CONTEXT: Preface
The costs of war are legion; the price of peace is ledged.

The costs of war: the loss of life, limb and health, both physical and mental; the squandering of money, economic productivity, energy, materials, technology, research, the environment, opportunity and hope on destruction and blight; the devastating impacts on morale, morality, and spiritual well being.

The price of peace: when has there been peace on Earth other than in ledged? That time between wars? Those fabled times in storybooks that end happily ever after? The hoped for, dreamed of state in the far future? Nevertheless, the world wants peace, and it always has. The difference is that today we have the wherewithal to bring it about—to turn legend into fact.

The costs of war(just the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) include:
• Over $1.73 trillion that is being spent this year in the world on the global military establishment.[1]
• Between $2.7 and $5 trillion that has been spent or is committed to be spent in the coming years by just the U.S. on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.[2]
• Nearly 5,000 U.S. soldiers that have lost their lives and over 50,000 that have been injured.[3]
• An estimated 100,000 to 600,000 Iraqi citizens killed, and millions displaced.[4]
• Over 1 million U.S. citizens that have had their and their families lives disrupted and their lives put in danger as they have left their homes to serve in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.[5]
• Tens of thousands of soldiers suffering from various stress and other disorders as a result of their serving in the military.[6]
• The moral and spiritual consequences of participating in a war and acts of violence.
• The opportunity costs to the world by the loss of the financial, material, technological, and human resources that if they were not being used in war could be invested for productive gains elsewhere.

What is the price of peace? This book takes the perspective that the answer to this crucial question is abundance for all. Not mass, systematic and brutal poverty for the twenty-five percent of the people of the world residing at the base of the global economic pyramid; nor barely adequate some-of-the-time to rarely, almost satisfactory for the sixty-five percent of the people living above that base; and certainly not the almost magically opulent remaining 10% of the world at the top of the global economic pyramid—but abundance for everyone in the world.

Abundance for all— with “abundance” meaning access to affordable, accessible, and sustainable life support— such as food, water, shelter, health care, education, energy, and transportation—for “all”
—meaning 100% of the people in the world, including those alive today and those who will grace our world in the future.

Wealth and Globalization
This book challenges the way we both define and count our wealth. It points out that wealth is not what we hoard in our banks or show-off in our wallets, oversize vehicles, houses, or egos. “Wealth is what we do with energy; it is our organized capability to take care of ourselves into the future” to quote Buckminster Fuller. The Price of Peace: Abundance for All seeks to demonstrate how wealthy we could be if none of us were poor— not equally rich (this is not The Communist Manifesto II), but how the removal of the poorest in the world from the brutish ravages of unmitigated poverty will make all of us incredibly wealthier, and not in some fairyland far future or moral do-the right-thing sense, but in real money-in-your-pocket sense.

The Price of Peace: Abundance for All also points out the poverty of what passes for wealth in today’s world, and lays out a logic for a new accounting system, a new perspective that boldly states (and lays out the economic case) that even the “richest” of the rich are broke if all the people in the world and our environment are not taken care of and are an integral part of what we deem to be our wealth. “Abundance for all” relies on our nearly infinite common wealth, the individual richness we share when we live in a world where 100% of humanity enjoys a quality of life that allows everyone to participate in creating new wealth, and where the natural capital of our environment appreciates in beautiful complexity.

Just as globalization has interconnected all the world’s separate markets into one global market, so too has technology interconnected our individual lives, values, and fates. Philosophy and religion have taught us for eons “we are all one,” but now technology has made this moral abstraction an economic reality. The Price of Peace: Abundance for All points out the economic necessity and utility of acting as if this truth is not going to go away, even if some of us in our shortsightedness wish it would (or choose to ignore it as the messy entanglements of an interconnected world get in our way of accumulating ever more accoutrements of our obsession with obsolete forms of wealth).

“The world needs a new vision of what is possible, that can galvanize people around the world to achieve higher levels of cooperation in areas of common concern and shared destiny.”
—UN Commission on Global Governance


The 1,125 billionaires in today’s world accumulated their money through the global economy. Globalization made this possible, but that doesn’t make globalization “bad” or at fault for the accumulation of large concentrations of money and power in a few people’s hands.[7] These folks, our billionaire poor boys, were just following (some would say exploiting) the rules, or opportunities, afforded them by globalization. We need to create a new vision of where we want globalization to take us, and change the rules of globalization so our vision is economically compelling. Globalization is too important to be left to billionaires, mega-corporations, and the economists and politicians in their employ. It needs to be taken out of the deal making back rooms of the power brokers where loop-holes, subsidies, bribes, pay-offs, tax right-offs, and incentives are arranged to benefit the richest 10% at the expense of the 90%. It needs to be made transparent, trustworthy, and free of the parasites of special interests. It needs, in other words, to be returned to the people.

The seed for this book started in the mind and worldview of one of my mentors and best friends, Buckminster Fuller.[8] He would often claim that the world could be made to work for 100% of humanity. This sweeping generalization was both moral imperative and technological possibility. Over the years I was swept along, but was hungry for details. The social activist in me wanted results, not visions of far off future states. As I learned more about history, biology, ecology, diversity, systems, complexity, gestation rates, technological development, and economics my impatience was tempered, but not eliminated. My need to know how we could make the world work for everyone became the topics of some of my early books that dealt with the global energy and food situations. This book draws from some of these early inspirations, but expands and updates them with contemporary technological and economic realities.

My work from this period also led to an exploration of “what the world wanted.” Being fairly well convinced from history and contemporary politics that one person’s notion of what was best for everyone else was sociopathic hubris at best (a la religious fundamentalists) or psychopathic genocide at worst, I began asking various groups I was working with what they wanted the world to look like in twenty years. This led to a list of qualities that the future should embody. Often these positive qualities were stated as the inverse of the problems of today— which led to a non-startling insight that we often define the future in terms of the problems of today. I then started asking groups to describe in positive terms what they wanted the world of twenty years from now to look like. I pointed out that I was interested in what they were for, not what they were against. Although the number of groups I and my colleagues worked with grew (as did their national origins, age, educational level and professional training), and the total number of people in these groups reached over 100,000, surprisingly the number of desired qualities that the future should have did not grow. The groups not only started to repeat themselves, their efforts became almost identical. To date, close to 200,000 people have participated in this simple survey. These results form the core of any claims I stake to knowing “what the world wants” (elucidated in Chapter 1).

The world wants peace
This book is written so that the price of peace becomes compellingly obvious and affordable— that the return on investment is such that it is a no brainer to make the investments that are needed to bring about the conditions of abundance for all and peace on Earth, in our time. This book is written for you, the self-selected leaders of the world— those people who will get the world what it wants, and who control globalization and the processes of peace whether they realize it or not.

More specifically, this book is written for five overlapping groups of leaders:
1. National, regional and city government leaders seeking to understand the simultaneous shrinkage of the traditional prerogatives of the nation state, the expanding role governments have as cooperative actors in the global political and economic sphere, and the implications and effects of what the world wants on international, national, and urban security.
2. Corporate executives seeking to keep their company thriving in an increasingly competitive and complex global economy. It is intended to provide the perspective that will enable corporate enterprise to recognize the creative role they can play as positive change agents in the world, and in getting the world what it wants in ways that provide sustainable and responsible profit.
3. Non-Governmental Organization and activist leaders seeking to understand the new dynamics shaping the contemporary world and the future, their new and increasing powers, and how these powers can be leveraged to effect change in local and global society.
4. Students and teachers seeking to learn how their institutions, studies, present activities, and future occupations can make a significant contribution to getting the world what it wants.
5. Every individual in the world today, and those soon to arrive, who all find themselves gathered together on top of the hill of history, and who see from this vantage point what the world wants, are or will be working on getting these wants delivered, and who are leading us all into the future, the place where peace is real.

The Price of Peace: Abundance for All can be read in a variety of ways. The reader seeking to learn “what the world wants” and the foundation, logic and context for getting the world the peace it wants, is encouraged to begin at the Introduction. Those seeking to see how the world can meet its basic needs can read Strategy 1- 11 and learn of the proven technology, known resources, organizational techniques, and financial wherewithal that could be employed to eliminate poverty and positively transform the wealthy parts of the world with relatively modest investments. Here they will see how the above leaders, working together, can bring peace to the world by meeting the world’s needs for food, water, energy, health care, education, communication, transportation, democracy, security and a regenerated environment. Those readers seeking to see how the various categories of leaders can play their vital roles can go to Conclusions—Next Steps. Here the various and interlinked tasks of government, corporate, civil society and individual are elaborated.

I hope that this book will provide a glimpse of the increasing humanity of the world, a vision of what the world could and should be like, and a roadmap for how we can, working together, transform our needs into the astonishing wealth of abundance and peace for all.

 

1. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: http://www.sipri.org/contents/milap/milex/mex_trends.html
2. Joseph Stiglitz, Linda Blimes, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Costs of the Iraq Conflict, W. W. Norton, 2008. www.threetrilliondollarwar.org
3. http://icasualties.org
[4} Iraqi Body Count: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/; Also see: Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, and Gilbert Burnham, The lancet, Oct. 29, 2004 "Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey".
[5} "How many have gone to war?", Salon.com April 12, 2005,
http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2005/050412-gone-to-war.htm
[6] "20% of Iraq, Afghanistan veterans have depression or PTSD",Julian E. Barnes, LA Times, April 18, 2008.
[7] “Today” is 2008. Source for number of billionaires: Forbes Magazine, http://www.forbes.com/business/billionaires/2008/03/05/richest-people-billionaires-billionaires08-cx_lk_0305billie_land.html

[8] For those unfamiliar with Buckminster Fuller, the following link will be a useful introduction. It is excerpted from Buckminster Fuller, Anthology for the New Millennium, St. Martins Press, 2001. http://www.bigpicturesmallworld.com/bf.shtml

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