The root causes of the challenges to world-change
First we look to the divergence after 1800 (start of the industrial revolution) between the industrial and the other countries on the planet. At that time the material situation in Europe, Asia, Africa and America were similar: about 70% or more of the population worked in agriculture on the fields and their standard of living differed more by the fertility of the local ground than their status (serfdom, etc).
Then came the industrial revolution with its rapid development in less than 200 years until a material factor of about 100. And simultaneously we find an incredible spread of income and wealth in Western countries.
Today, because of globalization, we experience a race of he poorest countries to catchup. Within these countries a large part of the population still live as the whole world did before 1800. We witness an increasing convergence of the countries – and at the same time a spread inside of them.
This does not only refer to the material development of mankind in the last 200 years. In all the 9 areas changes occurred, caused by technical progress and simultaneous changes in our thinking – by the increasing self-determination of people, as well as thoughts of democracy and withdrawal from religion, along with changes in values.
Here we come to the root-causes of most of our sufferings in the 9 areas: the human being himself with his many weaknesses (besides his strengths e.g. voluntary work), his dark sides and his irrationality, his propensity for corruption. We don’t need conspiracy theories which make us feel powerless. Wise men in the past have proclaimed this insight: There is one main root-cause for our problems and it is not helpful to project this cause onto other people and categories like politicians, bankers, Americans, major corporations, etc. We all bear the same characteristics as these people.
Even religion, often in the guise of fundamentalism, can be counted in in the category of challenges created by human beings. Actually this can be felt in area 3 of the problems (terrorism).
The next important factor in the systemic context of several problem-areas is the issue of jobs, which is constituting a source of income in modern society based on the division of labor. In many countries there is a lack of jobs, despite the needs of the population and the capacity (and knowledge) to produce more prosperity. This has yet to be resolved. All the while the technical progress continues, replacing human work by machines (and robots), which should serve humanity…. We will address solutions on sub-pages of this website.
Lack of education is the next cause on our list. This lack is also systemically connected to challenge 1, poverty. Rich societies can spend more for education. Was not the big jump of the industrial countries due to compulsory schooling? Before, in all countries and cultures only 1% of the population received an education – the elite! Education therefore is the source of prosperity, and likely also for better health. And education can help to overcome our human weaknesses. By more awareness of our problems, by democracy, participation of the citizen – to the matters of discrimination & gender, up to ecology and our habits in the use of waste and plastics. Education is also an approach to reducing population growth, which in some countries offsets all efforts to increase prosperity and health care.
Of course there are some more causes which do no correspond to those 3 mentioned above. There is the danger of climate change, which shall be solved technically. But there also is a positive effect: We humans become conscious that we are not alone on the planet and our problems can no longer strictly be solved nationally. The climate problem shall disappear by low priced and decentralized solar power and low prized energy storage. Without political measures and sacrifice.
The issue of inequality of humans could be singled out as a topic of its own, or it can simply be part of the No.1, the human factor. It is sufficient to concentrate on the above mentioned 3 main causes of our problems.
A look at the trends and changes on the planet will elucidate more. In the center is the fact that most of the problems cannot be solved nationally anymore (climate, water, taxes, data security, regulations, etc). There are more: technology, digitalization, explosion of knowledge, and the merging of all people and nations by population growth, the exchange of goods and services and tourism. Furthermore there is progress in health care, including the costs, together with rising life expectancy and its demographic impact.
And a special subject, which is part of the human factor, is our permanent change in values of human life together, of the communication and bonding capacity of male and female, with the trend to the modern nuclear family caused by some of the mentioned trends.
There are obstacles to tackling many important causes, e.g. if states are too weak or too poor. If corruption is prevalent, or even leads to organized criminality. Not to forget the issues of power, elites and the establishment.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that there is a prominent distrust in humans of rescuers from above or from outside, as well as the issue of justice and equality in connection with some cultural problems. Questions arise in relation to material growth and globalization.
Further links to more details of the causes
Development since 1800: Divergence, spreading, convergence
Central cause: Human being
Jobs and income sources
Education and continuing education
Inequity in the world
Trends and changes on the planet
Obstacles and dangers to world-change