The Patriot and the Global Soul
Moments ago, I received an email from the David Suzuki Foundation announcing The Blue Dot Tour in Canada. I was very impressed by this initiative, and I want to highlight this announcement and the forthcoming events as illustrating some of the themes I have repeatedly raised in The Chrysalis.
For those who don’t know the naturalist David Suzuki, in Canada he is considered by many to be a national treasure and, for many also, a leading candidate for the all-time “Greatest Canadian”.
In recent years, he and his foundation — and environmental defense organisations like the Suzuki Foundation — have run afoul of the present ruling Conservative party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa, which, in a clear act of political censorship, has expressed its displeasure with environmentalism and environmentalists “rocking the boat” by threatening to revoke their charitable status unless they shut up about the global environment and ceased to engage in that totally dreadful thing called “activism” (which is to say, “politics”). This threat to revoke the charity status of environmental organisations was intended to have a “chilling effect” not just on environmentalists, but on all forms of political opposition to the ruling party.
Of course, the environmentalists and their allies fought back, and even managed to get Canada’s first Green Party member of parliament (MP) elected in the last election (Elizabeth May).
The ruling Conservative party’s political priorities have been economy, patriotism, and the supremacy of private property rights (acquisitive individualism), and those priorities inevitably clash with the broader issues of environment (ecology), globalism, and the commonwealth or “the public weal”, so a showdown has seemed inevitable.
It’s with that brief backgrounder, then, that I want to address the significance of David Suzuki’s “Blue Dot Tour” as being this decisive showdown, for that is even how the tour’s organisers are describing it — the great Suzuki’s “last ride”, as it were, before age forces him to retire from the great political and educational battles of his long and illustrious public career. And that’s really brilliant. The Tour includes the participation of some pretty powerful personalities and heroes of Canadian popular culture declaring their allegiance.
This is not just another cultural event. This is an army gathering for war and preparing to throw down the gauntlet to the ruling party. At any other time in history, and under different circumstances, this “tour” would be considered an uprising by a popular army against an established, presumptive, and haughty power. And that’s exactly what it is.
This is an archetypal clash of values, and I wanted to mention this in connection with Gebser’s observation on integral consciousness, and how a new consciousness “structure” can defeat an old, reactionary consciousness structure. The contrast in values here is particularly stark. Even the very name “Blue Dot Tour” emphasises globalism, and clashes with the narrowly conceived nationalism and lop-sided “patriotism” cum chauvinism of the ruling party. “Be true to the earth!”, Nietzsche’s slogan, shouts back at the dwarfish egoism and the exaggerated individualism expressed in the supremacy of private property rights.
What does the “Blue Dot” signify, really, but the political realisation of the “overview effect“, and thus of the emergence of the integral consciousness as Gebser anticipated? It is not that your sense of patriotism is devalued, but only that it is re-conceived within a larger framework of the earth as a whole — the overview rather than the “point-of-view”.
This is very important to understand, then. In this “Blue Dot Tour”, the overview is now challenging the mere point-of-view. It is, therefore, a more inclusive and expansive — and therefore superior — form of consciousness.
It’s not a case of ecology versus economy, since human economy is embedded as a constituent element of the greater ecology. It’s not a case of the collective versus the individual, but the individual as a constituent part of a greater ecology called “public” or “society”. An holistic consciousness, in other words, is challenging a fragmented and hyper-partisan one.
As I mentioned before, the emphasis on “health” — the central theme of the Blue Dot Tour — is that key that Rosenstock-Huessy anticipated as far back as 1938 as being the secret of the next revolutionary phase in human evolution and social development. Who can object to health? In that sense, politically organising for “health” (holism or integralism) is, in the context of the degeneracy of the present times, a revolutionary act.