Recently I have read a lot of books, written by authors from a wide-diversity of disciplines (medicine, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience) offering their learned perspectives on where the world is going wrong.
What I've come to realise, is that in their diagnosis of the problem, they are all pretty much saying the same thing.
The world has been hijacked by a pervasive form of thinking.
This type of thinking (positivism) has over a period of decades shrunk the world's perspective to a point where collectively we don't appear to be capable of imagining any kind of alternative.
The rise of conservative nationalism, the failure of democracies, the issues with free speech, mental health issues, climate change, inequality, xenophobia - all of these can be linked back to this issue of how we think about and understand reality.
In an interview posted on Noema, philosopher Byung-Chul Han suggests that the magic we need to open our minds, and our thinking to alternatives, today, lies in the arts.
'Art has always brought forth a new reality, a new form of perception.'
'It is therefore capable of letting something entirely new begin. The revolution can begin with as little as an unheard-of color, an unheard-of sound.'
Historically philosophers used to be the bearers of the torches that shone a bright light into the darkness of human evolution, but philosophy no longer carries the weight that it once did; it's now a benign academic discipline populated exclusively by intellectuals and people who create meaning for themselves by writing peer-reviewed papers that nobody can really understand.
There are no radical revolutions being started because of new thinking by philosophers.
Art, and the arts, on the other hand still have that magic; they still have the ability to allow us to freely explore, through imagination, what could be.
I would highly recommend that you have a read of the full article yourself, and when I get around to it, I'll post a list of all of the books that are all suggesting that our globally accepted way of seeing the world is really the key problem that we should be focusing on.
What it comes down to is that art, creativity, imagination (the soft skills ... such a shitty term...as they are called) are far more critical for our futures than what we currently think.