My Dangerous Idea

Every year, the Edge Foundation asks its members a challenging question, and posts the answers. This year (2006), the question was WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA? – An Idea that is not dangerous because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true.

Many of the edge’s luminaries responded, and while only a few struck me as remotely dangerous, I don’t blame them for keeping the truly dangerous ideas to themselves. Although I am not a member of edge, I came up with my own dangerous idea, as follows:

My Dangerous Idea : World Peace is Possible

While the concept of world peace would seem to be anything but dangerous, it is the transition from our current world to a world of peace that can be considered dangerous. The thought of our world becoming peaceful represents the biggest threat to nearly all of the most powerful leaders of the world.

In a world of peace, war and extreme poverty would be unheard of. A world of peace would provide basic necessities – food, shelter, health care, education and transportation – universally for free. This would mean that industry leaders and multinational corporations would not have the same clout as they do today.

In a world of peace, instead of entire populations being gripped by fear of outside threats, there would be no more outside to be threatened by, since we would all be part of the same global family. This would mean that political and religious leaders lose their control over their flocks as people learn to enjoy life free of irrational fear.

The changes that would be required to achieve a world of peace are so terrifyingly dangerous to the leaders of the world that they would do anything to stop it, making the transition to a world of peace a danger to everyone.

As those in power become aware of an increasing threat to their power, it will be the rest of us who face a backlash of oppression. In a worst case scenario, after police and military stop the uprising in a bloody slaughter, technological and pharmaceutical forms of control will ensure that we all end up as organic robots.

Indeed, the thought of a peaceful world being possible, and the questing for it, could result in the greatest atrocities ever imposed on humankind.

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