“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.”
This oft quoted sentiment, of Einstein and many others before and since, poses many problems that have vexed our species since the dawn of civilization. Prior to civilization and the invention of the idea of using money in exchange for labor (leverage), nomadic hunter gatherer communities prospered for about 98% of human history.
Socioeconomic disparity, and the intrinsic societal consequences inherent in any form of inequality, have created levels of unexpressed shame and internal insecurity that now helps to fuel our economies and creates a populace that dutifully supports the system of growth that capitalism requires, often to the exclusion of the requirements needed to foster the needs of we humans for growth.
Our currency based transactional economies undergirds, shapes and drives civilization, and are not subject to but fundamental to the governments, cultures, religions, legal systems, and hence the values of the citizens that populate civilization, which has now (quite unexpectedly from a philosophical and historical perspective) become an interdependent global economy competing for finite and dwindling resources.
The most common prescription to counteract our lack of understanding, and the problems that such ignorance creates, is to acquire more knowledge through education, experience, and through the discovery of new scientific knowledge and the technology it provides, to do what we’ve always done.
The ideas that unconsciously influence our current beliefs were spawned from philosophical theories, originating in Greek antiquity that inspired historical changes such as the renaissance, the industrial revolution, the enlightenment and the formulation of the scientific method which has provided us with the required technological progress which both fuels our economies and our consumeristic lifestyles.
Although few may be aware of it, we live in a largely dialectical world, (which was originally conceived of by the likes of Plato and his brilliant protégé Aristotle) on top of which our collective beliefs systems, economic theories and systems of government all rest.
The dialectical perspective of logic is rooted in three ancient axioms of logic that have been expounded upon by subsequent philosophers, including Karl Marx and Georg Hegel, among others.
Unlike the older formal logic which does not address the concepts of either limits or change, dialectical logic asserts that opposing forces exist (good and bad) and that they eventually must come into conflict with one another, which results in a change of the original elements (A+B=C).
Absent an understanding of the limits inherent in ourselves and our universe, combined with the belief that opposing forces achieve change through opposition of antithetical forces, it is easy to see how we have come to resolve conflicts, both real and imagined, through the application of force.
Similarly, implicit in such a mentality, is the accumulation of power and resources, competition for them, the application of pressure to comply to the wants of those in power and the general separation and stratification socioeconomically (and psychically) of the population, which has then has fostered the manifestation of the world we now live in.
Psychologically, a dialectical perspective produces feelings of inadequacy (as a result of socioeconomic stratification) producing an unconscious psychic “pseudo-need” to equalize ones perception of oneself, relative to the rest of society, to be seen and to see oneself as “Normal”.
Guilt, feeling bad as a result of poorly met moral expectations (assumed from societal conditioning and not self-discerned), builds up in the psyches of the populace manifesting in the suppression of natural physical instincts and urges, but is now experienced as “discordant feelings”, ultimately leading to the externalization feelings (projections onto others and the environment, instead of assuming personal accountability).
This sets the stage for striving, achieving and escalating levels of competition amongst the citizenry and the subsequent need for perpetual growth economically, which is a mandatory condition in today’s global economic system. These two phenomena, which would not otherwise exist were it not for the incomplete theoretical underpinnings inchoate used to develop the system in general use.