[gha] Re: my newest article

  • From: AK Merchant <ak9merchant@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 24 May 2014 17:15:34 +0530

Dear and respected Dr. Martin and all esteemed Friends,

Thanks a lot for sharing a copy of your article.  Recently I have also
written an article for a select audience.  I am glad to share it with
this email.

With kind regards.


Dr. A. K. Merchant


                       By Dr. A. K. Merchant*

As systems of governance in their entirety have become increasingly
dysfunctional, international socio-economic and political order
requires an entirely new approach and methodology to address the
intractable problems confronting nations.  The perspective offered by
the author is based on his experiences as a social worker that
utilizes the spiritual resources of religions as well as the best that
secular principles have to offer for building sustainable societies.
He is confident, it is still possible to stem the tide of perpetual
conflict and complete ecological collapse through a reordering of the
present-day structures for the management of our planet.


 Events of the most profound significance are taking place in the
world.  Confusion and panic are widespread and our planet is a state
of great turmoil. From Black Sea to Korean peninsula to the Middle
East to China Seas and even the Arctic the river of human history is
rushing at a bewildering speed.  Age-old institutions are collapsing
and traditional ways are being forgotten.  How shall we address the
manifold crises our times? Let's ponder and reflect, look at the
relics of the past, how they never cease to instruct and amaze.  See
the skeletons of dinosaurs embedded in rock and clay, they had once
ruled the earth.  See the swords and crown of emperors in dusty
museums, they too had once ruled the earth: To what consequence?
Things and beings come, play their roles and then their memories too
are lost in the sands of time.  So what is it that really matters,
that will still be there when all things are gone?  When kings,
emperors, empires, ideologies, the latest technologies too, are all
gone?  When the memories of the memories of all these are gone?  What
will still be there?  All have perished and disappeared as decreed by
the Almighty, nothing remains of them but scattered dust.

 Creating sustainable societies that extend from the local to the
global level--covering urban and rural areas--will require a
fundamental reorientation of both the principles and institutional
arrangements related to production and consumption. Initiatives that
encourage the creation and distribution of wealth in rural regions and
policies that prevent the forces of economic globalization from
marginalizing grassroots initiatives deserve particular attention.
Promising approaches include strengthening local capacity for
technological innovation and fostering respect for the knowledge
possessed by a community or culture.  Many of the expressions of our
times grossly reflect immaturity on the part of the nation-states, as
well as individuals, institutions and the civil society at large.
Dislocations and disruptions in majority of the countries have become
the daily menu of populations, following is a short list: (i) protests
leading to rebellion, (ii) love of excessive of freedom in the fight
one's human rights, (iii) skepticism vis-a-vis people in authority,
(iv) glorification of individual achievements, (v) and promotion of
material pursuits and standards,(vi) consumerism, (vii) destruction of
public property, (viii) man-made disasters and what-have-you. Based on
spiritual truths contained in holy books of the world's great
religions those who are in leadership positions must guarantee certain
universal freedoms, promote universal suffrage, foster sane and
legitimate patriotism, encourage the acquisition of wealth through
honest means, uphold the principle of property rights, recognize the
achievements and sacrifices of individuals who are serving the
disadvantaged multitudes.

The horrific experiences of wars in the history of humankind and the
resultant two World Wars gave us the League of Nations and the United
Nations respectively; the frequency with which world leaders,
particularly with the ending of the Cold War and the rise of
international terrorism, have met and debated on global issues; the
renewed call for a global order that issued from the leaders at the
Millennium Summits in 2000; the multiplication of organizations of
civil society that focus attention on a variety of international
concerns through the operation of an ever-expanding network of
activities; the widespread debates on the need for global governance
and numerous organized efforts towards world peace; the emergence of
international tribunals; the rapid developments in communications
technology that have made the planet borderless - these are among the
voluminous evidences of an accelerating momentum of a human race
desperately seeking to create a new socio-economic Order.

In restoring the value system legislators and law-makers will need to
think in terms of curbing the rampant individualism that has come to
characterize our culture, and seek instead to nurture the ideals of
service and compassion. Unless the judiciary and legal institutions
functioning in tandem with other branches of the state are able to
reverse the present-day dangerous trends our civilization is doomed to
perish. "The principal cause of the suffering, which one can witness
wherever one turns, is the corruption of human morals and the
prevalence of prejudice, suspicion, hatred and untrustworthiness and
selfishness and tyranny among men." The increase in crime, the
break-down of the institution of marriage, mental illness, and
alcoholism, the dependence upon tranquilizers, the escape from reality
into the drug experience, the breakdown of law and order, the
corruption of political institutions, and the unethical practices of
modern business and industry are all symptomatic of the decomposition
of the civilization, as we know it.

 There is much more to be learned about both extremes of the
poverty-wealth spectrum. The voices and lived experiences of the
people--including the poorest--must be heard. Beyond economic
variables, for example, a much fuller appreciation must be gained of
the social and spiritual resources upon which the masses draw in
living their lives. Our understanding of extreme wealth is also
incomplete. Given the increasingly global nature of wealth and its
extremes, much of this wealth escapes national oversight and
management, and is not reflected in government statistics. What are
the structures that permit the ongoing existence of extreme wealth?
How is it perpetuated by economic and political systems? What kinds of
identities and qualities are fostered by its continuing presence? A
deeper, more widely held understanding of the implications of the
global movements and uses of wealth is needed if the actions of
governments and the international community are to advance in an
informed and constructive manner.

Today, over 80% of the world's people live in countries where income
differentials are widening. While poverty eradication measures have
improved living standards in some parts of the world, inequality
remains widespread. Numerous and wide-ranging deficits in human
well-being are endemic in both poor and rich countries alike. Consider
that nearly 800 million adults cannot read or write, two and half
billion people lack basic sanitation, nearly half of the world's
children live in poverty, and nearly one billion people do not have
enough to eat. At the other extreme, a mere thousand or so individuals
seem to control nearly six percent of the Gross World Product. These
are symptomatic of structural flaws in the economic system and its
institutions, and need to be corrected.

A critical dimension of the design and implementation of new economic
and institutional frameworks is a world-encompassing trusteeship--the
idea that each one of us enters the world as a trust of the whole and,
in turn, bears a measure of responsibility for the welfare of all.
This principle of trusteeship calls into question the efficacy of
present-day expressions of sovereignty. It challenges the ethical
basis of loyalties that do not extend beyond the nation state. While
multilateralism has strengthened and expanded cooperation among nation
states, it has not removed the struggles for power that dominate
relations among them. The mere collaboration of self-interested actors
in a multilateral enterprise does not ensure favourable outcomes for
the comity of nations as a whole. As long as one group of nations
perceives its interests in opposition to another, progress will be
limited and short-lived.

Trusteeship is a concept equally applicable to many other areas of
concern to humanity. Human rights, for example, achieve their highest
expression when understood in the context of trusteeship: they come to
provide a framework for human relations through which all people have
the opportunity to realize their full potential, and all are concerned
with ensuring the same for others. The shift to sustainable modes of
production and consumption is a further expression of this principle:
put simply, to consume more than one's fair share is to deplete the
resources needed by others. The principle of trusteeship implies the
need for an intergenerational perspective in which the well-being of
future generations is taken into account at all levels of

 Nations that develop such an ethos will prove to be the pillars of a
world civilization--a civilization which will be the logical
culmination of humanity's community-building efforts over vast
stretches of time and geography. Surely, every person has both the
right and the responsibility to contribute to this historic and
far-reaching, collective enterprise whose goal is nothing less than
the peace, prosperity and unity of the entire human family.

Mahatma Gandhi once stated that one cannot create a system that is so
good that people do not have to be good. In other words, it is
impossible to create a system that is ethically strong without the
people involved in it acting from moral principles and this is the
raison d'etre of religion. Until we accept that all people, regardless
of race, caste, creed, gender, class or national status, are equal
members of one human family, each with inalienable rights--and act out
of that belief--we are likely to overlook the obscene disparities that
now divide humankind along the lines of class, race, caste, creed,
religion and nation. Therefore, the real purpose of religion is to
promote the acquisition of praiseworthy virtues, betterment of morals
and the spiritual development of humankind. Which is the country
willing to lead by example? If we look at the top five countries of
the Human Development Index - Norway, Canada, Sweden, Finland, United
States of America--are these model-nation-state replicable for the
countries in the rest of the world.

To act like the beasts of the jungle is unworthy of human beings. For,
the virtues that befit human dignity are trustworthiness, forbearance,
mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all peoples. Therefore,
it behoves those spiritually-minded and socially-conscious inhabitants
wherever they live in any part of the globe, be they politicians,
leaders, scientists, intellectuals, students or just ardent and
sincere workers who are passionately striving for the betterment of
the world and the well-being all peoples not to fall prey to the
doomsday prophets but ever remain hopeful and never give up.
Civilization has two essential components, material and spiritual.
Both of these have to advance simultaneously if humanity is to achieve
prosperity and true happiness.  Surely when both these are linked and
coordinated it would usher in the coming of age of the entire human
race, the advent of that Golden Age sung throughout the ages by seers
and sages and poets and foretold in the holy texts of world's major

*The author is General Secretary, The Temple of Understanding--India [a
global interfaith association, NGO in consultative status with UN
ECOSOC]; National Trustee, Lotus Temple & Bahá'í Community of India;
Trustee, Sarvodaya International Trust--Delhi Chapter; Associate
Secretary General, Global Warming Reduction Centre; Secretary, Parkash
Foundation. Contact: akmerchant@xxxxxxxxxxx

On Sat, May 24, 2014 at 5:08 AM, Martin, Glen T <gmartin@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Dear friends and colleagues,
> My new article, entitled "Global Robocop, a Multipolar World, and Climate
> Collapse: How to Think Outside the Box" is attached above.  It is posted on
> OpEd News at
> http://www.opednews.com/articles/Global-Robocop-a-Multipol-by-Dr-Glen-T-Martin-Democracy_Gaia-Earth-Planetary-Community_Ideology-Progressive_New-Multipolar-World-Order-140523-840.html
> and on Reader Supported News at
> http://readersupportednews.org//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23811
> and on my university website.
> Yours in peace and hope,
> Glen
> Dr. Glen T. Martin
> President, World Constitution and Parliament Assoc.
> (www.worldparliament-gov.org)
> President, Institute on World Problems (www.earth-constitution.org)
> Professor of Philosophy, Radford University (www.radford.edu/gmartin)
> Laureate, GUSI Peace Prize International

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