The FOGGS Hexalogue
or the essence of the Grand Narrative in a few simple points
Ideologies have come and gone, often leaving disaster in their passage. We look back at human history and we learn the lessons that need to be learnt, making them part of our inclusive Grand Narrative. We have a long-term view, share the points and attitudes indicated below, and work for a globalisation that is human-centred, just and beneficial for each and every person on the planet, and for the planet itself.
1. Harmony within humanity and with planet Earth – Our overarching point
Through evolution and culture, humanity has come a long way towards asserting its preponderance over all other species on our planet today. This is a position of strength but also of responsibility, towards each individual human being and towards the other species as well as the natural resources of the planet. We can live our lives in good health, happiness, peace and prosperity only if we respect that responsibility. And only united and acting in harmony can we address universally shared challenges, like poverty and hunger, conflict and war, climate change, environmental degradation, and disease.
2. States and nations, and international organisations – At the service of people, not the other way round
We have created institutions to help us live better together and cooperate to advance common goals. The well-being of each human and of humanity as a whole is the ultimate purpose of any structure, not the other way round.
Governments, politicians and civil servants, have a heavy burden on their shoulders: to give voice to the common good and put it into practice by wisely managing the commons, allocating the common resources and regulating the activities of the economy, science and all other aspects of human interaction. Nobody is above the law and a polity is stable and prosperous, for the benefit of all its citizens, when it is well governed with the common good in mind.
States cannot impose their will on one other, because they are equally sovereign at their level. States pool their sovereignties and submit to higher-level decisions, taken by bodies and institutions that represent broader interests, exactly because they have their citizens’ interests in mind. In a world of multifaceted challenges that recognise no borders, only cooperation across borders can help us address those challenges effectively.
3. Human diversity and tolerance, mobility and restraint – Respecting each other’s rights and accepting our responsibilities
There is one human kind for all who want to see it, making us equal, despite race, colour, gender, religion, language, sexual orientation, professional orientation, talents, skills or other special characteristics. Each and every human being is entitled to a good life, free of fear and persecution, and free of want. We all have the same basic needs and we need each other if we are to fulfil them. Respect for each person, tolerance and understanding, unity in diversity is the way to go to address challenges of all sorts that threaten us all, from famine and conflict to climate change and natural disasters. We are in it together, and we have always been. We just have to respect each other’s rights and accept, and act upon, our responsibilities.
When we see people in need, we look for ways to help them, including refugees escaping political persecution, or economic, environmental or other calamity. Of course, we have rules that need to be respected and we cannot invade each other’s homes unilaterally. But neither can we ignore the suffering of others.
4. The economy at the service of humanity – Not the other way round
Entrepreneurs combine human and material resources, organise supply chains, trade and move the world around in business and finance. However,profit cannot be the only or the main goal of such activities. Humans share the planet and resources, so those who use and rearrange them are only entitled to do so in the common interest and while enjoying society’s trust; they are after all engaged in a sort of public service. Their talents should be used to provide for the needs of all people, including the creation of meaningful and decently paid jobs. Salary differentials cannot be extreme between workers and executives, and hunger, poverty, and gross inequality are not only morally unacceptable, but also unsustainable in the long term. Those who are most fortunate have a special responsibility to their fellows. Trade should take into account local resilience and overall food, water and energy security, while finance should not be turned to speculation.
5. For science and technology the sky is the limit – But don’t lose the link to society
Scientific advances have led to the high level of development that at least parts of humanity enjoy today, with improved agricultural and industrial production, medications for diseases, information and communication technologies that connect the world and process huge amounts of data, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and other innovations. All is good when it works for the common good, not advancing science for its own sake and not leaving people behind. Scientists experiment on and benefit from the resources of the planet that belong to all people, and they carry the knowledge accumulated over ages of human history and experimentation by many others before them. They bear great responsibility and have to use their knowledge wisely in the context and for the advancement of society.
6. Need for active global citizenship – Our call to action
Globalisation has pulled us together but needs refinement so that it works for all. Ultimately the responsibility rests with each and every one of us, as citizens through our personal attitudes, political choices and active engagement in the life of the commons; as farmers, artists, teachers, business people, doctors, engineers, IT experts, cleaners and factory workers through our professional work; and as consumers through our market choices. There is no voice that does not deserve to be heard and no person who is powerless vis-à-vis the world. Each one of us has a global responsibility and should act to change the world for the better, starting by changing, improving and committing our own selves.