Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Great Future for America and the World

Our Great Future

In the long run, I am very optimistic. Just as from 1929 to 1945, the United States had to endure a great economic disaster followed by a horrendous war, I believe there are some very hard times ahead of us, but I think we will eventually emerge from these troubles to enter a new era of unprecedented, broad prosperity and expansion and relative peace, as we did in the postwar decades before the mid-'60s.
We will build a new world order which will be as much of an improvement over our current system as the post-WW II order, with its United Nations, general and rising education and affluence, beneficial tide of foreign aid, medical advances and the beginnings of the Space Age, were over the dark, desperate, backward 1930s.
Here is my vision for our future (what is yours?).

Broad and rising prosperity and equality
This is the truly most immense change that we can and have to bring about. Poverty escapes the notice of many Americans, but it is by far and away the world's greatest problem with almost half the world's population having to live on under $3 a day, a billion people without access to clean drinking water, ten million children dying of poverty every year, and so on.
After the Revolution, giant transfers from the rich countries to the poor will enable the Third World to rapidly industrialize and lift their people up to American middle-class living standards within two generations, by the 2050s. Progressive domestic policies in the Third World, such as full employment and rapidly raising the minimum wage level, will eliminate poverty, both absolute and relative, everywhere. Ultimately, we will go far beyond that and achieve the dream of everyone becoming a millionaire, billionaire, and "every man a king"--in the best senses, meaning that all will have enormous wealth and power and the wisdom to use them well and without this being at the expense of others. It's not power over other people that we want, it is the power to solve our collective problems and help build a better world (and ultimately Solar System) for all. Our enormous prospective wealth will require lang-range planning, in order to avoid depleting natural resources and polluting the environment, but will ultimately be made possible by the immense resources of energy, space, and materials available in outer space.

A New World Order Based on the Equality of All Nations and All People
Today's rotten world order is based on the idea of a Darwinian competitive struggle of all nations against each other with the devil take the hindmost. This is totally intolerable as a world order. Our goal has to be that all nations shall succeed, attain roughly equal living standards, since all are roughly equally deserving, and ultimately share equally in the great adventure of Space. Thus, international cooperation and friendship ("No Nation Left Behind") will replace hostile, cutthroat, uncaring competition; there will always be friendly rivalry, however.
There will be a democratically elected World Government, with a World Parliament of 10,000 seats, with each district including half a million to a million people; but each seat should be rotated (or otherwise shared) among 4 or more officeholders, who will share the power of the office in proportion to the number of votes they receive--a type of proportional representation that will immensely broaden everyone's opportunity to serve in government. The WG will fund itself by printing currency to finance its programs, but don't worry--it will be controlled by discussion groups open to all, which will keep it from overprinting and getting too much power that way.

Between the World Government and the 200 or so national governments will be a new, intermediate level of government--the ten great regional superpowers. You can already see these starting to form, in such organizations as ASEAN, the Asociation of SouthEast Asian Nations. The European Union EU has advanced the farthest along this path--though it needs revolutionary change to tax the rich, solve poverty and unemployment, massively increase foreign aid, and redistribute the power by becoming more democratic. All these great regions must become DIRECT DEMOCRACIES, governed by discussion groups open to all people. Thereby power can be equally or at least very broadly distributed to all people, instead of tightly concentrated in a tiny percentage of the population, as it is in today's representative democracies. These regional superpowers should be funded by heavy taxes on people with great WEALTH (by contrast with the national governments, which should be funded by heavy taxes on extremely high INCOMES).
The Ten Great Regions are: Africa, Bharat (India), China, Europe, the Islamic world, the Japanese alliance (possibly including Australia, South Korea, etc.), Latin America, North America (the US and Canada--Mexico belongs in the Latin American region), a renewed, reformed, voluntary Soviet Union, and Tropical East Asia. (Names chosen so as to conveniently give 10 different initials--A, B, C, E, I, J, L, N, S, T). Places that do not belong to any particular one of these can be incorporated in a "World" region (W). Note that some of these regions overlap--for example, the Islamic world overlaps Africa, India, the Soviet bloc, and Tropical East Asia, and a few other places, like Albania in Europe. In some such cases, individual people may be allowed to determine which region they wish to belong to, or the decision might be made democratically, state by state or city by city within each such place. Since all regions are dedicated to progress and equality, there should be no conflict.
This uniting of people and nations in these great regions is most vital in order to:
(1) Build up their power to stand up to "the West" (the US and its allies who now have global hegemony);
(2) Build up their power, with giant armies where necessary, as it generally will be, in order to make the world democratic, so that the now almost powerless poor of Africa, etc., shall have just as much say-so in world affairs as the rulers of the richest countries do now;
(3) Redistribute the wealth within each region--e.g., from (the relatively rich) South Africa to the poorest countries of Africa, and from (wealthy) Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to (impoverished)Egypt and Indonesia in the Islamic world, etc.;
(4) Plan, organize, and develop their own economies, including the automobile and airplane industries which are beyond the capacity of small, poor countries, but that can be built up through collaboration among all the small countries in each great region;
(5) Design and build the many huge spacecraft which again are way beyond the capacity of small countries but that can be produced through collaboration among them within their region, which will enable their region to participate as equals with all the other regions in the great coming future Space Age.
Although people of all races and religions will be welcome in each region, it is important to note that it is the consciousness of racial and religious commonality that will make it possible
for progressive leaders to unite the diverse peoples and nations within their regions.

Universal Freedom and Democracy
The main impediment to freedom today is poverty and unemployment. People who are unemployed (there are about half a billion currently) are not free; nor are those who are too poor to travel or afford the things they need and want. One of our first great reforms must be full employment with good jobs for all, with high and rising minimum wage levels, total flex-time, full choice of type of work, and "full promotion" policies that will make it possible for ALL to rise to the top. All these things will require large government subsidies. (See blog on "Solving National and World Problems--Un- and Under-Employment".)
Another great reform must make it possible for all people to travel all over the world. This will require huge subsidies in order to build affordable motels everywhere and create all kinds of temporary jobs everywhere so that everyone can work his or her way around the world. Three further great reforms will help make travel easier and more enjoyable:
(1) There will be a world language--Esperanto, which everyone should learn as their second language in the future world where education has greatly expanded, making it possible for everyone to learn three languages--their native tongue, Esperanto, and some third language of their choice. Esperanto will be the world language, rather than English, which is the closest thing to a universal language today, because it is regular in spelling and grammar, making it easier to learn, and it is more neutral, not associated with any one national or ethnic group--in particular, not with the big English-speaking nations, whose foreign policies are making them widely hated around the world.
(2) From birth, everyone will have a universal ID card which will serve as birth certificate, Social Security card, driver's license, universal ATM, visa, and passport, which will eliminate this travel complication.
(3) There will be a universal currency, printed by the World Government. (Individual nations, however, will still be free to mint coins, though their size and color/material will be standardized so as to be easily usable everywhere.)

We must advance beyond the current practice of majoritarian representative democracy, by which the tiny number of usually unenlightened middle-of-the-road (and/or servants of the rich) rulers impose their preferences on all, to proportional representation and direct democracy in which power is broadly shared, and to a system of territories set aside in which people of all political philosophies--liberals, conservatives, socialists, libertarians, and beyond--can live and govern themselves according to their beliefs, and build their ideal types of society to demonstrate to visitors how their ideals would work in practice. Note that in general most of these territories will need to be subsidized (The lack of such subsidies is why many such utopian communities have failed in the past.)

The World Government will have the power and the mandate to persuade or depose any national rulers who do not give their people freedom, democracy, and human rights.

A Great and Glorious Destiny in Space
Perhaps one of the most important changes to be brought about by the Revolution will be the vision of where we as a human civilization are going. Today we drift. The ideal of progress, which was so prominent in the 1950s and early '60s, has been lost; our country and the world are stagnant, having no direction and going nowhere. There is no vision of any better world future, so each individual is just supposed to compete in an economic war of all against all, to take as big a share of whatever wealth exists as he or she can. Under this system, one person's success is always at the expense of others, and idealism and hope for a better future for all vanish. It doesn't have to be like this!
The thing that can give us all a great common, shared future to look forward to is the prospect of the Space Age For All. This will give our world civilization long-range direction, optimism, and dynamism, aiming towards the objective, which may be achievable by the 2050s, of making it possible for all people, perhaps numbering 10 billion by that time, to go to the Moon, Mars, and all of the other wondrous worlds of the Solar System. Billions of people already living can hope to live to see enjoy this Space Age!
In Space are freedom, room to roam, immense knowledge, wild adventure, vast resources, fantastic beauty, and unprecedented power to develop our human civilization to meet the needs, wishes, and dreams of everyone.

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