It’s late at night as I begin this tome with deep sorrow. I wish it were different. Though I have been thinking of writing it for many months now, it falls on a midnight on Tuesday when I can’t sleep for my own needs. Perhaps my physical condition will be accused of initiating this book. Perhaps my bloated feet, my shortness of breath, my huge stomach leading the rest of my carcass around the house as I rush to one of the three bathrooms here to urinate so I don’t soil myself; perhaps any of these are the trigger that explodes the bullet of my unhappy view of the world.
But what caused this change in me? Was it the need for open heart surgery to replace a malfunctioning aortic valve? Was there such concern for the outcome of the surgery that pushed me into this mood. Or was it the outcome of the surgery itself that did it? Or was I ready to spill my sorrow on the world, no matter what?
Whatever? As I look around my intimate world with the anguish it is now producing, am I seeing the way the world works and am unhappy at that, or am I seeing how miserable life is for masses of people and feel helpless, and am I forced to write my tome?
Thomas Friedman, author, economist, futurist, lectured on his latest book, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded.” The thrust of his speech was that unless major funding from the world’s richest nations was invested in the development of new energy sources to replace hydro-carbons, the earth would become hotter, flatter\, and more crowded to the huge detriment of an exploding population. And he held out little hope that any combination of nations would agree on a common course of action to deal with the problem.
By implication, he also had little hope that any individual or combination of individuals would lead to a sharing of the world’s extractable and creatable wealth.
In the firm belief that the power in the hands of the wealthy in their drive to acquire and protect their wealth ignites and moves the forces that determine who eats how much and who lives where and who obtains education, medical care, who enjoys the wonders of nature from the seas’ depths to the mountains’ heights, and the assorted pleasures of life on this planet as well as the manner of death on this planet, and in the firm belief that the mechanism called capitalism is the underlying activist philosophy whereby that power is exercised, I have little hope for the future I leave my progeny.
Before exploring facets of the future I foresee, I digress here to provide a positive alternative to that future. It is not unknown but its attractions are unknown to capitalism; “Humanism.” Although Humanism can and should replace greed as the underpinning of the world’s major motivating force, it cannot replace the joy and satisfaction of being wealthier than everyone else on the planet. Thus, Capitalism will continue to move and shake the world until Humanism provides greater individual satisfaction than its competitor. And that will not happen without a miracle whereby individual satisfaction comes from providing the greatest good for the greatest number of people on earth. The miracle will eliminate war and provide automatic contraception.