Congratulations! Thank you for inviting me today. Looking at this sea of bright, intelligent eyes is not only thrilling, it is inspiring, it is reassuring, it is humbling. I wish each and every one of you the very best in life.
Today, as you get ready to leave Harvard, and enter the world of work, you are well-prepared. You have read a lot, you have learnt a lot, and I am sure you are brimming with ideas and theories that you are impatient to put into practice. If that is true, rest assured, your university has done its duty.
For a long time, institutions do not properly work as well as citizens are deeply upset and annoyed with these institutions. They are looking for a real change in society which will be able to fix this sort of things which do not properly work. Tings must be changed.
It has been a long time, since the option for the Knowledge Society (KS) is not only an option. It is the real way which must be followed. This KS is absolutely unavoidable. It is already going on in several fields. This option for the KS should be more logically hierarchical with any of the contradictions that a heartless and exploiting capitalism handles all the potentiality of technosciences as well as the huge possibilities foreseen because of them. It seems that the severe health crisis after the coronavirus pandemic and all its effects might be the suitable instance to drive definitely society from an exploiter capitalism industrial society into a consistently one structured on a knowledge basis.
Every kind of dismantling which will undoubtedly follow the coronavirus may be the chance to get the big social transformation. On the other hand, it might be a missed occasion, and all the efforts would be focused on re-setting the way of life destroyed by the coronavirus, as we have seen it happened several times before.
Let’s try to describe the array of logical changes which should be produced, if the handy ones are properly taken advantage of.
The dramatic sanitary crisis which the pandemic created, apart from the amount of deaths it can give raise to, will logically provoke a huge economical catastrophe: massive unemployment, lots of enterprises collapse, stock market falling down, poverty both among several families and countries.
Pandemic is showing that a political reorganization is a real necessity; as well as the decision of spreading the informatics in every job, every manufacturing, robotization or telecommuting.
The need for political reorganization is also a consequence of the pandemic. The latter has shown us the social harm a worldwide organization in nationalities is. It is a must to go from a selfish and competitive nationalism to a new organization of both regions and the different cultures in interdependence and solidarity. Facing the serious illness, nations all over the world showed a regrettable management of the situation about their own selfishness and a short span in their decisions. They weren’t aware that if a country cannot master a pandemic, every single achievement got by the rest of them is useless. Every single country, race and culture become interdependent and beggar for solidarity; facing this illness.
It may seem clear enough and necessary that we must rebuild the international order, so that we would be able to go from competitiveness to solidarity. National patriotisms use to be harmful for the species survival. Different religious worships should also be rethought. Every kind of consciousness based on the idea that one is the only being in the whole world to be right, facing the rest of humanity which is wrong, breaks solidarity. A jointly managed global world cannot accept that some religions prevail over the other ones. Or that only one among them pretends to be the right place to which the rest of them should get to. In this field, it is also necessary to go from competitiveness to solidarity.
Every single human organization should become more global because computing and communications have led us into a global humanity. The organization in nations pushes us into collective selfishness and competitiveness.
The very situation we are living right now, which has a worldwide span and is extraordinarily exceptional, showed that just a powerful science can solve these serious problems. No ideologies, neither nationalities, nor religions can provide suitable solutions. Out of this awful crisis, both science and technology have become strengthened.
The goal is definitely opting for a knowledge-based society. To get this, we should change our conceptions, organizations, team intercourses, teams of teams and countries. All these would be achieved in a coherent way along with the idea that the more solidarity and equity the better it will be for the survival of other people. It will also be a better prosperity for our species, for every single living species as well as for the environment.
Biomedical investigation is being carried out last days with great effort. Both perspective and organization should be changed. A conjunct organization is being asked for, which should be interdependent among big companies and all the countries worldwide. It would be a catastrophe going on with the old cultural paradigm; if that investigation, essential to humanity as a whole, would have become a harsh competition as to be aware who can get a vaccine or a solution to the epidemic, which can be patented and eventually may become a source of great wealth. All in all, without taking into account that the result of this investigation might not be economically available for the most of humanity.
It is a need to find out a solution to the patents question which might not prevent solidarity and equity among the different investigation teams.
Coronavirus has effectively remarked our animal condition. We are animals, and as such we are exposed to epidemics like every single animal is. We have to be convinced that we are animals like the other ones; even though we are peculiar, because of our linguistics ability. So, our spiritual beliefs or the anthropological one are useless if they are not based on the concept that we are animals like the rest.
Both unstoppable computing and robotization must lead us to a different conception about human work which mastered industrial societies. So, human work should consist on creative knowledge of any kind. This creation will every time be developing. It will be oriented to the services to take care of human needs such as health, looking after old people and teaching at all levels. All this should continuously be done and extend to every single stratum existing in society.
There should be working in both the animals and the environment benefit. Both sciences and techniques allow us to take care of animals like our brothers and sisters; as well as of the environment, like the garden in which we dwell and which gives us livelihood.
To carry on with this outline on human living which depends on the continuous creation of every kind of knowledge, we need a suitable human quality and deep human quality strong nuclei. It is imperative. Without such quality, we could not conveniently manage the continuous progress of sciences, technologies, which are every day more and more accelerated. Without it, knowledge based societies could become in powerful monsters destroying and doing evil. Without it, it will not be possible to elaborate and keep solidarity, equity and mutual dependence.
We must decidedly prefer an anthropology based on the fact that we are animals like the other ones, without anything added, but linguistically competent as a life invention for a better survival. This advantage of our species cannot become harmful for the rest of the species; but in an instrument for helping and solidarity with every single animal, vegetable species and with the land which embraces and feeds all the living beings.
Our conception of knowledge and values has to go away from a mythical interpretation that leads us to believe that what we think and value is like it in fact is. This attitude takes us away from both equality and equity. It also establishes superior and inferior levels to religions and cultures. It also establishes absolute truths and falsehood in conceptions and styles of living among different cultures.
The terrible crisis of coronavirus is the right chance to definitely go to from industrial societies, which are competing and fighting each other, to knowledge based societies which encompasse the whole humanity with a common organization, with a common axiological collective project, even though with great differences in the different regions, traditions, cultures, spiritual moods or different ways of cultivating both the human quality and the deep human quality.
We will have to get used to interpreting every single reality not only as individualities or individual associations or allied groups or in conflict, but interpreting them as interdependent chains in a global system of interdependencies. We have to go from individuality ontology to a generalized interdependence one.