How to Achieve Heaven on Earth, by John E. Wade II
Review by W. J. Rayment / ConservativeBookstore — It should first be noted that “How to Achieve Heaven on Earth” is not a religious tome. Yes, it contains elements of religiosity, but what it really is about is making the world a better place. It is a collection of essays from a large variety of thinkers, writers, economists, and politicians. They include Barack Obama, George Bush, Thomas L. Friedman, Ted Turner, and a host of others. There are 101 essays.
The editor, John E. Wade II, appears to make an effort to be balanced in his choice of authors, but truthfully, he fails in this regard. Yes, there is an essay by George Bush, but it is mere fluff, as is the essay by Barack Obama, which it turns out is his Christmas letter to his daughters. It manages to be self-serving and devoted to the advancement of mankind at the same time. But some of this should be expected in a volume that is all about making life better for everyone on the planet. There is going to be some of the starry-eyed pollyanna stuff.
I was pleased to see that there were some essays with hard-headed viewpoints. For example, Paul Marek’s “A Look at Radical Islam”, was quite interesting, pointing out that though most people who are Muslim are peaceful, the leadership is violent. Unless the average Muslim does something about their leadership, the Mullahs are going to drag all of those of the Muslim faith into a war with civilized society, much the way that most German’s were not Nazi’s during WWII, but were dragged into brutal conflict willing or un-.
The editor proposes that there are ten areas that need to be addressed in achieving a Heaven on Earth: peace, security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, spiritual harmony, racial harmony, ecological harmony, health, and moral purpose. Each of these factors are addressed by five or ten authors. Luckily the margins on the pages are wide. It gave me plenty of room to make notes, and I tried to sum up many of the essays at the end in my review copy. There was plenty of scribbling by the time I got half way through the book, mostly on the impracticality of the implementation of the ideas being propounded because the ideas were based on a fundamental flaw in basic assumptions.
For example, human nature is left entirely out of many ivory tower essays. There is a presumption that global warming is a fact, when it certainly is not, as much recent evidence shows. I don’t think most of the writers have any concept of economics and the efficiencies induced by the market system. So many demand government dictation as a solution. They don’t seem to see government action as a root of many of the problems. Thomas Hohenleitner, in his essay entitled “Society’s True Wealth” whines about limited resources, when in point of fact resources in the universe are limited only by our imagination on how to get to them.
All this is not to say that the book is not thought-provoking. It certainly got my intellectual juices flowing. I even considered taking the book essay by essay and firing out a blog entry on the same subject. I may still do some of that. I found the essays on prosperity interesting, especially the one by Alice Schroeder on how Buffet made his billions and can be an example to other Americans. I was surprised that Friedman’s essay was eminently reasonable, and apropos.
The book plays to the spiritual crowd, whether that be one of the established religions, or “progressives”, or marxists. It is high on heaven and low on practical solutions. Pragmatists will find it useful as a reflection of what the “thinkers” are thinking.