Emergence of Global Consciousness and its Impact on the System of Global Governance

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* Master Thesis: The emergence of global consciousness and its impact on the system of global governance. By Szarvas Hajnalka, 2011. (Corvinus University – ISES ; Advisor: Jody P. Jensen)

Full thesis via hajnalkaszarvas at gmail.com


Summary

Szarvas Hajnalka:

"My research question is whether we can talk about something that is called global consciousness, whether this really exists, and if yes, then how and to which grade will this affect the functioning of current system of global governance? My hypothesis is that it can be clearly detected, I show the arguments for that in the second part, and in the third part I will try to summarize through concrete examples how this evolution of global consciousness has changed the system of global governance.


In brief but to the point the significance of my thesis is the following: if the global consciousness is really rising, and it can affect the system of global governance and through that global and local events too, then it means it is the common responsibility of each citizen of the world to influence it in order to build a better world for our children, since as Fred Alan Wolf has said drawing from János Neumann’s work, ’ we create our own reality’.

Before I start the first chapter, I would like to give a short outline of my thesis. In the first chapter I will delineate the current functioning of the system of global governance. I try to give a definition of it, than after I am going to point out its neuralgic areas. In the second part I focus on the different fields of life where this process of emergence of a global consciousness can be catch out, like the questions of Global Civil Society, Media and Globalization, Changing Identities and Belongings ( new concepts of citizenship) and the Impact of Global Climate Change on the process. In the third part I will reveal the potential role of global education touching upon the tasks of churches as well. Finally I summarize my findings between them how the structure of global governance has changed as an effect of the above mentioned processes.


Table of Contents

  • 1..Introduction……………………………………………………………………………4
  • 2.The functioning of current system of global governance……………………………...11
  • 2.1.The definition of global governance.......................................................................11
  • 3.The emerging global consciousness…………………………………………………...23
  • 3.1.Global Civil Society………………………………………………………………23
  • 3.2.Media and Globalization…………………………………………………….........37
  • 3.3.Changing Identities and Belongings……………………………………………...42
  • 3.4.The Impact of Global Climate Change…………………………………………...52
  • 4.The global education, its chances and opportunities…………………………………..53
  • 4.1.Global education in Scotland and Hungary……………………………………….54
  • 4.2.The religions and their role………………………………………………………..56
  • 5.V.Summary and Conclusion……………………………………………………...........59

Excerpts

Introduction

"As my title suggests, my thesis is about a process we are currently facing about the appearance of a global consciousness. At first glance it could be seen as some kind of visionary idealistic thought, but in the course of my writing I will try to prove that it is far from being a phantom idea. I am going to show evidence for the fact that even more people from all around the world recognize our global oneness. As Professor Benjamin Barber, University of Maryland, founder of Interdependence Day put it: ’People often think interdependence is an aspiration.(…)in truth, interdependence is a fact – a brutal reality of our times. There is almost no challenge we face that is not a challenge across borders, a global challenge for all not just for some nations.’i He continues ’ in an interdependent world of diseases without borders we also need citizens without borders’ii So interdependence is not just some desirable thing, but a reality we live in.


I remember when I was in Denmark in 2007 in the frame of a program called Youth in Action sponsored by the European Commission. The leader of a Japanese group interpreted it a similar way, he said: ’ the problem with a globalization is that it is only manifested on an economic level, not on the level of human consciousness, people’s mind.’ Therefore the global capitalism is built on negative values like egoism, etc., but if something like global consciousness could appear than the system would be based on values like solidarity and altruism. That may sound a little bit idealistic, but the performance of this Japanese group in a tiny town of Denmark was very influential for me. This line of thinking started at that time for me and since then I have been in Brussels, studied in Istanbul, and was a panellist about ’ Religions and the Politics of Global Climate Change’ in Berlin. Everywhere I have been I met the same reality. People are becoming more and more conscious in terms of recognizing our global togetherness. As I started to research this field I also experienced that this recognition already has a large literature, which I will try to introduce here according to my own considerations and preferences but at the same time as objective as it is possible.

There are not only studies, papers, and essays about the rise of global consciousness. Roger Nelson, experimental psychologist in 1980, coordinated a research on that field at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research ( PEAR) lab until his retirement in 2002. He was the founder of Global Consciousness Project ( GCP) too, which is still led by him.

Their purpose was to find correlations that reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. The researchers predicted structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events. When millions of people share intentions and emotions the GCP/EGG network data shows significant departures from expectation, which is a powerful finding based in solid science.

There are all kinds of new research results in this topic. Not only peripheral scientists are dealing with these questions, but the most well-know mainstream quantum physicists too, like Amit Goswami, Fred Alan Wolf, Richard Amoroso, etc.

Amit Goswami the well-known quantum physicist, reminds us that it was already János Neumann in 1955 who brought the role of the consciousness into the physics and generally into the scientific life. According to his theory it is the consciousness which chooses to experience certain things from all of such quantum opportunities which are represented by an object in the quantum physics. That theory explains the functioning of ’observer effect’ too. His theory was mainly propagated by Fred Alan Wolf in the 1970s with a slogan: ’ We create our own reality.’ iv ( Goswami: 2009, pp. 3. )

So it means if the consciousness chooses certain options which becomes reality from the many other quantum options, then I do not have any other task than to give evidences of the existence of global consciousness, since if it exists ( and the above mentioned experiments had already given a proof for that) this obviously has an effect on the functioning of global governance.

As Prof. Ervin László has approached the topic, ’one of the big myths of the industrial era is the complete isolation of individuals enclosed in their body and the separation of their interests from the others. First part of that myth was sacrificed by the world view based on classical physics. Likewise to Newton’s multitude points human beings are also seemingly distinct, insular part of the material, independent from each other, and the relationship between the members and between the members and environment is only extrinsic. Classical economics confirms this belief, since it considers individuals as self-centred economic players, who are being led only by their own interests, and among who’s interests the harmony is only imaginable through the laws of the market. However the current state of the science does not corroborate such a view any more. Today it is known that each quantum is substantively interwoven with all the others and all organisms with the other organisms of biosphere. And for the economists it is clear that there is a direct link between the interests of individuals, the individual states and companies and the functioning of worldwide international systems.’ ( László: 2008, pp. 69-70) v Prof. László who is dealing with system-theories also claims in his book Global Shift, that the coherence of the certain parts of a system, which are not in touch with each other and not linked with any other known way of information and energy handover raises the question that the linkage can have other types too besides those mainstream types, which are accepted by the Western sciences.

So he thinks that the recognition of the ’ saturated space, the lowly basis of universe’ serves as a starting point for the understanding of the physical foundation of the linkage- whether this was being in a cosmos, among people or even on the field of human spirit and consciousness. ( László: 2008, pp. 139) vi That means basically a new paradigm in the world of physics, since earlier it was supposed that the space which surrounds our physical objects is empty, but as an effect of certain phenomena the notion of the existence of different fields like gravitational ( G-field, Newton) electromagnetic ( EM-field, Faraday) was accepted by the scientific world. The newest in the line of scientifically experimented and accepted discoveries in this area is the existence of the so called Higgs-field. Its corpuscles the so-called Higgs-corpuscles create the mass of other corpuscles. ( László: 2008, pp. 140.)

In summary, it is basically understood under the term ’saturated space’. Prof. László supposes the existence of a new type of fields in the ’saturated space’ what he calls ’Akasha-field’. It is a connective-field, which can explain the phenomenon of space-independent coherence.

In fact that is not a new discovery, only a new label for an already known and observed scientific phenomenon. Rupert Sheldrake’s theory about morphic resonance and morphic fields tells us practically the same results. He is an English biochemist born in 1942, initially dealing with plant development. In the course of his work he found results which led him to use and further develop the thoughts of French philosopher Henri Bergson. He applied these in the sphere of biology. As a result he found that ’for understanding the development of plants, their morphogenesis, genes and gene products are not enough. Morphogenesis also depends on organizing fields. The same arguments apply to the development of animals. Since the 1920s many developmental biologists have proposed that biological organization depends on fields, variously called biological fields, developmental fields, positional fields, or morphogenetic fields. All cells come from other cells, and all cells inherit fields of organization.’

What he says is that there is a field which comprises certain patterns of development. Plants and animals develop according to these, which patterns can be found on a collective level of consciousness of these species, or as he called it on the level of morphogenetic fields. So through these fields all animals and plants are connected with each other, since their patterns of development come from a common resources. To put it more concretely:

- ’the hypothesis is that a particular form belonging to a certain group, which has already established its (collective) morphic field, will tune into that morphic field. The particular form will read the collective information through the process of morphic resonance, using it to guide its own development. This development of the particular form will then provide, again through morphic resonance, a feedback to the morphic field of that group, thus strengthening it with its own experience, resulting in new information being added (i.e. stored in the database). Sheldrake regards the morphic fields as a universal database for both organic (living) and abstract (mental) forms.’

That is practically the same as what Professor László calls according to Hindu traditions ’ Akasha-field’, the womb of the universe.

These were just few examples of how this idea appeared in the world of natural sciences, just like physics and biology. But the very same conception applies to the field of humanities. Carl-Gustave Jung’s theory about collective unconscious layers of human consciousness has the same theoretical starting point. This theory became absolutely mainstream, and well-known to a degree that makes further explanation unnecessary. Sheldrake’s theory about morphogenetic fields essentially has the same basis than Jung’s theory about collective unconscious and archetypes in it.

Several experiments dealing with meditation and its effects confirms these theories. In the course of deep meditation it was measured that the test-person’s EEG waves were practically identical. We have results like that without number. One of the most well-known experiment was undertaken in Washington D. C. which is the so called ’murder capital’ of the world. Researches have predicted that the meditation, or in other words the power of collective consciousness is able to reduce the number of violent crimes by over 20 percent. x The experiment which was undertaken an 8 week period in the summer of 1993 showed a 23 percent drop in the rate of violent crime, which included assaults, murders and rapes. The experiment was led by John Hagelin a well-known quantum physicist who traced the phenomena back to the field effect of consciousness.


As he explained:

- "It's analogous to the way that a magnet creates an invisible field that causes iron filings to organize themselves into an orderly pattern. Similarly, these meditation techniques have been shown to create high levels of coherence in EEG brain wave patterns of individual practitioners. This increased coherence and orderliness in individual consciousness appears to spill over into society and can be measured indirectly via changes in social indices, such as reductions in the rate of violent crime. We call this phenomenon a field effect of consciousness,"

We have plenty of these studies, researches and experiments, which revealed the power of collective consciousness, but the representatives of mainstream science find it difficult to change their mind, in spite of the fact that there is an obvious shift in the minds of people around the world. They essentially started to think differently. This process can have several roots, but the fact is that we have a generation which thinks, feels and acts totally alternative compared to previous generations. These people are more conscious in their everyday life choices, and it is not just about environmentalism, but also related with the appearance of new values, like solidarity with people from other cultures, and led by the recognition of principle ’ Live and let live’.

There is a silent revolution weltering in the world in our days. The situation is little bit similar to the 1968s value system change in this aspect. There are people who do not follow formal rules any more, awakened people who are living their life consciously, and can not be influenced by media and business any more. They choose their own way of life, and they do not follow the consumer society’s rules. They do not produce profit for big corporations they choose local products and they do not contribute with their consumption to the exploitation of third world countries, since they do feel solidarity with those people. They raise their voice against child labour, and different activities of TNCs. They critique their government’s policies, if it is harmful to other people.

In 1968 the hippies have denied the late capitalist state-structure on its entire field of effect, but what do these people deny?

They questions a world order which classifies countries according to a line developed and underdeveloped. They do raise the question ‘what does it mean to be developed?’, ‘developed in what sense?’, ‘development means that we are going on a way to nowhere?’. They deny a lifestyle and worldview which leads the people to destruction. But who are they? How do they connect?

They are the so called cultural creatives. It is difficult to know exactly how many cultural creative people there are, but there is scientific research, even financed by certain business companies to find out their habits, views. It is supposedly a large group of people all around the world. The typical feeling which characterizes them could be exemplified by movies such as ’Into the wild’. But also empirical research shows data about their behaviour and views, like the one Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson have conducted ten years ago. At the end of 2010 a report film was made about this group of people. This consists of interviews with different people from all around the world who confess to being cultural creatives.

The existence of this new socio-cultural group is an evidence in itself for the entity of collective conscious.

But there are further proofs as well for the changes in the structure and quality of human consciousness they indicate.

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s speech in Montreal was quite telling in this aspect characterizing the changes in political life for the representatives of leading powers of the world. He explained, that there are two main developments in international politics which makes the whole system different than before. First, he mentioned was the realignment of leading powers, referring to the rise of Far Eastern countries with a special attention to China. So the global leadership has changed but not only in this aspect. The other major challenge he pointed out was the ’ awakening of masses’.

’The other major change in international affairs is that for the first time in all of human history mankind is politically awakened. That is a total new reality. It has not been so for most of human history until the last one hundred years. And in the course of the last one hundred years the whole world has become politically awakened. And no matter where you go politics is a matter of social engagement, and most people know what is generally going on in the world and consciously aware of a global inequalities, lack of respect, exploitation.’

As Sakamoto put it ’ while there is an “apparent powerlessness among the powerful (e.g., the inability of the G7 to sustain domestic legitimacy and effective management of the global economy), there has been growth in the power of the apparently powerless.” ( Jensen: 2008, pp. 1) xiii Also Stephen Gill claims ’politicization “from below” may constitute a major, if not revolutionary, change in the emerging world order, which could perhaps be more democratic.’(Jensen: 2008, pp. 1.)


It is not only political theorists and advisors, who see that change, but also in the business sphere it can be felt, that there is something new under the sun. The spread of different Corporate Social Responsibility programs are the forerunners of the emerging global consciousness. Even more business leaders are thinking and acting according to these more human and holistic approaches. The Head of Toyota Factory has said recently: ’ We have ended a successful year, we could make more profit, but that would have not been fair in front of our partners.’


’The network society’ which is the title of Manuel Castells brilliant book is nothing else than the physical- technological manifestation of a process I am writing about.

So my research question is whether we can talk about something that is called global consciousness, whether this really exists, and if yes, then how and to which grade will this affect the functioning of current system of global governance? My hypothesis is that it can be clearly detected, I show the arguments for that in the second part, and in the third part I will try to summarize through concrete examples how this evolution of global consciousness has changed the system of global governance.


In brief but to the point the significance of my thesis is the following: if the global consciousness is really rising, and it can affect the system of global governance and through that global and local events too, then it means it is the common responsibility of each citizen of the world to influence it in order to build a better world for our children, since as Fred Alan Wolf has said drawing from János Neumann’s work, ’ we create our own reality’.

Before I start the first chapter, I would like to give a short outline of my thesis. In the first chapter I will delineate the current functioning of the system of global governance. I try to give a definition of it, than after I am going to point out its neuralgic areas. In the second part I focus on the different fields of life where this process of emergence of a global consciousness can be catch out, like the questions of Global Civil Society, Media and Globalization, Changing Identities and Belongings ( new concepts of citizenship) and the Impact of Global Climate Change on the process. In the third part I will reveal the potential role of global education touching upon the tasks of churches as well. Finally I summarize my findings between them how the structure of global governance has changed as an effect of the above mentioned processes."


Defining Global Governance

"In spite of the fact that we can indeed meet several vague explanations of global governance, there are some quite concrete ones as well, and as a starting point I will use one of these from Fred Halliday. He summarizes the most important aspects of it the following way:

’ Governance’ in its simplest sense refers to the art of governing, (…)

It does not imply that there should be any one institution, but rather, in the present context, refers to a set of interlocking but separate bodies which share a common purpose. Thus it covers the activities of states, but also those of inter-governmental organisations, most notably the United Nations, and the role of non-governmental organisations ( NGOs) and transnational movements: all of these combine, not least through influencing each other, to produce the system of global governance. ( Halliday: 2000, pp. 19) i For a better understanding of the term global governance we also have to delineate the context in which it has emerged, so we should first take a look at the process of globalization and its effects which resulted in a request for the rules of the game, in other words created a foundation for the evolution of the need for a system of global governance.

Globalization in a narrow sense used to refer the economic liberalization and deregulation of world markets. So it has an overwhelmingly economic connotation. At the same time these economic processes can not be divided from the social reality and effects which these result in. In the heyday of economic liberalism it was not even a question whether the liberal economic policy should be extended and apply all around the world. But this has showed us its limitations and negative effects as well.


As Rorden Wilkinson explains in the introduction of the book ’Global Governance Reader’ :

’The intensification of global interdependence and the drawing in of previously excluded areas of the world economy has not brought with it a spreading of the benefits of globalisation as evangelical liberals had hoped; instead, it has generated greater sensitivity to the spread of financial crises, downward pressure on wages and working conditions, and a concentration of wealth and resources in the hands of a super-privileged few. ’( Wilkinson: 2005, pp. 2) ii

Moreover there are increasing numbers of evidences that suggests that the relationship between increased inequality and global liberalization is causal."


Global Civil Society

"In the previous chapter I mentioned the notion of global civil society in the last chapter as well, but without saying a word about the roots of the term. First of all I would like to highlight the features of global civil society specifically and not so much give a picture about the roles, tasks and aims of civic sphere generally. So in the light of this I will just give a short, but accurate introductory description of the term by Jan Aart Scholte.

„ Civil society refers to a political space where voluntary associations deliberately seek to shape the rules that govern one or the other aspect of social life.” ( Scholte: 2002, pp. 324. ) i

But what makes global civil society really global? When we are talking about globalization, global governance and here global civil society as well, it refers to a quality which transcends the borders of nation states and generally any territorial place. So from that point of view the world becames a single unit somehow but that does not mean the end of fragmented states.

On the contrary, ’ territorial spaces now coexist and interrelate with global spaces.’ But certainly a special social space has been evolved which transcends local borders of different countries and that is the sphere of the activities of global civil society. ( Scholte: 2002, pp. 326) ii

But it is also worthwhile to search for the origins of the term first.

The origin of the notion of ’global civil society’ can be traced back to E.P. Thompson’s words, he used first ’ the idea of a transcontinental movement of citizens’. ( Kaldor: 2003, pp. Preface vii )iii Kaldor continues to describe here the archetype of global civil society with mentioning the Helsinki Citizens Assembly which developed the first manifestation of transnational solidarity among different citizen networks, civil organisations. The aim of this was to create a pan-European civil society network including the West European peace movements and East European opposition of the time. At that time the global civil networks main concern was mostly related to human rights issues and requests for democracy.

Later on, after the fall of communism, the picture became slightly different, several countries got rid off the communist regime, so it meant that one of the requests of these groups has come true. But the human rights issues still remained on the agenda of these networks. As the globalization process moved forward and the environmental destruction became obvious also on an official level and were proven by scientific data, the greens’ requested to join the goals of these networks too. But we should mention here the pacifist groups again, and feminists as well, so they are partly issue-specific, but on their gatherings in several cities mentioned above they represented these diverse aims in unity in order to gain more attention. After 1989 the globalization and its discontents served similar aims, compared to the previous period under communism, namely it forged unity among different civil organisations as a kind of common enemy."


Summary and Conclusions

"It is a difficult task to summarize such a wide spreading topic like global consciousness and global governance, but I am trying to point out my most important findings here. In the first part of my thesis I was trying to give a brief explanation of the current system of global governance after introducing the notion of global consciousness and underpinning its existence with a few experimental studies on the field as well as tracing back the origin of the conception to previous scientific theories. One of the major challenges of world politics in our times is the shift in the awareness of everyday people. People are becoming politically conscious on a mass scale at the first time of the history of mankind. There are a wide range of the events which shows that phenomena like the different mass demonstrations of the international or global civil society, which we could witness in Seattle, Porto Alegre, Geneva, Prague, etc. They are mostly against the way globalization manifested. For the majority of the people it meant economic liberalization of the markets, a deregulation processes, and free flow of capital. Globalization in its economic sense brought enormous inequality in almost each country in the world and in some cases unprecedented poverty, therefore people are becoming more and more disillusioned, but at the same time more conscious in terms of organizing themselves and coping with the negative consequences of global processes. Thus people not only witness the intensification of the interconnectedness of economies but at the same time actively use this interconnectedness for their own purposes. In the further parts of the thesis I brought some examples of the manifestation of global consciousness in different social phenomenons. One of these is the existence of global civil society itself, since their aims mostly shows the recognition of this interconnectedness of human beings independently which part of the world they are living. The recent North African revolutions gives an Example for that change. Although Professor Benjamin Barber warns us about exaggerating the importance of the events, but what is sure is that we can see clearly that the ’awakened masses’ as Zbigniew Brzezinsky put it, demolished long existed dictatorships, governments one after the other in several countries. An important symbol of the recent revolutions is the Internet. Some websites already calls the Egyptian events an ’ eRevolution’, since in this case the cyberspace served as a new social space where the different intentions could meet and forge into a unity. Here we also have to mention about the role of networks which was created on social medias. Networks on the Internet offered the almost unique possibility to defeat those dictatorships in North African countries. Also in that sense the term ’ Internet governance’ can be applied. But that is at the same time the technological manifestation of global consciousness, since it visualized thousands and millions of people’s intentions or will which forged into a unity with the help of the opportunities Internet offered for them. So Internet and cyberspace become our current days agora or marketplace where the democracy can be improved and at the same time a metaphor of some kind of global brain or consciousness. The Internet provided new capabilities making it possible to arrive into a new era of the history of democracy since it brought with it a major change into the system of global governance which can be labelled as ’Internet governance’. This development has plenty of implications on the everyday level of politics, one of these questions is who than will be the citizens of an ’Internet governance’? The netizens perhaps? In the previous chapters I described the questions which are raised by the many challenges of the new era of globalization concerning the traditional identities and notion of citizenship. There are profound changes in this field as well. The barriers of one’s identity are becoming more and more blurred, unstable and undefinable. But again there is a dual tendency in this sense, namely as Professor Benjamin Barber put it in his book, there is a fragmentation and homogenization at the very same moment going on in our world now.

He called this fragmentation ’Jihad’ which referred to the retribalization of peoples and the other parallel tendency as ’McWorld’ which meant the forced uniformization of the people by business circles.i Manuel Castells also claims writing about ’resistance identities’ that because people feel threatened by the globalization and the homogenization it brings with it, they are trying to identify themselves and belong to even more exclusive micro communities, groups. ( Castells: 1997, pp. 356) ii Topál explains this phenomenon by describing and highlighting the human being as a biological entity which adapted to living in groups of 60-80 members, but for sure under 100. These are the numbers of strong relationships and so from evolutionary reasons, genetically individuals can not process more strong attachments, or relations, therefore the challenges of globalization gives a difficult task for the mankind on its current evolutionary level of mind, conscious.( Topál: 2011) iii Again other social expert’s experiments proves the opposite result that people are able to adapt to the new reality, and even the multiple identity contents quite easily. ( Smith: 1992, pp. 67; Berry: 2006)iv The changing identities and the interconnected reality of the 21th century pose the challenge of composing new concept of citizenship according to the changed circumstances. There are more or less dizzy but at the same time misty conceptions concerning the notion of ’world citizenship’. The only operable project on the field of transnational citizenships is the ’ EU citizenship’ which can serve as a kind of prototype for creating a more inclusive global citizenship in the future. Between the phenomenons which showed or portrayed the presence of emerging global consciousness I have also mentioned about the impact of global climate change and the solidarity it brings with itself. People all around the world started to pay attention to the sufferings of those who got into trouble because of the effects of global climate change be it an earthquake or tsunami just like in the recent case of Japan. The whole world from the very local levels of people to the highest levels of politicians and diplomats acted as one after the catastrophe and offered as much help as they were able to. Last, but not least I was trying to find concrete projects on the field of education which aims to strengthen this sense of interconnectedness and global responsibility in the future generations with targeted policy measures just like in the case of the ’Good Global Neighbour’ project of Scotland. Here I revealed the chances and possibilities of global education in Hungary as well in comparison. The very last topic which I found relevant to mention here was the role of the religions and churches. I found examples, initiatives both from the side of Western and Eastern churches which showed this sense of common belonging, oneness of humanity.

My thesis thus wanted to represent the various ways global consciousness manifests in our world and how it affects the system of global governance right now. I found the above mentioned social phenomenons which are able to prove the existence of common consciousness of humanity and that they have significant effect on the global political processes, tendencies too. I strongly believe that these events and phenomena will strengthen with time and in the future this process will go on and we can reach a level of Planetary Consciousness which is going to help us to solve our global and local or glocal problems if you like."