If the post cold-war concept of a New World Order is to mean something besides chaos, recession and conflict with pockets of plenty here and there maybe it ought to mean an emergent common wealth of independent nations dedicated to making war on poverty in a paradigm of creating a sustainable, abundant biosphere. It is true that some human beings opt for the pure greed and intellectual abnegation of dead reckoning in which the environment and humanity is exploited or oppressed for short term profits, yet most of the world’s population would choose to eliminate the problems of poverty and ecospheric destruction if they could; after all its the democratic principle.
Jeffrey Sachs was C.E.O. of the U.N. Millennium project that made an experimental intervention in relieving poverty of nearly a half million souls in Africa and elsewhere through economic development. The program is scalable and could change the way of life for 250 million souls. The cost would be less than the Marshall Plan that spent $65 per European following the Second World War. The cost is only about $50 per individual. Some would ask-what’s in it for me in the first world?
The phenomenon of human life on Earth is that of a biological mass for-itself presently consuming 25% of all of the life created by photosynthesis. That is an amazingly high number. Humanity is right at the edge of making the health of the other biomass in its Petrie dish plant unable to support the growing human biomass culture. The driving force for population growth, war, chaos and global warming today is poverty. Relieving the oppressed in poverty is the best way to halt population growth, global warming and ecospheric decay. The way to relieve poverty isn’t through redistribution of wealth-the answer to that challenge is in creating locally sustainable economies able to interact in the world free enterprise system. That is enabling poor societies to support themselves through select financial and development aid from the rich countries to the poor is in the best interests of the rich countries as well as the poor.
By 2050 the world population is anticipated to be about 9 billion people with just 1.2 billion in today’s rich countries. The post-industrial and wealthy nations will probably spend far more on war and defense trying to sustain a global free enterprise system with a poor and oppressed third world while climate disasters are increasing than they would with an emerging world economy with few pockets of extreme poverty and bad health with preventable diseases such as malaria. Desperate people have nothing to lose in attacking advantaged and inimical corrupt nations. The poor have little besides religion for solace, while in the U.S.A. and Europe sports broadcasts and live sports spectacle has become the new opiate of the masses.
I enjoyed reading Sach’s excellent book from 2008 named ‘Common Wealth’- Economics for a Crowded Planet. The future Romney administration ought to seek to fulfill the U.N. Millennium project instead of just leaving troubled Europe to carry the load of 50 billion dollars or so to get the elimination of world poverty rolling. President Obama has failed to bring the MDG program well enough to the attention of the people of the United States. Neither has the President explained to ordinary Americans why Millenium Development Goals are beneficial to even the unemployed citizens of the United States.
I am not in complete agreement with Mr. Sachs of course. I have a far more utopian and high tech way of regarding the solutions to global economic issues, and far less regard for the general nature of human character-I suppose I tend toward the Augustinian point of view that human nature is totally depraved. I suspect that failing to take up the ideas expressed in Common Wealth will be a fulfillment of the idea that human nature is completely depraved.
In today’s partisan political environment allowing global corporatism to consolidate power the prospects for independent inventiveness becoming economically successful decreases as the populous run into the low ceiling of ubiquitous established economic power networking reinforced by government and the union of satisfied bureaucracy.
Expecting 8 billion souls to burn fossil fuels or to afford expensive electric cars that the 1 billion can afford in the globally warming world with agricultural lands lost to encroaching rainfall failures and rising sea level is a recipe for disaster. Christians cannot morally afford to let avoidable evil occur with the excuse that God will fix it if needs to be fixed. It may be wrong to put God to the test, yet the opposite relation does not have Biblical proscription.
Much of China’s economic growth is a consequence of engaging their poor regions in the development of the national economy. In times past the United States too has effectively created the infrastructure for ending poverty through federal electrification and telephone programs. The Grand Coulee dam of Washington State is an example of government spending to create an infrastructure for economic development. Some of the post productive farmland per acre was made out of a desert directly providing food for domestic and foreign consumption.
My opinion about nationalism differs significantly from Mr. Sachs as well. I believe that a new nationalism dedicated to transforming the United States into a vigorously healthy conservator of wildlife and the ecosphere in-itself with an economy designed with complete renewability and with a reformed capitalism that caps corporate personnel at 7,000 individuals in order to stimulate competition (and none could invest in order than three corporations) is an efficient way to make at least part of humanity spiritually enlightened without simple existential animal spirits directed people through a maze of temporal political and ecospheric confusion, misunderstanding and even failure. The cost to the United States of helping eliminate poverty in the world is in no way substantial enough that it would force a choice between either economic renewal in the U.S.A. or economic help to relieve the oppressed of the Earth.
As a biological phenomenality of life clustered around the dirt clumped by gravity humanity needs to develop a spiritual relationship with the Lord while still cognizant of the nature and existential phenomenality of the world and Universe he as provided. Human development requires sheer genius and the willingness to create far better ways of living and structures on the Earth and space than presently exist. It should also insinuate itself into a wild ecosphere as a superior being without destroying the development and evolution of that natural environment. Human civilization should move into fulfillment of the creativity it has in potential for constructing environments on Earth and space that allow less human-like life forms to exist without displacement. The resources of the natural universe used rightly by humanity should allow the increase of sustainable life rather than its decrease. Much of that increase of life well ought to be phenomenally non-human-even plants and things.