New year thoughts

By | 2017-01-01

I have been trying to find positive ways to respond to recent world events, including electoral victories for the forces of division, hate and corporate greed. We humans seem to have a built-in imperative to protect ourselves and our own kind, and that selfishness unfortunately appears to be the main factor driving the move backwards and rightwards globally.

Just who are our “own kind” though?

Demagogues are gaining power by proposing to divide us by nationality, by race, by creed and by anything else that suits their purpose: that of power, the “free” market and supposed greatness. Walls are being built, nations are retreating into their shells, while voices of reason, justice and openness are cast aside.

If there is an answer, it must be to build a global movement for justice, for people and for the planet. It needs to be a movement in which the voices of those who feel excluded from the political process can be heard. It also needs to be able to keep rogue nations in check, and weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of tyrants.

What would such a movement look like? A directly-elected world parliament? Direct democracy? Something else entirely? A forum was recently convened at Yale University, discussing some options for a representative assembly:

Global parliamentary representation debated at Yale University

My view is that the nation-state is in the process of failing as a ruling concept of our planet. Instead of national governments setting the agenda, every voice should count equally everywhere. The process of building a new democracy somehow needs to be bottom-up, unaligned to national borders. Could it be based on an online community of citizens, giving voice to their concerns? I’d be very interested in people’s views on this attempt to set some baseline precepts and objectives of such a movement:

All input is welcome.

Happy 2017 everyone!

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