IMPROVING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson and friends
© June 2011, L.D.Wilson Consultants, Inc.
This is an enormous topic. However, the basics are simple. At one level, what is needed for better international relations is similar to what is needed for better interprersonal relationships. For example, to get along with others one must have courtesy, consideration, tolerance, honesty, and more than anything, a desire to get along. One must learn to negotiate, compromise at times, and to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, so to speak, so that you can appreciate their perspective.
In the international arena, there is also a need for basic rules of conduct, rules for warfare, trade, how to settle boundary problems, international courts to settle disputes, and so on.
THE UNITED NATIONS
Although it has a 60 year history, the UN is of limited usefulness because it is run by third world nations, mainly, who have an equal vote in the General Assembly. Therefore, it will continue to be helpful for certain standards, for example, but it must not be relied upon for military operations and other things where the best judgment is needed.
THE PROBLEM OF SCARCITY
In so many nations, food, water, energy, education and other necessities are missing or seriously substandard. This is one of the greatest challenges. This problem, however, is not that difficult to overcome because it is always found with two other problems. These are corrupt, dictatorial governments, lack of institutions of capitalism, and usually laws against enterprise and capitalism.
One of my mentors, Buckminster Fuller, stated that there is no scarcity. He proved this with his World Game, in which he analyzed all of the world’s resources and showed that the main reasons for scarcity since around 1940 is not a lack of materials, food, tools or a lack of knowledge a to how to use those materials. Instead, it has to do with a failure to utilize the resources properly, to move them where they are needed, and to provide for people’s needs. Sadly, this is often done intentionally by governments who are afraid of their people and prefer to keep the people frightened, poor and even starving to death. For much more on this subject, read Closing The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor.
THE NEED FOR CAPITALISM
Everywhere one goes there are people who see problems and who are willing to solve them. Often, they are even willing to use their own money and resources, and are not asking for help from their governments or anyone else, often. However, in all nations, laws stop these people from doing what comes naturally to them, namely solving problems.
There is a need to understand capitalism as a method of basically garnering one’s resources and using them wisely to solve problems of all kinds. Capitalism has been denigrated in the schools of Europe, America and everywhere else, yet it is the most productive system and the best way to solve problems.
The problem is not flaws with capitalism as much as it is laws in every nation that prohibit or inhibit capitalism. To promote economic freedom requires getting rid of needless regulations, permissions, licences, fees, corporate taxes and other “red tape”. In some nations, this is the single greatest need because it would, in turn, unleash a torrent of human creativity and productivity that would soon end poverty, starvation, lack of housing and education, and every other major problem of these nations. This has occurred to a degree in India and China and some other nations of Asia in the past 20 years, giving rise to the fastest rate of development in the world. It has not been done perfectly, causing problems such as pollution, inflation, and others. But it has worked and worked well. It is sad to think that one must look to a Communist dictatorship to learn about how capitalism can work to better the people.
Implementing this, even in the United States, once the bastion of capitalism, will not be easy, but China and India are showing the way. Governments must embrace the future, let go of their stranglehold on development, and allow human creativity to flourish within their borders. This is really all that is needed, and this is what capitalism is, not some struggle between management and labor, bourgeois and proletariet, and all the rest of the nonsense that is taught in schools across the world.
GUARANTEEING PEOPLE GOOD GOVERNANCE
A problem tied to the discussion above is how to teach and guarantee that people around the world will have honest, intelligent governments. This has forever been a problem in the world.
The founders of America handled it in the most unique and forward-looking way by having a national Constitution that guarantees to every American a Republican form of government. This means a constitution for each state with three separate branches of government, the legislative, executive and judicial, and democratic elections, etc. This system is far from perfect, but probably one of the best models for the world, as explained below in more detail.
Parliamentary or social democracies in Europe are not as good, in my opinion, as they do not assure the people as much power and protection from monopolies, corruption, and socialistic tendencies.
A MODEL GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM FOR THE WORLD
America’s federal and state constitutions, and basic legal, financial and business structures are a model that may not be perfect, but are unquestionably one of the best systems that could be spread around the world. At least, it is a starting point for nations that are just emerging from dictatorship and total poverty and despair.
While there has been a serious loss of freedom in America, the basic documents are still available and hopefully can be resurrected. America’s federal Constitution and first 10 Amendments guarantee to all citizens:
1. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right to seek and find work (this has been violated repeatedly by unions), freedom of religion provided that religion does not attack other religions,
2. The right to own guns and other weapons of self-defense. This is set out in a separate Amendment as it is considered so important. Of course, one may not murder, steal, rape, or otherwise misuse guns or anything else.
3. Freedom to own property, (also seriously violated today by well-meaning but damaging environmental laws and other laws like eminent domain laws), and the right to a stable currency based on gold and silver (terribly violated everywhere in the world, practically),
4. A right to protection by a military and police forces of, for and by the people, freedom to educate the children as you see fit (terribly violated by the “public” school system), freedom from unwarranted searches and seizures (violated by asset forfeiture laws and others), freedom from having soldiers quartered in private homes.
5. The right to a trial by jury of your peers (terribly violated by judges and attorneys who write the rules for courts), a right to counsel in legal cases, and so much more.
6. Freedom from high state taxation by harmonizing the states so that trade flows smoothly between the states. Other mechanisms besides taxing goods must therefore be used to raise funds. Sales taxes and property taxes are the main types of taxes permitted in America. Other nations have far more complex and intricate tax systems such as the VAT or value added tax system that is totally hidden and horrendous. Freedom from unfair taxation (some would say this has been totally violated by the Income Tax Amendment, one that was never ratified properly, by the way).
Sadly, in all nations in which America has helped such as all of Europe after World War II, after communism’s demise to a degree, America has not insisted that other nations follow her lead. Instead, she has allowed the establishment of parliamentary or social democracies, an inferior legal structure. I view this as part of the decline of America that I hope will be reversed in the near future.
TRADE AND FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
These need to be modeled on the American idea of trade between the states. High tariffs and taxation should be forbidden, and rules against importing hundreds of products must be lifted, especially anything that has to do with health such as vitamins and herbs, unless obviously proven dangerous. Today, nations just pass laws forbidding this or that, usually because another industry lobbies the government for protection. This cannot be permitted if people are to be able to trade and obtain what they need and want.
Free trade is also an important deterrent to war, since one is much less likely to go to war with one’s trading partner.
Public education has proven to be a dismal failure in America, in particular, where unions and the monopoly system of tax-supported education has destroyed private and religious educational institutions and polluted all the colleges and universities.
I am guessing the whole system needs to be scrapped as we realize it is simply outdated, outmoded and not needed. Children are probably best off learning at home, where they are much safer and can use the latest technology to learn online and then parents can form small groups and classes for certain activities. Families in which both parents must work would likely receive a voucher so one or even both parents could stay home and teach and supervise their children. This would be far more cost-effective than the present wasteful and ineffective system. Most likely, online schools and materials would be certified by various groups so that parents would choose the materials that are best for their child. Different children have different needs and with plenty of choice, which does not occur now, the needs of most children could be handled easily. For more on the problems of the school system, read Problems With The Public Schools on this website.
This is a major problem in developing nations, but one that is fairly easy to solve if new technology and capitalism were allowed to flourish in these nations. Pre-fabricated housing that is sturdy, attractive and inexpensive is available. Its use is too often blocked by union work rules, by import rules, by lack of capital investment and other things that would be easy to overcome if the laws were correct to allow entrepreneurs to work in these nations with suitable legal protections for them.
CLEAN, HEALTHFUL WATER TO DRINK
This is another major problem, but again not one that is impossible to solve by any means. Simple testing of the water supplies and developing piping systems, and transportation networks to bring water to the people are not that difficult to construct. Most nations have sources of water, but the resources must be developed, protected from terrorists and looters, and this problem can be solved. For more on this topic, read Water for Drinking on this website. This article is not about developing nations, but is a medical article on which types of water appear to work best for our health.
PRE-NATAL AND CHILDHOOD CARE
This is an enormous problem worldwide, even in America. Pre-natal care should be a global priority, but it is not in almost all nations on earth. As a result, most children are born severely malnourished, and the rate of birth defects, ADD, autism, and so on are skyrocketing. For more on this serious problem, read Raising Healthy Children on this site.
A GLOBAL POLICE FORCE
A problem in some parts of planet earth is that the local police and military forces either cannot maintain order, or are too corrupt to maintain order. In these instances, which include the Arabian Penninsula, and perhaps even parts of Mexico, as well as areas like Afghanistan and perhaps parts of Pakistan, there is a need for an outside military force to maintain order.
The UN has tried to help, but usually to little avail because they lack the heavy equipment and weapons needed. They also often lack the manpower and the will to do whatever it takes to maintain order. In the past 80 years or so, the United States has been the main “world police force”, and this is probably best.
THE PROBLEM OF ENERGY
I am told there is nothing wrong with oil and gas as sources of energy. Sadly, however, radical environmentalists have prohibited the drilling for oil and extraction of natural gas in America and elsewhere, causing shortages and high prices.
New sources of energy are possible, especially that of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, and burning the gases in auto engines and elsewhere. This is a very safe and abundant energy source.
Nuclear energy, by contrast, is highly dangerous and must be stopped everywhere. The recent incident in Japan illustrates just one problem with nuclear plants, namely their susceptibility to earthquakes and other natural disasters. They are also prone to terrorist attacks and have other problems such as exorbitant cost.
Solar and other sources of power are slowly gaining popularity, but are still high-priced. Together with oil and gas, coal and water technology, these can easily satisfy the needs of everyone on earth. As with other problems, a major problem is not a shortage of energy, but laws and lack of infrastructure that prevent people from obtaining the energy they need to improve their lives. For more on this subject, read Nuclear Power And Alternatives and The Japan Disaster – Should You Take Iodine?.
THE PROBLEM OF SOCIALISM AND THE WELFARE STATE
Europe, in particular, has embraced socialism and the welfare state in the past 100 years to a greater and greater extent. The same has occurred in America, and parts of Asia such as Japan. Socialism is the growth of government bureaucracies to manage more and more of the economy. The welfare state means the idea that the government will take care of you from cradle to grave with programs such as child care, prenatal care, free education, free welfare if you lose your job, generous retirement benefits and free health care.
In almost every case, this is not working well, and eventually bankrupts the nation. This is the case in Europe, America, and Japan. A few nations of Northern Europe that produce oil and are wise with their spending are doing allright, but most of them, especially in Southern Europe, are in terrible financial difficulties.
It is made worse by the presence of strong public and private sector unions that fight all efforts to reign in government spending. The USA is in better shape this way, but not much.
Socialism and the welfare state sound like good ideas, but they tend to cause laziness and selfishness in the people, people do not work as hard, economic output and innovation decline, and bankruptcy of the government is the final result. The government just prints more money to pay its bills, but this cannot stand either, because the value of the currency declines and the rating of the nation’s debt goes down, making it harder to borrow money and worsening the debt crisis.
These truths are critical to know, and it is critical that young people be taught the truth about socialism and the welfare state.
SOIL FERTILITY AND AGRICULTURE
Another serious problem on planet earth is the condition of the topsoil, making the land more fertile and productive, and the ability of all nations to grow and raise enough food for their people, with hopefully some leftover for export.
This is an old problem on earth, but one that has become more acute in some parts of the world such as Africa as colonialism has died out and local strong men have assumed power instead in many nations on that continent. In some African nations, the local leaders have systematically killed off the white land owners and taken their lands. This is horrible by itself, but even worse, the new “owners” do not understand as well how to farm the land and so agricultural production has fallen off sharply, worsening the hunger problem.
In other nations, continuous wars and civil unrest have also devastated agriculture, which requires stability and peace so that farmers can tend their soil and their flocks properly. Millions of farmers have become refugees and live in temporary camps where they cannot farm, even though they would like to. Their land has been taken, and often just ignored, worsening the situation even more.
Agricultural problems in the developed nations are different. Here pesticides and insecticides continue to pollute all the water supplies of the industrial nations. Also, the rush to genetically modified foods has met with some resistance for good reason. The technology is not proven, and patenting seeds as is now permitted, is a bad idea for many reasons. The genetically modified crops are generally not as hardy and subject to problems of drought and others, which can leave a farmer with nothing. These nations need to return to organic and sustainable agricultural practices, and this is occurring slowly, mainly due to public demand.
Many people do not realize that the health of world and its people depends heavily on the fertility of the soil, the use of the correct farming practices and correct seeds, and if these factors are not addressed, the health level continues to decline For more on this topic, read Organic Agriculture on this website. An older, but excellent book that documents this is Soil, Grass and Cancer by Andre Voisin. It was recently republished by Acres, USA.
A concept that has gained acceptance worldwide in the past century is that all human beings on earth are born with certain rights that cannot or should not be denied by any government or authority. This is actually the same idea as “natural rights” from the Creator, which was a central tenet of the founders of America.
Corruption of the natural rights or human rights concept. Unfortunately, the idea of human rights has been extended by some to include all sorts of “rights” that are probably not correct. Where the American founders limited natural rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or some would say the ability to own and dispose of property as one sees fit), some people, especially socialists, have taken the concept much further. They assert that “human rights” includes the right to a job, the right to a house, the right to a car, the right to a nice retirement and the right to health care, and perhaps other things. This is a totally different idea, and must be distinguished from the concept put forth by the founders of America. The latter is the basis for the welfare state and socialism, and so far, at least, it has not worked out well wherever it has been tried.
These are some of the major problems facing planet earth that must be resolved in creative, but practical ways and this, more than anything else, will facilitate much better international relations between the nations and their people.