Building Democracy


Preferred State: Access to democratic decision making processes for 100% of humanity

Problem State: Hundreds of millions of people governed by autocratic dictatorships

Strategy 18: Building and Strengthening Democracy Throughout the World

Even with all the above strategies, there is yet another step needed to insure a peaceful world. We need to reconceptualize the notion of national security. In a world where a fourth or more of the population exists in a state of abject poverty and has no means of influencing either the macro, micro or global economic processes that effect change, much less controlling their destiny other than through violence or self-destruction-no one is safe, including the wealthy and "powerful." In the long term, and in a sustainable and least-cost/most-economical view, the removing of injustice and providing opportunities for all the people of the world will have a lasting impact of increasing the strength, depth and resiliency of peace.

One of the most efficacious ways of setting in motion these processes is through democracy. Democracy has great value in controlling the worst impulses of ethnicity and nationalism.(125) Coupled with a "Bill of Rights" that guarantees basic human freedoms and an independent judicial system, democracy has demonstrated an enormous capacity for furthering non-violent social change.

History also discloses that democratic governments do not go to war against one another.

Strategy 18a: International Democratic Election Fund

An International Democratic Election Fund for financing voter education, registration and multi-party campaigns in countries making the transition to democracy would help insure that the democratic process had a better chance of flourishing. Funds would be directed at grassroots legislative campaigns as well as national elections. With $1.5 billion per year for ten years such a fund would help foster grassroots democracy throughout the world.

Strategy 18b: Global Polling Program

A Global Polling Program, funded at the rate of $490 million per year for ten years, would act to strengthen the linkages of global humanity by making more visible what we, as a global species, think about important global issues. Through regular (four times per year), global polls that ascertain what people from all over the world think and feel about key global issues, the people of the world would "get to know" each other as a global phenomena. "Do you think landmines should be outlawed? Do you think there should be fewer travel restrictions between countries? Should we stop destroying rainforests? Should all the governments in the world get together and eliminate starvation (illiteracy, lack of health care, etc.)? What would you be willing to pay to eliminate starvation in the world? Do you think everyone in the world should have freedom of speech? Should there be freedom of the press? Of religion?" These questions are a mere sample of the type that could and should be asked of the world's people. (A prototype of the Global Polling Program could be started on the Internet. But because there are over two billion people on the planet who have not even made a phone call, much less had access to the Internet, it is imperative that the polls access a truly global representation of humanity through other, more traditional interview-type of polling procedures.) A key feature of the Global Polling Program would be the opportunity for anyone to submit a polling question. As time went on, the people of the world would learn more and more about what we all thought about different issues, thereby giving voice to the will, values and desires of the citizenry of the planet.

Strategy 18c: Global Problem Solving Simulation Tool

A Global Problems Solving Simulation Tool funded at $10 million per year for ten years that would enable everyone from high school students to corporate executives and government leaders to Non-Governmental Organizations and concerned citizens to propose, develop and test strategies for solving real world problems would enable more creativity, intelligence, compassion and problem-solving abilities to be focused on the current problems of the world. The open access to the vital statistics of every country and the world would encourage cooperation and democracy. "Winners" of the problem-solving simulation would be the team or individual that had the most cost-effective and sustainable solution to a particular problem. This Internet-based tool would help people see connections between and among countries, regions, climates, cities, cultures, resources and needs as well as problems and potential solutions. It would include a comprehensive inventory of the world's resources, trends and needs as well as a catalog of field-tested, cost-effective solutions to different problems of the world. All the "moves" of all the global simulations would be stored for review by subsequent players so that even better solutions could be developed-and tested and implemented in the real world. In one sense, the Global Problem Solving Simulation Tool would enable the creative high school student or class to "compete" against real-world leaders in developing ever more effective ways of dealing with the problems of the world. As such it would not only help focus more attention on the world's problems, it would foster a democratic sensibility among the citizens of the world by giving them a tool and a forum for interacting with the global system.(126)

Costs for all three programs would be less than that of one B-2 bomber or 0.025% of annual military expenditures or about .08% of the current $225 billion in subsidies to US industries.

What the World Wants Chart >

Eighteen Strategies...

...for tackling the major problems confronting humanity:

1. Eliminate Starvation and Malnourishment >
2. Provide Health Care & AIDS Control >
3. Provide Shelter >
4. Provide Clean Safe Water >
5. Eliminate Illiteracy >
6. Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Efficiency >
7. Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Renewables >
8. Retire Developing Nations Debt >
9. Stabilize Population >
10. Prevent Soil Erosion >
11. Stop Deforestation >
12. Stop Ozone Depletion >
13. Prevent Acid Rain >
14. Prevent Global Warming >
15. Remove Landmines >
16. Refugee Relief >
17. Eliminating Nuclear Weapons >
18. Build Democracy
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The What the World Wants Project is by Medard Gabel and the research staff of the World Game Institute. The material in this section of Media Hell is quoted directly from that research. Credits, Major References & Footnotes >