I write about humanity’s problems as a species in all sorts of ways in this space, but really if you want to get straightforward about things all we’re ever actually talking about here is a lack of awareness of what’s true and the need to eliminate that lack.
A lack of awareness is the source of all our major problems, whether we’re talking about war, poverty, ecocide, corruption, exploitation, authoritarianism, prejudice, or even much smaller-scale problems like abusive family dynamics or the psychological suffering of the individual.
If there were sufficiently widespread and penetrating awareness of the contributing factors in any of these problems, these problems would cease to exist. All you’d have left would be the odd natural disaster and the inevitability of sickness and death, which would also become far less problematic with the introduction of more awareness.
Yes, from a certain point of view it is true and accurate to say that many of our large-scale problems are due to the fact that humans whose brains lack functioning empathy centers are most well-equipped to manipulate their way into positions of power and influence, and that the amoral nature of capitalism ensures that it will be dominated by those willing to do whatever it takes to climb to the top. From a certain point of view it is true and accurate to say that our problems are caused by the fact that things like war, oppression, ecocide and exploitation will necessarily continue as long as our world is dominated by a system where those things are profitable and human behavior is driven by profit.
But it is also true that underlying every single part of the dynamics I just listed is a fundamental lack of human awareness.
Why are psychopaths allowed to manipulate their way into power and influence? Because people aren’t sufficiently aware that it is happening. Manipulation only works if its target isn’t aware that they’re being manipulated, whether you’re talking about individual manipulation or collective manipulation via propaganda. If people were able to clearly perceive abusive power dynamics, their awareness of what’s going on would render manipulation ineffective, and they would use the power of their numbers to dissolve those abusive power dynamics.
If people were sufficiently aware of what their government is doing,