Admittedly, the description of civilization, below, is like a single layer of understanding about relationships over four dimensions but the extrapolation describes a context in which principles can be applied to national and international “events” so they may be acted upon effectively. Without this simplification, the effect of the plethora of broadcast, press and internet information, although it may be described as mere data, shapes our perceptions according to the will of its source: often organs of government or corporations, and serves the purposes of the source, appropriate to an agenda and needs of a hegemony. Information we receive, when not directly shaped by such an agenda, is often in reaction or response to the agendi and this has an even stronger effect since, by opposing artificial constructions, we give them weight and make them seem more real.
Independent of self-serving agendi of content producers, information from science and philosophy pecks around the edges of that which may possibly be known and, as often as not, stumbles upon something not previously known to be possible and which, previous to revelation, wasn’t exactly inconceivable, just not imagined. The boundary between the inconceivable and the unrecognized is vagrant since our perceptions are shaped by expectations and by subliminal mechanisms operating on stumuli within the brain. In this century, understanding about both the brain and media technology increases our ability to shape audience expectations and recognition and thereby, to enable widespread conceptualization of the inconceivable and it doesn’t matter whether it is based on reality or imaginary ideas, giving opportunity to enhance both superstition and potentially useful views of nature and culture. Albert Einstein is frequently quoted about this:
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it…The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education…The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination…We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them…The only real valuable thing is intuition…There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there…The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion…”
Dispensing with the “natural” history of human social habits (pardon the redundancy) to focus on effective political action in the modern context, it is revelatory to see that the context in which political action is seen and occurs determines the outcome and this in turn reveals how and why the context, which media confers by implication on its content has been rendering political action on global as well as local issues, literally, impotent.
If we understand that civilization is the appropriate context in which to weigh political acts relevant to global issues, principles beyond negotiation of interests of hegemonies emerge. Civilization, as a contextual term, distinguishes the whole of social organization over time and without limitation. The distinction, civilization, is historical and refers to a unity beyond geographic or political boundaries, nor is it defined by ethnicity, religious belief, nor the linguistic, cultural, legal, technological, economic or familial structures that define levels of social organization. Civilization includes the totality of it all. Relevant political action regarding global issues must be in the context of civilization.
The parameters of civilization are changed by observation—in the moment any individual becomes aware of a planet circling a star 600 light years distant from Earth, the bounds of civilization expand to include it. Every event or act and thing belongs to civilization and it is possible to distinguish concepts and ideas that inform our understanding of who we are individually and severally, related to historical global effects rather than to myths and beliefs about them, which, historically, are superficial and irrelevant.
For instance, the regime that murdered Allende and Neruda, though attributed in current popular myth to the Chilean dictator, Auguste Pinochet, in the context of our civilization was done by the same regime that killed Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers. Real interactions of international interests, including the funding of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the use of those funds and paramilitary activities within the United States and all of Latin America were involved in these murders and their cover up. It is useful to understand such events in the context in which they actually occur, while not doing so promulgates confusion and sustains universal ignorance and resignation.
When we view macro effects of our civilization in real time, we can see the mechanisms and social structures that led to conditions such as, global warming, outside the paradigm in which we normally talk about and describe them, where effective action is impossible, and where we are led to a kind of impotent drama, which media ironically calls, “protest”.
Viewing civilization as the only relevant context for political action is consistent with economic realities but we are presently conditioned by media, public education and social networks to view local, national and ethnic social organizations in a way that deifies the existing hierarchy of hegemonies negotiated between beneficiaries of both geographic localities, states and regions and corporate entities in a traditional, tribal fashion. The territorial domains of drug cartels exemplify this but it may also be seen in the music and film industries and in elemental fashion in the energy and oil industries and in places like Afghanistan, Syria, Russia and Saudi and bureaucracies throughout the United States and Europe. Our acceptance of this view at local levels, in academia, and so on, makes it impossible to see, let alone act effectively in the broadest domain of international action, and this allows an informal global regime with tribal values to flourish such that we can’t address critical issues of environmental degradation, global warming, over population, extreme poverty, injustice, ignorance, violence and disease, and these are but side effects of an international social order outside the rules of influence that negates individual will and can and does routinely kill effective initiative that opposes it, with impunity.
Empowering individual will means enabling individuals to act in concert together. History shows a constant negotiation of the rights and interests of the many vs. the powerful few, in which the many are occasionally organized ad hoc, while the few are persistently well-organized in tight, defensible hegemonies in hierarchic structures. The problem that prevents progress is that ad hoc organizations that oppose the will of established hegemonies may be defined as revolutionary conspiracies and suppressed. This has been screamingly obvious in the streets of Libya, Syria, Egypt and in the responses of police to the Occupy movement throughout the United States.
Each hegemony is a constituent part of the global hierarchy and a micro-social organism within civilization, composed of individuals who work together (legally) to maintain, defend and expand their hegemony. But the global regime that results from negotiations of hierarchic order supersedes laws that govern lower levels, while it mirrors principles of hierarchic authority, adhering to the same precepts, having the same tribal values with superficial differences, for instance, there are regional hegemonies that bear names like, China, Mexico, Europe and United States, that are organized around written laws of order, while the relationship between individuals and corporate bodies at the meta-level are not defined in code of law but in terms of effect, they are tribal and not ambiguous.
The global regime’s lack of definition disguises the strength of their inter-relationships, which are not based on ethnic, geographic or political boundaries since differences that characterize hierarchies at lower levels are irrelevant to the regime. At the global level of civilization, members of the regime are defined by their ability to exercise economic power. Those who understand this may gain temporal advantage up to a point determined by the hierarchy on which they are pegged. For instance, computer-assisted data mining could be orchestrated to create the “credit” industry as well as a complimentary set of mechanisms to exact taxation in support of cooperating levels of hegemony within a state in which enterprises are symbiotic with established hegemonies. However, political action must progress beyond the hierarchies of tribe-like hegemonies to solve global problems. Archaic terms, such as, socialist vs. capitalist, secular vs. religious, democratic vs. autocratic, conservative vs. progressive are useless to understand and discuss effective political action in the context of civilization, yet these terms are still the heart of academic political science curricula. Effective global action must occur in the presence of diverse existing geopolitical identities, ethnic and cultural differences and economic practices and requires that we be undifferentiated from each other outside the hegemonies of established political orders in a context that filters out irrelevant biases and xenophobia. Because we are conditioned to honor the reality of geopolitical hegemonies, current political processes, such as, the Occupy activism seem relevant, while, as with all previous forms of revolution, including those we see now in the middle-east, they are ineffective over time in the global context because the ad hoc political organizations evaporate, while the regimen persists, supported by bureaucratic organizations and their local, internal relationships. There is no practical way of undoing this. The Nazis tried with murderous conviction to upset the balance and after the war ended, their bureaucracy reassembled itself, minus the Jews, and plodded on.
The question is how to empower individuals to combine in joint action that avoids the reconstitution of hegemony that otherwise resumes after protest and revolution. While, it is true that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” if “the only real valuable thing is intuition”, the problem requires new, intuitional thinking, and in this case, intuition suggests that global problems can only be solved in a global context and since all politics is local, that context must unite the two.
In 2007, just before I left Del Mar, I began to describe an implementation of advanced technology that may have the potential of allowing civilization to address global issues through solving some local problems. Before describing this approach, it is important to describe a more complete image of the problem and context, in particular, these notions: 1) All politics is local. 2) Bureaucracy. 3) Commerce.
 The reader is advised to look into Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, 1992, Ann Druyan & Carl Sagan