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Democracy Gets a 21st-Century Makeover

An internet initiative is making plans for a post-UN global government

How does the Declaration of Independence go? "We hold these truths to be self-evident—that the world can be made a better place through the evolution of consciousness and culture . . ." Oops, that's not Jefferson. That's—the brainchild of Steve McIntosh, a Colorado businessman with a passion for transforming politics as we know it into politics as we have never known it but only imagine it could be. Indeed, picture an integral world federation focused not only on economic and political development but on the development of the actual consciousness of any given society. "Every problem in the world is a problem of consciousness," explains McIntosh, "and every answer involves the evolution of consciousness."

Contrary to many contemporary visions of one world government, McIntosh doesn't associate himself with left-wing ideals, and he is skeptical that the UN system could ever evolve into the next-stage global governing institution needed to handle the complexity of the twenty-first century. A world federation, he explains, has to be developed by those who are awakening to an integral, evolutionary view of human life—a view inspired in the early part of the century by such visionaries as Sri Aurobindo and Alfred North Whitehead, and further developed in our own time by philosophers like Clare Graves, Ken Wilber, and David Ray Griffin. And just like in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when, as he puts it, "democracy brought people into modernist consciousness," McIntosh hopes that a compelling new vision of global governance can help inspire people and pull them into a deeper and higher integral view of human life. Sound exciting? Well then, this is your chance to be one of the signatories of a new Declaration of Independence, courtesy of web technology. McIntosh may not be today's Jefferson, but he is trying to get the ball rolling with a conversation about our global future that is way past due.

–Carter Phipps


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October–December 2004