Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

the group, or the individual?

A Salon article on the politics of global warming. Truly a case in which it would be better to be safe than sorry--if I had to pick one drawback from Capitalism, is that since each player is only focused on their own survival, they ignore the "greater good" which in the end actually ends up harming them.

Probably the most dramatic example of this in recent times is the greed of the financers/corporations that played a big role in laying to waste Argentina's markets recently. In many cases, even when the problems were created by politicians, politicians were actually responding to special interests... so sometimes the same game was being played by the special interests both overtly and covertly. The end result? A collapse of the financial system, and a loss not just for the society, but also for the companies themselves. True, many of them made a killing and took the money out in time. But some didn't. Now they are trying to sue the government.

The seemingly never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict is another example of this.

With this topic I always end up thinking of Carl Sagan's concept of "technological adolescence", in which the capabilities of a species grow much faster than its ability to understand them or use them properly. While this creates visible threats (nuclear proliferation for example) it also creates less visible threats, such as manipulation in the global financial system. We better start getting our act together though. There are much darker possibilities in the future.

And, yes, I am just re-reading this, and this kind of self-destructive behavior that all of us, as a group, seem intent in engaging on, obviously applies to other things, that while less critical are also a symptom of the larger trend.

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on August 7 2003 at 10:37 AM

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