Why the United Nations should create an Entertainment Empire

The United Nations needs to have its own entertainment enterprise to sustain its future operations.

The Digital Age has changed the way we produce and consume entertainment products. Everything has become faster, cheaper and more global. New digital technologies give companies and individuals the opportunity to develop, publish and distribute their creative goods to a global audience. The rise of online companies like Amazon and Netflix is a clear sign for a changing media landscape.

Which leads to the question: Why are organizations like the United Nations not seizing this opportunity to become a major player in the entertainment industry?

Movies, video games and novels should be produced and published by the UN. The net proceeds raised by the sales of these products will be used to finance the UN Development Programmes (UNDP), or programmes of other UN departments like the WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP,

Here are 5 reasons why the UN should seriously consider this proposal:

1. Entertainment is a lucrative business

The UN is frequently underfunded. Shortfalls and budget cuts for aid programmes or relief missions have become the norm. Meanwhile Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment industry report record earnings. The Disney Company has earned $55.1 billion in total for the fiscal year of 2017. The studio’s entertainment segment made over $8 billion, thanks to Marvel’s superhero universe and the Star Wars galaxy.

Rumours about a possible sale of MGM and Sony Entertainment persist. Even Warner Bros. Studios might be up for grabs, if the AT&T merger fails. The United Nations could buy at least one of them. Just imagine, James Bond, Superman and Batman fighting together under the banner of the UN!

But movies are not the only way to make big money in the entertainment industry. Net revenue for the video game giant Electronic Arts has been over $4 billion for the last couple of years. Author Earnings reports $1.3 billion in E-book sales for the last three quarters of 2017 (US only).

These numbers suggest a profitable market with potential for expansion. In the beginning, the UN would need some serious commitment to establish itself on the global market, but the gain and the benefits could easily outweigh the risks.

2. It’s (relatively) cheap

If movies and TV shows are considered to be too expensive to start with, then the UN should sell books. They can be produced and published budget friendly in electronic form. Selling E-Books online would cut the distribution costs dramatically. Additionally, many well-known books are in the public domain, therefore freely available with no license fee or any other copyright issues attached. The UN would be able to publish stories written by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, H. G. Wells and many more.

Even the development of video games has become affordable, thanks to the mobile phone and tablet market. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are popular places to find supporters. While the UN is already using the website for its aid programmes, a different approach could turn out to be more successful in the long term.

Take for example the video game Star Citizen. Star Citizen is a space simulator that raised over $182 million; meanwhile an UN refugee campaign has reached $1.7 million. People would rather spend their money on the development of a video game than a charity project. Crowdfunding should be used for the production of entertainment commodities. The net proceeds from the sales of these products will be transferred to UN programmes.

3. Increasing awareness and social relevance

Brand recognition is not necessarily something the United Nations has a problem with. Celebrities like Emma Watson are already supporting UN campaigns and social causes. But entertainment products could help the organization to broaden its audience and reach people who normally wouldn’t bother with the UN and its mission.

4. The entertainment industry is recession-proof

Depressions or recessions take a toll on the economy. Many businesses are struggling to survive during such troubling times. There are few markets that are not only resilient to a downturn but actually gain from it. The entertainment sector is one of them.

Why?

Because the entertainment industry offers people a distraction and an escape from the cold, harsh world and all its tribulations. Hollywood knows how to sell dreams and illusions to the masses and so should the UN.

5. Achieving Financial Independence

The UN depends on the goodwill of its member states with their flaky leaders and unstable economy. An entertainment enterprise would not only decrease the UN’s vulnerability to unforeseen budget cuts but also secure funding for future peacekeeping efforts. The ultimate goal would be a self-sufficient and financially independent United Nations.

Conclusion:

The United Nations should act decisively and not miss the opportunity to establish an entertainment enterprise. Other NGOs like Greenpeace, Red Cross or WWF could follow its lead.

People are more likely to spend money on entertainment products than on charity. That certainly doesn’t speak for humanity, but instead of ignoring this fact, we should use it to our advantage. Why should Hollywood be the only one making profit by selling dreams and fantasies to people all around the world? The philanthropic industry should claim a piece of the pie. It’s time to give the money to those who would invest it for a better and more humane future.

A final word of warning: If the UN decides to enter the entertainment world, avoiding preachy content would be recommended. Building schools in Africa or providing food supplies to war torn areas are certainly important and admirable tasks, but people don’t pay money to watch that in a movie theatre. The audience wants to be entertained, not lectured.

by Christoph Topitschnig, BA

 

About the Author:

  • Studied Film & Media at the University of Vienna.
  • Created the “Austria Alliance”, a short-lived political party.
  • Founder of the “Reading saves Lives” – Initiative.
  • Author of “Endgame – The Tragedy of Kings and Pawns” (eBook, 2018).
  • Contact: topitschnig [AT] lesenrettet [DOT] com

Oxfam-Scandal: Just the Tip of the Iceberg

The Times newspaper (London) has exposed members of the charity organisation Oxfam for their misconduct on Haiti. Aid workers have used prostitutes on Haiti in 2011. Among the staff was Roland van Hauwermeiren, former Oxfam country director. Staff members intimidated a witness to cover up the story. The organisation was aware of these allegations. Now, Oxfam has been banned from work in Haiti.

Oxfam has published an official statement on their website:

„They also abused the trust of our supporters and the thousands of dedicated Oxfam staff working around the world to end poverty and injustice. This is an appalling mark against the high values we set for ourselves at Oxfam and the high standards we expect from our staff. Advancing women’s rights in situations of high vulnerability such as crisis contexts is at the core of what we do.“

The sad truth is: Oxfam is just the tip of the iceberg. Many more shady dealings are happening in the humanitarian business.

 

 

New Year’s resolution

A new year has approached! What is your New Year’s resolution? How are you going to change your life or other people’s lives?

Are you going through a rough patch? Do you know someone that could need your help or support?

It’s time to make improvements.

The United Nations is working with governments, business and civil societies and individuals to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030.

More information about the „17 Sustainable Development Goals“ can be found at the official UN Website HERE

You can read the Sustainable Development Report 2017 (pdf) HERE

 

 

Endgame ab sofort auf Neobooks & Co.

3D Cover Endgame

 

Endgame wird dank Neobooks ab sofort über etliche Shops vertrieben! (ISBN: 978-3-7427-6450-8)

Das eBook gibt es derzeit in folgenden Shops zu kaufen: (Click auf den entsprechenden Link):

AMAZON

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Do we need a New World Order?

Eclipse Climate change, energy crisis, genocides, religious wars, economic woes and widespread corruption are only few examples of a vast spectrum of threats our society has to cope with. The call for change, peace and safety has become louder with each new issue.

If we don’t solve these problems quickly, the consequences will be devastating for our society and future generations. But could a global government be the solution for all our tribulations? Or is the idea of a “Universal State” just a delusional fantasy of megalomaniacal leaders and conspiracy theorists? Are people even going to accept such a World State?

The Shape of Things to Come

The idea of a unified world government to preserve peace between nations has already been discussed throughout the ages.

Philosophers like Plato or Immanuel Kant, writers like Dante Alighieri, Thomas Hobbes and H.G. Wells imagined utopian societies, a ‘New World Order’ or even a ‘Golden Age’. While their ideas were based on humanistic principles, authors of the modern World War era like Arnold J. Toynbee and Oswald Spengler have predicted a far more pessimistic outcome.

But what is a world government? A global governance is a political system that would make and enforce laws on international level without restrictions. It would require the unification of all nations under a global ruling system or a single ruler with cultural and economical power. This alliance could be achieved either by peace or by force. But only a peaceful unification would ensure a long lasting and stable relationship between each nation and its people.

A World Divided

The European Union is not a new global player but an old one. The EU has hardly the will and certainly not the resources to regain the status of a world leader. The Brexit is just the beginning of the end for the old continent.

The Middle East, despite its wealth, is drowning in ongoing wars or too busy copying the mistakes of the West. Africa is used as “resource cradle” for other nations and with all the turmoil and civil unrest not stable enough to be a powerful global force. South America is a victim of bad economic decisions and drugs; and Russia has proven to be a strong but uncertain factor.

Some believe that China’s economic growth will turn the nation into the next leading superpower. Experts have already set a date: 2025. But natural resources have a limit and Liebig’s Law of the Minimum will ensure a rude awakening for most experts and China.

After the end of World War II, the United States has achieved not only monetary but also cultural hegemony on global scale. America has formed modern society like no other nation before. Needless to say, this kind of influence has its price. Military interventions in Afghanistan, Iran, Vietnam, Iraq and Libya are only few examples of a ruthless foreign policy. The troubled relationship with North Korea does the rest.

The Decline of America

Admired and despised at the same time, the US has many enemies and allies. It is impossible to deny America’s supreme position and its role as ruling force. Calling the United States an empire might go too far for some but imperialism is certainly the political path the government has chosen to achieve and maintain its leading position. But even an empire as mighty as the USA has an expiration date.

German historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler described in his book, “The Decline of the West”, the cyclic rise and fall of civilizations. Spengler does not speak of empires but distinguishes between cultures and civilizations.

According to him, a civilization represents the end stage of a culture. It is no longer creative and growing.

Reasons for the decline and fall of a civilization like the Roman Empire are manifold: a decadent lifestyle, aggressive foreign policy, increased taxation, unrest in colonies, overstretched military forces, loss of civic virtue among its citizens and corrupt leaders; others may blame the invasion of barbarians. Sounds familiar?

With all the economical and political problems and enemies, America’s position as global leader is about to end. The country is no longer a unifying global force; rather the opposite is the case.

After America’s downfall, a new powerful global player has to replace the United States as fast as possible; otherwise the world will be torn apart by different interests with no chance of recovery.

Kingdom Come

Let us assume, the world would be transformed into a Universal State. How could this State succeed?

People have to identify themselves as citizens of the world, a united global society striving for the common good and the improvement of the human race. But this new awareness must not be imposed on society. Only an incorruptible event can unite mankind.

A new global awareness requires a proper ruling government. As history has proven, a totalitarian system must not be imposed on a population. People would reject and rebel against it unless they freely choose such state. This New Order might not be implemented by a single nation but rather by an institution. The United Nations could be suitable for the task. Unfortunately, corruption, incompetence and the lack of real authority prevent the UN from taking advantage of its full potential.

A future global community is possible. The old world has outgrown its usefulness. The question is not if or when a New World Order will happen, but what kind of Order will rule.

 

Author: Christoph Topitschnig, BA

 

 

State of the World Reports

World in Color

Here are two reports with detailed information and stats about the current situation regards world wide poverty and human rights.

The State of the World’s Children Report 2016 by UNICEF (186 pages; PDF) HERE

The World Report 2017 by Human Rights Watch (704 pages, PDF) HERE

 

 

385 million children are living in extreme poverty

Poverty2A new report by UNICEF and the World Bank Group has been published:

“Children are not only more likely to be living in extreme poverty; the effects of poverty are most damaging to children.  They are the worst off of the worst off – and the youngest children are the worst off of all, because the deprivations they suffer affect the development of their bodies and their minds,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “It is shocking that half of all children in sub-Saharan Africa and one in five children in developing countries are growing up in extreme poverty.  This not only limits their futures, it drags down their societies.”

Some facts:

  • 767 million people globally were living on less than $1.90 per day in 2013, half of them under the age of 18.
  • extreme child poverty is based on data from 89 countries, representing 83 per cent of the developing world’s population.
  • About 45 per cent of children are living in households subsisting on less than $3.10 a day per person, compared with nearly 27 per cent of adults.

 

For more go to UNICEF

 

 

Crisis of Leadership

The upcoming presidential election in Austria and America will shape the future of both nations like no other.

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Three years ago, I tried to establish a political party in Austria, but was unsuccessful. I was concerned that once again my home country would fall in the hands of the wrong leader. Since then, the situation hasn’t really improved; on the contrary, it became progressively worse in Europe and in other parts of the world. Problems haven’t been solved, just delayed. Now, we pay a heavy price for it.

German historian Oswald Spengler wrote in his acclaimed book “Decline of the West” (1918) that at the end of the western civilization, money would rule absolutely. Every democratic process and every political action would be decided and managed by money. According to the author, only a Caesar-like-figure could be strong enough to oppose and overthrow this so called money-dictatorship. For Spengler, businessman and mining tycoon Cecil Rhodes embodied such a Caesar-figure.

Today’s political elite is no longer fighting for the greater good, but for money and power. Their close tie with the financial sector has made them decadent und no longer trustworthy. They’ve become out of touch with the general public’s needs and concerns. However, people want a leader, who understands their struggles and burdens. Somebody, who will save them from the evil in the world, and make their fears go away. People call for a strong ruler; the question is – who will answer the call?

The US presidential election has brought foul-mouthed Donald Trump in the center of attention. Like Cecil Rhodes, Trump is a businessman and tycoon with political ambitions. He may share the spotlight with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but it is Trump, who knows how to leave an impression. He enjoys shocking his audience with questionable and radical statements about Mexican immigrants and women. His showmanship of a willful autocrat has enticed a large group of voters, who desire a strong leader. A boss, who will bring back the glory of past America and who will protect them from all kinds of aliens.

But the US presidential election isn’t the only one this year. After May 22, Austria will also have a new president for the next 6 years. (Update: The Austrian Supreme Court has decided to redo the election on 2nd October.)

Among the final candidates is Norbert Hofer, member of the Freedom Party. Hofer, a right-wing ideologist, supports a restrictive immigration policy, while his opponent, left-wing liberal Alexander Van der Bellen, is an open-border advocate.

The current situation in Austria benefits Hofer, though. The country has been overwhelmed by an unusual high amount of immigrants. In addition to the refugee crisis, the nation faces the highest unemployment rate since post World War II, a stagnated economy, an ever-growing national debt and a self-destructive government. A recent series of violent incidents caused by asylum seekers has reinforced stigmas and fears.

But Austria is just one of many European states whose citizens are increasingly drawn to nationalistic parties and personalities. Like New Yorker journalist John Cassidy has pointed out, candidates such as Marine Le Pen (France) and Viktor Orbán (Hungary) have gained support for their right-wing populism. The European Union (EU) is to be blamed for this debacle.

Brussels’s inability and unwillingness to deal with conflicts is a clear indication for a leadership lacking competence and foresight. A relapse to nationalistic politics is the result. The refugee crisis, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and ongoing financial tribulations will probably be the deathblow for the EU and its ill-prepared and weak management.

Besides secular citizens, religious institutions and their faithful followers are also seeking strong guidance. They are praying for a redeemer, who will come and deliver them from their mundane plight. Christians are anticipating the return of their Savior; Muslims are hoping for the 12th Imam and Jewish communities are expecting the arrival of Moshiach.

Devine or not, the question remains: Who will be Spengler’s Caesar? Who will be the great ruler that will bring an end to the Money Age? (If something like that is even possible.) Maybe strong leadership doesn’t necessarily have to come from an individual, but can also emerge from an organization.

The United Nations has enormous potential to become a game changer for mankind, at the moment however, it’s only a toothless giant crippled by a staggering amount of corruption and scandals. Austrian aid expert Killian Kleinschmidt, a former senior UNHCR official, revealed that the UN is wasting millions of pounds on celebrity campaigns and vanity projects thanks to an inefficient bureaucratic apparatus. Hollywood stars “raise awareness” and speak about issues that are self-evident and obvious for everyone. Stroking high-profile egos in exchange for good publicity won’t help the UN agenda in the long run. Ultimately, the United Nations has to gain financial independence from its member states, only then it can achieve true greatness.

More than ever before, the world is standing at a crossroads. The middle way is blocked. Only two extreme directions – left or right – are available to choose from. Radicalization and polarization on both sides of the political spectrum have intensified. Our system is broken beyond repair. Not just in Austria or Europe, but everywhere. And like the San Andreas Fault, it’s only a matter of time, until western society will collapse. If it won’t happen in 2016, it will definitely happen in the course of the next few years. By then, a tipping point will have been reached and voters are going to unleash their wrath against the establishment.

In times of distress and chaos, people tend to follow any charlatan, who promises them security and peace. Making a Faustian bargain for prosperity and a good living is never a smart idea. It might be uncertain, what type of leader will be elected in the near future – sinner or saint -, but one thing is for sure – the outcome is going to be life-changing.

About the Author

© Lesenrettet.com

7 Global facts about child poverty (UNICEF)

EARTH

UNICEF has posted an interesting fact sheet about child poverty on their blog. You can find the entire post HERE

Summary:

1. Today 1 billion less people live on extreme poverty than 20 years 

2. Children account for nearly half of the world’s extreme poor

3. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 247 million children are deprived of their basic rights

4. 1 in 4 children are living in poverty in the world’s richest countries

5. In almost every country in the world children are more likely to live in poverty than adults

6. Only half of all countries in the world have child poverty data

7. Only one-third of the poorest are covered by social protection