Monday, February 1, 2021
the challenge of humanistic union
for the confederated planet
A challenge of confederacy exists in the U.S. which traces back to the conception of our Constitution: states’ rights.
The admirable idea is that grassroots democracy calls for local freedom for shaping regional policy; regional freedom for national policy.
Great-scale frustrations of that are expressed in the European Union’s challenge to respect intra-E.U. sovereignties while trying to find a unifying basis for constitutionalizing a United States of Europe—an idea which may never be actualized, but an idea which is very integral to E.U. evolution.
The challenging idea of e pluribus unum—from the many, One—is also integral to the future of African union, and—more abstractly—for international associations strapped with sustaining and advancing manifold global dynamics (e.g., the WTO vs. China) fruitfully—with telic cohering, I like to say.
The G-7, the G-20, and the U.N. Security Council all face the challenge of constructiveness among sovereignties. Persons live with that challenge among friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
All in all, We want what expresses our flourishing, even Our evolving, durably.
The U.S. is a constitutional confederacy that asserts partial supremacy of its national (federated, federal) government in relation to states. Confusion of partial states’ rights with desire for regional sovereignty led to the American Civil War, when the U.S. lacked a Constitutional sense of union that could prevail effectively over primitive capitalist predation (whose lineage was patrilineal estates—lords of the land—under monarchy).
Echoes of that haunt avaricious global capitalism that patronizes the supposed efficiencies of provincial politics.
In provincial states, legacies of entitled domination are postured in a rhetoric of mere “freedom” which wants to “conserve” traditions of regional self-determination, as if class domination (and racism) are marginal problems that states are entitled to resolve at a pace that suits hegemonic class leisure.
So, mirror on the wall (internetted humanity), who’s the fairest of them all? (Apparently, it’s the Scandinavians, according to Freedom House.)
Distorted senses of entitlement have been transposed into ideologies of nationalist sovereignty as long as there has been specifically “national” aspiration (since the late 18th century).
Now, national sovereignty is annulled by Our belonging in shared humanity: Shared human rights are intrinsic to human life, and We share the reality of no Planet B: the reality of hot Earth, international divisiveness fueled by economic hardship, and national conflict lacking conceptions of pluralism which respect everybody’s integrity because humanity is integral to every ethnicity. (Also, Elon Musk, news: Mars doesn’t have enough magnetic field to hold a terraformed atmosphere that’s habitable.)
At a conceptual level—which I won’t pursue here—are issues of organizational complexity (e.g., manageable innovation among semi-autonomous units); legislating among respected differences of preferred policies (i.e., political bipartisanship); and neighborhoods endeavoring to sustain democratic communities:
How can constructive union among self-interested parties be designed, implemented, and durably managed? How can differentiated identity or identity-in-difference be fruitfully understood? How does a genuine plurality belong together in the same something: same locality, same culture, region, nation, planet?
So, the challenge of confederate union in the U.S. is a continental example of what is analogously present across the scale of our human being.
Now, leading nations welcome the advent of the Biden administration. But there’s no time for a honeymoon in a global pandemic.
Biden and the Democrats are pressing an economic “relief” package of legislation that takes a long view toward the global economy, beyond short-viewed national relief, to invest in durable economic recovery that gels with collaborative global leadership in public health, climate change, and transnational economic fairness.
If the “unionists” (Bidenists) succeed, “confederates” (Trumpist Republicans) will lose in the 2022 elections. Also losing will be predatory capitalism: They face the burden of fair taxation and more-coordinated global regulation for the sake of public goods.
If the unionists of Europe succeed, autocratic regimes will lose popular appeal. If the democrats in Africa and south/east Asia succeed, militarist autocracy will lose credibility.
My Americanism isn’t nationalistic. It’s humanistic relative to the continent that sustains me. I want to advocate for exemplarities, but without connoting American Exceptionalism (though surviving Trumpism is surely worth admiration). I hope for progress in international relations thanks to restoration of U.S. commitment to collaborative leadership.
The unfolding story of Biden’s era—his engagement in bipartisanship for the sake of “unity”—designs to show a “power of our example,” first by turning inward: showing states and localities how trustworthy government can actually be pragmatically progressive.
In upcoming weeks, I want to prospect Biden’s sense of democratic society in some detail, in light of his avowal that “words matter,” that “one’s word” matters. Next, I want to enrich a conception of American humanity in terms of a specific conception of better humanity which is trans-cultural and committed to Our shared value of bettering humanity: that of our children, our neighborhoods, and so on.
We each and all want wholly flourishing life actually. We want ecologically flourishing humanity durably.
next—> Biden’s and my democratic society
-- 8:49 PM