Clash of civilizations

Aristoteles's bust on smartphone cover, interpretation of Genesis for the column

Digital arrives from far away, as it happens with globalization. It is as if we had made a great journey from west to west, and if we had met friends on the road and first of all enemies. Often we even invented them. This journey started in Athens with Alexander the Great who went to the border with China, continued towards Jerusalem with Paul and Peter who arrived in Rome.

Also, Christopher Columbus who intended to know the unknown following hypothetical maps. A journey with Newton. The scientist, watching an apple falling on the ground, thought that a general law should exist capable to be beneficial in every place and in every time of our universe.

Well, our very human history is featured by an infinite number of travels. It was a journey (a story) for domination and totality. Everything we have encountered has been violated or included, totalized, globalized, westernized. The story of this journey is marked by the clash between civilizations and, as we know, the story is always narrated by the winners.

Journey’s end

But even this story has an end. When? When the West no longer finds an East that resists to itself. This at least is due to the fact that the planet is round and, if you go from West to West, you return to the starting point. And then, at the end of the journey, we look at each other appalled in the mirror and ghosts appear.

A sense of exhaustion is born, nostalgia dominates over the desire to do things, all tensions disappear, motivations dissolve and become indifference: as if we were in convalescence with all its languors.  Fear of emptiness dominates and we become resentful. One would like to continue the journey, but it is impossible and this causes a terrible collective frustration. Imagine an animal trying to eat its own guts.

A new beginning

We can only imagine a new journey that no longer has the purpose of occupying anything, given that globalization and digital represent the difference and not the totality. A journey, which no longer tends to appropriation and domination. We could say (with a very popular word and not necessarily the right one), a sustainable journey.

Moreover, perhaps we should also have the courage to imagine a journey without thinking of the atavistic need to belong to something; rather than making the belonging and the identity be not a reason for conflict, but a richness for everyone. In short, a totality of differences. We should thus try to rethink concepts such as civilization, culture and even the crucial business of subjectivity and responsibility. This new journey inevitably will be realized in and with digital, in and with globalization. With all the dangers involved.