1. “The Five Macro Crises of Our Times: The Financial, Energy, Political, Moral and Demographic Crises
V- The Moral Crisis
Our times mark the triumph of Machiavellism, i.e. of the corrosive ideology that politics and business should not adhere to any moral principles but should only be guided by narrow political interests and by the ruthless pursuit of profits. In this endeavor, the only principle that counts is the one that says that “the end justifies the means” and that craft, deceit and greed are OK in the pursuit of political power or of economic resources. —It is against this very destructive ideology that I wrote my book “The Code for Global Ethics”. I have the deep conviction that many of our other macro crises are the result of this moral vacuum.
If we go back in history, we see that the big financial crises of the past, those of 1873-1880 and 1929-1939 for example, had pretty much the same type of causes as the one we are experiencing today: They were basically caused by a general collapse of public and private basic morality among a very small elite that pushed its exploitation of public institutions to the breaking limit. For such a small elite, there comes a time when all means justify the supreme goal of enriching itself at the expense of the rest of society. All combines, tricks and schemes become acceptable and justified by pious ideological slogans such as “the market always knows best”, the new “wealth (no matter how acquired) will trickle down”, or, for the more delusional ones among them, “God is placing all that money in my hands, therefore, I must be doing some good”!
When that frame of mind takes hold, a decline of civilization can be feared. Unfortunately, that’s where we stand today.”
2. “Steve Jobs and drug policy
The paradoxes of love have perhaps never been clearer than in our relationships with Apple products — the warm, fleshy desire we feel for such cold, hard, glassy objects. But Jobs knew how to inspire material lust. He knew that consumers want something that not only sparkles and awes, but also feels accessible, easy to use, an object with which we want to merge and to feel one and the same. . . .
Not coincidentally, that’s how people describe the experience of taking psychedelic drugs. It feels profoundly artificial yet deeply real, both high-tech and earthy-crunchy, human and mystically divine — in a word, transcendent. Jobs had this experience. . . . As attested by the nearly spiritual devotion so many consumers have to Jobs’ creations, the former Apple chief (and indeed many other top technology pioneers) appeared to have found enduring inspiration in LSD. Research shows that the psychedelic experience is, in fact, long lasting: a new study published last week found that people who took magic mushrooms (psilocybin) had long-term personality changes, becoming more open, more curious, more intellectually engaged and more creative. These personality shifts persisted more than a year after taking the drugs.”