Globalisation and Humanity

a-better-world-is-possible

The global economy can only be possible if it rejects the national and embraces the human. To be truly global, it cannot be driven by Americans or Chinese, it has to be the work of humanity. In reality the nation state should already be a thing of the past, but, while the global economy has evolved rapidly and with enormous energy, the political globalisation of the world has stagnated or even regressed into separatisms rather than unifications.

Globalisation is, in fact, a great dilemma for a capitalism which has traditionally bred the segregation of nations and peoples in order to create the conflicts necessary for the kind of dynamic markets it loves the most. In fact, segregation is so embedded in the identity of capitalism that globalisation-through-capitalism itself becomes one great paradox and sounds like an oxymoron.

Of course globalisation-through-capitalism doesn’t really exist because while we know that a process of globalisation through capitalism is going on, we also know that in order to ever complete this process the world will have to become politically-one, in harmony with itself, and this scenario is anathema to capitalism.

So, the question arises concerning capitalism’s real desires for the globalisation process: How global can we really get in the eyes of capitalism?

Capitalism nurtures itself on rivalry – but: What kind of rivalry does it prefer?

To answer this question, we first have to consider how rivalry can be measured qualitatively. Perhaps it could be measured according to levels of complexity: the rivalry in Lebanon is not the same as the rivalry for the State of California. Lebanon is far more complex, as is all of the Middle East, compared to the U.S.A. When economists and politicians talk about needs for regional stability, they are expressing a desire to lessen the complexity of rivalries in certain regions. Paradoxically, this simplification, as understood by liberal capitalism, demands a totalitarian organisation that must be implemented by invasive war.

The question of the relationship between capitalism and war is a thorny one for capitalism; so thorny in fact that it should have been reason enough to look for an alternative to the system. It never has been, but that does no mean that the thorniness has gone away.

In order to grow, capitalism needs to open up new markets and expand its geographical roads. It also needs access to cheap new materials and regions where labour costs are lower as well. On a common-sense level, no one should want war, but underlying that common-sense there is another pragmatic field that knows there is a profit in war, and there is certainly profit in conflict. Investment in the military is a major business interest for large corporations – and not necessarily only for those that manufacture arms. Our contemporary conflicts generate inflation and create substantial profits.

Neo-liberalism might argue that peace is necessary in order to secure free trade and allow for the unfettered flow of capital, but, when they say this, we need to ask what are the consequences of the rivalry involved in the liberation of markets. Conflict is created through exploitation and the fermenting of inequalities and poverty that are an essential part of the fuel that drives the great engine of capitalism and its rivalry-driven economies. So, it is hypocritical for the capitalist to say it desires peace, for a capitalist-peace is a beehive of humming rivalry and implicit in the noise is an element of dissidence.

So, does capitalism need war to maintain its momentum? Probably not, in the short-term; probably yes, in the long-term. It is hard to envisage a capitalist-motivated universal peace movement, precisely because capitalism would have to change too many of its traditional practices in order to ensure such a peace … It is this essential need for war that makes capitalism profoundly incapable of driving the globalisation process.

In the world today, Power-as-Wealth resides in the dominant, capitalist corporations. If war does guarantee substantial profits and promises an increase in inflation then, especially in times of low-inflation or deflation, the companies may find themselves praying for a war just as, centuries ago, farmers prayed for rain. But, the difference in that analogy is that war can be manufactured whereas rain was beyond the farmer’s control. In short, war will constantly be a temptation whilst Power-as-Wealth resides as the pilot and chief-architect of the structure of our System. And wars need States to wage them.

A real globalisation that would absorb States is, therefore, by no means an objective of capitalism, simply because it is not, and never will be, an objective of the corporations wielding power. A real, global, human, stateless panorama would be useless for corporations because they would lose the pieces they need to move around the board; pieces which allow them to keep the game going.

As pieces of a game, the Nation States are not truly held in any authentically patriotic way by the corporate system, they are merely the pieces of the game that make it possible to play. The nationalist pride that is so prevalent around the world today is really one great farce. While our politicians espouse the virtues of patriotism, especially if a war or an election campaign is coming, the real allegiance in the capitalist-driven system is always a corporate one. Since the 1980s, the real value of wages has declined, whilst capital-gains have skyrocketed.

No, capitalism cannot be expected to be a driving force in globalisation, and with the pressing needs of the climate emergency and the urgency of global solutions to solve it, capitalism is equally powerless to act there.

Our Emperor is capitalism, and it is standing naked before us. We need to find a political force that can find global solutions to the existential crisis we are drowning in, and that force must come out of humanity itself. Humanity needs globalisation, and globalisation needs humanity to drive it.

A proper globalisation, political as well as economic, would be not just a political leap forward for humanity, it would also be a profoundly spiritual jump, allowing humanity to be properly born as a concept, allowing for the unleashing of the enormous creative and innovative powers of a human, Sapiens collective. In fact, the leap created by the authentic unification of humanity may be regarded as a transhuman one, whilst in fact it will merely be the liberation of what we really are, the first step for humanity to reach its home, the global world of humanity.

 

Final Aim

big-data

God or no God, the ultimate aim for humanity can only be determined cosmologically.

This statement is as true as: “we must all die.” In order to overcome nihilism, we need to find a positive relationship between cosmological problems and the problem of finding a value and purpose for life.

The idea of a fine-tuned universe[i] offers a first step to the elaboration of a philosophical method capable of offering a value and purpose for sapiens entities. In a determined universe, fine-tuned by the self-same cosmos to create conscious biological entities, advanced, sapiens life-forms assume an integral and even necessary function for the universe. From a universal perspective, consciousness is an essential ingredient, lacking at first, and so created out of necessity by the non-sentient universe so that it can perceive itself.

If God does exist, we must imagine It to be blind.

The most thorny problem is the concept of will or determination in the universe. If fine-tuning exists, how can it come about accidentally?

To leap beyond this conundrum, cosmologists have come up with the idea of the multiverse[ii], or the idea that an infinite number of universes have to exist in order to make our precision-made, godless universe possible. In a dynamic infinity, everything is not only possible, it is logically necessary.

The multiverse is an attempt to justify fine-tuning without the presence of any hand of a Creator, but for us, the multiverse idea is equally troublesome because it immediately drops us once again into nihilism and thwarts our attempts to find a value and purpose for life through the cosmological nature of things. For us, the determining hand of the blind, cosmological creator is found quite simply in the evolutionary process of the universe, and in its sub-atomic nature, which is based on information sharing[iii]. Particles share information and learn. Nature is self-learning. As Vlatko Vedral says: “information is capable of explaining itself,” [iv] and this idea mitigates the need to find a Creator. In the beginning there was information, and that information has evolved into the vast expanse of the universe we know today, which is an incredibly intricate mass of information and communication. Physics orders itself into what we perceive to be laws.

Seen in this way, sub-atomic physics becomes a kind of epistemology. If the essence of everything is information, then the study of that essence is a science of knowledge, or a science of the essence of knowledge – which has to be information.

Sapiens entities, like humanity, are not only made up of information, as everything in the universe is, we are also capable of understanding that information, even of modifying it – and it in these capacities of comprehension and modification that makes us not only a desired result of the universe of information’s evolution, but we are also a valuable, perhaps even absolutely necessary tool, for the modification of the universe. Our understanding of the laws of physics tells us that the universe is destined to die. But what if an extremely advanced sapiens civilisation were capable of changing the nature of the universe itself, much as we on Earth have shaped our own environments through technology: could that be the Final Aim of the evolving universe? Could it be to create its own salvation?

If so, this gives us our own great value and purpose of life: Not to save ourselves, but to be the saviours of the entire universe.

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_universe

[ii] https://youtu.be/bf7BXwVeyWw

[iii] See Vedral: Everything is Information https://youtu.be/QfQ2r0zvyoA

[iv] Ibid

The Physico-Teleology of the New Cosmology concerning the Creative Universe

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We live entrenched in a nihilistic paradigm bolstered, on the one hand, by the alternative-reality escapisms of the world religions, which diminish the importance of life-on-earth in order to strengthen their fantasy utopias of the after-life, and, on the other hand, by scientific paradigms that paint the picture of a fragile and essentially moribund universe. This ultimate message of vanitas vanitatum directs us away from real purposiveness and has been exploited by religions and capitalisms alike in order to fabricate a paradigm of prayer and/or consumerism full of alienated subjects struggling to reap more reward from a reality dominated by the actual and/or another life after death.

Given this pessimistic scenario in which a pincer of nihilism squeezes us from the material and the spiritual side at the same time; with the dogma of the scriptures and the truths of science collaborating to create the same philosophical conclusion, Vanity of vanities; all is vanity: to think any differently seems like madness.

Nevertheless, on the scientific side of the nihilistic paradigm, glimmers of purposiveness are beginning to sparkle, like twinkling luminaries within the absolute blackness of the Universe’s deepest reaches.

Physicist Paul Davies argues the following:

For three centuries science has been dominated by the Newtonian and thermodynamic paradigms, which present the universe either as a sterile machine, or in a state of degeneration and decay. Now there is the new paradigm of the creative universe, which recognises the progressive, innovative character of physical processes. This new paradigm emphasises the collective, cooperative and organisational aspects of nature; its perspective is synthetic and holistic rather than analytic and reductionist.”[1]

Paul Davies’ idea is essentially anti-nihilistic. He gives us an idea of absolute human purposiveness within a mortal Universe. Beginning with the description of the heat-death state which physics predicts to be the Universe’s ultimate destiny:

Eventually, even the galaxies near our Milky way (or what’s left of it) will be receding faster than light, and so will be invisible. If nothing acts to change their trend, the ultimate state of the universe will be dark, near-empty space for all eternity. It is a depressing thought.”[2]

… Davies then throws in a positive spark:

There is a glimmer of hope, however. The same physical process that triggered the inflationary burst at the birth of the universe could, in principle, be re-created. With trillions of years to worry about it, our descendants in the far future might figure out a way to produce a new big bang in the laboratory, in effect creating a baby universe … For a while mother and baby will be joined by an umbilical cord of space, offering a bridge between the old universe and the new. Our descendants might be able to scramble into the new universe, and embark on a new cycle of cosmic evolution and development.”[3]

Yes, it sounds like science-fiction fantasy, but at least it does offer an alternative to the reigning nihilistic paradigms. What Davies suggests, is that perhaps all our earthly achievements have not been in vain. Perhaps it even gives us a general purpose in life within which we can start to build our individual purposes and structure our societies in a new, more positive way accordingly.

Once a positive final-purpose becomes possible and we start to see beyond the nihilist-paradigm, then possibility itself becomes a positive and creative driving force, pulling us out of the stifling gravity of the actual into a purposeful future.

New questions create new answers, and new answers create new scenarios, which create new paradigms and new societies. Once the creativity of thinking on the possible rather than the actual is put into play, then everything is changed.

If an idea that humanity has the possibility of creating a new, fresh universe to replace the dying inflationary one we inhabit at the moment, or perhaps even a vision of a distant future where humans have devised a technology that could remedy the degeneration in the universe and save it; then such positive aspirations to ensure such an evolution could become as ingrained in us as the pessimistic visions and nihilisms are embedded in our outlook of humanity today. If this did happen, then new societies and cultures would have to be born to adapt to such a radical positivism.

Instead of praying to God, we can start to have faith in a new idea of humanity: that human beings could themselves become gods. Paul Davies’ simple possibility implies this. A simple possibility given support, albeit theoretical and hypothetical, by science.

Once purposiveness (whatever kind of purposiveness) is fully grasped, can there be a more motivating and creative force? So motivating indeed, that the great motor that we currently have in our lives – money – could very quickly be superseded. And, with the root of all evil gone, societies will be invested with tremendously positive, new possibilities. A massive snowball of creativity will be set in motion. A new eon of humanity will be born with an optimism capable of taking it beyond the physical life-span of the Universe itself.

The purposiveness suggested by a simple idea such as Davies’, so that the destiny of mankind as gods creating our own universe, is reinforced by becoming. Absolute purposiveness can only exist in the task that is always in progress. The meaning is embedded in the process rather than the completion of the task. Completion is always an end to reason. Only the eternal becoming can be truly motivating.

[1] Paul Davies, THE COSMIC BLUEPRINT (from the Preface to the first edition)

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

Happiness

Eutychia

Kant makes a point that human happiness depends on humanity harmonising its condition with nature. Human here is the key term: we are not talking about the happiness of individuals, although it would be easier for individuals to find happiness if the human race itself had a happier condition.

Kant says: “We are determined a priori by reason to further what is best for the world as far as this lies within our power.”[1]

For Kant, this harmonising would take place by guiding nature, or perhaps crafting it, to follow humanity’s moral ends. Where we differ from Kant is that we have observed that our particular perspective of what human moral ends should be are actually demonstrated by and embedded in nature already. We are referring here to the ideas of becoming and perpetuity, which are part of the nature of the cosmos.

For us, the harmony of the Universe flows through, and depends on, sapiens entities like humanity being able to understand nature’s final ends. A harmony that depends on the creation and perpetuation of life and its evolution into the complexity of sapiens organisms, which include, of course, our own species.

Our duty

Kant concluded that we are very likely the only entities in the Universe capable of thinking what the final end of the same Universe could be.[2] So, if that’s the case, we should start to tackle the concept seriously.

The first part of the process of the becoming has to be an idea of what is final, and what a happy ending could be like. The adjective is important: to be positive, the purpose in the becoming must always be directed towards Utopia.

Counter-purpose, on the other hand, is anything pushing us towards a dystopia.

The Chicken of the Egg

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

We see the Universe as an egg. The world in it is a potentially life-producing object, the yolk. Self-conscious life, or Sapiens, is the chick, growing inside. Eventually the chick has to break out of the egg. That is the first step from Sapiens to a new evolutionary process of becoming God.

[1] Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement, p. 282

[2] Ibid

On the Beauty of Humanity

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Kant says that there are two kinds of beauty: that which is free and that which is dependent.[1] Human imagination can develop beauty, seemingly freely through imagination, but the essence of human beauty itself is always coming from a condition of dependency, for it depends on the Universe that it depends on for its existence and in which it is contained.

In fact, human beauty resides in two absurd drives: a) the desire to be free in a Universe that it is ultimately completely dependent on; and b) the desire to find permanence in that same Universe which is destined to die.

To indagate in our beauty then, we cannot escape our absurdity. And yet, all great art is based on these two paradoxical longings: how can that be? How can something be great and absurd at the same time?

The answer to this dilemma lies in the same paradox, the paradox of freedom and its impossible relationship with its dependence on reality.

The key to the human soul is embedded in our impossible dreams: we know that we cannot be truly free or permanent, but that does not stop us from trying or stop us from believing in such things. And it is this ability, this sapiens skill of pursuing the impossible, that pushes us beyond all paradoxes. The fact that we can understand the impossible and yet at the same time believe in the idea that the impossible will become possible and real, is a liberation.

Or, knowing that we are not free and yet still believing that we could be, makes us free.

This paradox has been the driving force of all deep art and deep technology. In it lies the immense beauty of what we are; the awesome beauty that can believe it will one day conquer even its own most absolute limitations … as long as we keep focussed and trying.

[1] Immanuel Kant, CRITIQUE OF JUDGEMENT, Oxford World Classics edition, OUP, p.60

Life in the Hive

For the greater part of humanity, the experience of life is reduced to mere busyness. We are bees if you like, albeit intelligent ones, who are blessed or cursed with a self-consciousness that is full of great hopes and expectations. Yet our hive is a most ambiguous place. We find ourselves working within a great, global civilisation that is supposed to be structured to improve the standards of living for humanity, whilst, in reality, despite global think-tank institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, we proceed without any authentically human driven plan toward actually achieving our humanistic aim. The real honey-gathering bees, it could be said, are actually motivated by more genuine purposes when they fly from flower to flower than we do whenever we turn on our computers or catch the train to work.

If our global civilisation does have a plan, it has very little to do with humanity itself. Instead of using our immense technological potentials for improving lifestyles globally, the system is obsessed with the creation and maintenance of channels that allow wealth to be streamed in a constant upward flow. The busyness of the human-hive is a perpetual process of making the rich richer and the imposition of security systems to protect its accumulations and keep its doors open for more wealth to enter. If standards of living at the lower levels can benefit from this process then it is tolerated, but only as long as the bigger aim of pushing money upward is not impaired.

And so the busyness is a nihilistic activity that lacks any purposeful strategies for the lives of the human bees that are doing most of the buzzing. The plan that does exist, fabricated in the silent halls of the echelons of wealth, are devoid of any true forward transforming goals for humanity. Wealth is already turning its backs on the humanity it never cared for and looking toward the transhumanist stage of their own elite’s evolution.

Technology evolves because it is good business or because its evolution will allow the elite’s own evolution away from what it hates – humanity. The elite has no interest in humanity, and it has always been interested in confounding and thereby ultimately degrading humanity.

Heidegger said that busyness gives the impression of a higher reality, but this impression is not authenticity. “Ongoing activity becomes mere busyness whenever, in the pursuing of its methodology, it no longer keeps itself open on the basis of an ever-new accomplishing of its projection-plan, but only leaves that plan behind itself as a given.”[i]

In fact, the plan was left behind so long ago that no one can really remember what it was in the first place. We have been busy in our nihilism so long that we have started to have faith in that same nihilism as something meaningful, which is absurd. Meaning is being confused with busyness, an empty meaning, lacking the grounding of a projection-plan. A projection plan rooted in what we are: human beings, homo sapiens, creatures that think and can envisage great, purposeful things for the future, who can see a purposeful direction forward for all of humanity.

[i] Martin Heidegger, THE QUESTION CONCERNING TECHNOLOGY, p. 138

Potential

Amongst the things that humanity has lost, or lost touch with, is its potential. Potential, where it exists, has become a national impetus – a nationalistic charging of competitiveness in some international race toward nowhere. Human potential, however, if we ever knew what it was, has long been forgotten. After millennia of segregations and separations the human has been reduced to the most abstract of concepts, without substance: so much so that any ideas of making the human a meaningful concept now sound revolutionary. In fact, such an achievement would be revolutionary.

Humanity, as Sapiens, is here to perceive and know the Universe and guarantee its Being through representation. Human technology exists in order to make perception and knowledge of the Universe possible and permanent. Learning how to preserve ourselves may be the first step toward learning how to preserve the dying Universe. Only the undying Being makes any real sense.

 

Let there be light! –

But without any eyes to see

what good is my radiance?

Let there be eyes!

But eyes need a screen as well,

something on which to project

the illuminated image,

and a way to represent

the projection as something

seen.

Let there be consciousness!

What is humanity but a conscious mirror!