Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: If you could make one change in the world today, what would it be?
The Razor: This question is so broad I’m not sure where to begin. Banish Death? Hunger? Greed? Immortality would be a game changer. Philosophers have tried justifying Death since they began pondering the topic around campfires tens of thousands of years ago. Personally, I think we would be fine without it. We live in a universe that for all intents and purposes is infinite. We have plenty of lebensraum to expand, and the dystopia envisioned by the highly underrated movie Zardoz could be avoided with immortality being bestowed on everyone regardless of rank or privilege. Just think of the sports that would come about: Skydiving without parachutes. Lava swimming. High Explosives Catapulting. Maybe then the Olympics wouldn’t be so boring.
But seriously, if I could make one realistic change it would be to start an Islamic reformation. For over a millennia after its founding Islam had evolved into separate strains in the cultures, it penetrated to the point where the Islam in Indonesia shared little in common with the Islam of India or the Magrib. The centuries and its integration into varied cultures had moderated the religion, but that all changed with the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood by Hassan al-Banna, and later the discovery of oil wealth which fueled the spread of Wahhabi intolerance. In recent years centuries old mosques and madrassas throughout the Islamic world are being taken over by fiery Wahhabi preachers trained in intolerance and hate, forcing the religion to evolve away from peaceful integration with other religions and towards violence. Although it should not be forgotten that the Christian Reformation itself wasn’t exactly peaceful, it did lay the groundwork for eventual co-existence between sects and other religions.
Without such a reformation I don’t see an end to Islamic extremism. Instead I see it becoming even more intolerant and violent, consigning entire swaths of humanity to a barbaric existence akin to that of the 13th century instead of the prosperity the 21st century promises.
The Glittering Eye: That’s a tough one. I can think of a thousand things, both fanciful and serious, personal and universal. Chocolate and single malt scotch would be calorie-free. I would be able to write humor.
Coming up with a single, serious answer is just too tough but here goes.
People would genuinely care about each other, all people, more.
Autocrats, dictators, leaders for life!
The latter bit of the last millennium shows perfectly well what a world full of despots looks like. The last century was like the bloodiest ever and all thanks to dictators. It was bloody not only because of the wars; it was bloody because of democide—the sheer mind numbing number of ppl that these creeps and jerks killed within their own Westphalian Sovereignity dodge proof borders – 169 million.
Tyrannies killed more of their own citizens than foreigners. Despots caused the refugee flows; dictators caused the poverty; any prob found in 20th century is correctly and sweetly attributed to control freaks, autocrats and VIP’s in Hell, jail or exile.
While the hideously 2 dimensional (many with prestige and brains) discombobulate annihilating all the worlds despotries in a fun friendly non military way as a hot sticky fantasy or worse – deploy inappropriate jawflapping re: the sad played meme of imposing democrazy – it is the reverse that is true – despotry has to be imposed. Secret police, secret trials, secret prisons and secret executions do not ensure stability either.
Despite dissing dismissals as arrogant hubris (who what?) by the sad collective of unfun unexceptionals that for decency’s sake shall remain linkless (many of which most certainly would fail to recog a good time even if it sat on their face), ppl are catching on to the concept of democrazy world.
The truth is that a world without dictators may not be such a lark. Yes, it has never been harder than it is today to be a dictator. Totalitarianism, the ultimate expression of dictatorship, is virtually extinct.
And picture, for a moment, the benefits of a dictator-free world. No more rogue regimes sponsoring terrorists or giving haven to mass murderers. No more famines in NoKo. The humanitarian benefits would be enormous. Once the last tyrant had fallen, imagine the creativity that would pour forth from the millions of people who had known nothing besides fear, repression and the best ways to survive it.
Advocating fun and free choice for every one is not some slap happy buzz that never was. Uncle Tony taught “In all cases, to the same end, that the liberty we seek is not for some, but for all, for that is the only true path to victory in this struggle.”
JoshuaPundit: I ask forgiveness in advance if I sound incredibly smug here.
I thought about this for awhile.
My initial ‘wish’ was that Islam had never existed. I think the world would be a far better. peaceful and more decent place without it and I no longer believe, as I once did, that a ‘reformation’ is possible… not after Mumbai, Beslan and the deafening silence from the Muslim world that followed. Yes, there are many decent Muslims, but from personal observation, I feel that their decency is innate and would be present regardless of their faith.
I also considered a few other things, both personal and universal… that the Holocaust had never happened, that my father (Z”l) had not died as young as he did, that I’d gotten that huge mega hit record back in the day and actually held on to the money… (!!)
Then I realized all of this was inconsistent with my view of the cosmos.
I believe anything G-d sends us, He sends us for a reason. We may not be wise enough to understand that reason and its part in the divine plan, but I believe that part exists nevertheless. I’m convinced that there are things in this world that exist for the purpose of us overcoming them. Without the struggle to do so, the end result would be meaningless… perhaps even not beneficial at all.
There’s a reason everything that is occurring now is occurring, no matter how evil or distasteful, no matter how beneficent and pleasant.
That’s no excuse for just sittin’ back and not trying to change what we perceive needs to be changed or standing up for decency versus indecency (there’s that ol’ debbil free will again), but I don’t think it’s for me to ‘wish’ changes without knowing their full effect and at present that’s beyond my pay grade.
There’s an old Jim Carrey move called “Bruce Almighty” where he gets to assume G-d’s powers for awhile. At one point, to enhance a romantic evening with his girlfriend, he uses his power to bring the moon closer to earth so it’s more impressive looking. The next day, he reads a headline about a massive tide that flooded and devastated a Japanese island.
That may help give you a sense of my meaning here.
The Noisy Room: If I could make one change in the world today, I would replace our current Marxist President with a leader such as Calvin Coolidge. It is the one thing that would most significantly change the dynamics politically worldwide and would in effect reset the stage with America once again as the leader of the free world and would put a leash on our enemies if not bring about their demise and quickly. This is where the most power is concentrated and this would have the most effect on other areas that impact our lives.
Coolidge would slash the waste in our government to virtually nil. He would almost assuredly do away with the Department of Energy, Department of Education, the EPA and a whole slew of government agencies. He would slash government salaries and effectively drive out the elitists and money changers from the hallowed halls in DC. I believe Coolidge would do away with the IRS altogether and go to a flat sales tax, which all by itself would propel America into the world’s #1 financial seat once again.
I also believe that Coolidge would keep us strong militarily, while closing unneeded bases, bringing home our troops and not getting involved unless we are engaged militarily or our allies and interests are attacked. No more rebuilding for our enemies – if war is called for, go forth and break things, kill if you have to and win… then come home and let the defeated lick their wounds, clean up the mess and bear the costs. When we give a warning to someone like Iran, mean it and be ready to attack if the situation calls for it. Don’t hide behind diplomats and Taquiyya. No more funding non-allies and paying Jizya in the form of aid to radical Islamic regimes. No more supporting and coddling dictators who murder and suppress.
Coolidge believed in the Constitution and would return us to those principles. The majority of powers would lie with the states. People would be free to succeed or fail on their own and entrepreneurship would once again be encouraged. Free trade would cross state borders. Sane resource and energy development would rule the day and we would see another wildly productive and profitable era such as the 20s. We would unleash a truer form of capitalism and growth would take hold while paying off the debt. Replacing Obama with someone like Calvin Coolidge would change the game entirely for America and the world.
Bookworm Room: If I could make one change in the world today, I would have to think long and hard about the change that would redound to America’s greatest benefit. I’ve concluded that untethering the mainstream media from the Democrat party would make the greatest difference.
The media infiltrates every aspect of American life by controlling almost all information disseminated to the public, from entertainment, to info-tainment, to “news.” It’s tentacles also reach into every corner of the world outside of the United States.
Because of it’s increasingly hard Left ideology, in 2008, the mainstream media convinced Americans to vote for a manifestly unqualified candidate. Then, despite his disastrous performance at every level (economy, national security, immigration, etc.), it convinced a brainwashed public to reelect the man in 2012.
The media has consistently demonized the only democratically constituted nation in the Middle East (that would be Israel), although Americans seem to see through that one. How long Americans will hold out against this relentless propaganda against Israel, with the concurrent whitewashing of her enemies, remains to be seen.
Drive-by media has aggressively pushed for dramatic changes in American society. Perhaps some of these changes will be viewed as good or neutral in the long run, but Americans haven’t had the time to think them through. They’ve been forced through media pressure and shaming to embrace big government, ObamaCare, gay marriage, unlimited abortion, women in combat, etc., without any of the thoughtful debate that should accomplish such drastic changes. The media overwhelms necessary contemplation.
When I first read this question, I was tempted to say that the change I would make would be to make Islam vanish (with former Muslims being equally divided amongst Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc.). I think, though, that international Islamism would be much less of a problem if an honest media would identify it for what it is: a backwards, totalitarian, antisemitic, anti-Christian, misogynist cult. Calling it by its true name(s) would enable us to defend ourselves against it, and would provide a sanctuary for those people and countries trying to break way from it.
So, definitely… if I could change one thing, I would make the American media complex — everything from news to entertainment — VANISH. (This would be a blood-free change, of course. Currently movers and shakers in the media would — poof! — become truck drivers, grocery store clerks, farmers, etc. They’d hold useful jobs and come to learn how the real world, not the dangerous Leftist utopian world, actually works.)
Rhymes With Right: What would I change?
Wow — so many possibilities.
I can think of ways I would change our government, change our society, change the world in the political sphere.
I can think of things I would like to see changed, such as the elimination of a certain religion that is responsible for an inordinate amount of violence and repression around the world.
But when it comes down to it, there is one change that I would make that is much more simple — I would like to see our world change so that children do not suffer and die from serious illness.
I think of Tammy, my childhood friend who died of a brain tumor before her tenth birthday. I think of Kyomi, the classmate who went from her first symptom of leukemia to her death in 72 hours at the age of 12. I think of Kristi, one of my first students, who lost her battle with cancer a few months after she completed my English class, at the age of 16.
I think of Eli, age 5, who spent the last year fighting a rare cancer and — praise God! — apparently winning that battle. And I think of Martin, one of my students this semester, who instead of planning for Prom in a few weeks and graduation in June is hospitalized fighting a serious illness that I know is often life-threatening.
I know we all have to die — I know that we all have to fight the frailties of the human flesh in whatever time we have on this earth. But must young people suffer such things? Must they die before they have really had the chance to live? It does not seem right — and so I would make my change there.
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
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