Thursday July 24th, 2014             A project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes

Listening to the Voice of Humanity

June 16, 2010

By Steven Kull

This article was originally published in the Spring | Summer 2010 issue of Kosmos Journal

When we look at world conditions and project current trends into the future we see much that is disturbing--environmental degradation, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, persisting poverty and injustice, violent conflict, the fiscal collapse of democratic governments.The institutions that have the greatest power--nation states, corporations, and organized interest groups--seem locked in patterns of self-interested behavior such that the necessary changes are hard to imagine.

Yet when we look to the past we see that there have been remarkable evolutionary changes--the emergence of democracy, the abolition of slavery, universally recognized principles of the rights of women and minorities, concern for the environment, international laws against aggressive wars and significant efforts by thosein wealthy nations to address global poverty. During the run-up to these changes they too surely seemed unimaginable.

So what is it that brings about such shifts?...

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