The previous century was fraught with social experiments, which cost us heavily. Twice humanity became embroiled in world wars, tens of millions of lives were lost, as hundreds of millions lost their loved ones and their livelihood. In the second decade of the previous century, we tilted to the extreme left, with communist Russia. Some two decades later, much of Europe took a sharp turn to the right, with the emergence of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
In the middle of the century, after two world wars proved that neither extreme works, we went for capitalism and the United States became the world leader. With capitalism, we thought we’d found the answer. It basically ignored ideologies and allowed both democratic America and communist China to become capitalist superpowers. Instead of consecrating ideologies, it venerated money. And since everyone loves money, we learned to work together.
Yet, now even capitalism is failing us. The gaps between the haves and the have nots, and people’s inability to climb out of poverty have made capitalism yet another kind of tyranny: a tyranny of moguls rather than of rulers.
Today’s social tensions in America and elsewhere in the world, particularly in Europe, signify that capitalism too has run its course. We have no more options for government; we’ve tried everything. Now, either we introduce a new ingredient to mitigate the severity of the situation, or everything will collapse.
If we try to pinpoint the missing element in all the past regimes, we will see that it is caring, simple human caring for one another. All the previous ideologies tried to find the best social structure in a reality where people do not care for one another and exploit one another. In short, the previous ideologies tried to find a way to rein in the obscene, self-centered human nature. But since those who ran the countries were themselves products of human nature, their efforts were bound to fail. Now, for the first time in history, we are realizing that it isn’t society we need to change, but the people who make it.
If we teach ourselves to care for one another, it will not matter what form of governance we have over our heads. Our society will be good regardless of the government since we will care for one another. If human nature is the sore, we cannot bandage it or restrain it with a cast; we have to heal it.
And the first thing we need to learn is that diversity does not weaken. On the contrary, it not only strengthens, but enables life and evolution. Imagine what would happen to us if an organ in our body tried to force out or eliminate any organ that wasn’t like it. This is kind of what we’re trying to do every time we exclude another person, faith, or ideology. If we acknowledge the natural fact that diversity enriches and strengthens, we will find that even the most extreme ideas have merit, as long as they do not lead people to physically exterminate one another. Ideas, even the most extreme, lead people to question their own beliefs, polish their thoughts, and learn more about themselves. Without differences, we would be robots.
Granted, there is a lot to learn here, but if we start by agreeing that we are all parts of one, human family, then we will learn how to embrace the different, how to learn from one another and grow stronger, wiser, healthier, and richer together.
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