By Jean H Charles
Akin to the core curriculum developed by Harvard and Columbia College to teach the young men and the young women of today the rudiments of the arts and of the sciences so she or he might become a renaissance woman or a renaissance man, erudite in all aspects of the intellect, so as to use his emotion with consideration as he walks in the path of rationalization, my core principle goes to the concept that humanity needs to practice these four beliefs so as to develop a world where solidarity and prosperity will glaze into the universe for the benefit of all.
My first belief is in the God of Abraham. Some 4,000 years ago, God appeared to Abraham and asked him to leave the Mesopotamia (Iraq today) and embarked on a long trail that would lead him to Judea, where he would help him build a nation that believed in the One and only God. As such, rationalization came to earth, displacing the superstition and the adoration of the kings as god. The nations that use rationalization as guide posts have prospered; those that do not have lingered as failed states.
Before Abraham, the world was populated by the children of Cain. You remember the story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. Abel offered to God a present that pleased Him, while Cain was not as hospitable in God’s eyes. Filled with jealousy and anger, he killed his brother, Abel, and Cain arrogantly told God that he is not his brother’s keeper when he was asked where his brother was.
This fratricide was the beginning of a lifelong misery inflicted upon Homo sapiens. Bill O’Reilly in “Killing Jesus” has a long list of these exactions.
King Hammurabi in Mesopotamia was one of the most enlightened rulers and developed the Code of Hammurabi that strangely preceded and resembled the Ten Commandments as a code of rules and practice that the subject citizens should abide by, while the rest of the world was peopled by rulers who killed for the sadistic pleasure of enjoying the suffering of others.
As late as the coming of Jesus, the God made man, some 2,000 years later, King Herod did not hesitate to order the killing of the entire male newborns in the region of Bethlehem to ensure that he would kill the newborn Jesus.
The whole series of prophets after Abraham until the last one, John the Baptist, has urged humanity to live by the principles of the Ten Commandments: you shall not kill, but very little progress had been made on earth, until God send his only son, gotten but not begotten to go one step further in the relationship of man to man. You shall honour only one God and you shall love thy neighbour as thyself was the new principle brought by Jesus. It is a simple but courageous edict that should heal most of the suffering in this world.
If the first two core beliefs were of divine inspiration, the two last ones are of human design.
I believe in the teaching of Ernest Renan, who amongst all others had formulated a mathematical canvas for building a successful and rich nation. When the great empires of the Ottomans and Prussia were dislocating themselves at the end of the 19th century, Renan warned the freedom fighters to take into consideration three elements in building their own nations from the disintegrated empires.
They must teach reverence for the past heroes, while instilling the sense of commonality in solidifying the home bequeathed by the founding fathers. They must root the citizens in their localities with sane institutions and excellent infrastructure so they will not become nomads in their own country. And they must agree amongst themselves that those left behind must be pulled along by all.
These are simple propositions that delineate generations after, the fallout from the successful nations. In failed countries, the citizens are pulling their own bricks from the national edifice without consideration for the common good to construct their own huts. They are nomads in their own country because, for ethnic, religious or geographical considerations, they do not receive their fair share in the legacy bequeathed by the founding fathers. And last, there is no national impetus to bring remedy and solace to injured parties.
My last core belief is drawn from the teaching of Emil Vlagick, who is a student of the benefits and the harm caused by the concept called globalization. You could have created a successful nation according to the principles laid down by Ernest Renan and here comes the concept of globalization that wrecks your prosperity and leaves out of direct employment the majority of your population.
In this modern age, when the design is made in Europe or in the United States, shipped to China for mass production, reshipped back to the United States or Europe for sale to the rest of the world, there is little room left for the national industry of any emerging country to thrive and to prosper.
In the wretchedness of modernity Vlagick came up with a formula for success anyway. He proposes that leaders entertain for their nation a public policy of education that goes from basics steps to higher education for a critical mass of the population. Coupled with creativity, resilience and flexibility, these highly educated individuals will produce new ideas and new inventions that will enrich not only their own nation but also enrich the rest of the world. In fact, Vlagick taught that a failed nation is nothing but a country that failed to utilize the potential of each one of its citizens or its residents.
Alibaba of China, the product of one young individual in China, on being listed on the US stock market, is worth $200 billion.
Singapore that was the laughing stock of the world when Ronald Reagan was president is today one of the richest countries of this planet because its leaders have applied most of these principles in governing their people.
Malaysia, which is close by, has seen the success of Singapore and has adopted the same principles; it is now a rich and developed country in a world where Muslim nations are in convulsion in spite of the velvet revolution.
Armed with these four core beliefs, the respect for each individual through the teaching of the God of Abraham, the love for your fellow human being instilled by the God made man, the building of a strong nation through the formula expounded by Renan, as well as the way to face the difficulties wrought by globalization taught by Vlagick, we should be able to build a better world but only if the leaders beyond these two would listen!