Allow me in the beginning to draw the very simple outlines, or rather characteristics, of our world. A world on the threshold of a new era. This era, or this new link in the chain of history, may well be considered the American era, just as past eras were always known by their predominant countries. Needless to say, such is the nature of history: it slides away from one era to another.
It is inevitable that my following vision of the world should be affected by my own personality and experience as a businessman working in the field of professional services on both the Arab and the international levels. The experience, as I would like to point out, is not of a political nature. I also hope that intellectuals will not be too harsh in judging this paper, which, at best can be considered as the personal viewpoint of an ordinary Arab citizen.
Winston Churchill once said, “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes”. I recall another saying by Ibn El Muqafa’ that goes: “Although the advice-seeker may be of a better opinion that the advisor, he benefits from the latter’s opinion”. It is only this far that I hope to reach.
Being unable to translate certain words, I shall use the Arabic transliteration throughout this paper. Evidently, I shall avoid the usage of both “universality” and “internationally” to prevent my meaning from being confused with socialism and communism, both of which are quite different in their aims to contain the world despite their similarity in their totalitarian nature.
What distinguishes this era the most from the ones in the past, in spite of its totalitarian resemblance, is the organizational structure that is beginning to appear and which greatly resembles the corporate structure of the giant American stock companies.
Being acquainted with this structure, I shall now try to apply it to the state into which I believe this world is becoming. This state may be primarily described as the Global Corporation. By this I mean our globe is about to become owned by a company in which everyone has shares, which uses all resources worldwide and which runs the whole world.
As in all stock companies, shares are distributed among different shareholders. Moreover, there are different types of shares, including ordinary, non-voting and preferred shares. This is how business operates in the Global Corporation as I imagine it. According to the principle of “globalization” and since the Global Corporation has the whole world as its shareholders, it also possesses the resources of the whole world and invests in it for the shareholders according the quantity and type of their shares. Therefore, it would be totally irrelevant for any country to claim the ownership of its natural resources – as this used to occur in the past. Economics should become global. We live in a world that has become an integrated unit in which no country is allowed to monopolize its natural resources as if they are private fortunes.
The Global Corporation is run in the same organizational manner as stock companies. Its board of directors is elected by the shareholders. Those who own the most shares cast the most votes. An executive committee emerges from the board representing the most predominant countries. At the head of the board is the chairman who, naturally, controls most of the shares. As in any stock company, the members of the board are bound to change from time to time depending on changes in the control of the shares, i.e. the different countries of the world, as well as alliances of interests or power centers. And, again, as in usual stock companies, the chairman strives to remain in his position as long as possible, controlling and directing affairs in a way, which enables him to continue in such domination.
The administrative corps of the Global Corporation is appointed, depending on the importance of positions, by the chairman, the executive committee or the board. This is done under the supervision of the chairmanship so that with time, the interests of the governing body of the company will coincide with those of the company. This is the pattern for any economic establishment: the interests of the company and those of its senior management become paralleled.
Attached to the above-mentioned body are several firms, organizations and consulting institutions, all of which should be formed and reformed in accordance with the new corporate strategy of the company. These organizations, whether international, regional or national, will be assigned certain tasks and roles by which they should abide. Predominantly they are to act as tools that legally carry on the goals of the company.
In an audience of such distinguished intellectuals, I need not call a spade a spade. All the elements of the new structure are available and fairly clear for an ordinary man like me.
Because the world is entering an era of economic dominance, it is the more reason why the corporate organizational structure seems to be the more appropriate form for the future. Whoever possesses economic power (predominance over shares) will be the one in control of the world (the company’s chairmanship). I also believe that military power will serve as a tool for economic influence and not vice versa, which is the way it was in the past. Military power is nothing but an instrument of authority as isthe existence of political, social, personal or economic needs. Sometimes, such needs are created to force the authority to fulfill them.
Still another instrument of authority is technological superiority, which widens the gap between the ruling and the ruled in a way that puts all the technical tools of authority in the hands of the ruling. This way, the very thought of revolting against leadership seems futile because of the absence of technological tools. Similarly, organizations that represent international legitimacy are very effective tools of authority when you consider their ability to control others and recommend procedures for justice and resolutions.
In my humble opinion, the most important instrument of authority is information. Americans say: “Whoever has the information has the power”. While those who have it can easily make the right decision, people who do not possess the necessary information have to suffer a great deal of confusion and bewilderment. This reminds me of Dwight D. Eisenhower who, responding to the remark “you led the war successfully”, said, “no, I managed the war successfully”.
What I am trying to say – in a few words – is that the world is evolving into an integrated global unit that includes all aspects of life. In my opinion, this can well be achieved under the new American leadership. If part of what I say is correct, it will be necessary to analyze the results of living in such a new order, facing its challenges and finding ways to overcome them.
I would not claim it as my right to evaluate this new order as favorable or otherwise, for I learned something from Shakespeare when he said in Hamlet “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. No one will be able to judge the future but those people who will live in the future and witness the coming world order. I hope my description of the future order of a Global Corporation will not be harshly rejected. I’m convinced that the actual outcome will be produced by the order itself. Ancient societies developed the idea of a benevolent dictator who, even in the worst political system, could bring positive results. Based on that, the United States of America can unilaterally define the features of the New World Order because it is the leader of this world. Again Shakespeare said in Hamlet “We know what we are but not what we may be”.
Perhaps it is beneficial to review some examples of the challenges facing the new leadership of the world and defining its future, in which our children and grandchildren will be living. In fact, they will define the age of this era. The ruler makes the choices during his term but the period of his term is determined by the circumstances and the consequences of his actions.