Boaventura de Sousa SantosAug 11, 2023
From the Pandemic to Utopia
The Future Begins Now
The coronavirus pandemic forces us to rethink our contemporaneity. It has brought to the surface dimensions of human fragility that partially contradict the euphoria and human hubris of the fourth industrial revolution (artificial intelligence). It has also aggravated the social inequality and racial discrimination that characterize our societies.
In From the Pandemic to Utopia: The Future Begins Now (Routledge, 2023) by Dr. Boaventura De Sousa Santos argues that the virus, rather than an enemy, must be viewed as a pedagogue. It is trying to teach us that the deep causes of the pandemic lie in our dominant mode of production and consumption. The systemic overload of natural resources creates a metabolic rift between society and nature that destabilizes the habitat of wild animals and the vital cycles of natural regeneration whereby pandemics become an increasingly recurrent phenomenon. In trying to take seriously this lesson the book proposes a paradigmatic shift from the current civilizatory model to a new one guided by a more equitable relationship between nature and society and the priority of life, both human and non-human.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.