As Greek philosopher Pythagoras sagely observed in the 6th century before the common era: “As soon as laws are necessary for men, they are no longer fit for freedom.”
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 desecration of Nature.
Swedish statesman Axel Oxenstierna observed in 1648: “Behold with how little wisdom the world is governed.” Some things never change.
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. One need only look at the caliber of democratically elected national leaders to prove the point.
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.
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 scant reason to think that mankind collectively possesses the intelligence or will to belatedly self-correct and avert its inexorable, self-made demise. Albert Einstein aptly noted that “the measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” That withstanding, let’s glimpse what a curative polity would be.
◊ ◊ ◊
The rapacious chaos inherent to capitalism must be staunched. Societies must become organized as environmentally sustainable and socially stable endeavors.
There is no doubt that economies can be planned and successfully run. Political administrations of capitalist countries did so during the 20th-century world wars.
Huge international corporations adroitly coordinate manufacture and servicing for a myriad of products. The same could be accomplished for a societal economy.
Government must truly become of the people, by the people, for the people. The reckless demand for personal freedom must evolve into a sense of social connection – a morphing of mentality from that of a spoiled child to that of a responsible adult.
Inequality is inequity. The quest for material wealth is hurling humanity toward the brink of extinction. To assuredly sustain the social fabric, wealth must be a communal asset, not in an individual’s grasp.
The guiding light of eusocialism is respect: respect for Nature and respect for each other. Those who do not esteem the lives of others must not be tolerated.
◊ ◊ ◊
Public policy and government administration, properly done, are crafts which require considerable sociological, scientific, and economic knowledge. The idea that societal management candidates should be selected based upon their ability to make crowd-pleasing speeches and rake in donations is ludicrous. Yet that is exactly how modern democracies operate.
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.
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.
The transition to eusocialism would require a revolution of minds as well as the overturning of permissive constitutions and profligate ways of life. The prospect of that happening is slim indeed. And so humanity condemns itself to extinction.