• lucafrei
    12
    Currently, I see our globe in a near mayhem – especially when it comes to geopolitics; as nationalism thrives, nations are growing apart, while the very poor drift even further down. This is not only true for developing countries that in many cases lack the resources or knowledge, but also of many Western countries. This is manifested in many ways, one of which is the increasing number of homeless individuals. But how can this happen today? We have never had this much money circulating in the economy, we also have never been as productive as we are right now. The gross domestic product is rising everywhere, but the profit only goes into a couple of hands. The inequality of today is bigger than it was in Ancient Rome when slavery was still a total normality.

    What kind of grim paradox is this?

    In my opinion, we as humans have to escape the illusion everyone lives in, try to see the bigger picture and maybe remember where life started, because strictly speaking we are all related to each other, it does not matter if you believe in science or in any religion. We are a “being family”. Empathy has gotten lost or it may have never been around in the first place. Therefore I am not happy with our world even though I grew up in Switzerland where you can say the welfare is extremely high. No one has to suffer in terms of essential needs and everyone gets help if its needed. You cannot relate this standard to the majority of the countries. The world needs new, less self-centered leaders in politics and economics. This change has to start in schools and universities. Empathy has to be taught. A teacher or professor has the biggest impact on a student, on a generation - and therefore on the society.

    What I am trying to say is that our system that we have created still has a lot of room for improvement, in the sense of being inclusive and thinking on a wider scale. In the present world our great minds think about, how do we make more money? Or how can we raise the gross domestic product? Or how do we get more clicks on Instagram? But this shouldn’t be question. Why don’t we think about how the human family can live together in peace, sharing knowledge and thoughts? Imagine we include the brilliance of every human individual and put this together. I see humanity working with nature, as if they were one, I see humanity exploring space, making new discoveries, extending their knowledge. I see humanity as one nation but still with different cultures.


    Who feels the same way?

    What do you think brought us to this state?

    And how can we make a change?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.4k
    our globe in a near mayhem – especially when it comes to geopolitics; as nationalism thrives, nations are growing apart, while the very poor drift even further down.lucafrei

    Just curious what an example would be of a historical era where you'd say that the above wasn't the case.
  • Possibility
    616
    Greater awareness, I think, brought us to this state.

    What I am trying to say is that our system that we have created still has a lot of room for improvement, in the sense of being inclusive and thinking on a wider scale. In the present world our great minds think about, how do we make more money? Or how can we raise the gross domestic product? Or how do we get more clicks on Instagram? But this shouldn’t be question. Why don’t we think about how the human family can live together in peace, sharing knowledge and thoughts? Imagine we include the brilliance of every human individual and put this together. I see humanity working with nature, as if they were one, I see humanity exploring space, making new discoveries, extending their knowledge.lucafrei

    I feel the same way as this, but I also relate to TS’s question - I think mayhem has always been the general situation, we’re just more aware of it now on a global scale, and of how it all connects together. This, I think, is an improvement. Without this awareness, we wouldn’t WANT to do something about it, to make a change...
  • lucafrei
    12


    This is exactly the point. Since we are aware of what’s going on, shouldn’t it be different than in ancient Rome which lies more than 2000 years back? Awareness hasn't been rising since yesterday. Utilitarianism, as an example, was invented in the 17th century but, yet I have never seen this idea being practiced, maybe only on a very small scale. But there are people who could do so on a bigger scale such as CEO's of big companies but they rather invest in the army or in "New Retail" as Starbucks does. I mean, I understand if you run a small business that it can be hard to survive and that you look after yourself first. But in this case you are forced so. Forced so are also workers in relocated factories some were in Africa where a CEO decided to outsource his production because its cheeper. There his is also able to let people work under conditions which are forbidden in his own country. And there lies the next paradox. In the law. How can something so fundamental be forbidden here and only over the border be allowed? He might think, "yeah I mean the law allows it here so it can't be that bad".

    But my question is; how can someone do such a decision? Is it greed? Is it the American dream? Is it the free marked? Would he act the same way if his family worked there?

    And this is why empathy has to be taught, in an early age already. I think.


    And I'm sorry for this late reply.





    There isn't, maybe there was before humanity.
  • leo
    601
    Who feels the same way?

    What do you think brought us to this state?

    And how can we make a change?
    lucafrei

    The underlying sad state of affairs is that life is a competition. We kill other species to survive. It feels good to rule the world, but it probably doesn't to other species we destroy.

    Within our own species, most of us compete with one another. We want as much power as possible, so the others can be as little a threat as possible. The other is the enemy. So a few accumulate power and don't want to give it away, they fought hard to get where they are, or they got lucky, but they don't want others to get on their level, because they fought precisely to be above them.

    And then let's say we made a change, and somehow we all cared for each other, and people wouldn't have to compete to live, wouldn't have to compete to get a job, to have a place to live and to get food. Once we all live comfortably and don't have to struggle anymore then what? Men would still compete to get the woman they want. If they don't compete, who gets to impregnate her and have children? So they don't attempt to elevate others, they attempt to be above them and to bring them down.

    Then supposedly if we don't have to struggle to live, then there would be more and more people to the point there would be too many people for too little resources, and again people would be forced to compete or die.

    So sadly I think this state is inevitable, and that any change we make would be inevitably temporary. At least I haven't found a solution, and I haven't found anyone with a solution.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.4k
    There isn't, maybe there was before humanity.lucafrei

    So what is the worry with it?
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    At this stage of human development...POVERTY ought to be a thing of the past.

    Every human on the planet should have, at a minimum, sufficient food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and opportunity for education.

    All of that should be met for every human on the planet...before any of the other proceeds of work and enterprise is compensated.

    The so-called Protestant work ethic is a dinosaur...and should go where the dinosaurs went.

    Most people on the planet should not be part of the "work force"...especially the people who, because of lack of ability or laziness...are a detriment to productivity. Only the most productive should be allowed to work.

    I hope that addresses the issues you raised.
  • Possibility
    616
    But how aware are we of what is really going on? And what are we doing about it? When we become aware of something like, for instance, the fact that the coffee we love to drink is ultimately contributing to the oppression or exploitation of entire communities in South America, what does it take for us to improve that situation? The awareness of one person is only the first step, and it’s not a linear process, either. There have been many advances and retreats in different aspects of awareness since Ancient Rome - but the application of them is more complicated.

    Utilitarianism seems rational in theory, but fails in practice on a large scale, because everyone has to agree and the more individuals that have to agree, the less likely that’s going to happen. There are many different factions of utilitarianism, each with different strategies for implementing it. Nevertheless, utilitarianism contributes in part to our growing awareness of what’s going on.

    Most of us look only at our current era in relation to the span of history, and get frustrated and impatient that we aren’t already advanced enough to fix all the problems we’re aware of. But this era is only a drop in the ocean - we shouldn’t be expecting to fix everything before we die, but to contribute as much as we can to the gradual advance in awareness and compassionate action on a global/universal scale, ensuring that subsequent generations are more woke than our own and have the courage (and support) to do something about it.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Just curious what an example would be of a historical era where you'd say that the above wasn't the case. — Terrapin Station

    1984 was a good year
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    But this era is only a drop in the ocean - we shouldn’t be expecting to fix everything before we die, but to contribute as much as we can to the gradual advance in awareness and compassionate action on a global/universal scale, ensuring that subsequent generations are more woke than our own and have the courage (and support) to do something about it. — Possibility

    That's some youthful idealism. I don't think the race has what it takes to change course. The best course of action is to fortify yourself inwardly, then you can begin viewing the world as the tragic comedy it is.
  • Janus
    8.5k
    But how can this happen today? We have never had this much money circulating in the economy, we also have never been as productive as we are right now.lucafrei

    The answer is fairly simple: the "money" that is circulating in the economy is, increasingly, credit, and thus the increased "productivity" is merely apparent; an illusion created by the way GDP is measured.
  • lucafrei
    12
    So what is the worry with it?Terrapin Station

    Well with this attitude you won't get anywhere.
  • lucafrei
    12


    Well the problem lies in the banks and the interests collected form the credits which are given form money that actually doesn't exists, they create new money, the money is increasingly as you said. Plus in the real economy the value of the interests is always somewhere missing. The overall calculation will never be fulfilled. So the problem lies in the interests, which always require economical growth, which isn't forever possible.

    But why don't people in leading position, who are certainly aware of it, do something about it? They rather fight against new ideas. And there is the real problem hidden. The philosophy of the way we live. Let's be like, when I'm comfortable everything is fine. People only do something when they get wealth for them self out of it. Aren't we a human community? When we look up the sky all the way up to the next galaxy, we are only a tiny village.
  • lucafrei
    12
    That's some youthful idealism. I don't think the race has what it takes to change course. The best course of action is to fortify yourself inwardly, then you can begin viewing the world as the tragic comedy it is.Merkwurdichliebe

    I think, we do have. It only needs time and greater awareness.
  • Janus
    8.5k
    But why don't people in leading position, who are certainly aware of it, do something about it? They rather fight against new ideas. And there is the real problem hidden. The philosophy of the way we live. Let's be like, when I'm comfortable everything is fine. People only do something when they get wealth for them self out of it. Aren't we a human community? When we look up the sky all the way up to the next galaxy, we are only a tiny village.lucafrei

    I totally agree with your sentiments here. The only good way forward would be a radical general shift in consciousness away from the deluded fantasy of separation that is trying to control and dominate nature. The current leaders may or may not be aware of what is really going on; they may be in denial, or they may be trying to plan their own salvation at the expense of the rest of humanity. The thing is that probably very few people would be willing to do what needs to be done since it would involve the collapse of the current economic system.
  • lucafrei
    12


    I think we have to create a sens of a common bond. For example, a school class has to work on a common goal, they have to work and study together that they achieve a good grade as a community, I mean it doesn't necessarily need to be a grade.
    The school system today is already build on an egoistic basis. The better the university is, the harder you as an individual have to work to get your own degree, the less social minded you are. So it is only legit that you believe that you deserve now a wealthy life. Therefore you will also act egoistic as a CEO of a company because you worked incredibly hard to get there - it is indeed fair that you own 400 times more than the normal worker at your factory, who is hardly able to pay his bills. But he still works his 10 hours a day. Same thing in politics. But if students have to work together and get to a goal as a community they might start to include others. Everyone contributes something to the the whole with his own strengths. You would start to interact with people, you normally wouldn't, and this is what will open minds, rise empathy and respect toward others.

    Many people think that the poor are dumb, but they actually aren't they all could be just as brilliant as Albert Einstein was, they just won't get the opportunity to make the same thoughts due to the lack of money they have. They spend all their life running after their bills. They are 24/7 under pressure. I talked today to a very young guy about if we could live completely without money. The conclusion was no, it is not possible. We are to 100% tied to money, it's a quite grim fact, isn't it?

    I agree that you have to look after yourself first, but once you are comfortable you should act in oder to improve the bigger picture and not only your own bank account. Big companies aren't good for the economy and society anyway, small enterprises are key for a wealthy economy. Big companies would only make sense in a planned economy like in communism, but we don't want that either, do we?
  • lucafrei
    12
    Then supposedly if we don't have to struggle to live, then there would be more and more people to the point there would be too many people for too little resources, and again people would be forced to compete or die.leo

    I don't agree with that. The wealthier a society is, the less kids are born. Overproduction is a problem in poor communities not in the rich world.
    The underlying sad state of affairs is that life is a competition. We kill other species to survive. It feels good to rule the world, but it probably doesn't to other species we destroy.


    Within our own species, most of us compete with one another. We want as much power as possible, so the others can be as little a threat as possible. The other is the enemy. So a few accumulate power and don't want to give it away, they fought hard to get where they are, or they got lucky, but they don't want others to get on their level, because they fought precisely to be above them.
    leo

    Competition is a good thing I don't question that, it leads to innovation and other many positive things. Competition is necessary. What you've described is brutish, it's greed, but haven't we achieved a state where we should be able to be bigger than greed?
  • Janus
    8.5k
    Yes, I think what is needed is a change of consciousness as I already said. I don't know if that change will come easily, or if it will be forced upon us by dire circumstance.

    Our worldview, as Charles Eisenstein points out in The Ascent of Humanity (2007) is based on the perceptions that we are all ultimately separate entities and that resources are scarce, that nature is not an abundant giver, but is "red in tooth and claw", and must be conquered and forced to yield up its secrets so that they may be exploited to the maximum. Our worldview is based on the perception of separation, scarcity and threat, which leads to our desperate, mindless pursuit of having at the expense of being in order to "protect" ourselves from nature. Another symptom of this is that accumulations of knowledge are privileged over transformations of wisdom, both practical and spiritual.

    Now, contrary to that dire view of nature, it has in fact been extremely bountiful, the rise of technological humanity from the cradle of agriculture has been possible due to that profuse bounty, not the least of which has been the super cheap energy of fossil fuels. The gloabl aspect of nature's providence has been a remarkably stable climate. But that bounty is dwindling fast, while we are continuing to be stuck on the need for constant growth and acquisition.

    Credit just is the promise of greater abundance in the future; but that greater abundance, barring some unforeseen technological miracle, is simply not going to materialize. How many people can accept this simple fact, though? It seems that most of humanity is still in a state of denial.

    So, I think what needs to be accepted is that our super prosperous lifestyles have been a flash in the pan evolutionarily speaking, and that they will not be possible for much longer. It will not be possible to raise the poor of the third world into middle class lifestyles. Middle class lifestyles will soon be a thing of the past.

    That we will be mining the asteroids and traveling to the stars, or even that renewable energy will allow us to continue our prosperous lifestyles are hubristic, deluded techno-fantasies. We should be accepting that we must change our lifestyles, probably returning to more locally based, agrarian ways and forget about globalization and world travel, since it will most likely not be possible without abundant, cheap energy, or unless population is drastically reduced.

    Another helpful change of viewpoint would be to recognize that no one is really in control, it is like we are on a freight train careening out of control, inevitably to be derailed and crash, no one knows exactly when, while we party on, oblivious to what is unfolding.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Big companies would only make sense in a planned economy like in communism. — lucafrei

    A command economy is not necessary for the existence of massive corporations in a healthy society, regulation has proven itself historically (e.g. the Glass-Steagall act).

    I'm in favor of maximum wage. That would allow societal excess to be recycled in a more healthy way, rather than just being hoarded by the greedy and cowardly. Think of how much inflation is affected by the useless wealth lost in the coffers of those money-grubbing saps.
  • Possibility
    616
    The problem as I see it is that we’ve been barking up the wrong tree since we evolved into a three dimensional awareness of value and subsequently of ‘self’. Our observation of the world of animals (and our own fears) told us (mistakenly) that the ultimate aim must be survival. Whether that manifested in the belief that we could find a way to cheat death individually, or the idea that all of evolution is geared ultimately towards survival of the fittest, we’ve been leading ourselves and the rest of the world astray for thousands of years.

    Having said that, we have progressed regardless in many respects, while we have been failing devastatingly in others. When we look back on our achievements and success as a species, is it our survival and dominance that we are most proud of? For some, it might appear to be - but only in relation to our initially perceived capacity as individuals. Or are our greatest successes due mainly to our increased awareness of the world, our ability to work together to our diverse strengths and our overall capacity for achievement?

    Isn’t it ironic that arguably the most ‘developed’ species on the planet has nothing physically going for it in terms of individual survival or dominance? We have evolved soft, sensitive skin, and a vulnerability that defies the whole concept of ‘survival of the fittest’. But we have evolved an unsurpassed capacity for awareness, communication/interaction and diversity. You can argue that this has come about because these qualities were somehow deemed most advantageous for ‘survival’, but the more I hear these explanations, the more they sound like apologetics. I’m just not buying it anymore.

    In my opinion, the whole idea of ‘survival’ as the ultimate evolutionary purpose needs to be re-examined in light of our failures and success so far.
  • whollyrolling
    427
    It's the kind of grim paradox in which you actually believe all that stuff you wrote in the OP is factual.
  • leo
    601
    Competition is a good thing I don't question that, it leads to innovation and other many positive things. Competition is necessary. What you've described is brutish, it's greed, but haven't we achieved a state where we should be able to be bigger than greed?lucafrei

    Competition is also what leads us to eat rather than being eaten. You care about other human beings. If you care about other animals, then I suppose you don't eat meat, and if you do then I suppose you wouldn't if you were the one who had to kill them. Then if you care about plants, you wouldn't want to kill trees to build a house or a road.

    The point is, because life is a competition, we can't care about everything. We're not constantly looking at our every step to make sure we're not stepping on an ant or on some other insect. We don't care about mosquitoes. We don't care about parasites and so on, there is a whole lot of life we don't care about. But what makes the life of a human being fundamentally worth more than that of any other? What makes the life of a human being worth so much more than a pig that it's ok to kill one just to eat for a few days?

    Even if you cherish life, life has to kill to live. So even if we're not killing each other we have to kill beings from other species to live. Then among humans, there are many who only care about themselves and not about other humans. Even if you show them empathy and love, they will use it against you to their advantage, and won't be there for you when you need help. Because it's so easy to take advantage of those who care about others inconditionally, many do it. The sad reality is it often pays more to use others than to help them. Not on the long run, on the long run that might lead to the destruction of the species, but they don't care about the species on the long run, they care about themselves now. It's an uneven fight, when you want to improve the lives of others while they want to improve their own life at the expense of others. So when they enjoy the good life while you're left in the dirt with no one there for you, you become disillusioned.

    When we compare the few humans who want to elevate others against the majority who want to bring others down, it feels like a drop in the ocean. Sometimes I wonder if there is anything worth fighting for here.

    After the fire in Notre Dame a couple days ago, a few rich families announced they would each give hundreds of millions to restore the cathedral. To those in power, a cathedral is worth fighting for, but not the people who suffer in poverty. They could change so many things for so many people if they wanted. But they don't. Maybe because they see poor people as lesser beings, as tools to be used or as insects and not as beings to elevate to their level. And they surely didn't accumulate so much wealth by caring about the well-being of others. They don't have an incentive to make the life of other people easier, they want them to struggle, because as long as they struggle they are easier to control.
  • lucafrei
    12


    Prove me wrong. I am open to conviction.
  • whollyrolling
    427
    Prove me wrong. I am open to conviction.lucafrei

    You made the outlandish claims, so the burden of proof is on you. Present statistics to demonstrate the validity of your claims about poverty and national isolation, rising homelessness and GDP, to show how wealth inequality has adverse effects on lower classes in the West, to prove that humans no longer have a capacity for empathy, to explain how socialism and intersectional feminism which are intended to focus on compassion are helping solve inequality.

    I don't need to attempt to prove anything wrong if nothing's been evidenced.
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