Needed: Superheroes Club & Council of Elders

25Jul10

I started to write this up and realized there were two separate ideas.  The first idea was that the world needs a relatively informal but real institution, a superstar team or council of elders, limited to maybe a dozen truly standout people.  Like maybe the Nobel Peace Prize would count as one of the bases for nomination.  The people I had in mind were those like Mandela or Gorbachev — or, to take some American examples of people who have changed the world without necessarily being unanimously beloved at home, Gore or Reagan or Carter.  Perhaps the team would choose its own replacements, as members retired or died.  A paramount criterion for membership would be the ability to make a profound impact on significant world problems, by dint of international political (as distinct from e.g., financial) influence.  The superstar team would serve the purpose of giving the Schwarzeneggers and Blairs and Merkels of the world an answer to the question:  what else is there, after this?  It would do so by combining their influence in a relatively visionary direction — no longer, What will get me re-elected? but rather, Where should the world be heading?

The other idea is the Superheroes Club.  That was the term I first had in mind, as I was thinking about that Council of Elders.  But then I realized that, no, a Superheroes Club, in true comic-book fashion, would have to consist of people who bring markedly different powers to the mix.  So there might be some politicians, but then there might also be financiers, actors, inventors, and so forth.  A panel of this sort, from earlier times, might have included Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, Mohandas Gandhi, and Pablo Picasso. More recently, and stretching on into the future, one can imagine nominations ranging from John Lennon to Bono to Bill Gates to Lady Gaga.  A club of this sort, again limited to perhaps a dozen members, would likewise be oriented toward making an impact on world problems, but by dint of its relative youth (and, perhaps, its imagination) might be more flashy, flexible — you might say child-oriented, in the sense of providing role models for all sorts of young dreamers.

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