A Logical Means to Achieve World Peace

Ask anyone about their vision of "World Peace" and you'll probably get a load of far-fetched-frippery involving happiness rainbows and children dancing in the streets singing songs of shiftless jubilee. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that this is nothing more than a world of pure imagination. If you want to view paradise, simply pop in your old DVD of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and replay the Chocolate Room scene as many times as it takes for your brain to melt.

Don't get me wrong, I want the need for humans to fight and kill one another for political reasons to cease just as much as the nearest tree-hugger*. However, I think many activists are thinking about the dilemma the wrong way.

Happiness is NOT a proper goal for World Peace. Statistically, people are not very happy. Roughly one in four people (though, of course, this is American statistics) have suffered from a severe form of depression at some point in their lives. Unless it were possible for Tom Cruise to personally exorcise all the supposed "bad thetans" in our collective brains, there's a pretty damn good chance that sometime in the near distant future, you WILL be chemically unhappy (this is to say nothing of the idea that some form of suffering is necessary for personal growth).

You will also hear many professed peace activists claim that another way to achieve this ideal is through the eradication of certain value systems in favor of a society that has "no need for greed or hunger; a brotherhood of man." This is, for all intents and purposes, communism, which can really only work on the level of small communities and towns (case in point: the collapse of the Soviet Union), where the division of labor creates its' own form of intrinsic goodness.

However, if you INSIST on the idea of all nations in the world no longer fighting, then you really ought to be in favor of free trade between nations. Before you get all uppity and start calling me nasty words (like "conservative" or "Republican"), think of it this way: France and Britain have, for almost the entirety of their collective existences, been at each others' proverbial throats. Nobody hates a Brit more than a Frog, and the feelings are definitely mutual. However, at some point in their history, sometime between the American Revolution and World War 1 (possibly the Treaty of Paris), they seemed to have patched things up. For nearly the entirety of the 20th century, they were allies; trade between both nations flourished. To this day, they still hate each other's guts, but they cooperate, and choose not to break out into open war. You can easily find many more numerous examples throughout history, but you might as well do your own homework, for once.

Perhaps World Peace could be achieved in a similar fashion by taking Free Trade to the global level. If it becomes economically infeasible to make war on a trade ally, it may follow that many world conflicts could be averted simply by the power of the Benjamins**.


* Anyone who sees need for killing another human being that has nothing to do with self-defense is nothing more than psychopathic dipshit.

** Rap slang for "money."

zeligocity zeligocity
22-25, M
22 Responses Aug 19, 2008

I've been interested in the concept of a global economy providing extra incentives for a peaceful world since I came across it in, The World is Flat. It makes a lot of sense. I agree with what your saying, although all the points about absolutist certainly apply. I'm not sure how beneficial the idea is though, since as they say, the devil is in the details. Precisely how to balance between complete capitalism and socialism is the kind of back and forth that is bound to cause unhappiness in someone now matter how you set it.<br />
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In fact, the whole thing reminds me of a book I just read called, Stumbling Over Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. It explains why we as a species are so notoriously bad at predicting what will make us happy in the first place.

You have conveniently sidestepped religion and national identity, which are responsible for just as much death as private property. Violence is inherent in human beings, it is our job to evolve above it. Over the past 8,000 years we have made little progress.

hmmm... a man of the people, yet head and shoulders above!

"But I'm a civilian. I'm more of a civilian than most civilians."

You know what? I am sooo not in your league!!! I guess that leaves me the snails!!!

It's a quote from Spartacus! Crassus explains the difference between what you believe and what you prefer...he uses the examples of liking the taste of and eating oysters and snails.

That's random, Z! As much as I would like to, my dull mind just cannot keep up with your intimidatingly brilliant one. Care to bring me up to speed here?<br />
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No to the oysters!

I didn't till you told me.<br />
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Do you eat oysters?

How did you know I have a good (kinda great, actually!) body?!!!

A good body with a dull brain's as cheap as life itself

Frankly, I couldn't get through Atlas! Just yankin your chain!<br />
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We are ALL Spartacus!<br />
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Crucify one, crucify all...

Hahaha! I'm just overconfident at times, is all ;)<br />
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(oh, and by the way, I am SO Spartacus)

Do you ALWAYS have to be the smartest guy in the room? :)

Reading Atlas Shrugged is a supposedly enlightening thing I'll never try to do again.<br />
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Ayn Rand's too overtly propagandistic for my tastes.<br />
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I'll take Vonnegut or Pynchon over her any day.

You're so frickin' deep! I AM JOHN GAULT!<br />
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No, wait... I AM SPARTUCUS!!

I am John Gault.

Atlas Shrugged!!! Yeah, that's the book you need to read! Then you can answer the question, "Who is John Gault?"!!!

I don't think zakit has read Atlas Shrugged.

Yeah, socialism is like being assigned a group project. One person busts their ***, while the others slack off. Everyone gets an A. The *** busters get pissed cuz they did all the work, and the slackers don't give a **** cuz they got their A. *** busters become resentful, and eventually become slackers too. Soon NOBODY'S doing anything, but they're all still expecting to get an A. <br />
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At least that's MY reasoning!!!

Socialism is one of those ideas that sounds practical and great on paper, while being totally and completely counterintuitive in practice.<br />
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For example, there's a massive problem with incentives (I know, this is a classic argument against Socialism, but bear with me). Hypothetically, you and your coworker are currently payed the exact same for a specific task. Your coworker is a slacker, and does very little work, while you are forced to make up for his shortcomings by working extra. Through capitalism, you could be payed for overtime work (usually time and a half of what you're already getting paid for each extra hour you work). There's a great incentive for you to do more work to make up for your coworker, because you are rewarded more handsomely for doing so. In a socialist society, regardless of the number of hours you work, you are paid the exact same at the end of the week as your slacker coworker, and given the exact same benefits. You will never be rewarded for doing extra work, so your incentives to do so are nullified, lowering overall productivity of your workplace (think of Salaried pay versus Hourly Pay, minus benefits inherent in the full-time salary...or better yet, think about Tenure for school teachers). Unless, as seen in small towns, the work you do is readily beneficial to you (i.e. SURVIVAL), there is no need to put in extra work. This also brings to mind a problem with advancing technologies. You could be rewarded, in corporate America, for instituting a new technology that provides increased productivity (assuming no one else steals your idea). Again, in Socialistic economies, there's no need for advanced technologies, as you'll always be given the exact same paycheck at the end of the week, regardless of the amount of work you actually do. Sure, if you're a Luddite, you probably couldn't care less about streamlining the workplace, because you wouldn't see the need for a proper workplace anyway.<br />
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Like I said, socialism can work in small societies (very, VERY small population towns), where each individual could be responsible for a specific task. But again, survival becomes the incentive. In more advanced societies, where survival is no longer difficult (All industrialized nations...which, actually, would never have happened if we were predisposed to Socialism in the first place), there is a massive influx of workers needed for menial labor, which carries no immediate reward.<br />
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At least, that's my reasoning...

Soldiers are different, CC; it's their JOB to kill. I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the people who actively want to kill other humans.<br />
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Haha, thanks again, Celery!<br />
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zakit: don't mistake my meaning as "absolute." Free Trade with no limits or regulations, like absolute Laissez-Faire Capitalism, causes many, MANY problems (especially with the poor). American Capitalism, you have to understand, combines elements of Socialism and Communism for the greater good ("THE GREATER GOOD!"). Absolutists can suck monkey marbles, for all I care. Also, can you link me on the Amazon page of that book? It sounds mighty interesting.

Z -- I really enjoy reading your stories, whether or not I agree with them!! You combine words in such a witty and ironic way... you could probably write about getting **** faced and puking all over yourself and I would be fascinated. (Oh wait... you did, and I was!)<br />
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CC: in economics, what you label selfishness is called "pursuing self interest". And it holds true no matter what system people live under... we just naturally want what we perceive is best for ourselves. That's why free trade and capitalism seem to work so well... And there's one thing I can say for capitalism:<br />
At least I've never had to stand in line for toilet paper!!!