April 1, 2009
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G20 and lack of grand vision - By Dr Kamal Mirawdeli

All the leaders from Brown to Obama assert that our crises are global and require global solutions. But unfortunately what is missing is the global vision and lack of contemporary philosophers who are able, engaged and patient enough to develop it. For the G20, they are the world and the globe is no more than the meeting board on which they write their decisions. But what sort of decisions, by whom, for whom, and on what basis? Still there is no break with the past in spite of the great rupture caused by the financial crisis of the capitalist system. The crisis does not lie just in financial and economic spheres but in all the systems and institutions that have been created by them over the last three decades, including the systems of our values, way of life and our thinking of our humanity, and our morality. The legal system in many democracies still favours the rich, justice is based on punishment rather than addressing causes of crimes, morality is undermined by website porn of which millions of young vulnerable people fall victims because profit is still the prophet that justifies every evil,  people outside the developing countries are still the other with less degree of humanity and human rights and there are still shameful double standards in approaching self-determination right of people like Kurdish people in Turkey and people of Darfur.

Global solutions entail seeing the world as one unit, one set of resources, one set of lifetime opportunities and challenges shared by all those who happen to live on it at any point of time. G20 might solve or rather repair some damages of the current crisis by further throwing good money after bad money, rescuing institutions that proved not only their inefficiency but also their immorality, maintaining unreasonable overproduction of car industry which is the scourge of most of the ills if not evils of our age, and seeking political capital out of an abyss that is causing misery to millions.

The only solution, which I don't think humanity will ever grasp and enact, is to think of ourselves as the citizens or temporary guests of one home which is this tiny insignificant, in comparison with the universe, planet which is our earth. All resources wherever they may happen to be , should be considered the property of all, and on this basis global institutions and strategic planning processes initiated based on long-term moderate, rational, prudent effective use of our common global resources and sharing it on the basis of exchanging skills, technologies and expertise to meet the long term needs of all the populations of the earth and not just the developing countries. G20 might solve the financial problem and give it enough life-cycle until he next crisis. But what about the problems of water shortages, climate change, food shortages, increasing population and sill the madness of wars and arms race?

We must realize we share one earth and one fate. We must replace irrational WE/THEY dichotomies with one basic contradiction: life versus death. Definitely we all have that common enemy whose defeat is our and our children’s common interest.

We may not be able to eradicate death but we certainly can eradicate most causes of death from man-made war and famine to chronic diseases and cancer. This needs a real global vision which is possible and achievable if there will be a rational common will.


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