Love is like a wildflower that blossoms in our hearts.[i] It flowers most naturally in a family or local setting, where people are physically close. It’s natural and often easy for family members to love one another. When strangers begin to love each other, they become friends or partners. When two people love each other, this love can last a lifetime.
But love can flower more broadly. People can come together in larger groups to “love” each other in the sense that they come together to help each other to organise for an agreed purpose. “Politics” is the name we give to this kind of love. It involves a process in which groups of people together decide their goals and agree how to achieve them and how to organise themselves in the best interests of all members of the group. When someone is prepared to die for their country, who can say that this is not love?
As humanity has evolved we’ve organised ourselves first in pre-historic bands and then in larger Middle-Age small-states and, later, in today’s still-larger nation-states. Such love is no longer local but reaches to a national and, in cases like the European Union, an international level. The larger the scale, however, the harder love is to fulfil, to blossom. But love is our only hope, and it is not yet global. Until it is, we are all in grave danger. Many understand this and they try to love globally, but their love remains superficial, one-sided and contradictory.
We may think that one way to love globally is to allow people from poorer nations to earn a living in our more affluent countries. This may be compassionate, but it is superficial love. Superficial, because these people are often the brightest and most gifted their home country has to offer, and their home country surely needs their talents much more than we do. How can these countries ever develop if their brightest and smartest go abroad? How can they ever escape the cycle of poverty if richer nations compete to exploit them? Radical Global Love, by contrast, would aim for a world where people can migrate but no one feels compelled to migrate; where richer countries cooperate to support these nations and where high walls are not needed because everyone can make a decent living in their home country. To create such a world we need to deepen our love. We need Radical Global Love.
Or we may think that to love globally is to allow capital and corporations to move freely across national borders. This love, we presume, will surely help poorer countries to develop. But this, too, is superficial love. Superficial, because being allowed to move freely, capital and corporations can play one country and its people off against another. Developing countries are thus compelled to lower business taxes and loosen environmental controls, all in a desperate bid to attract inward investment and jobs. Our present love means well, but is ultimately contradictory and counter-productive. Instead, we need a world where governments can tax and regulate without fear of losing business to others. We need a world where all governments agree on certain minimum social, environmental and tax levels so that the free movement of capital and corporations becomes truly beneficial for everyone. To work for that is Radical Global Love in action.
Likewise, we may think that, being the big winners of globalization, global investors and multi-national corporations are to blame for the world’s problems. We may think that by calling them out — by blaming and shaming them for their harmful actions — we are speaking up for the oppressed; that we are thus loving globally. But this love, too, is superficial and hypocritical. Because, if you were a corporate CEO you’d know that if you didn’t cut corners and exploit developing countries your company would only lose out to other less scrupulous competitors. So you’d find yourself engaging in just the same harmful actions that you now decry. How can that be love? Radical Global Love blames no one. It understands that corporate executives, like governments, are caught in a vicious circle they cannot escape — a vicious circle that is global and which can only be resolved through Radical Global Love.
You see? The love of allowing people or capital to move across borders is not wrong, but it is partial, superficial. The love of protesting against harmful corporate practices is not wrong, but it is shallow and ultimately hypocritical. Radical Global Love is neither to love nor hate migration or globalization or to try to prevent or reverse them. It is to recognise the good intentions but also to see their superficiality and their underlying contradictions. And from there, not to try to go back, but to see that humanity must now go forward to embrace a deeper, more complete kind of love: Radical Global Love.
Love is indivisible. It both celebrates and reconciles opposites. It transcends.
People are different. Each of us is unique and yet complementary. Men and women are different. Countries and cultures are different. Ways of thinking around the world are different. But these differences are not necessarily irreconcilable, they can be, and are, complementary if, and only if, we learn Radical Global Love.
It’s really no different to a family. As parents, our children are at different ages and stages with different personalities and each has needs that match its particular age and circumstances. Some maybe brighter than others, better looking, and so on, but we love and support all of them just the same. We love them radically but in a family context. The world’s nations are no different to children. But at present there are no parents around. Instead, the few most powerful children pretend they are the parents but, because they are competing with each other, they end up exploiting the weaker children and pollute the home.
The world’s nations desperately need to exit the vicious circle of destructive competition they are all caught in. Someone needs to divert them towards global cooperation by becoming the radical and globally loving parents. And those parents need a means to bring the competing children to cooperate for our common future. But who will those parents be? They cannot be any nation because nations are too enmeshed in their fight. And the means cannot be national politics because that, we know, is only national love.
It may scare us to realise that the parents are us — you and me — all of us ordinary citizens around the world. But presently we are running scared because we think we are powerless and because, as George Bernard Shaw noted, “Freedom means taking responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
But if we take responsibility, our love can overcome our fear. Radical Global Love can overcome destructive global competition. Our method is Simpol and our love is Radical and Global.
Love radically and globally! www.simpol.org
[i] With acknowledgement to the Republican People’s Party of Turkey whose pamphlet, “Radical Love Book”, inspired the first paragraph of this document.