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Evelin Lindner: The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for National Sovereignty

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Published on Oct 31, 2011

"The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for National Sovereignty" is a video clip that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the World Dignity University initiative.
Evelin Lindner's reflections derive from close to forty years of international experience. These are some of her reflections: Throughout history, leaders were known to "unite" countries or even world regions. Unification, wherever it was undertaken, usually had "good" and "bad" aspects: there was the newly-found unity to be celebrated, yet, also oppressive uniformity to be decried. It was not unity in diversity that manifested, but uniformity without diversity. It is not impossible to propose that we, as a human family, find ourselves in a similar situation with respect to globalization today. A fragmented world is being united, globalized, however, this brings not just unity to the fore, also uniformity, in this case it is the uniformity by way of global corporation. The "king" who unites, is now the global corporation. Colonization started with trade, and trade typically treats all players as equal partners. Yet, throughout history, economic power has at some point been translated into political power. This is where we are now: Corporate power is being translated into global political power. National sovereignty is no longer sovereign, but a tool for global power to divide and rule.
What is the solution? A multitude of concepts have been proposed, all with the aim to honor the common interest of all of the human family. Cosmopolitanism, or world federalism are just two concepts to be mentioned. However, as it seems, the most important innovation will be to think in fluid and self-learning systems rather than the traditional rigid fixity. Democracy is already more flexible and adaptable than totalitarian systems, yet, it is not yet adaptable and resilient enough and needs to be developed further. "Harvesting" best practices for consensus building from all cultures around the world is the call of our time (see Lindners' article "Avoiding Humiliation - From Intercultural Communication to Global Interhuman Communication," in the Journal of Intercultural Communication, SIETAR Japan, Number 10, June 2007, pp. 21-38.)
A quote from Lindner's Dignity Economy book: "The transition that is needed at this historical juncture, seems to require two core moves (using Max Weber's ideal-type approach (Lewis A. Coser (1977), p. 224.): (1) a large enough group of committed citizens at all levels, from civil society to the gatekeepers of political and economic institutions, must muster sufficient awareness of global responsibility to implement (2) new global institutional frames of inclusionism and dignism, new frames that give new form to global institutions, form that would be truly functional for an interdependent world and would serve the interests of all of humankind, not the interests of a few. Institutions (2) have preeminence because decent institutions can drive feedback loops that foster global cooperation in a systemic rather than haphazard way. Any subsequent move will have the advantage of enjoying the support from the system, no longer depending on a few gifted individuals."
See more on www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php.

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