Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
of Laetus in Praesens
University of Earth

1992

Earth Summit Traps and Opportunities

 

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Prepared as a contextual statement (see others) on the occasion of the Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) for the International Facilitating Committee for the Independent Sectors in the UNCED process (Geneva). Portions of the text were published in the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1994-5, vol 2) and in the online version of its commentaries (to which links below are made) shaping the global network of local bargains by decoding and mapping Earth Summit inter-sectoral issues. [IFCD51G]

Contextual framework

1. Believing that everyone can and should agree on a single set of principles and guidelines, whether in the form of a charters, declarations or pledges.

2. Believing that it is useful to label some perspectives as wrong or inappropriate, especially in the absence of any sense of a global functional context.

3. Believing that the way forward is simple and that any perceived complexity is the product of inappropriate understanding.

4. Believing that unpleasant issues can be postponed or treated as irrelevant.

5. Believing that it is only a media exercise and that people are not increasingly impatient with expensive exercises in collective impotence.

6. Believing that symbolic processes are a substitute for effective interaction.

7. Believing that the diversity of positions does not call for designing in healthy disagreement to maintain a pool of alternative perspectives.

8. Believing that it is appropriate to marginalize bodies and cultures representing alternative perspectives (whether by use of geographical distance, procedural or linguistic devices).

9. Believing that collective learning, even at the highest policy levels, is not vital to the emergence of more appropriate structures and processes.

10. Believing that it is sufficient to wish to be "on the other bank of a river" and that the technical challenge of "bridge construction" can be ignored.

11. Believing in the adequacy of the "one answer", whether problem-specific, technocratic, spiritual, ethical, or based on common sense, or on particular values.

12. Believing that no major breakthrough is possible, despite the prevalence of short-termism, tokenism, opportunism, cynicism, and out-dated modes of thinking.

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