Preface and Chapter 1

In The World Crisis - And What To Do About It: A Revolution for Thought and Action. Singapore: (2021)
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At present universities are devoted to the acquisition of specialized knowledge and technological know-how. They fail to do what they most need to do: help the public acquire a good understanding of what our problems are, what needs to be done to solve them. Universities do not even conceive of their task in that way. The result is that the public, by and large, fails to appreciate just how serious the problems that face us are, and so fails to put pressure on governments to act in the ways that are required. Modern science and technology make possible modern industry and agriculture, modern power production and travel, modern hygiene and medicine, modern armaments: these in turn have led to much that is of great benefit, but also to the global problems that threaten our future. Science divorced from the capacity to solve problems of living wisely is a disaster. It is that disaster that academia, as at present constituted, is designed to produce – and has produced: the modern world. We have to learn how to solve the grave global problems that confront us. That in turn requires that our institutions of learning – our schools and universities – are designed and devoted to the job. At present they are not. In giving priority to the pursuit of knowledge, they fail to do what most needs to be done and, even worse, are the source of our problems. It is absolutely vital, for the future of humanity, that universities are transformed radically so that they give absolute priority to the all-important task of helping the public come to understand what our problems are, and what we need to do about them. And as a result get governments to act. The book demonstrates that universities as at present constituted violate reason and, as a result, betray humanity. Cure universities of their structural irrationality, and they would come actively to promote actions required to solve global problems, and help humanity make progress toward a better world. The book spells out in detail the changes that need to be made to academic inquiry, why they need to be made, and how they would enable universities to empower humanity to solve current global problems.
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