1. Pollution - of the air, the water, the soil. For Gadamer all of these problems are the consequence of the compartmentalized thinking of the modern era, along with the assumption that the earth is ours to exploit as we please without regard to for the future, for our children, for the earth itself. We must reassume our historical responsibility for our children’s future by protecting their heritage. The reckless anarchy of the exploitation of the earth must be replaced by responsible dialogue among the exploiters, and among the governments of the earth. At present, we have a gathering of the Big 7 or 8 on how to manage the world to their own advantage. Such a dialogue, however, brings up questions of justice and fairness in the
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Government policies seem more oriented to maintaining the economy than in the economic and physical well-being of their populations. Again, Gadamer does not have a method for bringing down the power of Grosskapital. What he does offer is a critique of the modern assumptions that make them possible. We don’t just need power; we need reflection, critique, coming together as we share a common fate on this earth. For the “fate of the earth” is not just a matter of nuclear weapons, but of the management of the earth as our home in such a way as to promote the maximum well being of all its inhabitants now and in the future.
6. Nuclear weapons; the imminent danger of worldwide catastrophe. It seems that the danger posed by an arsenal of 50,000 missiles in Russian and America is less today than 15 or 20 years ago when Jonathan Schell’s The Fate of the Earth saw catastrophe on the horizon and a real possibility of giving the earth back to the insects and grasses. The cold war between Russia and the U.S. has thawed, but the proliferation of weapons goes on, and the growing masses of nuclear waste. Why? Because the military ways of thinking go on, the national security imperative still drives small countries to spend most of their