Imagine a new born baby. A new born baby hasn’t done anything yet. It can’t be blamed for being naughty or praised for what it has achieved. It’s just a baby. It can’t do much for itself, so it needs other people to think about what it needs and to take care of it.
We would think someone strange if they say that one baby matters more, and another baby matters less. Unless it’s their own baby, of course – every baby is special to its parents, and to their friends and family. But imagine someone says, “This baby is not important. It matters less than the others.”
If they say the baby matters less because of the colour of its skin, we’d say, “That’s racist!”
If they say the baby matters less because of its sex, we would say, “That’s sexist!”
But if they say the baby matters less because it is not born now, but will be born 200 years from now, what should we say?
Should we say, “That’s nowist!”
What I mean by “nowist” is “acting and thinking as if now people matter more than future people”.
It’s important because some of the choices we make now, as individuals or as countries, are likely to have an impact on the lives of babies born in 200 or even 2000 years’ time.
For example, if farming for now people destroys a habitat and makes an animal extinct, future people will not be able to see it – unless they can bring it back from extinction with new technology. Is it nowist to allow the animal to go extinct?
Or maybe I’m taking things a bit too far. We don’t act as if people who live in far away countries are as important as we are, or we’d spend more money helping those that are poorer than us. So maybe it’s not our responsibility to worry about people who are far away from us in time either. Or maybe it is?
Here are some questions you could think about:
Is a now born baby more important than a future born baby?
Is the word “nowism” useful?
Is nowism as bad as sexism or racism?
How nowist are we? How nowist are you?
What should we do about nowism?
I’d be interested to hear your answers, and your own questions about nowism, as this is a new word and I’m not sure what I think about it yet.