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Why Love Matters

Values in Governance

Scherto Gill and David Cadman

As our current systems of decision-making are increasingly unable to meet the global challenges of climate change, resource depletion, poverty, healthcare, economic instability and global violence, the contributors in this book make a radical proposal for an innovative form of governance that is based on core human values such as love, compassion, care, justice and dignity. Arising from a concern that the «old paradigm» of alienation, consumerism, selfishness and exploitation is damaging for humankind and the family of Earth, the book postulates that a new way of being must be in place so that intrinsic values of caring for others should underpin the intent of our decisions at personal, regional, national, international and global levels. With illustrative references and examples in fields of politics, economy, health and peace, the content of this book argues forcefully that Love, with a capital L, matters in governance, where values can serve as the basis to transform human consciousness about international institutions, community relationships and individual actions. Why Love Matters provides an important introductory text to students of global governance, management studies, political economics, international relations and peace studies, and equally offers illuminating and instructive ideas to leaders, managers and practitioners who are interested in what values-based governance means and looks like and how to go about it in practice.
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3. The Need for Altruism


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3.  The Need for Altruism


In the modern western world, individualism is often appreciated as strength and as a virtue, sometimes to the point of selfishness and narcissism. This is a bit puzzling, since it does not seem to foster an optimal way to live in society. Should we be discouraged, then, by the assertions of the likes of Plautus, for whom ‘man is a wolf to man,’ Thomas Hobbes, who speaks of the ‘war of every man against every man,’ or Freud who asserts he has ‘found little that is ‘good’ among human beings on the whole’? Perhaps not since, despite the violence that afflicts our world, in the reality of the every day our existence is usually woven from deeds of cooperation, friendship, affection, and care. What is more, contrary to conventional wisdom and to the impression the media give us, all in-depth studies gathered together by Harvard professor Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature, show that violence, in all its forms, has continued to diminish over the course of the last few centuries (Pinker, 2012).

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