Thursday, February 09, 2017

Voluntary Association

What would a world beyond countries look like? Empires didn't build national stories around ethnic groupings. That is a more recent phenomenon. In Rome, even Emperors had descended from conquered tribes. Leaderships of the Muslim world didn't stay with Arabia... it shifted to Persia and Turkey. I find it hard to reconcile the superiority and Scientific Racism that came out of the Enlightenment, with some of the loftier ideals. History was rewritten to make it sound like progress was white, not a vast web fed by ships, silk roads and trans-Saharan caravans. 

The false categories of Scientific Racism
Caucasoid, Congoid, Capoid, Mongoloid, Australoid

My only explanation is the idea of progress as a linear progression. Once a solution is found, it just needs to be spread elsewhere. Instead of looking for the local layers of human truth that help us understand the cold hard facts, in context. We mixed up scientific truth with human truth. If we suddenly lost all knowledge, in 1,000 years scientific truth would be gradually rediscovered and would be the same as it is today. But the way we understood it could be very different. Understanding is a human truth. Human truth could only be a new story, sharing some recognisable rhythms, but never a perfect copy. The idea of scientific progress as a linear progression to a single destination of human truth is dangerous.

The idea of nations was a partial recognition of the need for local solutions. Nations are false, made up categories, in the same lazy way racism was. Born out of self-determination. Then looking to form governments to outsource responsibility. With insufficient resources to go around, this division has only institutionalised global apartheid. It has built governments up as the primary problem-solving machine... which naturally cut us off from each other.

If we stop looking to government to do things, but build up stronger cross-border voluntary associations, the power of nations to do harm will continue to diminish. For example, as the world has gotten richer, I believe there are enough people who want to end poverty that we no longer have a wealth problem, we have a coordination problem. 

We can channel the energy we do into elections into building positive voluntary associations that get stuff done.
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