(A) Liberating the Future from the Past

(A) Liberating the Future from the Past

Andrew Targowski (Haworth College of Business, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-004-2.ch004


The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate a role of information-communication (INFOCO) processes in human development according to the following plan: (A) Liberating the future from the past (B) Liberating the past from the future The programs formulated in statements A and B above, in my view, frame the task of formulating a philosophy of life in the third millennium or, at least, in the 21st century. An examination of the relationship between the past and the future may provide an answer to the question of how we should live in the present. The turn of the 21st century is very rich in the emerging paradigms of many very fundamental fields of life. Some examples will suffice to illustrate the point: the fall of Communism makes way for a New World Order; medicine witnesses healing with the aid of gene therapy; technology sees the emergence of “cyberspace,” a new dimension of civilization; in philosophy, modernism becomes transformed into progress with a human face; national economies yield to a global economy; insular societies become network societies. In this jungle of great changes, both the average person and the professional politician, artist, or technician becomes lost and wonders “What is it all about?” “How does one conduct one’s life in relation to all this?” Some are pleased with the imminent changes while others complain and curse: “You can keep your ‘interesting times.” One thing is sure, that in such “interesting times” the world is integrating, trying to make sense of itself and to avoid conflicts, and is looking at the future with hope. People are coming to the conclusions that science is not the only source of understanding truth and that the life experience of the individual is an equally meaningful source of wisdom. In the following analysis and synthesis of programs A (liberating the future from the past) and B (liberating the past from the future), we shall outline the task of formulating a sketch of a philosophy of life for the general reader. If this work can provide a meaningful answer to the question of “how to live,” then it should be able to reach every curious resident of our planet, every culture and every civilization—not, of course, as an authoritative injunction on “how to live,” which could not be imposed on anyone by scientific authority, but as a set of general guidelines which each human being himself must choose to either adopt or reject. Concurrent with the present trend to integrate, a contemporary philosophy of life should emerge from actual social processes, such as the creation of a global economy and a discussion concerning the need for the formation of an open global society. This need would seem to be particularly important because the Cold War is expected to be replaced by “clashes” among civilizations, which should be minimized. In this regard, I propose to examine and formulate the first foundations of the philosophy of communicated harmony. The basis of this process will be the analysis and synthesis of the degrees of independence and unity of the “past” and the “future.” We shall look at their relationship as it regards civilization, rather than in astronomic categories of time. For it is through civilization that we understand the collective way of people’s lives, a method which embraces communal life, culture and the infrastructure. Figure 4-1 presents a general model for solving problems A and B.

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