Critical Thinking, Swept Away In the Trade Winds of Our Times

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Critical thinking is in danger. It is a faculty greatly diminished in our society, as we nurse a hangover from the “happy consciousness era” during which people believed us to be the strongest nation on earth, untouchable, immune from the consequences of our actions.

But, our globalized operations had global impact. We can see it in everything from economies to pollution.

Operating under the old mindsets to consume, consume, consume, “He who dies with the most toys wins” may prove disastrous. We are in need of a paradigm shift, because we are headed in the wrong direction as far as addressing the core of very real issues (the most disheartening aspect of which is peoples’ inability to see the truth because of the ego-soothing effect of politics and media).

We pride ourselves on being a civilized people, but why is he promise of civilization?

Descartes developed the notion of the social contract – we give up a few individual liberties to society as a whole, because it can liberate us greater than we can do by ourselves. The same idea can be seen in Adam Smith’s division of labor which enabled mass production and the global economy we know today.

But, is that still the case?

Are we really getting the most bang for our buck out of our society and our social institutions that we give up our anarchistic tendencies for?

We are caught in the trade winds of our times, so ingrained in the patterns we have created that it becomes difficult to see a way out. Can one simply secede from society? Can we un-ring the bell of civilization?

We have to plant the seed of the future in the present.


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