Part 5 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization:
The New Jerusalem
“We Irish think otherwise” Bishop Berkeley
One of the spin-offs of the Council of Islamic Civilization that I have proposed in this column could be a new UN approach to the Holy Land. Since the UN created this problem by not orchestrating a two state solution for the Mandate of Palestine in 1948, but simply recognizing Israel in Palestine and then ducking for cover, the UN should solve this problem.
As an Irish-American, I do wish to point out, however, that most of the world’s problem-solutions do seem to come from the lines the British Empire drew–in Northern Ireland, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. So depending on Empires– whether Ottoman, British, or American–to solve cultural problems of identity through military suppression and imperial domination does not seem to work in the long run.
The American Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century absorbed the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii, and then let go of the Philippines to focus on Hawaii as the more pacifiable base in which to maintain the Pacific Ocean as Mare Nostrum. In the middle of that century, China absorbed Tibet to turn the Himalayas into a new Great Wall. The military politics, and the triumphant economy to support ethnically volatile satellites usually determine how long these satellites remain within the gravitational field of empire. Many Hawaiians would like to return to a non-tourist Polynesian culture and kick the hotel haolies out. And much the same can be said for the traditional Hopi in the Hopi Nation who would like to kick Peabody Coal out as, literally, the scourge of the earth. Whether Tibet can regain its autonomy, or Taiwan can keeps its, will depend as much on the future condition of China as on the protests of the Tibetans and the Taiwanese.
It was the presence of so many Irish in the USA that made it difficult for Lloyd George and Winston Churchill to subdue Ireland with the Black and Tans in the Troubles. Churchill threatened “unending war” to Michael Collins during the negotiations for the Treaty of 1921 in the hope of keeping the British Empire together, but he knew as a former head of the Admiralty that the Irish they had transported to Van Diemen’s Land or the famine peasants Secretary of the Exchequer Trevelyan had starved out of Ireland were now distributed world-wide and had the capacity to attack British ships in harbors from New York to Sydney. Lloyd George and Winston Churchill both knew that the kind of military suppression that worked to put down the Indian Mutiny of 1857 would not work in a nearby Ireland that was so accessible to the twentieth century cameras of the journalists of the world.
And so it would seem that military solutions for Jerusalem–whether, Ottoman, British, or Israeli–do not end military and paramilitary conflict–as we have seen over the last sixty years. As the first step toward a new planetary civilization, I suggest both Palestine and Israel come together to make their first act of mutual recognition the granting of Old Jerusalem to the UN so that it may become the world’s First City, to be policed by the Blue Helmets of the UN. No national administrative centers of Israel or Palestine should be allowed there and it should function solely as the Holy City of the three Abrahamic religions.
Whether Israel becomes a secular republic with its capital in Tel Aviv, or a Jewish State with its capital in West Jerusalem; and whether Palestine has its capital in Ramallah or East Jerusalem should be up to plebiscites of the Israelis and Palestinians. What clearly should not be up to the Israelis is the Sharon and Netanyahu policy to confiscate enough land and water resources in the West Bank and East Jerusalem through Jewish settlements so that no viable Palestinian state can ever come forth, but only territories transformed by little steps into American-like Indian reservations with a depressed people turned into an industrial proletariat for an Israeli nuclear technological great power. We need to think otherwise on Jerusalem if it is to become other than a perpetual casus belli. One small step for Man that could become one giant leap for mankind would be to make Old Jerusalem the New Jerusalem of a planetary civilization and not ground zero for the war of the civilizations.
William Irwin Thompson (born July, 1938) is known primarily as a social philosopher and cultural critic, but he has also been writing and publishing poetry throughout his career and received the Oslo International Poetry Festival Award in 1986. He has made significant contributions to cultural history, social criticism, the philosophy of science, and the study of myth. He describes his writing and speaking style as “mind-jazz on ancient texts”. He is an astute reader of science, social science, history, and literature. He is the founder of the Lindisfarne Association.
His book, Still Travels: Three Long Poems was published in 2009 by Wild River Books. Order a copy from Amazon.
Works by William Irwin Thompson
Memoir – Farewell Address at the Lindisfarne Fellows Conference
Memoir – Pilgrimage to Lindisfarne: 1972
Memoir – The Founding of the Lindisfarne Association in New York, 1971-73 – Part I
Memoir – The Founding of the Lindisfarne Association in New York, 1971-73 – Part 2: A Community in Fishcove, Long Island
Memoir – Building a Dream – Part One: Lindisfarne in Crestone, Colorado, 1979-1997
Memoir – My Dinner with Andre Gregory: Lindisfarne-in-Manhattan, 1977-1979
Memoir – Building a Dream/The Shadow Side Part Two: Lindisfarne in Crestone, Colorado, 1979-1997
Memoir – Building a Dream/The Cathedral Part Three: Lindisfarne in Crestone, Colorado, 1979-1997
Memoir – Conclusion: The Economic Relevance of Lindisfarne
Memoir – Raising Evan and Hilary: Reflections of a Homeschooling Parent
Memoir – Sex and the Commune
Memoir – Raising Evan and Hilary
Memoir – With Gregory Bateson’s Mind in Nature
After Heart Surgery: Hokusai’s Great Wave
A Lazy Sunday Afternoon
Nancy Grayson’s Bookstore
On Reading “The Penguin Book of English Verse”: on my iPad and Exercise Bike
Wild River Books/Poetry – Nightwatch and Dayshift: Cezanne
Anatolian Days and Nights and the Cultural Evolution of Spirituality
And the Votes are In: The American Elections of 2010
Avatar – When Technology Displaces Culture
Bedtime Story for a Civilization
The Big Picture: Reflections on Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines
The Big Picture, II
Child Abuse and the Catholic Church
The Digital Economy of W. Brian Arthur
From Shamanism to Religion, Part Two
From Religion to Post-Religious Spirituality, Part Three
From Religion to Post-Religious Spirituality: Conclusion
January 1, 2011: Reflections on the Philosophical Notions of Republicans
January 6, 2011 – Part Two: The Etherealization of Capitalism
Nature and Invisible Environments
Of Culture and the Nature of Extinction
On Nuclear Power
On Religion – Part One
On Religion and Nationalism: Ireland, Israel, and Palestine
On Transnational Military Interventions
A Pagan Ur-Text of the Lebor Gebála Érenn
Part 1 – The Shift from Industrial to a Planetary Civilization
Part 2 – The Shift from an Industrial to Planetary Civilization
Part 3 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – The Recovery of a Cosmic Orientation
Part 4 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civlization – The Global War for Drugs
Part 5 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – The New Jerusalem
Part 6 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – Catastrophes as the Spur to Institute Tricameral Legislature
Part 7 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – Complex Dynamical Systems and Tricameral Legislatures
Part 8 – The Shift from a Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – Israel and Palestine: Sic transit gloria mundi
Part 9 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civlization – On Sarah Palin and the Technocratic Society
Part 10 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – On Conspiracy Narratives as Expressive of the Transition from the Nation: State to the Noetic Polity
Part 11 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – Global Awareness and Personal Identity
Part 12 – The Shift from an Industrial to a Planetary Civilization – Conclusion: The United Nations
Political Meditation for the Fourth of July, 2011: Can We Shift from Empire Back to Republic?
St. David’s Day, 2011, Technology and Social Change
Saint Patrick’s Day, 2010: Us and Them: Identity and the State
Some Reflections on Hurricane Sandy and an Outline for a New Civilization
Technical Hubris: and the Sinkhole of Obama’s Centrism
Television and Social Class
Thanksgiving Day, 2010: The Uses and Abuses of History
The Elections of 2010
Thoughts on My new Kindle App: on My Mac iPad