Staggering statistics are emerging from investigative reporters about the massive size of our secret military “intelligence” agencies both private and public, and we shouldn’t be surprised.
Dwight Eisenhower, a beloved and respected WWII General and President of the United States (to be kind and inclusive for our younger readers who may not be history buffs, click here to see a brief excerpt with commentary) warned us in 1961 that our liberty and our democracy would be threatened by the emergence of the Military Industrial complex. I learned about all this in college when I had the privilege of studying with Economist John Kenneth Galbraith in a course called ” The New Industrial State”.
If you’d like to go deeper into the issue of militarism and the politics of nuclear disarmament, check out the Ploughshares Fund! Joe Cirincione is an astute analyst.
Where would you rather work? The Pentagon or the Peace Palace? It’s up to all of us to remove the threatening storm clouds that continued investment in war and weapons casts across the Earth. If you’re inspired you can join the growing movement to establish a department of peace and engage in serious endeavors to convert military spending to peaceful job creation. You can also join movements toward true national security by advancing clean energy technologies.
Here are just a few of the findings from a 2 year study by the Washington Post of the astronomical growth of the intelligence community just since 9/11/2001, not to mention the ultra hidden black operations and secret CIA budgets:
* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.
* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.
* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space.
When President Eisenhower delivered his famous speech, there were 3.5 million people directly employed in the military. Today, the Pentagon budget director testified that he cuts 10 million pay checks per month. And of course that doesn’t include the privatization of our military operations and maintenance. What he didn’t warn us about is how our own intelligence agencies would turn their spying operations on U.S. Citizens.
Born only five years after President Eisenhower, in 1895, R. Buckminster Fuller shared a similar concern. He was deeply troubled by out of control militarism and the misallocation of our resources, human and financial.
When Bucky, as he was affectionately known, experienced a tour of the Pentagon and saw the War Room, he was appalled at the waste of talent and resources devoted to the insanity of planning for wars. That experience led him to create the World Game, which inspired him to develop artifacts for “livingry” (Bucky was famous for making up words) rather than human artifacts of “weaponry”.
Bucky didn’t believe he belonged to himself, he believed he belonged to the Universe…and it was his job to make as many contributions as possible and give them away! Share that concept with the folks on Wall Street or the intellectual property rights attorneys. Bucky was a beloved radical indeed, who managed to get kicked out of Harvard twice, once for being “disinterested and irresponsible”! He lived his life as an experiment, asking the question: “what can one individual do to improve humanity’s condition?” He also wanted to know the answer to an even larger question: “Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, if so, how?
an example of an “artifact for livingry”
Bucky built this Dymaxion Transport in 1934
It carried 11 passengers, got 30-40 mpg with
a top speed of 120 mph!
Imagine a world where our human and financial resources are directed toward enhancing the quality of life on earth for all living beings rather than threatening our very existence. That’s what’s great about human constructs; t if we can imagine something, we can manifest it!
A favorite Buckyism of mine is this:
“The nice thing about the individual is that he or she can take initiative without seeking permission.”
In his introduction to Critical Path, Bucky stated:
“It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary and hence-forth unrationalizable as mandated by survival. War is obsolete.”
I’ll leave this blog with a beautiful vision that Bucky shared with us at the Windstar Foundation. When he refers to standard of living, he was also advocating the highest quality of life imaginable. The quality of our lives is ultimately directly related to the tranquility of our thoughts and our ability to open our hearts. After all, the only true security that exists is within each of us. Just sit with your own sense of inner security, well grounded in nature, experiencing a pervasive mood of peace; drop all fear and cultivate the courage to challenge those who use “National Security” as the excuse for over-the-top fear mongering, out of control military spending and so-called intelligence gathering.
Let’s focus on brighter images of our future…this is a poster that the late John Denver signed, by simply writing PEACE.
“…humanity now has the opportunity for the first time in all history to operate our planet in such a manner as to support and accommodate all humanity at a substantially more advanced standard of living than all humans have ever experienced and sustain that standard of living through all the forward days of history.”
- R. Buckminster Fuller
This Dymaxion Map that Bucky designed, illustrates the interconnectedness of the entire Earth… he always advocated accuracy in all of our observations. Here’s an example of the distortions in our perceptions that keep us stuck in an outdated view of the world: most classrooms in the USA still use a Mercator Projection map developed in the mid 16th Century. Of course, our ethnocentrism positions North America right in the center of the map. Continents are arbitrarily cut off on both sides and the size of Greenland is distorted by 900%.
Whenever, the staff at Windstar struggled with a challenge, Bucky would always say, “look and listen very closely to Nature and you will discover solutions to all our imbalances and challenges.”
Listening to my own heart and inner nature, I know there is a better path, a better way than the current journey our Nation is embracing. In my articles I always enjoy adding an artistic expression from our passionate and committed modern day troubadours. This song by Jackson Browne was written as a protest to our interventions in Central America, during the Oliver North / Ronald Reagan era of anti-communism. It is as relevant today as it was then. Be inspired:
No one ever said transforming the world would be easy! Sure times are tuff, our industrial growth society is faltering and wars are raging as the planet gets warmer; all the more reason to bring a totally new way of being into the world by creating a new culture of caring for nature and all life. Isn’t it time to retire the “War on Terror” by playing an entirely new world game, as if it really matters?!
As a student-athlete-activist during the tumultuous era at Harvard University Bud emerged with an interdisciplinary degree combining, child development, innovative education and urban social policy. To recover from academia, he moved to the mountains of Colorado and devoted his energy to hosting professional conferences and seminars in Snowmass Village, followed by a few years working with John Denver's Windstar Foundation. He has lots of stories to share about those formative years living in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Bud continues to consult with many organizations including Newfield Network, Environmental Communications, Inc. and The Living Green Foundation, Next Culture Network, The Unified Field Corporation, Regenerative Community Development of Colorado and The Agora Projects.
Bud has 25 years of experience as an awareness instructor and wilderness guide for Sacred Passage and the Way of Nature. As Global Director of Eco-Regional Leadership for The Way of Nature, in May 2011, he co-created and coordinated the first World Nature Quest. More than 35 groups in 17 countries on 5 continents simultaneously communed with the Earth for healing and renewal.
His articles have been read by more than 70,000 Elephant Journal Readers
His adult son, daughter and son-in-law are the source of great joy in his life.
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