Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is wrong with our society today?“
If we viewed human society a single live organism, then what would we see?
We would see that, in its current state of development, its immune system is barely working, and its cells and organs, which should be sustaining the body’s health, are deteriorating.
Personal, social, economic and ecological problems are all on the rise, including depression, stress, loneliness, emptiness, anxiety, xenophobia, drug abuse, suicide, income equality, poverty, climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, and although many people are trying to patch and treat these problems, the efforts fail to solve the problem at its overarching cause.
What is the cause of all problems in human society?
It is the human ego, i.e., the innate calculative mechanism in human nature that prioritizes self-benefit over benefiting others, which makes society’s individual “cells” each pull to themselves more than giving to others, bringing on the downfall of the entire organism of human society.
As cancer takes place when cells take more than they need at the expense of the body, so our society is currently made up of egoists each guided by an enveloping egoistic paradigm that supports the idea of success as becoming individually wealthy, famous and powerful.
That we are egoists is a nature-given situation, but the social influence and public opinion that supports egoistic goals and values is what’s wrong with society.
Nature functions oppositely to the human ego: altruistically and according to laws of interconnection and interdependence. It thus rejects our growing ego, and the more we develop today, the more we feel pressured between our growing ego that wants to detach from others, and nature’s tendency to connect us all into a single whole.
Therefore, the more we develop today, the more we enter into an increasing entanglement of complications, and it is all in order to bring us to the realization that our egoistic nature stands behind all of our problems, that it is an inherently evil quality, that we helplessly follow its demands to try and fill it with self-aimed pleasure at the expense of others time and again, and that any move to improve society requires first diagnosing the ego as the cause of all our problems.
Then, when we reach a widespread realization of this common cause to all our problems, we can start fixing it.
When we reach such an awakening, we will realize that there is no person, group of people, or political or religious orientation to blame for our problems. There is only our very egoistic nature, dwelling in each and every one of us.
How can we then correct human nature, if it is the cause of all our problems?
It is possible if we create an environment that supports the ego’s correction, so that instead of receiving for self-benefit alone at the expense of others, we would want to positively contribute and connect to others in order to benefit them, without any “What will I get out of it?” intent.
It is against human nature to give and contribute to others, but if we changed public opinion, our social and media influences, and also our education, in order that we learn the nature of humanity’s increasing interdependence today, how the human ego opposes our growing interdependence and also why this is the cause of all our problems, and that the way to resolve our myriad problems today is by correcting our connections to each other—creating an environment that supports giving and contributing to society, prioritizing values of mutual consideration and responsibility over competitive and individualistic ideas of success—then we would be on course to a monumental positive social transformation.