Michio Kaku, the nuclear physicist has said, that for the human race to survive it needs to move to the next higher level of relation. We are living in a global society where the problems that face us are of our own making and demand an advanced level of understanding. A global level of action.
Yet we are living in a time of reversion, where people cleave to old certainties, religion, nationality, economic ideologies. This has given rise to populist leaders, and populist causes, because the establishment has failed to address the ordinary lives of people, in fact world economics has made the rich richer, almost out of sight and is disinterested with the struggles of most people, whether poor or the shrinking middle class. The politics of power has usurped the politics of democracy, what at best attempted to be a discussion and a compromise to benefit all, has become a conflict of interest, or belief.
You could argue that in a Marxist understanding that this was inevitable, just a delayed scenario, and that all power structures support the rich. Although this may be true, this analysis no longer helps the world, which suffers from global warming, mass migration, and fragmentation. Ignorance buoyed by vested interests, capitalism as a belief, as self interest, or religious belief, or political or national identity, none of these help us live together. Predicting class conflict as catastrophe, no longer helps the world we live in.
The grand narratives of modernism are dead, yet peoples all round the world hold to them as a safety, as an easy ideology to embrace. Those grand narratives are gone. I know they often are the voices of the disempowered, the poor and the radicals, as they are also of the ideologically committed to privilege and power, yet all these views are all redundant.
This is a cry for a new democracy, but not a democracy of majoritarianism , in any one country, nor a view that independent states are independent, they are not, whether born out of colonial empires and exploitation, or born of arbitrary divisions on a map, leading to war and new colonial aspirations, no, this is all last century. It is a call for a democracy as a colloquium, a hearing of voices, a democracy of science, of rights, and views expressed, and resolutions to benefit all.
Of course each and every country should be held to account for human rights, then so should all countries refrain from military intervention when they propose enforcing rights. This behaviour of military power is an old nineteenth century thinking of self interest and moral superiority, destroying a twenty first century world where we need not to colonise, not to separate, but to work together.
The arrival in the world, of Trump, Brexit, Marie Le Penn, Putin, Erdogan, and many other populists, religious and nationalist movements is a retrenchment into a false security. People may exercise nationalist feelings, or hide in religious sanctimony, but it makes no difference, except cause hatred and kill It doesn’t matter whether you are fighting for the Caliphate, or for Corbynistas, or for a great Russia or a great United States, it is all irrelevant. These identifications are all irrelevant to the ongoing destruction of the world, in fact they are part of the last stage in Michio Kaku’s analysis. These identifications are lacking in the very need we have to have to survive, to be one people in one world. To work together, forgetting nations, and religions and economic ideologies.
So let’s celebrate science, which tells us how we can survive in our world, and celebrate philosophy which allows an entertainment of ideas, and celebrate the UN’s charter of human rights, which allows us all to hold our different beliefs and live together without an imposition on others. I’m with John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, but you don’t have to go that far. At least we could all think of the world first – this planet’s health. Let’s put aside nationality, religion, economic ideology, and decide first of all, these don’t count. We have to work together for something far more important. Imagine that.
Image by Nick Lee