Valuing the many

April 6, 2021

By Nate Smelle

If there is one skill that the human species has mastered throughout its history, it is the art of making the same mistakes over and over again.

The fact that war and terrorism are still part of the human experience in 2021 is proof that our species still has some work to do before our consciousness can evolve.

The 40 million people killed during the First World War was not enough of a warning for us to change our views on the idea of “might is right.” As the deadliest military conflict in history, the Second World War – a war waged against a rising wave of fascism led by evil white supremacists, Hell-bent on world domination – took the lives of an estimated 70–85 million people. Yet, despite the many opportunities to learn from our mistakes that this horrific chapter in our history provides, a quick search of “ongoing armed conflicts” or “List of terrorist incidents” online shows that we seem to have learned nothing.

Rather than work together beyond borders to eliminate income inequality, food insecurity, and environmental degradation, time and time again we choose to ignore the challenge of solving the crises we create, so that a tiny portion of a fragment of the population can continue to profit off of the suffering caused by our mistakes.

In reality, we already have solutions to these crises ready to go. As the root cause of both food insecurity and environmental degradation, by addressing income inequality and redistributing the wealth we have all earned in a fair way, we can make sure that everyone has access to healthy food and the basic necessities of life. At the same time, in order to grow enough food for everyone, a complete redesigning of our communities must take place. This means transforming our urban landscapes into spaces that are hospitable to growing food, welcoming pollinators, and life in general. It goes without saying, but this transformation will require maximum efficiency in terms of our urban design. This means building features such as living roofs and walls – now often considered a luxury – need to become commonplace in our living environment.

Therefore, in the process of eliminating food insecurity, we in turn must create an urban environment that excludes the feasibility of allowing industries and activities which encourage environmental degradation.

Sounds simple enough. Who doesn’t want to live in a world where everyone is: paid fairly for their contribution to society; has enough food to feed themselves and their family; able to live in a healthy environment?

Unfortunately, there is an incredibly small fragment of the human population who are content with profiting off of the misery of others, and the predictability of our mistakes. For human consciousness to evolve in a way that fosters a future – for ourselves and the other species we are destroying as collateral damage through our current way of life – we need to adopt a new way of living and doing business that values the basic necessities of the many, over the greed of the few.

To our advantage, the only barrier preventing us from overcoming this dysfunctional element of human consciousness is in our minds.

By employing a little common sense and learning from our mistakes, we can benefit from the lesson Spock shared with Captain Kirk in The Wrath of Khan, when he pointed out that, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

A simple lesson that everyone of us must understand as we tackle the crises blocking our way forward.



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