Taking a long view of history, identifying strong underlying trends, trying to understand where current events are taking us and how we might influence the course of change -- such is the challenge for an organization like CRN, and for anyone else who hopes to have a meaningful impact over the long term.
Of great help to us has been the new book, America as Empire: Global Leader or Rogue Power? Author Jim Garrison, founder and president of State of the World Forum, compares the present-day United States with the powerful empires of history. He concludes that America must be viewed as an empire today, in all but name, but that the current situation is not stable. He recommends a new form of governance, which he calls network democracy.
Are we approaching a time when some form of global plebiscite will make sense? Perhaps an actual vote of all the world's citizens on questions of planetary importance is too radical, or at least too unworkable, but some new mechanism for making such decisions seems inevitable. The question is, how will it be determined: how fairly and how peacefully?
Jim Garrison's ideas give me hope that effective answers can be found.
Mike Treder, executive director of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, is a professional writer, speaker, and activist with a background in technology and communications company management.