Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist
Note: “Thank you” to everyone who took time to read and comment on the fourteen recent Supposin’ postings. I was encouraged by your responses to the positive approach of looking into the future. Just maybe, some of the material will make it to the final book edit and not just end up on the floor of the editing room. Our readership on the different digital sites continues to grow. This is a great time in history to be alive! JWJ
While we were in the midst of learning about Cultural Economics, I took the prerogative to amble on a bird walk through the subjects of scarcity, choice, and cost. Based on my years of observation, my hunch has been that by making the predisposition of scarcity and shortage our lodestar of life we end up with an attitudinal blood type of B Negative.
On our little walk, I was eager for us to discover that the birds of hope are everywhere, and we desperately need to listen to them sing. That goes equally for the new generation coming on as for the passing generation headed out. I agree with Mark Twain when he said, “There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.” On the other hand, there is nothing so refreshing and stabilizing as a maturing generation of optimists.
I admit, while I was writing about all the hope and excitement resulting from the exponential growth of knowledge and information and the astounding miracles of new technology, I did receive some comments accompanied by raised eyebrows: “Don’t you see the mess our country is in?”
I am reminded of what Walt Disney used to say while he was attempting to build his dream of Disneyland: “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” The simple answer is, “Yes, I understand that the world of ours is in a mess and that civility is very fragile.” Of my own volition I chose to spend time in over 150 countries of the world. I chose not to travel as a tourist, but travel to the political and cultural hotspots staying in villages, and so many times in personal homes in Africa, India, the old Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, China, northern Pakistan, and the rest.
I tried to closely observe the personal and tribal customs, the local conflicts, the historic traditions, the economic practices, and to ask lots of questions of not only the government leaders, but also of the common people. Many of them became my personal friends who would confide in me when I pushed for hard answers.
I spent a lot of time in Russia and the old Soviet Federation as it was unraveling militarily, politically, economically, and culturally. I was there when the citizens of Ukraine stormed the poorly guarded armories and took weapons for themselves for their own protection. I also was made aware that really no one was successfully overseeing the watch care of the Soviet strategic weapons or military institutions of defense.
I learned that practically any military items could be purchased with the correct amount of currency and the right contact. I have also discovered that no one knows where all those rockets, bombs, missiles, and warheads have ended up.
I am not naïve regarding the possibility of losing all the exponential knowledge and information we have so marvelously stored on our incomparable computer systems and in the clouds. Nor am I blind to the fact that within the next thirty seconds we all could be jolted back into the dark ages without access to electrical grid systems, food delivery systems, information systems, communication systems, healthcare, transportation, or government services. None has a free hall pass or an exemption certificate tucked away anywhere for this one.
The U.S. Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, and several additional governmental entities have established that a direct nuclear attack on the U.S. is not necessary to wreak untold havoc on our entire population. All that is necessary is to detonate one nuclear warhead high above any part of our country. It would not be mandatory to even aim it in our direction . . . just straight up.
As the warhead detonates, the powerful electromagnetic pulse would generate the gigantic catastrophe. The nuclear warhead would not necessarily have to kill anyone immediately, because it would not need to explode on the earth’s surface. The concept behind the plan reminds me of what I heard the Marxist groups in Africa explain as the refugees were being herded to the refugee camps: “you don’t need to kill them all, simply force the fish to the lake and then drain the lake.”
An Electromagnetic Pulse attack would simply render as useless anything that used an electronic circuit or chip. Everything from a simple car part, to a pacemaker for your heart, to the complicated infrastructure running world banking and financing systems, to all the necessities that it takes to serve 300 million Americans, would likely be knocked out.
Our nation’s extreme vulnerability in this area makes the U.S. a very tempting target for this kind of attack. It would only take a small terrorist group or rogue nation to successfully carry out such an attack. It is estimated that it would take fewer people to carry out such an endeavor than it did for the hellish 9-11 mission. An innocent ship at sea carrying a forty-foot cargo container on the top deck would peel back a false top and become a one-time launch pad to send a small ICBM missile up with a stolen warhead to detonate somewhere between only thirty to three hundred miles above the earth. If the plan was to put the whole world back into the dark ages, it would take only four such innocent-looking ships strategically located at sea.
Mr. R. James Woolsey, former director of CIA is the chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Peter Vincent Pry is the executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and served on the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse commission. These men are so concerned about the devastating possibilities of such an attack that they finally went public with their concern in an article in Wall Street Journal in May, 2013. (1) (Recommended reading: One Second After, by William R. Forstchen, Ph.D., specializing in military history and history of technology)
The time that it would take to recover from a nuclear EMP attack has generally been estimated to be at least three years if the trauma were large enough to destroy large power grid transformers. Other estimates use twelve years for recovery time. With no money system intact, there would be a time of great economic failure. Whether this time of economic hardship is of short or long duration will depend upon the reaction of the people after the event. If the recovery period were long, civilization in the United States could reach a tipping point where recovery would become difficult or impossible.
In my opinion, the reason this destructive contrivance has not been utilized before now has to do with the character of our enemies. Those who would seek the demise of America want to not only capture the golden eggs of its wealthy civilization, but also inherit unscathed the goose that continually lays the golden eggs. If they are not careful, their greed could completely obliterate the goose in the process. And they know nothing as to how to create or restore the magic goose. They would rather wait and take it over from the inside and inherit the wealth-generating goose in good health.
Yet, another cast of rogues lusts not so much for the wealth of this nation, as for the introduction of a new era of world history, where with the timely aid of the EMP they could cripple America and allow for the marshaling of a major invasion of Israel and the grand and imminent ushering in of the 12th Imam, the Islamic messiah. I am certain that I have left out other viable options.
Yes, I understand that “this world of ours is in a mess, and that civility is very fragile.” I am aware that we extol and celebrate our history’s splendid periods of enlightenment, maybe not realizing that every enlightenment period has been preceded by an era of the dark ages. But where does that leave those of us who were born into this enigmatic era?
When the stakes are high and the matter of character of the players is in question, anything can happen. I have discovered that in times like this if you will feed your faith, your fears will starve to death. So, don’t let your fears choose your destiny by default. Get your own personal house and your valued relationships in order. Do what is possible, and then relax and get back to seeing how many other people you can help become better off. Seneca, the Greek philosopher observed, “Where fear is, happiness is not.” If my mind is focused on fear and angst, it is almost impossible to focus on my journey to fulfillment. I choose to keep on being happy!
With all that having been explored, I think it is time we get back to working on the exciting subject of Cultural Economics.
Next Week: Exploring Cultural Economics
(Research ideas from Dr. Jackson's new writing project on Cultural Economics)
© Dr. James W. Jackson
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House
Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."
As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson.