Gustavo Matos is a Socialist Member of the Autonomic Parliament of Canarias (Spain). Mr. Matos has a Law Degree by the Universidad de la Laguna and a Masters Degree by Escuela Jurídica de Editorial Colex (Universidad de Salamanca).
We are living a time of changes. Or perhaps it would be better to say that we are living during a change of times. The beginning of the 21st Century is putting through his paces the values forged during the 20th Century, after the Great Wars. The spread of globalization, the revolution of communications, the phenomenon of social networks…
New methods of manipulation, such as the interference of some countries in the internal affairs of others taking advantage of the new forms of communication and the ability to influence social networks or the massive use of fake news as a method to influence public opinion. They are just some of the challenges that citizens must face at this time.
Now, It is very difficult for citizens to navigate this new social ocean of the 21st century with the tools that were used in the 20th century. At least in appearance. Today everything is more diffuse, more liquid. Today, everything changes at great speed and that makes at the same speed new rules and tools to appear with which to face reality and social challenges for citizens. We are also facing an over-information in real time that forces us to analyze reality in a different way. Today an explosion in a neighbourhood of a city in Asia travels in real time around the planet and is seen by anyone on your mobile device almost as it happens. This contributes to a permanent feeling that more things happen than ever before on the planet, but it is very possible that the only thing that happens is that the planet has become smaller and everyone knows everything at the same time. Until now we have seen the globalization of the economy, of communications, of technology. Now we are possibly facing the birth of the global citizen.
But paradoxically the answer that we are seeing that is taking place at this moment in this times of change is to lock oneself in the local village. An answer that consists of returning to the comfort zone before the vertigo that supposes facing these new times without concrete tools that provide us security. Although is a very human reaction, it is a step backwards in every way. Including the field of values.
The global citizen must face this time in a different way. Not going back to the local cavern, to the safety of the village. Probably the right way is taking risks without fear. In our history, progress has always been made when humanity has decided to move forward pushed by curiosity and the desire to open new horizons for the homo sapiens. The same curiosity and the anxieties that once, thousands of years ago, led us from the African steppes to the global conquest of the planet. That is why it is very important for the global citizen, in these liquid times, in which sooner or later you must leave the comfort zone, to be able to use some tools that are still useful and have to do with those values conquered fundamentally in the twentieth century. Values such as cooperation between people and societies. Today thanks to the internet and the new forms of communication there are millions of people connected in real time sharing information and experiences in all areas of knowledge. Something that had never happened before in the history of humanity on this scale. Values such as solidarity among human beings that require the governments of each of the countries to find ways to deal with the migratory crises that the planet is experiencing and not solutions of values like before ways to the great wars of the 20th century. Values of tolerance towards what is different and without fear of the global miscegenation to which we are heading. It is easy to think of this global citizen as a kind of castaway in the middle of a storm without really knowing how to manage. But it is also true that with good navigation tools and minimal knowledge of how to use them there are more chances of success not to perish in the middle of the ocean. These instruments today are values that have a universal validity and with which humanity has always managed to save its most complicated moments.