Rethinking our institutions in the context of regaining the opening to freedom is one way of looking at the task.
This is certainly a time of tension. We have missed the obvious point – that we should have been creating an environment good for growing people across generations, in communities, and families. As a society, we are unable to deliver compassion where it is needed. We need an economy that will support an ecology so that we will be healthy and educated, and in love with life. But to do this we need a vision of where we are trying to get to. Our current world situation, including people, land and all that is spread out around us, is not doing well. We need an approach which nurtures the world and its people, not just an enabler of an elite.
We need to manage the globe for the benefit of humanity. No person or group should be marginalized. Can we learn to balance decentralization and centralization?
We need an image of where we are going. The last 100 years plus have been dominated by images of tech city, gleaming chrome, concrete, dead. What if we turned it around, focusing on the biological, the plant and animal, the scenic and parkland view? The proposal is to shift our efforts from a mechanical tech-based civilization to a biological, psychological and socially focused civilization. Technology will be necessary, even attractive and fun – but needs to be managed into relationships with the rest. Can we reduce privilege and increase compassion?
Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom, written at the beginning of WW2, Made it clear that we had created a culture with opportunities for new human freedom, but through narrowness of vision we were missing the opportunity. He was writing in a different time but this time, our time, raises the same questions.