on Global Unity
By Tony Gailli
Truthfully, I find the idea of global
unity redundant. There is no need to "unite" the world, for I already see the
world as one. To me, "one world" or "global unity," sound like "world world"
or "global global". What we need to advance is our coordinated efforts
to build more cooperation. To work towards global unity, for me, is not to shove
everyone together under the banner of "this-ism" or "that-ism," for many have
tried that before, and have failed, and have caused unimaginable suffering.
What needs to happen in this world is for more people to understand that it
is indeed one world, that we are all indeed one human family, and that this
view, this ethic, this holistic sense, forms the basis of genuine compassion
and sanity. We need an antidote to the fragmentary madness, elitism, ego/ethnocentrism,
and arrogance which poisons this one world. If that holistic view is a given,
we will automatically act from a place of global unity.
If a woman is raped in Iraq, she is not an "Iraqi" to me, though that may be her identity and I respect that. She is also my sister, she is a fellow human being with rights and wishes of her own, and she suffers the same as a woman being raped in any other part of the world. Rape is rape. It is a violation, and by definition, it terrifies, traumatizes, and humiliates its victim. It does not matter how we conceptualize it, by what language or definition, on a deep visceral level we know what hurt, shame, and degradation feels like. The heart in her that is subject to abuse is the same heart in any of us. If a child is suffering from AIDS in Africa, that is my child who is sick. If a man is a political prisoner in South America, he is my brother who is unjustly imprisoned. If a child is exploited for his labor in South East Asia, that is my child who is exploited. I may not know them personally, and they may not know me, but the knowledge that it happens pains me all the same.
It does not matter if I will never be able to stop all of these crimes, I'll be happy to work towards stopping even one of them. It's true that these injustices have always existed, but I do not agree with the cynical notion that this is the way the world always has to be, that we cannot work for something better. Crimes against my fellow human beings are not something that I want to ignore just because it "feels" better to be isolated.
The world does not have to be 100% free of injustice to be a world worth living in. The story of humanity is not a finished project. There is a need for us, who are able, to reach out and protect one another. Humanity is a family, and families have always worked for the survival of one another. We do not have to wait and hold our breath until the world is ideal before we act to make living conditions better, for if that were the case we would suffocate before realizing our potential. Humanity does not have to be a dysfunctional family, it is not inevitable and it is not what we are capable of, or deserve.
I think it is also important to understand what it is in this world that is truly universal, and that which is relative. If we do not understand it, then the truly noble aim of uniting the world is infected with the insidious urge to force a certain cultural norm upon others, lured by the notion that just because "your" particular group believes in something, everyone else needs to. This is based on an unconscious notion that the "other" is automatically inferior, that his or her culture is automatically worth less than "your" culture, and it should be thrown out like trash (at gun point if necessary). That is not the way to work for change if you want long-term evolution. There are already universal imperatives and drives latent within all of humanity, and it is that, that natural goodness of human decency, that we need to nurture and support in one another. Actually, that very disgust with hegemony, against cultural imperialism, is itself a universalist value, contrasted with the messianic delusion that has gripped the minds of crusaders for centuries, and continues to.
That being said, I do believe in the necessity, and perhaps inevitability (if social evolution continues) of a global government. How it should be implemented, however, is a very thorny issue. Dictators have always pretended that they act from the "will of the people," as though "the people" are an impersonal group of automatons with only one particular will - the will of the ruling class. It's bad enough when this happens in one country, how much worse if it happens on a global scale under a one world government. We do not need one country acting as a global empire; I think that after the events of the twentieth century, a culmination of centuries of empire building, we have seen enough of that. A truly "global" government would actually have very few powers, for its main objective would be to only flex its collective muscles when other groups, acting in the singular, in a non-global fashion, decide to impose themselves on others. A truly global government would be based on a new and startling vision of justice, and new and startling structure of authority, and a new and startling existence of unity.
I think of global unity in terms of health. When a body heals itself, it works in harmony, and a balance is achieved that biologists call "homeostasis." When there is imbalance, there is ill health. To balance itself, an organism must offset the force that caused the imbalance. If the body attacks itself, that itself becomes ill-health, as can be seen in some devastating autoimmune diseases. Healing does, sometimes, require some painful circumstances in order for wellness to occur. When performing surgery, for example, you need to cut into a patient. But this is done to remove an agent that threatens the health of the organism, not an attack on the organism itself. Perhaps in the future, medical technology will reach a point in sophistication in which invasive surgery does not require any painful or violent intervention. Similarly, with a more advanced social science, we can find the best ways to heal the wounds of economic, political, and social afflictions without causing more damage.
Perhaps it should be pointed out that the notion of "oneness" does not necessarily mean that everyone is, or must be, exactly the same. The health of nations, and of the world, requires cooperation through individuals and groups, rather than the implementation of command and conquer that has enslaved us for too long. If everyone followed the will of a higher authority consciously created amongst ourselves, we would also discover the latent universal moral sense that lies within each of our own souls. "Control" would come from shared values, values we can all agree on for our mutual benefit in survival, fulfillment of potentials, and transcendent happiness in life. Perhaps we cannot eliminate the natural urge for competition, for this is what often unleashes our creativity and the drive for excellence, but we can make the playing field fair with the enforcement of truly just rules created from our higher selves. In a world democracy, things would be decided by an agreement between equals, between mutually respected parties, each and all obeying the will of evolution. Evolution is for everyone, not just the privileged and the powerful.
Tony Galli is a writer living in Connecticut. More of his writings can be found at: http://www.students.ccsu.edu/galliaj