IntroductionImproving IndividualsImproving GovernmentReducing Poverty

 
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          Improving Individuals, Improving Government, and Reducing Poverty

 

          Self-commands

 

 

Improving Individuals

 

Individual improvement begins with thought, which is a form of energy.

 

You control each thought you seek, receive, store, recall, avoid, block, forget, and use to change other forms of energy (such as your body, emotions, and actions).

 

Your current and stored thoughts impact every cell, emotion, and action of your being.

 

Use thought to improve yourself and our world.

  • Selectively program your attitudes, emotions, and actions to occur automatically by repeatedly storing thoughts (such as self-commands) and repeatedly acting on them. Suggestions on making and using self-commands are at the Self-Commands webpage.
  • Selectively seek and receive healthy programming (repeated thoughts) from others. Avoid unhealthy programming, such as that which is sad, scary, angry, or violent. Limit your exposure to negative news, but be adequately informed.  read more

 

 

Improving Government

 

Use your legal rights to improve government. In most democracies, people have legal rights to: question; learn; inform; assemble; protest; vote in public elections; conduct referendums; become a public representative in government; avoid harmful propaganda; and boycott certain goods and services.

 

Improve government by progressively conducting new experiments in it. When possible, conduct the new experiments first at local levels, and progressively conduct experiments in the most successful of these at higher levels. Poll the public about results, and make poll findings public record.

 

In some of the experiments:

  • require term limits for more offices held by public representatives;
  • use random selection as part of the process to choose representatives; and/or
  • increase the use of public representative councils, especially for high-level decision-making.  read more

 

 

Reducing Poverty

 

Much poverty is caused by overpopulation, which is mainly the result of ideologies against voluntary, preventive, birth control (VPBC).

 

Overpopulation is also the result of parents producing many children for financial support during old age.

 

To reduce poverty:

  • increase awareness of the impacts of overpopulation:
  • increase awareness, safety, effectiveness, affordability, and availability of VPBC; and
  • reduce the need to produce many children per family by improving healthcare (to reduce child mortality) and by increasing opportunities for education and employment (to increase financial security).  read more

 

 

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Guide to Developing Individuals and Society Improving Our World Personal Development Personal development begins with your thoughts. Your current and stored thoughts impact every cell, atom, emotion, and action of your being. They also form much of your identity. You control the thoughts you seek, receive, store, recall, act on, avoid, block, and forget. Selectively program your attitudes, emotions, and actions to occur automatically by repeatedly storing thoughts (such as self-commands) and repeatedly acting on them. Suggestions on making and using self-commands are presented at improvingourworld.com improvingourworld.org Use your thoughts to control the intensity, duration, and expression of your emotions; there is an appropriate time and place for almost everything. Avoid needless extremes of emotions. Especially avoid excessive fear, because it is a powerful, contagious, instinctive emotion for survival. Excessive fear in society benefits top members of some governments, religions, banks, military industries, and news agencies. Avoid unhealthy programming. Mass media programs audiences’ attitudes, emotions, and actions by frequently repeating thoughts, some of which are unhealthy. Since the 1950s, TV broadcasting has been the most effective way to program society. Other forms of mass media include Internet websites, radio, music recordings, video games, print, and film. Use entertainment to improve your health. For example, become happier by experiencing music and TV programs that are happy. Avoid unhealthy entertainment such as that which is sad, scary, angry, and violent. Limit your exposure to negative news, but be informed. You can be adequately informed without being flooded with news. Avoid mistaking opinion as news. Avoid sensationalized news, especially if it causes excessive fear. At times avoid the thoughts of others (especially those from mass media) for a few days, and experience only your own thoughts. Avoid entities that limit people’s freedom to learn from all sources. Avoid giving unquestioning obedience. Have the courage to question everything. Especially question entities that benefit from limiting the questioning of others. Independently investigate. Think for yourself. Be able to consider something without necessarily accepting it. Have an open mind. Use facts and reason to reach conclusions. Avoid believing the unproven is fact. Learn at school, and learn at home using resources such as books and the Internet. Learn from diverse sources. Assess any bias. Help others learn. Give generously to schools. Promote a desire to learn. Be humble about your knowledge, because it is almost nothing compared to what remains to be known. Be aware of, and accountable for, your thoughts and actions. Know and own yourself. Practice the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Do not sin; the only sin is to needlessly harm yourself or others. Obey government laws of your location. Reforming Government Two-thirds of the world’s people are governed by experiments in democracy. Since many of the experiments .began, societies changed in major ways due to the: rapid advance of science and technology; fast growth of overpopulation in some areas; vast increase in globalization and its redistribution of jobs and wealth; rapid increase in concentrations of extreme wealth; and growth of mass media’s power to influence the public. Many democracies did not advance as they adapted to these changes. Instead, some degenerated into forms of despotism, such as corporatocracy and plutocracy. Many democracies are degenerating because: Only a few people have the resources needed to campaign for public election to office, and their proportion of society is decreasing due to a growing wealth gap. The cost to conduct a mass media campaign for public election is high and increasing. Most voters in public elections are influenced by mass media, which is increasingly controlled by fewer entities. For example, 90% of America’s mass media is controlled by six corporations. Some democracies are degenerating into police states to deal with growing social problems. This usually starts with increasing government powers of surveillance and law enforcement, along with reducing people’s rights and freedoms. Improve government by progressively conducting new experiments in it. When possible, conduct the new experiments first at local levels, and progressively conduct experiments in the most successful of these at higher levels. Poll the public about results, and make the poll’s findings a public record. In some of the experiments: Require term limits for more offices held by public representatives. Use random selection as part of the process to choose representatives. Use machines made of transparent materials to mechanically draw by lot. Have drawings witnessed by audiences made of randomly selected, volunteer, eligible, registered voters; and make their identities a public record. Increase the use of public representative councils, especially for high-level government decision-making. Reduce the use of only one top-ranking officer (such as a governor or president) for this decision-making. In history’s first democracy, citizens of Athens knew that selecting representatives by public elections is most easily influenced by wealth. So they randomly selected representatives from eligible candidates for government councils and public trial juries; in many nations, trial jurors are still randomly selected. Citizens also knew that high-level government decision-making by only one person is most easily corrupted. So they used only councils of representatives for this decision-making, with each councilmember serving as council chairperson for an equal time during the council’s term. Reducing Poverty Poverty increases the likelihood of hunger, disease, emigration, crime, and revolution. Much poverty is caused by overpopulation, which is mainly the result of ideologies against voluntary, preventive, birth control (VPBC). Overpopulation is also the result of parents producing many children for financial support during old age, in many developing countries without public tax-paid retirement programs. To reduce poverty: Increase awareness of the impacts of overpopulation. Improve awareness, safety, effectiveness, affordability, and availability of VPBC. Reduce the need to produce many children per family by improving healthcare (to reduce child mortality) and by increasing opportunities for education and employment (to increase financial security). Reduce public tax-paid assistance given to people who produce children they can’t financially support. Reduce immigration from overpopulated nations having ideologies against VPBC. This will motivate them to improve their ideology. At times poverty is reduced by the redistribution of jobs and wealth. During the last few decades, over 1 billion people were lifted out of extreme poverty in overpopulated, industrializing nations (including China and India) by the mass transfer of jobs from industrialized nations. This transfer also produced new concentrations of extreme wealth, such as China’s 100,000+ millionaires and 120+ billionaires. Overpopulation benefits: Governments and religions that gain more people who give them wealth and power, including more who are desperate enough to give unquestioning obedience. Businesses that gain cheaper labor and bigger markets. Entities that gain from social unrest and war, such as top members of some governments, religions, banks, military industries, and news agencies. Golden Rule Aristotelianism We should conduct ourselves toward others as we would have them act toward us. ~ Aristotle Buddhism Seek for others the happiness you want for yourself. Treat not others in ways that you would find hurtful. ~ Gautama Buddha Christianity As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. ~ Jesus Christ Confucianism Do to others what you would want them to do to you. And do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. This is the only law you need. It is the foundation of all laws. … Reciprocity is the one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life. ~ Confucius Hinduism Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. Humanism Do not do things you would not want to have done to you. Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. ~ Muhammad Jainism A man should go through life treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. ~ Tirthankara Judaism Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. ~ Moses Mithraism The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves. ~ Mithra Sikhism Do not create hatred with anyone, because God is within everyone. Sufism If you do not want to gladden someone’s heart, then at least be careful to not hurt their heart. No sin exists but this. Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and regard your neighbor’s loss as your loss. ~ Lao Tzu Zoroastrianism The nature of being good is to not do anything to another that is not good for itself. … Whatever others do that bothers you, do not do to others. ~ Zoroaster Do not sin; the only sin is to needlessly harm others or yourself. Obey government laws of your location. Self-Commands Selectively program your attitudes, emotions, and actions to occur without effort or awareness by repeatedly storing thoughts (such as self-commands) and repeatedly acting on them. Consciously store thoughts effectively by repeatedly using as many of your mental input and processing powers as possible. Repeatedly hear, see, read, write, say, remember, and act on the thoughts. Subconsciously store thoughts effectively by repeatedly receiving sensed and subliminal thoughts, visually and audibly, in a passive state of neither expressing thoughts nor analyzing or questioning thoughts, such as when you watch TV. You’ll store them with little awareness or effort. You can also repeatedly receive audible thoughts while you sleep. To make effective self-commands: Use short, simple sentences to avoid confusion. Use phrases about things happening now, such as I am, I have, I do, and I feel. Avoid using phrases about things happening later, such as I should, I will, and I would. Mention healthy things that you want. Avoid mentioning unhealthy things that you don’t want and words about them, such as avoid, free from/of, reject, and stop. Avoid using unsure phrases, such as I could and I might. Avoid using negating words (such as no and not), negating prefixes (such as dis, non, and un), and ne-gating suffixes (such as less, free, and out). If you use them, emphasize them. People easily overlook small things that change the meanings of big things. Use self-commands appropriately. Get help from a doctor if you need it. Examples I Improve I improve by using my powers to: be aware, understand, experience feel emotions, use reason, introspect, express myself, imagine, receive inspiration, use my will, and take action. I am aware. I understand. I experience emotions in healthy ways. I reason. I introspect. I express myself in healthy ways. I imagine. I receive inspiration. I use my will. I take healthy action. I improve by using my powers to seek, receive, store, remember, act on, avoid, block, and forget thoughts. I seek, receive, store, remember, and act on healthy thoughts. I avoid, block, and forget unhealthy thoughts. I improve my thoughts to improve myself and our world. I improve my thoughts to improve my emotions, actions, and body. I am attracted to healthy thoughts. Healthy thoughts enter and fill my life. I accept safe flaws in myself and others, while I improve. I improve myself. I improve my powers to learn and reason. I improve my powers to govern myself. I improve my powers. My powers improve. I use my powers to do healthy things. I make best use of my current time and place. I improve my thoughts. My thoughts improve. I improve my attitudes. My attitudes improve. I improve my actions. My actions improve. I improve my life. My life improves. I use healthy thoughts and actions to improve myself and things around me. My world improves. I Choose My Thoughts I choose my thoughts to change my emotions and actions. I choose my thoughts. I choose each thought in my life. I choose my attitudes. I choose each attitude I have. I choose my actions. I choose many things in my life. I choose my thoughts, my attitudes, and my actions. I choose to have healthy thoughts, healthy attitudes, and healthy actions. I Respond In Healthy Ways I respond in only legal ways. I respond in healthy ways, even in difficult situations. I choose how much thought and energy I apply to things of concern. I spend a healthy amount of thought and energy on things of concern. I choose my thoughts, my attitudes, my words, and my actions. I choose my response. I respond in ways that are healthy for others and me. I respond in a way that is appropriate for the situation. When appropriate, I quickly respond using my healthy instincts. When appropriate, I postpone responding. When appropriate, I carefully plan my healthy response, and I act on it. To do this: I am calm and focused. I assess the things of concern. I identify which things I can change. I identify which things I can not change. I develop healthy, legal, alternative responses. I receive and gather facts. I learn on my own and through others. I use imagination. I receive inspiration. I gain different attitudes about things of concern and the responses. I use reason to assess the things of concern, to assess the responses, and to identify the healthiest response. I consult with good, wise people — and we use reason to assess the things of concerns, to assess the responses, and to identify the healthiest response. I identify the healthiest response, and I act on it. When appropriate, I am free from the things of concern. To do this: I have thoughts about healthy things in my life, and I am thankful for them. I do healthy enjoyable things. I enjoy calm and happy entertainment. I do healthy exercises. I do slow deep breathing. I Interact In Healthy Ways I give trust and respect of others, after these things are earned. Others trust and respect me, after these things are earned. I do healthy things for others. I give others room to safely make choices and minor mistakes. I give others room to safely grow at their own speed. I meet good people. Good people enter and fill my life. I am honest with myself, and I am honest with others. Through my honesty, I know myself, I learn, and I grow. Through my honesty, others know me, help me learn, and help me grow. I help others when it is healthy for them and me. At times I voluntarily risk harm to myself, when I help others who are in danger. I feel good when I help others. I live and grow by my efforts, even in difficult situations at times. I do many things, even difficult things at times. I receive help when it is healthy for others and me. I am thankful for help from others, and I thank them. I Am Healthy I have healthy thoughts, healthy attitudes, healthy emotions, and healthy actions. My health improves through my healthy thoughts, healthy attitudes, healthy emotions, and healthy actions. I have a healthy mind and body. My mind and body are healthy. I care for my mind and body. I keep my mind and body healthy. I improve my mind and body. My mind and body improve. I am attracted to things that are healthy for my mind and body. I successfully earn things that are healthy for my mind and body. I receive healthy things for my mind and body. I eat and drink only healthy things. I breathe in only healthy things. I do healthy exercises for my mind and body. I have moderation and balance in all things. My moderation and balance maintains as well as improves my mind and body. My mind and body are in balance. I am in balance. My body stores only a healthy amount of energy. My body has a healthy form. I respect, love, and care for my mind and body. My mind and body receive respect, love, and care. Respect, love, and care enter and fill my life. I fill my current time and place with healthy things. My life is filled with healthy things. I Learn And Grow I enjoy learning and growing. I am attracted to people who grow. People who grow enter and fill my life. I learn from diverse, honest sources. I learn by myself, and from others. I view mistakes as ways to learn and grow. I learn and grow from my mistakes and mistakes of others. I avoid making mistakes. I do not repeat mistakes. I learn and grow by using my own abilities. I love to learn. I grow from learning. I learn and grow all of my life. I am humbled by know how much there remains to learn. I receive knowledge, truth, and wisdom. I live and grow in my current time and place. I Am Protected I protect myself in healthy ways. I protect my thoughts and body. While I protect myself, I acknowledge my reality exactly as it is. While I protect myself, I forgive others for their mistakes. My mind and body are protected. I avoid people and things that are likely to harm me. I protect myself from people and things that are likely to harm me. I am protected from people and things that are likely to harm me. I am protected from harm. I Am At Peace I am fully aware of my current thoughts, emotions, and actions. I fully acknowledge my current time and place, exactly as it is. I am part of my current time and place. I know my current time and place. I have a healthy amount of concern about things. I am free from excessive fear. I am free from excessive guessing about things. I am free from excessive worrying about things. I am free from excessive regret about things. I am free from excessive resentment about things. I am free from excessive pain from things. I am at peace with my thoughts, mind, and body. I am at peace with myself. I have peace. I experience peace. I am at peace as often as possible. I am at peace in my current time and place. I Am Happy I am as happy as I allow myself to be in my current time and place. I am happy, even in difficult situations I am happy, even when I do difficult things. I am happy without solving every problem; some problems can not be solved. I have happiness. I experience happiness. I am happy as often as possible. I am happy in my current time and place. Corporatocracy Corporatocracy is defined as: a system of government in which a corporation, group of corporations or entities run by corporations control the direction and governance of a country, either directly or indirectly; rule by an oligarchy of corporate elites through the manipulation of a formal democracy; and an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests. Corporate Charters Corporate charters are legal documents that incorporate (embody) a business into a corporation, to enable many people to more securely own, and profit from, shares of a business. They were first made in the 1800s, in several nations. A charter gives a corporation the legal status of personhood, with the legal rights of a person to: sue and be sued; own things in its name; hire and fire people; make contracts with people and other businesses; and govern actions inside itself. Charters also give investors in corporations special legal protections (limited liability) that include: if a corporation goes bankrupt, investors don’t have to pay the debts; if a corporation commits a crime, investors don’t have to pay fines or go to jail; and, if a corporation harms people, investors can’t be sued or arrested. Even though charters can’t give corporations a sense of shame, corporations must deal with societies shaming them. Some avoid this by locating facilities in nations having reduced civil rights and freedoms — and lowered social norms, such as a much greater tolerance of pollution and unsafe workplaces. Some practice corporate social responsibility, because they recognize the long-term gain for themselves and others. This is also called having a corporate conscience. Corporate Wealth and Power Since the early 1900s, technology, globalization, and large-scale overpopulation — with cheaper labor and bigger markets — have enabled some corporations to become extremely wealthy and powerful. 51 of the world’s 100 largest economic entities are corporations. Some corporations use their wealth and power to influence decision-making of the government, through campaign contributions, bribes, and intimidation — and to influence decision-making of the public, through control of mass media. At times, this harms society. Reduce corporate abuse of wealth and power by: reforming government; improving corporate charters; and boycotting corporations that harm society. The following warnings about corporate abuse of wealth and power apply to many nations. “The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” ~ US President Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826 “Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” ~ US President Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865 “Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.” “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.” “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” “We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” ~ US President (and five-star general) Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1890-1969 World Facts Population 7.3 billion Ten most populous countries (in millions): China 1,350; India 1,221; US 317; Indonesia 251; Brazil 201; Pakistan 193; Nigeria 175; Bangladesh 164; Russia 143; and Japan 127.* Rapid advances in science and technology enabled rapid population growth. They helped society in many ways, such as vast improvements in agricultural and industrial productivity, healthcare, transportation, communication, and information systems; and they harmed society in some ways, such as much more pollution and deadlier weapons. Population continues to explode: 1 billion in 1820; 2b in 1930; 3b in 1960; 4b in 1974; 5b in 1987; 6b in 1999; and 7b in 2012. Population growth is resulting in increased environmental degradation, resource shortages, and pollution. Overpopulation benefits: parents who gain financial support from their children during old age; governments and religions that gain more people who give them wealth and power, including more who are desperate enough to give unquestioning obedience; businesses that gain cheaper labor and bigger markets; and entities that gain from social unrest and war, such as top members of some governments, religions, banks, military industries, and news agencies. The potential for pandemics of deadly viruses and bacteria is increasing due to the vast increase in urban populations, along with the growing availability and affordability of people’s means to travel faster and farther. In February 2014, the worst outbreak of the world’s deadliest virus Ebola began in West Africa and has killed over 9,000. In 2009, the mutated H1N1 virus (swine flu) pandemic killed over 300,000 worldwide. In 1981, the AIDS virus pandemic began in Africa and killed over 30 million worldwide. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics has resulted in drug-resistant strains of bacteria, such as the MRSA strain of staph and the MDR-TB strain of tuberculosis. For millennia, average life expectancy was 20-30 years. By 2003 it was 66.8.** Between 1961 and 2002, the world average daily food supply per person increased by 24%. Chronic undernourishment in developing nations declined from 37% to 17% of their population between 1970 and 2000.** Before industrialization, the mortality rate of infants less than one year of age was 20%. In 2003 the worldwide rate was 5.7%.** Government In the early 1900s, vast colonial empires ended and (violent and non-violent) decolonization began. In 1900, no country had universal right to vote and only 12% of the world's population had even limited right to vote. Today, 44% of the world's population live in nations deemed free; they are governed by experiments in democracy. Another 19% live in nations deemed partly free.** Since many of the experiments began, societies changed in major ways due to the: rapid advance of science and technology; fast growth of overpopulation in some areas; vast increase in globalization and its redistribution of jobs and wealth; rapid increase in concentrations of extreme wealth; and growth of mass media’s power to influence the public. Many democracies did not advance as they adapted to these changes. Instead, some degenerated into forms of despotism, such as corporatocracy and plutocracy. Some democracies are degenerating into police states to deal with growing social problems. This usually starts with increasing government powers of surveillance and law enforcement, along with reducing people’s rights and freedoms. Labor 3.3 billion* Agriculture: 35.4% Industry: 22.8% Services: 41.8%* Unemployment: 9%* 30% combined unemployment and underemployment in many non-industrialized countries* Typical unemployment in developed nations: 4%-12%* Child labor (age 10-14) decreased from 24.9% in 1960 to 10.5% in 2003.** Economy The Great Depression of the 1930s resulted in widespread poverty in many nations. After WWII, standards of living rose sharply in North America, Europe, and Japan. During the last few decades, over 1 billion people were lifted out of extreme poverty in overpopulated, industrializing nations (including China and India) by the mass transfer of jobs from industrialized nations. This transfer also produced new concentrations of extreme wealth, such as China’s 100,000+ millionaires and 120+ billionaires. The wealth gap is growing, and this is causing social unrest in many nations. Across 34 OECD nations, the average income of the richest 10% is about nine times that of the poorest 10%, up from seven times 25 years ago. The world’s richest 1% own 46% of the world’s assets. They include 13.8 million millionaires and 1,430 billionaires. 5.7 billion people have consumption rates below $10 per day. 3.0 billion people live in moderate poverty, with consumption rates below $2.50 per day. 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty, with consumption rates below $1.25 per day. Two-thirds of them live in five countries (India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)). Poverty increases the likelihood of hunger, disease, emigration, crime, and revolution. Corporate wealth and power grew. By 2000, 51 of the world’s 100 largest economic entities were corporations. By 2016, China will have the world’s biggest economy. Highest share of trade (industrial and agricultural): electrical machinery, including computers 14.8%; mineral fuels (including oil, coal, gas, and refined products) 14.4%; nuclear reactors, boilers, and parts 14.2%; cars, trucks, and buses 8.9%; scientific and precision instruments 3.5%; plastics 3.4%; iron and steel 2.7%; organic chemicals 2.6%; pharmaceutical products 2.6%; and precious stones 1.9%.* Languages Mandarin Chinese 12.4%; Spanish 4.9%; English 4.8%; Arabic 3.3%; Hindi 2.7%; Bengali 2.7%; Portuguese 2.6%; Russian 2.1%; Japanese 1.8%; Standard German 1.3%; and Javanese 1.3%.* Literacy 84.1% of total population (age 15 and over) can read and write. 88.6% of males and 79.7% of females.* Almost three quarters of the 775 million illiterate adults live in ten nations: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia, and the DRC.* Of all illiterate adults, two-thirds are women.* Between 1970 and 2005, the illiteracy rate dropped from 36% to 18%.** Relevant population enrolled in high school (tertiary) education increased from 6.8% to 25.6% between 1965 and 2001.** Religions Christian 33.4%; Muslim 22.7%; Hindu 13.8%; Buddhist 6.8%; Sikh 0.4%; Jewish 0.2%; other religions 11.0%; non-religious 9.7%; and atheists 2.0%.* Wars, Genocides, and Conflicts Between 1900 and the end of WWII in 1945, numerous wars resulted in over 100 million deaths, which include deaths of military personnel (direct results of battle or other military wartime actions) and wartime/ war-related deaths of civilians (results of war induced epidemics, diseases, famines, atrocities, genocide etc.). WWI deaths: 16-40 million. WWII deaths: 60-85 million. Genocides resulted in over 30 million deaths. In 1945 the United Nations was established to reduce conflict. The Cold War began between the Western alliance (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact nations. After the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian Empire) in 1991, the US emerged as the only world military superpower. Wars since 1945 having death tolls above 100,000 (highest estimate, in millions): Second Congo (DRC) War 5.4; Korean War 4.5; Vietnam War/Second Indochina War 3.8; Pakistan (Bangladesh Liberation) War 3.0; Nigerian Civil War 3.0; Algerian War of Independence 2.0; Iran-Iraq War (First Persian Gulf War) 2.0; Second Sudanese Civil War 2.0; Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-1989) 2.0; US-led response to Iraq invasion and annexation of Kuwait (Second Persian Gulf War) 1.0; Mozambique Civil War 0.8; Algerian Civil War 0.5; Lords Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency (South Sudan, DRC, and Central African Republic) (ongoing) 0.5; Somali Civil War (ongoing) 0.5; War in Sudan (Darfur) (ongoing) 0.5; Ugandan (LRA) Civil (Bush) War (1981-1986) 0.5; Civil Wars in Afghanistan (1989-2001) 0.4; Second Burundian Civil War 0.4; US-led invasion of Iraq (Third Persian Gulf War) (2003-2010) 0.4; Western New Guinea (ongoing) 0.4; Iraqi-Kurdish conflict 0.3; US-led Global War on Terror (ongoing) 0.3; Colombian conflict (ongoing) 0.2; Guatemala Civil War 0.2; Syrian Civil War (ongoing) 0.2; 1991 Uprisings in Iraq 0.2; Insurgency in Laos 0.1; Islamic insurgency in the Philippines (ongoing) 0.1; Mexican Drug War 0.1; and Mozambique War of Independence 0.1. Genocides and politicides since 1945 having death tolls above 100,000 (highest estimate, in millions): Peoples Republic of China (PRC) 35.0; United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) 22.4; Cambodia 4.5; North Korea 3.0; Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia) 1.8; Tibet 1.2; Ethiopia 1.0; North Vietnam 1.0; Rwanda 1.0; Eritrea 0.7; Angola 0.5; Croatia 0.5; India 0.5; Somalia 0.5; Uganda (Buganda) 0.5; Indonesia 0.4; Vietnam (after 1975) 0.4; Brazil 0.3; Iraq 0.3; East Timor 0.2; Liberia 0.2; Sierra Leone 0.2; Yemen 0.2; Bosnia 0.1; Burma (Myanmar) 0.1; El Salvador 0.1; Equatorial Guinea 0.1; and Uganda (Acholi and Lango) 0.1. Present sources of contention include access to water and mineral (especially oil, natural gas, and coal) resources, fisheries, and arable land. Armed conflict prevails not so much between the uniformed armed forces of independent states as between stateless armed entities that detract from the sustenance and welfare of local populations — leaving the community of nations to cope with resultant refugees, hunger, disease, impoverishment, and environmental degradation.* Ethnic and cultural clashes continue to cause much of the territorial fragmentation and internal displacement of the estimated 6.6 million people and cross-border displacements of 8.6 million refugees worldwide as of early 2006. Just over one million refugees were repatriated in the same period.* Slavery About 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked annually across national borders, not including the millions who are trafficked within their own countries. At least 80% of the victims are female and up to 50% are minors. 75% of all victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. Almost two-thirds of the global victims are trafficked intra-regionally within East Asia and the Pacific (about 270,000 people) and Europe and Eurasia (about 190,000 people).** *CIA World Factbook (2014) **The Improving State of the World (2007), book published by the Cato Institute Permission is given to copy and distribute this document's contents in a non-profit way. Published 21 March 2003 to 17 February 2015. www.improvingourworld.com author@improvingourworld.com Website Meta Tags guide personal social development idea ideas plan plans step steps strategy strategies way ways how you us we people humanity can could will would make making improve improving improvement advance advancing advancement develop developing new renew renewing build building rebuilding engineer engineering your yours our ours good better best local global world society place human powers intellect thoughts programming government social justice progressive experiments democracy society’s security economic moderation poverty wealth gap limits overpopulation Contents - guide personal social development ways improve improving our world government security education intellect thoughts democracy economic justice moderation poverty wealth gap overpopulation improvement plans plan People - ways improve improving improvement people yourself self personal development powers thoughts 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