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Monday, November 12, 2007

Maybe just maybe...


Maybe just maybe, the huge economic crunch which is facing the U.S., as well as the rest of the world, as it has to make trade-offs between security and even the health of its own citizens (obviously its soldiers, but also the rest of the country) may make us reconsider a certain and very sizable portion of our national budgets--one which any reasonable person would love to get rid of the need of having its expenses in the first place--the military budget.

I'm not talking about lowering it at the expense of security. But if a just world order is built up, INCLUDING terms for disarmament and monitoring which apply to ALL countries (since that is the only way that legitimacy can ever be given to attempts at limiting disarmament), then security costs will be able to be DRASTICALLY reduced. As countries become confident that their neighbors are not stockpiling weapons, and that they are not being bullied by those who have more than they do, all can agree to such means of disarmament. But to try to do so without a universally multilateral agreement (backed up by the threat of force from all nations) would be like doing a surgery which removed a bullet from someone's vital organ without taking the necessary steps to support the surrounding tissues.

Despite the fact that war can be an economic motivator and benefit SOME segments of society, wars are at best zero sum-gains where there are winners and losers, and as is more common, prisoners' dilemmas, where both suffer more because of their mutual animosities. The alternative would be the huge peace dividends such as were experienced by the end of the Cold War, only the dividends could be so much larger, and the benefits to scientific development, economic growth, and so on, would be unprecedented.

Do stockpiled weapons produce any valuable service? Used weapons certainly do not, except in necessary policing pursuits where means of prevention did not exist. But can we not recognize that for a police force to be effective--and in fact be a police force rather than a vigilante group, it must be directed by representatives elected by all those concerned? Just because a vigilante may sometimes bring justice when the government will not or cannot act, does not mean that vigilantism should predominate! So too on the world stage. And just because a few vigilantes (even sometimes rationally-minded ones) get together (read: the Security Council) and agree to police the world, does that constitute real and sustainable justice. It will be only when all districts of the world (where they have a minimal system of development established within themselves such as to respect basic rights) have an equal say in the policing, law-making, and court administration at the global as well as more local levels, that justice can come as a result, and perhaps more importantly in the minds of the entrenched powers, that government can thus successfully assert its necessary authority. Otherwise, we will continue to have the same lose-lose situation perpetuated into the future...


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