Let’s go back to the utopia of looking farther, that always helps us reconsider what we’re doing
hA few weeks ago in this medium we described the turbulent society in which we live and the causes of the social uncertainty that surrounds us. This feeling makes more and more people look to the future with disappointment and a general complaint attitude with some positive prospects. For this reason, extreme positions are favored in politics, generating populism and polarization, while traditional reform movements do not lead to significant changes with convincing results.
The difference between what we have to do and what we do is huge, and we don’t see how we can quickly deal with those goals or challenges, which are partially set and almost always put off. Let’s take an example regarding climate change: in order not to exceed 1.5 degrees of global warming, it is necessary to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 47% by 2030 – according to the Paris Agreement – which means a reduction in oil consumption by 60%, gas 70% and coal entirely. How can this happen on a global level if there is no radical change in individual modes of transportation and especially in the automotive sector around the world? How do we approach this goal as we celebrate increased mobility this past holiday week? Here you can not negotiate, and nature does not wait.
We have to admit that we need drastic changes in many of the ways we have organized our lives, and this will require major economic and social surgery. Only if we see a positive long-term horizon, which clearly indicates what we must change, will we be able to take the first steps with optimism in this fundamental change. The other option is to stay the same and see what happens to us, while announcing small changes and experiencing new dystopias. Unfortunately, governmental systems and current economic and political interests make deep reforms useless and workable too superficial for what we need in terms of time and substance.
But let’s go back to Utopia, to look further, which always helps us reconsider what we’re doing. Let us think of a society in which a new equilibrium between economy, autonomy, and coexistence expresses social and economic relations and exchanges between individuals, communities, and nations. We can imagine a society in which constitutions, laws, and economic rules are built on new foundations, and the necessary economic and social surgery done in relation to the current reality. Unfortunately, today there are no specialized organizations with the power of political action to focus on medium, long-term and long-term projects. Twelve basic transformations are listed below as an example
which are not subject to the ideologies of the past, which postulate a profound reorientation of future ways of understanding life and economics.
1. Universities and free training centers around the world, because knowledge is a social good. The global community is investing in researchers’ salaries and in technology. Military and speculative uses of science and technology are prohibited, and punishable by universal laws.
2. Patents are open, not just drugs. Knowledge and technology are distributed so that advances in solutions in all technical and social areas have unlimited spread.
3. Days 25 hours a week max 3x8h or 5x5h. The 40-hour workweek has not seen a significant reduction since 1985. Technological advances must be associated with reducing working time, enhancing productivity and allocating the remaining time to training one’s own and caring for relatives or strangers. Changing unproductive work time into positive social time is the goal to enhance quality of life and reduce taxes and social spending.
4. My tendency is social (young people as well as adults). Concern for care (for children, the elderly and those in need of personal or community support), education and protection of the natural environment, are part of the social and planetary obligations of all people, who have to contribute – throughout his life – time and knowledge to these purposes.
5. 85% of companies are cooperatives, even in the public sector, because the professional relationship cannot be alien to the meaning and purpose of the company for which they are working. Financial speculation and stock markets became extinct. Public limited companies are antecedents and employment relationship models are reciprocal, in terms of the worker’s commitment to the company, and the company’s commitment to the worker’s personal, professional, family and societal development.
6. Reducing mobility to 25% of the current traffic, because it is not necessary to travel for work, and remote tourism is a sector with high energy consumption and little local development. Local cultural diversity is encouraged, indigenous languages are protected and flourished, and planetary cultural homogeneity is seen as a loss of rich human biodiversity.
7. Vocational retraining takes place every 12 years, because science and its technological implications change the skills required at work and in everyday life. All institutions have a responsibility, evaluated periodically by social enterprises, in the development of the work motives, knowledge and education of their members.
8. 50% of the qualified population is engaged in conflict resolution or in social education, health and care, because it is understood that these activities – respectful in professional terms – are the basis of social cohesion and quality of life. Salary scales between maximum and minimum are limited across all occupations.
9. Reduce consumption by 50%, advertising by 70% and waste by 90%. (Strategy R579). Time and place are determinants of the quality of life. Once consumption is overcome as a social pathogen and as a driver of development, the pressure on the buyer weakens. The sustainable use of goods, barter and repair of objects are evaluated as related sectors of business activity, both in movable and immovable property.
10. 80% of food comes from local produce, in line with reduced mobility and the success of a self-sufficient economy. Products are transported from abroad only if they are necessary for the health of the population, and there are no domestic substitutes.
11. Expert professionals – actively – occupy tutoring and youth education, which constitute the Bureau of Behavioral and Professional Legacy from the age of 50-55 years. This cultural shift generates intergenerational stability, which is an essential mechanism for enhancing human cultural diversity, and the continuous change of generations as a source of wealth.
12. A new cooperation law for social taxes. The collection of goods for redistribution also takes into account the contributions of citizens in terms of social value, such as education, organized volunteering, prevention as trade, caring for people or official participation in emergencies. To pay more who contributes to society less to liquidate it, because it already contributes.
No doubt you’re thinking that this is very difficult from where we are, and it certainly is, but doing nothing is worse. Perhaps today we face challenges that were almost unattainable and unimaginable 50 years ago, even though today we have enough technology and knowledge to make it possible. If we do not imagine them and do not share them with honesty, will, and courage, we will never be able to make them possible for those who come, and they will not even say we have tried.