The top 4 crises facing the world today

If we make the right choices, there's hope for the future.

  • According to historian Jared Diamond, we currently have four global crises to address: the ongoing threat of nuclear attacks, climate change, running out of resources, and socioeconomic inequality.
  • Diamond believes there's hope for the future, though, because these problems are human caused, and must have human solutions — they are not looming doomsdays like an asteroid poised to strike Earth (of which we are currently largely helpless to address).
  • If we don't aim to solve these issues within the next 30 years, then we — and our children — may end up living in a "miserable world not worth living [in]."
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Is nationalism ever a force for good?

The lack of it can also be a problem.

  • Nationalism isn't always a bad thing. When a country doesn't have self-confidence, and a collective sense of identity, that is also a problem.
  • The optimal situation, in the case of nationalism, is that a nation's citizens have a healthy amount of it. For instance, as Jared Diamond points out in this video, Finland seems to have a nationalism based in reality — and largely founded on their unique language. It imbues them with an innate pride but doesn't compel them to conquer the world.
  • Also, nationalism that is used to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, can help a nation transcend its darkest moments.
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How America could become a dictatorship in 10 years

Are we witnessing the end of democracy in America?

  • Much like in marriage, you also have to have political compromise in a country.
  • During the last few decades, American elected representatives and our electorates succeeded in reaching compromise about difficult issues. However, political compromise seems to be breaking down today.
  • This breakdown, Diamond posits, is the "most serious" problem the United States faces because it could preciptate the rise of a dictatorship in the country.
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Why inequality is a ticking time bomb – for poor and rich

Riots may ensue as more poor Americans recognize their "miserable" long-term prospects.

  • How bad is wealth inequality in the United States? About 1 percent of Americans hold 80 percent of the money.
  • In the United States, the correlation between the income of parents and the income of their children when they grow up is higher than in any other country in the world.
  • One of the big underlying reasons for poverty is receiving a crummy education, which in turn leads to crummy jobs. When people recognize their miserable long-term prospects, they are more likely to partake in riots.