A New Consciousness Towards An alternative Global Political Economy
- Wayne Green
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Wayne. F. J. Green, Director, Global Affairs Ltd
This paper I offer to conference, reflects and contains an edited version of all the past papers I have delivered at the GCGI on the contemporary issues of Global Political Economy and the concepts of globalization within this new 21st century at various locations in Dubai, Kenya, Hawaii which also includes a review of the first paper I presented called Globalization and Exclusion towards a New Global Political Economy at the first ever Globalization for the Common Good Common Good held at Platter College, Oxford some 10 years ago. Most importantly, this current paper highlights, by bringing together these papers in one document that dissolving current concepts of globalization have now opened up a new philosophical spaces towards a new consciousness at a planetary level, leading towards a movement for a different form of global political economy for the future wellbeing of all of humanity and our planet. Also of importance the conceptual and real world of the word globalization also includes a binding of faiths and spiritual values which have in a sense now created a space for new normative and ontological perspectives towards the rebuilding on a planetary scale a more ethical, moral global political economy.
Firstly, it is wise when viewing and examining a new consciousness towards an alternative global political economy within globalization to focus on the key philosophical concepts such as Emmanuel Wallerstein and World System Theory, which can be seen as a philosophical political theory, a ‘world economy divided into a core and periphery’ (Steve Hobden: 128:1999) Wallerstein saw this world system in two components. Firstly, that all elements within a system are linked. The second component is ‘that life is more or less self-contained within the system’ (Steve Hobden: 130:1999). Exploring further Wallerstien’s World System Theory, the notion of a one living dynamic system gives way to the concept of a living organism. The central ‘core’ (S.Hobson: 1999:128) made of wealthy states, and ‘semi periphery’ (S.Hobson: 1999:128), consisting of developing states and periphery being failed states. States within the core and ‘semi periphery’ S.Hobson: 1999:128) do exchange places but those in ‘semi periphery’ (S.Hobson: 1999:128), act as a buffer zone for entry to those nations on the periphery the “The failed state”. Wallerstien’s theory is viewed as specifically class based, structured by specific hegemonic actors.
Hegemony and Globalization.
The term hegemonic leads to a Neo-Gramascian approach and that of hegemony and the role of neo-epistemic communities. When we think of globalization and the issue of flows of power brings to light the notion of hegemonic blocks and that of a new trans-national class. Prof Kees Van Der Pijl highlights in his academic works within international relations, the positioning of epistemic communities, and the process of a new managerialism as a central plank to his thesis. The dynamic at work in this process, is in the role of this new managerial class, a trans national cadre class, fractions of epistemic or knowledge communities These knowledge communities in the global political economy act as ‘trans-national knowledge based experts with shared understanding’ (Owen Greene: 1999:325) developing ideas, advising and influencing decision and policy makers by providing the ‘necessary prerequisites for rational choice’ (P. M. Haas: 1992:369).
Structuration and Globalization.
In contrast to this view bring us to view Prof Anthony Giddens, and his grand theory of structuration, which takes a relative view and focuses on the individual and the inter-action with social structures. Gidden’s theory of structuration can be seen as social practices ordered across time and space. The processes of consciousness of the self with structures and systems. For example ‘structures exist as time-space presence’ (Giddens: 1984:17. Here Giddens, advocates that the ‘binding of time-space.’ (Giddens: 1984:17) must first be separated from its old form and then the contents of the space emptied out of its location and then recast in another location of space. The process of globalization achieves this. For example, this means the ‘disembedding, lifting out local contexts of interaction’ (P.Cassel: 1993:28). In effect the view of our local world has changed. In this sense, the ‘binding of time-space’ (Giddens: 1984:17) has achieved a change in how individual agents identify with a global community of interactive social systems, such as culture and identity. Globalization then can be said to be the compression of time and space. Giddens further sees the process of the ‘restructuring of interactions across indefinite spans of time-space’ (P.Cassel: 1993:28) Here then the process of socialising epistemic communities with structuration leads to a program of global expert management systems known as ‘abstract systems’ (P.Cassel: 1993:28).
Abstract Systems And The Offshore World.
This area gives way to the discourse of the offshore world and its theoretical content within globalization. The word …’offshore’ finds its humble beginnings in poetry in the late 19th century, in a collections of poems celebrating Britain as an offshore island titled offshore, (Palan, 2004). But the theory of offshore can be seen stemming from the law of the sea and that of naval ships and warfare and that of the distance of cannon shot.
The law of the sea established three principles,
1. Certain regions are universal commons, belong to all.
2. A disconunity between legal and physical boundaries, sovereignty did not have to belong to physical contours of the land. For example the notion of sovereignty of airspace. This being 50.550 miles the Von Ka’man line
3. The recognition of a relative sense of sovereignty. (R.Palan.2003).
The offshore world can be viewed theoretically as ‘imagined economies and the commercialization of sovereignty’ (R Palan.2004) with that of the repositioning and reformulation of the nation state to a competition state. To go radically further Prof. R. Palan has stated in fact we are seeing an end of globalization towards a ‘post globalization’ (R.Palan.2004) phase. This contemporary theoretical view is contained two books ‘Sovereign Markets, Virtual Places and Nomad Millionaires’ and the Imagined Economies of Globalization’ (R.Palan.2004). By focusing on the offshore world exposes the process of ‘spatial constraint’ (R.Palan.2003) spaces of relaxed national sovereignty enforcement. Offshore, exposes further the issues of the commercialization of sovereignty and a new nomadic society that lives in a placeless space. For example, examining the offshore narrative within the context of globalization gives way to a ‘strange dislocated nomadic world of virtual territories. Plan 2004. In this sense a new form of capitalism is being created and that of global constitutionalism, ‘the creation of a political social order’ (Palan 2004). The “offshore” is in-fact onshore. Offshore, does not link to geographical location but to the juridical status of a vast expanding array of specialized realms, Such as the Euro Market, Economic processing zones territorial enclaves (Palan.2003). It is here we start to really see the impacts and that of the commercialization of sovereignty. Commercialization of sovereignty is the packaging comodification and selling of sovereignty as a product that destabilizes the old theory of the nation state and sovereignty.
Offshore, opens up the expanding idea of new areas of military control, new private security zones and offshore military forces that can be inserted into sovereignty states for border control and able to by pass inter-governmental organisation. Hear exposed is that offshore juridical spaces have influenced and disciplined many issues. In this context social exclusion is therefore a signifier of ‘a new cartography: of the inner separation of something that was one and conflates issues of social citizenship and economic class, society at the international level is redefined’ (Palan.2004). Here exposed is the creative progressive and negative influence of social exclusion.
Social Exclusion And Globalization
Social Exclusion can bee seen as the 'rupture of the social bonds’ (H. Silver: 1996:1). The first ever use of the word exclusion, within the political spectrum comes from France and was first used by ‘René Lenoir, the French Minister for Social Action in 1974'(A. Cameron: 2000:36), who mentioned it in a speech ‘Les exclus' (A. Cameron: 36.2000). Exclusion can be observed as the 'rupture' (H Silver: 2000:1) of the connection of bonds in societies. Professor Hilary Silver of Brown University, points out that exclusion can be 'multi dimensional’ (H. Silver: 2000:2) this then reinforces that exclusion can be located in the paradigm of the global political economy. So, exclusion exists within or is located in the cleavages of the rupture of the social, economic and political bonds of the global political economy. This reinforces an image that exclusion and the ‘rupturing’ of bonds exist at the state level, this being the national and local grassroots level of all societies.
Many nations and people see the current global political economy as undemocratic and lacking in transparency across the globe through the processes of exclusion and marginalization. This has had an effect on the creation of social movement groups and small local community NGOs who feel they must contest the current form of globalization from a local level to a global level. The exclusionary forces of the current global political economy act as a progressive creative dynamic for possible social and political economic change. For example the rise in INGOs that are challenging current international policies and IGOs.
This new consciousness within social exclusion also comprises of extremist right wing thought; Far right anti globalist communities who assume legitimacy with the anti globalisation movement. On one side of the coin, the anti globalisation social movement seeks full democratisation and transparency within globalisation. On the other side an extreme far right wing agenda seeks influence and to racialize the global political economy from a local to a global agenda. For example, Within the America, far right wing groups such as ‘ liberty lobby and the National Alliance’, (Mark Rupert: 2000:107) The dynamic of exclusion creates a space for change and exploring spaces for change leads to French academic Henri Lefebvre, his theory of space, that act as dynamic for change.
Spaces And Moments For Change.
Henri Lefebvre’s theory of space brings to light the dynamic for change within theory of the [moment] within the spatial spheres of life. The invisible dynamics at work that can be viewed as the sedimentary layers creating dynamic paradigms that act further to reshape our ontological identities within Globalization and GPE. Here one has to examine the MOMENTS and SPACES of change within a process of positioning of people within the temporal, material and spiritual paradigms, which offers changes to ontological perspectives we live in. He seeks how space is perceived, used and ruled and that ‘lived space, the space for imagination and moments are kept alive by the arts & literature and can reconfigure’ (Rob Shield: 2000: 4) and change other spheres of space.
In his critique, Lefebvre separation of space in the philosophical sense, and by this process space can be a ‘medium’ (Rob Shields: 2000: 4) and give way to a notion of ‘spaces to be dominated and then overlaid in the physical material world. Henri Lefebvre, view MOMENTS within a spatial context as ‘[a] moment of revelation, emotional clarity and self aware’ (Rob Shields: 2000:4). Exposed is that a MOMENT can then also be an awareness of a higher consciousness beyond the planetary process, a fusion with the universe and its invisible connections. So in affect the irrational and the rational can be a part of the whole space and live in moments as one. Here within moments one has the chance to be ‘emancipated, through revelations and déjà-vu and love.’ (Rob Shields: 2000:4). Here a moment can be placed, ‘based in the timelessness and instantaneity of moments’. (Rob Shields: 2000:4). A moment cannot be codified; they are escape hatches within spatial paradigms for change and exist within globalization. It is here that the rise of China and Asia as a new geopolitical space offers possible forms of change.
China, Asia and the West.
When viewing a New Consciousness Towards An alternative Global Political Economy a new space for change within globalization is now occurring by the lighting speed China’s rise to power. This requires a very brief examination of China and expose how space is used with regards to China and Asia and are we now viewing a more creative process occurring, leading towards higher forms of consciousness by all for all. At the Toronto Bilderberg Conference in May-June 1996, for example, ‘former US assistant secretary of defence, C.W. Freeman, Jr., delivered a paper entitled (Let China Awake and Join the World) Freeman identifies China’s rise as the linchpin of the displacement of the Atlantic Community by an Asia-Pacific one’. (Kees van-der-Pijl. 2006). Here one has to ask will Asian forms of globalization have an affect on all consciousness of western and Asian thought? Such a Neo-Realism, Neo-Liberalism, Communism and Socialism and Neo Marxism towards a fusion of the philosophical, and theological models from east and west that offer possible undiscovered freedoms or threats? For example, Globalization has had a dynamic influence on China and Asia and visa versa. China and Asia now have also an affect upon Western forms of globalization are we now viewing a re-orientation within globalization. Thus, creating a dynamic space towards an Asian possible centeredness’ on America and the West creating new forms of Asian centered possible dominant capitalism's. The psychological reorientation that has taken place within US and European thinking, ‘this shift from an Atlantic view to an Asian Pacific Ocean signifies a decline of the West’(Kees van-der-Pijl. 2006). This now exposes a space for a New Consciousness to take place via the change in human identity and the role of cultural identity upon globalization.
Identity and A New Consciousness.
In examining culture identity, an important factor is the flexibility of the configuration of cultural identity that is motivated by the images of the self by the external dominant culture. This now opens up the idea that there is no one true fixed cultural identity. Here, this exposes that within globalization a space can occur, thus changing identity For example, investigating Stewart Hall, who states two forms of cultural identity exists, ‘One shared or seen as a shared culture and one true self hiding in the many forms of the shared culture’ (Stewart Hall: 1997:110). Shared culture being the togetherness experiences based on historical events and one being located in geographical space or hidden ‘centre piece’ (Stewart Hall: 1997:112). Identities can be fragmented globally but refocused.
Stewart Hall further identifies a ‘second form’ (Stewart Hall: 1997:112) of cultural identity that not only connects to the shared cultural identity, but also seeks to looks at ‘what have I become’(Stewart Hall: 1997:112), within societies, through destruction of the past and living space of today. This second identity is subjected to a fluidity of ‘positioning’ (Stewart Hall: 1997:112) with the flow of history and time, by using power and knowledge. People are subjected to construction as the ‘other’ and then positioned to see themselves as the ‘other’ (Stewart Hall: 1997:112). The ‘positioning’ (Stewart Hall: 1997:112) of the second form of cultural identity being image of ‘rupture and difference’ Stewart Hall: 1997:112) works in harmony with the first form of cultural identity, this being the similarities, by a negotiation of the images of where one is located, how one is seen and how sees oneself within a nation.
This leads to the argument that by, the positioning of social, political and cultural identity of people through motivated dominate ideologies and policies, in turn leads to cultural identity being repositioned within dominated societies. This then acts as a reflective or mirrored identity dynamic on the dominant social political spectrum, leading to the image that within the compression of time and space and that social political relation across time and space all can be reconfigured, thus having a dynamic effect on globalization. Another important factor is the process of dissolving, synthesizing, dominating, moments’ of spaces and the affect this will have on all areas of theology and philosophy that exists today.
I highlight that globalization is planetary and is also in fact a process of fluidity with a non logic and logic structure that can encompass the unseen and unexplainable with the rational and explainable. All past 1945 blue prints for today are now dissolved or being dissolved and at present all is unpredictable in spatial moments of all forms of consciousness that is leading to a new shift to a form of new consciousness towards an alternative global political economy. I would also like to highlight what is needed within the philosophical, theoretical and theological schools are models and policies of long-term organic fluidity to capture the moments and spaces for change in globalization, now created to offer non violent transitions that will affect us all and for our generation to safe guard the planet and the future for all our children and future generations to enjoy.
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A. Cameron: 'GLOBALISATION, SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND THE DISCURSIVE LOCALISATION OF POVERTY': Dphil Thesis: (Sussex: CDE: University of Sussex) Jan: 2000.
Department for International Development, Beijing office in co-operation with
China Centre for Comparative Politics and Economics, Beijing China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham
and with support from: Ford Foundation;
Standard Chartered Bank;
Virgin Atlantic : CHINA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ITS GLOBAL IMPACT : Report on Wilton Park Conference WP800: Monday 31 October – Thursday 3 November 2005. WP800: Wilton Park. UK.
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