"We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death."
Russell-Einstein Manifesto, July 1955
Contrast the tremendous truth at the core of Einstein's statement against nuclear weapons with this verbiage by the empty suit Emmanuel Macron, the French president:
"Only Europe, in a word, can assure real sovereignty, that's to say our capacity to exist in the modern world to defend our values and our interests. There is a European sovereignty to build, and there is the necessity to build it."
I didn't understand why Macron invited Trump to Bastille Day in a vain attempt to flatter the Donald into becoming a rational president. Now I do.
Multilateralism has become a fig leaf---wishful thinking posing as philosophy and policy.
"The middle ground is where any answers will lie." Under normal circumstances, that's true politically. But these are not normal circumstances, and to insist on normal processes under abnormal conditions is to aid and abet abnormality.
Sovereignty once belonged to kings; then it belonged to city-states. Finally to nation-states, which in the present age represent the last gasp of partiality and particularity.
Sovereignty now belongs to humanity as a whole, or it is meaningless. The "real sovereignty of Europe" is as hollow as the refrain throwbacks in America and Europe shout: "We will take our country back."
"European sovereignty" is both a myth and a mirage. It's a myth because Germans still see themselves first as Germans, English still first as English, French still first as French.
It's a mirage because nation-state fragments cannot be melded or welded into a whole. One has to begin with wholeness. As fractured as it is, the totality of humanity is first now. That means we must end tribalistic/nationalistic mentality within ourselves.
A few decades ago, a distinct people usually represented a "sovereign nation." That is what drives all so-called separatist movements. And that's why Catalonian people, who don't view themselves as Spaniards, want their own country.
Now the idea of distinct peoples is as archaic as separate countries.
As long the premise of national or regional sovereignty is not replaced with the sovereignty of humanity, the division and fragmentation of humanity will continue and increase.
The king was not simply the ruler of the state; he was imbued with divine authority. When the nation-state became sovereign, the people were imbued with secular divinity.
The narrative that "division is responsible for America's decline" is completely misleading. Division within the United States did not begin with Trump, or with Obama, or for that matter with Bush Junior or even Reagan.
Moreover, the treacly notion that "the whole point of America is that we are not a tribe, we are a universal nation, founded on universal principles" is not just wrongheaded; it's pigheaded.
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
The opening lines of the American Declaration of Independence are not universal; they speak to separation, a word that's used twice in the first sentence.
In the past and at points in our history, America aspired to universal values and principles, but identification with flag and country were always at the core.
That's why America is still having a moronic national debate about kneeling or standing before the Stars and Stripes when the national anthem is being played at football games. Worshiping a flag is disgusting atavism.
Sovereignty means "supreme principle." People are willing to kill and be killed for their country because they emotionally equate it with the highest principle in life.
In fact nations are glorified tribes, which have become utterly dysfunctional fragments in our de facto global society.
Defining sovereignty as the wholeness of humanity strikes nationalists across the political spectrum (and most progressives are still nationalists at heart) as nonsensical because wholeness is subconsciously associated with one group set apart from another.
Trump keeps signaling his intention to start a major war. Is the Trump Administration's destruction of treaties, standards and norms of the American and international system a catalyst for radical change?
Only if global citizens urgently pour the foundation for a true global order, beyond the nation-state and international paradigm, before that happens.
Our core intent is to ignite and manifest the psychological revolution essential to end the domination of man's tribalistic/nationalistic mentality.
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
Published with permission of the author. All copyright remains with the author.
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