February 3, 2010
By Ken Krayeske • 10:55 PM EST
I found this chalk drawing on a granite square in a tunnel near the Louvre in Paris in September, 2005. Fleeting, impermanent, but timeless in its beauty and grace. How else do you illustrate utopian desires? But with a smile...
During the six years I have been writing this column, I criticized, praised and offered ideas. Many times, in the course of critiquing the current order of things, I have been asked, "What exactly do you want?"
The thought is that once you figure out what you want, you can determine how to get it. If self-government were only that easy.
I have given the "What do you want?" question considerable thought. I am going to spend the next hour (pre-deadline, of course), trying to hash out a reasonable answer, so that the next time I am asked: "What do you want?" I can answer it by saying something other than "This is not about what I want…"
If this sounds utopian, who cares? I make no apologies for what I want. I have tried to parse the logical consequences of my policy desires, and account for them. These are in no particular order, because I want them all equally.
This is what I want. I may not be able to get them, and some of these may be physiologically impossible given the human genetic makeup, but this is what I want.
I want an end to wars – religious wars, resource wars, water wars, information wars, wars on terror, wars on drugs, wars on poverty, war on dictators, wars on people, wars for profit. I want peace. Religious and spiritual tolerance and peace.
I want an end to regionalism, factionalism and parochialism. I want an end to colonialism, racism, ageism, sexism, and elitism. I want no flags, false flags or logo flags.
In the face of multinational corporations that cross borders with their capital easier than people can migrate to new lands, the nation-state is an out-moded means of social organization. People are not illegal.
Furthermore, with the Internet creating a vast repository of human knowledge and the ability to communicate instantaneously, and with the planet itself confronting humans with climate change, which could doom humanity, we need to organize as one people quick.
Our species needs to evolve out of this mess of hierarchical nuclear warhead and my-god-is-better-than-your-god obsessions which threaten our existence as much as global warming.
The concept of country is dead and should not continue to be perpetuated when fictional persons like General Electric and Mitsubishi have larger economies than 150 of the 187 or so countries of the world. The United Nations is a brilliant concept, but it is too weak.
I recognize the need for systems of organization that allow amounts of capital to aggregate in order to achieve various social purposes. But when those organizations/corporations become destructive of the sanctity of humankind, they must suffer the death penalty.
The argument that these organizations bring jobs is tired and fails to change my desire to control capital. We are a resourceful species. We all have yankee ingenuity.
Although I tremble at the thought of a one-world government which wields military might with no check or balance on that power, we already have that with the United States of America, which has military bases in more than 150 countries.
I want an equitable government. I want democratic institutions that represent people, not wealthy corporations and the rich. I want campaign finance reform that eliminates money as a factor in elections, which means I want structural electoral reform, including instant runoff voting, term limits, and unicameral legislatures with proportional representation.
I want voters to recognize propaganda and see beyond the forces that convince them to vote against their own interest. I want leaders who put self-interest aside and concern themselves with the welfare of people, and who seek genuinely to end suffering. I want those on the quest for truth holding positions of power, and not confusing the two.
I want everyone on the planet to be able to vote for president of the United States. I want everyone on the planet to vote. I want an end to politics as the art of the possible. I want the impossible.
I want equitable distribution of resources. If this makes me a communist, then so be it. I cannot reconcile the extravagant wealth I have seen while working for billionaires on their yachts with the poverty I have witnessed working with teenagers in Hartford or traveling in poor countries.
My impatience urges me to demand a government that takes the money from the mega-rich and distributes to those who are being exploited for the benefit of the super-wealthy. The billions I have seen wasted on diesel fuel for the mega-rich can easily provide the next demands.
I want universal literacy. I want small class sizes. I want universal access to knowledge and the structures of critical thinking. I want everyone not just to be able to read, but to be able to discern truth from lies in information. I want an end to student debt. Most importantly, I want everyone to reach their potential of creative self-fulfillment as in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
I want everyone to have a job that they love and be paid honestly for doing it. I want an end to slavery, wage slavery, sweatshops and the race to the bottom.
I want the privacy of my thoughts, and the corollary freedom of expression. People have the right to think as they chose. The only impingement on that right should be when your actions (prompted by those thoughts) encroach on someone else's.
I want universal health care. The human body is not a profit center for a multi-national corporation. The human body is a sacred gift from the heavens, the vessel of life. The human body is neither for sale nor for rent. Health care is a human right. If a five year old boy breaks his leg, it should not doom him or his family.
In the 21st century, we have advanced medical care, but we ration it for those who can afford it. This must stop. I want everyone to have access to doctors, nurses, hospitals and preventative care.
I want an end to "military solutions" because there is no "military solution." Violence begets violence. As has been noted, there may not be an end in sight to militarism in human affairs, but we have to work to eliminate that.
I want universal access to housing. Everyone has a right to a safe roof over their heads.
I want an end to starvation and poverty. Everyone should have access to healthy food and clean drinking water. I want to stop water wars before they start. The human body is two-thirds water. Water is a human right.
I want universal access to transportation, and the ability to move across the planet freely, without worrying about walls, checkpoints, borders, visas, passports with radio frequency identification chips or underwear bombers.
I want clean energy, clean oceans, clean elections, and clean streets. I want fish without mercury. I want mountains with tops and coal inside them. I want humanity to reflect on the technological advances it is making before we are enslaved by our own technology.
I want an end to torture, violence, deceit and greed and a championing of integrity, dignity, altruism and community. I want people who work for the government to understand that their service does not entitle them to riches.
I want to see the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the KGB, the mukhabarat, the Mossad, the MI6, the Taliban, the SLORC/SPDC, and any other such organizations (which are too numerous to mention) smashed into thousands of pieces and tossed into the winds. I want drones, clones, and robot warriors outlawed and never used in war. I want war outlawed, too.
I want equal access to justice and the law. If we are going to have rules, I want them to be applied to everyone equally, but I also want discretion. I want to unborn generations to come have peace and prosperity and a healthy planet.
Since I am running out of space and time, if I have missed anything, please consult the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which may be outmoded itself because it does not consider the rights of people versus the rights of corporations.