The World Beyond Global Disorder

A Transcript of Introductory Remarks by Fred Dallmayr, Co-Chairman, WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations”; Packey J. Dee Professor, Departments of Philosophy and Political Science, University of Notre Dame, made at the 2nd Plenary Session of the 13th Rhodes Forum on October 9, 2015

As you know, our second session bears the title of the World Public Forum this years’, namely “The World Beyond Global Disorder.” We have talked of things like this previously, but let me just remind you what we mean by disorder. It’s not just that some people walk about in a disorderly way. There are some really very dramatic and very dismal kinds of disorders in our world today.

Let me just remind you of this: when everyone looks in our world, one finds violent conflicts, destruction, hot wars, cold wars, hybrid wars, proxy wars, flirtation with nuclear wars. So all of these things we mean by “world of disorder.” So that is not just some minor inconveniences, this is some real real threats, some real dangers. And of course these disorders are aggravated as we know by the economic disorder we heard about this morning. The concentration of incredible wealth in small global elites coupled with the economic stagnation of middle classes and of course the immiseration of the underclasses in many parts of our world.

Add to this the avalanche of refugees that we have today in this world and especially in Europe. Then you find that the world is really in very very bad dismal shape. So at our Panel today we have posted two basic questions. First, what are the reasons or the underline causes of this present disorder or chaos? What are the main contributing factors and who are the major social and political agents contributing to the prevailing chaos? That is one question. The second question is how we can overcome the present disorder, how can we move beyond global disorder? That is our main second question.

Do we have alternative visions? Do we have alternative designs for global order? And what would these designs look like? What are these designs?