About the Book

Your Struggle: Humanity vs. Existential Opportunism fundamentally aims to convey a worldview that enables sustainability to be achieved, both in human society and in its balance with our natural environment. In order to realize this goal as effectively as possible, the volume can be distributed free of charge, and translations into other languages are allowed and even encouraged.

The book is different from usual works on the subject in that it is more personal and speaks directly to the reader, while trying to shed light on things and aspects that we don’t usually think about in our everyday lives. Perhaps the most important of these is that, however insignificant we may feel, we are not necessarily just passive sufferers, but also shapers of the ongoing story of humanity, even if only in a very small way. At the same time, we must see that the vast world ocean is also made up of tiny droplets, which together possess enormous power that can form gigantic waves.

To see the truth of this, it is essential to be able to see the world we live in, and ourselves in it, from a higher perspective. The book therefore seeks to promote a much more holistic way of thinking than is currently common, not only to clarify the relationship of the individual with society and the natural environment, but also putting forward the legitimacy of a common identity for humanity as a whole. For it appears that humanity desperately needs that and a common purpose in order to successfully face the challenges of our time, and to look forward to a future that is truly worth living and working for.

The volume is divided into three major sections, as follows:
1) Gloomy Prospects
2) From Existential Opportunism to Collective Consciousness
3) For a More Civilized and More Sustainable Future

The first part outlines the increasingly serious threats to human civilization, as well as possible solutions and approaches to address them. The next section clarifies the notion of existential opportunism and its harmfulness, and then discusses, through a series of somewhat philosophical reflections, how we can move from it to collective consciousness, i.e. from behavior based on mere instincts and emotions to a much more conscious approach, more worthy of intelligent and rational beings. And finally, the third part looks in detail at how the economy and politics work today, and how we can achieve the transformation to a more sustainable, just and civilized society.

To this end, the book adopts a cultural rather than a strict material approach, drawing on human nature and way of thinking to explain phenomena. While Karl Marx, known as one of the most important thinkers of socialism, approached the concept of social order by examining the inequality of material goods and political power, the French sociologist Emile Durkheim focused on the role of shared norms and values in analyzing the unity and cohesiveness of society. According to him, the community-organizing force based on shared customs, beliefs, language and culture, i.e. ‘mechanical solidarity’, is increasingly being replaced by ‘organic solidarity’, based on the interdependence of people and their conscious recognition of this fact, i.e. ‘collective consciousness’. In this new kind of social order, the moral restraint of individual interests and self-centered tendencies derives from the association of people, forming the basis of social cohesion.

This, however, is fundamentally contradicted by a consumer society based on the (neo)liberal market economy, on constant growth and competition, essentially on existential opportunism, which sees both us humans and the natural environment as mere tools and exploits them ruthlessly. Meanwhile, it unleashes and leaves un- or underattended threats such as global climate change, now proven to be man-driven, drastically degrading and polluted natural environments, the ever-increasing number of epidemics, and scarcities and difficulties related to natural resources and energy. But since our Earth’s resources and regenerative capacities are finite, it is easy to see why we cannot afford this kind of limitless lifestyle for much longer – as it is perfectly illustrated by the increasing frequency of natural disasters, thunderstorms, droughts, floods, wildfires, landslides, and their direct or indirect consequences.

In addition, there are the other problems and sources of danger due to existential opportunism, such as social inequalities and tensions, wars, weapons of mass destruction, technological explosion and alienation, and so on. What is emerging from all this is an increasingly clear picture of a general crisis of civilization, including a general crisis of values due to our tendency to existential opportunism, along with the overpopulation of our species and the rapid development of technology at a faster pace than human culture and morality has been able to keep up with. In fact, the situation is so grave that it could lead in a short time, even a few decades, to a general economic collapse, the disintegration of social order and the end of civilization as we know it today, with a previously never seen magnitude of unnecessary death and suffering.

But for now, we still have the opportunity to avert a civilization catastrophe. To do this, however, we must finally say no to existential opportunism and our socio-economic-political system based on it, so that it is replaced by humanity and a nurturing society, without homelessness, poverty, deprivation and permanent insecurity, where everyone has a real chance to live a meaningful, happy, healthy life and for self-actualization. And for that, we don’t even need an ideology that promises a utopian future, such as communism, which has proved to be a fallacy, and is unfeasible in practice at the present level of human development.

Nevertheless, we must realize that civilized life cannot be about perpetual competition, which has its place and its way in our daily lives, but which should never be allowed to be the basis of people’s basic livelihood and well-being in a society that aspires to be civilized. Market competition can be replaced by collective consciousness and cooperation, and we need qualitative growth and development instead of quantitative economic growth that is unsustainable. This can be achieved through a controlled and optimized economy, where there is constant feedback between consumers and companies, and people’s needs are always met in proportion to the resources available. And by sharing knowledge, open networks can be created that continue to ensure scientific and technological innovation.

But this is only possible if we put an end to consumerism and the almost religious omnipotence of money and the economy. Social sustainability, the drastic reduction of social inequalities, is also extremely important because it is essential for achieving environmental sustainability. That is because if the majority of people live in perpetual insecurity, they will not be able to deal effectively with protecting the environment, and they will not have enough time, energy and opportunities to participate in public affairs, either. This requires concrete measures such as the introduction of unconditional basic services and an income ceiling, or taxing and restricting the inheritance of disproportionate wealth.

The ever more conscious civil society must exercise constant control not only over the economy but also over political processes. Politics cannot keep the wider society at bay forever because its members do not have the knowledge, experience and insight to participate in the most important issues, as its role should be to cooperate with them in making good decisions that benefit the majority. For this to happen, we must work to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the highest quality education and to quality, impartial information about the world as it is.

However, we must be aware that the dominance of existential opportunism in our societies can only be eliminated, or even reduced, if the majority that rejects it consciously cooperates and exercises control over the opportunists that make up the minority. If that’s not the case, despite their much smaller numbers, the hardline opportunists will continue to successfully enforce the ‘divide and rule’ principle, and will continue to determine the course of events and the future of our societies and humanity. That is why the passive principle of ‘live and let live’, as nice as it sounds, will not get us anywhere – or at least not to a future that is really worth living in.

Let us not forget: we need to secure the living conditions and maximize the prospects not only of the present generation, but also of future generations, otherwise we can hardly call ourselves civilized beings. However, due to the negative aspects of human nature, realistically we cannot expect those in power, if not properly controlled and supervised, to ever act for the benefit of the majority rather than their own immediate interests. Civil societies must therefore come together at national as well as international level and put pressure on politics and the economy according to principles based on shared values, with much higher standards and expectations than before, and hold our leaders to account.

All of this must be done without compromising the basic functioning of our societies, using all means to maintain peace, rejecting violence – after all, the ultimate goal is none other than to live in a more civilized and sustainable society in the long term. Therefore, if no other organization and cooperation, initiative, petition, boycott proves helpful, we may turn to non-violent resistance as a last resort. Together, however, we can not only achieve the potential for fulfillment for each individual, but also move closer to the ‘collective self-actualization’ of humanity as a whole, bringing out the rare and wonderful abilities within us, harnessing and maximizing our potential as a species, unique in our intelligence and humanity, while ensuring harmonious coexistence with nature.