The outlook for our future has been darkened because of the way we have organized our society. Especially in the West we have given priority to the individual over the communal, and the results are not encouraging.
Based on the observations that many individuals in Western societies have developed identity conflicts (which we diagnose as PTSD, radicalism, auto-immune and other diseases). I point to the ways our normal and healthy ways of dealing with trauma, typically embedded in a coherent worldview or religion, have been replaced by ‘substitute identities’ and affected by the identifications of the day. The underlying inter-personal conflicts (often sociopsychological) have not been resolved nor has the trauma been overcome. So now the West identifies with whatever currents the media, the politicans or their leaders invent, like the wars on drugs, on terror, on minorities, all basically wars on self. But the inauthenticity of it, aggrevated by social media, deeply hurts; the cohesion and the true sense of belonging is gone.
To counter this trend, which not leads to a win-win, zero-sum game, but rather a ‘winner takes all’ situation, unsustainable diversity and conflicts in ourselves and society. Thus, in order to counteract it, we need to go back to our to go back to studying how humans deal with adversity and trauma. Undergoing suffering and hardship is often a catalyst for change and the development of creative solutions. Yet another iPhone or Maserati or robot is not going to turn the tide, shift the paradigm. We have to refocus and rigorously assess the development models (like how we use play, why we need temporary atonomous zones and privacy) and educational structures, not only for kids, but for science. This will require a serious revision of the past, and fostering an appreciation of models that we have previously discarded as ‘primitive’, but have protected many non-Western cultures from the dead end of nihilism and consumerism, from our fake ‘progress’ and dead-end meaninglessness.