Economics and Ending War
By Judith Hand
Shift Our Economies – it’s an AFWW cornerstone. The need to shift deals not only with shifting spending on weapons to spending on ending war projects, but shifting spending to other related critical challenges, like restoring and preserving environmental resources. We desperately need money also to deal with nuclear weapon proliferation and with the now unavoidable impacts of global climate change.
We need money for lots of extremely important things having to do with survival and ending war: ending extreme poverty, providing universal education and health care, spreading and protecting liberal democracy around the globe. And the U.S. Supreme Court has just dealt all of these causes, and the need to preserve true and liberal democracy in the U.S. a terrible blow. Vast resources will now be spent to win elections. The amount spent now is embarrassing. The amount that will be spent is tragic. It is also, given our other pressing needs, immoral.
In 1887 the U.S. Supreme Court made its first ruling that corporations are people…they should have the same rights as individuals. The was the beginning of a classic “slippery slope” to yesterday’s decision.
It’s always sad to blog after the fact. Actually, AFWW rarely does it. But yesterday's Supreme Court Decision, by five men, that says that, yes indeed, corporations are people, and they should be allowed to spend however much money on elections that they want, is the worst decision by that court in decades if you care about democracy. It is the fulfillment of the wet dreams of “money.” Love of money, greed, and instant financial interests…not our best humans traits and ones that always need to be reined in…have won the day.
For those interested in the history of the development of corporations and their ascendency in governing, AFWW recommends the books and work of the economist, David Korten and the social historian, Riane Eisler. You can check out David Korten's website for a plethora of thoughts on developing a new economy. You can also refer to his books. For example, When Corporations Ruled the World is excellent on the history of the development of corporations:
The Great Turning expands on the problem and begins to suggest solutions.
Agenda for a New Economy does exactly what the title suggests.
Riane Eisler’s latest book is The Real Wealth of Nations, and it addresses the need for partnership and a caring economics that is a broader view than even Korten’s.
We could change direction. Korten, Eisler, and other men and women of vision suggest how we could shift our economies in the service of ending war, and absolutely in the service of building a better future for the generations to come. The big question is whether enough of us share the vision and the will to accomplish what needs to be done to make those visions reality.
What is certainly true is that the U.S. Supreme Court’s five men have done us, and the future, a great disservice.
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About the Author
Dr. Judith L. Hand. Dr. Hand earned her Ph.D. in biology from UCLA. Her studies included animal behavior and primatology. After completing a Smithsonian Post-doctoral Fellowship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., she returned to UCLA as a research associate and lecturer. Her undergraduate major was in cultural anthropology. She worked as a technician in neurophysiology laboratories at UCLA and the Max Planck Institute, in Munich, Germany. As a student of animal communication, she is the author of several books and scientific papers on the subject of social conflict resolution.