In the presidential campaign it is a question of war, immigration, purchasing power, health, sovereignty, important words, of course, for the future. However, another word, crucial for the future, is missing. Deeply absent. As if the various candidates in the running had decided to do without it. The pretty word of progress. This progress that benefits everyone. This desire for progress that drives us forward. What if this absence was the symbol not of abandonment but of a reason to be forgotten along the way?
Common future and integral progress
Ordinarily, the presidential sequences constitute the moment in which, through the intermediary of the candidates and their positioning, society debates what it wishes for its destiny. This year, beyond dramatic economic reasons like the war in Ukraine, or nagging ones, like the Covid-19 crisis, something seems to have disappeared from the scene. The idea of a common future that would be better for the greatest number. The idea of a common future where progress would be integral. While we need inventions and innovations, both have only the word protection or precaution in their mouths. France, place of the invention of rationalism, of the philosophy of enlightenment, even of positivism and therefore a fertile ground for progress, no longer knows how to speak its own language.
→ READ. For the next world, let’s reconcile progress with the living!
This absence of reflection around what could be the desirable progress for the future is a challenge. This is all the more so since it is often accompanied by an anti-progress antiphon, amplified by the pandemic, around vaccines, 5G, or possible advances resulting from the advent of artificial intelligence. As if progress had lost its raison d’etre. As if by dint of not hearing the warnings, both legitimate and illegitimate, the very ideal of progress no longer had any reason to exist.
Confusion between progress and growth
Instrument of dreams, of fantastic entrepreneurial and societal adventures, progress is scary. Perhaps, moreover, that its raison d’être has been emptied of its substance because, precisely, the proponents of progress have only been interested in it through the single prism of growth. If it works and grows, then it is progress. However, recalled Robert Kennedy, the “Growth measures everything except what is worth living for”. Here we are. What if we had forgotten to look at all things and not just one part of the spectrum of progress called growth?
Beyond this confusion between progress and growth, what also seems to constitute a brake on the philosophy of progress is our sacrosanct principle of precaution which, coming for good reasons to impose forms of prohibition, exalts fear or rather annihilates the very idea of risk in the sense of “chance”. “Take a chance”, say the Americans to mean “Take a risk”. Role reversal. Risk and therefore innovation can be opportunities. What if the precautionary principle became a principle of adaptation where innovation would be tested, implemented and improved following the various stones brought by the stakeholders?
For us, progress means moving forward, in a determined way, towards an enviable future, for the well-being of everyone. Progress invents solutions, proposes new ways of doing or living, in a triple perspective. That they have a positive impact on the well-being of people, that they serve the living and that they are as accessible as possible.
Without a horizon of integral progress, society will withdraw into itself. In his comfort. With the risks that we know. The challenge is before us and each and everyone must play their part in reinventing the raison d’être of our future progress.
We wish to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding material
“In France, progress is scary”
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