What would it take to improve the system and get off the path of catastrophe?
We must deal with
- Climate (global warming, sea rise and ocean death)
- Population. (Too many people).
- Debt (unpayable, a siphon from poor to rich)
- Governance weakness (representative democracy not working, can’t solve problems)
- Systematic poverty (housing job discrimination, racial markers)
- Automation (robots are owned, jobs are lost)
- Food (quality not providing health)
- Education (purpose has been lost)
- Health (poorly maintained and an environment that makes us sick)
- The use of social wealth beyond the limits of allocation through capital
The problem is, the standard approach to each tends to make the others worse. Job increase increases pollution which increases global warming. Automation making things cheaper fails to deliver income.
Deeper issues might have to do with culture. Can a society without a shared belief survive? So far looks like we are fragmenting. Treaty of Westphalia to the internet.
There is a possible shared culture: scientific attitude of honesty and comparison of ideas. Open interest in how things work and respect for facts. There is also a rising culture of compassion and concern for other. From Princess Diana to the multi million person marches against the war in Iraq to concern for migrants and children. Concern for health and parks. A kind of post christian christianity in the human feeling of christ, buddha, Confucius, maybe even the open heart of Islam, and many less well-known religious and spiritual achievements which lead to compassion.
But we are lying to ourselves when we confuse rising GDP with third world welfare for everyone. A rising income by 2 when costs go up by a factor of 4 is not good. A per capita GDP driven by the rising income of the top and lowering income at the bottom is not good thinking. We are using military spending as a way to do Keynes without saying so to sustain the wrong parts of the economy, and intimidating our own populations at the same time. We lie when we think we are good and they are bad.This is just lack of interest, lack of compassion, lack of imagination.
But lets face it, WE are not there yet. We do not have an emerging systemic approach. We have a weak culture, not of art and respect and interest but of consumerism and frustration.