What Raindrops Tell us About the Emergent World Order

President H.W. Bush, borrowing a phrase from an earlier era, popularized the term “New World Order” (NWO) in the early 1990s. But while the New World Order has legitimate roots, it has come to be associated with little more than paranoid conspiracy.

Given what we’ve witnessed in recent times, however, is it wise to continue to dismiss the notion out-of-hand?

The following metaphor, Friedmanesque but nevertheless useful in view of the controversial nature of this topic, paints a picture of what political and economic progress may look like as the 21st Century progresses — and why a NWO may not be as far-fetched as so many of us are inclined to believe.

Imagine a smattering of raindrops hitting the pavement. Each raindrop represents the relative isolation and sovereignty of each nation. As those raindrops increase in number — meaning more countries climb aboard the international trade bandwagon — they connect like dots.

With enough rain — overlapping treaties and trade agreements — pools of water form (commonwealths operating under a shared constitution and/or currency). This is a natural evolution of the free trade process.

The European Union is but one such trade and currency pool, and it is not at all out of the question that more are to come. In Asia, in fact, The Wall Street Journal reported October 12, 2009 that an “Asean Plus Six” proposal seeks to integrate the 10 member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian nations as well as Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Much like a succession of raindrops merging to form large swaths of water, boundaries between nations may become less distinct in the years to come. Such a progression inevitably begs the question: Is national sovereignty passé? And in even longer-range terms, will ethnic, language and cultural distinctions begin to dissolve too?

While far-sighted, these questions are just that: Legitimate questions.

When people say that the prospect for a North American Union is little more than a conspiracy, they are, in effect, saying that they know the future beyond a reasonable doubt. What this denies in the here-and-now is an appreciation for the reality that a World Federalist Movement (WFM) has been afoot for decades. The mainstream media may not give these long-ranging issues press time, but world federalist organizations do, in fact, exist in the United States, Canada and elsewhere in the developed world — and they run websites replete with historical timelines that anyone can verify for themselves.

Our Mission is to promote global governance to address inequality, violent conflict, mass atrocities, climate change and corruption

World Federalist Movement and Institute for Global Policy: https://www.wfm-igp.org/

This much we know of modern times: Peacetime economies are evolving toward tighter integration for the sake of shared prosperity. Debates over whether this is incidental or intentional detract from the point: The logical extension of removing conflicting trade laws and legal barriers may well be a set of conditions wherein borders are intact on maps, but members function more like states in a global confederation (interregionalism).

Some say we may even see this convergence culminate within our lifetimes.

In a speech then-president-elect Barack Obama gave in Berlin, he had this to say:

No doubt there will be differences in opinon. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together.

A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden.

In this new century Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more, not less.

Partnership and cooperation between nations is not a choice. It is the only way. The one way to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

President Obama’s message? This isn’t personal. This isn’t partisan. This “burden” is the future. And no, we do not have a choice.

President Obama, to be clear, is but one of several American presidents in recent years to share a globalized vision — hence his statement that a “change in Washington” will not deviate world leaders from a transnational progressive path:

SERIOUS QUESTIONS FOR SERIOUS TIMES

  • Does a shift toward increasingly large and impersonal centralized governance bode well for freedom to exclude oneself or one’s nation from a one-size-fits-all policy? Or will freedom to opt out be the one guarantee regional integration proponents — world federalists — can’t promise?
  • Is it in keeping with human history and human psychology to share a collective vision without breaking rank? How does world federalism propose to respond to “agitators” and civil unrest within its Utopian framework?
  • Does consolidation of legal and political powers represent a net gain or is it offset by the potential for corruption and abuse at the hands of a powerful few whose legislative reach has gone global?
  • At an economic level, can or will world federalism deliver on its promise of peace and prosperity for all world citizens? Or does it violate the all-eggs-in-one-basket principle: posing, instead, a dangerous level of economic and international codependency that will hold individuals and markets alike captive to the weakest link within the whole?

How do you feel about the path we are apparently headed down?

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We are the World — and the World Killed Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop“, made an untimely exit from the stage of life after suffering a cardiac arrest Thursday, June 25, Brian Oxman, a Jackson family attorney, reports. More shockingly, Oxman told a CNN reporter that he warned the Jackson family that the star may be headed for a fate not unlike Anna Nicole Smith, who died little over two years ago following prolonged prescription painkiller dependence. Smith also lost her teenage son to a fatal drug interaction in 2006. In Jackson’s case, Oxman says the entertainer suffered chronic pain from a multitude of former stage injuries, among them a fractured vertebra and a broken leg.

Prescription drug abuse often starts legitimately enough. Life happens. We suffer injuries and accidents. And we don’t want to live like cripples before our time. But oftentimes the so-called cure comes with its own consequences.

The similarity between the average Jane or Joe and the Jacksons of the world seemingly ends in the doctor’s office. The average American who suffers a chronic pain condition, whether it is arthritis or severe back pain, is more likely to end up disabled as opposed to receiving pain management that succeeds in restoring one’s lifestyle. Celebrities, on the other hand, encounter the opposite: Eager to satisfy the demands of their high-power clients whose careers and lives must go on in a very public fashion, doctors are less likely to deny their well-known patients powerful forms of pain relief whether such medications are needed or not. The assumption on the part of the medical establishment, ostensibly, is that successful people who “have it together” are not going to throw it all away in pursuit of an addiction. Far be it from the public, all the while, to view a figure who is vibrant, charismatic and larger than life as weak, sickly or disabled. With enough drugs to combat the pain, life goes on as normal — until the consequences catch up.

The exact cause of Jackson’s fatal cardiac arrest, to be clear, is not yet known. Some suspect the superstar’s undernourished appearance, implying that the rigors of Jackson’s physical training program in preparation for a comeback tour are to blame. To that we now add the all-too-familiar specter of drug dependence. Let us not forget that Los Vegas headliner Danny Gans also died this month as a result of cardiac toxicity brought on by a legitimately prescribed painkiller. This is a story, sadly, that never ends. And that is the point. It should end, but it doesn’t.

Aside from the obvious — that drugs, even legitimately prescribed drugs — may lead to an untimely end, what does this tragedy have to teach us?

When singing sensation Susan Boyle, a contestant in the Brittish equivalent of “American Idol”, showed signs of stress and later admitted herself to a treatment facilitySimon Cowell, among others, cited her fragile mental state as the cause of her concert cancellations and erratic moods. In truth, however, the spotlight drives a lot of performers and public figures nutty. Eccentric behavior is much easier to brush off, however, when blamed on prescription tranquilizers, alcohol or illicit drugs. From Elvis Presley to Marilyn Monroe, celebrities of all generations, it seems, are pressured — if not explicitly than implicitly — to turn to drugs for answers rather than to allow anyone to see that their bodies, if not minds, cannot keep up with the frenetic pace of their lives. Were each of them, like Boyle, “unfit” and “ill prepared” for their success? Or would it be more accurate to say that this is the dark underbelly of celebrity — the reality check our celebrity-obsessed culture never confronts no matter how many famous people succumb to the inability to live up to their own or others’ expectations?

Let’s face it: We never want to accept deblitation. We never want anyone to grow old. But for a few fashionably naughty exceptions for sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, we never want anyone to seem all that human, either. As the Susan Boyle “case study” shows, cruelty is aimed at those who are too old, too overweight, too fragile, too offbeat, too ordinary. We like our stars airbrush perfect, immune from the unglamorous slowdowns associated with age and chronic medical conditions. From concert promoters to ordinary fans, we the people seem more inclined to tolerate rumors of substance abuse than to accept the news that a superstar has reached the limits of their physical and mental stamina. Drug abuse and stardom may go hand-in-hand, whereas honesty doesn’t get you very far in a world where image is the only reality that counts.

To live in the fishbowl that is celebrity you have to be a little bit crazy. And if you aren’t off kilter to begin with, living in the glare of paparazzi camera flash will surely induce as much. But the blame belongs to society too. We are the ones who idolize celebrities’ lives, never willing to hear the admission that the pressures are too much and they can no longer live up to fans’ expectations. Doctors, too, are not immune. There’s a pill for that. A surgery that will fix it. And an expectation that enough is never enough.

We are the world — and the world killed Michael Jackson.

May he rest in peace.

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