Modernity – A World of Contradictions

Modernity brought changes such as rapid dissemination of information along with equally rapid dissemination of technological innovations and scientific knowledge, mutually beneficial inter-dependency in trade, massive traveling and inflow of immigrants, and most importantly the emergence of a global sense of citizenship in addition to the local tribal loyalties we express.

These developments are making us more able to cooperate in solving dangerous global problems we ourselves have created, like:  damage to biodiversity, global warming and pollution, and the most serious of them all — which greatly contributes to suffering and resentment by the majority of individuals through out the world — the gross economical disparity. Presently eight individuals in the world own half of the wealth! One in New York owns $40 billion. This is $1 million a day for 140 years!

Unfortunately, the pressures on societies and individuals these developments have brought are triggering the rise of malevolent tribalism, racism, and xenophobia. Opportunistic leaders recruit and promote such malevolent tribalism for power and influence. Thus, many tribes/nations now circle their wagons, as it were, feeling under siege, feeling insecure expressing their insecurities as racism, and even paranoiac hostile nationalism.

On the other hand, Xi Jinping — the current leader of China, a nation made up of one billion three hundred sixty million people — is aware of the problem and is ready to face it. He reassured the audience recently meeting in Davos, Switzerland — an audience made up of world leaders, influential super rich captains of the industry, and renowned economists — that he is determined to promote benevolent globalism, cooperation, and mutuality for the benefit of all. Angela Merkel, the enlightened and level headed leader of Germany, works equally hard towards the same goal.

Unfortunately, as a result of the above-mentioned rapid changes and parallel to the benefits of global cooperation, the co-occurring heightening of a malevolent tribalism with its confrontational nature may create the circumstance resulting in third world war, not only  ending up possibly to our own extinction but also to the extinction of every other living thing on this planet. It is important for us all to reflect on this current developments of modernity and be weary of calls to racism and vicious nationalism and be equally weary and suspicious of the motivations of opportunistic self-serving leaders promoting it.

It is important to remember that our country made up of 300+ diverse populations now has company. In addition to 1.3+ billion in China, there are 1.2 billion in India, 500 million in Europe, 150 million in Russia, 200 million in Brazil, and 250+ million in Indonesia all who have to cooperate and get along . That or the bomb next time


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