Author Interview: Osvaldo Della Giustina

Author Interview: Osvaldo Della Giustina

Book: Participation and Solidarity

Tell us more about yourself, who is Osvaldo Della Giustina?

A philosopher and journalist, deeply integrated through a long experience of life that has been reflecting and participating in the social reality, assumed in its dramas and its potentialities, and absolutely aware of the responsibilities of each individual and of humanity, taking advantage of the moment of transformation brought by the advances in Science and Technology, and all of this to build a Participatory and Solidarity Civilization, with the concepts and the dimensions proposed in this book.

A perfect day starts with... And ends with?

A perfect day begins with the joy of being able to live life to its fullest, with a healthy body and soul, ready for another day of dedication to things one believes in and with the confidence of being loved and loving very much, without limits…and ends with the certainty that it was worth it… that it was not an empty day, that it left something accomplished in its path.

Your latest book is "Participation and Solidarity". What is the message you want to convey to your readers?

We live in a time where the civilization process, in the last hundred years, and the advances of Science and Technology have transformed the world, including our Planet, into a dimension that has never happened or been imagined to happen in human history.

The lack of conscience and the immobilism of the social order facing the speed of scientific and technological transformations are not sustainable and people will be affected if this tendency is not rebalanced, and treated with equivalent urgency.

But beyond this awareness and with the same speed of transformation, it is necessary to develop new foundations and new forms of social organization capable of reversing this tendency to rupture and to create a new Civilization, the Post-technological Civilization, where the harmony between scientific and technological development and the human dimensions is preserved or re-established.

Finally, it is not enough to understand the civilizational moment. It is not enough to become aware of the unsustainability of the social order and the urgent need to create new foundations and ways of organizing the new society. It is equally urgent to identify what these fundamentals are and transform them into concrete instruments of the new Social Organization.

The Book PARTICIPATION AND SOLIDARITY, the Third Millennium Revolution (II) identifies the new foundations that, taking the place of competition and concentration that have become unlimited thanks to the Scientific and Technological Revolution, uncontrollable and inhumane, are capable of re-establishing the balance between the human dimensions and the advances of Science and Technology.

These new foundations can become concrete, inspiring the institutions of the new Civilization.

Participation will make the deconcentration of social institutions, all of them, prevail, and it is an instrument to allow people, countries, and regions to participate in the advances of Science and Technology and their benefits, unlike the concentration that excludes them. Solidarity will make Cooperation prevail over the competition that ends up leading to all forms of conflict, disharmony, and violence in society and, in its extreme form among nations, to misery, revolutions, and wars.

What is the importance of solidarity?

In the book Participation and Solidarity, the concept of solidarity is equivalent today to the concept of justice in ancient times. People or states were not obliged to be just like this: the strongest could exploit, destroy the weakest. Righteous people were considered virtuous and were honored by society for being virtuous. Justice was considered only a virtue, just as solidarity is considered today: people or nations are honored when they are in solidarity, but they are not obliged to be in solidarity.

It is necessary that, like Justice, Solidarity could no longer be considered a virtue that needs to be recognized as an institution with legal force because, in the face of the power of Science and Technology and the power of those who hold it, it is no longer possible to establish Justice.

What is the principle of participation?

The Concentration excludes and it is a mistake to imagine that in a second moment those who are initially excluded will also benefit from the concentration. There are two terrible consequences of this misunderstanding.

Such a posteriori participation would be compensatory if this “a posteriori” were immediate. But there is a growing gap between the speed of exclusion and the delay in the access of the excluded to the same benefits which, moreover, when they occur, will always be less than the concentrated benefits.

There is another issue that I consider more serious. I refer to the loss of the freedom of the excluded, who only have to fit into the product of concentration, which always ends up imposing on everything, habits, customs, tastes, culture, consciences. Only the principle, or the foundation of participation, inspiring the instrument of deconcentration, is the guarantee of plurality, autonomy, and freedom.

What are some examples of solidarity in the world?

I believe it is important, as the book does mention, to consider the concept of Mass of Consciousness. Regardless of Nation, race, religion, or any other attribute, millions of people, perhaps billions, in the world are moved by new values, such as human rights, peace, respect for nature, solidarity. Unfortunately, these people live in isolation and without a theory of organization that institutionalizes these values, or these aspirations.

However, all the time, in any part of the world, actions of solidarity can be found and there has been a lack of occasions when this awareness manifests itself. I am referring not only to the occasion of natural disasters, or as happens today with doctors and health professionals during the coronavirus pandemic and on other occasions, but to the reception, either for refugees, or for the needy in general, or in going to the streets to protest against injustices, or to demand peace, respect for nature.

Institutions of solidarity must also be considered, and I cannot fail to cite Médecins Sans Frontières as an example, but there are thousands of associations, clubs, community organizations, churches, including businesses that are dedicated to solidarity.

Finally, I must also mention the European Union, which I see as an example of solidarity between countries that have done wrong for a century; in less than 50 years they have carried two world wars that have caused more than 100 million deaths and the world to anguish and suffering. I know that there is also resistance and other interests behind this union, but we must highlight this immense step towards solidarity between peoples and nations.

The big problem is that the institutions that order society are not solidary, on the contrary. The world, the civilization in which we live, continues to be organized by institutions that fabricate inequalities and injustices, that surpass the benefits of those who are in solidarity, and these focused and concentrating institutions are the objects of the book.

What would be your word of encouragement for humanity?

As a word of encouragement to humanity, I would say from my conviction that a better, more human, more participatory and supportive world will necessarily come, not only because it is desirable, or as a more or less utopian, more or less moralistic proposal, but also because of an imperative of the civilization process that advances in science and technology impose and make viable, as a condition of the sustainability of civilization.

The question is the price humanity will pay to reach this different world. But I can safely say that the price to be paid will be proportional to the opposition to the transformation, or to the absence of those who may have done nothing or not done enough, in favor of the change. I would point out that in this transformation the responsibility of the Pope, the President of the United States, or the President of China is no different than the individual responsibility. What differentiates them is only their space, but each has the same responsibility at the limit of his space.

In the occupation of this space of individual responsibility, the sum of which constitutes the Mass of Consciousness, is the size of the price to be paid or the extent of the reward for the advent of the new civilization, the Civilization of Participation and Solidarity, or amortized world, as proposed in the book PARTICIPATION AND SOLIDARITY, the Revolution of the Third Millennium (II).