Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Piracy to World Unity?


I've been following with interest the piracy shenanigans that have been unfolding off the coast of Somalia the last year or so. Unlike the successful Hollywood franchise with Depp, Bloom, and Knightly, there is nothing dashing or humorous about this latest crisis to grip a "strangely disordered world". I am reminded however of the insight of Shoghi Effendi regarding the dynamic of integration and disintegration which is propelling the human race toward world unity:

"Such simultaneous processes of rise and of fall, of integration and of disintegration, of order and chaos, with their continuous and reciprocal reactions on each other, are but aspects of a greater Plan, one and indivisible, whose Source is God, whose author is Bahá'u'lláh, the theater of whose operations is the entire planet, and whose ultimate objectives are the unity of the human race and the peace of all mankind."
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 72)

It's fascinating to ponder the socio-spiritual implications of piracy menacing the waters around the horn of Africa in light of what I recently read in the book Power, Faith and Fantasy about the influence of the Barbary pirates on American history. In brief, the author asserts that North African pirates preying on American ships during the 18th century, paved the way for the transition of the young republic from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution of the United States. Could it be that in a mysterious fashion we are witnessing a repeat of history, that 21st century pirates may be influencing those forces leading to a stronger political unity between nations, just as 18th century pirates exerted a similar influence on the unity of a group of recently liberated British colonies in the New World? Only time will tell for sure.