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《The Third Annual Conference》

Ervin Laszlo: The Evolution of Soft Power in Nature and Human Society


—Speech at the General Assembly of the Third Annual Conference of Taihu World Cultural Forum


Ervin Laszlo, Chairman of the Budapest Club, Hungary


Honorable President Denis Sassou-Nguesso,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends.


Soft power, though being a major factor in the human society, does not exist only here. As a universal phenomenon in all areas of human life, soft power is the way in which components or elements of living systems are interconnected with other living systems.


Living systems have a high degree of coordination: all components and elements adapt to each other in harmony. Each element receives or perceives other elements and reacts to them. Without such coordinated ability of reception, living systems may not be able to sustain themselves in their environment, because physical processes will then transform the system into an inert state of thermodynamic equilibrium. The state of survival is characterized by a dynamic equilibrium, where every deviation is immediately and accurately corrected. This requires a high degree of sensitivity of all components in the living system.


The evolution of reference sensitivity into differential cognition is a trend that runs through nature. It may appear that life is distinct from its constituent bases—physical and physicochemical systems, yet there is continuity in this evolution in terms of the mutual sensitivity of the constituent parts. The interconnectedness of sensitivities within and between systems is increasing throughout the evolutionary field. Quanta are the smallest measurable elements in terms of physical properties and exhibit a high degree of "entanglement", as a measurement or observation made on one quantum is immediately and accurately revealed in other quanta. In the primitive stages of biological evolution, bacteria exhibit "stress" in response to the proximity of a stimulus to their environment, and more complex species gradually develop this single sensitivity as part of the whole, to ever higher levels. "Primitive sensing" has been demonstrated in plants. In humans, basic forms of cognition coexist with higher forms, including sensory organs and the nervous system. This higher form is not the "sixth sense", but the primary sense, because sensory perception was formed later. This sensitivity in the nature is a process of evolutionary adaptation.


Although there are temporary setbacks and stagnation, the connections within and between living systems become more sensitive, precise, and clear. Beyond quantum entanglement, basic stress reaction, primitive sensing, and sensory perception emerge in succession. On Earth, this development resulted in a complex and differentiated cognition with both conscious and subconscious forms based on perception. It is conceptually expansive and may appear among humans.


For humans, sensitivity interconnections are to a greater extent based on information transmitted physically. Humans have a wealth of senses: vision, values, willpower, colors, and perceptions of the world. Soft power interaction boils down to a conscious use of all elements in sensitivity interconnections among people, between people and cultures, and between people and other species in nature.


Soft power interactions are more effective than interactions based on hard power. It is as if informative natural medicines are more effective than symptomatic treatment and surgical treatments. While symptomatic treatment and surgical treatment have their own edge, they are the last resort. This also applies to interpersonal, international, and cross-cultural interactions. Soft power interactions are thus a suggested means different from hard power ones that rely on the actual or threatened use of force.


Building a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable civilization requires soft power interaction based on interpersonal, international, and cross-cultural exchanges that address issues regarding values, worldviews, and beliefs, promoting transpersonal thinking, general understanding, and willingness to cooperate.


Soft Power Manifesto


The interconnected Network welcomes all citizens, all nations, and all civilizations around the globe. As a part of it, I could create a better world using the soft power of sensitive interconnection.


●As an individual, soft power helps

—to pursue one's own interests and reconcile them with the interests and well-being of other citizens, groups, nations, and civilization instead of doing them harm;

—to oppose and condemn hard power interactions that involve the killing or maiming of humans and the destruction of nature.


●As citizens of the homeland, soft power helps to demand that our leaders

—to beat swords into plowshares in a spirit of cooperation;

—to recognize that all nations and groups in the global family have legitimate aspirations.


●As collaborators in business and participants in the economic landscape, soft power helps demand that business leaders

—to focus not only on profit and growth but also on products and services that meet human needs and requirements, and do not harm people and nature;

—to not serve narrow and destructive goals, but rather to respect the rights of all participants in the economic landscape who compete in the global market.


●As a member of a political community, soft power enables

—acceptance of a culture that promotes non-violence, solidarity, and economic, political and social equality, regardless of differences, promoting mutual understanding and respect among people and nations.


●As humans endowed with self-awareness, soft power helps to

—promote understanding and appreciation of various manifestations of excellency in the human spirit and promote a higher level of mutual sensitivity, compassion, understanding, and love among humans as a family.


With soft power advancing the above goals, I hold it as my moral obligation and historical responsibility to contribute a small part to creating a more peaceful, cooperative, and sustainable civilization.

 


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