Why do we so passively accept the notion of following? Why do we follow another’s authority, another’s experience and then doubt what we are following – which culminates as a painful process for most? In fact, we are quick to blame and criticise the ones who accept authoritative positions – politicians, leaders, intellectuals, executives, teachers – but we rarely examine our own craving for authority to direct our conduct. If we comprehend this sort of craving, we may come to understand the significance of doubt.
In the 90s, globalisation was supported and even applauded. But now, why are those who are still supporting globalisation failing to realise that globalisation has drawn enormous antipathy from developed as well as underdeveloped countries when both were supposed to have benefitted. While some believe we are simply not aware that we are better off, on the other hand many could argue that we probably no longer realise that we have been manipulated to follow something we do not understand, resulting in the world being far worse off than before globalisation occurred – simply because we have been following a viscous political, economic, and social game. The world can no longer turn around; we have been trapped. When the USA, Europe and Japan welcomed underdeveloped countries to open their markets, they entered a fickle global game – where only the most powerful countries are the big winners.
The state influential financial intuitions, together with Western investment development aid programmes, did not fully reciprocate – they have chosen to retain possession of their enormous subsidies, keeping markets closed to lower the income of the underdeveloped countries, and increasing their profit margin over a short period of time – making the poorest of the poor fully dependent, playing the global game we can never win. At the same time, double-crossing development aid agencies and other unpredictable NGOs from the same nations, which tumbled the system worldwide, making former colonial countries in Africa, Asia and South America fully dependent on them, not realising that they were casting for the wrong bait. In fact, it’s capital market liberalisation that has been pushed way too far, engaging in method without appropriate safeguards, and contributing to global instability.
It is not surprising that we experience a high level of inequality in these countries. This constitutes the biggest challenge in the debate surrounding globalisation, since it is clear that many countries are not benefitting. Since globalisation is a very powerful force, we need to ask ourselves if we can afford for this system to exploit these former colonial countries, continually increasing inequality in areas such as Southern Africa and South East Asia. Other than economic powerhouses that lead, the remainder of the world is following: a tremendously unbalanced global society.
Today we are experiencing a movement against such globalisation with millions of followers from all over the world. It is possible that our minds have been so conditioned, so caught up and engrossed in numerous ideologies and ideas that a new mind has been developed? It is not surprising that our old mind, the one which has been following, is tightly bound to authority, assuming we would embrace and value authority as knowledge, experiences, talents, skills, abilities, traditions where we can cultivate our security – inwardly as well as outwardly. Such security may be self-imposed authority. An idea is never a fact – it is a fiction.
The same goes for globalisation. To eliminate authority, we must destroy, re-design and rewrite this fiction. The old mind is the sort of mind that is kept frightened and over-anxious and is therefore strongly enticed to powerfully and ambitiously protect this fiction, to cultivate a false inner-security.
That is why we need virtues, ethics and values that nourish the good and create purpose and meaning for all – and not only for a ‘superior minority’. Virtue must be omnipresent, engaged moment to moment: humility, commitment, compassion, clarity, courage, trust. Because these cannot be cultivated, we are incapable of learning how to learn differently. Interesting enough, the social morality is actually no morality at all – society is completely immoral, allowing comparison, competition, ambition, greed and strife to not merely exist, but flourish! Society, therefore, continues to encourage immorality because it lacks inner security across any kind of social system. Virtue is something that transcends morality. That is why virtue has no authority. Without virtue there is no order – and no order means not following a pattern, arrangement, diagram or expectation.
Because we don’t understand today’s global contest, we accept and follow a formula to discipline society to achieve virtue that shall help us overcome immorality. But that does not work. When Switzerland and other Europeans countries decide that it is no longer of use to teach the little ones to be musically fit in things such as creating in the arts, encouraging them to play an instrument, or write a wonderful poem or tell an inspiring story, we are moving towards being an over-disciplined society of followers, only serving a minority. This sort of psychological authority is destructive of virtue, as virtue is something that is alive and moving, bringing people and social systems together, keeping the world in balance. So without virtues, ethics and values there is no solid foundation and clear thinking is impossible.
Making globalisation work is the challenge. How do we do this? We need to understand some of the reasons globalisation has not lived up its promises; we must be aware of its associated conflicts and challenges. What seems to be important in this process is not how to recognise one who is liberated from the flaws of globalisation, but to comprehend oneself what is truly needed to fulfil people’s needs for a better and more stable life. No authority, institution or state can actually give one knowledge about oneself. And without self-knowledge there is simply no liberation from ignorance.
Perhaps advocates of globalisation should question why they so readily follow the authority of globalisation? Is it perhaps possible that we assume we want a result, and will get a result, that will be satisfactory, and thus we assume this will bring security? Because we keep hammering towards that global ideology, we no longer realise that our impulses, our instincts and our reactions, as well as the entire way we think, pursue a system that assures a tangible but fickle result. This result is not purpose nor meaning-oriented and sooner or later will collapse, because ultimately the outcome of desire, an inner drive for security and certainty is obviously not the sort of understanding we need to keep ourselves in balance to survive.
The fact is we believe that when we follow a method, we must have authorities who will guarantee us what we desire, but surely this is not the way to self-knowledge; it is manipulation, having the masses follow this continuous global game. Hence it is authority that prevents the understanding of ourselves – this simply does not work! Under the circumstances imposed by authority, we may temporarily register a sense of security and well-being, but that is not the understanding of the total process of independency, no longer following authorities as this prevents any social system – whether countries or continents – from attaining full awareness. This increases dependence and destroys freedom. And only in freedom alone can we cultivate a creativeness which requires self-knowledge.
If we can better understand the compulsion behind our drive, desire and need to dominate others or let other dominate us, then perhaps we can be free from the crippling effects of following authority. If we are to be aware of the entire process of following authority, if we are to understand and transcend our desire for certainty, our fear of risk, then we must cultivate awareness within all social systems across nations and the globe.
We must be free of any manipulation, control, administration and other direction – not at the end of the day, but at the very beginning of every day.