Humane Civilization Peruvian Andes

 Humane
 Civilization

  A Draft Manuscript


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Ethics, Economics and the Future of the World

 Humane Civilization -- A Draft Manuscript
 humane Zivilsation / civilización humana / civilisation humaine

 Chapter 5 - Moving Towards the Proposed Changes

Chapter 5  Moving Towards Proposed Changes           
  
revised/edited 11/2014, 12/2016, minor revisions 4/'17

5.1  Local and Global Action                            revised/edited 11/2014, 12/2016, 6/2017

5.1.0 Introductory remarks               added 11/2014, revised 12/2016, 6/2017
 
5.1.1 Principles in accomplishing changes           last expanded/edited 10,11/2014, revised/edited 12/2016, 6/2017

5.1.2 Clarifying misconceptions regarding the economy and starting actions edited 11/'14, revised/edited 12/2016. 6/2017
5.1.3 Cooperation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and political movements  minor revisions/editing 10/2014
5.1.4 Broad cooperation of progressive institutions and organizations   editied 10/2014, 6/2017
5.1.5 Efforts to broadly apply natural ethics   edited 10/2014, revised/edited 6/2017

5.1.6 International economic interactions and trade    minor revisions/editing 10/2014, revised/edited 6/2017
5.1.7 Discrimination against women and girls    minor revisions/editing 10/2014, 6/2017
5.1.8 Appendix, further considerations regarding changes    added 10/2014

5.1.0 Introductory remarks            added 11/2014, revised 12/2016, minor revisions 4/2017, revised 12/2016,6/2017

    Sciences and technologies are extremely advanced and progressing rapidly. Is there comparable progress in our economic systems, our governments and other institutions? Are central banks and treasury departments keeping the world financial system essentially stable, and fair? And are they promoting healthy economies? Are economists directing governments to create a stable economy that includes all people and improves human services and infrastructure? Do business people, technicians and politicians know how to apply scientific insights and technological inventions for the good of people? Has the huge progress in sciences improved living conditions for the majority of people? Are the people and human rights a top priorities of business leaders and politicians? Are governments solving international conflicts peacefully and are they effectively alleviating and preventing large-scale suffering? Are people happier than one or two generations ago?
   According to assessments from much anecdotal evidence, many governmental and private institutions perpetuate obsolete haphazard ways and realize innovations that still have major defects, often leading to results that are much different from what was intended. Economic systems are poorly understood and seem unmanageable. Modern economies include a large, powerful financial sector that manipulates resources, gambles with assets of savers, and, while making large profits, drives up costs for businesses and consumers without any benefits to the real, productive economy. Employer-employee relationships are largely guided by profit-driven management hierarchies and by false assumptions about efficiency, rather than by over-riding goals and cooperation between all involved parties. Healthcare politics in the USA has been more about protecting profits and giving the appearance of highest quality than about people. Education systems are good for some but inadequate for many.
   Governments are designed to fulfill functions that individuals and private enterprises cannot and/or should not fulfill. However, there is often so much mismanagement, mistrust, corruption and perverted incentives that in most countries, many governmental institutions are not very effective, not trusted and sometimes causing much harm. Democratic election systems work poorly, and elected and appointed officials are not appropriately monitored concerning competency and ethical decision-making, conflicts of interest usually being major problems.
   While the U.S. financial sector now takes around 25% of all corporate profits, it moved from mostly lending to businesses into mostly trading commodities and securities, inventing ever more indirect, complex and risky “financial instruments.” The largest banks that were responsible for the 2008 financial crisis may now cause even worse dangers of a financial collapse. While it is now well known that the banking system is dangerous and a burden to the economy, there is no political will and no well-designed plan to properly regulate it. In many areas, politicians follow ideology and try to exploit momentary political advantages rather than considering scientific insights and attempting pragmatic problem solving; religion-related misconceptions, unsubstantiated tenets of ideologies, and opportunism often override rational and ethical decision-making based on the spirit of sensible laws and the pursuit of a long-term vision.

5.1.1 Principles in accomplishing changes         last expanded/edited 10,11/2014, edited 12/2016, minor changes 6/2017

   Several factors are important to reach major changes.
    For individuals, they include:
- Finding goals that are positive, clear and realistic; and understanding that reaching the goals is principally possible.
- Emotions support the perceived relevance of the goals.
- There is a state of mind that is conducive and open to change; people find emotional meaning in working towards the goals.
- Plans methods and ways to move towards the goals are developed.
   For institutional changes, societies primarily need:
- A critical number of people who have an intuitive sense of the present wrongs, are open to and enthusiastic about initiating changes, and have a perception that constructive changes are possible and timely.
- An understanding of what is principally wrong in the institutions (understanding that the tenets of many institutions are based on obsolete notions, biases, and a false belief that the status quo is justified by precedents; there is also a widespread misconception that today’s institutions are the “least bad” that is possible).
- Goals that are fairly detailed and positive; a model of different forms of organization based on new insights, values and priorities.
- Plans: ways of moving towards the goal, including extensive educational efforts and political movements, particularly broad, more or less coordinated grassroots movements.

   Goals have to be positive for multiple reasons:
- The human mind is primarily motivated by and oriented towards positive goals.
- Negative causes do not contain a direction that orients and guides constructive actions.
- If negative motivations lead to change, results are likely to be temporary, possibly chaotic or catastrophic.
- Without a clear, positive image of alternatives, bad situations are usually seen as "normal" or "natural"; there is often fear of the unknown that follows change, and the status quo may be seen as "least bad."
   Examples to explain principles:
   In individuals, a conducive state of mind often consists in nonjudgmental contemplation, looking at many possible ways of behaving, feeling and thinking differently, appreciating how adaptable and resilient the human mind is, as often seen when people experience major losses or hardships and are forced to assess new ways of moving on. Approaches to reach personal goals may include studying, detailed planning, practicing lifestyle changes, possibly symbolic imagery, artistic activities, etc. Developing sensible routines and basic discipline may be necessary as a first step. Large goals need to be divided into small manageable steps.
   Good health as a goal has to be positively defined: having a reasonably good body and mind that is utilized doing meaningful things, giving pleasure to self and others, having inherent resilience and strength, being able to help others, etc. Defining health negatively as absence of diagnosable disease and lack of pain is not helpful (actually human bodies and minds are far from perfect: evolution developed backs and knees that are very vulnerable to wear and injuries, reproduction seems unnecessarily dangerous and painful for women, most people are predisposed towards disorders and illnesses in less than ideal situations, and, when following instincts and developing cultures, people tend to cause much unnecessary suffering to each other).
   In defining morality, negative directives, such as not to fight, lie or steal, are of limited value. Positive goals for an ethical family may include teaching and practicing conflict resolution; a helpful, grateful and forgiving attitude; openness; practicing and teaching to be compassionately empathetic; avoiding "us-against-them thinking"; maintaining a calm and thoughtful attitude when negative emotions are triggered; and letting vindictive impulses dissipate rather than acting on them.
   When planning to change a behavior, one may start with making self aware of what is happening now, e.g. self-monitoring smoking behavior; in addition, frequently taking time to think about positive motivation and their emotional significance; reviewing behaviors that can be changed at the same time to decrease triggers and habitual aspects of behavior, e.g. changing diet and going for a walk immediately after eating; frequently concentrating on relaxing hands, shoulders and face; strengthening motivation by telling others of plan to make specific changes and replacing self-defeating thoughts with thoughts related to the goal.
   For institutional changes, an early stage towards change is reviewing the tenets, the traditional assumptions and the organization’s more or less hidden incentives and disincentives. Examples:
   Democratic governance emphasizes self-governance, but local people have always conflicts of interests since they are part of some family, neighborhood, professional group, etc. and, as they grew up in the local culture, they rarely see its most blatant faults, discrimination against groups, unhealthy and cruel traditions that may be illegal but broadly encouraged or condoned, etc.
   When recognizing the grave problems with the tenets of a civilization's institutions, the next step appears obvious: designing a new model framework of constitutions, economic institutions, systems of taxation, legal systems, etc. while carefully paying attention to experiences in other cultures, historical and present, and considering research in many fields that relate to the understanding of human nature, human behavior and the human mind (biology, ethology, anthropology, history, psychology, including research outside main stream psychological teaching such as ‘happiness research’, brain research).

5.1.2 Clarifying misconceptions regarding the economy and starting actions  revisions/editing 10,11//2014, 12/2016

   Securities markets and the U.S. ‘financial sector of the economy’ are not the “least bad” possible ways of allocating capital. They are the cause of broad misallocation of resources and of major instability causing recessions and depressions. Since 2008, central banks (in the USA the Federal Reserve System), treasury departments and politicians have failed to rain in the dangerous securities gambling of most larger financial institutions and to shrink or break up the “too large to fail” financial institutions.
   In an attempt to avoid a collapse of the present world-economic system1, people should withdraw all savings and investments from the large banks and move them to credit union and small, more ethically operated banks. Similarly, enterprises, particularly small businesses, should stop working with the largest banks. People must pressure politicians to re-introduce the complete separation of deposit banking and financial institutions that trade securities and commodities; politicians should regulate, limit and eventually forbid most derivatives and similar “financial instruments”; and we must demand high reserve requirements for all financial institutions while decreasing the borrowing by institutions. People should also demand that all securities transactions are taxed: a small sales or transaction tax would greatly slow down the large-scale stock market gambling, and it would tax the wealthy who benefit most from these destabilizing transactions.

   Most important for long-term progress, both local and global action should first and foremost spread relevant information and ideas. Alternative models of economic systems may, initially, be more important than political, legal, and social institutions, since business interests and employees' concerns about their future income tend to crush attempts of significant and systematic improvements. Education and dissemination of ideas must aggressively challenge widespread erroneous beliefs:
- The tenets of present economic-financial institutions are not the "least bad possible"; they can and should be changed.
- Free-market capitalism is not basic to democratic governance.
- The USA does not have the best or "least bad" legal-political system.

   Regarding our economy, people should learn that:
- Interests and profits from investments are unethical; they have no constructive economic function; they represent a significant part of most production costs, driving up prices of goods and services; they transfer money from poor and middle-class to the wealthiest people.
- Governments can and should establish a stable money supply; the functional (circulating) money supply should not depend on lending activities of banks and other financial institutions.
- At least as a temporary measure, issuing local currencies may aid areas to economically develop without credit arrangements or government interference.
- Stable full employment without inflation is possible, and it is economically and socially desirable to include all people in meaningful economic functions. (Where automation and high efficiency reduces needed work by people, people may work fewer hours and employment should be created in projects to improve education and healthcare; care of children, elderly and disabled people; public transportation and other infrastructure; parks, projects to protect animals and the environment, etc.)
- Large corporations are hardly more efficient or otherwise preferable to small, locally owned enterprises; large corporations have many hidden costs, monetary and social.
- Globalizing the economy has limited advantages but many hidden long-term costs. Taxation should create disincentives and thus decrease damages caused by trade and production that is, in a broad sense, highly inefficient.
- Addiction-like pursuit of wealth, material assets and luxury, is harmful to concerned individuals, their families, society at large and future generations.

   As people become more concerned about the virtual exclusion of a large part of humanity from the world economy and about the flow of money to the extremely wealthy, a significant part of the population may become ready to evaluate and support the pursuit of alternative economic institutions.

   Much of what is shipped across oceans and continents could easily be produced locally. Transportation appears cheap but has major hidden costs: transportation causes greenhouse gases, requires publicly subsidized highways and may lead to major pollution and also to accidents. Counting human labor rather than dollars, much of globalization is very inefficient; in addition, health and safety of Third World workers are often ignored. Long-distance trade is primarily beneficial when one area has better conditions for production, e.g. a better climate for growing certain crops or ready availability of raw materials; generally producing goods were the resources are is more efficient than transporting bulky, heavy and/or easily spoiling resources for production in another continent (e.g. tomato sauce should be produced where tomatoes are grown; cheese and milk powder are best manufactured where fresh milk is produced). Factory workers in poor countries often work in unhealthy and sometimes inhumane conditions, and, more importantly, manufacturers are discouraged from producing goods and infrastructure for their own people. Third World countries did not improve their economies primarily because young women have been working for foreign factories, but because these women contribute to the money economy and bring money to the villages, rather than being forced to marry as young teenagers and bearing children the country cannot feed. Utilizing a local currency, poor people could work for each other, building better roads and houses, producing better food and clothing for the local markets and educating their children. Workers of foreign-owned companies earn ‘hard currency’ for their countries and enrich some local people, but much of the ‘hard currency’ is used to buy Western luxury products. As Third World economies develop, the demand for reasonable labor pay will grow and advantages to produce goods in poor countries will diminish. The economic benefits of cheap Third World labor will also decrease because high labor costs in Western countries will soon be partly offset with robotics.
   Today's financial institutions are very vulnerable with regard to any signs of instability: in recent years, ‘bubbles’ based on speculation with borrowed money have taken more and more complex and unpredictable forms; neither investors, brokers nor creators of the complex “financial instruments” understand them well enough to estimate the dangers they may create. In the “real economy,” the circulating money supply may quickly shrink as banks stop lending. Then banks may go on "foreclosure frenzies," let empty houses dilapidate and lastly auction them off at huge losses, even though economically such foreclosures are ‘suicidal.’ With global warming, there is an underappreciated problem of unpredictably increasing coastal flooding and flooding due to irregular rain patterns, both putting towns, parts of large cities and much luxury real estate into acute danger – the drop in this real estates’ value alone could trigger a new financial crisis. With global warming, some areas are becoming unlivable with heat related deaths rising, too hot for keeping poultry, etc. e.g. in much of India; consequent migrations will be politically and economically very problematic.
   Particularly in the USA, most people live without financial reserves and they may lose everything in a recession. People may blame the lower middleclass for living from paycheck to paycheck, but if most people start saving, lacking ‘consumer confidence’ will through bankers and producers into a panic, and if everybody would save, the economy would collapse. It should be obvious that this, by financial institutions caused human suffering, is preventable; that there is something basically wrong with our money supply. However, we hear only about minor tinkering with the system, not a reevaluation and overhaul with broad institutional reforms.

5.1.3 Cooperation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and political movements  minor revisions 10/2014

   Today there are many small and very small groups working to improve some aspects of the institutional problems of political, economic, and legal structures, and many organizations do charitable and some educational work. Although combined, they and people agreeing with their goals may represent a majority, politicians and established institutions treat them as small minorities with unrealistic ideas and goals. To reach more rapid progress, umbrella organizations may be needed which specifically address the issue of cooperation and alliance formation, including mediating where there are conflicts. Organizations which work on separate and/or overlapping issues may support each other, integrate efforts, and move towards becoming one alliance. While coordinated political, educational, and charitable work continues, organizations must seek consensus on necessary basic changes in society's institutions; they then may formulate mandates and goals to be advanced when politically timely and feasible.

   Political movements, including citizens’ movements and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should always try to:
- clarify problems of concern;
- propose short term actions, such as writing to legislators, agency directors, board members of organizations and corporations, etc., or attending demonstrations, and helping where emergency aid is most needed;
- explain basic underlying problems and make efforts to educate a wide segment of the population;
- develop and explain model institutions that prevent or solve the problems;
- show strategies of working towards such models; and
- work towards realizing such models with cooperation of different citizens’ movements concerned with quality of life issues, charitable and educational organizations, and international NGOs.

   Besides financially supporting charitable-educational organizations and NGOs, individuals may personally contribute to promoting change by
- living in accordance with personal values, confronting traditional ways and setting an example;
- discussing issues with friends of different persuasion, particularly deepening understanding of basic problems and looking for, developing, expanding and discussing/explaining alternate model institutions;
- writing letters to news media, etc.;
- making obvious potential improvements an issue of political discussions;
- lobbying for causes;
- supporting and working with local chapters of organizations;
- participating in broadening scope of organizations by adding or improving educational efforts; and
- helping organizations to coordinate efforts.

5.1.4 Broad cooperation of progressive institutions and organizations     minor revisions 10/2014

   Churches, charitable-educational organizations, and all types of NGOs concerned with peace, poverty, human rights, discrimination against women and other groups, environment, and other quality of life issues have an ethical obligation to educate members and donors regarding the need for changing the tenets of economic, legal and political institutions. While striving for consensus, many organizations may work in the same direction.
   It is proposed that these organizations start sharing research and educational materials. They may co-publish one newsletter with listings of publications and events, collaborating when lobbying, and building a global network.
   Religious organizations have to clearly separate issues of (science-based) natural or global ethics, versus beliefs and controversial interpretations of specific religious texts, traditions and doctrines. Missionary proselytizing must be separated from other education, spreading goals of global ethics, and helping in an area's development. Religious charities and educational non-profit organizations may cooperate with each other while understanding that scientific data and widely accepted ethical principles must be upheld, even if contradicting some interpretation of
religious texts.
   Charitable-educational organizations and NGOs may also seek the support of independent academic centers. Independent non-profit media, academic institutions, a wide range of political movements and educational-charitable organizations may benefit from working together and promoting each other. However, it is important that they vaguely agree with ultimate long-term goals, such as that governments, not churches, must be lastly responsible for a safety network and educational system; that unfettered for-profit capitalism must never take precedence over reasonable goals of society such as preserving large natural environments and minimizing global warming; etc. Hopefully, drafts of models or frameworks for alternative institutions will soon be widely accepted to guide progress.
   Parties based on global ethical principles may form coalitions that constitute a clear majority, or parties with compatible goals may unite to form one party. Political movements focusing on global ethics and quality of life issues may also be nonpartisan: if any party leadership oversteps ethical boundaries, the transgression should be publicized without endorsing another party.

5.1.5 Efforts to broadly apply natural ethics     revisions/editing 11/2014, 1,6/2017 

   Attempting to enforce moral behavior, modern civilizations rely far too much on legal systems. Consistent negative consequences to harmful behaviors are beneficial, but far too much attention focuses on individuals committing crimes in their private lives while legal systems condone unethical behaviors within institutions, as politicians, as judges, as employees of financial or legal institutions, etc.; and most civilizations do not adequately address preventive measures.
   We must focus on the issues of preventing crimes, seeing criminals as mental patients in need of treatment, and acknowledging that punishing perpetrators is neither effective nor ethical. Disturbed children usually show early symptoms and comprehensive treatment prevents later crimes. And civilizations have an ethical obligation to rein in entertainment that reinforces propensities to violence, recklessness, unethical sex and callousness while suppressing inclinations to compassionate empathy. Discussions may also include the Christian and Buddhist emphasis on compassion, on teaching forgiveness, avoiding judging others and helping troubled persons who perpetrated violent acts (sadly many people consider themselves Christian or Buddhist but ignore these basic ethical teachings).
   Individuals, contributing to and/or working for charitable and lobbying organizations should monitor ethical considerations and, when problems arise, communicate with people leading and managing the organizations. We must always evaluate whether an action has foreseeable unintended and/or other negative consequences, within the area of action or in other regions. Examples: When raising funds, organizations must be aware with whom they are competing: is their fund raising possibly decreasing donations to more urgent causes, or is fund raising encouraging people to donate more of their income while decreasing luxurious consumption? When setting up clinics for AIDS patients in Third World cities, are healthcare workers from rural clinics pulled to new HIV clinics, depriving rural population of urgently needed basic health care, rather than recruiting and training new workers as such clinics are set up? In case of starvation, careful planning is essential: we must limit donations of U.S. food and avoid crippling the local agriculture by robbing farmers of income needed for the next planting; instead, we may give money to the starving and to farmers whose crops failed. This would allow the poor to buy food, possibly from surrounding regions that usually export food, or traders may buy food from Third World or highly industrialized countries that have surplus food, while local farmers can prepare for future crops.
   Individuals may write to media, when unethical and/or misleading statements are made, and the media should properly address such input. Ideally, people strictly avoid goods that are produced, distributed, and/or advertised in unethical ways. When feasible, people ought to inform friends and concerned enterprises of their decisions. The envisioned movement should also organize boycotts where this is the most effective way to curb unethical behaviors by businesses.
   Even when working in a highly specialized field, a culture of thinking globally may help broaden cooperation between organizations and raise standards of ethics. As a consequence, citizens may expect broader consideration of ethics, and demand teaching of global ethics at all levels of education, including continuing education of politicians and professionals. People need to move from narrowly defined mandates of "professional ethics" and culturally defined morals to principles of natural or global ethics.

   Most people know that they would not be able to commit, under ordinary circumstances, hideous, cruel crimes, but legal systems assume that ‘normal’ people can, that 'criminals' are ‘normal’ and that circumstances do not play a crucial role in deviant behaviors. It should be obvious that society has a huge responsibility to treat disturbed children and prevent criminal careers; but while housing millions of people in prisons, governments in the USA allocate hardly any resources for prevention.
   Children who live in chaotic environments and who are early exposed to much suffering and violence are likely to need help, either to prevent depression, substance use disorders and/or criminal careers. Children can be screened for early signs of severe and pervasive problems. Some greatly benefit from long-term residential treatment. While treating disturbed people in the least restrictive environment seems a legitimate goal, the legal focus on immediate dangerousness misses the point: humane, comprehensive treatment is to prevent long-term dangerous disturbances. Humane and ethically run long-term residential treatment benefits many patients of any age but is rarely available – it takes the human mind years, not months, to ‘solidify’ changes. Such treatment is particularly important for patients who became dangerous or self-destructive. Without proper treatment, these patients usually end up imprisoned or dead.
   Rules of professional ethics are often culture-bound and may contain rather extreme mandates that were instituted after some abuses. In the USA, there is probably far too much emphasis on patient autonomy and patients’ understanding and choosing their treatment (when unable to think and decide rationally about their condition and possible treatment), and that counselors and psychotherapists never benefit in a personal way from their perceived power over their patients (obviously there are very frequent conflicts of interest: a psychotherapists benefits if the patient does not improve too fast, and physicians are not paid well when they spend time with patients who do not need complex, invasive treatments and when explaining preventive measures to patients.


5.1.6 International economic interactions and trade    revisions/editing 10/2014, 6/2017

   Donors may encourage charitable-educational organizations and NGOs to lobby on behalf of Third World populations, particularly with regard to their relationship with wealthy nations, unethical trade policies, and debts. While people in poor regions must be helped in becoming more self-sufficient, it is the responsibility of the world community that international relationships are fair, that their basic needs are fulfilled, and that human rights are observed as feasible.
   The UN, its related agencies, and country governments must never condone gross human rights violations in any society. International NGOs, such as Amnesty International, should receive wide support when they put pressure on offending and condoning governments.
   It is in the interest of all countries that the poorest regions catch up with modern civilizations in order to decrease migration pressure, propensity to wars and human rights abuses, etc., and to establish mutually beneficial multilateral trade. Excess productivity of highly industrialized countries’ tool, machine, laboratory equipment and other factories could be donated to Third World countries or sold with interest-free loans. Old loans should be retroactively considered interest-free or forgiven. However, developments should not imitate the mistakes of ‘modern’ countries with wasteful car and truck-based transportation infrastructure, soft drink and junk food marketing, etc. Engineers should help in the development and maintenance of appropriate technologies, mainly narrow-track light-rail trains (very small trains for mountainous and sparsely populated areas), appropriate food preparation and processing technologies, etc. To aid economic developments, poor areas may utilize local currencies that cannot leave the region in addition to their country’s currency.
   Some NGOs address the problems of "free," exploitative international trade, of powerful transnational corporations, and of globalization. Problems with globalization may be considered symptoms of bad economic-political systems within countries, and of the dominant role of a few economic powers. Closely related with the international trade of goods is the flow of capital and credit. Particularly damaging is the flow of investment capital from rural to metropolitan areas and from Third World to highly industrialized countries. Major problems arise from the opportunistic moves of investments by corporations within and between countries, leading to instability and unpredictable changes in available work places.
   The "brain drain," the move of highly trained people from poor to wealthy countries, without any compensation for the investment of poor countries in these persons' education and upbringing, are a great loss to the Third World, even if these professionals send some money back to their families and home communities. In addition, there is usually discrimination against foreign professionals, e.g. foreign medical graduates often have to train and practice in least desirable institutions and they are often exploited during their training. It is ethically not justifiable that less educated persons from the same countries are prevented from immigrating into the USA and other highly industrialized countries. Lobbying efforts for immigration reform may include paying countries for the cost of raising and educating immigrating adults that contribute to the U.S. economy. Charitable-educational organizations and NGOs have a duty to educate U.S. citizens and particularly their donors regarding the exploitative attitude towards Third World professionals and illegal immigrants, and lobby for change.
   International trade has great benefits, but many benefits are not mutual, and trade often creates ecological problems. Pollution, caused by shipping granite products from East Asia to Europe, or mineral water across the Atlantic, is not justifiable. Poor areas need help in developing some self-sufficiency, not only the opportunity to produce cheap goods for the affluent. They also should have access to modern technologies through increased developing aid or at minimal costs, that is, without paying for development costs, patent right and/or profits.
 
  
The USA greatly benefits from illegal immigrants who work cheaply in conditions few locals would work in, and the U.S. economy particularly benefits from highly educated immigrants. Without foreign medical graduates and foreign-educated nurses, much of the medical system would collapse. Foreign trained salaried researchers and engineers greatly contribute to developments, inventions and patents that then belong to the U.S. corporation.
   To minimize the flow of capital from poor to more developed regions, financial institutions and wealthy citizens from Third World countries should not be allowed to invest in highly industrialized countries for profits. Institutions in wealthy countries who accept such investments should be exposed, shamed and boycotted.
   Countries like North Korea and Tanzania may be treated very generously, wealthy countries donating goods, selling them products at greatly reduced prices and with interest-free loans, giving free education and training in medical treatments, etc. It appears likely that their recalcitrant xenophobic governments would gradually become more open and ethical.
   Patents of highly industrialized countries must not apply or be enforced for products’ use and trade within the Third World, at least in the fields of health care, food production and safety. NGOs may organize boycotts of corporations that try to reap profits from Third World countries’ efforts to reach basic standards of health, access to food and water, and protection from dangerous pollutants.
   Natural resources such as ground water and forests, not yet mined minerals and fossil fuels, etc. may be considered lent by nature for stewardship and judicious use by civilization. Contracts with corporations for exploration, exploitation and use of such resources should be very limited and supervised by international organizations.


5.1.7 Discrimination against women and girls    minor revisions/editing 10/201, 6/2017

   Organizations concerned with women's rights are particularly important, because women are widely oppressed and discriminated against in ways that are hardly noticed or are considered normal and natural. Functions exclusively or primarily provided by women are ubiquitously undervalued, including childbearing, breast-feeding, child rearing, and a wide range of human services work, within families or as paid jobs. In almost all cultures, unwanted pregnancies are considered primarily or exclusively the women's problem and even her fault.
   In addition, women with children suffer most from unmet basic needs; even in highly industrialized countries, women often get inferior health care compared with men. Depreciation, suppression, maltreatment, and scape-goating of women and girls has been so ubiquitous in nearly all cultures that most women are hardly aware of the depth of the problem. Good education, healthcare and protection of girls and women are most important ethical mandates since women carry the burden of the inherent dangers of pregnancy and childbirth, women are primarily responsible for childcare and women make most crucial decisions regarding their children's health and education.
   Fairly ready access to contraception has been exploited by males who expect and pressure girls to accept intercourse, even though her emotional-behavioral system does not know of the contraception and she does not feel that it is right. In girls much more than in boys, intercourse, with or without contraception, leads to a hormonal-emotional response of wanting to bond with the person she is with (oxytocin release). The false assumption evolved that boys and girls can now experience sex in same way and consider it an experiment or cheap pleasure. Young girls feel much pressure to have boyfriends and often have sex trying to buy a committed relationship.
   Feminism has not adequately recognized the deep differences between male and female brains and bodies. Many successful women are successful because they behave like men and suppress their natural inclinations of pragmatic, social thinking. Women's brains are in some ways superior to males' but they work differently. Sports good for boys are often bad and much more dangerous for girls. Establishing different roles of equal value for men and women is still in its early stages of development.
   Women have a particular potential for political impact because they are not a minority. A significant number of women voters may recognize the problems caused by capitalist institutions which, by design, lack social-ethical values, and the deleterious effects of many patriarchal institutions, including the male dominated political and legal systems. Even if fairly content as individuals, women voters may reject the widespread, institutionalized forms of discrimination against girls and women.
   As cooperation between organizations grows, most fundamental goals may be agreed on by many groups. Supported by many open-minded as well as underprivileged males, alliances and umbrella organizations of women-lead NGOs have the potential of promoting their goals through political parties that may reach clear majorities in the world's democracies.

   For girls, the changes from childhood to adolescence-adulthood are huge and, partly for cultural reasons, more difficult than for boys (in the USA, adolescent girls have twice the rate of depressions and anxiety disorders than boys, except among the traditional Amish and college students). Boys' problems often are due to being too free, with possibilities of earning incomes without much education; and boys rarely deal with consequences if they get a girl pregnant - boys rarely pay for abortions; if the girl carries the pregnancy to terms and tries to raise his child, he may or may not want to be involved, and a future husband of the girl is likely to adopt her baby.
   When partners do not adequately consider the significance of their actions, their expression of emotions or instincts, often results in an undesirable, unwanted pregnancy. A woman may unwisely invite sex hoping for affection or a meaningful relationship. Sometimes a girl's peers make her believes she "should" experience sex. However, the male is usually the more assertive partner and carries greater responsibility, particularly because, if impregnating her, he causes danger, pain and possibly a lifelong responsibility for a future child, while he can abandon her usually without major consequences. Even if giving a baby up for adoption, the woman almost always has fears for her child and feels a loss. Prevention of undesired pregnancies must be a high priority, including teaching boys responsibility and an understanding of and compassionate empathy for girls. All forms of contraception and birth control should always be readily available, including hormone tablets that can be used after intercourse (morning after pills), and abortion.
   It may be timely to form, within many democracies, a party primarily devoted to women's and families' issues, including concerns that jobs attracting primarily women are not devalued and underpaid, that employers and educational programs consider special needs of young mothers, that legal systems do not punish women worse than men if committing a similar crime, that pregnant women get some protection from severe stress, particularly when involved with the legal system, that Child Protective Services stops tearing children from poor mothers when low cost help could save the family, that schools fully appreciate the differences between girls' and boys' educational and other needs, that medical research addresses differences between males and females (problems with research not adequately addressing expression, symptoms and treatment of common disorders in women), and that pain management in obstetrics and gynecological procedures is at a similar standard as in other medical specialties. It is most important that women do not expect to simply be treated as equal to men (or as if they were men), but that they are never treated as inferior and that the special needs of girls and mothers are fully incorporated in the planning and execution of all societal functions. Such a party would likely favor progressive, broadly ethical goals since women are much more inclined to think socially and with concerns for the world of younger generations.

5.1.8 Appendix: further considerations regarding changes    added 10/2014

   A charismatic leader may be able to accomplish major improvements, but if changed ways of addressing problems are not institutionalized, if institutions are not reformed, people and their governments usually return to old patterns.
   With the inflationary flood of mostly irrelevant information and advertisements, verbal and personal communication is again very important for spreading ideas and pertinent information. As the psychologist Malcolm Gladwell described (in The Tipping Point, 2000, 2002), people tend to trust 'mavens' who research data in specific areas, in which they have a special interest. Ideas are most spread by people who are well connected, who have worked in many areas, easily engage with people and are genuinely interested in maintaining relationships. 'Salesman-types' often believe in what they promote and are persuasive. If talking about something interesting and expressing a positive affect, people are also more likely to believe and accept the information.
   Often, new ideas, comparable to fads, reach 'a critical point of no return', but most progress is slow with long periods of ups and downs; examples of a dramatic change is the abolishing of slavery in British colonies and specifically forbidding the slave trade: Thomas Clarks collected much evidence of the cruelties and William Wilberforce joined him in working on convincing public an government, leading to the slave trade act in 1807. Progress in women's rights has been slow with many ups and downs.
   Women’s unencumbered, personal right to contraception and modern medical abortions is still not accepted (up until the late 1800s, abortions, e.g. with herbs, were not illegal but dangerous). The American wordings "pro life" versus "pro choice" are very problematic and damaging to the rights of women: while to "pro life" conservatives, children dying due to neglect and poverty are hardly a consideration, they see the term "choice" as detestable since they imagine an embryo to have already the characteristics of an actual child.

   During both World Wars and particularly after the First World War, many West Europeans had a clear sense about the major wrongs of very unequal incomes and opportunities. As Amartya Sen, in Development as Freedom,1999, describes, "unusually supportive and shared arrangements developed" in England and Wales during the Wars, and life expectancy rose 6.5 years 1911-1921 and 6.8 years 1940-1950 while it grew 4 years 1901-1911 and less than 3 years in the decades 1921-1930, 1931-1940 and 1951-1960. While much of Europe struggled, seeking to realize Marxist ideas, most countries set goals and then established mixed-socialist economies that lead Europeans to be healthier and happier than U.S. citizens. However, many of the problems that are based on 18th century thinking remain, and none of the West European democracies are ideal.
   As the Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal described, when a visiting professor at UT at Austin, Texas, 1978, the model of Swedish socialism grew out of the Lutheran Church's ideals; their social services overwhelmed the church and, as people became more secular, it appeared logical for the state to take over services previously provided as charity, and that the government raised standards and quality of care. Even Volvo, while advancing its goal to create safe and reliable family cars, was for some time owned by the Swedish and Norwegian governments. However, the argument that social democracies work only in a homogenous society, such as Sweden, is hardly correct. While there are relatively few Africans and Asians in Europe, some democracies are multilingual, e.g. Finland and Switzerland, and/or include areas with greatly varying cultural traditions and attitudes.
Germany has a large, fairly well integrated Turkish minority.
   Working within Third World communities as well as in counseling therapy, there is often a focus on self-empowerment: concerned persons are to figure out themselves what is wrong and how to correct it; community organizing with discussions among women and/or elders should lead to desired changes. It is important that there is not a patronizing attitude, that helping people of NGOs and other agencies listen and empathize with suffering people, never considering them and treating them as inferior. However, throughout history, people were often ready to accept beliefs and practices learned from outsider. This applies to the spreading of attitudes and beliefs as in the case of major religions, when introducing food products from other cultures and also in unconscionable practices such as frequent, severe physical punishments of children, torture to get confessions and as punishments, and forms of culturally mandated mutilations such as foot binding. A modern example is also Western TV shows in rural Third World villages: they appear to make small families and women talking back to husbands more acceptable to men and conservative matriarchs. Suffering individuals and groups often benefit when exposed to other cultures and learning from others. On their own, people are often content while hopeless regarding possibilities to decrease their suffering, and they continue bad traditions because they cannot think of alternatives, are afraid of opposing traditions and/or fear that alternatives would be much worse. When respecting and feeling respected by outsiders, people are often curious and open to some changes; in a Third World community, people probably wish to know a respected outsiders' views as patients want to know the physician's or therapist's opinion. However, in forms of confining and suppressing women, including female genital cutting/mutilation (FGC, FGM), religious parents may find it hard to stop their customs because of the failures seen in Western cultures and the apparent decadence in modern, wealthier areas, as depicted in movies and media. For many Third World families, there is a fear that giving up their traditional ways will lead young people to behave disrespectful, broadly unethical and promiscuous. New ideas may (or should) spread because of the benevolent and compassionate attitude of outsiders who want to help and/or because ways of other cultures are appealing in a broad sense.


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1 James Rickards: The Death of Money – The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System  2014
   Bob Ivry:  The Seven Sins of Wall Street – Big Banks, their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis  2014
   Mohamed A. El-Erian: The Only Game in Town – Central Banks, Instability , and Avoiding the Next Collapse  2016
   Time [magazine] 5/23/2016, Cover story: Capitalism – The markets are choking our economy – How to save It.


   
 

   

  H. Aeschbach, M.D.:  About the Principal Author