A dialogue with Politics by Sara Cirone.
We have interviewed a number of politicians of different political orientations and we have unexpectedly realized that they all agreed in their answers to our questions. In fact, they agreed at large on all points, so we have loosely based on their positions some universal food for thought about sustainability. The following are shared and sustainable reflections.
The value of GDP
In the sustainable model, the GDP – much as it is a significant indicator on the general state of the economy – cannot describe in detail the degree of sustainability that a society may have reached. Therefore, it demonstrates its inadequacy in the evaluation of the quality in the development of the real state of people’s well-being and in the respect of the environmental and natural asset. On the other hand, the essential factors for the future of a sustainable, competitive and up-to-date country are research, development, innovation and education instead. On the other hand, talking of consumption and well-being, the abstract equation “more consumption means more growth, thus more well-being for everyone” has already become obsolete and incorrect, because it overlooks the qualitative profile of life models of both people and their environment.
The sustainable model and Latouche’s model of degrowth
Latouche’s model of degrowth – which is based on the controlled, selective and voluntary decrease of the economical production and of consumptions in general – represents an inadequate model as it is derived from a merely quantitative conception anyway. Differently from the sustainable model, the model of degrowth is an unrealizable utopia. On the other hand, sustainability can legitimately represent the future economic development, even if with the necessary preconditions of a cultural, scientific, political reorganization of social life.
The role of business companies in the sustainable model
As in the traditional economic model, the business companies gain profits also in the sustainable model, even though this one is achieved in the respect of ethical conditions and in the awareness of the practice of social responsibility. Furthermore, if in the traditional model business companies can diffuse innovation, know-how and social relations, in the sustainable model business companies play a strategic role of diffusion of models and behaviours.
It is impossible to distinguish between primary and secondary actors in the responsibility to realize the sustainable model. It would be useful that subjects that concretely put in practice effective sustainable behaviours would anyway act in synergy with public and private sectors, different models and functions, in a common perspective of project-planning. In particular, a full sharing of the micro social level is needed as it should be the starting engine of this process.
The economic pervasiveness of our society
Bauman theorized the liquid society. Weber described a way-to-act model – the instrumental one – as the behaviour in the economic sphere. In time, the economy has exceeded its limits and has flown in everywhere. In the future, sustainability can change this situation of economic pervasiveness with the modification of organizational, technological, relational models.
Globalization and localization
Localisation versus globalisation, or localization and globalisation. Talking of local and global dimensions, sustainability supports an economy, such as the Italian one, which is rooted in our national territory and – at the same time – is also deeply globalized at large. Our economy, in other words, traditionally grows in our territories and operates in the global market.
UN 2030 Agenda
The most urgent Goal in both the national and the global frame is the respect for the environment around us. Unfortunately, the effects of an inconsiderate behaviour in the years are evident. The main international actors in synergy should invest more in the protection of the environment. An equal critical point is the increase of inequalities at every level, with an impellent necessity to decode and have a dialogue with the diversity.
For a shared model
In view of a shared model, we have imagined that no politics should exist, but only a human, universal and common interest in the themes of sustainability. For this reason, we have not opted for adopting party labels, but for realizing a productive debate and dialogue beyond the superficial distinctions, towards a holistic reflection on the significant themes in our civilization.
All the politicians agree with this approach: if politicians cannot be changed, has the moment come to change politics?