What is a Visionist?

"A visionist is an artist, a creator or an individual that sees beyond what is visible to the eyes and brains of human beings. Visionists are thinkers, they are the recognisable brains in soociety, but most times they are seen as absurd, "nerds" and misfits – they just don't fit into the societies. They are people with great dreams and minds."

The English Wikipedia

Monday, February 28, 2011

Is the World Becoming Unhinged?

The sweeping changes taking place in North Africa and the Middle East and demonstrations against draconian cuts in the US in state budgets, all seem to be coming together to make a "perfect storm" of upheaval that is rocking the world. Are these profound changes simply coincidental or is some larger process at work that is shaking up institutions globally? I would say, well, both. As previously stated, there is no question that globalization is transforming our world. This may be from underlying processes like seismic shifts that send shock waves to the surface. Or it could simply mean that there is a "demonstration effect," where people seeing protest work as a means for bringing about change in one part of the world see it as a way forward in other parts of the world. Is the US copy catting Egypt?

But there is a third factor at work in all of this and that is the power of liberal (classic liberalism) democratic ideals in the postmodern world. I say "postmodern" intentionally, because we are no longer in the indusrial modern age and have long moved on to the postmodern postindustrial age. The postmodern age is not driven principally by issues of class, but by issues of identity. Information is inherently liberating and democratizing. If the events of today seem to have a common thread, it is that democratic ideals are quickly moving through and being embraced globally.

I find most interesting that both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now speak frequently about "universal human rights," in relation to the reaction of authoritarian regimes to legitimate protest. But this is not the first time: during the January visit of Chinese Premier Hu Jintao's visit to Washington, President Obama used the same phrases in relation to China's suppression of dissent. The reference to universal rights unfortunately has been left somewhat vague in the President's declarations. He should more specifically say not only that "we believe in universal human rights," but the concept has been enshrined in international human rights law in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most important legacy of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and the two treaties (called covenants) that followed protecting civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights, respectively. China voted for all of these human rights documents, and it and all other governments should be held to this universal standard. They should never be let off the hook with the argument that such governments obey a different "cultural tradition."

No comments:

Post a Comment