It is a known fact that technology is advancing at the most rapid rate in human history. Developments will continually be made as long as the most scientifically capable among us continue to do their work to ensure that humans don’t have to work.
Here are a few examples of this. Starbucks just came out with voice ordering. At grocery stores, there are self-checkout aisles. McDonald’s is developing a vending machine for their food at some restaurants. The commonality with all of these things is that the inventions try to minimize waste and maximize profits. This is not necessarily a bad thing, the ultimate goal of capitalism is to profit, however this leaves out a certain human cost. Jobs are being replaced by machines, this leaves people unemployed, argues some. I would argue that this mechanization is actually beneficial.
In our society, most people strive to have a job, to work, to contribute, or at the most basic level, to provide shelter and food for themselves by working. Working is seen as a good thing, and it is to many. However, with machines replacing many basic jobs like on assembly lines or in restaurants, the question is, how far can we go with this technology. It is my ultimate belief that in the search for profit most corporations will inevitably replace people with machines. There are some jobs that can’t be replaced, such as those who maintain the machines, or artists and the creativity-type jobs that robots simply cannot replicate at this stage of human development.
I would argue that this is good thing. If machines continue to produce more, make the manufacturing process more efficient, we should embrace this technology! Very few people desire to be a cog on a massive assembly line, people by nature are better than this. Those who recoil at the thought of losing manufacturing jobs simply have no sense of perspective. It does not matter if these jobs go to China, or to Mexico, I would encourage this if it grows their economy, if at the end of the day American machines can do the exact same work for free. The flow of jobs to 2nd and 3rd world countries is simply growing pains as they transition to a post-industrial society.
There are some who wish that America was the way it was back in the 1950’s. Those people argue that it was a more wholesome time, a more honest time. History is not something that you can turn back and forth as you please. When the US loses more and more manufacturing jobs, that simply means that we can provide more and more for our citizens. Capitalism is innovation, and this innovation will allow the US to transition to a time where machines can do all of the work for people. What is required is a radical change in mindset, a thought process that has been instilled in us by our American Capitalist System. We do not need to work all of the time if machines can provide it to us for free.
The economy of the future is not in any specific industry, rather it is in extraterrestrial exploration, scientific development, and the arts. We cannot mourn the death of American Manufacturing, rather we should develop our technology so that manufacturing is simply not a human task.
Mikhail Gorbachev said in an op-ed in Time Magazine that, “The World is preparing for war.” NATO and Russia are stockpiling troops in preparation to destroy each other, more and more troops and equipment are being sent into this Second Cold War in Europe. For what purpose? Freedom? Democracy? Most nations in Europe, discluding Belarus and Russia, are completely free capitalist states. The US threatens sanctions, Russia supports Separatist Rebels in the Donbass region of Ukraine. There is a back and forth that is going on where the only way is up.
It was not always this way. In the height of the Cold War in the 1960’s, the United States elected a young, exuberant man named John F. Kennedy. In his inaugural address he promised a New Frontier, saying, “Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered problems of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus.”
JFK entered office hoping to eradicate poverty, and take America to heights that it had never been. It is no coincidence that he promised to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade in 1961. It is no coincidence that the Peace Corps was created in 1961. JFK sought to restore America’s reputation abroad, and return America to it’s rightful place as the leader of the free world and as the arsenal of democracy.
This sense of purpose, this moralistic diplomacy, this sacred mission has been ground under the feet of moneyed interests and the most militaristic of our society. America is leading the world with the barrel of a gun, not an outstretched palm. It is important that the United States stand up to Russia and fight for our interests, but this will not be achieved by force. What is required is pragmatic, peaceful negotiation, and the understanding that both parties are equally matched. The only victor in a war between NATO and Russia would be death and China.
It is the duty of the next President after Donald Trump to assume this mantle, and carry out the task of ensuring that this escalation is halted. Even under one of the most militaristic and misguided leaders in our country, Ronald Reagan, the US nuclear arsenal was somewhat reduced, because he negotiated with the Soviet Union for them to reduce their arsenal with the United States. The next President must reach an agreement with Russia lest we enter into the largest conflict in human history.
Europe is dying, it is rotting within from a multitude of problems. Immigration, Economic Inequality, Poverty. As a result they continue to vote farther to the left, and farther to the right. A recent report has shown that in the last 10 years both centre-left and centre-right parties have lost 70% of their support in Europe. The only places that remain largely in the control of Social Democratic Parties are Portugal, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
The leaders of Europe are failing Europe itself. The Socialist President of France Francois Hollande was elected because he ran as a Socialist, a man who would control France’s financial sector. He betrayed all of these ideas, and is about to leave office with an approval rate hovering about 10%. As a result, the workers are flocking to either the Left Front (Communists) or the National Front (Far-Right holocaust deniers). This is just one example out of many.
The United States is the only democracy in this world with the roots, and the strength to fight this rising tide of history. Yes, we elected Donald Trump, but he lost by about 3 million votes. The entire country was gripped by stirring Women’s Marches, and Donald Trump entered office with the lowest favorability ratings of any President since the polls were taken!
The United States must band together with willing nations and stand strong in the face of fear and intolerance. The problem that is wracking Europe currently is the refugee crisis from the Middle East, and this has allowed anti-immigration, anti-Muslim parties to gain popularity.
The social democratic order of Europe is slowly collapsing, and hate and fear is spreading. This is the natural course of history, but we must be aware of the implications of it, and the US must be an example for the rest of the world in how a free society truly works.
The only way to combat this rising tide of hate is to combat the inequalities that caused them. The Left must stand up against the corporate interests that is sapping the wealth of Europe to factories in Bangladesh where workers get paid less than a dollar a day.
The problems that plague Europe are not because of immigration, or the loss of national identity, rather it is the corruption of the form of Capitalism that has been put in place in Europe in the last 30 years.
We have a combination of more heavy regulation, like in France or Sweden, or light regulation, like in the UK and Spain. This creates an uneven field, and general disorder. I am not arguing for the abolition of corporations, or the creation of a one-state Europe. Rather, I am pointing out that the problems that Europe faces is not the fault of innocent Muslims, or other minorities like Poles or Kosovars. It is the fact that the world is divided, split, and the corporations take advantage of this governmental difference in the name of profit and greed.
No nation should be struggling while corporations make such insane profits. It is up to the European Community to decide how they want to deal with the problems that they are faced with, but the first step would be to recognize that the national identity of their nation is not under attack, and that all should be welcome.
Today, President Trump signed an executive order that begins the process of the US pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This was a campaign promise and a rallying cry of Donald Trump, with him arguing that the TPP pulled jobs away from the United States to China or to Mexico, et cetera. In this argument, he became ideologically aligned with Bernie Sanders.
But in order to pass judgement on the TPP, one must understand what it is. Basically, the TPP is a 12-nation trade agreement that cuts tariffs and seeks to encourage trade between all nations involved. Collectively, the TPP’s member states would have a population of around 800 million, or double that of the EU. What it would do is increase trade, and increase competition and cooperation internationally.
Some, like President Trump and Senator Sanders oppose the TPP because they argue that it takes jobs away from the US, and benefit big businesses. These are legitimate arguments that mustn’t be ignored, even if Trump advocates for these arguments with the vocabulary of a 4th-grader.
However, there is another aspect of the TPP that must be considered. First, China would not be in the TPP. Trade agreements like the TPP generally strengthen ties between the nations involved, and the US needs to have better relations in the Pacific to stave off the influence of China. Nations like Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, and Peru have agreed to participate in the TPP, however if they can’t they might turn towards China for trade, which hurts the US in the long-term.
Personally, I believe that the TPP does need some refinement. This agreement would favor big businesses, and draw some jobs out of the United States, and something needs to be done about that. I’m not an economist, but there are some steps that need to be taken in that area. However, I believe that President Trump is being incredibly short-sighted here. Jobs can come and go, they are certainly important, however if we curb the influence of China in the Pacific, that limits them far more than we could imagine.
It is imperative that the United States oppose the anti-democratic agenda of the PRC, and repealing the TPP would be a win for China in the long-term. The TPP is not perfect, and both sides have valid arguments. However, these trade deals have a wider meaning than is clear, and part of it is that it would be unwise for the US to pursue isolationist, protectionist policies like President Trump is promising. Trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP have to be renegotiated to ensure fair practices, however they demonstrate to the World that the US is willing to participate, which is far more important in this century than a few thousand jobs which could easily be replaced.
Many people seem to forget this, but America is the world’s oldest democracy with a functioning Constitution. Yes, for many years minorities and women couldn’t vote, but we were still more of a democracy than anyone else.
A day as dark as this one makes an individual prone to reflection. Yesterday, or on January 19th, West African troops entered the Gambia, a small West African nation, because the previous President who has held power for 22 years refused to step down and accept the results of the Gambia’s first fair election in years. The results of that conflict are not yet determined, however it would be atypical for it to be bloodless.
Today, an idiotic tyrant named Donald Trump is sworn in to be the President of the United States. The election was long, vicious, however at the end the losing side stepped down and accepted the results of the election, something that is unheard of in many democracies. What we have learned the most from this explosive and divisive election is that our Republic and our Democracy is strong. Our people may protest and moan, but we know that at the end of the day he is our President.
The people of the United States are unlike any other. We are united because of our differences, not divided by them. Regardless of the results of one unfortunate election, we must carry on, and fight for the next one.
Even though we have a hyper-militarized police force, just be glad that we are able to protest in the first place. Our Constitution, the sacred document that binds this nation together, is the sword and the shield of the people to use against a tyrannical government. As long as we keep our rights close, and our enemies closer, the best days of America are still ahead of us.
In a nation increasingly categorized by extremist ideology, one man is increasingly bucking that trend. Emmanuel Macron, a centrist who served under the Socialist Government of Francois Hollande, is drawing massive crowds and rising poll numbers in the upcoming French Presidential Election.
Emmanuel Macron is certainly one of the more interesting candidates that France has seen so far. He is a socially liberal, pro-EU, but very pro-business, who is running as an independent under his fledgling movement En Marche!
The Socialist Party is not going to do well in the Presidential elections regardless of who they offer, and Macron is a logical option for those who condemn right-wing lunatics like Marine Le Pen, whose father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was prosecuted for being a Holocaust Denier, or the failed far-left policies of the French Socialist Party, or worse the French Communist Party.
Leftish would argue that these intelligent, centrist politicians are exactly what many countries like France and the United States need. I am not referring to red-state Democrats like Heidi Heitkamp or Jon Tester, I am advocating for politicians who do not feel the need to be categorized by an extremist ideology, who can come to a bipartisan solution. I would argue that the best example of this, at least in the United States, would be either John McCain or Joaquin Castro.
Personally I am not a centrist, however it is important for one to understand that extremist ideology from both sides of the aisle and partisan bickering helps nobody.
In this troubled and divided time, Emmanuel Macron is the leader that France needs, and what the people of France deserve. An intelligent, well-rounded individual who is open to compromise but stands strong on his beliefs, Macron may be the solution to France’s problems.
Amid recent reports that Trump wants to evict the Press Corp from the White House, a Senior Advisor to the Trump Administration told a journalist from the Enquirer, “They are the opposition party. I want ‘em out of the building. We are taking back the Press Room.” This is concerning for obvious reasons.
The 1st Amendment clearly states that individuals and the press have a right to expression, and that the people have the right to petition the government for grievances, among other things. What we have seen from the Trump Administration is a blatant attack on journalism, and on many news networks, frequent targets include CNN and MSNBC. Whether or not his claims are justified, these attacks are concerning nonetheless. It is the responsibility of the President of the United States, the elected leader of the populace, to be able to maintain a clear and open channel of communication, and be open to queries and challenges from an independent nonpartisan press.
Objectively, one cannot dismiss the fact that coverage towards the Trump Campaign during the General Election was unlike anything that has happened before. I frequently noticed on CNN that large portions of his rallies were shown, and coverage was anything but sparing. The Media gave Donald Trump over $1 Billion worth of coverage for absolutely nothing. Trump’s claims were ridiculous, offensive, and bigoted, so of course they made good ratings, we cannot deny that.
However, Trump cannot say bigoted things and encourage fights, and not expect the Media to say, “Trump’s remarks were seen by some as bigoted,” and “physical violence was prevalent at many of Trump’s rallies.” These hypothetical remarks are true.
Donald Trump lives in his own little world where he expects the news to be hand-fed to him by his children and advisors. We cannot expect him to receive accurate news from his children or from lackeys who are saying what they want him to hear.
Donald Trump is violating the very nature of American Democracy, and we cannot allow him to escape up into the golden bubble of the White House and of his overpriced golf clubs. The only way to get him to hear the thundering voice of the people is to expose him to an independent media, not what he thinks is, “the opposition party.”
This week, an amendment proposed by Sen. Sanders would have encouraged the Federal Government to encourage ordinary Americans to buy cheap prescription drugs from Canada.
The amendment was defeated 52 to 46, with 2 Senators abstaining. 13 Republican Senators voted for the amendment, and 13 Democrats voted against it, including Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).
Regardless of the merits of this specific amendment, which would allow Americans to buy inexpensive drugs, this is indicative of a larger problem. We will look at Cory Booker as an example. Cory Booker has received $267,338 from Pharmaceutical Companies, far more than any other Democratic Senator. This may be why he voted against the amendment. This is only one example out of dozens. Senators like Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry and in exchange often vote against climate change legislation.
The Democratic Party cannot claim to be fighting for the rights of ordinary Americans while simultaneously pocketing the money of big businesses. This is hypocritical, and it is wrong. It will discredit the Democratic Leadership in the eyes of the populace, and goes against everything that the Democratic Party stands for.
I am not arguing that Democrats should fundraise less, however the concern comes from when this money makes members of Congress vote against legislation that would adversely affect the source of the money. It is clear that in this day and age, the Democratic Party should look more towards ordinary people for small donations, and not to big business for obscenely large amounts of money.
It is clear that the leaders of the Democratic Party which millions look up to must be transparent and honest about the sources of income that they receive. Until the Democratic Party addresses this blatant hypocrisy, the Democratic Leadership cannot truly claim to represent the rights of ordinary people.
Nuclear weapons are the most devastating weapons ever created. 1 bomb has the potential to extinguish hundreds of thousands of lives, and raze an entire city. The threat of nuclear armageddon was most pronounced during the ideological struggle of the Cold War, and the ultimate battle between Communism and Capitalism. In this period, thousands of nuclear bombs were produced, and never used.
After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, many viewed the threat to be over. America really no longer had a need to continue keeping nuclear weapons, yet we did. Regardless of the fact that nuclear stockpiles have decreased by 2/3rds since the end of the Cold War, there are still around 15,375 nuclear warheads in existence, Russia and the US owning 93% of them. Other nuclear powers include France, China, the UK, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea.
However, I would argue that the threat of a nuclear attack is not just probable, it is inevitable on the path that we are taking as a global community. Not an attack by organized nations, rather an attack by a terrorist group, or just any non-state group. The ease in which nuclear weapons can be produced is astounding, and it highlights why nuclear non-proliferation should be the ultimate goal of any nation.
The nuclear arsenal of the US is aging, not very well-secured, and dangerous, however this pales in comparison to the risk emanating from Russia and the former Soviet Union. These areas of the world are highly unstable and corrupt, and there is a threat of a government official selling a nuclear warhead to the highest bidder
On top of all of this, President Trump is highly unstable, and will most likely be unwilling to decrease the size of the US nuclear stockpile, and President Putin is unlikely to do that either.
The longer that we retain control of such vast stockpiles, the more likely it is that eventually they will be used in some way. Nuclear weapons are perhaps the largest threat to our societies in this day and age, and their importance must not be ignored. The ease in which terrorists could manufacture or obtain a nuclear weapon is not negligible.
In this time of great instability, it is imperative that the global community commits to nuclear non-proliferation, with the eventual goal of a nuclear-free Earth. The threat of mass death and destruction is too high for a weapon that no state would ever dare use.
Ever since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has retained an active, interventionist hand in the Global Community. We were showed by World War II that our isolationism allowed hatred and intolerance to grow and spread, from Germany to China. We were awaken from that slumber by the slaughter and destruction of a war unlike any other that has ever been fought. Since then, the United States has sought to preserve freedom and democracy around the world, at least on paper.
After WWII, the post-war doctrine of the United States called for more interventionist measures to actively protect American interests, and to supposedly help the people of the world in their fight for liberty. In 1947, President Truman told Congress that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The Truman Doctrine formed the basis for American Foreign Policy, and called for the United States to resist and contain the spread of Communism.
Since then, the United States has involved itself in nearly every country on Earth. The US frequently used the CIA to topple “hostile governments,” like the democratically-elected Syrian Legislature, or the Socialist Prime Minister of Iran Mohammed Mossadegh, or installing an authoritarian dictator in Guatemala. These are just a few examples out of many.
In order to improve on the future, we must look to the past. It is my firm belief that in order to be more successful, the United States must look at the Wilsonian Moral Diplomacy. The United States must not just be an economic power, it must be a force for good. Regardless of the flaws of President Wilson, or how the Wilson Administration applied it, the original idea behind it is something that we must all look towards. What President Wilson sought to do is to strengthen democracy internationally, and to economically hinder the countries that refuse to accept the righteous cause of liberty and democracy.
The United States must not just fight for economic prosperity, we must be ideologically motivated to be a force for good. We must be the nation that empowers developing countries to throw off the shackles of poverty and authoritarianism, not the nation that forces them there.
It is unacceptable that the United States has acted in any way, shape, or form, to overthrow democratically elected leaders and legislatures. The nature of democracy in itself is that the results of a fair election must be accepted regardless of the result as the will of the people. Our priorities must not be to act on behalf of corporations like we did in the Iraq War, rather to act to benefit humanity, not just the ultra-rich.
What the United States must do is rethink our perception by the rest of the world, and our aims as a whole. The rest of the world does not look very favorably upon the United States as of late, mostly because of the militaristic and incorrect policies of our Presidents since Reagan, including to some extent President Obama.
We cannot act like we are the best country in the world anymore, but we can and should act like we have the ability to create good, which we do. It is the responsibility of the world’s oldest democracy to ensure that the world is as free as possible. The United States and its policy has been impacted too much by the corporate lobby, and by the ultra-rich. In order to make this world a better place, we must strengthen international cooperation, democracy, and our public perception.