Step 2: We Need to Take Stock

We need to understand why our old institutions aren’t coping with this new, modern world.

What’s going on right now is so much bigger than what we’re actually talking about.

It’s not just about what’s going on in one country. It’s about what’s going on in the whole world.

It’s not just about what’s been happening over the past few decades. It’s about social trends that have been unfolding over centuries, even whole millennia.

It’s not just about whether this or that belief system is superior, or how to run this or that institution. It’s about the very nature of knowledge, beliefs, and institutions themselves.

It may not seem like any of that big, overarching stuff has anything to do with you or your own life. But it really does.

The biggest thing that’s happened over the past fifty years is a total collapse of trust in our institutions.

We don’t trust the government. We don’t trust businesses. We don’t trust the media. We don’t trust the educational system. We don’t trust organized religion. I mean, you name it: if it’s an institution, we don’t trust it.

No wonder we have this feeling of dread that disaster is just around the corner. No wonder we’re clinging so hard to our ideologies and beliefs, looking for answers.

When our institutions that are supposed to be made up of our best and brightest, and do amazing things like land on the moon—when those institutions that are supposed to be leading the charge to solve our biggest problems are instead causing our biggest problems, it’s no wonder we’re so panicked.

It’s not a good time for our institutions to be failing. The population of the world has doubled in the past fifty years. We now have the ability to destroy our own species, if we aren’t careful. At a very moment when we desperately need more global coordination, and more effective institutions…we’re instead getting less of it.

We need to understand why our old institutions aren’t coping with this new, modern world.

We need to understand how the roots of these dysfunctions go way back, into old ideologies and old systems that have developed in a certain way into what we have today.

We need to understand this big, overarching story. We need to understand where we are, and how we got here. Or we can’t expect to ever get to where we want to go.


This is the 3rd in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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