In following the daily news events both in the United States and around the rest of the world, it is easy to get lost in the detail and not step back once and awhile and remind ourselves what the really important issues are. Under the anxiety of a possible nuclear war in Korea, actual terrorist attacks in the Middle East and by seemingly “lone wolves” in other countries, threats of trade wars, and polarizing trends in politics in many places, the real underlying issue is and remains, how should people live together?
Clearly people are not living as harmoniously, peacefully and prosperously as they could, and many of us believe they should. The question is, why? The sophisticates will say that life, politics, and local and global society are complex. It is just the way it is, and we have to just “muddle through” on a daily basis as best we can. The dreamers of various sorts will point to racism, class conflict, gender wars, the one true religion, or the transcendent ideological purpose. If only their brand of salvation was established all the problems of the world would go away.
All of these conceptions of the solutions to our problems share one thing in common. They invariably involve someone in society imposing their vision and will on the rest of mankind. This is fairly obvious when we turn to the religious or ideological fanatic. Make the world follow my faith or my political utopia or my ideal of a “socially just” society, and then peace and happiness will reign with an end to all the strife dividing humanity.
Element of Coercion in Proposals to Make a Better World
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