I am wondering what people think about the formation of a Global Citizens Movement…or if there is in fact one already? I see so many people around the world who want the same things for humanity even if we may have different ideological beliefs and ways of doing things. I am always interested in how the vast majority of the world’s citizens want the same thing and we don’t always get ourselves represented in politics not to mind in war, conflict and terrorism. We talk about global citizenship but I am not sure if there is a global citizenship movement as such. In so many ways at this time more than any in the past we can communicate and take action using web2 technologies.
I am often conscious too of us being a planet full of humans. If you were to look at this tiny planet from an alien’s perspective you would think “what is wrong with this species?” I know this is probably naieve but I see no reason why we can’t create and be the founders of a citizen movement here today! The Global Citizens Movement. We are one species from one planet and we want human rights, decent standards of living, peace, distribution of the world’s resources and global governance which responds to the people of the world. We can appoint ourselves as the representative body for the human species! I am beginning to think that the notion of a “State” cannot respond adequately to the needs to the inhabitants of this earth. There are too many challenges and the more we hide away in boxes once “we are ok” the more people around the world are in danger. A case in point is Fortress Europe and the numbers of people being killed in boats as they try to come to the borders of Europe.
What would we want such a movement to do?
1. Equitable global governance which is not about neoliberal globalisation and state-centric approaches.
2. Equality within and between states.
3. Human security.
4. Human rights
5. Redistribution of world resources equitably
6. Decent health, housing, education systems
7. Global reform to support economic development across borders
Do we need a world government? Or is there another way of making this work? Are there alternative models which we the people can establish because we choose to and not because the current system tells us we have to? Why can’t we have a new, radical global social movement that really shakes the current political and economic order? Because if we look around the world today do we see a political and economic order that is serving our species?
So what stops us doing this? Isn’t this what we want? Isn’t this what many in the world do not have? I have to ask what stops us? Perhaps
1. the rich countries/people/companies/institutions do not want to give up their power and resources;
2. we have set up the world so that there are competing interests everywhere…trade, aid, political alliances;
3. a sense of hopelessness…”this is impossible”. Why? Look how here all of us from all over the world can talk and we generally want the same things for humanity;
4. entrenched national and international elites;
5. entrenched political and economic models and fear to change them..or is it changing?
So who puts an end to this? Do we see it as an impossible task?
If we were to start again how would we avoid the same power dynamics from happening? Would a global parliament for instance just become another meaningless institution with a set of boxes to be ticked by countries of the world? You would have the usual competing world views, conflicts, cultural wars and so on. You just have to look at the UN or the EU to find examples. For instance has the UN lived up to our collective expectations?
How could such a movement really articulate human and global needs and interests? How can we ever transform the consciousness of the people of the world to put aside fear, to realise that it is ok if we all have less, so that everyone can have enough. How can we look outwards to humanity and not look inwards to our own regional and national interests? How would the movement work? These are questions I am asking, not answering! But I do feel that the planet is in crisis and I think that humanity is in a state of emergency. I know that huge change has happened, quality of life is improving and I really do not mean to be extreme but when I watch events unfold around the world, I do wonder how far we have really evolved? Are we going backwards in many ways? I think we the humans of the world have managed to make things ridiculously complicated and got ourselves into a real mess! War, terrorism, refugee (human) deaths, climate change, the arms trade, sex-trafficking, the way in which we are using resources without thinking, neoliberal policies, injustices, violations of human rights, people from all sorts of groups not having needs met even in most richer countries eg people with disabilities, older people, ethnic minorities.
So what would work? What could the people of the world do? The majority who want the same things for themselves, their families, their children, their communities? Am I right in saying that it is we who are in the majority, not those who seek to destroy either wittingly or unwittingly. How can we really think about the planet together, about future generations, about what is “humanity” and not geographical borders and boundaries?
How do we talk about all of this differently? Differently because if we look around, it is not happening the way humans want it to happen? Should we stop talking and listen, should we stop writing reports and research papers? How many more are needed? How can we simplify the world? Become more humble? Really be willing to need less?
It is perhaps a somewhat naieve set of questions yet part of me feels that it is not…how long should we wait for this to happen? We are here now, on the planet. Can we not at least discuss a global social movement?