I continue to be deeply troubled by the long list of challenges which politicians are unwilling to confront with any degree of honesty in this increasingly imperiled planet. I consider it imperative to answer the questions which the following challenges raise:
- The myth of perpetual growth. (I have yet to note any politician holding office who does not see growth as the way out of socio/economic problems.)
- The dire implications of a projected upcoming world population of 9 billion plus.
- The refusal to admit that the “War on Drugs” has been a disaster. (Nearly four generations ago the US abandoned Prohibition — without any of the predicted disastrous effects. Why can politicians not abandon the equally harmful War on Drugs?)
- The dismal failure to take effective steps to provide jobs for the under 30 population.
- The inability to abandon the prison system for those who are mentally ill. (And the continued growth of the Prison Industry?)
- The unwillingness to tackle global migration problems.
- Placing “the market” in the forefront of tackling our economic problems. (Accepting capitalism as the only way forward in terms of the global economy.)
- The inability to face up to the long-term. (And the attendant resort to short-termism.)
- The introduction of technology without considering the consequences of robotics, genetically altered foods, space exploration, and nanotechnology.
- The unwillingness to recognize that religion has in many ways been a destabilizing force for humanity.
- A failure to impose a global ban on nuclear weapons.
- Inaction on the effects of chemistry on nature, specifically the increasing disappearance of species and the devastating consequences of spraying on bees, birds, frogs. (Not to mention the unrecognized effects of these chemicals on human beings).
- The hostility to permitting workers to have adequate protection and union representation.
- The growth of extreme inequality between rich and poor worldwide.
The questions which these challenges immediately raise are inevitable:
- Is the inability to face the future in democracies due to politicians having to face elections every four or five years?
- Is the irresponsible corporate system of economics based on shareholders getting their return on investment not threatening the continuity of human life on this planet?
- Is the lack of effective means of protest preventing the resolution of any of these major challenges?
- Is this impasse aided by a prevailing orthodoxy that “the market” should decide our direction and that state control is the principal danger facing us?
- Is the current breakdown of codes, traditions, values and morals irreversible?
- Is the sum of all these challenges not a prelude similar to what has been called CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, which is affecting bees around the world but whose cause remains to be diagnosed?
CAN THIS PREVAILING STATE OF BLINKERS BE ALTERED?
I welcome your perspective on this host of challenges.