15 October, 2006

Of course we need world government

http://www.911blogger.com/node/3692

Just not one that is fascist like we seem to be getting. Government can be
quite beneficial if it is well designed and protected from abuse and
corruption--how else will we regulate and enforce environmental
protection? The point is that like all issues, issues of global governance
do not have to be black and white. Sure Alex Jones is right to criticize
the current seekers of world government, but that doesn't mean that the
world does not need a system of laws and rules. We just have to ensure
that they are as benign as possible and in the interest of people. When we
fail to secure that for our own country of course we have to be careful
when trying to achieve it for the world, but we have to start somewhere,
and the first thing is to use the truth of 9/11 to awaken poeple to the
dangers of global information monopolies, monetary monopolies, arms
merchants, etc.

=== John Albanese re-posted this letter by DRG:

Shameful

Steve Dinan and David Ray Griffin respond to Angie D'Urso's widely
disseminated "The Creepy Sides of the 9/11 Truth Movement"

Stephen Dinan wrote:

9/11 truth folks,

Here's a response that David Ray Griffin sent to the piece that Angie
wrote. It's long but quite well argued and pretty patient rather than
reactive. He was fine with it being shared here. Towards the end, he
states the most important point, which is that wasting time on these sorts
of things compromises productivity.

In my opinion, every time someone who is a leader in the movement is
attacked in this fashion, it subtracts energy from our forward momentum in
general and leads them to pull back. Ironically, this is what
disinformation is designed to do - confuse, splinter, etc.

I certainly would NOT accuse Angie of disinformation, because I don't
think that's what she is consciously doing. But the net effect of this
sort of in-fighting and suspicion-mongering is the SAME as disinformation
campaigns: it undermines positive energy moving forward, increases
fractiousness, and wastes time, as well as providing fodder for any media
to dismiss the movement as psychologically unbalanced.

I don't doubt that virtually anyone in the movement could effectively be
attacked in this movement. It's the recipe that Karl Rove uses: find
something that plays into people's fears, selectively present only that
side of the story (or exaggerate it) and let others start debating it or
reacting to it, which undermines the power of whoever is being attacked.
Everyone is vulnerable to this.

For our part, I really think it's not responsible or useful to indulge
this and so I encourage people not to forward this sort of thing.

Stephen Dinan

-----------------------

From David Ray Griffin

To Angela D'Urso (angieon911.com)

Dear Angie,

A couple of people recently sent me your piece, "The Creepy Sides of the
911 Truth Movement."

Being short on time, I will respond only to your theory and your paragraph
about me and my associates.

I gather that you do not put me in the category of those who do not
"really want the 911 truth exposed." I am thankful for that. You put me
merely in the category of those who do want it exposed but NOT "for 'good'
reasons." That is, I evidently "want it exposed" but am still "a bad guy."

I must confess that, in the eyes of God, I am probably indeed a pretty bad
guy. But I was somewhat surprised by the reasons you gave for warning
really pure 9/11 truth-seekers to be wary of me.

One of your reasons appears to be that both I and Richard Falk, the author
of the Foreword to my book, are "one world government aficionados." It is
certainly true that I am in favor of global democracy and have been
working on a rather big book on this topic for many years. But I was
surprised that you would assume that there is something "creepy" to what I
have in mind without looking at my arguments and the particular form of
"world government" that I advocate. Since you and I had corresponded some
time back, if I correctly recall, I am puzzled why you, given your obvious
concern for truth, did not write to find out exactly what my views are
before suggesting, in a public document, that they are somehow involved in
a massive conspiracy.

I might add here that I too have wondered why US officials would have
apparently made it so evident that they did it. I have my own thoughts
about this, but am not certain enough about them to go public with them.
With regard to your own view, it is certainly possible. But it seems to me
very improbable. However, even if you yourself consider your own theory
highly probable, I think you should be cautious about simply assuming that
there is some close correlation between it and The Truth. And you should,
I would suggest, be especially careful about then quickly concluding that
anything that possibly might be part of this Big Picture of What Is Really
Going On, which you have constructed, is indeed part of it. I would
suggest that you should be more cautions still about next, without even
checking the truth of various things you have read or heard, suggesting
these connections to the world. This is exactly the kind of approach that
has given "conspiracy theorists" a bad name.

In any case, to look at the issues you raise: In finding the idea of
global government of any sort dangerous, you are certainly endorsing the
conventional view. But if you are interested, I would be happy to send you
some writings in which I try to show why this conventional view needs to
be rethought. Of course, I don't know exactly why you find the very idea
of global government creepy. (I have a list of 10 reasons that have
commonly been given for opposing it.) But what I have in mind is a system
in which the main decisions about the future of the planet would not be
made by a tiny elite group in a nation with around 4 percent of the
world's population. On my own creep-o-meter, this present system of global
governance gets extremely high marks. I believe that if we are in favor of
democracy as the best way to govern a country, we should be in favor of
democracy for human civilization as a whole.

Indeed, if I were so inclined, I could weave a conspiracy theory in which,
because you oppose my solution, you are covertly working for those who
want to keep the US government in control of the planet. You can see how
easy and seductive this logic can be:

(1) X (the present system of global governance) is the real problem.

(2) Angie is denying that X is the real problem.

(3) In fact, Angie is criticizing people who see that X is the real
problem.

(4) Therefore, Angie must be an infiltrator in our movement, working on
behalf of those who are promoting X.

I myself would like to see a decline of this kind of thinking in the 9/11
Truth Movement and an increase in work that focuses on exposing the
perpetrators. For one thing, if we each insist that we will not work with
others if we know or even suspect that their motives, their convictions
about 9/11, and their worldviews are not the same as our own, we will not
have a movement.

In any case, to turn to the more particular issues you raise in relation
to me and my associates, by way of suggesting that we are playing roles in
your own version of What Is Really Going On:

Richard's work helped get me started thinking about global democracy, but
he has, in spite of my prodding, not been advocating the idea of global
democracy in what I call the strong sense (the sense in which Einstein
advocated it). You say that you find "one world gov't. advocates creepy."
I am surprised that you would move from the perception that certain people
hold ideas you disagree with to the conclusion that the people themselves
are creepy. But since Richard is not advocating one world government, you
need to restrict your conclusion to me alone. More generally, in any case,
Richard is about the last person to whom I would apply the adjective
"creepy."

With regard to your specific statements. As to the Council of Foreign
Relations, Richard became a member in about 1969, he says, and has
"remained a member despite a variety of misgivings." Although he was
between trips when I caught up with him to ask him about this, I can
imagine he has remained a member with the thought of perhaps having some
positive influence. His field is International Law, and he is well known
for trying to introduce normative concerns into international politics. He
has thereby opposed "political science" insofar as it seeks to leave out
all normative (i.e. moral) considerations. He has also been an opponent of
"political realism," at least the sort that maintains that power is all
that counts and should count in international relations. One example of
his trying to have an influence on CFR was what he describes as "a huge
fight with David Rockefeller over the appointment of William Bundy as
editor of Foreign Affairs." With regard to your statement that Richard
"has worked on new world order projects for the CFR, like the World Order
Models Project," he reports: "I did have a marginal relationship to the
1980s Project, which was trying to project a set of future conditions in
world affairs, and was headed by Princeton colleague, Richard Ullman. It
was a rather benign undertaking, and had nothing to do with the world
order models project."

You ask: "What the hell is one to make of a CFR member wanting to expose
9-11?" You seem to have a very simple view of human motivations and
belongings, as if you could draw some inference from Richard's membership
in CFR--which is one of literally dozens of organizations to which he
belongs and probably one of the least important in his life--and his
motivation for exposing the truth about 9/11. He wants to do the latter
because he has always worked to expose the truth about important things,
and because, through reading my manuscript, he came to believe that the
official story about 9/11 was false. To come out publicly with his support
for the alternative view took courage on his part, because he had
previously argued that the US government's response in Afghanistan was
correct--that it could be considered a "just response" (or could have been
if the principles of just-war theory had been followed). This is the issue
that he and I most disagreed about. But my point now is that Richard had
the courage to say, by writing the Foreword to my book, that he had been
wrong.

It would be hard, furthermore, to find many people who have worked longer
and harder on behalf of good causes around the world. Because of this, I
found your slurs against him the most offensive part of your essay. To
suggest that Richard does not really want the truth exposed, or that he is
doing this for some nefarious reason, is simply inexcusable. Perhaps John
Gray will forgive you, but I confess that I will have difficulty.

I am, furthermore, puzzled as to what research you did for your
information about John Cobb. He was formerly my professor and then my
colleague at the Claremont School of Theology and in the Department of
Religious Studies at Claremont Graduate University, where he taught from
the late 1950s until he retired 15 years ago. His wife will surely be
somewhat amused to find that he had been moonlighting as the "senior
economist for the World Bank."

I first thought you must have gotten him confused with Herman Daly, but
then I see that you mention Herman as well. Herman actually did work for
the World Bank, but he--as long the leading advocate of green,
sustainable, steady-state economics--could never have been the senior
economist at the World Bank. I frankly don't know what connection he has
had with the Club of Rome, but he obviously shares at least some of the
concerns of what is probably the most well-known book associated with the
Club, The Limits to Growth. But if you would read Herman's writings, you
could disabuse yourself of the suspicion that he would knowingly be
involved with any of the nefarious schemes that you suggest are promoted
by the Club. I can also tell you that I have thus far been unable to
interest Herman in my ideas about global democracy.

Incidentally, you seem to think that "global governance" is simply a
synonym for "global government." But they may be very different. Those who
use the language of "global governance" often speak of "governance without
government." I suspect that this is the Club of Rome position. Whether
that position is coherent is another question, but if you want to speak
accurately about these matters, you need to understand the difference.

Although John is not an economist by training or profession, he did, with
Herman's help, teach himself a lot about economics, and the two of them
co-authored a book--For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward
Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future--which I would
commend to your attention. I don't think you will find it one bit creepy.
(Indeed, they explicitly wrote against World Government, evidently having
in mind the scary version of it that you share. In the meantime, John's
position has moved closer to mine, but Herman's, as far as I know, has
not.)

John also wrote a book called The Earthist Challenge to Economism: A
Theological Critique of the World Bank. But, alas, even that did not get
him invited to become the Bank's senior economist.

He has, however, long been considered one of the best progressive
theologians in the world, and he has been passionately concerned about the
future of the earth since he awoke to the ecological crisis in the late
1960s. He is, in fact, known as the first philosopher as well as the first
theologian to write a book reflecting this concern. His little book, Is It
Too Late? A Theology of Ecology, is still considered sufficiently relevant
to be reissued. He has in the meantime written many books and article and
given countless speeches on the need to change course before we destroy
ourselves and much of the rest of the life of the planet. I can assure you
that the purity of his motives probably rivals that of your own.

Besides my association with these individuals, the next mark against me in
your book is evidently the fact that after Cobb and I founded the Center
for Process Studies, it "received support from the Rockefeller
Foundation." Had you written to ask about this, I would have gladly given
you more specific information: Our first conference, held in the summer of
1974, brought together a number of distinguished scientists and
philosophers to discuss problems in the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution
and to consider an alternative to it. It took place at the Rockefeller
Foundation's Study and Conference Center at Bellagio, Italy. The
arrangement is that if they accept your application and you can pay the
way for all the conferees to get there, they give you room, board, and a
meeting place for 3 or 4 days. That has been the extent of our center's
support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Cobb and I acknowledge this
support in the Preface of the resulting book, Mind in Nature: Essays on
the Interface of Science and Philosophy.

Incidentally, I personally, as an individual scholar, went back to
Bellagio in 1992, where my wife and I stayed for about 5 weeks. It was
there, in fact, that I first developed the conviction that if the world's
global problems are to be solved, we need to move from the present global
structure--technically known as global anarchy--to global democracy. This
past year I applied to return, with the hope of finishing a book that I
started the day after 9/11. But this time my application was denied.
Perhaps I was foolish to reveal my topic: global democracy as the only, or
at least the best, way to overcome US imperialism (certainly better than
the standard approach, which would be for the other nations to combine
forces against us, which would probably be a route to global nuclear war).

You also say that I have "some unusual ideas about how humanity should
think about God." Should I infer from this that you think the usual
ideas--those of traditional theism--have been good enough? Compared to
traditional theism, in any case, my ideas are indeed "unusual." But I am a
member of the movement known as "process theology," and one of the
complaints leveled against it by some of its opponents is that it has
become "the establishment view." That is, to be sure, a great
exaggeration. But it suggests that among informed people, the kind of
ideas I advocate are no longer considered unusual. They have in particular
been endorsed by many feminist theologians. You could get a brief overview
in a book entitled Process Theology, which Cobb and I co-authored in 1977.
Some of my reasons for preferring this view to traditional theism are
explained in my 1976 book, God, Power, and Evil, and my 1991 book, Evil
Revisited. For a feminist process theologian, see the writings of
Catherine Keller.

You also seem to think that there is something perverse about the fact
that I advocate "some type of mysticism." You evidently are not much
concerned with exactly which type. But you apparently assume that it is
some reactionary type, since you say that I apparently want us "to revert"
to it. But there are, of course, many different types of mysticism--or, to
be more precise, types of positions that are sometimes labelled
"mysticism," whether by their advocates or their detractors.

But since you appear to be interested in this part of my position, let me
say that I do indeed endorse "mysticism," if that term is used in the
descriptive sense to mean that there is a Holy Reality with which we are
directly connected. According to my epistemology, it is through this
direct (nonsensory) connection that we are aware of the normative status
of Truth and Justice and sometimes even become committed to having those
abstract values actualized. (I explain this in a recent book,
Reenchantment without Supernaturalism: A Process Philosophy of Religion.)
I also endorse mysticism as a practice, understood as the attempt
consciously to cultivate this connection, so that our motivations and
actions will be attuned to the good of the whole rather than to our own
selfish good or to the good of only some portion of the whole, as in
fascism and other forms of exclusivistic nationalism.

With regard to my religious and theological writings, I am glad you
referred interested readers to the little interview with me that In
Context p ublished back in 1990. But of course we can never assume that we
have received an adequate account of a person's views on complex issues
from a brief interview. And my philosophical and theological views are
hardly a secret, but have been published in many other books, beyond the
ones already mentioned (most of which can be found on Amazon.com). Some
people probably wonder, indeed, if I have an unpublished thought.

In any case, given your evident concern for truth and purity of motive, I
assumed that you would like to have these clarifications, so that in the
future any statements you might wish to make about me and my views can be
more accurate.

I was tempted to say something about the slurs you made against other
people. But because of limits of time and knowledge, I will not. I do
hope, however, that you will consider the possibility that what you have
said and insinuated about them may be as ill-informed as what you have
said and insinuated about me and my associates.

In closing, let me add that I am sure that you mean well. I would never
question your motives. But I do find the kind of approach you took in this
particular essay unhelpful. For one thing, you probably will cause several
people in the movement to waste time responding. I at the moment, for
example, am trying to finish up a book on the 9/11 Commission Report, so
every hour is precious. And yet I have now wasted over an hour responding
to your ill-informed allegations and innuendoes. I, of course, did not
need to respond. I usually simply ignore such stuff. But I have observed
how false allegations, if not corrected, often quickly become accepted as
established fact. I also noticed that someone in the movement whose
opinion I respect spoke favorably of your piece. So I took the time. But I
hope not to need to do this again.

Yours truly,

David Griffin

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, October 15, 2006

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