The Sorcerer's Apprentice - a concert piece by French composer Paul Dukas was originally an ages-old fairy tale that had been interpreted as a poem by Goethe.
You may recall Walt Disney’s version in Fantasia
The lesson? Don’t start what you don’t know how to finish or know your limits. The story illustrates the dangers of power over wisdom.
Globalization is a replay of this story with many thousands of tiny apprentices turned loose to use their magical powers. The only problem is that we don’t have the Sorcerer or Wizard that can tell them when to stop. Like Mickey they dream about their power and lead their little assigned activities to expand and grow. They have no idea where it will end.
One billion people in the world at the beginning of the 20th century have now become seven billion at the beginning of this century and there isn’t much room any more for the animal kingdom. In another 100 years at this rate there will be standing room only and the wild animals will be gone. In the meantime our tiny apprentices will build more of everything, strip the land of our forests and voraciously dig into the earth’s crust to extract whatever remains to in order to satisfy their ambition and to supply the needs and wants of this ever increasing and demanding human army. Temperatures will rise, the coastlines will flood people from their homes and the mountain glaciers will disappear thus drying up the fertile valleys below that feed millions of people. In a world of scarcity people will flee increasingly uninhabitable lands. Tiny apprentices in political roles will rally their citizens to gain control of a portion of this unstoppable momentum and wars will be inevitably fought over what remains.
There is a lot of wisdom out there but who can stop the tiny apprentices?
Maybe we have to hope for a Sorcerer to arrive before it is too late.