Dilemmas and paradoxes of collective intelligence

Guto Maia *

08/28/20 (Leia em Português)

(in the face of the imponderable, unpredictable, immeasurable)

 

The purpose of this text is to draw a comparative parallel between the current structural chaos and anomie caused by Covid-19, in 2020; and the upheaval of ethical-political-moral-social values ​​that took place during the transition from the Modern Era - marked by the Industrial Revolution of 1760, and by the French and American revolutions - to the Contemporary Era (XIX).

 

This reflection is a dialectical exercise on how we can compare these two historical moments, referenced analytically by the bias of Comtean and Durkheimian positivist ideas, in the early days of Sociology as Science.

 

We can imagine that society produces its values ​​through checks and balances usually managed by a dominant social elite, which only gives way when it can no longer maintain the standards of privileges that benefit them;

 

Historically, morality in Brazil was built by educated families that regulated the exploitation of the poorest and least qualified professionals, maintaining traces of colonialism and slavery that generate so much prejudice in all social groups. Until very recently (30, 40 years ago), there were still places in Brazil and in the world that did not allow blacks to enter, and having domestic servants with "foster children" was also always a socially accepted act by the elites.

 

Women were not encouraged to study after they were adults. The discussion of gender was a taboo, as were all subjects that paid attention to the values ​​and customs of each era. We always live with social demagogy and hypocrisy, which creates dissimulation and institutionalized cynicism. There is an official and another surreptitious moral, with absolutely dubious standards for children, when they begin to understand the primary social inconsistencies in their upbringing, such as, for example, adults smoking and telling the child never to do it, because it does bad (!)

 

Religions tried to monopolize morality, but as accomplices of the colonizing power they ended up trivializing morality itself, having little rise among the youngest. We had dark times of coronelismo and military authoritarianism. This broth resulted in a corrupt political class, which thinks little collectively, and morality becomes relative to each social environment, being even associated with the permissiveness of an established hypocrisy.

 

The concept of God was trivialized by its dishonest use by religions and sects. "Jesus Christ", not even a word! The game of the power of money in the name of the faith of these segments opened up cynicism and created a lot of unbelievers, discouraged and disillusioned.

 

In general, "values" and "morals" are associated with the traditional / conservative. But, perhaps this is an absolute truth. Value and morals can be reconstructed and revised permanently in counterpoint to the vices of authoritarian education to which many of our parents and grandparents were subjected, with the false idea of ​​discipline and social order. We are all victims of this distorted education that has been perpetuated for decades.

 

We can believe that morality is formed mainly in ethics, in the discussion of values, in solidary principles and in applied human generosity, based on open dialogue, acceptance of the contradictory and respect for divergent ideas. In this sense, valued diversity raises the concept of current morality. Hence, public management leaders will emerge, based on the balance of the political game. Let us say that these are the designs of common sense for all who believe that, ideologically, the best to organize social life are the combined ones of the democratic system.

 

Doctors, nurses, good journalists, intellectuals and influencers respectful of Science, have demonstrated practical examples of dignity, during the current pandemic that agonizes us.

 

A society with a strong moral standard, is it, in fact, the secret of a society's success? It certainly is. When we look at countries where their managers have real appreciation and the spirit of representation of their citizens, as if they were all their own children, the results are better in the face of bad weather, however serious they may be, and society grows as a cohesive body in this lesson, and more quickly overcome any suffering. Some care for others. This would be, perhaps, the most noble spirit for an ideal society.

 

Durkheim's sociology, and the positivists.Durkheim's sociology, and the positivists.It is necessary to scientifically understand the historical context that led to the creation of the first theories of the new science that emerged, Sociology, in the transition from the Modern and Contemporary Ages; first methodized by August Comte with inspiration in positivism, which accepted only the real, visible and palpable. His theories disseminated by his students met strong resistance from conservative pre-Enlightenment intellectuals, who defended religion and the military for better discipline in society.

 

Émile Durkheim, one of Comte's disciples, stood out the most, perfecting the master's ideas, creating important theories such as Collective and Individual Consciousness; Organic and Mechanical Solidarity, Social Fact; and presenting the concept of Anomia, found in his main works: “Suicídio” (1897) and “Da Social Division of Labor” (1893).

 

According to Durkheim's conception, social anomie occurs based on the absence of social and moral norms that serve as a “guide” for society. We can consider that, to a certain extent, we are in this fine line of dubiousness of contradictory and refractory moral values.

 

Today we are seeing a clear social break. It is noted that the current pandemic that plagues us since 2020, came to unimaginably disrupt the ethical-political, moral, infrastructure and financial values ​​of the entire planet, causing fear, killing dreams, postponing projects, exacerbating social, ethnic differences -cultural, racial, class, gender, sparking spiteful relationships, full of hatred, prejudices, contradictions and paradoxes; reaching a limit moment in which, inexorably, new possibilities of relationship and coexistence will appear pointing to a new social order, to be built necessarily with much dialogue, debates and conflictual negotiation.

 

By drawing a comparative parallel, as well as in the transition to the Modern to Contemporary Era (19th century), today we are experiencing a polarized explosion between those who trust science and those who vehemently deny it, incredible as it may seem, demonstrating a total lack of knowledge. commitment - and even boycotting the essential and inevitable scientific progress.

  

Surprisingly, an immense amount of individuals makes clear their contempt for collective intelligence when proposing biased historical revisionisms, demonstrating an absolute lack of human solidarity and empathy, in such a troubled moment in the history of humanity, especially for Brazil, that today (August 9th) 2020), is still a long way from achieving control of a serious health crisis that is plaguing the world, reaching 100,000 deaths by Covid-19, in official data, 

 

There is an urgent need in Brazil for a debate on ethical-political ideas that involve citizens from all areas who trust Science, to support young research scientists, who will be the support for public management to make the best decisions regarding physical, mental and health. of our population.

  

According to estimates, the world population will reach 9.7 billion inhabitants in 2050. Brazil will reach 97 million elderly people in the next 30 years, and will have a total population of 238 million. People with intellectual and sensory physical disabilities will be in this spectrum of more than 60% of the total. In other words, more than half of our population will be composed of individuals who will need some specialized assistance and professional care.

 

This awareness of this near future may open an important discussion about our responsibility to contribute to the training of new public policy managers who are truly committed to solid values ​​of character, inspired by high social morals and human solidarity. The belief in this utopia can help us to intellectually overcome this moment of great collective pain that we are going through. We can contribute, as did the precursors of Sociology, qualifying this debate based on the learning that this moment of suffering gives us all without distinction.

 

And, allow ourselves to dream of a more intelligent and supportive society. 

 

 

*Guto Maia - José Augusto Maia Baptista

Educational Manager

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