United Nations of Emptiness

The only way that systemic unity can exist is, enigmatically, by not existing.

In a way, we are all precariously dangling off the side of the UN Secretariat building in NYC, squinting in the gleaming windows as those inside squint straight back out at us, in full cognisance of their own vertiginous place in a deeply fractious and troubled world. The work of seeking and maintaining unity and harmony both between and within the society of nation states is of critical importance but there exists a conspicuous absence here.

A foundational misunderstanding of the nature of logic, of information, of the ways in which “whole” and “complete” organisational systems can ever be considered to possible exist – this is not a unique possession of the UN alone. The only way that unity can exist is by, logically, not existing and the actual depths of this (superficially) nonsensical statement belie the facts of the science and the art of complexity when applied to understanding organisational systems.

It is a difficult job to attempt to bring about Peace but the necessities and vicissitudes of organisational, administrative and bureaucratic convention (themselves amplifications of psychological symmetries) incur that, even as much as the endless axiomatic and functional extensibility of logical and organisational systems provides directions and insight for us all, the reflexive psychological dependencies of human beings must inhibit growth and development and represent a paradoxical barrier to the best-interests of the same human beings. That necessary organisational vacuum, emptiness and logical absence which drives change and economic or technological development is also, mischievously, conspicuous by it’s absence; world harmony and peace, like a Cheshire Cat smile… finds itself confronting nothing more than the deep question of it’s own impossibility.

Window cleaner hanging from the 39th floor of the United Nations Secretariat building in NYC (in 1952).

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