In my regular column in Haaretz newspaper, “Trump, Brexit, Terrorism, and the Hidden Link that Ties Them” The events and processes stirring our planet are linked so deeply that their root causes converge into a single reason.
Since 2008, the world has been hit with one crisis after another. If you look at each of them separately, you might think that nothing connects the 2008 financial crisis with the 2011 Arab Spring, for example, or the rise of Islamic terrorism with the stream of migrants inundating Europe and now the US. You might also think that the victory of Donald J. Trump and Britain’s Brexit are unrelated or that neither has anything to do with all of the processes just described.
Indeed, sobering up is never easy. But luckily, most people already see, or at least feel that the shifts taking place today are all connected. The truth, however, is even more stunning than what the surface reveals. The events and processes stirring our planet are all linked so deeply that their root causes converge into a single reason.
The Pursuit of Freedom
Since the dawn of history, humanity has evolved through various stages. With some fluctuations and irregularities, we evolved from slavery to feudalism (bearing different names in different places), and from feudalism to capitalism.
Now, by all indications, we are on the brink of a new era. As we can already deduce by the emergence of reactionary and nationalistic forces in Europe and the US, the regime that will inherit capitalism will be a fascist, Nazi-style form of totalitarian governance.
Incidentally, Russian communism, in my view, was not part of the overall stream of human socio-economic evolution since it did not emerge from humanity’s natural evolution, but was imposed upon the Russian nation. In a sense, they skipped capitalism and moved directly into the totalitarian regime, which they called, how ironic, “communism.”
The engine behind every stage of development was people’s desire for liberty and justice. The more people felt that they deserved to be treated as dignified human beings, rather than as objects, the more liberal was the economic system they established. People have always been self-centered, but at some point in our social evolution, the ego has intensified to such a level that our notion of personal freedom has turned into a feeling of self-entitlement. We began to feel that we deserve everything, even to exploit others, if we could get away with it. Thus began the time we live in—the age of egoism.
Generation Me, Me, Me
In our new era, the majority of the population shows at least several symptoms of pathological narcissism. Throughout the world, people have enshrined wealth as the sole gauge for measuring the value of people. People fix their gaze on their smartphones hoping to avoid eye contact with strangers. Throughout the world, people are lonely and depressed.
Alienation is separating people and communities to the point of hatred and sectarianism. In post-election US, for example, the rifts within the American society have deepened to the point where, according to The New York Times, Clinton voters refused to celebrate Thanksgiving with kin, even of the first degree, who voted for Trump.
Indeed, when liberalism becomes synonymous with dissension and separation, and neoliberalism becomes a euphemism for exploitative capitalism, you know that a change is imminent. We have gone as far as the ego can take us. From here on, we must either find a new way to develop, or race downhill without any brakes.
Nature’s Two-Force System
Despite the apocalyptic picture just described, we do not have to go downhill; there is no law that mandates it. There is a way that has been waiting all along for us to look in its direction. As long as we believed that the ego-path would get us where we wanted, we had no reason to look elsewhere. Now that things have changed, another way is emerging from the mist.
If we look carefully into nature, we will find that we can satisfy ourselves using a completely different paradigm—one that does not induce its own demise, but guarantees our perpetuation and prosperity. With the exception of humans, all of reality runs on a balanced interaction between two forces—positive and negative. These forces manifest as giving and receiving, connecting and disconnecting, inhaling and exhaling, day and night, and all the other opposites that complement one another. Without this balance, our universe would not exist, and neither would we. By exploiting others and seeking only self-gratification, we use only the negative force, missing out on the huge power that connects atoms into molecules, cells into organs, and human beings into societies. If we could tap into the capabilities of the positive force, we would reveal a new world of interactions and possibilities that we cannot even imagine until we actually discover them.
Even better, when we understand the nature of the positive force, we will see that we need not change a thing about our lives in order to discover it and work with it. All we need is to expand our boundaries. Instead of perceiving ourselves as separated human beings, fighting our way through life all by our lonesome selves, we can think of ourselves as part of a human system consisting of people who care for one another like cells care for the organism which they form together. Just as cells tend to one another, provide each other with oxygen to breathe and nutrients to feed on, a society of human beings connected in this manner would make the life of each individual within it carefree and joyful. If an entire country worked this way, it would become a heaven on Earth.
10,000 People Caring for You
In a previous column, I described the immense impact of introducing the positive force into society, even for a brief session, proving that it can befriend even the most bitter enemies. In this section, I would like to elaborate on the benefits of employing this force in our lives.
In my latest column, I gave the example of the way a radio receiver works in order to receive the frequencies of the stations we want to hear. In a word, to receive a station, we have to create within the radio the same frequency on which the station is broadcasting, and then the radio can pick up that frequency from the environment and play whatever that station is playing.
The positive force is one of connection. This is why it connects everything, such as particles within atoms, atoms within molecules, molecules within cells, and so forth. When we think only in the “me” mode, we deny ourselves the benefits of the “we” mode of thinking. The Connection Circles shown in the links above create a special connection among people, which “resonates” with the positive force of connection just as a frequency within a radio resonates with a frequency on the outside. As a result, the positive force begins to impact the participants. This is why they suddenly feel connected, even making Jews and Arabs feel as parts of one big family.
To tap into the positive force, we need not stop caring for ourselves. On the contrary, we need to extend ourselves and “include” others in our field of vision, so to speak. When we view society as an extension of ourselves, and ourselves as part of society, our perception of reality expands and encompasses our whole environment. When this shift takes place in a community of, say, 10,000 people, you suddenly have 10,000 people caring for your well-being. Caring for the community would become effortless to you because it would be your concern for others compared to 10,000 others caring for you.
The ratio between our efforts toward society compared to the efforts of society toward us is so overwhelmingly in favor of society that it would literally liberate us from worrying about ourselves. Moreover, we would free up the tremendous amounts of energy we currently spend on protecting ourselves from physical or emotional harm at work, with acquaintances, and even with our family, and would be able to use it as we wish. We would finally be able to realize our full potential without concern of failure or ridicule.
In a society that utilizes the positive force, there is no need to work in the sense that we know it. Even today, automation and robotics can do most everything for us. In the near future, human labor will become a burden on production effectivity. This will free us to engage in a new occupation: generating the positive force.
Like any new technology, we can expect the technologies designed to “harvest” the force of connection to improve the more we use them, minimizing our efforts to connect, and maximizing our benefits from it. The time that we will free up with the “demise” of labor and the improvement in our connection techniques will be used for spreading the technologies around the world and to improve personal skills and hobbies.
With a renewed sense of purpose in life, and an expansive vision of our existence, depression will disappear, and all the ailments related to it will vanish. Naturally, the same goes for war and hostilities; people have no desire to fight when they want to connect.
Currently, the future of humanity seems rather bleak. However, it is only so that we will find that there is another way—one that leads to new horizons that we could not previously imagine, yet are very, very real.