In my lifetime the population of the world has almost quadrupled from 2 billion to almost 8. At 85, I hope for a few more healthy years during which time human numbers could well reach more than 8 billion.
Look at this chart and you see that number could be reached by 2020 or slightly beyond.
The events in Paris on the night of November 13th 2015 were beyond in worldwide significance the events of 911.
We are well into a new phase more deadly and more urgently in need of solutions than ever before in the history of humanity.
That the extremists of one sect can reach this level shows that the effects of this vast population explosion have been sublimated to the point of now literally exploding.
The blame game is useless. But this phenomenon at least suggests a description. We now have huge numbers of humans who we could consider “unpasteurized”, namely brought into this world and given no chance for assuming lives that have any prospect of being safe, productive or even livable by any standard we in developed nations might set.
Even the poorest among us are not beset by conditions in too many places around the globe as tolerable.
Oh, we know Osama was from an elite background and those defecting to ISIS are not from such poverty stricken, desperate places. No, these mostly young idealists have been infected by religious fervor and by the clever manipulation of power mad zealots, whose ambitions remind us of Hitler, Stalin and other dictators of yore.
So we now have injected into this flammable mass of roiling humanity the religions of violence. This chain of violence continued in Paris and will clearly be coming to the USA and other developed nations to a greater degree than up to now.
What to do? The solutions will be so multiple making any attempt here to suggest them premature and likely errant, but in the main we are talking about expanded violence and war on a scale and unlike any seen so far in human history.
Clearly the human freedoms we as Americans have enjoyed are hugely threatened.
Any objective analyst must confront the facts that all religions have had and will continue to have great influence on this present situation. Not only the so called “radical” representatives, but also the entire sects whose powers have long been focused on increasing their secular influence.
The perfect examples of course are the long time efforts of the Catholic Vatican (i.e., reproductive rights and immigration) and the 2 major Moslem sects whose control of women has meant their lack of freedom and their restricted ability to assume significant roles in too many institutions which control too much of the secular life of all countries.
While one can “blame” the inventor of penicillin for cutting death rates and thus enabling the population explosion, it is clear that such a foolish conclusion ignores the feckless behavior of too many leaders laden too long with the policies imposed by religious baggage.
The curse of monotheism, namely saying “My God is better than your god” and the claim of a direct line to God such as at least one leading candidate for President of the US has made shows how deeply this curse of religion has infected human behavior.
Can humans on this planet bail out of the current situation without massive killing such as would be generated by a possible nuclear war or simply the internal breakdown of human rights that would lead us into a world such as 1984 or Brave New World?
It will be up to the wisest kind of humanistic leadership to slip this deadly noose and make every attempt to pasteurize or un-traumatize the masses of humans now infected. So many, for reasons clearly justified to these pursuers who are wildly, viciously, mindlessly hurtling toward survival in places in the world where life has become intolerable are motivated to join power blocs which can offer marginally better futures.
In short will the clear majority of the world’s humans be able to find enlightened leaders who will step forward , take action and enact policies that could defuse the current radical religious madness?
Yes, military action to counter what is now so dangerously in play will be a feature of required actions, but the more restrained world leadership can be will measure how much personal freedom we can retain down the road.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Real Time with Bill Maher: Why Do They Hate Us? (HBO)
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