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It seems obvious that radical measures are going to be needed to redress the growing problems that the world faces with regard to issues such as climate change and potential food shortages.
The fact is, the human population continues to increase. That alone would present a formidable problem, but when climate change is added to the mix it becomes even more challenging. Although many will look to technology to provide the solutions it would be foolish to assume that, despite the track record of ingenuity that the human race has displayed in the past, technology alone could be our saviour; moreover, technology needs to be channelled by something more morally accountable than market forces.
Recent events, stepping perilously close to economic (and in places social) meltdown, have proven that capitalism can’t be trusted to provide the solution. When the pursuit of profit is the main driving factor the ‘best solution’ won’t necessarily be adopted. Unfortunately, large proportions of the developing world are adopting the capitalist model too, for it provides an attractive material standard of life for the lucky ones -
Towards A More Globalised World?
world’s ecological viability. In addition to the shortcomings of capitalism there are other factors, such as the diversity of political and religious systems around the world that stand in the way of, and ultimately threaten, global sustainability.
In the longer term it would seem wise to look to some form of world government to conciliate and mobilise all these diverse forces and interests. Some would look upon the model of the European Economic Community as a reason to avoid this at all costs: despite its lofty aims it has acquired a reputation for being intrusive, interfering and unwieldy -
Perhaps one major reason political structures such as the EEC Assembly, as well as many nation state governments, fail to work effectively is the lack of democracy: a governing body is often either autocratic or only relatively democratic where, in effect, an elected body assumes a mandate to determine policy for their electorate when in fact, at anything other than a crude macro level of government, they do not have it, and as a result are often at odds with what the electorate actually desires. However, modern technology raises the potential for a much more ‘hands-
Many would fear that a move towards some form of ‘world government’ would result in some nightmare ‘Big Brother’ scenario, and serve simply to wash away all the idiosyncrasies that make the mosaic of societies around the globe so diverse and, consequently, so culturally rich. However, this needn’t be so: it would be a question of restraining the mandate of such a government, making it fully accountable to all the citizens of the world whilst at the same time allowing a high degree of localised community-
There will certainly be a large number of those that read this that will seriously doubt the arguments put forward above, and would counter that democracy itself is unworkable, and never more than a veneer to appease the masses whilst a corrupt and largely hidden elite at the top bypass it to accrue an unfair share of power and wealth. They might also object that even democracy doesn’t fulfil the needs of all the people, only the majority. An alternative that some of these opponents would put forward is some variation of anarchy, where all forms of hierarchical authority are removed. There are in effect many diverse subcultures of anarchism, some of which propose a non-
All of these ideas are, of course, components of a lofty vision that are radical by the conventions of the day, and which will instil fear, doubt and resistance in many. No radical change can ever be made overnight -
Perhaps, all said and done, mindful of the potential consequences of adverse climate change and potential world food shortages (such as cataclysmic global war), it is time to at least start to make inroads into some means of attaining global harmony, that will inevitably have as an essential component a far more egalitarian distribution of wealth and resources, regardless of the immense challenges that stand, seemingly implacably, in the way.
© Global Fightback, 2013.
Illustration: The WOMAD Festival brings together diverse cultures from all around the world to meet in a spirit of harmony.
Article first uploaded to the original version of the website in 2013. Last revised on 13-
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