As long as all calculations, the whole methodology is based on constant quantitative growth, all calculations will fail. The whole paradigm politicians, economists and basically the whole global population is using, living by is artificial, unsustainable. We never fixed the previous errors, the previous crisis, we simply created more bubbles around the bursting ones, we simply printed more money to cover holes, and continue the cosmetic surgery while the patient is dying. It has gone to such extent that in Europe they do not even talk abut people, the public when looking at the health of a country, or effects of elections, they only talk about banks and the market. The world, societies have broken into pieces, layers. The rising social inequality and youth unemployment brought many nations to the brink of disaster, future election results, governments fulfilling their terms has become unpredictable. Instead of philosophical arguments about a system that has no natural foundations first we should understand the global, integral world human network we evolved into, which network exists in a vast, closed and finite natural system. The laws of this natural system, which we have been ignoring for a very long time are binding and if we truly want to build a sustainable future we need to understand and accept them.
Although I share the writer's opinion about the damage false prophecies, doomsayers are causing both materially and mentally, we cannot truly say that we have our world figured out. It is exactly the advances of quantum physics that show us that our present perception of reality might be very shallow, even false, and that the true forces, energies shaping, influencing, determining our reality are deeper and are working based on very different principles than how we live and examine our lives today. What the public is feeling and the media is sensationalizing is the loss of confidence, the loss of direction we all experience. What we learn through the global crisis is that even fully human made institutions, process, which seemingly worked perfectly before start falling apart, not responding to inputs, solutions that worked before, and all this seemingly without any obvious reason. I think the combination of the latest advances in quantum physics related to perception and the very obvious helplessness in our "macro" life experienced day by day should prompt us to start "going back to school", trying to understand the world around us, but this time not with the narrow focus of how to take advantage of it, but how to immerse in it as partners, as conscious, contributing elements.
I would like to challenge the opinion of the writer, giving it a twist based on the following 2 paragraphs:
"...Nationalist principles emphasize the self-governing individual, including the right to choose one’s social position and identity. But this liberty, empowering and encouraging the individual to choose what to be, complicates identity formation..." "...That is why the most open and freest society today, the Unites States, leads the world in rates of severe mental disease – supplanting England, yesterday’s freest and most open society. Indeed, foreigners at one time considered madness “the English malady.”..."
Maybe this was the ideal when nationalism was formed 500 years ago in England, but the above statement about nationalism, "self governing individual", "social mobility" has never been true for England and the US and it is even less true today. The English "class system" is as strong as ever, and the growing social inequality in the US and many other "free and democratic" nations make social mobility practically impossible. Perhaps the huge discrepancy between the hoped for, promised freedom and the actual reality, where people are not free at all, but are completely operated by the profit oriented consumer society is causing tensions, or even "madness"? Unfortunately as the crisis is deepening, and as especially young people have no future prospects due to astonishing youth unemployment, it will be easier and more likely that they can be recruited to extremist movements, violence, regardless of original culture, religion or social status. The only solution would be a truly open and free human society, adapting to the global and integral conditions we find ourselves today, a completely new education system teaching youth how to develop and survive in today's environment creating positive human connections in our interconnected and interdependent network. And of course as a foundation we need a different, mutually responsible and complementing, fair socio-economic system changing our very much layered, unequal communities.
If someone travels through airports anywhere in the world, especially through the US, or the UK, or Israel for example, or if we read the recent 'scandals" President Obama has to cope with, we can safely conclude fear and certain paranoia dictates our behaviour towards each other, individually or nationally. Even so called allies do not trust each other, maximum they operate on the "we unite as my enemy is also your enemy" principle, but they could easily become enemies themselves when situations change. A world based on this paranoid fear is a very fragile and unpredictable world, where explosions, conflicts, even wars could break out any time. If we add to this the internal social tensions, rising social inequality, unemployment as a result of the deepening global crisis, the quantity and quality of weapons amassed all over the world, we are looking at a very unpredictable and probably volatile future. There is no other solution for any of our problems but the understanding that humanity has become a single, interconnected and fully interdependent network. We are all sitting on the same sinking ship and only by mutually cooperating, and complementing each other can we solve our problems. We have to learn how to work together above our inherent differences, dislike, hatred for a positive common goal, in order to build a safer, sustainable future, in order to survive. And in this single, united humanity there are no leaders, "more" or "less" important cogwheels, individuals, nations, in an integral system all parts are equally important.
When a child breaks an expensive vase at home, he tries to explain that it was not him breaking it, but the wind, the dog, the cat or the long deceased grandmother.. the more poor child tries to escape his guilt, the more complicated and more dreamlike the stories get. In other words when we try to stubbornly explain, justify something unnatural, at the end we so overcomplicate and cloud things that even those explaining do not understand anything any longer. The basic situation is simple: there is no further quantitative growth possible in today's global, integral, interdependent human network within a closed and finite natural system. The human resources are already exhausted (unemployment, social inequality, unsolvable debt burden, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, emptiness, loss of future prospects...) and the natural resources are not far behind. We need to leave behind the present framework, methodology, tools and thinking and build new ones based on our new conditions, more adapted to natural necessity and available resources instead of the excessive, artificial overconsumption model.