Artificial Intelligence., Capitalism and Greed, Capitalism vs. the Climate., Climate change, Distribution of wealth, Technology, The Future of Mankind, Visions of the future.
(Seventeen minute read)
It seems to be easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism; perhaps that is due to some weakness in our imaginations.” — Frederic Jameson, The Seeds of Time
The stakes facing our generation are much more than they first seem, because our actions might have the potential to bring about a far better world, or cut it short.
The shifting meaning of “capitalism,” and how societies hide their downside with culture.
We’re unclear on what “capitalism” is supposed to be.
- From the proletarians, nothing is to be feared.
- Left to themselves, they will continue from generation to generation and from century to century, working, breeding, and dying, not only without any impulse to rebel but without the power of grasping that the world could be other than it is.” — George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
Rather than us asking questions of this world, this world asks questions of us.
We need to listen to the world in new ways and hear the fundamental questions that it askes us.
WITH CLIMATE CHANGE – WARS – AI – INEQULITY. – UNITED NATIONS
ALL AT THIS VERY M0MENT ARE ASKING: DO WE WISH TO CONTINUE TO EXIST?
Might it be, then, that we have trouble imagining the end of capitalism because we think capitalism is great, and we’d fear that any alternative would be worse?
It is not we who are permitted to ask about the meaning of life — it is life that asks the questions, directs questions at us… our whole act of being is nothing more than responding to — of being responsible toward — life.
Have we been indoctrinated so that we subscribe to an ideology or a myth of capitalism?
All are questing, just what are our values.
We have an easier time imagining an apocalyptic death of the planet than capitalism being surpassed by a superior economic system, promoting equality.
Do we trust in capitalism on what are effectively theological grounds, so that the specious neoliberal arguments in capitalism’s favour are so many superfluous rationalizations?
Will AI Have a Soul? And does it even matter? Everybody uses the internet, but nobody trusts it.
The recent state of the world certainly hasn’t helped.
Even if capitalism is justifiable, it doesn’t follow that those who benefit from that system should be unable even to imagine a better kind of economy.
Neoliberals will say that we can imagine an alternative to capitalism, after all, namely the communist one that failed in the Soviet Union. But that, too, is a red herring since the question is whether we can imagine improvements to capitalism, not worse economies.
Likely, you find your smartphone handy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t imagine improvements to it. You’d prefer to keep your phone, of course, and you may even be addicted to social media. But science fiction is replete with re-imagined technologies. For instance, we could miniaturize smartphones and hardwire them into the brain.
Science doesn’t demonstrate that the quantity of life matters more than its quality, nor can science show which qualities of life should matter more than others.
How do I get people to do what I want them to do?
Unfortunately there are collective forms of self-deception.
Individuals, of course, can prevent themselves from reckoning with unwanted truths, in that they can underestimate obstacles, confabulate, procrastinate, and so on, unable to realize the meaning of the present moment.
“You can get everything in life that you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”
Give and you will receive.
Maybe there are social mechanisms that operate in an analogous fashion, protecting whole populations by steering them towards the party line. The analogue of the individual ego, or of the conscious self, might be the upper class that dictates mass media narratives, such as by instilling neoliberal values via Ivy League education, as Thomas Frank explains.
Societies have worldviews called “cultures,” along with institutions that enforce their biases.
Once large, sedentary societies emerged in history, so too did mechanisms for managing mass opinion. Religion was one such device, but we can speak more neutrally about “ideologies,” as Karl Marx did, to account for how we may protect capitalism, too, with myths and collective fallacies.
If you’re looking for signs of such capitalist myths, have a look at advertising, at how thousands of misleading slogans and manipulative, hyperbolic messages stream through everyone’s consciousness on a daily basis.
In the boom-and-bust cycle in which government spending alone can stabilize.
Capitalism is in runaway mode and must be curtailed.
The recent pandemic, natural disasters, wars, all shine a light on the inequality that exist and have existed since time immortal.
If we want a world worth living in and on, we must make profit contribute to PROTECTING all the essential values of life, not the pockets of the few.
Whether it’s turning promises on climate change into action, rebuilding trust in the financial system, or connecting the world to the internet.
OUR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY MUST BE TO REPAIRING THE DAMAGE OF CENTURIES OF GREED.
To achieve these objectives we will need to address a host of issues, with more than common sense but with trillions and trillions pumped into removing and protecting before the planet becomes uninhabitable.
The Earth’s average land temperature has warmed nearly 1°C in the past 50 years as a result of human activity, global greenhouse gas emissions have grown by nearly 80% since 1970, and atmospheric concentrations of the major greenhouse gases are at their highest level in 800,000 years. We’re already seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change with weather events such as droughts and storms becoming more frequent and intense, and changing rainfall patterns.
By 2050, the world must feed 9 billion people. Yet the demand for food will be 60% greater than it is today. Despite huge gains in global economic output, there is evidence that our current social, political and economic systems are exacerbating inequalities, rather than reducing them. Rising income inequality is the cause of economic and social ills, ranging from low consumption to social and political unrest, and is damaging to our future well-being. More than 61 million jobs have been lost since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008, leaving more than 200 million people unemployed globally.
To function efficiently, the system needs to re-establish trust.
The internet is changing the way we live, work, produce and consume. With such extensive reach, digital technologies cannot help but disrupt many of our existing models of business and government. We are entering the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a technological transformation driven by a ubiquitous and mobile internet. The challenge is to manage this seismic change in a way that promotes the long-term health and stability of the internet. Within the next decade, it is expected that more than a trillion sensors will be connected to the internet.
By 2025, 10% of people are expected to be wearing clothes connected to the internet and the first implantable mobile phone is expected to be sold.
Equality between men and women in all aspects of life, from access to health and education to political power and earning potential, is fundamental to whether and how societies thrive.
The growth of the digital economy, the rise of the service sector and the spread of international production networks have all been game-changers for international trade. Despite fundamental changes in the way business is done across borders, international regulations and agreements have not evolved at the same speed. In addition, negotiations to reach a new global trade agreement have stalled. There is a pressing need to reform the global trade framework.
Investing for the long term is vital for economic growth and social well-being, serious challenges to global health remain.
The number of people on the planet is set to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050 with 2 billion aged over 60. To cope with this huge demographic shift and build a global healthcare system that is fit for the future, the world needs to address these challenges now.
In short, the most pressing problems are those where people can have the greatest impact by working on them.
As we explained in the previous article, this means problems that are not only big, but also neglected and solvable. The more neglected and solvable, the further extra effort will go. And this means they’re not the problems that first come to mind.
First, future generations matter, but they can’t vote, they can’t buy things, and they can’t stand up for their interests. This means our system neglects them. You can see this in the global failure to come to an international agreement to tackle climate change that actually works..
We can’t so easily visualise suffering that will happen in the future. Future generations rely on our goodwill, and even that is hard to muster.
We all know where the Solutions are to be found – in how wealth is distributed.
We should go beyond the focus on reducing the global poverty rate to below 3% and strive to ensure that all countries and all people can share in the benefits of economic development. Nearly half of the world’s population currently lives in poverty. 2/3 of the population in low-income countries is under 25 years old.
The world is facing multiple converging crises — growing food insecurity, rising fuel prices, economic instability, and the climate crisis — and they are all hitting poor countries the hardest. With 349 million people across 79 countries facing acute food insecurity, this is the worst food crisis in decades. While COVID-19, climate change, and conflict have been major drivers, political action has also fallen short.
Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.
And we still wonder why the world we live in is going down the tube.
It is quite obvious that there is no point in been rich without giving – the power to solve some of the most pressing global challenges is not to be found in the words of the United Nations Declaration to end poverty in all its forms everywhere is Goal 1 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Because it has to beg for funds to implement any of its aspirations.
What is needed is a preputial Fund to create a World Aid system with clout.
HERE IS HOW THIS CAN BE ACHIVED.
We now live in a world driven by technology – Apps for this and Apps that – Smartphone – Algorithms running world stock market, plundering everything for the sake of profit.
Why not introduce a World Aid commission algorithm to collect 0.05% on all activities that produce profit for profit sake.
This funding could be delivered by non repayable grants prioritising adaptation re climate change, vetted projects to reduce poverty, food sustainability, environment protection, etc ( Unlike The International Monetary Fund (IMF) the lender of last resort.
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