Thursday, September 19, 2013

Global Leadership – It’s Broke and it Needs Fixing After reading many well expressed and passionately motivated article about the problems with our world, and the leaders that guide it, an analogy I once heard of a sick and dying tree always comes to mind. The people in the village where the tree was located loved this tree, it was a holy tree to them, and they could not understand why it was sick, or why the leaves on some branches were starting to turn yellow and fall to the ground. As the villagers knew very little about trees, they worked with what they could see and they diagnosed the tree’s problem as coming from the yellow turning leaves. So following this reasoning they started to treat the sick leaves and the breaches they were connected to, in hope of stopping the spreading of the disease, and this practice of treating the leaves went on until nearly all the leaves had fallen off the tree. Fortunately an old wise traveler was passing through the village that knew something about trees and assessed that the problem was not coming from the individual leave and branches but from the root of the tree, which he proceeded to treat. In a short period the tree recovered and the villagers were wiser for the experience. Sometimes when I hear or read well educated and articulate people commenting on the problems of the world I can’t help but think that their approach to understanding global issues seem very much like the villagers diagnosing the tree’s problem, looking at the individual leaves for the cause. For example, war was the subject of the article that inspired these comments, and to talk about individual wars or individual war mongers will have you going round in circles and not really looking at the root cause of the problem. One of the more powerful commentaries on war in our society, which presents a convincing argument on how war is used by our world leaders, comes from one of the most controversial book of the last millennium, The Report from Iron Mountain, where it’s stated “Although war is “used” as an instrument of national and social policy, the fact that a society is organized for any degree of readiness for war supersedes its political and economic structure. War itself is the basic social system, within which other secondary modes of social organization conflict or conspire. It is the system which has governed most human societies of record, as it is today. Once this is correctly understood, the true magnitude of the problems entailed in a transition to peace—itself a social system, but without precedent except in a few simple pre-industrial societies—becomes apparent”. The report goes onto say; “It must be emphasized that the precedence of a society’s war-making potential over its other characteristics is not the result of the “threat” presumed to exist at any one time from other societies. This is the reverse of the basic situation; “threat” against the “national interest” are usually created or accelerated to meet the changing needs of the war system. Only in comparatively recent times has it been considered politically expedient to euphemize war budgets as “defense” requirements. The necessity for governments to dis- tinguish between “aggression” (bad) and “defense” (good) has been a by-product of rising literacy and rapid communication. The distinction is tactical only, a concession to the growing inadequacy of ancient war-organizing political rationales”. Regardless of the controversy surrounding the report’s authenticity, I believe the document has accomplished what the wise old traveler had archived in our analogy, diagnosed the root cause of the problem. We can hear the stories and lies presented to us on a daily bases through corporate media about how our governments are working towards peace, or how our “Defense Forces” are attacking impoverished countries with no history of aggression towards us under the pretense of preserving our freedom. As supported in the above quoted report, this media smoke screen covers up the most sinister, and most obvious fact of our time; the global war system dominates our social and economic systems, not the other way around, and that none of our world leaders with any weight to their status, are trying to change this situation. Leadership establishes the culture of an organisation or enterprise, and as I had encountered when I was a consultant for companies helping them implement risk management systems into their general management structure, I had found that if the most senior person at the top of a company had a big appetite for risk and a low regard for safety, that is the culture that would prevail throughout all levels of the organisation, and is that any different to what happens within government structures? As the Report from Iron Mountain highlights; to move from a war system to a peace system would not be easy, if at all possible, and it would require leadership decisions devoid of self and/or national interests. If we accept the concept that we live in a world dictated by the system of war, and that leadership decisions made on a daily bases have their foundations in securing dominance within this system, then what we see and hear on a daily bases with regards to the war machine makes perfect sense. If this situation is to change we need to stop focusing on the symptoms of this global military disease and go to the root of the problem, LEADERSHIP. However, to change from a war culture to a peace culture would require a radical shift in the attitude from our present global oligarchy and the economic powers that support, and often dictate global activities to our elected leaders. The only other alternative in securing support from our global commanders for a shift away from a dominant war system to a peace system would be major leadership change, which at this stage seems highly unlikely. If our current leaders use the constant pretense of a threat to our nation’s boarders for staging war, we really need to start questioning this concept we have towards ‘Defense’ and ‘Boarders’, and have a good look at what boarders truly represent. Putting it simply; boarders represent the enclosure of land, and ownership/control over anything inside these enclosures. Inside these boarders we have a lot of other smaller enclosures that are surrounded with fences and other boundary markers. The British monarchy has a long history of Enclosure dating back to the early 11th century, and is also the policy they enforced in most countries they colonized. We are constantly brainwashed by our trusted leaders with the illusions of freedom. This illusion is fed to us every day by through the education system and corporate media, and we lap it up, knowing full well that the managers of these enclosures, our governments, can take our freedom and possessions away from us anytime they want. Their ability to exercise these executive powers is increased tenfold during times of boarder disputes and conflicts. If you look at Google Earth and look down on a country like the USA, and then zoom in past the country’s boarders, and past the state boarders, the county and city boarders, right down to the suburban white picket fence….. Now remove the illusion of freedom, ownership, human rights, freedom of speech from the picture and it starts to look very much like any other cattle or a sheep farm, where the human cattle, the sheeple occupants are being fed and fattened on an unnatural diet of lies and proper gander. The question should not be why we are fighting wars to protect our boarders, and this illusion of freedom, but why we have these boarders at all, and why do the majority of our world’s most powerful political and economic leaders wish to maintain these boundaries, military institutions, and these human farms they call countries. 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