The Case for a Coordinated Humanistic Global Movement Towards Peace and International Cooperation

Imagine if you will a near future where our global society offers every person regardless of faith, economic status, identity and heritage the freedom to be unencumbered by the current problems we now face on our planet. Where healthcare, education and environmental stewardship are collectively agreed to preeminently serve our individual and community right to safety and well-being. Where national sovereignty is respected and where international conflicts are solved not on the battlefield but are mediated in courtrooms.

Where trillions of dollars used for defense are repurposed to invest in science and technology. Where reason and empathy serve as guides to bridge differences and where war and nuclear proliferation are read about in history books or seen in film documentaries the way we may now watch about past and current wars and conflicts.

Essentially, humans would have developed socially to follow both the golden rule and the rule of law. Through a secular humanist movement perhaps combined with the most liberal interpretation of faith doctrines for those so motivated, this would become the standard by which we choose to view and govern ourselves as humans.

From my own anthropologist’s worldview, it is clear that we are a social species. Humans have long been organizing ourselves towards group dynamics. For thousands of years, we have created alliances of mutual thought, aid and coordination.  First as small family-based bands, then into larger tribes, then into stratified city-states and now, in our current iteration nation-states. We’ve also developed regional, geographical and continental trading, economic and political alliances.

Perhaps the next step in our social evolution then is to bring these states and alliances into a more organic unified whole through policy and law while maintaining sovereignty? More to the point is such an evolution not inevitable?

You may think this is too aspirational. That, based on where we are now in 2024, that such a world lives only in places like science fiction. Sure. You may be thinking that the world of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek looked great in the 1960’s, but today such opportunities to reshape our local and global community are perhaps near impossible.

And I will say you aren’t fully incorrect. But this is where struggle must meet perseverance. In many ways we have strayed from a global community that might be thought of as a shining city on a hill. And, in my opinion, which so of you may share, a non-violent reset is sorely needed.

I’d also posit that there are many good people who remember and still work unselfishly today to fix our current “broken” situation, even if it momentarily appears that past good will and secular democracy have in many places been replaced with nativist, anti-humanistic, religious zealotry. I shudder to think that the fight is lost or that our present is so dire that we stop working to grow our connections and humanity.

When the pressure abounds, we must both remind and steel ourselves for two reasons. One, is to selfishly help our current world through this torrent of negative news cycles and dysfunctional politics. And secondly, to serve others and future generations—to be guiding humanistic lights to create a better tomorrow.

I refuse to accept that we must live in a type of Fermi Paradox that assumes all global civilizations fail to the point of extinction. That, at some point it is inevitable that they put their hate above their wisdom. Or choose their technology and desire for momentary political or economic supremacy over the well-being of the planet and all life that resides upon it.

As humanists, many of us know and agree that the Humanist Manifesto, and the values they inspire serve as guideposts for our beliefs and actions. However, many people who are strangers to humanism think that our deity-free values, which are human-inspired, are as foreign a concept as the world we envision and strive to achieve: a global citizenry free of political, social and economic oppression who benefit from much better international coordination based on the rule of law.

But such aligned local and international government that respects sovereignty based on humanistic policies doesn’t need a label. And it certainly doesn’t need to be exclusive to people who aren’t humanists. In fact, it can’t, since such dramatic change in how we view ourselves must be inclusive, while it would also be foundationally centered on global peace, human equity and dignity, environmental justice and non-proliferation.

It wouldn’t need other forms of categorization either, and nor would it need to be based on any past economic system. So, we’d need to inspire fairness and freedom at the same time we wouldn’t be creating a hyper-capitalist, socialist or communist state. As human history has shown us, often these states devolve into corrupt citadels of exclusion, emphasizing differences rather than commonalities or common purpose.

We’d simply be taking the best governmental policies that humans have already created or could create and expand them around the globe so that everyone benefits. Therefore, it wouldn’t mean that you can’t make money or acquire things. Or feel the need to be religious or secular. A globalist view based on humanistic principles doesn’t ask anyone to give up anything other that their suspicions and bias towards others. While it can also certainly emphasize pride in heritage. It just means we work hard to ensure global freedom, caretakership and Earth citizenship.

We know based on global data that a few modern nations which offer their citizens the social framework to succeed are more prosperous. Their societies are also less stressed, better educated, and are freer from violence. In addition, they strive to provide the best cradle-to-grave healthcare. While they are often also more environmentally conscious and democratic in their governance. There is a homogeneity of thought which presents its values and ethics towards the greater good. A hive mind focused on sustainability and freedom based on good, coordinated government policies.

We also know that attempts to steer the world away from war though organizations like the United Nations have had both successes and failures in sustaining global peace. So, these national and international attempts help us understand what to do to get it right for the future. We don’t necessarily have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. However, we will need to pave new roads as we both try and succeed (or temporality fail) in our long-term reimaging of a more just, humanistic and functional world through cooperative governmental decisions at the local, national and international level.

Further imagine, over the next few generations that we eventually choose to see the “tribe” and our heritage defined as a global place of being. Where barriers like borders become less meaningful because we belong to the Earth and our definition of family expands fully to each other. We know, based on the scientific evidence, that we are indeed one human family. But somehow, we’ve decided over the millennia that slight distinctions in what we look like, our language, and our cultural practices are all barriers to creating a full on specieshood.

How superficial we’ve been in the past. How merciless we remain towards one another because of some obvious or covert subjectivity. Perhaps it’s time we lean into being more merciful and move away from our ancient prejudices to fully meet our future?

A future based on fairness, reason, and a humanistic worldview where we exist for one another and allow a secular democratic federal government structure, with government at every level from local to global and strong subsidiarity, lead the way to a bright future and to the stars. It is perhaps the best way we can make the world of Star Trek a reality rather than science fiction.

Live long and prosper!