What needs to be considered, however, is the consciousness change that an Obama Presidential administration will usher in to the U.S. political system, and how this impacts on the policy process. Obama physically embodies the kind of racial equality that has long been a dream of the civil rights movement in the U.S. and more generally around the planet. In that sense, the mere inauguration of the first African American President will do much to reconcile historic racial animosities, and change the way Americans perceive themselves. Obama may or may not make any grand official gesture of racial reconciliation or apology for past injustices against African Americans. Nevertheless, his Presidency and the different minorities that comprise his Cabinet constitute a fundamental change in public attitudes towards minorities. For many civil rights supporters, an Obama Presidency symbolizes a fundamental consciousness change in the U.S. body politic where merit determines one's suitability for leadership roles. That will inspire countless talented individuals in the U.S. and around the world to believe in themselves and their ability to reach their fullest potential.
President-Elect Obama has taken initiatives to have his administration become the most open and responsive to public interests than any previous Presidential administration. His transition website, Change.Gov, has adopted a number of social networking internet tools. Individuals can now give their opinions on a range of policy issues; vote on key questions they would like the administration to prioritize; make available many documents discussed in meetings with outside interest groups. Change.Gov even gives each individual their own webpage where they can track their opinions, votes, and dialogue concerning the Obama administration. The Obama transition team's use of the social networking tools will give a younger generation of Americans a real sense that the Presidency is Open and responsive to its citizen's concerns.
The above are some of the concrete consciousness changes that will be ushered in by an Obama Presidency. At this point, I would like to offer a brief overview of how consciousness change occurs at a global level and how this relates to an Obama administration.
The best source for understanding the concept of 'global consciousness' and how it affects the evolution of life on Earth is Tielhard de Chardin and his concept of the 'noosphere'. The noosphere was an evolving composite of humanity's thoughts, feelings and social relationships that evolved steadily upward towards a fuller manifestation of human potential. De Chardin's thoughts on a 'global consciousness' were independently supported by theorists such as Carl Jung who discovered archetypes of the 'collective unconscious' of humanity. More recently, popular researchers such as Gregg Bradden and Lyn McTaggart have cited scientific evidence for the existence of a unified global consciousness grid around the planet.
Scientific support for the idea of a global consciousness is provided by a Project at Princeton University. The Global Consciousness Project has tracked major global events and how they impact on the 'collective consciousness' of humanity. noosphere.princeton.edu Global events such as the deaths of Princes Dianna and Mother Theresa; the 911 attack; the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games; and even the November 4, 2008 election of Barack Obama have all had a measurable impact on global consciousness.
So how does the idea of a global consciousness relate to the Obama administration? The first is the hope of racial equality that his presidency embodies by nature of Obama's own ethnic background. His father was a black Kenyan citizen of Muslim heritage that married his white mother from Kansas with a Christian background. Obama also spent four formative years in Indonesia where he was schooled with local Indonesians who were largely Muslim. Perceptions of racial inequality and domination by European peoples and their descendents is still a pervasive legacy of colonialism around the planet. Perhaps nowhere was Obama's election celebrated more than in African and Muslim nations that could easily identify with his background.
An Obama administration is likely to take a number of highly symbolic steps to reconcile the U.S. with the international community. Among these is anticipated to be a major policy speech in an important Muslim nation. This will do much to address deep grievances against recent U.S. policies in the Muslim world. Furthermore, the symbolism and policy changes in such speeches will do much to reconcile historic and contemporary animosities between the developed world, and many nations in the undeveloped world.
Another way that global consciousness relates to the upcoming Obama administration is through the social networks that he is establishing with U.S. citizens through the internet. The concept of a global consciousness is physically represented through the communications infrastructure of the internet. The internet probably more than anything else physically symbolizes the noosphere or 'global consciousness' that Chardin was arguing to be a critical factor in the evolution of humanity. The social networking that the Obama administration has initiated through its Change.Gov sight will significantly impact on the development of a more unified global consciousness. This will facilitate the free exchange of ideas and establishment of relationships that will accelerate consciousness change in a range of key policy areas.
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