La Voie. Pour l’avenir de l’humanité
Edgar Morin
Publication Type
book (309 pages); ISBN 978-2-213-65560-4
Year of Publication
Librairie Arthème Fayard, France, 2011. Price € 21.30

Abstract: In this book, E. Morin describes why and how local development is a driving force of the needed “metamorphosis” to change the paths of planetary civilisation. The author mentions examples of local development initiatives in nearly each chapter of the book, in order to support a series of reforms orientated towards a deep solidarity between humanity and nature. “We must save the Soldier Earth! We must save our Pachamama, our Mother Earth! To become fully citizens of Earth, we must imperatively change our way of inhabiting it!” (page 85). The book is structured in four parts: the policies of humanity; reform of thinking and education; reform of society; reform of life. Each part contains specific chapters that connect key issues of the current global crisis of humanity: politics, civilisation, democracy, demography, indigenous peoples, ecology, water, economy, inequalities and poverty, bureaucracy, justice, thinking, education, health, urban planning, transport, agriculture, food, consumption, work, life, family, women conditions, youth, ageing and death. The book is like an initial “manifesto” of alternative paths that combine, inter alia, globalisation and localisation, growth and de-growth, development and envelopment (e.g. life values, quality of human relationships, rhythms of communities), conservation and transformation.

Review and comments: The title of this book explains the reasons why it deserves to be carefully read and studied: the way for the future of the humanity. Issues and reforms are intertwined in a holographic way, according to concepts and methods of transdisciplinarity already elaborated by E. Morin in his huge scientific work. Morin remains a leading philosopher and sociologist of the “complex thinking”, the capacity of dealing with the complexity of real world through recursive links and interactions, mutual implications of multidimensional phenomena, sometime supportive and sometime conflicting (page 147). This capacity allows Morin to discover a creative ferment (“le bouillonnement créatif”, page 34) that consists of a multitude of local initiatives useful to regenerate several dimensions (e.g. economic, social, political, cognitive, educational, ethical and existential). They are local initiatives that, according to Morin, are not sufficiently recognised, analysed, codified and connected, although they form a breeding ground for a plurality of reforming paths, as proposed in the book. It might have been fruitful a comparison between the book’s proposals with those of Agenda 21, the world wide programme for sustainable development approved by the 1992 United Nation Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Similarly, it might be worthwhile integrating the examples of local development initiatives provided by the book with good practices implemented through Local Agenda 21 processes around the world. The book constitutes in fact a useful tool to debate the key issues of “Rio +20”, the 2012 United Nation Summit on Sustainable Development, once again in Rio de Janeiro.

Filippo Strati

Created by Haris Martinos1165 points . Last Modification: Saturday 18 of February, 2012 15:36:12 GMT by Peter Ramsden3328 points . (Version 2)