Nationalism or globalization, totalitarianism or democracy, the dichotomies affecting the world of education and work

20, April

By Martin Padulla for staffingamericalatina The Canadian experimental psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven ...

By Martin Padulla for staffingamericalatina

The Canadian experimental psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker recently pointed out that “every government has the right to impose restrictions to prevent greater harm, but the decisive question is whether that power should be used as an excuse to curtail people’s freedom in general”.
It is evident that Humanity will overcome the COVID 19 chapter of History as well as that we will inhabit a different world. The great unknown is whether this world will be more nationalistic and totalitarian or more global and democratic.
At this point it seems interesting how we stand before what the historian Yuval Noah Harari calls the “terrifying totalitarian dystopia”.
Populist dreams, always autocratic, have found in the pandemic the perfect excuse to materialize. As I write these lines, in Argentina, restrictions that are clearly unconstitutional have been decreed.
The lack of international coordination in the face of the most global phenomenon in history increases uncertainty. Nationalisms by definition imply cultural and economic impoverishment as they annul the competitive advantages of each country, the possibility of cooperation and productive synergies.
The sociologist and former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, maintains that military coups no longer exist, democracies are destroyed from within, democracies are democratically emptied.
For Latin America, the advance of several governments on fundamental freedoms such as the freedom to work and move, which for the vast majority constitutes the right to life, constitutes a dangerous scenario.
We start from a scenario of prior restrictions, which are structural in that they deny diversity. The vast majority of those who temporarily hold the power to manage the State are unaware of how wealth is generated in the 21st century. They conceive a world of education and a world of work that is obsolete. This leads them to repeat recipes that empirical evidence indicates have already failed before. As far as pandemic management is concerned, they repeat measures that have failed only a short time ago, and the capacity for learning seems to be nil.
A paradigmatic case is currently taking place in Mexico. In a labor market in which two out of every three citizens who work do so informally, the government is moving against the freedom of companies and workers who develop through subcontracting and seeks to prohibit it. A flexible tool that creates formal jobs and plays a key role in the post-pandemic recovery disappears in the face of a State that does not understand or intends to close itself off to the World by exiting any international supply chain, disconnecting itself from the vertigo of global interconnection.
There are two factors ignored by the always autocratic populisms that promote maniacal enclosures without management and the false dichotomy between health and economy: population aging and technological change. Both variables demand various devices for learning to unlearn and relearn over a longer period of physical and cognitive fullness and various ways of developing in the world of work at different stages and circumstances of life. Ignoring this only leads to high rates of informality and unemployment, i.e. exclusion. Moving in the opposite direction of development
As the sociologist Juan Jose Sebreli and the jurist Marcelo Gioffré state in the book Desobediencia civil y libertad responsable “all populism wants to govern alone, without genuinely interacting either with the citizens or with the institutions”.
Responsible citizen freedom, exercised in a public and non-violent manner, far from weakening institutions, enriches and stabilizes them, they argue. Social dialogue is a form of exercising responsible freedom with regard to the right to develop in various forms in the productive world, to train in competencies through various mechanisms that allow one to remain competitive in increasingly volatile environments. The possibility of gaining freedom and inclusion. It is essential to strengthen it and that the voice of diversity against all attempts at exclusion be more forceful.
The answers offered by the political caste are useless because the questions are different, they have changed. We are facing unique challenges and we need to approach them with a different mindset.
It is clear that we must banish the old nationalist and authoritarian abnormality and build, based on agreements, a framework of freedom, diversity, democracy and globalization that includes us all.
The private sector, the protagonist of reality, seems to be called upon to play an unprecedented role in history.