Is our society in the midst of doom? Are we approaching a World War III? Many hypothesize about these questions, even to believe they can prove it, after all there is the impression that the things we are experiencing today are unprecedented and the worst ever. It is easy to get caught up in the … Read More
Is our society in the midst of doom? Are we approaching a World War III? Many hypothesize about these questions, even to believe they can prove it, after all there is the impression that the things we are experiencing today are unprecedented and the worst ever. It is easy to get caught up in the mindset of doom, even I have been guilty of this before. Our world might be heading towards a very negative scenario, or perhaps after any large negative event, there is always a positive event or events that succeed it. I would like to think that even if we are heading for the worse, there will be a time of positivity, therefore I don’t think it is wrong to look at the things that seem to be worrying because if those things ever touch us directly or indirectly then we wouldn’t be too shocked when they do. Besides, these things do happen in the word, turning a blind eye to them makes you a passive player, some like the term “sheeple,” to explain the a state of complete apathy.
Human slavery is fine and well, thank you
The U.S. government made history by passing their constitution’s 13th Amendment in January 31, 1865, creating ripples around the globe, until more 83 years later the United Nations’ article 4, establishing a Declaration of Human Rights, making it loud and clear that slavery and slave trade worldwide to be banned by member countries. Unfortunately, we still find ourselves in a rather precarious situation when it comes to slavery, according the non-profit organization Free The Slaves, the number of slaves today rages between 21-36 million. This is the highest number of slaves per capita. Slavery is broken down into three tiers: Labour Slavery, which represents 78%; Sex Slavery is about 22%; and Child Slavery, which is 26% of total slaves. The buying and selling of human beings have become a valuable and profitable business, moving billions of dollars in the black market economy, many claim the money flows through the veins of the most powerful individuals seating in the upper echelons of power. Of course, unless more is known and corruption lessens, there is little hope for this reality to cease.
About the number of illnesses that afflict us
I think one important question to ask is: Is it normal to be sick? Young or old, we all seem to be a target of at least one type of illness, whether major or “manageable.” Is it true, however, that life expectancy is rising across the board. The 60 retiring cap is being challenge with older workers even changing careering around retirement so they can continue to work. The worrying issue here therefore is not more people are dying as a result of illness, but rather more people seem to be sick now than ever, and yes, even for those who are sick, science seems to have found a way to manage that illness with a treatment. This is the case with illnesses like diabetes, nowadays even HIV/AIDS. A new study reveals that actually 95% of the world’s population is ill. The 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study has found that a third of those are afflicted by chronic or acute illnesses, where lower back pain and depression have been accounted for. The study shows that people are living longer, yes but we are experiencing more illnesses.
Many many active wars and human casualties
Nothing makes this segment more poignant and real than numbers. This is why rather than mentioning the active wars, I am listing them below, I think the results speak for themselves.
Current ongoing major global conflicts:
- Syria, Iraq and the Islamic State (Since 2011, Syria and Iraq, between 400,000 to 500,000 casualties)
- Ukraine (Since 2014, Ukraine and Russia, more than 5,600 casualties)
- South Sudan or “War on Darfur” (Since 2003, Sudan more than 178,383 casualties)
- Nigeria (Since 2003, Nigeria, 15,907 casualties)
- Somalia or Somalia Civil War (Since 1991, Somalia and Kenya, 500,000 casualties)
- Afghanistan or War in Afghanistan (Since 1978, Afghanistan, between 1,240,00 to 2,000,000)
- Yemen or The Yemen Civil War (Since 2011, Yemen and Saudia Arabia, between 6,000 to 11,000 casualties)
- Libya or the Libya Civil War (Since 2011, Libya, 13, 482 casualties)
Other ongoing conflicts worth mentioning:
- Kashmir conflict (Since 1947, Pakistan and India, between 43,781–47,000)
- Balochistan conflict (Since 1948, Pakistan and Iran, more than 3,679 casualties)
- Internal conflict in Myanmar (Since 1948, Myanmar,between 130,000 and 210,000 casualties)
- South Thailand insurgency (Since 1960, Thailand, more than 6,100 casualties)
- Colombian conflict (Since 1964, Colombia, 220,000 casualties)
- Insurgency in Northeast India (Since 1964, India, more than 25,000 casualties)
- Naxalite–Maoist insurgency (Since 1967, India, more than 13, 812 casualties)
- Katanga insurgency (Since 1978, Democratic Republic of Congo, more than 100,000 casualties)
- Turkey–PKK conflict (Since 1984, Turkey and Iraq, more than 45,000 casualties)
- Sectarianism in Pakistan (Since 1989, Pakistan, 5,137 casualties)
- Xinjiang conflict (Since 1989, China, 800 casualties)
- Ogaden insurgency (Since 1995, Ethiopia, 1,300 casualties)
- ADF insurgency (Since 1996, Democratic Republic of Congo, 3,053 casualties)
- Ituri conflict (Since 1999, Democratic Republic of Congo, more than 60,000 casualties)
- Insurgency in the Maghreb (Since 2002, Algeria and Tunisia, 2,764 casualties)
- Kivu conflict (Since 2004, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, 1,600,000 casualties)
- Sudanese nomadic conflicts (Since 2009, Sudan, more than 5,000 casualties)
- Insurgency in the North Caucasus (Since 2009, Russia, 3,131 casualties)
- Syrian Civil War spillover in Lebanon (Since 2011, Lebanon, more than 722 casualties)
- South Kordofan conflict (Since 2011, Sudan, more than 4,900 casualties)
- Northern Mali conflict (Since 2012, Mali, between 784 and 2,416 casualties)
- Burundian unrest (Since 2015, Burundi, 169 casualties)
Suicides left and right
According to the non-profit organization Suicide.org, over one million people die by suicide each year worldwide, the global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population. On average, one person dies of suicide evert 40 seconds somewhere in the world. Suicide rates only for 1.8% of worldwide deaths. Although the numbers might not sound too bad overall, specially when compared to deaths due to wars or disease, global suicide rates have been in the increase by 60% in the past 45 years. One interesting factor to note when looking at countries with the highest suicide rates is the factors for suicice, but among those countries with the densest populations right now, namely India and China seating at 22 deaths per 100,000 people. Japan is also an interesting case, last year alone, more than 25,000 people took their lives in this small island of a population of 128 million, although Japan is currently among one of the most developed nations in the world, it seems there is a lot of financial pressure by their elderly to immolate themselves in order to provide for those they love. Aside from the elderly, it is actually the young who make up for the most of the suicides. Currently suicide is the single biggest killer of men in Japan ages 20-44. The biggest reason being, people are losing hope and are incapable of seeking help. Some findings point to the precarious employment practices and short-term contracts. In addition to this dilema, technology might be making things worse for young people who take on hikkimori or a type of acute social withdrawal.
The practice of “shutting onself” is a worrying trend in Japan and it seems to be spilling over in other countries too. The frustrations arise as unemployment becomes a reality and the pressures of society to become a successful individual drive the young to shut themselves in their rooms for years, playing video games and watching movies, or being a virtual citizen.
Access to education is still not a given to everyone
As of 2013, the global adult literacy rate was 84%, meaning that about 775 million people can’t read or write and even more telling is that 152 million children are at risk of following on the foot steps of the grown ups, due the fact they too won’t have the means to attend an educational institution. Unfortunately there is a divide between the number of males versus females who happen to be the most affected. Malala Yousafzai made the headlines and has ever since been the face to make education a human right. This is of course in contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s plight to the U.N. to make internet connectivity a human right, of course Mr. Zuckerberg has a vested interest for everyone to have an internet connection because having an internet connection means the potential for larger user base for his company Facebook. The issue still stands that as the world population continuities to grow, world conflicts continue to disrupt societies and push families into precarious living conditions. A lot has been said as education as being the solution for a lot of problems, but in reality, it is really not without the need to change our ways this trend will continue. Having touched on the number of active wars above, it is hard not to imagine that as wars continue to worsen, more countries immerse themselves in civil unrest, bringing down structures of our society that enable an educational system. Without peace in a country there cannot be a real concern about educational access for children, when children themselves are trying to make the day. A similar issue is when a country is placated with issues of survival when poverty is severe children are dying of hunger. If these issues are not first addressed, it is not enough to make education a human right.
Our environment is just dying
I am not an environmentalist, in that I don’t agree or support the type of activism organizations like Greenpeace like to take part of us. I find that type of “care” for the environment to be cult-like, call it environmental extremism, another organization that takes things to the extreme is PETA, sometimes it seems like they care more for the animals than humans. To be an extremist about the environment if one thing, the truth that the situation of environment is worrying is true. Although, there are those who can argue Darwin’s Theory of Evolution would explain that if species are dying, this is simply fulfilling the idea that we live in a world where “survival of the fittest” is a rule. In this sense, we (humans) are the fittest and we seem to pollute and destroy our ecosystem, one we shared with other living beings. This includes, the rainforests, oceans, deserts and pretty much anywhere our consumption demands might have become a part of. Recently, the U.S. government has basically obtained fossil fuel liberation by producing enough fuel to not depend on Saudi Arabia, this is possible due to the process of named fracking, or the use of high-end explosives, filled with chemicals and water to cause gases inside the deepst cores so they can become fuel. In the last couple of years, many parts of the United States, and now the word, have become exposed to large amount of pollutants, killing humans, animals and plants that touch it. So, as if deforestation, overfishing, CO2 pollution and [insert the environmental issue here], we have things to worry about in this department.
Religious extremism is at its highest since the dark ages
The very regrettable incident of the burning of the library of Alexandria, during the last stages of the great Egyptian empire was indeed the type of religious fantoms we read about in history books, perhaps with some degree of amazement. Amaze no further, as the type of religious fanatism very much alive and well, 2,298 years later the Islamic State (IS) has been culprit of destroying so much more than those Christian fanatics did. IS has destroyed a lot of mosques, churches and shrines, but perhaps what hurts us the most of the number of ancient and medieval sites, part of the human cultural heritage, much of which became part of the IS control territory, some of these include artifacts and sites that date back from 612 BC as many belong to the currently conflicted Syrian and Iraqi territory. Perhaps what makes IS’ fanatic destruction of valuable cultural world heritage is the way they take pride on having the power and impunity to film and make the carnage available for the world to see. Of course, we know that the descructuin of cultural history is just one of the few things that makes IS one of the most fanatic dangerous groups of people. Unlike the Nazis, IS likes to identify with the teachings of the Qur’an and align themselves are being just workers of the will of God.