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Prologue to Parts III, IV, and V

Does History Have a Direction? Hegel, Smith, Darwin

from Part II - Strategies and Obstacles: The Solutions We Need, and What’s Preventing Them from Being Realized

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 October 2022

Michael D. Bess
Affiliation:
Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
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Summary

The argument presented in the coming chapters rests on one basic premise: the cumulative power of small, incremental changes over time. I maintain that a much better system of global governance can gradually emerge over the coming century and a half, allowing humankind to successfully manage the dangers that threaten our survival. Part III describes what might be accomplished in the next 10 to 20 years; Part IV is tuned to the last decades of this century, around the year 2100; and Part V sketches a full-fledged global framework that might perhaps emerge by the mid-twenty-second century.

Who will supply the “purpose” in this process? Who will steer the boat? No one in particular – or, more accurately, all of us at once. Here I need to make a brief digression on the question of whether history has a deeper goal or directionality.

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Chapter
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Planet in Peril
Humanity's Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them
, pp. 126 - 130
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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