July 25th, 2010

S.C. Hickman

Global Ethics?

"With the current globalization of our problems, we need to extend our circle of empathy and view humanity as a worldwide extended human family. As long as we refrain from facing that challenge, divisiveness and unsolvable conflicts will persist."
            - Rodrigue Tremblay, For a More Ethical Civilization

What would a civilization based upon a radical humanistic perspective and global ethics look like? Rodrigue Tremblay tells us:

In such a such a civilization,

• All human beings would be equal in dignity and in human rights.
• Life on this planet would not be devalued and seen as only a preparation for a better life after death, somewhere beyond the clouds.
• The virtues of tolerance and of human liberty would be proclaimed and applied, subject only to the requirements of public order.
• Human solidarity and sharing would be better accepted as a protection against poverty and deprivation.
• The manipulation and domination of others through lies, propaganda, and exploitation schemes of all kinds would be less prevalent.
• There would be less reliance on superstition and religion to understand the Universe and to solve life's problems and more on reason, logic and science.
• Better care of the Earth's natural environment—land, soil, water, air and space—would be taken in order to bequeath a brighter heritage to future generations.
• We would have ended the primitive practice of resorting to violence or to wars to resolve differences and conflicts.
• There would be more genuine democracy in the organization of public affairs, according to individual freedom and responsibility.
• Governments would see that their first and most important task is to help develop children's intelligence and talents through education.

All high sounding and wonderful ideas, but are they realistic in an age of war, famine, and ecocide? One can read such ideas as the UN Human Rights manifesto and think: yes, grand stuff, but who will enforce this grand idea? Will the current economic and political rulers of the world enact measures to incorporate such grand ideology in their everyday practices? Don't hold your breath. Will the excluded, the refugees, the millions of displaced inhabitants of our stateless camps of hungry citizens of the new world disorder become a part of this humanist world?

Every time I read some ex government official cum morality play puppeteer begin to preach a new humanism I want to reach for - as Johnny Cash said when "Death comes knocking at my door, I reach for my shotgun." So beware of old guard members bearing Trojan gifts of humanistic idealism: it smells of death camps to me.... or, maybe, just another ghetto for the world's poor. More likely a new vision of global apartheid than a truly humane realm of freedom. M.N. Roy the only great radical humanist of the last century once said: "A mighty resurgence of the common man and woman only can save modern civilization. To inspire that resurgence, organize it, guide it to fruition- that is the mission of New Humanism." Let us hope that the truly creative common men and women of our planet will awaken from their long sleep and begin to reforge those ancient links of freedom so badly needed in our time.

S.C. Hickman

Top Secret America - The Washington Post

""Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

I like what their doing.... let the secret world become visible. How much more will it take. Washington Post is doing us all a great service uncovering the truth of the American Federal National Security State. read more....

"When it comes to national security, all too often no expense is spared and few questions are asked - with the result an enterprise so massive that nobody in government has a full understanding of it. It is, as Dana Priest and William M. Arkin have found, ubiquitous, often inefficient and mostly invisible to the people it is meant to protect and who fund it.

The articles in this series and an online database at topsecretamerica.com depict the scope and complexity of the government's national security program through interactive maps and other graphics. Every data point on the Web site is substantiated by at least two public records.

Because of the nature of this project, we allowed government officials to see the Web site several months ago and asked them to tell us of any specific concerns. They offered none at that time. As the project evolved, we shared the Web site's revised capabilities. Again, we asked for specific concerns. One government body objected to certain data points on the site and explained why; we removed those items. Another agency objected that the entire Web site could pose a national security risk but declined to offer specific comments.

We made other public safety judgments about how much information to show on the Web site. For instance, we used the addresses of company headquarters buildings, information which, in most cases, is available on companies' own Web sites, but we limited the degree to which readers can use the zoom function on maps to pinpoint those or other locations."
     - from the editor, The Washington Post