Type keywords like Social Business, Grameen Bank etc.

War, Peace and Economics: Future of Human Beings

War, Peace and Economics: Future of Human Beings

War, Peace and Economics: Future of Human Beings


Muhammad Yunus

There is not much disagreement on the fact that the future of humans on this planet is extremely limited. It may not extend more than a century unless some drastic actions are taken in the immediate years. We are also reminded that the scope of taking actions to counter the ongoing process is much shorter than a century; it may be less than half a century. After that time, the planet will enter the red zone where the ongoing process of reaching the finishing line will become irreversible. All actions to reverse the process will have no impact whatsoever.


Within the little time we have, only super bold actions from today can save the human beings and other life-forms on this planet. The impact of these actions can push forward the red zone and give us time to reorganise the world for our survival.


In our global conversation, we are rightfully discussing how global warming is making a terrifying impact on the planet and its inhabitants. In these discussions, we urge global leaders to take tough decisions on fossil fuels, plastic usage, and saving the forests to stop global warming.


It is not usually made clear that the problem of survival is far bigger than what is caused by the environment only. Fundamentally, it is our economic, political, and social framework that is responsible for where we have ended up today. We keep forgetting that 'We create the world the way we think.' We should be blaming ourselves for putting the world on a suicidal path. Our wrong thinking has become the foundation of our entire civilization. We take enormous pride in creating this civilization and get very upset if somebody finds the slightest fault in it. But it has become clear that in order to stay alive on this planet, we must abandon this civilization as fast as we can and replace it with a new civilization that is not contaminated by old thinking. The older generation, in general, will be incapable of doing it because their minds are filled with old norms and ideas. The youth have the best chance to do it because their minds are fresh. On top of that, the younger generation is born with unprecedented power and faith which the older generation never had -- the limitless power of technology and the faith that nothing is impossible for human beings; all they need to do is to make up their minds and go for it. They know old roads cannot take anybody to a new destination. They are ready to define their new destination and build a new road to get there.


The present civilization is the product of an unquestioned economic philosophy and the institutions and policies generated by it. It made the world believe that the maximization of personal profit and unrestricted competition to achieve it is the guarantee of achieving prosperity measured in financial terms. Everything must be surrendered to ensure reaching this objective. In reality, it turned human beings into unthinking money-making robots chasing money for the sake of money. Money-making became the only pleasure in life. Anybody standing in the way is seen as an oddball or an enemy of the economy.


The point here is that it is not just fossil fuels (and the like) which is the most visible front face of the cause of global warming; it is the economic framework that led the world to consume fossil fuels limitlessly without any consideration for the safety and security of the people and the planet, which is responsible for it. As an immediate goal, targeting fossil fuels is important, but the problem will remain as strong as ever if we do not change the economic philosophy and practice that created the insatiable thirst for it.


Global warming is not the only damage being created by the economic framework. It continues to cause two more equally powerful damages, if not more, to human beings. The second damage it continues to do is producing a non-stop process of wealth concentration. No doubt, the personal profit-maximising framework of economics is very good at generating wealth, but this is only a small part of the story which is widely shared and celebrated. The bigger part of the story is that all the wealth created goes to only a handful of people every day. This economic machine is, no doubt, a very powerful wealth-creating machine, but the real 'success' of this machine is to hand over all the wealth created by it to the top 5% of the 8 billion global population. People at the top get wealthier and wealthier every day, under all circumstances, while people at the bottom remain permanently at the bottom. When Covid pandemic, or Ukraine war-like global war takes place, bottom-people go further down while the top people soar into further heights. The distance between bottom people and the top people in the wealth scale gets further and further. This is enough to make human society explode in anger at any time.


The third damage is coming from the technology side. Technology is booming. It is making all impossibles possible. The greatest achievements of humankind are taking place on this front. Under the present economic framework, this explosion of technology is helping in stacking up more personal profit by replacing human beings at the workplace. All businesses are getting ready to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) to replace human workers. This rush will not stop until all human beings are out of work. Promoters of AI are already assuring people who are going to lose their jobs: 'Don't worry, we'll arrange universal basic income for you.' It is becoming clear that the ultimate fate of human beings, including the owners of businesses, will be to become universal beggars living at the mercy of AI.


The civilization based on greed and personal profit maximisation cannot continue for long. Creating a new civilization, as fast as we can, to protect people and the planet is the only solution. Re-discovering ourselves as human beings is the only way out. The new civilization has to be based on human values of sharing and caring. Most of the businesses in the new civilization will be created as social businesses, businesses not to make personal profit, but to solve every single human problem with zero personal profit. It will ensure growth because all surpluses will be ploughed back into expanding and creating new social businesses. In this new civilization, there will be no job-seekers. There will be no unemployment. All people will express themselves as entrepreneurs. The social business financial system will ensure that everybody has access to finance to express himself/herself as entrepreneurs. This will be a civilization devoted to achieving three zeros: zero global warming, zero wealth concentration, and zero unemployment.


In this civilization, there will be no war.


Countries will organise themselves in Unions, following the example of the European Union. This concept of Union is the concept of the new civilization. Thanks to Europe for demonstrating it even in the old civilization. The UK decided to stay in the old civilization by exiting the Union. All citizens within a Union can work and live anywhere they want. No passport will be needed within the Union. There can be any number of Unions. A Union doesn't have to include all countries in a continent or a region. It can start small and expand as other countries want to join. The European Union has set an example of the new civilization already on the political side by removing borders between nations. The process of Unions will continue by creating a Union of Unions. This will remove the fundamental cause of war between and among nations.


ermanent peace will be the order of the day in the new civilization. The Ministry of War (or Defense, as they are called to make them acceptable to people) will gradually go down in importance. There will be a new important Ministry, the Ministry of Peace and Human Rights, to ensure permanent peace and establish human rights within and outside the Union. It will activate itself to help establish human rights wherever they are threatened.


Peace and human rights will be the foundation of the new civilization. The new civilization will be a Civilization of Peace and Human Rights. Everything will be done to ensure peace among all people and among all nations. In the current civilization, we talk about peace but hardly give it a place in our daily life. Peace and human rights will be at the forefront of our political and cultural life, not for making ceremonial statements on special occasions, but as an integral part of our education, upbringing, politics, and daily life.


In the current civilization, we talk about peace but make the Ministry of Defense the most powerful ministry. Not only do our defence budgets eat up a big chunk of the national budget, but their allocations cannot be debated in the parliaments. War preparation is our topmost priority, and peace preparation doesn't even have any financial allocation in the budget. It remains lip service or it is assumed that preparation for war is the preparation for peace. But in reality, preparation for war becomes the primary cause of war. The more prepared you are, the more you itch to get into war.


Building and maintaining a big army is the usual practice in the existing civilization. Nations are encouraged to feel proud of their Armed Forces. Citizens are required to feel patriotic to serve or support the army.


In the new civilization, the Ministry of Peace and Human Rights will have a significant budget and it will be shared not only with Parliament and citizens for their participation and advice but also shared with neighbouring countries for their advice and participation in the programs. Here we would like to make the interests of neighbouring countries coincide with our own. If we put peace and Human Rights as our priority, we should be allocating a significant budget allocation for it. With the success of this new ministry, we can increase its budget by reducing the budget of the Ministry of Defense, because its contribution to peace is more visible than the Ministry of Defense. The success of the New Civilization would be judged by reducing and even eliminating the Ministry of Defense.


Under the Ministry of Peace and Human Rights, there will be a peace-makers brigade trained and engaged in peace-making initiatives within the country and in neighbouring countries. They will have a budget to invest in peace-making initiatives, such as social businesses within their own country and other countries, bilaterally and multilaterally, focusing on solving the human rights and other most difficult problems of the country. It can do it jointly with the countries of the region.


The Peace Ministry will create a Peace and Human Rights Fund with contributions from all businesses and citizens to take peace and human rights initiatives within the country and outside the country.


There will be Peace Exercises and Human Rights Exercises among countries where leaders of the nations and commanders of Peace Brigades will celebrate successes and review the preparations and progress.


Parallel to Military Alliances, the new civilization will have Peace Alliances devoted to building up peace alliances within civil society of member countries as well as non-member countries. The annual gathering of the Peace Alliance would be an event to celebrate creative ideas to ensure peace by resolving actual conflicts and disputes. Leaders of countries will come with innovative ideas of solving outstanding problems and avoiding emerging problems. Similarly, there would be a Human Rights Coalition among countries, with the initiative of the Ministries in each country. Universities, media, civil society organisations, youth organisations, women organisations, chambers of commerce may bring their ideas in collaboration with their counterparts in relevant countries to come up with creative solutions.


Under the present civilization, the decision to go into war is left to the government, usually to the head of the government. This is extremely risky. An ambitious politician can go into devastating war to glorify himself or to divert public attention from a political problem surrounding him. An ambitious general can manipulate the political leadership to go into war, assuring them of an instant victory.


The present civilization doesn't really want peace. It has convinced the leaders of countries that military superiority is the guarantee for peace. Money spent on war preparation is actually the money spent on guaranteeing peace. The war industry is a significant industry in many countries. They constantly need to create demand for new armaments and supplies and get the new models of weapons in production. This precisely suits the political needs of some political leaders.


There are so many things going in favour of war in the present civilization that it is surprising that we are not in war all the time. The war industry is a flourishing industry attracting enormous investment and political power. It has enormous influence in the government of the country as well as countries that buy military equipment, supplies, and hardware.


The Peace Ministry can develop its own peace industry. Fighting global warming, poverty, reforesting disappearing forests, bringing renewable energy, global waste management, saving the ocean floor can be exciting social business of peace industries.


War technology is a massive area of research and development. The new civilization will develop a Peace Technology Research and Development program. This will be the area of top priority for the new civilization. Technology is what will ensure peace permanently. Most of the conflicts and wars take place because of conflicting demands from opposing countries. Each side insists that his side of history is right. Since they cannot resolve it by arguments, they go into wars. Another cause is one side believing that it has been denied a right, such as access to resources, trading facilities, sea routes, breach of an agreement, etc. Technology and protocol will be developed to establish the truth acceptable to both sides.


Technological development has come a long way. The new civilization will sharpen either an existing technology or develop a technology that will produce a custom-fit solution that will be acceptable to both sides. It will also have a continuous monitoring mechanism, to make sure all sides are abiding by the agreement. Conflicts and disputes get complicated either because too much time elapses before any attempt is made to solve it or one or the other side is not keeping promises made in the agreement. Peace ministries of all countries will activate Peace Mechanism immediately to produce results. Continuous research and development of ever-improving conflict resolution technology will get the highest priority in the new civilization.


In the new civilization, there will be combined intelligence-gathering technology for both Defense and Peace ministries. All intelligence will be shared by both ministries within the country and among the corresponding ministries in other countries. In many occasions, the same intelligence may be utilised in completely different ways by two ministries to suit their purposes. For example, the purchase of a set of new military hardware in a friendly country may make the defence ministry happy and supportive, but it may make the peace ministry nervous because of the enhancement of the capacity of launching a war. Each ministry will recommend taking an appropriate action by the government. Now, the government will have a choice to make, which is absent in the existing civilization.


At present, there is a practice of posting military attaches in embassies. The new civilization will add a peace attache to make contacts with peace brigades and peace organisations of the country where the attache is posted.


Peace and human rights will be the central focus of the new civilization. Absence of war, all forms of international violence, and violation of human rights will constitute the bedrock of the new civilization.


Peace and human rights will not be considered as the leftovers from a previous war or part of ceremonial utterances. They will be embedded in everyday human life and will be upheld in every action of human beings. This will make the New Civilization the ultimate human civilization.


Without building this new civilization, there is no chance for human beings to exist on the planet.


Yunus Appointed as the Chair of  the International Advisory Board of Moscow's Financial University

Yunus Appointed as the Chair of  the International Advisory Board of Moscow's Financial University
Yunus Centre Press Release – 27 November 2023   On 23rd of November 2023, Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Yunus joined in a high level strategic meeting with Professor Stanislav Prokofiev, the Rector of the Financial University under the Government of the Ru...

প্রফেসর ইউনূস মস্কোর ফাইনান্সিয়াল ইউনিভার্সিটির আন্তর্জাতিক উপদেষ্টা বোর্ডের সভাপতি নিযুক্ত হলেন

প্রফেসর ইউনূস মস্কোর ফাইনান্সিয়াল ইউনিভার্সিটির আন্তর্জাতিক উপদেষ্টা বোর্ডের সভাপতি নিযুক্ত হলেন
ইউনূস সেন্টার প্রেস রিলিজ – ২৭ নভেম্বর ২০২৩   গত ২৩ নভেম্বর ২০২৩ নোবেল লরিয়েট প্রফেসর মুহাম্মদ ইউন...

গ্রামীণ টেলিকম: বাংলাদেশে গ্রামীণ নারীর ক্ষমতায়নের আলোকবর্তিকা

গ্রামীণ টেলিকম: বাংলাদেশে গ্রামীণ নারীর ক্ষমতায়নের আলোকবর্তিকা
প্রেস রিলিজ   ঢাকা, বাংলাদেশ, ২১ নভেম্বর ২০২৩   ১৯৯৭ সালে মোবাইল টেলিফোন বাংলাদেশের শহরাঞ্চলে শুধু...

Grameen Telecom: A Beacon of Women Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh

Grameen Telecom: A Beacon of Women Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh
Press Release (21 November 2023)   Dhaka, 21 November 2023   Back in 1997 mobile telephone was a product of high level luxury in the context of urban areas of Bangladesh and any where else in the world. It was a fairytale for rural areas of Bangladesh. Tel...

First Meeting of UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Zero Waste Held in Istanbul

First Meeting of UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Zero Waste Held in Istanbul
Press Release ( 03 November 2023)   Istanbul, Turkey - November 1, 2023 - The United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board of Eminent Persons on Zero Waste convened for their inaugural in-person meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. The meeting, chaired by Emine Erdo...

ইস্তান্বুলে অনুষ্ঠিত জাতি সংঘের “জিরো ওয়েস্ট অ্যাডভাইজরী বোর্ড”—এর প্রথম সভায় যোগ দিলেন প্রফেসর ইউনূস

ইস্তান্বুলে অনুষ্ঠিত জাতি সংঘের “জিরো ওয়েস্ট অ্যাডভাইজরী বোর্ড”—এর প্রথম সভায় যোগ দিলেন প্রফেসর ইউনূস
প্রেস রিলিজ (৩ নভেম্বর ২০২৩)   ইস্তান্বুল, তুরস্ক, ১ নভেম্বর ২০২৩ জাতি সংঘ মহাসচিব অ্যান্টোনিও গুটের...

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus statement on Israel-Palestine conflict

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus statement on Israel-Palestine conflict
Most Urgent Action Needed is to Create Palestine State Immediately. No More Delay. The conflict between Israel and Palestine is a very old problem which has become much more complicated now because of the treatment that the people of Palestine have been receiving from ...

ড. ইউনূসকে সমর্থন জানিয়ে সাবেক মার্কিন প্রেসিডেন্ট বারাক ওবামার চিঠি

ড. ইউনূসকে সমর্থন জানিয়ে সাবেক মার্কিন প্রেসিডেন্ট বারাক ওবামার চিঠি তারিক চয়ন ২৭ আগস্ট ২০২৩, রবিবার, ...

13th Social Business Day to be held in Langkawi, Malaysia

13th Social Business Day to be held in Langkawi, Malaysia
Press Release (26 July 2023) Langkawi | July 26, 2023 The Social Business Day is an annual global gathering organized by the Yunus Centre initiated in 2010 to celebrate and share the accumulated experiences of social business leaders and entrepreneurs spearheading a...