Albert Einstein said that unless we change our “modes of thinking” about political issues, we are headed toward “unparalleled catastrophe.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? I would have to say that such truer words have never been spoken before. If we as a global community continue to think in the same mindsets that we have in the past, then we will never be able to work together to accomplish goals such as eradication of diseases, homelessness, and other social problems. Not only will social problems continue to be rampant, but attitudes such as hatred and fear will continue to prevail, thus causing barriers to be raised and prevent joint cooperation and negotiations in order to solve social, economic, and political problems.
According to Hauss, we as a global community, tend to view the political process in win-lose or zero-sum terms. It is because of this way of thinking that leads us to resort to violence as a way to solve disputes rather than talking them out in civil discourse. According to Einstein, we are drifting towards the unparalleled catastrophe of nuclear war. (Hauss, 2012) We continue to break ourselves down into groups normally based along nationality, religion, social status, and other categories instead of just being human. As we break ourselves up into these groupings, we tend to take upon ourselves a different identity instead of one common identity.
With these different identities are different values and beliefs, which may not mesh with another group’s identity. This can and normally does lead to differences of opinions between groups, making it difficult, if not nearly impossible to find a common denominator. A good example would be the civil war that occurred after the death of then Yugoslavian president Marshal Josip Tito. Upon Tito’s death in May of 1980, Yugoslavia was thrown into chaos as the different ethnic groups wanted their share of the proverbial pie. This led to the civil war between the Serbian, Croatians, and the Bosnians which began with the Croatians and Slovenians declaring their independence in 1991, followed shortly by Macedonia.
The civil war in the FRY (Former Republic of Yugoslavia) lasted until the Dayton Peace Accords were signed in November of 1995 by the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. It is because of differences in the way groups think, that if left unchanged, will lead to what Einstein describes because of the barriers we put up, making the ability for all groups to work together as one cohesive unit extremely difficult.
Hauss, Charles, (2012) Comparative Politics: Domestic Responses to Global Challenges: Eighth Edition.