New Humanist

“The new generations & new paradigms in the XXI century.”

Rhodes, Greece by Hugo Novotny

In December, 2010, the self-immolation of an unemployed youth in Tunisia sparked wildfire in Magreb that run later throughout the entire Arab world. In Tunisia, a rich country in comparison to its north African neighbours, youth unemployment had reached 30% and if we count only those that finished their university studies, the percentage was 60%. In these conditions, the youth rapidly connected and convened through the internet social networks and went out to the streets to manifest themselves against the authoritarian power, crystallised for decades, until they removed the government in a non-violent way.

The same scenario repeated in Egypt in February, 2011: the youth, without leaders to direct them, connected through internet, managed to mobilise behind them  the Egyptian society until removing the power of the dictator – Mubarak, also in a non-violent manner. Already in Europe, the 15th of May became a symbolic day for the massive movement of the “indignant”, or outraged, Spaniards. Many thousands of youths filled Plaza del Sol in Madrid demanding “Real Democracy now”, warning politicians of all factions, banks and corporations: “You don’t represent us!” Characterised also by its non-violence, the phenomena extended throughout the entire country, also collecting the support of human groups in other places, especially in Europe and Latin America.

At the beginning of August, the “indignant”, or outraged, also appeared in Israel: 300,000 people, mainly students, demonstrated in a non-violent way. For the first time in the history of the country, the youth were mobilised not by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather against the economic policies of the government and for greater social justice. In Chile, high school and university students have massively demonstrated in various opportunities during recent times. But in August this year, they got the decisive support of professors and parents, middle and working class, resolutely becoming the spearhead of a achieving that the president of the country and parliament convene a meeting around a negotiation table inclusive of the high school students.

Finally today, the non-violent movement Occupy Wall Street has already overflowed the limits of New York and continues to vertiginously grow and expand to different cities of the United States. In the above mentioned cases, independently of the notable social, economic and cultural differences among countries, we can distinguish three phenomena common to these events:

1.The morphological fracture in the system of values that gives direction to social behaviour. The lack of fitting between the representation of  “the heights” – as a space where there are beings especially endowed with strength, wisdom and kindness – and social reality, because of the growing mistrust in the capabilities and intentions of leaders in terms of improving the lives of the majority, be it in the political field, or in the economic, religious and trade unions ones. This situation has led to the breakdown of the old and the emergence of a new system of references, in which the concept of “the profound” acquires a predominant significance.   Profound in this case signifies true, reflective, human, giver of meaning…sacred in the most ample sense of the word. This new horizontal morphology of values, corresponds entirely with the current concepts of “networks”, “interactivity”, “communities”, “self-regulation” and “self-organisation”.

2. The vertiginous scientific-technological advances, especially in the field of information technology and its influence in the collective consciousness. Here we are not only considering the extraordinary technological achievements that allow present day scientists to direct remotely spaceships through our solar system and even beyond its limits; to reproduce the most complex  natural processes in computers, reaching the point of decoding the genome and creating artificial life. But also the development of communication systems and internet that amplify exponentially access to informational resources accumulated by humanity (libraries, virtual encyclopaedias, private and governmental sites); largely augmenting the possibilities of communication of people, without temporal or spatial limits; creating conditions that allow teamwork in real time, independent of the physical location of the group or community members; giving the possibility of utilising, as much for work as for personal contact, different “skins” and avatars” (profiles or characters). In the field of photography and digital video, until recently the possibility of looking simultaneously at the same thing another person is looking at in another point of the planet was just the product of sci-fi writers imagination.

Today it is something habitual for any child or youth with a personal mobile telephone. Not to mention the present possibility of editing and modifying the image of reality being shown at the same time that events are taking place, something that today can already be seen in today’s international televisions networks.

Finally, the dramatic increase of alternative media in internet allows an unprecedented widening of the diversity of viewpoints about reality. The examples described, make evident not just a process of exponential expansion of the volume and accessibility of the social memory to individuals, but also a huge diversification of possibilities of perception of the world and its representation. A clear tendency toward the integration of particularities in a level higher than the whole can also be observed, the transit from the “I” to the “we”, but maintaining and even increasing its internal diversity. A transit, in the given conditions, from the “I” to a “chosen we collectively created”, being this a distinctive characteristic of a process of conscious self-organisation of society.

3- The realization of the need to resist violence in groups pertaining to the most different cultures and faiths. The third distinctive characteristic of the psycho-social phenomena mentioned in the beginning is the choice of a non-violent methodology for the transformation of society. Large human groups not only start manifesting themselves against war and physical violence but also economic, religious, racial, sexual, psychological and moral violence, placing human beings and their real rights to self determination and development at the centre. It is particularly remarkable the fact that people –  especially the young – have rapidly become aware of the need, not just to go against all forms of violence that come from the powers that be, but also of discarding violence from their own behaviour. In this way: a new horizontal morphology in the system of references and its social correlate; the transit of the individual “I” to a “chosen we, created together”; and the rejection of violence in all its forms, outside and within oneself, creating a completely new landscape in the world, corresponding clearly to a moment of an inflection point in human history.

It is evident that the young have the best possibilities to comprehend and act, reflect and create in the new conditions. We have arrived at the moment when the new generations start to teach the adults, not just to utilise and manage the new technologies, but also “with a new affection and a new comprehension” [2].

The depths of realisation about this fact will determine, in our opinion, the possibility of surpassing the present historical crisis of humanity and advance towards the Universal Human Nation.

Hugo Novotny [1] World Forum “Dialogue of Civilisations” Rhodes, Greece, 9th of October, 2011,

 [1] Independent Researcher. Park of Study and Reflection Carcarañá
 [2] Silo, Punta de Vacas, 4th of May, 2004.

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