causes of social fragmentation and conflict and create a form of global governancethat will guide the emergence of a new society in the twenty-first century.
WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT:
Why do you feel that the old models of global governance are no longer adequate for addressing the problems and challenges we face?
Since the dawn of civilization one hundred thousand years ago,humans have migrated over islands, continents, mountain ranges, steppes, deserts,and other landforms, and have even escaped Earth's gravity. We have formed clans,tribes, holy orders, enterprises, and egalitarian communes. There are now six billionof us, and while we are more culturally fragmented than ever before, we are alsomore interconnected. Everything is both global and local—
. Yet themodels for global governance that we have in the League of Nations, the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and others simply donot have the complexity of understanding to deal with the fragmentation we'refacing. In short, our problems of existence have become more complex than thesolutions we have available to deal with them.While on the surface it often appears that conflicts are tribal or involve competingempires, or ideologies, or even national interests, the real issues are in theunderlying
—the deeper human dynamics that can
differ from one culture to another. It is these underlying cultural dynamics that shape theactions and choices we make, that determine how we live our lives, how culturessubsequently form, and why they often collide.
Can you give an example of how perceiving the fundamental differencesbetween cultural worldviews could change our perspective and therefore the waysin which we endeavor to solve global problems?
The issues surrounding the Arab and Muslim world are awakening us to thefact that there are very different thought structures and value structures in different parts of the planet, and if we don't know how to deal with these, it will come back tohaunt us. It already has. For example, we went into Iraq with a disastrousassumption coming from the White House, based on our free-market, multi-partydemocracy, in which each person is a free and independent agent acting on their own behalf. We assume that everyone else in the world is like us. And so weentered Iraq believing that democracy would be embraced there—that anybody, nomatter who they are, can become anything they want and will do so once given theopportunity.What this fails to take into account is that a tribal worldview is still very, very powerful in the Muslim world, with the primary emphasis being on the extendedfamily and the intermarriage of cousins. Because these cultures come out of heavytribal enclaves and power-driven kingdoms, nepotism is almost a civic duty. Eventoday, the Arab countries are not really nation states, and they are nowhere near being democracies. The “people of the sand” have not yet developed theinfrastructures that would support a one-person-one-vote/majority-rules system. Imean, it's just insane to think that's got any chance. At the same time, money has poured into these tribal family kingdoms from the West because of oil, benefiting