A contribution to an exchange on A World Political Party: The Time Has Come
The idea of a World Political Party definitely resonates. I particularly like that it has been framed in a cosmological context. That makes it not just a World Political Party, but a world evolutionary vision, so important at a time when “end of world” scenarios are likely to be self-fulfilling unless we can offer a wider, more inspiring vision for our future.
As I asked in a prior discussion, why a global party, or a global governing body? Our crises won’t go away on their own, or even through a random emergence of local movements. Unless we are looking to global interests, one nation’s (or region’s) interests will always be pitted against another’s, even assuming the best of intentions of or for their own people. As we have seen, this does not work—divisiveness breeds divisiveness, as violence breeds more violence. We need to really grasp that only the good of the Whole (both people and planet) can serve the good of us all—and help put that into action. The reasons for this would be clearly expressed in the manifesto or platform.
In evolution, smaller, simpler units conglomerate into larger, more complex ones. We need to look at how this happens and, in the context of social systems particularly, how the new, larger conglomeration gains traction and legitimacy. We need to look back to past examples where the traction succeeded and the new potentials inherent in our present digitally interconnected context. Our high-tech capabilities exponentially heighten not only the dangers but also the positive possibilities of global interconnectedness.
Another related point. I hear the fear expressed again and again that a movement which starts off for the people will become rigid or dictatorial. This fear, like a bogeyman in the background, has effectively paralyzed any further large-scale experiments in cooperative systems since the Communist downfall. People fear the power of structures, so fragmentation feels safer, even at the cost of their own powerlessness. (Ironically, this over-fastidious fear of benevolent visions turning self-serving and tyrannical has given free rein to the unabashedly power-hungry and self-serving to come into absolute power!)
In healthy social evolution, however, there is always a convergence of creative emergence and new structures, of spontaneity and planning. There is nothing wrong with either of those; in fact, the trick to healthy systems is to find the balance, the sweet spot between rigidity and too much randomness, chaos. To the extent that this balance is there, diverse forces can come together into new configurations of coherence, movements that materialize and take form. Structures for emergence, and the emergence of new structures, go together.
All of this is to say that we should not fear power, or structures, or coming together around large-scale visions; we need to step up to the plate, and learn to navigate them in new, evolving, self-aware, creative, and flexible ways. We need not repeat the mistakes of the past, if we learn its lessons well. And the present is always offering up new, unprecedented possibilities, new turns of evolution. It’s up to us to take them.
As a forum for collectively understanding and shaping the global future, GTI welcomes diverse ideas. Thus, the opinions expressed in our publications do not necessarily reflect the views of GTI or the Tellus Institute.
Journey to Earthland
The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization
GTI Director Paul Raskin charts a path from our dire global moment to a flourishing future.
Available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish