If we want things to stay the same, everything is going to have to change.--Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
It seems inevitable that a time comes when people across the globe create a mechanism by which to exert their collective self-governance.
After all, governments have given up the pretense of serving the people they now unashamedly claim to rule. Religions fail to stand up to the state and end war by prohibiting their every adherent from any violent act. Corporations make no excuses for trading the health of people and the environment for profits. The rich keep the rest of humanity in economic bondage through market manipulation. The elite media support the status quo, upon which their right to exist hinges.
Of course, it is a state of affairs shared by all nations. The will of the many everywhere is ignored or subverted so that governments can fulfill the will of the few. We are fast becoming a world of seven billion disaffected, dis-empowered and disenfranchised subjects: Not what we would have chosen as our common bond, perhaps--but bond it is, uniting us across borders, cultures and ideologies.
Which raises the question, "What is the will of the many?" If we had the resources at our disposal, what would we try to accomplish? Given the instantaneous worldwide communication open to us, what can we agree on achieving? Beyond all our superficial differences, what kind of civilization do we dream of bequeathing to the coming generations? And, more specifically, what long-range problems face us all and how do we solve them?
Of course, there is a growing movement of people everywhere to effect incremental, cumulative change, such as local cooperatives, ethical sustainability, ethical treatment of animals, environmental protection, responsible consumerism, community volunteerism, and so on. These and other coordinated efforts mark our real progress as a species: Our growing awareness of our collective power spreads as we find new ways to change the future through local action. But the balance of power remains stubbornly tipped in favor of the few, whose economic interests continue to trump the real-life interests of the many.
If we are to exert our collective will, we need to create our own economic resource.
The World Savings Initiative
- A trust is established to which everyone in the world may contribute.
- In return for their contribution, each person is entitled to vote on how the collective funds are spent.
- Regardless of how much contributed, each person receives one vote.
- No funds can be expended on projects without two-thirds approval of donors.
- An electronic forum is established whereby donors from every part of the world can advocate for specific needs to be addressed and the best ways to address them.
- A running total of donations is constantly updated on-line.
- Funds are saved and not invested, in order to avoid market manipulation.
- A yearly audit is conducted of the trust's funds.
- A donor's vote can be transferred to an heir.
- The trust is set up to accept donations of estates.
- The barest of administrative costs, to be approved by two-thirds vote of donors. (These would include audit costs, paperwork for donors without computers, website administration, volunteer training, etc.).
The World Savings Initiative, then, is a truly democratic global initiative that rights the balance of power, giving the many the means to address real-world problems ignored, or created, by the few.
There are, of course, numerous technical issues to be overcome in the establishment of the World Savings Initiative. Given the creative and intellectual resources of seven billion people, however, those hurdles can be cleared in good time.
Our greatest resource is our humaneness: The goodwill of people toward one another, the love of people for the land, and the inventiveness of people facing common problems--these are the attributes of hearts and minds already reaching across borders and redefining humanity beyond the shattered vision of obsolete governments.
Self-governance begins somewhere. It must have the resources to enact its will.
We have the means of changing the worst of things while letting the best of things stay the same.
If not now, when? If not us, who?
The Toltec I Ching, by Martha Ramirez-Oropeza and William Douglas Horden, is published by Larson Publications. It recasts the I Ching in the symbology of the Native Americans of ancient Mexico and includes original illustrations interpreting each of the hexagrams. Its subtitle, 64 Keys to Inspired Action in the New World, hints at its focus on the ethics of the emerging world culture.
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