Today’s world is characterized by:
- A sudden advent of globalization not only of the economy, but also of the species Homo sapiens;
- The economic rise of China that has shattered American world hegemony;
- Greater awareness of the dangers of climate change worsening; and
- Most recently by the persistent COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has made the chronic economic malaise more acute and has seriously dampened the world economy exacerbating closures of many small and medium-sized companies and wiping out the entire branches of gig industries. The nascent world recession has no longer been brought about by the world economic “internalities”, but by the COVID-19 “externality”.
The COVID-19 pandemic provides us an enormous stimulus to sort out the internal political, economic, security and cultural relationships. The present overarching world chaos presses us the human species to introduce a new sense of governance over our dynamic affairs.
In planning our new strategy, whether a corporate or a national one, has to take into account an unstoppable development, until now unseen sophistication and accrual of new technologies. The use of new technologies should be directed towards the industries that make products and offer services that meet human existential needs and not consumers’ whims. During the two previous centuries the development of technology was driven by desire of the private capitalists to maximise their profits and not to fulfil our human needs.
The direst need of our species is the continuation of its existence. In order to last, our brave species – which have conceptual or symbolic thinking and knowledge and whose individuals have consciousness – have to stop harming and heating the planet Earth and start reversing climate change. In addition, we must begin to heal ourselves physically and mentally. Human beings must change their attitude and their behaviour. That will be the price of healing humans and of saving life on Earth.
The world-wide chaos and the deepening poverty in the world testify abundantly to the incapability of the “free” (world) market to regulate activities and relationships of corporations, national economies and of nations or “living communities”. The heavy mesh of the world market has oppressed our species and has separated it from the nature. The world market is not free for nations nor countries’ corporations. It is free only for capital, which is the ruler of the market. There is no free market. The world market is populated by monopolies, which are not created by the groups of corporations, as in the earlier days, but by large corporations such as Amazon, Facebook, Google or Apple.
As the present world recession is caused by the COVID-19 “externality”, the cure for it has to be “external” too. It has become obvious, that the responsibility for the present world-wide chaos (WWC) falls beyond doubt on capital, which has been concentrated only in private hands. The nation-states, nations or local living communities have been barred from accumulating common, collective wealth or capital. The nation-states, national economies and nations or living communities have only debts to private (hidden) individuals.
The present recession proves that world market cannot regulate world’s affairs any longer and that private capital is not capable of ruling the world. The present state of the species’ affairs casts long and deep shadow of doubt on capitalism as an approach of neither regulating behaviour and relationships within individual living communities nor the behaviour and relationship among the entire species. It calls into question the viability and usefulness of capitalism.
The present crisis presses all individual members of our species to abandon the lifeless concept of “society” and “humanity”. The globalization of species Homo sapiens has not brought a prematurely announced end of history, geography and politics, but an end of society and humanity. We human beings belong to one of the species of life. When one looks at the present burning issues (environment, climate, poor human condition, viral aggression) from the standpoint of the species, one must put in the centre of human concern and activities of the life itself. Our species are made of conscious, knowledgeable, inventive and enterprising individuals who are capable of work. It is an organism in its own right. The species have to acquire the capability to act on their own, without following any one’s orders.
The species had a master since the establishment of the first civilizations many millennia ago. Civilization is characterized primarily by extracting political power and decision-making from the communities that lived in togetherness in the valleys of the great Asian and African rivers. In civilizations political power was tied to the privatized and appropriated communal property and wealth. Civilization had deprived our species of the possibility to adapt to ever changing circumstances. The species’ rulers have even willingly changed circumstances. Capitalism is just one of the models or examples of civilization. In order to acquire “freedom” or possibility to adapt as a species, globalized living community has to overthrow not only capitalism, but civilization as a ruler over our species.
Capitalism can and should be replaced by politism. What is politism? In each political community or nation-state there are four interwoven and inseparable networks of influence or power: politics or state, economy, security and ideology or system of basic beliefs and convictions. In capitalism, the production relationships and the private ownership of means of production encompasses other three networks of power. In capitalism, capital directs market relationships, the market rules economy, and economy decides the destiny of nations and the condition of human life. In politism, politics or the managing of common, public affairs encompass economy, security or protection and ideology or the system of basic tenets of human behaviour. In politism, the species or its living communities decide for themselves. Politism will bring back our species from wilderness, neglect and disregard to self rule and self government.
Although our globalized species cannot be governed as a whole, in its entirety, it is possible to establish in it the consistent and complete connectivity. However, individual local living communities can be efficiently and fruitfully governed on its own. Managing the affairs of the entire species can be achieved by consent and by cooperation between “state and state” or by bilateral cooperation. Instead of being covered by the heavy grille of market, the living space of our species will be covered by the network of bilateral agreements between nation-states. Bilateral agreements as opposed to multilateral arrangements preserve sovereignty of the agreeing parties. That is very important as sovereignty also implies responsibility. The most dangerous tenet of capitalism or its Achilles’ heel is a complete abrogation of responsibility. Those who have means to discharge responsibility have abrogated it and those who want to be responsible are penniless.
The governing of any human community or political system requires an adequate system of human conviction, ideology or religion. In the past, almost all systems of behaviour and human values have been sacral in nature. Liberalism as the ideology of capitalism is a worldly system of beliefs. Liberals ardently believe or profess that the invisible hand of the free market will in time iron out all differences among peoples and “will stand everyone in good stead”. Liberals profess that the purpose of human endeavour is an unbridled economic growth and that human beings are possessed by an insatiable “animal spirit”, as Allan Greenspan has put it, which compels them to hoard only material wealth. Our liberated species will put emphasis on the cultural goods as it has strong conceptual or symbolic knowledge and has strong cultural needs.
The governing of our globalized species requires a completely new system of convictions, which will replace all inherited endemic and outlived systems of beliefs, whether sacral or worldly. In my humble opinion, that system could be only the cult of life as it has been developed on Earth. Another decisive aspect of the new system of conviction is that all humans should belong to our globalized and interconnected species and to the local living space. The humans must abandon the present identification with nation, class, place of origin or race. One must embrace a new place of abode as a homeland and the people one finds there as neighbours. Individuals of all species feed themselves, defend themselves and obviously procreate together. All species as species participate in the food network of life on Earth. That is the reason why I believe that every human being must be thoroughly knowledgeable about anthropology.
Ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs and ex-Minister for Privatisation of Croatia
1 In Latin language “privatus” means hidden, sheltered or removed.
2 Living space or Lebesraum is valid and important concept in social geography. It comprises everything that people develop or build in the geographic space: physical and social infrastructure, political institution, school and universities and the rest. The humans are not born any longer in the open nature like rabbits, but in a developed living space. I have defined the index of development of living space. It is a relative number, which one gets dividing the annual GDP of a country by the area of a country and additionally by the number of inhabitants. In 2015, if the development index for China is taken as 1, it was 7 for USA, 80 for Germany and 2000 for Switzerland.