We cannot deny that technologically, Western industrial society has advanced to levels that we could not have imagined a few years ago. We feel and define ourselves as an advanced society, but if we measure our society by how we take care of the weak or the disadvantaged, or the planet and ecosystems, by how we welcome, integrate and learn from other cultures, by how we listen to experience and wisdom of the elder, if we measure it by how we relate to our neighbors and our abilities to cooperate instead of compete, we might be in for a surprise and realize that in many aspects we are an underdeveloped society and that in these aspects many of what we call the Third World are much more advanced than us. Even in how we make decisions, we are much less advanced than we think.
We live in a society where it is easier for people to imagine the extinction of humanhood than to imagine that capitalism will end or that the system will change and politics will once again be everyone's business. A society that has focused on producing, exploiting natural resources at an unbridled pace and that has not even stopped to think about where this is taking us. A society where money and profit dictate what needs to be done and the pace of our lives. We seem to have lost the north and the debate of whether having more, producing more or earning more makes us happier or better people is not even on the table.
The command center of our society are the public institutions and those who command them are the politicians. Let's stop to think how we choose them, because they decide the course.
I not only understand but share the political disaffection of the public. If we think about it, we could say that the politics we have has become idiotic, because in the end, we have parties where politicians are professionals, pursue personal careers and increasingly defend private interests.
Maria Montessori said that if we truly want to educate for peace, we must educate in cooperation and not in competition.
However, capitalism and a society focused on production and consumption have made people less and less mature, critical and cooperative. Individualism and competition have undermined the values of cooperation and community that we have in our culture.
We have normalized individualism, struggle and contests, promoting the examples of the winners and forgetting everyone who loses, that there are always many more of us and in most cases we have worked as much or more than those who have won.
We have normalized giving votes, giving likes, and that this defines who is better or who is more valid. In contests, referendums, participatory budgets or elections, the vote is what decides the result and the course to be taken.
But let's ask ourselves seriously:
What are we measuring with the votes?? The best option? The fairest? The most viable? The wisest? The most conciliatory or peaceful or the one that respects people's rights?
What influences the vote?? The propaganda? The promises? Friendship or belonging to a group as if it were a football team? The pretty face of the candidates? Populist or simplistic speeches?
If we people who vote are not mature, critical and aware, neither are our votes, leading us to a competition where we measure who mobilizes more friends and supporters, regardless of whether the choice leads us to a worse society, where we face the real problems, and where we even go towards the hatred of the different, the destruction of the territory and the pollution and annihilation of life.
Looking at it from a distance, yes, it's scary: we're drifting.
Pere Vidal - increiblesostenible.org
regidor de la CUP per l'ajuntament de Valls.
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