If we look at the world as a whole, we see that almost nothing functions as it should. The Earth is ill. As human beings, because we are also Earth — human, comes from humus — we likewise feel ourselves ill in a certain way.
It seems evident that we cannot continue on this path, because it would lead us to the abyss. We have been so senseless over the last generations that we have made a principle of self-destruction, to which we must add the irreversible global warming. This is not a Hollywood fantasy. Both terrified and perplexed, we ask ourselves: how has it come to this? How are we going to escape this dead-end global situation? What can each person do to help?
First, we must understand the structuring axis of world-society, which is the main culprit for this dangerous itinerary. It is the type of economy we have built, with the culture that goes along with it, one of private accumulation, and non-solidarian consumerism, the price of which is the sacking of nature. Everything has been turned into merchandise for competitive exchange. Within this dynamic only the strong win. The others loose; they either join as subaltern partners, or disappear. The result of this logic of competition, of everyone for him or herself, and of the lack of cooperation, is the incredible transfer of wealth to the few strong ones, the big consortiums, at the price of general impoverishment.
We must recognize that for centuries, this competitive exchange has been able to accommodate everyone, more or less, under its umbrella. It created thousands of facilities for human existence. But now, as the 2008 economic financial crisis made clear, the possibilities of this type of economy are ending. The great majority of countries and people find themselves excluded. Brazil herself is little more than a subaltern partner of the big ones, who is relegated to the role of exporter of raw material, rather than a producer of technological innovations that would give her the means to mold her own future. We still have not totally de-colonized ourselves.
Either we change, or the Earth is in danger. Where can we find the articulating principle of a different form of living together, of a new dream for the future? In moments of total and structural crisis we must consult the original source of everything: Nature. Nature teaches us what the sciences of the Earth and of life have been telling us for a long time: the basic law of the universe is not competition, that divides and excludes, but cooperation, that adds and includes. All the energies, all the elements, all living beings, from bacteria to the more complex beings are interdependent. A net of connections involves them everywhere, making them cooperative and solidarian beings, which is the main component of the socialist project. Thanks to this network we have arrived to where we are, and we may yet have a future ahead of us.
This information accepted, we are in condition to formulate a way out for our societies. We must consciously make cooperation a personal and collective project, something that was not seen in Copenhagen in the COP-15 on climate. Instead of competitive exchange, where only one wins and everyone else loses, we must strengthen the complimentary and cooperative exchange, the great ideal of «good living» (sumak kawsay) of the people of the Andes, in which everyone wins because everyone participates. We must accept what the brilliant mind of mathematics Nobel laureate John Nesh formulated: the principle of win-win, through which everyone, dialoguing and yielding, ends up benefiting, with no losers.
To live together humanly, we invented economics, politics, culture, ethics and religion. But we have denaturalized these «sacred» realities, poisoning them with competition and individualism, thus destroying the social fabric.
The new social centrality and the new necessary and saving rationality are founded on cooperation, pathos, in the profound sense of belonging, of familiarity, hospitality and of brotherhood and sisterhood with all beings. If we do not make that conversion, we must prepare for the worst.
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