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The Big Answer


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Crystal Globe: The Haves and Have-Nots of the New World Order

a book by Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies

(our site's book review)

Overpopulation causes many of Earth's other problems—it's a major contributor to war and environmental destruction
Overpopulation causes many of Earth's other problems—it's a major contributor to war and environmental destruction

This 1991 book looks at world problems like AIDS, poverty, overpopulation, debt, lack of birth control, etc. The most depressing part of it is a toss-up between the following two facts:

The new generation of Japanese have little or no values that look favorably on contributing to society, nor do they have strong work ethics—all of this is a total turnaround from the old generation there, who were just the opposite. Apparently all the materialism in Japan has corrupted the morals of the young, although some of them would say that they watched their parents work themselves to death and they’re simply more interested in enjoying life. This sounds like 1960s America. It’s too bad the young there couldn’t combine a strong work ethic and a strong motivation not to overdo it but to make sure they also enjoy life, sort of like the position our baby boomers ended up taking.

Japanese
Japanese

The other depressing fact is that the poor countries—especially Africa—keep getting poorer, AIDS keeps increasing there, and they keep acting in ways that make the problem worse. Women have as many kids as possible as a cheapo Social Security system to care for the elderly. Few people use condoms because they either consider it a white conspiracy to slow down black population growth, or because they find it an affront to their pride and it violates their traditions, or because the Vatican and American right-wingers thwart birth control and family planning at every turn.

Africa
Africa

So everyone gets poorer and sicker and the more medical help is sent to Africa, the more the population increases and the more starvation and misery prevail. In other words, it’s a real basket case. Only a fool would find a way to blame the richer countries for what’s happening in the poor ones. But when money that arrives goes for weapons and the food and medicine that arrives simply increases the scope of the problem by adding to the population, one can see that they are making their bed and they will have to try to sleep on it.

The Japanese problem will probably solve itself just like the American problem did: When those who rebel against parental values get hungry or want more possessions, they will look at the jobs going begging and choose the least objectionable ones for themselves.

When those who grew up in the 60s and rebelled against parental values got hungry or wanted more possessions, they got jobs
When those who grew up in the 60s and rebelled against parental values got hungry or wanted more possessions, they got jobs

The African problem looks as though it will solve itself in an uglier way. What they need is a small enough population so that there is plenty to go around even when floods or droughts do their worst. The way things are going, the AIDS epidemic may just fulfill this social need without anyone even making any changes. Once that happens, they need to use Third Wave knowledge on this abundance of land and resources to try to make a decent life for themselves. They’ll need to drop some old traditions and adopt some new ones to make this work.

If they prove themselves incapable or unwilling to learn from their mistakes, they may simply go through starvation, epidemic, war, poverty and misery cycles for many generations to come and try to convince themselves that that’s a life, even though on TV screens which they encounter here and there they can see how much of the world does not even consider such an existence worth living. Hopefully, the insights they get from seeing how the rest of the world lives will create in them the lifewish to actually change their attitudes, reproductive rate, birth control ideas, disease prevention practices, and, especially, the cultural traditions that are leading them into ugly cycles of poverty, starvation, sickness, refugees and war.

How many starvation, epidemic, war, poverty and misery cycles do Africans need to go through before they learn from their mistakes and use birth control?
How many starvation, epidemic, war, poverty and misery cycles do Africans need to go through before they learn from their mistakes and use birth control?

It does none of them any good to have people from advanced cultures, in an effort to be extraordinarily tolerant, understanding, unbiased and nonracist, confirm to them that they’re pretty much stuck with their “have as many babies as you possibly can” policy which is supposed to insure care in old age.

What if the people in Europe who wanted to move to the New World and be free had listened to the European aristocracy when they ridiculed their desires for a better life and for freedom? We do not buy the deterministic arguments that effectively condemn the poor to continue to live that way forever. All people are responsible for their choices. It may be true that no one is to “blame” for their plight there, and it’s certainly true that blaming the poor is foolish at best. But day after day they choose “custom” over logic, lust over safety from AIDS, convenience over precaution, bad risks over wise caution, and personal decisions that aggravate their own and their countries’ problems.

As long as the human mind and spirit are free and the human intellect is powerful and the human heart takes the risk of being courageous, there is hope of a better life. In truth, it will require small areas of people where there are leaders with the willingness to try a new and better way, dumping suicidal customs in the process, and people willing to listen to these new ways and act on them, in order to turn things around there. We can hope that there are people with the courage and character of Washington or Lincoln in such basket-case countries who will learn about the opportunities of the Third Wave from the media and lead a rebellion against the ways of life that keep their people trapped in hopeless cycles of misery. If no one can muster the character to act, and their traditions are valued more than their happiness, then the fundamental reality for these poor is that they have made a decision and we can simply politely and sadly accept their decisions and go on our way.

If some Africans in poverty are okay with their status, they become a nonproblem and we wish them well
If some Africans in poverty are okay with their status, they become a nonproblem and we wish them well

Look back into history: When was it ever easy to drop the old ways and adopt a new paradigm, new standards, new ideals, new lives? We’re fully aware of how challenging these changes will be. But, considering the alternatives, isn’t it really the only hope they have, and shouldn’t this fact prod them to accept these difficult challenges if they want a good life? We wish them luck . . .