Any good movement needs a list of demands, so I resolved to come up with one. Of course, for now anyway, these are just my demands, but I hope they will inspire others to either share them, reorder them, or come up with other demands of their own.
Really, it would be ideal if we could have a public vote about these things. I don’t mean a local governmental vote, but a global public vote. We need to get on the same page globally so we can prioritize what needs to be done. Sure, it may be that we don’t all agree about all the same things, but maybe we all do agree on some things. If we could just determine exactly what these things are, then we could work on a plan to fix them.
So, and this is really an aside from the main point of this article, what we need is a system with a few particular features. First, accounts should be verifiable (such that each account is verifiable as a real person). Second, people should be able to post issues that they believe need to be addressed, and people should be able to vote to prioritize which issues are most important to them. And third, people should be able to propose solutions to the issues which people are able to vote on and prioritize as well.
If these three features were available to us, the people, on a global scale, what, really, could stop a global revolution from happening. Surely we would be able to identify some issues that everyone agrees need solving. Surely we could agree on ways to solve those issues. What else is there?
Anyway, without further ado, my list of demands:
1. End War
I hate war. Normally I don’t use that word, hate, but in this case, I mean it. I really hate war. I hate that we are helping to starve people to death in Yemen, (sanction is a form of warfare folks). I hate that we are frequently blowing up innocent children with our oh-so-smart bombs. I hate all the false pretenses and all the petty explanations people give for why we need to be waging war all over the world. I hate all the wasted money that goes to funding war that could be used for countless other incomparably better things in this county. I hate every part of it, and I want it to end.
So that’s it. My number one “issue” is War, and my first demand, what I demand of any government that would have my support, is that it does not wage war. That’s not to say it doesn’t defend its own people. If a country is under attack, and I mean literally being invaded, then I can’t fault the people for defending their loved ones, but definitely no making war. No making war on other countries for any reason.
I should add that this includes having and threatening to use nuclear weapons. Just having an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is an act of war because it is threatening total annihilation against any and all other nations.
Of course, denuclearization should be done in a smart way that makes everyone feel safe. It should start with an agreement among all nations that hostilities must end, which includes assurances that no country will use any nuclear weapons against anyone else under any circumstances. Then the denuclearization process should begin with countries destroying or disassembling their nuclear warheads simultaneously and fairly. Countries with many more nukes should disassemble most of theirs until finally every country has only 100 nukes left, then ten, then 1, and then, finally, none.
Regarding ending war in general. I propose a simple policy: all soldiers should return to their homes. That’s it. A simultaneous exodus of all fighters everywhere back to their homes. If you’re already home, but you’re fighting a war, so be it. If you’re in another country fighting a war, go home. (Oh, and just for clarity’s sake, being on “international waters” but off the cost of another country in a giant warship is still waging war. Warships need to go home too.)
2. Take Care of Everyone
There is no such thing as an undeserving person, and there are resources enough on this planet to ensure that everyone has enough to eat and a place to stay.
How do we pay for it? How about with the hundreds of billions of dollars we will save when we end war?
Whatever the case, nobody should be left on the street to starve or freeze to death. This should be our policy. Maybe we don’t succeed at first, but at least make it a goal. If we don’t succeed at first, we can keep trying to find better ways to take care of everyone. This should be our priority when designing policy.
Furthermore, every effort should be made to keep people healthy. It may be, from time to time, that one medical treatment or another is unavailable to some people. This is understandable. Maybe it’s new, or the resources just haven’t been made widely available for everyone yet. That’s fine. But by and large, we can make good healthcare available to everyone for free. This may be a notch above food and housing, but it is still essential.
How do we pay for it? See above. The same principles apply. If we can’t afford it from the hundreds of billions we have saved on war, then we simply make it a priority and we do everything we can to make it happen.
3. Live Sustainably: Take Care of the Environment
Planet earth is our home. We need to take care of it. We need to examine all our policies and end practices that are unsustainable in the long term. I’m not an expert in the field of sustainability, but I know that what we’re doing now isn’t working. We are destroying the rain forests, species are dying at an alarming rate, we’re pumping toxic sludge into our water sources all over the world. These practices must end.
Maybe that means rethinking and reengineering supply chains. Maybe that means restructuring agricultural practices. Maybe that means we don’t ship foods ridiculously long distances, (even if we can’t eat strawberries in January anymore). Maybe we have to rethink a lot of societal practices that have become convenient, but are damaging to the environment.
Whatever the case, this is my third and final essential demand. We owe it to our children to keep the planet healthy and safe. We owe it to them, and we owe it to our children’s children and to all the generations that come after as well.
These are my demands. They may not be perfect. True, I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but I think as a community, a global community, we can work out the details.
You know, the other day I heard someone refer to the Millennials as ‘the lost generation’. I’m a Millennial, so it makes me sad to imagine that mine could be a lost generation. I decided that I’m not going to buy into that narrative.
Millennials aren’t the lost generation. The Baby Boomers, the generation that have been destroying this planet, living hedonistic lives, totally unconcerned with the future of their children or their grand children, they are the lost generation. The Millennials will be the generation that finally stood up. The Millennials will be the hero generation, the generation that saved the planet. That’s my narrative. Don’t write off the Millennials yet, there is still time for us to become leaders in a movement to save the world.