Weltinnenpolitik: This is a term linked to the great Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker – more understandable for english speakers under the term global domestic policy. It needs concretization to move from policy to politics.
We live in a world still to a large extent a state system, based on the work of diplomats to “negotiate ratifiable agreements”, in Sir Harold Nicholson’s admirably short formulation. The idea is to find some equilibrium balancing national interests-meaning those of the dominant nation in states-against each other, in a world anarchy. The countless wars give testimony to the failure. Today the wars among states, like the revolts against colonialism, are decreasing. The state system, surviving in the shape of the biggest states, is fading out, as did the colonial system, even if surviving so far in the biggest empire, the US empire. Also fading out.
But nations, cultures built around shared world views including religion, shared language, shared vision of time – past, present, history – and space, with a geographical attachment are increasing in salience. They challenge the states in which they are located, and they challenge each other; like right now in Iraq and Afghanistan (WASPs against Taliban). Nor is class fading out: the world upper classes enrich themselves in the financial system, greatly aided by the International Monetary Fund-and the world lower classes use the drug system for similar purposes, as acted out in Rio de Janeiro. Two perverse systems coming out of the absurdity of world hyper capitalism, supported by a fading empire.
We need and deserve something better, nothing perfect, but much better. We cannot build globalization on such absurdities. And yet some kind of globalization is inevitable, built into new global modes created by means of transportation and communication. The basic key to global domestic politics is conflict resolution.
Which means respecting legitimate interests of all parties. And they are essentially two: humans, us, and the surrounding and immanent nature on which we depend. Concretely: States, nations, classes, races are constructions.
If we want one nation, humanity; in one state, the world, then it has to rest culturally on some kind of world civilization and structurally on something combining unity and diversity.
The world culture has to be based on what humans have in common: body, mind and spirit. And not on any one existing civilization, but on picking the best from all of them, in a process of mutual learning, giving top priority to the basic human needs, for
* survival through empathic-nonviolent-creative conflict solution;
* wellbeing, like through a minimum living allowance for all;
* identity, respecting all world views that respect the others.
* freedom, having options in choice of cultures and structures.
The first two cater to the body, the third to the mind as a depository of what we have learnt and experienced, and the fourth to the spirit, to the unlimited creativity of the human species in reflecting on how it is programmed and can change the programs.
Based on the meta-right in Article 28 of the Universal Human Rights Declaration to live in domestic and world structures that make the realization of human rights possible, conflict resolution becomes a human right and duty. So does an economy where basic somatic needs are guaranteed-hence turn the bailout (of banks) versus stimulus (of a basic-needs oriented economy) around. Make it 10:90, not 90:10. So do mutual respect, curiosity and learning through dialogues of civilizations. And so does a world federation, maybe of regions and big states. A unitary world state would impose the unity of one civilization on the rest, or a never-ending process to arrive at an acceptable combination. A world confederation or cooperative system has too little unity. Federation is the key.
Who are the people who would be capable of realizing a world culture based on basic human somatic, mental and spiritual needs within a world federation?
Thanks to WikiLeaks the writing on the wall is clear: not the current brand of diplomats. US diplomacy is revealed, most of it known or predictable as parts of imperial policies even in friendly countries, fed by the narcissism of seeing itself as an “indispensable nation”, and the paranoia of sensing revolt and lack of servility everywhere. Pushing one’s own “national interest”, in the US case hegemony, at the expense of anybody else’s and, of course, of truly global domestic policy. Remember: A Pentagon planner, Major Ralph Peters, characterised the function of US armed forces in a post-Cold War world as follows:
“There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing”.
The emperor unclothed. But not only the US would-be emperor, also the Diplomacy emperor. What kind of ridiculous discourse is this, so focused on the pathology of mainline media discourse: negative, about actors, usually elite persons, in elite countries? Gossip, puerile characterizations, the kind of “analysis” of power typical of puberty, or immaturity not to compare adolescents to diplomats. Where is the analysis of culture and structure, light years more important than actors who come and go? Nowhere, they are incapable. Where are positive ideas? Where are ideas about how to convert the challenges from climate change into cooperation for mutual and equal benefit? Like water distillation projects at Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Palestine, fueled by parabolic mirrors? Like positive US-Iran cooperation on alternative energy?
These diplomats belong to a state system era we have to put behind us. Retrain or retire them and train thousands of civil servants for world domestic policy. Drop the ridiculous secrecy and confidentiality of how they are playing cards with us, humans and nature. They have no right to hide their incompetence behind veils of secrecy. Democracy means transparency, not feudal games.
WikiLeaks: Thanks. May you become WeeklyLeaks. We need you.
Prof. Johan Galtung is acting rector of the TRANSCEND PEACE UNIVERSITY: An All Online educational facility for academic Peace Studies.