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There is a very narrow spectrum within which the human animal can survive and flourish! This band of possibilities includes the physical as well as those considered non-physical. We can broadly define this limited domain of the human universe as the ‘human scale.’ The heuristic definition applies to the social as well as the private realms. Neglecting these natural limits has costs. As usual, the existing modern world system, propelled by blind greed, has been stretching this ‘human scale’ way beyond its natural boundaries, with attendant consequences!
General dissatisfaction with the so-called ‘modern work’ is widespread. Substance abuse is also rising; from the ‘chat’ and alcohol abuse here in Ethiopia, to pervasive use of ‘opioid’ in places like the USA, the situation seems to be more or less the same all over the world. Elevated mental illness within the OECD, probably due to mass psychosis (20% of medical patients are mentally afflicted in the USA) and a clear loss of gusto for life (procreation is stalled in the rich countries) are amongst the unintended consequences that came about as a result of persistent pushing of the limit, i.e., the natural ‘human scale’! See Heddle’s article next column and others on page 32, 44 & 46.
The current dominant institutions (some built throughout the ages) have lost touch with the human scale. Gigantic projects with little genuine value or benefit to humanity, particularly in the long run, are given undeserved importance by the modern world system. Megacities that are at best troubling are flaunted as if they were heaven on earth. What is the attraction of living in a city of 20 million people, where transportation, housing, even the mere act of breathing is a problem? Living in concrete jungles might signify material wealth to the zombified, but is not sapient, establishment/market propaganda aside. As complexity is an integral part of such modern existence, the slightest disturbance can spell disaster. Recall that in modern cities things are crucially interconnected. Each and everything depends on some other thing, which further depends on yet another thing, so on and so forth. For example, if there is no electricity, then there is no water, no lights, no telecommunication, (no Internet), no services, (including critical ones, like medical services, etc.) Why are humans creating such unsustainable systems, when they know these things ultimately invite massive collapse? Well, it is because of the ‘money god’!
Worshipping money/material stuff is the not so subtly established religion of the modern world system. The metaphysically inclined creeds of humanity come only next to this all-encompassing belief. The profit system has absolutely no respect to the inborn spiritual inclinations of the dominant species. From the rich Moslems of the oil kingdoms to the current entrepreneurial Buddhists of Asia as well as to the indigenous believers of South America and Africa, to say nothing about the high tech generation of the Western world, the overriding persuasion in the prevailing world of modern humans is; money, money and money! Accordingly, money is now the universally shared god of collective humanity. Economic growth, etc., are all stuff at the service of the greed god. Blind and obsessive acquisition hell bent on destroying the planet’s life support system is the commonly endorsed narrative of modernity. In a nutshell, this is the sanctioned religion of all the nation states of the modern world system. Superficial concern for the wellbeing of the planet, hence life itself; is not the principal concern of the prevailing profit system! Just look at the absence of sincerity on the part of the global politicos, when it comes to issues concerning the planet’s ecosystem!
The sheeple (human mass) is constantly bombarded with phony narratives and entertainment so that it won’t seriously engage in the most important task in the world: to save humanity from its own self-inflicted destruction! Wars are promoted to benefit weapons manufacturers, including makers of weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical, nuclear, electronics, etc.) The institutions of so-called learning, do not critique this insanity, but rather produce unthinking drones to be used as mere cogs in the giant destructive wheel. To recap; weapons of mass destruction that are flaunted as if they were miracles, (by the dominant interests) are items that are way beyond the human scale. Modern existence that is discouraging the perpetuation of life, because it is out of whack with the human scale, (in more ways than one) is a consequence of overshoot. Disrupted human scale!
Salvation to the planet as well as humanity (also other lives) lies in recognizing the inherent and almost relatively unchanging nature of the human animal, i.e., the human scale! Excessive greed must be tempered and tempered soon. To this end, the global commons must be respected and valorized. These include the atmosphere, the oceans, the planet’s landmasses and all the lives within them, etc. etc.! Human induced climate change is real. Unless we stop what we are currently doing and restrict ourselves to the human scale, changes that will come about might well be beyond our capacity to mitigate them!
“A system that suppresses dissent is fault-intolerant, ignorant and fragile. Any event that does not respond to centralized, rationalized policy creates unintended consequences that throw the centralized mechanism into disarray. Lacking dissent and redundancy, the system piles on one haphazard, politically expedient “fix” after another, further destabilizing the system.” Nassim Taleb (mathematician and contrarian financial investor) Good Day!