to be developed, individuals and organizations that are potential supporters have to be located, and the media has to informed. The average disillusioned citizen will be receptive to the message. The concept of the common good state will gain the support of many non-profit organizations, because their reasonable goals will be satisfied.
It is vital to realize that the common good state would merely reform our existing form of government. In the past social movements helped to abolish slavery and give women the right to vote. The common good state would only serve to coordinate the activities of the institutions of society, to optimize the benefits to the citizens as much as possible. It will not try to control the emergence of new technologies, scientific discoveries, starting of new businesses, and other useful activities. Obviously such rules as not destroying the environment will have to be followed. But creativity will not be restrained, a new political class will not be allowed to emerge, and so on.
The common good state will also be a powerful instrument for advancing human survival. Based on the American philosophy of pragmatism, it is a realistic solution to the worst problems humanity experienced in the 20th century. Powerholders interested in gaining and keeping power plunged the world into a World War I. Out of this conflict communism and fascism emerged, leading to World War II and the Cold War and its nuclear confrontation. The destructive wars were accompanied and followed by genocides and massacres, still continuing and threatening. The common good state is designed specifically to prevent such repetition of history in the 21st century. (With the emergence of mass destruction weapons the repetition of 20th century violence could become fatal for the human species.) Ultimately, the common good state would eliminate the futile struggles among the nation-states. The cooperation among human groups would continue the evolution of human societies that went from bands to the modern states, able to coexist peacefully. It will not create a utopia, because human nature is such that it may never develop utopian conditions. Human society, at least in the foreseeable future, will require social institutions to control its genetic tendency toward violence against other humans, and to assist in gaining cooperation for economic and social activities
Also, for the first time in human existence, this concept is becoming feasible. Modern science, technology and industry are making the resources available to satisfy reasonable human needs. The concept of "super-optimum solutions" enable us to reach reasonable common goals. Finally, the new communications technologies can spread the message world-wide, so that even in oppressive societies governments will have to yield to the benefits of the common good.
Concord: Harmony or agreement of interests or feelings; accord.
The Mega-Coalition: Concord for Human Survival
Over the years, many associations and coalitions of concerned citizens have emerged. Their interests include all the social, economic, political and other problems, including women's and children's issues, the budget deficit, peace and justice and environmental concerns. By incorporating their reasonable solutions into the Common Good Covenant, their support can be obtained for the successful implementation of the goals of the Government for the People Social Movement. The Concord for Human Survival would be an appropriate name for such a super-coalition.
There are literally thousands of organizations interested in improving the human condition. Many religious groups concerned about moral issues would find it worthwhile to support the social movement. The millions of concerned citizens could be reached through the media and enlisted in the movement. The emergence of the Internet and other new communications technologies would supply powerful tools for reaching and mobilizing public opinion.
Existing organizations and coalitions would be stimulated by the social and economic change required and would considerably strengthen the grassroots support for the political restructuring that is emerging throughout the nation. The coalition members would help to counteract the special interests in Congress to enact the legislation and funds needed for the Common Good Covenant agenda.
The abolition of war and the downsizing of the military establishments appear to be a formidable, nearly impossible task. Still, a converging trend of human moral/spiritual development and realistic needs makes this radical departure from previous human conduct achievable for the first time in history. For both moral/spiritual and realistic reasons the citizens of United States have a major role in this endeavor.
Return to Contents