It begins here, thinking that the journey is made by walking, a research path on the relationship between human condition, innovation, complexity and international relations. We will look at the totalitarian risks in the today’s world,
I dedicate this reflection to Bruno Ratti, visionary and founder of The Science of Where Magazine. I did not know him but his experience lives in our desire to look beyond.
On this path we will follow the thought of some giants: Hannah Arendt, Edgar Morin and Raimon Panikkar. We will stay as much as possible in the cultural debate, immersed in ideas, with critical thinking.
We must ask ourselves: where are we? The initial question is fundamental because, too often, we take refuge in the past or in the future, as if to exorcise a difficult present, in us and in reality, to the world.
Instead, the problem is in finding ourselves realists in reality-that-is, in deeply divided and unequal societies, full of great possibilities in innovation and new technologies, interconnected and nodes of “networks”, part of a world that struggles to find an order after the end of bipolar equilibrium.
Senses, meanings and strategic decisions
The pain and disasters caused by the pandemic or, better said, by the current pandemic, have aggravated ancient criticalities.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbolically important event to open the change of era we are experiencing, many had deluded themselves that they could be masters of freedom, of having identified the miraculous models that would have guaranteed well-being to all of humanity, of having arrived at the end of the history.
The history, on the other hand, was very much alive and confronted us with its complexity and unpredictability, which are ours. What is culturally missing, and on which we would like to work, is the re-appropriation of reality in us.
It is a matter of senses, meanings, and strategic decisions. In a world that has become plural and mestizo, nothing that happens is foreign to us and our approach can only be critical, never just linear, capable of problematizing the dynamics that run through the globe, first of all by knowing them.
There is an evident crisis (here understood in a negative sense) in the role of intellectuals and in the capacity of the ruling classes. It is innovation, powerful and unstoppable, which has put into metamorphosis the paradigms we inherited from the 1900s: this is our starting point.
Capitol Hill and the liberal democracy
We must return to a critique of our democratic regimes. What happened on January 6, 2021, much stronger than the inauguration day of the new President, is the sign of a particularly complicated historical moment for our liberal democracies.
Even through an instrumental use of innovation, an epochal clash is taking place between liberal systems and illiberal ones. Without generalizing, we notice a difficulty of liberal democracies in determining international equilibrium. De-generation, in fact, is entirely internal to the West which no longer manages to be the part of the world that indicates the direction.
Those who believe in democracy, like the writer, cannot escape an exercise of criticism, even a radical one, of a system that is objectively in danger. Abused words such as populism and sovereignty do not represent the real danger that, instead, is called nationalism: recent history reminds us that nationalism can represent the beginning of totalitarian adventures.
In this context, innovation is two-faced Janus: putting man at the center is an euphemism, because it is man who creates innovation, risking to succumb to it. We need global rules, of government and not just of governance, we need a rebirth of culture and politics at all levels.
Biden’s call for unity is crucial. This should be accompanied by that of Pope Francis with tenderness. Both are deeply political acts.
Unity and tenderness help us to walk in the elaboration of a “historical project” that we would like to propose with these reflections. In this, innovation is an actor of primary importance because it can help and support relationship processes where paths of division, competition and inequality seem to prevail.
We must, first of all, recover the taste for coexistence, for constructive confrontation aimed at dialogue. Here we are among the stars but nothing is taken for granted: we are not the masters of freedom, we need responsibility. We are only at the beginning.