Category Archives: War

Will Knowledge Explosion Lead to Peace…or War?

snowden
Some ask why prognosticators predict war over peace, as if it is blindly an easier and more provocative path to predict, rather than the harder path to achieve of world peace.

The answer lies in the historical pattern of power transitions between nations. While the world superpower period that we are in is unprecedented, regional superpower, empire, and hegemonic patterns are fairly well defined. As such, we are entering what historically has been the final phase of a hegemony, when a competing power grows powerful enough to wage war.

Hegemonies typically last for 3 to 5 generations. We are in the last generations historically of our hegemony. China already has way more people, acceptable manufacturing capacity, burgeoning technological ability, growing military strength, and a breadth of neocolonial trading relationships. The pattern for emerging war within a generation is concentrating.

Historically, when a nation emerges to wield similar capacities as the World’s dominant nation, and is not happy with the world’s economic and political systems that are designed to benefit the dominant nation, it sets the stage for war. The emerging nation attempts to bend the economic system their way, is met with opposing force of the dominant nation, and conflict erupts.

China is winning ground on all fronts. So, examining the historical patterns, the phase of our hegemony and China’s transition, and the pattern of conflict that has occurred consistently over the past millennium, some predict military conflict in the future.

A couple of trends oppose a classical war transition. One is the size of hegemonies involved. The U.S., being the most powerful hegemony that has ever existed, then requires a competitor to extend their capacity for war to unprecedented levels. Yet, China has been highly successful in gutting our military manufacturing capacity, which actually creates a more unstable environment that could lead to war simply because it equalizes power more quickly.

Another has been the resolve by which America pursues protection of hegemonic resources such as oil in the Middle East. Yet, our ten year wars have drawn us into the same economic drain that took down the Soviet Union. China, on the other hand, has been successful in creating new trading arrangements that circumvent the dollar as oil trading currency. These trends ultimately will prove the axiom of the taller you are the harder you fall, for as the greatest hegemony in history, America will fall the farthest if knocked down from our pedestal.

One hopeful trend that I discussed a few posts earlier is that the world is on the vertical slope of the information age, and gains in knowledge are progressing at light speed. It was hopeful that that Arab Spring was born from social media. The world’s citizens are connecting through the internet and are beginning to break down nationalist prejudices. There is the potential that people throughout the world will choose peace through knowledge.

Yet, history has shown that increased knowledge leads to military superiority, which leads to a higher probability of war if gained by the opposing force of the hegemony. This leads us back to why both China and the United States are attempting to fly up the vertical path of the world’s knowledge explosion to gain the upper hand. Hence, we have seen, thanks to folks like Snowden, the massive buildup of knowledge processing capacity by the NSA.

If mankind will make the leap toward removing worldwide bigoted barriers through an explosion of knowledge sharing, then Snowden will have earned a historical place as a true hero of world civilization. If, however, mankind follows our consistent historical pattern of technical superiority leading to armed conflict, then Snowden will be recorded by world history to have been simply another crack in the dyke of America’s hegemony giving way to war.

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Filed under American Governance, China, National Security, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory, War

Can We Finally Reset the Starting Point For the Constitution to Protect All Americans?

battles-of-the-civil-war-10The Constitution was beautifully crafted to hold a society in balance yet to find compromise toward improving civilization. With the ratification of the Constitution, elites could live in peace with the masses. The common mand could hold dear the freedoms needed to pursue happiness. The wealth and property that each man held could be forever preserved from the tyranny of Government. Yet, The starting point of the nation was imbalanced for America began as a racially oppressive society of 1789. America’s beginning was not radically altered by its revolution to find a better starting point than that which contained slavery.

Instead, each societal improvement, each step forward, would have to painfully stem from 1789 America to improve the lives of citizens and chattel humans. By the Constitution’s design, minorities had vetos over the desires of the majorities. Slavery had been embodied in the Constitution, and slavery’s eradication could not be enforced on the South without affecting the balance of protections offered by the Constitution.

lnstead, a bloody, radical Constitutional reset of society’s starting point had to be constructed through a Civil War. We would begin again with all of the protections provided by the Constitution, yet this time all would be free men. Sadly for America, at the war’s end, the new starting point did not give African Americans the clean slate hoped for and paid dearly for by the loss of 600,000 souls, including sustainable voting rights and economic freedom to support their entrance into democracy. The new reset point that would be held in abeyance by the Constitution was a jim crow society that would oppress blacks for another 100 years.

The civil rights movement, including the sacrificial assassinations of its leaders, would reset the starting point once again. Yet this time, rather than confront a history of racism, whites would run to the suburbs, isolating blacks in urban plantations. This time, corporations would run to the corners of the earth escaping unions that clung to their hope of holding onto the few remaining middle class manufacturing jobs in a world a scarce of such labor opportunity.

America needs one more reset of the Constitution’s starting point, and we desperately need to get it right this time, for the cost of reset is enormous human suffering. This time, racial oppression must be resolved. This time, our economic system must secure jobs for all our citizens. How we deal with our inner cities will be a testament of America’s will to optimally reset the start of our Constitution for the modern era.

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Class warfare, Racism, social trajectory, War

Forty acres and a mule……

40 acresForty acres and a mule……

Lincoln announced it.

General Sherman proclaimed it in Special Field Orders 15.

Section 4 of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act established by Congress in March 1865 to help former slaves transition from slavery to freedom authorized the bureau to rent 40 acres of confiscated or abandoned land to freedpeople and loyal white refugees and to give the option to purchase it.

The June 1866 Southern Homestead Act was enacted to give freedpeople first choice of the remaining public lands from five southern states until January 1, 1867.

House Speaker Thaddeus Stevens introduced H.R. 29 that called for 40 acres and a mule to be distributed to former slaves.

40 acres and a mule was a prominent issue in the 1868 election cycle.

But Lincoln was assassinated and President Andrew Johnson’s Amnesty Proclamation of May 29, 1865 provided presidential pardons and restoration of land to former owners. Following his proclamation, thousands of freedpeople were evicted from land that had been distributed to them through Special Field Orders No. 15. Circular No. 15 or issued by the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Why was this policy of 40 acres and a mule so vital to the shift in direction that was necessary for freedpeople? Historical documents state that the idea for 40 acres and a mule came from a meeting between Secretary of War Stanton and twenty prominent and thoughtful black leaders and ministers.

Stanton asked them what they wanted and they stated “40 acres and a mule.” Stanton later stated that “for the first time in the history of this nation, the representatives of the government had gone to these poor debased people to ask them what they wanted for themselves…[I asked] what do you want for your own people following the war?”

The group’s spokesman, minister Garrison Frazier, a slave until 1857 until he purchased his and his wife’s freedom, said, “Land! “The way we can best take care of ourselves… to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor … and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare … We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.”

After polling the other leaders in attendance who agreed with Reverend Frazier, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, after President Lincoln approved it.

Now, the details of how land and a mule could have been distributed to the four million ex-slaves are certainly up for debate. It was wartime, however, and as military issues sometimes are, it was expeditiously decided upon. Perhaps a more lasting approach would have been to accomplish the same feat by a means similar to the SBA loan, in which the government could have financially backed by loan a means for all freedpeople to establish themselves after 200 years of economic oppression. Nonetheless, some means had to be given to plant the seeds of economic stability.

If not, then the very ominous prediction made by Senator Stevens would (and did) come true. He stated, “”Withhold from them all their rights and leave them destitute of the means of earning a livelihood, [and they will become] the victims of the hatred or cupidity of the rebels whom they helped to conquer.”

Instead, under the watchful eye of President Andrew Johnson, the former slaves were left without an economic means to escape slavery. They were given the hope for but not the means of living in our Republic as free men.

“The poverty which afflicted them for a generation after Emancipation held them down to the lowest order of society, nominally free but economically enslaved,” wrote Carter G. Woodson in The Mis-Education of the Negro in the 1930s.

In 1865, 90 percent of Southern Americans lived as farmers. The key to African Americans being able to lift themselves out of oppression was oppressively kept from them. Without such a start at the epoch of America’s democratic enlightenment, what would newly freedpeople do to seek a way out of the morass? How would this political decision of abandonment affect the future of our inner cities?

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America’s First Warriors Against Terror Cry Out For Justice

gravesThroughout history, societies that have optimized order through organization of men, equipment, energy, resources, and technologies, have dominated commerce. Control of men, of the land they tilled, of armies, or slaves was the dominating motive force of wealth creation prior to the industrial era, when energy began to supplant man as the motive force of progress.

Prior to the Civil War, Slaves were the economic engine for America, and the driver of its economy. While the North had much of the industry of America, the South had cotton and four million slaves. Cotton made the Southern United States one of the four most prosperous economies in the world and northern industry, which was internationally uncompetitive, depended on trade with southern states.

To enforce trade, Northern Congressmen pushed tariffs through a Congress dominated by the North, since the North had two thirds of the population. Tariffs allowed the North to skim slave-derived cotton profits through interstate trade. The North depended on southern purchases and attempted to prevent war that would hurt both economies severely. Yet when the South seceded for reasons of tariffs and slavery, destruction of the South’s economy was inevitable.

The minimal physical infrastructure that existed in the South was devastated by the war. And human capital…40 percent of white males of war age were wounded or killed. The bonds held by wealthy southern landowners that had funded the war were now worthless. Congress increased tariffs even more punitively after the war, imposing reparation costs on the South. And the vast wealth of the South, its slaves, was emancipated without compensation to owners.

The Southern Elite had pinned their economic future on the plantation system. Southern farmland was poor soil for growing staple crops that thrived in the North and Midwest, and cotton was highly labor dependent. The success of the plantation strategy therefore relied on a grotesque caste system, which instilled in slaves that they were incapable of anything but their deprived existence. Now that the North had torn apart this caste paradigm, the Southern elites believed their very survival depended on once again entrapping their labor. They chose terror as their weapon.

The ensuing black codes were an oppressive start. Plantation Owners passed vagrancy laws to imprison former slaves who did not sign annual share cropping contracts. And freedmen that tried to leave the South could be pulled off the train and imprisoned for similar reasons. Anyone caught coming to the South to recruit Freedmen could be imprisoned unless, as an example, they purchased $25,000 recruitment licenses. More monstrously oppressive were the 4,500 lynchings that took place all over the South to send freedmen the signal that they were no longer free.

What had been 4,000 of the wealthiest men in the United States now dragged four million souls through constant terror and degradation to save what was left of their fortunes. And while the northern administrators initially fought back, Northern Congressmen ultimately decided that continued bondage was in the best interests of their constituents, ending Reconstruction.

Was the victor of the Civil War actually going to accept the outcome of Reconstruction as simply a means to reunite the states and to recommence commerce? Was this going to be the final resolution to the loss of 620,000 American lives? This political compromise of the wealthy powers meant that those soldiers who spilled blood to give an oppressed people the hope of a free American life, would as a ghostly choir now transfix on a distant future silently aggrieved.

Some say that Supreme Court decisions reflect more the slowly changing mores of America than an objective rendering of the Constitution. In 1883, when it ruled protection of ex slaves’ civil rights as unconstitutional, it supported pre-civil war racist views of both the South and North that allowed southern states to re-install oppressive control of ex-slaves.

For the next thirty years, the South and North would suspend racial justice while allowing real terror of lynch mobs to roam free. How would generations of injustice and poverty affect a subculture of righteous anger within the African American community? How would it ultimately impact our inner cities?

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Filed under American Politics, Class warfare, Racism, Uncategorized, War

Reconstruction, Redemption, Jim Crow, all Judge America’s Readiness to Heal Itself

reconstruction_congressThe outcome of many political events can be predicted by examining the economics surrounding them. For instance, the demonstrators of the Arab Spring that would go on to turn over their governments were extremely well correlated to purchasing power parity and GDP growth of their respective nations.

https://jobvoucherplan.com/2011/01/30/what-is-the-effect-of-economics-on-the-egyptian-demonstration/

Likewise, the outcome of America’s Reconstruction era for African Americans was written by the political economics.

Most people, including those Arab Spring demonstrators and ex slaves of 1865, want to exercise their lives in the quiet pursuit of happiness. In the aftermath of the Civil War, after hundreds of years of oppression, in a land surrounded by groups of men who had nightly patrolled outside slave homes prior to the war’s end, and in which the President seemed bent on directing a lenient path back into the union, the last thing, ex slaves wanted was a major political disruption that would thwart the pursuit of happiness that was within their grasp. But they did need a way to survive if they were not just going to exist as before on their masters’ plantations.

To survive, these ex slaves would need a means to sustain themselves. To eat, to have a roof over their heads, and to clothe their families, at a minimum they would need to enter this new paradigm of an agricultural economy with either their own farm or a way to earn a living on another’s.

Without having to subject themselves to a continued plantation life, they would need to borrow the funds to live until a harvest produced. They would also need the means to purchase a farm, the tools to work it, and the seeds to plant on it. This would require a loan and some equity, if they were going to qualify to obtain a loan in America’s capitalist economy.

To obtain a loan typically requires some collateral, or at least some history of being able to repay the loan. A loan requires that the borrower have a job commensurate with the amount of the loan, own a business with some history, or at least have some form of education that would support the amount of the loan.

President Lincoln had promised the slaves 40 acres and a mule. This seemed a generous start to a new life in a world turned upside down politically and socially. In addition, the Freedman’s Bureau offered some financial and food assistance until they could gain an economic foothold. So the foundation for a new life seemed to be put in motion at war’s end.

However, the plantation owners did not want the ex slaves to gain this foothold for that would mean financial ruin to them and an end to the political economy of the south as it had existed for several hundred years. The single largest investment and equity of the South was the slaves. Emancipation destroyed that investment, leaving the plantations without an engine and the wealth of the Confederacy evaporated. They had no intention of letting this happen without a fight, even if they had just lost the war.

Fortuitously for the South, Lincoln was assassinated. In his stead, Andrew Johnson was made President. His sympathies were with the South, not the slaves. As such, he reversed the program of free land for slaves and gave it back to the plantation owners. Without land and without equity, ex-slaves would require generous loans to escape their old life. Neither were offered or even guaranteed by Johnson’s Presidency. Without even a guarantee to back loans, ex-slaves were relegated to some form of land lease, which reverted to odious share cropping across the South.

Granted, even though land grants were occurring along the railroads heading west, nonetheless, taking land from pre-civil war land magnates and giving it to ex slaves was a bit radical in our capitalist country. It also threatened northern lawmakers, who were also large landowners. The idea would not politically stand for precedence set would mean that sometime in the future when southerners regained political power, they could turn the tide on northern land owners.

While ex slaves were not given a quick fix to their poverty dilemma, over the long run, ex slaves held the power of change in that they now could vote in economic supports due to the passage of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments. They could enact laws to support land loans. They could fund schools to gain the education to build skills to afford loans and to eventually help ex slaves enter into the American economy.

Yet, southern plantation owners understood the politics of freedom as well and fought to thwart ex slave access to loans, to schools, and to political participation. Through legal, political, and subversive means such as the KKK, ex-slaves were denied the means to obtain loans and to decent education. And with the support of Johnson, their means of voting for change was subversively and violently denied.

Nonetheless, they hoped to sustain the slow and arduous path toward economic freedom, if the federal government could simply and, at least, moderately support their efforts. Sadly, economic events would erode the northern citizenry support of the federal government’s reconstruction. The erosion had standard elements of a greed caused boom/bust economic crisis that would divert national attention away from the tediousness of supporting a social goal that required a gradual lessening of prejudice from the North.

Similarly to the Great Depression that would follow, and the 2008 economic implosion that we all experienced recently, the discovery of gold in 1848 set up the economic failing of post civil war reconstruction when it started the mass migration West in search of riches. The migration to California was an impetus for the massive railroad-building boom after the war, including the transcontinental railroad.

Across Europe, a housing boom similar to America’s in the 2000’s was used to feed America’s railroad ventures, the size of the investment boom, which had not been seen before. Yet the rate of investment could not be sustained by the growth in America’s post war economy just yet. Unfortunately, as all booms do, it ended in a bust that caused a 20-year depression in Europe and the Long Depression in America, starting in 1873.

The depression caused a shift in public sentiment that resulted in political losses that signaled the end of support for Reconstruction. Pre Civil War southern political powers would regain their power in the South, and swift retribution plus starving of any economic progress for ex slaves would be the result.

America would then shift its attention to an economic revival that would simply bypass the sleepy South and focus on exploiting the rail system that had been laid. Millions of immigrants and an expansive growth of industry in the new industrial era would divert America’s attention on social justice for another 80 years.

The South would regain its plantation economy. Ex slaves would eke out a poverty-stricken existence, waiting for the next political upheaval that would not occur until the First World War. The chance at human progress had been thwarted. Decades of harsh treatment and social ingraining of prejudice both on the sides of the oppressor and the oppressed would ensue. How would this injustice affect race relations in America and how would it ultimately impact our inner cities?

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Imagine There’s No Countries, What will Take Their Place?

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Our children becoming adults are entering an uninviting world filled with intergenerational warfare. They are finding a wall of debt and a jungle of entitlement that they are now expected to maneuver through as they find their way in the world. They now clamor for relief and dream of a day when they will have their turn at creating a government that works for them perhaps at the expense of those that came before them. This intergenerational struggle is a mask for that struggle we all must now endure between corporatism and nationalism.

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

John Lennon’s words of a dreamer hoping for a world in which man’s better nature overpowers his lesser one are but those of a hopeful dream unfettered by the realities of mankind. I used to dream this way as a school boy. Glancing at the chalkboard occasionally only to memorize the math tables in case by chance I might be called upon to recite them by my teacher, I would then stare off into the clouds outside my classroom window and think of such peaceful things.

And it is becoming easier for the children now becoming adults to dream this way, for their chances at success in the material world are becoming less and less a reality of the dreams they aspired to fulfilling. The dreams of a world yet to fulfill the promises of enlightenment seems a better goal to these young dreamers than the drudgery of cleaning up after the dreams turned nightmares of their baby boomer parents.

Yet, dream as we all must, the reality is that neither Lennon’s nor Lenin’s dreams of a world to come have any basis for they do not measure what man’s lesser nature is capable of achieving in practice. Our now adult children will aspire to dismantling the government entitlements that we built for ourselves at their expense and they will have their chance to meet their own aspirations. Yet what will take the place of our generation’s dreams that they dismantle?

We will not move toward a utopian world without borders that they dream about, but instead our future is hurdling toward a nationalistic dystopia where nationalism is replaced by corporatism, where national armies are usurped by corporate militaries, where geographic borders are porous, only signaling which populations will pay for the non-viable workers in their regions yet containing none of the more glorious privileges of citizenship.

Dreamers must allow themselves to dream the uglier side of life, driven by the lesser nature of mankind, and then they must put those dreams, nay nightmares, forward for the rest of humanity to witness. It is only in the sacrifice of a dreamer sharing his vulnerability that the rest of us have a moment to adjust our paths, if only to thwart those dreams before they become realties.

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The Constitution Creates an Abundance of Alpha-ness

lionsAt every age, there have been the elite, those the control the majority of the world’s wealth and power, as it is defined by the time. Since it has been this way from the dawn of time, it must be a natural law. And just like, in every lion pack, the alpha male rises from obscurity, challenges another for his role, lives to dominate for a time, and then is driven from his power and perks, so it has been in the human kingdom.

Now with our species, this rivalry and domination ritual comes with the downside of killing masses for the pleasure of feeding one’s instinctual urges. The majority of us find ways to satisfy our domination traits without having to kill. We would rather live out our lives in relative peace than to have to take up arms for the supreme alpha. Yet, throughout recorded history, there have been those that have ridden in packs on chariots with swords and spears and atomic weapons to beat their chests and roar down at their fallen opponents.

In 1789, some very bright aristocrats came together and noted that this instinctive ritual of death might be halted if we could freeze the motive and drive in animation. They recognized that wealth is but one way for man to show his dominance and that freedom is the ultimate display of alpha-ness. If we are all masters of our own domain, we do not have to necessarily dominate another’s.

The Constitution froze this power sharing in place to allow all to hopefully forever manage their own motives free from the bondages of others, whether they be in the majority or minorities in their thoughts. However. it also recognized a massive power that contained an evil which must be broken in the future, slavery.

Slavery not only denied alpha-ness to millions of people, it was also the major source of wealth in the nation at the time, and one built on an immoral principle. Every man in that chamber in Philadelphia knew that the foundation of this Constitution was built atop a base of sandy soil and that without addressing slavery, it had no real chance of eternal survival. Still the decision to address it head on was delayed for 50 years.

That power and wealth was not to be redistributed without a civil war and bloodshed of 620,000 Americans. We now have a situation through which the power and wealth sharing envisioned by the Constitution has been thwarted by the elite. My hope is that it can be returned to a balance of suspended animation without the bloodshed that usually has accompanied such shifts throughout recorded time.

It took 72 years for our predecessors to decide that the power to eradicate slavery power and wealth misalignment could only be shifted by a bloody civil war. Rather than go through such a three generation cycle that seems to be the course of such radicalism, my belief is that the power to regain stability in America rests with the voice and the vote.

We now have the power of social media democracy as was demonstrated not only in Barach Obama’s harnessing of its power within conventional politics, but also in the Arab Spring. This medium will find its way toward supplying the engine for power restructuring for America’s future prosperity as well. It is the engine that will be needed to overcome such a powerful adversary as wealth. Yet combined with the simple tool of the Constitution, it has the ability to reverse our course and to create the symbiotic power sharing stability once envisioned by our forefathers.

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World War III Say Hello to the I-Phone

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Hmm, this is my first contemplation of the new year?!? No change of empires has ever transitioned peacefully. Those that have sold out America for personal gain will one day reap what they sow as the empire they thought protected their foreign assets no longer does. America’s foreign asset bubble, vastly larger than that destroyed in the 70s, will eventually pop. We found that factories placed in Mexico in the 70s could not be moved once borrowers reneged.

As power shifts and militaries continue to build, America’s forces will once again be called upon to help our nation’s captains of industry. Somehow, our financial interests will be entangled in age old military treaties threatened by China’s regional advances and the costs to our nation will be too great to not attempt to reverse the financial woes of those that bet too much of their immense fortunes on rise of China’s newest dynasty.

My hope is that America will be the first nation in history to take our lumps as an outgoing hegemony without going to war as a salve for our broken financial ego. My study of history suggests my hopes are futile. When that time eventually comes, how will military conscription of the last centuries confront the binary fission of information conflating all known ideas into perfecting knowledge of the 21st century?

Will our young people understand the combining dynamics of national security and corporate prosperity more than those that came before them? This will be the first time in history that a worldwide war propaganda campaign will wage war against a massive, globally available, network of information connecting the world’s young people through their Apple apps. Theirs will be a more perfected understanding of the true dynamics driving war. Theirs will be the first world war challenged by a collaborative information front.

Yet, even perfect information may not stop this century’s apocalypse. The masses did not have perfect information in Iran. Saddam seemed to be given the signal from America that it was ok to invade Kuwait. He seemed to be given the signal that he had done enough for us to not to later invade again on a weapons of mass destruction charge. Yet, before information could be assimilated worldwide, America’s regional alliances, fueled by a patriotic uneasiness of 9/11 recurrences, set in motion the destruction of a million souls. In the end, our young people fought with dignity because their nation called upon them to sacrifice.

Was Iraq about weapons of mass destruction or rather a military foothold against the imperialistic destiny of Iran? Was Afghanistan about Osama or rather reinforcement of bases in the countries surrounding it, countries essential in the transfer of oil and gas from Russia to the East? Are our military efforts more about securing immediate peace for Americans or rather securing economic security through this inevitable hegemonic transition?

We debate the treason of Wikileaks, yet it was merely the nose of the camel under the tent toward world transparency. Julian Assange is no friend of the United States yet he was only an opportunist riding the wave toward tomorrow’s perfecting information. The incredible rate of information exchange, collaboration, and assimilation occurring before us will clarify nation-state strategies open and raw. Whether they be internally generated inside national security organizations or externally driven by corporate interests, an understanding of their origin and motivations will some day, sooner than we expect, be apparent to the man on the street.

I do not worry about such things for I have no power to change them and my time stands still in the information crawling age. But information is growing at such a rapid pace that when the time comes for the next generation to take up arms for our nation, it may be the first time in history that all will understand not only the patriotic rationale but the underlying financial dynamics involved. Happy 2013.

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Only Attacking Root Causes of Gun Violence Will Solve America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

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In America, we have a 1 in 45 chance of being shot with a firearm in our lifetime, a fairly dangerous society. Of course, if you live in the city, those odds go way up, perhaps to 1 in 25. Then, if you are a male that comes from a socioeconomically poorer condition your odds are 1 in 15. Of course, a high number of these wounds will be accidental or self inflicted. Most gun deaths from fire arms in America are from suicide.

Now the 80/20 principle applies in spades in America. 82 percent of murders occur in the largest 100 cities in America where only 18 percent of the population live. 75 percent of those murders occur in the most violent neighborhoods in those cities where 25 percent of the cities’ population live. 73% of the perpetrators are under age, and 85% of those are male.

Now we don’t like to admit the root causes of America’s problems, preferring instead to point elsewhere, anywhere else rather than back at ourselves. But let’s look at just one cause in isolation and then we can see why all our hand wringing over gun control is just a non-viable salve for our collective conscious. Let’s peek at our nation’s insatiable appetite for drugs as perhaps one root cause of our gun problem.

America, does have the economic engine to consume drugs and similarly to our GDP of 25% of the world compared to our population of 5%, we also are estimated to consume 25% of the world’s illegal drugs (not considering for the moment that we also consume most of the world’s legal drugs illegally. For instance, we consume 85% of the world’s pain pills). This habit is “enjoyed” in varying amounts depending on the drug. For instance 42 percent of Americans have used marijuana and 16% cocaine. Again, the numbers are disproportionately higher in the areas where murders are disproportionately higher. Digging deeper along the root cause vein, drug use correlates to broken homes, physical and sexual abuse, parental involvement and academic failure, all therefore root causes of gun violence because of its tie to drugs..

Not only are the dollars involved in the drugs trade a powerful motivator for gun use, $60 billion in the U.S., but in 67% of crimes committed with guns and 50% of homicides, the perpetrator tested positive for illegal drugs. Now, we have lost this war on drugs in America and we have likewise lost the war on illegal use of weapons in connection with this war. Since there is such a high correlation between drugs and guns in America, why do we think if our laws that require zero illegal drugs in our country don’t work, that if we pass laws requiring zero guns, that they will be any more successful?

We know that the vast majority of gun crimes are committed in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas by young people who are legally not allowed to own guns. Where do these violent youth from bad neighborhoods get their guns to wreak havoc on America and cause liberals to want to take away 300 million guns from the vast middle of America who commit no crimes? Well, contrary to popular belief, only 10% are stolen. The majority are either purchased for them by associated adults, are sold to them by corrupt but legal dealers, or are sold to them by illegal dealers.

Of the 124,000 licensed dealers, about 8% sell the vast majority of guns used in crimes. America has a gun trafficking group similar to our drug trafficking or prostitution trafficking groups. With such a strong desire for drugs, prostitution, and guns, no laws will keep guns off our streets. They will only keep guns away from law abiding citizens who want some measure of protection from the lawlessness that exists in America.

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God Save Our Liberty

Stewardship…it used to refer to one who was paid to look after the belongings of another. We now hug the term and give it a whole new meaning, referring graciously to the ethical responsibility we freely accept for something that we do not own and that is not central to our immediate selfish needs. What draws us to steward certain abstractions and not others? Are the objects of our stewardship of any more or less import than those chosen as responsibilities by our fellow man?

Christians speak of stewarding that given to them by God including family. Environmentalists see great import in stewarding the world for future generations yet unborn. Global warming advocates are challenged to steward the climate so that it may keep the world inhabitable for our grandchildren. The Tea Party feels great passion in stewarding America’s credit, realizing that it is the engine of our future prosperity. Liberals are equally passionate about stewarding the path for progress toward civil equality and personal freedoms.

Why is it that we choose to place our stewardship above those of others? Why is it that we choose to be blinded by the cause of others that choose to steward America’s future from tyrannical leaders that would steal the freedoms of their subjects? We know that every nation that has existed for enough time has been tested from within from tyranny. Are we so naïve as to think that America will escape this phenomenal historical record? I hope and expect that it will not occur in mine or my children’s lifetimes. Yet the time will come when a charismatic leader will ride the wave that is now tightening our freedoms in the name of security. It is for this distant time that freedom lovers everywhere stand guard of the 2nd Amendment.

When that time comes, I hope that we have not given up our arms. I hope that the hundreds of millions of guns and ammo have not been rounded up in the name of gun control for the safety of our present in exchange for the demise of our posterity. I own no gun. They scare me. Yet I am proud of the wall of steel they present to those that would harm America from without or within. God save our liberty.

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, social trajectory, War