Harmony Diplomacy Essential for World Development
By Francis C. W. Fung, PH.D.
"Freedom, Democracy and Harmony are three ancient universal human ideals that belong to the world and not to any one single nation. They are not entirely independent but intimately related. As a matter of fact, there exist fascinating relations among them that warrant immediate global study. Some may wonder why freedom and democracy have been so widely promoted during the last 400 years of human history, while harmony was barely noted on the world stage."
"In fact, Freedom and Democracy have been the most successfully used tools to promote international diplomacy in the 20th Century. Harmony, as a great unifying force in the on rush of globalization, has now come of age. Harmony is mankind's greatest common value. The conflicted world of today urgently calls for international democracy through the practice of harmony diplomacy."
"Nature imbues us with the instinctive knowledge that we are born free. The mountains, the wind and the lions are born free, not to mention any other of the myriad animals that remain free until captured. Despite being born free, powerful groups desperately yearn to enslave us. More than 2500 years ago the most ancient cultures scattered about different continents prohibited slavery seeing it as hideous. The institutionalized slave trade was most egregiously practiced in the new world until the American civil war put an end to it."
"Immediately following 9/11, George W. Bush conveniently thrust freedom centre stage to rally Americans with the resounding cry. The logic was that the terrorists hate our freedom and they are intent on taking it away. To be fair, American democracy as put forth by our forefathers, guarantees each citizen freedom from undue infringement through law and order. Freedom as an ideal is politically neutral, neither good nor bad.However, modern democracy is designed to prevent minority individuals from exceeding their rights granted by freedom."
"Bush's call for freedom diplomacy after 9/11 is neither necessary nor appropriate. Terrorists have not been empowered to take away our freedom, but the resulting regulation to counter-terrorism has. As warned by President Eisenhower, the military complex created by war may seriously threaten our democracy and hence our individual freedom. The greatest threat to our freedom today is our enslavement to the military and the industrial complex through their hijacking of democracy."
"Since time immemorial, the protection of human rights has occupied our consciousness. The fear of the all mighty unknown that sparked religious teaching was likely the catalyst for this type of thought. Teaching morals and common values developed along with harmony while democracy followed behind. Democratic systems as a means to guarantee individual rights and freedoms reached new heights when the American Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights were signed, giving way to the system of laws being enacted. Western diplomacy spread far and wide and profoundly changed the world during the 20th century."
"Democracy, in different forms, has now become a generally accepted governance system. Democracy grows best in the fertile soil of each individual nation without outside interference or occupation. American chastisement of other nations only offends their dignity. Many developing nations, after years of domination by imperialism, have nothing to cling to other than the very dignity being spoken of."
"Democracy is also no longer an import export item, as pointed out by Ban Ke-moon, the current Secretary General of the U.N. Due to the debacle of the US occupation of Iraq, democracy as an instrument of foreign policy has lost its luster and appeal. Diplomacy works best in these conflicted times when harmony principles are employed. Harmony diplomacy is a win-win, no-fault conflict resolution approach. It is time to minimize confrontations in today's conflicted world by using harmony diplomacy. It certainly is worth a try. Mutual win-win development can be more economically viable than war. We have spent close to 400 billion dollars on the Iraq war, fast approaching our expenditure on the Vietnam War, with no end in sight."
"When unity is needed human beings have proven quite capable. International unity can be reached only through international democracy, not unilateralism. International democracy will be the end result of major nations practicing harmony diplomacy. In her recent book "The Mighty and the Almighty" Madeleine Albright suggested that world harmony is the end goal of a more peaceful world."
"As noble as any religion may be, faith diplomacy has fallen short of uniting the world in harmony evidenced by the countless tragic faith-based wars of the past as well as the current conflict between the West and the Muslim world. Religions as we know them today all expect blind faith and acceptance of ethnocentric almighty images, quite often unique to a specific culture."
"Harmony's premise is tolerance, acceptance and respect for other cultures. It is all embracing, endearing and enduring. It neither dictates blind faith nor does it force acceptance of an institutionalized and ethnocentric image of the almighty. No particular personal attachment to the almighty is prescribed either. Personal attachment to the almighty is a double-edged sword. It draws those with faith closer, while alienating those without."
"Harmony is discovered through observation of nature as discussed in my other papers. It is nature's preferred way of propagation. Nature is all embracing and human beings are very much part of nature. It is possible to believe in as wide a universe as one chooses without adhering to blind faith. Our very survival and sustainable development is now urgently dependent on our harmonious relationship with nature. We deny our very existence by not working to improve our threatened ecology. Most of us agree about the vision of world harmony and international democracy. We can all participate in the harmony movement by speaking and practicing harmony diplomacy in all facets of our daily lives. We can practice goodness for goodness sake without preaching religion. Why use faith diplomacy, an indirect approach, when the direct approach, harmony diplomacy, is readily available? Harmony's resonance is growing and propagating. The Harmony Renaissance is the unavoidable tide. It is time to reawaken our innate human desire for harmony and to begin urging others to recognize the value of this noble ideal."
"The basic idea of world harmony is in common with all popular theories of world governance. It hopes to build a more understanding world through tolerance, respect, equity and acceptance of diverse cultures and governance systems as destiny for all mankind."
"Through harmony diplomacy major nations will support a stronger UN. A more democratic world will advocate the solution of world conflicts through consultation and harmony consensus. Unilateralism is to be rejected and peaceful resolution will replace war and violence. Harmony diplomacy will be the foundation of lasting peace. Without harmony peace will not last."
"In the pursuit of world harmony it is important to narrow the gap of the North-South/rich-poor disparity through win-win mutual development. This will create a world with a level playing field, which will enable the citizens of the world to enjoy all of the achievements of our great societies."
"In the democratization of international relations, just and equitable international political and economic orders can be established through dialogue, negotiation and reaching consensus. The end result of international democracy will release a new wave of world creative energy. Human accomplishments can thus reach a new height of development beyond European Renaissance."
"The Order of Nature is Harmony and Harmony is the Order of Nature. A harmony world is essential to save our ecology. To rally major nations to commit to a cleaner and better environment, harmony diplomacy must advocate a common ecology consensus. Central to harmony diplomacy consensus is built in awareness to curb global insatiable appetite for consumption. Continuation of current trend is not sustainable. Without harmony consensus, the resulting catastrophic global fight for resources will be more immediate than the effect of climate change. It is time for all to advocate less confrontational harmony diplomacy."
(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2007)