Here’s a brief piece of piece-meal thinking…
If humans are to live together then there will need to be some way of reducing the conflict that arises when two imperfect beings interact, and then to improve that methodology to the point where it will work when you have a lot more than two beings bumping into each other. In an ideal world, you’d fine-tune this harmony so that it would work when billions of human beings are sharing a planet.
There is the obvious process of limiting the interaction that occurs between beings who hold conflicting ways. This seems to have been tried any number of times over the millennia. The most obvious are communes, religious or ideological communities such as the Amish or even those “grey cities” that have appeared in the United States – where you have to be older than some stated age to be allowed to live there.
This probably works in isolation, with the communities being granted “weird” status and benevolently being left to their own devices by the surrounding communities or countries. However, it doesn’t really work from a global perspective. Sooner or later those communities will need to interact and in doing so, their differences will create friction.
Think of the “Middle East Situation” (i don’t really know what the middle east situation is but it seems to be a catch-phrase that has haunted my interaction with media since my childhood, so it seems as good a place to start as any). If we were able to set aside two mutually-agreed upon slices of land and place all of the (for example) Palestinians in one slice and all of the Israeli’s in the other then we’d have some sort of comfy little pod of isolation for each of those communities. It wouldn’t really settle the issue though – as there are very strongly held opinions on layers of issues on both sides that would be highly likely to taint any ensuing interaction that was required.
You could move to the point where two (let’s stick with some basics) groups accede authority to a “higher order”, so that disputes are adjudicated in an objective and well-thought out manner that both groups agree has the power to review conduct and set future conduct.
That’d be ok in a blissfully perfect world (think of the ideas of high-and-mighty philosopher kings or happy little Elysian fields where demi-gods hand down judgments to the benefit of all) but we human beings are massively endowed with imperfections and these tend to reduce all such utopian ideals to forlorn musings.
Eventually, you end up with a need for a highest authority – and that is such a slippery slope that i am not even going to place one tentative foot onto that dreadful slide.
So if the problem is that human beings are disagreeing on “things” that they consider important…. maybe we just work on ways of stopping those things from seeming as important as they do…?
In many ways, the Great Australian Way contains the germ of an idea that could be the saviour of our species. I’ve been thinking, of late, that neither Coal nor sundry other commodities should take pride of place as our major exports. I am beginning to think that we should export to the world’s trouble spots our greatest national asset – Apathy.
Imagine a case of gool ol’ Aussie Apathy turning up at one of the world’s battlegrounds, with everyone handed a can of Aussie Apathy. “Crack” is the sound all ’round, as the combatants open their individual cans. Suddenly – yet impressively quietly – the din of battle is replaced by the woosh of lots of strongly-held thoughts sailing skyward on their pathway to the vacuum of space. Imagine the scenes you would behold..
“Hey you – what was it that you didn’t like about me?”
“Ahhh. Dunno. You and your mates give me the shits – but i guess so long as ya don’t go shoving your version of the world down my throat then maybe stuff is ok”.
“Do you know the cricket score?”
“Nup. Never liked the game. How about a drink?”
“Nup. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke either.”
“You’re a bit weird, mate but i don’t expect we can all be perfect. I’ve been working at whatever we’ve been doing for way too long. Time to go home. See ya ’round”.
mmm…. Apathy. Australia’s greatest asset and maybe the greatest potential asset we hold as a nation.