What a wonderful plan. I dimly remember hearing something about it back when it passed, and it seems like a great idea. Probably the sort of thing that will take some political cover as well.
Beyond the obvious #1 - writing senators and congresspeople to voice my support - I can think of two other ways to help educate/mobilize. They both draw upon the international emphasis of the Marshall Plan.
#2. Help to empower immigrants and give them as visible a presence as possible, both explicitly toward the Marshall plan and in general. I am fortunate to live in a very international neighborhood. By speaking out for the interests of both recent and not-so-recent arrivals, the larger public can become more aware of our interdependence. This makes the pragmatism of the Marshall plan (its idealism speaks for itself) implicit and conspicuous.
#3. I am the editor of an online arts journal, and a year ago, my co-editors and I decided to reach out to universities in the dozens of English-speaking nations around the world. At the time, this was artistically motivated -- we wanted to snap up all the talent that typically goes unnoticed by other U.S. journals -- but I've also realized that this approach gave us access to perspectives and ideas we never would have encountered otherwise. I think that the internet can reduce geographic barriers (as also with PeaceNext), and this is another way to enhance the voices of people who would be impacted by and benefit from the Marshall Plan.
The original Marshall Plan was after the second world war. At a time when some in the USA and Russia wanted to punish Germany, destroy its industrial economy and turn it into pastoral state, the US Secretary of State, Senator George Marshall, advocated a massive programme of generous assistance to Europe to help rebuild its industries and economy. Without this assistance it is doubtful that we would have seen the emergence of a peaceful democratic European Union because continued poverty and unemployment would have made communism and other forms of authoritarian governments popular.
So now the idea of a global Marshall plan is to generate the same kind of massive unselfish assistance to other parts of the world to help build them up. This is different to so many government aid programmes which have lots of strings attached and are often a type of new colonialism. The spirit of the Marshall plan is that we help others because it is the right thing to do, not because it is a way of gaining control over those countries.
Jennifer Surdam said:
Please excuse my ignorance, but I am new here, and I'm completely unfamiliar with the Marshall Plan. Would someone please enlighten me? What is it exactly? Thanks in advance!
Hugs and BB,