It’s an age old issue for western civilization, “we want what we want when we want it” and that is that. Echart Tolle has observed that the ego (the driving center in the heart of most western individuals) wants to want more than it wants to have. Acquisition seems to be innate to Western “civilized” individuals. It has been the driving force of the dream of Manefest Destiny, the promise that populated the Americas, the self centered belief that THE WEST was ours to tame and have irrespective of the destiny of current inhabitants.
Noam Chomsky’s work has shown the disgusting nature of this national ego as it reaches out to acquire what we want from others around the world, irrespective of their desires or needs. If we can get it, we should have it, the world, even the future of our world and its people be hanged.
Wendell Berry reminded us that “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow from our children.” It could also be said that our current international relations perspective seems to be we won’t have what we want without impacting the needs and rights of others, and we seem to believe that is alright since we have a right to treat them in anyway that is useful. What would it mean for us to learn to live within self imposed limits as individuals and as a nation?