Rather than social architectural systems based on paternalistic world views or endless bureaucracy or loudest-voice-in-the-room sensibilities, let’s create something new.
How can we create a world of better integration? A place where the peoples of the world establish fair and equitable rules of engagement, address aggression and mistreatment, and also value and appreciate unique differences? This seems one of the paramount challenges of our time. We exist in times of clashing civilizations.
Let’s explore this concept.
A primary source I draw from is Peter Block, who authored the powerful book The Answer To How Is Yes. Block’s thinking was forged both in corporate boardrooms and multinational peace summits (he played a role in helping to sort out the Northern Ireland peace treaty).
Block—a big fan of of Jungian psychology—suggests that groups, nations, and civilizations contain within them cultural archetypes. These archetypes are collective images of personalities and roles. People have individual archetypes within them, such as the wise self, the playful self, and the heroic self; and societies have archetypes within them as well.
Block used this frame of reference to describe his view of four main archetypes of any society. He sees them as The Engineer, The Economist, The Artist, and The Architect. Briefly, The Engineer is the type is focused on control, predictability, and measurement; The Economist is focused on exchanges, models, and forecasts; The Artist is focused on beauty, emotions, and creation; and The Architect is focused on the coherent integration of all the structural elements. Block goes on to suggest that in the past generation or two, at least in the West, The Engineer and Economist types have been elevated to royalty; the Artist type has been ridiculed; and the Architect type has been ignored.
In classic Jungian belief, Block asserts that all four archetypes are essential for a prosperous and sustainable world. It’s not about one being better than the other. It’s about harmony. He also explains that many of the challenges we face today come as a result of the wild imbalances that exist among these four types.
I believe that our international political situation suffers from these same maladies. There seems to be no shortage of effort in place to deliver political information to people and organize electoral activities (at least as well as the host nations will allow). And there seems to a load of well-meaning organizations attempting to serve the needy with food, shelter, and water. There are even artistic pioneers using live internet connectivity to perform orchestral movements. But who’s putting all of this together in a way that serves the global community? There are organizations working to integrate some of these things, but I worry that they’re either hopelessly out of date, too top-down, or lacking any informed coherence. We have Voice of America, the United Nations, and Twitter as representatives. Feeling inspired about global peace? Me neither.
Rather than social architectural systems based on paternalistic world views or endless bureaucracy or loudest-voice-in-the-room sensibilities, let’s create something new. Let’s exchange political ideas, views, talents, and concerns. Let’s focus on what real people are thinking and feeling about the politics of the entire world. Let’s look at how people on different continents think about international relations. What do they want? How do they make decisions? What are their greatest hopes? What are their greatest fears?
I’d rather know about those things as opposed to what the secretary of whatever thinks about the minister of whichever. I’m really not sure that hegemonic government policies do a whole lot to alter the beliefs and opinions of far-off peoples anymore. The biggest benefits and worries seem to come from non-state actors in this era (business people, technologists, terrorists, etc.).
How do the views of politics and social media differ between someone from Denmark and someone from Mozambique? I’d love to know. And why not, we have the technology platforms to discover this answer. The fact that we don’t know means that we just aren’t asking.
It’s time. We can architect the future of global political interaction based on how we want to live. There’s no reason to sit on our hands and wait for a politician or terrorist to tell us what the rest of the world is like.
Let’s use this platform as a vehicle for having these conversations. Place a comment in the section below. Share your responses. Or suggest an idea that you’d like to write about. We have the ability to do whatever we want. Let’s not squander the opportunity.
Let’s architect the future together!