Civilizing the collective future

Civilizing the collective future

Amigo de Número de la Real Sociedad Bascongada de los Amigos del País

The severe economic crisis exacerbates the search for individual solutions, the "every man for himself" attitude, the return to autarchy. Often, the crisis puts a brake on our solidarity and clouds the future on the horizon which cannot be seen above the individual aspirations of each person. And in this cathartic and harsh context, the Royal Basque Society of the Friends of de Country and its members must raise the bar of generosity, in basic, social and intellectual terms, in order to be able to enlighten society with humility and understanding and contribute reflections which enable a collective civilization of the future of our Basque society.

The deeper meaning of values which led to the foundation of the Royal Basque Society of the Friends of the Country has to be more present than ever. Maintaining our distinguishing traits, remaining true to our historical legacy, should not be the result of mere inertia but the just recognition of those who were ahead of their time.

We are children of wolfram, and should not be blinded by the glamorous post-modernity of silicon. The love of a job well done, the exercise of individual and collective responsibility in benefit of the common social good, these are values to be preserved and valued. Intellectual altruism, removed from egos and individual vanity, a shared vision of a project must continue to be the basis of our actions.

We live at a fast pace, with no time for reflection and calm debate. Politics is prisoner to a race against time, where everything has to take place quickly, urgency traps us in the present and we forget about the past, what it teaches us and what it can teach us about the future.

Our raison d'être as the Royal Basque Society of the Friends of the Country drives the need to remain true to our past, our aims and objectives, and to go on to project this love of our country, this desire to be useful to our country, from our reflective, serene, constructive contribution, anchored in the present and driven to creating fields of reflection which can provide hope, enthusiasm, motivation, openness to change and improvement. We have always worked from intellectual humility, preparing projects which are useful to Basque society, now converted into autonomous realities, carrying out a creative role in areas such as law, culture, science or Basque language.

Omniscience is left to the wise. For this reason, we must work in groups ('auzolan'), pooling our atomized knowledge in the service of a common social aim has been our hallmark and barrier against individualisms, which prevent a general view of the country, providing the interdisciplinary approach necessary to advance a common project, coordinated from the heterogeneous, from the diversity of concepts and knowledge.

Our Society has to develop and promote all the topics which can relate to the past, present and future; it must be present in history, culture, society, literature, education, economy, in the new Europe and the world, in science, new techniques and methodologies.

Our Society should also work in all those fields which can strengthen intelligence, determination, knowledge, progress and appropriate coexistence of people, strengthening ties between Basques and trying to achieve the position that the Country deserves in history, the world and present culture.

The parallel between the circumstances of the birth of our Society and the present social context, and the fact that this 18th century project was built upon methodological bases and approaches which have acquired an ideological primacy today that was unthinkable a few generations ago, should serve as an incentive to our labour.

The future is conquered with the renovation and regeneration of ideas, projects, responsibilities, dreams, hopes, values and social challenges. And the light which should guide this process should be based on the work of our Society, removed from short-term thinking and the pressure and pace of politics...and at the same time lending their efforts to the service of society and managers of the res publica.

The harsh context of the crisis surrounding us places the value of education at the forefront of our concerns. And more than ever we need a Society which is firm and aware of the challenge of addressing the priority aim of educating to civilize collectively the future. More than ever, the values of commitment, dedication, motivation, the pursuit of quality and efficiency have to inspire our actions.

To speak of investment in human capital or to reflect on values all too often provokes a mixture of scepticism and indifference. It is associated with the grandiloquent events that inundate strategic plans, which too often turn into mere ends in themselves rather than being instrumental parts towards a specific end goal. We have to make it happen, because Basque business needs, more than ever, a real and greater interaction between business, society and university. Business and University address different cultures, values and missions but they should be more and better co-ordinated, they should go hand-in-hand, they should focus on improving management models which too often make them almost watertight compartments within society. The triangle of knowledge represented by investment in education, research and innovation is key to overcome situations hard as the one created by this crisis. Education and a good education is a joint challenge for all European society and our Basque society. It has to become the principal collective project which drives our citizens towards horizons to overcome the present crisis.




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