The World’s Force Multiplier

About the role of viral leadership as the moral equivalent of war to overcome the coronavirus.

The coronavirus threat demands viral leadership—a force multiplier of creative energy—for the greatest possible good of everyone, the world over, now. This is what both public health and applied science tells us we need without any more hesitation. How do we get a grip on that with the greatest urgency?

Here’s how we could. As a force multiplier viral leadership can strike like a match that quickly lights a flammable substance and begins burning through it. Viral leadership is the match which lights the fire and pumps the air to spread the flames. The force multiplier that would create the most leverage with the greatest impact is for the federal government to declare the moral equivalent of war and go to work in a consolidated way with all associated officials, agencies and the public at large—at home and abroad—immediately. A quick check of the inherent and universal powers-that-be, which the feds are overlooking, shows where to begin.

So far as we know, human nature is the high end of a creative connection with Mother Nature. The coronavirus epitomizes—and does so destructively—the impulse of creativity that is embedded in evolution itself. Albert Einstein found this connection in his discovery of the famous E=mc2 formula of universal creativity. This leading equation explains how a given degree of creative energy is, in any given situation including this one, equivalent to the critical mass it develops when multiplied by the speed of light squared that creates a chain reaction of any output whatsoever. This is the simple formula that is the opening to a global solution which America could and should lead. Why?

When the creative energy of the material world is not applied to human kind, as the coronavirus’s alarm requires of us today, we default on our collective obligation to swiftly develop and sustain a contemporaneous global response. Just as E=mc2 is the force multiplier of creativity in the material world, so does its leadership counterpart, I=am2, which is the force multiplier of human relationships. In our people-driven world the impetus of an idea converts the actions of individuals into the momentum of a unified group, hence I=am2.

Coronavirus is a physical threat to civilization as we know it, not just to one party or one nation. We must not let it it become an overwhelming emotional and political threat as well, for that could lead to the end of us all. The human solution lies in the application of I=am2. How so?

By the application of viral leadership, in which global partners who understand the relevant application of human conduct using Einstein’s imperative, we can imagine how the leadership imperative may co-opt the I=am2 force multiplier as the framework of a solution to the devastation brought by the coronavirus’s threat.

There are three basic steps to stimulate this viral leadership.

First to recognize Einstein’s creative energy as the world’s most relevant information that is the collective impetus of our prime mission to defeat the coronavirus’s immediate threat to us all.

Second is to recognize Einstein’s critical mass as the need for a grand strategy that directs the global action to overcome the clear and present danger.

Third is recognize Einstein’s chain reaction as the urgency of viral leadership that touches the people of the world—with moral suasion—to pay attention to solutions as well as the problems. The moral compass of our humanity—with help from our I=am2 force multiplier—will be the difference.

The difference, however, is that America and the world need a top-down, bottom-up, back-and-forth set of relationships that are sufficiently disciplined to elicit proposed solutions and negotiate them on their merits. That’s where viral leadership, in the spirit of the moral equivalent of war, is the decisive factor. America’s force multiplier—the architecture of creativity—would flow naturally from the “American Experiment” initiated by our Founders and sustained by our leadership more or less ever since. We need that now more than ever.

Richard D. Cheshire, Ph.D. Is author of a new book “First and Foremost: American Unity, the National Purpose, and Preamble 2.0,” chairman of the Promise America Alliance and former president of The University of Tampa.