Meditations (Politics): The Way Ahead
The Way Ahead
Renewed vigor and deeper understanding often follow a period of mourning. But though mourning a death is natural and necessary, there is no time to waste. With the death of America and the collapse of the international order, awakening human beings must move quickly to fill the vacuum, or some kind of authoritarian coalition will.
All serious people realize that humankind is facing an unparalleled historical and evolutionary crisis, demanding a new way of thinking and feeling in our unprecedented global society. Politically, the United Nations, founded on the modern version of tribalistic mentality (the separate sovereignty of nation-states) is imperiled, even as the necessity for effective global governance becomes more urgent each month.
In the past, survival was the only issue. For many millions of people today, it still is. (Many others have just quit caring about anything but themselves, and so don't count.) It has been said many times, but it grows truer each month--it’s unconscionable that there is so much poverty in a world of such wealth. The chasm between the haves and have-nots must begin to close, or humankind will fall into the abyss between its walls.
Equipped with the new technologies such as the Internet (which allows me to send this column to Tanzania, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, etc., besides the U.S., all at the same time) the flow of insights and ideas is radically changing thinking, and expanding market and political opportunities across the globe. Boundaries truly do not matter anymore.
No one can be sanguine however, since this is a time of terrible transition, and nobody knows whether humankind will make it. We do not have an infinite number of chances to change course, even though most people think there’s always more time.
Obviously people must physically survive and thrive, and we need others to help us to do so. However Aristotle was wrong--the human being is not first a social animal, but a spiritual one. If we lose the spiritual dimension, through unexamined self-centeredness and unmitigated consumer mentality, nothing else will matter. Maybe that’s why so many people are interested in spiritual issues these days.
In 50 years perhaps, computers will be able to run many of the functions of government that are now so susceptible to the corruption of venal politicians. But technology will not save us. A new mentality, which looks out on one’s locality and sees the whole world, is the indispensable transformation each person has to make within. That will ignite a psychological revolution and change the course of humankind.
But there has to be a practical political manifestation as well. With the end of the international world order, the United Nations, based on the defunct premise of the supremacy of separate nation-states, is inadequate.
The UN may be necessary, but it certainly it’s not sufficient. It can only be salvaged, and radically reformed into a genuine institution of global governance, if it is superseded in principle by a new body, which reflects the new reality of a global society.
Africa is the ultimate homeland of every human being, because both ancient and modern humans first emerged on that continent. As global citizens of the South and the North, we urgently need to build a Global Polity of world citizens in the evolutionary birthplace of humankind.
A Global Polity will, first and foremost, signify and manifest a revolution in human consciousness. This non-power-holding body will mark the beginning of the end of archaic identification with particular groups as the primary basis of political organization.
A Global Polity will not serve or be founded on personal, particular, or parochial interests. It will serve humankind by helping to fill the dangerous vacuum of leadership in the world, and function by holding national governments and international institutions accountable to the human prospect as a whole. A GP will therefore supersede in principle and complement in practice the UN, providing impetus and oversight for its urgently needed reform into an effective institution of international law and global governance.
A Global Polity on the beleaguered continent of Africa will signify humankind coming full circle and starting again, effectively as a new species. Such a body of world citizens, rising from a great savanna of East Africa, is not some distant dream. Indeed, as military/coercive power reaches its inevitable dead end, it is a tangible, necessary, and realizable vision.
The future does not belong to homogenized humans, ‘virtual’ prisoners of consumeristic mind control, but to awakening human beings. It belongs to everyone who can look up from the mire, see the horizon, and walk toward it, calling no one the enemy.
- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The author welcomes comments.