A Global Come-As-You-Are Party
History's Law is that once an empire has shot it's wad, no amount of geo-political Viagra can keep it puissant.  Can the GOP help trigger the termination of America's teetering global empire?  [ Er, that's Global Orgasm for Peace, not Grand Old Party...although, come to think about it, the G.O.P.'s jingoistic overreach may ironically be accomplishing just that.  ]   Anyway, you're invited to participate, and this GOP really could be a grand ol' planetary party.   Here's why:  

Global Orgasm for Peace Day, scheduled for the Dec. 22nd Winter Solstice, is the brainchild of the same two active senior activists who dreamed up the very successful naked 'peace' posters, which became a world-wide fad in the lead-up to the largest planetary protest in history preceding the illegal US invasion and occupation of Iraq.   Donna Sheehan (76) and Paul Reffell (59) didn't quite have the effect they wanted first time round, but they were encouraged enough by their success to launch a new venture - which, far from being frivolous, has serious intent - as well as the support of some quite respectable (if controversial) scientific theory.   The event will be monitored by the Princeton University-based Global Consciousness Project (GCP) http://noosphere.princeton.edu which operates a world-wide network of Random Event Generators (REGs), which record changes in randomness during global events.  Evidence accumulated by the Project suggest that human consciousness can be measured to have a planetary effect on matter and energy during widely-watched events like 9/11 or the Indian Ocean tsunami.  

Y'all Come
It's called Global Orgasm for Peace and you can find out all about it at www.globalorgasm.org and http://globalo.blogspot.com .  What follows is a statement of the idea followed by a brief rumination on its geo-political and scientific underpinnings.  Sheehan and Ravelle are suggesting that, during the 24-hours period the day of the Winter Solstice, as many people as possible have an orgasm (privately or publicly, solo or jointly)  and think of world peace.  What's so hard about that?  "The goal," say the organizers, "is to add so much concentrated and high-energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggression and violence throughout the world."  Most of that aggressive energy is currently coming from the flaccid faction now tenuously holding on to power in Washington.   Can Mass Orgasm trump Elite Empire?  What do political science and general systems theory have to tell us?  

The Empire That Came Out of the Closet
With 700 military bases in 56 of the world's 192 countries and the publicly announced intention to militarily exercise 'Full Spectrum Dominance' over land, sea, air and space in order to prevent the rise of any credible rival to uni-polar global rule by the 'unitary executive' in Washington, it has become impossible to ignore the existence of what has until recently been the thousand-pound gorilla in global living room - the American Empire.   Duh.

Once unmentionable in public domestic discourse - though long-acknowledged in 'realist' policy wonk circles - the 'empire thing' is now out of the closet and a subject of open discussion among the nation's pundits.  Not surprisingly, the focus is less on whether or not it ought to exist at all, than on how best to maintain it:  by 'soft' persuasive, diplomatic, economic Clintonian means, or by 'hard,' coercive, military Cheney-Bushian means.   In any case, it is an empire unlike any other that has existed before, and it faces a unique set of challenges in what peace scholar Richard Falk terms 'The Post-Westphalian World.'

Dubya Adrift in a Post-Westphalian World
The so-called Peace of Westphalia signaled the end of the religious wars of 1648 and the emergence of an agreed-upon world order in which the sovereign state was the primary unit and actor.  That world order is now in transition, Falk argues, because of the dual emergence of the US as the 'uni-polar,' 'borderless' dominant state, and the rise of non-geographically defined networks of non-state actors, who oppose the US imperial project and are therefore labeled 'terrorists.'   According to Falk, the new 'Post-Westphalian' geopolitical landscape is defined by four very recent developments that, together, constitute a totally unprecedented 21st century world situation:  

1) The transcendence of statist relations by America's establishment of a global state, [not defined by borders] which undermines the assurance of prior [so-called] realist thinking that global tyranny will be avoided by the rise of countervailing power;

2) The emergence of a transnational political movement, animated by jihadism, that treats the world as a single battlefield, selects a series of potential targets without respect for sovereign rights or international humanitarian law, and is not restrainable by deterrence, containment or punitive retaliation;

3) Rising threats to global environmental and social sustainability by global warming, massive poverty, pandemics, fresh water shortages, population pressure, and gross disparities of wealth and income; and

4) The emergence of transnational social movements that adhere to a cosmopolitan program of global reform premised on nonviolence, ecological sustainability, economic fairness, human rights and adherence to the rule of law.1

Despite Bush the Elder's dictum that 'the American way of life is not negotiable,'  there are signs that certain 'non-negotiable' forces are combining to limit the imperial agenda of Bush the Lesser and his neo-con handlers, sap the perceived legitimacy of the neo-liberal economic agenda, and call into question the sustainability of the American imperial project itself.

It's easy to understand why, given Falk's Four Factors, that Bush, Jr. would conflate those who oppose Pax (or Pox) Americana on moral, ethical, humanitarian, ecological and international legal grounds with "The Terrorists."  But you don't have to be a jihadi in order to see that a bellicose imperial America armed with WMD's and bent on unrestrained conquest and consumerism, is a danger not only to the international community, the biosphere, and humanity as a whole, but also, and primarily, to itself and its own population.

H.G. Wells once defined history as 'a race between education and catastrophe.' Today he might well define it as 'a race between collapse of Washington's global empire and collapse of the planet's biosphere.'  That is the conundrum facing informed, responsible citizens of the USA.   Is it unpatriotic to root for the collapse of your nation's empire in order to help prevent collapse of the planetary ecosystem?  Is not 'planetarian patriotism' - allegiance to the whole 'earth community,' as David Korten calls it - a higher form than mere ethnic loyalty or nationalistic patriotism?

The Neo-Conservative and Neo-Liberal Agendas:  Sooo...20th Century
As 2006 draws to a close, both the neo-con's 'hard' imperial military agenda and the neo-liberal economic agenda - two faces of the same imperial coin - have been seriously discredited by events.  The Iraq and Afghan occupations are universally recognized as disasters.  The WTO is in disarray thanks to growing Third World solidarity, World Bank 'structural adjustment' programs have proved unworkable, and Washington's long-desired Central American Free Trade Agreement  (CAFTA) seems permanently dead in the water.  US voters overcame a broken, hackable electoral system to repudiate Bush Administration policies and shift the balance of Congressional power to another faction of the ruling elite.  The Wall Street/Davos consensus is in disarray.  The Porto Alegre/World Social Forum consensus that 'another world is possible,' is growing.  The dollar is in decline, even as the US trade deficit, national debt, and military budget projections soar.  European, Asian, South American, and even African regional power blocs are taking form.  Despite US opposition, an International Criminal Court has been established and prosecution of US officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity is being widely discussed even as calls for impeachment grow louder.

As theologan John Cobb observes, 'All of this is to say that we may be at a point at which proposing different ways of organizing our society is not irrelevant fantasy.'2

Whither the Withering Empire?
Whether the Withering Empire will weather the combined impact of global climate chaos, peal oil, military overreach, economic crisis, internal dissent and universal opprobrium and persist in a 'softer,' modified form under Democratic rule or self-destruct in a paroxysm of desperate lame duck hubris, the planetary situation is definitely in a high state of perturbation.  

In such a state 'far from equilibrium,' - 'the Chaos Point' - as the general systems people term it, what's known as the 'Butterfly Effect' becomes a strong possibility - as a system trembles at the 'tipping point' between self-destruction and self-transcendence, tiny, 'trimtab' actions and events can trigger titanic shifts...in either direction.    According to Wikipedea,

'The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system....'

'Breakdown or Breakthrough,' is how General Systems pioneer Ervin Laszlo sees the current historical moment,  

'We now live in a period of transformation when a new world is struggling to be born.  Ours is an era of decision - a window of unprecedented freedom to decide our destiny.  In this decision-window, 'fluctuations" - in themselves small and seemingly powerless actions and initiatives - pave the way toward the critical "chaos point" where the system tips in one direction or another.  This process is neither predetermined nor random.  It is a systemic process that can be purposively steered.'3

The Seven Lively Syns and The Stochastic Moment
It's times like this when the Seven Lively Syn Words, and the wild card Stochasity take on special relevancy: 
    * Synoptic - seeing things together leads to...
    * Systems - seeing wholes within wholes mutually interacting leading to...
    * Synthesis - seeing the point where opposites merge and become something new and...
    * Synchrony - the point at which many mutually-interacting processes are happening together,  creating...
    * Synergy - the process by which mutually interacting individual processes become combined in a whole greater than the sum of its parts, opening to unpredictable
    * Synchronicities - non-causally related events occurring together in serendipitous combinations which create the field conditions in which can occur...
    * Syntropy - the opposite of 'entropy.'  Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi defined syntropy as the 'innate drive in living matter to perfect itself.' _ Arthur Koestler used the term in his 1978 book JANUS, defining it as the active striving of living matter towards the optimal realization of the planet's evolutionary potential.   Syntropy confounds cynics and pessimists by producing positive outcomes unpredictable by 'trend analysis.'  Syntropies emerge because the cosmos at its base is fundamentally...
    * Stochasitic - randomly determined or having a random probability distribution or pattern that can be analyzed statistically, but can't be predicted with certainty.
Mass Orgasm as Civil Disobedience
So you see, both political and systems science support the idea that participating in the GOP could be more than just personally or socially pleasurable.  It could be both your duty and your privilege as a planetary citizen.   Your climax could be the Decider.  

As 'peoples' historian Howard Zinn put it in a recent talk, "Every little thing we do, every letter we write, every picket line we walk on, every act of civil disobedience we engage in..., everything we do in the direction of a different world is important - even though they at the moment seem futile, because that's how change comes about.  Change comes about when millions of people do little things, which at certain points of history come together, and then something good and something important happens."

Rest assured, whether its World Orgasm Day or some other event that precipitates it, another world can and will happen.  Because, as history teaches about empires, the rule is: easy come, easy go.   Just make the 'OK' sign and wink.  Other GOP types will know what you mean.

James Heddle is a documentary filmmaker, writer and co-founder of EON - the Ecological Options Network - www.EON3.net   He can be reached at eonnewsnet@eon3.net .

1 Richard Falk, 'Renouncing Wars of Choice,' in The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God: A Political, Economic, Religious Statement, David Ray Griffin, John B. Cob Jr., Richard A. Falk, Catherine Keller; Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.  ISBN-13: 978-0-664-23009-8. p. 79.

2 John B. Cobb, Jr., 'Democratizing the Economic Order,' in Griffin, et al, op cit. pg. 96.


3 Ervin Laszlo,  The Chaos Point: The World at the Crossroads, Seven Years to Avoid Global Collapse and Promote Worldwide Renewal.   Foreward by Sir Arthkur C. Clarke  Hampton Roads Publishing Co. Charlottesville, VA, 2006 www.hrpub.com .