Eliciting Insight from Covert Operations by US
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 26 Jan 2015
Understanding Global Governance Otherwise in Response to THEM
Given the seemingly chaotic global situation, there is a strong case for eliciting new insight — new thinking — to clarify present opportunities for global governance. The amount and variety of information is such that everyone is essentially overloaded — snowed in, if not snowed down — with limited capacity to accord attention to vital processes. In a sense there is therefore a need for what might be appropriately caricatured as a set of We-Key Leaks — irrespective of how diplomatic they may be.
The challenge could be framed as one of intellectual property, namely one of reappropriating that which has been systematically misappropriated (Reclaiming the Heritage of Misappropriated Collective Endeavour, 2007). It is in this sense that there is a case for reframing understandings of US faced with the challenge of THEM. This is the dilemma posed by the “us and them” framing which currently dominates thinking with regard to global governance — supported by the argument that one is either with us or against us.
The misappropriation would seem to be associated with enabling and promoting the externalization of “us”, implying a bond which is less than self-evident. The nature and meaning of “we” is then less than meaningful to many, however much the sentiment is promoted in a quest for solidarity. The further implications of the sentiment may also be questionable (The Consensus Delusion: mysterious attractor undermining global civilization as currently imagined, 2011).
The argument here therefore explores the dynamic within a reappropriated US, understood as Universal Synthesizer or Universal Sympathizer — aspiring to global organization and expression of identity, through the embodiment of the highest values. This cognitive dynamic is recognized as challenged by the negativity of Terrifying Hypothetical External Mentalities (THEM) seeking to undermine the coherence articulated and sustained so positively by US.
The approach could be criticized through arguments analogous to those challenging any moral equivalence between the actions of US and the actions of THEM — as made by a former Ambassador of US to the UN (Jeane Kirkpatrick (The Myth of Moral Equivalence, 1986). This is consistent with the argument of Madeleine Albright, another Ambassador of US to the United Nations, when questioned on whether the sanctions against Iraq (killing more children than at Hiroshima) were appropriate. Albright replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.” (We Think the Price is Worth It, Fair, 2001).
There is however an argument for “mirroring” in the case of moral equivalence, as separately argued (Mirroring Global Moral Equivalence, 2010; My Reflecting Mirror World: making my World Summit on Sustainable Development worthwhile, 2002). As understood here, this mirroring can be fruitfully taken further through recognition of a form of metaphorical equivalence.
If this is indeed to be understood as myth, the myth is usefully explored in terms of subtler insights into the role of myth (Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth, 2005). It is also potentially consistent with the work of Joseph Campbell (The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: metaphor as myth and as religion, 1986) and of ecophilosopher Henryk Skolimowski (The Participatory Mind: a new theory of knowledge and of the universe, 1994).
Any such metaphorical equivalence (or correspondence) appears convoluted — and perhaps necessarily so. However its rejection fails to take account of the degree of unreason and absurdity which now characterizes global governance and its collective decision making processes. This has been variously argued by Charles Handy. The Age of Unreason, 1991; The Age of Paradox, 1995) and by others (Michael Foley, The Age of Absurdity: why modern life makes it hard to be happy, 2011).
At the time of writing this degree of failure of global governance is marked by a new venture in the previously much-deprecated process of “printing money” (ECB launches 1 trillion euro rescue plan to revive euro economy, Reuters, 22 January 2015; Europe’s Massive Quantitative Easing Scheme Just Arrived, Business Insider, 22 January 2015; Why printing money won’t work for Europe, The Telegraph, 23 January 2015). To many the initiative will indeed be considered the height of unreason and absurdity. With such logic, why deny such largesse to the most impoverished — a strategy hitherto claimed to be unreasonable?
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 26 Jan 2015.
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