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Civilisational Challenge


Never has humanity had the levels of education across all societies as today. Its understanding of nature, the physical forces, the cosmos has expanded to a level that it comes as a surprise people still cannot understand what is necessary for the general good. An example of this would be the denial of climate change and the refusal to take the steps necessary to mitigate it. Science and Technology have provided the means, while the world as a whole has the money to finance the required change.

Similar other challenges also continue to threaten the very existence of humanity. The actions of a few, the personal ambitions of individuals, have led to the entirely avoidable wars being fought, not just between little known tribes, but also advanced nations that should know better. Even long held conventions that provide hope of a civilised resolution of conflicts, such as the diplomatic immunity accorded to embassies, are being violated. There are those who talk of nuclear warfare, and do not hesitate to endanger nuclear plants despite the possibility of Chernobyl like disasters. This is presently the case in the Ukraine-Russian conflict.

At a time when there is a rational understanding of life and its systems, there is an extraordinary growth of religious fundamentalism. Modern technology has given the power to persons who would otherwise have been limited to the village, to radicalise individuals and societies across the globe. Simple common sense even does not prevent humanity from providing such people modern weapons with which they cause havoc across the world. The Taliban, the Houthis, et al, have been provided the means to threaten global economic and social networking. The institution established to manage and promote international cooperation and peace, the United Nations, has never been less functional than the present.

And, extraordinarily, even where there are well-established systems of governance that maintain peace, be they democracies or even autocracies, there is a lack of appreciation of what has been achieved. People are willing to abandon what has been created over generations because of petty differences and downright greed. It is a failure of the leaders that they cannot communicate to people the danger that can emerge from ‘mistakes committed in the moment that would be repented over the ages’. The ancient Indians, the Greeks, had conventions even during times of war that allowed civilised behaviour. And, in the present ‘advanced’ age, even the basics are not being followed. Can there be hope for humanity under the circumstances?