A Time for Action
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Winston Churchill’s words are still in line with what we are experiencing in the present. The truth is that the passage to the knowledge society is a shift, it involves change, and change brings about difficulties and suffering.
Peter Drucker, the great management expert author of Post-capitalist Society, one of the milestones on which this blog is based, expains it clearly in the opening chapter of his book: “Nothing “post” is permanent or even long-lived. Ours is a transition period. What the future society will look like, let alone whether it will indeed be the “knowledge society” some of us dare hope for, depends on how the developed countries respond to the challenges of this transition period, the post-capitalist period – their intellectual leaders, their business leaders, their political leaders, but above all each of us in our own work and life. Yet surely this is a time to make the future – precisely because everything is in flux. This is a time for action.”
A Double Challenge
Our role is to act to create the future starting from our job and daily life. As Marc Luyckx Ghisi, the author of Knowledge Society, writes: “Most jobs in the post-capitalist society have yet to be invented.” Is the goal of these words to have a placebo effect on the thousands or millions who are unhappy with their current alienating jobs or do such words find actual confirmation in human history? Think about the pioneers of the industrial revolution. How many, when the first factories were opened, could think that one day jobs like the lathe turner were going to be invented? And how many, millennia ago, could think that one day craftsmen were going to be needed to produce farming tools?
The challenge that lies ahead of us in the next few decades is to use our skills and talent to create something new and aim to a word allowing everyone to find what Ken Robinson, British educator and writer, defines as The Element, where passion and talent meet. It is a double challenge, because unlike the agricultural age or the industrial age the Knoweldge Society is located at a moment in time when humanity has created – with nuclear weapoons and the exploitation of the planet’s resources, the conditions for collective suicide. Inventing new jobs or understanding our role in the world is not enough. Not anymore. Now is the time to ask ourselves if our contribution adds value to society.
Disputing the system based on Conquest, Command and Control of the industrial society is not easy. Even though the younger generations are in the future and in the change with one foot, the other one is still in the old system. Making an effort to act in a way that is not only personally but also collectively beneficial goes against the flow of the Fuck and Kill model often perpetuated if not promoted by a certain type of cinema and TV.
However, it is encouraging to know that in many countries a larger and larger number of common people that mainstream mass media do not even mention, the Cultural Creatives, have started asking themselves how it is possible to make the world a better place by opening up their lives, becoming interested in the conditions of their neighbourhood and striving to contrast their own human individualistic inclinations. Fedor Dostoevskij explained it clearly: “The battlefield is the heart of man.” That is the starting point to realise the change envisioned by Drucker.