Robert J. Samuelson’s economic expertise offers little value in evaluating the stability of our democracy. First, it is technically a Republic. Our U.S. Constitution was engineered from political principles that were didn’t always match fundamental principles (“Impeachment remains an uneasy choice” Washington Post 5-29-17) like those the Founding Fathers identified in the Declaration of Independence. All engineering feats (be they bridges, buildings or bureaucracies) must adhere to fundamental principles in their construction to avoid catastrophic failure.
All systems and structures (natural or man-made) depend on the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” to survive the inevitable stresses of the real world pressures that will inevitably stress them. And when systems or structures fail it can lead to catastrophic consequences across other systems and structures.
When Haitians followed an economic principle of not using rebar in building construction to save money, more Haitians died in 15 minutes from the earth quake than both Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The catastrophic consequences of that fatal error reverberates today in multiple systems and structures in Haiti’s economic, political, health, education and foreign policy arenas.
Our linear human minds which are mostly dominated by western and religious thinking usually fail to grasp that all systems and structures are inherently dependent on dozens of other systems and structures (both natural and man-made).
Our nation’s founding fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence the most fundamental principle in sustaining peaceful human relationships . Then they failed to incporate them into the construction of the our Constitution. It failed to follow the “ Laws of Natures and Nature’s God’s” “self-evident truths” ‘that all people are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…’ This flaw eventually cost more US lives than all other US wars combined. That flaw was mostly corrected in application to national affairs. But, it remains a catastrophic flaw today in impacting billions of human beings beyond our indefensible borders.
George Mason (ally of James Madison and George Washington) who drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights recognized this fatal flaw early on and was one of three who refused to sign the U.S. Constitution. His wisdom is reflected in his words: "Now all acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice, are, in our laws, and must be in the nature of things, considered as void. The laws of nature are the laws of God: A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to him from whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey. Such have been the adjudications of our courts of justice."
The list of recent reports below documents both the threats we face now and in the future (some preventable and others inevitable). Some reports offer means of threat prevention by recommending transformation of both national and international systems and structures based on fundamental principles such as ‘justice for all’. These will be essential in forming a more perfect union capable of preventing some threats, and responding to, and recovering from others that cannot be prevented.
1. How Western Civilization could collapse: (April 18, 2017) Some possible precipitating factors are already in place. How the West reacts to them will determine the world’s future, says Rachel Nuwer. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170418-how-western-civilisation-could-collapse
2. Global Catastrophic Risks 2017: (May 2017) Global Challenges Foundation’s Annual Report https://globalchallenges.org/en/our-work/annual-report (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GA8VmYLhEs)
3. Peril and Promise: Emerging Technologies and WMD (May 2017) | Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction. http://wmdcenter.ndu.edu/Media/News/Article/1181150/peril-and-promise-emerging-technologies-and-wmd/
4. 2017 Global Risk Report: (January 2017) https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2017 The Global Risks Report 2017 features perspectives from nearly 750 experts on the perceived impact and likelihood of 30 prevalent global risks as well as 13 underlying trends that could amplify them or alter the interconnections between them over a 10-year timeframe.
5. Pulling Together: The Multilateral System and Its Future: (September 2016) By the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM): This report is put out by the successor to the International Peace Academy, renamed International Peace Institute. https://www.ipinst.org/2016/09/icm-final-report
6. Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance: (June 2015) Co-Chairs, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Nigerian Foreign Minister and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari. Report: http://www.stimson.org/programs/global-security-justice-and-governance Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKmucDk_6Lo&feature=youtu.be
7. : Ron Garan keynote talk. (Oct 2012) Pittsburg PA/Johannesburg South Africa http://www.rongaran.com/speaking/
President Trump’s (or any President’s) commitment to put America first instead of human rights first in US foreign policy literately locks Americans into a perpetual war - the war against terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic that can never be eliminated and its evolution is easily predictable. No one should doubt that it will eventually cost millions of American lives, our most basic freedoms, and our cherished prosperity as violent extremists gain access to, and increasing willingness to use, the growing variety of WMD’s detailed in the 3rd report above.
Either we transform our U.S. Constitution and all of our nation’s systems and structures to protect the inalienable rights of all the world’s people (and our specie’s life support system) or we will face the devastating consequences of continued global injustices.
Time is running out. The acceleration of technology advancements and global events far outpaces our national and global system’s capacity to deal with them. Our linear thinking must make a revolutionary leap, the same that our Founding Fathers took when they began walking down the path to a ‘more perfect union’. Short of this transformation, the next best thing we can do is bring all of our existing systems and structures to bear on quickly, holistically, and comprehensively achieve the 17 Sustainable Development goals before the year 2030.
We must train our minds to:
1. Connect the dots (systems and structures).
2. See the web (of our global interdependence).
3. Work for justice (“Liberty and Justice for all” is a fundamental principle).
4. Prepare for the catastrophic consequences (of systems and structural) if we fail.
Political principles (‘Peace through Strength’ or ‘America First’) must never override the fundamental principles of the” Laws of Nature and Natures God” that all people are created equal and deserving of certain rights that no government should take away.
Faith in science, engineering, and our common origins is our only means of maximizing freedom, security and future prosperity for all.