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Monopoly

August 19, 2012

Question: how does one balance the concept of “unity” with the concept of “globalization?”

At times I’ve stated the need for unity within humanity – an all-inclusive club from which no one should be barred. A sense of togetherness which would preclude aggression and war. A true world-wide community. But reality seldom pans out as in the dreams of visionaries. And so I have to ask: what would be the cost of world unity?

Globalization could negatively affect the comfortable American lifestyle while raising the poorer parts of the world’s. Statistically this might seem to be a good thing. If everybody had access to health care, education, and employment, we would be well on the way to equal opportunity in a free and open market. Corporations wouldn’t have underprivileged labor pools to exploit and resources would be shared with more parity than they are at present. There could be a mass re-distribution of the planet’s wealth.

But remember: automation was supposed to create the opportunity for more leisure time. What it actually spawned was burgeoning unemployment and low-quality, unnecessary products. A corrupted globalization could mimic those results. Instead of billions of world citizens tranquilly driving Priuses around Eurasia and the Americas, we could end up with a nightmarish bureaucracy bleeding the world’s schools and hospitals and small businesses to death while some unnamed power-elite equipped a first-rate military in the name of freedom.

E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One. Monopoly. One World, One People. I don’t know how to get there from here. These words are intended not as much for now as they are for the future: for afterwards, when people are searching for answers, people whose minds aren’t trapped in two thousand years of ethics and morality. People who are willing to try something different. People who have nothing to lose.

Our planet has run out of frontiers and we have to evolve. Science and exploration have shown us the shape of the world and our part in it; it’s time to – quite literally – take this to heart. Humanity needs to recreate its ethical and moral belief systems to reflect the interconnectedness of all things.

Laws aren’t going to do it. Laws won’t shape a culture in a positive direction. The best parts of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution espouse rights instead of limitations. These rights have, over two hundred odd years, melded into morals. Similarly do we need to espouse rights today; rights which will shape our morals for the next few hundred years.

If all men (and women) were created equally, this must apply to the whole world.

If rights are truly unalienable, no government should be needed to secure them. If government is needed, it means our rights are being alienated. If our rights are being alienated, it’s because our actions aren’t in line with our moral and ethical belief systems. If our actions and beliefs are out of balance, we’re living in hypocrisy. And if we’re living in hypocrisy, our society won’t evolve.

It would have been more accurate of Jefferson & Co. to say our unalienable right is the freedom of choice and consequence, and government is established to help people make good choices and punish them when they don’t.

In a highly-evolved society all mankind should be guaranteed the minimum comforts of food, clothing, and shelter as befits their culture. To fully attain the ideals of ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’ requires the guarantees of health care and education as well.

Can you imagine a post-Capitalist society in which the accumulation of wealth wasn’t the ultimate measure of success? Can you imagine a world which didn’t need a military?

Growing up together on this planet is going to take some collective soul searching. So far we’ve done little better than start a Risk game and masquerade it as Monopoly… or is it the other way around? It may look like we’re winning, but I don’t want the whole world to resemble Anywhere, USA when the game ends.

If we don’t all win, everyone loses.

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