Meaning and Basis of Planetary Integration


At the beginning of the 21st century, people feel united as never before but also, paradoxically, they feel disunited at the same time! Having found ourselves on the brink of self-destruction, we perceive with a varying degree of conscious awareness the need to unite in the face of unseen threats. At the same time, we are divided by serious disagreements based on divergent interests, values and ambitions. One thing is obvious: today’s challenges are the most large-scale and significant that people have ever had to face. The significance of the challenges derives from the fact that the reasons and basis of global problems, risks and catastrophic events can be traced to the side effects and consequences of our own activity, and our treatment of the environment and each other. Over the last hundred odd years, human reason and the products of its activity have shown qualities that are more destructive than beneficial. This might have occurred because, possessed by an illusion of omnipotence, we began to claim boundless superiority over the natural state of things. Perhaps, the cause is that some ideas on which we used to base our goals and life assessment have proven to be not only false but dangerous. But whatever the real cause, we have now found ourselves in a dramatic situation that can result either in the death of all life (a fast or slow death depending on the factors creating it), or in a real unification of people in order to survive. The latter is not only the most important condition for solving global problems, by removing threats and alleviating contradictions, but also the first step on the road to the spiritual and technological – in the long run – evolutionary transformation of humanity. Only by being united can we meet these challenges. To do this, humanity must undergo a supra-national integration process to survive and preserve the natural environment for themselves and their descendants. The real unification of people is not only the most important condition for solving global problems, by removing threats and alleviating contradictions, but also the first step on the road to the spiritual and technological – in the long run – evolutionary transformation of humanity. Today, what resembles utopia, namely human unity and a harmonious and systemically managed world based on such unity, has no alternative if we are to survive as a species and save the Earth as a planet. The necessity for world integration does not derive from some abstract moral-ethical considerations and ephemeral utopian dreams or secret plans of an anonymous world government. It derives from a critical state of the global world and is dictated by the survival instinct, which we can comprehend at the level of common sense. To achieve this highly important civilisation-historical program of moving from salvation from self-destruction - to global problem solving - to sociogenic and environmental risk minimisation - to world order harmonisation - to the transfer to qualitatively higher social and evolutionary development, humanity needs to unite, become integral, and cast itself as the single living species unified both by common problems and common needs, solutions and prospects. Humanity will not be able to complete this programme in any condition other than an integrated one (at the level of institutions, elites, communities, assets and technologies). The time of disparate, sporadic and differentiated progressist missions has gone! The global character of the world has made it more vulnerable than in any other period in human history. In this situation, no nation, wherever its geographical location, can be exempt from the negative processes of our times; nor can it stay out of the process of resolving these issues to let humanity survive as a species and nature survive with its ecosystem and habitat. To implement global human integration, the greatest project in the history of our species, we would need realistic and efficient models, mechanisms and technologies capable of kick-starting constructive changes in all spheres of public life: politics, economy and culture. The Planetary Project intends to set goals and offer solutions: they are described in subsections of this section. Indeed, what has become the barrier for international attempts to implement sustainable development strategy? Generally speaking, any obstacles can be confined to the three most significant aspects: 1) conflict of interest in the process of discussion and resolving global problems (along the following juxtapositions “global – national”, “international” and “national – regional – local”); 2) absence of scientific-technical projects and proposals to solve global problems; 3) ideological and value contradictions between global players, and the absence of a single platform for the understanding and evaluation of global problems, as well as the necessity to resolve them. Global human integration aims not only to unite people and alleviate tension associated with global risks, but make it possible to create a system of planetary governance institutions. This system will be able to ensure conditions for a new type of civilisation, which would be biocompatible, noospheric and harmonious. It is comforting to see that several social-historical phenomena have already emerged as established, full-fledged, generally recognised institutions, which can be viewed as platforms of natural integration of humanity; and which, by the way, can be boldly attributed to globalisation! Conditionally, they can be divided into political-legal, economic, infrastructural-technological, and cultural. In any case, they are all products of modern civilisation, and results of the best achievements of previous civilisations. Each of these sustainable phenomena and processes, institutes and practices, which have already become in essence global integration platforms, deserves a brief overview.
(1) Universal human values and human rights The image of a united humanity has become a fragment of the civilised nations’ cultural code, and found a legitimate correlation to the universal human values category. Universal human values include inalienable natural needs, rights and weal of a person as a living, rational and spiritual being living in the natural and human world. The concept of universal human values has crystallised from a diverse mass of human historical experience, despite its paradoxical discreteness and, at times, often mutually exclusive layers of meaning. In social practice, universal human values are objectified in the institute of human rights and partly of international legal norms.   (2) Global social institutions Global social institutions not only exist, but also enjoy the world’s rightful respect. They take an active part in developing, passing and supervising very important and large-scale solutions concerning entire nations and countries, and the world community, but they are very far from completing their mission in its full scope and meaning.   (3) Global business Global business grew out of the age of great geographic discoveries, periods of scientific-technical progress and industrial revolutions. By the 19th century a global business prototype had emerged in the form of expanding and institutionalising intercontinental trade, it became the world’s leading economic project; while in the 21st century it is a no-alternative reality whose key figures are transnational corporations, international trade and financial-industrial institutions. The nature of global business is that it practically fails to recognise borders and sovereignties. With the current state of global transportation and information and communication networks, capital flows to countries that have favourable business climate and the biggest profit potential. Nevertheless, global capital mobility and business processes face resistance from the instability of the planet’s macroeconomic and macro-social processes. This already concerns politics. Yet, it should be admitted that global business, the global economy, trade, production forces dynamics, and production and consumption standardisation are now the most objective part of the human integration basis. (4) The Internet: global communications and the virtual world The Internet is the global information and communication network. It has, perhaps, the unspoken status of being the most useful modern product; at any rate, both globalisation supporters and opponents make equal use of it. Some people believe that the World Wide Web is an ideal planetary world model or, perhaps, in some ways, its invariant. The virtual space is said to be the image of an expanding galaxy. In any case, the significance of the global web cannot be overestimated: as a driver of an information revolution, it transforms the very principles of social organisation, the structure and structural-functional mechanisms of the life of society. Indeed, the Internet has made this world more compact and open, and people more mobile and universal. The main thing is that it has greatly increased the volume and accessibility of global competences, knowledge and needs expanding the field of value, cognitive and aesthetic elements of the current worldview. At the level of experience constants, communicated knowledge and skills, the Internet has made different cultural languages closer to each other: a common cultural code is crystallising in the virtual reality of the global human universe. (5) Unity of the technosphere Despite the fact that industrial and post-industrial society types co-exist in the modern world, we can, albeit conditionally, talk about the unity of the technosphere as a material basis of modern civilisation. At least, we can talk about a family of the following interconnected global technological systems (infrastructures) organised by single scientific-methodological and management principles: communication, energy, transport and logistics, as well as space systems. Therefore, it is fair to say that at the beginning of the 21st century, there is an imminent global need of supra-national and supra-political human integration. This need is both a forced one in the face of global threats and risks and historically natural and evolutionary, because humanity is ready and capable of becoming one as a planetary phenomenon. Global human integration is so obviously necessary that it must be a criterion of social, civilisation and humanistic maturity of an individual, an elite society and a social institution. Global human integration, just as globalisation and global problems, affects both society as a whole and its individual members.