Memo to a More Conscious American Leadership from a Fellow Achiever Who Is Gravely Concerned About Our Future
“In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model; you create a new model and make the old one obsolete.”
-R. Buckminster Fuller
“If the world were to be run by visionaries, we’d have heaven on Earth.”
The first draft of this letter was addressed to President Obama shortly after he was inaugurated more than two years ago. The President has clearly violated his promise for “change” and instead led his administration and nation toward ever more darkness. There no longer seems to be any hope to appeal to him to lead us into a future of systemic change necessary for our survival. I’m not addressing this to any other existing politician either, because there aren’t any in high places who seem able to take on the mantle that is now required; they’re all too corrupt or caught up in a dying and dysfunctional system. Yet the appeal itself is still valid and must now be addressed to a new leadership and conscious governance that we so desperately need. This vacancy needs filling and there are openings. In this letter I assume such new leaders will have been elected and empowered to make those systemic changes necessary for our survival. –Brian O’Leary, May 15, 2011
Dear New Leaders,
I congratulate you on your election. As a former astronaut, Eagle Scout, Ivy League professor, frontier scientist, futurist, advisor to presidential candidates, and international author and speaker, I can identify with your feeling of significant motivation and achievement. But in my later years, as I now approach the age of seventy-two, many of those perks of recognition pale before a sense of urgency with which I feel we must approach our task of transforming humanity and our relationship with nature so that we can have an environmentally, socially and morally sustainable future.
I honestly don’t know whether we’ll make it through these times. You’re in the driver’s seat now, and your task is daunting. You will have to stand up to some very powerful interests who will not want to accept some of the decisions that you must make if we are to survive these critical times. I am sure that you understand this most basic conflict of interest in your position. But are you sufficiently aware of what is really happening to us all? Do you truly know the depth of the crisis and the breadth of opportunities before us?
I must admit that during my days of relative fame, I was largely oblivious to the deeper issues and the potential solutions that lie outside the box of conventional thinking. The spotlight itself has a way of distorting our perceptions of reality.
In today’s world there is enormous suffering, ignorance, neglect and corruption. Leaders nowadays prey on this condition. By supporting some of the most criminal actions of wanton genocide and ecocide, the powerful elite have created an atmosphere of mass obedience in a fearful and helpless populace. We are destroying ourselves, each other, and the natural world through the selfishness and greed of the few. As a result, unrest is brewing in response to monumental military, economic and political tyranny.
You must know that true knowledge, wisdom and compassion are threats to the status quo. As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act,” and Isaac Asimov wrote, “When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent.” I believe we now live in precisely such a time, and this situation is particularly poignant for us Americans now paying for the expense of expanding empire while feeling the pinch of economic collapse. You come into office on the wings of conflict between an unaccountable private power that has given the orders and set the policies and a public clamoring for authentic change which so many of us have entrusted you with. You stand in the middle of an enormous gulf of interests, and I am sure that you struggle with this conflict in your deepest heart.
Those of us who take the road less traveled towards a greater truth always have been, and still are, founder-martyrs placed on the altar of change. These true heroes, often unrecognized in their own time, can become objects of adulation by religions or nation-states, which frequently turn into self-aggrandizing dogmatic institutions that have nothing to do with the original intentions and spirit of the founders—who must be rolling in their graves about how their contributions have become so distorted.
For effective leadership of these United States during this critical time, continuity and bipartisanship cannot be nearly as important as returning to the basic principles of integrity, civility and public trust. You’ll need to expose the lies that have been sold to the American people in our recent past if you hope to have any chance of re-establishing trust in government. Sacred myths that have been repeated over and over by the media—such as the official account of what happened during the JFK assassination, and the official story about what happened on 9/11/2001—become enshrined in a fog of false patriotism that forbids open questioning and even rational discourse.
You must know the truth of all this. It’s too obvious for you or any other intelligent and sentient being not to be able to recognize. You must know that we live on an imperiled planet that cannot endure the continued exploitation and neglect of humanity. You must know that we cannot rely on half-measures such as a slow withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, miniscule reductions in the defense budget, insignificant nuclear arms reductions, continuous bank and Wall Street bailouts. It will not serve the needs of the planet to advocate nuclear power, “clean coal,” drilling oil in sensitive ecosystems and carbon cap-and-trading as lasting remedies to climate change. You must know that such minutiae cannot solve these problems. You must know, at some level, about Einstein’s dictum that no problem can be solved at the level at which it was created.
Our species has invaded our home planet with such greedy violence and with so little conscious awareness or acknowledgement of the depth of our dilemma that it is hard to imagine how we can get out of this deadly matrix. But get out we must. It is much too late to fulfill Obama’s mandate to “change,” considering the advisors he immediately surrounded himself with and the destructive policies he proceeded to implement. You must know that these individuals and actions are throwbacks to prior administrations who epitomize an outworn ideological paradigm that cannot work in these times. Obama is only paying back those elite individuals and groups that paved and paid his way towards where he sits now. Have they so threatened him to conform-or-else that he can’t act differently?
For you to succeed, you may have to bite some old-paradigm hands that fed you and helped to get you to where you are now. You will have to feint your way as in a basketball offensive around and through the broken field of defending opponents, who include those who may have supported you financially. You will have to stand up in your courage and “betray” them (from their point of view), while being true to your oath of office to preserve and defend our country and the Constitution.
Are you up to the task? Are you willing to risk life and limb to lead us into creating a viable system of governance? Are you motivated enough to join the ranks of our brothers Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and John F. Kennedy to take bold actions toward a peaceful, just and sustainable future for humankind? Are you willing to evict the money-changers and militarists from our national temple?
At some level, you must be aware that President Obama’s definition of “change” in no way resembles the kind of change any sensible and knowledgeable person not beholden to vested interests would feel is truly necessary for our survival.
New leaders, we’re all in great trouble if you are unwilling or feel unable to address the pleas of the vast majority of the people of our nation and of the world. They cry out for peace, sustainability and justice. You must also address the fact that nature, too, has rights. Reforming the voracious appetites of the moneyed interests and of the military-industrial complex will not be enough. Look all around you at the degraded environment, at the suffering of the peoples of the world longing for food in their mouths and for the kind of leadership that could relieve their pain and give us all a reasonable chance to move forward.
The crisis of America is first and foremost a moral crisis, but we also are confronted with a physical situation that demands physical solutions if we are to have even the possibility of peace, sustainability and justice. We must immediately stop the wars, the torture, the criminal corruption and lies, the theft of the commonwealth, the surveillance of the innocent, the polluting of the planet, and the suppressions of true innovation. You must courageously lead us into a state of truth and reconciliation. Mr. Obama continues to say that authentic change is what he intends to create, but that isn’t what he’s doing. Like virtually all his predecessors, he has fallen prey to the life-destroying oligarchies of corporate power.
You cannot repeat the atrocities committed by Mr. Obama and his associates in the name of “change.”
I suggest to you that we need to define what is meant by change. The change Mr. Obama has so often promoted is what we might call incremental change. These are the small rhetorical feel-good kinds of changes that separate Democrats from Republicans, the liberals from the conservatives, the Tweedledees from the Tweedledums, all inhabiting a narrow spectrum of ineffective “centrism” and holding on to power for dear life as Rome burns. These are the kinds of changes that got Mr. Obama elected as he navigated through the narrow passage between special interests and the appearance of a public interest.
In contrast to Obama’s superficial change, we need to also consider progressive structural change, such as eliminating electoral fraud, serving justice upon past criminality in high places, re-regulating Wall Street, restoring the Constitution and the rule of law, re-establishing the “real economy” based on productivity rather than gambling away and squandering the public treasury, controlling the excesses of the Pentagon and an imperial aggressive foreign policy, restoring to Congress the power to print money and declare and fund wars, and allocating more resources to health, the environment, education and infrastructure.
Many progressives are desperate to restore this kind of common sense at the structural level and to create another New Deal for the economic crisis. The liberals would be grateful if that were to happen, just to get us out of the deep hole we now find ourselves in. They would be satisfied to go back to the Clinton and Roosevelt years, to regain just a bit more common sense in a world-gone-mad. Even some degree of neoliberalism, or economic globalization (i.e., exploitation and biocide by other means), might seem mildly OK, in this view. Yet we know these measures are not OK legally or morally; they are only the actions of economic imperialism.
In today’s world, it is obvious that even structural changes, in and of themselves, will produce too little too late, and may even be counterproductive in the long run as we become lulled into a false sense of security and buy a little more time before the inevitable collapse. Whereas incremental changes address mild corrections that really don’t amount to much, structural changes look at how the current system can be modified to bring things back to where they were in somewhat better times. These approaches only serve to provide a frame of reference to launch authentic change. What we must have is a systemic change to an entirely new paradigm of governance in the public interest that truly addresses the challenges of our times at the level they need to be met.
Structural changes cannot truly answer grievous violations of the public trust, nor can they resolve today’s deepest issues. Only systemic change can do that. Whereas structural change can relieve the stress of a crisis in the short term, it cannot survive the test of time. Structural change can restore some sort of sanity to our systems; it cannot address the inherent problems with the systems themselves. We must now challenge the precepts upon which our political, economic and military systems are based. We must deeply question the “isms” upon which we depend—such as militarism, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, centrism, monetary socialism, unrestrained capitalism, economic globalism, and Zionism. These various “isms” have dominated the modern world for decades and have shown themselves to be not only incapable of solving global problems, but morally bankrupt as well. We need the dawning of a new era—a new set of systems must be put into place in the near future if we are to survive. Can you in your heart agree with what I suggest here? Or, like Mr. Obama, do you deny the gravity of these problems from your high and removed perch? Like Mr. Obama, will you rely on misinformed and outdated advice from entrenched corporate hacks? For you to advocate and map out systemic change, you will need all the help you can get from other quarters.
What would positive systemic change look like? In general, it would require the following initiatives, in all of which you would need to take the lead:
1. Restore the letter and spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. This is the most major structural change, which we should do immediately.
2. Fearlessly initiate a program of truth and reconciliation, overseen by a jury of citizens without vested interests in the current system. Truth-telling about national crimes cannot any longer be dismissed as conspiracy theory. The greatest conspirators are now holding all the political and economic cards, and their crimes must be exposed, whether it be electoral fraud, excessive private campaign financing, illegal surveillance, torture, illegal wars, false flag operations, pollution or the embezzlement of the public treasury. All these things, and many more, will need to come to the light of public scrutiny. The process of reconciliation seeks to return us to the rule of law and to serve justice upon those who have violated it, with fairness and compassion for all.
3. Dissolve or stop funding those influential institutions with agendas that are blocking change toward global peace, justice and sustainability. Start over. Replace the leaders of most of our public institutions and build new ones from the ground up. Stop funding those private institutions that dip into the public treasury in ways that are clearly immoral and unproductive. It will require courage to dissolve elements of the current federal bureaucracy as it is (DoD, CIA, NSA, the current treasury, the FBI, Department of Justice (sic), Department of Energy, etc.). Expose nefarious elements within international institutions such as the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, the Federal Reserve and other central banks, big oil, big pharma, big agriculture, weapons manufacturers, and other groups representing elite moneyed interests. The current priorities of the U.S. federal government and of globalist New World Order organizations directly fly in the face of what we must do to survive the crisis of civilization. We need a clean-up like we’ve never seen before, and some heads must roll. So be it. The world can only be thankful for getting out from under this oppression.
4. Start over the entire systems of federal and global governance. Yes, we can still have a Constitutional executive, legislative and judicial system. We can still have a (much smaller) military, a justice department, an energy department, a treasury, publicly funded health care, environmental protection, quality education, infrastructure and all the rest. Yes, we can formulate a transition strategy to convert institutions and manpower toward the public interest, free of vested powers. Yes, we can convert our massive military, dirty energy and aerospace capabilities toward innovation in energy, the environment, food, water, health, education and infrastructure. Yes, we can create an Earth corps to clean up the environment instead of having an aggressive Army, Navy and Air Force. We can do all this without workers losing their jobs. Yes, we can begin to wage peace on the rest of the world through diplomacy and compassion. The world awaits a restoration of good will coming from our “rogue nation,” which has outlived its usefulness as long as it has been a warmongering and fear-mongering empire.
5. Form a global green democracy whose agenda would be almost diametrically opposed to the New World Order agenda. Representatives of all nations must come together to formulate a system that would ensure peace, sustainability and justice for all peoples, while encouraging local rule wherever possible. In no case should special interests, money or secrecy determine the agendas of these governments. At the root of this should be the principles of life, liberty, equality, justice, peace and sustainability.
6. Fearlessly foster (hitherto suppressed) innovation, such as free energy. We must go beyond the rhetoric of ineffective energy policies that would only slightly mitigate the effects of global climate change and pollution. We need to think outside the box and quickly develop energy sources that are truly cheap, clean, safe and decentralized, such as vacuum energy, cold fusion and advanced hydrogen technologies. Existing technologies such as solar, wind or biofuels are simply not up to the task of solving the energy crisis. We need to recognize that existing public or private institutions that have a vested interest in energy production will not want to support a radically new approach, especially if it threatens their profits. It will be necessary to dissolve institutions that are vested in old technologies and start new ones that can support rather than suppress the deeper truths and opportunities of our times. The unsung heroes of innovation will need all the help they can get to team together in an Apollo program for new energy development, frontier science and consciousness. Such research and development projects will form an essential cornerstone for a whole new way of life on our planet that can preserve the environment and restore the best values of our civilization.
You must know we all are entering the gravest crisis the world has ever experienced and that the situation can be addressed only by implementing the kinds of systemic changes listed above. Many of us are willing to support these efforts in teamwork with you, but it is essential that you begin to pursue these changes briskly. Otherwise, the degree of unrest, fear and repression will be too great to allow us to act without further violence, totalitarian control and ecological and economic collapse. We don’t want that kind of world. We want to have room in which to innovate our way from the very systems that have become so decadent, so destructive, and so tyrannical.
Is this an impossible task? Not if we act radically, decisively and quickly. We have no choice but to act. Crisis breeds opportunity. It is time to restore the ideals upon which our nation was founded. We have grievously lost our way from the practice of those principles. We are also rapidly losing a natural environment that can continue to nurture us on this fragile spaceship we call Earth.
I appeal to your intelligence, wisdom and compassion to facilitate a dialogue that will allow us to create new systems that can foster the kind of future we really want for ourselves, our children and their children. I in no way mean this critique to be personal or disrespectful. I wish only to help build a fire under all of us to begin the journey toward an exciting and positive new paradigm. Thank you.
Brian O’Leary, Ph.D.,