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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 27, Issue 4, 2017

Values and Ideals. Theory and Practice: Part V

Krystyna Najder-Stefaniak
Pages 43-52

Security and Sustained Development

Interesting for the debate on human security is the concept of coexistence of culture and civilization. According to Albert Schweitzer, civilization and culture were not mutually exclusive and did not compete against each other. However, if civilizational growth began to dominate over cultural development, or, in other words, if culture began to lag behind civilization, human life would be reduced to its biological aspect and man would become unable to take the adequate care of his natural and social ecosystems. He/she, dominated by the impersonal forces of nature and economy, would be reduced by them to an object. That is what Schweitzer called the neoprimitive man. Contemporary man is in danger of becoming the neoprimitive man. Culture adapted to contemporary technological civilization grows out of a thought paradigm ordered by a metaphor rooted in the eco-system concept, which replaces the modern machine metaphor. In thinking based on eco-systemic relations the difference between them does not antagonize but enriches, and rivalry is replaced by synergy. In this new paradigm the axiological aspect of the modern-day development concept becomes very complicated and needs the qualifier “sustained,” thanks to which development ceases to threaten the coincidental and ruthless change. The application of the term “sustained development” to the relation between technological civilization and culture forces the discourse on human security to take stock of the human capacity for metanoia and existence within the ethical dimension, and make room for education in formulating creative responses to danger.