Our age is experiencing a great ignorance about the future, bearing in mind that when we talk about the future today, five years are already many. So the future is now more uncertain than the future of yesterday. This greater uncertainty seems to be the price we pay for technological advances.
Autopoietic system as we are, since we are continually forming ourselves, the freedom of every person should be able to choose their own ongoing project for living according to its experiences. Precisely for this reason, knowledge is the key for achieving freedom, so far, the maximum human demands. We believe, moreover, that this freedom is impossible without a global justice that creates a framework of ethical culture where reason and knowledge should be fair, or at least the ability to access to these two concepts might be possible for all human beings.
Today, we have a culture where prevails the short-term instability, disappears confidence in others and in oneself, and reigns the discontinuity and uncertainty. Under the conditions of modernity, knowledge is no more knowledge as man understood earlier. Now everything changes quickly. Modern information systems have transformed definitely the society. In addition, the new economy depends on a drastic increase in productivity derived from the ability to use new information technology, which is based on the knowledge generated by qualified human resources and good communications infrastructures.
All in all, now more than ever the political, legal and economic institutions have terrible difficulties to adapt themselves to this new reality. The first step to find a solution, nevertheless, is to understand the problem. The institutions should be mind opened to this new era, but without neglecting the needs of the individual, which must be the center of everything. As more knowledge the individual has, more spiritual and ethical needs they have to achieve that the individual being the epicenter of everything. The beginning of the XXI century have shown how social movements are demanding a greater role as well, thanks to the networks, they have succeeded in creating the first democratic uprisings in North Africa. Global democracy has begun his way.
On the other hand, the speed of changes show how the grade is not enough, because the technology changes constantly the definition of appropriate knowledge. This is a key to the new economy, which seeks to increase the productivity and quality of production in the knowledge base. Precisely for this reason, the way every business and society develops its own knowledge base will determine its future.
Our beloved professor Humberto Maturana defends that <>. If the new economy suggest these important challenges, education has the fundamental responsibility of creating citizens with values who can create the necessary peaceful coexistence and social justice. Maturana continues by stating that, specially, <
>. One risk is, then, to prepare people more technically than humanely. We firmly believe that both are perfectly compatible. Time and talent will be the most demanded goods and will be owned by the individual, not by any corporation, changing extremely the balance of power. Education will be again, something precious and appreciated in all ages and in all classes. The circumstances must become all of us in philosophers: persons that think and reflect.
We all have to stimulate curiosity and critical thinking, to introduce ethical issues in the relationship between knowledge, research, practice, human being and the environment. Today, more than at any other time in history, we live in a world where global problems affecting us all in some way; this means that we must all be represented in the great global debate that society must take now and in the future if we really want a fair and sustainable world. We have already experienced that with the global crisis, the free market played almost without restrictions and new technologies, individual responsibility has disappeared and with it, the economy and its western capitalism claim for a new kind of moral. So we must be creative artists of our future, and for this reason we need the ability to think and philosophize, because this need is becoming more common in a person’s life. Before an idea of future could take the whole life of an individual; today, however, we need a constant rethinking of our future, since the new definition of space and time demand it. These life projects should be built with an ethical responsibility, since we are who do something and therefore we also are directly responsible.
The above explanation makes us think of the risk for democracy if the network information and a weak reasoning mind continue gaining ground in modern society. The work on values, tolerance and not demagogic dialogue, is the key to block possible temptations of few to turn democracy into a tool that cuts capacity and, therefore, the freedom of individuals without resources. In short, the democratic dialogue should have as one of its objectives to promote the recognition of plural identities of individuals.