The Existential Paradox : Where do we sit in the World?
L ife the world over is a lottery, it's a nightmarish existence for the vast majority. What is the solution? What can the fortunate few do to aide the mass of humanity that clamour to live here. The humanitarian crisis that has befallen the EU and Middle East and elsewhere largely as a result of conflict. It could be said this is the most pressing (after climate change) issue of our time and that this is a defining moment in our collective evolution.

Europe is seen as a nirvana of freedom and prosperity in the eyes of those that look to come here. It's a dream come true for all that live here, it's an amazing opportunity for all and it’s the reason why we find ourselves with thousands clamouring to enter at our borders.

The fact is, collectively we could accept many hundreds of thousands of refugees and it would barely affect our infrastructure. The real concern among many is simply, will our lives be affected negatively by a refugee influx? Will our way of life come under attack? Will our freedom of expression, choice and peaceful existence be affected? Will our quality of life be lowered? Will our access to public services and healthcare be negatively affected?

Is the answer; if we don't do anything it will get to a point where we will have no choice in the matter. The freedoms earned in Europe were paid for in blood and destruction 70+ years ago. The war was played out across the globe. The British Empire came to an end, the UN, the commonwealth and the welfare state was born. The Middle East was segmented and independence gained by former colonies, and arguably their poor government & corruption is the cause of that which we are presented with today.

The debate is ongoing in households, in studios, in workplace staff rooms, where communities congregate and discussions held in public in private in corridors of parliament and government departments. The quality of life, the advancement of technology, the development of medicines, the life expectancies, access to food and housing has improved immensely in the democratic, capitalist system. Its arguable that the former Soviet Union never lasted because it failed to provide for its people. Communist China was beset with mass poverty and starvation until it adopted capitalism and trade with the democratic world that helped lift hundreds of millions out of poverty.

Granted there are issues that we all could point out in each nation state, area or racial, religious, divide. But the overarching undeniable fact is the development of humanity has advanced further and faster through trade and freedoms within democratic systems than in any system before or concurrent to it. Strategic development, social reforms, underpinned with a judiciary and an executive, with civic leaders protected by a military, not run by a despotic general, colonel or a particular clerical ideology.

Democracy has been protected by a pen in one hand and a stick in the other. The existential paradox is the fact that religious freedoms and human rights have thrived in democratic systems far more than in any mono-cultural, mono-faith societies. Yet its those very faiths that also preach tolerance and humanity to ones fellow human beings.

The question that befalls the prosperous is; when is it right to use the stick to protect what we have; to increase opportunities for those that yearn to avail themselves of the freedoms, pleasures and rights that exist in the freer world? At what point does protection of democracy and human rights turn into de facto nation building and not look imperialistic or an imposition of western so called decadence?

The case studies exist in the world around us. Where is North Korea and where is South Korea? Where is China now compared to 25 years ago. Where is Russia now compared to when it was the heading the USSR?

Capitalism isn't perfect, but it's in democracy that allows for change and development. Where we end up is anyone's guess but it's the strategic thinker who calculates the odds of it likelier of working in a system that allows societies, communities, race, creeds, faiths to co-exist and indeed thrive in an environment of respect for the human rights of individuals regardless of race, faith, gender or orientation.

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