Saturday, February 25, 2006

Solidarnosc, round two..

The responsibility of human autonomy.

When I grew up in the seventies, my country was in a changing process from agricultural focus to becoming more industrialized. Companies like Philips, KLM and Shell were booming and growing exponentially. Local farmers united in corporations and many farms closed down because of lack of succession. This had a major impact on our society. There was huge demand of disciplined, specialized and rational workers. Exploitation of humans as company assets resulted in increased focus on human rights, solidarity, emancipation and more democracy.

But the changing from agriculture to industry didn’t stop there. The introduction of computers and internet created another big change and with a pace never seen before. The post-modern information society that we live in today has new cultural elements like independence, insecurity, competition and hedonism. Our Western countries, have changed from a society built on a trust in authorities to being a society where individual freedom (of speech) and autonomy is stressed, from a society built on a rather homogeneous religious foundation to being a pluralistic and secularized society, from stability to agility.

Bloggsville is a good example of the virtual societies we mingle in nowadays. Our children exchange kudo’s in their virtual worlds and although they will be connected 24 hours a day, they will be very individual and independent persons. Micromarketing on personal level will be the new way of selling services and goods within a few years time. When I was 18, my world was about 100 square miles. Now I have contact with the other side of the earth (the up-side-down-people :-) on an almost daily basis and the world is my oyster where I fly about.

It is our human nature to survive and get the best possible living standard for ourselves. We would like to exploit the world but only for our 100 square miles area of responsibility. That’s where the equation fails. Our post-modern individuality is perhaps the greatest gift of life but it comes with a huge and heavy weighing responsibility.

Since the world is my oyster now, the starving people in Africa ARE my responsibility too. Child labour in Pakistan IS my responsibility as well. Closing our eyes and turning our backs makes us lousy examples of human beings. I have not precisely identified my role in this responsibility as I know many of us haven’t. We have to remain alert in our new society though and look after the weaker brothers and sisters. It is time for a new wave of solidarity, but now it has to be organised on a global level..

Global solidarity is MY responsibility. I will take it.

What's your thought?


Hayden said...

global solidarity sounds very good, but very remote in these trying times. it seems that between religion and arrogance we are all pulling in opposing directions.

The Michael said...

I would very much like my country to be known for lending effective, as well as accountable, assistance to the third world in the hopes that one day there IS no third world. Instead, we are mostly known for invading countries to impose our selfish ideals which are not nesisarily suited to the cultures we try to impose them upon. I hate this idea of competing against exploited workers to keep a job that will pay my inflated living expenses, but that's what globalization has done for me and many of my fellow Americans. I can't very well extend a personal hand to people much worse off than me when my own government is taking money out of my pocket and handing it to rich people, and taking my tax money to bomb "enemies".

Lesley said...

But, if everyone were to take responsibility for just the 100 square miles around them the rest could easily be worked out.

NicoleW said...

Hi, a nice blog you have here. You will surely get an bookmark :) Fleshlight

Tai said...

To an degree, I concur.

But religious incompatibility certainly makes it difficult.

You can't help those who turn away from your outstretched hand.

Blogger formerly known as JBlue said...

I like the sentiment. If only humans would take this high road....

DA said...

Thank you for your thoughts and welcome to the new visitors..

Hi Hayden, remote it was. We are getting connected via tv and internet on a daily basis. Question is: do we turn our backs? Agree on opposite directions, that makes it a difficult matter.

Hi Michael, welcome. I wonder why there IS still a third world too. The new world order seems to be taking care of itself very well.

I think that is done allready Lesley but we still have child labour and starving Africans. Looks like it isn't the most effective road. I doubt if there still is so much difference between our 100 square miles and the rest of the world. We communicate with the first rather the same way as with the rest. It more like a paradigm shift.

Welcome Nicolew..

I think it is difficult too Tai and don't have the answers but do believe that we have to think "out of the (100 sq mile) box" here. Business is done on a global level. So does can aid be looked upon.

Hi Julian. If only a critical mass would organise itself indeed..

Mother Damnable said...

WoW Dimitri! With you, this is so much the way I am feeling!

"Global solidarity is MY responsibility. I will take it."

agree 100%

DA said...

Thx MD, I knew you would feel like that :-)

Kathleen Callon said...

Like the tone of your latest posts. I agree with you 100%. Ever hear about an American named Mother Jones? I'm writing a paper about her right now, and her words from decades ago are very relevant to the issues you have been addressing.

Hope you are having a wonder filled weekend.

DA said...

You made me curious, never heard of her Kat. Have a nice working week :-)

Lindsay Lobe said...


An interesting thought, but have you considered the importance we place on external things. Religion places emphasis on devotion to aspects outside our area of control to places to worship, to the indefinable. We worship material things and seek security, or we may seek security in a future heaven. Either way it’s a quest for power, or power over death. What about life itself? Reverence for all life

I don’t give a fig about someone shaming my religion or making fun at my beliefs, as what I care about is what we do in the world. Satire ,humour and belief systems are just that, and will bring no harm unless acted out inappropriately with power exerted over one to another or one group to another.

I don’t think humans are intelligent, but maybe in 10,000 years we might undergo a change in consciousnesses where we no longer seek power.

Once the quest for power becomes redundant, we are then in a position to trust one another, and make real progress, as an intelligent species. But we are a long way from that!!
We can never make any real progres until we learn to trust one another, and I see no evidence to suggest we are doing that effectively at any level of society. Pockets yes ,, but we all seek some degree of power.

Best wishes

DA said...

Hi Lindsay,

Thank you for your profound thoughts. I just read it. I agree that many people seek power (over life or by having matter/money). I do not accept the idea that it will take us 10.000 years to evolve to a unified mankind. It is our responsibility to start working on that on a global level right now. I don't know how but at least my thinking has started and something will come out. Perhaps on a minor scale because of lack of ability but then at least with the best effort. I believe we can stimulate others being more humane. Sometimes people are so caught up in their own problems that they lock themselves out for the rest of the world. They become ignorant. If possible that has to change. It may take a lot of time and energy but every long journey begins with the first step..

Take care!