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Energy crisis, fossil fuel depletion, wealth inequality, mass migration, economic collapse, environmental disaster, political instability, nuclear proliferation, terrorism – why are governments and major international organizations so hopelessly unable to solve our mounting global problems? The truth is, that in an age of globalization, free-flowing capital, and banking without borders, government hands are effectively tied. Regulations or other schemes which might reign in the worst excesses of business and industry are rarely enacted or even considered simply because they would lead to cuts in corporate profits. Taken with the fact that governments in general are adept at drafting bad legislation, often operate a revolving door policy with business in terms of recruitment, and are themselves hardly paragons of best practice when it comes to energy, economy, environment or any other stress point you can name, we face an apparently intractable situation.
Some think the answers lie in global government and big thinking, others in localism and small-scale solutions, but while both are generally designed to sidestep bureaucratic gridlock, for many they smack of Communism, fascism, or some other ‘ism’ in which a largely unelected elite dictate the rules to everyone else. Through the lens of conventional politics, of whatever colour, it seems that we can have either unity or diversity, but not both. In the meantime, of course, our predicament continues to get worse, and as we look extinction in the eye yet again, we wonder once more, is there really no alternative?
Bumper music: Cliff Martinez ‘Traffic OST’
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