The End and/or the Beginning

We are not living through an era of change, but a change of era’. Pope Francis

Philosopher Antonio Gramsci would add that we are living through an inter-regnum – a time between (inter-) reigning (regnum) – a time when there is no consensus. On the one hand we struggle with the consequences of wrong or outmoded ways of thinking and doing – the deadening old. On the other hand, hopes for the new, yet to be born. This is the frustrating ‘in-between’. The temptation is to find easy answers, to come to ordering a ‘new’ too soon. Witness talk of a ‘New Normal’ and a Federal Treasurer seeking ‘normalisation’. Rather the immediate task at hand for a sustainable future is to first identify and rethink fundamental assumptions, and then see how the cards fall to work toward a coherent consensus for a sustainable future.

This task, I take to be the role of the prophet, whether scientists uncovering what is, or what could be; poets and artists throwing up mirrors of what is and what could be; and anthropologists, sociologists, theologians, philosophers, lawyers and historians and … all contributing insights into what sustains a vibrant humanity – now within a global, if not cosmic context.

I came across a fascinating, informative and challenging documentary on SBS Viceland TV this afternoon. It’s a long but rewarding watch. I looked it up on YouTube and pulled out a couple of clips I hope will wet your appetite.

I wonder what you make of the opening sequence with the chairs?
Seems to me some kind of metaphor for the ‘new’.

Jeremy Rifkin, The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy

Full Video:

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