In the brief but crucial period of transition from pre-MM to post-MM, what role should be played by the world's militaries?
Because there are so many dimensions of development and so many unknowns, we can't yet offer a prescriptive answer to that question. But I'll submit that David Brin (a member of CRN's Global Task Force) has provided a vitally important perspective from which to consider this issue.
According to "Three Systems of Action" -- a bedrock document for CRN's positions -- military and political institutions both fall under the Guardian tradition; they act from similar motivations and with common sets of ethics. But this does not suggest that they must or should be inseparable.
Brin makes an excellent point when he says:
Few civilians can appreciate how difficult this step [calling for US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign] has been for military men who spent their professional lives steeped in a tradition of stoical, apolitical silence and submission to civilian authority. Reluctance to interfere in the nation’s political affairs. That tradition, virtually unprecedented in the history of armies and nations, should be revered and respected. It OUGHT to be hard for officers to do what these generals have done.
Considering the enormous power that molecular manufacturing will make available to armies, dictators, citizens, and rogues, it is vital that men and women of courage and principle occupy positions of authority in that transitional period of the near future.
There is much we can learn and should apply from the serious drama being played out today.
What all of this ultimately amounts to is a golden opportunity to change all of the dynamics that have made the first few years of the 21st Century such bad news for America and Western Civilization. The men and women [of the professional Officer Corps] who have worked the hardest and trained the longest to protect that civilization are holding out their hands to us now -- not just to liberals and democrats, but to all moderate, pragmatic, calm and decent citizens who want common sense to prevail yet again.
If common sense and high ideals are not allowed to prevail in the transformation of global society from pre-MM to post-MM, the outcome may be worse than any apocalyptic nightmare ever conceived.