Empowering individuals and communities – shifting the power to the people – will continue to be one of the most important steps for ushering in a world of peace. When the world’s system is more in tune with the demands of the vast majority, we will have peace and prosperity for all people.
A great step we can take towards empowering ourselves is to demand more transparency throughout all levels of government and the political system. The more we can see the inner-workings of the system, the more we open up our leaders to public scrutiny, the less corruption and mismanagement we will have.
If we were to demand it, we could have a system that lets us know specific numbers, broken down by region, by city, by department, to know exactly where OUR money is being spent. It could be made widely accessible and easily searched so that all dollars coming in and going out could be tracked.
We could do the same for the electoral process. Knowing were campaign contributions were coming from, and being spent, would give great insight into knowing a politician’s agenda. For example, if Politician X was mostly funded by oil lobbyists and the NRA, we would expect Politician X to vote for pro-oil and pro-gun policies. Of course, if it were right out in the open, this kind of corruption would be hard to hide from the public, which is exactly the idea behind transparency.
Demanding such high-levels of transparency may seem extreme, and certainly frightening to the pork-barrel politicians whose pockets are lined by corporations and special interests, but steps in this direction would help us hold government officials accountable to the people they represent – you and me. The government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around.
Fortunately for us, and for the prospects of world peace, transparency has been consistently increasing throughout the world. The US has been pushing an Open Government Initiative. Citizens and bloggers armed with cell-phones cameras can break damning stories as they happen. Whistle-blower havens like Wikileaks expose corruption in corporations and governments alike.
Our world is becoming more open and increasingly tighter-knit, helping us to hold accountable the actions of those who hold power over us. The more transparency we have in our world’s system, the more power will reside in the hands of the people. The more power we have, the more we can make our world one of peace, equality and prosperity for everyone.