By Frei Betto on May 31, 2018

Frei Betto

We live in the era of uncertainty. There are more questions than answers. More doubts than certainties. We sailed on the third bank of the river. We abandoned  the first modernity, with its solid philosophical and religious paradigms, and we still do not know how the second, post modernity, will be configured.

The great institutions that were the pillars of modernity are in crisis: the State, the Family, the School and Religion. Models and proposals are made to suit all tastes.

In the midst of the turbulence, the world controlled by neoliberal capitalism, emerges clearly. The finances of the economy exceed productivity and need. The regulation of society passes from the hands of the State to those who control the market.

If in the last century Europe made concessions to social democracy as an antidote to the socialist threat, now newly gained social rights are going backward and new technologies are turning human labor obsolete.

As everything solid vanishes in the air, it is necessary to create rules and give consistency to the ballooning of the colonized system of consumerism and hedonism. Thus, the ideology of privatization concomitant with the deterioration of institutions is disseminated. The policy is to privatize. Since the politicians failed, the public administration is handed over to successful entrepreneurs. Political parties are demoralized.

In order to sustain that virtual democracy on a model of abyssal social inequality, the culture of segregation is created. Such as Pacifying Police Units (UPP), created not to fight organized crime, but to ensure that the mob does not descend from the hills in a  blind fury. If a building occupied by homeless people collapses, the victims are to blame.

Hate speech is legitimized even by the Federal Supreme Court, by confusing serious offenses to the honor of others with freedom of expression.

We went from the analog to the digital era. Relationship patterns changed. The value of the other depends on his/her position in the market. And there is no salvation outside the market.

However, not everything is adjusted to the co modification of the planet to the detriment of human rights. And the biggest mismatch lies in our relationship with nature.

Time is running out. The desire for profit polluted the air, the sea and the land. Either we change our socio-environmental paradigms or the Earth will never live again.

We must adopt a sustainable development in which the ecological, the social and the cultural are included. At the end of the 1940s, Japan, ruined by the war, was poorer than Brazil. And forty years later, when our country reached the position of eighth economy in the world, Japan was already in the top five. Japan promoted an educational revolution, something we never did.

Our development model continues to be predatory, and the initiatives, in this country full of sun, are timid to make solar energy prevail over fossils, which are polluting the environment. It is necessary to change the paradigms of what we understand to be progress. European countries and the United States show that GDP growth does not mean a reduction in social inequality. As Pope Francis has pointed out, development that is not centered on human beings but on the accumulation of private capital is contrary to ethics.

Perhaps the Andean Indians have something to teach us when they emphasize the difference between “living well” and “good living”.

Source: Cubadebate, Translated by Resumen Latinoamericano North America Bureau

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