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Real Change

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by -Ken, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    Real Change.

    This post has been simmering inside of me for quite some time now but has been forced to the surface by the awesome thread started by Biker. Thanks Biker, we may not always agree but you sure as hell have my undivided attention.

    Real Change, what the hell does it mean?

    We live in a world where the majority of people go hungry, have little or no medical care and where half the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.

    We have almost grown immune to corrupt governments, torture, genocide, famine and plague so that we can discuss who got what for Christmas or whether fooling around on your wife and lying about it should be an impeachable offense. Enough of that.

    With the gift of nearly immeasurable resources and wealth comes the responsibility of doing the "right thing" with it. My Italian grandmother used to call it "making good". This meant a person had to come from little, work hard and become successful toward the end of <i>doing something</i>. Somewhere along the line, we forgot about the part of doing something positive. We still have many people who will use their wealth in whatever ways they feel applicable to improve the world however they feel is best. We need to adopt this as our mandate. We need to change the world NOW. Too many have died and too many continue to suffer.

    We have the ability to make huge changes in this world. If the largest industrialized nations banded together with serious motivation, we could effectively change the world for the better in a very short time. Let's look.

    At the end of WWII, we all know Europe and most of the Far East was decimated. There were very few cities left standing. Farms were destroyed and the manufacturing base was nonexistent. The bulk of the workforce had also been buried. We are talking about a huge piece of real estate as this map shows.

    In roughly a ten-year period the US managed to rebuild and reinvigorate an area, which might, as well been a desert. We were much smaller then with perhaps 50% of our current population and certainly less of a GDP, yet we managed to have a monumental effect on a huge piece of the world.

    We are bigger, more capable and we now have the aid of a couple of dozen allies who would be able to assist us.

    If we could start from rubble and build a new civilization in Europe, we should now be able to fix the rest of the world.

    Unfortunately, we would need a leader unlike any we have seen in this world for most of my lifetime.

    The real problem as I see it is our inability to see that this is not charity, it is the "right thing" to do, in fact, it is our duty. During the late 1940s and 1950s this country went through a period of economic expansion where there was good paying jobs, new cars and homes all being provided on a one paycheck income. How can this be, if we were giving all this "charity" away? Because the areas we were "country-forming" were buying products from us and the demand was enormous.

    It is a win/win situation.

    Now, the flip side brings up the question of Karma, which we as of late have discussed. What Karma would we as individuals (or as a country) have if we allow food to rot or be thrown out while people starve? The cry of "we give so much to the poor" seems completely hollow when we throw out enough food as a nation each week to feed a country at least as large as ours. We allow grain to rot in silos rather than let even our own poor have it for free. Something about depressing market prices. I find it depressing all on its own.

    The unfortunate thing is I believe time is running out. Whether or not we wish to admit it, this can't go on. Somewhere deep inside us we all know this to be true.

    As Copzilla rightly said, (I'm paraphrasing) "If an individual, group, organization or country intentionally harms another, they should lose all right to exist." This should be the law for one and all. We can make this happen. We should make this happen. We have to make this happen. The choice of not doing so will destroy us all.

    <small>Sorry Copzilla, I couldn't find the exact quote (I did look) and if I misrepresented your position, please correct me. The quote of yours struck me a near brilliant.
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Hmm.....Ken is there another term for this "The White Man's Burden", civilizing the whole world because of our duty to educate the masses? What if they don't want our education?
  3. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

    ...unless you've just defeated that horse in armed combat and destroyed its industrial base.

    Europe and Australia are fine by themselves. Canada and the U.S. are fine. Africa is a basket case and a classic example of that stubborn, thirsty horse that won't drink.

    Russia will be fine, eventually. China won't accept our help. The Middle East....well.....

    I guess what I'm getting at, Ken, is that those are fine words, ones with which we can all most surely agree.....in principle.

    Give us an example, please, a place to start, somewhere that hasn't already pissed away billions of dollars in international aid.
  4. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Very good post Ken.

    My brain is not working well enough this morning to completely respond to your post, but I will say this.

    Real change can only happen when the people of a given area want and are willing to work for that change. Otherwise, the US and other powers can spin their wheels as much as they want with no real effect.

    After WWII, we were successful because the European people wanted to rebuild and were willing to work for it with our help. Same with Japan.

    However, there are many areas of the world that don't have the same resolve and/or work ethic.

    I wish it were different, and it doesn't mean we shouldn't try. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the US does more in the way of giving then any other country in the world. But again, unless the people themselves want to change or improve their situation themselves, all the help in the world won't work
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The global triumph of democracy was to be the glorious climax of the American Century. But democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world -- or even the one that will prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom.

    Sometimes, there are <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97dec/democ.htm">no clear answers.</a>
  6. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Oh, yes, as jamming noted, how can you be so sure that any other part of the world even wants our help? Isn't that hubris?
  7. HaYwIrE

    HaYwIrE Banned

    Nice post, Ken. And the theory sounds like something that I'm sure we all would want to live in, sort of like John Lennon's "<i>Imagine</i>". Still searching for that Utopian fantasy world that cannot exist in a world such as ours? :huh:

    But a point that has already been made, and should be reiterated, is the fact that most of these countries you speak of don't <b>want</b> our help. And those that do don't want the whole package. They want to pick and choose or take what they can and change the rest so they can take <small>(OR <B>WANT</B> TO TAKE)</SMALL> that, too.

    It's like a marriage, Ken. You can't change the person you marry and expect a good marriage. You either take the whole package or try to find something better. While I agree that there needs to be change in this country <small>(BUT DISAGREE WITH YOU ON JUST ABOUT EVERY ASPECT OF WHAT CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE OR HOW THEY SHOULD BE CHANGED)</SMALL>, we are still the best country on this planet in just about every aspect of the word.

    You can lead a horse to water? Yeah. But it's up to that horse to either drink of it or poison it and make it unpalatable for all to drink.
  8. btdude

    btdude Veteran Member

    Haywire, have you even read or listened to the lyrics of that song? I think you may be caught in your own contradiction. Unless of course, my earlier thoughts of you actually being a good hearted wise, tolerant, accepting person who embraces change were correct, and you DO understand. I think your soft side is showing.
  9. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    Re: Real Change.

    In desire and principal, I think I can agree with your quest.

    But, let me ask something here.
    For a moment, put aside all the misques, stupid decisions, and various political horseshit.
    Then, does it not seem that the USA is, indeed, trying to better the lot of it's own citizens and the lot of citizens of damn near every country on the planet?

    Yea, our gov has screwed up, and, I'm sure will continue to screw up.
    Our gov seems to stick our nose in everyone else's business, all over the world. Some see this as being the 'global cop'. It costs us many fortunes. Sometimes, I do suspect we do it for the wrong reasons, and it upsets me.
    But, overall, and deep at our national core, I do think we're trying our best.

    Name me another country that is, at least, giving it a shot. Name me another country that seems to give a shit about the plight of so many in serious trouble, as you so aptly illustrated. Name me another country that will even attempt to 'take the bull by the horns', and do something.

    Yea, there's some greed, and mistakes, and just plain old human fraility.
    But, I submit, that this country, in this time, is the leading force for trying to achieve a decent life for ALL the inhabitants of this planet.

    We can only hope our successes continue to outnumber our failures.

    Just my opinion.
  10. yazdzik

    yazdzik Veteran Member

    Re: Re: Real Change.

    Great line - I was sort of asking this in the UIF Forum.

  11. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    Re: Real Change.


    It is one of a very few constants, and that is a delicious irony. It is the one weighted die mother nature rolls when she plays at the craps table called evolution.

    Humans are funny animals. They think that they are changing the world when the world is changing them.

    They think that building bridges is building civilization, when its only building infrastructure... a wolf pack shows a more advanced sense of civilization than humanity does.

    They think they can fix the world, when all they really have ever done is further harm it, no matter their intentions.

    REAL change?

    Change will come when and if humans begin to realize, in great numbers, that we are not in charge on this planet, and that we will never win.

    "I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here.

    It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals.

    Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not.

    You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed.

    The only way you can survive is to spread to another area.

    There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern.

    A virus.

    Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure."

    If you need a reminder of the truth of this, sit down and watch koyaanisqatsi.

  12. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Deconstructionism, Domhain?

  13. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    Ah, now that is a very clever and very unexpected question Steve - nicely done.

    Clarify and expand please before I respond?

  14. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    So Ken--you're espousing some nations enforce their will and standards onto others?

  15. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Well, I can only assume from what you've written, that you do concur with the hypothesis that humankind is a blight upon the face of the planet. In keeping with that argument, our societies, our cultures, our advancements, and as such, our understandings are essentially valueless.

    As such, there is no difference between the charitable man or the cruel man--both are irrelevant. Both are merely different symptoms of the same disease.

    Is this the message you are broadcasting?

  16. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    Let me be clear, with apologies to Copzilla, any individual, group, organization, company, corporation or country that willfully harms another, engages in slavery, cannibalism, murder or any one of a hundred crimes of such a nature forfeits the right to continue.

    There is no standard which allows for these people to carry on. They should be tried and sentenced just like any other common criminal.

    Yes, Steve, I am advocating this country force its will and standards on other sovereign nations when these lines are crossed.

    Thanks for asking.
  17. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Ken, unless I miss my guess, most countries will not go along willingly. So you would have us cross the lines if countries cross the lines. The problem with your argument is the same as having the government decide who get organs. Who decides and using what criteria. I suspect you and Haywire would differ and yet you both would arrive at the same conclusion. Wipe out all who are not believers in my way, my cause.
  18. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    So then you are prepared to war with other nations for this?

    Tell me, if the Bush Administration were to say this is the primary reason to sack Hussein, would you be in line for it, or would you still maintain capture of the oil fields is the true reason?

    Nothing which you just said would do anything to alleviate the HATE you say we must all work to understand. It will only serve to inflame existing hatreds, and bring to light new ones.

    Your methods are as flawed as anyone else's, and full of motivations which can not only be suspect and challenged, but absolutely illegal in the current context of competition between states.

  19. HaYwIrE

    HaYwIrE Banned

    It seems to me that you and a few other members of a certain other forum, which shall remain nameless, were preaching about how wrong it is for the United States to force it's beliefs on any other nation.

    Slavery for sex, or for any other reason, is wrong in our eyes. At least we can agree on one thing here. But who the Hell are you to go into another country and tell them how to live their lives?

    Ok, enough of the Devil's advocate for now. But I realy would like you to explain where you think the line is drawn that we can go into a country and force them to stop anything that we think is wrong. You don't want the United States Government to impose any morals on it's own people, but you advocate the United States imposing it's morals on others?? And by military might, no less?

    Please explain.
  20. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    Show me where I said anything about war. Go ahead. This is an interconnected world. Cease communications, trade, finance and all other forms of cooperation and almost any country turns to the sixth century in a matter on weeks. We have known for a long time how to destabilize governments without force. We have successfully done it before.


    Would we allow an island in the Caribbean to legalize slavery? No? Cannibalism? For Christ's sake, we don't even allow Jamaica to legalize marijuana even though most of the country is in squalor and a legalized marijuana trade would bring their economy out of the slumps pretty quick.

    So you see, we already do impose our values on other countries. But only when it is in our best interest. I believe it is in our (and their) best interest to depose any government which ignores the basic tenets of common decency and cannot protect their population.

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