After Nice, it’s not just assault weapons we ought to ban, but trucks.
It’s tempting to declare it official: the world’s going to hell in a handbasket. I doubt that would hold up statistically—see Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” But it sure seems like it.
Seems like every morning there’s a new story about terrorists or other disgruntled people acting out, some with more legit gripes than others, with a gun. Or a truck.
The world’s in terrible shape, we all seem to agree on that anyway. What we need is a summit, not just on climate change (lot of good those have done) but on the broader topic of healing this troubled world.
70 years or so ago, right after the Second World War the UN was founded with something of that sort of idealism to prevent more world wars by getting everybody together at the same table. Trouble is that in inviting just nations it left out most of the concerned parties. What if instead of just governments, we were to invite to the table constituencies such as the poor, the hungry, the fearful. The “wretched of the earth.” The “what have we got to lose” crowd. Instead of limiting it to nations with armies able to fight “legitimate” wars, include those who, lacking other means, resort to terrorism.
How about a summit, in other words, that includes the losers (that is, the great majority of fellow humans).
But of course the winners would need to be there as well, the corporate movers and shakers who would ordinarily be just as happy to avoid the high profile. Those whose work it is to organize the world for the purpose of accumulating wealth?
Once gathered around the table, what would these strange bedfellows have to say to each other about how to heal the world?