Golden Rule should be the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy

A belief in American exceptionalism and a right to exercise dominion and control over the natural and human resources of the planet has produced a catastrophic foreign policy that is destroying the planet. Hillary Clinton, like her mentor and friend Henry Kissinger, is a true believer. Just like him, she believes it’s OK to lie to get what she wants. For example, from an OpEd in Salon by Patrick L. Smith, here is a recent example of her lying to get her way regarding a free trade agreement with Colombia when she was Secretary of State.

“I will do everything I can to urge the Congress to reject the Colombia agreement,” Clinton promised a gathering of communications workers at the time. In the releases of Clinton’s emails last year, we learned that she was simultaneously lobbying hard among members of Congress to get the pact passed—assuring them, among other things, that the rights of Colombian workers would equal or exceed those of U.S. workers.

[Dan] Kaufman [a labor writer in Wisconsin] concludes this pithy passage thus: “According to Escuela National Sindical, a Colombian labor rights group, 105 union activists have been assassinated since the agreement passed.” This is more than 20 a year on average, which computes to nearly a couple of murders a month.

This duplicity happened two years after she supported a 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya by officially recognizing the military as the legitimate government of Honduras. Since then, Honduras has been awash in blood. Berta Caceres y Flores, an environmental activist was murdered earlier this month by a military death squad. Anyone who is suspected of attempting to organize labor unions or, as Caceres did, resist the construction of an environmentally destructive hydroelectric dam, is marked for murder. Small wonder then that thousands of refugees from Honduras are seeking asylum at the Mexican border. Read more about Berta Caceres.

We need to stop the insanity.Destabilizing any foreign government (e.g., Libya: “We came, we saw, he’s dead,” said Hillary referring to Khadafi) to gain control of natural and human resources should be punishable as a war crime.

This is not complicated. The guiding principle of our foreign relations should be the Golden Rule. We should treat other nations the same way we want them to treat us and we should avoid doing things to other nations that we would not want them to do to us.

We also need to confront our past with public hearings conducted by a Truth & Reconciliation Council.

This simple truth has been staring us in the face since our beginnings in Africa approximately 200,000 years ago. We survived the ice ages not because of survival of the fittest, but because we relied on each other. Because of global climate change that we have caused, we are facing another Malthusian bottleneck. We are going to have to ourselves in the other and rely again on each other to survive it.

Predatory capitalism and wars have no role in the future we need to begin envisioning today on the Vernal Equinox — March 20, 2016.

So it shall be written; So it shall be done.

8 Responses to Golden Rule should be the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy

  1. gblock says:

    “We survived the ice ages not because of survival of the fittest, but because we relied on each other.”

    I know this is a nitpick, but this sentence is based on a misunderstanding of the concept of survival of the fittest. Where cooperation and working together provides a crucial advantage in improving the likelihood of survival, those who are best at cooperation and working together ARE the fittest.

    • I believe evolution is more easily understood as a function of the ability to adapt to a changing environment. I have two main reasons for preferring adaptation to fitness.

      1) Fitness by itself is a vague concept, unless it relates to something else. For example, there’s physical fitness, mental fitness, moral fitness, etc. In products liability cases, we use a concept called ‘fitness for a particular purpose’ when deciding whether to impose liability on a manufacturer for an injury sustained by a person who uses its product. Because of potential side effects, the FDA requires pharmaceutical companies to warn against using a drug to treat unintended medical conditions. Hence, the product insert. Meanwhile, our cultural fetish with youthful appearance often leads to an obsession with physical fitness. That led to reality TV shows like Survivor. Today, therefore, most people understand fitness as a way of describing an individual rather than the species to which the individual belongs. To avoid confusion about the meaning of species evolution, I think we should explain it as a function of adaptation.

      2) I also want to kill off social darwinism which has been used to justify white supremacy, virulent antisemitism, national socialism (Hitler and the Nazis), and American exceptionalism. In recent times twisted, disturbed and confused people like Ayn Rand and her acolytes, including uber capitalists, Libertarians and Republicans, who have converted survival of the fittest into an evolutionary justification for via free markets and neoliberal economics. The poor deserve to be poor and the rich deserve to be rich because, well, because they are rich. It’s their manifest destiny because they have persevered and survived through the crucible of the free market to reach the pinnacle. Capitalism as religion is a perversion.

      I want to put our focus on the group instead of the rugged individualist who triumphs over evil by being more evil. Empathy, love and cooperation works and that’s why we shall overcome.

  2. jillmirran says:

    Why would the powerful relinquish their power? There is of course no democracy, nor ever has been to serve justice from the mechanics of empire. We all live in occupied territory that is being exploited, with all life forms, to extinction. Whatever the Golden Rule is, it will never apply.

    • When our survival is at stake, the rich will either share their wealth with us or we will take it from them. The Malthusian bottleneck or major extinction event, caused by human-induced (i.e., uncontrolled unregulated predatory capitalism) catastrophic climate change, will drive the change.

  3. bettykath says:

    The Golden Rule is for the masses. It helps to keep them in line and prevents them from doing to those in power what those in power don’t hesitate to do to others.

    What better way to advance the empire than to create chaos everywhere else? The Romans did it by selecting “local” people to serve as emperors while serving their empire. Our emperors are doing the same thing, assuming that this empire will outlast them. Never mind that while they live in extravagance that so many others are living in poverty and in fear for their lives.

    Some countries, called allies, escape some of the brutality. Some do not. Consider the chaos now in Europe as the economic hit men (Greece) and the refugees from other illegal, undeclared wars move in (Germany, et at). Iceland escaped the economic hit men by doing what every other country should have done by prosecuting bankers that made the decisions to commit fraud, and by shutting down some of the banks. The PROMISE software that has been around for several years gives great power over nearly every country in the world.

    • Malisha says:

      Yes, we are Rome. And of course, Rome always falls. The Ides of March, the Kalends, the Nones — time is just time and when it comes, Rome falls.

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