The Human World is Growing Colder

“What do porcupines do in winter? asked Schopenhauer. If they come too close together, they injure one another with their spines. But if they stay too far apart, they freeze in the cold. It is not easy to get the balance right, and in human society there is no homeostasis, no mechanism that adjusts to the temperature outside. As long as the market economy and the liberal democratic state last, we will never be forced close to one another as people were in the premodern age, nor would we want to be. But we cannot stay as we are, for the human world is growing colder and the winds more biting and ferocious. We need a little more ‘We’ and a little less ‘I’ if we are to negotiate some of the challenges the present century still has in store for us.”

Morality, Chapter 5, p. 86