Saving Humanity from Itself

ARTICLE | | BY Yehezkel Dror

Yehezkel Dror

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Western Europe is condemned for relying on talk and cheap soft power, instead of acting effectively. It deliberately leaves itself unable to act against evil and does not even seriously try to prevent atrocities, as in the case of Syria. At a later stage, diagnosis is enlarged and the article identifies a surge in tribalism and populism in Europe and America alike. Given this situation, together with the leap in human power leading the species into an epoch of Anthroporegenesis, catastrophe is nearly certain. Saving humanity from itself requires transformative “taboo” emergency measures, such as moving towards quality democracy, developing a novel genre of political leaders, engaging in transvaluation, and assertive “soulcraft” advancing deep enlightenment of growing parts of humanity. These should be the priority concern of all who wish to mend the world, rather than the Millennium Goals, “prosperity” etc., which, however important, come second and third.

After plenty of UN “declarations” on the duty to prevent and protect and all events that have happened in Europe, the world stands aside from atrocities in Syria. This is a cardinal sin for which a Cosmic Court would condemn all of humanity, but first of all Western Europe, at least to many years in Purgatory.

With all its problems, including what is not more than minimal terrorism, Western Europe is a high-living society. But it lives on the edge of a deep moral abyss. Thus, nothing can excuse the screaming muteness of Western Europe in the face of happenings in Syria.

The moral culpability of Western Europe does not excuse the United States, China, Russia and other big powers. They are partners and accessories in tremendous crimes against humanity, by their action and non-action in Syria. But this does not relieve Western Europe from its special guilt.

It is Western Europe which procreated the period of Enlightenment and then the Holocaust. It is Western Europe which voices moral concerns loudly and preaches to others. But it is Western Europe which does nothing real when the bells ring in earnest. And it is Western Europe which condemned itself to impotence by relying on the fable of “soft power” in a world still dominated by “hard power.” Western Europe did so by an act of free will for which it is morally accountable. It has the resources to build up hard power for backing moral duties, but chose not to do so.

Now is the appropriate time for soul-searching on having a good time while Hell on Earth is burning with hot flames.

"Equity, elimination of hunger, eradication of epidemics and other Millennium Goals are important. But “saving humanity from itself” comes first."

Since sending the Epistle, symptoms of human regression get even worse. Worldwide, leaders and populations relapse into tribalism. Heads of what were the most liberal European countries forget all talk on “multiculturalism,” forcing Moslem women to wear bikinis, as if these are morally superior to burkinis. “I want my country back” was the slogan of atavistic British voters who decided to leave the European Union, retreating into a past which has no future. And “America First,” without a word on humanity, was the totemic triumph slogan of a democratically elected leader of the prime global superpower.

The peaking powers supplied to the human species by science and technology lead humanity from Anthropocene into what I propose to call Anthroporegenesis—an epoch in which humanity recreates the world and itself. But the powers of genesis in the hands of immature tribal leaders and unenlightened publics cannot but result in catastrophe.

Equity, elimination of hunger, eradication of epidemics and other Millennium Goals are important. But “saving humanity from itself” comes first.

Those who feel called upon to help doing so, including select members of the World Academy of Art & Science, should boldly break through taboos and work on what is imperative: moving from populist to quality democracy, displacing most of tribalism by globalism, bringing to the fore a new genre of political leaders, radical transvaluation adding duties to human rights and devaluating state sovereignty in favor of decisive global governance, effective soulcraft deeply enlightening increasing parts of humanity, and accelerating evolution of humanity into a cooperative-collective deliberative-moral agency.

About the Author(s)

Yehezkel Dror

Professor of Political Science and Wolfson Chair Professor of Public Administration, Emeritus, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem