People are feeling insecure. Youths are struggling to find a decent job, to buy property or to pay their debts. Precarious work is still to be found. The elderly are also worried about their safety, their pension and access to decent health care. 

hat is causing this current sense of insecurity? The main causes are globalization and technology. Pope Francis, in the last few weeks, said that globalization and technology are leaving “cultural devastation” in their wake. Although globalization and technology have their positive aspects and have improved human beings’ quality of life, this is true only in some parts of the world. Plainly put, some are enjoying the benefits but many are suffering. 

Voice of the Workers spoke with Rev. Prof. Hector Scerri, a theology lecturer at the University of Malta. He explained that cultural devastation occurs whenever whole populations are disadvantaged because they are left way behind or, worse, are exploited. Rev. Prof. Hector Scerri referred to multinational companies that invest in factories in certain continents so that they can pay the workers peanuts and make billions in profit when the products are sold in countries of the “first world”. 

Cultural devastation is evident in the huge economic imbalance between the North and the South. This is impacting whole societies and is leading to migration (of people who can leave their country) to parts of the world that seem to them like the mythical El Dorado of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Such migration is literally dismantling whole cultures that have long, beautiful and precious histories. 

This is why, in his teachings, especially in his encyclical Laudato si (2015), Pope Francis, together with the Church institutions that promote the Social Thinking behind it, are doing all they can to create a conscience of interdependence and authentic solidarity. In line with Pope Francis, Rev. Prof. Hector Scerri reminds us of the dangers of the globalisation of the technocratic model that leads to unlimited manipulation. He stated – as taught by the Pope and the Catholic Church – that a courageous cultural revolution is needed to help us rediscover our human values and implement them in practice. Left to its own devices, the market cannot guarantee the development of the human person and the social inclusion that are vital to us moving forward. 

Technological progress should be balanced in a way that ensures that progress does not necessarily mean that small producers, biodiversity and the web of ecosystems are devastated. At the end of the day, the principle we should follow is human dignity and true justice from everyone for everyone.