Updated: Mar 5
How to check "Save the World" off your bucket list?
Welcome to the Planet Republyk project!
Chapter 2: The sources of the problems
I strongly recommend that you read Chapter 0 before reading this one, if you haven't already, so that you know exactly what you are dealing with.
Every truth goes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Then it is strongly opposed. Then, it is taken for granted.
I am an insatiable reader of international news and have been for decades. In recent years, I have had the opportunity to devote myself to researching and reflecting on the seemingly intractable problems facing contemporary humanity; on the reasons for the inability of our political institutions to respond.
I have tried to step back from the immediacy; from the superficiality of information; from the attention deficit of our media, always in search of the new source of adrenalin. I tried to gain altitude until, perhaps, I thought I could see the earth in its entirety.
Wishing to go beyond the observation and its resultant despair and ambient cynicism, I ended up giving birth to a proposal, a proposal that is similar to a dream, a hope, a new faith in a way.
It is because I believe, and this, in reaction to the neoliberal indoctrination of the last decades, that we need to believe again collectively in something. I personally have this need and from what I see, hear and read everywhere, I don't think I'm alone.
And I'm not talking about one of the sectarian beliefs in vogue that would only address a specific group, a nation, coreligionists or a particular ethnic group, but rather a hope that would address the entire human race.
For too long, we have been living in the atomization of society, in otherness, in communitarianism and sectarianism. We seem to have run out of collective utopias that bring people together. The rise of individualism has strongly discouraged them. Discredited.
Some, like the intellectual Fukuyama, even put forward the idea of the "end of history", that humanity, its institutions, would be frozen as they are until the end of time. It is probably also one of the greatest successes of neoliberal media propaganda to have succeeded in convincing us that the current economic and political systems are immutable.
I don't believe that this is the end of the story. I even believe that we are about to live collectively one of those pivotal periods when the quiet flow of history suddenly accelerates.
Only, in order for history to start moving again, for us to start moving forward collectively, more and more of us must decide to leave individualism, sectarianism, chauvinism, nationalism and affirm loud and clear that before being Laotian, Mexican or European; we consider ourselves inhabitants of the earth. Now, more than ever, all over the planet, the noisy assertions of identity are taking center stage.
In response to this, the proposal of Planet Republyk. You will hardly find a more egalitarian, anti-racist, anti-colonialist, anti-sectarian political proposal.
In short, you will hardly find a more unifying political proposal.
Allow us therefore this proposal to believe collectively, as citizens of the earth, in a utopia: the establishment of a fair and equitable world parliament to address more effectively the problems of planetary level.
This parliament, elected by universal suffrage, where each citizen of the planet would be equivalent to a vote, would be able to tackle the many common challenges of humanity in the face of the failure of nations and their international institutions to address them. This idea in itself is not original. It has been stated by dozens of humanists over the centuries. The originality of Planet Republyk lies in the fact that it proposes the concrete advent of the cosmopolitan citizen via a novel method, according to my research, which avoids the trap of chauvinistic nationalisms, a source of inertia, by means of a supranational representation according to latitudes.
Planet Republyk offers an anchoring possibility for the portion of humanity that already considers itself cosmopolitan. It is an answer to the general dejection of the most educated, politicized, informed and conscious part of society.
For the time being it addresses a thin slice of the world's population, but these people are, each in their own milieu, lanterns.
It is early, even presumptuous for 2020, but inevitably we will get there one day. I will explain later why science believes it and why more and more of today's naysayers will come around tomorrow. I'm going to give you some facts. Many facts. But not only that. It is that the only argumentation would be vain because this project does not address only the intellect. It is also addressed to the conscience and even to the spirituality.
Some people will read me and it will be instinctive: "Yes, it makes sense, we are there. Humanity is there. We need this. There are others who, no matter how good the arguments I bring, will find inner counterarguments to turn away from it. And that's fine. Sometimes it is simply a question of values. Their children or grandchildren may be more receptive to it. This project is a long-term one.
But with the favour, or rather the great disfavour of catastrophes of planetary level such as the recent pandemic of COVID-19, I believe that we will be more and more numerous to carry this kind of projects; because many of us will consider, with the faith of the desperate, that they are possibly the only hope of humanity and of the planet.
Planet Republyk therefore carries the project of a republic of the human race where, according to the universalist democratic ideal, each citizen of the planet would be equivalent to one vote; of a world parliament with direct supranational representation according to the latitudes outside the current dysfunctional patterns of power struggles between nations.
A government for humanity and the planet to tackle the problems that concern us all, and only these, but that the nations, in perpetual struggle against each other to protect their gains, are unable to resolve.
But before presenting this revolutionary path to this utopia, let me dwell in detail on the historical, social, ecological and moral factors that lead us to propose it.
Utopia does not mean the unattainable, but the unrealized. Yesterday's utopia can become tomorrow's reality.
It has been said: the governance of our world is deficient. A whole section of humanity recognizes this and concedes it. However, a reflection on the relevance of the establishment of a planetary republic, of a cosmocracy, continues to put off. It seems to many to be useless, arduous, abstract, cloud shoveling. In other words: it is too big.
Yet, most of the great civilizational advances that have allowed humanity to progress were initially qualified as utopian. This was the case for certain technological innovations such as electricity, radio, telephone, aviation or the Internet, but it was even truer for the majority of the great social advances such as the gains to be made in relation to democracy, the rights of women and children or the abolition of slavery.
All this was also "too big" before it became reality.
And paradoxically, if we define utopia as a lack of realism and rationality, a growing number of citizens now believe that utopia has passed to the side of those who persist in defending a paradigm incapable of stopping our civilizational march towards chaos.
Politics, if it has made episodic great leaps in the past, is now stagnating. For too long. This stagnation is now unacceptable because it threatens the very survival of humanity and that of countless other living species.
Humanity is no longer able to find and apply effective solutions to its challenges, problems and threats, because the States are failing to do so. In fact, they are powerless in the face of all these challenges, even with the help of the international institutions they have created.
Why is this so?
- Decay of the primary meaning of politics, which is to serve the common good, of which crass partisanship is the main source
- Insouciance and carelessness of governments, partly due to the technocratization of the politician
- Futilisation of politics, caused by the acceleration of the rhythm of politics, but also of information and life in general
- Very short term vision of our leaders, narrowed to the re-election at the next mandate
... but beyond these general vices of contemporary politics; within international institutions, this impotence is mainly caused by the priority given to the interest of nations, of their corporations, of their economic elites to the detriment of that of the populations, of the whole of humanity and of the general good of the planet.
Without forgetting, of course, the deleterious effect of pressure, blackmail, corruption and competition between nations, exercised by multinationals and high finance.
As we have seen, the ambition of Planet Republyk is to contribute to the establishment of an efficient cosmocracy. However, there is already an effective and organized power above that of the nations. That of the international forces of financial capitalism and the big corporations.
To begin with, an anecdote: in October 2015, when called upon to justify the Quebec government's difficulties in achieving its objectives in agriculture to reduce the presence of certain chemicals known to be harmful to the environment and health by 25%, Quebec's then Minister of Agriculture, Pierre Paradis, candidly replied that it was difficult because multinational chemical input companies "are more powerful than the Quebec government."[i]
How can a company owned by a few hundred institutional investors[ii] dictate the conduct of a government representing millions of citizens? And how did we collectively come to consider this situation normal. Even banal.
My country is the world and my religion is to do good to ensure world peace.
As illustrated earlier by the attitude of the pharmaceutical industry in the context of the global pandemic, we are now living under the yoke of global governance: a supra-plutocracy, that is, a government of the very very very rich. This form of governance, however, is far from democratic. It does not act for the good of the whole planet, but only to serve the interests of the organizations it represents. It is opaque, working behind the scenes, without being accountable to anyone. It dictates the agendas of international summits such as Davos.
It is high time to curb this shadowy global governance, the only entity that could do so would be a global republic with all the firewalls that a good democracy requires. Alain Deneault, a philosopher and prolific author, is very good at popularizing the problem of multinationals:
"While modern political practice would have the subjects of a community obey the laws, not the powerful, we are witnessing a perverse reversal. The powerful decide together on the great law: the law of the market, the law of globalization, which frames national legislators when the time comes for them to make their small laws; always within the framework of the great law. This state of affairs confirms a state of the world[iii]."
Of the top 100 economic entities in the world, half are corporations, not countries[iv]. The 200 dominant multinationals and their thousands of subsidiaries around the world account for a quarter of the world's production of goods.[v] The 1,000 largest corporations account for 80% of the world's industrial production.[vi]
By obtaining the legal status of "immortal legal persons" they have succeeded in granting themselves rights. To avoid having to face the criticism of the free media, a counter-power that can hardly be muzzled, they have acquired many of the world's media.
The food and junk food multinationals want us to eat poorly, the pharmaceutical industry wants us to be sick for a long time, the petrochemical industry wants us not to change our lifestyles, the military-industrial complex wants us to stay at war, and the new technologies want us to become dependent on them.
They spend huge amounts of money on lobbying, advertising and marketing. Not because their leaders are Machiavellian, but because that's how they make the most profit. They don't think about the good of humanity or the planet. That is not their mandate. An authority above them that has the power to restrain them has to take that into account, though.
That's all for chapter 2.
You will find on PlanetRepublyk.org the links to become a member, buy the book in E-book(PDF) version or make a donation.
Planet Republyk is a non-profit NGO. Please help the cause by making a donation!
We suggest a donation (if you deem the research, content and presentation worthy) equivalent to 1US$ or 1€ per chapter read.
Also, please share!
Especially to those who you think would be interested in such a topic!
[i] Thomas Gerbert, "'Monsanto is more powerful than the government,' says agriculture minister," Radio-Canada Info, October 22, 2015.
[ii] Luc Peillon, "What are Monsanto's shareholders?", Libération, August 21, 2018.
[iii] Excerpt from Alain Deneault's interview with Marie-Louise Arseneault on the program Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! on Radio-Canada's Première chaîne, February 20, 2018.
[iv] Alain De Benoist, Critiques théoriques, Paris, Éditions L'Âge d'homme, 2002, p.160.
[v] Jacques Brasseul, A Better World? Pour une nouvelle approche de la mondialisation, Paris, Armand Collin Cedes, 2005, p. 21.
[vi] Ibid, p. 22.