Post 9/11: Truth or Continued Consequences?
What did 9-11, Covid19, the Covid variants, the end of our 20-year war in Afghanistan, recent extreme weather events globally, and a decline in democracy in many nations all have in common? First, they were all predictable, predicted, and preventable. Second, more costly blood and treasure consequences are yet to come – unless we understand the root cause and urgently act on it.
By “The Other” Chuck Woolery
Everyone who was conscious on September 11, 2001, recalls the events of that day. But understanding both the origins and the results of 9/11 is far more important than any acts of remembrance that we might perform. If we truly care to honor those who died and suffered on that unforgettable day, we must use our powers of understanding to develop sustainable strategies for preventing the next terrorizing event that might occur. Understanding must matter more than body counts.
The Post’s lead editorial of 9/11 cites Abraham Lincoln’s statement that, when combating danger “the best defense (against the dangers of his time) …lay in cultivating robust ‘reverence for the Constitution and laws,’ ” as well as his hopes that doing so “would inspire and sustain the people’s commitment to liberty and equality.”
In his writings, Lincoln also described the Declaration of Independence as “our apple of gold” and the Constitution as its “frame of silver.” To my mind, these analogies reflect our foundational goal of equality for all people, as invoked in the Declaration. But our “rule of law, as detailed in the Constitution ignores both the concept of justice and humanities inalienable rights. The Constitution’s reliance on the proposition of independence — a deeply flawed concept rooted deeply in our minds has not delivered justice or consistently protected human rights since its creation. From the start it was engineered into every level of our nation’s government.
Many Americans today proclaim their allegiance to individual liberty at the freedom to infect others in their communities. For a significant portion US citizens “independence” has come to denote the license to act irresponsibly without regard for the medical, environmental, or economic consequences their actions on others (rejecting masks, refusing vaccinations, or denying climate change).
This prevalent fusion of “freedom” with “self-gratification” has long consequences for rest of the world too. For many decades our foreign and military policies have disparaged other cultures as unworthy of the respect and privilege that we ourselves take for granted; we’ve dismissed foreign casualties as “collateral damage”, communist or terrorist sympathizers, or humans irrelevant to our nation’s interests.
My studies as a biologist and student of the natural world have made the fundamental flaws in our Constitution to be “self-evident”. They consistently ignore the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” expressed in the first paragraph of our “Apple of Gold” the Declaration of Independence. Interdependence is at the heart of nature’s laws. Chief Seattle (1780-1866), the head of the Duwamish and Suquamish nations, saw this clearly: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Yet most of us ignore our irreversible global interdependence environmentally, economically, militarily, and health wise. Without being responsible with our freedoms abroad we cannot expect to sustainably preserve our freedom, security, or prosperity here.
Until we grasp the wisdom and survival value of putting the global protection of human rights and the environment above the protection of national sovereignty and corporate power, our vulnerability to the kind of dangers inflicted on 9/11 will grow. Sustaining what quality of life that remains and improving it for ourselves and our children we must abandon the illusion of independence.
Our interdependence within this nation and on this planet is accelerating and irreversible. Nearly every troubling trend we are experiencing today is a symptom of our delusion of separation. There is a medical term for this mental condition – anosognosia. It is when someone is unaware of their own mental health condition. In a world with the accelerating evolution of weapons, pathogens, failing democracies, and civil strife It’s time for a wake-up call.
Our human-created construct of independence is responsible for our persistent failure to understand and respond effectively to nearly every danger we face (pandemics, pollution, terrorism, cyber security, economic stability, drug trade, refugee flows, food insecurity, extreme weather events…), each with lethal and unfavorable consequences for all — both here and abroad.
We can no longer simply react when disaster strikes. We can no longer build back to what we had before. It’s imperative now that we build forward in ways that prevent dangers and conserve limited resources. It is our only means of maximizing any sustainable prospects of freedom, security, and prosperity for ourselves and our posterity. Most nations have agreed to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030. It is the only comprehensive set of solutions we have, and humanity is not on track to meet them. Time is not on our side…and e may not get another chance.
The truth of our interdependence can set us free. Ignoring it will only have more unfavorable consequences.
“Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half of the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.” -Albert Einstein. As quoted in Quantum Reality, Beyond the New Physics, p. 250.