The Need for Global Concern

“There is a real and present danger that the market, left to its own devices, will continue to concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, leaving whole nations destitute and significant numbers of people, even within advanced economies, without stable employment, income or prospects. Envy, anger and the sheer sense of injustice are fertile soil for the growth of protest, violence and terror from which, given the openness on which globalisation depends, none of us is immune. The steady erosion of families and communities leaves individuals without networks of support. The substitution of market price for moral value renders us inarticulate in the face of the random cruelties of fate.”

“Our habits of consumption are denuding the world of its natural resources, leaving future generations with ever less on which to survive. Our despoliation of the environment threatens more species with extinction than at any time since homo sapiens first set foot on earth. Global warming endangers the biosphere. Genetic intervention in the food chain poses unquantifiable risks to health. Eugenic cloning and other medical technologies may lead humanity to promethean alterations of the human genome, privileging the few at the cost of the many and calling into question the very idea of human uniqueness and irreplaceability on which our ideas of love, the human person and the non-negotiable dignity of a human life depend. Beyond these and no less urgent is the growing fragmentation of politics, the rise of new forms of tribalism and religious extremism, the persistence of ethnic wars and the capacity of highly decentralised groups, sometimes no more than a few individuals, to put security of life at risk. We have a global economy. We do not yet have a global culture, global governance or a coherent vision of global concern.”

The Dignity of Difference, p. 165