Published on online journal, by James Keye, July 28, 2008.
Over the last seven years much of the world has been traumatized into worrying about what was happening in the moment: war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, genocidal violence in North Africa; the list is long and depressing.
The USA, often a hedge against the worst of human behavior, at least in political mythology, had become a major malefactor and the ‘middle way’ people of the world were looking (stunned and dazed daily by random, mindless, often deadly, world events) to a confusing Europe, weak nations such as Brazil and even the inscrutable China for guidance. The US had been like a teenage Soccer star, self-centered and cocky, though with a good heart and many times willing to help out, but suddenly having become a monster …
… If it is agreed that humans wish to survive as a species and that the killing off of a few billion people is not an option, then there are things that must be done. All people need the knowledge and wisdom to live in ecological balance with the world immediately around them; this requires education, education requires resources. If it is agreed that world population must stabilize and reduce, then education in “family planning” and the empowerment of women are required, again with resource requirements. Also, if population is to be reduced and if consumption is to be reduced, our economic system will have to be rethought and reformed: capitalism, as presently functioning, will fight against the details of consumption and population reduction. It is impossible to follow the wisdom of an essential vision using the elements of detail that conspire to defeat the vision.
A growing body of knowledge, both scientific and experiential, is forming about how we humans act, about our natural history as an animal, along with new understandings of the power and dangers of the adaptive tool of consciousness. This is the time to press on those who would be leaders the need to recognize the larger visions and honestly present the implications to their constituencies.
Vast resources will be needed to educate and re-educate us all and to reform our economic and political designs. Redistribution of the wealth that has been extracted from the earth and accumulated into fewer and fewer hands will have to seen as essential for the vision of species survival and not just for personal pleasure and aggrandizement. I am not saying that this is our last opportunity, but it certainly will be among the last and is one that, at the very least, those who have an inkling about these matters should attempt. (full long text).
James Keye publishes the blog, Keye Commentary. Email him.