Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ready or Not, Here Comes the Future

For the most part, historically significant events never happen in an isolated context, without the influence of everything else that happens before and during that time in history. Nothing happens in a vacuum. It’s because of this that the future is really not so hard to predict if past and present circumstances are interpreted properly, and at this particular time in history there are undisputable and clearly evident facts that we can string together to read the future more accurately than ever before.

Consider these facts. The global population has more than tripled in the last sixty years, growing by more than 4 billion human beings. Fact number two: most all of these additional 4 billion people live at an extreme poverty level in shanty towns, inside and around gigantic cities that are larger than anything that existed fifty years ago. Fact number three: television, Internet, and other mass media has become so ubiquitous that, despite extreme poverty, almost every disadvantaged human on earth knows about the high standard of living in Europe and the United States. Fact number four: human nature being what it is, every disadvantaged human on earth aspires to have what we have in Europe and America. Fact number five: in order for all of earth’s 7 billion people to live like we do in Europe and America, it would require the natural resources and energy production capacity of six more earth-size planets. And finally, fact number six: since we don’t have access to any planet but this one, we can expect the aspirations of the disadvantaged to play out in conflict between the haves and the have-nots.

None of this comes as any surprise to the people who do their truculent work inside the Pentagon. It’s the main reason why the United States spends more on weapons of war than all the rest of the world’s nations combined. The only question to be answered is this: are we really willing to exterminate huge numbers of people just to keep what we’ve got?

Every modern problem, from radical fundamentalism in both Islam and Christianity, to climate changes, and economic meltdown, and depletion of natural resources, and ubiquitous corruption in seats of power… all of these problems have their origins in the growth of population and the disparity of living conditions across the planet. And the secondary problem is that most countries including the United States are now becoming ungovernable, and most large corporations are unmanageable, and most religions are unreasonable. Welcome to the future.

No comments: