the great spiritual master Adi Da Samraj has emphasized
and tolerance are the
necessary foundation stones for a new world order. To fully understand
their importance to a new world order, let us first examine the
old world order and the current world order, and track the consequences
of the absence of one or both
of these foundation stones.
In the Cold
War era, the world was split in two: the "West", or
capitalist sphere of influence, and the "East" or communist
sphere of influence.
Cooperation without Tolerance: The Limits of Communism
is an ideal that emphasizes cooperation through classless, communal
living based on shared, materialistic ideals. It presumes that
all fundamental human problems can be solved by the elimination
of classes and the re-distribution of wealth and other resources.
Communism, in any of its actually implemented forms, however,
also tolerated no independence. It cultivated not only community
but uniformity. It castigated all non-conformists. The State dictated
what to think and how to act. As a result, all implementations
of communism became "lumbering beasts", unable to adapt
to the ever-changing world circumstances and pressures. The need
to adapt rapidly has only increased with the onset of globalization
result, severely lumbering beasts like the Soviet Union collapsed
completely. Less lumbering beasts like communist China have been
forced (reluctantly) to introduce forms of capitalism. Holdouts
like North Korea are literally starving to death. And indeed,
not only all communist states, but all authoritarian regimes of
any kind, have been impacted similarly, for similar reasons: a
purely top-down, or monolithic structure of control does not respond
quickly enough to change.
Tolerance without Cooperation: The Limits of Capitalism
contrast, the West — and the United States in particular — has
been the land of the "free" ("free" to choose,
not necessarily "free at heart"), where an individual's
right to pursue whatever path and lifestyle he or she likes is
not only tolerated, but even glorified (so long as he or she does
not directly infringe on the rights of others). In some sense,
the byline of the West is:
the best ego — individual or corporate — win!
Let the marketplace judge!"
so in this new era of globalization, it is the marketplace that
sets the bottom line values on what will succeed. It is no accident
that the idealism of the West is named capitalism:
"capital" — money — is king (as well as judge and executioner
for the less fortunate). If one cares about something other than
money these days — say, the environment — one must find a way
to make one's environment-saving proposal square with good economics.
If you want to save a rain forest, you had better create "eco-tourist
guide" jobs in the rain forest with comparable pay to the
"clearcutter" jobs, if you want the natives, however
much they love their land, to side with you rather than the lumber
industries. The natives have to feed their families, and that
will be their bottom line, even more so than their love of their
land. Who can blame them? And don't expect much political assistance
for your causes from higher levels. Capitalism, in its valuation
of money above all, has scuttled the Kyoto Accord (insofar as
the United States, the biggest environmental offender, has withdrawn
from it) and similar attempts to establish, on a global scale,
values other than (and higher than) the merely capitalistic.
so the first major failure of capitalism is that, while it supports
the right of any individual to believe whatever he or she wants
to believe, in practice, it makes it very difficult for any value
system other than the materialistic and egoic "me for myself"
to gain ascendancy, in terms of real numbers, real organization,
and real power. In effect, capitalism works to ensure that no alternative
value system could get big enough and powerful enough to threaten
its ascendency, even as it
argues the right of individuals and relatively small, powerless
groups to hold whatever views they like.
the same reason, capitalism also tends to severely limit the size
of genuine "communal units" that hold alternative values.
In fact, generally the largest true communal unit in the West
these days is the "family unit". Politicians often portray
themselves as champions of "family values"; but the
deeper, unspoken implication is that no higher cultural cooperatives
will be supported (unless you consider "big business"
and "transnational corporations" as cultural cooperatives
— I do not!). There are very few examples of larger communities,
actually living and working together communally under a shared
system that is significantly different from the materialistic/egoistic
status quo of capitalism.
The Post-Cold War Era of Globalization
won the Cold War. The
bipolar world collapsed into the unipolar world of capitalism,
which is now (in effect, if not by intention) conducting a "mop-up"
operation that will eventually subsume all remaining cultures.
Globalization is basically just another name for capitalism on
a worldwide scale. The remaining countries in the process of being
"mopped up" include the Islamic countries; the holdouts
from the Cold War (e.g., North Korea); the various indigenous
peoples (Australian aborigines, New Zealand Maoris, etc.); older
cultures (India, China, etc.); and newly self-reflective cultures
(the countries of Europe and Japan, which gained wisdom firsthand
through the still remembered suffering of devastation wrought
by the World Wars on their own homelands). All look on the American
Empire with both envy and dismay: envy, because all egos desire
materialistic self-fulfillment; but also dismay, in that they
see a soulless, adolescent culture (with nothing better or greater
to do with their leisure time than watch "reality TV"
and eat hamburgers) taking over the world. This culture is appropriately
called "adolescent" insofar as . . . it is mostly only aware
of itself; it acts like it will live forever; it thinks it can
drive at any speed and not get into an accident; and it hasn't
had any significant war on its own land that would gain it some
wisdom based on first-hand experience of the horrors of war (its
current generation mainly knows and "fights" war at
a distance and on TV); etc. This adolescent culture is creating
a soulless world that is increasingly pleasurized in body and
stimulated in mind, but also increasingly empty and desperate
"smash" of civilizations and the resistance.
It is no longer a "clash of civilizations" ,
as some have called it, as though there were a parity of power
(as during the Cold War). Rather,
this mop-up operation is a "smash" of civilizations.
But not every other culture is going down without a fight, as
the Islamic jihadists (among others) demonstrate. And the aborigines,
the Maoris, the native Americans, and other indigenous peoples
are resisting in their own way, even as are the European Union,
Japan, and other first world countries, similar though they already
are to the subsuming American culture.
many Western analysts (steeped in the culture and viewpoint of
capitalism) presume that the root of these conflicts is poverty
(alone), and eradicating poverty (through MacDonaldization) will
eradicate the resistance as well. But poverty has always been
only one part of the problem. The other very significant part
has been the preservation of one's own culture. There is a fear
among many such cultures that if they "make a deal with the
devil" to address their poverty and backwardness, they will
also lose their culture, and hence their very heart and soul.
History has not exactly proven them wrong.
from within the MacDonaldized world.
But even should this soulless culture take over the
entire world, these forms of resistance will live on. They simply
will have shifted from the geographical "outside" to
the geographical "inside" of the dominant world culture.
(The details of 9/11, for example, were primarily worked out in
Hamburg, Germany, not Afghanistan.) And they will function in
the manner of networks rather than countries, using the advances
in technology to communicate with each other (even as hackers,
the mafia, and drug rings are already doing to further their own
interests) and to work against the super-culture (the Internet,
suitcase-sized radiological or nuclear weapons, and more are coming
into play). The "war on terrorism" will start to look
a lot like the "war on crime" and the "war on drugs".
And this resistance
will take religious and spiritual forms as well, aimed at addressing
the soullessness of the super-state. For instance, Stephen Carter
 has suggested that the Bill of Rights
had in mind not merely the separation of Church and State, but
the enabling of churches to function as independent cultures,
independent pockets of power, with their own shared values, and
their own lifestyles, which can differ from that of the surrounding
(and now soulless) culture. In a better-organized world, such
independent cultures could thrive as "two-story buildings",
or "body and soul". Yes, the "basement", or "body",
that ensures material well-being is provided by the democratized,
capitalistic state. But the "above-ground story ", or
"soul", or "heart", is provided by the independent
culture. The liability we are currently suffering is that the
"basement" is taking over everything, to the point where
there is no "above-ground story" worth telling.
conflicts. Even though
the entire world may be MacDonaldized, that does not mean it will
turn into a single superstate, or that wars will disappear (even
though some idealists — see, e.g., 
— tend to believe in a "Pax Americana" wherein no two
countries that contain a MacDonald's will ever go to war with
each other). Even now there are "intractable" conflicts
within "MacDonald world". A lot of these intractable
conflicts have to do with the fact that two different spheres
of influence are competing for the same geographical territory
(Kashmir, Taiwan, Israel/Palestine, etc.). Other ongoing conflicts
are due to the related fact that geographical divisions and ethnic
or religious divisions do not coincide. This is particularly true
in some of the African states , where
the geographical divisions are the residue of the British and
other colonial empires of the nineteenth century, and have little
to do with the way the native peoples align themselves (then or
now). This lack of coincidence between geographical divisions
and ethnic or religious divisions has also been at the root of
the centuries-old conflict in the Balkan states .
Both cooperation and tolerance are required to resolve these situations,
in either of the two possible ways: agreeing upon a different,
geo-political boundary; or forging a more workable, peaceful arrangement
and co-existence within the existing geo-political boundaries.
(Or some combination of both.)
Nations will never become a world government. No nation-state
is willing to cede its sovereignty to that degree. Quite the contrary!
Every "piece" of the shattered Soviet Union demanded
sovereignty, and now "pieces" of the "pieces"
(e.g., the Chechnya region of Russia, the South Ossetia region
of Georgia, etc.) are seeking to splinter off in the same manner.
So is Kashmir (claimed by both India and Pakistan). Even the "European
Union" found it difficult to converge on a common Constitution,
now that its members are being required to not only share the
benefits, but also to share the power. (The problem? The ones
with more power currently — France and Germany — didn't want to
give up any of that power; and the countries with less power wanted
more.) Indeed, if human egos could easily be completely self-sufficient
and self-protected, they might not even agree to be a member of
a larger state and strike the bargain that creates "civilization
and its discontents" ; each one
of us would declare himself or herself a sovereign nation-state!
Whether writ large (in the actions of a nation) or writ small
(in the actions of an individual), such is the nature of human
egoity (in the absence of spiritual realization). For the foreseeable
future, then, the best the world can be is a fellowship of sovereign
nations. And so there will always be a need for both cooperation
on shared values and shared priorities, along with tolerance of
us not be blind to our differences — but let us also direct
attention to our common interests and to the mean by which
those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end
now our differences, at least we can help make the world
safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most
basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet.
We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's
future. And we are all mortal.
F. Kennedy 
need for larger global values and accord. Purely capitalistic
globalization always is shortsighted. It works on the "free
market" principle which is always a reaction
to the current moment. It can't anticipate in any but a corporate-centric sense. It won't respond to the longterm effects
of what we are doing (and it
is doing) — say, to the environment — unless or until those
effects are in its face: we begin to run out of potable water
or clean air; the effects of global warming start to effect the
global economy; we over-fish our oceans beyond the point of sustainability;
the ever-increasing demand of the market for oil finally empties
our last oil reserves; etc. Clearly, preventive
measures are required to address such issues; merely
reactive mechanisms like the global markets will always
be too slow and too late. The damage will have been done and much
of it may be permanent and irreparable.
For this reason
(and similar ones), globalization and capitalism alone are not
sufficient for running the world. People and nations with greater
wisdom and foresight than the marketplace alone must come together
and forge global accords, regardless of whether it is immediately
(or even ever) profitable. (That is, such global accords must directly or indirectly regulate the marketplace.) Cooperation and tolerance are essential
to this process.
Even if we
leave aside global concerns for the moment, and focus solely on
the material prosperity of individual nation-states, differences
in prosperity among those nation-states already integrated (to
one degree or another) into the globalized world are worth explaining.
For example, it appears that those societies which instill trust and cooperation in its members
because of shared norms and cultural values are more capable than "low trust"
creating (at lower cost and with less overhead) the innovative
business structures that lead to prosperity .
For this reason alone, cultural values like trust and cooperation
should be strongly encouraged.
simply too easily forgotten that when it comes to economic
activities, one of the greatest virtues a country or community
can have is a culture of tolerance. When tolerance is the
norm, everyone flourishes — because tolerance breeds trust,
and trust is the foundation of innovation and entrepeneurship.
Increase the level of trust in any group, company, or society,
and only good things happen. "China began its astounding
commercial and industrial takeoff only when Mao Zedong's
odiously intolerant form of communism was scrapped in favor
of what might be called totalitarian laissez-faire,"
wrote British historian Paul Johnson in a June 21, 2004,
essay in Forbes. "India is another example.
It is the nature of the Hindu religion to be tolerant and,
in its own curious way, permissive . . .When left to themselves,
Indians (like the Chinese) always prosper as a community."
Friedman, The World Is Flat 
A Cultural Renaissance for the Post-Globalization World Order
is found neither in traditional capitalism nor in classical
Communism. Each represents a partial truth. Capitalism fails
to see the truth in collectivism. Communism fails to see the
truth in individualism. Capitalism fails to realize that life
is social. Communism fails to realize that life is personal.
The good and just society is neither the thesis of capitalism
nor the antithesis of Communism, but a socially conscious
democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and
Luther King, Where Do We Go From Here 
In a real
sense, we have reached the end of the line, both here in the West
and on a global scale. Let us not mistake decadence for culture
. We have burnt our cultural house
to the ground. We have killed God, we have overthrown all authorities,
we have isolated ourselves from any communities larger than the
family unit (and even there the divorce rate is high), and we
have replaced any genuine culture — in which a greater purpose
is the basis for all cultural activity — with the sole value of
materialistic self-fulfillment. All we are doing is "killing"
time. All we are doing is making a pseudo-culture out of each
individual ego, as though it were a nation unto itself.
self-fulfillment as our sole cultural impulse is nothing more
than horse manure to the human heart. But there is a right and
valuable use for horse manure, as every farmer knows! Good things
don't grow in barren soil. As Abraham Maslow pointed out ,
lower needs must be handled before we even are in a position to
be aware of our higher and deeper needs.
obviously should not be valued in itself; by itself, it stinks!
The right use of horse manure is for fertilization. The best use
of the MacDonaldized world — which has the potential to provide
at least basic material well-being for all — is that it serve
as the soil in which real cultures,
based on higher values, are grown.
use of the cultural razing of the twentieth century is to grow
a new crop of cultures in the twenty-first, and enable a new kind
of evolutionary process — a cultural renaissance  — to begin, based not on the "survival
of the fittest", but rather, on the "flourishing of the
happiest". Out of the ashes of our former houses can emerge
a cultural phoenix — or several.
we characterized capitalism in its current form of globalization
by the byline, "Let the best ego — individual or corporate
— win! Let the marketplace judge!" The right evolutionary
process for the post-globalization world will be one in which
the fundamental principle is instead,
the best culture win! Let the human heart judge!"
And the fundamental
values of a "cultural ground" that accommodates such
a culture-evolving process are tolerance
of such new cultures, and cooperation
within such cultures .
COTEDA Institute for Global Accord is dedicated to bringing
about global accord through cultivation
of cooperation and tolerance in the world, primarily by creating
a truly spiritual culture capable of undermining human egoity
and its disastrous consequences. For more on The COTEDA Institute,
For more on Adi Da Samraj, the great spiritual master who has
championed these principles, click
L. Friedman, The
Lexus and The Olive Tree.
P. Huntington, The
Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.
Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize
Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War.
and Its Discontents
The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity
Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western
H. Maslow, Toward
a Psychology of Being.
Da Samraj, Eleutherios:
The Only Truth That Sets The Heart Free.
L. Friedman, The
World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.
to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance.
Luther King, Where
Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community.
F. Kennedy, Commencement
Address at American University, June 10, 1963.
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