A New World
“We are all in one boat, one global economy. Our fortunes rise together, and they fall together. ...We have a collective responsibility—to bring about a more stable and more prosperous world, a world in which every person in every country can reach their full potential.” 
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The worldwide unrest of 2011 irreversibly changed the world. Millions of people took to the streets in numerous countries on every continent, from the Arab Spring through Occupy Wall Street. Wherever the “social storm” hit, the demands for social justice and equality resonated through the crowds (with understandable variations among countries and cultures). People began to demand solutions to their problems; they wanted change. Often, people could not quite formulate their demands in words, but a deep sensation that they were being mistreated prompted them to act, to go out to the streets and protest, sometimes at the risk of their lives.
Why did these protests occur? Why did they occur at this point in time? Why did they happen with such synchrony, seeming to fuel one another? To understand how things work in a global age, we need to look at the state of humanity from a broad angle rather than consider each aspect in the state of humanity separately.
“Historians will look back and say this was no ordinary time but a defining moment: an unprecedented period of global change, a time when one chapter ended and another began - for nations; for continents; for the whole world.” 
historian, former Prime Minister of the U.K. (2008)
Since the outbreak of the global crisis in 2008 it has become increasingly clear that we are at a historic tipping point. Divorce rates are constantly rising, and many people have no wish to marry or have a family . Drug abuse is increasing , and violence and crime continue, despite the fact that the U.S. prison population has more than doubled over the past 15 years . The educational system is in collapse , with institutions either offering poor schooling or education that’s out of affordable range for most people . Personal insecurity is so high that today there are more guns in the hands of citizens in America than there are citizens , and the trend is growing . In light of all this, it is no surprise that “nearly 40 percent of the people suffer mental illness.” 
Until today, humanity had gradually advanced from generation to generation in the belief that our children would have a better life than our own. This gave us power and hope. But today, the future doesn’t seem so bright . It appears as if humanity has lost its way.
The primary indicator of our bewilderment concerning the future is the economic situation. Since 2008, the world has been in a prolonged economic crisis. Worse yet, the prospects of finding a way out of it seem dim. Nouriel Roubini, a leading economist and predictor of the global crisis, warned that we could be facing “Another Great Depression. Things are getting worse and the big difference between now and a few years ago is that this time around we’re running out of policy bullets.” 
Business magnate and investor, George Soros, also claims, “We are on the verge of an economic collapse.”  And Sir Mervyn King, the current Governor of the Bank of England, concludes, “This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever.” 
The continuous decline of the global economy is worrisome because it concerns more than our money. The economy is not a neutral network of industry, trade, and banking. More than anything, it reflects our own ambitions and desires, our relationships and the direction toward which we are headed. Therefore, as will be detailed below, a crisis in the economy points to a serious problem in society—namely in human relations.
 An Address to the 2011 International Finance Forum by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Beijing, November 9, 2011 (http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2011/110911.htm)
 Gordon Brown speaks to the Lord Mayor's Banquet: http://www.labour.org.uk/lord_mayors_banquet
 D’Vera Cohn, Jeffrey Passel, Wendy Wang and Gretchen Livingston, “Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married – A Record Low,” Pew Research Center (December 14, 2011), http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/12/14/barely-half-of-u-s-adults-are-married-a-record-low/?src=prc-headline
 “National survey shows a rise in illicit drug use from 2008 to 2010,” SAMHSA News Release (August 9, 2011), http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1109075503.aspx
 Albert R. Hunt, “A Country of Inmates,” The New York Times (November 20, 2011), http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/us/21iht-letter21.html?pagewanted=all
 Nicholas D. Kristof, “Our Broken Escalator,” The New York Times (July 16, 2011), http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/opinion/sunday/17kristof.html?_r=2
 Richard Vedder and Matthew Denhart, “Why does college cost so much?” CNN (December 2, 2011), http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/02/opinion/vedder-college-costs/index.html
 National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, “Firearm Fact Card 2011,” http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=83
 Carol Cratty, “Gun sales at record levels, according to FBI background checks,” CNN (December 28, 2011), http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/27/us/record-gun-sales/index.html
 Kate Kelland, “Nearly 40 Percent of Europeans Suffer Mental Illness,” Reuters (September 4, 2011), http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/04/us-europe-mental-illness-idUSTRE7832JJ20110904
 Toby Helm, “Most Britons believe children will have worse lives than their parents – poll,” The Guardian (December 3, 2011), http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/03/britons-children-lives-parents-poll
 Scott Hamilton, “Roubini: Slowdown Brings Forward New Crisis,” Bloomberg (September 6, 2011), http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-06/roubini-says-global-economic-slowdown-accelerating-next-financial-crisis.html
 Michael Babad, “George Soros: ‘We are on the verge of an economic collapse,’” The Globe and Mail (June 27, 2011), http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/george-soros-we-are-on-the-verge-of-an-economic-collapse/article2076789/
 James Kirkup, “World facing worst financial crisis in history, Bank of England Governor says,” The Telegraph (October 6, 2011), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8812260/World-facing-worst-financial-crisis-in-history-Bank-of-England-Governor-says.html