Since the days since the invention of the steam engine and the modern rifle our human world has benefited enormously from research and technical developments. Inventions of the past two centuries have been largely a great boon to humanity and society, however unequal and destructive they have been. Yet, accelerated change marches on. Our planet suffers from pollution and over population. People and our cherished institutions can no longer cope with the rapid changes. This kind of growth cannot continue much longer.
Rapid growth destabilizes our society and creates fear and desperation throughout the world.
We have now reached the point of negative returns. All of this progress has started to cause serious disruptions in peoples lives. Our society has become separated into winners and losers as never before. The wealthy are able to adjust and prosper with rapid change, while the masses can only struggle harder while falling further behind.
THIS RAPID CHANGE MUST STOP
How does research stifle progress? That depends upon the specific type of research. It also depends upon our progress towards a unified and cohesive society of caring people working and living together and embracing human values in contrast to material and competitive values.
How does research harm society? Rapid change distracts us from our real needs and research offers false promise of better times ahead. These better times will only be for the rich and powerful as the poverty gap widens ever more. We must be realistic when depending upon research solutions and ignoring the downside effects upon the poor and underprivileged. We first must consolidate and digest the enormous gains already accomplished. We must now focus on creating an environment which is more nourishing to humans and equitable to all.
We now have all of the science and technology needed to go forward and create a more equitable society. More research can be considered a non-essential pastime and just fancy entertainment. Funds used for research and development may be best used to achieve equity for all.
Materialistic and consumptive growth must be replaced for the sake of our shrinking Earth. Continued growth is mathematically not possible. The capacity of the Earth’s resources are finite.
Can humans adapt to a steady state no-growth culture?
Children did adapt in ancient times to a steady culture. It was their normal-culture. Our children can easily adjust to their new-culture.
The nature of the new culture will be determined gradually with each new generation and is yet to be determined. Ideally the new culture would embrace human values of respect, understanding, and empathy for the other. Each would be part of the society and contribute according to their individual ability and talents. The ideal culture would tend toward a socialistic model since all present political models are deeply flawed.
That is one dream of the future, and one vision of a better world. … What is your vision?