Meantime, the psychic pain caused by this imbalance is hard to overestimate and yet it’s too often overlooked. You may have noticed that George Soros, in the above quote, justifies his behaviour by noting that “if I abstained somebody else would take my place”. In other words, the psychic pain of having to do the wrong thing by society and the environment is justified (that is, repressed and split off) by assuring himself that doing the right thing would have meant losing out or being replaced by someone else.
We can see, then, how the system too often forces us to do what we know may be wrong or harmful and to act against our deepest values and convictions, and that this pain manifests and accumulates both internally within each of us as a growing sense of guilt and repression, and externally in the form of worsening global problems. This, then, is the heavy pain we all carry; the pains of the world – or Weltschmerz - as the Germans call it.
Being repressed and split-off, this pain is barely acknowledged in society. Instead, we consign it to our subconscious. But like all repressed pain, it only sits there increasingly nagging at us, weighing us down with guilt, frustration and doubt. As global problems worsen all around us, this pain can only come back to haunt us. If we don’t deal with it—if we don’t face up to the task of establishing some form of global governance—we’ll surely all end up paying the price; perhaps even the ultimate price of the widespread wipe-out of humanity itself.
Seeing no easy way to have an influence on global problems, gives us another reason to ignore them. And after all, shouldn’t our politicians be the ones to take this on? Trouble is, so preoccupied are they with having to keep their economies internationally competitive, they can’t even envisage how nations could cooperate. So like it or not, the heavy task of achieving this necessarily falls to civil society – to us. Remote though the prospect may seem, you may be surprised to know that a practical start has already been made in the form of a global campaign called the Simultaneous Policy – or Simpol, for short. (http://www.simpol.org)
Men, power and politics in the 21st Century
With current UN and other efforts at international agreements routinely ending in failure and with global problems mounting all around us, Simpol at least offers us—men and women—a way of giving our cooperative, feminine halves a practical, political expression, even though the aim of the campaign—global governance—remains to be achieved. Because if, in the wake of feminism, men now need to rediscover what masculinity means in the 21st Century, perhaps supporting Simpol and so showing ourselves ready and able to cooperate, rather than remaining defined solely by our ability to compete, offers us a more balanced, mature and complete form of masculinity. For even though we each inevitably remain caught in the vicious circle of competition in our everyday lives, supporting Simpol allows us to release the psychic pain we’ve collectively built up over past centuries and to discharge it through a positive, cooperative, and productive form of global political action; action designed to rebalance our masculine global economy with feminine global governance. For what greater gift could we, men, give to our women and to ourselves than delivering this historic integration? And what greater gift could women give to us and to themselves than joining us in the effort to achieve it? And then, let us also not forget the children.