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Friday, March 16, 2012
While I don't agree with the "science" of "I Declare World Peace", I do believe world peace is inevitable for other reasons.
Supposedly, the newest threat to world peace is cyber-war between China and the west. This idea is simply mapping old motives over new technology without understanding the impact of that technology. China does not want war with it's biggest market. World war no longer makes sense. There is no land in cyberspace. There is no clear us versus them because where you live matters far less than who you are and what you think. There are now millions of various groups each doing their own thing. Nationalism is melting away.
Fortunately, war has had it's time in human history. While there was almost certainly fighting over limited resources before agriculture, its fixed nature created a permanent focus for war about 10,000 years ago. And these wars scaled up until they involved the entire globe. But the highest values are no longer focused on land or even limited resources. The greatest value now is information, which has fortunately been set free. War is now dying out like the echo from that bomb on Nagasaki. We are finally on the verge of living out the promises of enlightenment.
Sure, the next decades will be filled with small religious and wars of democracy where despots and doctrine of our past will continue to play out in waves as various groups gain power in each region. But something new is happening. Information is out-running politics. New ideas are out-running religion.
This trend actually started back in the last century when as Rolling Stone put it, "The Sony Walkman and Levis jeans brought down the Iron Curtain". Their point then was, that competition in culture between east and west were the real driving forces in the new political landscape. Only a place as isolated as North Korea can stand against these forces, and then only for a while. Once the internet arrives, hope for war is lost, peace has won.
Think of the last couple of centuries as voting by migration. America was populated by the most adventuresome seeking political and religious freedom, and the process continues. Millions have died leaving locations where old ideas dominated to seek new homes where ideas and freedom thrive. Any government which does not subscribe to the pursuit of happiness is a lost cause, it's just a matter of when they realize it.
The enlightenment ideas of the 18th century are clearly out of the box and won't ever go back in. From now on, jurisdictions will more aggressively compete for citizens with the resources they have at hand - geography, tax rates and freedom. Communications is the grease that will allow the machine of peace to work.
Governments that don't compete will simply find themselves more and more marginalized and isolated until new management is installed, as we are seeing with the Arab Spring. Such transition is even now finding it's template. And those that once again revert to feudalism will simply have to do it all over again in a few years. At some point those in power will get the message and compete for citizens seeking personal freedom.
Even North Korea shall be free in less than a generation.
Linda Allison has declared world peace.
She is right, even if for the wrong reasons.