Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Secret of World Peace Discovered over Spaghetti

At the monthly spaghetti dinner at the Druids Hall in Point Arena to raise funds for the Senior Center, Alice and I were surrounded, as is usual, by liberal friends. Last night Richard took the floor with a prediction that it would be all over for mankind by 2050. Peter sort of seconded the prediction, and added that the world was overpopulated, and that being far less populated very quickly would be necessary. The efficacy of a variety of plagues to accomplish that end was mentioned.

As is usual, I took absolutely the opposite side. I noted that the best cure for overpopulation was prosperity – it’s worked everywhere it’s been tried.

I also noted that the genius of mankind is to adapt to changing circumstances. Humans have adapted their environments to their needs more than any other living creature. We live in the hot and cold, high and low, wet and dry, in the sea and on the sea. Various other animals share these environments with us, but we’re the only one that occupies them all.

Humans are marvels of adaptation. What doesn’t work is mankind being led by a great leader, or leaders, or groups of leaders, or a great –ism; e.g. communism, socialism, Islamism, even capitalism.

What works best in the long run is the collective mind of the masses (I chose these words carefully - they seemed to fit our group), each rational member of which wants a comfortable present and a secure future. As democracy spreads and takes hold, the power of people over their governments increases, and with it the standards of living and security through the rule of law. Totalitarian nations lose sway as they weaken while democratic ones prosper. Soon the only means left to fight against democratization is terrorism, because oppressive nations like North Korea, Cuba, and Iran can be encapsulated like a malignant organism, and left to wither and die.

Terrorism is the last stand for fanatics who insist on theocratic or dogmatic control over peoples. Since they are unable to change the fabric of societies, they want to tear it apart and replace individual freedom and the rule of law with the tyranny of fear. However, their existence is dependent upon the very things they attack: they hide behind civil rights established by the very rule of law they seek to eliminate.

The secret to world peace then is to do what mankind always does best - adapt to a changing environment. Our primary fear is no longer the attack from abroad from another nation/state, it's the attacks from within by terrorists with no clear links to a nation/state. Since we have lost the power to deter attacks by annihilating an attacking nation, we must develop better capabilities of identifying and monitoring suspect individuals and groups.

The spaghetti-eating group I was with last night would be appalled at my suggestion, because they believe it better to have 1,000 killed by terrorists than to infringe a civil right. On the other hand, I would rather apologize to 1,000 than overlook the terrorist that kills one innocent person. Right now we're wasting a lot of time, resources, and energy checking low- or no-threat individuals and groups so we can justify also looking at higher-threat individuals.

In terms of effectiveness, the only thing that makes sense is we identify and closely monitor all potential high-threat individuals in the United States, and seeking admission.

No matter what Liberals say, we're never going to communicate effectively with them, and eliminate their grievances against the West through negotiation and dialogue. That doesn't work with someone who thinks he is an instrument of the will of Allah, and that his death while causing yours will assuredly secure his place in Heaven.

Face it, he believes Allah will reward him whether he is successful killing you or not, so you might as well speed his path to Heaven before he succeeds. That way everyone should be happy, even Allah: just like in all religions, it's the thought that counts.

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