Sunday, March 4, 2012

The End of National Allegiances

On Deception Watch describes the convergence of global issues that necessitates the creation of a new world governing paradigm. The current model, active since the dawn of recorded history, territorial, patriarchal, and tribal, is no longer up to the task of fulfilling the social contract whereby the people governed acquiesce to be governed in return for protection from alien intrusion, unlawful or anarchistic threats to local and personal security, and a modicum of assurance to at least marginal food and shelter. That contract, in the age of global communication, immediate access to almost the entire fund of human knowledge, and the rapid globalization of what once were merely local crises and opportunities, is proving less and less relevant. Loyalties are becoming less and less directed to traditional political symbols and institutions. Allegiances and self-interest are moving rapidly towards economic power centers and away from political power centers.

Accountability in this age of the global super corporation has become more and more invisible, more and more opaque. Power is no longer derived from the people, willingly or unwillingly. Power is more and more becoming centered around economic algorithms and those who manage the application of those algorithms. Markets are global. The algorithms are global and national governments are becoming simply one of the many variables to be manipulated, measured, and rewarded or punished.

It is the new world of the illusion of government while the real power works behind the scenes rewarding with the opiate of the means to political power or punishing with the withdrawal of those means, closely followed by a swift spiral into public oblivion.

Nothing is as it seems, which has always been true. News media are businesses and businesses have an agenda that supports that business and so the news supports the agenda that supports the business. Government purveyors of information are part of a business, the business of preserving access to the prerogatives of government. They have an agenda to support the government that provides the prerogatives. And all sources of information and opinion have one thing in common: the will to deceive. The world is complicated and the lure of deception is partly traditional (how do you tell if a politician is lying...?) and partly the result of the need to deceive because the truth is too complicated.

This and the near future (thirty to fifty years) is an age of transition. The tangling alliances of global economics have only two paths to take. The alliances evolve into a world governed by protocols that manage self-interest by nourishing a unique global unity, a world of "all us and no them", a world of coerced inclusion or they evolve into uncontrolled chaos. So the only sustainable path (not to mention the only profitable path) for the alliances is to accept the new allegiance to a global economic structure, its governing algorithms, its economically incentivized system of rewards and punishments, and constitutions (real and alleged) replaced by a mission statement and a business plan.

On Deception Watch proposes how this new world order comes to be. The sequel, a work currently in progress, will bring the reader to a closer examination of this transition stage, the beginning of which we see all around us, from The People's Republic of China being the creditor of last resort to the melting of the Arctic Ocean in the summer. The global imperative is all around us and is the focus of the second in the series of World Federation novels.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What happened to KMS Fusion and why? How the story begins...

On Deception Watch


     This is a work of fiction. The science described here is accurate and either already demonstrated or is considered by experts to be plausible. The characters are mostly fictional. However, the character, Arthur J. Cranshaw, is modeled after the late Keeve M. ("Kip") Siegel, a professor of Physics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and successful entrepreneur. He was the founder of KMS Fusion, the first and only private sector company to achieve controlled thermonuclear fusion using laser implosion technology. In 1974, to the embarrassment of federal government laboratories, on May 1, May 3, and again on May 9, KMS Fusion achieved the world’s only successful laser-induced nuclear fusion ignition. The fictitious company, AJC Fusion, is modeled after KMS Fusion.
     Professor Siegel died on March 14, 1975 under mysterious circumstances while testifying before the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy. He was testifying about government obstruction of his company’s (successful) research efforts. With his death the property rights of KMS Fusion were essentially looted by the federal government and its race to achieving controlled nuclear fusion was fatally crippled. No laboratory has yet achieved what KMS Fusion achieved in 1974.
    The rest of the story is the plausible prediction of how The World Federation might come to be.                    

Friday, December 24, 2010

Laser-fusion energy, justice, and a plausible new governing paradigm for a New World Order

Do the ends justify the means? It is a disturbing question that challenges our collective ethic and understanding of right and wrong. That my story, On Deception Watch, seems to answer this question in the affirmative disturbs many readers. Conditioned and formulaic story lines lead readers to anticipate an ending where everyone "gets what they deserve." I knew On Deception Watch, because of its break with the traditional formula, would rattle many readers’ sense of justice. Be clear. The book presents not a preferred scenario, but rather a plausible scenario.

My understanding of history tells me that justice rarely plays out on the big stage of international interests as it more acceptably does on the smaller stage of local interests. What would be deemed criminal locally, on the grand scale is more often than not justified as necessary at best, expedient at worst.

Acts of brutality and degradation occur regularly (and often to no more apparent end than to terrify) but because they are state sponsored in one more or less contrived way or another few people, if any, are "brought to justice" as we commonly understand the meaning of the expression. To me it is fascinating how justice is finely tuned to scale. The Polish/American poet, Czeslaw Milosz, and the Israeli poet, Yehuda Amichai,  both lived and wrote about the difference between a few and a million killed. They understood how the size of the number inversely affects our ability to engage emotionally with the act and even with our sense of justice..

For example, to the military mind a few thousand people (they need not even be soldiers but "collateral damage") killed in order to achieve an important objective may not be too high a price. The element of ethics rarely enters into military calculations other than what is required of them by the rules of war. However, in a serious matter, where the outcome is really, really important, the phrase "rules of war," as we have witnessed so many times, becomes an oxymoron.

In the twentieth century there were a hundred million war-related deaths. This is more, even as a percentage of the whole population of Earth, than at any other time in the history of humanity. Civilization slipped a gear on its quest for perfection.

The fact that in my novel, General Slaider succeeds, despite his methods, in his plan to leverage laser-fusion energy into a New World Order is just a fortune of war. However, his actions and the plan that he promotes to replace an ineffectual United Nations with a kind of super corporation, "The World Federation Holding Company," raise questions about what we mean by "the legitimate government" and what we mean by "good governance." International practice is to confer legitimacy on whomever picks up the phone when the UN calls. How they got to the phone and whom they killed to get there are more or less irrelevant by long tradition and continuing practice. Similarly, General Slaider and his followers enact on a large scale what we would find utterly criminal and intolerable on a local scale. 

On Deception Watch attempts to present a plausible new way of conferring legitimacy to those who govern by using economic grading algorithms instead of possession of the instruments of force and coercion. These algorithms can be designed to promote policies that protect economic stability and the attendant economic opportunities and to punish by a global and inescapable economic "shunning" including, most significantly, refusing a fusion energy franchise to the offending government.

Innumerable reports prepared by the UN invariably and primarily blame bad governance for the failure to move forward on almost every issue of significance to human well-being. The powerful, the corrupt, and the murderous loot the countries they control bringing economic ruin in their wake. Serious business interests are now largely global and highly interconnected. Global economic interests are so intertwined that current international political protocols are losing their ability to control events because of the blurring of the "boundaries of economic interests." Political boundaries are becoming less and less relevant in the global economy.

History teaches us that "doing the right thing by our people" is not a powerful motivator to change the ways of local tyrants like Robert Mugabe. Nor in The People's Republic of China has the similarly vague concept of the “mandate of heaven” proven itself an effective guide to legitimacy. Likewise, military occupation is demonstrably not a viable option for correcting the ways of tyrants because indefinite occupation challenges the local culture, arouses jingoistic nationalism, and where there is determined resistance, it is economically unsustainable.

Another pressure, a new power paradigm, is required to secure good governance. In my novel that method is denial of energy, which by about 25 years from now will become a credible threat as the reserves of fossil fuels quickly plunge down the production curve. In that period of accelerating energy depletion, within the lifetime of many of the readers of On Deception Watch, denial of fusion energy technology and related materials and the threat of subsequent economic collapse become the attention-getters that awaken self-interest in a way that warfare no longer can achieve. The demise of the Soviet Union almost overnight demonstrated the comprehensive national consequences of economic collapse in the most vivid terms imaginable in living memory.

So, On Deception Watch is complex and not meant to end with the cleaning up of the stage, the Shakespearean denouement. Parts are left undone; people get away with bad things; rules are broken because they can be by people with the power to do so; good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. In fact, the meaning of “good” and “bad” lose their objectivity and if we are lucky, when the dust settles, sometimes it all turns out for the better. And who better to take the risks of world stage confrontation than the commander of the most powerful military machine on Earth? And how closely General Morgan Slaider resembles George Washington, who rejected a crown when the job was done, having done what it took to do the job!

My novel, On Deception Watch, (the first in a series as I am now working on the first sequel) is about revolution, with its own set of rules, not evolution. The whole thing happens in little more than a year. The next stop is the moon, and ultimately Mars. But you'll have to read the continuing saga to find out about that.