When it’s hundreds of millions and billions of people, it’s not so much culture and politics, as it’s biology and physics.
The world is breaking down across the spectrum in ways that will combine to defeat our usual tactic of patching problems as they arise, rather than the much more fundamental strategy of digging down and dealing with the causes.
This habit of patching has created a disjointed worldview that will be unable to sustain much further civilizational progress, as all the various institutional and ideological groups fight over finite resources. Since their positions only harden over time, it limits possible solutions to more patchwork.
An alternative would be to step back and examine the various beliefs and assumptions driving human behavior. This would not be a popular effort, considering the degree to which we are embedded in the various cultures, but it is one that could develop over time and gradually heal some of our more self destructive behaviors.
Given the need to step outside culture and convention in order to frame it, as well as incorporate a range of issues into a bigger picture, this essay is not constructed as linearly and sequentially as our thought process prefers, but more as cycles of conceptual expansion and consolidation. Which is how structure does develop. So it might seem like I’m pinging off a lot of different topics, but it’s about connecting the dots, in a broader tapestry.
Consider the people leading armies are called generals, while specialist is about one rank above private. The kids that would make good generalists are the ones interested in everything, as eventually they come to sense how all the various aspects fit together. Yet they are the ones diagnosed as attention deficient and medicated until their minds fit back in the boxes. Leaving this global Tower of Babel, where all the specialists are talking past each other.
The reason our beliefs would reflect a distorted understanding are both physiological and psychological.
They are physiological because our knowledge is anthropocentric. Like a geocentric cosmology, the basis of human knowledge is the human situation, as these individual, mobile organisms in this thermodynamic environment.