FREEDOM

Reflecting on “interculture” means first of all reflecting on one’s attitude towards the world and its complexity. If at the beginning of our journey we accept diversity as a “fact,” as a fundamental character of contemporary societies, the more mature our “intercultural” awareness will be, and the more we will learn to appreciate it and consider it as a resource instead of an obstacle to be overcome. Reflecting on “interculture” also means putting aside prejudices and critically reasoning about some values that, culturally speaking, belong to us. An example of this decentralisation effort can be made using the idea of equality. On the one hand, it has been and still is fundamental for us; it is a keyword in the struggles for justice and the conquest of rights. On the other hand, however, this concept cannot be considered exhaustive, especially if we reason in an intercultural perspective. Just think of the new feminist movements that do not ask for equality but for difference between the sexes. Or the distinction between equality and equity: the first suggests that all individuals have the same values and the same needs, while the second recognises that people have different needs, aspirations and attitudes. Perhaps it is possible to resolve this contradiction by using another fundamental concept of Western ethics: freedom. Using the idea of freedom as a cornerstone makes it easier to guarantee the legitimacy of differences and to restore centrality to the individuals, allowing them greater leeway. If equality risks crushing diversity under the weight of what has already been said or done, freedom allows the full expression of human creativity. Starting from the idea of freedom can be a valid guide for inventing new rights, imagining other ways to live together and expand the frontiers of what is possible.

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