A fundamental phase shift hangs in the balance. Until recently, it has been thought that those whose souls are a bottomless pit, who are most competitive in means, should never stop expending resources to acquire wealth and power. They have been so conditioned that, unless and until sufficiently constrained or taxed, they absolutely will not stop until they have converted earth and humanity into something perhaps not even they would desire. Such people abide. It becomes insane or suicidal to ignore them. Their need to reduce other people to have to obey or work for them is insatiable. They will come to own, control, regulate, and entitle all land, resources, jobs, and laws. There will come no choice but to pay them obeisance and to work for them. Likewise, they will come to have no choice but to compete against, or work for, others like themselves. That end is their highest calling. That is, unless society learns better ways for recognizing sociopaths and hollow souls and for availing general distribution of liberty and opportunity. Perhaps society will learn to establish limits against hollow sociopaths by deploying progressive taxes on consumption in order gradually to fetter and bound incentives. Until then, the problem is this: How can or should society balance incentives for those who are irretrievably pointed towards reducing all of nature to understanding and control? Alternatively stated, how can humanity overcome ignorance and poverty, without chaining the collective to abject control under corporate chiefs?
A time approaches when populations will be reduced, and a system of machines and technology may be established such that no one need do much manual work in order to provide for most of his or society's basic needs and wants. A time approaches when most productive work will be done only by the very most technologically and scientifically skilled. Most others will be considered "useless eaters." Much of wealth and power will be agglomerated through inheritance. Merit will be redefined to equate, in main, to having been born into a rich and connected family, class, or situation. Then, unless society becomes dehumanized, those born into less fortuitous circumstances will need to be provided for. How shall they "earn" their basic keep? Shall they become the new class of sacred cows? Shall they be paid X dollars for living, breathing, eating, learning, consuming, and procreating? Shall municipalities finance competitive sports for digging and refilling holes? In main, shall further economic growth be stopped? Shall a new measure of economic health be adopted, such as gross national happiness (GNH), instead of gross national product? Then, who shall define GNH and administer the means of persuading and assimilating us to it? By what star shall they be guided?