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We Are at a Crossroads in History…. Where Do We Go From Here?. Economic Considerations. Will globalization be a force for good or for evil?. Social Concerns. Will we achieve greater equality or continued disparities between rich and poor?. Political Possibilities.

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we are at a crossroads in history

We Are at a Crossroads in History….

Where Do We Go From Here?

economic considerations
Economic Considerations
  • Will globalization be a force for good or for evil?
social concerns
Social Concerns
  • Will we achieve greater equality or continued disparities between rich and poor?
political possibilities
Political Possibilities
  • Will we practice democracy and rule of law or autocracy and executive mandate?
cultural alternatives
Cultural Alternatives
  • Will we embrace qualitative values (family, community, quality of life, personal fulfillment) or consumerism (wealth, mass consumption, material possessions, selfishness)?
intellectual values
Intellectual Values
  • Will we follow positive guiding principles (life, love, liberty, pursuit of happiness) or negative ones (greed, corruption, exploitation of the earth and people)?
religious consequences
Religious Consequences
  • Will religion be a positive force to cultivate understanding and tolerance or a negative one to breed hatred and contempt?
agricultural revolution
Agricultural Revolution
  • The Agricultural Revolution brought civilization – but it was accompanied by social classes, disparities between rich and poor, autocratic governance, and the hijacking of religion to serve political purposes.
renaissance and reformation
Renaissance and Reformation
  • The Renaissance and Reformation brought Protestantism, capitalism, and democracy – but not without religious warfare, exploitation of non-European populations, and limitations on participation (e.g., women, Native Americans, and African Americans).
industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
  • The Industrial Revolution brought mass production and an increased standard of living for many – but it also meant exploitation of labor, imperialism, militarism, and warfare.
information revolution
Information Revolution
  • The Information Revolution brought advances in technology and communications –but at the expense of corporate consolidation, globalization (exploitation of cheap labor, natural resources, and markets) corporate control of mass media, and warfare.
where we are now
Where We Are Now…
  • Some say we are engaged in a mis-guided war that we were tricked into entering by an unscrupulous administration and an unprincipled media – both beholden to corporate interests.
Others say the war is necessary to protect the country from terrorists and that those who criticize the government are unpatriotic.
who is benefitting from the war
Who Is Benefitting from the War?
  • Some call attention to war profiteers (big oil, weapons manufacturers, reconstruction firms, mercenaries) and say they are the only ones who are benefitting from the war.
Others say we all benefit from the war because our troops are fighting to protect freedom, democracy, and our way of life.
why do we cooperate
Why Do We Cooperate?
  • Some point to scare tactics (red alerts, “sky is falling” rhetoric, reminders that America’s number one priority is to keep the nation safe), corporate-controlled media, shoddy journalism.
Others say it is the patriotic duty of every citizen to support the government during time of war.
what are the consequences
What Are the Consequences?
  • The record shows countless numbers of lost lives, the deterioration of civil liberties (removal of habeas corpus, illegal surveillance, emergency powers), and violations of human rights (torture).
Others point out that war requires sacrifices and that we sometimes have to give up our freedoms to insure national security.
the choice
The Choice
  • Involvement(discover the truth, demonstrate curiosity, awareness, compassion, and leadership)
  • Apathy(ignore the truth, demonstrate disinterest, ignorance, indifference, and passivity)
criteria for well informed decisions
Criteria for Well-Informed Decisions
  • The Cliff Notes version of conscience formation could be summed up by asking oneself two questions:
    • Is my contemplated decision LIFE GIVING?
    • Is it GENEROUS?

-- Susan V. Vogt

corporate philanthropy example bill melinda gates foundation
Two simple values lie at the core of the foundation’s work:

All lives—no matter where they are being lived—have equal value.

To whom much is given, much is expected.

Corporate PhilanthropyExample: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation