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Bulletins Bulletin : Published and Discussed
Date: Wednesday, May 05, 2004
From: chintito816
Subject:
21st CENTURY PARADIGM SHIFT
Description:


Hi everyone... this is "chintio" aka... "chintito-darshonik" aka… "waheed816" Some of you may also know me as Mehdi.

I've never really published anything here on bulletin board. But I do read the postings from time to time.

This posting is actually my final assignment for my World Civilization II course, covering the period roughly after the Renaissance/Enlightenment (1750) to our present time. The topic to the essay was to discuss the current realities facing our world in the 21st century, and the changes we face for the future.

The subject to this posting was my title... 21st CENTURY PARADIGM SHIFT

paradigm: the basic way of perceiving, thinking, valuing, and doing, associated with a particular vision of reality.


We live in a transitional period of history. As the third world struggles to create industrial states in its attempt to modernize, the wealthier nations of the West and Japan are evolving into post-modern societies. As technological innovations accelerate the amount of global communication, a planetary civilization is starting to take form revealing daunting economic inequality between the developing world and the industrial nations. In undertaking the industrial effort, the developing world has looked to Western ideas, values, and assumptions and its principles of productivity and organization, leading to the decline of planetary cultural diversity and driving towards a global homogeneity of cultures. Moreover, in the world’s two-hundred year drive towards industrialization and the resulting population spike, we have neglected our mother earth depleting her natural resources and left her ill. We are at a crossroad in human history. The changes we face are painful, tense, and unsettling. What is required for survival is nothing less than a fundamental transformation in human thinking and behavior.


The economic inequalities within individual nations and between the third world and the wealthy nations of our planet are appalling. Industrialization and good government have given the citizens of Japan and the Western nations access to tremendous wealth. Elsewhere, in nations defying the logic of history and cultural affinity emerging out of the arbitrary borders established by Western imperialist powers following the wave of decolonization after WWII has lead to communal strife within and among heterogeneous populations in regions such as the Middle East between Palestinians and Israelis, Rwanda, Congo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India and Pakistan, just to name a few. In such nations warfare has slowed or reversed economic growth, while high population growth has slowed increases in per capita wealth. At current rates it would take developing nations 150 years to reach the average level of productivity achieved in 1980 by wealthy nations; such societies may not even have a fraction of this time to find sustainable solutions to dilemmas of mass poverty, overpopulation, and environmental degradation.


Wealthy industrial nations continue to expand economically while rural men and women in developing areas are integrated into the global economy by multinational corporations as poorly paid sweatshop workers producing designer clothes and electronic devices shipped mainly to markets in more affluent countries or sold to the wealthy elites in their own societies. Figures reveal growing economic inequalities between such regions and the wealthy nations of the world. It is estimated that the wealthiest one-fifth of the world’s population consume four-fifth of all marketed resources. The average American uses the resources of 24 acres of land, more than four times the world average, while the average individual in Mozambique only uses 1.2 acres. The average American buys 48 pieces of apparel per year, not including accessories such as hats, belt, etc, while the average individual in Bangladesh buys 1 new piece of apparel every 2 years. We cannot ask of those in the third world who struggle for food and shelter to contemplate their position in history and their respective duties to world civilization. The populations of the West and Japan have to unique opportunity and to reflect on such figures and thus, if only for our strong belief in equality, the responsibility to take initiatives for major structural redistribution of the world’s resources and economic opportunities.


The degradation of the global environment and the depletion of its resources is another reality we are required to grapple in out current stage in history. 21st century ecophilosophers argue that Western civilization, based on principles of growth and maximization, is racing toward a head on collision with the limits of what out planet can tolerate. Most scientists now agree that the greenhouse effect caused by the buildup in the atmosphere of excessive amounts of carbon-dioxide and other heat trapping gases has lead to a substantial warming of the planet in recent decades. If such trends continue the earth will eventually become uninhabitable by the human species for it will be submerged due to the melting of the glaciers in the arctic. According to recent estimates humans annually use 20 percent more natural resources than can be indefinitely supplied by the world’s 27.1 billion acres of productive land. It is certain, if such tendencies are not restrained, we will run out of fossil fuel at some point. As a result our everyday necessities that we tend to overlook such as pens, watches, plastic bottles etc. will be increasingly impossible to produce. Therefore it is not only our responsibility but essential to the vitality and endurance of our specie to become environmentally conscious individuals in consideration of our day-to-day rampant consumptive habits, for “it is wisdom to recognize necessity.”


Furthermore, recent research out of Britain suggests “that the planet could be on track for what scientists refer to earth’s ‘sixth major extinction event.’ The previous five extinctions were visited upon the dinosaurs and other denizens of the earth by the natural world, coming as glaciers, meteorites, or volcanoes. Bu the current killer is believed to be the planet’s two-legged primate tenant and all his fuel-gulping, air-polluting, habitat-destroying, climate changing ways. The British report and other studies indicate a steady global ecological decline, an eating away at the fabric of the biosphere,” the part of the world in which life can exist. “And if the biosphere is in trouble, then man is in trouble for… we, and the smallest gnat in the grass are linked in the web of biodiversity – and the demise of one is warning to us all.”


Man has two very distinct needs: material and spiritual. Insofar the Western ideas and institutions has done well to meet the material needs of its population, but concurrently it has failed to address man’s spiritual needs. Therefore, we must recognize and learn to respect the wisdom of all cultures, the ancient, the modern, as well as the wisdom of women, long neglected since the Neolithic revolution when man gained economic importance within the family structure due to the physical labor needs of agricultural life. We must live in harmony without living in uniformity in order to be part of our planetary civilization without sacrificing our distinct cultural identities, for we truly do not know what will be required for our progress toward the future. We must also acknowledge our place within the living community of the earth, our coexistence with the human as well as the non-human, and our responsibility to nurture our mother earth who has given birth to many great civilizations preceding our own, thought to be immortal in their own times, and has suffered the demise of all. One certainty is that the future holds great peril, yet at no time in history has it held such great promise. We are at the threshold to what the early 19th century philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) referred to as absolute spirit, when the world spirit, the sum of all human knowledge, will achieve consciousness of its own impact on history.


In light of such realities facing our planet in the 21st century, the individual is required a critical existential examination of one’s life. If we are truly beings exercising free will, then there are no absolute values or ultimate meaning for us to live our lives by. Therefore the choices we make in creating our own life is infinitely significant for we are totally responsible for everything we do in shaping our present and thus altering the future. For us to avoid a future reflecting a hyperextension of industrial values leading towards a world of nuclear waste dumps, poisoned rivers, unbreatheable air, and ultimately man’s alienation from nature, we must question the prevalent Western values of progress and growth. For if more is better, when will it ever be enough? What is required is nothing short of a paradigm shift in global attitudes in defining what it means to be human, a metamorphosis in the basic way of perceiving, thinking, valuing, and doing to create a future that is sane, humane, and ecological.


People Discussion
chintito816
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)

*"chintito"

Sb
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)

nice work

btw.. what r u majoring in?

chintito816
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)

hmmm... don't know yet, maybe Math and C.S.

balohoitepoisalagena
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)

atto sotoo

Rupu
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)



SRABON
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)

CHINTAI POIRA GELAM ATO CHHOTO POSTING KIBHABE PORBO

boc
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)

hi chintito darshonik..... onek din por dekhlam tomake....how r u man?

rimzhim
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)

Chintito, i really appreciate your insightful and enriched writing. I noticed your are a big fan of philosophy because it is evident in your writing. I am taking a philosophy course right now and guess you took it too. otherwise it's not possible for everyone to pull some philosophical concept in a history paper. Looking forward to read more of your writing.


Virus
(Thursday, May 06, 2004)

eto boro likha porar time nai... ..but thx a lot, tumi eto din por tomar namtar shubichar korecho..tumi je bishishto chintabid aaj tar proman pelam mehdi...

chintito816
(Friday, May 07, 2004)

boc
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)
hi chintito darshonik..... onek din por dekhlam tomake....how r u man?

>>> hey BOC, kemon achho? hope you're doing well. I'm doing well... gearing up for another big move back to the WEST COAST. Ja-e hok... thanks for your response. bhalo theko



Virus
(Thursday, May 06, 2004)
eto boro likha porar time nai... ..but thx a lot, tumi eto din por tomar namtar shubichar korecho..tumi je bishishto chintabid aaj tar proman pelam mehdi...

>>> bap-re bap! eto compliments! ki bepar, kono favor dorkar, na ki?? hahaha...
Anyway... kemon achhen VIRUS bhai? Onekdin kotha hoi na... asha kori bhalo achhen.

chintito816
(Friday, May 07, 2004)

rimzhim
(Wednesday, May 05, 2004)
Chintito, i really appreciate your insightful and enriched writing. I noticed your are a big fan of philosophy because it is evident in your writing. I am taking a philosophy course right now and guess you took it too. otherwise it's not possible for everyone to pull some philosophical concept in a history paper. Looking forward to read more of your writing.

>>> thanks RIMZHIM for your kind compliments... although they are a bir biased, wouldn't you say?? :)

chintito816
(Friday, May 07, 2004)

*bit

rimzhim
(Monday, May 10, 2004)

hmm........eaktu biased i would say but i am pretty convinced you know why.......lol



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