By Nicholas Kristof Feb. 6, 2016 (LINK to article)
"Millions of children continue to suffer brain impairment because of the greed of the lead industry."Funny how there is always someone else to blame, an individual (e.g. George Bush for the Iraq war), a company (e.g. Volkswagen for an emissions scandal), or a whole industry (e.g. the tobacco industry for delaying legislation restricting promotion of its harmful products).
What Mr Kristof overlooks is the bigger picture, which reveals the SYSTEM itself to be at fault, which ultimately - certainly in a democracy like America - we are all responsible and thus to blame for. However, this would involve much introspection and self-criticism, which we are not good at. We are far better at and disposed towards blaming others.
It is what the ancient Greeks and Romans did as their civilisations were declining. It is, I believe, what caused the decline and demise of all past civilisations, and will soon result in the precipitous decline and demise of our own, western, civilisation.
However, we are not all equally to blame. Most of the responsibility rests with academics, whom the rest of us, including our political leaders, look to as authorities in their particular disciplines at understanding the system and providing knowledgeable and moral guidance.
They make a show of providing such guidance (as indeed they must, because it is their profession and expected of them), but to put it bluntly, it's crap, on a par with the kind of guidance that a Galenic doctor might have given to an ailing patient, before the advent of modern medicine.
Western civilisation is like a patient with a terminal illness, which modern medicine would have no difficulty curing, but which the Galenic understanding and medicine of present-day social and political science academics will only hasten to his grave (continued in following post).
If I were to go back in time and point out their failing to Galenic doctors they would simply laugh and dismiss me. They wouldn't stand for anyone - certainly not me - challenging their authority.
And so it is today with the social and political sciences, which are still stuck in a pre-Copernican, i.e. pre-Darwinian, dark age.
Yes, "pre-Darwinian". And stuck, because, in overreaction to the Nazis having hijacked and abused the half-baked ideas of social Darwinism, a previous generation of academics made a taboo of applying Darwin's ideas to our own species, civilisation and situation.
The question is, can academics recognise and develop an understanding of the perverted Darwinian nature of civilisation, which results in a perpetual cycle of civilisational boom and bust, before the approaching bust of our own civilisation catches up with us?
The realistic answer is, probably not. But for my part, at least, I will keep on trying, in the same spirit, I like to imagine, that Britain continued facing up to Nazi Germany, even after the fall of France, when there was no realistic chance of victory.
On its own, Britain was, of course, in a hopeless situation, but fate, in the form of Hitler himself declaring war, first on the Soviet Union and then on America, provided Britain with two powerful allies, who between them were able to defeat him. I can't help suspecting that at a subconscious level Hitler wanted to be defeated and to take as many fellow Germans and Europeans (including European Jews) with him as possible.
I'm in an analogous position to Britain in 1940, hoping that fate (or Providence) will intervene and that soon I will have some powerful allies in academia.
Here's a primer (not brilliant, but the best I have to offer) on what they need to understand: LINK