Sunday, October 31, 2010

A small part of what it is that inspires my political/philosophical worldview...

(The following statements [backed up with linked citations], were given as response to a comment on Reddit which reached the front page of the "best of" subreddit. Since I took the time to spell it out and dig up the links... I thought I'd repost it here as a reminder to my readers of some of the things which I feel are fairly important. Most of these issues won't come as a surprise to anyone, but it's amazing how easy it is to forget about them as we go about our mundane daily lives.)

Almost one in seven people alive today is malnourished.

Hundreds of millions work as veritable slaves (not counting actual slaves) in sweatshops and mines for a mere pittance that barely sustains them.

Worldwide, two billion people still have no access to clean water, and water contaminated by sewage is estimated to kill 3.4 million, including two million children, every year.

Devastating wars rage not just in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in forgotten and overlooked places like the Congo.

Nuclear weapons proliferation continues as more and more nations improve and gain access to preeminently destructive nuclear weapons. It's not out of the question to think that they may someday fall into the hands of a totalitarian dictator or religious zealots.

The Earth is currently experiencing the most devastating period of mass extinction since the dinosaurs died off. And it is occurring because of the way that modern industrial humans live.

According to preeminent world scientists... global warming is already having noticeable effects and negative feedback loops suggest that the problem will continue to get worse beyond end-of-the-century predictions.

And while it's nice to think that human civilization has moved beyond serfdom... 1% of the worlds population owns 40% of the assets. And how many of the supposedly well-off middle class is deep in debt?

Nearly 2 million U.S. citizens are imprisoned at any given time with nearly 10 million people getting cycled through the prison-industrial complex each year. Most of the in prison are there for non-violent drug crimes.

You can try to ignore these issues (which will eventually catch up with us all) and you can play up the supposed hardships of sustainable primitive societies (much like the genocidal Andrew Jackson did [re: the U.S. $20 bill]) when they were actually living peaceful lives without the stresses of modern life until the westerners invaded -- but ignoring or misrepresenting all this doesn't change the reality of the past or the present.

You don't have to be a Chomsky to know that something is seriously wrong with modern society.