In my blog profile I say it’s a crazy world we live in. Why?
Where to start?
We live under threat of nuclear annihilation, yet few people have any concern or give any priority to reducing this threat. It didn’t go away after Reagan’s deal with Gorbachev, and new nuclear powers have emerged.
We face a catastrophic change of earth’s climate through global warming, caused by our own carbon emissions. Since Rio 1992 and earlier we have had global discussions on this, yet nothing has been allowed to interfere with the rapid economic/technological/debt expansion that has caused this. We have pious words from Paris 2015, yet are hell-bent on economic expansion and refuse to take necessary actions such as taxing carbon fuels or controlling them at source. Indeed, we still subsidise carbon fuels to a much greater degree than renewables. We are still chopping down trees at a rapid rate, reducing yet more the protections provided by forests and their sequestered carbon.
We have allowed the transfer of resources from poor to rich to continue unabated for many years. Inequality means that life is a struggle for many of the poorest, and the middle class that ensured 70-ish years of stability in the West is being eroded. The erosion of tax base means that resources are being taken away from the public sphere through ‘austerity’ policies.
The globalisation programme over the past 30 years or so has ensured this hollowing out of the centre, moving jobs and pollution to poorer countries of the earth. Yes it enables Western economies to continue to expand, but at what price? The development of expanded free trade areas (TTIP etc) aims to continue and accelerate this process. The crazy competition of low-tax countries and tax havens has greatly reduced the moneys paid by global corporations into the treasuries of the countries in which they operate – so they have competitive advantage against local small/medium businesses – a long term catastrophic change.
The financial crash of 2008 was never fully followed through. Few were punished and many prospered at the subsequent expense of the people. It is arguable that lessons were not learned and the system has reverted to something quite like it was before. The system does not work in the interests of all, and the opportunity should be taken to change it before the next crash – eg measures such as publically created money, tobin taxes, land taxes, basic income, etc.
Religious fundamentalism again stalks the earth, as in the middle ages. Despite major advances in education it continues to gain traction with the credulous and those who will always rise up in times of confllict. Religions themselves seem largely divorced from the inner spiritual experience of many in the modern world.
It is apparent that democracy has a much-flawed implementation in many places, notably the USA where big money and corporations seemingly have overwhelming traction on the political process. In other countries it is often the fig leaf for maintaining a ruling clique in power.
Science has made great advances, which have been translated into wonderful technologies which dazzle us all. The internet gives the potential to revolutionise the way we live our lives. Yet we become more vulnerable to misuse of the technology, such as cyber crime and cyber wars, and to the cracks which we had not foreseen in the world we have created, such as the adaptation and emergence of new forms of bugs and diseases resistant to modern antibiotics and other treatments.
There has long been a ‘war on drugs’ that have millions of users, providing fertile ground for criminal enterprises with massive rewards. This so-called war manifestly failed many years ago. As for the ‘war on terror’, how was that nonsensical idea ever invented?
The spectre of species extinction haunts the earth – particularly the large mammals, birds and sea creatures that remain after the depradations since the European expansions spread across the earth. It is accelerating.
The seas and the soils are becoming increasingly contaminated by plastics and chemicals whose effects in many cases will be long lasting threats to living organisms. The ‘precautionary principle’ appears to be insufficiently applied and often bypassed in the exploitation of new innovations.
What can one say of the Middle East, which appears to be in chaos to such an extent that the disastrous Israel-Palestine impasse is now but a sideshow.
We have a United Nations that is dysfunctional, in that it is powerless whenever so-called Great Powers, aka known as members of the Security Council, disagree. There is no effective system of global governance.
The consumer society. Well I could go on and on about this. Too many cgoods, too much stuff. Too much to do. Focus on the surface, while ignoring the essence and what really matters…
I could go on…
So, crazy world or not?
I rest my case.