Transnational migrations and global interdependence challenge the liberalism of western countries, which is becoming increasingly national and less universal. They are also challenging the sovereignty and the borders of states, patrolled not only with officers and laws, but also with xenophobic ideologies and racism. Europe’s new enemies, the only ones against whom Europe is inclined and ready to mobilise armies, are neither warmongering states nor expansionist empires. They are instead boat people, desperate people attempting to survive by fleeing hunger and abuse, although unfortunately no international laws and no convention provides them with the status of refugees, because poverty and economic destitution are not considered an abuse of fundamental human rights.
Few concepts are both so controversial and recurrent within the philosophical and cultural debate as the concept of relativism. A subject with different declinations and in some cases opposing ones, the idea of relativism has often been burdened, as in some recent cultural controversies, with an ethical meaning, with the intention of criticising concepts of the world considered excessively weak or even sceptical.
Though its semantic origins are pre-modern, revolution has been a fundamental category of the interpretation of modern times. Hardly anyone would deny that the “democratic revolutions” of the 18th Century and the “industrial revolution” of the 19th had decisive role in the formation of Western modernity, and indirectly even in the emergence of “multiple modernities”. From the 1970s however a “post modern” conception of radical change has emerged, that (paraphrasing Tocqueville) aims at radical transformation, but without the classical process and the relevant legal meaning of political revolutions as we have understood them since the great French forerunner. It may be characteristic mark of our situation that today concepts of post revolution and revolution co-exist in the discourse of both activists and analysts sometimes in the very same political struggle.