Original Thinking

“One immediate option is to move the World Court to re-examine their 1996 judgment and declare the use or possession of nuclear weapons as a criminal offence. If the world court was indecisive in the past, it need not be so now.”

The question before us now is whether it is wise and permissible for the current generation to exhibit the same negative and opposing tendencies to new ideas and values, as our forefathers have done in the past. The institution of slavery lived in spirit for a hundred years after the Civil War and law had abolished it. Society in America waited that long to overcome it. Now the same thing is happening with nuclear weapons. Though these weapons have no known use but pose a real and present threat to the security of countless millions, we are unable to act. If governments are not acting then it is only proper that the public at large should act in this matter without waiting anymore.
A global referendum calling for abolition of nuclear weapons can lead to the complete elimination of this threat now. Are there not other powers in the international community for us to evoke? One immediate option is to move the World Court to re-examine their 1996 judgment and declare the use or possession of nuclear weapons as a criminal offence. Compliance with Law in the shape of acts, contracts, especially international treaties, is steadily growing. Treaties banning the use of chemical weapons are honored. Even corrupt politicians are known to obey court orders. The ICJ must be approached. If the world court was indecisive in the past, it need not be so now. The world has a right to expect and demand judicial activism from that august body. We see that religious mantras when repeated over and over do bring about some positive effects. In a similar way, if the ICJ uncategorically affirms the illegality of these weapons, it can compel compliance from governments that have until now been obstinate.
Over the past three decades, about 250 financial and banking crises have occurred around the world, moving with predictable regularity from one country to another. At the same time the world’s financial assets have grown from $12 trillion in 1980 to $216 trillion, while income inequality has soared to the highest last seen centuries ago when less than three percent of the elite in Europe controlled all the wealth and power and occupied all positions of authority in government, church, military and universities. Obviously, there must be a relationship between the two phenomena. How do economists understand it and propose to deal with it? When the market crashed in 1929, the US economy was in the midst of its greatest boom. Every time a crisis or recession rears its head, it comes at a time when the stock market and the economy have been rising rapidly. In each case we find soaring levels of financial speculation preceding a sudden collapse. The irresistible lure of greater wealth during boom times brings a greater urge to risk, thereby fueling the speculative boom and setting the stage for a crash. Every country regulates activities it knows are detrimental to public health, human welfare and national security, but not speculation. Speculation is greed, selfish greed which should have been outlawed a hundred years ago. The political influence of financial powers backed by the naivety of the public permit it to endure. What prevents the world from banning speculation? The source of financial crises is not unknown or insoluble, if only the public demands immediate effective action. How is this attitude any different than that of the population that allowed millions to die because it refused to be vaccinated against the plague?
A youngster or a madman enters a classroom or meeting room and shoots a number of people. This is done in the name of freedom to bear arms! At a time when a pistol or musket could fire just one or two bullets with very limited accuracy, before it had to be reloaded by hand, surely America’s founding fathers did not intend that every citizen has the right to possess an automatic weapon capable of firing hundreds of bullets in seconds with absolute precision – equivalent in power to that of a small army in those days. If the American people are ever fully educated about the dangers of hand guns and then consulted in a real public referendum, they will demand abolition of the right to bear arms which now threatens the security of every American. Simple common sense is more desirable than dying of the plague, getting shot in the classroom or being crushed by a financial crisis.
It is a privilege to be born as a human being, rather than as a member of a lower species. Knowledge is the most priceless possession of human beings, not power, not money, not convenience and comforts. Knowledge is the source of all the others. To value money or comforts more than knowledge is not the height of human wisdom. The Greek treasures were lost, but preserved by the Arabs. Europe went to a great length to recover them from the Arabs. Now the whole of Europe, the whole world, is ruled by Greek thought. That is the right spirit of humanity. Copernicus’ thought was suppressed for 70 years after the theological implications of his discovery were recognized. In those times it is understandable, not now. Can the world afford to wait even a year to consider new thoughts, original thoughts, a New Theory of Creation after they have been pronounced? It does not speak well for the poetic sensibilities of the world to have ignored an epic poem of unparalleled beauty and wisdom for more than a half-century.

Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times yet never received it. In 2006, the Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee acknowledged this as “the greatest omission in our 106 year history.” It does not speak highly of the objectivity and rationality of its evaluation process. Knowledge seeks greater knowledge. Prejudice is to be condemned wherever it is found, especially in the field of knowledge. The word ‘scientific’ is not always used in its original sense. It has become a misnomer indiscriminately applied in the context of measurements and scales. Measurement is part of a scientific approach, but does not grant the status of science to any field. Even in serious academic gatherings, fresh and creative ideas are not welcome on their own merit. Rather they are judged based on the social standing of the speaker who is presenting them. Ideas must be evaluated on their own merit, not according to the status of the source. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Europe was the world. Europe became the dominant power in the world because she had cultivated the power of Mind and functioned with the help of mental planning. Martin Luther symbolized the spirit of the questioning mind. Greek thought in the classical era was mainly the achievement of a few prominent thinkers. But when Mind awakened in Renaissance Europe it awakened in the common man and hence had a far more widespread impact on society. In Renaissance Europe, life prospered because it was energized and organized by Mind as never before.
Life vastly prospered in Europe because it was Mind that guided Life. Till today, the question why Hamlet delayed has not been answered, yet Hamlet is still regarded for its greatness.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet depicts the birth of mind in the European individual. The reason Hamlet hesitates to seek revenge against his uncle Claudius, who murdered Hamlet’s father, remains an
enigma even today. Hamlet was a young dynamic prince itching to kill his unfaithful mother, which his father forbade. He was ordered to kill Claudius instead. Enraged by his mother’s incest, his vital urge was to punish her, not Claudius. His mind tried to compel him to the task unsuccessfully, even writing notes to remind him of his duty. His birth denotes the emergence of incipient Mind, which was indeed out of joint with the vital superstition of those times. He cursed himself that he was born to set it right. The instant his mother dies accidentally of drinking the poison intended for him, Hamlet kills his uncle without hesitation. The strong vital went into action when the vacillating Mind was relieved of its duty. Mind enriched the life of Europe. Science, the basic scientific discoveries, came from Europe.
One rule of Life is never give up in the middle. Europe was unwilling to share power and riches with all. That stopped her progress from reaching its climax and life moved its center of action to the New World where everything was accessible to everybody. There European science transformed itself into scientific technology and brought an abundance of prosperity, comforts and convenience never before seen in the old world. Today, America is accepted as the leader of the world for her economic, political and military power. But that is not the whole truth. She possessed these endowments even before the 2nd World War. They did not bring her the recognition then. Two main factors have brought her the current preeminence: the first is the recognition and importance she gives to individuality and the second factor is the freedom everybody enjoys to progress and advance. But, lately, even America seems to be losing her expansive spirit and is showing signs of a contracting and shrinking culture. She is unwilling to give up nuclear weapons, delays gun control domestically and thrives on overseas arms trade, refuses to ban or even tax financial speculation, neglects the environment, and disregards measures to guaranteed employment and human security. Out of tune with the need of the world at this hour and clinging to retrograde mentality, she may be left behind and forgotten as Greece, Egypt and Rome have been, as leadership moves to those who are more truly willing to lead. India has shown remarkable awareness of the evolutionary needs of our time by legislating guaranteed employment. The world no longer needs Revolutions, but demands Evolution. It is social evolution. Any nation that adamantly holds onto nuclear weapons, refuses gun control and encourages speculation cannot retain her premier position for long.
Like the adults in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, economists continue to admire the emperor’s clothes. Mistaking money for economics, market for society, they refuse to examine a great thinker’s great insights about future prosperity. Very soon, the world will march ahead, weapons will be eradicated, full employment will be recognized as a fundamental human right, equality will be established, world currency will be instituted, the UN will abolish the veto, undemocratic nations and undemocratic global practices will become a thing of the past. Problems such as we know are not real problems. They are of our own making and will disappear if we acquire the right attitude to new ideas and take the right initiatives.

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