Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. ~ Chinese proverb
All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nature offers nothing that can be called this man’s rather than another’s; but under Nature everything belongs to all. ~ Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza
The presumption of human equality is a revolutionary conclusion because it leads people to challenge the validity of society’s institutions and customs that distribute power and wealth unequally among citizens. ~ Leon Baradat
It is important to grapple with the problems connected with the amassing of enormous fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits. ~ US President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906
It would be wise for us to give up the notion that we are a benevolent and sharing species. ~ American physician Robert Marz
The greatest problem for the human race is the achievement of a universal civic society which administers law among men. ~ Immanuel Kant
As long as people are as they are, the world must be as it is. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Only someone ignorant of history, economics, politics, and the state of the world today can call the human experience a success. Instead, modernity meant institutionalized inequity and an acceleration in the destruction of Nature.
The world finds itself in a critical condition. ~ Angela Merkel in 2016
Time is running out. The collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. ~ English naturalist David Attenborough in 2018
The institution of democratic governance had an implicit responsibility: to create a citizenry capable of intelligent selection of public servants. That responsibility has not been met. Compulsory education regimes have not produced a sufficiently knowledgeable citizenry upon which a decent democracy depends. Most people don’t even know what foods to eat to wholesomely sustain themselves. Lack of discipline has produced populations in poor health, both physically and mentally.
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. ~ Irish philosopher George Berkeley in the 17th century
The exercise of democracy can hardly be called fruitful. Most tellingly, from 2017, the United States was helmed by Donald Trump, who was determined to take the country back to its 19th century robber-baron days, alienate allies, and cozy up to dictators. In fear of alienating voters who support Trump, Republican party leaders acted as passive enablers.
We have as president a man who is erratic, vindictive, volatile, obsessive, a chronic liar, and prone to believe in conspiracy theories. ~ Republican political strategist Peter Wehner in 2017
Trump doesn’t have any allegiance to the truth or reality. ~ Republican political strategist Mike Murphy in 2017
There is a vast difference between the skill set need to be a successful campaigner – self-promotion – and being a decent public policy administrator. Voters fail to recognize the distinction; hence, democracy sinks to the lowest common denominator.
Why do people feel they do not have a stake in society? ~ English senior law enforcement official Patricia Gallan
If you think that governance is supposed to be a vehicle for societal well-being, and offer the same for future generations, an informed opinion cannot be that democracy has worked. In his basic thrust, Plato was right about democracy.
In addition to rapid climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental hazards, societies are witnessing rising inequality, rising unemployment, slow economic growth, rising debt levels, and governments without workable tools for managing their economies. ~ Finnish economic and environmental scholars Paavo Järvensivu, Tero Toivanen, Tere Vadén, Ville Lähde, Antti Majava, & Jussi Eronen in 2018
Worldwide, the situation renders the status quo untenable, and the future bleak indeed. Climate change is already disruptive; a trend that will startlingly accelerate within the next few decades. There is no reason to think that mankind possesses the intelligence or will to belatedly self-correct and avert its inexorable, self-made demise. That withstanding, a brief exposition on a curative polity follows.
The measure of intelligence is the ability to change. ~ German physicist Albert Einstein
Humanity is in the midst of enduring unsustainable trends that increase the risk of a catastrophic future that can be avoided, but only by way of a collective response. ~ American law professor Richard Falk in 2017
Ideologies are obviated by a single indisputable fact: men have bungled so badly that they will wipe humanity off the face of the Earth within mere decades if concerted action is not. However admirable rugged individualism may be, it is rendered obsolete with that realization.
(Despite considerable press, that humanity is inexorably heading for demise through a self-generated extinction event is not generally acknowledged at the time of writing. Extreme weather events are already becoming a regularity. Other threats are in the offing, including an increasing lack of clean water and famine.)
The fruition of world civilization has been directly delivered via the application of technology, most notably the foolish consumption of fossil fuels. But the deeper cause owes to political economy.
The primary systems by which the world runs – capitalism and democracy – are based on a façade of competition which guise rapacious plutocracies. Democracy has been no check on exploitation at the expense of societal well-being. What may seem benign business-as-usual has instead been a grinding away at humanity’s future.
We have let money devalue the very characteristics that define our humanity and that enabled our species to survive: our universal capacity to care for each other, to learn from mistakes, to come together to act in concert. ~ American political scientist Edgar Cahn
The lust for material wealth drove the current extinction event – the marriage of materialism to political power, abetted by technology. Only by stopping the relentless environmental destruction and sociopathic disregard of others’ well-being does humankind have any hope for survival whatsoever.
Nothing profits the world as much as the abandoning of profits. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
As long as inequality is allowed, the body politic will be bent by those who prosper at others’ expense. If there is a single lesson provided by political history, this is it.
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Capitalism periodically undergoes systemic crisis, which can be resolved only by restructuring the system. ~ American economist David Kotz
There is a deep taproot to the global destruction that man wrought: materialism. Just as the consequences of poverty go well beyond economic sufficiency, the drive to wealth goes beyond financial security.
As long as the mental illness to define oneself by material accumulation is ubiquitous, societies will be sick. This malaise can only be decently addressed when well-being is no longer an economic issue, and wealth is defined in terms of knowledge and contentment.
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Capitalist economies are in large part planned. ~ Ha-Joon Chang
Government provides infrastructure essential to capitalism. Regulatory and tax policies define the ecosystems in which companies exist. The only thing that governments in thrall to capitalism do not do is prosper. Instead, government is corrupted into succoring plutocracy. Under eusocialism, resource allocation can be managed with a prudence that capitalism could never achieve.
Previous attempts at so-called socialism failed for not being socialist; they were instead autocratic posers. Equity was mere lip service.
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Polities have been built as cathedrals of abstract aspirations: the sloganized belief systems of fools. It is far too late to continue the naïve and false ideal of liberty: the indulgence of which has taken humanity to the brink of extinction. If the status quo continues, pollution and climate change will soon ensure that the human experience more resembles post-apocalyptic movies than civilization as we now know it.
Radical societal restructuring is not an option. It is our only hope.
We need an integrated society, and at the same time need to create as much socioeconomic fairness as we can, so what relationships people have across group lines are egalitarian relationships. ~ American social psychologist Eric Knowles
Let man have dominion over all the Earth. ~ Genesis 1:26, The Bible
The license of man having global dominion requires revocation. It should be apparent that Earth has a self-critical tolerance for its desecration, and man has exceeded that margin by considerable measure.
We must belatedly recognize that we have to live within the natural world, not try to lord over it. The common notion of carrying capacity – how much humanity can sustainably exploit Nature – must be abandoned: replaced with acceptance of economic retrenchment and environmental rejuvenation. We must learn to appreciate the generosity and power of Nature rather than test its limits.
The human footprint on the planet must be reduced: fewer people, less consumption, less exploitation. This cannot be accomplished under a market system. Capitalism must be extinguished, and democracy set aside.
Nothing less than a reordering of our priorities based on a moral revolution can succeed in maintaining the world in such a way as to resemble the conditions we have enjoyed here. ~ Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2017