"A person of courage today is a person of peace. The courage we need is to refuse authority and to accept only personally responsible decisions. Like war, growth at any cost is an outmoded and discredited concept. It is our lives which are being laid to waste. What is worse, it is our children's world which is being destroyed. It is therefore our only possible decision to withhold all support for destructive systems, and to cease to invest our lives in our own annihilation." - Bill Mollison (Permaculture a Designers Manual 1988, Ch. 1)
Although this was written over 20 years ago, it is relevant more than ever. Since then, it seems we have only worsened our situation. This statement is too broad to address all points in a short post. What I take away from it is that we should be responsible to smaller groups: family, friends, church, etc. rather than states or nations. For the majority of us, we can have an influence on these areas only, few can command the attention of an entire (nation) state. And what being responsible means is thinking long term about our well being. It means thinking beyond tomorrow or next week, or next year even. It means thinking in terms of decades and generations, and further.
If we adopted this mindset, it seems we would have much better planning, less activity based on short term profits, more thoughfulness, less waste, in whole, a better system of economics and mode of living.