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Published:February 22nd, 2008 08:58 EST
Why is the world such a mess?

Why is the world such a mess?

By SOP newswire

Part I
Since the 17th century the world has been set on a deeply negative course. War has been continuous and ever more destructive. There have been repeated episodes of attempted and successful genocide. The transatlantic slave trade, slavery in the Americas, and European colonial rule in Asia and Africa, saw savagery on a scale unparalleled in history. A world in which living standards were roughly on par everywhere came to be sharply divided between a small affluent elite and and billions of wretchedly poor people. Science, once the harbinger of a hopeful future, spawned technologies that poisoned every part of the planet with industrial pollutants and subjected the natural environment to such broad assault that its capacity to sustain life is being rapidly eroded: species are becoming extinct now at a rate not seen since the dinosaurs disappeared.

Why is this happening?

This post is the byproduct of a discussion on an Indian email listserv about the predatory nature of much of the economic development that is taking place in India and China. I offered the opinion that our problems were rooted in the nature of industrial civilization, and that there was a Gandhian alternative. Being then asked to spell out that alternative, I came up with the following. The first part of the piece explains why industrial civilization is at the root of our problems; the second suggests how we can escape it.
Source: Bhaskar Menon-undiplomatic times