The 21st century

I read with great attentiveness the first installment of your series ``Agenda for the 21st century,'' [Sept. 23] with philosopher Mortimer Adler. Indeed, this society and the world are faced with grave consequences if we do not seriously grapple with the problems of the human personality and culture. In the ``Camusian'' sense, great condemnation and truth telling are in order. We cannot possibly hope for a world of peace if we do not unyieldingly confront the massive problems of this century, i.e., hunger, poverty, and illiteracy in the United States; colonial and racial domination in South Africa; expansionism and human dislocation in the Middle East; famine and drought throughout Africa; colonial vestige and repression in the Caribbean and Latin America; and superpower idiocy. Rickey Hill South Carolina State College Associate Professor Orangeburg, S.C.

In the opening paragraph of this series, the following questions are raised: ``What are the fundamental issues that humanity must face up to?'' and ``Which ones are of first intensity...?''

Each day, 35,000 lives (mostly children's) are lost to hunger and related disease, while we have the technology and productive capacity to eliminate hunger by the year 2000. Thus, as I read through the topics to be covered in the series, I was surprised not to find world hunger and its root causes among them. Beth Blue Swadener Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.

I agree with Adler. It is time for mankind to take another step up the ladder of intelligence. Adversity will force us, fear will make us resist, but hopefully we will turn barriers into pathways. This will come through education and respect for others' views.

An article on agriculture was published in this same issue. The foolishness of hoarding food while much of the world is hungry does not say much for humanity. It is time the human race matured. The public must make elected officials responsible.

How exciting to live in such a time of transition. It's like being around when they invented the wheel. Alan D. McTavish Winnipeg

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