Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Would you like some freedom fries with your New World Order?

I feel fortunate to be part of a social circle that is willing to address the bigger questions in life, regardless of whether anybody within our group can actually do much to address the problems that we talk about. I certainly don't find it useless to discuss situations over which we have minimum control. At some level I think it's important merely to get the words out, and maybe the reverberations will catch the ear of someone in power. As a citizen of a nation that gives ample lip service to the glories of democracy, I consider it my civic duty both to have an opinion and to communicate it. I'm fully aware that many Americans simply can't be bothered to discuss politics, but I think that's a mistake.

I have one particular friend who has recently been concerned about the prospect of a world government. He sent me a video clip that he found on YouTube which features Walter Cronkite accepting an award at a gathering of internationalists called the World Federalist Association (watch it here). At the end of the video, Hillary Clinton makes an appearance via closed circuit television. I detect a distinct bias in the presentation, as it is quite obvious that whoever edited this piece meant it to be foreboding. If you watch it, I think you'll see what I mean. I was asked to respond (specifically in reference to my friend's fear that a world government would engage in genocide to systematically reduce the world's population) , and the following is what I wrote, albeit with minor changes...

"I noticed that this was edited significantly so that Cronkite's words were often presented out of context. Particularly egregious is the segment that has him joking about sitting at the side of Satan. Of course this clip was isolated so as to provoke those most horrified by the idea of a world government- religious fundamentalists. The only greater authority for them is their specific conception of God. They recognize no other government as valid. To them, this Youtube selection is simply a herald of the apocalypse as depicted in Revelations.

The only reference I heard in this video to "genocide" is Hillary Clinton's lauding of Walter Cronkite for his involvement in WFA's mission to END world genocide. That's the exact opposite of what you posit as the great threat of world government. The idea of a world government, as Cronkite clearly spells out, is to be able to hold individuals (like Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc.) accountable for their repeated crimes against humanity. If we accept the need for a federal government to regulate interstate commerce and prosecute people whose crimes transcend state borders, then why shouldn't that concept be applicable on a greater level?

These ne'er-do-wells (the ones I mentioned above, plus CEO's of profit-driven countries across the world) are currently insulated from the nasty consequences of their actions by the idea of national sovereignty. There's no reason to continue to allow them to hide behind an archaic idea that has only caused suffering for humanity, every other species of animal, and the ecosystem in general. This formation of the inviolability of national borders is exactly what has caused us to be in the dire situation that we find ourselves in. The current formulation is just not working.

An enlightened and meticulously constructed system of worldwide regulation over individual actors is not just desirable- it is a necessity for the future survival of the planet. Why let those controlling the largest and most technologically advanced military forces decide what is best for the world's citizenry? Especially when the key figures behind that military-industrial complex are completely unaccountable to ordinary people? In resisting organizations like the WFA, that is the situation you continue to empower."

Of course there is much in our dialog that I haven't presented in this post. I don't think it's appropriate or respectful to print my friend's words in this forum. Our discussion has continued, and I'm sure that we'll both be moved to work through the vast complexities of the topic. But I think it's only fair that I point out that my friend's perspective is formed more through libertarian philosophy than millenarian religious belief. Still I can't help but believe that the folks who are most resistant to the idea of world government seem willing to use biblical prophecy to foment hysteria about the possibility (my friend excluded, of course). No doubt they'll ensure that the conversation is emotional and fraught with fear. As for me, I'm sure I'll return to the subject soon.

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