A king can stand people fighting but he can't last long if people start thinking.
- Will Rogers, humorist (1879-1935)
For "king" we can substitute any national leader. Prime Ministers for example seldom last more than a decade because voters find more and more faults with their decisions and their failures tend to become more glaring as the years roll on. Tony Blair may be the most significant Prime Minister of the UK in modern times, but choices that made him look good in the past now seem weak, thus his popularity has plummetted.
US citizens were enthusiastic enough about the work of President George W. Bush in saving their nation from terrorists and getting the job done at home that they reelected him in 2004. Mr. Bush has likely done much more to improve the operation of the administrative arm of government within his second term than he did in the first, but his popularity is now at an all-time low due to an unending war and its devastating costs.
Do national leaders really not want their voters to think? Evidence around the world suggests that leaders would prefer that their people not examine their policies too closely or there would be revolutions or a changes of leadership. Non-thinking people can be made into followers much more easily than thinking ones.
This tendency is so strong that it is literally changing the complexion of international policy. Human rights issues held high priority in the United Nations when western countries held more voting power than the countries of Africa, Asia, eastern Europe and South America.
Now that the voting has evened out at one vote per member, influential nations of the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America are pressuring their fellow UN members to kill any previous initiatives toward human rights. The greatest abusers of human rights, such as Iran, are exerting the greatest pressure for the United Nations to back away from any involvement in human rights.
As a result, we have a genocidal war that threatens to become pure genocide in eastern Africa but the UN can't put together any plan to stop it. Stopping it would require stopping the very groups that the human rights abusers of the UN support, financially, militarily and morally.
If the situation in the United Nations can be taken as an example, the world is moving more toward preventing citizens from thinking so that the leaders can do what they want without fear of retribution.
In world affairs, numbers count. Those numbers can be legal money exchanges, but they can also be in the form of votes, military support or cash under the table. As oil is a quantifiable commodity, it too can be considered a way for numbers to count.
Interestingly, the people who ultimately foot the bill for most of the tragedies of the world are citizens of rich countries who don't think enough about what effect their activities have on the rest of the world. Among the greatest abusers of human rights, for example, are countries that have the most oil reserves. Include Russia in that group because it has potential revolutions simmering under the surface in many parts of its huge country, and lots of oil.
What we in countries where people are rich enough to have computers and more vehicles than we have drivers per family do has a trickle down effect on people in the poorest countries and those with the most oppressive regimes.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, striving to make the truths about world affairs easier for us to recognize.
Learn more at http://billallin.com