The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion.
-- Thomas Paine
Not every generation faces such an historic turning point of civilization. But the future looms before us like never before, a clear vision of a world threatened by increasing classism, perpetual hostilities and environmental degradation. The inevitable consequences of history have caught up with us, testing whether we have the will to set aside the failed visions of the past and create a future civilization that fulfills the most promising visions of people everywhere and all times.
After all, the dreams of great men and women of all cultures were never visions of a highly regimented civilization with inhumane discrepancies between rich and poor. Nor have the wisest and most far-sighted among us envisioned a civilization perpetually at war with itself, fostering animosity among nations, races, religions and genders.
Civilization is turned inside-out: Those who rule display no concern for humanity or nature, while those who should rule find themselves subjected to cyclic wars, economic collapses and environmental crises. Modern governments are charged with ensuring the wellbeing of their people, future generations, and the environment--yet they subject their societies to shifting hostilities, antiquated classism and inaccessible alternatives to depleted natural resources.
That the many do not want their governments to engage in hostilities with other governments is certain. That the many do not want their governments to give economic forces the right to steal from them and their children and their children's children is certain. That the many do not want their governments to continue the irrational and irresponsible desecration of nature's land, plants, animals and atmosphere is certain. Yet, these are precisely the actions that the few continue to impose upon the will of the many.
The vast majority of people in the world are in a state of exile: exiled from the corridors of power where the decisions effecting them are being made; exiled from the boardrooms where the fate of the planet's wildlife, vegetation, soil, water and atmosphere are being dictated; exiled from the war rooms where the strategies of perpetual hostility destroying homes, families and lives are being forged.
Through the ironies of history, it is the many who are exiled from the throne rooms usurped by the few. But it is not, of course, the 1% who are the legitimate governors of this world--it is the 99% of humanity who make up the World Government-In-Exile. Exiled within the borders of obsolete nation-states, this is a generation of world citizens seeking to do what governments are unwilling to do: Redirect civilization's energies into establishing a long-standing peace among all peoples and an irreversible commitment to healing the environment.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.
-- Albert Einstein
Taking back the reins of self-governance means aligning with the inevitable positive vision of the future in order to eradicate borders, differences, and distances between us: If the future is to be better than the past, then it must be founded on genuine goodwill among all. The distrust and fear propagated by the ruling class must be replaced by a willingness to recognize and trust the inherent goodness of people everywhere.
The inevitable World Government can only be one of global cooperation, in which resources are pooled and responsibilities shared. That World Government, comprised of all peoples everywhere, inevitably seeks to enrich the lives of every individual while ensuring that the best interests of the environment and future generations are of equal concern. It is this overarching sense of purpose that inevitably unites humanity in a shared vision of the future within its reach.
Following is an incomplete set of general principles, values, and ethics contributing to the positive vision of the inevitable future. Such a transition to the emerging world culture appears to be waiting for a consensus of people to:
1. Acknowledge the essential nature common to people everywhere;
2. Acknowledge the inevitability of people everywhere identifying with human nature instead of gender, race, culture, nationality or religion;
3. Acknowledge the interests, concerns and needs universal to human nature;
4. Acknowledge the importance of concerns specific to local communities;
5. Acknowledge the right of people everywhere to share equally in the use of resources to meet the concerns universal to human nature, among which are good water, food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, peaceful coexistence and the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the times in which they live;
6. Acknowledge that the purpose of government is to fulfill the wishes of people and that its purpose is to follow the will of people, not lead--to serve people, not rule;
7. Acknowledge that wisdom, goodwill and clemency are essential to holding the moral high ground during a time of reconciliation;
8. Acknowledge that people everywhere want peace and prosperity -- and that it is this common desire that truly promotes positive change;
9. Acknowledge that a view of human nature as separate and distinct from all of nature is misguided and leads to the desecration of nature and the dehumanization of people everywhere;
10. Acknowledge that a worldview embedded in the sacredness of all of nature, including human nature, embodies wisdom and leads to harmonious relationships between people and respectful treatment of animals, plants and natural resources everywhere;
11. Acknowledge the folly of identifying with the horrors of the past, which leads to perpetuating hatreds and animosities;
12. Acknowledge the wisdom of identifying with the inevitable positive future, in which people everywhere lead lives of peace, prospering in perpetual harmony with their natural environment;
13. Acknowledge that the community of spirit transcends local limitations of resources and aids in their recovery from natural disasters;
14. Acknowledge that the world's resources are shared by the world's people in a manner that does not injure either the world's future resources or its future generations and that the sacredness of all of nature demands a profound respect for its animals, plants, atmosphere, land and water so that caring for the well-being of all of nature remains a matter of the utmost concern for people everywhere;
15. Acknowledge that the technology exists for people everywhere to share information about problems they face and their possible solutions -- and that access to such technology is among the rights all enjoy;
16. Acknowledge that nature and culture are the same thing and that the harmony between humanity and the environment has become essential to the wellbeing of both;
17. Acknowledge that the entire thrust of scientific research needs be turned to developing ways to feed and house all people while restoring watersheds and oceans to their uncontaminated states and restoring forests and the atmosphere to their original vitality; and,
18. Acknowledge that the right to vote is universal and extends to all people above the age of ten years, as children and youth are principal stakeholders in the decisions effecting the future.
Please take advantage of the comments section below to help complete this list and make it as comprehensive as possible.
This is the second of three articles proposing actions that can be taken now in order to arrive at the most beneficial future. In a previous article on the World Savings Initiative, I offered a model whereby the global community can fund constructive large-scale projects that improve the health of the environment and wellbeing of humanity at large.
The Toltec I Ching, by Martha Ramirez-Oropeza and William Douglas Horden, is published by Larson Publications. Its subtitle, 64 Keys to Inspired Action in the New World, hints at its focus on the ethics of the emerging world culture.
Click here for sample chapters, reviews and to learn more about the book.