The greatness of mankind is often quantified human’s ability to transcend known realities through technological discovery or exploration. This is an unfortunate narrowing of the potential greatness mankind is capable of, and it creates a distraction from mankind’s potentially greatest achievements. Man’s greatest future possibilities still lie in his ability to conquer self and transcend the inner deficits that are present.
As the future continues to reveal itself, mankind’s ability to conquer self will shape what that future will look like. Mankind has entered the planetary phase, meaning that the fate of mankind is fully intertwined with the fate of the planet inhabited and vice versa (Raskin et al., 2002). A pessimistic perspective on how the future will unfold is call the Fortress World and is based on the convictions that large portions of humanity are going to be left out of the prosperity free market promises and widespread poverty will devastate forests and fisheries, erode soils, pollute water supplies, and alter the earth’s climate (Hammond, 1999). That despite the positive intentions behind the free market trade, the battle for the mankind’s moral compass will be lost to profit hunger and people will be left out. This may be an increased possible reality of unattended crisis occurs causing a tragic retreat from civilized norms where elites in protected fortresses keep out the impoverished majority or disorder becomes widespread as the institutions breakdown (Raskin, 2008).
It is also possible endeavors such as free markets create a global climate where markets and private enterprise help create prosperity across the board and improve human welfare overall (Hammond, 1999). Principles that embrace the value of every human life become dominant in the global village and mankind shares in the possibilities available.
How can global cultures find common ground on valuing all people equally?
Hammond, A. (1999). 3 Global Scenarios: Choosing the World We Want. The Futurist, vol. 33(iss. 4), pp.38–43.
Raskin, P., Banuri, T., Gallopín, G., Gutman, P., Hammond, A., Kates, R., & Swart, R. (2002). The Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of Times Ahead. ResearchGate. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273698260_The_Great_Transition_The_Promise_and_Lure_of_Times_Ahead
Raskin, P. D. (2008). World lines: A framework for exploring global pathways. Ecological Economics, 65(3), 461–470. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2008.01.021