Progress and development threatened in the world


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Progress and development threatened in the world

  1. 1. PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT THREATENED IN THE WORLD Fernando Alcoforado * Progress means to move forward having as synonymous the words advancement and progression (See the online Dictionary of the Portuguese on the website <>). Progress can be defined as a cumulative process in which the latest stage is always considered better and better, ie qualitatively superior to that preceded it. In this sense, the change occurs in a particular direction and this progression is interpreted as an improvement over the previous situation. Thus, the change is oriented better. It´s necessary, that is, it cannot stop the progress and is irreversible, i.e., no return to the past is possible. The improvement was inevitable. Tomorrow will always be better than today. "A development project of a country or a region will have only progressive character if generate transformation, change, progress, creation and distribution of wealth. Economic development materializes when there is transformation, change, progress and wealth creation and social development only happens when wealth is widely distributed throughout the population, ie, it is not concentrated. A development project has therefore progressive character when the economic and social development occurs simultaneously" [ALCOFORADO, Fernando. Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (The determinants of the development of the State of Bahia). PhD thesis. Barcelona University, < http://www.tesisenred .net/handle/10803/1944 >, 2003]. In his book The End of Progress - How modern economics has failed us, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2011, Graeme Maxton, developer of The Economist and a wide range of international newspapers and magazines in Europe, America and Asia and a regular guest on news programs from the BBC and CNN, concerns the consequences of the global economic crisis that erupted in the United States in 2008, the world overpopulation that is approaching its limits (10 billion people), the depletion of world's financial resources and the emergence of China as a global power that threatens U.S. hegemony in the world. In this work Graeme Maxton says that "humanity is moving backwards. Mankind is destroying rather than building. Each year, the world economy grows approximately US$ 1.5 trillion. But each year, humanity devastates the planet at a cost of US$ 4.5 trillion. Mankind is moving in reverse generating larger losses than the wealth that it creates". Maxton says that humanity has experienced rapid economic growth, but also created an unstable world. According Maxton, in many countries, for the first time in centuries, we face the fall in life expectancy and the prospect of declining of food production and water supply, as well as the depletion of natural resources like oil. Everything that is happening in the world conspires against everything preached from the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, when a group of thinkers began to mobilize in defense of ideas which marked the renewal of existing practices and institutions across Europe, raising philosophical questions about the condition and happiness of man. The Enlightenment movement systematically attacked everything that was considered contrary to the pursuit of happiness, justice and equality. What can be seen today all over the planet is the antithesis of what the Enlightenment advocated. It should be noted that Enlightenment thought has elected the "reason" as the great instrument of reflection that can improve and undertake institutions fairer and more functional. Everything that happens today in the world where we live denies the thought 1
  2. 2. of Emmanuel Kant, one of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, which saw history moving toward the better [KANT, Immanuel. Ideia de uma história universal de um ponto de vista cosmopolita (Idea of a universal history from a cosmopolitan point of view). Sao Paulo: Brasiliense, 1986]. Kant said that the contest between human beings constitute the great engine of history and concords that generating discord among men, and for one reason or another, leading them collectively through Progress. Human history demonstrates, however, that this argument is not true because the competition between humans has generated barbarism represented by revolutions with the conflict between social classes and wars between peoples and nations and the destruction of nature. With similar view to that of Kant, the French philosopher and mathematician Condorcet (1743-1797) was extremely optimistic. Condorcet's ideas about history were of enormous historical optimism. Condorcet believed that, at this point in history, the state of evolution and improvement of mankind could no longer be stopped, unless some global catastrophe occurred, and for that it would be up to the enlightened men for the reason accelerate human progress, which itself it was inevitable. For Condorcet, the present that then he and his contemporaries lived had a superiority over all times of the past, and, after reaching the highest rung, humans centuries to come would not watch more than the add new lights to an unending progress. History would be to Condorcet, so that the record would be the supreme law of human development, their "indefinite perfectibility". Progress to Condorcet constituted the great law that printed the regular course of history, and know the latter, ie, reflect on what had been the man so far and about his current state could help to provide the means of learned men accelerate progress faster and closer to humanity's future [CONDORCET. Esquisse d' one tableau historique des progreès de l' esprit humain (Sketch of a historical picture of the progress of the human spirit). Paris: Garnier - Flammarion, 1988 ]. Note that Condorcet said the state of evolution and improvement of mankind could no longer be stopped, unless some catastrophe occurred worldwide (emphasis added). The current world scenario points in this direction with the possibility of a total collapse (disruption lasting and widespread of the Internet, the exhaustion of the global food supply, a continental electromagnetic pulse that destroys all electronics, the collapse of globalization, destruction of the Earth by creating exotic particles, the destabilization of the nuclear scenario, the end of the global oil supply, a global pandemic, the lack of electricity and drinking water, intelligent robots that surpass humanity and global deflation and the collapse of global financial markets) as we advocate in an article published in and Blog de Falcoforado ( posted on 21/05/2013, unless, as Condorcet says, men enlightened by reason accelerate human progress, which in itself was inevitable. The problem is that the enlightened men of Condorcet still not came in to prevent global catastrophe. To avoid the disaster that lies ahead, humanity has to build a new society that incorporates all the peoples of the world that will only be feasible if conducted by a democratic world government that is able to plan and control the chaotic economic and global systems that threaten the survival of humanity and to prevent the collapse of everything as John Casti provides in his book O Colapso de Tudo - Os Eventos Extremos que Podem Destruir a Civilização a Qualquer Momento (The collapse of everything - the Extreme Events that Can Destroy Civilization at Any Moment) published by Editora Intrínseca Ltda., Rio, 2012. 2
  3. 3. * Alcoforado, Fernando, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others. 3