This US Memorial Day: One Human Family on the Precipice
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1755
“We may be different races and religions but we are all part of the same human family.” – Dalai Lama
“We are all one human family, tragically placed on a dying planet.” – Dr. Glen Barry
On a recent Memorial Day I called for an end to glorifying war, and rather than a day for celebrating war murders, suggested we take a “day to memorialize senseless acts of love, peace, sharing, and kindness.”
As America remains in a state of perma-war with a deranged narcissistic madman at the helm (continuing a long history of bi-partisan militarism), never has it been more important to remember that War Is Murder. And that modern warfare is waged on the basis of intolerable lies such as the sanctity of the nation state and conflicts over various unknowable god myths (which I have termed “God Pollution“).
The truth of the matter is that we are one human family: objectively there are no countries (which are only a social construct), nor is their one iota of proof to favor one god story over another. This essay will focus upon the utter madness of nation-states seeking security, claiming to be ensuring liberty, through standing armies meant to murder others.
Nationalism is a particularly pernicious myth meant to divide humanity. People of all sorts are one species, with essentially identical needs and aspirations. We are far more similar than different; each of us put our pants on one leg at a time, seeks love and affection, does not want to suffer, and desires the best for our children.
We are all one human family, tragically placed on a dying planet.
Having served my country in both the Army and Peace Corps, I have had the opportunity to ponder questions of war and peace, and my Political Science degree has helped as well. Out of a life-long quest for truth, I have emerged a militant pacifist, unwilling to condone violence other than in the most extreme instances of intolerable imminent harm (including perhaps the rise of global corporate fascism or collapse of the Earth’s biosphere). Yet I am fully aware that assertive people power expressed through non-violent direct action is the most just, lasting, and effective means of social change; and must be exhaustively pursued in these times of global troubles.
While various forms of government exist, with liberal democracy being the worst and least effective, except for all the others; we are witnessing an era of creeping authoritarianism across the global political spectrum. This comes as the world is plagued by grotesque expenditures upon the military (over $1.6 trillion globally, around 37% by the US) at direct expense to global health, education, jobs, and the environment. And the world is awash in military equipment (including potentially stray nukes) sold to anyone with cold hard cash and the desire to murder.
There is not as much difference as one would suppose between autocratic Chinese market-based communism, an European Union of police-states, and American authoritarian democracy. In each governments and corporations have merged to ensure access to resources through the systematic killing of “others” that stand in their way.
This consolidation of power between commerce and state propels the ongoing ecocidal onslaught against nature that is collapsing the biosphere and threatens to end being, but not before a painful period of authoritarian suffering in a global wasteland.
Super-sized governments and corporations are rapaciously stripping Earth of natural ecosystems required for a habitable planet, largely to meet artificially created needs for non-essential goods and services for some elite over-consumers. This global oligarchy – dominated by the oil industry – exists to stymie people uniting globally for ecological sustainability, justice, equity, human rights, and community-based and autonomous livelihoods (jobs).
We are taught to respect imaginary lines on the ground more than the flesh and blood of our brethren.
Frankly I am appalled at the cost to societies of a permanent war-making economy to protect parochial self-interests of the war-mongering elite. Until just a century ago, militaries were largely demobilized between conflicts. The military-industrial-Congressional complex’s institutionalizing of war murders based upon artificial lines drawn on a map is grotesquely appalling, and threatens global ruin at any time.
To that end, it is absolutely essential that any order by UnPresident Trump to launch nuclear weapons be declared unlawful and not be implemented.
For such nationalistic corporate rule to work, we must hate others that are different than us. And to have our less fortunate be willing to murder others who are less fortunate in the name of country and god.
It is vital that true personal liberty (to think, feel, express, and act as we wish as long as not harming others; not the sloganeering type of fascists equating liberty with obedience) not be traded for claims of security through militarism and a state of perma-war. Terrorism by both nation-state militaries and disaffected populations are bred in the back-and-forth of resource thievery, murder of innocents, criminal killing by small bands of madman, and resultant raining down of drone based missiles.
After 911 a gradual and effective shift towards global law was jettisoned. UnPresident Trump’s call to put America first returns us to a dangerous medieval tribalism unfit for an era of loose nukes and collapsing ecosystems.
The price of true liberty is the risk of criminal non-state murder, and resisting false nation-state claims that only militarism, nationalism, and war murders can keep us safe. Even with complete national corporate rule of every aspect of our lives, it will never be possible to murder our way to peace and security.
Survival and universal well-being of the human family and brethren species depend upon recommitting to creating international norms of behavior that ensure an end to war, injustice, inequity, and ecosystem loss. First and foremost this means smaller community-based commerce, and small or even non-existent national governments.
True liberty and security can only be had through commitment to a universal non-sectarian rule of law, and global mechanisms to end war murders of all types. We can respect and celebrate our ethnic variety, coming together in bioregionally based federations, while eliminating the duplicity of arbitrarily delimited national boundaries. Policies such as a global and guaranteed basic income, ending fossil fuels, demobilizing standing armies, limiting income inequity, and protecting and restoring natural ecosystems can finally be given the attention they deserve by an empowered global government.
It is well past time for one human family, standing upon the precipice of global ecosystem collapse, to come together through a strengthened United Nations type organization. Together all global citizens must reject the utter madness of nation-state based perpetual war and conflict. Many details remain to be worked out, but building upon the International Court of Justice, the Paris Climate Change Treaty, and expanding highly decentralized, yet global, governance seems the only path to avoiding utter ruin.
The human family must come together now to find common cause in the protection of our habitat, dismantling the engines of state murder, and ensuring that the basic needs of all are met. The only path to liberty AND security lies in global institutions, international law, and an end to absolute national sovereignty. And a growing global citizenry committed to peace, justice, equity, and ecology.