Words of hope at the United Nations
Living at this time is to bear witness to a world in acute turmoil Noam Chomsky describes the current climate, saying, “we are living in an era of irrationality, deception, confusion, anger, and unfocused fear an ominous combination, with few precedents.” Existing political/economic structures that serve not the people are in decay, a new world order based on universal principles of goodness: justice, equality, unity and freedom Is the call of many around the world.
“Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members unease will remain.” These startling words spoken not by a Greek philosopher or renowned Indian spiritual Master were uttered by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran[i], [quoting Persian poet Saadi] during his final address to the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) on 26th September.
Free from the usual confrontational rhetoric and overflowing with uncharacteristic inspiring language the message, whilst open to criticism and shouts of hypocrisy is beyond political clichés and, consonant with an army of reasonable voices calling for change throughout the world. The content is remarkable, indeed one wonders from whence such a stream of righteousness arose – out of the blue it seems. Love was repeatedly spoken of, the ‘L’ word being mentioned no less than 13 times, justice was repeated 15 times and peace 12 in his half hour an hour at the podium.
A poetical rant from an unpredictable, and among many at home and abroad unpopular politician approaching the home straight to be dismissed, or something more significant and in tune with the times. The speaker as stunned as the listener, giving voice to a unifying vision of change that on many counts has the ring of truth about it would suggest the latter.
A new world order based on unity and cooperation, participation and justice was sketched and controversial for certain, the prophetic pronouncement of the appearance in our midst of the”Ultimate Savior.” Statements (to my knowledge) completely ignored – such is the climate of suppression, cynicism and lack of imagination that pervades the media, to say nothing of the political pantomime playing out; Cynicism that pertains not to the people though, who look into the prevailing fog of confusion desperate for clarity and cry out for a message of hope.
A new order to create unity and Save Our Planet (SOP)
The current world order “is founded on materialism…and has been shaped according to selfishness, [and] deception…it is discriminatory and based on injustice,” promoting separation and conflict breeding psychological and physiological fear, “no one feels secure or safe even those who have stockpiled thousands of atomic bombs and other arms in their arsenals.” The perpetuation of manufactured anxiety, justifying the production of armaments, fuelling paranoia and helping to maintain the constantly growing profits of the pharmaceutical companies, running at full production to placate a worldwide epidemic of depression and stress.
Whilst politicians flounder in the past attempting to save crumbling out-dated institutions, people throughout the world suffer through political incompetence and the hardships of economic injustice and collapse. After poising a question that many of us have asked, “does anybody believe that continuation of the current order is capable of bringing happiness for human society,” the speech called for a new world order that will allow human beings to live peacefully together in mutual happiness, facilitating coordinated action to Save our Planet (SOP).
For a ‘new order’ based on unity and cooperation to come about, the broadest level of participation is necessary. Participation is a definition of democracy many would recognise as an inherent principle, if not expressed in practice, as Noam Chomsky makes clear[ii], “current Anglo-American institutions of representative democracy would be criticized first of all because there is a monopoly of power centralized in the state, and secondly and critically because the representative democracy is limited to the political sphere and in no serious way encroaches on the economic sphere." Such concentrations of power and privilege, injustice and unaccountability in world affairs are neither representative nor democratic and apply to national and international institutions, including the UN, with disproportionate power resting with the unrepresentative Security Council.
Isolationist policies based on self-interest promote distrust, creating division, conflict and tensions that repeatedly ignite into violent conflict and war – the eradication of which is the number one priority for humanity. “Today everyone is discontent and disappointed with the current international order.” An assessment vast numbers throughout the world would not disagree with; indeed Chomsky seems to share this view, saying of the US, “there’s a sense of hopelessness, sometimes despairs.”
All nations and groups of nations, aligned and nonaligned (the marginalized majority) should be encouraged to participate fully in the creative construction of a new saner way of living for everyone. This highly rational, inclusive approach to world management runs contrary to the current in-balance and echoes ideas of participation and unity proclaimed by the Occupy movement, which Noam Chomsky say’s he has “never seen anything quite like in scale and character. The Occupy outposts are trying to create cooperative communities that just might be the basis for the kinds of lasting organizations necessary to overcome the barriers ahead and the backlash that’s already coming,”[iii]
Participation& cooperation; hallmarks of the New Time
The majority of people in the world have little or no say over the governance of their nations and feel they are the victims of government policies that they may not agree with and are powerless to change. “The will and the views of the masses have the least impact and influence on the big decisions especially those made about the major domestic and foreign policies. Their voices are not heard even if they constitute 99% of their societies.” People are desperate to have their voices heard and to participate; demonstrations from London to Moscow, Tehran to New York Madrid to Cairo and all points in between, bear witness to this.
The politicians along with the banks, economic marshals and corporate magnates entwined in a marriage of exploitation and greed, are, following democratic ‘principles of goodness’, duty bound to serve the people, encourage participation and maximize involvement in the decision making that shapes the lives of the 99%. Contrary to such laws, the opposite pertains, Chomsky again “The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.” An image that loud and clear reflects the current democratic system, in which leaders see themselves as the ‘masters of the universe’ instead of the “committed servants of their people….Authority is a sacred gift from people to their rulers, not a chance to amass power and wealth.”
A new world order borne of the time rooted firmly in universal principles of freedom and justice free from ideological isms, that serves the needs of the people. Economics based on “fairness and justice,” instead of unfair systems that serve a minority of nations and are dependent on ‘consumerism and (the) exploitation of people,” international relations founded on “integrity and honesty with all nations being treated “equally and justly” in order to create “happiness for the entire mankind…which is after peace, lasting security and welfare for all walks of life… is founded upon trust and kindness and brings thoughts, hearts and hands closer to each other…. a just and fair order in which everybody is equal before (the) law and in which there is no double standard.”
I for one would be happy indeed to live in such a world, realised and made manifest. For the word of course is not the thing, love unless expressed is a hollow sentiment. Peace means nothing when hidden by the shadow of conflict and war and justice will remain a fantasy until all are treated equally: all are fed, every man woman and child has a home, access to decent health care, and when all the children of the world are educated, irrespective of where they were born, or the size of their family bank account.
We have moved so far from the expression of such humane ideals that to dare to enunciate them is to be classed naïve, a dreamer blind to the reality of the human condition, that is competitive and violent. ‘It’s always been this way’, it's the ‘survival of the fittest – the law of the jungle’. Such cynicism strengthens materialism and division, poisons the human heart, denies the human spirit and extinguishes all hope of the good; it is the worst kind of inhibiting conditioning. It has no place in any new world order and should be condemned to the past.
Universal guidance and pragmatism
People everywhere have lost faith in their leaders and the current economic system, which has failed the majority, poisoned the planet and cultivated greed and division. As if proof were needed, this is reflected in numerous surveys, e.g. the Committee on Standards in Public Life survey in 2010 in Britain, reported by the BBC[iv] that found only 26% of people believed that politicians tell the truth, a quarter only felt their MP’s competent even. A recent study by the Pew Research Center (PRC)[v] found “that only about a quarter of respondents (27 percent in 21 countries) were happy with the economic situation in their countries,” with only 20% saying that, “they believe the free market economy leads to increased general well-being.“ Whether there is in fact a ‘free market economy at all is disputable - this for another day. “In 16 out of the 21 countries the majority of respondents found that politicians were primarily to blame for the current economic malaise.”
To help humanity navigate its way out of the current fog and guide him in the creation of a new world order, Ahmadinejad announced towards the end of the unusual discourse, that “Almighty God has not left us alone in this mission”, but has promised us, and this is the prophetic and to many fantastical part, “a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ and the righteous.” His arrival will “mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection. It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life. His arrival will be the end of oppression, immorality, poverty, discrimination and the beginning of justice, love and empathy.”
The emergence of the Teacher and His group of disciples on the world stage will “breathe a new life in the cold and frozen body of the world. He will bless humanity with a spring that puts an end to our winter of ignorance, poverty and war.” By any standards these are words of wonder, and too many wonderful words.
The belief that a Divine Guide will come at this time - the beginning of a new cosmic cycle or age, is surprisingly prevalent. For the last thirty-five years or so the British artist & writer Benjamin Crème has been travelling the world giving talks on the emergence of the World Teacher. He states that many people of different religious backgrounds “now expect the return of their awaited Teacher.”[vi]Indeed in the US alone, a staggering “79% of Christians say they believe that Jesus Christ will return.”(PRC)
Over the last 30 years or so miracles[vii] of one kind or another have been taking place in enormous numbers. To the extent that Life magazine[viii] in July 1991 reported, “thousands of unexplained miraculous phenomena occurring worldwide,” editor at the time Peter Bonventre said “I did a little digging and it turned out there’d been a rash of sacred apparitions all over the world.” The Hindu ‘Milk Miracle[ix]’ on 21 September 1995 being the most widespread example of what seems to be a growing trend. Such events have convinced large numbers of people from varying backgrounds that the appearance of the ‘Coming One’ is imminent, whether it is Christians looking for Christ, Jews waiting for the Messiah, Hindu’s expect Krishna, Muslims the Imam Mahdi. And Buddhists anticipate the open emergence of Maitreya Buddha, the ‘Teacher alike of Angels and of Men’ foretold to come by Gautama Buddha, some 2500 years ago, to inspire humanity to create a brilliant golden civilization based, as he put it, on Righteousness and Truth.
New pragmatic methods are needed to build such a glorious new world, not simply words – which we are long on. Peace is the number one priority and will be achieved through removing the causes of conflict, not by violent imposition of any kind. The equitable distribution of the resources of the world to meet human need would go a long way toward creating trust and justice, dissipating tensions and facilitating, common-sense says, the natural flowering of peace.
Freedom, justice, peace are not the Utopian ideals of a dreamer, but heartfelt desires that sit deep within people throughout the world. Far from fantastical, such qualities are urgent necessities to safeguard the human race and to Save Our Planet (SOP). Beyond cynicism let us go, dare to believe in the good and the just, dare to share and build the new. Dare to have hope.
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