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Who is to blame for the state of the world?

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  • #254

    A friend has written to me and suggested that Western elites to blame for the sad state of the world. I guess the first thing to say is that this writer, as well as most people reading this post, all belong to the category of “Western elites”. Though there are of course many levels of elites. I don’t belong anywhere near the top, but I hope that some of my readers may belong at least somewhere near the top levels. The point of the question is really: are “we” to blame? And I guess the answer must be “Yes”.

    We haven’t been concerned enough to come up with solutions.
    Actually, we haven’t been concerned enough even to bother to study and understand the issues.
    We haven’t been involved enough to feel the issues from the viewpoint of the poor and disadvantaged.
    We haven’t been motivated enough to want to do anything to change the situation.

    Are others to blame too? Undoubtedly. But we can’t always do anything about them. What we can do is to change our attitudes and actions. So why don’t we?

    #260

    Prabhu,
    I think you and your friend are being too harsh. Frankly most of the time I feel helpless to either fully understand or do anything about the huge very complex issues of our world. I am not an economist, not a politician, not a philosopher, ‘just’ an ordinary citizen. I am not in the elite category you talk about.
    However what I do think is that we all bear some responsibility for the problems of the world because it is the accumulated small actions of many that most frequently lead to the problems of the world, not just the West!
    I can see shadows of the big issues in my little world and in this world I can do something. And if I do not do something to address those issues of greed, selfishness, anger, prejudice then I am contributing to the dilemmas of the West and the whole world.
    I will take the rap for not doing all I can do in my own sphere of infleunce. And I will also try not to point a finger to the leaders of scale when I am not addressing the roots of the same problem in my smaller sphere of influence.
    Leadership is tough …. We should all try it.

    #295

    Dear Sarah

    I agree! Good thoughts!

    With one caveat: we shouldn’t be too taken in by the high priests of science and economics and other disciplines, who seem to see it as part of their responsibility to “blind people with jargon”.

    Jargon undoubtedly has its uses – and, it is actually relatively easily learnt – though that is not to excuse every use of it.

    Briefly, don’t be put off by the high priests. Seek out those who set out to use simple language to explain. And there are at least a few of those in almost every discipline today. But don’t accept the explanations as authoritative: check and cross-check and, finally, check with your own intelligence and common sense.

    You will find that most things are not rocket science. Indeed, rocket science itself (apart from the mathematics) isn’t that difficult.

    Cheers!

    Prabhu

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