Being Sustainable in the Liquid Society
The ancients followed stars to be really sure they could choose the right direction. The right direction was actually that orientation which allowed them to go ahead, to survive the disasters and to continue that order which – in this sense – represented the guarantee of a society that can continue into tomorrow.
This need to find the direction to go further and to continue, we could say further, it has always effectively demonstrated to be as one of the strongest requirements of each society: in one way or another, by relying in turn to means considered the most valuable in this regard, civilization has always been able to seize those directives appearing to be winning in respect of a manifest and undoubted need to ensure its survival. The simple fact of being present, in this sense, was the most powerful demonstration to have practiced a good choice.
Although many centuries have passed, today also our civilization is constantly looking for a direction: it is a fact tools which can be valid and efficient means in this regard are increased. The voices which can spread messages have multiplied, but – paradoxically – the difficulty seems equally increased as linked to a structural impasse which essentially regards which source should be elected and chosen to make a wise orientation.
Sociology has often been questioned as a source from which suggestions can be obtained: in any case, just as often, its voice was later confused with the background clamours of people who have been more attracted by perpetrating a critical rather than to act in accordance with common sense. If we omit this observation, one of the thoughts which most influenced contemporary world was the one of Zygmunt Bauman, who was a current age photographer even more realistic and laid the seeds to correct, we could mean, what appears to be the direction started by civilization.
The dangers of a liquid society, where the instrumental thinking typical of the market has ramped beyond the mere economic dimension, flowing in every other field, going against those four types of social action Weber had recognized as the founding pillars of social relations, have been thoroughly analyzed in their human costs: the individual can not find forms that can solve his deep need for meaning and identity becomes a problem so closely atomized, proclaiming a global loneliness condition from which no one, in fact, seems free.
Today the world is deprived of the thought of this great sociologist who could be considered a classic of the consumer society: staying with the same doubts, uncertainty, insecurity that we do not know how we can control, now more than ever, with well-founded and valid answers.
In this case, we cannot but refer and appeal to the thought of sustainability, which, in this sense, is designed as a protection which can provide a general indication for our civilizations. A thought that feeds the economic sphere of purely human contents and eco-systemic environmental effects that are of harmony generators.
A thought which was inspired by the great holistic theories and got substance from them in order to draw the same vision without separations, segmentations and fragmentations, and tries and finds a unit at the base of the social world: balance and equilibrium. Sustainability can be configured in this sense as the possibility for the current economic system to start an itinerary that is toward tomorrow because the instrumentality and efficiency will be complemented by the concepts of creation of value for the person and for the territory and by the notion of effectiveness.
In this way, only the thought of a precarious and potentially disintegrating and dangerous condition for civilization could convert into an orientation able to guarantee a conscious choice to correct the instrumental drifts with markedly human and environmental contents and implications: for the well-being of people and of the ecosystem, towards a holistic view that looks to the future of the whole and to the harmony between its parts, so that they are combined into an integrated and indissoluble unity.