A Paper for the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” Ninth Annual Session, Rhodes, Greece by Come Carpentier de Gourdon
Come Carpentier is a French writer, traveller, editor, consultant and researcher born in the Canary Islands, who lives and works in India and in Europe (France, Italy, Switzerland), helping manage a private foundation and contributing to various journals and magazines. He has developed a theory to unify science and traditional wisdom systems under th name of "cosmosphy and psychosynthesis" and is a member of various academic and cultural institutions in Europe, America and Asia.
A review of past and present strategies and models for socio-political and economic organization in various civilizations with a proposal for a synthesis suitable for the global future.
With the relatively recent eclipse of the Socialist-Communist ideology and the ongoing structural crisis of Capitalism, mankind has left behind the theory of the "End of History" as defined by Francis Fukuyama (1992) in his paean for Liberal Globalised Democracy on the Anglo-Saxon model as the Summum Bonum.
Instead, we have entered an era of great doubt and uncertainty with regard to the political and economic systems which should be adopted, both at the national and international levels and a number of theories and practical models are competing for acceptance. Unsurprisingly, many of those formulas are inspired by current advances and achievements of science and technology in "frontier areas" but others hark back to ancient religious teachings and cultural traditions while others still try to create a blend of the old and the new for the future.
It is convenient, therefore to divide those politico-economic frameworks into three broad categories: the modernist or technocratic, the archaic (as distinct from the conservative because it is not always clear what one wants to conserve: sometimes it is the present at the expense of the legacies of the past) and the archaeo-futuristic.
All those three sorts of system or model claim to be pragmatic though they generally refer to an ideology in explicit or implicit terms. All state that they are grounded in or at least tailored to human nature even when they allege they are inspired by a divine message.
It should also be pointed out that the borders between those categories are not sharply defined as they appear to be. Indeed modernism and archaeo-futurism naturally overlap as much as the latter borrows from tradition but no traditional system, even a "fundamentalist" one can ignore scientific and economic developments completely in practice just as no modernist theory is devoid of inputs from cultural heritage with which, sooner or later it makes accommodations in order to become viable.
In the following we will make a rapid survey of some of the major, influential or innovative systems that are being implemented or proposed in various parts of the world, in the wake of the disintegration of global or super-capitalism (Robert Reich, 2007) that gradually took shape during the 20th centuries and which Bob Woodward calls Jungle Capitalism.
1- The Beijing Model
The most potent, though not the most popular rival to the collapsing Washington Consensus is surely the peculiar Chinese combination of state-owned and private enterprise under the efficiency-seeking guidance of the National Party apparatus. China presents many features of a technocracy in which politics is in the service of economic performance and prosperity. Even in the USA, various economists and social scientists have paid grudging tribute to the PRC's achievements and seemingly irresistible rise to the top of the global pyramid.
Though the Beijing Model is obviously specific to Chinese historical, demographic and cultural conditions, it nevertheless holds at least some valuable lessons, and especially for developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America, especially since in effect a sort of 2G if not a G2, a partnership fraught with rivalry, is forming between Washington and Beijing under the pressure of their growing financial, commercial and industrial interdependence.
An interesting aspect of China's statute is that, contrary to some traditionally democratic or semi-democratic polities which now tend, under the influence of economic and social factors (such as high unemployment and the threat of terrorism) to lose many of their democratic attributes and liberties, China is gradually opening up under the influence of globalizing technologies, an inevitable and rapid opening to the outside world and spreading prosperity so that it projects a picture of hope, in keeping with the belief of its leadership that freedom must be gradually learnt when a sufficient level of public literacy and stability obtain.
China offers at least a partial response to the question that Elton Kessel (World Affairs, Vol. 14, no. 3, Autumn 2010) has formulated as "Is it possible to surgically remove dangerous aspects of capitalism while preserving its basic structure?" which entails, in his view, controlling the "animal spirits" that drive an insufficiently regulated economy into cycles of boom and bust in which "irrational exuberance" (Greenspan) is followed by depression. The other question is of course whether China can free itself from the totalitarian structure that Friedrich von Hayek identified as the nearly inevitable corollary of socialism.
As noted by Lucio Caracciolo (in Nomos & Chaos, 2009-10) the PRC still has to build a specific "global brand" for its evolving politico-economic system that includes elements of Manchesterian Capitalism, State planning and social mobilization that are reminiscent of Fascism, if we consider that definition objectively, absent the moral stigma which has been attached to it for historical reasons.
Beijing will have, sooner or later, to devise a cultural message clearly understandable and attractive to the outside world if it is to export successfully its "magic formula" as an alternative to the still dominant Western model.
One attempt in this direction is the "circular economic model", first defined by the US economist K Bohrtin in the 1960s and refined in German industrial and economic state policy. It is being implemented in ruling circles of the PRC in order to strike a balance between material development and
environmental restoration and maintenance, according to the principle enunciated by the ancient statesmen Lu Buwei of the Warring States Period (c.475 BCE-221 BCE). In 2008, the 4th session of the 11th National People's Congress passed the Circular Economy Promotion Law and on May 29th, 2010, the Fifth Circular Economy Development Summit Forum was held in Beijing and it outlined four growth modes within that overall model which the PRC wishes to promote on a worldwide basis as a sustainable formula for the future of mankind.
In some affluent countries which have come to take a certain amount of freedom for granted, as in North America, Western Europe and East Asia (mainly Japan), the pervasiveness of advanced communication technologies have made it possible to envision and even experiment with certain forms of "direct democracy" mediated by the Internet and its many offshoots.
It is significant that in most of those states, popular participation in the ballot box- based electoral process is usually low or very low, mainly because it is not regarded as very important in view of the fact that people's expectations from their representatives is limited, partly because they are regarded as relatively powerless to change existing institutions and partly because real power is generally believed to lie with big business and the state bureaucracy. As a result, many people are tempted to seek local, decentralized governance mediated through the cell phone and the personal computer as a high-tech reincarnation of the age-old village assembly.
In the economic domain, local self-government is taking roots in a number of smaller communities in Europe and North America due to the failure of many banks and of the increasing problems associated with credit and debt in areas affected by high unemployment and falling incomes. A number of economists are championing the recourse to local currencies, community-owned banks or even a universal "real resource" based currency, to be called Earth according to James Robertson of the New Economics Foundation (Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age, London, 2000).
For instance Ellen Brown in an essay entitled Escaping the Sovereign Debt Trap (Web of Debt, 2010, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va?aid=20473) advocates the creation of people's banks, backed by the wealth and credit of a country, such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia established by a Government Bill in 1911 as an instrument not to amass sovereign debt but rather to extend sovereign credit. It logged a very successful service record to the young country until it fell to the privatization drive of the 1990s.
Some states of the USA still have such banks which have protected them in large measure from the present credit crunch and moves are afoot to create new ones, in the face of determined opposition from the transnational private banking lobby, determined to protect its monopoly under the aegis of the Basel Bank of International Settlements. Reclaiming the power of emitting money for the legislative arm of government is part of a proven strategy to prevent the massive depressions recurrently brought about by the financial consolidation and centralization of globalised super-capitalism bent on keeping a stranglehold on the economy through the leverage of debt.
However, it is far from clear that local management systems can be efficiently coordinated on a larger scale according to the same principles and, given that many problems and resources are global or at least require cooperation on a national, multi-national or global level, there is a clear need for an overarching superstructure or mechanism which will certainly have to be aided by advanced technology but cannot be reduced solely to technology.
Colin Crouch's Post-Democracy (2004, Cambridge, UK) observes that democracy and modernization both follow a parabolic trajectory so that the latter often goes hand in hand with a slow decay of the former which then turns into what Adrian Pabst calls "post-ideological managerialism" based on a "Centrist Status Quo" and possibly later into an inverted totalitarianism.
3-A New Scientific Socialism -- National or Global?
This third option within the Modernist perspective consists in taking stock of progress in natural and social sciences in the last hundred years to revise and refurbish the basic principles of Marxism in order to avoid the pitfalls which doomed both the Soviet and the Maoist regimes in the last century and build a truly user-friendly and functional socialist (or why not, communist?) system with a human and ecological face. Many proponents of this new avatar have freed themselves from the old anti-religious phobias of their predecessors and speak of integrating the "otherworldly" needs of mankind into the equation, recognizing that spuriously scientific materialism is outdated and untenable in our age when science and spirituality are converging in many areas and when preserving the environmental balance has become a priority higher than industrial productivity, even in the eyes of Leftists.
However one of the pitfalls of much of socialist thinking even today is that it fails to take into account the drastic and irreversible changes brought about in the global economy by new manufacturing and communication technologies which make it impossible to recreate the industrial oligopolies of the past, as Kessel (ibid.) points out. Thus trying to restore the great, labour intensive manufacturing firms to their former glory in the affluent societies of the North is doomed to fail in the face of competition from poorer high growth, nations against which protectionism is not a viable option in the long term. The rust-belt socialism of the 20th century must give way to a still vaguely defined "green socialism" that must primarily address self-employed people, small entrepreneurs and innovators.
Although in the USA, the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama has grudgingly taken over the majority of the stock of major insolvent companies and banks, thereby practicing a form of "temporary (and probably failing) limited socialism" in the judgment of his Republican critics, Europe is probably the continent most hospitable to a revived socialism at present, firstly because of its long experience with the welfare state and generous system of social protection and secondly as a result of its bitter present experience with the crisis caused by the excesses of "casino capitalism" since, in the words of Hans Koechler: "the states gradually gave way to powerful, but unaccountable vested interests at the transnational level" (World Affairs vol. 14, No2, 2010). Jeff Faux has described this process from an American standpoint in his 2006 book The Global Class War.
It was indeed in Vienna. Austria in 1979 that the International Progress Organization called
For shifting "the emphasis from having to being and from consumption to quality of life". In the opinion of the socialists and of all those who reject the concept of "making a gain out of money itself and not from the natural object of it" (ibid.), the speculative basis of minimally regulated liberal capitalism is "a misunderstood notion of individual freedom".
The previous school of thought leads us into the realm of older, simpler and more stable societies in which harmony, re-distribution and balance are held in higher esteem than growth, change and material accumulation, to the extent that many aspects of scientific and technological progress may be shunned in order to preserve the modest but familiar, low-stress quality of life that many yearn for.
Archaism may be regarded as true conservatism because it regards the past as the sole reliable repository of knowledge we can draw from. In the view of archaicists such as Thoreau, Tolstoy, Liang Shu Ming and Mahatma Gandhi, science and technology must be regarded with suspicion, even when some of their discoveries are adopted because they are not really relevant to the core human condition and its permanent genuine needs and aspirations. Therefore they tend to amount to a distraction rather than provide real solutions.
Archaicists focus on the deepest problems affecting man and are more concerned with the ways of dealing with them than with the visible result of the remedy being applied. They hence emphasize the need to provide food, clothing and shelter to all but, along with and above those demands, they look for collective and spiritual wellbeing which they define as independent from the provision of superfluous amenities through scientific progress and capital intensive industry. On the contrary they regard harmony with nature and within society as a critical factor in ensuring happiness and health and don't want it to be compromised or neglected in order to provide a more comfortable, affluent and idle lifestyle to a section or even the majority of the population.
Most ecological philosophers and social activists belong to that school of thought but none of them has quite shown how our highly complex global society on its heavily inhabited planet can transition to a mainly rural low-energy state without going through a massive -- almost "Extinction Level" -- crisis.
In order to prevent a collapse of the supporting mechanisms of mankind, such a transition would have to take place very gradually, over several decades during which the current rush to industrialization, urbanization and greater consumption would have to be reversed and at present no human agency is powerful enough to mandate and enforce such a change of course.
If we leave out the extreme choices made by some minorities to return to a pre-industrial existence, thereby reverting to the condition still experienced by hundreds of millions in Asia, Africa and Latin America, we will find that attempts to recreate some conditions of the past are carried out at two levels, that of states trying to recapture lost greatness, from both nostalgia and necessity and that of smaller entities inspired by charismatic and influential thinkers who draw from a national or universal spiritual and political tradition.
1-The resistance of nation-states and the Return of Empires
Various authors have noticed that while nation-states, some of them quite recent, are fighting the dominant trend of globalization and world federalism in order to keep their hard won liberties, there is a revival of some of the age-old empires that ruled most parts of the world in previous centuries. In China, the USA, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and India the two notions: nation and empire, are almost inseparable due to historic and geographic realities, such as size and physical, ethnic and cultural diversity but those continental states are threatened by fissiparous tendencies in regions that claim to have a distinct national identity justifying independence.
Other powers, such as Germany, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria and Egypt have inherited imperial legacies which are getting a new lease of life from present geostrategic factors, often at the expense of weaker neighbouring states. For instance, Turkey, with a large population, dynamic economy and an assertive foreign policy founded on national pride is extending its influence over smaller nations which it ruled during centuries, from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Albania to Syria, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, the Caspian region and the Central Asian Turkic republics. Likewise Iran benefits from the destruction of Iraq and subjection of its Gulf Arab neighbours to the USA as well as from the disintegration of Afghanistan and eclipse of Pakistan to project its power over the Middle East, West and Central Asia.
There is little doubt that the USA is a not-so-original sort of empire with a global outreach and an increasingly heterogenous population, though it mainly extends to the North and Central American "homeland" and to Latin American where it is however receding. The ethnic plurality of this formerly mainly Anglo-Germanic Imperium enables it to send "proconsuls" and military commanders ancestrally hailing from the areas where they are deployed (such as Indians in South Asia, Chinese and Japanese Americans in the Far East, Slavic Americans in formerly Soviet lands and Latinos in South and Central America) as most Caesarian states (i.e. Ancient Persia, Rome, Russia, Germany and Spain) did in the past.
As for the European Union under German-French leadership, it tends to assume the shape of a post-modern, neo-medieval empire if we are to hear Adrian Pabst in an as yet unpublished 2010 article, with ""overlapping jurisdictions, horizontally diffuse sovereignty and vertically arranged, concentric circles of integration".
Thus those ancient empires are renascent, though in a modern form which Pabst defines as marked by --more or less -bureaucratic capitalism and authoritarian plutocracy. The independent or more or less autonomous nations or states which are either outside or within those empires are in turn struggling to enforce their writ, no less centralized and bureaucratic (we can think at random of Croatia, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, Taiwan (PRC), Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay or Honduras) on territories and people which they regard as inalienably theirs.
In both empires and nations there is a strong archaic component which is not on the wane but rather threatens to trigger many long-term or recurrent, low or high intensity wars, of the kind recently or currently seen in Georgia, North Western Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Turkish Kurdistan, to name only a few.
2-Ideological Frameworks and Political Utopias
Political and economic projects and blueprints that hark back to old models are multiplying and at least some are gaining strength. In particular the vision of an Islamic Khalifate embracing much if not most of the Muslim majority areas is providing a powerful incentive for hundreds if not thousands to take up arms in a "holy war" while countless others provide active or passive support. More limited and realistic is the campaign behind the spread of Islamic financing and banking from Europe to the Americas and East Asia.
In years to come, Islamic political and economic concepts and practices will remain a force to be reckoned with and a serious effort must be made in all societies to engage in a dialogue with their promoters in order to avoid increasing recourse to extremist goals and violent methods which have already created a situation of dangerous confrontation in many parts of the world.
While the rise or rather the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism is controversial, due in part to a long history of inter-religious wars, the growing strength of Hinduism as a source of political and economic principles and institutions, in India and in other countries where there is a Hindu presence, is to be seen mostly as a factor of stability and tolerance, just as the return of Confucianism and Buddhism in China has a moderating and humanizing influence on the harsh legacy of Maoism as well as on the state-driven capitalism embraced by the Communist Party.
Christianity, which for centuries decisively regulated and shaped political and economic institutions when the sway of its followers was nearly universal, seems to be in an advanced state of decline; especially in Europe which has not been able to agree on the notion that it is the seat of a historically Christian civilization.
The United States where Christians, and particularly Born Again Protestants or Evangelicals are the most numerous and yield considerable clout, is also secularizing fast, as a result of ideological and technological transformations that partly reflect the rapid influx of other religions and ways of life. The supremacy of consumeristic materialism has played havoc in recent decades with the Old American Bible-based Creed which has also, paradoxically been challenged by a dominant Jewish agnostic lobby that does not always hide its hostility to Christianity and its preference for an atheistic or at least multi-cultural society devoid of religious identity.
Russia is perhaps the only major state, on the level of a world power, which acknowledges the founding role of its national Church because even the USA has no official denomination and equally recognizes many different forms of "Bible-based" faith while Britain, Germany and Brazil are drifting away from their traditional state creeds in the name of agnosticism, pluralism and individual freedom.
Under that label, seemingly coined by French futurist and "dissident thinker" Guillaume Faye, we can regroup all those socio-political and economic projects which borrow from the past and try to integrate it with the current realities and especially the scientific and technical breakthroughs that are reshaping reality in an transformed planetary and intellectual context. Thereby we can also avoid the pitfall into which the votaries of "deep ecology" fallby becoming biocentric to the point of sacrificing the survival of civilization and even most of the human species to the supremacy of wild and unspoilt nature.
Archaeo-Futurists can claim to be true realists since the present is nothing but the immediate end-result of the past which constantly absorbs the future. Thus we have no choice but to blend what we have kept or wish to retain from before with what is coming into our lives that we cannot or do not wish to reject.
Bill Joy, the inventor of Java wrote in a widely commented article in Wired Magazine (April 2000) that three technologies are the most critical and the most threatening for our future: biotechnology, nanotechnology and robotics. Indeed in the decade that has almost passed, they have made phenomenal advances and a country like Japan, for one, has focused much of its R & D on the promises enshrined in those three very young disciplines. Their synthesis can lead to the creation of entities that will be both machines and living beings on a gigantic scale as on a microscopic one.
Even more than transforming our biosphere, they are already beginning to transform us, physically and mentally and many are predicting the birth in the coming years of an Internet of Things, - as an outgrowth of the Internet of Data that is coming of age - which we have trouble conceiving because it would entail the ability to "manifest' or create all sorts of goods, and not only services, on demand through the wizardy of nanotech.
Clearly for people who will be more than human in a partly non-natural, synthetic and virtual world, new political and economic forms of organization will have to emerge since ours are already proving inadequate.
Jan Amkreutz (in World Affairs, Vol. 14, no. 3, Autumn 2010) writes of reality being replaced by "digeality", the virtual universe of our creation and of electronic bytes replacing or at least controlling genes as we can not only read the DNA code of life but write it as well, following the pioneering demonstration carried out by Craig Venter and his team. What system of governance will be suitable to the post-human creatures that our grandchildren, if not our young children are likely to become?
A sobering but not unrealistic observation is that some of the greatest beneficiaries of many of the newest technologies are the organized crime organizations which are challenging states and supra-national "official" bodies when they don't merge with them through a noxious symbiosis which produces Mafia states denounced by leaders as diverse as President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico.
Less visible but perhaps even more powerful are some secret organizations ensconced in many of the most influential nations where they claim the loyalty of certain financial, political and intellectual elites. There are legitimate questions about the real role and objective of the secretive but not secret Bilderberg Group which has become the subject of some unflattering media coverage but more elusive and ominous is the so called Octopus, alleged to be at the heart of the largest supra-national criminal syndicate in the world, the "black network" referred to in the Interpol report on the BCCI scandal and described in the 1994 ATLAS Report of the Belgian Gendarmerie on the financial investigation into the Camuele case. There is also extensive literature on the the Masonic group which is supposed to sponsor the Anglo-Saxon Plan for continued global domination, described in various report of the investigative Project Camelot as an heir to Cecil Rhodes's secret Inner Circle of the Round Table Organization which was (and still is) at the heart of the Rhodes Foundation.
There is hence a real prospect for the future global society to be dominated by certain cartels controlling, through the most advanced technologies (the so so-called "fourth stage of money laundering"), the drug, gambling, arms and prostitution industries on a universal scale and vying for even greater power through the covert selective or indiscriminate resort to economic, biological and genetic warfare (through nano-bio-agents) with the likely complicity of some states, already under the control of what Prof. Peter Dale Scott defines as the Deep State, vividly portrayed by Joan Perkins as a "criminal hidden ruling structure" in his book Confessions of an Economic Hitman (2004)
On the other hand, the turbo-capitalism described by Edward Luttwak in his 1999 book produces high-tech's "super-tycoons" like Bill Gates, Craig Venter, Steve Jobs, Sergei Brin or Larry Page who are more powerful and richer than many states, like the independent warlords of yore.
Whether humans rise to a post-human condition or become truly human, depending upon the definition we give to "humanity", the fact is that we will have to answer the rhetorical question posed by Amkreutz (ibid): "what do we do with the institutions (and constitutions) our fathers founded on "self-evident" natural principles"? He proceeds to point out that digeality will ""render Left and Right meaningless and create a new reality which transcends both capitalism and socialism", as geopolitics will be absorbed in noopolitics "which is about mindsets, not territories". That new reality would require some form of economy of communion, as the basis for the kind of associative democracy being experimented in some regions of Italy, Portugal and Latin America.
Amkreutz is not being optimistic about this; he simply takes stock of current and predictable developments and concludes that we need to build interactive digital realities through web-enabled peer networks if we wish to mediate successfully the artificial universe of our making. That may be too technical a recipe for most people to understand but in effect it translates into glocal politics and economics, based on political ecology, striking a balance between the individual and the community and rising above the fatalistic reading of history to invent reality as we wish it to be and no more as we are told it must be by past precedents.
It is here that archaeo-futurists make a number of interesting proposals drawn from ancient precepts and forms of social organization in diverse societies. While the Hindu social philosopher D D Upadhaya defined an Integral Humanism rooted in the traditional Vedic and Upanishadic vision of man and the cosmos, the Bengali 20th century thinker P R Sarkar defined the "ethics for a new humanism" in his book The Liberation of Intellect (Kolkata, Ananda Marg, 1972) and articulated the rules of what he called a holistic Proutist Economics (for PROgressive Utilisation Theory) in his Discourse on Economic Liberation (1992).
In the West EF Schumaker was inspired by both the western Christian tradition and Buddhist Economics on which he wrote a famous essay in 1966 and which is currently being championed by various social reformers as far apart as Sri Lanka, Bhutan (with its ideal of Gross National Happiness or GNH as a corrective to the quantitative myopia of GNP idolatry), Vietnam and Japan.
More recently the Finnish philosopher Sirkka Heikkonen (Prometheus Revisited in Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum, Societas Scientiarum Fennica, Helsinki, 2000) draws inspiration from the Roman philosopher Seneca to advocate transcending our exploitive civilization to enter an age of Epistemological Expansion according to the Stoic formula for achieving the synthesis between the state of nature of our origins and the utilitarian science-driven mechanisms we have established.
Thus Seneca's precept: sequere naturam can acquire a new meaning in the contemporary epistemic context and provide a "philosophical basis for the information society according to the principles of sustainable development" (Heikkonen) whereby we would become real humans or truly sapiens by setting moral progress, and not the accumulation of wealth and power, as our foremost goal, in the awareness that as the Roman sage said, increasing knowledge of the world in order to realize our real or essential nature is the source of the highest happiness.
In Russia and the Central Asian area the concept of a noospheric civilization connected to the "universal, cognitive, semantic field" is being actively promoted, even at government level by followers of V I Vernadsky and V P Kaznachev such as Prof. L. Gordina, author of From Biosphere to Noosphere (http://www.newhumanity.org.ru) and organizer of the World Forum of Spiritual Culture under the patronage of the Presidency of Kazakhstan. The goal is to bring together spiritual traditions and ecological-cosmic awareness and practices for building a better global society.
The world is undergoing an intense transformational process, as it is becoming what digital engineer Jan Amkreutz is calling "world3.0": a digital virtual reality mostly made by us according to which we not only decode but recombine and modify the "natural" reality, whether in the physical local universe or in our own brains and bodies.
In this changed and constantly evolving inner and outer framework, we have no choice but to adopt the tactic of transurfing, or learning to control and change reality as described by Russian quantum physicist Vadim Zeland (Reality Transurfing I (2008), II and III), in the awareness that, as Howard Bloom has demonstrated in the Lucifer Principle (1997) and Global Brain (2000), ideas are indeed real creatures or living beings (like viruses) which actually select their time and their (human) vehicles or spokesmen to manifest at least as much as we (appear to) choose them, perhaps only because we are "seeded" and incited by them to form cooperative associations. The notion of inception, explored in the 2010 film of that name by Christopher Nolan is very descriptive of what happens in the mindworld.
Bloom begins Global Brain by laying out his chief contention: "Networking has been a key to evolution since the Universe first flared into existence" so that cooperation --underestimated by Darwin and not competition, is key to evolution. Socio-political communities will be organized primarily around shared intentions and interests, less on the basis of ethnic origins or territory according to him.
Terry Patten in an article published in OpEd News ( http://www.opednews.com, August 21st, 2010) has outlined what he calls the Bodhidharma Strategy to pave the way and gradually build a new global framework in the spirit of Integral Politics.
He breaks it out into three steps: 1-"Become Bodhidarma": developing leadership abilities and honing one's powers of conviction, 2-Help create enlightened solutions as "spare parts" for the practical problems and crises we are facing and 3-"Gain the Emperor's ear": Work yourself into positions of influence as a decision maker, teacher or adviser. Thus each and all of us can gradually bring about and facilitate the transition to a new world order.
The past is as much in us as the future, both in a latent form as memory or as potentiality. The Portuguese term saudade bridges those two infinites, both constantly expanding in an open matrix, when it is defined as the "nostalgy of what will be".
Our responses to the challenge and riddle of Becoming will hence be necessarily archeo-futuristic and in that sense, only those who live in the remote past (in the eternal "Once upon a Time") are contemporaries of all future to come, not as eccentric figures of a conceited and rapidly obsolete avant-garde but as watchers -- Egregoroi. Cosmocratores -- of the Eternal Now of Being and Non-Being, known and recognized as One.
The End, CCG