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Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.
The remaining thirteen items were equally optimistic and, some would say, utopian. While this initiative was eagerly accepted by the Central Empires...the group that represented the "enemy" whose major players were Germany and Austria...the Entente Powers...led by England and France...sabotaged it fatally at the Treaty of Versailles, imposing nearly impossible burdens upon the governments and economies of the defeated Central Powers. This betrayal of Wilson and, implicitly, the U.S. is widely "credited" for leading directly to Nazism in Germany, Fascism in Italy and World War II.
A quick re-reading of Wilson's speech reveals that many of his ideas have subsequently been carried out, but the first, the notion of carrying out international diplomacy entirely in the open has failed miserably. Too much too soon? Very probably. But, history marches on.
During the sixties in the U.S., a more modern version of this plan was revived, called the "Open Conspiracy" which was led by various subgroups of what was then called the "counterculture." We had decided that it was possible, at long last, to carry out Wilson's dream, to "negotiate" all political change honestly and openly. Our vehicles were the various protest movements of that time. But, alas, once again it proved to be too much too soon. To put it simply, the "Closed Conspiracy" advocates...which then, as now, consisted almost entirely of the Establishment and its supporters, KICKED OUR ASS.
Or did they? The civil rights movement recorded a seminal victory in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has changed the face of race relations. The feminist faction recorded less visible but equally far reaching successes. The VietNam "conflict" was finally ended...albeit only after a few more tens of thousands of people died needlessly...which resulted in...depending on your point of view...the first defeat of the mighty U.S. armed forces, or the first victory for the antiwar movement.
Still, "Make Love not War" was derailed by AIDS. The disgusting and perverted "War on Drugs" still awaits its well deserved reversal. Gay rights are just now entering the public consciousness and truth...well, truth is still a hard commodity to find among our leaders in Washington.
The Internet, on the other hand, has ushered in a new tool for those of us who prefer honesty to duplicity...almost everyone...to use against the "axis of evil"...meaning almost ALL existing governments. The use of "blogs" to quickly...and painfully for the liars...reveal duplicity and corruption has moved into the main stream. History books, like the magnificent "A People's History of the United States," which states U.S. history from the point of view of those who were defeated rather than the more typical wondrous tales of glory of the victors, has become a best seller and worth everyone's time to read.
So, is it finally time for the "Open Conspiracy" to take off? We admitted to having been dead wrong on our first "prediction" of success, the essay The Open Conspiracy written in the year 2000 regarding some predictions we made to our youngest son in 1990. In 2004, we once again predicted that the time was ripe with the column The Open Conspiracy Revisited. Obviously, we are sticking with that one.
Our advocacy of worldwide democratic revolution remains firm. We believe that this series of essays, beginning with Revolution at the end of January this year, will provide...among many other trends...a sound basis for moving ahead. That we can do this without openly confronting our own government, without "negotiating" with the powers that be, by going directly and openly to the people of the world is, to us, a sure sign that the time is indeed ripe. What do you think?
Talk to you later...
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