June 26, 2007

GreenPeople vs Apartheid Planet

During apartheid in South Africa, the rest of the world (and most South Africans) felt the system was unjust and immoral.

Why should the accident of birth determine whether you lived in a prosperous or a destitute region? Even though people were of different races, cultures, languages and backgrounds, they were all living in the same country.

Why couldn't honest, hard-working, law-abiding people move to the best place to raise their children? If that was going to put a strain on the educational system they were moving into, it only meant that not enough was being spent on the educational system they were leaving behind.

What right did the rich minority have, that they could put the stability of their educational and medical systems above the need of the majority to escape illiteracy, disease and starvation?

But step back one pace and look at our world, and all the same questions apply. What right do the wealthy enclaves have, that we can put the stability of our educational and medical systems above the need of the majority to escape illiteracy, disease, poverty, genocide, rising sea-levels, starvation?

Apart from travel for fun, education and trade, most people prefer to live in the area they were born in - they prefer that climate, those foods, and they have all their friends and family nearby. Most people only move if they are compelled to by war or economic conditions. To prevent mass migrations, you only have to prevent war and economic exploitation.

We need an activist movement, that will encourage the free flow of law-abiding people around the world, regardless of the barriers put up by the privileged enclaves.

There is no such thing as "illegal immigration" - we are all Earth's children, we are all here on Earth, and we all have equal rights to it.

There are more than enough resources - food, water, living space, economic opportunities - for everyone on Earth, if everyone was given access to them. The problems are caused by inadequate distribution, which is controlled by the rich minority.

There are more than enough financial resources to rapidly bring all the regions of the world up to the standard of living of, say, Cuba - and if that happened, with the prospect of ongoing economic development, most current economic migrants would *want* to stay home. All we have to do is to stop using rich world resources for illegal warfare against oil-producing regions, and fund the United Nations instead.

But to get from here to there will not be easy: the minority have all the power, wealth, resources, education, weapons, infrastructure, etc. It may be that the only way forward is through an activist/pacifist program of civil disobedience to raise awareness, combined with efforts to restructure and democratize the United Nations, and the opening of individual rich countries to the poor countries with which they have the strongest historical and cultural links.

As for the awareness-raising activity: call it GreenPeople.

One Planet, One People, No God

After a week in Israel - the oldest, the newest, the prettiest, the ugliest, the most heart-warming and heart-wrenching and despicable (and many other contradictory superlatives) country on Earth - maybe, therefore, the most human country on Earth, for good and evil - my heart and eyes and mind are full, and my thoughts are reduced to the level of a bumper-sticker:
One Planet, One People, No God