Name the 21st century: Adultum

In the current crisis of democracy and at the end of economic growth we need the narrative of an age of adult world citizens. This new narrative is about the analogy between the life phase of a person at the end of physical growth, the adult age, and the present political and economic situation at the limits of growth, the experiences of the degrowth. Just as individual adulthood results in the end of physical growth accompanied by an intellectual and emotional maturity that allows one to recognize the consequences of one’s actions, humanity must also reach a collective adulthood that allows us to bring forth a civilization no longer reliant on perpetual consumption and growth. This comparison is not to be understood biologically or deterministically, but rather as a political narrative for critical-optimistic thinking and responsible behavior. Grown-up people stand in the tradition of the Enlightenment, which called on all men to use the intellect without the guidance of another. Immanuel Kant saw in this point the exit of man from his self-inflicted immaturity. Today one can formulate in an enlargement that only in this responsibility will the exit of self-produced politically, ecological and economic crises exist, if mature citizens are willing to take responsibility. Therefore, the coming age—in the sense of a narrative, but not less critical understanding—should be called adultum, as an age of mature world citizens....

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