RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Significantly More Than a Kerfuffle

Between nations there are three levels of influence; the first level is vital for security, such as defending the homeland; the second level provides an area that acts as a buffer of protection from a competitor and the competitor mutually considers that same area as a buffer; the third level includes areas that will extend influence or power if the cost or risk is small.

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Ideology can be seen as a “system of social beliefs: a closely organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, or political philosophy or program.” Ideology is a meaningful belief system: a set of beliefs, values, and opinions that shapes the way a person or a group such as a social class thinks, acts, and understands the world.

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Greek philosopher busts

History of Philosophy

Most of Western thought started with the Greeks of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. The word philosophy originates from the Greek word philosophia, which literally means “the love of wisdom.” Originally the term was applied to all intellectual endeavors. Each civilization has had unique schools of philosophy, arrived at through cultural evolution of consciousness and independent discovery.

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Humans and all hominids before humans were – and are – the maker of tools. The two qualities that separate humans from all other species on this planet are our ability to create technology and to create the systems that technology requires. Technology is the catalyst for cultural change. The process of political, economic, and social adjustment to these technological changes is cultural evolution.

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The World Society Today – A Curse and an Opportunity

If we accept Einstein’s observation that problems cannot be solved at the level at which they were created, we must also accept that new structures are needed and new institutions established that are large enough to solve the problems that humans have created through our shortsightedness and greed. There is a point in any society’s development where a few control most of the power and wealth of that society and development becomes stunted; society starts its decline. That is where we are now; this is our Zeitgeist.

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The Tail Wagging the Dog

Cultural evolution can be seen clearly in the history of Judaism. The beginning of Judaism can be traced to the first civilization, the Sumerian, over 5000 years ago. Some of the Sumerian Gilgamesh tales are incorporated into the Torah and known as the book of Geneses in the Christian Old Testament. The tribes of Abraham migrated from the Tigris Euphrates to the Levant. There they built a civilization centered around Jerusalem. The Israelis developed the second monotheistic religion in the world (after Zoroastrianism). The Jewish culture was built around its religion and unified tribal loyalty in society. Israelites had been expelled from Jerusalem by conquerors several times.

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Causation and Social Forces for Cultural Change

Curiosity is the desire to know. The curiosity trait is universal and is critical in the cultural evolution of human society. It is that sense of wonder that we are born with. We all possess it, and like other basic truths, we seldom give the concept any thought – yet it is a prime component of who we are both as individuals and as a species. Curiosity transcends species. It is that universal quality of wanting to know and understand the unknown.

Not all societies have been affected in the same way. Some countries have fared better than others in dealing with it. Their ability to cope has depends on resources, a willingness to use them, and a well-organized state with good leadership that citizens trust and will follow. In dysfunctional, out-of-balance societies, citizens have become polarized and are living through an ongoing catastrophe.

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