The vast majority of politicians are well educated and well-informed, but all too often problems and conflicts are exaggerated. Politicians must relate to media logic and, not infrequently, quite disinterested voters. But if you really want to tackle the challenges of our time, perspective is needed beyond the daily conflicts.
For that reason, we have sent 100 books to 100 Members of Parliament in Sweden about the world's positive, and rapid, progress.
The book is called Enlightenment Now! A Manifesto for Reason, Science and Humanism written by Harvard Professor Steven Pinker.
What defines progress differs for different people, but most agree that life is better than death. Health is better than disease. Wealth is better than poverty. Peace is better than war. Safety is better than danger. Freedom is better than tyranny. Equal rights are better than discrimination. Knowledge is better than ignorance. Happiness is better than despair. The opportunity to spend time with family and friends and to enjoy culture and nature is better than loneliness and boredom.
In terms of all these factors, the world has become much better.
The Enlightenment created the conditions that slowly, but surely, led to something that would probably have been perceived as "heaven" by those who lived 200 years ago. Everything gets better - except maybe the media. They don't tell you that it is less dangerous to get breast cancer today, compared to the danger of getting pregnant a hundred years ago. They do not say that life expectancy has more than doubled since 1900. They do not say that over 130,000 people have been lifted out of poverty each day for the past 30 years.
We are poorly informed, and in addition to this, some seem to play on people's fears and thus reinforce them. It is no wonder that fears flourish. Many people seem to think that humanity's best time has already passed.
The world has always had problems and the problems have not ended, but we do not solve them by turning back time. What made us healthier, wealthier, and more peaceful is what will contribute to continued development in the future.
We, who are behind this initiative, are Warp Institute, Warp News, Heja Framtiden and Synfält Framåt and it is our followers who paid for the books. We believe that the best days of humanity are ahead of us, but of course, that means we all have to fight for it.
Heavy responsibilities and high expectations fall on the Members of Parliament. We cheer you on!
Tobias Wahlqvist, Synfält Framåt
Christian von Essen, Heja Framtiden
Mathias Sundin, Warp Institute