From the Universal Imposition of Western Standards to a Peer-to-Peer Dialogue of Civilizations

From the Universal Imposition of Western Standards to a Peer-to-Peer Dialogue of Civilizations

A Paper by Tiberio Graziani, President of IsAG – Institute for Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences, director of Geopolitica, Journal of IsAG, presented for the 10th Rhodes Forum (Round Table “Legacy of J.C. Kapur and problems of contemporary futurology”)

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour for me to speak in such a round table, devoted to an outstanding thinker, scientist and spiritual guide as the late Jagdish Kapur was.

Futurology is a useful theoretical tool for implementing geopolitical perspectives in a changing world. Futurology – according to Jagdish Kapur a new philosophical and spiritual theory that re-positioned the human being on the right position within the world process – allows us to reflect on our deep-rooted traditions, using both the linear and the cyclical perspective of the time. Traditions and identities constitute a fundamental aspect of geopolitical studies, particularly that focused on the Eurasian continent, the richer landmass in the world in terms of civilizations and cultural heritage.

As you certainly know we are in the middle of a transitional phase (under some aspects, I dare to say, we are passing through an epochal change) involving several aspects of life: geopolitics, with the uni-multipolar transition; economy, with the financial crisis and the shift of power away from the West; culture, with the loss of cultural and spiritual values and the attempts to re-discovered them; technology, with the impressive influence that it has on history – that last theme masterly treated by professor Robert Curl in his speech on the first plenary session – and the problem connected to hydrocarbons and renewable sources of energy. In this particular context of full-spectrum changement, futurology is the study not only of the future but also of the present. In fact, if we consider our time from the above mention point of view, we can say that our future is our present.

The emergence of new geopolitical and geoeconomical poles – such as Russia, China, India and Brazil – is influencing the structure of the rising new world order. Such influence will be more and more strong in the coming future. It will be also a cultural and spiritual influence, because of the large potential that those countries owned in respect to culture, philosophy and religion.

That geopolitical transition from unipolarism to multipolarism will probably imply also a change of perspective that could re-shape our societies. Unipolarism is characterized by some prominent features as neoliberalism, individualism and un-equal neocolonialist exchange. Many of those features, I guess, we won't find in the new multipolar order, or at least will no more represent the global rule.

From the “centre-periphery” world system we will shift to a multi-centred and regionalized one: let's think for example to the geoeconomical clusters as BRICS, Eurasian Union, MerCoSur, ASEAN, European Union and so on. Moreover, as Mr. Gusenbauer said two days ago, the economic focus will shift from speculation to investments, i.e. From money-per-se (money for creating more money) to production (money for producing real wealth). In my view, neoliberal economy will be replaced by a more solidarist one. In the field of education, we will see the increase of networking of knowledge centres, instead of the “draining” of poor countries' intellectual resources by the richer countries. Finally, from the universal imposition of Western standards we will shift to a peer-to-peer dialogue of civilizations. That also in order to contrast the risk of conflictual environment, as Mr. Petito underlined in his speech two days ago.