Thursday, July 25, 2024

A New Enlightenment Is The Need Of The Hour

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A new enlightenment is the need of the hour in a world afflicted with global climate crisis, war, supply chain breakdown and economic uncertainty and religious tension

The world is currently passing through multiple crises, which wasn’t seen in recent decades. On one hand, we have the global climate crisis, scientists have predicted that the world is well on course to exceed the temperature targets set by the Paris Accord of 2015, entailing, in the process, catastrophic consequences for the global climate as early as the next decade.

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To compound matters, the world economy which was slowly recuperating from the devastating blow dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic is struggling to grow at pre-pandemic levels of 2-2.5% thanks to the continuing Russo-Ukraine war.

The ‘new’ Elements in 21st Century Enlightenment

Such an enlightenment should be based on the principle of nature-oriented development or what is known in modern parlance as sustainability.

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While sustainability is the buzzword of today, it is still exclusively seen to be the preserve of the West.

The non-western societies and institutions must be an integral part of the ecological dimension of the new enlightenment.

Socially, the new enlightenment must be based on what Markus Brunnermeier in his book The Resilient Society a “new social contract”.

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This “new social contract” should be tweaked to be called “new global social contract” committed to human rights and eco-centric world which promotes the cause of not for anthropomorphic beings but other organisms which are key to maintaining global sustainability.

It therefore must be tuned to the unique societal & institutional context of each country. Having said that, it should challenge autocratic tendencies of various regimes which base their authority in either ideological or theocratic terms, like the case of China & Iran.

Asia Is The Key

Asia is the undoubted candidate to lead this ‘new enlightenment’ revolution.

Bharat emerges as the best candidate, but in keeping with the Asian and Indic spirit of ‘accommodation’, a coalition is best suited to lead it.

Hence a new enlightenment is the need of the hour, one that will be inclusive yet sensitive to the needs of humanity and nature.

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