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Problem of Political Will

We are living inside a very complex machine, increasingly vulnerable to external disruption and internal failure. As with our complicated automobiles, we can do little as individuals to fix the global economy when it breaks down or improve the design of governance when still running. In tribal societies, the focus was very much on the past and on continuity, as though it were unconsciously realized that a collective will must be exerted to hold society together and prevent a future out of control. And such a will was possible on that scale. We may not willingly choose to return to pre-industrial times, let alone to the timelessness of the Stone Age tribe. But perhaps we can free ourselves from the mythological compulsions of “progress” and return to a human political scale. The real question is how to strike a synthesis of the need for global unity with the equally urgent needs for equality and local autonomy. Present rule by big government and big business, which are increasingly indistinguishable, takes us in the wrong direction. Far from being contradictory, global unity and local autonomy are mutually necessary; both imply relative equality. The problem is one of political will. For, the very nature of modern society undermines collective will, and is even tailored to do so by well-organized and powerful interests.

RELATED TAGS: [world machine, global economic machine, collective will, compulsive progress/growth, local autonomy, localism, cosmopolitanism, global unity, myth of progress, problem of political will]

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