By Prof Jan R. Hakemulder - Syndicate Features
Prof Jan R. Hakemulder is Chancellor, Intercultural Open University, The Netherlands.
It is indisputable that the most powerful ideas of our times came from Samuel Huntington’s thesis of the Clash of Civilizations and Francis Fukuyama’s postulate of The End of History & The Last Man; they provided the worldview and doctrinal basis for the Project New American Century (PNAC).
A single casting vote of the US Supreme Court late 2000 brought the Bush Administration to White House translating this PNAC to global strategy.
The result: the US sinks ever deeper in the quagmire of its Iraq invasion, more ‘Iraqs’ are in the making across the entire region, and Iran’s emergence as the regional nuclear superpower remains unhaltable.
Surely, we, as humanity, are getting closer to another ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’; and the book, Normative Prognosis, 2011’ by Prof Asiananda of Sri Aurobindo Chair for Human Unity, I know, has come out of the author’s premonition that we might not have the same luck as was in 1962!
That fatal bullet in 1914 in Sarajevo which unleashed the long drawn out European civil war of World War I & II followed by the Cold War turning the twentieth century into bloody landscape of a hundred million deaths may be upon us again, this time at nuclear threshold of Armageddon proportions.
PNAC is discredited and gone, but the Huntington postulate of the clash of civilizations will go on as the war on global terror and counter terror; and Fukuyama’s liberal and libertarian Last Man who cares alone for his body for maximizing its pleasures in the so called pursuit of happiness and who dreads ‘body bags’ has now surrendered to the jihadi First Man who happily consumes his body in suicide squads for the glory of his Spirit and the Paradise.
In as much as the US voter abhors body bags, the US has no other way but to relinquish its unipolar superpower status in the world leaving behind the dreadful anarchy of the ‘second nuclear age’ and delivering us again to another Sarajevo of incalculable consequences for the twenty-first century.
If Huntington and Fukuyama were ideas that led our world to this pass, countervailing ideas might also save and redeem it, it is in this sense this book describes the repressed and suppressed central reality of the bleeding civilizational and planetary wounds of our time and pleads for their healing as a geopolitical priority for preventing the next Sarajevo. There must emerge a saner and more balanced sense of New Reality after Huntington, Fukuyama, the PNAC and so on.
A receding ‘American Century’ flowing into the New Asian Century and human millennium cannot come forth from a Washington that remains imprisoned to the Huntington-Fukuyama paradigm; it can come about alone from a ‘New America’ that recaptures and self-renews the ‘New World Man’ of the Old American Frontiers instituting the Novus Ordo Seclorum inscribed in the Great Seal of the United States of America; this is the Pax Americana of Hope, the City upon the Hill John Winthrop long ago presaged, which John Kennedy renewed in the revolutionary call of his inaugural address: “My fellow citizens of the world”, and which was vaguely coming out in the Global Ecological Marshal Plan Al Gore has proposed; upon this matrix must be envisioned the Glasnost II if this Sarajevo is to be prevented as very well argued out in Prof Asiananda in his latest book.
Reminiscent of the Christopher Columbus passage from the old world to the New World, humanity stands at the threshold of the passage from our planet to cosmos: the poles of the Moon have enough solar energy that human colony there around 2024 is now a viable NASA Project; our generation that was fortunate enough to witnessing the turn of the new millennium is the one privileged to make that leap from planet to cosmos.
Upholding such a geopolitical vision as the ‘common civilizational adventure of all humanity’, we are able to come out of our present civilizational confrontation and planetary deadlock. This is the Pax Americana of Hope, the Pax Indica of the Spirit, the Pax Humana envisaged by Asiananda as the New Order of the Ages.
Living in the Nazi occupied Netherlands and my life by chance spared by fate from the lot of the millions who lost it, peace became the passion of my life; my UNESCO assignments for adult education in Africa taught me the potential of education in peace building, I felt impelled to do something more tangible for peace and founded the Intercultural Open University, a quarter of century ago; our work in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, in China and Japan convinced me of the convergence of the High Civilizations which since time immemorial flourished regionally now in the single global civilization, I visualize this as the coming of the New Global Silk Road, heralding nothing short of the Second Axial Period marking the planet’s passage to cosmos.
This is the vision that has gone into the founding of the Sri Aurobindo Chair for Human Unity at our University which my friend and colleague Prof Asiananda has been holding now for a decade, he has remained committed to renewing and revalidating Rajiv Gandhi’s Action Plan (for a non-violent, nuclear weapon–free New World Order) enabled through the transformation of the UN Security Council in the Round Table of the New Human Commonwealth. Such a transition of the status quo Yalta Order is normative and historically inevitable, and has to be the order of the day after Huntington Fukuyama and the demise of the PNAC.
Prof Jan R. Hakemulder The writer is Chancellor, Intercultural Open University, The Netherlands. This article is excerpted from his preface to Prof Asiananda’s new book, ‘Normative Prognosis-2011’
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