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Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan's young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. To these troubles are added a resurgence of tensions with Russia and a relationship with China divided between pledges of cooperation and public recrimination. The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis.
The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies. In the decades following World War II, the U.S.—strengthened in its economy and national confidence—began to take up the torch of international leadership and added a new dimension. A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace. The traditional European approach to order had viewed peoples and states as inherently competitive; to constrain the effects of their clashing ambitions, it relied on a balance of power and a concert of enlightened statesmen. The prevalent American view considered people inherently reasonable and inclined toward peaceful compromise and common sense; the spread of democracy was therefore the overarching goal for international order. Free markets would uplift individuals, enrich societies and substitute economic interdependence for traditional international rivalries.
This effort to establish world order has in many ways come to fruition. A plethora of independent sovereign states govern most of the world's territory. The spread of democracy and participatory governance has become a shared aspiration if not a universal reality; global communications and financial networks operate in real time.
"We are at the end of a five-thousand-year-plus historical process during which human society grew in scale while it abandoned the early indigenous wisdom councils and communal decision-making," he writes in The Open Source Everything Manifesto. "Power was centralised in the hands of increasingly specialised 'elites' and 'experts' who not only failed to achieve all they promised but used secrecy and the control of information to deceive the public into allowing them to retain power over community resources that they ultimately looted."
Today's capitalism, he argues, is inherently predatory and destructive:
"Over the course of the last centuries, the commons was fenced, and everything from agriculture to water was commoditised without regard to the true cost in non-renewable resources. Human beings, who had spent centuries evolving away from slavery, were re-commoditised by the Industrial Era."
Open source everything, in this context, offers us the chance to build on what we've learned through industrialisation, to learn from our mistakes, and catalyse the re-opening of the commons, in the process breaking the grip of defunct power structures and enabling the possibility of prosperity for all.
"Sharing, not secrecy, is the means by which we realise such a lofty destiny as well as create infinite wealth. The wealth of networks, the wealth of knowledge, revolutionary wealth - all can create a nonzero win-win Earth that works for one hundred percent of humanity. This is the 'utopia' that Buckminster Fuller foresaw, now within our reach."
The goal, he concludes, is to reject:
"... concentrated illicitly aggregated and largely phantom wealth in favor of community wealth defined by community knowledge, community sharing of information, and community definition of truth derived in transparency and authenticity, the latter being the ultimate arbiter of shared wealth."
originally posted by: Shuye
a reply to: AllSourceIntel
Perhaps it's the reason for all the wars and conflicts going on these days? Stupidity is on the rise, morality is falling apart, it sure helps TPTB to keep the population distracted.
What are the odds that people will wake up and decide not to fight? Or not to have another pointless global war? I suspect there's too much nonsense going on in the world these days, we are getting far away from being rational as a whole. And that's not a good sign.
Speaking to the Open Source Everything Manifesto, and while Mr. Steele talks an interesting game, I remain wary of those whom I perceive out to make a buck on revolution. I also fear the ignition of revolution in the West--much more so than whatever spark may be responsible for setting it off. The general stability of the America I know dates back to the end of the Depression. Gaming the fall of the system is one thing--an intellectual and highly personal exercise--however living through it or surviving its process is another matter none among us can fully grasp.
originally posted by: ItCameFromOuterSpace
a reply to: AllSourceIntel
I can't believe Kissinger is still alive and coherent.