FEEL THE THRILL OF MAKING INTERCONNECTIONS OF THINKING THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE REAL WORLD
Join us in our work for an interconnected, international, intellectual approach to global problem solving
The European wing of the World Intellectual Forum
Ever since European philosophy began in ancient Greece and Rome, Asia Minor and the Aegean islands (Athens, Ephesus, Miletus, Crotona, Cyprus, Samos, Phoenicia, Alexandria, Rome etc.) there has been a continuous and unbroken tradition of European thinkers developing philosophical and scientific ideas to solve the problems of their age. A huge number of great thinkers have each contributed in their own time and epoch to this common task: Parmenides, Pythagoras, Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Pyrrho of Ellis, Zeno, Jesus, St Thomas, St Paul, Mary Magdalene, Justin Martyr, Marcus Aurelius, Amonius Saccas, Irenaeus, Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Celsus, Origen, Augustine, St Benedict, St Columba, Archimedes, Cicero, Abelard and Heloise, Aquinas, Ibn Rushd, Maimonides, Ibn Arabi, Moses de Leon, Duns Scotus, Ramon Lull, Plethon, Pico Della Mirandola, Ficino, Cardinal Egidio di Viterbo, Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Shakespeare, Descartes, Francis Bacon, Vico, Leibniz, Hobbes, Spinoza, Grotius, Montesquieu, Beccaria, Isaac Newton, Kant, Diderot, Lomonosov, Jacob Boehme, Voltaire, Swedenborg, Chevalier Ramsay, Gibbon, Bishop Berkeley, Blake, Hume, Hegel, Goethe, Feuerbach, Marx, Ball Shem Tov, Moses Hess, Trentowski, Adam Mickiewicz, Maria Edgworth, St Simon, Comte, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, H.P Blavatsky, Tolstoy, Rousseau, Louis Claude de St Martin, Einstein, Vernadsky, Proust, Shelley, Gregory Skovoroda, Turgenev, Pushkin, Freud, Rilke, Ibsen, Rudolf Steiner, Stefan Zweig, Jung, Henri Bergson, Gilbert Murray, Henri Bonnat, Max Weber, Jules Michelet, Dukheim, Rene Guenon, Thomas Masaryk, Thomas Mann, Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, Jean Beaufret, Sir James Fraser, J.P. MIgne, Teilhard de Chardin, De Rougemont, Simone de Beauvoir, Moritz Schlick, Hans Hahn, Philipp Frank, Karl Mannheim, Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, Herbert Feigl, Richard von Mises, Karl Menger, Raymond Aron, Kurt Gödel, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jaques leGoff, Marc Bloch, Eric Fromm, Max Horkheimer, Theodore Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Sir Karl Popper, Jaspers, Malraux, Paul Desjardins, Bradley, Whitehead, Derrida, Deleuze, J.T Fraser, G. Whitrow, Russell, Paul Ricoeur, Levinas, Miloscz, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Karl Kerenyi, Ivo Andrić, Betallanfy, Kojeve, Fernández-Armesto, Silvijus Vietta etc. Each in their own way brought new insights, new values and new horizons to climb (and this is only a small handful of possible names) but one thing that united them all is a certain complex largesse of thinking, an ability to connect up diverse and complex fields of knowledge.
We need to reaffirm this same generosity of spirit, this intellectual curiosity, now in our own time, yet apply it to solving the enormous problems bearing down on humanity: peace and war, racial and ethnic harmony, civil and social rights, political and human rights, access to justice, ending mass poverty on the planet, homelessness, drug-addiction, mental illness, clearing up the negative impacts of colonialism and imperialism, find just solutions to conflicts underway worldwide (and sometimes on the doorstep of Europe), finding solutions to interfaith disputes and theological conflicts over spiritual matters, ending Antisemitism and other forms of racial hatred and violence, clearing up the negative after-effects of centuries of slavery, and the exploitation of man by man; gender abuse and sexual violence; environmental problems and human agency global warming.. the list goes on and on.. We need to think through the primal thoughts of beauty, love and wisdom for our era, our epoch, and ground them into the turbulent, despairing and confused hearts of the peoples of our continent and our world, tempted by the ancient demons of war, victory, power, commercialism, arrogance, and hubris. Where can we find the grace to do all this together ? What role can intellectuals play in this work of re-thinking ?
There has never been a more urgent time in history when we need the intellectuals of the world to come together, at whatever level we are operating, whether as students, teachers, writers, poets, philosophers, cultural figures, academics, scientists, artists.. all of of us can play a role in thinking through the solutions to the mental and spiritual malaise our culture is in danger of falling prey to. Brexit, the rise of xenophobia and neo-fascist solutions to complex problems, the rise of the rhetoric of right wing racist populism, the rise of anti-intellectualism, the return of street violence and racial attacks, the climate of disdain for thought and the lifetime achievements of academics, amt-expertism, the mass appeal of instant click-culture in which Wikipedia and facebook replace the work of genuine intellectuals with their veneer of knowability.. all this presents huge problems to the role of intellectuals in todays modern world society, including in Europe. When outrage can be manufactured and bought and paid for with social media outlays and facebook can be weaponized as a psychological warfare tool in the hands of billionaires to achieve their own political outcomes.. what role can intellectuals play in seeing through this dystopian world that big brother is creating for us ? How can genuine intellectuals fight back ? When robotisation is the norm that surveillance capitalism wants us all to cultivate and the links between militarism and hyper-capitalism have become too obvious and painful for us to neglect anymore = how can we intellectuals who want peace, and shared human prosperity up our game and achieve a common narrative of truth that the vast majority of decent people who believe in fairness, peace, democracy and justice, can adhere to ? Are there common norms and values we can build together out of the rubble of fallen empires, broken dreams ?
Many great liberal intellectuals pioneered the modern world of human rights and social, political and civil rights that we enjoy in European civilisation: their work needs to be studied, reflected on and reapplied in new ways to our modern dilemmas. The assault on liberal international by populist and nationalist forces needs challenging and opposing: our tradition includes: Pericles, Socrates, Aristotle, Cicero,
John of Salisbury, Erasmus, Machiavelli,Guicciardini,
Cosimo de Medici, Montaigne,
Spinoza, Jan de Witt, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Jeremy Bentham, Pestallozi, Court de Gebelin, Helvetius, Diderot, Napoleon, Schiller, Priestley, Turgot, Condorcet, J.S. Mill, Lord Acton, Salvador Y Madariaga, Masaryk, Sir William Beveridge. Buonarotti, Garibaldi, Sir Isaiah Berlin, T.H Green, Jowett, Herzen, Robert Walpole, Schelling, Berdyaev, Mazzini, Adam Smith, George Sand, Kant, Roussseau, Hegel, Jean Monnet, Toqueville, Henri Bonnet, Kant, Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland Von Humboldt, Charles James Fox, Lord Brougham, Hegel,
Melbourne, Gladstone, Croce, Macron, Nick Clegg, James Fazy, Lafayette, Sir Dadabhai Naoroji Dordi, Bertrand Russell, Raymond Aron, Anne Desjardins, Simone Veil, Lord Lothian, H.G. Wells etc.
SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST INTELLECTUALS
The traditions of socialism and communism began as a thought movement among European intellectuals, and developed many branches advocating different systematic solutions to the problems of poverty, unemployment, imperialism, capitalism, militarism, and greed: some appealed to moral and religious forces, other appealed to the evolution of social and technological processes, but all agreed a better form of society is possible based on cooperation, altruism, brotherhood, compassion, sharing and going beyond the profit and war motive of competitive capitalism: Robert Owen, Saint Simon, Pierre Leroux, Restif de la Bretonne, NIcholas Boneville, Blanqui, Engels, Moses Hess, Karl Max, Plekhanov, Bogdanov, Victor Hugo, Marechal, Ernst Bloch, Goodwyn Garmby, Lapponeraye, Louis Blanc, Theodore Dezamy, Cabet, Weitling, Auguste Willich, Lukacs, Bukharin, Lenin, Trotsky, Kautsky, Keir Hardie, Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Tito, Ilya Ehrenburg,
Marc Bloch, Eric Fromm, Max Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Fromm,
Gaitskill, Harold Wilson, Pablo Neruda, Allende, Altiero Spinelli, Gramsci,
Toglilatti, Rosa Luxemburg, Deborin, Christopher Hill, E. P. Thompson, Dorothy Thompson, D. D. Kosambi, R. S. Sharma, Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, D. N. Jha, K. N. Panikkar, C. L. R. James, Fernand Braudel, Marc Bloch, Lucien Febvre, Emanuel La Roy Ladurie, Pokrovsky (1868-1932), Arkady Lavrovich Sidorov (1900 – 1966), Isaak Izrailevich Mints (1896-1991), Nikolai Rubinshtein, (1897 – 1963), E. N. Gorodetskii, (1907 – 1993) Pavel Vasilʹevich
Volobuev (1923 - 1977), Mikhael Gorbachev, Nehru, etc.
GREEN AND ANARCHIST INTELLECTUALS
The anarchist tradition has a long lineage in thought going back to ancient times, but mostly associated with 19th century European thinkers, who rejected the idea of state centred power, and took the arguments of liberalism to their more extreme form: why did anyone have to be in power ? Why did anyone have the right to wield coercive powers of violence and law over against others ? Surely the world would be more peaceable if everyone was autonomous, decentralised, developed into self-governing communes, and all shared power equally through discussion, and consensus ? The Quakers pioneered this thinking, and later on Proudhon, Bakunin, Tolstoy, Gandhi, etc. In more recent times this idea has blended into that of the Green Movement which argues for decentralised power in harmony with nature, with small scale communities living in natural harmony and not disrupting natures balancing act; heavy industry and militarism are alike destructive of nature and therefor we need to evolve a new way of sharing the earth which is not destructive of the environment. Modern green thinkers include: E.F Schumacher, Petra Kelley, Rudolf Bahro, George Monbiot, Jonathan Porritt, John-Francis Phipps, Caroline Lucas etc. Many Greens also argue for a return to primordial and pagan ways of thinking. Many also share utopian pacifist visions of humanity replacing war with peaceful means of resolving disputes such as mediation and argue that war and militarism are now far too wasteful and dangerous to allow them to continue to threaten us all with extinction.
MODERATE CONSERVATIVE INTELLECTUALS
The conservative tradition also has a long lineage in European intellectual life and goes back to both Ancient Greece and also to a rejection of revolutionary terror at the time of the French revolution, increased by antipathy to the violence of the Russian and Chinese revolutions as well - conservatives tend to think that incremental change in social and political institution is best and that things have evolved as they have for a reason - why break something if it doesn't need fixing ? First study how it works in reality, and then make subtle changes for the good: Plato, Aristotle, Constantine, Clovis, Charlemagne, Elizabeth 1st, Lord Burghley, James 1st, Hobbes, Herder,
De Maistre, Metternich,
Sir Walter Scott, Carlyle, T.S. Eliot, Winston Churchill, Balfour, Disraeli, Lord Hailsham, Dostoevsky, Voegelin, Adenauer, De Gaulle, De Gasperi, John Major, Solzhenitsyn, Kohl, Angela Merkel, etc.
In addition there are extremist conservative and right wing thinkers in the European intellectual tradition, and in other continents, whose ideas we as the WIF do not agree with, as they normally advocate violence and nationalistic racism, but we acknowledge their existence and we feel it a duty to debate and discuss their ideas with them and their followers, and hopefully educate them: figures in this tradition include such as Julius Evola, Alexander Dugin, Alfred Roseberg, Pobedonostsev etc.
There are also extreme left wing thinkers in European history such as Robespierre, and Stalin, who have likewise cast a pall of darkness and paranoia over human intellectual activity - as well as Mao in China and Pol Pot in Cambodia, some pseudo-intellectuals can become pathological in their addiction to power, whether extreme right or extreme left. WIF abhors both types and instead advocates a healthy intellectual respect for debate, discussion, evidence, science, philosophy, epoche, and the genuine dialectic of give and take and a common quest to discover new evidential truths
WHAT IS THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL FORUM ?
WIF is a network of peace and global responsibility thinkers, philosophers, sages, cosmic activists, scientists, ecologists, planetary transformation experts and planetary healers, founded in India 2017, now active worldwide