Prerequisite for a Global Justice Based in Needs: The Awakening of Self

Dennis Sullivan, Institute for Economic/Restorative Just.
Patrick Shields

Marshall McLuhan in "The Agenbite of Outwit" pointed out 40 years ago that with the invention of the telegraph the human community projected its central nervous system into the outer world so, like it or not, we are now connected to each other by the way nerves in our bodies are joined systematically. We have become Whitman's (1855) "body electric" as the same juice runs through us all. The late American composer John Cage saw it as, "Whatever happens surges forth everywhere at once." Our head here, our heart there, are made aware of the pain and suffering of hands and feet and knees thousands of geographic miles away, pain and suffering that we are responsible for when we do not appreciate that my hip bone is connected to your leg bone and every bone beyond. A major problem is that the political and economic institutions that prevail throughout most of the world--from the family, the schook, the workplace, the transnational corporation, to the nation-state--are not structured to house these nerves in a political economy of enjoyment but to make war, enforce scarcity, meet the needs of those in power as opposed to the needs of all. Hence we are in the Cain and Abel business the only way out of which is to embrace a political economy that gives structure to our central nevrous system and allows each of us to feel and respond to the needs of all and rejoice in our electrified, all-cables-switched-on body.

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Updated 05/20/2006