The Moral Equivalent of War


The greatest threat to the United States today is the failure of our highest government officials to honor their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution despite the overwhelming support of the American people.

This failure has led to a politically polarized country that isn’t paying attention to “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,” the opening words of the Constitution’s Preamble.

As the Constitution’s introduction, the Preamble is the national purpose of the United States. Without a dynamic shared purpose such as this, any organized system, such as a nation, is disunited and weakened.

As a result, America is out of step with its past and less in tune with its future. We need to pay urgent attention to our national purpose. This will lead to what the founders intended, which is the moral equivalent of war in a just society. And this will produce the return of our leadership in the world today.

The Preamble is the core rationale of our being as a nation. Yet we are shockingly oblivious to what this first constitutional sentence says, not to mention what it means for Americans today. Without a common understanding of our purpose as a nation, we are in forbidding trouble amid a world of stress that needs our unselfish leadership. This lack of worldly purpose prevents us from concentrating on pragmatic solutions to address our most pressing problems.

Shared clarity of purpose is essential for leadership in any organized system. And the lack of higher purpose is deadly for leadership in a highly interdependent globalized system. We are the world’s only global nation, that is, the only one whose demographics and politics as well as its economics and security, are interconnected across the world.

The United States is an open society with an organized system under the rule of law spelled out in our Constitution. The working purpose of any organized system has to keep three basic factors simultaneously in mind: it’s electrodynamic connections, its organized genetic code, and its operating leadership ethic.

In the first place, the electrodynamic connections are akin to a person’s nervous system. The body politic of the nation, of course, is an aggregation of people living under its rule of law. It operates according to Einstein’s famous formula of creativity we know as E=mc2—creative energy equals the mass of a body times the universal speed of light squared—at the heart of his theory of relativity.

Promise America’s human counterpart of this is a theory of relationship known as I=am2—the impetus of creative leadership equals the actions of individual people times the  momentum of a unified group squared. The impetus that converts the actions of persons into the momentum of one cohesive people is their common sense of purpose.

In the second place, the genetic code of the body politic is akin to the DNA of every living being in which one’s creative energy is the purpose-minded driver (D) of an associated group of collaborators into a center of gravity that forms a nucleus (N) or critical mass that reaches a tipping point from which they accelerate (A) in a chain reaction, thus fulfilling the intended high purpose of its organized DNA, or ODNA.

In the third place, the operating leadership ethic generates a momentum of high purpose that creates a group of leading partners who together exemplify the ancient leadership practice turned into a new and more powerful leadership ethic. This ethic embodies the greatest possible good, for the largest number of people, over the longest period of time, at the lowest necessary cost to serve their high purpose.

With such a purpose, these three networked data points—the I=am2 code, the ODNA architecture, and the new leadership principles—must work simultaneously to implement the ideals of the Preamble. The United States has grown and developed fitfully as a creative experiment in republican democracy. Now, it needs to return to its origins in order to insure its future. Yes, “We the People of the United States”, must return to forming “a more perfect Union.”

Posted by Richard D. Cheshire.