A new era? (II)

In our previous participation we stated that the events of recent years have caused profound changes in the world. Changes paradigmatic that make the future be observed in a qualitatively different way. Apparently there is disruptions between the world we lived in until recently and the current world.

This is not an evolutionary change, but a breaking off, which makes us think that our generation may be facing a change of era. The changes of time are hardly observable by those who live them. The magnitude and intensity of transformations they leave no room for perspective, although there are impulses that lead those who experience them to be their main actors. This is what happened in the Middle Ages or in Modernity.

In this participation and the next ones we will try to approach some of the transformations that, from our point of view, are contributing to the change of historical era. The first is the emergence of our awareness of vulnerability.

A distinctive sign of Modernity has been the consciousness of domination. The idea of ​​infinite progress and technological advances made the past look inferior. Excessive confidence in one’s own abilities led to the disruption of much of what had been achieved up to that time in the field of philosophy, the vision of man and the world. The case was recently reached of a current such as Transhumanism

Suddenly, a series of events are leading us to wake up from the dream of domination. We discovered that this vision was wrong, which has generated a new awareness of vulnerability in various areas of which we highlight three: i) planetary vulnerability, ii) vulnerability to the lack of response from economic and political models and iii) vulnerability to to the future.

In relation to the awareness of planetary vulnerability, the current generation, particularly those represented by Millennials and Centennials, understood that the idea of ​​continuous and infinite progress is not possible. In terms of the study led in 2009 by the Swedish scientist Röckstrom, our planet has nine limits, of which we have already exceeded five, so it is clear that humanity, in order to preserve itself, needs to modify its lifestyle.

In terms of vulnerability to the lack of response from political and economic models, we find ourselves facing a great paradox: we have never had as much accumulated wealth as humanity and we have never had such high levels of dissatisfaction at a global level. Even in countries with robust economies, the idea of ​​achieving the full development of the person seems to be moving away. Libertarian and egalitarian models do not seem to have an answer to this. Hence the rise of populism across the planet, a sign of citizen vulnerability.

Finally, as regards our vulnerability due to lack of hope in the future, we find ourselves living at a time when current generations think that the future will not be better, on the contrary, what remains for us is to get worse, as confirmed by different studies. quoting Svetlana Boymprofessor of Slavic and comparative literature at Harvard University: “The 20th century began with a futuristic utopia and ended in nostalgia.”

We are a humanity that is moving from the dream of reason and control to that of emotions and vulnerability. This is a profound transformation that indicates the possibility of a change of era.

President of the Governing Board of the Universidad Panamericana-IPADE

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A new era? (II)