Category Archive: Development

Technology: Good or Bad?

It would be unrealistic to adhere to a retrogressive and romanticized notion of a “simple” life, in which technology is non-existent, and humanity subsists in some type of passively blissful coexistence with nature.… Continue reading

Globalization: Good or Bad?

Friends, listen up. The end of the 20th century discloses to the eyes of humanity a vista of stupendous opportunities and grave perils. Allow me to explain. Some of the more striking phenomena… Continue reading

Artificial Scarcity & The Baha’i Faith

The Problem . ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY is a term used to describe the condition in which masses of people are deprived of their bare necessities, while wealth, resources, and infrastructure exist in sufficient proportion… Continue reading

“Concentrations of Wealth” by Michael Karlberg

A recent study by Oxfam provided some striking data regarding growing disparities of wealth and poverty within and between countries around the globe: 50% of the world’s wealth is now owned by 1% of the… Continue reading

Embryonic Humanity

Humanity is a whole, single organism, and may be likened unto the body of a human being, also a whole and single organism.  Likewise, the embryological processes that led to the development of… Continue reading

Releasing the Deep Reservoirs that Young People Possess

“Throughout the world, across all classes and social groups, there has been a ready response from youth who are invited to examine the forces shaping their society and their role in contributing to… Continue reading

A Final Step in Humanity’s Evolution

One can analyze in the tumultuous evolution of the life of humankind one thread, among others, that has been present and steadily advancing for thousands and tens of thousands of years.  Perhaps human… Continue reading

120 years of discourse

A few days ago passed the 120th anniversary of the first mention of the Baha’i Faith in the Western hemisphere.  At last, the spiritual forces released by Baha’u’llah’s Revelation had an “initial conversation”… Continue reading

10% of Humanity’s Population is Young People in India

Putting aside, for a moment, the truth that young people are characterized by having a “desire to bring about constructive change”, by having “a capacity for meaningful service”, by having “all the hope… Continue reading

The Power of Truth

For thousands of years, beginning with the birth of the family – the smallest unit in the scale of human organization – humanity’s evolution has been characterized by a process of integration, which… Continue reading

From the Animator to a World Civilization

The worldwide Baha’i community is dedicated to a systematic long-term process of learning how to translate the principles of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah into reality and engaging more and more people in an… Continue reading

The Structure of Future Scientific Revolutions

Science is in its infancy. It will evolve, change, and grow until it achieves a more mature form. To date, the human experience suffers from an underdeveloped understanding of the nature and scope… Continue reading

Inside Those Suffering Eyes: The Us and Them Dichotomy

Those who wish to make a positive impact on the world are faced with a paradox born of the very privilege that motivates them to help others. They are at once the beneficiary of oppressive… Continue reading

Development: a Critique

It seems like development projects in the 70’s thought of themselves as Agent Smith showing up at the beginning of the Matrix where the local police are having trouble dealing with Trinity. The… Continue reading

The Scientist Believer

Development as an enterprise will fail until it studies the inter-penetration of reason and faith, the same way that students who memorize by rote repetition will always be 2nd best to the genius who understands… Continue reading

5 Aphorisms on Science, Religion, and Development

1. I feel like science is that family that screams at each other all saturday night long waking up the whole neighborhood and then shows up to socialize at a local potluck pretending… Continue reading

Dimensions of Social Action

When articulating social action, there are certain words that are used – namely, lines, areas, and spheres. One can view an individual’s action as a “point”.  As a series of actions by individuals… Continue reading

Marx: From Beyond the Grave

The global economy is now in a downward spiral, unemployment is at record highs in country after country, national debt is paralyzing governments, incomes have stagnated for a majority of workers — suddenly… Continue reading

Poverty and Revelation

Poverty is as ineradicable as the house-fly! The misguided conviction that material resources exist, or can be created by scientific and technological enterprise, to entirely eradicate poverty is a myth of global scope. Social scientists… Continue reading

Utilizing Material Means

Achievement, we know from experience, requires the expenditure of material means. Social and economic development, albeit with a spiritual and transcendent intention, is no exception. Antithetically, there are many societies, some of whom may… Continue reading

Justice and Universal Participation

The development of a just society requires universal participation. Why?  Why is this the case?  If you’d like, respond with your thoughts below. Surely, there are many of reasons.  Three come to my… Continue reading

Spiritual Re-Education and the Power of the Masses

In discourse, thought, reflection and action are intimately interdependent.  Action is coherent only when it is not merely rote but also consultative, that is, when it is not dichotomized from reflection. Reflection, which is… Continue reading

Empowerment, Oppression, and Social Order

Extreme socio-economic inequalities of access and opportunity result in privileged vs. oppressed classes. The oppressed, over time, adapt to the structure of domination under which generations languish and become resigned to it. The status quo… Continue reading

Unity, Communism, and Change: The Principle, the Boogie-Man, and the Future

Today it seems that the message for change is articulated by people who believe in the unity of races, equality of genders, and institutional intervention on behalf of social and economic justice. These people also hold… Continue reading

Summary: Ridvan 2012 Message

Paragraph#: 1. Abdu’l-Baha’s Temple-ground piercing Centenary. Diverse participants then and now. 2. Divine civilization beyond mere adjustments to present order. 3. Erroneous assumptions of human nature, justified by failings, disallow spiritual potential. 4.… Continue reading

The Universe is Pregnant

The universe is pregnant with these manifold bounties – bounties mysteriously emerging from the intricate interplay between the micro-cosmic visions of various actors on the world stage, each pursuing their own selfish advantage,… Continue reading

Social Conventions – Objective or Subjective?

Objectivity – another desired quality of the language of science – is a term loaded with connotations and interpretations; it’s rarely a straightforward concept.  It helps to contrast it with subjectivity.  An entirely… Continue reading

Building the Capacity to Build Capacity

When one examines social structures, processes, and relationships, one can identify numerous factors that influence them all.  Yet one that is a never-changing and ubiquitous factor upon which ultimately depends the efficacy of… Continue reading

Beyond Modernism and Post-Modernism

Historically and currently, the relationship between power and knowledge has been strained and complex, to say the least.  Recently, “modernism” – which has constructed systems of knowledge around truth-claims about social reality –… Continue reading

Relative Latency

Earlier in this blog, there was a post on the concept of latency.  This concept helps us further understand an approach to knowledge that transcends foundationalism and relativism. If one considers the biological… Continue reading

Conscious Choice

Beyond the highly propagated fragmentation of science and religion in current thought, and the resistance to reconceptualize these complementary systems of knowledge and practice, there are, in general, voices that resist change, especially at the level of… Continue reading

Science and Religion

All human beings have spiritual capacities that can be revealed to contribute to humanity’s development and betterment.  This process of empowerment occurs through access to knowledge, both self-knowledge and knowledge of reality.  This… Continue reading

Capacity Building

One fundamental feature of a development process that recognizes the material and spiritual requirements of social reality is capacity building.  In fact, development can almost be seen as synonymous with building capacity.  The… Continue reading

Exploitation and Oppression

The processes of development have adopted values driven by economic growth, values that often view all things as means to a narrow-minded end, values that reduce an individual’s identity to a producer, consumer,… Continue reading

Materialism

Today’s vision of betterment is dogmatically materialistic.  The interpretation of reality that progress equals economic development, and that people’s happiness would only be the result of better health, food, education, living conditions, etc.,… Continue reading

The Centrality of Knowledge

The advancement of civilization is propelled through increases in knowledge, as has been mentioned multiple times in previous posts.  Every human being is a protagonist of humanity’s maturity, and all can contribute through… Continue reading

Trust and Nobility

Humanity will mature as each member is allowed to contribute to its advancement. Every human being has talents and capacities, the development of which is the right and duty of the individual, and… Continue reading

Civilization

This term, “civilization”, has been mentioned repeatedly.  In fact, the stated purpose of this blog is to contribute to the discourse on the advancement of civilization.  Perhaps we could all share thoughts about… Continue reading

Justice and Human Potential

Viewing justice as a latent potential of the human soul liberates us from the guilt which can so easily disempower the protagonists of social transformation.  In the same way that our physical capacities… Continue reading

Definitions of Progress and Global Development

Where does the concept progress come from? Who sets its parameters? What do we have to do to know we are achieving something worthwhile? Without thinking about these questions we end up thinking… Continue reading

Approaches to Justice

In the collective life of humankind, justice manifests as a compass in decision making, protecting resources from being diverted towards extraneous values, and protecting groups of people from the oppression of a vocal… Continue reading

History of the World, Part 4

Humanity’s social life is evolving towards fruition of a world civilization.  This process is propelled by two complementary systems of knowledge and practice – religion and science.  Both of these systems advance human… Continue reading

Latency

That certain evolutionary processes are teleological in nature, meaning they are driven by an intrinsic purpose, brings up to the concept of latency.  The characteristic of latent potential is common to all organic… Continue reading

History of the World, Part 3

The next point regarding our perspective of history is that there is purpose in creation; in other words, evolution is understood as a teleological process.  Characterizing evolutionary processes with this word – meaning… Continue reading

History of the World, Part 2

All things evolve and develop along a path, unfolding towards maturity along a spiritual journey. The richest repository of this potential is human civilization progressing from ancient times until the modern age. The… Continue reading

Rural Life and Industrialization

The region known as the ‘west’ comprises a minority of the population of the globe. The west influences global trends and determines national agendas disproportionately. China and India comprise vaster quantities of human… Continue reading

Twofold Transformation

Human beings have a two-fold moral purpose: to develop our own personal spiritual attributes (such as love, kindness, wisdom, generosity, and intelligence) as well as to contribute to the social and institutional progress… Continue reading