Arts &
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Vol. 18, No. 4, 2019
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubé
  Contributing Editors
David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Lynda Renée
Gary Olson
Howard Richler
Oslavi Linares
Chris Barry
Jordan Adler
Andrew Hlavacek
Daniel Charchuk
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Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Chantal Levesque Denis Beaumont
Emanuel Pordes
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Mark Kingwell
Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
Margaret Somerville
Mona Eltahawy
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

for every season



Louis René Beres is Emeritus Professor of Political Science and International Law (Purdue University). He is author of many books and articles dealing with international politics. His columns have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Jerusalem Post and OUPblog (Oxford University Press).

Leaders of the major nation-states on Planet Earth will need to reach a dramatic collective decision. These leaders, long accustomed to belligerent nationalism, will need to align their separate judgments of national interest with the wider interests of humankind. Although this will sound fanciful, it would represent the literal opposite of “America First”-type tribalism. There is no alternative.

We have now reached the tipping point where national military and economic power seeking must yield to something else. Either we will fashion a durable system of global interdependence, or we will be forced to disappear.

Unless we take meaningful steps to implement an organic and cooperative planetary civilization — one based on the central truth of human “oneness” — there will be no civilization at all.

The imperative is clarified by our species’ “progress” in creating nuclear weapons and infrastructures. In addition, major states are increasingly committed to various strategies of “cyber-warfare” using “internet mercenaries.” To a considerable extent, the spread of internet mercenaries is being undertaken on behalf of authoritarian regimes.

Until now, we humans have consistently managed to miss what is most important. There is a latent “oneness” to world politics. This critical dimension of human identity can be encountered in certain generally-ignored literatures and among such philosophic thinkers as Sören Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, Hermann Hesse, Carl Jung, Jose Ortega y’ Gasset, Miguel de Unamuno and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. This dimension’s persistent rejection in “real life,” even by the world’s great universities, reflects an elemental threat to every nation-state’s survival.

Why have we insistently made ourselves so vulnerable? The answer reflects a continuous willingness all over the world to seek identity as members.

Amid a steadily growing chaos on several continents and in myriad places, we humans stubbornly abide a distinctly primal loyalty to claims of a “tribe.” Always, individuals everywhere, wittingly and enthusiastically, subordinate themselves to expectations of nation, class, or faith.

From origins of our “civilizations,” most people have felt lost, alone, or abandoned outside the tribe. Drawing self-worth from consoling memberships, we humans still cannot fulfill even the most minimal requirements of interpersonal or international coexistence.

The ironies are staggering. Recalling the marooned English schoolboys in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, we are reminded that the veneer of human civilization is razor thin. Scientific and medical discoveries notwithstanding, whole swaths of humankind remain fiercely dedicated to ancient and atavistic sacrificial practices.

Why do we remain so determinedly irrational as a species? The best answer lies in context. After all, our entire system of international relations is rooted in a self-defiling habitat of unrelenting violence. Not until the 20th century did international law even bother to criminalize aggressive war.

Shall we reasonably expect to banish war, terrorism, and genocide from a system that was spawned in an ancient cauldron of tribal hatreds and protracted conflict?

Hope exists: While the planet remains on a lethal trajectory of belligerent nationalism, we need to learn that global survival requires escape from the spirit of competitive tribes and an acceptance of human “oneness.”

The odds of success may seem precariously low, but the evident risks are well worth taking.



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by Louis René Beres:
Intellect & Politics: Trumpian Opposites
Emptiness & Consciousness: Unseen Limits of American Mind
Trump and the Destruction of the American Mind
Empathy & Intelligence
The Crowd Is Untruth
In Praise of Folly: Trump Presidency
Repairing the World at Its Source
Emptiness and Consciousness
Nuclear Deterrence Conflict
Trump's Anti-Intellectualism
Lawless Retreat
Trump - Triumph of Anti-Reason
In the Absence of Wise Councel
Futile Goal of Winning Wars
Money & Politics: A Look Behind the News
Trump's War Against the Intellect
America Becomes What Its Founding Fathers Feared
Victory as Vanishing Point in the Age of Terror
Against a Nuclear-Free World
The Politics of Pre-emption
Crowds, Belonging and Victory Over Death
The Tip of the Jihadist Iceberg
Fixing the World
When Science May Not Be Enough
Facing future Wars
America's Senseless Wars
Is There a Genocide Gene?
Slow Death of America
To Fix a Broken Planet
Our Fractured Union
Affirming Life in the Age of Atrocity
War, Truth and the Shadows of Meaning
Occupy Wall Street
What Is Important?
Social Network Anxiety
Disappearance of the Philosopher Kings


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