The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

Balance

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 16 January 2020, 08:20 Last update: about 2 months ago

In everything that relates to economic and social management, some balance needs to be maintained – between the new and the traditional; between the young and the old; between openness towards people and ideas that formerly used to be kept “outside”, and reliance on people and ideas that were always “insiders”.

No society can remain stable and in good shape if all its initiatives are conducted in a spirit of adventure. However a society can begin to crumble and corrode if it just keeps reiterating the same formulae and litanies.

What distinguishes one leader from another is how and where they establish the required balance – whether they tilt towards the young or the old, or whether they seek a complete balance... exactly in the “middle”... between the two options.

***

EQUALITY

In striving towards equality between the sexes, the major challenge is not in the reform of legislation but in how practically, equality is truly being carried out. In the field of employment for instance, it is clear that generally, women are still receiving less pay than men for the same work.

What material and social mechanisms account for this outcome? How can they be changed and reversed?

No clear, effective responses exist as yet to such questions. Which is why everything must be done to combat these differences as concretely as possible. For every condition of inequality that still prevails, the specific reason which gives rise to it must be addressed in a specific way.

It is also probable that one will discover how in a substantial number of cases, similar reasons explain what is going on. The point remains: solutions must be arrived at not simply with reference to laws and regulations, but through concrete measures that are applied according to the circumstances that arise in a given workplace. 

***

HOMO SAPIENS

It took me a while to reach the end of Yuval Noah Harari’s “Homo Sapiens”, as I kept reading it only during the second half of flights back to Malta. The book deserves the praise it got when first published. Through a reflective history of how the life of human beings developed and changed during the centuries and the millenia, Harari arrives at conclusions which place in a relatively new perspective the process by which we have become what we are.

The conclusion that I found most telling highlights how destructive as an animal man can be: no matter where he got to, his arrival coincided with the elimination of complete species of other beasts. I used to think that such a phenomenon happened only rarely, like for instance in North America, when the “palefaces” killed, or rather exterminated, the millions of buffalo that roamed the Western plains.

Indeed no, Harare demonstrates how the same thing happened wherever man was present... and is still happening today.

He also has much to say about humankind and technology.Towards the end of his book, he discusses how man experiences happiness, which is supposedly considered as the most important goal of existence. It’s an interesting discussion.

 

  • don't miss