Our ability of creating material wealth has suddenly advanced at full speed since the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century. People said that what mankind achieved then was more than all they had done through the long past. Later in 19th century, after reviewing history, people marveled again that the great creations they had made exceeded all their accomplishments in history. Looking back at the past 20th century, people say things likewise. Today we have material wealth that multiplies that of the past.
But we are not happy!
At the same time, historians evaluated mankind’s sense of happiness, too. Generally they believe that we have much less happy feelings than the ancients did, even less than those who just walked out of caves in late Paleolithic times. Back then they were more relaxed and had more time for fun.
What does mankind eventually want?
The sustained development of the economy is propelled by science and technology. People were soon aware of its unlimited power in the creation of material wealth since the Industrial Revolution, and they made every effort to explore the potential. Scientific discoveries and technical innovations are promoted faster and faster in a fissile way. The stepping-out of science and technology is bound to bring the rapid expansion of knowledge, so people often say with emotion that we are living in the era of knowledge explosion.
No one can digest such a package of knowledge. The educational system is getting longer, primary school is followed by middle school and college, after which there are degrees of master and doctor and also post doctoral research. With almost 30 years spent on studying, half of life is over by the time one is out of school. However, new knowledge is constantly springing up. You have to update what you know after leaving school to keep up with new developments. Human life is tough and tiring!
The gap between the wealthy and poor has been there since ancient times, and because of the scaling effect of science and technology, the gap is unprecedentedly huge at the present and going on enlarged. There is 600 times the distance in per capital GDP between rich and poor countries, and the difference between individuals is already astronomical. Happiness is clear through comparison; a society with a huge gap between the rich and poor is a place in which most people don’t feel happiness. This tells us that people won’t happily live in the world with high-speed science and technology.
The competitions, comparisons and conflicts between countries have been under the context of co-existence without restriction. Some are reflected radically in the form of war and at the cost of death of people and doom of countries, which can not be ignored by any country.
In order to win in competition, mankind is tied on the war chariot by their countries. The encouragement of competitions, adventures and innovations becomes the right value of society.
My neighbor bought a car, but what I have is just a humble bike. My colleague’s apartment is 200㎡, and mine is half of its size. My school fellow is a professor, but so far I am an associated professor, as such, etc. So I must work harder and harder to catch up with them. But just when I surpass these people, there are new faster ones that run ahead of me, so I have to be the fastest.
Everyone is living like this until they die. People around us often complain about the huge pressures from life and work. Our living conditions are much better compared with the ancients. On the contrary, our sense of happiness is much lesser, and the suicide rate is soaring. This is because we are not universally happy!
Mankind must create an entire new pattern of development and build a new formation of society if we want prevailing happiness. We should not develop for the sake of development, or earn fortune for the sake of fortune. Our supreme value is survival and well-being. If the development and wealth is unfavorable to our life and can’t bring happiness, what do we want it for?
Please visit my website at www.hujiaqi.com (The human studies in which I have been engaged for the past 30 years have shown that the continued development of science and technology will soon extinguish humanity. It is a matter of life or death and of unparalleled importance to mankind. It is mankind’s biggest problem, and we need to wake up in order to save ourselves from extinction. We must achieve great world unification, and the basic conditions are ready. Only we need is to reach an commom opinion, that is the people in the world should wake up.)