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RANT FROM AUGUST 2000
"Benign Government"
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     The first governments were designed by bullies, "strong
men," wielders of naked force, who then claimed a monopoly on the
use of force.  Often they justified this control by some kind of
religious sanction, appealing to old myths.
     Governments of, by and for the people, in which "the people"
remain sovereign, have always been and still are rare.  The
government of the USA has from the beginning claimed to be such,
but the actual record from the beginning was badly compromised by
slavery and genocide.  In spite of that, many have believed that
the United States of America is a special divine agency, designed
and prepared to be a beacon and a blessing to all the world.
     The actions of that government, however, especially in the
second half of the 20th century, have given it a badly tarnished
reputation throughout the world.  Some thoughtful persons, here
and abroad, have begun to question the myth of benign or
benevolent government altogether.
     The basic philosophy of benign government would be that the
government is all of the people together, organized to do what
they themselves want done.  The people together could decide to
build and maintain roads, build and operate seaport facilities,
build and operate railroads [in most countries], build and
operate power plants [in most countries], provide for the health
care of all citizens [in all developed countries except one]
provide financial security for the elderly and handicapped, mint
and print money, provide education for some or all citizens,
"insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare..."  
     The last bit there is a quote from the document which
pretends that our own government is benign.  Those phrases about
tranquility and defense have become very tricky, leading to
rampant prison-building and shameless wars of aggression.
     The government was not meant to be a secret, power-mad,
self-perpetuating institution which persecutes its own people to
the advantage of only a few, and regards all the rest of the
world as exploitable and expendable enemies, to be bombed
periodically.  
     In order to restore the world's faith in the government of
the USA, the following proposals are offered.  When these
proposals are fully carried out, it will then be possible, once
again, to believe that the government of the United States of
America is motivated by good intentions toward its own
"sovereign" citizens as well as the rest of the people of the
world.
     Here they are:
     [1] The U.S. government renounces secrecy entirely as a
method of advancing government policy, and the President of the
USA publicly reveals, by publication in PRAVDA and THE NEW YORK
TIMES, all secret U.S. government documents.
     [2] The President recommends and Congress passes a 100%
excess profits tax on all military contracts that earn more than
the going prime bank lending rate.
     [3] The President and Congress dismantle the CIA entirely,
putting all personnel on 20-year pro-rated pensions, with all
names and numbers published in newspapers.  All military
departments which engage in espionage are shut down.
     [4] All U.S. military personnel are reassigned immediately
to stations in the USA.  All bases not on US territory are
dismantled and abandoned.  This includes Panama, Cuba, the
Philippines, Asia, Europe, Africa, Antarctica and the islands of
the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans.
     [5] The Pentagon budget is slashed by 50% immediately, and
reduced annually by 10% until nothing is left but pensions. 
Naked force is renounced as a method of advancing U.S. policy. 
Clean-up of environmental damage done by the Pentagon, at home
and abroad, will be transferred to the Environmental Protection
Agency.
     [6] The US dismantles all nuclear warheads and all nuclear
power plants.  Activities at nuclear weapons facilities will
consist solely of work on the problem of the elimination of
nuclear waste.  Burial is not counted as "elimination."
     The turn-around that these modest proposals would create
could then be further encouraged by new legislation designed to
stop and prevent acid rain, soil erosion and global warming. 
Then the government could begin to address the task of providing
the best health care humans know how to deliver to all citizens,
and also provide freely all the education any citizen wants and
could benefit from.

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Copyright © 2000 Harry Willson

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