“Human Origins” In the museum of the Neolithic caves at Altamira, Spain
Without human unification humanity cannot survive. Climate collapse is devastating the planet’s ability to feed its people. Both the oceans and agricultural lands are dying. Climate collapse is transforming the oceans toward a point where they will no longer support higher forms of life. Its effects are compounded by vast worldwide production of toxic poisons in the name of satisfying ecologically destructive and insane capitalist consumerism.
As Annie Leonard points out in “The Story of Stuff” consumerism was, and remains, a fundamental (intended) component of capitalism, without which all these hundreds of thousands of companies would go out of business. Yet it would take five planets to satisfy this insane social-economic-political demand of capitalism. Isn’t that simply suicidal?
What would it take for human beings to live in harmony with the life-support systems of the Earth? We would have to begin thinking in terms of human needs rather than infinite consumption “wants.” We would have to stop producing many things, for example, billions of tons of non-biodegradable plastics. We would have to stop pulling oil, gas, and coal out of the ground and, instead, intentionally supply the entire Earth with solar, wind, or water power. We would have to transform all of agriculture, including the use of pesticides, to organic, locally produced and ecologically farmed processes in order to conserve the loss of topsoil, stop the destruction of wetland ecosystems, restore the forests, etc.
Global economic life would have to transform to a marketsocialism carefully regulated to supply the basic needs of all (food, housing, healthcare, education, sustainable environment, peace, and justice), and no company, nation, or group could be allowed to manipulate the market for private gain. We would need a vast worldwide civilian development workforce to absorb all the jobs lost in the conversion and to restore the ecosystems of the Earth as much as possible. All this means that if we want an environment that sustains higher forms of life by the end of this century, we will have to begin now from genuine human unity. Everyone (all 7 and more billion people, 193 nations, and thousands of cultures and languages): everyone will need to be on-board. How is this even possible? I have already critiqued the new “sustainable development goals” (from 2015 to 2030) of the UN and shown the ways they are impossible to actualize under the current system, and I will not repeat this here. (http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-New-Sustainable-Develo-by-Dr-Glen-T-MartinEconomic_Global-Warming_Imperialism_Militarism-151016-233.html) The UN can do nothing apart from the will of the nations that compose it, and the wills of some 193 sovereign entities take us about as far from human unity as one can imagine.
Robert Parry has just published an excellent article on Reader Supported News about “The State Department’s Collective Madness.” He details the staffing of the State Department, from the time of President Reagan to the present, with Neocon hawks, mindless ethnocentric exceptionalists, and heartless shock-doctrine economic imperialists. No longer are there “diplomats” who live in a multi-polar world where the quality of relationships with different nations and cultures matters. Rather, State Department Neocons relate to other nations as “welldressed, well-spoken but thuggish enforcers of U.S. hegemony.” They are even willing to risk a nuclear war with Russia in their blind egoism and thoughtless aggression.
It might shed some light on these people who largely control the vast military might of the US by reflecting on the famous developmental “integral psychology” of Ken Wilber, or, for that matter, any number of other top thinkers and psychologists (such as Lawrence Kohlberg or Carol Gilligan) who have demonstrated the stages of human moral and cognitive development. All these thinkers place “egoism” at the level of gross immaturity. This is manifested in a person always thinking about themselves, about their personal benefit, their career, their wealth, their group (insofar as it benefits them), etc. Young children inevitably go through this stage, but many adults never seriously transcend this stage and continue to plague society with their selfish actions (Corporate or Wall-street CEOs? Donald Trump? Hilary Clinton? – a war-monger and Neocon if there ever was one.).
These psychologists uniformly name the next highest stage of moral development as “ethnocentric.” At some point as they mature many people submerge their selfish interests into their culture, their religion, their society, their nation, etc. The good of the group may then be placed before one’s selfish interests. But this level is still clearly immature, for emergence to human maturity begins with the “pluralist” level in which we see that there are many cultures, religions, nations, etc., and that my own background has no superiority over that of others. The process of growth then progresses to the “universal” level in which the pluralism is respected within a framework of unity, hence, a mature person respects genuine “unity in diversity.” Kohlberg calls the emergence into moral maturity the “stage of autonomy,” when one’s actions are governed by universal principles of equality and justice applied to all persons equally. Wilber and Gilligan call this stage “worldcentric” in which the concern is for our common humanity, the common good of all persons, the good of all future generations, etc. Mature people recognize our common humanity and our common human dignity.
They act from that recognition for universal justice, for human unity, and for the good of future generations. The US State Department (and the Pentagon) are clearly staffed by moral midgets, moral midgets who have the most immense military force in the history of humankind at their disposal. No wonder it is so important at the present moment to get Bernie Sanders elected or to continue the political revolution that he has led. We need an adult in the White House! Pepe Escobar’s Empire of Chaos (a collection of his many articles over the last few years) transports one instantly into a multi-polar world of some 193 nations all competing with one another for success or at least mere survival.
His “roving eye” expresses what the Chinese are doing, or the Russians, Iranians, Saudis, Israelis, Turks, Germans, Brazilians, etc.: each with its own perspective on the world and each concerned with its own perceived national selfinterests. The US appears as what it is (a super-power intent on maintaining its declining empire through coercion, propaganda, and military force). However, not one of these nations is putting environmental action first and directing its resources to immediate conversion to an ecologically sustainable economy, industry, and culture.
Indeed, even if some nation wanted to undertake this monumental conversion, it would not be possible to do it alone. In a capitalist world order, dominated by IMF, World Bank, Wall Street and other financial and banking cartels, economic survival requires trashing the environment. Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and others, for example, economically survive by pumping oil and gas from the Earth to be used by polluting industries, militaries, and consumers worldwide to further destroy the biosphere, just as the United States economically survives through maintaining the petrodollar as the world reserve currency and by producing and selling weapons worldwide. The global economic system and sovereign nation-state system together form a world system that is destroying the Earth.
If this picture makes the future look bleak, it is because the future is bleak. Even if the moral midgets in the State Department and Pentagon were to grow to the level of pluralism (recognizing and affirming a multi-polar world order), the world would still not have a viable future. A viable future would mean that the heads and governments of all these nations move beyond their present ethnocentrism to a “worldcentric” level of maturity in which they recognize and affirm human unity first and foremost, as a protector and prerequisite for genuine diversity. How might this even possibly happen? The answer lies in recognizing the power that the world system can have over human practices and thinking.
The present world system produces ethnocentric, egoistic, and utterly unsustainable economic, industrial, and military practices, as we have seen. As stated above, even a nation wanting to do the right thing for future generations is effectively prevented from acting by the present world system. Human unity in diversity, human moral growth, and the transformation of our world system to a worldcentric one go hand in hand. Change the system and you have gone a long way toward changing human consciousness. (Karl Marx was one of the first to understand this.) The Constitution for the Federation of Earth changes the world system to global social democracy based on the principle of unity in diversity. It unites humanity, making every human being legally a world citizen responsible to humanity, the Earth, and future generations.
Great thinkers from Albert Einstein to Carl Gustave Jung have declared that we cannot solve fundamental problems on the same level at which the problems occur. We must move to a higher level from which the problems are not so much solved as dissolved. This is our human situation on the Earth. We are trying to solve our problems from within the same world economic-political system that generates these problems in the first place. Therefore the problems only get worse and worse, portending the death of humanity and the biosphere that supports our life. We must move to a higher level of unification from which these seemingly intractable problems will simply disappear.
The Earth Constitution preserves all the nations (and cultural diversity of the world) but unites them under one World Parliament legislating enforceable world laws for everyone. http://worldparliament-gov.org/constitution/the-earthconstitution/ It makes world peace a human right (what could be more obvious and fundamental?). It also makes an ecologically sustainable world system a human right (also obvious and fundamental). It puts everyone on the same page. It is all of us or none. Unless we unite together in a genuine worldcentric human unity, future generations will not have a chance. They will be destroyed by either climate collapse or war or both.
We must begin talking about the Earth Constitution, studying it, making it an object of debate on every talk show and public forum. It is widely available in several languages in both print and digital form. It offers humanity a way out from our current suicidal trajectory. The Constitution, discussed around the Earth, can serve as the catalyst for establishing human unity.
We can easily use the infrastructure of the current UN to begin staffing the world parliament (legislating enforceable laws), the world executive, world judiciary, world police, etc. (A plan on how to do this, called Our Common Future, has been recently published by the Provisional World Parliament.) We can easily replace the unworkable UN Charter with a real Constitution creating effective democracy, unity, and economic sanity for our planet. Without genuine human unity, we have no human future. And the fastest way to create human unity is to promote the Earth Constitution as both a blueprint and an ideal for a free, sustainable, and peaceful world system.