The era of extremes

It is time to be tolerant, to accept to discuss ideas and values, to know how to use arguments with all those who advocate positions contrary to ours, to stop imposing principles as if they were universal truths.

At the end of the 1914th century, Eric Hobsbawm, a notable historian, published the work “The Age of Extremes: the brief twentieth century, 1991-2012”, in which he looked at a period of great changes, a brief and extreme century, which divided in three major parts: “The Age of Catastrophe”, “The Golden Age” and “The Overthrow”. Disappeared in 95, aged XNUMX, Hobsbawm was still able to witness the true “Age of Extremes”, the XNUMXst century.

Never, as today, has humanity been so divided and so asymmetrical, where gray tends to disappear from the color palette, with only place for black and white. Societies are increasingly divided, with the middle class getting smaller and smaller and rich and poor taking on more and more prominence.

At the level of nations, development gaps are also increasingly accentuated, among the disinherited on Earth, which increase in the South, and the favored in the North, in ever smaller numbers. Demography also shows us a notable division between developing countries, with a young and growing population, and developed countries, with an aging and falling population.

Within nations, there is an increasing radicalization of people, with the center-left parties leaning more and more on the left and the parties on the center-right hitting each other more and more on the right, leaving the increasingly orphaned center.

Alongside these movements, parties of the extreme right and the extreme left are emerging and gaining increasing prominence who seek (and manage to) attract the electorate through unrealistic promises, guaranteeing to the many discontented a new hope, based on messages of a populist nature capable of reap the interest of all who are tired and disillusioned with the status quo.

Customs, too, are changing, and the world, which was little open and was dependent on ankylized ideals, now finds itself suddenly turned inside out, with radicalism placing itself in the antipodes of those who registered in the XNUMXth century. If society, even a few years ago, was discriminatory in relation to sex, race, political or ideological convictions, social condition or sexual orientation, now it is equally discriminatory in relation to those who dare to question the unique thought that has been intended to institute .

If, over the past centuries, women, black people, homosexuals and all those who did not fit the socially accepted standard were marginalized and persecuted, today there is a diametrically opposite situation, with those who dare to discuss options and ideas mostly conveyed by parties and movements to the left of the political spectrum to be called macho, racist, xenophobic or homophobic.

Several issues could no longer be rationally discussed in society, and all those who do not bow to the single thought that is intended to impose, as the Inquisition did in the Middle Ages with all those who dared to question the dogmas of Church.

It is not surprising, therefore, that all those who are increasingly seeking to oppose the opposite are increasingly being thrown into the arms of populist movements, who, equally unscrupulous, offer them the way to the promised land, being able to accommodate the discontented with this true dictatorship of unique thinking.

It is time to be tolerant, to accept to discuss ideas and values, to know how to use arguments with all those who advocate positions contrary to ours, to stop imposing principles as if they were universal truths. Only in this way will we be able to protect democracies and prevent us from sinking more and more into social degradation resulting from the extreme position and division of societies and humanity.

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