The arrival of smartphones, self-driving cars and the Cloud are all symptomatic of a profound shift that is re-writing modern society from within: the Fourth Industrial Revolution. New technologies claim to provide answers to a host of problems, but is technology unbound always a force for good? In the first of a three-part series on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, EcoPolítica’s Paz Serra Portilla argues that blind optimism must be replaced by a wider societal debate in which technological advances are scrutinised and held accountable. Only then, in an age of climate warming and spiraling inequalities, can we fruitfully navigate both the opportunities for emancipation and autonomy and the dangers of perpetuating past mistakes that the technological revolution presents us with.
Europe is exhausted. It is exhausted after long years of what is labeled as the Eurozone crisis. It is exhausted after years of economic success and – now – prolonged years of political failure. Every single attempt of deepening the political union of Europe after the enactment of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 and the introduction of the common currency that followed in 1999, failed in consecutive referendums. Remember Ireland 2001 with the Nice Treaty, remember the Netherlands and France in 2005 with the European constitution. This elitist concept of Europe was too much rooted in an overtly rationalist model of economic necessities. But humans are more than economic machines doing what markets expect and require from them. read more