Hinge point of another imagined order – Part 2

From Hinge point of another imagined order – Part 1

the current social order

In Aristotle’s Greece, we can find the origin of the Democratic bases of the order that since 1789, governs most of the communities of the globe until today.

In this order, a ruling figure emerges: The State, which administers the general welfare policies of society and provides the services that support them, and an active social nucleus that provides the resources needed for this.

The citizens who make up the active core attend to the norms, values, and personal convictions, and also adopt those related to the behavior, ideas, and convictions of the society with which they identify. Social norms are not static, they evolve and are transformed at the same time into personal norms.

Society may participate in the decisions of the state directly or through legitimate or representative intermediary social groups.

Dissatisfaction on the survival scale is externally manifested in social protests that may include the non-compliance of social solidarity.  When the people freely agree with the power, the exercise of their rights, they lives in democracy, but when the popular outcry is not heard, authoritarianism prevails.

Today shows us that certain authoritarian, dictatorial, or despotic aspirations find in the pandemic arguments that disguise them, contributes to this their endless “quarantines” and “states of siege” that suspend fundamental rights with the argument that they are needed for public health.

The high levels of marginality existing in society – currently aggravated by the circumstances experienced with COVID19- generate vulnerable majorities that often reach political leadership, coming to power without the right education with too many unmet needs and high ambitions, which over time turn democracy into despotism and ambitions into corruption.

… the nihilism in the social order

Socio-economic and fiscal problems – according to Matthijs Alink and Víctor Van Kommer[1]-generate reactive behaviors to any condition that the state and citizens may establish to consolidate the order.

Ignoring the current order influences the formation of the ideas, values and attitudes that make up the tax culture.

When society does not agree with the prevailing social order, chaos results that inhibits the possibility of consensual adjustments of the decisions of power and leaves room for authoritarianism and the coercive exercise of powers.

Without mobility in social classes or when political parties only represent emerging conglomerates in society, citizens perceive them as representatives of a greedy culture.

… it is necessary to create more supportive new orders

Giving value to the social contribution in moral terms implies recognizing solidarity as one of the values of humanity.

Open solidarity is a moral value, which is not born in” nature ” or in a sociological law, it is part of freedom, encompasses the entire human condition, recognizes the equal dignity of all human beings and assumes compassion as the element that identifies it.

The concept of solidarity has undergone a process of transformation that is reflected in all areas: for some it is the claim of fundamental rights and for others an attitude of piety that they call “assistance”.

Many state budgets, administered indiscriminately under the label of social assistance, fuel populist policies that do not include the provision of health and educational services or the creation of sources of work.

… leading to the State-Community social pact

The idea of the social covenant revolves around the model of society in which the community aspires to coexist, defining it in the conditions: the role of the state that must fit into such a model; systems of public spending and investment and financing and exchange of rights and obligations between the state and citizens.

The order in force in society obliges the state to provide appropriate services to the general well-being and to claim the right to the contribution that allows it to provide them and the society to comply with its contribution and to claim its rights at the service of well-being, generating a commitment that is put at the service of the prevailing socio-political ideas in a contract.

The socio-economic decisions and especially the taxation that manage the behavior of the State-Community pact require special reflection for change. Insisting on the policies in force until 2019 brings more confusion to the already depleted treasury, today it is necessary to check the stubborn persistence in the use of hypothetically redistributive techniques and interpretations, of an obsolete regressive order only beneficial for those who live of its interpretation.

” To be a patriot is to sustain a good health care system, to pay taxesHarari says in his very interesting interview

The history of pandemics with their sequences in humanity, the crises derived from them, government inefficiencies, lack of solidarity in contributions, and a degraded economy that makes informality a social milestone, have repeatedly credited the “shortage of patriots” today.

Compliance with the covenant requires the existence of the supremacy of law based on democratic conditions adopted by the government and citizens

The COVID19 has raised doubts about the effectiveness of democracy as a form of government, the social covenant has been broken, governments have not properly attended to health and educational needs, nor have they been able to overcome the economic difficulties that leave the society impoverished, unemployed, unable to pay social expenses and imprisoned under the argument of “quarantine”.

… predictions and threats

Yuval Noah Harari seems to have ceased interpreting the world to analyze how it is being transformed. Since the beginning of the pandemic his position in the face of the economic crisis gives a clear political character to the predictions he poses for an imminent future, I summarize his paragraphs, which in my opinion expand a “futuristic” vision of humanity:

  • On socio-economic policy…

    The greatest danger of COVID19 is now economic and political, not medical. The impact of the pandemic can be catastrophic and lasting many years, with the collapse of regions such as South America.

    It is necessary to develop a paradigm shift in the current political and economic structures, they were built when the current technology did not exist “we must reinvent democracy and the economic system”.

  • About suffering…

    Morality is not abiding by laws, but reducing suffering, which is a universal biological phenomenon. In the twentieth century, liberal democracy was the best political system, the most effective in reducing part of the human suffering, in 100 years we will need a new type of political system, which will allow freeing people from suffering.

    In this pandemic, we have seen that it is better to cooperate with other countries to develop a vaccine or prevent the spread of the virus. We all need a good health system and we have to pay for it. It is necessary that COVID19 extinguishes at once the model of privatization, we cannot seriously think about entrusting the market with Public Health Management.

  • About religions…

    Is the time of religions past? Does technological development make their story unnecessary? Harari does not believe that they necessarily have to disappear, although he thinks that they must adapt to the new circumstances. To drive broad global cooperation also requires some mythology that unites people, but we can choose better stories, he thinks. The most prosperous societies are the least religious.

  • On social surveillance…

    Governments and corporations are going to be able to know us better than ourselves; they will understand our emotions and thoughts, our personality. A form of social control that totalitarian regimes have always fantasized about.

Countries very careful in protecting the rights of their citizens are legitimizing the use of new surveillance technologies. Perhaps in 50 years the pandemic will be remembered not because of the virus, but because of the time when everyone began to be monitored by the government.

Perhaps the main challenge we face is the one that is making possible “hacking” human beings, collect so much data from people that an external system can get to know us better than ourselves and try to manipulate us.

That may be the great legacy of this crisis. Especially if there is biometric surveillance, not only to know where a person is going and with whom he is but also to observe what happens inside his body: his blood pressure, heart pulse, brain activity.

“Some countries seem to be already “moving forward or aspiring to move forward” in the social control that Harari mentions, perhaps with the intentions that he expresses……

… anxiety for a new order

So far, a brief summary of ideas and prejudices encouraged by the social reaction to the pandemic that subjects the community to the challenge of choosing its future from the natural fact that affects it.

The world seems to be becoming aware of the need for a new order, and this has been demonstrated by the president of France.

During his online intervention at the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations, held this September 22, 2020 in New York (USA) the French President, Emmanuel Macron, asked to build” a new world order “[2]

Macron argued that the coronavirus pandemic “should act as an electric shock, as something that forces us to wake up and save lives” and to rethink a global drift that already slips towards nationalism and that trend has “accelerated” with the new crisis.

“We must build a new order, and that means that Europe has to fully assume its responsibility”, without limiting itself to being” disappointed spectators of a collective powerlessness ” he stressed.

The French leader urged to conceive the foundations of a new globalization, “fairer, more balanced, more equitable and more lasting”, which integrates the fight against inequalities of all kinds and against the global warming.

He promised to make proposals soon in that regard, and advanced that “Africa will be, with Europe, the engine of this redefinition of the terms of globalization”.

Final reflection

Will this be the hinge moment? It will correspond to the historians of the future to judge how wisely we use the influence on which we refer to, if possible.

 

[1] Matthijs Alink and Víctor Van kommer, Handbook on tax administration.
[2] UN Assembly, Macron calls for building “a new world order” not defined by the US and China, https://www.efe.com/efe/america/mundo/macron-pide-construir-un-nuevo-orden-mundial-no-definido-por-ee-uu-y-china/20000012-4349392

 

 

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